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August 2017 Retrospective

This month could not have been more of a clusterfuck if I had tried. I have definitely had worse months but the utter insanity of this month just drained me.

I will take full responsibility for fucking up the first half of the month. That was all me. With The International going on I pretty much watched or played Dota 2 every waking hour for two straight weeks with a little bit of TV (Broadchurch season 3) to spice things up. Again, I realize this was all my fault. I didn't make a dent in any of my goals but god damn it was super fun watching all that Dota.

Then on August 13th my life got turned upside down when I figured out that my RAID had failed. The vast majority of my free time over the next 15 days became either rebuilding my file server and RAID or recovering my data. Even as I am writing this I have just barely finished both of those things.

So The International and my RAID failing basically took up the entire month of August but lets dive into my resolutions and see how each of them turned out.

Health

I managed to get out and exercise every single day of the month. I am still bouldering three times at week and either running or doing stairs the other days. I have been improving at bouldering but I think I am reaching a plateau that is only going to be broken through if I increase my strength which I am not yet convinced will happen if I just continue bouldering. I may have to look into lifting weights to take my bouldering to the next level.

Foodwise basically nothing has changed. Still trying to eat healthy at work, Cacao Soylent drinks at night and sometimes some other snacks if I am still hungry. I've probably bought a little more junk food than I would like but it honestly hasn't been all that bad. Game of Thrones finally ended so maybe Elsie and I will stop being such pigs on Sunday nights but who knows. I'm not gonna make any promises.

Weight and body fat percentage continue to be stable so my hopes that bouldering would make a difference seem to be dashed. Looks like I either need to cut back on what I eat or, more realistically, look for another way to build muscle and burn fat.

Read a book

I did not start reading The Fall of Hyperion until about August 25th. I am approximately a third of the way through and it is just as engrossing as the first book in the series. Unfortunately this means The Fall of Hyperion is going to bleed into September but hopefully if I finish it quickly I can move onto another book. I was thinking of starting The Stormlight Archive since the third book is being released soon and I have heard nothing but good things.

Play a video game

After watching Dota 2 for over five years I finally played my first competitive matches and it actually was quite fun. I am focusing only on support characters right now and plan to do that for the foreseeable future. I gotta imagine it will take me dozens of hours before I have even the slightest inkling of how to play support "right".

I played a bit more Fortnite but the repetitive gameplay got stale pretty quickly. I've taken a break from the game and could see myself jumping back in after a couple more updates.

The Dauntless' Founder's Alpha came and went and Elsie and I played about four hours of it. It is honestly really rough. I am genuinely concerned that this game is slated to be released in the fall. It is super unpolished and really low on content. There are only four weapon types and they don't really feel all that versatile. It is the same combos over and over. The monsters were repeating the same moves so fights because boring faster than I would have expected. In general is seems really low on content and I could see myself blowing through incredibly quickly. I know this is Phoenix Labs first game but in a world where Monster Hunter Generations exists for the 3DS, Monster Hunter XX exists for the Switch and Monster Hunter: World is coming in early 2018, they need to showcase something better to pull players away from Monster Hunter.

Speaking of Monster Hunter XX, I have imported it but not yet had a chance to play it. I did manage to set up and configure my Elgato Pro HD capture card so I plan to stream MHXX in September.

Anyone who knows me knows I am a huge fan of tactical turn based games and it just so happened that two of them were released on the same day! The first XCOM 2 expansion, War of the Chosen and Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle. I decided that I would give the XCOM mods a chance to get updated and beat Mario + Rabbids first. I'm only about two hours in and it is definitely baby's first turn based strategy game in a way but I can see how it could get much more difficult and involved. Also, the Mario and Rabbids motif is absolutely amazing. Those Rabbids can be freakin' hysterical.

For September my goal has become play all the games that were released in August. It is amazing the abundance of riches I have. Beat Mario + Rabbids, start a War of the Chosen campaign, play the Dauntless beta, stream MHXX, scrub it up in Dota. There is no way I am going to get to it all. The only thing being released in September that really grabs me is Destiny 2. Seriously watch this. Nathan Fillion and the Beastie Boys? Those fucking Bungie marketers know how to push my buttons.

Become conversational in another language

Yeah I really can't have an excuse for this one but let me try. Duolingo just stopped motivating me and I never got off my ass and made use of the Kana flash cards because I was distracted with The International and the failed RAID. Alright that excuse isn't half bad but still I should have been able to find some time instead of absolutely none.

Time to regroup and actually do this again this year since a trip to Japan actually may be in the cards.

Hobby Programming

Not even renaming this resolution to "Hobby Programming" helped. I didn't add the ability to directly link to a website from my blog. I didn't work on my Observables framework. I did write some Ruby scripts to validate my recovered data and cleaned up my photo renaming script to help organize it all so I can found that as a minor win.

I also did write about setting up an Ubuntu file server and while that was not directly "programming" is still involved learning a lot about technology so yeah, lets say I didn't totally effed this one up this month.

Do not indulge in time killing activities

So this is a tale of two cities. For the first half of the month you could say I did nothing but waste time. I only watched hours and hours of Dota. However when my RAID died I then spent every hour after work rebuilding my file server and recovering my data so maybe I made up for it.

Elsie and I sprinkled in some TV by finishing Broadchurch season 3 (fucking amazing go watch it) and Cowboy Bebop but I think that was the regular amount of time I'd spend in a month so I'm not going to beat myself up about it.

With so many video games to play and other activities to indulge in I don't think I am going to waste much time in September.

Review

Let's look over my goals from last month.

Exercise every day of the month
Nailed it! šŸ¤˜šŸ»

Don't buy any junk food during the week
Technically failed it but did it way less than I thought so I count this as a win.

Read The Fall of Hyperion
Failed horribly.

Beat (or fail at) existing XCOM 2 campaign in preparation for the expansion
Oh shit I was suppose to play XCOM wasn't Iā€¦

Play my 25 newcomer matches in Dota 2
I think I only got through 13 before my RAID died and I forgot about video games.

Stream Monster Hunter XX
I hooked up my Elgato Pro HD but my copy of MHXX hasn't arrived yet. I did stream Mario Kart 8 and Mario + Rabbids so again this is a minor victory.

Memorize all of Hiragana and Katakana
šŸ¤¦šŸ»ā€ā™‚ļø

Add the ability to link directly to a webpage from my blog
šŸ˜’

Build Observables framework
šŸ¤”

Write one article for my blog about an original topic
Fuck yeah we're back in the saddle! Thank you RAID for exploding so I could write three different articles.

Use the book Elsie got me to draw stuff on my iPad Pro and share it on social media
šŸ˜”

Man I really effed up here didn't I?

Conclusions

Thank some god that this month is finally over. I failed the majority of my goals but in my defense I was still really busy. I am going to try to get back in the saddle this month and complete the goals that I failed. I am also going to be a bit more realistic about the number of goals I set.

So my goals for September (in no particular order):

Yes I am carrying over a large portion of them from August but I don't think I set bad goals. If I manage my time right and don't have some catastrophic event everything should be quite doable.

#MonthlyRetrospective

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