Edel Grace

Programmer, Developer, Enthusiast

November 2018 in Review

Dec 1, 2018 | Comments

November went by super fast. I was taking a look at my to do list this morning and I saw that my “first of the the month” tasks were appearing. The beginning of November feels like just yesterday.


I blocked Reddit from all my browsers

While I didn’t successfully avoid Reddit altogether (I would check links that friends would send me or sit with my friends and looked at Reddit together), I managed to not browse Reddit on my own. Does that make much of a difference? To me it does! Usually I could spend hours upon hours on Reddit. I think I managed to curb that number last month.

I made it past probation at my new job

This month marked the third month I spent at my new job. It’s been great so far. I do feel like I’m getting comfortable and getting to know people at work. I’m slowly feeling a little more confident.

I saw pandas

I went to the zoo with a friend and I saw pandas! They are adorable. We spent a great deal watching them eat. The way they eat is very interesting. They reminded me of the stereotypical fat middle-aged man coming home from work slouching on the courch and eating.

Other highlights were camels (they are so silly looking, we spent a good couple of minutes watching them standing around), monkeys (there was one Japanese macaque and it was screaming so loud and it sounded like a human), lions (the lion peed on the glass, it was great), penguins fighting (they kept screeching at each other and at one point it got physical).


I am a statistic fiend. I spend at most 5 minutes everyday (immediately when I wake up) to input the previous day’s data. And most of the data is automatically generated so thankfully I don’t have to worry about that.

November Average Temperature

Tracked with Canada Environment and Natural Resources

A lot of up and downs this month. I’ve been enjoying the mild weather. I wonder what this means for December, though. I hope December won’t be too chilly. Honestly, this November is like my ideal winter weather. Not too cold but just cold enough for it to snow.

Steps Walked

Tracked with Samsung Health

Two major spikes this month. The first one, I think I was out with a friend to check out the opening of a new library. It is absolutely gorgeous. The other spike was our trip to the zoo. There was a lot of walking involved!

I am absolutely terrible with walking nowadays, especially on the weekend. It’s getting colder and I opt to take the bus instead of walking to the station. It also means more reading time for me!

2018 Steps Walked

It does make sense that I’m walking less. The months that I walked the most this year was when I was unemployed and out of school. I had lots of free time to just go places and walk! It would be a stretch to say that socializing with friends make me more active but I do walk more when that happens.

Hours on Phone

Tracked with App Usage

The trend of a spike and then immediately trying to remediate the next day is prominent in this graph. Thing mid-late November got a little out of hand. I can’t remember why. I might be that I was out and just kept checking my phone out of boredom.

2018 Hours on Phone

In general though, I’m definitely making progress on spending less time on my phone. Two hours still seems like a lot of time, however. I might need to start breaking down what exactly it is that I do on my phone that takes two hours.

Hours of Sleep

Tracked with Sleep as Android

I seem to be solidly getting around 7 hours of sleep per night. I started going down to 6 hours of sleep because there are just not enough hours in the day to do the things I want to.

2018 Hours of Sleep

In the grand scheme of things, I’m definitely sleeping more compared to the first half of the year. But I’m also sleeping less compared to the second half of the year. I’m trying to figure out the best number of hours of sleep for me. I would love for it to be 6 or 7 hours and not 8 hours.

Top 20 Artists

For a monthly view, 10 artists is not enough. I definitely did listen to a lot of Coheed and Cambria last month (I’m listening to them right now). Not much on this list surprises me, expect for possibly The Weeknd. When did I listen to so much of the The Weeknd? I must have blanked it out.

Top 20 Albums

Not a lot of surprises here either. I guess I didn’t expect Ascension to be the top album. But I did expect all of the Coheed on here.

Top 20 Songs

plenty’s あいという makes sense to me. I definitely put it on repeat a couple times. No World for Tomorrow is a little unexpected. So is Rich Girl, and Lollipop. Spotify algorithm at it’s best (worst).

