This month I’m working on my annual tradition of making creative Christmas labels for my family’s gifts. I didn’t get through all the planning steps last week, but I already knew how I wanted to start the work, so I’ll do that this week. I’ll do more planning as I go.
The form the labels will take is a surprise, but one thing I can say about this project is that I’m using it as a first experiment in learning about professional project management techniques, and I’m already learning quite a bit. Another thing I’ll say is that I’m proud of myself for being way ahead of my usual last-minute schedule and for actually having a plan.
I’m continuing to whip through the software development ebooks I own via text-to-speech. Last week I finished Domain-Driven Design, and now I’m about halfway through Pattern-Oriented Software Architecture, Vol 1. I have 4 to 10 more to listen to after this one.
I’ve wondered a few times if it’s really worthwhile to listen all this technical material when there’s so much I don’t retain or even understand. But hearing about software development throughout the day keeps my mind on the topic, and I semi-consciously file away ideas from the books that my mind brings up later. Since I’m still focusing on software development at work, the benefits of listening make me feel that moving on to other audio topics would be an unwelcome distraction.
Another effect of listening to all these software development books is that it makes me very aware of how much I have to learn if I want to get anywhere near my technical goals in life. I need faster ways to do it. Projects about learning have been on my agenda for years, and I was already planning on returning to them next year. The software development books are strengthening my commitment.
Something I forgot to say last week is that these books are reminding me of how great the patterns format is for both learning and reference. I’ll probably organize a lot of my website writing that way in the future.
I’ve also been using software development to explore visual thinking by learning some UML. Using the programs Modelio and PlantUML, I’ve been experimenting with UML’s activity diagrams, which are like flowcharts. You’ll probably see a lot of those and other diagrams on the site in the future too.
Half my project time on Thursday was spent being distracted by a musical mystery–identifying the songs in this video of the Mandelbrot set. In the process I discovered a nicely browsable stock music site called Epidemic Sound. There’s another site like that I explore sometimes, Musicbed. Anyway, if you’re curious, the songs from the video are all by Yi Nantiro: “Watchman” (Spotify), “The Way Of The Warrior,” “At Long Last” (Spotify), and “Immovable As The Mountain.”
For my ulcerative colitis I take two medicines, one I take every day and one I take every two months. The daily one ran out last week, but I couldn’t get it refilled right away because the pharmacy’s supplier doesn’t carry it anymore. So now I’m waiting a few days for them to figure out a solution.
In the past when I’ve been without the daily medicine, my symptoms reared their heads the second day. But now my other medicine might be strong enough that I can get away with it longer. We shall see!
I picked up The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe for $2 in an Audible daily deal. I think it’s the unabridged version of the abridged one I grew up listening to. But I don’t have to listen to a book to visit Narnia. I only have to go home.
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