Computer experimenter since Windows 95

Welcome to my blog

I've made this blog to try my hand at a personal website with the end goal of bringing to the interwebs any and all of my shenanigans in and around code and being a creator and modifier of things. Most of the time I get lucky and don't completely obliterate my computer, car, mechanical keyboards, or other people's electronics I'm fiddling with, though on occasion there have been mishaps.

A great example of this is my partner's 2003 Hyundai Tiburon, which has been mostly rebuilt by she and I, from timing belt, to electrical ignition system, to replacing the catalytic converters, to fuel system maintenance (including that pesky filter IN the fuel tank), and a bunch more! One could say it's a way of life, an experience of the constant instrinsic nagging to tinker and to explore. At its core lies curiosity and the rush of accomplishing small, repeatable wins, with limited barriers.

So all of that culminates to some interesting learning lessons, that even though I've prepared appropriately ahead of time for some mod I'm implementing, shenanigans often ensue. Sometimes everything goes textbook, and sometimes the textbook didn't really explain how messy x checmical would be when it was heated to y degrees and removed with a paint scraper (plastic headlight housing sealant, for instance). Oftentimes the hardest lessons to learn are left out of textbooks, such as the long term implications of compound interest on interest-bearing accounts, and the opposite, wealth-decaying effect on interest-owed accounts (debts).

What to expect

This blog is, for now, going to be everything under the sun for me, when it comes to programming, Do It Yourself (DIY), and occasionally a recipe or two that Cassidee (my partner) and I have found to be an 'absolutely must-try' for your next grocery list. Typically posts will be a step by step approach, from start to end, about how to replicate the end result, as well as some tidbits in the middle to consider while going about it on your own.

I like to explain how things are working, and invite a conversation if I'm wrong! I'll use analogies liberally and won't apologize for it - they can help rationalize new areas of thought.

As for something like programming, I find that many other like-minded people have also gone to great lengths to document their functionality so that others could utilize their tools, libraries, and methodologies. Documentation can go a long way to solving headaches if written correctly. In these instances, I'll try to highlight important parts of the author's text for focus, and bridge gaps with supplemental readings.

Other posts you may see pop up will be anecdotal reviews of a library, how I've used it and to what ends, as well as others that are being investigated as alternatives. This is my typical approach to choosing libraries and implimentations - how well supported is it, how user friendly is their API, and how fast can the implementation be hashed out, even for a prototype? Moving fast is important, but hitting a wall early on because of poor API guidance is just as debilitating as a heavier programming stack.

Who I am

My name is Chris and I'm a fairly typical middle-class raised American guy. My mom and dad got together some twenty-five years plus back, and thought it would be good to start a family, but had little to go off of other than hope and determination to make it.

My dad, Pete, has been my inspiration for most of my childhood, sticking through the good times and the bad, with a (mostly) calm demeanor, while my mom has always been by his side to support him. They had the 2 kid, white picket fence experience for the most part, and they always took care of my sister Julie and I throughout our years. We tried our best to make them proud by doing well in school and not getting into (too much) trouble.

I've done some interesting jobs in the past to gain much-needed life experience, from running my own lean door-to-door sales startup with the Southwestern Publishing Company, to being a Brand Ambassador for JLab Audio, and eventually making my way into programming professionally with USAA's Mortgage and Credit Card teams.

The adventure thus far has been interesting, full of excitement and heartbreak, successes and failures, and most spectrums of the human experience. Stay tuned for more posts to come!

'Out of this silence yet I pick'd a welcome.' - A Midsummer Night's Dream