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Personal Yearly Updates

Surprise I’m 32

I recently turned 32 (October birthdays, woo!), so here are 32 stream-of-consciousness topics that came to me as I forced myself to write about 32 topics.

  1. Thanks to everyone for coming out to Buca for my birthday! And thanks to Rob for surprising me and organizing it. Great food and great friends are always appreciated. Also, thanks to Rob for the headphones, Erik for the MEGABOOM, Vic and Robert for the cards, and everyone for the well-wishes.
  2. I weighed in at 190 recently. Calorie counting has been a lot easier and a lot more effective than I thought it would be, and I feel pretty damn good about it. I keep saying this, but a full weight-loss blog post is coming soon.
  3. ​My back pain is now mostly an afterthought, which is a huge relief. It’s still pops a lot, and I still intend to pursue additional support for that. But I’m certainly very thankful for how I can compartmentalize and avoid worrying about it these days.
  4. Bike riding is as awesome as it used to be, and this year has been such a wild ride (no pun intended) for this hobby. Rob has gone from no bike-riding experience to biking easily around Jekyll Island and Fort Wilderness; I got my first (cheap) bike for the first time since I became an adult; and it turns out it’s a really fun and motivational way to get some exercise.
  5. Low-calorie meal-replacement smoothies with no added sugar are still somehow delicious and it feels like cheating. Pair that up with a KIND bar and you’ve got my lunch most days.
  6. I’ve started trying to actually care about my appearance this year. My closet is mostly button-down plaids and slacks now. I have a small trimmed beard (the very same one I tried in middle school that got me called Old Abe). I get haircuts more than once every other month and don’t get it buzzed out of convenience. My former self would be incredulous, but my current self is better, so shove it former self.
  7. Even after losing 50+ pounds, shopping for pants still sucks in every way.
  8. Alcohol and burgers have disappeared from my diet and I don’t even notice most days. It does kind of suck at parties though.
  9. Blackened chicken sandwiches are amazing, especially at seafood joints.
  10. Our family recipe for baked Mac and cheese has iterated to near perfection. It was pretty simple at first: mostly just cheese, pasta, an oven. Then we added chicken. I caught the bug for green beans in 2015 in California (thanks Chance), so in those went. Now we’re mixing in some spice rub from Southern Soul in Georgia and…man. It’s so, so good now. All credit goes to the house cook, Rob. I make room in my daily calorie goal for 1.5 portions.
  11. Mixing music is still really fun and rewarding. One of these days I should learn a better workflow than the one I came up with in 2004, but MixMeister Pro 6 is still helping me deliver the beat. I’ll post my recent set for Halloween soon! It’s mostly older classics and singles I’ve always wanted to play, but I really had a blast playing it this year.
  12. Sometimes it’s nice to just look around and see all the stuff I’m able to use now. I’m very thankful for it all and I never feel like I deserve any of it (in so much as we all deserve all of it), but it’s so nice to be able to prioritize having nice tools (headphones, watch, phone, etc.) around me when I want them.
  13. At work, we’ve formed experimental new Scrum teams. Upon returning from the mountains, I successfully pitched our group name as “Team Fresh,“ gifted each member a bar of soap from Blowing Rock, and promptly named our backlog Mr. Bucket. We have “daily refresh” phone calls, frequently post the Fresh Prince, and will be a non-stop pun factory for the foreseeable future.
  14. Territorialism is bad. Next time someone asks you for something you both know they need, maybe like, try to just help them out and make their day a million times less stressful. Generally, if someone is being proactive, they care as much about doing good work as you do. Give them a chance.
  15. Even really expensive Dell laptops still mostly feel terrible to use. It’s hard to go back once you’re used to nice build quality. I was provisioned this mega-expensive developer laptop and every time I use it I feel like it couldn’t have cost more than $500. It’s a bummer; I tend to thrive off of a nice working environment.
  16. Pending the trainer opening their payment system, I’ve gotten permission to take a couple trainings this November: Certified ScrumMaster and Certified Scrum Product Owner. Both will be extremely welcome PDUs for my PMP certification, and I’m pretty excited about extending my reach into the project management field/discipline.
  17. The Bay Area is impenetrable and Seattle didn’t do it for me. I’m not sure where’s next for me, but I’ve been looking around Charlotte, NC. Mountains within a morning’s drive!
