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What Will You Learn From Ed's Journal?


Ed
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It's 17:18, I'm sitting in Melbourne airport waiting for my flight back home.

I grew up here (in the suburbs), and while I still enjoy it here it no longer feels like home.  There seems to be a few people on the GameQuitters forum who are feeling the same thing.

There's also the matter of trying to keep up with certain habits.  I haven't made any recordings while I've been here, I haven't written much but I have kept my streak on Duolingo.  I was staying with my brother and his wife and daughter so it's harder to keep habits going when you're trying to accommodate other people's schedules.

It has been good though, got to catch up with my family.  Haven't seen them for over a year and met my niece for the first time.  I did what any decent uncle would do and bought her the most noisy, annoying present I could find.  A couple of books that make meows and quacks when you press the button.

Meow.thumb.jpg.59525ebea086bf38cf01464ee

Also had a trip to Crown Casino.  Played a bit of blackjack and came out with $40 more than I went in with.  It's weird, I'm totally fine gambling in moderation.  Which uses a lot of the same psychological tricks that video game developers use.

Watched my brother play ice-hockey.  Something that I'm never going to be good at.  Natural talent is a factor, but you can get better at anything if you practice.  It's something that I'd like to have a go at (sucking at something is not a valid excuse not to try something) but I just don't have the desire to put in the practice it would take to get to an average level.

Plane will be boarding soon so I'll finish off this post here.

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It's 16:37 New years Eve.  I'm on my computer at home, quickly typing this up before I go out.

Going to catch up with some friends, it will be a low-key event but with plenty of laughs.

In a few more hours at around midnight it will mark one year of not drinking.  Not that I was ever a huge drinker before, but I wanted to see if I could last a whole year without alcohol.  I really didn't miss it, I thought it would be a lot harder than what it was.

 

I've got to go, but first I want to say I hope you have a great year  in 2016.

Happy New Year.

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Hi Ed, I hop you have a Happy New Year! Sounds like things are going well for you, but having trouble with keeping up habits on a shifty schedule, which is fine. Keep it up!

It was more to do with staying with my brother. We live a long way from each other so we don't get to catch up often. So while I was there I felt somewhat obligated to make sure I was available most of the time.  Which meant that for a short time some of the thing I've been working on got downgraded on the priority ladder.

I'm back home now so I have no excuse not to be working on making 2016 my best year yet.

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What I worked on today:

Public speaking: I suck at delivering monologues.  And no, I'm not saying that because I want reassurance.  At the present time it's simply a fact.

Another fact, is that by the end of the year it's something that I'll be vastly better at.

I have slacked off, and only made my first recording this year.  I used my phone's voice recorder app as I went for a walk.  I tried to just talk about what I was thinking about, I felt somewhat self-conscious about talking to myself in public.  In short, the recording was terrible so it won't be published. (Unless someone REALLY wants to hear me not saying much with long pauses)

 

DuoLingo: I'm on a 19 day streak with Duolingo claiming I'm 21% fluent in German

 

Studies: I haven't talked much about this on the internet.  Partly because I have no idea if I made the right choice.  I'm much older than the average student and it could turn out to be a huge waste of time and money.  But after over a decade of working as an Electronics Technician I've chosen to go to university last year.  I've got a mathematics subject starting tomorrow.  So I made a couple of flashcard decks using the Anki app.  Rather than type it, I hand wrote the cards, then took pics:

10a.thumb.jpg.d3851f767d53c55b9ac7d49084

10b.thumb.jpg.4daf6a7cb61ac0521ac3d9e032

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I haven't been posting much lately.  Been very busy learning differential calculus.  I'm not finding it easy at all, I never needed to know this level of mathematics as a tradesman.  And it's been many years since I left high school.  But I have found a couple of books that have helped me

Are you studying?  If you are, there are two books I consider must reads:

  1. How to be a Straight A Student by Cal Newport.
  2. A Mind For Numbers by Barbara Oakley

 

In other news, I've recorded myself a couple more times, but nothing that has been worth publishing.

Duolingo is still on a streak, but I've dropped it down to 10xp per day (I was doing a minimum of 50xp each day).

