Category Archives: monthly

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On this page:
  • Monthly review: September 2014
  • Monthly review: August 2014
  • Monthly review: July 2014
  • Monthly review: June 2014
  • Monthly review: May 2014
  • Monthly review: April 2014

Monthly review: September 2014

I wrote last month that in September, I was planning to:

  • Do more consulting (big milestone!)
  • Help with Hacklab move

It took lots of long days and late nights, but we did a great job on the major project I was working on in September. Woohoo! I got to use AutoHotkey, NodeJS, and AngularJS in interesting ways, and I helped out a different team too.

Hacklab is now at 1266 Queen Street West, and it’s shaping up nicely. I set aside some money to help with kitchen things and with the move. It was good to help with that and to get to know the other folks at Hacklab.

In October, I’m planning to:

  • Help with the last big milestone for my consulting client
  • Turn over all of my responsibilities and document things I’ve learned
  • Cook at the new Hacklab and explore more recipes at home
  • Do my corporate books: this year, I added dividends and HST quick method!

Blog posts

Sketches

Monthly review: August 2014

I wrote last month that in August, I was probably going to:

  • Work more, since my clients need extra help: Yup, happened!
  • Work on project F3, too: Yup, wrapped up
  • Improve my writing techniques (outlines, snippets, etc.): Nope, focused on working
  • Celebrate another year, yay: Yup!

Next month, I’m going to:

  • Do more consulting (big milestone!)
  • Help with Hacklab move

Here’s what I wrote about last month:

Lots of drawing!

  1. 2014.08.12 Dealing with physical pain – #philosophy
  2. 2014.08.12 Exercise notes – #exercise
  3. 2014.08.12 How I program – #consulting #programming #geek
  4. 2014.08.12 When Neko meows – #cat
  5. 2014.08.13 Call no man happy until he is dead – #philosophy
  6. 2014.08.13 Discretionary work – #consulting
  7. 2014.08.13 Learning more about drawing – #drawing
  8. 2014.08.13 Leia traced from picture
  9. 2014.08.13 Nudging the balance toward work – #experiment #consulting
  10. 2014.08.13 To know something’s distinctiveness – #philosophy
  11. 2014.08.15 Luke
  12. 2014.08.17 Content marketing for Hacklab
  13. 2014.08.17 Neko
  14. 2014.08.18 So if I’m going on a consulting sprint for 2
  15. 2014.08.18 What am I really postponing or giving up – #experiment #business #consulting
  16. 2014.08.20 Evening routines
  17. 2014.08.20 Routines
  18. 2014.08.23 Closure
  19. 2014.08.23 So, what’s next
  20. 2014.08.24 Decision – sketchbook
  21. 2014.08.24 Easier way of tracking upgrade decisions and brand preferences for infrequent purchases
  22. 2014.08.26 Thinking about how I can build on my strengths
  23. 2014.08.27 Why do the extra consulting – #experiment #business #consulting
  24. 2014.08.28 Remembering things with my blog
  25. 2014.08.28 What to do during open days – #leisure #experiment
  26. 2014.08.29 Becoming a better reader
  27. 2014.08.29 Considering the time after the experiment
  28. 2014.08.29 Ends and extents – #my-learning
  29. 2014.08.29 Possible personal projects
  30. 2014.08.29 Re-planning my life – #experiment
  31. 2014.08.29 Tweaking my experiment
  32. 2014.08.29 What do I mean by owning more of my brain – #experiment
  33. 2014.08.30 On discipline, or alternatives to
  34. 2014.08.30 Open loops

Monthly review: July 2014

I wrote that in July, I’d like to:

  • E1: Update the documentation and help out in other ways: Yup! Worked on a video, too. Lots of good stuff.
  • Turn the beginner course into a convenient download: Didn’t happen because I’ve been more focused on philosophy than on Emacs.
  • Plan for project F3: Working on it!
  • Solidify my exercise habit: Running works well as a social activity, and I’ve been making gradual progress through the Hacker’s Diet Exercise Ladder too. Sometimes I skip a day, but most of the time I remember to work on this.

July was a great month for learning about philosophy, design, and other topics. I learned a lot by looking at what other people did and thinking about what resonated with me, and I’m slowly starting to experiment with those ideas at work and in life.

I also decided to help out more at Hacklab. It’s good to take some responsibility for a shared space. I’ve been cooking at the Tuesday open houses, chatting with visitors, and making the kitchen a more pleasant and functional space. (I finally got tired of smelly cloths, so I sewed a new set of dishtowels and made the Hacklab cloths part of my weekly routines.)

In August, I’m probably going to:

  • Work more, since my clients need extra help
  • Work on project F3, too
  • Improve my writing techniques (outlines, snippets, etc.)
  • Celebrate another year, yay!

Here’s what I blogged about in July:

Monthly review: June 2014

I wrote that in June, I’d like to:

  • Deliver a chunk of functionality for project E1
  • Polish and publish the Emacs Lisp beginner course, possibly on a self-serve platform
  • Take it easy because of project F2

E1: Yeah, big milestone! Now working on related changes. And testing things, of course; there’s always more to test.

