Checkpoint / Summary

This was an email to a friend and coworker I haven’t seen in a while, and it seemed like a good overall current-life summary. I’m posting it here so I can find it again in the future.

The kids are a wrapped up in more elaborate game design stuff. Max gets out of the house to visit friends, and Khai does Karate 2x/week. Both still growing, but Max is formally a teen now.

Erica got a job at the Lewisville library. Part time, but it’s sort of a ramp-up to her having regular paychecks (a self-validation thing for her), and getting the kids used to being a little more self sufficient (unpossible). She still does her graphic design stuff about 25 hours per month. She wrote a book called “Secrets in the Ink”. It’s “done”, but she has a final formatting verify before activating the listing on Amazon.

Haven’t lost any weight in a while. Stuck between 260 and 265. Not super worried. Dropping more makes me VERY hungry, which slows me down on the bike. Definitely have continued to improve on riding. It’s been mostly mental, and stats help me with that. Also, it’s a good group socially.

Work-wise, I long for the days of one project at a time consisting only of new-system deployments with 100% access and few complications.

Mentally, I *feel* middle aged this year. I’m so ready to have retirement funded, but that’s so far away. At least it’s on track so far, but I see the next couple decades more as a grind than anything else. You know, that part of a game where everything looks just like the last 10 levels, but with different sparkles and all of the items are renamed.

Biking is the thing that’s different right now. I haven’t figure out “the next thing” yet, but I’ve toyed with the idea of jogging/running *gasp*. Cheaper than getting back in the cockpit.

I think it’s time we work out a company paintball or laser-tag or get-drunk-and-eat-food gathering. You know, for Thanks-July-mas.


Six Things

Hrm… what’s this “list X number of things” meme? I was told “6” by Virginia Keller´╗┐ but I don’t know the rules. I’ll just list some things that may be slightly less obvious, but I really am pretty unfiltered.

1) No degree, and no formal training. I’m a computer geek because I can figure things out. I have a great ability to infer inner workings, but I forget most of it. Re-doing things makes it faster to re-figure it out, but I always need notes, cheat sheets, and help files. I make a lot of cheat sheets. There’s always someone better than me at whatever task I have to do, but I have among the widest variety of things I can work with. I’m best at finding deficiencies, and that really drives everything else (especially protecting against deficiencies). I have to work twice as hard as other supergeeks to perform a simple task.

2) When I was a kid, I took everything apart. There was a period of time that the phones in my mom’s house just didn’t work. Ultimately, SWBell had to bypass all of the inside wiring. Many things got broken, but eventually I learned limits, risks, and how to put things back together.

3) I’m afraid of heights. This is pretty lame for a guy who peaked at 6’6. Standing on a chair makes me nervous. Standing near any sort of ledge needs 4′ railing that doesn’t wobble.

4) My default facial expression looks angry. I can smile, and feel the smile muscles contracting, and STILL look angry. I’m also loud, and matter-of-fact. This means that if I’m not laughing, often people are scared of me or think I’m just being a meanie.

5) I thrive on pressure, even though I hate it. If I have a little bit of boring work, I will put it off until I am almost late, and then work REALLY hard, and turn it in just a tiny bit late. If I don’t have deadlines, or I have fake, made up deadlines, I have trouble engaging, though caffeine can help.

6) I’m horribly insecure, and always have been. I ignore it most of the time, which ends up with me not being able to answer questions like “How are you doing?” If I’m busy with a complex task, everything is fine. The focus filters out insecurity and figuring out things is rewarding. Trying to remember things is not rewarding.


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Your Key Motivator, the thing that really drives you to success in life, is Curiosity.

Your Key Motivator, the thing that really drives you to success in life, is Curiosity.

You are fascinated by learning how things work and having new experiences. Because of this, you probably have an interest in numerous pursuits that span all kinds of disciplines. Your interests could easily range from the history of art and gardening, to learning the facts behind sexual fantasies, to understanding myths from other cultures, and even the science behind the latest technology. Your insatiable desire for learning also drives you to be independent and individualistic at times, since you want to get to the bottom of your questions about the world around you. It's important for you to know that you thrive when you see the opportunity to find new answers.

Curiosity: The Curiosity Motivation Scale measures the intensity of your needs to be independent, to understand how things work, to have new and diverse experiences, and to explore your physical relationships. You scored 9 on the Curiosity Motivation Scale.

Stability: The Stability Motivation Scale measures the intensity of your needs to be safe, to understand cause and effect relationships, to avoid ambiguity and uncertainty, and to accomplish difficult tasks through skill. You scored 8 on the Stability Motivation Scale.

Experience: The Experience Motivation Scale measures the intensity of your needs to be attractive, to indulge in sensual pleasure, and to be stimulated by your environment or activity. You scored 6 on the Experience Motivation Scale.

Prestige: The Prestige Motivation Scale measures the intensity of your needs to be publicly admired, to win in competitive situations, to be in a position of authority, or to have enviable possessions or wealth. You scored 6 on the Prestige Motivation Scale.

Connection: The Connection Motivation Scale measures the intensity of your needs to belong to a group, to have fun, to care for others, to be the center of attention, and to be publicly recognized for your efforts. You scored 5 on the Connection Motivation Scale.

Warning signs for de-motivators

Sometimes you have a goal that you would really like to reach, yet you keep getting off track, procrastinating, maybe even resenting the work you have to do to reach your goal. At times like these, it can be useful to check for potential de-motivators.

For example, as someone who is most motivated by Curiosity, your stress-level may increase if you you got a new job and it turned to be very stagnant. You were not told why you needed to perform your tasks or how you fit into the big picture. You were working under strict supervision by a micro-manager who had indirectly suggested that your position would not change and there was little opportunity for advancement or new projects. You also felt like you had the job mastered by the third day and there was nothing left for you to learn from this position.


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You remembered 81% of the information in the Memory Test.

You remembered 81% of the information in the Memory Test.

But research shows there's a lot you can do to improve your memory. And if you do, it can help you function in more ways than you'd think. There are 6 main types of memory, which help us interpret and store different types of information. You scored highest in object memory.

That kind of memory allows you to visualize how an object will fit in, or move through space, and where it will ultimately end up. This skill is particularly useful when you're playing sports or packing a lot of objects into a small space. With your strength in this area, you're probably able to visualize where an in-flight ball will land and are likely quite good at completing jigsaw puzzles.

Visual: 8 (avg 7.6)
Numeric: 8 (avg 8)
Spatial: 8 (avg 5.9)
Object Oriented: 10 (Avg 8.7)
Reading Comprehension: 8 (avg 8)
Delayed Recall: 8 (avg 7)