First CrossFit Competition 

Today I participated in our gyms annual CrossFit competition. 

It was really hard. Yeah, really hard. But it was fun too. 

We were on teams of four, two guys and two girls. And I agreed to be on a RX team, which is basically signing up for pain 😜

Here were the four events. 

Event 1 – B17: Flying Fortress

This is a Bombers CrossFit special. I’ve done the workout twice in a scaled fashion, never the RX. 

The workout was five rounds of 17 back squats at 135 lbs and a 400 meter run. 

The tricky part was that we had to all squat in formation at the same time.  The first few rows were okay, but rounds 3, 4, and 5 destroyed my legs. 

Event 2 – Skills Competition

In this round there were four max effort events that each team mate had to do one of the following moves:

  • Max rep muscle ups
  • Max deadlift
  • Max standing high jump
  • Max L Sit hold

I was drafted to do the standing high jump. And even though it was 30+ minutes after the first event, my legs hadn’t recovered. 

I ended up getting 21 inches which was just short of 10 feet in the air. If I could have a step to approach, I’m sure I could have gotten 25+ inches. 

Event 3 – Three Legged Race

This was a partner workout of back-to-back-to-back girl workouts: 

  • Karen (150 wall balls)
  • Annie (50-40-30-20-10 double unders and sit ups)
  • Fran (21-15-9 thrusters and pull ups)

We had a pretty good strategy and I had a super human partner. 

I did 30 wall balls, then Travis did 90, then I finished it off with 30 more and Karen was finished. 

I moved straight to Annie and did 50 double unders and 50 sit ups. Travis did the next two rounds of 40 and 30 and I completed the last rounds of 20 and 10. 

Finally Travis did the hard pars of Fran, 21 thrusters, 21 pull ups and 15 thrusters. Then I did the rest of 15 pull ups and 9 thrusters and 9 pull ups. 

We got second in this workout and we were all exhausted by the end of it. 

Event 4 – The Obstacle Course

This was a goofy short event where we had to pull a sled with 180 lbs on it and maneuver around obstacles and twice pick the sled up and carry it over an obstacle.

The twist on this one was we had to all for be touching the whole time. 

Since we had super strong Travis, he picked the sled up himself and we got first on this one. 

Overall it was a fun, yet exhausting day. I am not looking forward to seeing how my legs feel the next few days!

So You Want to be a Happiness Engineer, Huh?

Great thoughts on what skills and abilities are needed as a Happiness Engineer by one of my colleagues.

Sandy McFadden

Since joining Automattic (and to the annoyance of some people, I’m sure) I tend to go on about how much I enjoy my job and the company itself. I’ve often been asked what it takes and what you need to know to get the job. Especially since I called people to join me in my last post, I thought I would put together my thoughts and some resources which I can point people to or they can hopefully find through searching online as well.

I’m going to go a bit further and not only talk about what you need to do to get the job, but what I think you need to be successful in the Happiness Engineer role at Automattic. Please note that there are a lot of points here and you don’t have to be an expert in all of them to apply, but having a good understanding…

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Learning to do a proper handstand.

I need to get back to my handstand work. I was doing well until our baby disrupted our schedule.

Staying healthy isnt a crime-Fitness is a lifestyle choice

Many of you probably had the chance to read my post on “handstands” and how they have advantages and their benefits. I told you in that same post I would write another post in the later weeks discussing how to train for a proper handstand – and although there is a million different ways to do so and everyone has their own technique, I believe the best way is to practice and build up to it, like any other movement. Handstands are more advanced movements, they aren ‘t considered easy and even though they may be easier for some, they can be quite more difficult for others like myself. 


When beginning training for a handstand, it is best do them on a flat surface and preferably one that won’t cause you much harm if you should fall or occasionally hurt yourself trying – I don’t want anyone to end…

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Princess K’s Birthday Photos

Our photographer also did some photos of Kenley for her 3rd birthday! She is a ham right now! Always pretending.. even when Dustin was driving her to school the other day they had to pretend to play hide and seek in the car! She is a great “pretend” mommy.  When I ask her to do a task that is too difficult, she says “but I’m not a real mommy!” So thankful to be her real mommy!

