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.

My Plans for Three Days Off

I have the next three days off, with today being the MLK (Martin Luther King Jr.) holiday. Then Wednesday being the Inauguration, I decided to take Tuesday off too to have a five day weekend.

So I plan to use the three days like a workday and spending eight hours doing things for my projects and learning. It might be broken up more than a workday, but that’s fine.

Video Learning

Each of the days, I plan to spend an hour or two watching my Wes Bos “Beginner JavaScript” video tutorials. During that time, I  will be taking notes and attempting the code examples to get used to coding the syntax.

I plan to spend an hour or two watching and taking notes of Penn and Teller’s Masterclass “Penn & Teller Teach the Art of Magic”.

I’m not necessarily watching Penn and Teller to learn magic, but to learn about storytelling and presentation. If I learn a magic trick or two in the process, all the better.

In the evening, there will be some watching of YouTube videos.  The subjects I want to learn more about are cooking/baking, farming/gardening, tiny houses, etc.

Book Reading

I will finish reading Heydon Pickering’s “Inclusive Components – Accessible Web Interfaces, Piece by Piece”. I need to go back to his other book and Adam Silver’s book to work through the examples a bit more. Below are the other two other books I’m referring to.

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

My next book to start reading is “Tiny Habits: The Small Changes that Change Everything” by BJ Fogg.

Blog Posts

I need to start outlining a few more blog posts and maybe even start the first draft.

My more significant issue is figuring out the best way to link to all the books I read last year. I don’t want to link to Amazon. But I know money is tight for some, so the lower prices and free shipping with having Amazon Prime will help. If I would I need to figure out a code for an organization/charity, I would like the earned money would help them. So need to figure that out before posting that post.

More research is needed. Any suggestion would be appreciated.

Odds and Ends

Other things that need to get done over the three days are:

  • Sending out some bills
  • Daily walks
  • Laundry
  • Cleaning the house, especially the kitchen, to make room for new spices and other utensils
  • Etc.

I might even start some sorting or items that I no longer use to donate them or get rid of them. I know where I want to donate all the clothes and the like, to Martha’s Table in DC.

Someone from the DC Code and Coffee group mentioned they are willing to come to Northern Virginia to pick things up with their car. Since they live near Martha’s Table, it wouldn’t be hard to drop them off for me.

Lots to Due but Not Enough Time

That’s a lot to get done while also relaxing some, but at least I have a game plan. If I don’t start on things, I won’t get any of it started or any of it done. Here’s to slow and steady work at the list above.

Any suggestions to help with any of this, please leave a comment.

Accessibility Chat Yesterday

Yesterday I had I think it’s the third monthly accessibility chat on a Saturday afternoon with those that could make it.

Over the last three months, I have taken some time on a Saturday to chat with people I know and don’t know. It’s been fun seeing people I know that I haven’t seen in months and most likely over a year because of the pandemic.

Meet New People

It’s also been fun to introduce different people I know to each other for the first time. I even had one friend ask if they could get others to come along from social media. I said fine as long as they had people DM them for the link.

I didn’t want to broadcast the link on social media to get people wanting to cause trouble. By doing that, I got to meet a few new people interested in accessibility.

No Topic for Chats

There has been no theme, topic, talk plans, etc. But more to hang out and talk accessibility or whatever comes up. It’s more about building a broader community/connections with people interested in accessibility.

Are others Interested

So I’m looking to see if others are interested in doing more of this and, if so, when. Meaning should we schedule it for the second or third Saturday every month, or is it better to do it every four weeks.

I figure early afternoon on the east coast of the United States could work best. Since it allows those across the pond in Europe or in Africa to attend. It might be a little early for those on the west coast of the country but hoping most will be up by then for the most part.

Please leave a comment on what you would like. Otherwise, I will go with what I have been doing.

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.