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accomplishment-road_02012 was an interesting year.  As the year began I was entering the second half of my Fellowship at Carnegie Mellon University. I played geobachelor daddy for a couple months to allow the spouse to accept a new job while I took care of the kids.   In April, a shipmate was killed in Afghanistan.  We even moved to a new location and I started another job (within the Navy).


  • Put 12% of my base salary toward retirement.
  • Maxed out annual IRA contribution.
  • Purchased a home.
  • Maintained Zero credit card debt; rearranged credit cards to maximize reward benefits.


  • Enjoyed more time with my kids.  As compared to 2011 when I was deployed.
  • Started this Blog.  I know, you’re jealous!
  • Went on two big trips.  I enjoyed attending CES for the first time and a solo trip home to visit family.


  • Invested further in a grown-up wardrobe. Millenium Falcon diagram T-shirts only go so far…although these awesome Millenium Falcon Cufflinks might have to be a part of this new wardrobe.
  • Completed 5 academic classes. Through National Defense University, they were CIO 2.0 Roles and Responsibilities, Enterprise Information Security and Risk Management, Information Assurance and Critical Infrastructure Protection, Cyber Security for Information Leaders, and Measuring Results of Organizational Performance.
  • Discovered how education is evolving!  Do you know what MOOCs are?
  • Completed my Fellowship Report.

I’m putting together my 2013 goals now to ensure I have much to strive for!  What did you enjoy accomplishing?  What are your goals this year?

[Inspired by GMBMFB]

Incoming search terms:

accomplishment quotes

Image via Coursera


Most everyone is looking for some form of free online classes but what about free a high quality college class online?  If you’re one of the many looking to take an online college class then these providers are for you!  I’ve written before about Massively Open Online Courses (MOOCs) which are online courses provided by a growing group of top academic institutions.  This list of institutions is growing rapidly and is a treasure trove of knowledge for those that are seeking to learn and gain an exceptional education from these free online courses.

Massively Open Online Courses (MOOCs) can be used to provide Tier 1 training with zero investment cost.  What is more important to you?  Learning and paying back significant student loans that includes a piece of parchment or Learning what you want from high quality institutions on demand while you venture out and build something great.  This is a question that is becoming more and more difficult to answer especially when you are faced with the quality institutions that are producing these offerings.

Coursera - original partners Princeton University, Stanford University, University of Michigan, and University of Pennsylvania.  As 17 July 2012 The following institutions joined Coursera California Institute of Technology, Duke University, Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne, Georgia Institute of Technology, Johns Hopkins University, Rice University, University of California, San Francisco, University of Edinburgh, University of Illinois at Urbana- Champaign, University of Toronto, University of Virginia, University of Washington.

Open Learning Initiative (OLI) -  a grant-funded group at Carnegie Mellon University, offering innovative online courses to anyone who wants to learn or teach. Their aim is to create high-quality courses and contribute original research to improve learning and transform higher education.

TedED - creating lessons worth sharing.  An extension of TED’s mission of spreading great ideas.

MIT Open Courseware - a web-based publication of virtually all MIT course content. OCW is open and available to the world and is a permanent MIT activity.

Codecademy -  offers self-paced hands on learning of JavaScript, Web Fundamentals, JQuery, and a basic Code Year.

Khan Academy - a not-for-profit with the goal of changing education for the better by providing a free world-class education for anyone anywhere.

Udacity - learn by solving challenging problems and pursuing udacious projects with world-renowned university instructors (not by watching long, boring lectures)

Udemy - helps students make moves. Whether you want to get promoted, break into a new industry, start a company, further a passion, or just accelerate your life, Udemy helps you learn from the amazing instructors in the world, so that you can get there and get there faster.

edX - Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Harvard University, University of California - Berkeley.  Nothing like free online classes from Harvard right?

What do you plan to learn first?  My recommendation is some form of Computer Science or Programming….now which to choose… Enjoy!

If there is one thing I recommend you do on the United States of America’s Independence Day it is to teach your children or family something about our great country’s history and birth.  One of my favorite topics is one of the Founding Fathers and especially the United States’ Second President John Adams.  I originally watched the HBO series John Adams for the first time a couple of years ago and was hooked - You’re going to love the intro song!  It impelled me to read the book by David McCullough and then add the John Adams series on Blu-ray to my collection.  If you don’t want to wait or are already enjoying the celebration at home start with streaming Part 1: Join or Die [HD].  Also a word of caution - I loved David McCullough’s book so much that I tore into another of his books - 1776!

I bet you didn’t know that John Adams (our 2nd President and our 1st Vice President) and Thomas Jefferson (our 3rd President) both passed away on the 4th of July.  Check out the series to find out which passed away first and more in this wonderful integrated Educational and Entertainment series!

Happy Independence Day!