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I Know You’re Mad at United but… (Thoughts from a Pilot Wife About Flight 3411)

I don’t follow the news much (or ever!), but I did hear about the United story. Very informative article by a pilot’s wife.

The Pilot Wife Life

If there’s one thing I have learned over the years, it’s that there are always two sides to every story.

On April 9th, a very unfortunate incident played out on United Flight 3411, the video of which has since gone viral causing a mass social media uprising with an ‘off-with-their-heads’ mentality. I mean, across the board. Fire ’em all and let the gods sort it out later.

Look, I get it. When I first saw the video I was appalled too. To say that it was inflammatory would be putting it mildly. But it was also a situation that was escalated far beyond the boundaries of necessity.

If a federal law enforcement officer asks me to exit a plane, no matter how royally pissed off I am, I’m going to do it and then seek other means of legal reimbursement. True story.

Knowing what I know about airport security, I’m

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Brand Camp University, Wordpress and TechTown Detroit partner to bring 100 Detroit businesses online

Fun event that I participated in a few weeks ago in Detroit.

Hajj Flemings - I am Design

Hack Detroit Day 2 Tours-9343-01

The first nine businesses in the 100 Project to launch new websites went live today, March 9, 2017.

Nine Detroit small businesses have new websites created pro bono by developers from San Francisco-based Automattic (the for profit arm of WordPress), part of a citywide initiative to get 100 businesses online by 2nd quarter of this year. The new websites were created during a 48-hour Super Bowl Weekend blitz as part of the 100 Project, program of Detroit-based Brand Camp University in partnership with WordPress and TechTown Detroit.

Brand Camp University’s mission is to help businesses tell their story via brand strategy, workshops and mentoring. Brand Camp’s 100 Project seeks to eliminate the digital gap that exists in so many communities that the Super Bowl weekend pilot project aimed to establish a digital presence for neighborhood businesses increasing their accessibility and their bottom line. The genesis of this project was…

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Home Screen Feb 2017

I like to keep my iPhone apps to a minimum so the apps that I use daily, get real estate on the home page. 

Everything else is in a folder on the second page and if I need one of those apps, I pull down from the top and search. 

Notice the phone app isn’t anywhere on the home page, because, well, I never make phone calls. I have one hour of talk time on the phone since November when I got this new phone. 

Best Nine

These images don’t convey all the awesomeness of 2016, but it does a good job hightlighting the past 365 days.


Summary of the pictures left to right, top to bottom

1 – Our little girl announcing that she will be a big sister next year

2 – Normally bedtime is a struggle at Team Hartzler Headquarters, but she is so precious when she is actually sleeping

3 – Traveling from Ohio to Spain is exhausting for a two year old

4 – Beautiful sunset this spring at our house

5 – Annual apple picking and applesauce making this fall

6 – Our princess got a new bed this week; she’s no longer a baby

7 – WordCamp Europe in Austria this summer

8 – A dirt path in Austin Texas, that I turned into an impromtu CrossFit workout space for a team meetup back in April

9 – Annual BBQ Fest in my home town (Orrville Ohio) in August

Field Notes: Podcast Movement 2016

The Blog

Automatticians, the people who build, participate in events and projects around the world every day. Periodically, they report back on the exciting things they do in the community. This week, we share our experience at the Podcast Movement 2016 conference.

People use to share many types of stories, from written essays and photo galleries to podcasts. Podcast Movement has quickly become the conference to attend for audio storytellers, so we were excited to be there to support the podcasting community and spread the word about podcasting tools on

Live from the booth

Cesar Abeid, Trevor Montgomery, and Dustin Hartzler, Happiness Engineers at Automattic, attended the latest installment of this exciting event earlier this month in Chicago, Illinois. The conference, now in its third year, drew over 1,500 attendees. was a sponsor, so we had a great opportunity to engage with the community from…

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Coming Soon: New .Blog Domains for Websites

Finally the secret is out, we will be registering .blog addresses soon.

