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This is my Now page and here’s what’s up for me these days (as posted on 05/06/21)

Well, I’m breathing a bit easier since my second jab. Still got another week before it’s “set in” as they say. Though soon, I look forward to slowly returning to the world. Still not quite sure what that is going to look like yet.

One of the more productive bits of panic to come from the last year of isolation was putting up a greenhouse. In addition to providing a bit of food security, it’s just nice to be around all the plants bursting with life inside. I don’t know what I’m doing yet, and still it’s doing great. We’ve been able to have a few full meals from things we grew from tiny seeds now. And it’s all delicious! Nothing like picking something and eating it minutes later, farm to table in about 30-feet.

This goes nicely with my Hundred Days of Health drive, which is also progressing well. I’ve already lost weight even while gaining muscle. Unlike having this as a goal every month (as I have for months!), I’m finally actually doing the work consistently. It really helps me to have a dedicated container, and I am taking better care of myself and feeling better in general. I’ll probably have some more detailed progress reports to share around day 25, 50, & 75. I’m only about two-weeks in right now.

Work is still the main thing taking my attention. Last week I got through a major push that was pretty critical, and while it’s not exactly smooth sailing yet, the extra effort I put in really did help. I hope to be able to hire some more folks in soon that should take this pressure off of me.

And lastly, one of the milestones that I hit this month is being totally debt-free again. Last year (before I go the job with ConvaTec), I had to take out a loan against my 401K to cover living expenses. This week, I pay back the last of it! This after paying off all credit cards in March (not that there was a lot on them, but there was some from the holidays still). I plan never to be in debt like that again. And by plan, I mean save up a one full year of financial runway this time. Because as the pandemic showed me, the six months that I had just wasn’t enough. So I’ll do better for next time.

So that’s me for now! How about YOU? Hit me up or leave me a comment below. Hope all is well with you :)

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This is my Now page and here’s what’s up for me these days (as posted on 04/03/21)

What’s up for me, now?

Spring is springing, the birds are singing, and it’s time for cleaning :)

I’m physically getting all the spring cleaning done, yes. And in the larger sense, I’m cleaning out what no longer serves and clearing the way for whatever is next.

As I posted recently, I sold the truck. I’m finally selling off old gear on eBay. And as soon as I can figure out how (central Utah is lacking many services), I’ll be donating and disposing of old computers and a ton of garage sale quality items that have accumulated over time. I’m even closing out whole businesses that seemed like good ideas at the time — Pre-Covid Times, that is.

Speaking of which, I’ve been jabbed once with a vaccine now. One more to go this month, and then I might maybe hopefully finally get to go somewhere again in May. Dare I say it? Utah is nice and all, but I never intended to stay here for more than a month or two at a time before getting out to stretch and breathe a bit. But, y’know, breathing has been kinda dangerous for a while.

Like most of us in the last year, I’ve missed out on seeing friends and family for so many birthdays, holidays, and life events. In addition, I pulled back on all the socials, and became really bad at even returning phonecalls or emails. But now that Spring is springing, I’m slowly changing this and coming back out from this long winter. One social connection per day to slowly turn the tide, casting a daily vote for who I choose to be even though it feels foreign and I don’t quite believe it yet. Cast enough such votes and I’ll have to say I’m good at getting back to people now.

Though I did recently catch up with my friend Christopher on my birthday — someone whom I’ve known for 25-years and is now a priest! — I’m not planning to see anyone face to face until the approved inoculation period. But I’m thinking about it, getting comfortable with it again, and thinking about what’s worth doing these days.

So that’s me! How about YOU? Hit me up or leave me a comment below. Hope all is well with you :)

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This is my Now page and here’s what’s up for me these days (as posted on 03/02/21)

It’s one year into Covid and I guess I’m doing alright. But as I noted last month, I’ve been really bad at even keeping in touch with anyone, posting here, or following up on anything that’s not work-related. Work has been my main excuse for this since last July, though there’s certainly more to it than that.

