Friday Notes

In an effort to try and encourage more regular writing and keep my blog from going to stale, I want to attempt to do a week-in-review series of posts on Friday (or perhaps at times on Saturday). Let's see how many weeks in a row I can do this.

Started a Paleo Diet

For some time now I have been pretty unhealthy, just eating and drinking whatever I felt like consuming with disregard for the health of my body. That kind of abuse, I got by with back when I was both younger and more active, but recently it has been taking a toll as I age, am less active, and my metabolism is slowing down.

On Sunday, the day before my 33rd birthday, I had had enough. In a sense it was a spiritual conviction as well as just tired of feeling overweight and just generally not good. I wasn't taking care of myself, and the body that God had given me. When this truth hit me, it was really hard to ignore. It was very convicting.

A good friend of mind had started following a Paleo Diet many months ago and had both dropped a lot of weight and was feeling great. He wasn't ever hungry like you get on many diets that focus on counting and limiting calories. Further it seemed that he had a good grasp on the nutritiional and medical reasons of why he was feeling good. So I bought one of the popular books and put it on my Kindle and read through enough to know that this is what I wanted to give a go at. I am still learning a lot but the gist of what I have got so far is that it's about eating fresh meats, veggies, and some fruits. Staying away from things processed and made in factories and plants. On the animal proteins try and stick with as much grass-fed and finished as possible due to the increased Omega-6 to Omega-3 ratio in grain fed animals. That was it. Ideally you'd end up eating more fat and protein than carbs and the carbs you did consume would be mostly from veggies and some from fruit.

There is a lot in the book about the details of how excess carbs and other things in grains like gluten impact the hormone production in your body that cause inflammation and a host of other problems. I am no nutritionist and am still learning a lot about this stuff, but so far in this past week I have shed 11 pounds and am feeling really good.

Kanban and Transparency

Not really an update of this past week but rather the last several months I've implemented Kanban based systems using digital boards that our clients have access to. I am still learning a lot about how best to implement this in a globally distributed team environment. Also, the nature of how we are structured (no full time dedicated teams on any one project) runs against some of the assumption in the Kanban texts I have been studying.

That said, we are delivering much more now per development hour than we previously did. In addition, our clients now have full transparency into the entire process. Add the ease at deploying demos on Gondor instances, and clients are fully engaged in testing and approving stories now at very granular levels. When priorities change for a client — and when do they not — it's no problem and it's clear that there is a tradeoff.

I am very excited because operationally we are humming along quite well but there are places that I know we can still improve on. I look forward to making further refinements in the coming months. Continuous improvement is addicting!

I'll hopefully be publishing some more detailed posts on Eldarion's blog in the coming weeks or months as things gain more maturity.

Music

Several of my team mates at Eldarion play and compose music. While never one to have claimed any shred of musical talent or ability, I am no stranger either to learning instruments (saxophones in high school, guitars in college) and enjoying the tinkering and self-teaching. The recent exchanges on our company chat server have made me miss my Martin guitar that I sold several years ago as I was no longer using it and wanted the cash to fund a new computer purchase.

I am thinking of going electric if in fact I do purchase a new guitar, specifically I really like the Epiphone Les Paul Ultra III. There are many more priorities in daily life right now before I spend the money on something like this, but we'll see.

Writing

  • Learned today that a previously written article will be published on IBM DeveloperWorks next week about my experiences at StudioNow.
  • Have two additional articles in the pipeline on Open Source, Python, and Packaging (actually a bit behind on getting started on them).

Code

  • Been talking a lot with James and Luke this week about Pinax plans. Excited about what's coming.
  • I have been playing more and more with responsive CSS frameworks, with Columnal for my brother's campaign website, and Skeleton. I like the idea of designing a website that looks good on all three Desktop, iPad, and iPhone.
  • Almost complete with an iPhone app for a client that their employees will use to record data from field locations. I wrote this with jQTouch and Django and am pretty impressed how it's really just writing a web app and saving it off to homescreen allows it to launch in it's own process without the Mobile Safari chrome. I realize that this capabilty is old news but it's still fun to experience, nonetheless.