Wherein I change my life

I am sick of it.  I am sick of living like a pack rat.  I am sick of looking like a pig.  I am sick of hiding.

I’ve got some things going on in my life right now, and they made me realize that I have no life, nor have I for the last 10 to 20 years.  I have been on cruise control, doing nothing but getting older and fatter and more boxed in by useless junk.  So, I’ve decided to change all that.

I know I said I would change before, and sometimes it lasted for a week or two before I backslid into my old habits.  This time is different.  This time I’m serious.

I have already placed myself on a weight loss diet.  Yeah, yeah, dieting never works, yada yada yada.  Well, unlike before when I tried just reducing caloric intake or at least reducing sugar intake, this time I’m going all in.

I have eliminated soda completely from my diet, for starters.  This alone is probably the single biggest individual contributer to my weight.  I am drinking a ton of water, both as a substitute for soda or other sugary drinks and also because it helps keep me from feeling hungry.  I am severely restricting my caloric intake; I aim to consume 1000 to 1500 fewer calories per day.  I am severely limiting my carbohydrate intake; I aim to consume less than 150 grams per day, preferably less than 100.  (According to this site, for weight loss I should consume about 217 grams per day, and once I’m at my target weight 221 grams for maintenance.)

I am eating more eggs, and plan to consume more protein in place of carbs.  I will be buying fruits and vegetables to snack on, instead of potato chips or cookies.

I am starting to exercise.  I hope to work up to regular planned sessions, but so far I’ve started with stretching exercises at home and lots of walking around the neighborhood while at work.  Tonight I plan on going to my apartment complexes gym, probably to ride the stationary bike.  (I’m not sure how to work any of the other equipment – yet.)

As for the pig-sty I call home, I’ve started cleaning.  Really cleaning, I mean.  I’ve already thrown out lots of stuff, and vacuumed a lot, including areas I’ve never cleaned since I moved in.  It’s still a pig-sty, but at least now you can see the floor in many places.  I try to do something, anything, no matter how small, every day.  As long as I clean more than I mess, it will eventually be clean.  Ideally, I would like to be able to leave my blinds open during the day without being embarrassed by what people might see inside.

Unfortunately, there are still two areas left untouched that I cannot change right now.  One is my teeth.  I desperately need to see a dentist; I have three broken teeth, and several more that are in danger of breaking.  One of them is right in front, so I never smile anymore.  The other is my job.  I need a real job, one that pays taxes and gives me benefits, like health insurance.  I cannot continue to deliver pizzas for the rest of my life.

Actually, there is a third area that is untouched.  I am still alone.  I have no girlfriend, nor even any close friends.  I cannot hope to get any until I have made these changes permanent.

P.S. I still haven’t watched Godzilla, nor have I watched the new “real” Godzilla.

Godzilla

Godzilla.  King of the Monsters.  Owner of the longest movie franchise in history (take that, James Bond!).  If you’ve never heard of him, you must’ve been living in a cave for the last 60 years.  Whether you’re a cave-dweller or not, I’m going to give you a little history lesson so that we’re all on the same page.  (Emphasis on “little”; I highly recommend reading the Wikipedia articles on both the character and franchise!)

Continue reading Godzilla

Wherein I say something

“Something.”  Hah, hah, fooled you!

Seriously though, it’s been a few months since I set this thing up, so I figured I had better post something before they delete the account for inactivity.

What have I been doing all this time?  Getting closer to death, for one.  Hmm, that about sums it up.  No, I have been doing something constructive (for certain small values of “constructive”):  I have been going back and redoing all of my Project Euler problems.

For those of you who don’t know what Project Euler is, I’m not going to bother explaining it.  The rest of you may ask, “Why redo them?”  Because I’ve been playing around with FreeBASIC and I wanted to try out my programming chops using it.  Yeah, yeah, I know BASIC is a toy language and that serious programmers don’t use it.  It’s a good thing, then, that FB is an extended version of QuickBASIC, which itself I don’t really consider a “true” BASIC.  BASIC uses line numbers and GOTOs, people.  FB (and QB) may use the same keywords, but I do not consider either of them (or VisualBASIC) as BASICs.  Having said all of that, and powerful as FB is, it is still crippled by its forced “backwards-compatibility” with its true BASIC ancestors.  In other words, it’s much better than BASIC but still not an ideal programming language.

