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Showing posts from August, 2015

#260 - New Look & Phone Tree Rant

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Motto: If Not Now, When?
Hey, this looks different!

Yes, I've slightly changed the look & feel of the Column to celebrate my move from aarongilly.blogspot.com to aarongilly.com. The move set me back a whole $12/year. I hope to break even by putting an ad on the page. Hopefully you don't feel too alienated.
This new look is not what you'd call "final". I'm still using Blogger to host my page. Although it's a Google product and I love Google products, it's not as flexible/powerful as I'd like it to be... so this whole deal may look different again someday. It will still be aarongilly.com - but it wont' be so... well... like this. Some of the weird blank white spaces I'll actually be able to take care of. I'll be able to do lots of stuff. In the meantime, I hope you enjoy the new look.

On Friday, December 18th I am turning 10,000 days old.

I read "The Martian" with Melissa. We both highly suggest reading it. The movie comes …

#259 - Follow-up to My Previous Post

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Motto: I found a homogeneous mixture composed of only one phase

Figured it out.
I wrote a 2385 word Column last week about notetaking software and how it sucks. Everything I said was valid and true, but I figured it out.
I am going back to grad school (hopefully in 12 months) to study Computer Science. My degree was in Electrical Engineering, which is tangentially related to Computer Science, but is not Computer Science. I have some ground to make up before I have hopes to succeed in a masters-level computer science program. So I've been taking classes and doing independent research online. 
During these classes/research I've been taking handwritten notes. After writing my last Column, I decided to experiment with OneNote as my main notetaking platform. Long story short:

Clearly, electronic notes aren't "faster" given my style of notetaking... and, as I mentioned in the last Column, physically writing notes has been shown to translate to better retention of the info…

#258 - Feature: Notetaking Platform Anxiety

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Motto: Writing for Me, by Me
Melissa is going back to grad school, she's taking her Mac Air & iPad with her & utilizing Microsoft OneNote. While she was setting up her notetaking environment, I started thinking about how I would architect my "idealized system for handling graduate school". Fair warning, this is a bit of an epic.

A system for succeeding in higher education is defined in several broad categories: What would I physically bring with me to class?How would I take notes that are relevant immediately and in the future?How do I manage time & tasks?Answering these questions is the purpose of this Column. I'm going to do so both "in general" and given my specific (more interesting to me, but less interesting in general) case.
1. What would I physically bring with me to class? Obviously I would bring with me a bag. I'd probably just keep my current messenger bag for simplicity sake. Anything could work.
In all cases I can imagine, you'd…

#257 - Four Great Days

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Motto: The Theme is "Worlds"... which Passes as a Theme I Suppose
The past 4 days have been awesome. Here's why, with pictures & captions!

Melissa and I went to Worlds/Oceans of Fun - the local theme park. Traditionally, I don't like theme parks (see the Top 5 for more) but I had a really great night. I even rode this big torturous monstrosity in the picture above.


It wasn't just Melissa and I at the park. We were there for Danielle's birthday - with friends! It was good getting to spend time with folks. That's something I've resolved to do more of lately. This notification on my watch was almost as scary as Steel Hawk.


Melissa makes a great hash. I make okay coffee.


We went and watched my newest niece Kate's baptism. Melissa and Kate hadn't met before. Melissa said hi, Kate didn't say much back. I'll try not to hold that against her.


Afterwards the family went out to get some Mexican food & margaritas. I don't see Aunt Net enoug…

#256 - Tech News

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Motto: Google's Indexing the Internet, Alphabetically

I'm embarrassed by that motto.

Trebuchet is my favorite font. Presuming your browser didn't hijack my typeface, you should be reading this in Trebuchet. Isn't it great?

I wrote a whole post about my height and relationship to basketball. Unfortunately, due to circumstances beyond my control, I have lost that post. Literally, I lost the USB drive that I had the post on. My current theory is that it was on Oceanic Flight 815.

LOST

A few days back, I was shocked to read that Google's founders were creating a new company, under which Google would fall. The new company: Alphabet. I thought it was going to be huge news. Then, I figured out it really doesn't change anything. THEN, I realized it's changing everything... eventually. This move is not immediately interesting, but could eventually be a very large headline in a "History of Consumer Technology" book.

Google Hangouts is perhaps finally getting th…

#255 - He's a Twit

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Motto: Twitter sucks #ProbablyJustJealous

I don't have a Twitter. I don't like the idea of a stream of small text posts. So here's everything I would have tweeted if I had a Twitter:

Any pairing of "good" plus a time of day is either a hello or a goodbye. "Good afternoon" is different than "good night". #RandomObservation

I'm drinking coffee. I'm in the bathroom. #CircleOfLife

Roses are grey. Violets are grey. Everything is grey. I am a dog. #HEGOTJOKES

High Intensity Interval Potty Training #IWasBornFlexing #EnjoyThisBathroomSwellfie

If an object was perfectly black, it would appear as a shilloute when you looked directly at it. #Interesting

Just hit a new PR2D2, have fun Chewieing on that C315PO deadlift. #WeightliftingStarWarsJoke #IAmTheForce #Hashtag

Mission Impossible 1 was good. Mission Impossible 2 was Mission Impossible 1. Mission Impossibles 3 & 4 were Mission Impossible 2.

I don't understand Twitter. …

#254 - My 26th Year

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Motto: 14 million 208 thousand 480 minutes! 14 million 208 thousand 480 moments of rife! 14 million 208 thousand 480 minutes! How do you measure, measure a life?
Last week I turned 27.
Here are some life tips from an old man: Buy two waterbottles you really like. Keep them in the fridge. When you finish drinking one, fill it and put it back in the refrigerator. You'll always have cold water on the ready and will wind up drinking more. Or be like me and buy 5 Nalgenes.Don't burn bridges. (that advice came to me from the time I set Jeff Bridges on fire)Buy a slow cooker or a pressure cooker. Also buy a single-serving style blender. Use them both very often.Patience is a virtue... but more often it's just the only thing you can do. Get good at it.Don't trust the lid. It's easier to stay in shape than it is to get in shape. Know your body. If you find more of it than you expect, take care of it before it becomes a problem. Here's the basics.Don't stop to smell t…

#253 - The Video Everyone's Waiting For

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Motto: Get really excited.
Here it comes.
You excited?
I turned 27 yesterday. That marks my 27th* year on this earth, and my 3rd year's Second-A-Day video.
Unfortunately, I'd rather watch it in its completion for the first time with my wife... and she's in New York. So there that's not actually going to happen. The video I'm showing instead is my 4th Battlefield Highlights video.
HA!

I will have a watch party for the actual "My 26th Year" video with a small group of friends soon.
My birthday (and the day after) was full of awesome. Jon came up. We did a lot of awesome stuff.  We swam in the pool. We played some pool (different kind of pool from the one we swam in). We both set PRs on the Deadlift - each of which put us past a new centry mark. We played Top Golf with Nick. Played Paintball with Nick. Won Breakout KC with Krista, Simmons (my friend from work) and the Fullers. 
I'm going to keep this short and sweet. See the Top 5 for photographic evidence …