Week 1 Update

Hello from Vienna, MO. I'm trying to write this blog at the dinner table and my family members are playing Rummikub at the other end.

I thought I'd be writing this still covered in the flour from a good night of rolling pizza at Shakespeares but due to the inclimate weather I took the night off in favor of coming to Vienna before the snow got too thick. The Weidinger side of the family is having a late Christmas get-together tomorrow and I didn't want to miss the chance to see cousins -- who I see less and less these days -- by being "stranded" at home.

I'm not sure how these blogs will evolve but I guess I'll start with how the week went with respect to my goals. But since some of my goals are time based and I don't yet have an automated way of tallying time for abstract goals such as "working on passion projects," it's hard to know if I'm hitting my targets.

A bit of time tracking background

I track my time with a system called Magic developed by Conner Ruhl. The system allows me to easily catalog what I'm doing in any give moment and store that data in an organized way. But it requires additional config when retrieving meaningful statistics from it.

That additional config is in the form of tags.

Basically tags are a way of connecting words or phrases together to form complex and meaningful relationships.

If I want to track how much time I spend on 1. passion projects, but I only have events in my time log that read 2. "working on papio" or 3. "adding feature to josephweidinger.com", I'd create tags for all 3 but then connect 2 (papio) and 3 (josephweidinger.com) to 1 (passion-projects). Then I'd be able to compute how much time was spent on passion projects without explicitly mentioning it every time I log an entry.

Finally, the passion-projects tag could be connected to more abstract tags such as "productivity" or "work" and more interesting data could be derived from the connected data.

Where I come in

The problem is that there is no easy way yet in this system to create tags and connect them. That's why I've been spending the majority of my time lately on developing an editor. So I can have good tags. So I can see if my time is being well spent. More on that next time.

Others things

Also related to software development, I interviewed co-worker Brian Fitzgerald last week and spent a large amount of my time working on my webapp that combines audio from interviews with an automated text transcription: https://papio.io/ The transcriptions are provided by Amazon Web Services and they are fairly accurate but not too fantasic. I want to eventually develop a system for making corrections to the transcript and a good search utility to find relevant information from any interview from a single input box.

Aside from all this computer stuff, this week has been interesting because I feel like I've spent so much time with family and friends -- much more time than I had thought when I estimated my goals. It's probably a combination of the holidays / my birthday / people reaching out because of the blog / other random coincidences. I'm welcoming it but also welcoming the feeling of being behind already.

Gotta keep working.