An Update On Life

I haven’t really been blogging much lately, and that probably has to do with some changes in my life. First off, I got a new job. I now work at Pop Cap. I wasn’t really looking for a new job, but this one dropped in my lap and I couldn’t say no. Let me tell you, this place is the work that dreams are made of. I can’t talk about what I’m working on, since it’s not announced, but I can say that it’s a lot of fun to work on it again. The structure at Pop Cap is so very different from anything I’ve worked on professionally. It’s almost like going back to DigiPen a little, with the small teams. It was a little sad to leave Surreal after almost 4 years, but after they moved over to Kirkland, my commute turned into an hour on the bus each way. Now, it’s back down to a 15 minute walk through downtown. That’s pretty much perfect, if you ask me. The company itself is pretty fantastic as well. I really can’t describe it without gushing like a five year old on Christmas day, so suffice it to say that I enjoy it quite a bit.

In between the two jobs, I went to Costa Rica for 9 days. The trip was nothing short of awesome. I went to Puerto Viejo de Talamanca for two days, and then moved on to Manzanillo, where I found heaven for five days. That town, if you can even call a place with less than 100 residents a town, was gorgeous. The people were super friendly, and I had an incredibly relaxing time walking through the beaches and the jungle. I met an Italian couple and hung out with them a bit. Over all, I’m incredibly glad I went as it was very relaxing and exactly what I wanted. You can see the pictures of my trip here.

Lastly, but certainly not leastly, I started dating someone. I don’t tend to talk about my personal life here much, if at all. I will, however, say that she’s been a ton of fun to hang out with and be around. We go on adventures, one of which will be heading up to Vancouver this weekend for a half marathon race. We’re also heading to New York next month, which should be a blast.

So all in all, my life is going pretty awesome right now. Good times.

Utah or Bust

I went to Utah this weekend for my friend Dan Miya’s wedding. To get there, eight of us decided to road trip from Seattle to Salt Lake City. In case the map doesn’t indicate it, that’s pretty damn far, especially for a weekend trip. It took about 16 hours to get there and 15 hours to get back (including pit stops and eating). I think if we had done it my normal way of driving long distances (only stop when you need gas and get food at the same time, but eat in the car), we could have cut it down to about 12 hours, but either way it was pretty fun, if a bit exhausting. I got home last night around 11:30pm, promptly passed out and never woke up until 9:30am this morning. Felt damn good.

I felt like I experienced a lot of new stuff this weekend. Some of it was funny, some sad, some weird, but all worth mentioning. I shall do that now.

  • I saw a Corvette ZR1 on the freeway going under the speed limit and being passed by everyone. What’s the point of a super fast car like that if you go slow?
  • Fast food is disgusting. I rarely, rarely ever eat it these days, but it’s pretty much all you can eat on the road. We stopped occasionally at sit down places, but Denny’s is not much better. My stomach and body hates me after this weekend. So god damned gross.
  • Big trucks take up a lot of room. Trucks that swerve constantly take up even more room. Seeing a drunk driver on the road in a massive truck is something quite scary to behold. Tried calling it in to the Washington state patrol but got a voicemail message. Hopefully he gets enough complaints that someone takes his license away.
  • Small towns have people that look the same regardless of how far apart said towns are. It’s kind of creepy.
  • We pulled off on a random stop to go to the bathroom, saw the creepiest motel I’ve ever seen as the only thing on the stop, and kept driving. Both cars did this without having to say anything to each other.
  • Creating a whirlpool in a full sized pool with 17 people is pretty damn fun. Going against the current is near impossible.
  • Hangovers and a tweaked neck do not go together. It makes you pretty much worthless to pack your stuff up the next day.
  • Hypoglycemia is not something you fuck with. It will leave you on the bathroom floor crawled up into a ball if you aren’t careful.
  • Mormons have some crazy rules. No Sesame Street, Pokemon, Harry Potter, or anything like that. That list also includes caffeinated beverages. That doesn’t stop them from deviating from those rules and being fun though.
  • My roommate has a neck piercing. I’ve still never seen it, but apparently it happened a month ago? The things you learn from Facebook.
  • Salt Lake City has no style. All of the buildings look different and it’s a bit strange.
  • There is no place called Glow Putt in Salt Lake City. Despite what Google might tell you or give you directions to.
  • Sometimes people roll over and cuddle with you even though you’re not their significant other.
  • Sweet tea vodka is delicious. I knew this before, but got to experience it again.
  • My alone time is absolutely necessary even on a 3 day trip with people I love spending time with.

Overall it was a ton of fun. I hopefully won’t make another trip that long anytime soon though. I drove all yesterday since I can’t sleep in cars very well and am still slightly tired today.

A Long Update

In less than 24 hours, I’ll be back home in California for a little over a week on vacation. It’s my longest vacation in over a year and I’m looking forward to it. All the kids are coming back to town and we’re going with my mom and step-dad to a beach house type place. We used to do it every summer back when we were kids but haven’t in about eight years or so. Typically we never use computers, watch tv, or talk on the phone. It’s a place of isolation which I always liked. I think we’re changing it up slightly this year by going out once or twice and watching the world cup live, but aside from that I don’t plan on using any technology other than my mp3 player.

I’ll also be bringing two books: Vagabonding: An Uncommon Guide to the Art of Long-Term World Travel and Coders at Work, both of which I’m excited to read. I finally finished The People’s History of the United States of America, which was fucking amazing. I highly, highly recommend it to everyone that wishes to learn about the United States and how it treated the everyday people throughout the years (hint: not very well).

