This week I was able to give away a very old tent (left over from a yard sale about 10 years ago) and receive a vintage milkshake maker (fully functional). Enjoyment level increased a lot -- larger empty space in the garage and discovering that the inside of the other tent still in the garage may be useful to make a cover for the A/C (heavier than just a tarp wrapped around for the winter).
I've started with a Linux VPS (the most basic level) and installed AMP (using Digital Ocean's excellent tutorial), created a couple of databases and a user using a command line reference at (http://www.liquidweb.com/kb/delete-a-mysql-database-on-linux-via-command...). The only thing I'm missing now to make Civi usable is Clean URLs. Then to try a large import.
Book: Hooked by Nir Eyal - How to build habit forming products - discussed in Surviving the Digital Apocalypse (keeping content relevant regardless of what happens with the technology -- used examples from TVO, not for profit news services. Christine McGlade / Jesse Emmanuel Rosario from Analytical Engine Interactive.
Mayo Drupal 8 theme
Browsersync.io (display changes on all devices as they're made -- saves refreshing phone, ipad, laptop...)