The Blog

For more than a decade, the word “blog” has been synonymous with “your home on the web.” And since 2005, has been proud to help you create a unique space that is all yours.

Now we’re excited to announce a brand new way to create a unique identity for your website: .blog, a top-level domain extension that will let you create a customized name and web address for your site.

A name that’s all yours

Just like .com before it, .blog is clear and accessible, and it creates millions of fresh, new options for naming your blog. It’s the perfect place to build your home on the web.

The .blog domains are coming this year — sign up here to get notified when they become available. We’ll be offering them to all websites — you won’t need to have a WordPress or site to purchase one.

Why .blog?

For years, .com was the…

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2015 Christmas Letter

Merry Christmas from the Hartzler’s

We can’t believe it’s December already, it seems like just yesterday we were planning a 1 year old birthday bash! 2015 has been a challenging year but full of so many blessings as well.

I have been navigating some health issues since late January, but recently feeling better and pray that journey will soon just be a piece of my story. It is amazing to see how God has used what I’ve learned along the way to help others friends, co-workers, and my patients. We are always thankful for the journey.

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I…

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Anniversaries This Week

Over the last two days I’ve celebrated two anniversaries when it comes to WordPress.

Yesterday, December 2nd, was my second anniversary at Automattic. It seems like a few short weeks ago that I was just starting and learning the ropes on how to be a Happiness Engineer providing support for Now I’m knee deep learning about WooCommerce and all of its extensions.

Today, is the five year anniversary of Your Website Engineer podcast. I started this weekly podcast to find business for my company, Hartzler Digital Media. After a few weeks I got hooked and I’ve released a new episode for 261 weeks in a row!

Here’s to many more anniversaries of each!

PS – We are hiring 🙂

November 2015: Monthly Review

I’m going to start publishing a monthly recap at the end of each month detailing my habits, projects, and tinkerings. Inspired by my coworker Jeremey (I’m mimicking his format).

It’s been a few weeks since I’ve posted last, I guess I got a bit lazy after my consecutive streak ended. It’s time to start the streak again.

November was the first month since March that I didn’t travel at all during the month. Most of those months were short trips, but I’ve still traveled a fair bit in 2015.

Monthly Goals

  • Learn to type Dvorak. Partial win. What’s Dvorak, you ask? It’s an alternative keyboard layout where the keys are more ergonomically placed. I started the month typing at speeds of almost 30 WPM. Today, I’m averaging more than 45 WPM.
  • Continue to become stronger / build endurance. Win. I’ve been going to CrossFit every week day and I’m slowly mastering all of the moves and adding more weight to the bar.
  • Read three books. At the beginning of the year, I set a goal of reading 12 non-fiction books and I’ve gotten a bit behind. It’s still possible to hit the goal by reading about a book a week in December.

What habits did I focus on?

  • Learning Dvorak. I’ve spent more than 10 hours working on drills to make me a faster typer. I’ll see the benefits of being able to type at more than 80 WPM soon 🙂

What did I publish?

Books I Read:

Looking forward to November

Goals I want to complete:

  • Take an online course to master GitHub. I want to learn how to properly make a pull request and fix broken code or add enhancements.
  • Outline the content for Your Website Engineer. The hardest part about producing a weekly show is coming up with the ideas. I want to map out next year so I can be ready to create podcasts and videos for my audience.
  • Type at 70+ WPM by the end of the month. It’s frustrating to type so slow.
  • Daily Blogging. I want to post something here every day.

Habit I want to focus on:

Inbox Zero. I maintained inbox zero daily for the first few months of 2015, but let this habit slip as well. My goal is to completely empty my inbox at least Monday-Friday (goal of 20 times in the month).

Bike riding with a toddler

We have a pull behind carrier for my bike so we can go on a bike ride as a family.

Last year, we could only go on short rides as Kenley wasn’t too big of a fan of staying strapped in.

Now that she is bigger, she plays with toys while we rides and looks for puppies.

We’ve got some really nice trails near our house and today we did a 10+ mile ride.  It was a bit windy, so it felt like I had a 30lb weight and a parachute behind my bike. Definitely worth it to be outside on this beautiful day.

