Hi there, I’m Brian McKinney

Developer, designer, musician, recording engineer. In other words, I like to make things

A promotion

November 3, 2011

It's been two and a half years since I posted something noteworthy on my personal site. The last thing I posted—way back in April 2009—was how pleased I was to be starting a job at Mediaphormedia and moving to Lawrence. I suppose it's only fitting that in getting back to posting on my blog, the subject of this post pertains directly to that previous one. It's a nice bookend—you know?


October 19, 2011

A few weeks ago I took my first trip over to visit Ireland. I spent a few days in Dublin, starting by visiting a few sights, then attended Pycon Ireland. I went out to the west coast, saw Killarney and Galway and a lot of country in between. Finally, I returned back to Dublin for a last couple of days before heading back to the states.

Keeping the train rolling on down those tracks

April 17, 2009

I've just received some of the best news of my professional career. I'm so very pleased to announce that I've accepted a position as a designer with the Online/Software/Jedi division of The World Company in Lawrence, Kansas—Mediaphormedia and I couldn't be more excited about it.

The Great Ocean Road

March 24, 2009

When we awoke the next morning, the Nash was looking rough and so were we. Danenberg was really, really feeling the experiences from the previous night. Particularly once we had to get up and actually use the facilities at The Nash in order to “clean” up.

My Aussie city by the bay

March 24, 2009

We took off from Lakes Entrance fairly early so that we could make it to Geelong by late afternoon. We were back on the tracks, but now in Victoria, which has a surprising amount of beauty in its countryside. We drove through the winding hills and Victoria countryside for hours, stopping here and there to take a break.

Lakes Entrance

March 20, 2009

We awoke the next morning, and needed to get a lot of traveling in before we stopped for the evening. Melbourne was within our sites, but still a long way down the tracks. After driving for a couple of hours we stopped off in a bay-side town in search of some food. We parked the car near a mall and walked towards the bay, and found a nice little restaurant on the beach. We had a couple of beers and a decent rest. Ken perused the menu and seriously thought ordering the seafood pizza was a good idea. When it arrived, it was the most hideous, awful, disgusting looking thing I had ever seen. There was stuff on it I've never seen and couldn't even begin to describe. Ken went ahead and ate it, but I was shocked to find that there was no food poising or other gastro-intestinal problems as a result of said pizza. Problems or not, the road wouldn't wait, so we got back on the tracks.

Berry and Bega Cheese

March 20, 2009

We awoke to a bright and ugly Kings Cross, and decided on attempting to see some Sydney sights. The Cross is located a fair bit from the city center and all of the main Sydney attractions, so we hopped on a train and headed for the Sydney harbor to see some of the touristy parts of Sydney. After a brief train ride we found ourselves situated right on the Circular Quay. This is the location of the famous Sydney Harbor bridge, as well as the Sydney Opera House, and many, many touristy type things.

The Kings Cross was the main attraction

March 18, 2009

There wasn't a whole lot going on in Katoomba, but it had been a step up from what had been going on the previous nights of our trip. Our next stop was clear, Sydney was calling our name.

The Blue Mountains

March 18, 2009

After some seriously slow nights, I was anxious to get to some cities that I was familiar with. I wanted to get out amongst the people, and mix with the locals. We headed towards Katoomba, just outside of the Blue Mountains, a city that I had traveled to before, and with decent population for a mountain town, I was sure there would be some great stuff happening on a Thursday night. After checking in at a local hostel, which was incredibly welcoming and all around fantastic, we headed down the street to check out one of the two local bars and see what is shaking in Katoomba on a Thursday night. The answer, unfortunately, not much.

Nelson's Bay retirement community

March 18, 2009

After getting a somewhat late start, we kept the train rolling down the tracks. Traveling the distance we set out to travel leads us through several towns along the way, and we stopped for a bit at one such town — Port Macquerie.

Coffs Harbour

March 18, 2009

We drove down through the New South Wales coast until we descended on Coff's Harbour by dusk. Coffs Harbour is a small city located right on the beach, subdivided into three distinct areas. The beach, the wharf and the city center.

Sunrise building a reprise

March 18, 2009

When we finally touched down in Brisbane, we had endured 36 hours of straight travel, going through airport security 4 times, countless jogs through airport terminals, a day and a half of airline food, and all of this on about 3 hours of sleep.

Nearly down under

March 6, 2009

Well, here we are. After a long day of traveling, we are sitting in the airport waiting to board our Qantas flight that will get us to the land down under.

