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May 27, 2011 22:45

Progress? Well, so much for new years resolutions. I have NOT made the progress I was hoping for, although I did at least get done most of what I laid out in the first few weeks of the years. I've also had some other accomplishments as well as a few setbacks.

Biggest accomplishment of all, I quit drinking Dr. Peppers. I actually quit drinking sodas entirely and I also cut out all caffiene except when absolutely ncessary. The reason I was able to do this (and it wasn't easy), was that I got REALLY sick in late January. I spent the better part of a week in bed, and apparently some side effect of the illness was that sodas tasted REALLY bad. So my last memory of a Dr. Pepper is that it tastes nasty, and as such, I was able to quit drinking them for a while. Now, I'm fully aware that if I tried one today, it'd probably taste fine, but I've at least been able to trick myself into avoiding them. Cutting out caffiene was a necessary fringe benefit, but the really annoying part of quitting the sodas. With the hours and schedule I work, it's very important that I get enough sleep. If I can't get enough sleep, it's very important that I find some other way to stay awake during the working hours AND be sure I can be awake enough to drive home, drive Kiko to school, and be able to wake up early enough to pick her up. This is pretty easy to do if I'm caffinated, but going cold turkey on that particular drug makes it very hard to stay awake. Of course, there are other options for caffiene, but none as appealing to me as sodas. I don't care for coffee, or tea, or energy drinks, and I'm not going to take pills. A Starbucks Frappachino is about the only thing I can manage, and it's too expensive to rely on for daily doping. However, were I to continue my caffiene dependancy, I would eventually grab some sodas as an emergency source of the drug, and immediately go back to my 12+ can per day habit. I've also made absolutely sure that the house is well stocked and stays well stocked, of juices and water, so when I get thirsty (and I'm always thirsty), there's always something to drink here. If I need a drink, I'll go to the gas station, and get the only thing there that I want... which will be Dr. Pepper. So it's vital that I avoid that contingency. So far, so good. Haven't had a Dr. Pepper in 4 months now.

As setbacks go, as a downside of my caffiene withdrawl, I accomplished practically nothing for about 6 weeks. It took that long to be able to do anything outside of work. What other time I didn't spend sleeping was spent in a half-awake zombie state, and needless to say, I didn't manage to get anything useful done. I also puchased and played a few video games that I'd been waiting on for a while, specifically Crysis 2 and Portal 2. I also have resumed working on the house, specifically trying to get the front hallway completed. All of these things have been time sinks.

However, I did implement the relay box to replace the X10 modules for most of the lamps, and that has greatly improved the reliability of the lamps. I also have spent a bit of time playing with visual studio, working with the serial port and networking, as part of the gps project. That currently has about half of the desired features functional. I've got the car fixed with a nice camera and gps tracking, and it displays realtime my speed and city, along with an updating google map. Some of those ideas and map work I'd poached from a previous project, but the behind the scenes coding is all original, as I've integrated it into the DMICMS database structure. I'm now researching a minimal computer setup that I can permanantly deploy in the vehicle. I'm considering a mini-itx system running linux. That would fit nicely under a seat or the center divider, and I would have it power up and interface all of the components automatically when the car starts. I'm also considering an in-dash touchscreen monitor, although that will up the expense quite a bit, but would allow for some nifty interfaces, especially with the radio/music playback. I'll also want to implement some more advanced work with google maps, to take advantage of realtime route predition, and other fun stuff. I'll also include an access point (hopefully one I can create virtually from a pci wireless card) so other people in the car (or nearby vehicles) can use laptops with wifi and share the same internet connection. This will make road trips more entertaining at least. More on all of that later.

Speaking of road trips, I and some or all members of my immediate family will be taking several trips this summer and we will make an effort to keep the trips as integrated with the site as possible.