Monday, February 28, 2011

End of February Update

Two days ago I finally finished reading Wheel of Time book 8, The Path of Daggers. I've started into book 9 - Winter's Heart and hope that I can finish it pretty quickly because I am eager to get into the first Game of Thrones book before April when the TV show comes on HBO, and I also have the first Dark Tower book that I've borrowed from my friend Josh that I am very excited to read. Of course after Winter's Heart there's still 5 more Wheel of Time books, but those will be handled in the rest of 2011 I think.

Just over a year ago Becky and I were both greatly enjoying being home all day together and watching the Winter Olympics, but we were also quite stressed with my unemployment situation. This year there's a bit of stress due to the government supposedly cutting a lot of funding for programs and even potentially not passing last year's budget which would cause gov't wide furlough days. Either way this is an issue for my line of work and I'm concerned but trying to stay positive and not let the stress get to me that much.

Other than those things life has been going really well and pretty steady lately. I'm enjoying doing web development and programming work every day as much as I enjoy doing architecture and design so my job satisfaction at the moment is very high. I'm also looking forward to using the knowledge I'm gaining on personal projects developing web-apps and other things that I've wanted to work on for a long time but until recently didn't have the knowledge to do it.

On the gaming front we've slowed down on how much we have been playing WoW but hopefully will keep playing it enough that it is worth while as an expense. I've gotten into the beta for the game Darkspore which I hadn't heard about until last week and it's incredibly fun, and will hopefully be getting into the early closed beta for Rise of Immortals which looks interesting as well.

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Late Winter 2011

At least I hope it's late Winter now. Don't get me wrong, I love all of the seasons and I even really enjoy snow, but this year especially the winter months brought a significant lull in a lot of things for me - most specifically gaming and my D&D campaign. Now that it's February I'm happy to be getting back into the swing of things as people's schedules generally open up a bit more and weather stops becoming such a big threat for plans being canceled.

One thing that I did start doing in January was training at the Bushikai dojo here in Frederick, last night as my 7th class there and I'm really loving it. I'm still quite out of shape and the warm ups are wearing me out but I'm slowly improving and losing a little bit of weight along the way. Most importantly I'm having a great time doing it and am excited to begin attending their Kenjutsu (sword training) classes possibly as soon as next week.

With my new job duties as PHP/MySQL web developer (or whatever you want to call it) I've had a lot of reading to do for training, which has stalled my recreational reading. First, an update on the training progress. At the very end of January I'd read 123 pages on PHP and 68 pages on MySQL. My progress at the moment is:
  • 200 pages on PHP (123 in 1 book, 77 in another)
  • 68 pages on MySQL
  • 52 pages on integrating PHP & MySQL together
  • 18 pages on Cookies, Sessions, & Authentication
  • 11 pages on Javascript
Progress through the books themselves has been slow the last week because I've been implementing a lot of what I'm learning and re-building our website to use PHP/MySQL. Now that I'm getting into the Javascript and Ajax stuff though I'm going to be reading more to get through all the information and then hopefully implement what I can from that as well. It's pretty exciting being able to finally put together a website or web based program that can do a lot of the things I've wanted to do for the last few years.

Reading Update: If I'd been reading along with my schedule I would be finishing book 8 - Path of Daggers right around now, instead I stalled at around 35% for a few weeks but am now getting back on track and am 44% through the book.