• Dailies 010-W: Improved Brain Clarity, Aquaponics, and Discontinued 3D Printers

    March 21, 2018

    Happy Wednesday! I’m trying a 3-day-a-week blogging/livestreaming schedule so I could have work focus days; doing the podcast and livestream, while pretty easy to do, still take a few hours out of my morning and reduce the amount of energy I have for doing deep work. My current deep work commitment is creating a web app framework for an educational software prototype, and so I’ve designated Tuesday and Thursday as days where I am primarily focused on that project. Also, this is the first full week of going back on low carb diet and resuming the gym habit to see if it improves my mental focus. As I am also now diabetic, these steps are necessary also for maintaining overall health.

    So how did it go? Read onward! (more…)

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  • Dailies 010-M: Tales of Low Carb Dieting and High Framerate Gaming

    March 19, 2018

    Happy Monday! This week I’m changing my posting/daily livestream schedule to Monday-Wednesday-Friday. It had occurred to me that even though blogging/streaming didn’t take a lot of production time, it was still a two hour daily commitment followed by an hour or so of downtime. Since I’m prioritizing health now in the morning, I don’t want to overload my morning with gym time (still light, but it may grow) with blogging/streaming just for the sake of sticking to a daily content regimen.

    Made it to the Gym Speaking of health, this week I’m committing to a daily 15 min of cardio at the gym. It’s not a lot, but the first couple of weeks I am taking it really slow to just get the heart reconditioned. Combined with the renewed commitment to low carb diet to get serious about managing my diabetes, I’m hopeful that I will overcome the brain fuzziness I’ve been having trouble with for the past several months. In hindsight: DUH.

    My friend Bill Cava sent me an encouraging email after reading about my realization, which he’s given me permission to quote:

    “If focus returns and persists due to better eating patterns, then that is a huge incentive to get healthy”

    March 31, 2016, I made a very similar statement and decided that I was going to go “all in” and try to see if changing diet and life choices could improve my lethargy, brain fog, apathy, issues with overeating, etc. etc. etc. etc. In a nutshell, I made some very sweeping changes and the resulting outcomes were so significant, so impactful, that I now consider March 31 to be my “re-birthday.” My two year re-birthday is coming up later this month!

    The major outcomes I’ve experienced having made these sweeping changes…

    • No more brain fog – My brain fog has completely dissipated. This is coming from someone who was living with Brain Fog at a Level 10 out of 10. I didn’t even realize how bad it had gotten until it cleared. This is by far the outcome that compels me to continue to stick with my regimen
    • Increased energy – It’s just consistent throughout the day; no crashes. I used to be so sleepy … and would often nap during the day out of necessity
    • Need less sleep – One thing I’ve learned is that sleep is when your body detoxes. The less crappy sugary foods it’s trying to process, the less you actually need to sleep.
    • Get up early – See above, this has become pretty easy. I’m up usually at about 4:30 AM now. Coming from a huge sleepy morning person, this was life changing
    • No food cravings – Due to the diet I’m on, you just don’t crave food. It’s nice to be free from the nagging
    • Lost weight – Lastly, in the process, I ended up losing 60 pounds.

    Bill went on the describe a lot of other great life changes that occurred; his only regret is that he didn’t discover this in his 30s! Bill is one of the smartest and most capable people I know, so my mind boggles at what he must be doing now with his new-found mental powers!

    New Video Card In other news, I finally plugged-in the replacement video card. It’s blue! It lights up! It matches my typewriter! I am very pleased, and I admittedly did pick this particular card because of the aesthetics of it matching the typewriter. It also is a pretty fast card, factory overclocked, and it’s been more than capable of delivering frame rates in excess of 90fps at high quality at 1920×1080 in all the games I’m currently playing. If you’re curious, the card I’m rocking is the Sapphire Nitro+ Special Edition RX580. I paid $449, which is not that much higher than MSRP for this card especially since it is rather popular with cryptocurrency miners. I spent the weekend reading about the blockchain/cryptocurrencies, and have determined that there’s no way that it’s going away any time soon…sigh. Prices are going to remain high for the foreseeable future because Ethereum is going to stay popular as a smart contract platform and even if it doesn’t NEW CRYPTOCURRENCIES with proof-of-work approaches will grab miners attention. While $449 is more than I wanted to pay, at least I didn’t pay the $600-$800 that this particular card is going for. And it matches my typewriter so it’s sort of a two-for-one upgrade :-)