Books Read

I didn’t read as much as I hoped I would last month. I technically averaged a book a week though, so I guess that’s fine. I also read a lot of manga this month. It will technically go to my read count but I don’t know if I can really count it.

Book Blogger Hop #64

Nov 30, 2018 | Comments

Book Blogger Hop is a weekly meme run by Coffee Addicted Writer. Every Friday, a question is posted for the book blog community to discuss. This week’s question is…

If you could travel back in time to purchase the first printing of a specific novel, what book would that be?

AH. This is such a good question. My first instict was Villette. I have no idea what the first printing was like but I would love be able to get my hands on one. It doesn’t even have to be pretty. Villette is one of my favourite novels. It would just perfect my collection if I could have an early edition of the book. In reality though, I don’t care much about printings or editions. Unless they are pretty. Kinda contradictory to what I just wrote but I wouldn’t really go out of my way to buy different editions. Unless they’re Villette.

My Week in Music #7: 2018/11/16 - 2018/11/23

Nov 27, 2018 | Comments

Last.fm is a website that can keep track of users and their listening habits. I’ve been listening to music with Last.fm since 2010 and am slightly obsessive over my music stats. These stats are for my listening from the past week.

My week for November 16, 2018 to November 23, 2018

Top 10 Artists

Top 10 Artists

  1. Coheed and Cambria (+1) Coheed and Cambria was only dethroned for a week! I wouldn’t say I listened to a lot more Coheed. The number is nice and low so hopefully it means I listened to more different artists this week instead of repeating this over and over.

  2. My Chemical Romance (+1)

  3. Björk (+2)

  4. 宇多田ヒカル (+2)

  5. L’Arc~en~Ciel (-5)

  6. Horizon (+) Horizon is a YouTuber who covered a lot of Japanese songs and interpreted Homestuck songs. She has one single original song and it’s pretty good. Recently she liked a comment of mine, I hope it means she’s back to recording music because she hasn’t posted in years!

  7. The Strokes (+)

  8. Evanescence (+) This seemed totally out of the blue but I did noticed a lot of Evanescence coming up on shuffle. Spotify algorithm, what are you trying to tell me?

  9. Jeff Wiliams (+)

  10. Alexisonfire (-1)

Top 10 Albums

Top 10 Albums

  1. Björk — Post (+8) What a jump! I really love Post. There are a lot of good songs off this album.

  2. My Chemical Romance — Danger Days (+) I suspect Spotify algorithm is the culprit but I’m not complaining.

  3. My Chemical Romance — The Black Parade (-)

  4. 宇多田ヒカル — ULTRA BLUE (+) I listened to this album straight through and wow, I don’t know if there’s a single song I don’t like on this album. But there aren’t a lot of amazing songs on this album either. It’s still good!

  5. Jeff Williams — RWBY Volume 1 (+)

  6. Mashrou’ Leila — Ibn El Leil (+)

  7. Alexisonfire — Crisis (+1)

  8. Coheed and Cambria — The Unheavenly Creatures (+)

  9. Evanescence — Fallen (+) HOW?! I don’t even like that many songs from this album.

  10. The Strokes — Is This It (+) The classic early 00’s rock album. I really liked this era of music.

Top 10 Songs

Top 10 songs

  1. boy pablo — everytime (-) Damn, boy pablo is doing good. This is the second week in a row. To be fair, this is a good song!

  2. My Chemical Romance — SING (+4)

  3. 宇多田ヒカル — time will tell (-1)

  4. horizon — Lost and Found (+) I’m not a wreck but I’m far from fully healed.

I can’t express the weight of the silence/But when it’s filled with your breath/I seem to fear it less.

Ahhh this is why I love musicians who write their own song lyrics and are good at it. Even though horizon is not a professional, there is something so incredibly beautiful and genuine about this song. It seems almost a little too personal. But it’s so heartfelt.

