Monday, November 9, 2015

Well hello there 2015

Here we are, about 4 years after my last post. Where did I go? Well, a lot of life happened in between. Here's a quick overview:

Summer 2011 - I turned my love of writing about technology into a for real job by starting a year long internship for PCWorld. I wrote about a lot of things that appeared both online and in print and learned so so much from my wonderful boss Elsa Wenzel. After the internship, I was able to continue freelancing and got to work with the wonderful Melissa Perenson and Michael Brown.

While that gave me a great writing outlet and access to really cool stuff, it also left me with a conflict of interest. I was getting to see things and hear about things under NDAs and I got to play with lots of neat hardware, but it was all press samples under the property of PCWorld. So, as much as I wanted to share, it was best to leave that stuff off my personal sites.

Fall 2011 - You'll notice that was my last post. I barely got that one out. Not only had I added a part time internship to my full teaching schedule and frequent performances, I found out I was expecting our first baby. Sick and tired don't even begin to describe the early months of that pregnancy. I was completely unprepared for how sick I would be. I just survived. I went to work and slept.

Summer 2012 - Baby! No more sick, but really no free time.

Winter 2012/2013 - The realities of a mobile baby in an open loft condo set in and we realize we need out. We began the process of researching real estate to see if we could sell the condo and get into a house. In the San Francisco Bay Area. HA! hahahahahahahah!

Spring 2013 - We take the plunge and move out. With three cats, a baby, and way too much stuff in our loft, there was no way we could compete in the current market of urban professionals demanding move-in ready properties. So, we found a "reasonable" apartment and our amazing realtor helped us line up the work our condo needed. We got it cleaned up, fixed up, and staged. We had a two weekends of open houses and got several offers (yay for the crazy bay area housing market), picked a good one, and proceeded to closing with minimal delays. As tempting as it was to take the money and run to a cheaper area, we decided to stay. Which meant we couldn't be out of the market for long or we would never get back in.

Summer 2013 - We found our fixer and began the process of fixering it. Shortly after starting construction, the city came knocking and we found out about some pretty serious issues the sellers were having with the city, which they failed to disclose. Begin legal action. It would take nearly two years, but we finally prevailed. Fill out your disclosures carefully and truthfully folks.

Fall 2013 - Things settle down enough that I start teaching again a little bit. Mostly for an afterschool program at an elementary school nearby.

Late fall 2013 - We move in! There's still work to do, but we have a brand new kitchen, new wiring, new plumbing, and new duct work.

Thanksgiving 2013 - I'm feeling off, so I send my husband up to the dollar store to see if they're open and pick up some pregnancy tests. Bam! Kid two is on the way. Back to being sick, tired, and just surviving through the new teaching gig while parenting a toddler.

Early 2014 - Legal stuff. So much legal stuff. Also, more construction to comply with the city.

Summer 2014 - Baby 2!

The rest of 2014 - Mostly a blur. Staying at home with a toddler and a newborn is no joke. Oh and a lawsuit. That was fun. (but no, not really)

The first half of 2015 - Same deal, just now it's a toddler and a baby, and crushing post-partum depression. But we finally settled the lawsuit.

Summer 2015 - Things get much easier as the baby turns 1.

Fall 2015 - I'm taking on more teaching again. I'm heading the new beginner class at the afterschool program. I've started a group class and some private students through the same school my older son has his piano classes.

During this time, the tablet and technology landscape changed significantly. Intel's Baytrail platform meant that windows based tablets finally had enough power to actually run Windows. Windows 8 made navigating Windows on a tablet Not Suck. OEMs raced to the bottom to churn out Windows tablets that could under cut the iPad and rival Android tablets in price. Microsoft also entered the hardware game, giving the market lots of choices.

I went through a lot of tablets. I ended up on a 3rd gen iPad retina with a Page Flip Cicada for a long time. The mechanical clicker on the right side gave out (as it did to all the musicians in the Pops who were using that set up. One after the other, we all lost our right clickers. We have all since migrated to the Air Turn). My iPad got slower and slower and I got more and more frustrated with the small screen and hassles of trying to use a capacitive stylus and edit modes and menus to notate music and Microsoft's 3rd version of the surface pro came out with a larger screen. (The pros always had legit digitizers and I had just been waiting for one with a screen bigger than the iPad). I have recently migrated completely to the Surface Pro 3 with an Air Turn pedal.

But wait! Now there's an iPad pro on the way! With a real stylus! And the surface book screen is huge! Exciting things are happening again. And the chaos in my house is calming down enough that I can write about stuff again.

So, here we are. Hello again blog.

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