    On a side note, I’ve been greatly enjoying the game Titanfall 2; it’s not only impeccably art directed, it is also one of the best-handling first-person shooters I’ve played in quite some time. It’s fast, fluid, and it handles the transition between ground and your giant mecha really well. I’m also getting a solid 100fps in the game at all times; it’s got a very nice adaptive rendering quality algorithm to maintain a certain framerate by selectively modifying the graphics quality. In practice it just looks great all the time.

    One last note: at the gym I was listening to the TED Radio Hour podcast on Nudging. This is the idea of forming habits by making them easy; for example, a school found that they increased the consumption of apples by students merely by provided them already sliced. I’ve only listened to the Richard Thaler segment describing the concept so far, but the entire episode looks like it will be a productive source of habit-changing ideas that I can get behind. Listen to the Nudge episode of the TED Radio Hour (from 2016) on the NPR site!

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  • Dailies 009: Anti Brain Fog Measures and Video Cards

    March 16, 2018

    FRIDAY! Today was a good day. While it’s too early to say for sure that switching to low carb/high protein/green veggies is really making a different, today I did have considerably less brain fog. I still had to take a nap in the afternoon, but I had gotten only 3 hours of sleep and I think it was probably necessary. More importantly I got some think work done that I haven’t been able to start for the entire week! I’m encouraged to maintain the diet if it keeps the brain fog away!

    Other Fun Things

    Sapphire Nitro+ Special Edition At long last the new video card has finally arrived! I haven’t plugged it in yet, but it will hopefully be about 40-60% faster than the current board, which makes it a little bit faster than the old board that I blew up a few weeks ago. This is a Sapphire Nitro+ Special Edition RX580, a mid-range card that’s been factory overclocked and has a cool blue shroud. I must admit that I picked this particular card because of the blue shroud and the light-up fans, which are easily replaced if they should go bad. It will match the other decor in my living room :-)

    Radeon RX580Progress on PrototypeNotebook Reporter

    I also made progress on the Javascript Web App prototype. I’m working with some newer code libraries and tools that I’m not that familiar with, so today’s task was just to get some dummy code plugged-in and working so I could study it. The webapp looks like shit, but I am gaining more insight into how the various pieces (in this case, the D3 library, Bootstrap, and React) are all working together.

    To keep myself focused, I used the new reporter-style notebook and my vibrant pink fountain pen. The notebook is made by a company called Eccolo Ltd and they seem to have a lot of other products available for wholesale. Wholesale is something I’d like to look into for my own stationery products, so seeing how they set up their website was helpful in imagining how I might approach my own.

    Reduced Schedule for Next Week

    I’ve decided to reduce the number of livestreams/blog posts next week from 5 to 3. I don’t know if I have enough content to really warrant a daily stream at this point, and taking the time to write the blog posts every day do not see to be paying off with good content. It’s kind of fun to just talk about what I’m doing every day, but I feel it’s not delivering a significant value to anyone. Perhaps with a 3-day schedule I will be encouraged to spend more time on writing more interesting blog posts.

    That’s it for today! Here’s today’s What’s Up Dave stream in the YouTube archive.

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  • Dailies 008: Eating Better to Avoid Crashing

    March 15, 2018

    THURSDAY. Another slump day, but I had an encouraging insight that maybe it’s not so much a lack of willpower by itself, but health issues exacerbated by my self-care routine when I am sick. (more…)

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  • Dailies 007: Self Care is a Right or a Privilege?

    March 14, 2018

    Snow Day Yet another snow day, digging out from a second blow of 16-20 inches of the fluffy white stuff. THIS IS GETTING VERY TIRING. I’m in a kind of funk…read on for the details! (more…)

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