Time for a break from meetups and other outside commitments
I've accepted a position as Assistant Director of I.T. for Application Development at Colorado State University College of Health and Human Sciences
For the past two weeks I've been experimenting with a Ketogenic diet to see if I could finally lose the last 30 or so pounds that I've gained over the last decade.
Here's my list of 2015 goals for the year and how I progressed.
Or why I feel behind all the time
We welcomed Henry Jay into our family just a few weeks ago on July 27, 2015. It's been a wild and crazy few weeks as we juggle having 2 little ones around the house amid trying to get sleep. Below are a few pictures from the hospital.
It's hard to believe its already been a year since I returned to Kansas State on the webteam. Throughout this year we've accomplished a lot and I wanted to reflect on some of those things.
This past weekend Lindy and I took a trip out to Aspen to check out the 2015 XGames being hosted at Buttermilk. We were able to see the qualifiers for Ski Superpipe, Big Air Snowboard, Ski Slopestyle.
This MLK day I spent the day Keystone getting as much powder skiing in as possible. The weather cooperated and I was able to get into Summit county without any weather issues. Here is a quick photo dump of the day.
Goals for 2015
Here's my list of 2014 goals for the year and how I progressed.
I've noticed a lot lately that I've been spending a lot of time building managing my various websites. Originally, I built derek.stegelman.com in Django to learn the framework and better understand what I needed to do at work. The site is mostly a blog with some static pages and apps that I developed over the years but never really used. Throughout that time I've learned a lot but at the expensive of having to maintain the site, its dependencies and upgrades.
Over the last few months I've taken on several speaking and workshop engagements, and they've started to take their toll on me. Coming up with a presentation, practicing that, and trying to fit all that work in to my schedule has become increaseingly difficult. With winter coming and other family activities (skiing, etc) coming up, I've decided to take a break on some of the extras that I've enjoyed doing. I'll no longer be speaking or doing much work on my open source projects either (but feel free to send PRs!!). I need to take this time to focus on other things for a while.
Inspired by this lovely blog post by Colin Ross of Buffer app, I thought I'd document my day as a remote developer.
This past year was full of ups and downs. It was also one of the busiest years I've ever had, which makes complete sense given that its mid to late March and I still haven't posted this from 2013. 2013 was a year of challenges, decisions, and new experiences. I changed jobs, moved out of state, and got to experience new people and places. Most importantly 2013 taught me more about what is important in my life and where I need to improve. In my job transition, I learned new skills and I was humbled when I couldn't quite meet my own expectations for excellence. I need to remember that we all fail, and that it's only a true failure of ourselves if we do not learn from it.
I like to keep a set of goals throughout the year and work on them. Here is 2014
I made a set of goals in 2013. Here's that list and my progress.
Stud Boards for Framing - $475 Nails/Hardware for Framing - $100 All electrical supplies (Gang boxes, fixtures, wiring, breakers, switches, and outlets) - $200 Dry wall (sub-contracted) $1800 Permit - $400 HVAC - $10 Insulation and Fireblock foam - $150 Trim/Finishing boards - $200 FLooring $800
This weekend I'll be laying down the floor in the basement. I'll be laying down a dark walnut laminate floor. E first task was to lay down the vapor barrier. A vapor barrier is required when you are laying a floor directly on top of a concrete subfloor in the basement. E barrier will prevent moisture from creeping under and warping the floor boards as the concrete continues to cure. At the suggestion of the fine folks at Lowes I'll be running the barrier up the edge of the wall and taping it to ensure a good fit. I also purchased an install kit that includes spacers and a tool to snugly fit e corners.
One of the first things I started working on during the basement project was picking and installing recessed lighting. It is really easy to install and can be done almost right away as we aren't worried about wiring, and the cieling joists are already present. When adding the lighting we needed to buy fixtures that were insulation ready, as in they are able to be completely wrapped in insulation. This was a specific code in my area, so your mileage may vary.
So this is Post 2 in my series on finishing my basement. In my last post I talked about getting estimates and calling contractors to get prices on finsihing my basement. Well, lets just say that didn't work out to well. All estimates were painfully high and I was suprised at the number of contactors that had absolutely no interest in the project given its size. With all of this, (and some help and encouragement from parents) we've gone ahead and decided to finish the basement ourselves, with the exception of drywalling which I will be contracting out.
One of the main roles of the new finished basement will be a small media/sports room. I'm prewiring some spearkers for the rear of the room and some above where the bar will go as well. This past weekend I completed the wiring for the speakers. It was fairly easy to do and I got it done with jsut a few hours and maybe 30 dollars in parts. The most expensive components was the wiring and speaker faceplate (which you don't have to do I suppose).
I work from my basement, and my basement isn't yet finished. After we moved in we decided we would try to tackle this project with a little outsourcing and a little DIY. Below is the plan as it stands now.
I've just come upon my 6th month anniversary of working remotely. I wanted to reflect on what worked, what didn't, and what I'm doing now.
This is a cross post from my wife's blog at MidwestMomma.com
So the countdown is officially on for our move to Colorado! Things are getting pretty crazy at the house with all sorts of preparation going on. Our house is full of stacks of boxes ready to be packed away. This week I am getting our services all setup so that we'll be ready to move in the next few weeks.