  1. Björk — All is Full of Love (+)

  2. Coheed and Cambria — No World for Tomorrow (+)

  3. Coheed and Cambria — Old Flames (+)

  4. Zessei Bijin! — I’m Your Man (+) Zessei Bijin is a YouTube singing group who covers Japanese songs. They covered I’m Your Man which is actually a Korean song by 2PM. There’s just something so great about an all girl group singing “I’m your man” over and over again.

  5. Alexisonfire — Keep it On Wax (+)

Book Review: 168 Hours by Laura Vanderkam

Nov 26, 2018 | Comments

168 Hours by Laura Vanderkam

There are 168 hours in a week. This is your guide to getting the most out of them.

It’s an unquestioned truth of modern life: we are starved for time. We tell ourselves we’d like to read more, get to the gym regularly, try new hobbies, and accomplish all kinds of goals. But then we give up because there just aren’t enough hours to do it all. Or if we don’t make excuses, we make sacrifices- taking time out from other things in order to fit it all in.

There has to be a better way…and Laura Vanderkam has found one. After interviewing dozens of successful, happy people, she realized that they allocate their time differently than most of us. Instead of letting the daily grind crowd out the important stuff, they start by making sure there’s time for the important stuff. When plans go wrong and they run out of time, only their lesser priorities suffer.

Vanderkam shows that with a little examination and prioritizing, you’ll find it is possible to sleep eight hours a night, exercise five days a week, take piano lessons, and write a novel without giving up quality time for work, family, and other things that really matter.

Save your hours and don’t read this book. I am sure there are better time management books out there.

This was an absolute dull and boring read. I ended up skimming through the book after the second chapter, just keeping out for bolded words and headings. Thank goodness Laura made her book skimmable. I have no idea why so many “self-help” books insist on being about 100 pages longer than they should be. So let’s get this review out of the way.

I did, however, do the exercise to keep a log of what you do for a week and that was pretty fun. I will be posting results sometime soon!

The Good

  • Log what you do every day for an entire week at 15-minute increments to find out what you really spend your week doing
  • Find something that you can do in 30 minutes (or less) whenever you find yourself with 30 minutes of time
  • Spend more quality time with your kids (I have no kids but I agree, parents should spend time with their kids)
  • Interactive activities and questions to fill out

The Meh

  • Find out your core competencies and improve on them

The Bad

  • Do what you love as a career!
  • Hire someone to do your laundry, cleaning, etc.!
  • Hire an assistant! Since I’m a programmer, does that mean I should just hire someone to program for me??
  • Better yet, just don’t clean as much! You don’t really need a spotless house
  • Watch less TV! I already don’t watch TV
  • Cooking is a waste of time, just buy a ton of processed food
  • Who needs knitting? (I take much offense because I love knitting and crafts)
  • Random sentences were thrown in about religion (you do you, Laura, but don’t me what to believe in kthxbai)
  • Soooo many anecdotes. I don’t care, I just want the advice!

My Week in Music #6: 2018/11/09 - 2018/11/16

Nov 24, 2018 | Comments

Last.fm is a website that can keep track of users and their listening habits. I’ve been listening to music with Last.fm since 2010 and am slightly obsessive over my music stats. These stats are for my listening from the past week.

My week for November 09, 2018 to November 16, 2018

Top 10 Artists

Top 10 Artists

  1. L’Arc~en~Ciel (+3) Coheed and Cambria is finally dethroned! And no better band to dethrone them than good old L’Arc~en~Ciel.

  2. Coheed and Cambria (-1) I’m glad that I haven’t been trying to intentionally listen to less Coheed and Cambria, this was more organic. I still listen to a lot of Coheed, they’re still in second place.

  3. My Chemical Romance (+4) There are a lot of good songs that I’ve been rediscovering from MCR.

  4. Green Day (-2) Green Day has been gaming the RNG so hard the past couple weeks. I never really notice how much Green Day I’ve been listening to.

