Archive for the ‘Personal’ Category

Plans for Austin, Year Two

This was originally an email to my family, but I thought I’d share it publicly because there’s something cathartic about living my life publicly.

Hi family,

I can’t wait for y’all to visit soon! The link I’m sharing with you was just shared on Facebook by a few friends tonight. I didn’t want to post on Facebook because I wanted to add several of my own comments to a few of the things that I can talk about. Feel free to browse through the entire list on your own, then I’ll have some comments and links back to it so you can get my take on a few of the things that are listed.

Here’s the whole article (only read and watch videos that interest you):

http://www.buzzfeed.com/summeranne/50-sure-signs-that-texas-is-actually-utopia

Done yet? No? I’ll wait…

Now that you’re finished browsing, here are some notes from me:

  1. I have met so many talented, nice and beautiful people since I’ve moved here, it’s no surprise she’s from Texas.
  2. Some people don’t know what these are, mostly from the coasts. Thankfully they have travelled north far enough that I haven’t been missing out for 30 years.
  3. Swimming really isn’t my thing, but we should probably go check this out. A few of my friends live within walking distance.
  4. Looks like I left the big Czech community in Cedar Rapids for another one in Texas. There’s a great place on the way to Austin from Dallas. I don’t know that my family that’s flying in can make the stop, but hopefully the drive in folks can pick us up something from Czech Stop!
  5. The first one shown here was born in Texas, died in Iowa. Probably the complete opposite I’m going to experience.
  6. Not that I can compete, but at least I’m not an outcast when I get lazy.
  7. Don’t worry Mom, they won’t “get” you. We definitely need to see them, I’ve been putting this off for too long!
  8. I can vouch for this. Wowza!
  9. This wasn’t actually true until February 10th, 2012.
  10. We need to visit all of his places. I’ve only been to one, but it was fantastic!
  11. Yes, we will visit. It will be glorious!
  12. The first in the list is my favorite music event of all time. I have already bought four tickets (almost a year out) for the next one. I can’t wait!
  13. It’s true.
  14. Also true. I still have so many more places to take y’all!

I realize the entire list is based on Texas, but we’re going to be spending most of our time in Austin. No worries, it’s still going to be a blast! Let me know if there’s anything else we should look into even if it’s not on the list.

See you soon!

Austin, Texas – Year One

It’s nearly the second weekend of February. Normally this isn’t a big deal, but to me it marks the end of the first complete year I’ve lived in Austin, Texas. If my time here hadn’t gone so great, this wouldn’t be worth typing. My time here has been great, so to me, that’s a big deal.

I left a tremendous job and many great people in Iowa for a chance at a dream job with brilliant folks in Austin. I greatly miss my friends in Iowa, but I have no regrets in my decision. Rather than give you all a long winded explanation of what I’m missing and what I’ve gained, I’m going to bullet-point this thing.

Things I miss:

  • Family (you know who you are)
  • Friends (you also know who you are)
  • Coworkers (come on…)
  • Mulligan’s
  • Iowa Hawkeye football/tailgating
  • The ability to buy beer after midnight (sometimes)
  • CRBC (and team)
  • Iowa “traffic”
  • The Iowa startup/entrepreneurial community

Things I don’t miss:

  • Snow
  • Ice
  • Cold
  • Driving 25 miles to work
  • Not having a tech user group or conference available every night of the week.

Things I’ve learned:

  • Everything tastes better with avocado
  • Even my best beard/mustache is lame here
  • Temperatures of 100+ are nice when you have three per year, but not when you have thirty per year.
  • A city can grow as fast as technology can grow
  • Austin traffic sucks
  • You can enjoy pub trivia almost every night of the week. Why is Cedar Rapids not doing this?!
  • It’s more dangerous to drive in rain in Texas than snow in Iowa.
  • If you go camping in Texas, know the terrain you’ll be dealing with before packing.

Regrets:

  • Not spending enough time with friends before I left.
  • Buying a house. No offense to people that own a house, sell houses, or are looking to buy one. But what a terrible decision for a single person. I grew up thinking that it was a wise “investment”. It’s definitely not an investment, it’s a money pit. Hit me up offline if you’d like a more detailed opinion on the matter.
  • I should have hired a moving company to get my crap here. It seems the cost would have been about the same and I wouldn’t have had nearly as many headaches as I did.

Conferences & Camels, Dancing & Deer

I just finished up a really, really great weekend! I figured I should share my experiences with the public and so I don’t forget that all these things happened within the span of a few days.

