I really love my new setup!

1 year ago

The Glif is amazing. It's so stable and sturdy. The mic is good too. I just tested it in a very noisy setting, and I could still hear myself; and it wasn't crackling at all. I'm so glad I got these. I'm inspired to make videos again!

Gary Sinise is at The National WWII Museum!

1 year ago

Gary Sinise is here! I'm pretty starstruck already, and I haven't even seen him yet!

Do Your Research

1 year ago

I was excited today. I ordered some things on Amazon, and they were delivered this afternoon. Of course it took me longer than usual to get home. I did an unboxing of my items, and set everything up. BUT one of the items didn't work. That's because I didn't get a proper cord that I needed. I thought I did enough research; apparently not. When I get the cord I need, I'll share what I'm talking about. I just really wanted to present this as a whole, so I'm waiting until Thursday. Stay tuned.

Cleaning House

1 year ago

It does something for the soul. My boss and I were talking the other day, and he said if I'm ever stressed out or overwhelmed, clean my house. He told me to revisit this subject afterwards. He's right. It really helps with that, and it really just does some good even when nothings wrong. Sarah and I are cleaning our house right now, and I'm really enjoying the progress we're making.

Picture Perfect

1 year ago

Working at The National World War II Museum has inspired me to take more pictures. I was a little out of it for a while, but seeing the sights there everyday has erased that feeling. I feel so lucky to work there.

Creative Push

1 year ago

I'm trying to post everyday on here. That's pushing me to think about and write about something interesting. Through this process I believe I'll sharpen my mind and force myself to think in new, different ways. I also think my writing will improve, and that's something I've always wanted to do.

I Love My Job

1 year ago

I really love my job. It's my favorite one I've ever had. I'm learning so much and having so much fun. I know I have more to say, but I just wanted to get this little bit out there.

I Should Have Planned

1 year ago

It helps to plan. My boss highly suggests that, and he's a really good front-end developer. I will listen to that advice eventually; I just really wanted my new site to be live. It's really effecting my process though. I keep needing to change little things here and there because I didn't plan and visualize beforehand. Bottom line: MAKE A PLAN.

Iterative Design

1 year ago

If you hadn't noticed I changed the look of my site already. I liked it, but deep down I knew I could make it better. I drew inspiration from two of my most used iOS apps, Todoist and Apple Notes. My favorite color is yellow, and I enjoy the two yellows of these apps. I also thought it'd be appropriate for my blog to look like some kind of notebook, a writing pad. I really liked this idea, and I'm very glad with how it's turning out so far. Sometimes you need to see something in order to know what needs to be changed. I've been making incremental changes to make sure one thing looks good before I move onto another one. I'm even more excited about my site now.

Why I Rebuilt

1 year ago

I enjoyed making my first personal site. I used Wordpress and a shared host called x10Premium. I understood everything. I gained experience with these tools from my job at the time. Everything was familiar and relatively easy, which was convenient and made things quick. However, I wanted a change.

I know WordPress offers a lot of features, but I wanted more freedom. I also wanted to minimalize my site to only what I needed. Doing everything myself would enable this.

I've been wanting to edit/update my site for months, but I never did it. I was really dragging my feet. Then I got my current job, and my boss talked to me about this PHP Framework Laravel. I decided to give it a shot, and it's become my favorite way to develop. It became the foundation for my new redesign. With this new approach I needed a different host.

I went with Linode. My boss uses it and loves it. Several of the podcasts I listen to use it. They even have offer codes, and I took advantage of one. He and the show hosts talked about how easy it is to use because of the documentation, and they were right. I'm not saying there wasn't frustration on my part because of user error, but it was a really great learning experience.

Doing everything from scratch has taught me so much. Laravel and Linode are a great match. If anyone wants to make a site, I recommend this if you know what you're doing.

Houston Vlogging

2 years ago

I vlogged a few weekends ago in Houston while visiting my twin Austin. It was a lot of fun. I finished editing it; and before I uploaded it to YouTube, I asked Austin and my girlfriend Sarah to watch it first to see what they thought about it. This vlog was important to me because it was the first time I visited him, and I wanted it to be the best I could make it. Austin liked it, but Sarah said it actually made her carsick. However, she pointed out that not everyone may get carsick. I was conflicted about whether or not to take the questionable parts out that I thought should be there or leave them in. Sarah pointed out that I'm doing this for me and no one else. She was right. I was trying to conform to what I thought other people would want. But I decided to leave it how I originally had it. I really loved the way it turned out. I think it's my best one yet. I asked one of my friends if I could use his music in it, and he agreed to it as long as I credited him. I think that brought my VLOG to a new level. This is my favorite vlog so far.

