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As far back as I can remember back to how all this began, I always remember my first computer, an Apple //e. It’s an icon of my beginnings. I remember it looked like the image above. Same large 5 1/2″ floppy drives all mushed up into one big block. I remember the odd power button on the top right of the monitor. I also remember just taking the plastic off and poking at the innards, even removing a chip or two just to look at it. Of course, I put it back.
The //e always gets credit for being the computer. I still wish I had one now, just to play with. It’s amazing how far things have come along since then. Now, it was probably 1992 or something close to that. I had this computer while others had much different one’s and the Internet was around the corner.
My mother got it at a garage sale. She had no idea how it worked, I doubt she had even really used a computer, but she handed it to me and I remember being in awe. A TV that I could put things on myself.
It came with some original floppy disks but all I could ever get was a prompt on the screen. I probably spent 2 days figuring this thing out. I remember typing nonsense on it at first. I looked through the manual that came with it as I got an error here and there. As far as I can tell, programming came naturally to me. Type that, then type that, then
GOTO 10, type
RUN and it went through the steps. After a few weeks I imagine I was on it all the time making these programs. I remember being specifically fascinated with making a digital pet, well maybe really just a digital friend.
I spent a great deal of my time inside anyways. I was obsessed with club houses, secret rooms and the like. I remember I took the bottom bunk because I could drape a sheet over the edges and have my own little space. I also liked rooms, organizing them, setting up my little space. The //e can vaguely be remember sitting command center style dead center on a long desk I had constructed out of probably 3 or 4 different desks or tables. I spent hours deciding if the floppy drive should go under the monitor or to the right of me with something on it. The //e had fit directly into my organized structure life, and so did programming I guess.
I had eventually learned (though I can’t remember how) to save the programs from memory to a floppy disk. I can’t really remember what these programs were, I just remember typing
GOTO 12 this and
GOTO 54 a lot, but can’t seem to recall what it would do when it got to the line. But, I will never forget the symbol ], on the //e that was the prompt.
Bring an Apple to School
No one saw my creations but me. I never showed it off and no one ever really knew what I was doing. Well that was until my 4th grade teacher got uncomfortable that I wasn’t playing some game on the Apple’s at school.
I remember the school got some of these computers. They took up a lot of room in the classroom, piled onto 6 desks all stacked up next to each other. They were exactly like mine at home.
I remember being kicked off computer quite often because I knew how to get to the prompt and do things there. I even brought my own programs over on 5 1/2″ floppies. I never thought it then, but maybe Ms. Amen, my teacher, thought I was hacking, or maybe she just didn’t know what the hell I was doing. Were viruses a thing back then? I don’t know, but what I was doing wasn’t what the other kids were doing on them.
I have no idea, but I’d like to imagine my teacher knew exactly what I was doing and was encouraging me by letting me type odd things on a computer. I remember staying after school to be on the //e at school. When you start creating something in memory, well you have to finish!
But she let me do it. After getting kicked off a few times I think Ms. Amen discovered what I was doing was harmless, and it was! I can’t even remember what I was coding. I remember realizing how cool it was to move programs from computer to computer.
IBM took over Apple
When I was a kid, I was maybe 11 or 12, I had no idea what or who IBM was. All I knew was that my Apple was not loading, something was wrong. My mom decided to take my computer to an IBM store in Roswell, New Mexico. If only I had knew that it would be the last time I’d see my Apple computer.
I did not know it at the time, but I think my mom could not afford to fix the computer. I remember being very weirded out by the people there. Big glasses, suites…old. Were those computer people? I’m not sure if I’m putting a memory in my own head, but I think I knew something was different about IBM. Even the logo seemed different than the cool //e one, just didn’t seem like my //e was in the right place — and I was right!
Anyhow, we left it there to get fixed. I remember going back a few times to check on it. I grew up in a small farm town south of Roswell and so it was a trip and so I’d only get to check on it every couple of weeks. But, something on the board had fried and it was in some room filled with cubicles. The place didn’t even have a sign, it had some IBM thing in the corner of the window. I never saw the //e again. I think they hated it, maybe the burned it!
