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
- 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.
- 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
- 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.
- TIG Welding. So I can build some titanium bike frames.
- Gardening. An important skill for any post-Doomsday scenario.