Saturday, April 7, 2012

Day 220 of 365 - March in Review

I am satisfied with how March went. The decision to limit internet comics, message boards and news sites to Friday evening has helped free up a lot of time. It is the most important thing I did all month.

1. Lifting - I finished my 4th cycle of 5/3/1 and am stronger than ever. Hard to complain about that. I will stick with the program in April. I did decide to skip the grip contest. Taking a long weekend to go lift requires a lot more trade offs than I expected. I guess I am getting old. It is good I have so many important things in my weekend though. I started the yoga, which does seem to complement lifting nicely. I may acquire my own yoga mat in April, using some of the money that was budgeted for the grip contest.

2. Eat on $4 a day - I stuck to my $35 a week budget for groceries. That's $5 a day, but I am eating quite well. I do track eating out as an entertainment expense. I got into trouble with it this month. Somehow I mananged to spend $250! I was not that entertained. I am introducing a $20/week eating out limit as of April. Part of this may have been due to the oven breaking, but that excuse is gone. The oven is working better than ever after getting fixed. Once again I spent more money than required on whisky. However, I have quite the stockpile at this point.

3. Become competitive at pool - This goal has really morphed into "don't just sit in the basement and play video games all day". I made nice progress here, joining the yoga class, which ensures I get out of the house twice a week. I also made time to hang out with people, even went to a barn for an afternoon. I am happier for it, despite my inclination to be a hermit. We actually had new people in our house, for the first time in about 6 months. I have lots going on in April and am trying to keep my calendar full.

4. Maintain my home - I got the oven fixed. A repairman was required, but at least I diagnosed the problem correctly myself. I still need to do more here. In April, at the very least, I will get the air conditioner re-charged for summer. My window of opportunity for getting the attic inspected is gradually closing, so I ought to take care of that as well. Home ownership really feels like more trouble than it is worth. I was strongly tempted by Penfed to refinance with their 2% home equity loan. A 5 year term is really aggressive though. I ultimately decided it would tie up too many resources in the house. If rates are still this low in a year, I may change my mind.

5. Excel as a quality engineer - The darn security scanner broke again, I hate that thing. Otherwise the month was good. I am mostly through the kanban book and starting to contemplate work in progress reporting for our IT project portfolio - probably sometime in April. Kanban definitely trumps an Agile approach like scrum, at least for my environment. One of the barriers to automated testing was resolved. I have our environments and version control totally sync'd, except for the development ghetto That will happen in April, which then lets us start thinking about a build server. Another project that will free up a day per month of my time is halfway done.

April ought to bring steady progress. That is all I can ask for.