Read More Books

The year started out well reading-wise. I was reading a book about every five days or so on average; then, when the pandemic hit, and it slowed up a lot.

Total Books Read

I finished the year strong in December and managed to read 23 books.

Oops, I forgot about a few digital JavaScript books I read with a remote JavaScript book club.

So I ended up with 26 books. There might be others I missed too.

My Plan

I had hoped to read a book a week as my plan, but other things happened, and I didn’t. No, worries since it’s the most books I read in a read ever besides comic books as a kid.

Book Length in Pages

Some books were longer than others and others not so much. A bunch were between 120 and 150 pages others were over 450+ pages.

More YouTube Learning

I started watching more YouTube to learn about different ways to cook, start a small farm, ideas for a tiny house, etc. More on that in another post.

Below is the list of books I read. I had planned to put them in the order I read them, but I managed to knock over the two piles. So they got all mixed up.

List of Books

  • The Tiny MBA – 100 Very Short Lessons about the Long Game of Business by Alex Hillman.
  • Do Agile – Future Proof Your Mindset. Stay Grounded by Tim Drake.
  • How to Listen to Jazz by Ted Gioia
  • Twenty Bits I Learned about Design, Business, and Community by Dan Cedarholm
  • Whatcha Mean, What’s a Zine? – The Art f Making Zines and Mini-comics by Mark Todd and Esther Pearl Watson
  • The Rancho Gordo Heirloom Bean Guide by Steve Sando and Julia Newberry
  • Elements of Fire – A Comic Anthology of Color! edited by Taneka Stotts
  • Do Bee-keeping – The Secret to Happy Honeybees by Orren Fox
  • Do Disrupt – Change the Status Quo. Or Become it. by Mark Shayler
  • Cool Beans – The Ultimate Guide to Cooking with the World’s Most Versatile Plant-based Protein with 125 Recipes by Joe Yonan
  • Introduction to Permaculture by Bill Mollison with Reny Mia Saly
  • Do Preserve  – Make Your own Jams, Chutneys, Pickles, and Cordials by Anja Dunk, Jen Goss, and Mimi Beaven
  • Cartooning – Philosophy, and Practice by Ivan Brunetti
  • Do Listen – Understand What’s Really Being said. Find a New Way Forward. by Bobette Buster
  • Oishinbo – A la Carte – Ramen and Gyoza story by Tetsu Kariya and Art by Akira Hanasaki
  • Do Story – How to Tell Your Story, so the World Listens. by Bobette Buster
  • Form Design Patterns – A Practical Guide to Designing and Coding simple and Inclusive Forms for the Web by Adam Silver
  • Inclusive Design Patterns – Coding Accessibility Into Web Design by Heydon Pickering
  • The Fermented Man – A year on the Front Lines of a Food Revolution by Derek Dellinger
  • The Noma Guide to Fermentation: Including Koji, Kombuchas, Shoyus, Misos, Vinegars, Garums, Lacto-ferments, and Black Fruits and Vegetables by Rene Redzepi and David Zilber
  • Glenn Ganges in The River at Night by Kevin Huizenga
  • The Public Library – A Photographic Essay by Robert Dawson
  • Drawing Book of Faces by Ed Emberley
  • The “You Don’t Know JavaScript Yet” series books by Kyle Simpson
    • Get Started – 2nd Edition
    • Scope and Closures – 2nd Edition
    • this and Object Prototypes – 1st Edition

I will do a more in-depth write up of the ones I like the best in the future.

More Reading in 2021

Here to as much reading in 2021 as in 2020 and more if possible.

Please leave a comment if you read any of these books and what you thought of them.

Attended More Conferences

I managed to get to many more events this year because of the pandemic and them being remote/online. Which meant not having to take extra time off to travel to them and have all the expenses of travel, hotel, food, etc.

It worked out for me, deciding not to attend CSUN this year. It’s an accessibility conference in Los Angles. As it was scheduled at the beginning of everything, closing up related to the pandemic.

Luckily many conferences had time to switch to remote events. I used my vacation to attend more of them.

Used Vacation to Attend Some Events

A good part of my vacation had been saved by not traveling to any of these events.

In 2020 I attended many remote events. From four or five conferences, a few workshops, a few couple hour-long food classes/demos, some meetups, remote field trips, etc.

I even attended an accessibility camp in Australia because it started at the end of my workday. Which allowed me to participate for a few hours at least before heading to bed.

Events I Attended

Below is the list of events I was able to attend in 2020, with dates listed if possible. I might have missed one or two, but these are most of them.

Here’s to More Remote Events

So here is to these events having remote components in the future when the pandemic is over. Which will allow me and many others to attend that normally couldn’t.

Learned More

Getting rid of my cable TV a year and a half ago and the pandemic has made me use my time better to learn even at my age. It’s been helpful having no commute now.

Learning on Night and Weekends

So after my nightly walk after work or on the weekends, I watched YouTube videos to learn things. I have even purchased courses on fermenting, JavaScript, etc.

Creative Mornings Fields Trips have allowed me to learn about tortilla making (wheat and corn), creativity, painting with pastels,  and a few others. I will have to gather my notes from them and post a few notes at a later date.

With the pandemic, I have attended a lot more remote conferences and other events. I have also used my time to read many books, articles, blog posts, etc. A future post or two on those I attended events I have attended and the things I have read to come.

YouTube and Other Videos

Some of the things I have spent time learning about on YouTube are the following. There is homesteading/small scale farming. Which includes growing my own food and raise animals for when I get my plot of land. The land will have a tiny house of between 600 – 900 square feet. At least that is my thinking of a reasonably sized tiny house to live in full time.

I have also been watching videos on, cooking. Some of them are known cooking professionals while others are not, but have been become YouTube famous, so to speak.

