For the past four or five months, I haven’t had much of an online presence. In an effort to keep people updated (and perhaps explain the lack of posts), I have here a brief summary of my past few months, including notable purchases, projects, and job changes.
At the start of May, I started working a 16-week contract job working for the RCMP. Overall it was an interesting experience. I got to see the inner workings of Canada’s federal police force, and I got some hands-on experience working in a support environment. The work was not challenging in the slightest, but it paid well and I worked with some good people. In the interest of not breaking the law and violating my security clearance, I won’t go into any more detail.
Along with the very nice pay check I was getting was a goal I had of purchasing a new vehicle. My old car, as you may recall, was an old 1994 Plymouth Acclaim. After a few months of looking around, I settled on a 2006 Ford Focus ZX5 SES with manual transmission (oh, how I missed you). I pulled out my sound system from the Acclaim and put it into the new car with some mods that I’m very proud of (post coming next week!), including a new custom-built sub cabinet and custom-built trunk privacy screen. I also put some time into doing some lighting mods, and I even had to pull out the sewing machine for a few parts. All in all, I love the car; it’s far better than my old vehicle.
At the start of May, I took over the position of President with the University of Manitoba Swing Dance Club, which has been an exhausting experience, but definitely well worth it. I redesigned the website, and I have a great executive to help me out. Although my delegation skills need some work, I’m confident that my executive this year will keep me in line, and I in turn will unload work on them :). Our open house is today, so you should all come out! We have tons of things planned for this year, including potlucks, live band events, movies, and more.
I have also started doing some private contracting for my web development and computer skills, earning the occasional few extra dollars. A year ago, I started Windfire Hosting to offer cheap web hosting to friends (only $5/month!), and I’m pleased to say that I’m finally making a bit of “pizza ‘n beer” money off of it. I’ve started offering web development along side my hosting, so I can always guarantee that my applications run on the server it will be deployed to. Most notably, I’m building a photography portfolio for my friend Miguel; his site should be up within a week or so, so check out Chrestos Photography when it goes live.
If I ever had free time on a weekend, a couple friends and I started getting back into gaming of all sorts: board games, consoles, and tabletop role-playing. We’ve gotten on a regular schedule, so my friend Tyler (one of them) started a podcast called “I, Gamer“, which has actual play recordings, discussions about multiple gaming topics, and some random philosophical talks. If you’re interested in gaming, I highly recommend checking it out, and I’m not just saying that because I’m a regular contributor and I’m responsible for the podcast recordings.
Last but not least, I have university to contend with, including two of the hardest computer science courses offered at the undergraduate level: automata and cryptology. All of my courses are really interesting (at least the content is), so hopefully my other time commitments will not interfere with my studies.
Next week, I’ll have a post talking about some of my car mods that I’ve done, along with a bunch of photos of the partially-gutted interior, the finished mods, and more.