Thursday, December 31, 2015

Wrapping up my 2015

I fell behind on my blogging.  Took multiple months for somebody to say something (thanks Kelc) then another month or two for the next person to notice (the Happy Couple™).

I don't really blame anybody for not reading anymore.  My writing slowly transitioned into a really monotonous, almost robotic, data collection.  The only nice thing about being boring-and-diligent was that I could search back through the blog to figure out when something happened, or where I have been.  That's great... if I actually went places and did things.  Soooo yeah I've been pretty boring lately.  I feel like I'm getting old.  Things just don't sound fun anymore, or worth the effort.

  • On the work side of life, I started the year working on a high visibility project, then transitioned to driving the software development on another high visibility + short schedule project, all while multi-tasking another solo development effort.  Obviously I'm going to be ambiguous with my descriptions, the rest would bore you to death.  I've been at the same company for a while now, seeing people come and go, mostly go.
  • On the school side of life, I took a class between Jan and May, and then another between Aug and Dec.  Both classes ended up being more time-intensive than originally planned.  They weren't exactly challenging with the content, just lots of manual work.  In theory, I have completed all the necessary classes for the program, but I have yet to receive confirmation on that.
  • On the family side of life, I lost my last grandparent :( my slightly-younger-than-me cousin got married, the Happy Couple™ moved out of state for greater things, my brother and sis-in-law got a house and a puppy, and my sister and bro-in-law traveled the world and lost a cat.  Kelc hosted another annual murder mystery party, also traveled the world, stood in her Lindsey and Jon's wedding, and performed the wedding of Michael and Taylor.
  • On the health side of life, I have given up coffee and soda, and only unintentionally get caffeine from chocolate, which is also infrequent.  I don't drink much in general, other than trying a sip of other's drinks.  I can't even remember the last time I drank an entire beer.  I've been getting better about putting time in at the gym, but the results are dismal.  I've been slowly incorporating sushi into my diet, and trying to eat clean in general.  I definitely feel better when I eat healthy.  I started seeing a chiropractor, with positive results in relieving chronic aching and fixing the curves in my spine.  I know that the chiropractic industry is seen as "hokey" by a good portion of the medical industry, and sure it might not work for everybody.  A spot in my mid-upper back was consistently tender, and ached pretty bad (especially after a jog).  Turns out all the muscles in the area were constantly constricted trying to keep the joint from moving.  Us bipedal creatures are meant to move.

Now, to turn things into something a bit more engineering-like.  I spent a majority of the year using a time tracking application on my old-school smart phone.  This is a pretty cool little app, as you can make tasks and sub-tasks, helping to organize everything.  It actually works out really well for the way things happen at work. To be a bit more precise, I tracked between March 2nd and December 31st (304 days, or 7296 hours).

First up, I spent 2371.5 hours in bed.  Now that isn't necessarily sleeping time, as I tend to watch some TV or play a little on the phone before getting tired.  This averages out to about 7.8 hours every night, not bad.

If I'm spending 7.8 hours in bed every day, then that means I have 16.2 hours to work with for the rest of the day. Turns out, on average I spend over an hour every day driving.  Yuck.  There is a huge category of "unaccounted", which is a polite way of saying that I wasn't tracking anything during this time.  I know for sure that some of that unaccounted time should be in the work category, but fell out probably due to me deleting projects/tasks in the program.  There are also times when I forget to start tracking when starting to commute, exercise, or doing homework for short periods of time.  This pie graph is a mediocre visualization of where my time goes, but spreads everything across the entire time period.  For instance, my work time tracked likely falls only between Monday and Friday, but the below graph showing ~36.6% would have you believe that I spend ~5.93 hours every day working, which obviously doesn't make sense.  Similarly, yardwork is usually a chunk of time just spent on Saturday xor Sunday.

If anybody wants other analysis of the data, just let me know what you would like to see and I'll make it happen.  The "unaccounted" category is pretty alarming to me, as it definitely does not feel like I have that much free time.  Maybe I can track time spent on various forms of entertainment.  I definitely waste time surfing the internet, playing video games, and watching tv/movies/netflix.  Who knows, maybe that time will go to a pet.

"News" of 2015

Since my blog has been degrading over the last few years, I decided to do something a bit different that might be more interesting to read.  Over the course of this year, I have been keeping track of various news topics that is I felt were getting an greater than usual amount of coverage or attention.