Dallas Day of .Net and CTXDNUG (3/8/12 – 3/10/12)

There were nine Headspringers that attended Dallas Day of .Net and I was one of them. The conference went pretty well, I was able to see Scott Hanselman present for the first time and he did not disappoint. Even if you’re not a techie, you would still probably enjoy one of his talks. I was also lucky enough to have some good conversation and add some faces to their twitter handles. On the way to Dallas, a few of us stopped in Temple to see Brandon Satrom present some thoughts on CoffeeScript. We had a good discussion as well as a good time.

After the first day of DDODN many of us went out for food and drinks. Our attempt to go to a restaurant that doesn’t take reservations, on a Friday night, with about 15 people… didn’t go so well. We ended up wandering about until finally visiting Chik-fil-a, a Chinese Buffet Sports Bar with karaoke (that’s right) and Applebee’s.

Tom+Gary’s Decentralized Dance Party (3/10/12 – 3/11/12)

As soon as I was back in Austin, I headed south to meet friends to hit up a Decentralized Dance Party. If you don’t know what this is, be sure to check it out. The photos you’ll see below DDP were taken by Joe Lee.

Also, here is some video from the Austin DDP:

http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/21026159/highlight/248713
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0vvhds75pvo

A Rooster Breakfast Guest (3/11/12)

After a long night, Sunday morning called for some delicious breakfast. Five of headed to two restaurants before finding a really amazing spot for. The first place we stopped were able to seat us right away, but after about 10 minutes and nobody acknowledging us, we opted to leave. We were hungry and didn’t have time to mess around! Our second stop didn’t offer their special until 3pm, so that was out of the question. We stumbled upon El Alma. Everything about that place was fantastic! The staff was polite, friendly and knowledgeable, the Mimosas had a hint of mango, food was crazy delicious and there were awesome paintings of roosters on the walls from local artist Benito Lopez.

Our trip away from El Alma put us straight in the path of couple of Spartans (from Halo), an awesome camel that just took a trip through the car wash and a speeding car in our lane that almost totally killed us all. It was wild.

After some of that crazy, almost getting killed nonsense, the next best thing to do was hang out in the gorgeous weather with a pool and hot tub. The pool was slightly cold, but the hot tub was great!

The Not-Free Free Concert, Beer and Deer (3/11/12)

Later that evening a few of us attempted to hit up a concert that was free, but only free in the sense that you need to have a not-free SXSW badge. It turned out alright because we bar-hopped for the remainder of the night. I enjoyed a few drinks and consumed some pork sliders from The Seedling Truck. They were hella-good!

After being away from my apartment for almost 90 straight hours, it was time to head back. I had some friendly woodland creatures hanging out next to the driveway in. I decided to hop out and take their picture since they were all posing for me.

The Important Information

Here you will find information about my work and involvement in the community. You may also find some blog posts about topics ranging from software to comics. I hope you find what you’re looking for and feel free to contact me about anything.

Good Personal Description

I just typed the following about myself. I thought it was put fairly well:

I consider myself an odd introvert. While I’m uncomfortable meeting new people that are outside my comfort zone, I will sometimes give presentations to 30-50 strangers for over an hour and feel comfortable for the most part. It just has to be my interest or specialty.

I figured it was a good enough partial description of my personality to share. :)

My Month Long Challenges

I just finished my third month long challenge. They’re not really that challenging, but it’s something for me to bust my cycle and try something with an end in site.

November

Have you ever heard of no-shave November? I tried this and succeeded. It was uncomfortable at times, but it allowed me to set my mind to something and make sure I stick to it. No matter how trivial and unimportant it might be.

December

In December, I decided to bring my lunch to work or eat at work every day. Usually I go out for lunch and spend more money than I really need. This was mostly a way to get myself to not spend so much each week on lunches. Since then I’ve been better about not going out for lunch as much.

January

I didn’t really plan on doing anything for January, but after about 4-5 days, I realized I hadn’t yet been on Facebook. I determined that I’d use some non-Facebook activity as my January challenge. I just checked today (Feb 1st) and realized that I didn’t really miss much. A couple friend requests and a message from my lil sister was all.

I was (somewhat narcissistically)  hoping that I’d open up Facebook and see that I had hundreds of requests and all sorts of missed invites and opportunities. That wasn’t the case. It kind of backs up my hypothesis that nothing really happens on Facebook.

February

Starting today I’m going to make sure I read at least 30 minutes every day. I enjoy reading but never really “find the time” to do so. I put “find the time” in quotes because there’s plenty of time in the day. I just make excuses. Hopefully my success with these tiny challenges will get me reading again.

The best part of this is that these only go on for one month. They’re easier than resolutions that encompass a whole year and they’re not really that tough to do. Also, since I get to pick these things, they’re fun and I can make my own rules. So going back to the January Challenge… If you felt like I was ignoring you on Facebook over the last month, I’m sorry. I was just messing around with another challenge. :)