For my year of something I picked to meditate and stretch every day (at least when it’s possible). It’s been pretty nice so far and I really like taking the time out to do it. I should make a longer post about it, but this will do for now.

I’ve started programming at home again on a side project with a couple of friends. It’s pretty damn fun and has gotten me into some aspects of programming I don’t get to do at my job. Learning about mercurial, boost, SDL, configuration libraries, openGL/AL, EASTL, Lua vs Javascript vs Python, and tons of other stuff is quite fun. It’s expanded my knowledge a lot already and I expect it to continue to do so.

It’s fucking hot in Seattle these days (in the mid 90s), which is very welcome compared to how it’s been in the past month or so. Summer is finally here! I went rope climbing out at Exit 38 yesterday and had a blast. I haven’t done that in a couple of years and it scared the shit out of me even though I was climbing a 5.9/10a. Easy, easy routes and yet I was shaking because I was so nervous. Kind of a funny feeling, but I’m sure I’ll get over it once I do it more and/or fall a couple of times. Also, apparently chalk helps, but I also forgot to bring that. Next time for sure.

I bought a new computer a month or so ago. I’m loving it more than the 6 year old one I had previously that didn’t work and even more than the several month old hand me down I got from Shea that smelled of cat piss every time I turned it on which didn’t work either. I’ve been playing a bit of Heroes of Newerth lately, which is a DOTA clone. I’m not addicted to it (like I was before), but it’s kind of nice to be playing something like this again. I missed it!

I finished playing Heavy Rain a couple of weeks ago and was supremely impressed with it. Talking with Dan Miya and Dalin about it last week cemented the fact that I think it’s an incredibly well made game. I’ll probably never go back to play it to see all the alternate endings and stories I could see, but I appreciate the fact that they’re there.

The world cup has been pretty awesome to watch and although I haven’t watched every single game, I’ve probably watched about 75% of them. I’ve really enjoyed all of the recent games as well. Some of them were some serious nail biters that were incredibly awesome to watch. I can’t wait to see Spain play the Netherlands for the final as neither country has ever won a world cup before. Should be good!

That’s it for now. As always seems to happen when I need to pack, I’m procrastinating. I’ll probably do it last minute, as always, and just go to sleep now after meditating/stretching. Good old hatred of packing.

Year of Nothing/Something 2010 – 2011

It’s nearly that time of year again. The time of year in which I finish up my year of nothing from the past year and think of something else to do for this coming one. This past year I Did not use my computer at home for entertainment purposes. This was easily my hardest year that I’ve done so far; it’s very difficult to completely change your lifestyle at home when the computer is the main focus of your life. I found myself playing a lot more video games, rock climbing (managed to get a V7 indoors in the past year), playing soccer, and a couple of other activities. I also found myself going out more if someone asked me to go do something, which is something I wanted to accomplish as well. Now, however, I need to choose what to do for next year.

So far I’ve:

  • Given up alcohol for a year
  • Become a vegetarian for a year
  • Given up my car and taken public transportation/walked for a year
  • Not used my computer at home for entertainment purposes for a year

I’ve really enjoyed (for the most part) doing these year of nothings because I feel like they’ve directly caused me to grow and expand my horizons. I’ve been trying to think of what I’m going to be doing next and I haven’t fully decided yet. June 11th is coming up soon, and so far, I have this list to pick from:

  • Meditate for 15-30 minutes every day
  • Force myself to stop procrastinating/skipping things I know I need to do (floss, shave every day, doing dishes, cleaning room, etc)
  • Stretch for 15 minutes every day (with the intention of being able to do the splits after a year)
  • Volunteer at least once a month
  • Program something meaningful in a year

From this list, it looks like I’ll be giving up on the idea of the year of nothing (essentially giving something up), because I can’t think of anything that I’d really want to give up anymore. I’m kind of hitting the bottom of the barrel with it and if I were to choose something, I don’t think it’d be as beneficial as something else. Unfortunately, I’m not sure which I like best. Some seem easy (the volunteering one), some are vague (program something meaningful), some seem solely dedicated to a singular goal (meditate/stretch), and the last is a bit silly. I do believe these would all help me, but how difficult would they be and what is the overall benefit of doing it? I guess what I’m looking for is the max benefit/difficulty ratio, although I don’t think I’d shy away from something difficult if it also had a huge benefit.

Does anyone have any ideas that I’d be able to use? Remember, I work better with hard-ish goals/rules rather than soft ones. Perhaps it’s time to try to change that, but I’d also really rather not fail because I’m trying to do something against my personality type.

Aperti Gnosco Round 2

I finally found a free theme that I liked enough to switch over from the one I was using previously. I still don’t really care for the colors, I need to update the top graphic (not quite sure why it uses a graphic instead of just text, since that’s what it is), and I need to muck with a little bit more backend stuff I think to get it to where I want it to be, but this is a HUGE improvement over what it was. For those of you using RSS to follow my blog, feel free to click this link to see what I’m talking about.

I’d really like to get some more widgets/plugins working correctly (the book reading one stopped working with an update to the latest wordpress backend), but that’ll have to be sometime later. The only reason I ended up doing this huge change was because I had to come into work today. I was supposed to only be here 30 minutes or so, but something went horribly wrong last night and suffice it to say I’m having to play the waiting game for the data to cook again before I can test and check in what I was supposed to check in 3+ hours ago.

Either way the blog looks much more profession (in my opinion) and cleaner, which I’m always a fan of. Now only if I could get my Portfolio updated to not be from 2007 when I graduated college. That’s going to take quite a bit more work though.