Scrape scrape

I'm scraping and clawing to get this blogging thing back together. There have been some big changes in my life recently. Without further ado:

  • I got a new job!

    • I'm starting my 4th week tomorrow as a Web Application Developer for Enveritas Group, a content marketing firm in Greenville, SC. The job entails working 90% in Ruby on Rails (which is what I was hoping for - hooray!) and ~10% in other web languages, mostly Javascript with some peppering of CSS & HTML to keep me humble. My tiny new team is excellent to work with, and I'm definitely enjoying the trials and tribulations of being a junior developer.
  • I kept my old job!

    • This one's a little confusing. My new job as a Ruby engineer is a 9-5 Mon-Fri, but I was able to stay on part-time as the IT support wizard & weekend autopsy tech for my old practice. It's a little bit of juggling, but not too bad. Thankfully most everything tech-wise is automated at the practice, and being out of the day-to-day shuffle there actually affords me MORE time to focus on the improvments I've wanted to make for a long while. This "one-two combo" makes me incredibly happy: I enjoy the work there, but I just can't focus on the things I want to (read: software engineering) as a full-time employee. Going part-time allows me to keep my hand in with a business I love while growing in other ways during the week. It's pretty freaking sweet, man. :)
  • I'm hardcore commuting!

    • My wife & I have a lovely home that we have and are continuing to improve upon in our little town. That lovely home is also a little over an hour away from my new job. After seriously looking at housing costs in Greenville & taking into consideration our lifestyles, family & (arguably, most importantly) pets, we've decided to keep our current house and have me commute for at least the next few months. This means I'm in the car for ~3 hours daily. The good news is that I love driving and have lots of music/satelite radio to enjoy. The bad news is that it's 3 hours of "dead-time" that I neither get paid for nor can be productive during. I'm considering playing with recorded posts/podcasts as a new sometimes-form for this blog so I can use that time more productively. I'm also looking into audiobooks - anyone have suggestions for services, series or authors? I'm a big fan of sci-fi/fantasy & Stephen King, particularly.
  • I got a new car!

    • I've been a Mini Cooper fan for a very long time. A Mini was my dream car, and I was incredibly fortunate to be able to get my first one shortly after college. I went through 2 Mini leases (a 2009 & 2012) and loved both of them. As my 2012 lease was coming due, I went to my local dealer to take a peek at the current stock. Unfortunately, I ran into two issues:

      1. Mini is no longer the "fun, quirky" brand. The market's more saturated and BMW's positioning them as the "luxury small car". Prices have gone up, features have changed substantially, and they're not longer the whip-smart go-kart they were when I loved them.
      2. My local dealership changed along with the brand. I went in looking for something similar to what I had and got badgered to buy a model/featureset I did not want at a price point WAY above what I was looking for by staff with little to no consideration for my time or needs. The BMW warranty means a new Mini is locking me into dealing with this team for service for another 3 years, and I honestly don't love the remade Minis enough to keep dealing with this dealership.

      That's all for another post though - feel free to inquire through other channels if you'd like to hear more on my Mini experience (both with the brand in general and my local dealership: I promise it's not all bad!). The good news is I opened up my search & found an awesome vehicular home at Subaru! I ended up getting a killer new Subie that should be substantially more reliable , especially in light of my new commute schedule, and I'm still enjoying all the bells/whistles that came with it. It's also saved me a few bucks monthly, which is nice.

Click clack click

Obviously, NONE of this gives me any excuse for ignoring you, dear Reader. At the end of the day it's important to me to keep "showing up" as an active member of the Internet community at large and I've fallen down on that job pretty severely.

I'm not going to offer any more apologies or roadmaps here. I am going to try to put time aside to write and publish on a semi-regular schedule. I promise that all hope is not lost.

Stick with me!