Gentleman Johnny's Lifestyle Challenge: Year 3

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Gentleman Johnny's Lifestyle Challenge: Year 3

Post by Gentleman Johnny on Wed Nov 05, 2014 2:53 pm

“Fight club became the reason to cut your hair short and trim your fingernails”

"A goal without a timeline is simply a dream"

Since the old forums are gone, I don't have access to the original wording I used for this. The plan is pretty simple, though. Instead of making some New Year's resolution that's really general and easy to break, come up with a goal that you will achieve in the next year. In year one, mine was to learn web development and get a job as a developer (still working as a developer, different company). Last year it was to rebuild the show and make it back to the big event we played in 2010 (we went from 8 acts in 2012 to 18 in 2014). This thread is here so you can update everyone on your progress and get encouragement, support and advice. So what's it for you? Do you want to get in shape? Go on a date every week?


This year mine is to get the rest of the cast more active in non-show stuff (like merchandise, writing for the website etc) and to make enough money through the show, merch and fund raisers to buy us a post-apocalyptic tour bus ($10,000). The paperwork to incorporat is already filed with LegalZoom and I have a non-profit umbrella group picked out so we can take tax deductible donations.

I'm also going to be doing an act next year that involves losing most of my clothes. As such, I need to get my skin condition under control and I want to drop about 2" from my waist so I can get back into my tight pants. Starting today I've switched over from fast food to fruit for breakfast.

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Re: Gentleman Johnny's Lifestyle Challenge: Year 3

Post by UristMcBunny on Wed Nov 05, 2014 5:13 pm

Woo! So glad this is back.

Okay so... year goals. I will stick to things within my control, since "I will have a permanent job by X" is just setting myself up to get depressed/anxious!

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Re: Gentleman Johnny's Lifestyle Challenge: Year 3

Post by nearly_takuan on Wed Nov 05, 2014 5:35 pm

I did zero costuming this year. For next year, one of my friend-groups wants us all to coordinate Marvel-themed costumes. They've nominated me for Nightcrawler, which is kind of funny 'cause I did Nightcrawler as a kid once. My roommate's been cast as Colossus, which feels a bit body-type based but he seems okay with it.

So, that's a Goal for next year—make costumes for Nightcrawler and Colossus. Tight fit / spandex versions of these optional; looking good in that by next Halloween is certainly feasible, but a trench-coat would be a lot easier...and warmer. Vest/jacket resembling the movie version's outfit is also an option.

I also want to release something I've made to the public. Anything. Doesn't matter what. 1. Finish developing one independent project; 2. publish it somewhere people I don't know can see/use it.
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Re: Gentleman Johnny's Lifestyle Challenge: Year 3

Post by caliseivy on Wed Nov 05, 2014 5:41 pm

I plan on getting my driver's license (getting the provisional and passing the driving test, at least).
As of right now I've driven on the road three times and had a few hours practice in a parking lot. Still can't back up to save my life, having trouble with remaining in lanes, and remembering to do all the things I need to do while observing the road and signs.
I haven't even tried parallel parking yet.
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Re: Gentleman Johnny's Lifestyle Challenge: Year 3

Post by SadisticToaster on Wed Nov 05, 2014 7:44 pm

nearly_takuan wrote:
I also want to release something I've made to the public. Anything. Doesn't matter what. 1. Finish developing one independent project; 2. publish it somewhere people I don't know can see/use it.

Same here. I keep getting half way through, and then get distracted, bored, or stuck, and the whole thing just sort of drifts away from me. I've really got to release *something* this year.

And I need to have a serious crack at learning Russian. I'm fed up with being monolingual.

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Re: Gentleman Johnny's Lifestyle Challenge: Year 3

Post by Gentleman Johnny on Wed Nov 05, 2014 7:57 pm

I would also add that, while not required, picking something outside your comfort zone htat you're not entirely sure is possible is in keping with the spirit of the previous challenges.

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Re: Gentleman Johnny's Lifestyle Challenge: Year 3

Post by Gentleman Johnny on Thu Nov 06, 2014 3:52 pm

SadisticToaster wrote: I keep getting half way through, and then get distracted, bored, or stuck, and the whole thing just sort of drifts away from me. I've really got to release *something* this year.

This is a problem I used to have and one of the reasons I started the challenge in the first place. I've got half a dozen big projects I'd like to take on this year. If I try and do even three of them, none of them will get done. The trick for me is to pick the one thing that I can take on in addition to what's already going on in my life. By focusing on just the our bus, I am sadly throwing away (or putting off for a year) my theater project, my Ren Faire project, my politics project and others. On the other hand, once we've got the bus taken care of, we'll have the infrastructure to keep it going without as much effort in place. Then I can focus on my next one next year.

