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by • May 20, 2013 • LifeComments Off126

Three Things I Have Taught Myself

I’ve always been something of an autodidact — I have this insatiable need to know things, both factual and procedural. It’s something that I think has really helped me get to where I am in life, and something that I want to foster in my kids. For that matter, I think that instilling a love of learning is where the school system falls flat.

Three Things I Have Taught Myself

  1. Web Design/Development. I was fortunate enough to start web design and dev back in the early 90’s when HTML was 1.0 and CSS was a few years out yet. I learned everything I could, through countless hours of experimenting — that I was in college and coasting through my freshman classes made it a lot easier. Then I dug into Javascript and Perl. And then ColdFusion (*gag*). I was still pretty involved in all of this until about 2004. Lately, I’ve been working to get my skills back up to snuff.
  2. Bicycle Repair. I’ve always loved bikes, and until 1999, I half-assed my repairs or paid someone else to do them for me. Then in ’99, I landed a part time gig at a bike shop near Philly, and they threw me to the wolves. I had to figure things out, albeit with a little advice here and there from the shop manager. Now I don’t think there’s anything I can’t do — except maybe set up a Di2 bike, because I’ve had zero exposure to them outside of trade shows.
  3. Font Design. You can argue that I wasn’t very good at this — and yeah, my first forays really really sucked. I was spitting out a lot of free fonts that were effectively just garbage, but toward the end there, things were really starting to come around. A big part of that was spending a lot of repetitive time with the process, and absorbing everything I could through books and talking to people (mostly Chank). I haven’t really touched it much since the mid-2000’s, but I’m pretty confident I could get back to it and do some interesting stuff.

Three Additional Things I’d Like to Learn

  1. Telescope Operations. Backyard telescope, not the big suckers. For a long time, I’ve kinda noodled with the idea of buying a telescope kit from MakerShed and knocking that out.
  2. TIG Welding. So I can build some titanium bike frames.
  3. Gardening. An important skill for any post-Doomsday scenario.

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