I'm enjoying my traditional holiday illness this year. Without fail, once reach holiday break my defenses shut down and I catch a cold (or worse.) I'm thinking next year I'm going to take the week before Christmas off and just live in one of those plastic bubbles.
Wishing everyone a happy and healthy holiday season.
'Tis the season for all of the random Nintendo Switch related Kickstarter projects I backed throughout the year to show up in advance of the holidays.
The Flip Grip is a simple, but extremely well designed piece of plastic that allows you to play Switch in vertical mode. Didn't know that vertical mode was a thing? A small subset of often retro games support it. To try out the grip I picked up Arcade Archives: Donkey Kong, Namco Museum, and Pinball FX3. All told, I spent much more on games than the $12 that the grip costs.
Overall, it works extremely well for the games that support vertical mode. It isn't something that I'll use that often, but I love having yet another configuration of this versatile device. Fingers crossed that a version of Ms. Pac-Man that supports vertical mode is released at some point.
Had a great time dropping in on the Talking Drupal podcast to talk about static site generation. I've enjoyed talking about this topic within the Drupal community recently because it really gets people (myself included) thinking about the possibilities and challenging their perceptions of what a site can be. It has also introduced me to the interesting and difficult to describe phenomenon of people "thinking" audibly. Happens a bit on the podcast as well.
People ask me why I don’t do lectures at magic conventions, and I say, ‘Because I’m still learning.’ Meanwhile, you’ve got people who have been doing magic for ten months and they are actually out there pontificating. It’s absurd.”
I've been catching up on a lot of stuff related to sleight of hand magician Ricky Jay after he passed away last week. The quote above from a fantastic 1993 New Yorker profile kept rattling around in my head. Given that his whole career is based on deception, you can't take anything he says at face value (pun intended,) but it is wonderful to think that one of the worlds best magicians still considered himself a student.
As someone who has done a lot of speaking this year I often feel this way. "Why should people listen to me - I just figured this out a couple of weeks ago." What allows me to fight back the imposter syndrome is the fact that I believe understanding how someone learned something has a lot of value. And I think this is the case for beginners and experts alike.
This is what my kitchen looked like on November 7th. To even call it a kitchen is a stretch, although there was still a microwave set up off to the side.
The last few months have been an interesting ride. In August I attended Decoupled Drupal Days and Drupal GovCon back to back and while both conferences were excellent, I found myself a little burnt out and itching to deliver something a little more concrete. Thankfully, that happened to align well with the opportunity to lead the development effort to rebuild my company's website. Coinciding with a substantial drop in output on this site, I dove headlong into converting hs2solutions.com to bounteous.com (new site, new brand, new everything!)
October came along, and with it was my first trip to BADCamp at the end of the month. The timing wasn't great as we were launching the new brand on November 5th, but I was looking forward to the conference and the travel. While there was still quite a bit of work to do, I felt like we were on track for launch.
So as I returned home from Berkley on October 28th I thought I had a pretty solid understanding of my priorities - a push to launch. The water line to my dishwasher disagreed, flooding my entire kitchen leading into the final week. As I saw the final touches on the website come together, I also had the joy of watching my kitchen come apart as the water damage was remediated. We made it though - we have a website, and while I don't have a kitchen, at least what remains is dry.
This roller coaster of a fall has given me some interesting perspective as I start looking ahead to next year. I'll typically be making grand plans for the next 365 days, but this year I'm a little more inclined to be flexible and allow myself to be led where my focus can have the most impact. More enhancements lie ahead for the Bounteous site, and my personal site could use a fresh coat of paint along with an update to the latest version of Gatsby. Drupal community wise I'm considering a little less travel and speaking and a little more contribution in code. The UI Patterns Pattern Lab module seems to be getting some renewed interest as UI Patterns recently had a stable release, so I'm going to see if I can add some requested improvements and hopefully bring that module stable as well. Or maybe the proverbial kitchen will flood again, who knows.
Whatever next year brings, I hope it is much drier and has a place to put my dishes.