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Re: Gentleman Johnny's Lifestyle Challenge: Year 3

Post by Suika on Thu Nov 06, 2014 6:53 pm

Going outside my comfort zone is going outside my comfort zone.

Gotta work on that.
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Re: Gentleman Johnny's Lifestyle Challenge: Year 3

Post by The Wisp on Thu Nov 06, 2014 11:49 pm

I want to make a serious OKC profile and message at least one lady by the end of the year, hopefully before the month is out.
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Re: Gentleman Johnny's Lifestyle Challenge: Year 3

Post by username_6916 on Fri Nov 07, 2014 12:40 am

Gentleman Johnny wrote: In year one, mine was to learn web development and get a job as a developer (still working as a developer, different company).

Do you have a formal background in tech? About how long did it take you to get the core domain skills? Which techs do you work in?


This year mine is to get the rest of the cast more active in non-show stuff (like merchandise, writing for the website etc) and to make enough money through the show, merch and fund raisers to buy us a post-apocalyptic tour bus ($10,000). The paperwork to incorporat is already filed with LegalZoom and I have a non-profit umbrella group picked out so we can take tax deductible donations.

You ever follow the government surplus sites? I got my Jeep off of a county government via PublicSurplus, which often has various surplus busses for relatively cheap. I know the federal government has it's own site through the GSA too, but that's a bit harder to use.

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Re: Gentleman Johnny's Lifestyle Challenge: Year 3

Post by reboot on Fri Nov 07, 2014 12:57 am

This is going to sound weird but my lifestyle challenge is going to be to cut back on some activities and quit spreading myself so thin, which is going to be put me pretty far outside of my comfort zone. I am not good at saying I can not help with events, volunteering, etc. especially to people who have helped me out with similar things, so my lifestyle challenge will be to do no more than two activities outside of ones required for my work a week and have one day a month where I do not plan anything.
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Re: Gentleman Johnny's Lifestyle Challenge: Year 3

Post by Gentleman Johnny on Fri Nov 07, 2014 2:00 pm

username_6916 wrote:
Gentleman Johnny wrote: In year one, mine was to learn web development and get a job as a developer (still working as a developer, different company).

Do you have a formal background in tech? About how long did it take you to get the core domain skills? Which techs do you work in?


This year mine is to get the rest of the cast more active in non-show stuff (like merchandise, writing for the website etc) and to make enough money through the show, merch and fund raisers to buy us a post-apocalyptic tour bus ($10,000). The paperwork to incorporat is already filed with LegalZoom and I have a non-profit umbrella group picked out so we can take tax deductible donations.

You ever follow the government surplus sites? I got my Jeep off of a county government via PublicSurplus, which often has various surplus busses for relatively cheap. I know the federal government has it's own site through the GSA too, but that's a bit harder to use.

To the first, I moved to Silicon Valley for six months and went to a web development boot camp for about 3, doing 12 hour days. We did HTML/CSS, javascript/jQuery, PHP and Ruby On Rails in an environment I've compared to immersive language schools. I think the fact that they explained and we got object oriented programming in about two days is what really prepared me to deal with web development professionally. My last programming course before that was Pascal about 20 years ago.

To the second, yeah. In fact I ran into a friend of a friend last night who buys from those auctions to restore and sell cars. He's got a line on some old forestry service busses that would be perfect and considerably less expensive than I expected to pay. Cheap enough that I can probably jut pay out of pocket early next year.

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Re: Gentleman Johnny's Lifestyle Challenge: Year 3

Post by Gentleman Johnny on Fri Nov 07, 2014 2:01 pm

reboot wrote:This is going to sound weird but my lifestyle challenge is going to be to cut back on some activities and quit spreading myself so thin, which is going to be put me pretty far outside of my comfort zone. I am not good at saying I can not help with  events, volunteering, etc. especially to people who have helped me out with similar things, so my lifestyle challenge will be to do no more than two activities outside of ones required for my work a week and have one day a month where I do not plan anything.

See my comment above. Sometimes its hard to not do ALL THE THINGS! Its the only way to really get anything done, though.

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Re: Gentleman Johnny's Lifestyle Challenge: Year 3

Post by MisterDweeb on Fri Nov 07, 2014 7:27 pm

I've got a number of physical challenges on the go at the moment. I want to be back down to a 32 inch waist by this time next year. For the past month I've been running three times a week and tracking my calories on MyFitnessPal - I'm currently guessing a lot of quantities, but I'm feeling hungry a lot more than I used to and by the site my longest stretch within calorie goals has been 12 days.

Parallel to that, i'm working through the 100 push ups program. My best so far is 35 in one set, and I've just fallen short on my second repetition of Week 3, Day 3 (22,30,20,20,28).

