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Weeknotes 21:22

December 6, 2021

Week of November 28 - December 4

Trip to Nashville

I spend the first part of the week in Nashville. I road up with my daughter as she returned to school from Thanksgiving break. The reason for my trip was to be there to see her senior thesis presentation on Wednesday afternoon. I worked from the main library on campus on Monday afternoon, Tuesday, and Wednesday morning.

I enjoyed spending time at Trevecca and time with my daughter. We ate lunch together on Tuesday and hung out in the library that afternoon while I worked and she studied. At the end of the day on Tuesday, we got to be part of the Trevecca tree lighting ceremony and then enjoyed some treats afterward. I ate dinner with her and her roommate Tuesday night before heading back to my hotel.

The bell tower at Trevecca. It does not have real bells but plays bell chimes at each quarter of the hour. Reminds me of the real thing at KU where I went to school.

One of the nice things about working on campus was being able to take some breaks and walk around campus. On my walks, I reflected on my daughter’s time at Trevecca. That led me to a time of prayer and thanksgiving. I was impressed with the campus at Trevecca when we first visited the campus just over 4 years ago. It “feels” like a college campus to me even though it is only a mile away from downtown Nashville. I am so glad that my daughter has been a part of this campus community for the past 3 1/2 years.

View from where I worked in the library on Wednesday morning.

My daughter did great on her presentation. She talked about the Old Testament theme of justice and the New Testament theme of mercy and how Shakespeare brings them together in his play, The Merchant of Venice. It was a very interesting analysis and one of her professors said that it made him want to go back and read the play with the framework that she had presented in mind.

Annual Review

It is that time of the year for our annual review. Actually, this year, LGND moved to have two reviews per year. I have always found them to be very encouraging times of leadership recognizing my contributions and then taking the time to set some growth goals for the next six months. My manager reminds the team each time that there should not be any surprises in our reviews. If there are issues, those will be addressed during the course of the year.

This year, we were asked to fill out a review sheet that asked questions about our role and responsibilities and how closely that document matched our day-to-day experiences. It also asked about challenges and asked us to rate ourselves in our ability to meet our responsibilities over the last six months. We also spent some time reflecting on accomplishments or accolades we have received. We took time to document how we have helped others on the team to succeed over the past six months and how other people contributed to our success. Finally, we took some time to look ahead to the next six months and further to think about how we would like to grow and how we see our role expanding in the future. The last question asked us to consider one thing the company could do differently to continue to succeed in this next year.

I mentioned in my weeknote from last week that I had started working on a “brag document” the previous Friday. I continued working on that list on Monday. It prepared me to answer the questions that our team leaders had asked on our review document. I came away very encouraged about this year. I have seen a lot of growth in thinking more about how to help my teammates succeed and not just be focused on the work I am responsible for. I had several opportunities to do some mentoring with newer team members and helped two of my teammates to onboard to the team. I am looking forward to meeting with my manager and other team leaders to get their input in a couple of weeks.

New 16″ MacBook Pro provided by my company. I have named it “Surfboard Deux.” I had a 17″ MBP in 2006 that my wife called “the surfboard.”

New Computer

After returning home on Wednesday night from Nashville, I had an opportunity to set up my new company computer on Thursday. My previous laptop had died on me at the end of October. In the interim, I used a 13″ MBP while I waited for the recently released modal of the MacBook Pro to ship. It arrived on the previous Saturday.

My current workload has slowed down as several projects wrapped up recently and the next projects I will be working on will not be ready to work on until the new year. It is nice to have this slowdown and it gave me the opportunity to set up my new computer without the pressure of having to get it up and running and delaying project work. It is a really nice machine and I like it quite a bit. I am grateful that LGND can provide me with this fine tool to do my work. It is nice to have all my files on one machine as I have held off on copying files over to the temporary machine I have worked on this past month.

As I mentioned before, the setback gave me an opportunity to try some new tools and make some changes to my workflow. I have decided to continue using GitHub Desktop and CodeKit as part of my process. I have also started to utilize Squoosh daily to optimize my images.

TinyBird Design

At the end of the week, I bought a couple of domain names for my son. He has become quite the graphic designer. He is in the midst of applying for colleges and scholarships. And he needs a place to show off his work. He has been posting things to his Instagram account. But I think he needs a proper portfolio site.

He created the brand TinyBird Design a couple of years ago. I was able to buy the tinybird.design domain along with his name (for forwarding). And then I quickly put up a temporary landing page with a link to his Instagram account. And then I called him into my office to show him this new site I put together. He was surprised and excited. Looking forward to helping him find a WordPress theme so we can showcase his work. He has designed t-shirts, posters, book covers, logos, and is in the process of designing an album cover. Several of these projects were paid commissions. He has also created a lot of original content on YouTube and done some animation work. Makes my heart proud.

Articles I Read

Books

Watched

This video is a great introduction to things that are new to CSS and things that are coming in the near future. Google Developers have also created several exciting courses. I have been very impressed with their contributions to the community this past year.

  • Spiderman 3 – watched at the hotel on Monday
  • Apollo 13 – watched at the hotel on Monday
  • Away (Netflix) – I have enjoyed watching this series on Netflix.
  • Hawkeye (Disney+)
  • Frasier (Peacock)

Played

  • MLB The Show 21 – I played some more games with the Braves over the weekend.

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