So it is mid-July in 2010 and I haven’t been sleeping well, my mind has been extremely chatty late at night. I have filled that void on other nights through reading or watching season 1 of Rescue Me (which I find generally entertaining and of good quality but not in the class of Mad Men or The Wire but perhaps on level with Weeds and yes, these are the only shows I really watch so I’m far from fully informed). Anyway, tonight I felt that those options were more mind-numbing than I needed as there have been changes brewing in my mind that are far from ephemeral, most are of the professional variety and covering the delta of where I was versus where I wanted to be and that gap was widening through the stagnation and oxidation of the comforts in the present which were fully overtaking the present completely and skewing the entire scene. My wording is intentionally complete and yet completely vague for a reason but the essence is that things had to change and they did and I’m excited.
I’m entertaining a period of greater self-reflection that feels a little indulgent since I’m generally fairly self-aware but hey, I’m going deeper. As a part of the exercise I wanted to reflect on some of goals I have put forth in the past while. Now I’m not the best list taker so these are as my tonights recollection. And I’m going to remove the general goals of continual self-improvement like: get more sleep, be a better listener..blah blah blah.
- Start my MBA – so I’ve been bored and when I’m bored I like to kick start things by signing up for more expensive years of school! This goal has been shelved for sometime in the next 5 years. While I know I’d enjoy the experience I really need to focus on the why’s because just last year I enrolled in a Ph.D program in Computer Science before collecting myself. Besides, I’ve already self-funded one graduate program and afterwards I did not give myself a raise! There will come a time when this is more aligned to the present and that just isn’t now.
- Start my startup – pulling on the bootstraps and going to town on the idea that has been baking in my head for quite a while. I’ve discussed it with folks, sought feedback from would be consumers of the niche endeavor and feel confident but I got caught up in billing time that by the end of the day I did not want to code. This should see traction soon.
- Production Rails work – I’ve read about Rails, Rails 2, a now there is Rails 3 and while I’ve made the local blog engine and used Ruby for some administrative server work I’m missing a production rollout until…drumroll…I finally do it through some running club focused development I’m throwing on Shawn’s design with our run club. So this goal will have been met in a few weeks.
- Improve Networking and Mentoring – The world is a small place and I’ve been working to stay in touch with those I’ve had the opportunity to work with and trying to get to know those I haven’t yet. One of the benefits I’m looking for is to feel involved in the local developer communities and it has been working and I’ll keep on it. Another aspect is mentoring which has been a nice aside from the day-to-day and I do look forward to teaching at some point.
- Contribute to Open Source (kinda) – so I broke the rules a bit on this one and decided to volunteer my time on something I really enjoyed which is runningahead.com and is not open source but it is free so I figure good enough. Now this goal has been met in theory only as I haven’t given Eric the attention I planned on but he’s being patient so this goal will get checked off.
- Improve my running – this has been going well, my effort and dedication to running has grown as has my appreciation of good health as I’ve had plantar fasciitis for 6 months was close to tying the famed shin splints of 06 as the most painful and is only a year away from matching my record of longest injury with my double hernia of 07. Once the plantar heels up I feel like I’ll drop it to another level. I was keyed in for an easy Boston Qualifier at Fargo this year and drew a bad weather day for this clydesdale and overheated.
- Read more consistently – I read all the time and waste little of my day but I have a plethora of magazines and the daily paper along with my technical (print and web) content that my ‘fun’ reading collection has been largely ignored. I really did enjoy reading The Road on the Kindle this year and I read the Dan Brown book candy finally giving up my boycott to see what the fuss was about. Turned out like I thought, easy reading the doesn’t bring much in the end and yet draws you to it…much like when I watched Rambo as a child (and perhaps still).
- Write you fool write – so there is the writing of this variety which I have not taken too very well. I’m been adament about the separation of Jake and computer but lately am having a different take and plan to write more. I’m not sure what about, my first approach was to treat this as business only but really who are we kidding with the separation of concerns these days. Google will find all sides of us and present it with a nice little bow to whoever looks. If I treat this as business only it is not like the 4500 races I’ve ran won’t come up 2nd, 3rd, 4th in the google results. And trust me, I just can’t be that guy who posts code about the latest IoC framework written entirely in Scala for JSON or business advice detailing my knowledge on the devaluation of Apple because of AntennaGate (I’m keeping my iPhone4…you can’t pry it out of my kung fu grip). I will work on writing more but at the end of the day I prefer building things or dreaming of large nest eggs.
BUT – My creative writing has been dormant and my poetry as been decimated. Once upon a time I would attend poetry slams and open mikes…now I wouldn’t perform but I’d think about the day I’d perform and if you are still here you should know that you are reading the blog of 2004 Sonoma library – Healdsburg branch – poetry champion! Those days were wonderful inspiration, being in a new place and drinking wine all the time generates a lot. So! I’m going to write some more and I may even put something on here from time to time to keep it fresh.