Quotidian Quest

Plain Texting

Category: personal
#writing #marriage

So I'm messing around with plaintext to see how it might fit into my workflow. It seems like it moves pretty fast. I.m going to try simple note late on and see if that makes for a better experience when it comes to writing.

Personally, I'm leaning more towards a Dropbox based solution because that has a versioning system and that will help me... Some how?

Had a great conversation with my wife about a lot of things. What I liked best about it was we weren't talking about something important but that we listen to each other. Two individuals who wanted to share their thoughts and opinions, it's something we definitely need more of because I don't want to wake up one day next to a stranger.

Daughters and Daydreams

Category: personal

Today we took my oldest to her karate class and it was entertaining. When she first started she would spin around and dance when the instructor was giving the lessons. I was tempted to pull her out of class until I felt she was old enough, but my wife insisted that if we just give her time and reminded me that we honestly couldn't beat the price for entertainment. I couldn't argue against it because the alternative would be to trying to find something else to do during that time and I didn't like my wife's idea of cruising through the mall.

So, we kept going to class and I found myself getting more and more frustrated as she danced and pranced around while all the other kids tried hard to making it through the lessons. I became one of those over baring parents that you see in the movies (constantly telling my kid not to do this or that). Then one day, something happened... she asked me not to watch her.

My daughter...

...didn't want me to be part of this.

At first, I was upset. I mean, I was trying to help her get it right!

It took a while to dawn on me. Was I really helping her by constantly correcting her? She's four years old, she shouldn't have to worry about being perfect. As a parent, I only get one chance to experience these things. I was forcing my own perfectionist views on my daughter and if I wasn't carefull I'd plant a seed doubt in her that would nag her for the rest of her days just like me.

So, one day. I set her down (as best as I can) and told her that I love her and would always be proud of her. I stopped trying to "couch" her and now she asks that I come to her classes. She smiles when I tell her that I saw what she was doing in class. And most important to me, she's proud of herself.

My favorite movies (updated)

Category: review

I recently loaned a friend of mine my copy of Phantom of the Paradise with a note stating that it used to be one of my all time favorite movies. This got me questioning myself on if this was removed from being one of my favorite movies what replaced it?

So here is a list of my favorite movies in no particular order.

This was my first taste of comedy/action. It introduced me to a bunch of actors that I'd be happy to see in years to come. Honestly, I knew about Marc Walberg before I ever heard of Marky Mark and I have a little bit of a man crush on Lou Diamond Phillips.

Hail to the king, baby! The lines are legendary and watching it again just makes me laugh at how I thought the special effects were the greatest. It's almost like watching "The clash of the Titans" with boomsticks.

Restarted a francise and cursed the world with a march of new superhero movies. I thought it was cool that even though it was a Batman movie, you don't see him in costume for half the movie.

Great film that introduced me to Edward Norton and Jon Stewart. I look at this movie and wonder why Robin Williams isn't in more movies and how come this didn't do better.

A whole new world! One of Disney's most popular male animated characters and I think the best disney soundtrack. Sure the other movies, have great songs but this one has three iconic songs that everyone in my generation can identify.

It's almost 2 o'clock

Category: personal

It's almost 2 O'clock in the morning and I'm having another one of those nights where I can't sleep and the only thing on my mind is all the things I need to do and all the things that I've done wrong.

How am I going to do this?
Why did I do that?
If only such and such hadn't happened.

It's hard for me sometimes to see some of the good things that I've done and how I'm making some progress going forward.

I think that's part of the reason that I started doing this, so that I can get my thoughts out of my head and actually do something else. So what is on my mind?

Tonight, I was thinking about all the people who I feel have taken advantage of me. Part of me forgives them because it is ultimately me who gives them the power over me, but other parts of me is bitter that they would go on with their life and never look back and help me with my situation. A card, a friendly email, something to acknowledge that I helped them get to where they are.

But the world isn't like that and me waiting for that to happen is only going to turn me into a bitter old man instead of the slightly bitter person I'm turning into now.

