I made good progress for some of my resolutions. I completed five additional books bringing my year-to-date total to 23, which is considerably more than where I should be to complete 52 by the end of the year. Of the five books, I really enjoyed The Autumn Republic by McClellan, Foundation and Earth by Asimov, and Essential Scrum by Rubin – scoring all of these as 4 out of 5 stars. Foundation and Earth was slightly disappointing. I have been reading through all of Asimov’s books since January and I was excited to bring the epic to a conclusion with this last book but it ended in a cliff hanger – not cool Dr. Asimov. I read some comments online suggesting Asimov intended to write a few additional books but passed away before he could complete them.
The Alchemist was somewhat disappointing but I think it may be a victim of its own success. I stumbled across it on Amazon and was amazed at how many 5-star reviews it had received. Once I read through it, I thought it was pretty boring – I’m guessing that the quasi-spiritual nature of the book appeals to many people but it wasn’t my cup of tea.
For the continuous learning, I worked my way through a textbook on Scrum – a popular approach for software development. I was motivated to read this because there seemed to be a lot of promise for implementing this at my own job although we do more than software development. At the conclusion, I was a believer but only for software development. For my own applications, I think I would like to use the Scrum approach but imagine many liberties would need to be taken due to the type of business, engineering, and regulatory environments. I ended up taking about 50 pages of notes, as I really try to learn this material. So this isn’t just skimming textbooks while on the commode. I did stop my work on the digital circuits class – it was interesting but my focus shifted to Scrum and I didn’t have the time to juggle both the textbook and the online class this month.
This means I have fulfilled 60% of my learning resolution (3 out of 5) by the end of April. I’m not really sure what I’ll do for May. I bought another textbook called Risk Assessment and Decision Analysis with Bayesian Networks. I’ve just started reading the first couple of chapters and it’s the typical introductory material. I think I will like the textbook but that may change as I sink deeper into the textbook.
April is the first month this year that I’ve had a surplus in my running mileage. My resolution was to run at least 365 miles this year meaning that on average I should run 1 mile a day. For January through March, I fell far below this goal. As the temperatures have risen this spring, I have been out running more and more, particularly on the weekends as my current work schedule doesn’t permit running outdoors easily. I logged 35.2 miles in April. The running was terribly slow – this year I’m trying to run at moderate exertion levels rather than high exertion levels like I did last year. I’m doing this predominately because it seems like I’ve seen several articles lately suggesting that harder workouts are not necessarily better workouts. The total miles run to date is 59.4 miles, where I should have run almost twice that number. I will have to work harder in the upcoming months to make up that deficit.