A year ago tomorrow was my last day as a Mozilla employee. Quitting was the one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. I’m working for myself and I love it.
Here are some projects that I’ve been working on:
Building a wood bookcase from scratch.
Watching and photographing the birds that visit our yard.
Recruiting and on-boarding several new Stumptown Syndicate board members.
Driving to California (accidentally during a snowstorm) to visit family. One of the things we did on the trip was visit the Monterey Bay Aquarium, which I had never been to.
Starting a consulting practice, Authentic Engine. I have a few client projects now, and am looking to book more work for the Fall. Know an open source project wanting expert help with participation, leadership, or governance issues? Get in touch. I’m also available for contract programming (python, php). If you like stickers, I have those for sale too.
Learning audio recording and engineering and launching the Recompiler Podcast.
Handing off the organizing of Open Source Bridge to two new co-chairs!
Taking Bertie to the beach for the first time. He loved it. Although, we learned the hard way bulldogs really can’t exercise for very long because Bertie needed several days of recovery afterward.
Seeing my favorite band, The Cure. Twice! Once in Los Angeles and again closer to home in Ridgefield, Washington. We had much better seats at the Ridgefield show and had a fantastic time.
Touring SpaceX. While we were in LA to see The Cure, a friend of ours arranged a tour of SpaceX. It was amazing. Couldn’t take any pictures inside, unsurprisingly, but managed to get a goofy selfie outside.
Attending Allied Media Conference, including the excellent Growing our Souls tour (my photos) of Detroit.
Shopping for individual health insurance plans three times. Yes, three times in one year. The first was before I left Mozilla because applying COBRA would have been prohibitively expensive (~$1,400 per month). The second was during 2016 open enrollment because our rates had been raised over $100/month. The third was last month when the State of Oregon abruptly put Oregon Health Co-op into receivership. Fun times! But, hey, at least thanks to the ACA, we can actually sorta find health insurance outside of a group plan. We’re with Providence now and we hope they stay affordable and in business for a while.
Gardening. Lots and lots of gardening. This year we planted lots of vegetables and added several new flower beds, populated mostly with plants I started from seed. It turns out I have a bit of a green thumb! Who knew?
Photographing the flowers I’ve been growing. I don’t have a macro lens, but am faking it well, I think, with my 35mm and some close-up lenses.
Watching hot air balloons launch at the Tigard Festival of Balloons. I first heard about this festival shortly after I moved to Portland in 2007 and realized just before my birthday that it’s practically in our neighborhood, so Sherri got us tickets. It was challenging to get up at 5am to get ourselves over there in time for the sunrise launches, but it was so worth it.
Speaking at Open Source & Feelings on a really tough topic.
Reading and more reading. Soon I will have read all of Walter Mosley’s Easy Rawlins‘ books and this will be bittersweet. I take solace in knowing I still have plenty left to read of Mosley’s Fearless Jones and Leonid McGill series and I’m only a little over half-way through Laurie King’s Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes books. Plus you never know when you’re going to stumble across a great new detective series such as M.J. McGrath’s Edie Kiglatuk or Cara Black’s Aimee Leduc Investigations.
Feeling better about myself and being less stressed than anytime during the previous 4+ years. Our income isn’t steady yet and dealing with health insurance is obnoxious. But we’re making it work. I can say now that leaving a job that was steadily grinding me down was absolutely the right call, even if it felt totally wrong at the time.
Thanks everyone who’s supported me along the way and continues to do so! You make all the difference. If there’s anything I can do for you, please let me know.