Besides, I just clarified my daily schedule for March so what’s work got to do with it? ;)

Assuming I can reasonably keep to that, here are the things I’m up to for the month of March:
  • Taxes & Business Closeout Tasks = From figuring out the finances from my craziest and least profitable year ever, to closing out bank accounts and businesses, there are a lot of things that need timely doing in the next few weeks. Plus corporate taxes are due on the 15th.
  • Selling Stuff = I have my Dad’s old 1996 GMC Suburban that I’m cleaning up and and preparing to sell. Hopefully it moves on by the end of the month before registration is due. I’m also selling as many of the other “to go” things as I can that are over $100.
  • Gaining strength & losing weight = I’ve been hovering around 160lbs for months, plus/minus 5lbs. I’d like to be at 150 plus or minus 3lbs and a lot less squishy in the middle instead. It takes persistence to get there, I’m focused on this.
  • Network infrastructure = I’m still honing my overall tech setup, and making progress. This month I’ll be installing my second (offsite backup) Synology DS216 NAS that I picked up for half price on eBay, and following the advice of folks like Rob Braxman.
  • Birthday = This isn’t a project, but I do like to build in some reflective, visionary, and hopefully fun time around my birthday. March 20th in case you’re curious. Oh and I do have an ongoing public wish list over here but no pressure ;)

So that’s me! How about YOU? Hit me up or leave me a comment below.

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This is my Now page and here’s what’s up for me these days (as posted on 02/03/21)

February came up fast and will probably feel even faster for me. I’m all in with work right now.

In case you missed it, I’m living in the middle of Utah, working as a full-time employee for the first time in my life as of last July. Crazy, huh?

Lately I’ve been really bad at even keeping in touch with anyone, posting here, or following up on anything that’s not work-related. But then it’s been 12-14hr day every day for 6-days a week lately too. Getting up by 5am to get to work that doesn’t seem to end as long as I’m awake.

This is not what I had intended to be doing in this role. And I don’t intend to be doing it forever.

It does seem to be paying off though. Just this week it’s starting to look like the tide is turning, and I’m working my way to the bottom of an ever-expanding inbox. A couple more weeks of this, and I should be able to pull back to reasonable levels without compromising too much.

What happened to cause this is that our LMS Admin, the one who worked here the longest and kept everything running, left at Christmas. It wasn’t exactly a smooth handoff, and there’s a lot that’s come to light since then about things that weren’t being handled as consistently as we all thought. I mean, 2020 broke all our internal processes, with 3.5x as many training events & assignments as any year previous, and it forced a lot of last-minute creative solutions to keep training itself from spreading COVID-19. So a lot of that situation is understandable, but it still needs to be addressed.

What I’m doing as a result is basically an in-flight do-over of our Cornerstone OnDemand Learning Management System, and everything to do with training from inventory, to labels, to processes is getting created from scratch. Luckily, I had hired a new junior-level admin in December, so it hasn’t been just me, but he needed time to ramp up and we needed to build out the processes that he’s ramping up on. We also have one part-time consultant, and I’m working on bringing in some others for standalone projects.

As someone who’s done LMS implementations for two decades now, this non-implementations job has become my biggest and least resourced implementation ever. Though Global Learning Technology & Analytics Manager for ConvaTec is my title, I’m still caught doing everything there is to do with training on top of the system implementations part (making courses, videos, reports, standards, etc.).

I always seem to find myself here, don’t I? But then…I guess I am the best guy for it. In any case, I hope to dig myself out of this hole in February. Though it takes a ton of work, it is working.

One thing I did manage to do last month was to get a few live looping videos up to YouTube and this blog:
  1. The Five Key Button Presses
  2. Layers vs Loops in Live Looping
  3. Drones & Mic Hacks in Live Looping
  4. Song-length Loops
  5. Song Structure
  6. Progressing Productively

Of course it was only when I was uploading the final video that I noticed I’d done it to the wrong channel, and that the audio levels were inconsistent between videos, and that…there’s other stuff I really should fix. Maybe I’ll get around to this someday?

