Every once in a while I find myself needing to build or customize a WordPress theme.  For the past two years I have been using ‘Standard’ theme from the now defunct 8bit.  I like Standard.  The code is clean.  It is also built using Bootstrap, which is my favorite front-end framework.  This blog is built with Standard.  But the more I used it, the more I realized it wasn’t ideal (for me).  When 8bit announced they were shutting their doors, I figured it was time to move on.

I made a list of what I wanted in a base theme.  The list was short:

  • WordPress
  • Easy to customize
  • Bootstrap 3
  • No bloat
  • options framework

I wasn’t satisfied with anything I found.  The closest was this theme from 320 press.  I liked that it was built on Bones, but it wasn’t fully updated for Bootstrap 3, and there were little things I didn’t like about it.

So I decided to make my own theme…and BREW was born.  I can’t really take credit for it.  It really just pulls together some of the best open source projects out there.  Projects such as Bootstrap, WordPress, Bones, Navwalker, Redux and more.  It is a work in progress, but I’m already using an early version of it for a new project and I’m pretty satisfied with it.  I have no idea if others would want to use this, but I decided to throw it up on GitHub.


  • LESS
  • Bootstrap 3
  • Bones
  • sidebar and footer widgets
  • Very clean out-of-the-box experience
  • pagination
  • breadcrumbs (just uncomment in the page templates)
  • Font Awesome
  • Options Framework

If you’d like to try it out (or even contribute) you can find the link below:



Screenshot 2013-10-23 00.54.42

I recently started a new WordPress project that I’ll be working on over the next few months.  Unlike previous projects, I’ll be working closely with someone else across town, so I needed to find a way to sync a local MAMP install.  I could probably just set up an online server, but what’s the fun in that?

By the time I had everything set up I was able to sync WordPress across multiple machines, sync the database, track changes with Github, and use the intended URL to view the local install (instead of something like localhost:8888)

Tools needed:

1.  Install Dropbox and create a new folder called “MAMP”.  Also create a new folder for your wordpress install.  For this blog post, we’ll call it “website”.  Share both with whoever you need to collaborate with.

2.  Install MAMP Pro, open and go to the ‘general tab’ and click on ‘default ports’ (necessary if you want to use the intended url for viewing the site).  Restart if needed.  Click on mySQL and change the password.

3.  Download WordPress, unzip and place the contents in to the “website” folder in dropbox.  Install it using MAMP.

4.  Install Github for Mac, and start a repository that points to the ‘website’ folder in dropbox.  This isn’t that important for this blog post, but it is a part of my workflow so I figured I’d add it in.

5.  Lets assume your intended url is mywebsite.com.  Open up terminal and type in:

sudo pico /etc/hosts

–  add this line to the bottom:

– mywebsite.com

–  press ctrl+o, then ctrl+x

Now visit mywebsite.com.  Cool, right?

6.  Return to MAMP, click on the ‘host’ tab and click ‘+’ on the bottom left.

–  the server name: mywebsite.com

–  the disk location: the ‘website’ folder in dropbox.

–  click ‘apply’ and restart the server.

7.  Now we need to sync the database

Open up terminal and type in:

cd ~/Dropbox/

That will change your directory to Dropbox.  Now you need to copy the current database to dropbox:

cp -r /Library/Application\ Support/appsolute/MAMP\ PRO/db/mysql test

And finally, you need to remove the original folder.  I tried just renaming it, but I found that removing it is necessary

rm -rf /Library/Application\ Support/appsolute/MAMP\ PRO/db/mysql

Finally, we need to create a symlink so that MAMP points to the database in dropbox:

ln -s ~/Dropbox/MAMP /Library/Application\ Support/appsolute/MAMP\ PRO/db/mysql

Bam.  If you follow those steps, you should be able to sync across as many computers as you’d like.  Between this and tracking commits on Github, I’m able to work pretty effectively with my collaborator.  As an added bonus, when I visit mywebsite.com I am able to see my local install.

