I know what you’re thinking, “Um, Joe, you know it’s May, right?” Yeah, I know. I’ve had a very busy 2011 and a rocking start to 2012, so that’s my excuse; guilty as charged. However, I want to share some highlights from last year and some thoughts so I can scratch the itch when it comes to my blog. And yes, I broke one of the cardinal rules of blogging, which is to never blog about the lack of blogging. It’s okay, I’ll try not to break it again.
It’s actually difficult for me to remember how 2011 went. However, I think I have an idea if I look back at my Tweets. See, some people ask me why I use Twitter so damn much. It’s not for followers. It’s not for money. It’s for legacy. It’s because in moments of reflection and remembrance, I can remember how I felt, what I thought and what I did. And for all the naysayers who decry the Facebook Timeline, it’s moments like this (when synchronized with an active Twitter account), it’s incredibly powerful.
To start things off, I rung in the New Year in Tempe. It was probably during that drunken moment, I really fell in love with the City of Tempe. Gilbert was such a safe city, it was sheltered from any fun. Besides, I found it disgusting that I had to pay $210 to the Town of Gilbert for driving through a parking lot. Problem solved: I moved to Tempe.
In my quest, I looked at many apartments in Scottsdale and Tempe. I was looking for some place closer to the denser parts of Phoenix, without living in Phoenix. All but one complex didn’t meet my modest criteria. I eventually chose Galleria Palms (and here’s my follow-up Yelp Review) and have enjoyed living there ever since.
Throughout 2011, I started, stalled, restarted and stalled again in my attempts to not be single. It’s not for naught; I learned a lot about what I want in the process and still maintain fairly neutral views on the affected parties.
One pattern that comes up is my relationship with work. Like Don Draper in Mad Men, I take my work seriously and work continuously to be great at it. I did improve in the arena of leaving on time, but sometimes that’s not enough when work is on my mind. One non-negotiable for me (if you’re interested) is the unwavering support for my career and passions in the automotive world. It doesn’t mean that person needs to be there with me, but it does mean they need to be there for me.
Also, last year, I got to spend some quality time working on my car – no surprise there. Took it out on the quarter-mile and had a few exhilarating passes, followed by excessive mechanical wear on my clutch assembly. It turns out that clutches aren’t cheap especially since I plan on swapping out my flywheel and replacing the slave cylinder. Oh, and the front and rear main seals are on its way out, too, so my plan is get it all done at once and learn in the process. What starts out as a few hundred dollars turns into nearly a thousand and a full weekend of work. In the near future, I plan on getting it done. Those repairs aside, the car is running great, great temperatures and still has plenty of life left, even at 169,000 miles.
Also in the past several months, I’ve attacked (but not quite conquered it) one of my fears: public speaking. Through various conferences and engagements, I’ve grown more comfortable delivering a series of ideas to an audience. Unfortunately there’s no secret to it, except to just do it. I figure it’s time I face this challenge head on and not let it limit me. I know I’m far from perfect, but I’m proud of myself for saying yes when it’s so easy to say no. And to my surprise, people love what I have to say.
Back at the office, our company has been doing a lot of amazing work for small businesses. We just wrapped up our annual user conference and while I’ve been operating at the redline during (and after) it; I sincerely appreciated hearing customer stories, experiences and ideas. It really motivates me to do even more for them and truly adds a layer of humanity not seen at most software companies — and ultimately I enjoy what I do that much more.
And here we are today.
One small, but important change to my blog is the address. It’s now blog.joemanna.com and I’m now having it powered by WPEngine. They are a solid premium managed hosting provider and so far, in my recent migration on over, they have been excellent. Dreamhost continues to offer approximately 10% downtime as well as a widespread account compromise across SSH accounts (!) and as you can imagine, this doesn’t bode well for me. Until my blog grows, I’ll be using a complimentary account they offered at WordCamp Phoenix. So far, WPEngine is blazing fast, reasonably secure and a pleasure to work with. A nice plus is that I have database access for making the migration less painful than it could have been. (Thanks, Trafton, for the good chat after WCPHX!)
I will get back into the craft of witty, informative and punchy blog posts on my personal blog. I’ve cooled off due to the convenience and instant gratification from Twitter. Blogging is an art and I want to continue to develop and not lose the love that I have for it. It also doesn’t help that your site becomes compromised due to your web host’s insecurities.
There are at least a dozen topics I want to write about and you can expect more from me.
Image credit: astragony