I haven't been writing as much as I would like lately.  Here and on my blog, I've got a few book reviews to write up.  I also plan to expand a bit more on the points in the How to survive a breakup in 10 steps thread.

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Hey Ed, that's awesome that you are deciding to go to University. Math was never my forte either, so I feel your pain. The flash cards seem like a cool idea though. Best of luck with your studies, and hope you get back to writing more soon.

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What do you think is the gap between your recordings being publishable and not?

There are 2 main things I consider when I decide a recording is publishable.

I'm not trying to be a great public speaker straight away.  So one thing I've been trying is to just start speaking whatever comes to mind.  And just like when I do the same thing with free writing, there will be parts that are good enough to expand on.  But the whole recording is a mix of long pauses and disjointed thoughts.  I'm keeping the recordings as a reference but these ones are not good enough to publish.

The other thing is sound quality.  I've made a couple of recordings while walking.  Using my smartphone.  Both times the wind noise has made it sound terrible.

So for a recording to be publishable I want to have a main topic.  The sound quality doesn't need to be perfect but there is a minimum level I want before I publish.

 

Hey Ed, that's awesome that you are deciding to go to University. Math was never my forte either, so I feel your pain. The flash cards seem like a cool idea though. Best of luck with your studies, and hope you get back to writing more soon.

It will be a couple more years before I find out if it was a good decision.  But as a technician I was getting bored of solving the same problems over  and over. 

I was never bad at mathematics but the level between what I needed as a technician and what I'm learning now is a bit of a jump.

At the moment I have 3 books I recently read to write reviews for. So I should have three new posts for my blog in the next week or so.

 

The 3 books are:

You Are a Writer by Jeff Goins - It's good but Jeff's writing style can be a little too nice for my taste. I'd recommend On Writing by Stephen King and Write, Publish, Repeat by Sean Platt and Johhny B. Truent over Jeff's book.

A Mind for Numbers by Barbara Oakley - I loved this book.  There are so many tips that can help you improve your study techniques.  Regardless whether you're studying mathematics or another technical subject.  I can not recommend it enough.

Conquering Fiverr by Damien Pros - Great info on how to make money on Fiverr.

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You Are a Writer by Jeff Goins - It's good but Jeff's writing style can be a little too nice for my taste. I'd recommend On Writing by Stephen King and Write, Publish, Repeat by Sean Platt and Johhny B. Truent over Jeff's book.

Very cool, I was looking for a book on writing actually. I've heard On Writing is quite good. 

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2 tips that can help you become a more confident speaker:

https://youtu.be/lnot8GVDp8g

I'm not totally happy with this recording.  I could have expanded more on certain points.  But I'm not unhappy with it either, lots of room for improvement but I believe I get my point across.

 

In other news, I'm still on a streak with Duolingo, I'm at 27 days.

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You Are a Writer by Jeff Goins - It's good but Jeff's writing style can be a little too nice for my taste. I'd recommend On Writing by Stephen King and Write, Publish, Repeat by Sean Platt and Johhny B. Truent over Jeff's book.

Very cool, I was looking for a book on writing actually. I've heard On Writing is quite good. 

Bird by Bird is also recommended.

2 tips that can help you become a more confident speaker:

https://youtu.be/lnot8GVDp8g

I'm not totally happy with this recording.  I could have expanded more on certain points.  But I'm not unhappy with it either, lots of room for improvement but I believe I get my point across.

Posting them will help you improve quicker... accountability. :)

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I haven't been making recordings lately.  But I did make one today.  It's terrible.  It's closer to ramblings rather than coherent thoughts.

I sort of explain my rather lame excuse for letting this slip.

https://youtu.be/ixLoN1JJEeY

The next one will be much better.

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  • 2 weeks later...

So much to learn, not enough time.  I've got a couple more weeks left of this mathematics subject left.  I haven't been concentrating on much else.

I need to get back into making recordings if I have any hope of getting my public speaking abilities to the level I want before the end of he year.

And I would like to make this journal more interesting for you to red, but for the next two weeks calculus will be mostly what I'm thinking about.

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Listened to your latest recording. Can see some of your improvements. :)

Thanks Cam.