UPDATE:  I noticed that this occasionally creates duplicate database entries.  This results in dropbox creating a conflicted file.  Just select the one you want to use (remove “conflicted” if necessary) and delete the other

UPDATE #2:  If you are using MAMP and not MAMP pro, you can find the database files at ~/Applications/MAMP/db/mysql

I recently had to format my hard drive and re-install everything.  While re-installing Sublime Text 2, I realized just how much I had previously customized it.  After a bit of googling around, I found a pretty simple method for backing up and syncing settings across computers.

1.  Install Package Control

2.  Add a folder called ‘SublimeText’ to my dropbox.

3.  Navigate to ~/Library/Application Support/Sublime Text 2/Packages and copy the entire ‘User’ folder to the ‘SublimeText’ folder in dropbox.  Then rename the folder to something like OLD_User (or delete it).

4.  Fire up Terminal and do the following:

cd ~/Library/Application\ Support/Sublime\ Text\ 2/Packages

5. Create a symlink that points ST2 to the dropbox folder you created:

ln -s ~/Dropbox/SublimeText/User ./User

Bam.  I have this set up on 3 different machines and it is working great.  Now they all have my packages, tab size, and soda theme synced.  I don’t need to worry about setting up my ST2 workflow every time my hard drive fails.  I haven’t tried it, but If you are on windows, you can try mklink.

I want to first say that I take absolutely no credit for the design of this MLT (mash lauter tun).  All of the ideas/instructions came from this post by FlyGuy on the Home Brew Talk forums.  I highly suggest checking reading through the thread.  There is a lot of great info there.

I made a few modifications of my own (such as using this mash screen from Northern Brewer).  I had a lot of fun building it so I figured I would share my experience.  Hopefully it inspires others to leap in to all-grain brewing and build their own.

First: Parts.

I found most of what I needed at the local Home Depot in Mira Mesa.  Where possible, I linked to the product page.  I found it useful to know what I was looking for before heading in to the hardware store.  Here are the parts I used:

Total:  $69.20  Now compare that to some of the pricey conversion kits you find such as the one here ($300) orhere ($180).  Now granted both of those kits are for TWO coolers, and include a false bottom instead of mash screen, but you are still saving money.  I decided to batch sparge instead of fly sparge so I only need one cooler.  This frees up some cash for other goodies such as a propane burner or a nicer kettle.

* I couldn’t find 5/8 washers at Home Depot…YMMV

** I quickly learned from the Home Brew Talk forums as well as my own personal experience that the 5/8” stainless steel washer would be the most difficult to find.  Every Fastenol store was sold out of them.  They ordered 2 for me and had them available for pickup within 2 days.

Here are all of the parts (minus the mash screen):

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Step One:  Take the spigot off of the Rubbermaid cooler.  Keep the white seal on the inside of the cooler.

Step Two:  Apply teflon tape to the threads on the nipple, the mash screen and the male barb adaptor.

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Step Three:  Attach the male barb adaptor to the 3/8 ball valve and the mash screen and the brass coupling.  Remove any excess teflon tape.

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Step Four:  Using a pair of pliers, crimp and curl the edge of the mash screen so that it will fit inside your cooler.

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Step Five:  Screw the coupling to the brass nipple.  Slip the stainless steel fender washer over the nipple.  Insert the seal from the plastic spigot from the inside of cooler and insert brass nipple inside.

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Step Six:  Pull the brass nipple all the way through the hole in the cooler, and insert the O-ring.  Add 5/8 washers to ensure a tight fit once the ball valve is installed.  I needed 4 washers, but others have reported needing more or less.  Now screw on the ball valve and tighten as best as you can to ensure a seal.

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How it looks from the top:

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Step Seven:  Fill your fancy new MLT with 5-10 gallons of water.  Check to see if there are any visual signs of leaks.  Now let it sit for about an hour an see if you can spot any leaks.  If there are leaks, I suggest trying more O-rings, additional washers, or just tightening up everything.  I had a leak at first but adding a washer and tightening things up seemed to fix the problem.  If you still have problems after these suggestions, check out the original thread for this on Home Brew Talk

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BAM!  Done.  I’ve brewed quite a few batches with this and it couldn’t be happier.