Category: personal

  • “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/>

    A Month-By-Month


    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!

  • 2022 has been the roughest and, somehow, the best year of my life. Strange, no? I thought, for the holidays, I’d write a little timeline update from this year, discuss the trivial and important things, mostly based on how much they impacted me.


    I finally caught Covid. It was a brutal five-day hangover mixed with the Flu. I felt like garbage the whole time but came out of it ok. I did lose my sense of smell and taste, which was pretty interesting actually. I tried pretty spicy sauces to see if I could even taste it, and I couldn’t. Pretty wild.

    I was also dealing with a malfunctioning gallbladder and had been for four months at this point. That didn’t help things either.


    I had my gallbladder removed and spent a few days recuperating at my parent’s house. They were good enough to keep an eye on me while I recovered and bring my car home from the hospital as well.

    I began the interview process for DevOps Engineer at Washington Trust Bank!


    I started at Washington Trust Bank as a DevOps Engineer! It’s been a wonderful year at a fantastic company, and I’m looking forward to many more. It’s been rewarding to work for a company that invests back in the community.


    I went on the Spokane Party Trolly in late April, and we only had a little rain. It’s a ton of fun, and we got to try out a few new places as well. I never thought I’d ride on one of those, as it’s a bit of a nuisance for traffic in Spokane, but it was more fun than I’d thought it would be.


    I went on a camping trip to Lake Sullivan with my friends and brother. With the exception of Justin arriving late (he had a migraine, took a nap, and drove up after, arriving at the campsite just before 1am) with our gear, we had a great time fishing, hiking, and enjoying good company and conversation.


    I played Tenor Saxophone for the Spring Concert of the Spokane Falls Community Band, which is an open band at SFCC. It was a blast of a concert, even if I flubbed my solo a little bit.


    I, along with a couple of colleagues, went to DevOps Days in Seattle. It was a two day conference designed around automation, cloud architecture, and developers. It was a blast, and we got to meet up with one of our infrastructure as code partner, Pulumi.

    This trip to Seattle also allowed me to catch up with a good friend of mine, Bin, who now works for CrowdStrike (it’s an internet security company). We enjoyed a few beers at Optimism Brewing on their patio, making the best of the summer weather.


    I played some Golf with coworkers for our Q3 team lunch. We played 9 holes of best ball at Indian Canyon golf course, our day cut short by the possibility of fire spreading from a neighboring area. Interestingly, this was the day of my brother’s dress rehearsal and dinner for his wedding.

    I had placed my glasses in the golf bag when I put my sunglasses on. I’m like Velma, I absolutely cannot see without my glasses. It was a very sunny day out, and after we were done golfing, I didn’t even think about my normal glasses. I drove downtown to pick up some friends and bring them to another friend’s house for some food before the rehearsal.

    It wasn’t until I pulled up to our friend’s house in Garland that I reached for my normal glasses, only to realize they weren’t in the car. I almost immediately remembered they were on the diagonally opposite side of town, in a golf bag.

    I raced back to the golf course, but it was the beginning of rush hour, so I wasn’t going anywhere fast. I was able to retrieve my glasses, but ended up having to go directly to the rehearsal up North past the Wandermere area at the Commellini Estate. We had a good rehearsal and a lovely dinner at SteamPlant afterwards.


    My brother Andrew got married to Daylyn on September first, and I couldn’t be happier for them!

    The Spokane Symphony came back with a roar, starting off the Season with the Fantasique Symphony.

    EWU tailgating season also started in full swing, unfortunately it turned out to be a very bad season for EWU football.


    Washington Trust Bank partnered with No~Li Brewhouse to put on a Gonzaga Basketball watch party. Me and a few other employees were handing out $20 giftcards to No~Li, which was a ton of fun. The game was a bit rocky, but the food and beer were great.


    I turned 31, and this month also marked one year since I returned to Spokane from Portland.

    I went to Seattle to see Cory Wong in concert for my birthday, along with Andrew and Daylyn. We went to the Chihuly glass art museum, as well as the Space Needle.

    I also got my Tesla Model 3! It’s been a fantastic car, and I’m very hopeful for the future of EVs after experiencing this one.


    My brother put on his first Christmas concert at Gonzaga Prep this year! My friendgroup did a FriendsGivingMas, and my family had an early get together as well.

    It’s looking like a quiet Christmas Eve at Grandma’s house this year, and a quiet day at the folk’s for Christmas day. Andrew’s coming over to make Christmas dinner, which sounds amazing.

    As we wind down the year…

    Remember that we’re still here and, for myself, with a little more than usual to be thankful for. I’m very grateful I found my position at Washington Trust Bank, I’m thankful that my Spokane friends and family have made an effort to bring me back into the fold after being gone, and I’m thankful that I get to spend another year in good health with my parents and siblings.

    It’s easy to lose sight of what’s important, to each of us. For me, it’s family, and it took leaving my hometown to realize that. It’s the familiarity of being able to drive anywhere in the city you grew up in without using a map. It’s bumping into a friend or coworker at Atticus. It’s being part of a community, which is a difficult thing to rebuild in a new city (especially during a pandemic lockdown).

    I’m happier than I’ve been in quite a few years, and I hope you are as well.


  • I turned 31 today; I wasn’t sure I would live to see this birthday a year ago due to some health complications. Fortunately for me, those are sorted out and I enjoyed another birthday.

    Last year, I set a few goals for myself. I have attained a few, and others are the reason to get out of bed in the morning and kick ass. I wanted to reflect on the amount of change that can happen in a year here, hoping that if you’re not where you’d like to be in life, you can see how relatively quickly things can turn around, if you constantly nudge yourself in the right direction.

    Goals from November ’21

    Get back to where home is

    I’d left my hometown of Spokane, WA for Portland, OR, and for a while enjoyed that life quite a bit. Hundreds of new and exciting restaurants to try, good hiking, quality entertainment, superb public transit, lovely summer bike rides along the bluff, better weather, etc. I was enjoying it all, but I’d given up being close to most of my family, and after a while that started to take its toll on me.

    I decided I was going to return home, to put up with sub freezing winters, living so close to North Idaho, limited dining options, and a small river to be with my family, and my friends that I’ve known most of my life in the area. I moved back, and I’ve been more content in my life because of it.

    Work at a company that gives back

    I had worked for a small development shop in Spokane, then for a recruitment firm in NYC, and both of them were ok to work at, but none of them contributed to the community that I lived in (Spokane or Portland). I was finally able to begin working at Washington Trust Bank as a DevOps Engineer, and I’ve been enjoying the work immensely, and the fact that they are heavily involved in the community, both events and through giving back via charities and volunteer work.

    Go Electric

    I just got a Tesla Model 3 a week ago. It runs like a dream, and I’m comfortable knowing my commute isn’t contributing to the global emissions crisis (Spokane’s Electric is all Hydro and Solar power).

    Outstanding Goals

    • Buy a house or condo
    • Get in better shape
    • Go Skiing (easily achievable this winter)
    • Sell my gas vehicle
    • Read more
    • Watch less TV
    • Eat better

    Some of these are pretty pedestrian, others provide a greater challenge for me. Here’s to another year of knocking a few more out of the park, and to adding a few more worthy goals to the list 🍻