Emacs Lisp beginner course: I haven’t created a full course, but I’ll probably convert the beginner course into a downloadable PDF, EPUB, and MOBI this month.

As planned, I took it easier this month. Here’s a subset of my time changes:

Activity Percent of time vs previous month
Family 5.10% +4.8h / week
Sleep 37.6% +4.4h / week
Learning 1.7% +2.7h / week
Reading fiction 1% +1.5h / week
Quantified Awesome 1.2% -1.8h / week
Business 17.1% -3.2h / week
Emacs 2.1% -6.7h / week

In July, I’d like to:

  • E1: Update the documentation and help out in other ways
  • Turn the beginner course into a convenient download
  • Plan for project F3
  • Solidify my exercise habit

I’ve been rereading a lot about philosophy: Epictetus and Aristotle, mostly. This month, I’d like to dig into Emerson and Thoreau. Next week, probably what Bertrand Russell says about happiness and people. Hmm…

Blog posts

Monthly review: May 2014

I wrote that in May, I’d like to:

  • ☑ Learn how to write extensions for E1
  • ☑ Develop “How to Read Emacs Lisp” into a proper course, with objectives, modules, exercises and other useful things
  • ☑ Add compost and herbs to our garden

I hadn’t realized how busy May was in terms of Emacs chats and other good things until I put this review together. That’s one of the advantages of reviews. You get to see the accumulation of little things. Oh, and I paid myself too.

Thanks to some help from the vendor, I made a lot of progress on my consulting project for E1. I’m rusty at J2EE, but I’m doing okay.

The weather was nice and warm in May, so I did a lot of biking and gardening. I added tire liners and patched a few holes in my tires, so that should result in fewer flats. We planted herbs and vegetables, added lots of compost (both free and purchased from Home Depot), and started turning our compost heap regularly. I discovered that yes, I do actually enjoy watching grass grow. Learning slowly, but getting there.

This month, I focused on helping the Emacs community. I’ve been experimenting with delivering an e-mail-based course on reading Emacs Lisp, and that’s going well. I’ve also been paying Emacs geeks to help me with transcripts of chats, videos, and other resources. I’d like to eventually build http://emacslife.com into a useful resource that complements the Emacs Wiki and Emacs-related blogs.

I also dusted off Quantified Awesome’s unit tests and brought it back up to 100% coverage, at least as reported by simplecov. Eventually I want to upgrade it to Rails 4. I’ve been learning Clojure too. I’ve completed all the elementary problems on 4clojure.com and am now working my way through the easy ones. Lots of things to try out!

In June, I’d like to:

  • Deliver a chunk of functionality for project E1
  • Polish and publish the Emacs Lisp beginner course, possibly on a self-serve platform
  • Take it easy because of project F2

Here’s what I blogged about:

Sketches:

Monthly review: April 2014

Last month, I wrote:

In April, I want to:

  • Record and set up more Emacs chats
  • Make open source contribution part of my routine (mailing lists, patches, sharing)

And I did! I moved my Emacs writing workflow online and committed lots of code for different things I was working on. Here’s my Github heatmap as of May-ish:

2014-05-07 21_33_48-sachac (Sacha Chua).png

I’ve been experimenting with focusing more on Emacs. https://github.com/sachac/emacs-notes is coming along nicely, and I’ve started fleshing it out as http://emacslife.com . The guide on how to read Emacs Lisp is now more than 8,000 words, and it has greatly benefited from people’s feedback. =)

I completed my 10-episode goal for Emacs Chats and am starting on another “season”, now that inviting people is less intimidating. It’s fun, and I’ve been hearing from people who find the chats interesting as well. I wonder how I can make this more useful…

The weather has finally warmed up, so I’m back to gardening and biking. (Yay biking! =D) At first I thought our soil was doing okay. Once the rains lightened up, I found that the soil was still pretty sandy. I’ll need to add lots of compost. Still, a number of seedlings are on their way up. Yay!

On my consulting gig, I learned a lot about Tableau and reporting. Looks interesting. On a personal note, we’ve been tracking litter box use, and I now have more than seven hundred rows of data. Still haven’t automated the analysis, though. =)

I’m working on writing based on outlines and getting better at creating e-learning resources. I also need to prepare for a possible talk at the International Lisp Conference in August, too.

In May, I want to:

  • Learn how to write extensions for E1
  • Develop “How to Read Emacs Lisp” into a proper course, with objectives, modules, exercises and other useful things
  • Add compost and herbs to our garden

Blog posts

Time use

Label Hours Percent Notes
Business 160.0 22% Earn: 73.1, E1: 64.5, Connect: 28.0, Build: 58.9; average 37h/week
Discretionary 149.6 21% Social: 13.3, Productive: 90.8 (Writing: 29.2, Emacs: 39.7), Play: 28.8
Personal 97.6 14% Routines: 50.7
Sleep 264.0 37% Average of 8.8 hours per day
Unpaid work 48.8 7% Commuting: 21.5, Cook: 10.8, Tidy: 1.6