Release notes: January 2020

Date: 2020-02-03 | release-notes | reflections |

See all reflections.

This month I released thevalueofmoney and leveraged it to write 4 posts on savings with a total opportunity of $107k over 15 years, went to SF twice, lowered my beef / lamb intake to once a week, and re-committed to doing one thing well.


In #projects, I was aiming to learn new creative coding tools and put out some new works using that knowledge. I got a little sidetracked with travel and visitors but I did make some progress and want to continue pursuing this path to see what's out there.


Money is something I habitually think about - not because it's my primary goal in life but because it's one of those things that's not hard but requires constant supervision. So I make habits to ensure I'm giving it its requisite due.

Many times when I think about money it's when trying to make a decision between opportunities. I try to distill them down to their core value adds and compare that to their respective costs, money just happens to be an extremely common cost.

I used to just take the cost at face value, but recently I've been thinking that that's not enough. It's not enough because money I don't spend doesn't just sit there, I invest it to make it work for me. So to understand the true cost of taking one path over another, I found I often needed to determine what the opportunity cost of that choice was and factor that into the decision making process.

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To that end, I built thevalueofmoney to serve as a home base for calculations I find useful for me. So far I've only built one calculator - the money over time calculator - which determines the expected value of a monetary habit given time, additional investments, and an interest rate.

Though simple, I've found it to be extremely useful in my decision making process - going so far as to write 4 posts using its ability. The total opportunity of those posts is ~$107,000 over 15 years.

I don't expect to fully achieve those, but the hope is by knowing about the trade offs I'm making I can optimize more - both by knowing the direction to go in and having the motivation to do so - than had I not.

other releases

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  • I've been working my way through The Nature of Code in p5 py - the Python port of Processing - and playing around with Unity. I've been posting some of the outputs to @hamy.labs but hope to have some more finished projects to show this month.
  • I got some feedback saying my @hamy.brand shirts seemed expensive so I re-worked my pricing strategy to, hopefully, get more shirts on people.
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My goal in #adventure was to continue and grow hamventures.

I don't think I achieved that - I've been slacking a bit on my hamventures around NY - but I attribute that mostly to going to SF twice in the past 4 weeks. But that's not to say I didn't do anything - I wrote 2 hamventures this month I've been trying to reconnect with people after the long winter which has led to some rather wholesome art / photography trips around the city.

My hope is to continue investing in wholesome hamventures and continue to tweak my process to make it a valuable, minimal part of my regular cycles. We'll see where it gets me.

As always, if you wanna join in on the #fun, you can subscribe to the hamventures email list or like the FB page where I post updates ~weekly.


For #self, I wanted to focus on my physical condition and continue to improve other facets.

I've slowly been getting back up to speed and strength in my fitness routines. I don't remember why I went down - maybe my 2 week trip to Italy last year - but it's been awhile since I've been at my optimal post-competitive fitness.

On top of increases at the gym, I've been going to more yoga and limiting alcohol intake through the implementation of a 2 drink max on non-Saturdays. The drink minimization has been very helpful in limiting how late I stay out on random days and, by proxy, protecting my sleep schedule from collateral damage.

I continued on my journey to minimize my carbon footprint on the world by implementing another diet restriction in which I only eat one meal with lamb / beef in it per week. This puts me at vegetarian on Mondays, Poulcetarian on the other week days, and only one beef / lamb meal each weekend. I haven't run the numbers again but I'd estimate this is another 5% reduction in my food-centric resource and carbon footprint on the world.


For #work, my goal was to just stay on track and set up a good foundation for the rest of the year.

In my 2020 review I talked a bit about how my new broad and unstructured workload led me to reexamine my life organization practices. This month I've taken another look and have settled on a more focused, less rigid structure that more or less follows the mantra "do one thing well". I found that trying to focus on many things at once didn't seem to be working out - I was using a lot of energy but not getting that much done - so this new organization aims to explore the opposite of that. What if I just focus on one big thing at a time?

It's too early to tell exactly how this will work out, but I'm pretty happy with the results thus far and will report back at some future date.


January blew by so I'm keeping this to a terse update so I can focus on getting things done in February.


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