On the Second Week of Code Bootcamp

So, I just completed my second week of immersive full-time code study at We Can {Code} IT. I feel bad for people who have to go work a day job and/or have kids to take care of after school, because I sure don’t have any energy left! Who knew that sitting in a classroom could tire you out so much?

Anyway, I am proud to say that so far I’m keeping up with class. We have been studying all the fundamentals of C# (or basically any other object oriented programming language): loops, arrays, if-then statements, strings, etc.

Having spent a year trying to teach this to myself put me in a good starting position but my “I already get this” moments are just about done. Starting today (that is, this weekend) we were informed that we had better buckle down because it is going to ramp up in difficulty next week.

I’m excited and scared, because I still have issues with my understanding of some of the basics. Well, I understand them, but I still make mistakes with picking the correct loop type to use and placing my statements in the right order to get the result I am after. I am not the quickest in the class, and seeing other people have lightbulb moments before I do is something I am having to deal with. I wish I were 20 years younger!

But things are great so far! I have never had a bad day yet. I’ve had bad moments, but not a whole bad day. Can’t wait for Monday!

When I can’t stand to look at a screen any longer I draw.
Here, have a silver laced Wyandotte.


Odin and Cold Turkey and Focus

Mt Rushmore
Mt Rushmore Looks Just Like I Expected

Well I haven’t blogged for a long time, and for this I apologize! In September I took some vacation time and went to South Dakota. It was gorgeous, and the weather was amazing! (I also went to Salt Lake City Comic Con.) But I’m not going to turn this into a “someone else’s boring vacation photos blog”.

I also have been, in October, participating in Inktober. Participants create (or are supposed to create) an original ink drawing every day in October. I didn’t manage to do all the days, but I had a good time anyway. If you want to see more of my art let me know in the comments.

Prince or Frog?
Prince or Frog?









I spent a few days re-evaluating my study path. I’ve been frustrated by Udacity and have canceled my subscription (at least for the time being). In the interim I’ve discovered The Odin Project.

The thing it offers (and Udacity also offered this) is a plan. I must face that you can’t learn an appreciable amount of web development skills just by noodling around taking online tutorials. I really need a path and a plan. I just don’t have self discipline. I’m sure some people have learned this way, but it doesn’t work for me.

Another useful thing I have discovered is Cold Turkey. It’s a program that helps you focus on what you are doing, and not spend all day reading random things on Twitter and Wikipedia. (Oh yeah, that focus and plan thing.) I’ll let you know how it is working.

A final kick-in-the-pants motivation tool is basically everything Shawn Blanc ever wrote. He has a course on living a focused life. I haven’t taken it, yet, but I get his motivational e-mails, and they are always full of passion and challenge! You may enjoy them too.

Jetpens (Part 3)

Continuing where I left off: The Graphgear 1000, and the Nomadic PE-07 pen case. Making this order from Jetpens convinced me to sort and organize the pens I already had (and throw out the ‘dead’ ones).

Overdoing it on the Pens

That, resting magnificently (note the consummate v’s)  on top of the box is the Nomadic pen case. I bought it because it had a bunch of pockets and the product info said it would hold 30-40 pens. I had this idea, just now, that it might do well at holding gaming dice, or craft supplies, or a GPS, or a Nintendo DSi & game cartridges, too. Quite versatile!

Two Main Pockets

Under the Flap is Another

Finally is the Graphgear 1000. This has immediately become my new favorite pencil. I love that the sharp lead-holder retracts when you click the clip on the side. It has a sturdy metal grip, with rubber knurls, and a thin barrel. I also appreciate that it has an indicator to show you what lead hardness you have loaded into the pen. I didn’t know there was such a thing, and that is one of the main reasons I bought this pen. It runs $15, which is high for a pencil, but I found this one on sale for a few dollars less. I HIGHLY recommend it if you like drafting-type mechanical pencils. Here is a much more in-depth review. It was Dave’s review that spurred me to buy the pencil.

Graphgear 1000 PG1015

So, in a nutshell, I am happy with every product I bought from Jetpens. You use a pen or pencil every day – you may as well find some you really enjoy!