Life Goals and Accomplishments

Here is a list of completed challenges I’ve put myself through (dates are approximates):

  1. 2013 – Improve my JavaScript and UI – I’ve been making websites since 1997 but since then, CSS, JavaScript frameworks and so much more had come out. So I committed myself to improving my skills in this area. I got a contract position with HP working on the frontend for a few of their projects. I’ve learned so much and finally mastered the new methods and tool chains for front end development.
  2. 2014 – Woodworking – This was something else that I had been dabbling in but wasn’t quite an expert in. My grandfather and father use to build houses and I sometimes helped, but never really felt I was an expert. So I sat down to make a table and bench for the kids, in addition to installing a rock climbing wall in our garage (end of 2013). While I wasn’t quite an expert after that, those skills helped me when we built our own house in 2018.
  3. 2015 Full game development – I’ve created plenty of games in the past, from Monopoly Express, Sorry Express, a Milton Bradley Battleship augmented reality game back in 2009, I didn’t fully understand the entire pipeline from 3D modeling to animtation and other things beyond programming. So I put together a full 3D game, concentrating on the parts I was missing. Except for fully learnign 3D. Instead I started by modifying existing 3D models to learn how they worked and what proper 3D models and animations should look like in games.
  4. 2016 – 3D – Here’s where I put myself through a lot of hard work and frustration to finally learn something I had been wanting to figure out for decades. Since the mid 1990s, I’ve been playing around with 3DS Max and Blender in the early 2000s. But I couldn’t seem to get past adding a basic shape, and then totally messing it up. Tutorials at the time didn’t help. So it languished and frustrated me until I decided to piece together all the random tutorials I could find and just hit it hard. Success. I now feel comfortable creating almost anything I can imagine.
  5. 2017- Fitness – As we get older, we tend to get bigger as our metabolism slows. I was looking for an excuse to dive into this topic and learn all I could. There wasn’t much good information on this, believe it or not. Everything was contradictory. I read everything I could get my hands on, subscribed to numerous blog posts, followed leading scientists and nutrition experts on Twitter. Slowly, but surely, the bigger picture started to form, and it wasn’t about calories in and calories out. It was so much more than that, but so much simpler than people make it out to be. In 10 weeks, I went from 30lbs over weight to a 6-pack and 7.7% body fat. Science!
  6. 2018 – Building a house – I’ve always wanted to get into real estate investing and had been studying it for years. There’s definitely a lot of shady information and get rich quick schemes out there. So I took my time and waited for the right opportunity. We bought early in the Boise housing market boom (after renting for a number of years to learn the area). After only 5 years, our house value increased $150,000. I couldn’t believe it, but I did buy that particular house because I knew it’d go up. We took that $150,000 and another $150,000 that we’d been saving (again, I’ve been trying to get into real estate investing for years and saved up in order to do that), and bought a house that was torn down to the studs. You can only buy those houses in cash. We then spent the next year building it ourselves (with a lot of help and sub contractors), and the results are amazing. It’s so fulfilling to have worked on every aspect of the house. If anything breaks, I know how to fix it. I know where everything is in the walls. It’s such a satisfying feeling having gone through that. And my marriage even survived!
  7. 2019 – 50 books – I had read a lot the previous year and I figured, let’s see how many books I can read this year. 50 books later, I finished early so I needed a sub goal to finish out the year:
    1. Sub challenge: Learn 5,000 Spanish words and read a Spanish novel in 10 weeks. I chose to read Harry Potter in Spanish since it’s simply written (her first book and it’s intended for children), I’ve seen the movie and I also have the book in English and in German as well. It’s a lot easier to understand the plot when you already know what’s going on. You can concentrate on the sentences and infer a lot of the meaning without the added complexity of plot to get in your way.

I started this list in November 2007. It’s a list of things that I want to accomplish. A bucket list in a way. Some of these are simple and some of these are foolishly outlandish. However, I will complete them all. In no particular order:

  1. Finish my pilot’s license (07/1998- ?)
  2. Get motorcycle license Completed 11/2007
  3. Kayak at least 500 miles (down Missouri river?)
  4. Learn to scuba dive Completed – 11/2008
  5. Learn to surf
  6. Pay off student loan debt Completed January 2014
  7. Become a Scuba Dive Master Completed 06/05/2011
  8. Dive the U.S.C.G.C Bibb (link) Completed 6/28/2009
  9. Penetrate and explore the U.S.C.G.C Bibb
  10. Dive in the Pacific Ocean Completed 12/05/2011

I’ll be adding more as they come to me. I think this is a good start for now.

In Progress

Not started (procrastinated)