I've got to stop being so jaded in my life, my daughters are looking up to me as an example of what a person is supposed to be and as an inspiration of what a man can do.

The Second Day

Category: writing
#writing #goals

Wow, the second day.

This is usually the time that I start having doubts about a new goal as the initial passion starts to ebb a little bit as I remember all the other missions and goals that I set out to do only to "not have any time for them" later on. I brings to mind link that I shared via twitter the other day where someone wrote about the problems that a friend was having with working out. It's not that the desire isn't there, it's the fact that their isn't much follow through1.

I think it's more of the habits and mindset that I have. As far as I can remember, I've been a little bit of a perfectionist and my own harsest critic. In fact, if you saw how I write on the computer you would be surprised how many times I'll write a sentence notice that one word is mistyped and then delete the entire thing all over again2.

White Noise

I've recently started making a serious attempt to listen to white noise at work and I'm really liking the results. It's like the world becomes unplugged and the only thing that stops me from doing what I want is myself. I imagine that I'm in a box in front of my computer and the only I can do is write.

I don't even think about whether my writing sucks, just the fact that I am writing something!

No cable

We stopped using comcast a couple of months ago only to replace it with AT&T. Now instead of a fast connection that drops out every once and a while, we have a slow connection that can't support streaming media for more than one device at a time.


  1. I'm still working through the 100 pushup challenge

  2. Definitely stopping the creative juices from flowing. In order to promote my writing, I think I'll just turn off spell check for these quick little blips. 

250 words a day

Category: writing
#writing #goals

All I want to do with this project is work on my writing. I want to be able to communicate better via my writingg. I don't plan on having this being seen by everyone and then placed on the internet, because I want to talk about anything that I want without reprisal.

So right now, my number one concern is wether I'm going to be able to do this every day or what happens if i forget to do this. How would I punish myself or make up for it. Well, the first thing is to forgive myself. It takes time to start a new habit and -honestly- things happen. I might wake up late or have a lot of high priority things going on.

The most important thing is that I get myself some time to just sit back and have some positive time to think. At the moment, I feel that this is my best form of communication (even to myself).

There have been multiple times when I've opened a new page in my journal and said "Who am I and what do i want?". I think a lot of people have done this in one shape or another. For example, to paraphrase Merlin Mann that everytime that we procrastinate, we're forget who we are. How many times do we as humans procrastinate in a given day, week, month, year. You could argue that it's just a way to relax, but even then could you honestly say that all those moments helped you relieve stress?

I think not.

Sarah Milkins: The Scientist Princess Horse

Category: personal
#writing #kids #ideas

I think one of the benefits of doing this project and making myself write on the computer is that I don't have as much anxiety about writing on a computer. The thoughts and words are appearing to me as fast as they would when I write on paper. In addition, thanks to applications like Byword that allow me to ignore all the spelling mistakes until I'm ready to correct them (if I choose to). My current work flow is to open up a new document and then just start writing until I meet the word requirements and finish my last thought. From there, I give the document a title, created date and tags then save it in a folder structure called "Chronicles" which then separates the entries by year and month. I'll probably set up some kind of folder action to just sort the files after saving, but -for now- I'm focused on the actual writing versus the tools and tech surrounding it.

Today, I spent some one on one time with my oldest daughter to just play around and have fun. I had asked her if she'd rather make cookies with me which is something that we've been doing more and more of but she seemed to really like the idea of just the two of us using our imagination1. I did my best to keep up with all the ideas that she made up but I think my favorite one was the following.

Sarah Milkins She's a Princess Scientist horse who succeed when everyone said it was impossible2.
She's 4-5 years old.
Goes to school a lot, even when she gets fussy...
Doesn't get fat when she gets older3.
There are only a few of them... But there is a lot of others and tons of information about them.

It was just so exciting to see her talk about this idea and we both went to the rest of the family to share. It was one of those great moments when a parent can just sit back and enjoy the their little one's creation.

After that, we sat in front of the computer and giggled making little movies in PhotoBooth... This was a wonderful evening.

