Sunday, January 25, 2015

The Sound of Crocheting

I recently bought a DAC. I don't know why I didn't think to buy one sooner. An article I read stated that the sound card you have in your laptop was not picked for sound quality; it was picked for size and the ability to allow the laptop to be thinner or smaller. That makes a lot of sense and I don't know why I didn't research this sooner. 

DAC stands for Digital to Analog Converter. A DAC is not an Amp. An Amp makes sound louder and a DAC converts digital audio to analog audio to be used by headphones, speakers or any device that takes analog sound as input. When I use a good pair of headphones, my music sounds so much better.

Last night I decided to watch the movie the Guardians of the Galaxy using the DAC. I never noticed how much details I missed because I could not clearly hear what was being said. While I watched the movie I continued crocheting the scarf shown above. I started that scarf about exactly a year ago and never put in the time to finish it. A coworker mentioned crocheting while watching TV, but technically I don't have a TV and the shows I watch (online) tend to be in a foreign language. I spend most of my time trying to learn new words, phrases and reading the captions. I can't crochet while watching or I will miss a lot of what is happening. 

The scarf has a basketweaving pattern, which I didn't know was possible for crocheting. It looks really nice, but it takes up a lot of yarn. Learning from my mistakes from the gray infinity scarf I made right before this one, I'm going to make this one a little shorter than I want it to be. When I wash it, it should stretch to the length I want it to be. I'm a little worried about getting more yarn because I don't live near the store where I bought this yarn anymore. So when I run out, I'm going to have to search for more or think or alternatives.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

What Should I Create?

Every year around this time, I think about doing a 365 project or 52 weeks project. I’ve tried both and never finished either. This blog was born from a one-a-day project for the month of February.  Of course I never finished it. Back then I was trying to do too much … and I haven’t been cured of that problem yet.  Last year I wanted to do a once a month project where I posted videos once a month. Yeah, that never happened. So I’m not sure what to do to get myself creating and posting often.

I know part of my problem is that I don’t want to display my mistakes and horrible work. I only want to show the work that is polished and (close to) good. Which leads me down the slippery slope of not wanting to try because I know I don’t know how and I don’t want to fail. I have family members in my immediate family that care soooo much about what others think of them, and for years I’ve tried to repel that way of thinking but it seems to have wrapped a film of bad air around me. Sometimes I can break free and be carefree, but it ends up catching up to me and enclosing me again. I need to find a way to truly break free.

 Maybe I should start by looking at the stuff I already have in progress and force myself to finish them (I’m going to need energy equal to the sun to do it). One problem with that, is they are all video/photo related and I’m getting the drawing itch again. I haven’t drawn anything since early last year. I’d like to tame that feeling a little before it gets out of had and I am drawing on the walls.

 Either way, I need to start somewhere. I’m open to any suggestions on what to do or where to start so I can get the water flowing.

Monday, January 5, 2015

What's Next?

It is the beginning of the year; the time to make resolutions. I never really was a fan of resolutions. It meant making a list at the beginning of the year that was railroading my progress or life for the rest of the year. If I stick to the list, then I wasn't being spontaneous and letting things lead me where I need to be. If I didn't stick to the list, then I would feel bad at the end of the year as if I didn't accomplish anything. 

There are a lot of people who feel that January first is just another day and people shouldn't wait until the start of the year to make plans or change their life around. The day doesn't matter. If everyone decided to do it on June 1st, people will still complain about the start date being June 1st. Doing it at the beginning of the year makes following the progress easier. Some people like to make resolutions around the beginning of a season. As long as you are trying to make progress and better yourself, it doesn't matter when you start as long as you do start.

Last year was about knowledge and change. I quit my job and took a few months off to try and figure things out. I ended up moving from the east coast to the west coast. It felt a little like starting over. I didn't know anyone over here and the companies I worked for didn't hold much weigh over here as they did back in New York City. Interviewing was intense. Sometimes when you have been doing something for a long time and relying on libraries and plugins, you forget the simple stuff, which tends  to be the stuff that gets asked on interviews. So I had to do a bit of studying so the things I already knew were at the front of my brain and tip of my tongue. The interviewing process over here is different than on the east coast, which was a bit frustrating. In the end, I was given a few offers and chose the job that would give me new experiences (data visualization).

This year I would like to focus on creativity, heath and exploration. I would like to be able to express myself freely again. So many things have happened in the last couple of years that had me closing myself off to everything and everyone. I want to start drawing again. I would like to take more photos, actually edit them and display them instead of just dumping them in my photo library. The same goes for videos as well. I have a list of programming projects to work on but I never get to them. Theses days it is not about having the time; it's more about getting the motivation to work on them. I mentioned health because for the first two days of this year I spent it sick with food poisoning. Not only that, but most of the weight I managed to lose 2 years ago seem to come back to me last year. So this year I have to work on eating better (again) and being even more active. Being more active fits in with the last topic, exploration. I live in a new city but I've barely done anything, beside the two times I visited before moving here. I want to explore the city and near by areas more. I also want to finally plan a trip abroad. I keep saying I'll go next year and years have past. I still don't know where I will go but my top choices are Japan and South Korea. I just wish traveling there wasn't soooo expensive and I was more fluent in the languages. I was hoping I would get a job that would include traveling to those two places for business but I'm not that fortunate. 

Two things that I was already doing last year but would like to continue doing going forward is reading more and continue pushing myself to learn Japanese and Korean. Last year I read 32 books even though I pledged to read 7. This year I am pledging to read 12 books. I should probably pledge to read more, but the years that I set a goal of 20 and 25 books, I barely got close to the goal. So a book a month is reasonable. 

As far as languages, I need to stop thinking I will just absorb the language by being around it. Yes it does help, but my brain needs a map to understand the meaning. So I really need to study more. I have the basics down like pronouncing, recognizing and being able to write most of the syllabaries for both languages. I also can understand something like every 5th word in a spoken conversation, along with knowing certain phrases that are used often. I really need to memorized a lot more of the basic vocabulary. Funny thing is, earlier today some Hindi phrases jumped into my mind. I was studying Hindi a few years back but put it on hold to learn Korean. So I know brain is retaining the info, it just doesn't know how to spit it back out and make sense.

I always wish that this year is better than last year, and it barely happens. So I'm hoping sticking to my goals will make it feel like this year is better than the last. Wish me luck.