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2014: How Did I Do?

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2014 retrospective

Last year I had a set of resolutions. Let's see how I did.

No Debt

Still a big problem here. It turns out it is really fucking hard to save money and live comfortably in this city. It's fucking infuriating how much everything costs, especially compared to, say, Phoenix.

I really need to crank down and force myself in to a budget this year and minimize my burn rate. I'm planning to go in to the year selling and donating a bunch of things I don't need, removing a bunch of expenses I don't need, and building up a safe supply again.

The good news is that I wasn't forced in to doing any 1099 contract work this year, which means I will probably get a chunk of change back from the IRS that I can feed back in to my debts.

Enough in Savings to move

Well, I did that, even though I had to borrow a thousand dollars from one of my friends. That was a super stressful month and I'd rather not do things like that again. This goes back to above. I need to force myself in to a budget, that's really the only good solution here.

Build a credit history

I didn't even attempt this. I meant to get one of those silly new-to-credit-here's-200$ credit cards, but I didn't. I probably should.

Finish and release two open source projects

Hmm, well, maybe? We've been working on Kickass Systems and that's been going pretty well; I've open sourced all of my infrastructure projects, which is a huge stack of code. No applications or anything along those lines, though, even though I dabbled with a few of those types of projects this year.

Keep my job at Storehouse

Well, not as such, no. Burnout is fucking real, man. I burnt out at Storehouse really hard, and basically was given an ultimatum that I had no chance of hitting, so I didn't. And I walked. I'm at a place that doesn't want to burn me out, that actually hired a team when someone said they needed it. My team went from two (my hiring being the second) to up to 8 in six months. That's incredible, and they are all smart fun people who don't make me feel like a freetard outcast like I sometimes felt at Storehouse. I'm going to consider this one a win, I'm just glad Uber decided to take the chance on me.

Sleep before midnight

Well, I do this sometimes, but in general, I'm really considering instituting a no-tech-after-11 rule, as well as a no electronics in the bedroom rule. I have some plans for home automation projects that will help make sure I wake up without relying on a cell phone.

Drink less

I've done pretty good about this. I've drank less, and I've got drunk even less than that.

Go back to AZ more often

Haha, I only went back to AZ twice last year: once for my birthday, once for Christmas. I really need to travel more this year, not necessarily Arizona, but I want to go places.

Cut down on digital overload

This is one that I've done really well with. The switch to Org mode and Gnus has been a huge boon to my productivity, and ability to track what I'm working on. I've pushed out most of the IRC channels that I idle in, opting for a handful of ones that I care about. I've disabled notifications, I've turned nearly every "push" based mechanism in my life in to a "pull" based mechanism and I think it's really helped me feel more calm and in control of my life.

I still need to unsubscribe from a bunch of mailing lists, but oh well.

Write more for the sake of writing

I've done pretty good about this, especially in the latter half of the year; I really want to finish up this literate Emacs configuration that I've spent the last month on so that I can break posts out on to my blog, and so that I can publish the org-mode doc for how I computer.

Complete the Change of Scenery

Instead of going with Free Android, I think I've opted to leave Android altogether. My phone right now is an Nokia N900 and while it's not the most useful thing, I'm okay with that. It does SMS and it does phone calls and it can SSH to my server where it can IRC and tweet. That's really all I use a phone for besides ordering an Uber, which I can use http://m.uber.com for.

As for convergence, that goal is going to have to be put on hold. After losing four glass touchscreens this year, I'm becoming convinced that they are literally the worse. Right now I have my N900 which is basically impossible to break, my work's Thinkpad T440s and my personal Chromebook which I've put a Debian chroot on to.

2015 going forward

Carry over goals:

Get my Literate Config to a state of releasability

I've been talking about it for months and it consumes my free time, but it's an enjoyable hobby and I think it's a productive outlet for me.

Travel outside the US

There's a whole world out there, and I haven't seen any of it since 2010 when I went to Sweden and Finland. I want to see more of it, and I want to experience new things.

Get back in to hackerspace culture

We tried to start a hackerspace, and as far as I can tell it didn't work. I want to start going to Sudoroom and get involved there. I want to start working on a bunch of hardware projects that I've been playing with in the back of my mind. I want to feel like a part of a non-work community again. OaklandJS is great and neat, but I want to do more than JavaScript.

In the past I've tried to do Sudoroom or Noisebridge, but I always feel out of place, I really need to figure out why that is and beat it down. Make Encryption ubiquitous in my life

I use it for my disk, and documents that I care about, but most of my communications aren't yet encrypted. I'm going to figure out a sane way to do OTR or some sort of PFS chat system one of these days, and when Kickass Systems IRCd gets stood up, all of that will exist within the VPN and SSL encrypted.

I'd love to get more folks using GPG this year, I'm going to set up a postfix incoming rule to encrypt all of my mail as it comes in, so that my data at rest is secure. I'm working on a threat model in my free time that I should finish up.

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Ryan Rix is a privacy rights advocate and net-art wannabe. Reach them on the Fediverse as @rrix@cybre.space, twitter as @rrrrrrrix, via email to ryan@whatthefuck.computer or on Facebook or on Matrix as @rrix:whatthefuck.computer.