Edel Grace

Programmer, Developer, Enthusiast

My 2017

Jan 1, 2018 | Comments

TL;DR/Highlights

I didn’t accomplish as much as I would have liked this year. However, this year was extremely eventful.

  • Finished my internship and saved a lot of #MovingOut money
  • Started and finished self-esteem group therapy
  • Went to my first hackathon at Hack the North in Waterloo, Ontario
  • Attended both the Calgary Expo and Calgary Expo Holiday Market
  • Was a little more social this year
  • Ate a lot of good food (AKA went to a ton of restaurants and pubs)
  • Started crocheting and knitting

It’s been a wild year. A lot of ups and downs. A lot of soul searching. I feel like I know more about myself and I have a clearer vision of the future that I want for myself.

Music Stats

I religiously track my music stats through Last.fm. Spotify also publishes stats. Time to look at my music habits! Since I largely stopped pirating music, I turned to Spotify. This explains why I have almost stopped listening to music from Asian countries as a lot of musicians don’t have their music on Spotify. There are some exceptions though. AOA is a Korean pop group and CAPSULE is a Japanese electronic music duo and they made it into my top 5 songs.

Spotify 2017 Wrapped stats

Top Artists

Top artists

  1. The Strokes

  2. Marina and the Diamonds

  3. Mashrou’ Leila

  4. Julian Casablancas+The Voidz

  5. Jeff Williams

  6. St. Vincent

  7. Thrice

  8. CAPSULE

Top Albums

Top albums

  1. Ibn El Leil by Mashrou’ Leila

  2. Is This It by The Strokes

  3. Tyranny by Julian Casablancas + The Voidz

  4. Electra Heart by Marina and the Diamonds

  5. RWBY Volume 1 Soundtrack

  6. Future Present Past by The Strokes

  7. The Desired Effect by Brandon Flowers

  8. Vheissu by Thrice

Top Songs

Top songs

  1. Baptism by Crystal Castles

  2. Drag Queen by The Strokes

  3. Power & Control by Marina and the Diamonds

  4. Trying Your Luck by The Strokes

  5. Excuse Me by AOA

  6. Unrequited Love by CAPSULE

  7. Chances by The Strokes

  8. Dare I Care by Julian Casabalancas + The Voidz

  9. Ode to the Sun by dredg

  10. We Own the Night by Dance Gavin Dance

25 Before 25 Goals

It’s been one year since I posted my 25 before 25. Time to do a yearly review. I’m now 23 and I have two more years before I turn 25. The pressure is on!

1. Graduate from university

I’m working on it! I will be graduating in April 2018. I originally thought I would have graduated by now but some of my first courses no longer count to my degree. Unfortunate, but true.

2. Move out of my parents’ house

Not there yet. Waiting to graduate and get my first job. I have saved enough (I think) to move out but it’s not a good idea to move out without a job.

3. Max out my TFSA

Slowly chipping away at this. I contributed around $11k out of my $30k. With the new year, I have $25k left in my TFSA. I could do it… Right?

4. Open an RRSP account

Nope not yet. First job first.

5. Get a full time job in my field

Soon… Soon… I’ve been updating my portfolio and resume and looking through job posts. My start date is still far in the future but I’m determined.

6. Read 150 books/50 books per year

I barely made it this year! I read more manga than I would have liked and non-fiction. I still need to get going on my to-read list.

7. Finish the Dragon Age series

Absolutely 0 progress on this one. I can’t believe I’m procrastinating on playing a video game!

8. Make my own TCG

Ditto with the above. I think that would be a good portfolio worth project. Maybe throughout the semester.

9. Finish my Pomodoro app project

Not much progress on that either. Github says my last commit on that was in March 2017. So not a total failure.

10. Make a book review website

Still in my backlog… I will get to it!

11. Get my driver’s license

I think I might have to call it quits on this goal. I do not have the constitution to drive. I am too anxious, nervous, and space headed for me to be safe.

12. Make friends outside of the tech bubble

This is so hard. Most of my socializing this year was with my fellow interns and people in my degree. It’s hard for me to relate to or get along with people who aren’t at least a little bit nerdy like me. I will say however, there is one person that I’ve getting along with lately and she is not a nerdy geek at all but she is friends with a lot of them. I’ve known her for a while but never really fully went all in to the friendship.

