I think of these posts as a combo platter of accountability to my readers (all three of them), and as a tool I employ to keep myself locked onto the idea of what I’d like to accomplish in a given month. I usually think about a month’s goals about two weeks before the start of the month so that I have a clear picture of how I’d like to approach the month. It seemed to work for April of 2023, so hopefully, it’ll help to turn 2023 into a massively productive year. To that end, here’s what I had planned for April:
- complete last month’s two unfinished big tasks:
- the Todoist-Twitter integration
- my AZ-900 course and certification
- fix my Azure instance
- build the wheelset for my gravel bike
- learn TailwindCSS
- do French unit 8 & 9 in Duolingo
That’s slightly more than what I had planned for March, to be sure, but I feel like there’s nothing in this list that could be considered a massive undertaking. Thus, I came into April both wary and optimistic at the same time. How’d I do?
The Todoist-Twitter Integration
Last month this was one of my big targets for the month, while trying to get a few other major things out of the way, too. It was a bad idea to try to cram so many things together in a single month, and going into May, I need to be cognizant of my tendency to bite off more than I can chew. Anyway, this was wrapped-up in the early part of April, and as you can see from my Twitter feed, I’m posting the update semi-regularly. If you want the code, it’s available on GitHub. Win.
Azure AZ-900 Certification Prep
This was another success. In March, partway through the course, I took a practice test and did extremely poorly, so I buckled down, started over in the course from scratch, and did it slow and took a ton of notes. That was the ticket, and I finished the Udemy course, passed both practice tests with good scores, and then paid-for, registered-for, and took the actual certification test. I scored better than I did on the two practice tests, and I am now in possession of my first Microsoft Azure certification, so I’m pretty pleased with this. Win.
Fix Azure Instance
When I first spun up this site on Azure, I did it as an app service, which resulted in shitty response times and high costs. I broke down and spun up a virtual machine, which I’ll have to self-administer, ugh. But I was able to get this up and going and being much more responsive site out of it. There’s been some minor hiccups in the transition to the new instance, which I’m working on, but I solved the primary issues I wanted to solve — cost and speed. Win.
Well, it didn’t start well — I was using the wrong ERD (effective rim diameter), of 550mm, which was what I found in Zipp’s documentation. However, this was for the old Zipp 303 Firecrests. The new ones have had the rim lowered 5mm, so the ERD was actually 560mm, which means the spokes I ordered were too short. Dammit. So I returned the old ones to Wheelbuilder.com and ordered new ones. Once I got everything squared-away this was fun and meditative and one of the big steps toward getting my new gravel road beast up and going. Win.
Specs: Zipp 303 Firecrest carbon rims (24-hole), Sapim CX-Sprint spokes (2-cross lacing), Chris King R45D hubs (centerlock). Adding SRAM 160mm rotors and Pirelli Cinturato tires when it comes time to actually do the full build.
Ah, yet another Udemy course, and while I started strong, I kept getting sidetracked. It’s been a crazy month. I’m not sweating this too hard, especially with the ridiculous shit I’ve had to deal with this month (see “Blockers”). Fail.
Duolingo: French 8 & 9
I’ve been learning French for an upcoming trip to Europe, and while I am worried about potentially speaking with a Duolingo accent, I did buckle down on the learning in April. I finished Unit 8 early on April 28th and then I blasted through Unit 9 and finished on April 30th. Win.
Other Minor Accomplishments
- Better at daily scheduling — I’m trying to avoid having huge days full of stuff, but eventually stuff does start to clump up. Once every couple of weeks I end up with a day that’s overfilled with to-dos. This might be influenced by having all my daily and weekly recurrent items getting in the way. I’m keeping an eye on this.
- Found my old Fontosaurus fonts that I designed back in the 90’s. I’m in the process of putting them all on Github under the GNU Public License.
- That Playstation 5 I bought last month isn’t helping things.
- Having to deal with mom’s inability to function on her own anymore has sucked up a tremendous chunk of my free time, and it’s exhausting. I’m hoping to have her into assisted living before the end of May.
- The conclusions of Star Trek: Picard, The Mandalorian (season 3), and the concluding season of Ted Lasso.
Introspection: How it Went, Things to Change
I mean, I guess it was an okay month. I’m not thrilled with my productivity, but I feel like I did better than last month. Keep grinding, keep making the grind a habit. Onward. Forward.