2018 Year In Review

As today is the last day of year 2018, this is the time to reflect what I've written for the past year again, something that I've done since 2017, 2016, 2015 (when I first started the This Week I learned (TWIL) posts), 2014 (not sure what happen, can't find anything), and 2013. As I re-read all previous posts throughout this year, it dawned to me that my perception of time was way off. There were certain events which I thought were written down in June but occurred in January instead. Worse, there were certain posts that I questioned myself, "Wait, did I wrote that?". Nevertheless, thinking in writing is a good way to explore your thoughts for the past 365 days.

Some quick summary of each month for the whole year.

January. Betta fish breeding methods, logs, market pricing, and diseases handling. Career planning relatively to your age and what you should be doing for this year, the usual new year resolutions crap. Some thoughts on movie and passing of a famous illustrator. Revisit walking steps counting and appreciation of Chinese writing (I should do this more this year). Guitar duet is fun, only if you have a partner in crime. Also, some passing rant about front end development. Do revisit the CrushEntropy and Open Aquarium.

February. Technology stuff, the never ending quirkiness in MySQL, Git, and Perl. More walking steps counting. Again, Betta fish breeding in relation to Sturgeon's Law, floating plants, Dropsy diseases and Epsom Salt. Containers hype and the usual hype cycle in tech world repeats itself again every year. Watched the best NBA play move of the year (IMHO). Do reread and understand that productivity is not learning.

March. Lots of Betta fish breeding projects and lighting issue in relation to algae boom. Relearning Chinese and reusing English words I've learned each week in writing. Using the right medication cured some really old wounds. The perils and irony of applying project management technique in reality.

April. Even more Betta fish breeding project, diet (its stomach size is as big as one tiny pellet), types, and history. Some history on React and best way to understand React is to build it from scratch. GDPR going to be enforced soon. The usual quirkiness in Git, Perl and MySQL.  Appreciation for Chinese poem and more English words learning. Ubuntu upgraded to 18.04. Things to follow up, do blood pressure reading for both arms and measure the differences and don't waste your 25000 mornings.

May. More Betta fish breeding projects. Learned more HTTP protocol and rediscovered some Perl (with Travis CI), MySQL, and Docker stuff. Look into FORMS again.

June. What happened this month? Writing style changed to Q&A type. Is your SO still breeding Betta fish? Yes, she is. I heard you're still doing Perl? Yeah, exploring Moo, AUTOLOAD, overloading, map, eval, and dispatching. The aftermath of GDPR implementation. Revisit JANKI method and a critical component.

July. Exploring other fishes like Zebra fish and Anabas. Derived a Betta growth table so we can make sure we're feeding the fishes adequately. More discussion on Betta fish colour type and aquarium tropical fish diseases. Computer hardware stuff. On the artsy side, movies and music. And lastly, the usual MySQL rants and React. Follow up with UCLA's Guided Meditations audio tracks; and chop wood and carry waters.

August. Continue back Betta breeding project and learned about wild Bettas. Revisit audio stuff but nothing done yet to the setup. Meal prep, my friend, meal prep. Books and more books. The Fn + Space key combination blew my mind away. Most important things regarding time, Temporal Illusion, Telescoping Effect, and Chronostasis. Ask yourself, have you figure things out yet?

September. Different strategies in reading book, three books at a time, hard, medium, and easy level. Reading experience will be further improved by active reading. Focus on strength training instead of cardio workout as building muscle burns more fat. Something about BPA and plastic containers. Something else about TypeScript, Perl, and MySQL, Git, and Ubuntu's Snap. Do start reading with pencil. Also, stop treading water, learning to learn.

October. Another Betta breeding project. Home ownership (buy or rent) and property in MY, just hold and wait. Perl's constant, my goodness. Lots of front end stuff that a developer should knows.

November. Going analogue (reading, writing, meditating, sleeping, or cooking) is probably the best thing ever happened to this fast paced life. The fundamental is always important, learn your kick timing in swimming. Ubuntu upgraded to 18.10. Study liberal arts may be better instead of STEM. Found an anime worth watching and also stumbled upon an anime that I wish I can unwatch, for humanity sake, seriously, that was so effed up.

December. Breeding Betta again. Blogging marathon, cleared up all pending blog posts from the past. Windows as a development platform (Babun, Zsh, or Scoop) still quite a lot to be desired except maybe VSCode is faster and fluid compare to GNU/Linux. Revisited LXD and MySQL. Finished up one pending Coursera's course. Make sure your insurance policy is "guarantee renewable". Long awaited news, the death of Internet Explorer, good way to conclude the year. Be content and learn to live with less, good to fit into one bag.

That was a quick summary of each month blogging posts. Now we will continue with the details reflection on projects that occurred this year.

Betta fish breeding project. We have started roughly 40-plus projects but only 27 Betta pairs managed to mate. Out of those 27, 17 was considered as successful, 3 were partially successful (the male or female Betta succumbed to illness after we removed it from the breeding tank), and 10 were failures as the whole population was wiped out. The good news is, some of the Betta fishes from our first successful breeding project, BSL20171231, were still alive and healthy. The most successfully project was BSL20180518, where we obtained quite a few good Super Red male. Solid colour Betta was far more easy to breed in term of colourization compared to Koi or Marble. Unfortunately, no female Betta were found for us so we can continue our second generation breeding project (more on this in coming post about Betta fish genetics).

Reading (books or research papers). 10-plus books and scientific literature. Nothing much and this can / should be improved for this coming year. Research papers are more fun to read than books, although some really needs time to digest the content especially you're unfamiliar with the domain.

Writing. 109 blog posts this year, 32 more posts than last year. As I realized, put aside grammar and spelling, if you have something to say, you can always write something up. I'm very well aware of where I'm lacking when come to writing. What remains is tuning my writing process (ritual, word choices, editing, and environment). Nevertheless, TWIL will proceed as usual. And for the writing strategy, still the same, striving for quantity over quality but on different topics instead of technical stuff.

Learning (MOOC courses or something else). TypeScript, React (yet another framework and another abstraction over HTML), and more Perl, especially writing CPAN modules. Managed to finish one online courses (long pending) this year (it was fun). Will continue with other online courses, not really into STEM but more towards liberal arts subjects. Sadly, I didn't have time and motivation to look into the embedded stuff.

Health. Supposed to be walk or move more but a changed of plan in the second part of the year. Rigorous swimming training, consistent meal time (especially dinner and thanks to meal preps), healthy food (more vegetables and fruits, and almost no processed and sugary food and drinks), and adequate sleep. The combination of all theses leads to planned weight loss (1kg per month) where my weight almost reached the safe range of healthy BMI and I've lost two inches of my waist. Focus on strength training instead of cardio workouts as muscle burns more calories. Long term plan is to age slowly and gracefully.

FOSS contributions. Four Perl's modules. Can be better and nevertheless, is a start somehow compare to all those years. Will continue this as usual.

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