Today, I am announcing that I will be leaving my current gig at Kansas State University for an exciting opportunity at Five Q. The past few years have been some of the most fun and career challenging of my life. I've picked up a few new programming languages, new frameworks, and worked on some exciting things for my Alma Matter.
This year's goals! I'm going to keep coming back to this and updating it throughout the year!
Beers in Prague
This week I'm home with the little one, getting some much needed bonding time in before she goes to daycare. Ada is quite the eater clocking in at over 12.5 pounds being just 2 months old. We've been playing, eating, and sleeping. It's been great to have this time with her, even if it has been rough getting her on bottles for some reason. Lindy and I both think shes been going through some kind of growth spurt. She has been more fussy than usual and her schedule is all out of whack.
Well, I decided to start doing beer reviews, to keep track of all the different beers I've had. Today I am beginning with a brand new beer (for me) from Prague Czech Republic, Staropramen.
FOWA - Future of Web Apps This week I have traveled half way across the country for a work conference in Las Vegas. So far I've been to just one workshop that lasts all day. I'll be here two more days before I fly back home Wednesday night. Fastforward one day and this conference has been going great. I have learned so much already about APIs, data/cloud storage, and other incredibly geeky things.
Tomorrow at this time Lindy and I will be arriving in NYC for the Pinstripe bowl featured State and Syracuse. I'll try to be tweeting about anything interesting that happens but who knows what network coverage I will have. We'll be in NYC for a while after taking in sites and the city. It will be interesting because every year we spend New Year's in the "little apple" while this year we'll be spending it in the Big Apple!
Yesterday we had our first "real" snow in Manhattan. Only got a slight dusting, but it snowed long enough for me to at least see it on the ground for a few hours. The wind was blowing like crazy also and knocked over two chairs and a grill off of our deck. In non weather related news, Lindy and I had our parents up yesterday for a holiday dinner. The food was wonderful, Orzo rice (my fav), turkey, green beans, jello salad and some ginger snap cookies. Lots of wine and beer was served too :). It was great to have family up to do things like this while we are living close to each other. Lindy and I are also very excited to be going to the Pinstripe bowl in NYC featuring our Wildcats and Syracuse. We have all the stuff ready to go, plane tickets, etc. and it should be an awesome time. I'm sure we'll have lots to share after that trip is over. I'd also like to announce that I have setup an online cookbook for Lindy and I to keep track of recipes we like. It will be growing as we make new things and put our favorites on it. Check out http://open-cookbook.com
For the last year and a half or so I have been running a small online web development business to get through college and pay some bills. I had been doing this while I was working at the University as well in a Quality Assurance analysis position. When I finnally graduated in May of 2009 I got married and went to Europe for a month. When I got back I had a few websites to develop and then look for a full time job here in the Manhattan area. I really enjoyed my job at KSU but with the hiring freeze and other economic problems, the University was not going to be a viable option for long term employment. Fast forward to this week. I was recently hired on to work for Civic Plus as a new software analyst. Thus, I have formally decided to stop working on websites for the time being and to concentrate my other spare time on other projects. I have decided to still do my own web development and I still want to improve this site, but as far as making sites for other individuals, I have decided not to persue that path. I'll be sure to update more in the next few days as I begin my new career experience.
Where? So, you may ask yourself where you would go on a spring break vacation. If you asked me it might be Vegas, somewhere warm, out of the country, or to some place I have never been. This spring break though I will going to a place that I have been, but seeing people I have not. Thats right, this spring break I will be visiting and meeting Lindy‚s family before our wedding. Most of them live around the Colorado area so we are going there for a few days. You might say family trips would be boring, but this one will not be for several reasons:
It is looking more and more like I will be keeping on here in Manhattan. I am still looking for jobs elsewhere, but as the market is slowing, jobs are harder and harder to find. I am hopefull that I can find a few positions here in Manhattan that suit me well either at the Univeristy of elsewhere. Lindy has a job offer at Fort Riley, so if I could get a gig here things would be allright. I would like to change the look and feel of this site, but I am far too busy right now to deal with that. Now I am just trying to stay sane while I complete things for the wedding, graduation, and finding a job. I am still working as a freelance web developer on the weekends and that has been going well but it doesn't bring home the bacon at the moment. Spring Break Spring break is coming up here soon. The current plan is to go to Topeka on Friday and leave for Fort Collins Colorado on Wednesday. We'll be on the slopes on one of those days which is good for me; hopefully I can teach Lindy how as well. It will be nice to meet the rest of Lindy's family before the wedding as well. Bristol Issues Bristol has been having issues with her toe recently, and last night it finnally starting falling off (her toenail that is). We shall be taking her in to the vet soon I think to have this resolved. Kind of makes us mad though as we took her in a week ago and they assured me the nail was not broken. Vets are expensive.
I have been doing research and working on a project here at school for Cerner incorporating a mockup of their iAware library. It has been my first real experience getting into desktop Java and messing with beans and the sort. I have been remarkably impressed by the ease of use of Netbeans. For those that do not know, Netbeans is an IDE for working with many different types of languages, but its orignal intent was for Java. Netbeans can perform as an IDE for Java, PHP, C++, Ruby, and a host of other languages. While I won't go into details about the project, what we are doing is pretty neat and has the potential to make a real difference.