  1. I got to be Cinderella and she got to be a talking horse. I hope it doesn't mean much, but the horse was looking for her family because they were too busy taking care of a new baby. If anything, it could be a sub-conscience idea bubbling to the surface because her sister has been sick for the last couple of days causing my wife and I to miss work and tend to the growing piles of vomit. 

  2. She said that you couldn't be a princess and a scientist. I told her no and I'll put more effort into making sure she has enough exposure to science. 

  3. I don't know where she gets this exactly, but I have my suspicions 

I'm tired of chasing

Category: personal

I've been having a nagging feeling in the back of my mind for the last couple of months (if not years) about the whole social media thing.

At first, it was the coolest thing having something like myspace to allow me to keep in touch with my friends by sharing pictures, comments and images. It allowed everyone to have a presence on the internet without having to think about setting up (or paying for) ways to connect. As an added bonus, you could personalize the your profile page to reflect your style and interests1.

But I should have known that it wasn't going to last. The sight as a whole became filled with people who seemed to love showing off their animated gif collection and increasing the magic number next to "friends". One time, I got an invitation from my then roommate's sister who I had never met in life simply because she wanted to make it to 400 before her one of her friends.

Facebook was a breath of fresh air at some point, and it clean, simple and uncustomizable (at the time) interface really drew me in. This was before everyone had a problem with privacy and honestly, I had taken enough cs classes and seen enough movies and tv shows to know that I really shouldn't put anything on there that I wouldn't want Moe Lester to look at. Once again, I was happy to connect with all my friends and see how life was treating them, but it wasn't long before I experienced the same issues of attracting friends who weren't really friends and having a hug stream of information and distraction.

It was at this point, that I started to realize that despite all the time and effort spent maintaining a connection with all my online friends, I felt that I was still missing out on that human connection with those I cared about. The desire to have a long discussion was replace by the desire to have people respond. In order to promote a response or get feed back quicker, I found myself editing myself for lenght or watering down the content to make it less controversal.

But, I continued and started following my friends on twitter. Not only could I get their quips and links, but I was also able to discover other people I found interesting. I had basically let my facebook account just rot away and really enjoyed how twitter brought the information to me instead of me having to chase it.

Then google+ came out and all of the real life friends I was talking to started using that. The only updates that I see from people I've met in real life are from people doing checkin from 4square2 and I seriously doubt the people I follow can pick me out from their hordes of followers (not that I blame them, I don't have a lot of characteristics that stick out on the web).

Google, the behemeth that keeps getting bigger and bigger. I'm not arguing that the best of breed should go to the top, but I will say that I'm tired of generating content for other people just so that it can disappear without a trace. I'm tired of spending time working on a connection that really isn't there. I'm more than a node that connects two (or more) points. I find that my voice is just justification that the larger systems (myspace, facebook, google+) should be used in order to contact me.

How social are we when we trade our individual voice to be part of the chorus.

If you want to be "social" then go ahead, but if you want to find me. I'll be here.

  1. I remember sites dedicated to selling themes and other dedicated to showing nothing but the worst offenders of "good taste". What I also remember is that people were constantly putting up huge pictures and videos that killed your bandwidth. Good times! 

  2. Seriously, does the Library of Congress need record the fact that you were the mayor of burger town for a month straight? 

I'd like to work on something cool

Category: personal

That's what I've been telling myself for a couple years now, and it seems like I'm only giving it lip service.

The problem (other than follow through) is finding something cool to work on. It is sooo much easier to look at what I don't want to work on.

Recently, I went back to school to get some more 'learnin' and it was actually a lot of fun after the initial issues not having been in a class room since 2004. The [professor][chang] was not only knowledgable but actually cared about teaching understanding. For a second, I even thought about going back to school so that I could teach as well.

The most important thing about it was that I really got back into the passion of programming. I enjoyed completing the assignments and working with a group of people towards a common goal.

That is what I want to do.

My favorite movies

Category: review

I recently loaned a friend of mine my copy of Phantom of the Paradise with a note stating that it used to be one of my all time favorite movies. This got me questioning myself on if this was removed from being one of my favorite movies what replaced it?

So here is a list of my favorite movies in no particular order.