Thursday, July 25, 2013

7/25 - Struggling and struggling and CAR!


This quote reminds me of several others I've heard:

"A new chapter of my life begins NOW."
"Today is the first day of the rest of your life."
"Why don't you start believing that no matter what you have or haven't done, that your best days are still out in front of you."

The point being, leave the past and whatever mistakes it might hold behind you. Every moment is a clean slate where you can start over. I saw this quote this morning. I mulled it over in my head all day long. And yet I still ate like crap again. I'm letting myself get the better of me, and it's starting to piss me off.

I do have to say, while I've completely derailed my food plan this week, ignored Living Lean lessons and defiantly refusing to follow up on this week's Living Lean schedule of classes, I still maintained my gluten free choice. This is the first time I've gone through full-on binge mode where I did NOT choose the gluten alternative. This means I am trainable, that with practice I can change my behavior. I checked labels. I did not reach for cookies, or cake, or mac n' cheese, or any of the other go-to junk foods I would have reached for even a month ago. Yes, I reached for rice krispie treats again today. Yes, I ate several pieces of cheese plus a pound of cherries. I ate mindlessly and after hours. But as Meatloaf says "I won't do that." At least I didn't, anyway.
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I struggled with my Visual Basic and .NET homework today. I do believe I've made some progress, but it's an uphill battle. I'm trying to learn coding fundamentals, plus the language to write them in, plus the .NET fundamentals, all at the same time. Every time I circle back around I pick up another little inkling of the information I need. I feel like an idiot that I'm finding it so difficult to comprehend. I know that attitude isn't helping at all, and I'm not sure how to effectively channel the frustration. I don't expect everything to be easy, but I also did not expect to take almost a week to wrap my head around writing a function, a sub-routine, and a lambda (basically a function without a label, that you only use once instead of referring back to it over and over). That is as far as I got today, which in reality is just the Lambda past where I was yesterday. I had to backtrack and dig deeper into functions in order to understand Lambdas. These are just the examples, too. I'm working my way through the presentation stack, and haven't even gotten to the actual homework part yet.

I want to blame some of my frustration on the people teaching these classes. My difficulty in comprehension both is and isn't at least partially their fault. These are engineers, not trained instructors. They all appear to understand their subject matter quite well. However, just like all teachers, some impart their wisdom better than others. Some are more comfortable in front of people. Some are more engaging. Some break it down better, read their class better, have better notes and examples. Alex is a really good teacher. Unfortunately he did not teach .NET, Ruby, or today's test environment class.

Today's class was another that took only half the allotted time, and I walked out completely confused on what I was supposed to have learned. The instructor spoke very fast, and it was literally 15 minutes into the hour-long class before I even understood the topic of conversation. He asked several times if there were questions, but I was so lost I didn't even know what to begin asking about. I'm still not quite sure if what he showed us was Ruby, or another coding language entirely. I think it was a different environment than the Ruby one I saw earlier this week, though even that I'm not completely certain is accurate. The only things I got out of the class were 1) the class at least touched on how to create automated tests. I think they were database tests, as he spent quite a bit of time talking about having the test automatically add data before the actual testing took place, and the difficulty in removing that data after the test was complete. 2) They have something they call FactoryGirl, which can be configured however they want. I have no idea how to configure it, or what configurations can or should be used. Also, I think the instructor wrote a script that cleans up data entered by the tests. He called it Scalpel Sharp or something like that... maybe.

I'm seriously thinking of asking to take that class again the next time it comes around. We have a crop of new hires coming in on August 5, so this class will be taught again soon enough. Maybe by then I'll have had time to look into what the heck he was talking about. He did send out the presentation stack, but I'm not sure how much of what he talked about was actually included. I haven't had a chance to look at it yet.
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Speaking of new hires, does anyone know anyone looking for a job? MRI is offering $2,500 for a successful referral (the person lasts at least 90 days). I'll split that money with the new hire, and I'll split it 3 ways if you send someone you know my way. Just forward me their resumes. There are a ton of openings on the MRI job board: Sales, Support, QA, Engineers, Product Managers, BAs, and several other positions as well. This offer is good through the end of September.
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I had Tap Out on my workout schedule today, but that was preempted by the ability to leave early and pick up my car! $270 later, I have a car that looks and smells like new. They got all the water out, then detailed it for good measure. I laughed at how I thought the Acura had pick-up and mine doesn't. My car is so much smoother a ride than the Acura, with better gas mileage and yes, even pick-up.

The Acura did have me looking at Nissan's sportscar line-up. I just renewed my lease in February so it will be 3 years before I get a new car. I'm looking at Nissan because my experience with Subaru indicates it will cost me an additional thousand (or more!) to turn my lease in if I switch car companies. Nissan forgave a pretty huge scratch in the driver's side door on my last turn in, and I'm convinced that's because I was leasing from them again.

So, looking at sportier cars. I really would like a smaller car, and I REALLY liked the sun roof on the Acura. I'm surprised by how much I liked the sun roof. Unfortunately, the sportier cars are more expensive and get horrible gas mileage. I might look at a Leaf next go around. Knowing me though, I'll have completely forgotten this situation by then.
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