May 18, 2013
At some point, I’m just going to have to accept that blogging is not my forte. Or, that it’s an infrequently-done activity ’round these parts. For now, though, I’m reveling in this fact: I have fulfilled the requirements for my Associate of Applied Science in Computer Programming degree and have graduated this week from St. Paul College. Next week, I become a full-time web developer over at Room 34.
Life is good, and I’m reading a lot of books. In fact, I’d been working on another blog entry about that which never came to fruition, so I’ll just mention it here. Last year, I participated in the Goodreads reading challenge and surpassed my goal of reading 24 books in 12 months (I read 28). This year, I upped the ante a little bit and am aiming to read 35 books. With 7 1/2 months still left to go in the year, I’ve finished 19 books, and I’ll likely be at 21 or 22 by the end of the month. Some have told me it’s time to up my goal, but I say what’s the point of setting reasonable goals if you can’t complete shatter them? I’m not threatening to double my book count, but hey, who knows how the rest of this year will go now that part of my free time doesn’t have to be dedicated to higher education?
If you’re curious what I’ve been reading (or what’s slated to be read), you can head on over to http://www.goodreads.com/jmichaelward. So far this year it’s been a pretty mixed bag of programming and web design books crossed with some fiction novels and an occasional memoir or non-fiction work. At some point, I’m planning on digging into the Goodreads API to hopefully integrate my reading list onto this site. There are other things I need to take care of first, though, such as updating the home page (since hey! I’m not a student any more!) and fleshing out the rest of the content to better reflect what I’ve been up to.
Tomorrow, however, I’ll be digging my bike out of the basement, because it hasn’t seen daylight since two summers ago.
Here’s to new beginnings.
April 2, 2013
I’ve been wanting to write, but the words just haven’t been coming to me each time I’ve sat down to do it.
Here is a list of things I’m excited about:
1. Graduation Day
It’s only six weeks away! As I mentioned in my last entry, I’m building a message board application for my Client Side Programming 2 class, and I’m learning some of the ins and outs of the Debian distribution of Linux in my Networking class. Both of these items have been entertaining, and although I’m greatly enjoying myself, I’m ready to move on from the obligations of collegiate life and back into full-time employment. There’s so much I still want and need to learn, and I’m finding my remaining time at school to be more of a distraction from my longer-term goals at this point. That said, I will be very happy to have a degree and to be able to build off of the things I’ve from my time in college.
Yesterday, I attended the Minnesota Twins vs. Detroit Tigers opening day game at Target Field, and you’ve probably heard enough by now about how cold it was (apparently, it was the second-coldest home opener in Twins history). The Twins put up a good fight against Justin Verlander and the Tigers, but ultimately came up short of clutch hits that would have given them the win. Honestly, though, I thought they looked pretty good. I’m still expecting them to stink this year, but that gives them an opportunity to exceed my (and others’) expectations, and in the meantime, I get to sit outside and soak in my favorite game. I’ll be back at Target Field on Thursday.
Last September, I deleted my Facebook account. In essence, I felt that the quality of my social interactions had greatly diminished over the years, and the world’s largest social network seemed like an easy scapegoat. Since then, I’ve talked to so many people who have expressed interest in doing the same thing, but the lure of being able to keep in touch with seldom-seen friends and family is too great to follow through with their desires. Maybe it’s my own overall climate of “chasing my dreams” that is letting me view this time of my life through rose-colored lenses, but getting away from shackles of Facebook has been one of the best things I’ve done. I’ve been getting together with friends and former colleagues left and right, and I’ve been loving every minute of it. Because I don’t know the minutiae of their everyday lives, we have things to talk about! We’re glad to see each other! We learn that we like one another, and that we should do this again soon! What’s not to love?
Okay, okay, another sport. This time, though, it’s not about the Minnesota Wild (though it would have reason to be – has anyone looked at the standings lately? Minnesota might actually be a presence in men’s professional sports playoffs again [qualifier added with all due respect to the WNBA Champion Minnesota Lynx]). I grew up in Minnesota, and though I haven’t always been the biggest hockey fan, I’ve enjoyed an occasional game of the floor or street variety, and I like to lace up some skates and go out on the rink every couple of years. Now that I’ve got my career interests sorted out, I can start pursuing some other interests in my free time. A few of my high school friends have been playing some rec league hockey for a little while, and I attended one of their events two winters ago. It looked like a lot of fun, so this fall I’m planning on getting some gear and getting involved as well. They recommended that I join JMS Hockey, and it’s what I intend to do.
5. Dave Attell
Because a list with 5 items seems more real than a list of fewer items, I’ll just add that Dave Attell is coming to Acme on May 31st and June 1st, and I snagged a pair of tickets for the latter show. I was an occasional viewer of “Insomniac” back in the day, and I’ve never seen him live, so it seemed like a fun thing to do. I can’t wait!
And there you have it – a random list! And now I have freed some writer’s block so I can go think about something else…