Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Obligatory South Park quote: "Spare some change?"

The aura of change is growing stronger every week: our politics are changing, our weather is changing, and even our financial markets have changed. My personal life is no different, so I though I would take this opportunity to list a few of the changes that I have made in the last few months:

Work smarter, not harder: 
I started using the time management software from RescueTime a few months ago and have found that it helps keep me from venturing too far off track during the work day. I had previously been using a small app built by the Software Jedi (my hero! I still use it for making my time cards), but it is buggy and lacks any real analysis features (still not bad for being built in one day). I was planning on building a bunch of macros and pivot tables in Excel for it when I ran across RescueTime, which is free for personal use and actively being developed. It keeps track of all the websites and applications you use on your computer and sends this data to their servers to let you tag each item as productive or not-productive. From all this tagging you get a bunch of pretty pictures saying how much time you spend working and how much you spend wasting reading web comics. They even have live widgets like the one that I added to the sidebar to spice up the blog.

Try new things: Part I
Chrome, the new Google browser has been the talk of the town lately, so I figured I would give it a try and see if it was all that it was cracked up to be. It started off a bit bumpy, as I ran into a Java plugin error right away, but after that it really did seem like it loads much faster and works better with Javascript laden sites like Gmail and Google Docs. There are still plenty of bugs to be worked out, but it is fun to work with a fresh new browser designed to maximize productivity. I’ll post another review after I spend more time with it, but for now try it out for your self or read the Google Chrome Comic to get a better idea what the buzz is all about. Did I mention it works with RescueTime too :-P

Try new things: Part II
Outside of work and web, I have also been making changes to my personal life. Having a Korean girlfriend means that I have been eating a lot of new foods and shopping at oriental markets too (a first). For example, tonight I had Yeul Ramyon - Hot Taste soup for dinner, which I had to admit was way better then the Oriental Top Ramen that I usually buy. I added some green peppers and one egg while cooking on the stove (another thing I would never do with regular Ramen), and I must say it was very delicious. I was a bit let down by the spiciness: it was hot enough to clear my sinus and leave that wonderful chili breath taste in your mouth, but it did not send me running to the fridge in tears for a glass of milk. I have two more Korean spicy ramen packages to try out, as well as ingredients for spring rolls, stir fry, and fried rice, so hopefully one of these days I will have the ulcer-inducing spicy hot meal that I have been craving (Anyone interested in a jalapeƱo chipotle chicken pizza?).

Try new things: Part III
In addition to eating new foods, I am starting to notice that we Americans are very overweight. It use to be that I could say I was not part of the problem, but my teenage metabolism has been gone for quite some time now and all those “extra curricular” activities in college have left me with a bit of pudge around the mid section. Since I am planning my next vacation at a Cancun resort with one of the largest pools in Latin America, I would say that means I need to start working out again; however since I have only been to the gym a few times in my lifetime I don’t thing “again” is the correct term. Instead I decided to utilize the equipment I already own (namely an exercise ball, some free weights, and a mountain bike) as well as adding some new tools like a jump rope and medicine ball. So far the bike and jump rope feel like they have the best chance of lasting long term. I can get in a half hour of jump rope every day and hope to bike at least 5 miles each week. My real goal is to bike from my house all the way up to Olympus Cove, which by my estimate is 4-5 miles away and 500-800 ft of elevation change. Luckily the ride back home is all downhill.

I will keep you up to date on these new endeavors, as well as any other new changes that I come across. That is unless I happen to win the lottery, in which case the only change I will be mentioning is my new job of not doing a damn thing :-J



digital said...
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Bonita ™ said...

When I eat any Korean Ramyon, I don't add any eggs because eggs make Korean Ramyon less spicy. if you want to have more spicy Korean ramyon, add hot sauce.
p.s. Other Korean ramyons are less spicy than Yeul-ramyon. sorry.

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