Busy year… again

Another fiscal year at work comes to an end and wow It’s been another crazy, busy year. Lots of projects, lots of interesting problems solved (or ran into). Overall, very, very productive on many levels. On a sad note, I’m moving on from the Mac Pro – not for any technical reasons (it still works great) but for business management and internal systems and support reasons. I’m now using a very nice Dell Precision laptop for work. While I miss some nice tools and features of the Mac (and although I personally feel I’m more efficient on a Mac), the reality is in this day and age that you can pretty much do graphic design and front-end web development work on any Windows or Mac machine.

On the design front, I created some well received designs for some content web sites, web applications, and even SharePoint. Nothing earth-shattering but some very happy clients with nice, modern, usable sites.

It was also a crazy, busy year on a personal and family level. We’re still recovering from a freak storm that damaged the house (power ripped out and had to get replaced and siding damaged). Then we have a bathroom that needs to get repaired (the shower/tub wall tiling started to leak). And during all this we were expecting our 3rd child. Kid #3 finally came 3 weeks late but healthy for all that. Special thanks to all the friends, family, and neighbors for their support and help both with the house and the baby.

So that’s been my crazy year so far. More to come I suspect…

2014 – Recap

It’s that time again where we flip the calendar over to a new year. Still no personal jetpacks and as always, flying cars are as far away as ever. But now everyone can fly drones (does that count as a win?).

Awesome Things That Happened In 2014
Visited family in Nevada. Fun to hang out and just chill with the in-laws and watch great-grandparents enjoy great-grandchildren. Kid #2 discovered the joy of swinging…for hours on end which started to drive mommy and daddy nuts. Fortunately Aunt J., Uncle J., and Grandpa helped out with the pushing.

Got to visit Hawaii’s Big Island. I would like to visit it again sometime. Absolutely fascinating place, expensive, but totally worth it. Really enjoyed being with family and just relaxing for a week on a tropical paradise (albeit a bit warmer than I’d like – but hey, I’m not going to complain).

Major accomplishments at work which was recognized with a significant raise. Yeah, I need to update my portfolio and resume to highlight these accomplishments.

Scrum Master certified (part of my work accomplishments). At work we’re trying to become more agile in our processes – it’s starting to pay-off as projects move faster and clients communicate better. While we can’t implement everything that Scrum has to offer, the changes we have been able to make are really improving our client buy-in and interactions.

Kid #1 going to Kindergarten and loving it. Teacher says she’s doing extremely well. It’s fun to hear her describe what she’s learning

Kid #2 almost getting to potty trained status. Still a few accidents but in general doing well.

I finished reading Creativity, Inc. by Ed Catmull of Pixar/Disney fame. I strongly suggest reading it as Ed discusses the challenges of creating and maintaining a creative and productive work environment. It really dovetails well into agile processes and approaches like Scrum.

Lets see. I also finished Logicomix – an amazing graphic novel that explores logic, mathematics, philosophy and the beginnings of computer science through the life and experiences of Bertrand Russell. As the authors note, it’s a graphic novel first and foremost. But the stories, the people and ultimately the questions and answers discovered are very real and have a profound impact on our lives today. While done in a very approachable way, the ideas and concepts are not “dumbed” down. Highly recommended.

Kid #2 and I both got fevers for our b-days. Not cool or fun but we’re over it now. Family is now generally healthy. Grateful for that.

Christmas was a success. Everyone got what they needed. While we missed not being with the rest of our families, it was still nice to be at home with our immediate family. Oh and not have problems with our furnace, yes, that was nice.

Anyway, that’s the news from Michigan where all our kids are crazy and fun, the wife is an amazing pie baker, and I’m doing pretty good.