2 DealYears


Today is my 2nd anniversary at Dealnews, where I've survived 2 Black Fridays without bringing the site down. That last part was a bit more of a challenge this year, as I actually had relevant code that had to be published to the live site on the busiest days of our year.

This time last year I was still learning. A year into a new job, in a language I thought I knew well as I'd been using it for over a decade, and I was still fumbling about. Joe had told me after 3 months that it usually takes new hires at least 3-6 months to get comfortable with the way code works at Dealnews. I still remember the day I finally didn't feel like an idiot - I'd been there for 14 months. That means for the last 10 months I haven't felt... well, I can't say stupid because there have been plenty of instances of that. Maybe it's best to say that for 10 months I've felt like I've finally started to earn at least a little of my keep.

2 years in and I still enjoy going to work and the work I do. The company is changing a little - but all companies do over time as they grow and evolve. So far none of those changes have appeared negative to me. Oh, one's coming as we're scheduled to change offices to downtown Huntsville. To a building I know well as it's the ole YMCA where Spiritus was. It's only negative to me because it doubles my commute and there's no good way back to avoid the traffic jam that is Madison. The move keeps getting held up because the bank currently in the building has federal regulations as to where it can move, and anything with "federal" in it is going to take more time. In the interim, I get to keep my current commute.

Now to see what happens at 3 DealYears!


Holidays Nigh 2016


Wow, no interesting pic this time. Kind of a let down, huh?

This was my first Black Friday at work where I was actually productive and helpful. Even better, I didn't break the website during our busiest time of the year. Oh, there were some bugs I had to fix, and at least 1 thing that was broken in a way that only I noticed (and it was something I wrote). That something I wrote also had a pretty big bug that was letting changes the writers were making get overwritten by the original entry. It's almost funny, because following the path of what was happening led to "well of course that's what's happening, that's exactly the logic of it all."

One of those cases of not knowing the logic of an actual workflow before writing a bunch of code to implement said workflow.

Work has been keeping me busy enough that I haven't been Iron Tribing as much as I should, or want to. For the past couple of weeks I've only managed 1 official workout per week instead of the 3 I'm paying for or the 2 I strive to attend. I think things will get a little more normal next week. Being a morning person, I was thinking of going to the morning workouts when I first approached this whole organized workout cult. Based on how tired I am following the workout, and continue to be tired and worn out afterwards, I don't think trying to workout and then be productive at work is something I can manage just yet.

As is my way, I hit Black Friday online sales for board game supplies and DVDs. I've really cut back on board game purchases through the year, and most of what I get now are little bits and pieces to expand or pimp out the games I have.

With that in mind, I've been talking to Jer about, well not so much making our own game(s) to play, but using other games as a base and pick out what we want to use in order to make it fit our play style. We're currently in year 2 of Not Playing So Much (normally a 10 year cycle) but most games have become so involved in either setup or play time that neither of us really have the urge to play anything. Hopefully soon I'll have a post about some of that changing. With links and pictures!

Now that things have slowed down a little I have to see what I've ignored and overlooked for the past 3 weeks.


Slow Reading


A couple of months ago I switched to reading some fiction as opposed to the biographies or business history books that I tend to lean toward of late. Dr Blondie introduced me to first of the Lisa Lutz Spellman books which I thoroughly enjoyed. I enjoyed it so much I went on straight to the second book in the series. Dr Blondie didn't have the third book when I finished the second, so I switched gears back to my old fictional go-to sci-fi category and read a Star Wars book that had been sitting on my shelf for a few months.

The Star Wars book, Scoundrels, featured 3 known characters and roughly 2 dozen new characters in a grandiose heist. The characters were split between 3 factions to keep up with, and of course they had appropriate alien Star Wars names. Luckily the first page of the book had the key players and who they were associated with, but I kept losing track of who was who (or with who?). It took me a while to get through the book, and there were a couple of key points I had to have skipped because I just kind of ended up at the end of the story.

Partway through reading the above Dr Blondie showed up with Spellman Book #3. Post Scoundrels I started Spellman #3 but couldn't get into the proper mode of reading through it. 4 or 5 pages in and I'd put the book down, and usually go to sleep.

I don't think it's the story or writing that not keeping my attention, but more likely it's a combo of pre-holiday work stress that makes me want to sleep more + time for a fiction break. With that said, I'm more than 100 pages into Spellman #3 so I feel obligated to finish it up, even if it's 5 pages at a time.


20% More Fit


After 4 weeks and 3 classes per week, I repeated the initial Iron Tribe workout. My original time was 10:38. After a month I improved to 8:19.

2 minutes, 19 seconds fitter. I wanted to improve my time into the 8-minute range. I did that! I wanted to shave 2 minutes off. I did that! I wasn't really expecting that last one, but it happened.

I've had 1 workout since graduating from the beginner class, and I couldn't finish everything in the time allotted. I'm ok with that. Part of me likes that, in that it shows how far I can expect to go. Plus, that first workout involved 800m of total running, where I've had only managed half that in a class so far.

Just to keep it challenging, my advanced years are catching up to me and I've developed a case of either tendinitis or arthritis in my right wrist - I think the details of which are dependent on how much I was wincing at any given time when the chiropractor was twisting my hand. This just means I've gone to Amazon and stocked up on any type of brace that'll fit my wrist.

I don't know what the next goal is supposed to be, other than keep going and keep feeling better (wrist notwithstanding).

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Getting Fit?


Thanks to Joe at work, there's a good chance I might die in the next month.

2 months ago Joe started going to Irontribe. Joe had never lifted a weight before (according to Joe). What little I knew about Irontribe was that it was a form of crossfit, which to be honest was not something I'd ever thought about, much less thought that someone like Joe would not only stick with for 2 months, but also enjoy.

Nothing against Joe. I just know we both spend the majority of our week sitting in front of computers.

2 weeks ago Irontribe hosted a session one Saturday morning to come out for an (easy) practice workout to see if it would be a good fit. As an added incentive, if you're referred by someone (re: Joe) then you can take the 4-week Tribe 101 class for free. I enjoyed the practice workout, and it only took me 5 days to recover. For free, there's no reason to not try the 101 class and learn the moves that they speed through during the regular class.

The 101 classes I'm in are Mon/Wed/Thu at 7pm. I've gotten through the first week, and I've enjoyed each workout. I've yet to not be sore afterwards (or even during, sometimes). It's the only real exercise beyond walking that I've done in years. I'd been slacking off on my walking schedule and realized I need something different - were someone else sets the time and tells me what to do vs walking around a track at a pace I just kind of fall into.

I've had a lot of huffing and puffing. I can actually trot - not quite a jog, but faster than the walking pace I had going around the school track. Granted, that trot is 100 meters at a time vs a 3 mile walk, but string a couple of those together while throwing in some excercises that invariably make my thighs burn, and I think I'm getting a better workout.

The first night we ran a 15 minute capped exercise routine. 100 meter run (well, trot), 3 sets of body weight squats, 25lb kettle bell swings, and sit-ups (set 1 = 15 reps, set 2 = 12 reps, set 3 = 9 reps), finished up with another 100 meter trot (mostly a walk at that point). I managed a 10:38 time. At the end of 4 weeks that time is supposed to go down. I wonder if I can get it down to 8 minutes?

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Blog Archive

As always, correct spelling is optional in any blog entry. Keep in mind that any links more than a year old may not be active, especially the ones pointing back to Russellmania (I like to move things around!).

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