Embracing the Summer Heat in Michigan

1 month ago ~1 minute read Real Life
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Summer has officially arrived here in Michigan, and the temperatures are definitely rising! I just installed an air conditioner in my office window—couldn’t handle the afternoon heat combined with the warmth from my computer setup. Thankfully, the bedroom unit was already in place, ensuring a comfortable night's sleep. Now, I just need to take care of the living room and the boys' room. The living room stays fairly cool on its own, so it hasn't been a priority. The boys' room, on the shadier side of the house, is also pretty comfortable.

Despite the heat, I've been thoroughly enjoying the pleasant weather. I make it a point to spend plenty of time outside with the boys, aiming for at least an hour or two every day. We've been frequenting the park every few days, and they absolutely love it. We’ve already had one barbecue and are planning another one tonight, with hopes for another this weekend. It's always a delightful experience.

Overall, life is going well. I'm taking each day as it comes, cherishing the moments with my sons. It doesn't get much better than this. Here's to a fun and memorable summer!

The Balancing Act: Web Development and Fatherhood Under One Roof

10 months ago 2 minute read Real Life
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As summer fades, Michigan's long winters loom ahead. While this typically boosts my work productivity, it also leaves me pondering how to fill my free time. With the kids back in school and shorter days, I often find myself at a loose end. And this year is no different.

My recent venture, Worldstone.io, hasn't been as successful as I'd hoped. Although it's faring well for a two-month-old site with roughly 100 daily visitors, it hasn't seen the steady traffic or loyal visitor base I'd anticipated. This, despite my Diablo IV browser extension (Chrome) (Firefox) boasting over 5,000 users, all linked back to my site. As a result, my initial plans to enhance the Diablo fansite have taken a backseat. Instead, I've opted to maintain regular content updates and let the site run on auto-pilot for the time being.

This pause has me contemplating my next move. Should I embark on a fresh website project, revisit past ventures, or perhaps dive into an entirely new realm, like game development? It's an open question, and the answer eludes me.

Financial stability is a growing concern. While a few of my projects still generate some income, it's not as much as before, tightening my financial belt. My ideal next project would offer a reliable monthly income, even if it takes a while to establish.

The life of a self-employed web developer and full-time father to two young boys isn't easy. Balancing work with parenting is a juggling act, fraught with challenges. But I wouldn't have it any other way. Soon enough, my little ones will join their older siblings in school, and I'll be back to solitude in my office.

Financial ups and downs are part of this journey. But I remain optimistic, knowing that when the time is right, prosperity will find its way back to me.

What Is It About Camping?

11 months ago 2 minute read Real Life
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My family and I recently embarked on a camping adventure, though it was more "glamping" than traditional camping. Rather than pitching tents in the wilderness, devoid of modern conveniences like electricity or running water, we opted for something more comfortable. We rented two small 10x10ft cabins at a campground, each equipped with a table, two chairs, two bunk beds, and a nightstand. Joining us were my mother and stepfather, necessitating the two cabins.

Initially, I was concerned about the weather. Michigan has been experiencing a wave of intense heat and humidity, which usually leads to an uncomfortable time outdoors. The thought of being stuck without shade, a breeze, or, most crucially, air conditioning seemed unbearable. However, as it turned out, the weather was nearly perfect.

Our camping trip began later than planned on the first day, as we had to wait for my wife to return from work and pack. With our car's brakes out of service, we made two trips to the campground in our van. Once settled, we enjoyed dinner, a brief swim for the kids, a campfire, and then headed to bed.

The second day of our camping trip was cooler, with some rain in the morning that later gave way to the perfect summer warmth. Our children spent most of the day splashing around in the pond and pool. Fishing was a challenge due to the strong current, making both regular and magnet fishing difficult. But the day was special as we celebrated my stepfather's birthday with ice cream, brownies, and, naturally, another campfire.

The final day was reserved for packing up and reflecting on the experience as we headed home. I found myself pondering the appeal of camping. Although I have a pleasant backyard where I can set up a tent and enjoy a fire, the idea of "camping" at home never entices me. Perhaps it's the enforced simplicity and connection to the moment that makes camping so appealing. I'm already looking forward to next year's trip, although my wife and I have decided to forgo the cabin, as they were not as enjoyable or comfortable as we had hoped.

About Me

1 year ago 4 minute read Real Life
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Hello there! My name is Ryan Spegal, and I'm thrilled to share a bit about myself with you. With nearly 25 years of experience in web development, I've witnessed the ever-evolving landscape of the digital world. From the early days of the internet to the modern era, I've stayed at the forefront of this dynamic field, constantly honing my skills and embracing new technologies.

Beyond my professional endeavors, I am a devoted family man, cherishing the roles of both a loving husband and a proud father of four. Nestled in the beautiful state of Michigan, my wife and I find joy in raising our children amidst the vibrant surroundings. Life with our little ones is an adventure, especially with our two youngest still in diapers. Our backyard has become a haven where we indulge in quality time together, engaging in playful activities, firing up the grill for delicious meals, and creating lasting memories around cozy bonfires.

Throughout my life, gaming has played a significant role, serving as a catalyst for my passion in programming. Starting at a young age, I taught myself how to create websites and games. In fact, by the time I turned 13, I had already developed a functioning game called "RsBattle" that garnered a dedicated following. This early success not only fueled my teenage years but also nurtured my programming skills and ignited a lifelong love affair with coding.

While life took me on different paths during my twenties, I returned to my programming roots in my thirties with a renewed determination. Today, I boast expertise in a wide range of technologies, including PHP, NodeJS, MySQL, HTML, CSS, and more. This proficiency allows me to bring my creative visions to life and craft exceptional web experiences.

When I'm not immersed in the digital realm, I find solace in the world of eBiking. Embracing the freedom and thrill it offers, I love exploring the town at breakneck speeds or venturing into the untamed wilderness, zipping along dirt mountain bike trails. This exhilarating hobby has become a family affair, as my wife and I both own eBikes. Even our daughter is reaching an age where she can join in on the fun. To ensure no one is left behind, I've equipped my three sons with their own pull-behind attachments, ensuring unforgettable adventures for everyone.

In addition to my technological pursuits and outdoor escapades, I believe in striking a balance between competitiveness and enjoyment when it comes to gaming. Over the years, I've achieved remarkable feats within the gaming world, from being the first person in RuneScape to accomplish a particular challenge (99 Prayer @ 15 combat) to securing the coveted top ranks in World of Warcraft boss fights. Alongside these accomplishments, I've had the privilege of creating official fansites for various video games. However, as life has grown busier, my gaming time has become more limited. Nonetheless, when I do find the opportunity to dive into a gaming session, I strive to give my best and savor every triumphant moment.

So, whether I'm immersing myself in the world of web development, reveling in the joys of fatherhood, or embarking on thrilling eBike adventures, I approach each endeavor with enthusiasm, dedication, and an unwavering commitment to making the most of every experience. I'm delighted to share my journey with you, and I look forward to connecting with fellow enthusiasts and like-minded individuals along the way.