I think my mom couldn’t afford to pay them to fix it. I still imagine it there actually. Like if I went in one day it might still be there. When I go back into town I don’t even go by the area where the computer repair place was. I kind of like it that way.
Anyway, I had no computer. I had to go back to being a normal kid again. I went outside and I even picked up smoking. I can’t remember what happened, did I just not care anymore or did I just genuinely get distracted by being a kid? All I know was that I remember being bummed out that my great friend the //e was not coming back, but I think I accepted that it was forever going to be hidden in that cubical filled room.
Enneagram Type 1 – The Reformer
Perfectionists, responsible, fixated on improvement
People of this personality type are essentially looking to make things better, as they think nothing is ever quite good enough. This makes them perfectionists who desire to reform and improve; idealists who strive to make order out of the omnipresent chaos.
Ones have a fine eye for detail. They are always aware of the flaws in themselves, others and the situations in which they find themselves. This triggers their need to improve, which can be beneficial for all concerned, but which can also prove to be burdensome to both the One and those who are on the receiving end of the One’s reform efforts.
The One’s inability to achieve the perfection they desire feeds their feelings of guilt for having fallen short, and fuels their incipient anger against an imperfect world. Ones, however, tend to feel guilty about their anger. Anger is a “bad” emotion, and Ones strive sincerely and wholeheartedly to be “good.” Anger is therefore vigorously repressed from consciousness, bursting forth in occasional fits of temper, but usually manifesting in one of its many less obvious permutations – impatience, frustration, annoyance and judgmental criticality. For this reason, Ones can be difficult to live with, but, on the high side, they tend to be loyal, responsible and capable partners and friends.
Ones are serious people; they tend to be highly principled, competent and uncompromising. They follow the rules and expect others to do so as well. Because they believe so thoroughly in their convictions, they are often excellent leaders who can inspire those who follow them with their own vision of excellence. Reform movements are frequently spearheaded by Ones.
Ones are often driven and ambitious, and are sometimes workaholics. But whatever their professional involvement, they are definitely active, practical people who get things done. They are natural born organizers, listmakers who finish everything on the list, the last one to leave the office, the first one to return, industrious, reliable, honest and dutiful.
The relentlessness of their pursuit of the ideal can make Ones tense people who have a hard time relaxing and who unnecessarily deny themselves many of the harmless pleasures of life. They tend to be emotionally repressed and uncomfortable with expressing tender feelings; they generally see emotionality as a sign of weakness and lack of control. They are seldom spontaneous. They have multiple interests and talents however; they are self-reliant and seldom run out of things to do.
Ones are often intelligent and independent and can easily mistake themselves for Fives, but unlike Fives, Ones are primarily people of action, not thought. Ones tend to worry and are prone to anxiety and can sometimes mistype as Sixes, but they are far less affiliative than Sixes and their standards are not reached by seeking consensus with a group. Finally, the relentless pursuit of perfection can take its toll and lead to depression. At such times, a One can mistype as a Four. But Fours have a tendency towards self-indulgence whereas Ones are self-denying. Fours are emotionally expressive; Ones are emotionally constrained.
I was also described to have a “wing” of Type 2, The Helper:
Enneagram Type 2 – The Helper
Helpers who need to be needed
People of this personality type essentially feel that they are worthy insofar as they are helpful to others. Love is their highest ideal. Selflessness is their duty. Giving to others is their reason for being. Involved, socially aware, usually extroverted, Twos are the type of people who remember everyone’s birthday and who go the extra mile to help out a co-worker, spouse or friend in need.
Twos are warm, emotional people who care a great deal about their personal relationships, devote an enormous amount of energy to them, and who expect to be appreciated for their efforts. They are practical people who thrive in the helping professions and who know how to make a home comfortable and inviting. Helping others makes Twos feel good about themselves; being needed makes them feel important; being selfless, makes Twos feel virtuous. Much of a Two’s self-image revolves around these issues, and any threat to that self-image is scarcely tolerated. Twos are thoroughly convinced of their selflessness, and it is true that they are frequently genuinely helpful and concerned about others. It is equally true, however, that Twos require appreciation; they need to be needed. Their love is not entirely without ulterior motive.
