This has been quite a year of lifestyle transformations for a lot of people I know, and a lot of it has been spawned by documentaries. Health documentaries aren’t new, perhaps the grand-daddy of this current generation going all the way back to Super Size Me in 2004. There is also no shortage of new awareness about problems with the Standard American Diet (SAD) between all of the various diet and lifestyle trends. It therefore makes sense that year after year more documentaries are being cranked out covering the topic of diet and health from a myriad of points of view. However the quality of these documentaries to seems to be plummeting, but they still seem to be showing success into converting people to healthier diets. The question I struggle with then is if that’s a net positive or still a net negative.
I’ve been a computer geek literally my whole life, at least as far back as I can remember. I grew up getting “online” back before there was a thing called “internet” and quickly transitioned into all of the technologies associated with it. What started off as costing way too much to be online and with mostly text based interactions has become, as we all know, a pervasive and universal multimedia rich infinite stream of connectivity. But is that connectivity too much, or at least too much for me?
Since I started dialing my fitness regiment in three weeks ago I’ve been striving to get a perfect 4.0 grade across all five of my daily goals for an entire week. I was getting really close, but each week had one or two hiccups/slip ups that kept me off the perfect mark. No longer. I finally got a 4.0 across all my categories for an entire week for the first time since I started trying to do this whole daily grading thing (even back to my Nutritarian Experiment of 2016). First, I’ll congratulate myself for a job well done. Now, a word of warning. When I nail something like this I often have an impulse to try to extend it longer and longer. Inevitably I stumble, just like anyone else does with anything like this. That stumble then usually leads to a crash. That crash then leads to a period of rationalization of how I was doing well so deserve a little “reward” for it, whatever that means, and that I’ll get back to it tomorrow. String a bunch of tomorrows together and I get years of getting back to it “tomorrow”.
This week may be a perfect week again, or it may not not. Instead of focusing on these longer term trends like I usually do I’m going to take my “being in the present” mindset that has been working these past three weeks forward. I’ll concentrate on nailing my goals today, and only today. I’m not going to worry about what I screwed up yesterday, or if I’ll screw up tomorrow. I’ll still track and trend all of these things as an observational and historical thing, but I’m not going to expend mental energy on it beyond just working it out today.
In a world where “life” didn’t get in the way of me doing my exercise/fitness things I’m sure I’d still find a way to avoid them. Part of the reason for doing the daily metrics and grading is to make how lax I am getting in those areas apparent. In the past three weeks I’ve had it dialed in really well though. My 10K steps goal is one that my fitness watch tracks for me. As the consecutive day counter goes up every day it seems like an even bigger shame to break my record. Yesterday work really got in the way of me getting to over 10K steps. It wasn’t that abnormal of a day compared to my normal schedule, but it was the first time since I decided to dial everything in that it happened. If it was three weeks ago I would have just said to myself, “Screw it! So I get a low grade on that that goal for the day!” Yesterday was different though. The low grade may not be enough to move my hand but the idea that I’d break my streak was enough. I hadn’t had time to squeeze in a morning walk (or run) before work, it wasn’t until mid-day that I realized I wouldn’t be home in time to do it before dark, I didn’t have exercise clothes, and it was 100 degrees outside. I even had “other things” I could have done to kill some time waiting for traffic to die down to make my way home. But I didn’t. Not this time. This time I just started walking and more walking for an hour, until the counter clicked just over 10K steps. The streak continues for another day and I registered another 4.0 day. It’s a minor victory to be sure, but string enough minor victories together and you get real progress.
After a year of false starts, many written about here ad nauseum, but with maintaining my tracking of nutrition and fitness goals every day, I can say that this time around I’ve started off on the right foot on dialing in my fitness/lifestyle goals and getting myself back on track.
There are certain things in life that you take for granted but didn’t know you did until you didn’t have them anymore. Swagger is definitely one of them.
As the whole “what happens to Unity” thing unfolds I decided to redouble my efforts in trying different distros again. I’m trying everything from trailing edge (latest Debian) to bleeding edge (Solus). As luck would have it it was time for me to refresh one of my development VMs so I decided to jump that one from Mint to Solus to give it a real world spin. My first impressions are that it is a really interesting distro and one I’ll keep playing with but there is one not-so-tiny problem that hopefully they will grow out of.
As I’m sipping a glass of champagne while finishing up some coding for the night (yes, I’m one of those people that don’t think you need a special occasion to drink champagne) an interesting self experiment came to me. I’ve heard of and seen video of people who are put in driving simulators to show the difference between difference levels of blood alcohol levels and the impact on driving performance. I’ve sadly seen the direct effect on people as well. Wouldn’t it be interesting to try to do a direct measurement of this in a safe way?
As much as I’ve never been a fan of Unity I’ve learned not to hate it as much as my host OS (and even in some of my VMs). Sure, my go-to desktops of late are mostly MATE distros or Cinnamon, but Unity hasn’t been completely unacceptable. With Ubuntu’s recent announcement of the demise of Unity and people openly pontificating on if this means Ubuntu is abandoning the desktop or looking to sell to someone like Microsoft who will then kill it on the desktop I started to analyze what this meant to me as a Linux desktop user. Is this the end of the road for that journey and therefore back to Mac or, god forbid, Windows?
Back in November I started trying to mess around with .NET again, with the twist of I refused to become Windows bound to do it. After some time experimenting holidays got in the way, then work got in the way, and as usual life gets in the way of hobbies. Today I needed to work out some standard C# code samples for interacting with REST services I had written in Java. I could have spent two hours installing Visual Studio in the virgin Windows 10 VM on my laptop, or I could fire up a new Linux VM and give cross platform .NET another try.