Monthly review: May 2013

Posted: - Modified: | monthly, review

Last month, I wrote:

It’s almost a third of the way through May already! I’m looking
forward to more consulting, sketchnoting, and illustrating. The
weather’s warmed up, so friends are starting to organize more
get-togethers. Then there’s planting the front and back garden,
studying Japanese (my goal for May: 500 lines in my spaced-repetition
deck), and drawing some more… May’s shaping up to be terrific.

Consulting/sketchnoting/illustrating: Lots of this for work, and some personal projects too. The one-page guide I drew for learning Emacs turned out to be a big hit. I want to put together guides like that maybe once a quarter (or even once a month if I get the hang of doing things)… I also compiled my 2012 sketchnotes in a collection, complete with a table of contents. It was fun working on things of my own!

I found an accountant who could review my books and answer my questions, yay! I amended my tax returns again, and I hope this time it’s final.

Friends: Failed on this one – completely forgot about a party that I was invited to because I was caught up in doing house-related stuff instead. I did co-host a couple of meetups, so there’s that.

Garden: The peas are doing wonderfully. The bok choy is starting to bolt (already!), and the tomato plants are still pretty small. The bitter melon plants are hanging in there, and the bell peppers are too. The pansies in the front are doing okay, although we’ve had one casualty. The lavender is growing like crazy. Hooray!

Japanese: I ended up using the pre-made Japanese decks for AnkiDroid instead of making my own, at least in terms of starting out with the vocabulary. I like the way that the listening decks include clear audio recordings. I also loop over audio from some of the anime that I like, and I’m starting to understand more and more of it. Yay!

Coding: I spent some time updating Quantified Awesome to use a newer version of Rails (all these security updates!), and setting up a Vagrant VM for easier coding. I’m looking forward to spending some time working on my technical debt by writing tests and getting the old tests to pass.

June promises to involve a lot of consulting and professional sketchnoting, lots of gardening and biking, and some big personal decisions. Let’s see how it works out!

You can comment with Disqus or you can e-mail me at