Steve Grunwell

Open-source contributor, speaker, and electronics tinkerer

A retro condenser microphone on a nice, purple background

Steve of the Union ’22

Well now, it’s been a minute!

I haven’t published anything on here in over a year, and anything personal in far longer than that. Considering I just linked to my site from a pinned tweet, I should probably have some sort of “proof of life”.

As such, here’s a quick run-down of what’s been new in my life since…well, honestly, since the pandemic started:

1. We’ve moved away from Columbus

Yes, it’s true! After spending most of my life living in Central Ohio, we moved (almost exactly) a year ago to place I’ve lived second longest: Bowling Green, Ohio.

Don’t fret, Columbus friends: I still have plenty of reasons to make it back to the Capitol City with some regularity. If you’d like to catch up (or find yourself passing by Bowling Green), please feel free to reach out!

2. I’ve moved on from Liquid Web

After five years of service, I’ve moved on from Liquid Web/Nexcess. Nowadays, I’m a Staff Software Engineer at Mailchimp!

I’m still remote (in my new office, which even has a door!), and working with a great distributed team.

One major shift is that while I’m still primarily writing PHP, I’m not actively working in WordPress for the first time since 2010. It’s definitely a change of pace, but I’m getting to apply modern development practices to an application running at a scale that far exceeds anything I’ve worked on before. Better yet, I can feel good knowing that the work that I do is directly enabling small business owners, non-profits, and other organizations connect with their audiences.

3. We have a cat

This summer, we adopted a black kitten and named him Taco. He’s adorable but bites and scratches like a motherfucker.

Our cat, Taco.

The family loves him. The dog hates him.

Pro-tip: Never name a pet after a food that you love, or you will constantly be craving that food. “Taco, get off the counter!” quickly turns into “Damn, I could really go for some Mexican food right about now…”

4. I started building effects pedals

After falling down a rabbit hole with The JHS Show early in the pandemic, I started getting really in guitar effect pedals.

If you’re not aware, they’re not exactly cheap. However, I was looking for a reason to really learn how to solder, and it turns out that a lot of great pedals are not overly-complicated to build (or repair, if you have some broken gear lying around like I did).

I’ve built around a half-dozen pedals at this point (with another ten or so in various stages of completion), and for a brief moment there it was really my go-to hobby. Heck, I even started a blog about it, though it’s been getting about as much attention as my main site here. 😬

5. I’ve rediscovered my love of reading

Like many people I know, being forced to read books we weren’t interested in for a grade kinda sapped the fun out of reading. For me, that happened sometime in high school, and most of my reading since then has been non-fiction (news, tutorials, blogs, etc.).

When I started at Mailchimp, they sent me a Kindle as part of the welcome package. At first I was apprehensive (I had purchased and returned a Kindle at the start of the pandemic), but now I’ve read 14 books (mostly novels, with a few memoirs) since the start of August, with that number likely to reach 15 by the end of the weekend.

If you’re like me and got “too busy” to sit down and read a novel somewhere along the way, I’d recommend you give it a try. You can even add me as a friend on Goodreads, if you’d like.

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