Yesterday, I made a very minor update to my Hugo internet-weblog theme that drives this site. The micropost formats looked different to regular posts but I cleaned it up a bit more making it a little lighter feeling. Additionally I improved the menu to not have a background, which always bugged me a little. I published it and thought I broke something, but then learned that newer versions of Hugo use a new Markdown tool which requires running in unsafe mode for any raw HTML in the Markdown.

A lot of times when I would start a side project, I’d try to pre-plan all the work I’d think I’d need to do on it—building a large todo list. This makes sense because my work is often trying to plan and execute on engineering projects. The only problem is, time is limited to some nights and some weekends for side projects, so… I’d never actually work on the list. I started a new little project over the last couple weeks, but instead of pre-planning it I tried to just explore, be curious, and build out my idea. This has of course led to many tasks being added to my todo list, but they are specific and actionable because I am finding them as I work on the project. So just start working on the side project, you will find the tasks.

I’m constantly overwhelmed with all the things I want to do. From learning new languages to buying an FPV drone to blogging on this site—it’s almost a task just to keep up with the new things I want to try or learn. Unfortunately it often leads to me doing nothing or just watching YouTube. It was YouTube though that brought me across the idea of an “Energy Portfolio”. The big idea is to write down all the things you want in a “backlog” or “bucket list” then have 3–4 items in an “Active” list at any time. I’ve been trying it for the last few weeks. It’s hard but the biggest thing is to give myself permission not to explore all the ideas and just focus on the few I’ve currently chosen.

Things 3 as a Kanban board

I’ve written from time to time about productivity on this blog. I definitely think about todo lists and productivity too much and constantly try different things. Earlier this year I went back to paper even just to keep track of all the things I need to do in a day. Well… starting a new job gave me another opportunity to evaluate how I track todos… and I’m back to using Things 3, but in a new way!

Continue Reading »

First week at Adobe was great, I’ve learned a lot already, started meeting the overall team, and have started a couple small learning projects. At one point I joked I was “drinking from the firehose”. One person shared the gif below and another said I found the “marble in the oatmeal”. A first week including UHF references might be the best first week.

Last week Nat and I took part in a video editing challenge from the folks at TMS Productions. Most of the footage comes from them, but I added a few shots of me typing a script to add a bit of a story. Honda’s Rebel website has a tagline of “Escape the Ordinary” which I thought would play nicely with the idea that someone is writing a screenplay about riding this motorcycle to “Escape the Ordinary”. Also, all Music and Sound Effects came from Epidemic Sound.

One of my favorite things about learning languages is learning different idioms from different cultures. I first noticed this when learning German and learned that the equivalent idiom to “That’s water under the bridge” is “Das ist doch Schnee von gestern” (“that is snow from yesterday”). Tonight in studying Portuguese I learned that instead of “I smell a rat”, they’d say “aqui há gato” (“there is a cat here”). 😆

Exploring Jetpack Compose

After last month’s adventures into SwiftUI with my little weather app, I thought it would be interesting to recreate the same project, but in Android’s upcoming version of a declarative UI framework, Jetpack Compose. I’m curious how it compares to SwiftUI and what the Android development experience is like in 2021. I’ve been developing on Apple’s platforms in some form since the early aughts. With the iPhone SDK in 2008 I took it from a side curiosity to my main career.

Continue Reading »

Building My Second Brain

You may have noticed lately that I’ve been blogging a bit more regularly. It’s something I’ve always wanted to do with my site but always found reasons not to do it. A lot of times the reasons were just being busy—which is kind of a fake reason. Other times it was I just didn’t know what I wanted to write about. So I’d like to talk a little about what changed in my blogging mindset, what tools I’ve been using, and how I’ve started building a second brain.

Continue Reading »

That ten-week Japanese class I mentioned has finished. Next up is level 2 which starts in a couple weeks. Reflecting on what I’ve learned has been really interesting. The books this class go over are written to be simple and have common words repeated often. Those words I think I’ve learned pretty well just by reading and rereading the short stories. It feels great to read a story in a foreign language and have that feeling that you aren’t translating in your head but just imagining the scene from the story. However, when watching something on Viki without subtitles I still miss a lot and have to rely on guessing from context. I think this story method of language learning is really great for me but it’s a journey.