Author: Shelley Evans

New Year Resolution

Every year my New Year’s resolution is to try a little harder – and I am pleased to announce that I am headed in the right direction! Here is my completely un-humble brag:

Last night I performed a weekly launch and COMPLETED IT! I didn’t wake up to a pile of documentation to do, or a bunch of orphaned branches that would hang around for a few weeks. I don’t have any admin or accounting to finish. Email notifications were all sent. No lingering related support items. No cards to archive or channels to close.

I did it. Completely. I was up until midnight, but I did it.

Way to go, me!

Blue Christmas

Blue Christmas acrylic painting

Guided Painting

Blue Christmas acrylic paintings

Everyone’s personality shines through in their painting

Blue Christmas, from Painting with Jane on YouTube. Nice and easy to follow. We were all a little intimidated, but they all turned out beautifully.

So Tired

Exhausted dogs

Jezabel, Einstein, and Isabella taking a break

Crinkle a wrapper and watch them come alive, but otherwise these guys mostly hold down the couch.

 

Thrifty Treats

Kelly Valles - headboard

Headboard made from reclaimed fencing

Pinterest has nothing on my neighbor, Kelly! She shared a couple of additions made from recovered materials, and they couldn’t be more charming.

Kelly Valles - log Christmas tree

Rustic log Christmas tree

Happy Anniversary!

Today is our 9th wedding anniversary! Leather and pottery are the traditional gifts – and yes the obvious gift idea came to mind, but we wound up getting a beautiful Lladro figurine (that counts as pottery, right?). We had a lovely evening at the Chop House in Loveland, for the third year in a row! Happy anniversary to my love, James!

Baby Love Bird

Baby Love Bird

Experimenting with silver glitter paint

Johnstown Lake

Johnstown Lake, Thanksgiving day 2017

Diet Challenge: Thanksgiving!

As is my nature, I have been quite anxious about sticking to our diets for Thanksgiving. The diet plan we are on is one of those rare things in life that can change you forever. I want to get the most out of it I can for as long as I can, and am planning to tip-toe my way around the worst of the worst at our annual holiday feast.

My husband, Jim, and I are in week 4 of our diets, and so far so good! We are both working hard and could not be happier or more surprised at the results. We hired personal trainer Kelly Valles and during her twelve-week program she provides menu and exercise plans, personal guidance and check-ins. Contact me if you need a referral!

I am going to try to take her advice for tomorrow – enjoy the holiday! Don’t go overboard, but have a taste of those traditional things that you enjoy. Graze throughout the day rather than having one giant supper. Don’t feel guilty (that’s a tough one for me).

This year in addition to my family, and to new friends, I am grateful for this journey to a healthier us. I am preparing the traditional foods in a healthy way that is consistent with our diets – I’m not making anything we “can’t” eat. That being said, I’m off to make deviled eggs!

Cherry Blossom Tree Holding the Moon

Our first attempt from the art Sherpa on YouTube

Be your own best friend

I often find life’s axioms can apply to coding. Today’s lesson: be your own best friend!

Not complaining, and definitely not bragging, but sometimes I experience “genius strokes” – typically while coding. Unlike a stroke of genius, they can last hours at a time and the results can be difficult to live with in the long run.

Did I just write an entire CMS framework in a couple of hours and less than 1000 lines of code? Yes! That’s great! Do I remember how it works the next day? Maybe. Will I be able to understand and modify it in a meaningful way a month from now, when I’m not stroking out? Good luck… The dev team members at infsoln always groan when I announce a project involving genius stroke code. They know it will be difficult to comprehend the logic and figure out the inevitable clever twist that makes the whole thing work. We all hate clever.

One of the things that makes this code so difficult to work with is that it isn’t documented. Whether it’s because it seemed obvious at the time or because the ideas were flowing rapidly or even if I simply didn’t want people in my code, the lack of description and explanation is a real bummer. Just a few words could save those who follow (including myself) a tremendous amount of time and headache. It may sound psychotic to wish I had left notes to myself, but I think this almost daily. This needs to be a natural part of code-writing, as automatic as semi-colons and curly brackets.

Another issue I find when coding rapidly is terrible variable names. $spa might have made perfect sense when I created it, but wtf is that, honestly. If it requires even an instant of interpretation then it isn’t a good variable name. Every distraction like this is yet another item to temporarily remember in order to hone in on whatever it was that I was in there looking for in the first place. Knowing that my virtual desktop could catch metaphorical fire at any given moment on any given day, the easier and more direct the route to a solution, the better.

And thirdly (I won’t say lastly as there are so very many more basic things I can do to set myself up for success), DON’T HACK SHIT IN. Hacked together code full of shortcuts and lazy coding is nothing more than prototype code. If it makes it to production I am guaranteed to have future headaches. I need to take a few minutes to go back and figure out the correct variable name, or put queries in a data access object, etc… my code quality will improve drastically!

The conclusion, after a long session of trying to interpret my own code-writing, is that while it is fun to run and frolic freely in the meadow of logic, if I leave myself a few signs pointing back to reality then I will enjoy visiting the place again in the future. And it is always more fun when I bring my best friend with me!