Weekly Review 01.3 – Giant Pong and Magical Pants

I love it when a plan comes together Hey everyone! I just got the first Groundhog Day Resolutions (aka GHDR) MONTHLY REVIEW out last week, so it’s time for the first WEEKLY REVIEW to make sure I’m staying on top of things. My memory is pretty terrible and if I don’t review every week, it is less likely that I’ll maintain momentum.

If you’re just tuning in, this is the year that I’m trying to establish a more driven approach to goal fulfillment. I’ve already figured out how to be productive by harnessing my natural inclination to explore, learn, build, and share, but doing hard and boring things continues to elude me. I’ve had some interesting insights this month:

  • The opening of a Ralph Baer Day exhibit (above photo) was a fast-moving and great collaborative experience with friends I have known for many years. Maybe I don’t need to go it alone, if I’m able to just ask people to join me, as I joined them when they asked me.
  • There are two levels of GHDR “hard” goals, not one. I will need to figure out how to manage them.

Let’s get into it!

This Past Week on the GHDR Hard Path

I failed to make progress on my so-called “Hard Path” GHDR goals, which consist of things from Feb 2 Kickoff:

  • SEED projects are personal growth kits that people can use to develop their own ideas around a sturdy conceptual framework
  • KIT projects are any kind of step-by-step assembly project that people can use to learn how to do something using a set of tools
  • ELBS projects are “explore, learn, build, share” activities where I am providing examples of how I solved a particular problem, warts and all, and got some kind of result

This was depressing. However, I had been under the impression that progress was happening. All of these from the March 3 review:

  • BILL more hours than this month!
  • get the MEME drawing report out!
  • get the PACKAGING for the new ETP sticky pads out!
  • get regular monthly reporting started and posted!
  • get GHDR SUBSITE UP with NEW TECH
  • monitor WEIGHT with friends: target weight 182lbs for APRIL 4

So what gives? I really have two kinds of goals:

  1. Make regular progress on CURRENT initiatives that are GHDR-relevant!
  2. Make FUTURE opportunites by creating new packages!

Both these types of goals support my overall strategic goals to pursue Software Development Mastery and Improved Ecommerce Operations, which I chose because they are stepping stones to greater (and presumably profitable) enterprises that I can’t easily make myself or fund. Software development also pays the bills, and a big goal for the first part of the year is to pay off all my debt.

For now, I’m really focused on (1), which is the stuff that needs to happen now. I really want to get to the future opportunities projects in (2), but I think they will have to wait until I get back from my Taiwan 2019 trip to visit family. Having fun projects for the summer is something to look forward to as well.

With this insight, I’ve decided to make the following DON’T WORRY / DON’T DO list for the coming month:

  • Don’t worry about cleaning the house or basement. It can wait.
  • Schedule only 1-2 errand days a week. Push appointments out if necessary.
  • Don’t worry about SEED, ELBS, KIT projects. FOCUS ON BILLING HOURS AND MEETING COMMITMENTS FOR AMAZON PRODUCTS.

I think it’s a good idea to remember not to be so hard on myself.

  • Have some fun downtime, don’t try to do everything. I have been hard on my lack of progress, but really I am just being impatient.
  • Do indulge in some “happy bubble time” projects, playing around to just see what happens. It’s good for my soul.

With that out of the way, let’s get down to evaluating the week.

QUICK GRADING OF THE PAST WEEK: B+

I continue to visualize my ‘mental capacity to work’ as 3 slots of attention that I can juggle during the week. Two slots are assigned to meet the needs of “work goal”, and the third slot reserved for meeting my own varied needs (it’s really just a way to reserve time for myself). A refinement to the model is considering the timeframe that these slots are set, and allowing myself to assign all three slots to a single task if needed. In general, though, the timeframe is WEEK BY WEEK and I am using each slot for a different assignment.

This was a good week because of the Ralph Baer project opening, and it went pretty smoothly. I learned a lot, and am exceedingly grateful to be part of such a generous and capable friend network. As a result I think I am a better person than I was before, and this realization humbles me. I also did get a few things done for software mastery, taking my time to learn some new things, and largely kept my impatience under control. I also made progress writing new copy for the StickyPad release that’s coming up soon. I’m a bit behind on the package design from where I wanted to be, but I’m only about a day behind schedule and it is recoverable.

Now let’s look at the specific SLOT achievements.

