The Blog of Brandon G Parker

Currently Reading: Our Revolution: A Future to Believe In

Our Revolution: A Future to Believe In

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Redirection and Long Overdue Updates

The last post in this blog was almost 18 months ago. I never really said I’d be very dedicated to it but I figured I’d update this more often than that. Anyhow, for the infrequent visitor to this blog you may remember a very dark, sloppy, ugly, and outdated design. Old design be gone to this fancy new look and feel. Why, you might be asking, is a web developer with nearly a decade of experience who is very passionate about front-end development and architecture using a template on a WordPress blog? You might be asking why is a web developer even using WordPress? You might just be asking yourself how you found this blog. Well, the simple answer (to the first two questions) is because I’m very busy with work, hobbies, and side projects and just don’t have the desire or time to create a customized WordPress theme for myself. I’ll add that WordPress has always been the gold standard of WYSIWYG editors around and why should I reinvent the wheel for what I’m using this for?

What’s changed? Well, a lot actually. I work at a new company and am in a new role. Still a developer but focused only on front-end development and front-end architecture. Side projects are still written in PHP and I still do all the front- and back-end development on those. I now have two cats: Benjamin and Vesta. I ride my bike for thousands of miles a year. Traveled to some cool places: Yosemite, St. Louis, Philadelphia, Denver, and Austin just to name a few.  Still crazy about science and space. Still loving drinking great beers.

What’s coming up for this blog? Well, don’t expect really frequent updates. But do expect more occasional updates. There will still be random posts like this, maybe some cat photos, but also expect more cool posts.  About what? Well, I want to write posts about science and space, the occasional political rant, things about the state of cycling in Chicago, and brewing experiments and the like. But I also want to give back some, which is why I’ll also be sharing information about awesome web technologies like npm and Node.js. This is just the start of something I hope will be kinda cool but not all that time consuming.

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2015 Vegetable Garden

The weather didn’t want me to plant my vegetables this year but I finally got this taken care of today. This is by far the largest collection of vegetables that I’ve ever tried to produce. This last winter I purchased another Earth box but this one was a smaller size, so I’m able to increase my production some. Here’s my 2015 vegetable garden:

  • Cabbage
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Lettuce
  • Red cabbage
  • Jalapenos
  • Green bell peppers
  • Red bell peppers
  • Cherry tomato
  • Standard tomato
  • Sweet corn
  • Sweet basil

I eat my large meal during the week for lunch and I struggle to find healthy and lighter meals for dinner. I’ve started buying salads to eat throughout the week, but with this garden I should be able to save some money by growing my own salads.

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2015 Fitness Goals: May Update

May was a pretty good month for my fitness goals. This happened even though I was out of town for a few weeks the month. I took my trip to Yosemite National Park where I did lots of hiking and a little biking as well, which greatly helped my numbers.

I have a really good feeling about June. I think this will be the month I really hit my weekly and monthly goals and take a nice bite out of my annual biking goal.

Weekly Goals

Bike Over 125 Minutes per Week

Of the five weeks of the month, I actually hit this goal zero times. It’s hard to bike when you’re out of town, and when I was in town the weather didn’t lend itself to biking. It was cold and rainy for a good number of days this month. That being said, I came close a few times, this last week being only nine small minutes away from the goal.

0 times goal was met / 5 weeks available

Monthly Goals

Bike Over 100 Miles per Month

Even though I never accomplished my weekly biking goal even once this month I still logged a good amount of distance for the month.

70.84 / 100 miles – 70.84% complete

Annual Goals

Bike Over 1,000 Miles this Year

The last time I hit my 100 mile / month goal was back in February. This wasn’t a big deal back then but I’m starting to get a little concerned about meeting this goal now that I’ve missed the monthly goal for several months in a row.

336.7 / 1,000 miles – 33.7% complete / 66.3% remaining

Hike Over 50 Miles this Year

I took a hiking trip to California to go hiking in the Sierra Nevada this month which helped with my hiking totals. I still have a little bit of distance to go to accomplish this goal but I don’t think I’ll have any issues completing this goal this year.

38 / 50 miles – 76% complete – 24% remaining

Take Over 1,500,000 Steps this Year

The hiking trip and my business trip helped propel me over the one million mark for steps in the year. 1.5 million steps seemed like a really large and stretch goal but given the current pace for the goal I’ll exceed this but a good amount by the end of the year.

1,032,320 / 1,500,000 steps – 68.8% complete / 31.2% remaining

Walk Over 500 Miles this Year

I met the goal! This is proof that I didn’t set this one high enough. I suppose I could set a stretch goal for this, so let’s double this and say 1,000 miles is the first stretch goal.

546.7 / 500 miles – 109.2% complete / 0% remaining
Stretch Goal: 546.7 / 1,000 miles – 54.6% complete / 45.4% remaining

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2015 Fitness Goals: April Update

April was a mixed bag of success and failure for the fitness goals. Most of the month was rain or cold weather which didn’t lend itself to riding my bike. But, this month I also decided to walk home from work, each day a different route, so essentially I was walking a 5k every day I didn’t ride my bike. So my steps and walking distance increased dramatically this month.  This month also allowed me to go hiking for the first time of 2015, and in one month I exceeded the annual hiking distance I completed for 2014.

Weekly Goals

Bike Over 125 Minutes per Week

Most of this month was cold and/or rainy so I wasn’t able to do much in the way of cycling. That being said, I did manage to ride almost every week in April and did end up exceeding the 125 minutes a week goal once this month.

1 times goal was met / 5 weeks available

Monthly Goals

Bike Over 100 Miles per Month

Only got to a little over 50% completion for this goal this month. Like I mentioned before, the weather didn’t lend itself to cycling so I did other activities instead, as you’ll see later on. Regardless, I tacked on almost 60 miles to my annual goals which isn’t bad.

58.85 / 100 miles – 58.85% complete

Annual Goals

Bike Over 1,000 Miles this Year

As stated several times I wasn’t able to ride as much as I needed to to move the needle on this goal, but even little amounts help. The weather improves more each day and soon I’ll be riding to work nearly every day as well as running errands. When that happens, this number will really start to move.

265.8 / 1,000 miles – 26.6% complete / 73.4% remaining

Hike Over 50 Miles this Year

I actually got to go hiking this month! I went on two hiking trips and with just the first trip I exceeded the entire hiking distance I did in all of 2014. I have a lot of hiking trips planned now that it’s starting to warm up and I don’t believe I’ll have issues with meeting this goal.

20 / 50 miles – 40% complete – 60% remaining

Take Over 1,500,000 Steps this Year

I started walking home from work on days I didn’t ride in order to get more exercise and I think it shows in the next two goals. This month alone I walked over 250,000 steps because of my many 5k walking trips home. I set this goal as realistically as I could. I tracked steps half of my year last year, so I doubled it for this goal. So far this still seems reasonable. Cycling starting back up will cut into this in the coming months so I was glad to get such an increase in April.

753,755 / 1,500,000 steps – 50.2% complete / 49.8% remaining

Walk Over 500 Miles this Year

Yeah, I clearly underestimated this goal. I’ll have it completed probably by early June, if not earlier.

400.6 / 500 miles – 80.1% complete / 19.9% remaining

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