13. Get fit

I did okay in going to the gym this year but stopped halfway. It would be nice getting back to the gym.

14. Floss more regularly

I never remember to floss. I have now put it as a recurring card on my Trello board so it has to happen.

15. Drink. More. Water

Hmmmm. Not a lot of progress on this either. I think I’m actually drinking less because I keep forgetting to bring my water bottle everywhere. Not anymore!

16. Learn how to actually cook

I’ve done some cooking this year when my mom left for the Philippines. Not a whole lot. I’ve been baking more than cooking. Baking is so much easier…

17. Travel internationally without family

This one I came close to. I went on my first airplane flight without any of my family. It wasn’t international, however, just across country. Now that I think about it, it’s probably better that way, right? Baby steps. It was amazing. I love flying and going to new places.

18. Konmari ALL of my things

Thankfully, this is something I’ve gotten started with. I have Konmari’d my clothes so far. I still have a good chunk left to go through.

19. Get drunk for the first time

I got tipsy this year. Baby steps.

20. Get my CCNA certification

After working in a networking role, I will pass on getting this certification or downgrade it to a CENT certification. I did like the work but I really want to flex my programming skills.

21. Attend Zoo Lights

This is happening this weekend!!! Woo hoo, first thing off my list.

22. Get a grasp on my depression

Slow and steady progress on this. I have been going to counselling and group therapy which has been helping. There are times when I slip but it’s all a process and it won’t always be linear.

23. Continue my pen pal relationships

This has been put on hold because I can’t afford a P.O. box at the moment and my parents did not take to me using our home address to write literaly strangers. I can understand it.

24. Go to a concert

I’ve been regularly browsing who’s been coming to my city and I don’t know/like any of these artists/bands! I must be getting old.

25. Make a dent in my to-watch movie list

Step 1. Make the list first.

WIP Wednesday: Outline Ribbed Scarf

Sep 27, 2017 | Comments

In my last post I talked about making my boyfriend a scarf. I started it yesterday after showing him a couple of sample swatches. Out of all the scarves I showed him, he liked this one of a crochet Outline Ribbed Scarf. It’s a rather simple scarf which is nice because it’ll work up quickly. Hopefully I’ll finish the scarf by his birthday.

Here are some pictures of the test swatches I made. I wasn’t sure if he wanted the simple one stripe line like in the pattern so I did a couple of each.

swatch

swatch

swatch

When I sent the pictures to my boyfriend, he said he liked all of them. Which wasn’t too helpful for me but at least he is not opposed it so far. Thankfully that section of the scarf doesn’t come up for a while since it is worked horizontally.

Yesterday I just chained around 300 chains to start off the scarf and finished around two rows. I think I made it a little too long. My boyfriend is like 6’ and I made the scarf to be a couple more inches longer than that. Fingers crossed.

The colours were chosen by my boyfriend himself. There’s a game that we’ve been playing together called Warframe and the colours he chose were the colours of one of his characters that we play. If you don’t know, Warframe is a free-to-play online third person shooter. It’s a good grind for those who like that kind of games. It reminds me a lot of Destiny!

Unfortunately, I made the scarf too long and I had to frog all of my work. I managed to get back to where I was then the yarn tangled on me. Now I have untangle it… Such is life.

Productive Distractions

Sep 24, 2017 | Comments

It’s my boyfriend’s birthday coming up soon. I wanted to make him a knitted or a crocheted item because I need something to keep my hands busy. Plus aren’t handmade things the sweetest thing you could get as a present??

On some level, I know he’s a little picky about what kind of things he would like to wear. To avoid spending a ton of time working on something that he might not ever wear, I sent him a couple links to patterns of scarves and toques. I may have added a few slouchy beanies in the list of links because I think he would look really good in a slouchy beanie. Lo and behold, out of all the links I sent him, he liked the one non-slouchy beanie the most. I’m not annoyed or anything but I am pretty amused. I love little moments like these.

