“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of other’s opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.”Steve Jobs
2023 felt like it flew by, and while from time to time I felt as though I was at a standstill, I think I’ve made good progress. I’ve pursued fruitless avenues, professionally and personally, which served me well (we grow more from our mistakes). I’ve also pursued avenues that have yielded wonderful results. The one constant throughout 2023: I’ve been busy <evil face/>
I celebrated both of my parents’ birthdays, and had a blast of a Pizza party with Kim, Mathias, and Victoria. At work, we got through broader Pulumi training for a few of our teams, enabling them to better work with IaC.
Our development team at work had their summit, at which we were presented with the progress and new initiatives of the development team for the past year and the coming year. It was the first time I tried Wooden City food, and it’s quite good.
Some friends and I went to Brewfest in Palouse, WA. We had a great time and I’m looking forward to it again this coming year!
I visited Bellevue for the first time, I joined some friends who were there for an educators convention. I met up with some old friends and spent time wandering around the area. It’s a beautiful area, with excellent seafood selections and entertainment options.
ExploitCon came to Spokane, and I gladly attended. It’s a grass roots traveling security conference, and I enjoyed it greatly. This was the second year that a few coworkers and I have attended. There was plenty of good information, we met a few new people, and even got to make DefCon style badges. We had a blast!
March 20th also marked one year at Washington Trust Bank for me. As I write this, looking only three months ahead to the second year mark, I have to say it feels good to stay and work somewhere that I’m appreciated.
I hosted a spring BBQ for some friends, and I recorded a presentation on using Pulumi to create a Node package that’s used by our development team for easier IaC for hub and spoke architecture.
I went down to Portland, as a part of my team at work, in order to assist with rolling out new surface laptops to employees. It was a fill-in job, not my usual responsibility, but I jumped at the chance to get out of town and see some friends.
Our team also did a lunch out at Manito park. I brought my drone and flew around. I didn’t bother anyone, but one cyclist waved so I followed him for a while (at a respectful and safe distance and altitude of course)
CiscoLIVE! was an amazing trip. 5 days of non-stop walking, talking, listening, learning, eating, networking, and just plain having a blast! To round the whole conference off, Blake Shelton and Gwen Stefani performed at Allegiant Stadium. I was able to get just 4 rows of people away on the floor from Blake Shelton. Tip: Split an Uber from the airport to get to your hotel, it will cost a fraction of the airport shuttle service.
My presentation for Pulumi went live in the middle of June.
In late June, I went camping with my brother, his wife, and some of her family. We went to Sun Lakes State Park, hiked, swam, and even dipped into Soap Lake (while I don’t regret the experience, I wouldn’t repeat it.) Soap lake is smelly.
July was really quite tame this year, mostly just a break from the busy spring.
The best and worst month of the year, August had me on my toes the whole time.
I was under fire evacuation notice in Cheney for the first time in my life. The Gray Fire was close enough and the winds were high enough that all of Cheney was under at least a level 1 evacuation notice.
On a good note, I started seeing my girlfriend, Jenelle, and things have been so amazing 😀
I returned to EWU for 2 classes while continuing to work full time. I’m in the process of finishing my Bachelor’s of Science in Computer Science.
This also meant the return of the EWU football tailgate hosted by Dash. One of my favorite ways to spend a Saturday!
Jenelle, Alec, and I went to Portland to visit Anthony, attend the Portland Retro Gaming Expo, and get out of Spokane for a weekend. We had a marvelous time and got to spend time with some friends I haven’t seen for a while.
I turned 32 this year, and got to spend some good time with friends and family for my birthday and Thanksgiving.
A pretty tame holiday schedule this year – I’m looking forward to some time off and spending time with my loved ones.
Thoughts on 2023
This year flew by, I was definitely busier than in the past. Washington Trust Bank is keeping me busy at work, and I’m very happy here. Throw school and an uptick in my personal life into the mix, and I’ve rarely had a day to myself. Vacation should help with that.
I’m over a year in having a Tesla Model 3 as my daily driver. I have no complaints, I haven’t been left stranded anywhere, and it’s completed two long road trips without any issue. I’d especially compliment the heated steering wheel and media integration. Whether I’m in motion or parked, there’s always something to keep me entertained. Full self driving occasionally makes some mistakes, and I have to put it in timeout and take manual control.
I’ve had such a wonderful time since August having Jenelle in my life. Words can’t describe how much she makes me feel good about myself and inspires me to be a better person, for myself and others. I’m looking forward to spending my time with her in the future, and taking on life together.
I’m once again grateful for my family and friends that have taken me back into their lives after returning from Portland. Whether it’s dinner with the folks, live music with my friends, or jam sessions with Eric and Connor. I feel at home, something that just wasn’t the case before I left for Portland.
I hope this post has found you well, whoever you are. Enjoy the holidays, and have a happy new year! 2024, here we come!