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Ice House Canyon Trailhead

Yesterday, Sarah and I stumbled across the trailhead for the Ice House Canyon Trail on Mount San Antonio. Well, we didn’t really stumble across, we just drove a bit further than planned, it’s actually not hard to miss. We took a few photos, and since it’s roughly an 8-mile hike, we plan to be back for more when we’re better equipped. 🙂

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Desk Army

I work from home, so keeping an entertaining desk is pretty much a must. Over the past few years, I’ve been collecting figures and toys that have some sort of meaning to me in order to build what I call a Desk Army. If you’ve been following me on Instagram, you’ve already seen these, but since I’m starting to slow down a bit, I figured it was a good time to post about it here.

Soldiers in the Desk Army have been recruited, retired, replaced, and wounded over the years, but the current version embedded below is as follows from top-left to bottom-right: an X-wing from Star Wars, Astolfo (Rider of Black) from Fate/Apocrypha, Artoria Pendragon (Saber) from Fate/Zero, Yuuki Asuna from Sword Art Online: Ordinal Scale, Mikasa Ackerman from Attack on Titan, a TIE/sf from Star Wars, Mega Man X from Mega Man X, Ruby Rose from RWBY, the tenth Doctor from Doctor Who, Optimus Prime from Transformers G1, Jack Harkness from Torchwood, Oliver Queen from Arrow, the Green Ranger from Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, Ahsoka Tano from Star Wars: The Clone Wars, Sabine Wren from Star Wars Rebels, Wolf Link from The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, Boba Fett from Star Wars, the Green Lion from Voltron: Legendary Defender, and Donald Duck from Disney.

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Photos from the Huntington Library

Just last week, my Jetpack support team (we’re big enough to be 4 teams now) had our annual team meetup so that we can grow as a team and build great things that could only be built in person. One of our moments away from work involved going to The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens, which is a really wonderful place that not many folks outside of Southern California know about. There was a lot to cover in not much time that day, so Sarah and I went back for more later.

If you’re in the area, I highly recommend visiting it to at least experience the botanical gardens and the fascinating Orbit Pavilion.

Here are just a few photos from the two trips:

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Automattic Meetup 2017

Like like last year, Automattic went to Whistler, British Columbia for our annual Grand Meetup. We had almost 600 employees spanning the globe, suddenly just spanning 2 hotels for the week. It’s great to build things in person with people you usually only communicate with via text. Sure, it’s a little bit overwhelming, but I always walk away with a few new friends.

We built and learned quite a bit this week, and though there are no specific announcements yet, please watch the Jetpack Blog, WordPress.com Blog, and WooCommerce Blog for exciting news. As for myself, and as usual, I have a fair amount of photos to share:

In case you’re wondering, those last few photos are of our very talented band of Automatticians.

For more photos, visit colleagues Lisa Schuyler, Stephen McLeod Blythe, Ryan Cowles, and many more on Instagram. If any of this looks interesting to you, we’re always hiring!

Photo of Ryan Cowles, Richard, and James Huff, by Lisa Schuyler

Photo of Ryan Cowles, Richard Archambault, and James Huff, by Lisa Schuyler

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Automattic Meetup 2016

This year, Automattic went to Whistler, British Columbia, my first time in Canada for more than a layover. We had almost 500 employees spanning the globe, suddenly just spanning 2 hotels for the week. It’s always great, if not perhaps just a tiny bit overwhelming, to see everyone in person once a year, and it’s wonderful to build great things in person.

A fair amount of such great things were indeed built, so keep your eyes on the WordPress.com Blog, Jetpack Blog, and WooCommerce Blog for news. Meanwhile, here’s my customary chunk of photos.

For more photos, visit colleagues Stephen McLeod Blythe, Lisa Schuyler, Kathryn Presner, Dan Hauk, Naoko Takano, Ryan Cowles, and Pam Kocke. If any of this looks interesting to you, we’re always hiring!

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Automattic Meetup 2015

This year, Automattic went back to Park City, Utah! The big difference this time? Our “almost 300” has grown to 400 employees spanning the globe, many joining us from the WooThemes acquisition earlier this year. With so many colleagues from around the world, it’s great to see everyone at least once a year, and build great things in person.

Some aforementioned great things were indeed made this year, keep your eyes on the WordPress.com Blog and the Jetpack Blog for news, but perhaps more interesting (or at least more fun) was the introduction a live band made up of some of my more talented colleagues. I don’t think the band will be producing any albums, but it sure made for a fun night! 🙂

For more photos, visit colleagues Adam Heckler and Greg Stewart, and don’t forget that we’re always hiring!

James and Greg

James and Greg

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Doobies Inc. at House of Blues

Sarah and I, plus a few of our friends, had a great time last night catching good friend Lawrence Tamez (saxophones and percussion) with Doobies Inc., a Doobie Brothers tribute band, at House of Blues in Anaheim. I figured I might as well share a few photos here, because stage lights are cool. If there’s a Doobies Inc. show in your neighborhood, you absolutely must go!

Sequoia National Park Trip

My wife and I felt it was about time for a vacation, so we took a few days to drive up to Sequoia National Park. On the first day, we took the easy Crescent Meadow Trail and somehow wound up on the far-less-easy Trail of the Sequoias (lovingly referred to as the Trial of the Sequoias) and all the trails we then had to take to get back to where we started. On the second day, we planned to visit Moro Rock, but wound up on the much longer trail to Moro Rock instead.

We certainly made a few mistakes along the way, but those mistakes lead us to some amazing views that we would otherwise have missed. We look forward to returning next year for everything we had actually planned to see this year. 🙂

Trail of the Sequoias 9

Team Rads in Malta

Two weeks ago, Team Rads of Automattic met in Malta to focus our efforts on launching the inevitable WordAds 2.0 and to investigate unique marketing opportunities. We are an ever-growing distributed team, with three of us in California, one in Australia, one in Iceland, one in Portugal, and our newest team member in Italy, so we try to get together a few times each year to work out things that can’t be done over email, o2, and Slack.

Malta is an amazing country, and I really hope I can go back some time in the future to enjoy it as a vacation rather than just a business destination. We toured the island by bus and boat, and even visited the famous Blue Grotto. I also managed to take a few photos along the way.

Does any of this look interesting to you? Then I have some great news for you! If you want to work at Automattic, we’re hiring!

Team Rads in Malta

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WordPress Logo MacBook Pro

mbptopWorking at Automattic comes with a lot of benefits, but at the moment, none are cooler than the one pictured above. After four years of employment, Automattic employees are allowed to have their next computer customized by ColorWare.

This particular model is a mostly black retina MacBook Pro with a glowing WordPress logo in the center, and it’s ready for four more years with me at Automattic.

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