After getting some good deals while planning my trip to London, I’ve started to look into going to WWDC again. But because of prior commitments, if it’s the week of June 4th I’ll have to skip out this year.

🎶 I’ve been working on an album review for a few days and in the process I rediscovered Crazy by Seal. What a song.

For the first Micro Monday I’d like to recommend you follow @joec. I love his thoughtful posts and black and white photography. You can also find more of his writing on his long form blog.

2018 Resolutions

I know I am a bit late to the party but I did want to document my goals for the year on my blog, as one does. I like to think that I am late to writing this post because I am fast at work on some of these resolutions, which is partially true.

This is my first year really blogging, and my first time making resolutions. I typically find them icky, but the year marker is a nice way to reflect on things and make a line in the sand. Because of my overall opinion that resolutions should be made at the time of conception rather than according to a calendar, some of these are already underway. Some aren’t.

  1. Stick to a budget. I’ve had a crude budgeting strategy in the past and it was ineffective. The great insight I had was game planning a full year of spending and sticking to the macro plan since month to month can have variability. So far so good. I made this budget in December and have been following it well so far. If you want to use the same spreadsheet as me, check out One Big Happy on Youtube. I found them through a collaboration they did with The Financial Diet.

  2. Cook more. This will help with two other goals, spending less and losing weight. When I cook, I tend to be pretty healthy. When I go out, not so much. I realized I wasn’t necessarily cooking less than before, but now that I am the main chef for Rachel and I, I need to increase my amount of cooking. I love to cook, and I have plenty of cooking gadgets, and love a wide variety of food so it shouldn’t be too hard. To quantify this goal I want to eat out 2 times a week or less, unless celebrating a special occasion. Full disclosure, a golden weekend for Rachel is basically a special occasion as is if we are able to get her friends all together at the same time. My definition is loose but I think as long as I am cooking more during the week and packing lunches, this goal will be marked as complete.

  3. Weight loss. I lost a lot of weight in 2015, and I’ve slowly gained some, but far from all of it back. 2017 wasn’t a productive year from a weight loss prospective. I lost about 10-15 pounds as part of a work competition but gradually gained it back over the course of the second half of the year. I’m back where I started in early 2017. My goal is to get under 210. I’m at 234 as of early last week. Conveniently that is 2 lbs a month, which is very doable so long as I keep it a focus.

  4. Ship an iOS app. I have two ideas, each with their own pros and cons of development. Both would stretch my abilities as a developer since I don’t have much web experience and I think both would need some sort of web backend. Finding the time to develop with grad school and work is tricky, but I need to challenge myself to get there.

That’s it. Believe me, I’d love to play bass more. I haven’t touched it for more than a couple minutes in the past few months and I’ve barely played since the band simmered out in mid 2016. I’m not very good and I have struggled to create much new music so its a cyclical problem. I play more when I’m inspired, I’m inspired more when I play (particularly with others).

I am going to focus on the above four and if I can pull them all off that would be an amazing year. If I overload myself with all the things I’d like to do, I would probably fail to do most of them. It’s a big year ahead. Time to get started.

Voice Assistents’ Knowledge on Car Troubleshooting

Lately my Mazda’s infotainment system will reboot a few times before staying up for the rest of my trip. I figured it had something to do with the frigid weather we’ve been having on the East Coast and after some Googling, that certainly seems to be the case. The system requires a certain level of consistent power or it will shut off. Sounds familiar, right?

Yesterday, it took my car an extra second or so to start up so I decided to look up how often one needs to replace battery in a car. I forgot to Google it and this morning when getting dressed for work the idea sprung to mind and I internally thought, “lets see if Alexa will know.”

I asked the lady in a tube and sure enough, she was able to read a reference.com piece stating that car batteries need to be replaced every 3-5 years though lots of external factors like temperature, driving habits, and usage effect the longevity. I was impressed.

A few minutes later when preparing my lunch I asked Siri through my AirPods. Sure enough, I was provided with a web search on device. No preemptive information. Nothing auditory.

HomePod and Siri have a lot of work to do.

In other news, my Echo decided to get a software update last night at 3am and announce it to us whilst fast asleep. I know you can set up do not disturb, but there should be some common sense in that cylinder’s code.

After years of working with at least 2 monitors, just working on my laptop this morning has felt constricting. I’ve opened four spaces which has helped a lot.

I’ve been spending a lot of time lately working on a 2018 budget which has been a cool experience because I haven’t ever done a year long budget before. This process has also made me start to think about making a time budget too. I need to be more disciplined about side projects.

Going back and looking at Palm’s demise still makes me sad. I remember wanting a Pre so bad when I was on Verizon stuck with Blackberry or Android. If they had the resources, they might have been able to give Apple a true run for their money.