Here’s a picture of Kenley last year and this year:

Hands on with the iPhone 6s

I’m a big fan of Apple gadgets, especially new iPhones.

Last Friday, I got the new iPhone 6s 64GB in Silver. My last phone was the 5s and I see some major improvements with this new version.

  • TouchID is fast. Like wicked fast. I cannot use my thumb to press the home button otherwise I won’t see my missed notifications that I might have missed. This is also great for locking my phone down with a long secure password.
  • The size is great. It was a hard decision to choose between the regular or the plus version of the phone. I went with the smaller one as it’s a step up from the 5s, but I’d love to try the plus out and ditch my iPad and only have one device. Luckily, I’m contract free, so when I have an extra $1000 laying around, I might pick up the bigger phone. This one feels perfect in my hand and after a few days I can’t believe I used the tiny 5s for so long.
  • Restoring from iTunes is superior. When I’ve gotten new phones in the past, I’ve always backed up to iCloud then restored from iCloud. This is a pain because all your apps have to be downloaded again. If you do an encrypted backup from iTunes (with a password), your entire phone is cloned. I was up and running with my new device in less than thirty minutes.
  • Extra row of apps. I try to use as few of app screens as possible on my phone and put all the apps that I occasionally use in folders and just search for the app when I need them. It was hard to decide with four additional apps to add to the home screen. I finally opted for ESPN, Calendar, Elevate and the YouVersion Bible App.

Apples Galore!

Yesterday we picked 60 pounds of apples. Today we turned the apples into applesauce and apple butter.

We started at 12pm and finished at 9pm and made:

  • 11 quarts of applesauce
  • 10 pints of applesauce
  • 17 cup size jars of apple butter (8oz)
  • 24 jelly containers of apple butter for favors as a baby shower (4oz)

Convenience of DVR

We had a busy day today: riding bikes, picking apples (pictures to come tomorrow) and hanging out with friend from college.

I’ve been trying really hard to ‘cut the cord’ and give up cable, but there’s two reasons I haven’t as of yet:

  1. DVR
  2. Sports

Since we were busy today, I wasn’t home to watch my favorite sports team, Ohio State, play at 3:30pm.

I recorded the game and watched it on my time, when we got home at 8:30pm. A game that started five hours early, I watched the entire thing in a little over an hour.

I’m pretty sure it’s worth $50 per month to watch my sports, when I want, without commercials or halftimes 🙂

Our Current Savings Goal

Last week, I was at the Financial Blogger’s Conference.

The event had a huge expo hall with lots of innovative banking/investing companies.

One booth I stopped at was one for Simple Bank. They are doing some really cool things, including not allowing you to write a paper check from your account.

They also featured an artist who was drawing out your savings goal. It was pretty neat to sit and watch him sketch out the item in Photoshop.

Here’s what we are saving for:


Traveling is tiring

We left for Florida this morning for a family vacation with my mom and dad. 

Getting everything ready for a week away from home is much more difficult when you have to pack up all the things a toddler will need on the trip. 

Plus we are planning on cooking most of the week (to save money and for convenience) so once we got all of our stuff in the room and Kenley was asleep, we had pick up groceries. 

I’m thinking that sleeping by the pool sounds like a good idea for tomorrow!

I’m a fan of streaks

For some reason, I’m a big fan of consistently starting habits and doing each habit everyday.

Here are a few of my active streaks:

  • 4 days of posting on
  • 5 days of uploading code to GitHub (I was at 63 days before I forgot to post when we were at a hotel with incredibly slow wifi)
  • 40 days of hitting all Apple Watch Move goals (stand in 12 different hours, 30 minutes of physical activity, and 600 active calories burnt)
  • 47 days of using the DuoLingo app to learn Spanish. I got a notice this morning that I am 7% fluent in Spanish
  • 247 days of using the Elevate App; an app that trains your brain to be smarter
  • 248 weeks in a row I’ve released a podcast episode at

Work from Anywhere

Today I had the opportunity to work from a small coffee shop in Yellow Springs before and after my chiropractic adjustment today.

