2014

new years

2013 in review

2013 was a successful year in terms of New Year’s Resolutions. I resolved to not shop at Walmart for an entire year. Although there were some times where this was inconvenient, I feel good about my completion of my resolution.

This was not a protest of corporations or low wages, but rather of customer service. I hate going in to Walmart and not being able to find anything or anyone to help. The items are always jumbled in their shelves. Price tags are missing. Most items are also low quality. The registers are the worst part. They have one or two registers open with huge lines and then self check out. I despise self check out, because it is so impersonal. I’d rather wait in line for a little bit and talk to a person than go through the hassle of self check out.

So, for these reasons and because I wanted a challenging resolution, I stopped shopping at Walmart. I learned that not everything is open all the time, but that’s ok. I just have to make sure I plan my life out slightly rather than going shopping at midnight. As for the “bargains” at Walmart, I find that with the Target credit or debit card’s 5% savings, prices are irrelevant.

2014 resolution

Moving on to 2014, my challenge for myself is to learn to lift free weights and do so every week of the year. If anyone has any suggestions on how to best do this, please feel free to comment or message me. I’m open to any advice.

I’ve been a runner most of my life, but I want to try lifting weights. I have many friends who swear by it, but I’ve always found it to be cumbersome and have a negative stigma.

The main thing I will have to overcome is making a habit of going to the gym and lifting the weights. I have a few friends who are willing to show me the ropes, and the internet has a wealth of instruction, but actually going up and doing the lifting will be the challenge.

The other things I will have to struggle with is not knowing what I’m doing and the negative view I have had of people who lift weights. I have a hard time when I don’t know what I’m doing.

When people say things like, “I’m going to the gym to get swol,” I just want to murder them, but to become one of these people I have to learn to accept them and their colloquialisms.

Other ponderings for 2014

I find that if I have multiple resolutions for the same year, I never accomplish any of them, hence my single New Years Resolution. I’ve spent most of the day thinking about changes I would like to see in my life in 2014. As an extrovert, this is weird for me, but I’m going with it. Other things that I want to change about my life in 2014 are:

Realize what I have control over

In 2014 I want to live under the knowledge that the only person that I can control is myself. There have been many things that I have worried about that are out of my control: traffic, issues with my co-workers, things my roommates do that annoy me, etc. I want to stop worrying about those things. I cannot control other people; I can only control myself.

In this same vein, if there’s something I can control, I should. For example, it bothers me when my apartment is not clean. Instead of waiting on my roommates to clean up their stuff, I should just clean it. It bothers me more that the apartment is not clean than that my roommates are not acting like adults.

Don’t put my value in what others think of me

This has always been a struggle of mine. I would like to find my value in myself, but I often reach for it in other’s praise. I want to be self-reliant. I want to not care what other people think of me.

Don’t wait until tomorrow

I have so many things that I push off into tomorrow Neverland that I should just deal with and not have to deal with again. There is always personal email that I mark as unread and think, I’ll deal with that eventually. I want to be the type of person who either deals with it or forgets about it.

Many times I find myself putting things off until tomorrow and they do not get done until weeks later. I want to get the things done so that I have time to do the fun things I would like to do.

These are my New Years ideas. What are yours?

Coding Day 4

So, I got through the second part of the tutorial today. I’m hoping that the XML Serialization will work this time :D.

This evening I got bored and decided to try to create an OSX virtual machine, because virtual machines are fun. Below is a picture of the install process. And here is a link on how to do it yourself with Virtualbox and iAtkos – http://www.macbreaker.com/2013/01/iatkos-ml2-mountain-lion-virtualbox.html.

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24 Days of Game Development

I’ve decided to go through another challenge in my life. I want to work on developing a game. I’ve always wanted to, but have never found the effort. I’m working based on a tutorial  that I’m sure I will make modifications to, once I figure out what I’m doing. This is the tutorial I’m working on – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=agt9-J9RPZ0

I started yesterday. I had worked on this project previously, but just quit randomly. Now, I’m excited to start again. I have run into some trouble on the third tutorial and am struggling to get the XML serializer to work the way it’s supposed to.

My goal is to work for at least 20 minutes a day every day of December until Christmas. I’m excited to get started and we’ll see how well it turns out.

Commitment

I don’t know if it’s just me or all of my generation, but I feel like I can’t commit to anything in my personal life. I see people on TV all the time like the following video:

A friend of a friend was telling me about someone my age, working in the same field that I am, who dropped out of college and is making $40 an hour. I mean, I graduated college and I make $14 an hour. Why can’t I be that committed to something?

I try to commit to things, like this blog, but I end up with a half-dozen unfinished posts and no traffic. I feel like I start something and am excited about it, but never stay committed.

My grandfather seems to have this same problem. He is committed to his job as a pastor, but has so many unfinished projects in his life. He had a 90’s magenta Ford Taurus that was rear-ended and not worth fixing. He started to convert it into a mini-truck, building the parts out of wood. He called it his “truck-let,” but never finished it. There was a basement in our church that he was trying to convert into a game room. He got the ping-pong and pool tables all set up, then covered them in donated crap and never got around to sorting through the stuff, so turning game tables into just tables.

I just wish I could have half the dedication that some people do. I have committed to various things throughout the years. I tried to learn programming, but once I got an application to be barely functional, I basically gave up. I’ve tried to blog before, but just quit one day. I go on and off with my commitment to exercising.

Does anyone else feel the same way as I do?

A Week with a Smartphone

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Although I went a week without a smartphone and basically without tablets and learned much about myself and smartphones, I am happy to have my phone back. This week I have learned a lot about myself again and what smartphones do to me.

  1. Smartphones are super-convenient – I love having the ability to search Bing, send a text message, compose email, sync with my calendar, or use Nokia Here maps at my fingertips. Just today, I was going to my Mom’s wedding – congratulations to her btw – used maps to find my way there, listened to music that I wanted to listen to, and was able to call hands free while driving by voice command.
  2. Smartphones shorten my attention span – This is something I need to work on. During our weekly meeting at work, I got bored and was playing on my phone. My boss suddenly says, “Matt, what have you been working on this week?” Embarrassed, I said what I was doing and moved on, but it seems like having the smartphone gave me more opportunity to tune out. I need to focus on paying attention, even when it seems unimportant.
  3. Smartphones drive me crazy – My phone has been having trouble streaming music this week, when I’m in my car. It makes me curse it out, then I think of the week that I didn’t have a smartphone and just switch to listening to the radio. I’m still dissatisfied, but I know that I should calm down.
  4. Smartphones make me less personal – I tried to make rules that I would not send texts, search Bing for things, look at Twitter, etc. while I was in the car or with other people. This has been a hard goal to accomplish. I would always think of things to search for in the car or people to text and do it at stoplights. I actually followed through with this part of my goal and was able to focus more on driving. I’m getting better at not constantly checking my phone when I’m around people, but I did text my roommates while I was hanging out with my grandparents tonight. Sorry, Papa, some of your stories are boring.

Overall, I’m so glad to have my smartphone back, and am working on having better social etiquette with it. I read an article this week – can’t find the link :( – that was talking about how to battle people who are glued to their phones in the work environment. They talked about, if someone were to be rudely using their phone during a meeting, to ask to reschedule the meeting. I don’t want to be that guy. I want to be genuine and able to communicate well with people in person.