Using Your Local Resources
I'm living in the triangle area, and I have found some great resources that others out there can use if you make the time.
I love places of higher learning. The atmosphere is generaly good, people are excited, and most of the resources are free, or you have to pay for a ID, where you become a "benefactor" or a "friend" of the university. Being in the triangle area, Duke, Carolina, and NC State all 3 have great librarys. In particular, Duke and Carolina have medical schools with great librarys and State has a vet school, with a awesome animal library. Depending on what I'm working on, I'll go to the respective library and check out some of the books. States vet library has a whale skeleton, and dukes librarys have the moving shelves that save space and have these cast iron art deco shelves with marble floors that are beautiful. If your looking for a work out, Carolina geological library has this pile of maps about 4 foot tall, thats insane, but the old maps in the pile are great, hand made.
I'm a pretty social guy, so going out there and talking to people is something natural to me. But I cant stress how important this is. I have met some great people in the area that have been helping me or have offered some help or just go get a beer. You make new friends, and you have fun, what more could you want? In particular, I've been going to IGDA, First robotics, and a local socal group that meets once a month. Also making friends if you work somewhere is a good thing. If there isn't a local socal group that goes and gets beverages in your area, make one. Any one can make a google group and they are free. Additionaly, making cards and sending them to people during holidays or sending ecards is a good way to keep in touch with people.