because cool kids are boring

Happy Birthday to me

with 4 comments

Last Thursday was my 35th anniversary as a crew member on spaceship Earth. For some reason I didn’t have any urge to do the whole reminiscing routine and getting all wet around the eyeballs and what not. Not saying there’s anything wrong with those routines, they just didn’t occur or appeal to me this time around. May be when we finish the next rotation.

What I did find myself in the middle of was some much needed cleanup of some really buggy routines that honestly, I should have gotten to long before now. A couple of maintenance patches that have been sitting around for way to long, and an over due BIOS flash.

The maintenance patches (two of them to be exact), take the form of quitting smoking (again) and taking part in a RPG Fitness game that Hatter from Scrub Club put together. The idea here is that you gain HP for each pound you loose and for every X amount of HP you earn, you level up. End of the three months, who’s ever leveled the most, wins. You can also increase HP by doing things like taking your blood pressure, taking a fitness course, or going to see the doctor.

My current plan is to first focus on getting my sleep schedule back under control. While I’m doing that, I’m also switching over to cooking again instead of eating out. I’m still heading out for lunch, but the salads at Chicken Out are replacing the sandwiches at Chic-Filet. Once I have my sleep schedule back under control, I’ll start looking into breaking out the Wii Fit and get a work out routine going in the morning.

The BIOS flash is taking the form of rereading an old favorite of mine, The Tao of Pooh, by Benjamin Hoff. The book is an attempt to explain philosophical Taoism using the stories of Winnie the Pooh as examples. I first came across the book when it was given to me as a gift on my 18th birthday, along with All I Really Need To Know I Learned in Kindergarten, by Robert Fulghum. The two books combined served as major mile markers in my life, separating my adolescent self from my young adult self.

I can’t remember when I last did a full reread of Pooh, but it has to have been over 10 years ago. Considering all of the changes that have happened in that time span, I’m actually kind of surprised I waited this long. I guess my navigation subsystems were more screwed up then I thought.

Rereading it now though has been kind of eye opening. For one, I knew this book had had a profound impact on shaping who I am, but I was not quite prepared to realize that it is, in many ways, the underlying foundation of my software design philosophies. How I gather requirements, how I prioritize those requirements, how I design a solution, all stem from ideas that I first encountered in this book. I wonder if that’s why I’ve been getting a little restless these days with my coding? Now that I’m just a coder and I’m separated from the client, I’ve lost that compass point. It also makes me wonder, exactly what would a Taoist ETL process look like? I’m going to have to think on that one.

For now I breath, smile, try not to fight unnecessary battles, and just try to enjoy life again. I can occasionally see glimpses of the man I used to be, but I’m not him anymore and I need to find out who I am now. Right now, that involves building new habits that don’t involve smoking and do involve healthy eating and more movement then in the past. It also involves finishing the Tao of Pooh and either picking up Kindergarten for a reread or something else to keep myself mindful of where my head is at.

As part of the RPG fitness thing, we had to pick a character class based on our goals for the next three months. I picked the Monk class since I was more concerned with my eating habits then anything else. Given everything else though, I think it fits.

Written by Matt

June 21st, 2010 at 8:52 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

4 Responses to 'Happy Birthday to me'

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  1. Happy Birthday man! I’ll be watching all of you GainHP folks, so don’t screw it up ;-)


    21 Jun 10 at 9:32 pm

  2. […] If you want to track my progress, please click here for a link to the original article. […]

  3. Happy nearly-a-week-after-your-birthday! I just turned 30 earlier in the month, and am having a lot of the same sorts of thoughts. (I rolled up a bard, though, as my sleep habits are atrocious.) Here’s to a year of feeling more in charge of who we are and who we will be.

    Jason T

    22 Jun 10 at 1:59 pm

  4. […] Weekly weigh-ins, which are relayed to Hatter himself, allow for regular point-tallying and leveling-up, with a leaderboard provided to showcase the top ten. Thus far in my first week of play I’ve managed to do, well, okay. I’ve worked in the requisite 45 minutes of daily exercise for my character class, Monk, and have done a decent job of cutting out the booze and junk food. (Aside from one morning where all we had to eat for breakfast were Pop-Tarts! #nutritionfail) But for me, at least, the important thing is that I’m putting forth the effort, and that I’m doing it with friends. […]

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