Three Things Almost No One Gets Right About CSS

If there’s a lesson I learn over and over in web development, it’s this: Never stop learning.


I ran across an eye-grabbing headline — “3 Things (Almost) No One Knows About CSS” — in the April 17th edition of Versioning1. The author writes about a free CSS test that’s been online for about 6 months and observes…

“…plenty of practicing developers don’t know CSS as well as they think. Out of over 3,000 people who have taken the test so far, the average score was just 55%.”

SitTheTest: CSS

Before I read much further, his mention of the test made me wonder how well I’d done when I took it last fall. So, I jumped over to the site, logged in, and discovered I’d only taken the HTML test2. The CSS test had been untouched. #memoryfail

It was either the coffee I was drinking this morning, or I physically felt the pride in me swell. In fact, I’m pretty sure my pride got up from wherever it was lounging, turned to my intelligence and said, “Hold my beer.”

The Test

After lunch today, I decided to take the CSS practice test. It touched on some areas I haven’t dealt with much. I tried to mentally fight through some of the more difficult questions, but since it was a practice test, I gave myself permission to go try a couple things in CodePen. Even with that affordance, I ended up earning an 80%. I learning a few things in the process. Not bad, but definitely wasn’t feeling as confident as I did while taking the HTML test.

I then figured, well… while that was humbling, I’ve now got my CSS knuckles cracked as it were. Let’s do this!

The questions for the real test were along the same lines, but they were different enough to make it just as hard the second time around. At around question 7 or 8, I realized that taking this test ~30 minutes after eatling lunch was probably a really bad idea. By realized, I mean that I actually caught myself falling asleep. I got up, walked a lap around the building to get my blood moving and sat back down to push through the rest of the test.


My SitTheTest CSS results - 80%

Turns out, the 3 things mentioned in the article were a doozy for me, too. Along w/ a couple more (they indicate which ones you got wrong for the practice test; but they don’t reveal it when you take the real test).

.feeling {
d'oh: 100%;


All this thinking about CSS reminded me of this old gem:

I guess I can only claim to “do that CSS up right” 80% of the time? ;)

  1. If you do anything related to webdev, go subscribe to this newsletter. It’s totally worth the time it takes to read each morning. 
  2. 92%, baby! 

Lead WordPress developer joins White House’s U.S Digital Service

I first had the chance to hear Nacin speak at WordCamp San Francisco in 2013. His knowledge, passion, and intensity were invigorating. I’m excited to see what comes from this.

Andrew Nacin has joined the White House’s U.S. Digital Service

Andrew Nacin hasn’t worked at Audrey Capital since January. At Audrey, he has worked for more than four years for WordPress co-founder Matt Mullenweg, exclusively on the WordPress project. He has joined the White House’s new U.S. Digital Service.

The U.S. Digital Service is a new organization that operates from the White House, with an aim to modernize and transform the way the federal government operates digitally.

Talk: Quick WordPress Protection

I had the opportunity to speak at tonight’s Tucson WordPress Meetup which had a focus on security.

It was a short intro to Jetpack Protect (formerly BruteProtect) and a small .htaccess mod to restrict access of wp-login.php to specific IP addresses. It went well.

Hopefully, I got some folks to at least change their admin account and use unique passwords.

Inspiration – Chris Coyier

Wow! I saw this link go by on Twitter this morning before I was headed to work and made a mental note to take a peek during my lunch break. I’m so glad I did.

Chris Coyier is someone I’ve been following around the internet for several years. His CSS-Tricks site, and CodePen tool have been extremely valuable to me over the years and the ShopTalk Show podcast he hosts with Dave Rupert is one of the few I’ve remained subscribed to for any length of time.

In Envato’s latest “Made By:” episode, we feature web designer and author Chris Coyier, best known for CSS-Tricks, CodePen and the Shop Talk Show podcast. Now living in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Chris gives us a unique look into his life.

It’s so cool to get to peek into the day-to-day life of someone I have a ton of respect for.

Nice work, Chris & Envato!


Astropad looks really compelling!

I’m kicking myself for not having my iPad with me at work… gonna have to wait to try this over the weekend.


Apple computer

Breaker 1-9

Back in November, both kids had a sudden urge to start riding their bikes a ton. I say sudden because it felt really strange. They’d both learned to ride bikes years ago, but due to a horribly negligent father «ahem» that hadn’t fixed some flat tires, they hadn’t ridden in at least a year and a half. My wife contributed to their cause reminding me that her tires were flat, too. Knowing the tubes were bad several tires, I headed to the bike store and bought brand new tubes for every bike wheel in our garage.

After a couple days of getting their confidence up, Martha and I had the sweat-inducing pleasure of practicing ‘fretting go’. You know? That part of parenthood where you give your children permission to ride around the neighborhood without you – then wander around the house pretending to get stuff done yet all the while the inside of your heart and soul is A FIRESTORM OF FEAR AND DOUBT THAT PUTS MT. DOOM TO SHAME!

Thankfully, they did really well checking in on-time and seemed to thrive with their new freedom.

My son was the recipient of two different sets of walkie talkies for Christmas. One set is a spy-themed toy that fit around the neck and have a small earbud. The set bragged of ‘whisper sensitivity’… but really seems to require whispering loud enough to be heard across the house sans walkie talkie. The other set is an actual set of real radios… supposedly with ~32 miles of range1.

The other day, while Martha and I were preparing dinner, the kids asked to ride their bikes. On a whim, I suggested they take one of the radios and we could keep in touch while I made dinner.

About ten minutes later, we volleyed radio messages back and forth discussing where they were and how far much longer it’d take to finish preparing dinner.

All of the sudden, our conversation is interrupted by another group of people that seemed to be travelling down the nearby interstate and discussing rest stop options. It was tough to understand at first and totally harmless, but then there it was—clear as day—some strangers talking with my children and I on our walkie talkies.


Maybe it’s not a big deal? Obviously, at first, I was really uncomfortable with the idea of someone else stumbling into what we thought was a private conversation. I suppose it was a good lesson we could learn without anything bad happening.

I guess my biggest question is… How careful do we really need to be with the radios? Is it conceivable that some horrible person could listen in and use our conversation to track down a couple vulnerable kids? Is that overly pessimistic? Perhaps this is a golden opportunity to have the kids practice using some sort of code system to describe their location and direction?

Have you run into situations like this? How have you handled it?

  1. providing the transmission is occuring across flat, uninterrupted terrain 

See kids?

Proof you need math after high school

Better keep studyin’.

Play Them All in 2015!

As the new year starts, I’ve decided to commit to a couple resolutions. Most of them are fairly personal. But one… while admittedly very geeky, I’m comfortable sharing with you.

I’m going to play every single board game in my family’s collection at least once before the end of the year.

My grand plan is to record the games as they get played in a list below. I’ll probably throw them up on Twitter & Instagram (#playthemall2015) as they get played, and then update the list in batches… when I remember. ;)

Yes, the links below are Amazon affiliate links.

The List

  1. Flash Point: Fire Rescue - 1/1/2015
  2. Planes - 1/3/2015
  3. Power Grid - 1/3/2015
  4. Yardmaster Express - 1/7/2015
  5. Ticket to Ride: Europe + 1912 exp. - 1/11/2015
  6. Sushi Go! - 1/14/2015
  7. Escape - 2/6/2015
  8. Mice & Mystics - 4/2/2015 (Chapter 11, finally!)
  9. Dragon Slayer - 4/9/2015
  10. Star Wars X-Wing Miniatures Game - 4/11/2015
  11. Terror in Meeple City - 4/11/2015

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