Category: Life

Getting Healthy

While I don’t do huge workouts every day, I’d hardly consider myself an ‘inactive’ person. But I’ve put on a few more pounds than I would have liked in the past years, despite my uncanny ability to “bang out” an epic hike with little to no preparation. However, something has to be done to get my weight back to normal levels and it’s not going to be from monthly hikes. I’ve always been a runner and while I wouldn’t say it is a screaming passion of mine, I enjoy it. But motivation has always been an issue. And while apps are cool for motivation, I think I’m going to try an old-school method first. I’ve decided to take a page from Giles Bowkett’s Calendar and post a physical calendar in a highly visible place (Actually the *first* thing I did was go for a run, then print the calendar).

Basically, the premise of the calendar is that you see it every day and you mark a big red X after you’ve completed your activity. You attempt to do it for x days in a row, and the theory is you won’t miss a day because it means a gap in the physical record posted on the wall (resulting in self-ridicule and nagging from everyone else).

So there you have it, I’m going to give it a try. I’ve got a big red X for October 14th, 2012 and I’m hoping to make it gap-free to December 14th. I’ll follow up with a blog post then.

Calendar Project 2013?

Friends, I need your help. Every holiday season I print up  calendars from photos I’ve taken of my travels.  Last year I sold them to friends and family and gave the money to a Planeterra project that I visited while travelling in Guatemala. In fact many of the photos in the calendar were from that very project.

I was happy that I was able to get about 25 people to commit to this endeavour, but in the end the production (and time) costs left me wondering if it was even worth it. I spent about $400 out of pocket which may have gone to better use if I had just donated it directly to the project without printing anything.

So I’m thinking I needing to revisit my approach. I have a few options
a) Come up with a different product
b) Come up with a different payment scheme
c) Come up with an entirely different approach altogether

I’d appreciate your input on this. For (a), would you still be interested in a photo calendar or is there something else you would find useful? In terms of (b) I had the idea of spreading the donation out over the year ($5 a month for 12 months).

Comment below or email me at dchymko@infometrix.ca

FYI,  the projects I’m looking at this year are Charity Water and a few on Kiva

 

 

Earth Day – Taking real action

So it’s the 41st annual Earth day and people are out rallying and parading. These are all great things, its good to see people in tune with the environment. But what does this mean over the long term? After the parade, are we all going to hop back into our gas-guzzlers and drive back to our giant houses in the subburbs?

You might remember my angry post on Earth Hour 2010. It was a reaction to the whole “turn your light off for an hour” slacktivism that is Earth hour ( grand savings of 0.0114% over the entire year for those who are counting). The most amusing part was the status updates like: “unplugged my laptop, sitting in the dark, happy Earth Hour everyone.” Le sigh. Anyway, I decided that ranting wasn’t doing anything productive and created this pledge. Since then, I’ve been tracking my utility and mileage and think I’ve done pretty well.

Here are my results:

Mileage:
My pledge was to drive 15% less. Comparing 2011 to 2010, I drove 19% less and comparing 2011 to 2008, I drove 29% less. This is a result of biking more and combining errand trips to once or twice a week.
2008 – 20,200K
2009 – 17,600K
2010 – 17,000K
2011 – 14,300K

Power consumption
My pledge was to drop 15%. Comparing 2011 to 2010, I decreased my power usage by 22%. This was done through a few things like reducing electronic items around my home, changing lighting to CFL, and hanging my clothes to dry (plus they last longer).

There are some other areas of my pledge that need work (my addiction to new electonics for one) so I’m going to make that the focus of my effort in upcoming years.

I encourage you and your family to make a pledge on the Earth Day site. Set some goals that you can follow-up on over the course of the year. Track your usage. Post them on the fridge as a reminder that every day is Earth Day.

Path Reactions and Response.

The outrage over this Path  address book upload issue is interesting. It’s a good discussion to have but in my mind there are other privacy issues we should be way more worried about.

But I didn’t write this post to talk about that issue. I found the response from Path to be quite interesting:

We believe that this type of friend finding & matching is important to the industry and that it is important that users clearly understand it, so we proactively rolled out an opt-in for this on our Android client a few weeks ago and are rolling out the opt-in for this in 2.0.6 of our iOS Client, pending App Store approval.

 

First of all they added the opt-out feature to Android *first*. That’s odd, given that their app was iOS-only for the longest time. Their user base also *must* be  larger there. Is the Android team just more on the ball than the iOS? I doubt that, given they haven’t added the notification control that the iOS version has. Maybe the iOS team was busy working on a bigger ‘yet-to-be-released’ feature. Or are Android users more sensitive to privacy? Definitely a sign that Android has become an equal contender to iOS at least in terms of development  Maybe I’m reading way too much into this, but it does raise a lot of questions.

Second is the ‘pending AppStore approval.’  There *has* to be a better way for development shops like Path, especially with small code-base updates and especially for things of this nature.  The developers at Path aren’t going to add in code that sends costly SMS message to Nigerian short codes. This doesn’t *quite* fall under the ‘expedited emergency security hole’ approval process Apple has but there really needs to be a middle ground. A middle ground for companies that produce one of the top 5 social media apps currently in use.

 

 

The time is now.

This is a longer version of this tweet:

Want to lose weight but obsessing over which gym or yoga studio to go to?
No excuses.
Put on your shoes and think about it outside or at your closest gym. Now.

Waiting for the right time to launch your new idea?
No excuses.
The time is now (yesterday actually).

Thinking about taking up a new hobby or sport & obsessing over what gear to buy?
Drop it.
Pick something and get on with it.

Nervous about asking that speical boy or girl out on a date?
No excuses.
Do it before someone else asks them, you pansy.

Thinking of moving to a new city but scared of the unknown?
Stop it.
Even the ‘knowns’ are unknown.

Thinking of travelling off the beaten path to your dream location but the news says scary things about there?
Fuck the news.
The news says the same things about where you live.

 

The lizard brain is great at making excuses & finding distractions when tough decisions arise. The most painful choices often result in the most rewards.