Living in a Land Down Under

January 11, 2009

I am unbelievably psyched to let everyone know that I am finally taking a trip back to what I consider my second home — Australia. Beginning in early March, my mates Ken Williams, Brian Danenberg and I will be heading down to where the women glow and the men plunder. It will be a two week excursion that will take us from the gold coast of Brisbane to my former stomping grounds of Melbourne and Geelong. Our plan is to hire a car in Brisbane and make our way down the southeast coast, driving right along the Australian coast line, and stopping at various pubs that cross our paths along the way.

Five really good Christmas movies

November 29, 2008

After Thanksgiving is over, my attention immediately shifts to Christmas. One of my favorite things to do this time of year is to watch some quality Christmas-themed movies. In the spirit of the holidays, I've compiled a list of a few of my all time favorites.

The best way to clear floats

November 3, 2008

When working with HTML and CSS, I always want to find the best technique for solving a certain problem and use it every time. This philosophy can be very frustrating when the solution to certain problems is rather ambiguous, or certain problems can be solved in multiple ways, each with their own drawbacks. Using CSS to clear floats is a great example of a problem with many solutions, none of which is absolutely ideal.

Six excellent Halloween movies

October 19, 2008

I watch quite a few movies, and with Halloween right around the corner, my film watching is completely monopolized by the scary movie genre for about a month and a half leading up until the big night. I thought it would be good to talk about some of my favorite scary movies. If you have not seen some of these movies, head over to Netflix or your local DVD rental store *shudder*, and get them to your house as soon as you can.

Now featuring Django 1.0

October 7, 2008

After quite a bit of effort and trolling around on Django's google groups, I've finally migrated my website to use Django 1.0. This is outwardly a very small change and if I did the transition properly, no one should have even noticed. The main benefit that I see from this is not having to worry as much about backwards compatibility as Django moves forward.

In line for an iPhone

July 11, 2008

I recently had the experience of standing in line for five and a half hours at an Apple store in Leawood, Kansas to buy a 3G iPhone. It wasn't pretty, nor comfortable, nor fun. It was frustrating, time consuming, and funny. A lot of people wonder why someone would stand in line for over five hours to buy something. My short answer is I wouldn't have done it, had I known how it was going to go down...or would I?

How not to advertise your web design job

April 28, 2008

I've been paying attention to a site called Authentic Jobs for a while now. Not because I am looking for a job, mind you, but mainly because I like to know what people are looking for in modern designers. It is a great service which is kind of a hub where a lot of design-centric people go to look at potential jobs. However, one thing that has really been bothering me about this site has to do with the way people think they should go about trying to appeal to talented designers.

Hello 2.0

April 16, 2008

Having designed and coded my first Django-powered website just over one year ago, I decided it was time for some much needed changes. Thankfully, in the last year a lot of really cool django apps have come out that helped me get back up and running quickly.

ESPN: fix your domain already

April 14, 2008

The espn.com website is one of my favorite resources. I use it all the time to get updates on scores, check my team's stats, schedules, research the competition etc. In short, I spend a lot of time on espn.com in a given day. Apparently, I'm not alone, espn.com is one of the most visited sites on the Web. They have an incredible user base that probably spends just as much time as I do on their website, and no doubt with the growing mobile Internet market, their user base is continuing to expand. That said, why would one of the largest and most successful websites on the Internet want their domain to be 'espn.go.com' and not 'espn.com'?

Installing Satchmo on Webfaction

April 14, 2008

For a project I am working on, I had to figure out a quality shopping cart app to use. I tried a couple mainstream solutions and then I found out about Satchmo, a Django-based shopping cart. This seemed like a perfect solution, it had all the power and easy configuration of Django built right in.

Greeting Card Shopping Hack

April 14, 2008

I hate shopping for greeting cards. I hate staring at endless rows of mindless cheese. I hate, hate, hate it. Yet every birthday, wedding, funeral, or any other occasion, I always find myself staring at cards. I arbitrarily pick and choose cards to read, and am never happy with one until I've spent 30 minutes reading cheesy one-liners and overly emotional rants.

I hate Papyrus

April 14, 2008

I'm definitely not alone in this and I don't claim to be the first to express this loathing, but I have to inform everyone of my absolute disdain for the Papyrus typeface.

Nutritional Information on McDonald's Iced Coffees

April 11, 2008

My girlfriend asked me to help her track down some nutritional information on McDonald's suspicously tasty iced coffees. I found nothing but deadends on their website, which was somewhat horrid.

Sorry So Sloppy

April 11, 2008

Let me start by citing the most oft used phrase in any blog, ever: I'm sorry it's been so long since I've posted an entry. Believe me, I've been busy.

Back in Black

April 9, 2008

Just a quick note to let everyone know my site is back up and halfway operational.