What next?Wed, 19th Jan '11, 8:15 pm::

Last year was pretty stressful and around December I decided to slow things down for a bit. So after Juliet graduated, we did some traveling, caught up on missed TV shows, and partied like it was 1899. Suffice to say, I can't handle so much happiness and have thus decided to put an end to my carefree existence immediately!

I have two personal goals for 2011: (1) Make KType work and (2) Kayak 52 miles in the Suwannee River Challenge. I haven't worked on KType in over 3 weeks and am dying to get it up and running. The kayak ultramarathon is in October and I've started training for it. Though I prefer not to blabber about things I haven't done yet, I can't resist mentioning that I'm very excited about both of these because I feel they will complement each other very well. Kayaking will be a healthy break from multi-day programming sessions and I'll have plenty of time to think about KType when I'm out on a river for six straight hours.

Earlier today Juliet mentioned that she has one goal right now and that is to get a good job as a Physician Assistant in St. Petersburg / Clearwater / Tampa Bay area, preferably in the areas of Dermatology, OB/GYN, or Oncology. But she wondered what her next goal would be. I'm just as curious to find out. Like me, she is fueled by challenges and always wants to do something new, exciting, and unexpected. I told her that's the best part of my life - the uncertainty of it all.

Unlike most people I know, I will never be content with knowing exactly how my life will play out in 5-10-15 years. The world offers far too many adventures that keep me from sticking to decade-long plans. I like one-year plans because those I can make a schedule for. KType is different because it's more of an academic pursuit than a software project. I'm completely uncertain of what lies ahead for me career-wise and haven't given much thought to it. And that's the way I like it.

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Sun, 16th Jan '11, 4:55 pm::

Juliet and I took a small vacation earlier this week. We cruised down to Cozumel and Costa Maya, Mexico on the Royal Caribbean ship Radiance of the Seas. We had a great time and met a lot of cool people. Check out the pictures.

It took me some time to upload these because my main computer died. I'm still surprised that it lasted for over three years despite 24/7 usage. I'm just using my Mac Mini and Acer laptop for now. I haven't decided if I should buy another desktop or not. My computer room is so quiet and peaceful now. Maybe I'll just buy a MacBook Air in a few months.

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I love TV ShowsMon, 3rd Jan '11, 9:40 pm::

When I was a wee-little kid, I used to love TV shows, mostly cartoons and children shows. Movies were for grownups. And I never figured how some guy who died in one movie was alive in another. Then as I grew older, I came to love movies a lot more. Everything about movies was perfect. They have a definite start and end, a storyline with a definite plot, and tons of excitement packed into a few hours. As I started to go through some of the great films, I learnt how to recognize and appreciate good direction, screenplay, and editing. In contrast to these amazing movies, television was dull, slow-paced, and frankly unprofessional. TV shows were for old, boring people.

Now that I'm on my way to be one of those old, boring people, I'm finding myself falling in love with TV shows all over again and for very different reasons. TV shows characters stay with me for a long time. I can identify with the people, relate to them, and see them mature over time. Two-hour movies (except for series like Harry Potter) just can't capture years of character development. I don't watch reality shows and prefer to watch shows with adventurous and humorous themes.

When I was in my movies-are-better years, I used to make fun of my parents and grandparents because they loved watching melodramatic TV shows that went on for years and years. In the last few years, I've seen many TV shows completely and loved every moment of it. It actually makes me a bit worried when I think about the amount of time I've spent in front of the TV and that's why I decided to write this 'blog entry.

Off the top of my head and in no specific order, the shows I've watched every single episode of: Avatar: The Last Airbender, South Park, Futurama, Dexter, House, Breaking Bad, Arrested Development, Doctor Who (New Series), Torchwood, X-Files, Mad Men, Pushing Daisies, Dead Like Me, The IT Crowd, Eureka, The Riches, Louie, The Office (US version), Seinfeld, Friends, Penn & Teller BS, 3rd Rock from the Sun, The Big Bang Theory, Dilbert, Ally McBeal, Mad About You, and SATC. I've also watched almost all episodes of The Simpsons, Frasier, Family Guy, American Dad, Monk, This American Life, It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Whose Line Is It Anyway, SpongeBob Squarepants, Two and a Half Men, Spin City, That 70's Show, The Wonder Years, and Doogie Howser. Lately, Juliet and I are watching 30 Rock together and I'm going through the first season of Merlin (she's not much into scifi/adventure shows).

It does sound like I watch an awful lot of television and I haven't even mentioned documentaries like Cosmos, Understanding, The Universe, Modern Marvels, Planet Earth, and Attenborough classics. Time and again I've considered watching less TV and reading more but somehow I just keep finding new shows that I end up loving. I don't feel guilty for watching TV because I know it helps relax my busy-bee of a mind and gives me a much needed break from programming. And since my programming productivity hasn't gone down and in fact has risen lately, I find no reason to stop my television watching activities. I've been mixing TV with programming and it has been working pretty well for me. I code for 4-5 hours in front of the TV, then get tired of coding and play with my cats and bunny while watching TV for a couple of hours. Then I get bored of TV while the pets get tired of me, so I turn off the TV and program for 5-6 hours in absolute silence.

For me, the end goal is sustainable productivity, while being healthy in mind and body. Also, keeping my wife, family, friends, and pets happy. So far so good! However, I've learnt to be careful whenever I start to like something too much, in this instance, TV. Hence I decided to pause Merlin for an hour and write this 'blog entry, just to get my thoughts out on the whole subject for me and you to decide. Now that I've written it up, I feel pretty good that I'm not going down the path of addiction, be it to TV, internet, programming, or pets. Of course, you may think otherwise so feel free to speak your mind and let me have it.

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