I’m back from my week in SoCal and I’m now a week into my Sabbatical, so it’s time to start figuring out what my projects are for the next period of time and creating a routine to make them happen.

The best way to do this, of course, is to completely schedule yourself out into things that disrupt those routines. Last week I had to go south to deal with stuff, this week the landscapers are showing up to — finally — tear out the old yards and install new, not-sucky ones for us (finally); and next week is the Yosemite Cocoaconf conference.

So this home-body is traveling the first two weeks of his freedom, and the third we’re squeezing in a complete scrape and plant of the property. No biggie. But after this burst, things settle down, and I need to start making decisions. Well, honestly, I’m not going to get fired if I just fire up the Playstation for a bit….

Yeah, that’s the path I don’t want to travel, and I need to make sure I avoid that path of least resistance…

The Plan

So here are the current things on the project list:

  • Get writing for the blog back on a schedule — at least 3 times a week.
  • Re-do the blog, because, god help me, aren’t we always in the middle of a redesign of your blogs? But in this case, since I’ve decided to stop attempting to turn the photography into a “business” of some sort, I want to merge the two sites/blogs back together and simplify things for me (and for you), and clean up some loose ends while supporting some new initiatives.
  • Learn Swift — because it’s time to get back on the coding horse.
  • Write my app — because the only good way to learn a new language is to write something real in it.
  • A secret project, because it’s no fun unless you have a secret project. All I can say about it right now is it’s another one of those “I want to try this and see how it goes” things I do, something I’ve wanted to try for a while, and it’s actually gotten a lot closer to being announce-able in the last week. And if you’re paying attention to my twitter feed, you might see something I posted that might be a hint.

This should keep me busy for now. On top of this, there’s my work to create a real exercise plan and get out and walk on a regular basis (and get the bikes rehabbed and get back on them, and…), plus I have a lower priority plant go through 20 years of clutter around the house and get it organized or donated or trashed — because I need to clean out the clutter as part of getting ready to find a general contractor to do some remodel work on the house, since it’s been 20 years here, and we want to get it ready for the next 20.

Where things stand

Here’s a few notes on where some of these things stand…

For learning Swift, I can highly recommend Swift Programming by the Big Nerd Ranch gang. Also their Cocoa Programming for OS X, since the project I’m doing is for Mac, not for IOS. For what it’s worth, as someone who is really a perl/php/mysql geek who grew up with C and has delusions of grandeur, I’m really digging Swift now that I’m starting to dive into it.

Decisions have been made on the blog re-do. I’ve been telling people for a while I was going to migrate all of this off to Squarespace, but after having taken a closer look, I’ve decided to stay on WordPress, and the next version will continue to use the Photocrati theme as a base. This is not a criticism of Squarespace at all; I’m doing this for two reasons: first, it’ll be less work for me overall, and second, it’ll be faster. I’m also comfortable with the environment and so my comfort level on this is pretty high. I really like Squarespace, and for new projects and for people who haven’t been geeking WordPress as long as I have it’d be the platform I recommend — but for my needs, WordPress still wins.

Overall, it’s not going to be a major rethink, more a merge and cleanup. I’ve got a sandbox up and I’m starting to whack at moles as we speak…

I’m also writing the formal project definition for the App. I can tell you that as of now, it’s called Dungeon Delve, and it’s going to be in that class of app’s that are known as roguelike. It is at its core very much a modern reinvention of rogue and will be a dungeon crawler, and one reason I’ve chosen to write this for the Mac instead of IOS is that I really want the classic Rogue mechanics available, especially keyboard navigation. there’s no real reason it can’t be made into an IOS app down the road if I choose to. it’s going to be closer to classic rogue than many games in this space, but still updated to be a modern game as well. (it’s a floor wax and a dessert topping!)

The goal for Dungeon Delve is straightforward: write it for the Mac in Swift, publish it in the App Store and release the source code as open source on GitHub. The goal is to get me fingers back into coding in a non-trivial way, but it’s more about creating it and making it available and less about making money off of it. think of it as a resume project more than a revenue project…

I’m guessing this will all keep my busy for a while…