SLOT 1 “Software Mastery” Achievements

  • GHDR – Reviewed and rewrote notes on the “GHDR Website” that I’m working on.
  • PONG – The game is deployed and working very stably at the exhibit hall.
  • MEME – 12 billable hours, got a lot of infrastructure refined to support the GUI work this week

SLOT 2 “Ecommerce Operations” Achievements

  • New copy writing for inside covers
  • Received landing page wireframes from Brenda with suggested implementation
  • Will be creating the inside design for covers for Papergraphics
  • Will be able to use the GHDR website stuff from SLOT 1 to implement the landing page

SLOT 3 “Personal” Achievements

  • PONG EXHIBIT YAY
  • FOUND MY IDEAL PANTS SIZING
  • FOUND A TURKISH RESTAURANT

TARGETS FOR WEEK (WITH CONCRETE TARGETS)

For next week, my goals are:

  • SLOT 1 SOFTWARE MASTERY (SWM) – MEME draw from database code (about 50% done)
  • SLOT 2 ECOMMERCE OPERATIONS (EOP) – Deliver finished inside covers, landing page stubs
  • SLOT 3 PERSONAL – Relax, and see what happens
  • AUX – try to get some thing happening with the GHDR Subsite and related “PROCESS” post.
  • AUX – 80+ billable hours for March (currently at 18.5 hours)
  • AUX – get closer to 180 lbs (currently at 187) on Thursday

Fun Things

Setup Day As I mentioned the Ralph Baer Day celebration in Manchester, which involved me writing software for a giant PONG simulator, went well!

Opening DaySystem StartupOpening Day

The event itself was at a small arts venue called Jupiter Hall on Hannover Street in Manchester New Hampshire, just across from the Palace Theater. It’s a single room that is repurposed for each event; we had full use of the space. The location is pretty good, and it’s near a lot of the interesting things on Elm street. Attendance was pretty good too on opening day! I had some time to write some cool diagnostic messages so if the server connection was lost, the system would display a reconnect message. I like writing code that displays system status (above middle) and recovers from errors by itself :D


As for my personal achievements, I have been craving Mediterranean food on my weekly diet cheat day. Where I live there aren’t many options, but a place I rediscovered near the New Hampshire / Massachusetts border has really good babaganoush and pita (below, left) with Chipotle-style service. The humus is also really good.

Mediterranean Food KickMagic Pants SizingProgress on Graphing Finding pants that fit me has always been hard; I have big thighs and for years had to have all my pants hemmed by a tailor. Being recently transgender, though, has broadened my choice of clothing considerably, and I have discovered that womens petite jeans fit me much better than anything I have worn before. I never in a million years would have thought “petite” applied to me, but knowledgable friends have informed me that “petite” is about proportion, not “tinyness” as I had previously assumed. The Wikipedia article on Women’s sizes suggests that “Junior” sizing might work even better because they are NOT for “younger people” as I thought, but are for “people with less curvy bodies”. This was corroborated by Courtney in the Virtual Coworking Chat Room, who knew rocker guys that bought their skinny jeans from Junior section.

Finally, I made a nice breakthrough working with directed graphs for the software development I’m doing (above right). The code is going pretty well, but I needed to draw this so I could actually tell if it was working correctly. Feeling pretty good about it though :-)

Conclusion

Good week. This week I think will be good too. I have much fewer errands this week than last week, so I’m hoping I will bill a solid 20-30 hours. That would put me comfortably within striking range of my billable hours target, which would then also help get me that much closer to my debt reduction goals.

Thanks for checking in with me, see ya next week!


DATE HOLIDAY DESCRIPTION
MON 1/1 New Year’s Day Start thinking about resolutions
FRI 2/2 Groundhog Day Make your resolutions. Assemble your peer group.
SAT 3/3 March 3 Review w/ group.
WED 4/4 April 4 Review w/ group.
SAT 5/5 Cinco de Mayo Review w/ group. Think celebratory, spring-like thoughts!
WED 6/6 June 6 Mid-Year Review w/ group. Optional break for summer.
SAT 7/7 Tanabata Star Festival Private Review. Make Wishes. Rededicate.
WED 8/8 Chinese Father’s Day Private Review. Plan for future completion.
SUN 9/9 September 9 Review w/ group. Three months left.
WED 10/10 October 10 Review w/ group. Two months left.
SUN 11/11 Veteran’s Day Review w/ group. A Day to be Grateful.
WED 12/12 December 12 End-of-year Review. Break for Holiday Madness.



About this Article Series

For my 2019 Groundhog Day Resolutions, I'm challenging myself to develop "gathering-style productivity" as I pursue the year's goals. You'll find the related posts on the 2019 Groundhog Day Resolutions page.

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I believe we all benefit when we respectfully share our perspectives on common experiences. My house rules are "please be respectful of divergent views" and "enjoy the flow of ideas!"

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