Life

Year in Review – 2014

It’s been a few years since I’ve written a year-in-review post, so here ya go! My goal in this post is to sneak in two f-bombs, so let’s see how I do.

The year of unemployment…

I quit my WordPress-related job at the beginning of the year. Maybe I’m old fashioned, but remote work just didn’t work out for me. I’d definitely like to try it again, but for the time-being, I prefer a good ol’ office job.

During my bout of unemployment, I took on several WordPress-related clients through my company MediaRon LLC.

To the dismay of my roommate, I kinda bided my time, burned through my savings, and patiently (or lazily?) searched for a job that would suit me in the longterm.

It was also during this period of unemployment that I finished writing my book (which critiques the movie Fight Club) called Asshole Tax.

Finally, a job!

Through a temp agency, I landed a contract position at a WordPress developer agency based in Oklahoma City. I needed funds, so I took the job knowing that it may not be permanent. Coincidentally, at around the same time, the two existing developers decided to move on, and the management was impressed with my WordPress knowledge, so they decided to buy out my temp contract and hire me on with a salaried position.

I was kinda in a mental bind because about the same time, I had a firm job offer in downtown Austin. I talked to my manager about the dilemma, she assured me of a full time position, and even made a very competitive offer to keep me in Oklahoma City.

After consulting with friends and family, I decided to stay in Oklahoma City and accept a position as a Senior Web Developer (with a focus on WordPress).

I’ve used the job to strengthen my front-end skills, which I was lacking, but my WordPress friends in Norway assured me that as a back-end dev, I would learn front-end pretty fast. Thankfully, they were right.

I still have a bunch to learn, but that’s life in the tech industry, is it not?

Asshole Tax

This year I worked very hard on releasing my 2nd self-published book called Asshole Tax. Only a few of my friends and family have read it, but the feedback I received was highly positive; they could tell it was a polished piece of work.

However, the book is apparently too niche (I need to stop writing those) and hasn’t sold at a level that even beats my lowest expectations. I can literally count the number of copies I have sold on three fingers (that includes Amazon and digital sales).

I’m going to keep the domain up for 8 more months, then I’m shelving it (unless it does better).

WordPress

I didn’t attend any WordCamps this year, but I plan to attend a few in 2015. I’m always active on Twitter, but my work in WordPress was more been behind the scenes, such as plugin releases/updates, and codex edits.

I did achieve a developer milestone this year and had my first pull request accepted in what I think will be a very useful plugin for multiple people: a plugin that does event tracking for Gravity Forms (if you don’t know what that is, ask your SEO guys).

Other plugins I have been active in this year is a resurrection of Ryan Hellyer’s (yes, it’s yours damnit) Reorder Posts plugin, updates to Metronet Profile Picture, and maintaining Simple Comment Editing.

I also released two new plugins this year called Slash Edit and Highlight and Share.

Website Launches

Within my new job, I have done about a half-dozen website launches, but I’m not going to go into those here (those belong on my resume, not a blog post).

This year I launched a website in support of my book Asshole Tax (https://assholetax.es/). I also finally got MediaRon.com up, but it still requires some theme tweaks and copywriting.

I also created a gimmick website called Should I Sing…? as kind of a joke for my karaoke friends. We always debate whether people should sing certain songs at karaoke, the trigger song being Let it Go from Frozen. The site was pretty fun to program, and it only took about 16 hours of coding to get it polished and ready to go. Will it catch on? Who knows.

Felines

My roommate has a number of cats, most of whom I have bonded with. Unfortunately, two died this year, but we’ve also added two more.

Kinney

cat-kinney

Kinney passed away on June 28, 2014. She was a rather lovely cat, and I cried when we discovered her only 10 feet from the front door.

Taffy

cat-taffers

Taffy lived a long life. She was sixteen years old when she succumbed to diabetes. I had only known her about a year, but we really bonded. I was sad to see her go.

New cat – Zulu

cat-zulu

After Kinney died, we decided to rescue a cat from the shelter and picked up Zulu. He growled at everything at first, even feathers, but he really likes people, and eventually got used to the other cats (although my cat, Natalia, absolutely hates him).

New cat – Rosie

cat-rosie

After Taffy died, my roommates Pauli really wanted another cat, but I asked her to hold off as I didn’t want it to seem like we were just getting replacements when cats died.

She found a Maine Coon named Mary on the Internet, but the cat was quite far away and she gave up on the cat. I convinced her to drive to Cedar Rapids, Iowa, to pick up the cat, so we road tripped the 10 hours there and brought her home. Rosie is insanely friendly, although she hated our male cats at first.

This Website

I wrote 10(!) posts this year. Yes, I’ve been slacking. I did have one post go viral, however, which was my post about karaoke. That one touched a nerve.

I’ll spare you the details, but you can view my year-end report if you like.

Let’s move onto goals for 2015!

Conclusion

This year has been an eventful one. It marked a long period of unemployment, but thankfully I am a contributing member of society again having ended the New Year employed :D.

It also marks 1 year and 3 months since I’ve last gone manic, which is pretty awesome in itself.

So see ya in 2015, bitches!

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