From the field...

For What It's Worth...

March 30th, 2016:

IMG_1743While not news to most, I though I should finally update my blog and note that we’re expecting a daughter in late June! We’re both thrilled and terrified, thank you very much… Her room is almost together (painted and carpeted… furniture assembly in progress). Our house layout has changed a bit (moved the exercise equipment from the nursery to the den, and den furniture into the living room, and living room furniture into the basement bar). We have a short list of names, but will make that final decision when we meet her.

- Duane

May 8th, 2015:
Pets! Page Updated

I finally updated the pets page! Charlie and Charlize are now featured.

- Duane

May 1st, 2015:
I miss blogs, dammit.

I had an old blog and was pretty good at updating it. It used my personal framework instead of a mainstream, feature-packed system like WordPress. It was modular and linked to friends’ blogs. They were all pretty good at updating their blogs too.

What happened?

One explanation is simple: we don’t have time any more. We’re old. We have families to spend time with. There are more complicated hobbies to maintain. We write (good) code all day long and don’t need that special fix that we used to crave.

Another explanation? WordPress is less fun. It’s not my personal code sandbox. I don’t take pride in the feature set… I just download another plug-in and enable it. I don’t have friends providing feedback on what’s working vs. what could be better… and when they do, I don’t take it personally.

Does this post mean I’ll try harder to make blog posts? Maybe… but with the summer (and race season) starting soon, I make no promises…

- Duane

February 6th, 2014:
The Adventure Continues

I started my new job 3 months ago and it’s been everything I wanted (and needed). We’ve been building a new application from the ground up with no integrated legacy dependencies with the latest Javascript frameworks. Node.js and Angular.js are absolutely wonderful to work with… which only makes me regret taking so much time off of dedicated coding even more. I feel like I’m about 2 years behind where I should have been if I stayed more hands-on with code, even if it was just at home. Pro tip from Uncle D: if you love to code, don’t stop… even if it’s not your job any more.

Glorious PC Gaming Master Race

Glorious PC Gaming Master Race

Frankly, I’ve found myself with more free time that I’ve had for about 5 years. Working from home allows me to take care of a few chores a couple of days per week during lunch. Even when I work until 7:00 or 8:00 at night, I just walk out of my office and I’m home! With the extra free time and no home improvement projects underway, I’ve needed to keep myself busy. After finally cleaning out that extra room that was used for storage during the last 2 years, I really wanted to get started on my race car prep… but with single (or negative) digit temps, working in an non-insulated, non-heated metal pole barn isn’t exactly smart. So, I’ve found that playing online PC games with my friends is a great way to stay in touch. We don’t see each other as much since I started working from home. Brad has hosted his famous Atomic JanLAN which got a few of the Peasants to experience the glory of gaming above 30 frames per second at resolutions above 720p.

Since then, we’ve enjoyed playing Battlefield 4 late into the night, despite the unforgivable amount of bugs still present in the game 4 months after launch. To keep my hands busy when not on a keyboard, I’ve made some significant upgrades to my PC, including a new case, additional graphics card for SLI, water cooling, and new keyboard and mouse (thanks to Gina for the Christmas presents).

Outside of the house, a few friends and I have been visiting the Howell Gun Club during public range times to deal with our cabin fever by putting holes in targets. We’ve all done well despite our lack of practice. I really haven’t fired a pistol in 20 years, but a new S&W M&P .40 sure makes it easy to get back in the groove. We’re considering membership since the folks at the club are so welcoming and helpful. They’re full of great advice and always have a smile to welcome you.

Once we’re thawed out, I fully expect the repairs due to the record winter to consume my time. On top of that, I still haven’t pulled the engine from my race car and replaced the transmission. For now, I’ll keep cleaning the house and gaming at night… hoping for some sunshine and double digit temperatures to free us from our frozen prison!

- Duane

November 4th, 2013:
A New Adventure

Gina near the Utah mountain  peak just beyond Park City. Approx. altitude: 10,000 ft.

Gina near the Utah mountain peak just beyond Park City. Approx. altitude: 10,000 ft.

After much deliberation, I’ve decided to seek out a new career opportunity. Having spent 15 years with my former organization, I’ve made many friends and learned so much. I am eternally grateful for my time with them. I had a personal need to work more directly with a smaller team on a "start from scratch" project. My new opportunity provides this.

I am almost done with my 2-week onsite orientation/training/meet-the-team in Utah. It’s very pretty out here… but Gina and I just aren’t into mountains. (My new company flew Gina out for the weekend.) After this onsite visit is complete, I’ll be working from home most of the time, with regular remote work-together days (there are several other software folks relatively close to each other) and occasional visits back to HQ in Utah.

I’m looking forward to working more directly with code, being able to contribute to the design effort and build a new team from the ground up. The side benefit of having more time to spend with my family is pretty nice as well. (I averaged 16 hours per week commuting to downtown Detroit previously.) I’m a little rusty, but I’ve already written a bit of handy jQuery for custom field masking, cleaned up some unwieldy CSS, and generated lots of clean, standards-compliant HTML. Not bad for a few days on the job!

I know I’m being very vague regarding my past and current job history. If you know me (or know how to use social networks), I’m sure you can figure it all out. But really, is it worth your time?

- Duane