One thing I'm trying to do less of is edit the recordings after I make them.  With my latest recordings the editing is minimal, I truncate silence and normalize.  I'm leaving all my "ums" in there.

This is my latest one:

https://youtu.be/xQv0wZmRrC0

It's totally unscripted, so it's not great.  I share some of my views about delivering a monologue.

I'm thinking I should start doing an actual podcast.  In a way that would force me to deliver a certain level of quality.  Technically anyone could listen to these recordings, but in reality the only people who will hear them are people who read the GameQuitters forum and read my thread and click on the Youtube link.

 

In other news I'm now on a 50 day streak with Duolingo. (Aber ich spreche nur ein bisschen Deutsch)

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Listened to your latest recording. Can see some of your improvements. :)

Thanks Cam.

One thing I'm trying to do less of is edit the recordings after I make them.  With my latest recordings the editing is minimal, I truncate silence and normalize.  I'm leaving all my "ums" in there.

Same. Less editing, more from the heart. I find anytime I say um it's because I'm THINKING instead of BEING. Slowing down helps a lot.

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  • 1 month later...

I'm still around, occasionally reading other people's posts here.  I've been busy working on stuff offline, so some of my online projects have slipped down the priority list.

One thing I've done since I last posted here is to re-join Toastmasters, it's been about 5 years since I was last a member.  I'll be giving my first speech (since coming back) this week.  I'll be recording it, I just bought a new microphone for this purpose.  Now that my goal is to get good at public speaking, it's important to make records so I can listen to the aspects I could improve on.   

The mic I bought is the Rode SmartLav+. I haven't used it that much but so far I can say that it's super easy to use, just plug it into your smartphone and use your usual recording app.  And the sound quality sounds quite good.

 

Although I haven't been writing much here lately, it's good to see that things I've written earlier have helped people.  Thanks to @hycniejsy for mentioning me in your post and congratulations on starting with Toastmasters.

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  • 3 weeks later...

My online activities have shifted down on my priority list lately.  That's likely to stay the same for the next 4 or 5 weeks.  After that I'll get back to publishing some more stuff.  In the meantime I've made the decision not to renew the domain of 52in52weeks, which expires in May.  I've moved my 52 books in 52 weeks project there along with a few other selected posts. I've set up 301 redirects for the posts that I copied, so I'm hoping to not lose too much Google juice by the move.

I've given 2 Toastmasters speeches since I last wrote here.  The terror, the feeling that I'm going into a life or death battle, has gone.  It's been replaced by what I'd describe as a nervous uncomfortableness.  That's probably not something that's going to go away, I've heard about top UFC fighters who, even after years of getting into the cage, are sick before every fight.

My public speaking abilities are consistently getting better.  But I could improve faster.  One way to do that is to start a regular podcast.  I'm debating whether I should start a podcast that is based around my city or do one that is more general...

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  • 1 month later...

I've finally let 52in52weeks.com die a quiet death.  The website I have worked on for the last couple of years no longer exists.  I've posted my 52 books in 52 weeks project at edtrigger.com but I've decided to leave out the 52 experiences in 52 weeks project.  The only people who really cared about those posts were people who knew me in real life.  In general if you want people to read what you're writing, you need to answer the "what's in it for me?" question.  Which isn't really a problem, it would be nice if everything I write helps someone in some way.

I kind of feel bad for adding links to my website in this forum.  I know Cam won't mind but I've seen other forums where people join for the purpose sole purpose of driving traffic to their website.  I don't mind if people from here visiting my website but that has never been a goal, I believe in the GameQuitters mission.  Hopefully I can be a positive influence.

I've been writing a fair bit lately, I'll usually write 500 words in Write or Die but what I've been writing has either not been good enough to publish or it's been too personal.  It has been a while since I've written anything publishable but I'll be publishing a bit more regularly in a couple of weeks.

This entry has been somewhat rambling so I'll make sure the next one is at least a bit more coherent.

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I kind of feel bad for adding links to my website in this forum.  I know Cam won't mind but I've seen other forums where people join for the purpose sole purpose of driving traffic to their website.  I don't mind if people from here visiting my website but that has never been a goal, I believe in the GameQuitters mission.  Hopefully I can be a positive influence.

Everyone go visit his site! :)

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