A look behind, and a look ahead

As 2018 draws to a close, it is the way of things to look at the year past, and then look ahead.

A look behind…

My main tech experience this year has been using the PixelBook as my main computing device. This for the most part has worked out well. Everything I needed to do I figured out a way to do it under ChromeOS, and most of the time it was as easy to do as under Linux.

The only place that I feel it was a struggle was with photo editing. If I chose to only use GApps, then it works well, but since I have 10+ years of photos not in the Google ecosystem, I need something else, and this is where ChromeOS currently hits a limit. While using AfterShot Pro, I notice that the Linux container struggles with both memory and disk IO. Given what I am planning on in the coming year, this may become bigger issue for me.

In playing around, I installed Ubuntu 18.10 on my HP R810 to have a look, and surprisingly, I liked what I saw. If I do move back to Linux over ChromeOS, then 18.10 is the answer. I doubt the R810 will be the platform, as while I love the size, the battery is only good for 3-4 hours at best, and the PixelBook will run 8-10 hours, and is about 1/2 as think as well.

Looking at news from the $JOB, due to a co-worker moving to a different group, I find myself back in a managers role again. This is in addition to my normal work. My new team is US based operations folks (I work in Engineering), who thankfully all sit near me. Their day-to-day will be managed by someone currently on the team who has a deep understanding of the operational concerns. I should be more of the HR manager approving time off, helping with reviews, and that sort of fun.

..and a look ahead

I have come up with a few areas I am planning to work on in the coming year.

Professionally, I want to take the team management and use it as a catalyst to learn what being a manager in the 21st century looks like. I plan to use both resources from the $JOB and from reading that I am planning to do. Traditionally, I only read fiction books in my down time, so this will be a big shift for me there.

I also have looked into what it would take for me to get a promotion at work, and there are many areas in pure tech, tech management, and people management for me to explore and learn.

Personally, I have two areas I want to focus on: Photography and my health.

In photography, I want to get back into the habit of taking pictures every day, and looking at the world in terms of light and textures. To do this, I am planning on doing what is called a ‘Project 52’ which is posting one photo per week for 52 weeks. I am planning on working 12 themes, one per month, to help me focus on what I am shooting.

For health, I want to train to run a 5K by Thanksgiving. This will help me in many areas, and seems to be a very doable goal. First step is to get up and get moving!

Keeping it (me) real

I will try to post check-ins on how I am doing on the various projects and goals. The $JOB ones will have to be vague, but the personal ones I should be able to give more details.

I also have plans to be more active here, and try to post at least monthly with something real to share.

Yet Another Trip To The UK

A while back, I was transferred to a new team at my $JOB.  This team is more aligned with what I normally do, so this is a good thing.  Plus, I know all other folks on the team, and I like them, including the manager.  The only drawback is that I am the only US-based person on the team, as the rest of them are in London.  Upside, I got to go over for some training and planning.

I had a bit more down-time in the evenings this trip which I knew about in advance, so I brought over my big camera and my travel camera, a Panazonic DCM-ZS40, and a Gorilla-pod and had some fun walking around.

Reflecting on 12 years and counting….

I was reflecting on something today.  12 years ago today, I posted something on one of my first blogs (which has since been merged into this one).

In the years in between, I have had two photo blogs which I did a very good job up updating on a regular basis.

One of them, I posted almost daily  for around 8 years, with over 1950 posts.

The other, I took, processed, and posted a new picture every day for a little over a year back in 2009.  I tried to restart it two years ago, and did not get nearly as far.

This blog, I have not been doing as good of a job updating it (129 posts including this one in 12 years). But, I have tried to post at least once a month.  Most of the time, I can make that.   Sometimes, not as much.

Thanks for being on the ride as I am try to make this a bit better and more interesting than the occasional travel pics.

Another Trip to the UK

As I teased before, I was back in the UK for some meetings.  The original plan got all sideways when my main person I was meeting with left for paternity leave just before I got over there.  No worries, as I was able to use the time to meet with others and get some good work done.

This time, I brought my main camera over with me, and spent some of the downtime taking pictures, mainly in Bournemouth, as I was only in London for the Monday, and was in meetings all day.

Anyway, here are some of the pictures I took.  Enjoy!

Back from London (again)

So, when I started the new job last November, my boss told me that the new position was not a traveling position.  Well, after three trips this year (including one to Columbus, OH), and the one I just got back from, I think he was wrong. *grin*.

So, this time, I was in London for most of the two weeks, but I did get a side trip to Bournemouth to meet with the team there.  I was over there to get brought up to speed on a new project I am starting.  This one will be more project management  vs development.

Oh and of course, I took some time to take pictures.  Some are here:

Aftermath of Harvey

We have been very lucky.  Our house sits at 125 feet above sea-level, and the reservoir near us which everyone is very worried about tops out at 107 feet, so no worries about flooding from that.  Plus, we are the highest house in the subdivision.

We also kept power, water, and internet through the whole process.  Most of the people I know who live in town took some damage from flood waters.  Thankfully, no one I know either lost their home or loved one lives.

Around here, the stores are starting to open again, but with a lack of shipments from outside the region, things look a little bare:

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