Finished up my Start Icons!

I’ve previously blogged about my progress with icons for my start menu, and I’m happy to report that I’ve wrapped them up now!

Custom Olby Tiles for Windows 8.1


I’m really in love with how this came together. I’m a little torn on the folder icons in the common destinations column, but they work decently enough. I toyed with icons on the tiles, but they didn’t feel right.

What’s weird now is that I kind of like the icons. HRM. Maybe I’m not done after all.

Olby Tiles

Here’s the finished up miscellaneous shit column icons:


From top left, to bottom right: CMDer, Font Expert, Internet Explorer, IIS Manager, MediaMonkey, HexChat, Beyond Compare, Navicat Premium, Image Import dialog

Motivation and the lack thereof.

My great buddy Jerry just posted a “confessional” about losing his motivation and how he was defeating himself.

I chronicled my weight loss progress a while back, and I’ve mostly been stagnant since then. I haven’t cracked the 270 plateau, and it’s because of a few different things:

  1. I’ve always loved “summer food” — hot dogs, burgers, fries, onion rings — and I am consuming this shit food in my old habit of eating more than I should. Where one or two dogs would be more than enough, I’m going for three or four. I need to corral this.
  2. Along with eating too much summer food, I’ve gotten away from my grilled chicken, and white fish meals. Those were doing wonders for my progress.
  3. My working out has slowed a little. With the increase of my stamina, I’ve shortened my treadmill workouts to half an hour. I’m covering the same amount of virtual ground, in less time. I do this mix of walking on various inclines and jogging three days a week, and intersperse dumbbell workouts on my arms/shoulders on the off days.

    I need to experiment with more cardiovascular exercise. I think the big hang up is that I’m still fat, and my shins are really taking a beating from the impact of my fat ass jogging on them. The day off in between doing the jogs really helps with my recovery. What a conundrum.

I’ve been too comfortable with the progress I have made, and I haven’t really striven for more. Like Jerry, I’ve sunk into the rut of not controlling my food intake. I just figure, “whatever, it’s not that bad, and I’ve already done worse today,” and it spirals out of control.

I need to focus more than ever, because I’ll be going to a lot of baseball games soon. The ease of the junk food there, and sitting around for three hours a night are really going to put a damper on my plans.

Being a fat guy for as long as I’ve been one, I completely understand how easy it is to just be complacent. It’s extremely difficult countering a life time of stomach-muscle-memory. “Fuck it, we’ll start over tomorrow,” I say as I grab a box of Triscuits to munch on. “We’ll just jog a little longer later,” as I eat half of the box…

Yeah, I do the crazy Venom thing, were I call myself “we” in my head. No idea why, maybe it’s because of Venom. It’s time to zero in on my behavior and get back to work.

If you cook something, it will probably be hot, as will the vessel in which you cooked it.

One of the things Dorena and I like the most about TGI Friday’s is the selection of food prepared with Jack Daniel’s BBQ sauce. When we came across this heat and serve product, we figured we’d pick it up and give it a go on a lazy night.

Expectations were pretty low, as we knew it was obviously not going to turn out as well as if we slow cooked it ourselves, but it hit the spot enough that we’d pick it up again for another lazy evening. This one chick on Walmart’s site doesn’t agree, though.

I normally get tony romas pulled pork because it’s a dollar cheaper but this time wanted to try chicken and I only saw Jack Daniels pulled chicken so decided to get that. Big mistake, the bbq sauce is not as tasty and the meat is not as flavorful as Tony romas. I’ll stick with tony romas pulled pork, hopefully they have the chicken one so I can try that as well since I prefer chicken over pork as in health reasons but prefer pork over chicken as in taste.

The reason I made this post was for the package. In the heating instructions, they provide truly insightful advice.


Oh, really? Good lookin’ out, JD. Good lookin’ out.

The Final Push

I haven’t really said much of this out loud to very many people, but I’ve been battling depression rather poorly for the last year and a half. While I was severely depressed, the things I’ve always enjoyed and was passionate about didn’t seem to matter as much.

I’ve been feeling pretty positive about the direction I’ve been heading lately, and the last couple weeks have been the first time I’ve been genuinely happy. I mean, actually happy, over consecutive days. It’s a major milestone for me… I’m greatly enjoying baseball, my music, toys, and coding again. It hasn’t been the case at all since the fall of 2012.

I got pretty good at faking joviality, or at least I thought I was getting away with pretending to be happy around people. It’s not that I didn’t appreciate their company, or that I didn’t really enjoy being around them, it was just that once our time was over, I sank right back into being miserable. It’s pretty easy to distract yourself from your own mind when there’s a person dragging you out to dinner.

It’s annoying because I’ve always prided myself on being pragmatic and logical, so in my head I’ve always had the plan of how to move on. Having the thoughts and actually pushing through and confronting this shit were two different things. I made a big shift in my plan of attack about a month ago, and the dividends are finally showing.

I’m getting my confidence and sarcasm back, and my motivation is pretty much there. I’ve just had enough with losing complete track of time. Days, weeks, months just seemed to disappear without any recollection of what happened during the spans. I don’t want to live that way, and to push through once and for all, I had a span of three weeks where I was just mentally exhausted daily.

I had to constantly battle my own mind to stay positive and focused. As tired as I was every night during that concentrated struggle, you’d think I was participating in some extremely difficult manual labor.  It’s been a very long road, and I’m relieved that I’m seeing the signs of it being remedied.

Part of me doesn’t want to publish this because I think it’s too personal. That part of me also reminds me that I don’t like this type of attention drawn on myself. I’ve always been one to keep my deepest feelings to myself, regardless of how unhealthy it is to do so. It’s a strategy that has never worked in my life, often resulting in eruptions of raw emotion when things fester beyond a breaking point.

I finally decided to go for it so the people that happen to read it will understand my erratic behavior over the last 18 months. I also think that if I reached out to more people and asked for support, I would have snapped out of it quicker. I don’t know. I’m optimistic that it’s the correct course of action.

The lure of some movies.

I’m a massive Tarantino fan, and whenever I see one of his movies in the guide when I’m flipping through, I have to put it on and watch it. Today, it happened to be Pulp Fiction, one of the most-quotable movies of all time.

Fabienne: Whose motorcycle is this?
Butch: It’s a chopper, baby.
Fabienne: Whose chopper is this?
Butch: It’s Zed’s.
Fabienne: Who’s Zed?
Butch: Zed’s dead, baby. Zed’s dead.

Not only is it insanely quote-friendly, there’s intense scenes in this movie that I still sit on the edge of my seat for. I’ve — conservatively speaking — seen this movie in its entirety twenty times. Every single time Mia is coding out on Lance’s floor my heart skips a beat. The emotion is so incredible!

Outside of Tarantino flicks, I can think of a few more that always suck me in.

  • Anything Star Wars (Original trilogy, modern trilogy, Clone Wars animated movies, whatever it is)
  • Any of the Jurassic Park movies (Especially one and two!)
  • Any Miyazaki film (How’s Moving Castle is my favorite)
  • Spaceballs
  • My Cousin Vinny
  • Tremors and Tremors II
  • Roadhouse

A lot of these captivated me when I was younger, and their grasp is just as strong. I don’t know how many of these would make a top 10 or 20 list if I had to whittle down my absolute favorites, but they’re really fucking good. The common thread with most of them is that they’re just fun as hell and captivate on a few different levels.

I don’t have a ton of interaction on my blog, but anyone want to chime in with some of their movies that you always watch when you come across them?