Chris Z. Griffin

Still Sporting the Default Template

New Blog, New Beginnings

Posted by Chris Griffin on February 25, 2007 at 10:03 PM

Welcome to my new blog (all 12 of you currently subscribing). A lot has changed since I last wrote on my old blog, and I got the itch to start blogging again.

What has Changed?

Well, I'm glad you asked because I love talking about myself. In the last 6 months I have moved (from Hillsboro to Portland), I'm no longer single, and I got a new job.

About the New Job

A little over 2 months ago, I was hired at Planet Argon as the new User Interface Designer. This is my first job in my web design career that I've felt like I'm working with people who are passionate about the web as I am. I love going to work everyday and working with people who I respect very much.

In the last 2 months at Planet Argon, I've learned a lot about Ruby on Rails. I was always interested in learning more about rails but with my design-centric ways I never got around to developing my programming skills. I have to say, it's much easier when you are on a team made up of some of the most talented developers in the RoR community. I'll have more to say about my leearning experiences with Ruby on Rails in the near future.

What's up with this Blog?

A fresh start required a fresh blog. I decided since Ruby on Rails is the primary scripting language I'll be working with, I should install a blog application based on this wonderful technology—so I went with Simplelog as my choice. I chose it over the more popular RoR Mephisto blog application. While Mephisto is okay, I thought Simplelog was a better fit for me.

The current design is the default theme that comes with Simplelog (in case you didn't know). I thought it was more important to clear out the cobwebs and get this place spruced up a bit before I started working on a design. It will be a work in progress.

This blog is no longer hosted on Media Temple (although Griffin Webworks is still at (mt)). I've switched to, you've guessed it, Planet Argon web hosting.

Why Should I Care About All This, You Say?

You shouldn't right now, because I'm a nobody. I'm just another web geek with a soap box. Maybe one day after I become uber famous I will look back on this post and laugh at myself for saying that, or just cry out of pity.

Update: I'm an idiot, I forgot to thank Brian for his help setting this thing up. It took him minutes what would have taken me hours.


There are 8 comments on this post. Post yours →

I just wanted to be the first to welcome you back to the blog-o-sphere or whatever it is that they are calling it now. :-)

You're not a nobody to us, Chris! :-P

Seriously, though... you are a great addition to our team. I am looking forward to your thoughtful ponderings!


Hi Chris,

My name is Eddie and like you, I am contemplating a change in scenery (a move to Portland for a job opportunity) and I am also going to be getting married later this year.

I am wondering what your impressions are so far of Portland, and how would you compare it to living in Florida? Do you miss the hot and humid sunny days?

I've heard that Portland is very progressive and has terrific urban planning and the people are cool and friendly. I once lived in San Francisco and even though it was a great experience, I found the people there were a little bit over the top for my tastes (I'm originally from the Midwest). Thanks for any pointers / tips for contemplating a move to Portland! Cheers!


Portland is a great city. Public transportation here is one of the best in the U.S.. Portland's urban planning is strict, and far different than most cities I've seen. I wouldn't plan on getting a decent size piece of land anywhere within a 20 mile radius of the city.

I'm not sure what you mean by over the top, as I've never been to San Francisco. Portland is very liberal, and a very artistic city. I would consider Portlanders friendly, although, I'm not sure how many Portlanders are actually native to Portland. It seems like Portland is made up of mostly transplants from all over the US.

After moving here though, I'm starting to appreciate what I had in Florida. Warm weather pretty much year round, nice beaches, and the afternoon thunderstorm during the summer was like music to my ears. The humidity though, I'll never miss humidity.

I'm not sure if I'll ever adjust to cooler weather. I'm a summer person, not a winter person. But, I wanted to try something new and completely different than Florida, and Portland is like a different country in comparision to Florida.

Get yourself to some of those glaciers, mountains and forests that Oregon is famous for. That'll give you a new perspective on why west is best :)



Thanks for the perspective. The comment about not planning on getting a decent piece of land within a 20 mile radius of the city would be fine actually. My fiance and I like the idea that Al Gore has been promoting (e.g., cut back and use less if you can, become more carbon neutral). So living in a city (and I hear that Portland is a relatively clean city to live in) with the awesome public transportation system and its environmental friendliness (good recycling programs from what I'm read about) ranks high. Also, I like cities that are progressive and which plan well.

Regarding "over the top" (San Francisco), I was there during the dot com boom so my view was probably very skewed by the microcosm that surrounded me (but I saw greed at its worst in South of Market / Multimedia Gulch area). I appreciate people who work hard and are progressive, and appreciate what a place like the S.F. Bay area can offer (access to a lot of capital if its needed, the Ivy League schools such as Stanford and Berkeley), but I'm not interested in living among extreme people (and in S.F. I saw a lot of people go to the extreme), but having at least some balance to one's life is important in my book.

I can well imagine your missing the claps of thunder and the beaches and year-round warm weather. Portland looks to be a place that can experience some weather variability (its not just a place where it rains all the time—it looks as if it can get some really hot days in the summer). I think I could put up with that, especially if the air quality with winds coming off the Pacific Ocean is relatively clean as I imagine it is (I've been to Vancouver, B.C. and Seattle and both experiences, I loved the smell of the maritime air especially as it would filter through pines and deciduous forests).

Getting back to Portland being progressive, I see that Verizon announced that they are going to wire another 60,000 homes in the greater Portland area with fiber to the home (FTTP). I am trying to figure out if this includes the option of hooking up FTTP to a loft condo in the Pearl area (an area that sounds appealing to move to but of course I have to check it out). In general, are the broadband connection options in Portland (in the city) decent and relatively affordable? If I were to live close to a CO, would ADSL be better than cable modem Internet access?

Oh yeah, one last thing, does the city offer decent options for buying organic food products? Doesn't necessarily mean vegetarian, but organics are important to us.

Thanks a ton!


Not sure on the FTTP. Verizon has a page where you can check by phone number or address. Find an phone number/address in the Pearl district and see if it’s available. Unfortunately, I can’t get it where I live.

There are a ton of organic food stores downtown and throughout Portland, from mom and pop shops to larger chains. Trader Joes, Whole Foods, New Seasons, to name a few.

Congratulations on your new job! Its hard to find a job as a web designer so you’re lucky.

I wish you a long and successful career.

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