Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Life: 2013

Another year has come and gone.

Diet

Although this was not a goal at the beginning of the year, I did make it my goal by end of the year some months ago. I did not quite meet my goal to lose 10 pounds by end of the year, but I did lose almost 5 pounds. I did most of my loss in the last quarter.

Keeping track of my weight throughout the year really gave me some motivation. This year, I had attended 7 weddings spread almost evenly apart. With all the travels and celebrations, I had gained quite a few pounds (up 5 pounds by end of Q3). Summer was also very difficult because I took a break from intramural sports which I was playing indoor soccer and volleyball.

Fortunately, I found my exercise ball and started making use of that in September when I started working from home more often. I would do simple crunches during meetings. This did not tire me nor distract me from taking notes. I could probably do about 80-120 light crunches which I would only feel the burn when I stand up. For reference, I can do about 20 sit-ups to feel the same burn in my abs. After doing this for a couple weeks, I noticed a significant increase in running. I do not lose my breath as easily and also increased my speed.

In the last month, I have added other exercised to my workouts by making use of the hotels I stayed at. I learned a few other exercised from my cousins that I can do without weights or machines. In the last week, I've added some weights to my workouts which might have worked against my weight loss. I have noticed that I am a bit more tone so I figure I have gained some muscle mass. Since I am doing this more for health, I don't mind that I have not made significant weight loss during this time period.

I am now able to run 10 minute miles easily on a treadmill. I expect this to be actually a bit slower on the road but I can probably accomplish it by putting in effort since I am not exhausted after 10 minutes on the treadmill.

Project

Although near the end of the year, I finally started on my project. Although spent a lot of time to learn Linux and Python, I have passed a hurdle I've been trying to do for several years. I still need an idea to build on but creating user and security management will keep my busy for some time. I will probably built other smaller apps to get used to Python.

With a mixture of visiting friends, friend's wedding, group trips, traveling with family, and other holiday events, I have not put much time in the last couple weeks but foresee progress after the new year. I have a general idea to build a personal inventory system which will provide notice to personal life events. 


Work

I am working on my second longest tenure at a single company. Although not very challenging, there are still some things that I learn every so often. I experienced a lot of reorganizations and worked under a few bosses now. The latest boss seems much more experienced in release management so there was a lot to learn in the last quarter. The new process is much easier to maintain so I feel a bit overqualified for the work that I do, so I spend some time observing how my current boss gets these changes implemented where the past bosses were not as effective.

With a regular 8-9 hour schedule and working remotely, I have time outside of work to exercise and/or work on my project. This has been good so far.

Although I was not searching for new work, I have a company request an interview in the last couple weeks. It sounds interesting especially with a higher rate. The position is focused more on release management tasks. The cons is that it will not be remote work and will be more work filled. My only concern with it being more busy is if the company dedicates any time to improve processes to simplify certain tasks. I would definitely give it thought if I pass the first interview. As of now, it is not worth thinking too deeply on until I get a more serious consideration.


Social Life

I have made a lot of new efforts to meet new people. I hope to continue to get out more to meet other new people. Also, I hope to spend more quality time with friends and family. Counter-intuitively, I plan to pay more attention to idle chats. I think I sometimes spend too much through processing on more serious topics, so I do not feel as connected to people as they are with other friends. For one, I need to ask more questions about their personal lives and keep track of them. I need to ask things like where they traveled or plan to travel, places they've ate at, etc. In the past, I didn't care much for this before because I haven't cared much about traveling.

I have noticed that this has also helped with my memory. I am not sure if it is because I am just more aware or just that I am exercising my ability to recall information. It may just be a combination of the two. 

Blogging

I have found that blogging takes up quite a bit of time. I think I may cut down on the frequency of blogging. I was also thinking of possibly moving towards a wiki to post on more informative type content like reviews and complaints. The reason is because these types of content provides more value over time as opposed to other content that are more time sensitive so has decreasing value as the post ages.

I think my topics are still bouncing around a lot. I have not determined whether this is a good or bad thing. Although this may not be as reader friendly, there is no particular audience that I am writing towards except for my future self. The topic choices will likely to stay erratic and let search engines lead readers to whichever posts is relevant to them.

I have added webmaster, analytics, and ad-sense to the blog. This has not provided much assistance in what I want to write about. Although it tells me which posts are more popular, most of those posts are not of real importance to me although I'm glad that there are people who make use of it.

2014

Happy new year! I wish you all a good, prosperous, and healthy 2014.