Money Saved, March 2013

  • $94.68 by buying what was on sale at the grocery store and using $12.60 worth of coupons.
  • $23.94 by purchasing some homesteading book bundles in e-book format while they were 75% off the bundle price, no idea how much I saved by not buying the book individually.Β  Probably a significant amount πŸ˜›
  • $93.38 by buying what was on sale at the grocery store, no coupons used this time πŸ™‚

Total Saved for March 2012: $212

Three New Launches

I’ve had a fortunate month lately with three launches, two of which were my first projects as Project Manager AND Developer. My employment made me a project manager in October, so I’ve been working hard to really put my nose to the grindstone and make my projects that I manage process smoothly.

BrainFacts – We don’t do much Section 508 compliance at work, but this site specifically requested to be Section 508 compliant, which is always fun to dive into something more foreign than I am used to. It was built in a different CMS than we usually do, so it has taken some adjusting to try and work with this new platform, and with an outside development source actually applying our code to that CMS rather than doing it ourselves. The workflow wasn’t ideal, and I am still working out some kinks in things, but I’m very happy with the site πŸ™‚

Cogito – Cogito was a large science/technology/math site for talented youth that they wanted to put into the WordPress format with a community feature. It was quite a challenge, moreso because they wanted it hosted on a different environment that we had limited access in, but it has finally launched. More kinks (mostly IE) to work out on this one as well, but this was another fun project. I simply LOVE working in WordPress πŸ™‚

Weinberg Center – This was one of my favorite projects. A theatre website converted from archaic classic ASP to WordPress (yay!). A lot of fun to do, but a few cross browser problems I had to deal with.

Work wants to focus a lot on mobile development this year, so while we haven’t put much stock in responsive design on current sites, I’m anxious to start applying these types of things to future sites. I’m going to do more practice on my own personal sites first, because I think it’s really fun and interesting πŸ™‚

2011 Year in Review

First off, a more recent update for those not on facebook, my grandfather passed away Thursday night. To quickly summarize what he had to suffer through, they had him on dialysis because his kidneys weren’t working right and not helping release the fluids and toxins from his body. During dialysis this week he also developed a leak inside so he was bleeding internally. Because the dialysis was taking blood out, and he was leaking blood, his heart went into cardiac arrest.

They performed CPR on him and broke his ribs. He was out for about an hour, and the brain can usually be okay after 5 minutes, so I suspect he was likely brain dead when they revived him eventually.

I left Gettysburg around midnight and got there a little after 1am that night and stayed till about 4:30am with two of my Aunts. He was breathing on his own, but his fingertips were blue, his eyes were yellow and rolled back, and he had the feeding tube in so he was likely entirely uncomfortable. He flinched a lot, which I’m sure was just nerves, and when they drained his lungs at one point while I was there his eyes were really big as if it was extremely painful and my heart sunk. I knew he was suffering.

So I went home and the next day they took him off life support and he passed peacefully, no more suffering.

As far as my year in review:
My Health: I’ve lost 63% of my excess weight I’ve wanted to lose. I really want to continue and lose the rest, but 2011 has been very good for my health despite a few setbacks in regards to various health issues.

My Grove: This year there was/is some epic EPIC drama at the Grove, it made my last year as President of this non-profit organization very tiring emotionally. Even now just as treasurer for the last week I can just feel the drama seeping into every crevice available and I just want to wash my hands of it.

Still, despite all the drama I was very sad to step down as President. I wanted to feel like I did good work during my tenure, but for some reason I still feel like a failure or that I should have done better. I know I could have done better, but I think I let the drama get to me so I kinda had more of a “what the f*** ever” attitude towards the end. Hence the reason it was good for me to step down.

Work: Work was pretty steady throughout the year, I got my regular raise, and I was promoted to part-time project manager as well.

On the other hand, I did start up a new blog, Money Drain, which is my first experiment at ad sales for side income. It is going slow, but I am still going to work at it and there are additional blogs I will be launching in 2012 for the same purpose. Some of which I think will be extremely successful.

Deaths: There were a lot of deaths this year. Obviously with my grandfather dying recently, that was a big blow. It hasn’t hit me yet, but the funeral is Monday and I imagine it will hit me a then.

His brother Bobby died earlier this month, I didn’t know him that well at all, but the stories I got to hear other people talk about, such as his famous jumping mules and hunting dogs, I really wish I could have known him better. I would have absolutely loved to spend time with him.

My Aunt Joanne Died a week later, my grandmothers sister in Alabama. Didn’t know her very well at all either, but it was still a sad state.

The death that affected me the most was the sudden death of my co-worker Mike. He was our sole IT guy, a harley dude, and just the most amazing and gentle soul you could have ever known. He went in for dental surgery on a Thursday and died Sunday, probably from heart troubles or an infection. I was devastated and it still hurts me to think about.

Summary:
Everyone always talks about how they hate this year and want to move onto the next (doesn’t matter what year it is). But there are always good things in every year, and I am very pleased with 2011 despite some heavy setbacks and disappointments. My life is moving forward in a different direction after many years of a stale-mate, and I am only looking forward to shaking off the cobwebs of stagnancy and feeling alive again.

Goals in 2012:

Journal More: I hardly did any journaling in 2011, which is ridiculous and I am very disappointed in that fact. I’ve been doing an online journal since 2001 to keep track of my sisters custody trial, and it has helped me archive memories as well as process through issues, so the fact that I wasn’t journaling this year probably affected the positive aspects of my life quite a bit. Lesson learned.

Health: I am 63% to my goal weight where I want to be, so 2012 I want to meet my goal. Continue changing my diet around to eat better and resist more temptations of my old way of life.

Declutter: I want to get rid of as much useless junk as possible, which will benefit me in the potential future move as well as just lift that energy off my shoulders of being weighed down by clutter.

Supplemental Income: I want to be successful in creating a supplemental income so I am not just relying on my work income.

Be debt free: I was debt free, at least of interest debt, in 2009. Unfortunately a lot has happened in the last year that I am back in debt again and I intend to be out of interest debt (besides my mortgage) in 2012. If at all possible, I’d like to pay back a friend as well that I’ve put off in order to get out of interest debt.

Be a better person: I want to treat the sweetheart better and try to be a better friend, better preceptor, better web developer, etc.. Just better in all things in general.

Learn to play guitar: I know, I know, people say I already know how to play because I can play some songs and sing. But I would really like to learn how to PLAY guitar. Like read music, know notes, write my own music.

Write music: I really want to start writing my own music. I have an album in mind, sort of a biographical album, but I have to write the music and songs for it.

Start living passionately: I want to start doing things I am passionate about. I’m tired of waiting around and not feeling energized or like I have accomplished my dreams. I want to do things that excite me and that are important to me, and less of the mundane stuff that I feel expected or required to do.

Section 508 Compliance: BrainFacts

I was recently assigned a type of site I haven’t done in quite some time that is required to be 508 compliant. I’ve added the project to my “In Production” projects, and will announce when it is pushed live, But for now I am working on refreshing my knowledge of Section 508 requirements. If only .NET sites were easier to make compliant πŸ™‚