I want my vlogs to be visually appealing and aurally acceptable. I never thought I would make vlogs, but I'm really glad that I do.

I Learned How to Crochet!

1 year ago

I learned how to crochet a few months ago. We were at Sarah's grandparents' house for her grandmother's birthday, and her little cousins wanted her to teach them how to crochet. I got roped into it, but I'm really glad I was. Crocheting is awesome!

At first it was hard to grasp. Even though Sarah was showing us what to do step-by-step, it was hard to see everything that was happening in the yarn. However, I powered through and learned how to chain that day. I tried doing the next step, adding rows, but I wasn't ready for that yet. I accomplished that the following day.

Adding the first row is the hardest one to add. You do it differently compared to the other rows. I eventually figured that out too. I ended up making a square, albeit it's a lopsided square, but a square nonetheless. It was my first item that I completed in the crocheting process. I was so proud of that square, I brought it to everyone I visited the following weekend to show them what I made. I realize it wasn't much, but I was still proud of it. It was my first thing.

I kept crocheting the following days with no direction. I just wanted to do it and get better at it. I was throwing ideas around with Sarah on what my first real project would be. Then it dawned on me; I was going to make a case for my keyboard. That was it. I was so psyched and determined to do this!

My Keyboard Case

I went into this idea with no plan, no pattern, no particular number of rows. I just knew I wanted it to hold my keyboard. I also wanted it to be able to hold my phone because that's the device I use the most with my keyboard. That would certainly make it a little more complicated. I just dove in.

At first I started off with a gray yarn. However, I eventually made enough of it to realize it wasn't wide enough for the keyboard. I started pulling out my stitches, but the yarn was difficult and didn't let me do that. Sarah told me some yarns are just like that. I gave up on trying to unwind it. That gave me the chance to switch to a different yarn. I chose a classy black because I knew I would be bringing this case all over the place, and black goes with just about anything.

I was hyped on the new aesthetic of this case. I figured out a basic plan by then. I was going to make one long piece so I could attach it to itself to make a pouch. Then I'd attach a pocket to the outside and finish it off with buttons and loops to fasten the flap. I compared the length of my chain to my keyboard, and I started my journey.

I'd compare my progress to my keyboard periodically to make sure it was okay. It seemed like it was going to be kind of snug, but it was going to work. Then I got to a point where it didn't seem like it would fit anymore, but I had made so much progress already. Sarah suggested I should make two same-size panels to attach to the sides to make it wider. I began making those panels after I finished the biggest piece.

Connecting Separate Pieces

By now I knew how to do a single crochet and weave in the tail. Sarah had to teach me how to connect a piece to another piece. It's basically single crochet with two pieces. There's just a little something different involved. I had to redo the panels because they kept ending up uneven. I redid one panel twice and the other one more time. Once I made sure they were both lined up, I started on the outside pocket.

The Phone Pocket

I finished it quite quickly, the hard part was sewing it onto the front of the finished pouch. I finally figured out a way to do this. Once that was taken care of, I started on the buttons and the latch.

The Buttons

My plan for the buttons was to basically just try to insert the thread into holes in the pattern and tie them on. This was futile. If I wanted to tie them, I had to reach down into the already sewn on front pocket; but my fingers were no where near long enough. I sat there for a while thinking of a different approach. I finally got it. I would make the string long enough so that I could weave it somewhere near the top of the pocket where I could actually reach. That was tedious, but it went well. The last thing was the latch.

The Latch

I decided I was just going to weave some string from the outer sides of the covering flap. This was easy, and then I was finally done!

Making this case was a great learning experience. It helped improve my muscle memory. I learned a whole bunch of new techniques. It still reminded me about perseverance. It was EXTREMELY satisfying when I was finished, and it functions perfectly. I really couldn't be happier with it. Thanks again to Sarah for teaching me how to crochet!