To be honest, there are a ton of projects that I should be working on instead of thinking of this (to name a few, school assignments). However this is one of those things that I call a “productive distraction.” Writing this blog post is a productive distraction in itself.

I even had a productive distraction between thinking that I needed to write this post and actually starting to write it. I was originally planning to write only a short paragraph. Then I wondered if I should separate long form blog posts with my status-like blog posts. I turned to Jack Baty for some inspiration. I really admire the web presence that Jack has and I like his gutso for mixing microblogging with regular blogging. The stream of consciousness approach is something that I really would like to emulate.

So I went to his website. Then I found myself on a couple of other websites. Now I have more things on my to-do list.

Hello World (Hugo)

Sep 23, 2017 | Comments

I’ve been tinkering with Hugo lately. A couple of weeks ago, I exported my old Wordpress blog into Hugo. While I am happy with the results, it’s taking me a bit of time to go through each of my posts (of which there are hundreds of) and update the metadata. I’m quite tempted to leave it as is but I enjoy consistency.

So here I am. A new portfolio. A technically new site. A new GitHub repository.

We’ll see how Hugo + Github works out. Hopefully it’ll be here to stay (fingers crossed that Github Pages is still a thing until my deathbed).

Forever Tinkering with My Productivity System

Aug 12, 2017 | Comments

I follow the blog baty.net in which Jack Baty continuously finds new tools and new ways to improve his productivity. While I usually scoff at people who are always changing things up, I will admit that I am the exact same way. It would be great to just stick to something tried and true and never have to think about changing but there is just so much out there that it’s hard for me to resist the temptation to not try everything I can see. I have gone through Filofaxes, Bullet Journal-esque planners, Google Calendar, regular paper agendas, post it notes, back to Bullet Journals, etc.

“Bullet Journals” and Paper Planners

In it’s simplest state, the Bullet Journal is an analog system for rapid logging. You have a thought or task, you write it down, and (hopefully) come back to it later to deal with it. Without a few tweaks, it’s not the greatest for future planning. It’s real use case is capturing at the moment. I have tried both minimalistic Bullet Journal and all out “unrecognizable as a Bullet Journal” planning and I found it too hard to keep up with and check on regularly, especially with the latter. I would write something down and never look at it again or I would be too daunted with drawing out daily/weekly/monthly layouts.

For a period I did somewhat automate dealing with layouts by printing a whole year during my Winter break. I would meticulously design a layout in Photoshop, export it to a PDF, print it, cut it, and punch holes. It was a lot of effort for a system that I only ended up using for a couple of months but when I did use it, it worked well for me.

I also had success with store bought planners. My second year of university I used a planner for the entire year. However when the school year ended, I was bored with the system and wanted to try something new. I was lured in by the Filofax craze and fantasized about using a planner that could also be my wallet. Even now as I look at the Filofax website after not visiting it for so long, I’m drooling over the pretty planners (someone please take my wallet away from me). However that was even more short lived and I converted my would be planner-wallet into just a wallet.

Google Calendar

What I loved about Google Calendar was seeing my entire week at a glance down to the last hour. However, the way I used it, it was unsustainable and lacked the detail I needed. While it was easy to change things around, sometimes an unexpected event would throw off my entire day and a result, throw me off from my productivity. Taking away time from something else gave me a little bit of an existential crisis that I didn’t have with other productivity systems.

Still, it was great getting those notifications and being able to sync across device and basically have my entire life without me wherever I go. I haven’t forgotten my phone at home for many years now and I recently got data in my phone plan and a rechargeable battery pack so it really is with me 247. Eventually though, I just stopped using it and went for a while without using any sort of productivity system at all.

Org mode

As I have mentioned before, I recently started using emacs and got sucked into the world of Org mode. The customizability of Org mode excites me and I love having everything in plain text and available at the terminal. Like Google Calendars, it’s pretty much with me everywhere I go, with the help of Dropbox and SSH-ing into my private server. I love the task and habit functions built in and while it was daunting to learn at first, I quickly got the hang of it.

So, for now, I am using Org mode. It’s working well for me but who knows what ship I’ll jump onto next? Maybe one day I will find the one that works for me until the end of time but I doubt it.

About

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.

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