Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Day 251 of 365 - April in Review

Progress was significant in April, and more importantly, it occurred out of habit. I do need to watch my tendency to discount what I achieve on auto-pilot. I trend towards unrealistic expectations for myself, and I know they will burn me out.

My only real complaint is the feeling I have no time. It beats being bored though!

1. Lifting - Got through another cycle of 5/3/1. I am approaching limit weights on squats and deadlifts. The grip contest I decided to skip was cancelled anyway. I am experimenting with the 3 day a week 5/3/1 cycle now, to make up time lost to yoga. With the TV seasons ending, I had to restart my Netflix. It really is a lot faster to use than searching the web for the latest shows.

2. Eat on $4 a day - Other than a week where I had a $28 lunch, hitting my current weekly goals of $35 for groceries and $20 for eating out went well. I did have to change my eating out habits significantly to stay on budget - primarily choosing less expensive places and dishes. One time we had people over to cook instead of going out. During May, I'll learn to use the pressure cooker I ordered. Once I can cook bean and rice based dishes well, I think $4 a day groceries becomes more viable. My plan is to eat oatmeal once a day, rice and beans once a day, then mix up my last meal to keep it interesting.

3. Be social - Yoga has helped a lot here, ensuring I get out of the house at least twice a week. Otherwise I am still trying to spend time with people I like. After a lifetime of introversion, it feels un-natural. I do have fun though. I would say in addition to yoga, I managed to do something with friends at least once a week.

4. Maintain my home - I got the AC cleaned, checked and topped off with coolant. Nothing else was done. The home owner's association sent me a violation notice for our ripped screen, so it looks like I'll at least have to take care of that in May. I hate paying fines more than I hate working on the house.

5. Excel as a quality engineer - Progress was a little slower than expected here, due to an extra, major off cycle release in the month. I also had to conduct the annual computer security incident response test, which is time consuming. I did get work in progress reporting setup for the IT project portfolio. Unexpectedly, I ended up helping one of our other teams set the foundation for reporting on their project portfolio. The security scanner is still fighting with me, and I did not get time to sync up our Dev environment with Test/Prod. May will at least see the environment sync finished. Hopefully work will start on the build server as well. My team is bought in on the concept of continuous integration.

Overall, life is going well.