Already amending DitchMyCar

So, I’ve made a couple of discoveries about this freebies thing… one, I did catch a Lyft to rehearsal last night, and found that the total cost was $30, and that’s just going 5 miles. I won’t be able to afford the trips to much farther than that, and I have quite a few I need to make! So, I looked ahead and thought about renting a ZipCar for the trips I need to make that are farther out….. and found that all of the available ZipCar locations are now outside of 6 miles away. So…. my ZipCar membership is pretty useless for this.


Amendment: I’m going to have to drive my Jeep for my trips that take me farther than 6 miles.


That being said, I was motivated to ride my bike instead of driving to Piper’s on Monday evening, and last night I took a Lyft to rehearsal. Tonight I’m going to either ride my bike or catch a ride from a friend to the Waterfront for a movie.


Total so far: $30 Lyft.


Ditch My Car for a Month

Well, it seems I just won the Lyft¬†Ditch Your Car for a Month contest, so I guess I’m ditching my Jeep for a month (starting Oct 8th.) This is convenient, since I want to put my Jeep into the shop for repairs this month anyway… but I figure I’ll blog about my experiences not using my Jeep.

Caveats and clarifications:

  • I will drive the Jeep to the shop during this month. It needs some work and inspection to be done anyway.
  • Also, I need to move it on Thursdays to get it out of the way of the garbage trucks.
  • I did get Zipcar credits, so I will be driving sometimes… just with Zipcar instead of my Jeep. This will be very useful for getting groceries. (Related: I should really find my ZipCard.)
  • I got a HealthyBike subscription with this contest as well, but I don’t see using that as much as my own bike. Especially since I have a new speedy bike!
  • I will start this on Monday, Oct 8th. I don’t have Lyft credits until then, and getting to Carnegie on a Sunday is obnoxious without a car.

Anyway, let’s see how this goes!

New job!

As most of you may know, I started a new job a few weeks ago. What you may not know is the story behind getting this job.

While I was taking time off between jobs, I found out that GitHub was looking for volunteers for RailsConf. I signed up, and for a few hours of volunteer work on the first day, I got a free ticket. I knew that I was going to this event, not knowing Ruby or Rails, with the aim of learning new things and shaking hands. And that is exactly what happened.

However, the fun part was during a break in sessions, we were all given cheesecake to enjoy during a bit of a social hour. I sat down at a table and introduced myself to the folks there. At this point, it was just for social reasons, I was trying to do all my hand shaking at the vendor booths.

One of the guys at the table was a really nice guy I talked to for a long while. As we got up and exchanged business cards, I found out he’s the VP of Engineering at his company. Wow! I had no idea! He did email me the following week asking me to interview there as well, and … well .. he is now my boss.

I am now officially a DevOps Engineer, and I really like all of the people I am working with at this new job. So — the risk I took in quitting the last job worked out.

I am counting my lucky stars on this.

Taking a risk, professionally

I’m doing something I have never done before, something I never thought I would or could do. I quit my job without having something to go to. This is a tremendous risk, but one I think I can undertake.

Why? Several years ago I did quit my job at the time to go back to school, an action similar in nature to what I am doing now, but it still felt like it had less risk. I didn’t own a home at the time, so I could return to living with my Mom to ease the financial burden. I also would come out of that with a degree that I could use to further my career.

At least, that is what I thought.

Unfortunately, since getting that degree, my career has careened further and further away from programming, my first love, and the more architecturally technical elements of computers, my second love. I mean, I have done technical work in all of the jobs I had, and continued to script up things for myself and others to automate routine tasks, but this is not the path I wanted after getting my degree.

So enter Wombat Technologies, and their acquisition by ProofPoint. I got a bit of money from the stock I had with them, enough to survive for a few months without pay. Enough months that I figured I could work on getting back on track with the career I really want. So, the idea for this risk was born.

I am now taking this risk, I quit, and I am working on at least one AWS certification, and coding more. I even revamped my resume this morning with the help of many sources. It is a scary risk, but one that I feel I needed to do. Wish me luck!

The Grand Duke is coming!

The Grand Duke opens THIS FRIDAY, March 2nd! I play The Baroness on Saturday March 3rd, 9th, and 11th, but the other casting for this role is Sally Danmead, who is amazing. Our cast overall for this production is wonderful, and I think that I have now fallen in love with the music — my new favorite of all of the Gilbert and Sullivan shows. And Rob Hockenberry has outdone himself with the choreography for this one, taking advantage of some wonderful dancers among the cast!


Have I mentioned that The Pittsburgh Savoyards haven’t performed this particular show in something like 50 years?


You really must come see this production. I have a few tickets left at the $15 price, good for any show, and I do accept Paypal and can leave them at Will Call for you. Otherwise you can purchase them online or at the door for $25.