Below is a list of a few of them with links to their YouTube channels.

Remote Book Club

I joined a remote JavaScript book club in mid-January 2020.  We have worked our way through the four of the “You Don’t Know JavaScript Yet” books in the series of six books. Okay, we are actually finishing up the last chapter of the four-book this week.

The format we started with was reading the free version of the second editions on GitHub one chapter at a time. Then we read the first editions for books three and four because the newer books hadn’t been updated yet.

Even More Learning

There are more things I have learned, which I have to wait until I have time to write other blog posts.

Please add any recommendations in the comments of things that fall into the above categories I should look at.

JavaScript Book Club

I joined a remote JavaScript book club in mid-January 2020.

We are about to finish up the fourth of the “You Don’t Know JavaScript Yet” series of six books. Okay, we are finishing up the last chapter of the fourth book this weekend.

What’s Our Format

The format has been reading the free version of the second editions of the series on GitHub. We read them one chapter at a time for the first two books. Then we read the first editions for books three and four because the newer ones hadn’t been updated yet. The plan is to read the first editions of the last two books in the series.

For the first book, “Getting Started”, we read a chapter a week and met on Sunday evenings at 5:00 PM East Coast time.

We followed this format through the first two books.

Time for Some Coding

Early on, we started doing JavaScript Code Wars problems as group coding sessions on early Saturday afternoons.

Once we got to the third and fourth books and the content was harder to digest. We went to reading a chapter every two weeks. So on the weeks we were not gathering about the latest books chapter, they moved the Code Wars event to that Sunday. So now, every Sunday afternoon for me, it’s either book of code.

Recently, we started doing coding sessions after the book club part. Since we tended to get through the chapter discussion in 30 minutes. So people would then work on a Code Wars problem for another hour. Sometimes depending on the difficulty of the problem, it might take over a week or more to finish them. Part of the reason for that is because we limit the time.

Who Is Attending

People attended from across the pond in England, and once in a while, someone from Africa attends. It was 10:00 PM when we started for them. At times there have been people that hopped in from Central America and other places around the globe.

The Best Part So Far

Here’s to learning more from the JavaScript book club and meeting new people. A group from Asia/India are meeting at a different time to go through the boos we did independently. Because of the time difference, they couldn’t attend ours. I think that it’s great that more than one group is reading the same book.

Once we’re done with this series, we will need to move on to another book or series about JavaScript.

Other groups are reading other coding/tech books and not only JavaScript.

In the End

Here’s to more reading, group learning, new friends, etc.

My Weight Loss

My weight loss over the last fifteen or so months has been slow and steady. Been working on what I eat and don’t eat, along with portion size and healthier choices.

Eating Habits

My eating habits have changed a good amount since I’m no longer buying breakfast and lunch at work. Which has allowed me to save more money.

During the height of the summer, lots of my lunches started with tortillas. I added garlic hummus, mixed greens, heirloom tomatoes (Cherokee Purple), and a cheese slice. I started eating more salad too as my dinner a few nights a week.

Most of my salad was the bagged kind with a dressing pack and some crunchy element. You would think that might not be healthy, but it was better, I guess than what I used to eat. But I would add some smoked sunflower seeds and two slices of torn up sliced cheese. I would even crunch up tortilla chips for some crunch.

I almost forgot the halved heirloom cherry tomatoes that I added when possible to my salad.

Breakfast or lunch could also include peanut butter and jelly on a tortilla. Or eggs and cheese in a tortilla with some hummus if I had some and mixed greens too.

Lots of Tortillas

You might have noticed all the mentions of tortillas. It’s been more because I saw that when I purchased bread, it dried out or got moldy much quicker. So I went with the tortillas, which cut down on the carbs, I think a bit more, but I’m no scientist.

Snacks

Snacks have been better also. Meaning I now eat more peanuts, cashews, fruits, carrots, and hummus when I need a snack than before. Sometimes after dinner, I will put a good handful of peanuts in a bowl. Then a half a pint of blueberries, a sliced banana, and add a bit of chocolate sauce. So it’s feels like a fancier dessert minus the ice cream etc.

New Habits

With all this and more purposeful walking and eating better. Not perfect, but an improvement from what I have been doing. I have lost about 60 lbs (27.2 kg or 4.3 stone) since the end of September 2019. Half of that has been since the beginning of the pandemic.

What Other’s Noticed

Seeing friends on Zoom after a long time like today, a bunch were amazed at my weight loss. I haven’t seen some of them since I lost the 60 lbs, and others only the last 30 lbs since mid-March 2020.

New Things

I even had to buy a set of metal leather whole punches to put new wholes in my handmade leather belt. I purchased the belt from an old friend in June or July of 2019 when he was in town for an art show. I had ran out of wholes so that I couldn’t tighten it anymore. I didn’t want my pants to fall down.

I even purchased one new pair of jeans this fall because the others were at least four to five sizes too big. I only bought one pair for now. Since I’m mostly sitting in the house working and then out for a walk in the cold. So I don’t need more than one pair. I can put on some shorts or sweats when I need to wash them.

Walking Everywhere

Another thing that has helped is having to walk to the grocery or farmer’s market. Which are a mile or more one way and using a backpack. I found there was less room for junk food that way.

Okay, at one point, I was down 65 lbs. For the last two months or so, I have been getting more foods like pastries or cookies from the farmer’s market or the store. Now with doing a bit less walking and the holiday’s being over this will stop except for once in a while treat.

Slow and Steady

So my weight loss has been slow and steady for the most part and has become more of a change in my eating habits. That needs to be tweaked now and again.

Adding some exercise besides walking will come when I’ve lost more weight.

How much that is, I don’t have a goal in mind besides feeling better and more rested.