I really want to do something creative, but I'm so uncreative I can't even think of what that could be.

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Re: Gentleman Johnny's Lifestyle Challenge: Year 3

Post by username_6916 on Sat Nov 08, 2014 8:13 pm


To the first, I moved to Silicon Valley for six months and went to a web development boot camp for about 3, doing 12 hour days. We did HTML/CSS, javascript/jQuery, PHP and Ruby On Rails in an environment I've compared to immersive language schools. I think the fact that they explained and we got object oriented programming in about two days is what really prepared me to deal with web development professionally. My last programming course before that was Pascal about 20 years ago.

I still remember the "Aha!" moment when I realized that objects can contain functions ("methods"). Object oriented is a simple idea (well, at least it starts out simple) that's darn near impossible to explain to a lay person.

Right now, I'm teaching myself Django for a side project for my local community orchestra. And so that i can convince myself that I still know how to code so that I can work up the nerve to talk to tech recruiters.

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Re: Gentleman Johnny's Lifestyle Challenge: Year 3

Post by nearly_takuan on Sat Nov 08, 2014 8:27 pm

username_6916 wrote:I still remember the "Aha!" moment when I realized that objects can contain functions ("methods"). Object oriented is a simple idea (well, at least it starts out simple) that's darn near impossible to explain to a lay person.

"It's like putting a function pointer inside a struct, except you get to assume that the struct's address is also passed to the function any time you call it."

More seriously, I've found that it's easier to explain at least the basic concepts of OOP to a non-programmer (by which I mostly mean describing how you can use an OO language to write programs) than to explain what's cool about OO to someone who only knows OOP (which requires first explaining how you would have to do things without OO). And then Go comes along and blows everyone's mind.

Speaking of, I have another goal for next year that might tie in with the previous: I have an outline of a tool I want to make, and I want to make it using nothing but Dart, Go, and possibly Angular if I need it but I already hate normal JavaScript.
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Re: Gentleman Johnny's Lifestyle Challenge: Year 3

Post by Gentleman Johnny on Sat Nov 08, 2014 10:44 pm

I found Starcraft a really useful metaphor. In the code there's a basic blueprint for every unit. A flamer troop has 500 HP, does 100 damage at a range of 1 square etc. When you buy upgrades to your troop facility like high damage flamers, it changes that blueprint. That's a class. Each individual flamer troop running around the board is its own object. Different effects may cause it to move slower, have more or less HP etc. Shooting one troop doesn't damage the others.

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Re: Gentleman Johnny's Lifestyle Challenge: Year 3

Post by Gentleman Johnny on Sat Nov 08, 2014 10:47 pm

[quote="username_6916"]

Right now, I'm teaching myself Django for a side project for my local community orchestra. And so that i can convince myself that I still know how to code so that I can work up the nerve to talk to tech recruiters.

Unless you have a particular reason for Django, I'd suggest Ruby On Rails. Its very similar to Python/Django but favors convention over configuration. Creating a database table, model, routing and CRUD interface controller and views is a single command line.

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Re: Gentleman Johnny's Lifestyle Challenge: Year 3

Post by username_6916 on Sun Nov 09, 2014 8:00 am

I guess the particular reason is I prefer Python to Ruby. But, I'll freely admit that I have far more experience in Python than Ruby and more experience in Django than Rails. At this point, I don't feel like swapping techs, but I might give Rails a try sometime. Of course, I've got a few dozen little side projects that are floating around the back of my mind that aren't in the web space at all.

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Re: Gentleman Johnny's Lifestyle Challenge: Year 3

Post by Tech on Sun Nov 09, 2014 5:59 pm

Gentleman Johnny wrote:
To the first, I moved to Silicon Valley for six months and went to a web development boot camp for about 3, doing 12 hour days. We did HTML/CSS, javascript/jQuery, PHP and Ruby On Rails in an environment I've compared to immersive language schools. I think the fact that they explained and we got object oriented programming in about two days is what really prepared me to deal with web development professionally. My last programming course before that was Pascal about 20 years ago.

Might I ask, how hard was it to get a job as web developer without degree (I'm guessing you didn't get some "official" degree after that course)?

I recently discovered I like programming a lot, so I started self-studying Python and C++ in my spare time, though progress is kind of slow. I'd really like to someday get a job in programming, though I don't really know how likely that is without degree. Besides that I'm also doing two MIT Open Courseware Courses (Physics 1, Calculus 1), besides reading a book on linear algebra for 3D graphics and games because I'd really love to do some 3D graphics programming. I also got interested into electronics.

Trying to advance at all those things at once feels like not really making any progress at all, unfortunately, but I'd hate to give something up I started and learned to enjoy.