  18. I’ve completely migrated over to a password manager (1Password if you’re curious, but LastPass is just as good). Despite thinking it was going to be a hassle, it’s actually been very convenient and a huge relief to never have to worry about remembering passwords again. Highly recommended.
  19. I was hyped for the iPhone X but I chose an 8 instead. I’d rather wait a year for the tech, supply, and software to improve before it’s inevitably standard next year. It does look fantastic though.
  20. Wireless charging on the new iPhone is crazy convenient. My phone is now rarely below 70% at any point in the day. Forget USB vs. Lightning; this will be the new cross-platform standard soon.
  21. Is Sonic awesome again? Mania was fantastic, Forces looks pretty good, the comic reboot looks rad as—wait, sorry the answer is that Sonic is and always will be awesome.
  22. Super Mario Odyssey is legitimately amazing.
  23. There’s only one thing better than an SNES Classic: a Switch SNES virtual console. C’mon Nintendo.
  24. My mom let me borrow a fairly old Kindle over the summer and it’s amazing how effective it is at keeping me focused on reading (when I can find the focus to read at all). I can’t look ahead or be distracted by text on future pages; I have much less of a sense of how much is “left”; and I can keep the text large and the page flips often. It all adds up to a much more intentional and focused activity that has helped me make it through a couple books now. I can’t remember the last time I’ve read a book prior to 2017, so I’ll take the uptick as a good sign! I just snagged a discounted Kindle Paperwhite, so hopefully I can keep the momentum going.
  25. I saw both The My Little Pony Movie and Blade Runner 2049 while in Boone, NC the first week of October, and they both left me with such strong feelings that I’ve seen both again in theater’s since. Both are highly recommended (for very different reasons). IMAX is required for 2049; it was one of the best experiences I’ve had in a theater despite having seen it already. And there’s no dismissing the bubbly fun the MLP movie leaves you with.
  26. I never did blog about it, but we took a short trip over Labor Day weekend to the armpit of Florida (west of Gainesville/Ocala, on the Suwannee River). From Friday-Monday, a group of us (Me, Rob, Erik, Vic, Robert, and Paul) stayed in a house on stilts at Hart Springs. We kayaked the ocean off of Cedar Key (and were caught in a rainstorm and thought we were going to die) and tubed down the Ichetucknee Springs run for hours. Our meals ranged from Huddle House to middle-of-nowhere BBQ, from ocean-view fish sandwiches to small-town ice cream cups. Friday’s requisite midnight Walmart run turned into Sunday’s one-of-everything breakfast. And on top of all that, we still managed to surprise Rob for his birthday. Despite losing my glasses in the spring on Sunday, I don’t think I’ve ever been more consistently happy and satisfied with a vacation. Thanks to all that helped make it amazing.
  27. Plan, do, check, act. This works for basically everything, and if you do this, you’re already ahead of basically everyone else.
  28. I really like planning. The more I plan, the happier I feel. I’ve learned to be more aware of the appropriate level of planning too, to keep things manageable and digestible. Planning for failure allows you to react to it exactly as you want to!
  29. I have developed some kind of…skill at vacationing. Or maybe at traveling? I’m not sure how to explain it, but after every day trip, vacation, or event this year, I’ve found myself thinking, “Wow, this worked out really well.” I’m making better judgments about timing and planning, I’m trying to cram less into each day, but I’m also pushing myself to do more. It still drives me nuts that I can’t nail down exactly what is DIFFERENT (and thus am constantly terrified it’s random and will regress), but it feels very good. Like things are finally clicking.
  30. It feels like I’ve grown a lot this year. I’m lighter, much more active, happier at home, more motivated at work (despite literally every reason not to be), and much more satisfied with my relationships. I’ve set a lot of goals and met a lot of them. I’m doing more, and feeling better about doing (and not doing) what I want. I have plenty of room to improve (which is exciting), but I’m very content with this year so far.
  31. Donald Trump’s Twitter account disappeared this evening for about 11 minutes and it was the best 11 minutes of my life.
  32. I am sitting in a seafood restaurant eating a blackened chicken sandwich. I can only hear the sampled rain noise in my recently-gifted noise-canceling headphones. I just typed all of this out. I think I’m getting close to a writing head-space. Finally.

Hey look at me I sat down and typed this out like a big boy. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go home and play more Mario. Thanks for reading, and until next time.

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By radicoon

Web Developer, Project Manager, Internet Raccoon