Looking back, some of these stories were probably deserving of the coverage, and some were clearly just "news" in attempt to get people outraged.  It's weird to look back on this and how irrelevant some of these are, or or quickly everybody just forgot about it.

Thank me for not making this a shitty slideshow that you have to click through.

Terrorist shooting in Paris at a magazine office, killing numerous staff at Charlie Hebdo.

Deflategate.  Patriots are cheaters (along with all NFL teams) and were called out on under-inflated balls, supposedly giving an extra advantage.

Super Mega Blizzard hits area of country that normally gets hit by winter storms, State of Emergency declared before storm hits.

Disney Land and other parts of the country are having outbreaks of measles because some people are afraid of vaccines.  Luckily this appears to be over.

Nobody can believe that a football team might do a passing play from the 1-yard line.

A movie released made from a book that was an adaptation/fan-fiction version of a teeny-bopper book.  50 Shades of Grey, which could be described as a porno disguised as film/literature. released just in time for Valentine's Day.  Make sure you give thanks if you forced your significant other in to this.

ISIS burns a guy alive.  Media emphasizing the event to make lots of people upset.

Everybody is colorblind and can't agree on the colors of a fucking dress.  I still cannot believe how crazy this was.

Net Neutrality was passed, some big companies put out bitter statements, while smaller companies put out statements of joy and welcome.  People on the internet say the war has just begun.

Waco biker gang shooting happens at a restaurant, lots of people killed and injured.  Media spinning this to have people outraged at biker gangs, or outraged at SWAT/police, or outraged at the coverage by the media.  Outrages for everybody.

Hefty storms rolling through Texas, now dubbed the "Memorial Day Floods".  Tons of water falling from the skies at a higher rate than the landscape can handle.  Lots of damages.  On the plus side, the lakes are getting back to normal levels.

Lake Levels of the previous 5 years

I probably spend too much time surfing the internet, and one of the portals I frequent is reddit.  Early June, reddit decided it was time to start rolling out subreddit bans for "behavior" issues.  Tons of people are threatening to leave the site.  (Many do end up leaving.)  Many people openly expressing how much they hate the subreddit that hates on _____.  I really don't get this, as I see hate as hate.  You can't fix hate with hate.  Furthermore, suppressing thoughts and ideas is seen as terrorism when it is an attempt to shut down a magazine (see above), but seen as heroism when shutting down a website.  I don't get it.

Cobra loose in Austin... then found dead.

Jared accused of inappropriate conduct related to pornography and children.  Further solidifying his fade into obscurity.

Amazon Prime Day was hyped as "a new black Friday" and turned out to be a garage sale of junk, with little or no discernible discount.  I didn't actually participate; part of my gut instinct to go against the norm.

News journalists killed during live reporting by crazy person.

Irving student gets taken out of school due to electronics project, also called "bomb clock".  (Hey, I have that NASA shirt too!)  Student is non-white, allowing the media to latch on and turn this into a racism/stereotyping event, but also a safety-for-everybody-always thing.   The part that upsets me the most is the lack of understanding of electronics.

Dog bites unattended child. "Irresponsible parents" want dog put down.  "Animal activists" want parents put down.

Black female student gets pulled out of her chair aggressively by a white male cop.  We are presented a whopping 15 second video, and get to judge and analyze the entire situation.  People upset about police brutality, and violence in schools.  Yay everybody, let's get outraged.

The media tells us ISIS brings down a flight, attacks France.  France sends missiles to ISIS.  Merry Christmas.

A person that the majority of humans will never interact with, announces on TV that he has had HIV for years (but not AIDS). People have no sympathy and start the blame game.

San Bernardino experienced a mass shooting at a company holiday party.  First reaction is to play the blame game (guns, FBI, encryption(?), mental illness, Obama, etc.)  Obama actually made a public statement in response to this because of all the outrage. -- I personally tried to really get away from the media around this time, as I was wrapping up class and work projects, eliminating anything that wasn't crucial to life.  It is highly likely that there is a ton of misinformation going around.

That wraps up everything that I got wind of.  There are likely missed stories as you can see from the gaps in dates... or maybe outrageous news is seasonal... or maybe the media floods us with junk news to hide the real good stuff.

What do you remember from 2015?
Do you think any of the above stories are worthy of our history books?
Have I made a good argument for turning off the TV and getting some fresh air?