Oh, most of all I'd like to gain 10 kilos and become somewhat more "massive" (I'm ridiculously skinny).

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Re: Gentleman Johnny's Lifestyle Challenge: Year 3

Post by Gentleman Johnny on Sun Nov 09, 2014 9:48 pm

Some of it depends on where you are and if you're willing to relocate. If you can produce a prortfolio that shows you've got the basic full stack web development set in Silicon Valley, you're ahead of a lot of Stanford graduates. Here in Vegas it took me five weeks to get my first job and three months to replace it. The former was based on carpet bombing 10+ resumes a day, the latter at a bit slower pace.Of course, in the meantime you can put yourself on Craigslist freelance and be making at least part time money. Your best bet for the time and money in my opinion is the (free) Code Academy. They'll walk you through pretty much everything I listed in my skill set and give you a badge as you complete each course. That's something employers can check to verify you.

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Re: Gentleman Johnny's Lifestyle Challenge: Year 3

Post by kleenestar on Mon Nov 10, 2014 1:07 pm

My big challenge - and this is way, way, way the hell outside my comfort zone - is going to be this whole baby thing. If at the end of 2015, the baby is happy and healthy, my marriage is happy and healthy, and I've successfully negotiated the transition back to full-time work then I'll consider this project a remarkable success.

I'm in the unusual position of having up to eight months of maternity leave because of the vagaries of the academic calendar (I'm due quite literally on the day that will guarantee me the maximum amount of leave), so I'm actually in a position to consider what other projects I want to tackle while I'm home. I've picked two projects and will decide between them once the baby is about two months - I should have a sense of which one is more feasible.

If I have more hands than brain, my goal will be: get rid of all my old boxes of papers by the end of 2015. This will mean:
- Collect all boxes into one place.
- Go through each box and toss / shred as much as possible.
- Insert whatever needs saving into my (highly functional!!) filing system.

If I have more brains than hands, my goal will be: redesign and release (at some level of completion) a game that a colleague has invited me to collaborate on. This will mean:
- Setting up a weekly meeting to identify rule changes.
- Iterating through one monthly draft.
- Completing a shareable playtest draft by mid-July.
- Have a plan for layout, art, etc. by the end of October.
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Re: Gentleman Johnny's Lifestyle Challenge: Year 3

Post by SadisticToaster on Tue Nov 11, 2014 7:56 pm

Gentleman Johnny wrote:
SadisticToaster wrote: I keep getting half way through, and then get distracted, bored, or stuck, and the whole thing just sort of drifts away from me. I've really got to release *something* this year.

This is a problem I used to have and one of the reasons I started the challenge in the first place. I've got half a dozen big projects I'd like to take on this year. If I try and do even three of them, none of them will get done. The trick for me is to pick the one thing that I can take on in addition to what's already going on in my life. By focusing on just the our bus, I am sadly throwing away (or putting off for a year) my theater project, my Ren Faire project, my politics project and others. On the other hand, once we've got the bus taken care of, we'll have the infrastructure to keep it going without as much effort in place. Then I can focus on my next one next year.

I only do 1 project at a time : my distractions are more DVD box sets, books, and the Internet. And Civ 4. Humankind could have probably cured cancer by now if it wasn't for Civ. ( The reason I'm so rotten at replying to posts on here is because I force myself to stay off forums some nights in order to do other stuff )

Perhaps . . . more exciting clothes would be outside my comfort zone. I've got 2 main nightclub outfits I like and I stick with them. It's difficult when you find a look you like to want to mix it up too much. I can handle looking goofy for a night - but there's always the nagging concern that maybe someone would have been out that night who would have liked my 'good' look rather then the experimental one.

username_6916 wrote:
Object oriented is a simple idea (well, at least it starts out simple) that's darn near impossible to explain to a lay person.

I never really got the hang of Object Oriented. I think part of the problem is that I've not yet run into a problem I can't fix with vanilla C.

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Re: Gentleman Johnny's Lifestyle Challenge: Year 3

Post by InkAndComb on Tue Nov 11, 2014 9:54 pm

My big challenge(s).

Find a new therapist (in town!), find a (working)medication, begin exercising at least 2-3 times a week, with stretching before bed.
These items will also help with the ultimate goal:get off of academic probation, finish replacing bad grades in my classes, eat better (I always eat better when I start exercising again. Junk food doesn't cut it, and I crave greens when I'm losing weight?!).
Also, get 2 new pairs of jeans that fit if I fluctuate a few pounds here and there.
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Re: Gentleman Johnny's Lifestyle Challenge: Year 3

Post by Gentleman Johnny on Wed Nov 12, 2014 1:52 am

Have you tried seeing if your school has a counseling program? I've been going to my local college's for the last year or so. Just put myself on the inactive list last week.

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