Since we’ve been spending a lot of time provide Live Chat support for our customers at, I wanted to chat before and after my appointment, without having to wait for the 20 minute drive there and back.

It’s possible for me to do my work where ever there is an internet connection, so I found some decent wifi at the Emporium and spent a few hours outside of my basement working today 🙂

Two hundred thousand

For some strange reason, I’ve always wanted to drive a car to 200,000 miles.

My first car, was a Pontiac Sunfire (1990) that I gave to my sister when it had 150,000 miles on it.

My next car, a Pontiac Grand Am (1995), made it to approximately 177,000 on it before I sold it.

My current car is a Pontiac (do you see a theme) Grand Prix (2006) and hit the 200,000 mark on Sunday this week. Our other car, a Pontiac Torrent (also a 2006) also hit a mileage milestone on Sunday of 85,000 miles.

Big Mileage Day!

Monthly Posting

Back in December of 2014, I tried to blog every day for a month, which was a complete failure. Looks like I posts 5 times in the first 5 days, then three times after that.

I’m going to give it another go this month, September 2015.

I’ve got a bit of traveling this month, which hopefully give me something to write about because my life is pretty boring when I never leave the house 🙂

The goal of this challenge is to use the different posting platforms we have on (both web based and app based) to help find bugs and make the interface better.

Let’s see if I can post more than 8 times this month!

Living Dayton Television Appearance

Yesterday I had the opportunity to be on the local NBC channel to talk about the upcoming WordCamp Dayton event.

It’s hard to believe how much time goes into getting ready for a 4 minute live segment on the show.

A few days before the event, Gery Deer and I emailed back and forth about the content to be on the show.

Living Dayton airs from 12pm-1pm and we arrived at the studio at 11:15pm to get my computer hooked up to the television to make sure everything worked properly.

Our segment was the last of the show, so we were able to watch all of the groups of people get ready and broadcast their segment.

I wish we could have gotten in more details about building a website on WordPress; but unfortunately, our segment was only 4 minutes in length.

Password Friday

Every Friday, I have a reminder to update 10 of my passwords to my online accounts. I value the safety of my identity and want it to be hard for hackers to create chaos in my online life.

Back in the day (pre college), I used to have one password and I used it for everything. It didn’t matter if it was my login for my ESPN account or my bank, my password was the same.

Then I got a randomly generated password for my college email account and once I had memorized it, I started using that password for anything I needed a ‘secure’ password. Basically any account that had my banking information, now had that password.

This is particularly bad, because if someone got that one password, they could get into all of my accounts.

I liked having one strong password that I could remember for everything as it was easy to log into sites very quickly.

Then, one day, my eBay account was hacked and someone purchased a $500 phone from my account. After getting that all cleared up, eBay reset my password and I now had a third password to use to set up online accounts.

So, when I’d sign up for a new online profile, I’d pick one of the three. Then when I came back to log into the site, I’d only have to try three different ones.

Fast forward to last year.

I started using a program called 1Password to start generating and saving new passwords for my accounts. It’s got a great feature built in that you can control the ‘formula’ of your password. You can set how many characters and how many numbers or symbols make up your password.


After generating the password, it will prompt you to save your username / password in the 1Password vault.

Last year I was really good with adding my accounts into 1Password, but I wasn’t good about making sure my passwords were unique to each individual account.

That’s where Password Friday comes in to play.

Currently I have 335 usernames and passwords stored in my 1Password account and a little more than 100 are older than one year old.

I use the Security Audit to find my oldest accounts and update the passwords to about 10 accounts each Friday. The oldest accounts = the accounts that have been stored the longest without the password being updated.

I’ve been working at this for a few months now and it’s actually been a fun activity to start a Friday. It’s sometimes a challenge to find the ‘Reset my password’ link so I make a game of it to see how fast I can update a password.

My thought is that I will continue until all of my passwords are unique and then I’ll start over because the passwords I changed first will have remained the same for about a year.

I’ve also been closing accounts that I no longer need and merging duplicate entries in 1Password.

I’ll save how to user 1Password for another post, and highly recommend you to start using a tool like 1Password or LastPass for storing all of your passwords.