2014 Resolutions Review 08: Shifting Goals

I just got back from a 10-day business trip to California, and so I’m posting my Groundhog Day Resolutions Review a few days late. One of the highlights was going to a fancy steak restaurant to try “A Tasting of New York Sirloin”, featuring USDA Prime Dry Aged steak, American Wagyu, and Japanese Wagyu in small portions side-by-side. It was the most money I ever spent on a dinner, but when I reframe it as a “workshop in fine steak”, the price seemed much more reasonable. It helped that I was eating with two other fiendishly picky eaters, and we talked food all night about the difference between each cut of meat at great length. Ahhh!

But I digress! Today I am wondering how much closer I am to my 2014 goals of…well, one reason I do these monthly reviews is to reorient myself. Continue reading →

Video Game Progress Report: Stubs!

It’s been two weeks since I declared six new project goals that I’ve been stuck on for years, even decades! The trigger was my 10 year blogging anniversary, in which I noted the desire to change the energy of this blog toward project work. I talked about this for the last half of the last podcast I did with my friend Sid at length.

Time for a progress report! Continue reading →

Game Project 1401: Kickoff

One of the six goals I established in my next ten years is making my own game. I’ve made games before as part of a team, but never one “just for me”. This is the first in a series of detailed articles detailing the development of Project 1401. It’s a fairly technical overview, but I welcome questions from anyone who might have a question about what I’m doing and why; one of my subgoal is to make the approach to this project accessible to anyone who is interested in writing a web app or architecting a simple video game. Continue reading →

Nanowrimo 2014 Word Counting Calendar Available!

National Novel Writing Month Calendar 2014National Novel Writing Month is still over a month away, but several people have asked me whether I’m updating it for this year. OF COURSE I AM! IT IS AN AWESOME CALENDAR!!! :-)

Go grab it from the new Nanowrimo Word Calendar page. I’m not participating this year, so have a good time!

My Next 10 Years of Blogging

Dave Seah's Blog is 10 Years Old!
SUMMARY: 10 years of writing. The next 10 years are for making! Continue reading →

2014 Resolutions Review 07: Two Steps Forward, One Step Back

Continuing from last month’s Groundhog’s Day Resolutions Review, I had hoped for another kick-ass month. Parts of it were good, on the work front, though there was more frustration with the progress on my personal projects. I attribute the good parts to new working methodology for the big programming project, and the good parts because I had to stop themed work weeks and figure out a new balance. BONUS INSIGHT: I don’t really have a lot of fun, still. Continue reading →

Daring to Realize My Master Goals

During my themed work weeks experiment I found that focusing on just one “main project” a week got “the hard stuff” done, making this approach highly productive. At least, it felt that way.

Today, I realized that the reason for the feeling was because I have gained an improved awareness of my own mastery, which led to increased confidence in tackling unknowns, which in turn has helped me reframe my goals not just for 2014, but for perhaps my life! Continue reading →

Conclusion to Themed Work Week Experiment; Looking Forward

My themed work week experiment concluded last week, and now I “normal” scheduling. have to say I’m not looking forward to the change back, because I found themed weeks to be remarkably productive. However, maybe some of the new insights into my working patterns will help me cope. Strategic thoughts follow! Continue reading →

Designing Career Stickers for Future Tech Women

At last year’s Barcamp Manchester, some friends of mine started Future Tech Women (FTW), a group of women and men that support the idea of more women in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) fields. I love to see empowerment of this sort happen, and so I’ve been attending their meetings occasionally and learning more about the difficulties and preconceptions that accompany their mission.

FTW will have a table at the upcoming Mini Maker’s Faire in Dover, NH on Saturday, August 23rd, and I was invited to contribute some design. I volunteered the template for my Cootie Catcher for Creative Self Reliance (which will be renamed, thankfully) and also modifications of the Barcamp Manchester Interest Stickers from last year. The challenge: create some 2-inch stickers that could be used to start discussions about STEM careers with girls to open their eyes to the possibilities.

After a brainstorming session, we had seven different “tech roles” that girls could choose from:

The text in the bottom-right was our original brainstormed ideas, but since I’m not a very fast illustrator (and I didn’t have a lot of free time), I re-used elements from old work or substituted items that were either easier for me to to draw. I also replaced items if they told a more interesting story or might be a little more clear. For example, “DETECTIVE” got piles of books instead of an archaic hat, and “EDUCATOR” got a lectern with a microphone because that seemed more glamorous than the megaphone idea. It took about an hour per sticker design, plus another hour to align, prep, and output all the files individually for use. I avoided stereotypical gender signifiers, having recently watched Anita Sarkeesian’s series of msmale videos, though I couldn’t avoid stereotyping the work roles themselves. Overall, they are not bad, but they are a little sterile.

Originally I was going to make 8 cool animal stickers so they could be customized further, but that would have taken me at least another 16 hours to do because I don’t really draw animals. It probably is easier to find some nice animal stickers at a toy store and use those! Career stickers, on the other hand, are more difficult to find.

It was a nice change of pace. I should practice my illustration skills more in the future, taking my time to develop a style that might be more fun than the usual nuts-and-bolts infographic design I do.

The Productivity of Themed Work Weeks: Week 5 Assessment

It’s time for a quick update for Week 5 of Themed Work Weeks. This week is devoted to my major client project with Inquirium, building an interactive animated web application to facilitate science education in young children for a research group at UCLA.

Overall? It’s been good, but I’m starting to wonder if I am being too productive at the expense of other activities. Continue reading →

2014 Resolutions Review 06: Unusually Productive!

I’m reviewing my year’s goals once again, as I do every month as part of Groundhog Day Resolutions. This month has been a DOOZY, packed with new processes and data-driven insights, which has culminated in a feeling of…balance? It’s probably too good to be true, but something seems to be working. Continue reading →

Migration Complete: New Website

Site Launched!
At long last, the new website is finally up!

The new website template, which is based on one I bought off one of those WordPress theme sites, is modern, responsive and has a cool drag-and-drop content interface that actually doesn’t suck, so I’m looking forward to being able to build some more interesting HTML-based resources.

This is the major delivery, too, for both Themed Work Week #4 and Groundhog Day Resolution Review #6.

There’s a whole boatload of post-relaunch things I have to look at, but at least the bulk of the content has been ported and moved to a new WordPress installation. I dropped the “Network WordPress” (aka Multisite) support, because it’s generally been more trouble than it’s worth for what I’m doing. All the process journals have been converted to categories of a single blog. This has killed a number of the links in these sub-blogs, but they were not extensively linked before. There’s little typography problems all over the place, and it looks like the WordPress exporter didn’t play nice with some of the content, but I’ll fix it as I come across it. I’m exhausted.

Hopefully no major disasters will uncover themselves in the next 24 hours. Fingers crossed!