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2013 goals: Q2 check-in

by Rob Friesel

Second quarter of 2013 is wrapping up. How’d I do on my goals?1 Shall we take a look?

  1. Reading: 48+ books in 2013. I’m up to about 20 so far. Which tells me that I’m not racing ahead of pace, but I’m not lagging too far behind either. I figure I’ll still finish around 48 — but probably just barely.
    2013Q2 reading
    Title Author Finished
    JavaScript Enlightenment Cody Lindley 1/1
    Cloud Atlas David Mitchell 1/7
    Pocket Genius: Space2 DK Publishing 1/10
    Blindsight Peter Watts 1/22
    Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom Cory Doctorow 1/27
    Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone3 J.K. Rowling 2/5
    The Unbearable Lightness of Being4 Milan Kundera 2/20
    Doom Days Arlene Blakely 2/28
    R in a Nutshell5 Joseph Adler 3/9
    Ethan Frome Edith Wharton 3/15
    Beginning Java 75 Jeff Friesen 3/16
    Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets3 J.K. Rowling 3/19
    Functional JavaScript6 Mike Fogus 3/23
    A Wizard of Earthsea Ursula K. Le Guin 3/23
    Revelation Space Alastair Reynolds 4/28
    Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban J.K. Rowling 4/29
    JavaScript Testing with Jasmine: JavaScript Behavior-Driven Development Evan Hahn 5/3
    Programming Grails Burt Beckwith 5/12
    The Two Towers J.R.R. Tolkien 5/14
    Ender’s Game Orson Scott Card 6/6
    Antifragile: Things That Gain from Disorder Nassim Nicholas Taleb 6/12

    Plus a bunch that are in-flight: Statistics in the Behavioral Sciences, The Neverending Story3, and Understanding Computation. An interesting dilemma this year… I got a Kindle as a gift a few months ago and I’ve been reading a lot more short stories on it. So… I’ve probably read a novel-or-two’s worth of short stories, but I can’t think of how to easily track them here. So… so

  2. Reading: these 12 specific books. This always seems like a much better goal when I set it. And inevitably I always looks at this “short list” and think But now I don’t want to read this
    • The Rings of Saturn
    • The Unbearable Lightness of Being
    • The Third Man
    • Ethan Frome
    • Revelation Space
    • Cat’s Cradle
    • A Wizard of Earthsea
    • Midnight’s Children
    • The French Lieutenant’s Woman
    • The Pragmatic Programmer
    • The Blind Assassin
    • The Infernal Desire Machines of Doctor Hoffman
  3. Exercise: Average 25 miles or more per month. Hmm… I’m exercising pretty consistently and/but…
    2013Q2 running
    Twenty-five-plus miles per month is proving to be a bit more of a stretch goal than I thought.
  4. “Re-learn” statistics. I earned by “with Distinction” badge from that Coursera course; and I’m making some slow and sporadic progress through my stats reading… But am I bored with this? Frustrated? It’s like I don’t have the time nor the mental energy to take the deep-dive into this that I really want. There’s a latent desire there, but when I get home in the evening, I just can bring myself to read about z-scores and t-tests.
  5. Learn some R. I would say I learned enough. “For now.”
  6. Learn some Python. As we march into July, I ask myself: “Why did you want to learn Python?” There must have been some reason. There it was:

    Apparently, if I’m studying data analysis, I also need to learn some “applied Python”.

    Hmm… Well, I’ve worked through a bunch of the Python Tracks at Code Academy but it’s also been months since I’ve been back to finish any more. Meanwhile I finished the Ruby Koans and a little more than halfway through the Clojure Koans. Perhaps I should change up this particular goal?

  7. “Ship” one trivial “novelty” app. Boom. Project Management Dev Dice. Done.

What other achievements have I unlocked this year? I got my name on the back of someone’s book. I got solicited to help edit another book (this time by complete strangers).7 I co-authored a 4-hour Grails training course that’s being used at work to train new hires. My oldest has graduated from pre-school and is about to enter kindergarten. Uh… half of my Stack Overflow answers are the accepted answers?

So it’s shaping up to be a pretty decent year for goals.

  1. First Quarter results are here: /2013/03/2013-goals-q1-check-in []
  2. What? Don’t look at me like that. []
  3. With Holden. [] [] []
  4. See also: Dating Without Kundera. []
  5. ”Done enough.” [] []
  6. Pre-release. As a reviewer. []
  7. Although, as a bummer of a side note, that one fell through because my “hells yes I’ll help with that” reply got flagged as spam in the editor’s inbox. Oh well. Next time. []

About Rob Friesel

Software engineer by day, science fiction writer by night. Author of The PhantomJS Cookbook and a short story in Please Do Not Remove. View all posts by Rob Friesel →

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