Two Years at Oracle

Today is the second year of my full time employment by Oracle. Studious
readers will remember a similar
exactly one year ago on this day. There is nothing particularly
important or auspicious about this day, but it is a good milestone to reflect
upon the previous year.

What Did I Learn This Year?

1. Buying a house is hard when you are picky. At this point I have looked at
around 20 houses or so. I have come close to making offers on two of those, but
ultimately decided against it. The benefit to this is a growing down-payment
which will make the purchasing easier. The downside is a a kind of purgatory
where I wait for something to happen. I am going to give it a few more months
and then consider more seriously a place less optimal than I would have liked.
The thought of another winter, house less is decidedly unpleasant.

2. I do not have to do everything. For a few month I have been helping to
oversee a project at work. It has been tough, but I am growing more accustomed
to delegating things to be fixed instead of just doing myself. It is tempting
to try and be the guru who knows and does everything, but this leaves no room
for the team to grow and become empowered themselves. It also serves to
centralize knowledge which can make maintainability troublesome in the

3. I have a better idea of my long term life plans. Expect an article on
this to come, but I have a much better sense of how I want my career to go and
how (hopefully through good planning) I can retire early and pursue a second
less profitable career.

4. Investing is a big large monolithic subject, but easy to do once you
clear that first hurdle. I started a small account with Betterment and I am up $10 last I checked.
With continual investments every month this service (or some other endeavor I
run myself) will greatly contribute to my long term goals.

5. As you remember from last year I wanted to find old friends who I had
been out of contact with for some time. The good news is, in this digital age,
finding old friends is easy. The hardest part is starting to talk to them. It
is a lot like pulling out the knife from deep in the peanut butter jar, slow
but once you finish you get a sweet reward. I have had some great success
rediscovering what made us friends before.

What Am I Looking To Explore This Year?

1. Interested in doing some more metal working projects. With the great success of my foundry I
want to try actually making something useful with it. Maybe a butter knife. The
real problem now is making a good mold so my research will focus on that

2. More puzzle hunts. We have done two so far with a vast increase in
success with the second one compared to the first. Hopefully we can do some
more and maybe even finish one.

3. Film projects of the small variety. I really like AMVs so I want to try
making a few to see how difficult they are.

4. Improve my technical skills. I said I would do it last year, and I am
recommitting to that again. I learned a lot of web2.0 frameworks this year such
as knockout, angular, some of the new java 1.8 enhancements
(like lambdas), and a fair amount about our build tools like ant and rpm.

Things I Failed at This Year

1. Buying a house.

2. Doubling down on costuming. I did do a little work making a helmet, but I was nowhere close to making
the two costumes I thought I would. I am just less interested in this than I
used to be.

3. Historical reenactment. I did nothing in regards to this during the year.
It is on hold until the house thing is settled.

4. Contacting my old friends. I had some success, but there are still some
who elude me.

Overall, an enriching year. 6 more years to retirement? 16 seems more