Luke Updates: May 2022

June 1, 2022

7 minute read

Table of Contents

Updates

I became obsessed with personal knowledge management (PKM) apps, completed both UX and JavaScript courses, and my sister got married.

I’m still perfecting my PKM setup and plan to write about it in the future. It has been so much fun to reorganize my notes, and link them together. Flat-file storage in Markdown files is a plus too, and I use Obsidian to manage it all. One of my goals is to make my evergreen notes folder public on this site, like the personal wikis I’ve seen – and this gave rise to the thought of using Obsidian as the source for everything on my site, blog posts included. Stay tuned.

I have 3 siblings, and my second-to-youngest one, a sister, got married this month. I prepared and gave a succinct speech, for the first time. I delivered it without a microphone, because the acoustics were so good in the building, and I spent some time the day before finding the right volume and pitch to take advantage. And my vocal warmup was talking with all the people I hadn’t seen in years. While the wedding was nice, I keep thinking about how much I enjoyed giving that speech. There was a brief moment several years ago when I wanted to become a voice actor or radio announcer, and attended a Toastmasters meeting to see what it was all about. Maybe speaking is an interest I should pursue more. I should definitely finish The Quick and Easy Way to Effective Speaking by Dale Carnegie.

🐱 Cats

Taro in the window
Taro in the window

Last month I mentioned Serena has had a stubborn ringworm affliction. The spot on her back has completely gotten better, only for a spot to flare up on her right front leg just this week. It’s the same leg as the initial outbreak.

I’m not sure what to do at this point but continue to doggedly apply miconazole nitrate and use the shampoo the vet gave us. Since the leg is easily wrapped, I am going to try applying athletic tape over it to limit the spread via grooming.

📝 Blogging

I published 9 posts in May.

May Posts Summary

📖 Reading

I re-read part of the beginning of The Quick and Easy Way to Effective Speaking by Dale Carnegie, a book I have been slogging through for the last 4 years. It’s an interesting book, I just can’t remember to keep reading it, and my neglected Kindle loses its charge during the months between use.

I am wondering if audiobooks, a medium I once scoffed at, would now be a good thing to turn to.

I really want a subscription service for ebooks, and I am mildly surprised Apple One doesn’t include anything related to their Books store.

Articles I liked this month

📚 Learning

I finished the Vanilla JS Essentials course by Chris Ferdinandi. I enjoyed each project, and it was structured in a way that allowed me to learn at my own pace, but still feel the need to finish the projects within the week, which is exactly the kick in the pants I needed to get some JS knowledge down. I’m not sure what to do next, I think I will hunt around for some more beginner project ideas and do the FreeCodeCamp course for more certificate dopamine. They also lead into a front-end framework section, which is exactly what I had in mind.

I also finished SmashingMag’s Smart Interface Design Patterns course, although I still need to watch the videos – I completed all 4 projects required for a UX certification (about which I am very excited) without watching the videos, which probably hindered me, but I think Vitaly covered most things in the live training that are mentioned in the video course. This course was super fun, I got to test out my years of acquired design opinions and see if they held water or not, and I acquired some beginner knowledge of Figma in the process (though I still want a native macOS app).

I plan to polish up my four UX projects, remove branding, and use them as part of my portfolio. I’d also like to do weekly UX projects, and post them on my site first and syndicate to Twitter, LinkedIn, Dribbble, and Behance, to help my job prospects. Dribbble seems more geared towards UI/UX than Behance though. Both sites seem much less active in those areas as they were in the early 10s – I wonder where designers are posting their work now. Is it just Twitter?

On a related tangent, it appears that to get a good job as a UI/UX designer starting out, you have to wear the social cesspool influencer hat. I guess that falls in with marketing yourself, which is part of any job search. Then again, it’s likely that I’m seeing the vocal minority. Either way, I don’t mind showing off my work with the possibility of improving my job prospects, I just don’t like the sites I have to do it on.

💪 Fitness

More like fitless, am I right?!

I have been wrangling a clogged drain in our house lately, which is a marathon workout by itself, so I guess that counts.

🎮 Gaming

A full month without any video games at all. Incredible.

I played some tabletop games at a get-together this month, which included Telestrations and Utter Nonsense.

🎵 Music

In addition to the picks below, I’ve also rediscovered the SomaFM internet radio station. I used to listen to them a lot in 2012-2015. Sonos has TuneIn support, so I have Groove Salad playing throughout our house.

📺 Movies and TV shows

Shows I’ve been watching

  • Spy × Family – this show just keeps getting better
  • The Way Down – wild documentary on HBO about a religious cult in Tennessee, has me thinking about my upbringing in Evangelical and Charismatic churches
  • Smiling Friends – I’m all about this Adult Swim cartoon, absolutely amazing
  • Joe Pera Talks with You – the modern Mister Rogers for adults. So good
  • Prehistoric Planet – I went in with low expectations, but it’s pretty good, and narrated by David Attenborough. Most of the dinosaur behavior portrayals seem unrealistic, but then again, who knows, it’s been quite a while since they’ve been around

Movies I’ve seen

  • Cosmopolis – this is one of the most quotable movies I’ve ever seen. It’s also a really badly-written movie, but hilariously so
  • Eternals – this was better than I expected, but still very far from being good
  • Death on the Nile – entertaining and well-shot, though a little predictable
  • The Prince of Egypt – a classic that needed a rewatch. It still mostly holds up, though the CGI is starting to show its age

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