Some other things I’d planned to get around to but didn’t really happen much were:
  • Gaining strength & losing weight = I did gain some upper body strength, yes. But no weight was lost as most of my exercise plan fell by the wayside for January. While I will try not to lose any ground in February, March will be when I focus on this next.
  • Drop50 cleanup = Rolling over to March as well, except for some critical financial & tax & vehicle stuff that has to happen before then.
  • Tableau Certification = Turns out this program doesn’t work on my new M1 Mac. And it doesn’t work on my work laptop. And it only barely works on my decade-old MacBook Pro. This makes it very laggy and unfun. I might miss the window on getting my certification altogether, though that’s ok I guess. I do still have my college course certificate.
  • Learning Spanish = No aprendi mucho este mes. Mi cerebro ya esta damasiado lleno ;)
  • NAS maximization = Due to some unanticipated network issues (replacing faulty hardware and rebuilding everything), this didn’t happen much either. I got some duplicate files deleted and played with setting up my phone and computer better. By and large it didn’t really work though. This will take more time than I thought.

This is a short month anyhow, and I hope to pull through this period knowing more and being more capable and feeling more in control of my own time.

So that’s me! How about YOU? Hit me up or leave me a comment below.

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This is my Now page and here’s what’s up for me these days (as posted on 01/01/21)

Welcome to the new year…finally! I for one plan to use all that I’ve learned from the trainwreck of 2020 to do my very best by 2021.

What does that mean, specifically? Well, I’m doing a lot of reflecting, as I tend to do about this time of year. I’m looking at what worked and what didn’t, not only in the last year, but in life. I’m happy to report that I’m having some new thoughts and realizations. More posts to come on all that.

Along with this, my day job as Global Learning Technology & Analytics Manager for ConvaTec is taking a lot of my time and attention right now. Our main admin just quit, and I just hired someone new, and there’s a lot of chaos in the transition that I have to tend to personally this month. So that’s the main thing, and my main challenge will be in not working like I would work if it were my company…as in 80-100hrs per week. So I’m learning how to be a manager and how to let stuff drop. Lessons I’ve never really learned thus far in my mostly backwards, weird & wonderful life.

In case you missed it, I’m living in the middle of Utah, working as a full-time employee for the first time in my life as of last July. Crazy, huh?

While I likely won’t get to do much outside of this in January, because it’s enough (and because damn, it’s cold out right now!), I do have some personal projects still:
  • Learning Spanish = For this month, I’m focusing on complete mastery of my first 1000 words. I probably already have several hundred that fit in my mouth already, but I don’t really know what they are yet. After enjoying the book Ultralearning recently, I’m inspired to take a more rigorous approach. I have time set aside to work on this every day.
  • Gaining strength & losing weight = I’ve been mostly vegan for a year now. Though for the holidays, I did make exceptions for the traditional turkey and such. Then more exceptions for pies and treats and…you get the idea. I’ve also been tracking my weight for the last month, watching how it cycles through all this. In January, I plan to release 10lbs of fat and gain about that much muscle. So while my weight may not go down very much, I’m also measuring the diameter of my biceps, chest, thighs, & waist which are where I’m focusing my results. Exercise isn’t as easy this time of year, so I’m doubling down what I’ve got.
  • Drop50 cleanup = My annual Drop100 turned into a Drop50 this year, and I had to roll over quite a few things. I’m still chipping away at all that as I can.
  • Tableau Certification = Because I just finished my Data Analytics & Visualization course, I should have the skills to get my basic certification in Tableau now. But probably not if I wait too long. I plan to take the test in a week or so while all this is still relatively fresh in my mind. Fingers crossed that I can pass it!
  • NAS maximization = When I started setting up my Synology NAS last Summer, I didn’t know all that it could do. I had a lot of simple data management to do at the time, and was happy just to have one place to put everything. Now I think I know what I want from it, and I plan to have it fully configured as an automated backup solution for all my devices, mobile storage and streaming for all photos/music/movies, collaborative fileserver, public webserver, local email server, and remote VPN by the end of this month. Wish me luck! We’ll see how far I get. If I get far enough, I plan to set up an offsite backup for this backup in February. And I also want to host this website there by my birthday in March (and transition from Textpattern to Hugo in the process).

So that’s me! How about YOU? Hit me up or leave me a comment below.

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