Hello Android World

Hello World

Finally got my IDEs and SDKs and whatnots up and running. There were so much documentation that I just scanned through, I hope I didn’t skip any important parts. But oh well, I really couldn’t wait to start with actual development, so yay! Hello Android World!

JLPT N1

I didn’t expect to pass this exam, at all. I’m sure many will agree, it was so much more difficult than the July exam. But here it is. My JLPT journey ends here. Finally. Next stop: Fluency.

To everyone who helped me get this far, I am very grateful. Thank you.

I guess that’s one down, 10 more to go.

Eleven for Twenty-Eleven (part 2)

Part 2 took more than a month to come out. Partly because of busyness, partly because of procrastination. But a small part, especially during the last part of January, was because of fear. Fear that i might be setting up my goals too high – and setting myself up for disappointment, disillusionment. January has passed and it was tough to keep up with my goals – and I am way behind on some. But what the heck, “Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars”.

A sure-fire way to have more cash flowing in, is to do some skill-ups. Make myself more “marketable” and to “Increase value” so to speak.

5. Pass JLPT Level 1

If I still haven’t passed last December’s JLPT 1, I’ll give it another go this July. We’ll know soon, the results will arrive this week! It will be tougher now with Nate around, but should be doable this year. Just gotta keep studying, doing my Anki reviews daily. Etc, etc.

6. Get Certified

I’m thinking ITIL Foundation for the 1st Half of 2011. Seems like that’s something related to what I am doing now. There’s a demand for it. And also, it’s not vendor-specific, so I won’t get stuck in just one technology. There’s a lot of reading, and memorizing though. This might be a tall order, but let’s try it anyway. Then another certification for the 2nd Half of 2011, don’t know what yet.

7. Develop a Web/Mobile App

This one’s something I’ve been itching to do for such a long time, but never really set up any concrete steps for. I’m really excited for this one though : )

8. Read twelve at least six books

I really want to have a more “diverse” reading list, but with all my goals, I don’t think I have the time for it. The Baby Book (What to Expect: The First Year) is Book One. The ITIL Publications will be Book Two (it’s actually a set of 5 books). Another IT book for Book Three. A Business related book for Book Four. One Fiction, and One Autobiographical for Books Five and Six. Haha. Good Luck.

Mens sana in corpore sano. All these goals will need a well-tuned machine running in optimum levels. I’ve never cared this much about my “health”, but this time I really need to.

9. Reach 23 BMI

I’m currently just a little over 20 BMI, which just barely falls under the “Normal” category. I want to gain weight in muscle, but I guess I’ll focus first on gaining weight. I’ll focus on “fixing it” later. Haha.

10.Pick up a Sport/Exercise Regimen

Ah, this one’s another crazy one. Me? Sports? Really? Oh well, let’s see. If not, I can try running again, or doing weight training at home. Or see how far I can go with one hundred pushups again. I was able to do it before, so I should be able to do it again, right?

And last, but not the least.

11. Write More

In English and in Japanese.

There we go. 2011, bring it on.

Eleven for Twenty-Eleven (part 1)

As far as I can remember, I have never made a New Year’s Resolution. Maybe once or twice for English Class back in Grade School, but that doesn’t count. Maybe because it has a bad rap. I hear people often say that it can’t be done, that we’ll get tired by the end of January – March at the most. So I never bothered to make one. Besides, I already have a hard time keeping short-term projects, what more for a year-long project?

But things are different now. I guess. I’m older, and hopefully wiser. There are a lot more at stake (e.g Nathan. Have you guys seen how much education costs? my gally.) So I can’t slack off. That’s more than enough for motivation. But the best thing, and why I’m more confident to make a list this year, is that I have Nicole to support me and encourage me : ) .

Okay, so here we go:

1. Read the Whole Bible

Okay. So this is definitely first on the list. Pastor Peter has been encouraging us to do this year after year, but I didn’t think I could do it. So I made excuses. “I’ll do what I can.” “I’ll just keep reading until I finish it, someday.” But it’s been years and I still haven’t. I installed the Bible App from YouVersion on Nicole’s iPhone, and the built-in Bible Reading Plan has been really helpful. The Notes feature which lets you write down your thoughts as you read (you can keep it private or viewable by others) is also a nice plus.

2. Less than 20hrs of overtime per month

Although there are a lot of challenges living here with just the three of us, I would rather have it this way than for me to be separated with my family. It’s so great that I can get to see Nate as he grows up, to be there in every development milestone – the boy is growing up so fast! It’s really a blessing that we are together, and it would be a shame to just throw it away by not spending as much time as I can with them.

So to spend more time with my family, I will cut down on overtime. This is hard for Infra work, especially since I cannot control the amount of work per month, but I believe it can be done. For 2010, although my average OT per month was 26hours, my minimum was 12.5hrs, and the maximum was 54hrs. So some months are crazier than others. Still I think I just need to adjust some things with the way I work, to learn to prioritize, to focus more, to work even faster… all without sacrificing quality.

Oh yeah. Bring it on.

3. Have a nice long family vacation in the Philippines

よく学び、よく遊べ. All our trips back home always seems so rushed. This year, I’d like for us to take our time. With Nate along, just preparing to get out of the house was not a simple as it was when it was just me and Nicole. We need to factor in preparation time, feeding time, sleeping time, etc. Also this year, I’d like for us to get a chance to meet up with more of our friends, and for longer periods of time. Also, if the timing is right, there will be a couple of big events that we will be joining. So one week is definitely not enough. Two weeks could be okay. If we can push it to three, that would be awesome. But I’ll have to find a way to make it work with my work schedule. Hmm.

Of course, the longer we stay, the more we have to pay. Which means I have to do a couple of things. To start with, I have to…

4. Manage our Cash Flow

I seem to be motivated to manage our money well if I have a concrete goal. Case in point, boh the pre-wedding budget and the pre-Nate budget worked really well. So with our 2011 Philippine Trip in mind, plus Nate’s short term and middle term needs, we will create a new family budget. After that, just like during pre-wedding and pre-Nate, we will track down every expense, analyze often, and make necessary adjustments to the budget along the way.

But budgeting, analyzing and adjusting can only do so much. Not only do we need to manage the cash flowing outward, I need to find a way to add to the cash flowing inward.

(to be continued)

Direction, not Intention, determines Destination

Direction, not Intention, determines Destination

– Ptr. Peter Tan-chi, CCF Sunday Worship Service September 26, 2010