Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Day 336 of 365 - July in Review

July was a good month.

1. Lifting - Another cycle of 5/3/1 is done. Now that I have programmed my assistance work, I no longer skip it. The only time I think about the weights outside the gym is when I make sure lifting fits into my day. I am not sure I got stronger this month, but I definitely did not get weaker. Given that yoga has taken a lot of my focus, I am happy with this. I do think yoga will improve my lifting eventually. I just started using squat stands, but I can tell they make lifting more enjoyable. I expect improved progress on bench especially as a result. In August, I ought to test myself against the goals I set for this year. Since everything is going so well though, I am not sure if I will. The goals no longer match how I lift, after all.

2. Eat on $4 a day - My eating is on autopilot, and I am no longer tracking spending. This month I did solidify my process for cooking rice and beans. After trying a handful of recipes, I've gotten it down to - cook the beans, then simmer them with stir fried vegetables while the rice cooks. It turns out the type of bean does not really matter to me, nor does the selection of vegetables. If it goes wrong, I am content with drowning the end result in teriyaki or hot sauce.

I tried a few other new things to reduce my food costs, none of which worked out. I gave hummus a solid attempt, but failed miserably. I tried getting the potatoes that were $0.30/lb at Aldi, only to find they taste like dirt. I got lemons and made lemonade, only to find it is more expensive than store bought. 48oz of lemonade takes around 2.5lbs of lemons and a cup of sugar. The best deal I've seen on lemons is $1/lb, which works out to $7.50/gallon lemonade... I did make my best homemade pizza yet. My only expectation for this goal in August is to keep eating off my food list and continue eating out 1-2x a week.

3. Be social - July was a good month for getting out of the house. Yoga has been a consistent 3x a week. The week I had my lesson, I was at the studio 4 times. I saw my parents most weekends, one Saturday my wife came too. I had lunch with coworkers and friends a few times. There was a weekend where I went to a party, the aquarium and a comedy club. My wife had people over to the house a few times as well.

Next month should also go well. Outside of recurring stuff, I am planning to attend 3 parties. If I can find a good place to rent jet skis, I have a couple people that want to try it. I have never gotten to and am apparently missing out. I would like it if more of my socializing revolved around something other than eating and drinking, but so far only yoga fits that mold.

4. Maintain my home - The microwave broke. I took it apart, found the broken piece, ordered a new one and put in a temp fix. Since it is now working, I have not installed the new part, but I am excited to have fixed something at all. My wife took a load of stuff to goodwill. That's about it. I neglect this goal because I don't enjoy it.

5. Excel as a quality engineer - This month was heavy on security, audits, content management and small projects. Running the manual deployments off an internal server has made them more efficient. I did have the chance to make some more complex SQL queries as part of my testing. I started a push towards improving error handling that seems to have gained support. I got out of a weekly recurring meeting.

I believe the switch to Kanban for our SDLC is starting to pay dividends. I saw the team react quickly and successfully to a significant, urgent project. We started experimenting with a more collaborative UAT process. It's probably better longer term, but it adds work to my schedule. I am wondering if a weekly or bi-weekly demo might be a better way to handle it. August will be an interesting month, as I am on the cusp of having too much work.

August marks the end of my goal year. I'll see what goals I managed to hit, then set new ones for the upcoming year.