  5. Björk (+) Bless Björk. I’ve been listening to a lot of some her classic singles lately.

  6. 宇多田ヒカル (+) Oh Utada Hikaru. ULTRA BLUE is such a good album. A lot of my coworkers have been talking about Kingdom Hearts and since Utada is well known for her songs appearing in the video games, I had a sudden urge to listen to Utada.

  7. Amy Winehouse (-2) Why is shuffle so biased towards Amy? I have no idea why I keep listening to so much of Amy, but I ain’t complaining.

  8. The White Stripes (+2) I’m convinced Jack White is a bit of a nutcase but he does make good music.

  9. Alexisonfire (-5) Alexisonfire, I’ve been craving a lot of post hardcore lately. My Discover Weekly playlist on Spotify has been good about bringing it to me.

  10. DIR EN GREY (-2) Oh DIR EN GREY. Sometimes I just don’t remember why I liked them so much. They’re pretty good at times but I do have to be in a good mindset for their music.

Top 10 Albums

Top 10 Albums

  1. Amy Winehouse — Back to Black (+5) Again, Spotify you’re so biased.

  2. L’Arc~en~Ciel — KISS (+) There are a lot of good songs on KISS I really underappreciated this album when it came out.

  3. My Chemical Romance — The Black Parade (-1) Ahhhh such a classic emo album. Truly the greatest of all.

  4. Coheed and Cambria — The Afterman: Ascension (+2)

  5. Thrice — Vheissu (+)

  6. The GazettE — STACKED RUBBISH (+) Classic case of RNG. I never knew I had a lot of The GazettE in my library. I have no idea why STACKED RUBBISH was played so much outside of the RNG. I actually don’t like much of The GazettE’s music from that album.

  7. Evanescence — The Open Door (+) Interesting. I definitely noticed a lot of Evanescence in my shuffle. I don’t know if I should complain. It is a good album, I remember owning it when I was younger.

  8. Alexisonfire — Crisis (-3)

  9. Björk — Post (+) Definitely up there for one of my favourite Björk albums.

  10. 宇多田ヒカル — SINGLE COLLECTION VOL. 1 (+) I’m notorious for just liking singles and my god, over a 20-ish year career, Utada has a lot of great banging singles. Some of them are pretty dated but I still dig them.

Top 10 Songs

Top 10 songs

  1. boy pablo — everytime (+) But he replies with “ok” every time, every time. Bless boy pablo and their viral hits.

  2. 宇多田ヒカル — time will tell (+) This is a goodie. This is a song from Utada’s debut album and it is classic.

  3. L’Arc~en~Ciel — Yuki no Ashiato (+) Not my favourite from the KISS album but it is a good one.

  4. EMI MARIA — Lost in Tokyo (+) I think EMI MARIA is trying to break the Western market with her latest singles. While I don’t think she made a lot of success, I adore her songs. I really dig this one in particular because it’s catchy and relatable.

  5. Björk — Pagan Poetry (+) This music video is a little weird but I love it and this song. There is just so much in this song. The music box-like melody at the beginning, the pounding beat in the background, and Björk’s voice. The lyrics is dripping with sexual imagery (so is the music video) and it feels so extremely authentic. This is what I look for in music. Artists being able to reveal parts of themselves in a beautiful way.

  6. My Chemical Romance — SING (+)

  7. Amy Winehouse — Tears Dry on their Own (+)

  8. Thrice — Atlantic (+)

  9. Soundgarden — Black Hole Sun (+)

  10. My Chemical Romance — Disenchanted (+) There’s something nostalgic and melancholic about this song. It’s a song about looking back on life and finding out that it wasn’t all great but they made some good memories. I like it a lot. Definitely an underrated song.


A photo of me

My name is Edel Grace Altares. My programming interests include full stack development and back end development. My languages of choice are Python and Java. Outside of programming I enjoy crocheting, video games, cats, historical fiction, and reading.