Twos often develop a sense of entitlement when it comes to the people closest to them. Because they have extended themselves for others, they begin to feel that gratitude is owed to them. They can become intrusive and demanding if their often unacknowledged emotional needs go unmet. They can be bossy and manipulative, feeling entirely justified in being so, because they “have earned the right” and their intentions are good. The darkest side of the type Two fixation appears when the Two begins to feel that they will never receive the love they deserve for all of their efforts. Under such circumstances, they can become hysterical, irrational and even abusive.
Because Twos are generally helping others meet their needs, they can forget to take care of their own. This can lead to physical burnout, emotional exhaustion and emotional volatility. Twos need to learn that they can only be of true service to others if they are healthy, balanced and centered in themselves.
Twos can mistype themselves if they are not in an obvious helper role in their professional lives; they might not recognize the extent of their involvement in assisting others. This is especially true for male Twos, who have not received the same social rewards for helping as female Twos receive. Male Twos frequently mistype as Ones or Threes, the wings of type Two. Females, of all types, are bound to recognize some of the dynamics of type Two in their personalities, as such qualities have been socially reinforced. Female Nines, for instance, are especially prone to mistyping as Twos, particularly if they are the mothers of small children. But Nines are self-effacing and humble; Twos are proud and have a strong sense of their own worth.
Copyright eclecticenergies, https://www.eclecticenergies.com/enneagram/
^^ Just what I’m listening to while I write this, just so you can get the vibe with me 🙂
So I decided to actually make time to write a little bit. Saturday. Coffee. Starbucks. Get out of the house…write something. Blog something that isn’t just WordPress stuff…
Yes, get out of the house. Ever since I got my job at WebDevStudios I have been working at home more than I really ever have. And even though I can’t express how thankful that I get to do that, you still need to get out of the confines of your work environment once in a while…
So this is just going to be an update blog on what I’m doing, how it’s going…all the things.
I still get a bit star struck that I actually work for such a great place, a great team (the A-Team) everyday. Things are going really well there. I just logged on to my WordPress install to write this and had a thought, “Shit I know where everything fucking is now.” My knowledge and familiarity with WordPress had multiplied 10 fold. I WordPress now…every damn day…and it’s great! Everyday that I work I feel more and more like an expert at this stuff, and that’s exactly something I set out for!
We’ve also been busy! Really busy. But, I’m not sure my team understands really how well we have it. Before WebDevStudios I was the project manager, the coder, the planner, the budgeter, you name it…even the recruiter (for offshore workers). I mean my work life was stretched pretty thin. I am so appreciative that we have great project managers, leads, and that WDS has such a great structure in place to really help people keep their sanity! (I elaborate on this more below.)
New things I’m learning (Friends, this will be technical, skip ahead)…
SASS: I’ll admit when I first came on, I was a bit of a CSS purist, and I still am. That means I’m not into preprocessors that much. But I’ve come to realize that for big project SASS is great for organizing large teams and I can’t express enough the power that SASS gives teams so that you don’t step on each other’s toes. Because you can use nesting in SASS you can make sure you are styling specific things vs. possibly styling very generic things and possibly changing things other people are working on. I mean it still happens, but it’s really rare. I will also say that now I wish CSS was written like SASS, it’s extremely more natural feeling to write.
Grunt all the things: Again more processors, but Grunt does save a ton of time. And on tight deadline projects, Grunt does help make things happen a lot quick. Grunt is just a great tool to get mediocre things done quickly. I am a Grunt convert for sure, though I still have lots to learn.
Bower: Easy dependency management. I’m still a bit of a noob here too, but I do know that when I want to include an external library, bower makes it super easy.
Teamwork…yeah. Working with a team has been enormously gratifying. I’ve always been the loner guy who does all the things. It’s a totally different dynamic. I mean I see sites churned out in weeks! I work for a few hours on a site and I see it being launched suddenly a few weeks later. I remember having that moment on a recent project we were working on. I saw that the site was about to be launched, and I just thought to myself, “We just started that thing, and it’s done!?”
BTW, WDS is hiring still! I didn’t think I would be doing fun stuff with them, but here I am! APPLY if you read the above without a strange look on your face.