Why use it then?  For one, it’s free.  As in “Free”-BASIC, get it?  Two, it produces native 32-bit code.  Three, it has a true 64-bit integer type.  Four, it allows the use of inline assembler using Intel syntax.  (See here.)  The Pascal compiler I have been using produces 32-bit code, but that code is in a 16-bit DOS executable with a DOS extender.  I’ve looked at FreePascal, and it’s pretty good, but it has some shortcomings:  even though it is a 32-bit compiler, Integers are still 16-bit by default; there is no native 64-bit integer type; there is no GUI IDE; worst of all, inline assembler requires AT&T syntax!.  (Note:  I haven’t looked at FP in a long time; some of those problems may have gone away since then.)

So along the way I’ve learned quite a bit about how to properly program in FB, although there are still some things which elude me.  Hopefully I’ll be able to pick up those things if I keep at it.

As a historical note, when I first started Project Euler (PE from now on), I used Turbo Pascal 6.  That is a DOS-based 16-bit compiler with a 64KB limit on variables.  That’s total, not each!  You can use the heap to create dynamic variables, but they are all limited to 64K each, and the heap itself only uses base memory so its maximum size is about 600KB.  It was easy enough to solve all of the simple problems with it, but when I started encountering problems that simply required buffers and variables in the multi-megabyte range, I moved on.

Another reason I have been redoing PE problems is that I’ve pretty much gone as far as I can go with it.  I’ve solved 213 out of 556 (as of today) problems, and I don’t think I can solve very many more, if any, without outside help.  In other words, I’ve solved all of the easy and middling problems.

Hello, world

Hello, world.  This is my first post on my new-fangled WordPress blog thingy.  I am here because I no longer have any other personal presence on the Internet.  I used to have a personal web page with my ISP, Comcast, until they killed that practice.  Before that, I used to have a GeoCities site until Yahoo! killed that.  Before that was 1994 and I was (barely) on the Internet using a 9600 baud modem.

Why did it take me so long to do this?  Because I’m lazy.  Next question.

I was going to title this post “F1RST P0ST” in homage to xkcd 269, but decided against it because I can’t stand when people intentionally misspell English.  Some people might refer to me as a “grammar Nazi”.  Those people are idiots.

So why “Hello, world”?  Well, for one it’s literal; I am saying hello to the (Internet) world with this post.  For another, I am a programmer (for certain values of “programmer”) and traditionally one’s first program is a “Hello, world” program.  Thirdly, I’ve already wasted far too much time trying to come up with a name for this stupid place and I didn’t want to waste any more coming up with a witty and clever name for this post.  It’s not like anyone but me is ever going to read this site, anyway.

So, what am I going to be doing here?  You got me.  This might even be my only post here ever.  When I came up with this idea, I figured I would post about whatever tickled my fancy.  I have a wide range of interests, most of which would drive people away in droves, if there were anybody here.  It seems to me that most successful blogs focus on one or a few core themes.  I believe this is because the further you stray from the central idea that brought people to your site, the more people you alienate who disagree with you on those other topics.

Having said all that, I don’t think I will focus on only one theme, at least not at first.  We’ll see how it goes.  If anyone ever actually reads this, feedback would be appreciated.

So, who am I?  No one.  I choose to remain anonymous, at least for the time being.  Rest assured that I am no one who is famous or has any sort of political, monetary or religious power.

So, what’s with the name?  You try coming up with a name some time!  You can read all about Sisyphus here.  Of course, if you received a proper education, you already knew who he was.  I chose that name to reflect my attitude towards writing this blog, as well as my other hobbies.

Just what are those hobbies?

I’ve already mentioned I’m a programmer.  Technically, I am (or at least was, briefly) a professional because I once prostituted myself got paid to write a serious application for a customer.  Also, when I was gainfully employed as a computer technician, I wrote several programs that aided me in my work.  Nowadays, I program for fun.  I’ve been programming since 1982, although I was interested in computers long before that.

There are more hobbies, and I might get to them if I ever post again.  For now, I think I’ll end here and post this to see how this thing works.