So working at WDS has introduced some new things into my life. For one thing, because I work in Arizona (where the time does not change) I get a chance to be a “westie” and a “mountain man” (terms used to refer to people in pacific and mountain time zones). Right now I’m a westie, I wake up at 7am and work until about 2 or 3pm with people in the pacific timezone. Being done with work around 2 is great! I can run errands, play with my kid, I mean it’s great! I keep wondering what it’s going to be like to be a mountain man.
I believe, just like normal physical energy, your mind has a limited amount of energy per day. Since I’m not spending all that energy stressing about budgets or project planning, etc, I have a lot of leftover mental energy. This means I can work on losing weight and I actually have some mental energy to focus on it. Having some mental energy for me is a great nice to have and really make a big difference.
I’m still a bad Buddhist lol
Although I have been learning a lot by having more time and energy to dedicate to reading, I still haven’t become that great meditator. I meditate rarely. I feel guilty actually, because I know, now, stress is not an excuse I can use. I’m still working on actually putting more and more things into practice, but I still have yet to really knuckle down and start meditating. But I’m also not beating myself up over it, I know it will come when I’m ready.
I’ve still been spending a lot of time learning about meditation. I am the kind of person that when I see a clear benefit of a goal, I’m on it and I’m into it 100%. I guess I haven’t really felt like meditation is going to turn it around for me. I read a lot, I spend a lot of time on the insight side of Buddhism. It’s something that has definitely helped me and had an effect, so I spend a lot of time there.
So a big part of Tennis changes lately are all around trying to become more fit. I don’t feel like there’s much on the technical side of things that are going to propel me forward. Losing all this weight is going to make me faster and beat up less on my body…period. So that’s all I’m working towards really right now.
I’ve made some changes, though, technically to my game. A year ago I changed some things about how I play and it definitely helped in one area: exhaustion. The changes I made were put into place to help take less of a blow on my body, and it worked! But it had a negative effect on my game overall. Being a power-driven player, those changes made me have to work harder on strategy, etc, which I just am not good at. Coupled with weight loss I’m hoping that I can move my game back to a more aggressive power-driven style. So, I’ve been making those changes lately, and how my back feels at night is proof that it comes with a price.
But, I’m still really enjoying Tennis! Family…Code…Tennis. That’s life for me and that’s exactly the way I like it. I think the weight loss is really going to help me enjoy it more. I know the reason I don’t play well is because of my weight, so I feel like it’s really the only thing holding me back.
Fatherhood (Being Dad)
I absolutely love my kid! But I think everyone says that about their kid, no duh. I always knew how much I would like being a Dad. Being a kid who grew up without one I was really excited to experience the whole Dad thing, and it’s really turning out to be a great experience. We were even blessed with such a great kid; not fussy, happy, smiling, fun, and smart. I always look forward to the future with Lexie, I know I’m going to enjoy every step of being her Dad.
She’s just about to turn 1 year old. She’s grown so much in just one year. I try and make sure and really take in the time knowing she’s going to grow so fast!
Lexie’s personality is really starting to show too. I see a lot of her Mom in her; happy, fun loving, curious, joyful. Those are all words I would use to describe Ashley and they totally apply to Lexie. She’s walking, and just like crawling it happened in just a couple of days w/out warning! She’s even trying to climb the gates we put up to keep her out of certain areas of the house.
But, doesn’t mean I love diapers or loud screaming! This great bundle of joy still comes with her challenges. And now that she’s getting older I’ve noticed she is getting a little more attached to Mom and Dad. She’s getting “stranger danger,” so it’s a gamble whether she’s going to enjoy being handed to someone else. I recently went to try on suits with her and she just wasn’t having it, so it’s safe to say I didn’t try any suits on that day.
So, I am getting married pretty soon. I’m so ready to have that official stamp placed on our family. Marriage has always been about family for me, and Ashley, Lexie and I are already a great family. But we’re both excited to make it official!
…and Wedding planning is no joke…..lol
So after writing that I feel like that’s not a lot. My life is pretty simple right now (and that’s a good thing). It’s funny how complicated things can feel still.
But I’m glad I finally got to do some “blogging.” Blogs aren’t just for nerdy WordPress stuff people!