Archive for the ‘Personal’ Category
Well, Assembly sure has changed since back in the day.
In 1994, our family bought our first computer. It was a way-too-expensive IBM Aptiva with a Pentium 60Mhz CPU, which was mind-blowing for the time. The very first Pentium-class CPU! At the time I was very interested in computer graphics and other such geekery, and I had convinced my mum to buy that monster of a system so that I could experiment in 3d graphics design and computer animation, which were only budding industries at the time.
A friend at school eventually turned me onto the demo scene. I was captivated from the very beginning. To me, the demo scene represented a melding of art and mechanics. The demo creators pieced together complex visuals with what are nearly the most basic building blocks of modern computing (assembly instructions). The sheer skill required was enough to impress, but I was totally drawn in by the amazing mod soundtracks and graphical prowess on display.
So, for a few years during the mid-90′s I followed the annual scene releases and would always download the top few demos of that year. I grew up on the Future Crew and other well-knowns in the scene.
By the late 90′s though I had fallen out of the scene. My computer had aged into obsolescence and wasn’t very capable at running the newer demos. As well, most of the groups I had first heard of had since left the scene. The demos of this time just didn’t capture my interest as much. The late 90′s also saw the beginnings of the PC as a 3d gaming system, thanks to DirectX and OpenGL. This made the demos being produced at the time seem less and less impressive relative to the games that were cropping up, at least visually.
Throughout that time and the first half of this decade, I did look up the Assembly scene to see how was doing, once in a while vainly attempting to download and run a demo, but very few worked well.
Well, today I looked up the website at assembly.org and was quite surprised to find the site had meta-morphed into what looks like a thriving community for the demo scene. I suppose the demo scene never really died, and I’m not sure if the scene as a whole slumped or not, but it certainly seemed it to me. Anyways I was pretty impressed with the site, which I think only a year or two back was a simple repository for announcing the new shows and hosting the show submissions.
It was also nice to see that Assembly ’07, this year’s incarnation of the annual meet is to take place in only 2 days.
This year I’ll plan to check out the shows submissions. Let’s see if I can’t re-ignite the captivation and awe at the skill of some of the demo-coders.
Recently, I’ve been motivated to try and lose some weight. It’s not the first time ever, but it’s the first time in a long time that I’m sticking to a semi-displined routine. Needless to say, I’ve found it difficult to overcome this obstacle in the past, but I’m giving it an honest go now.
I’ve just entered week 4 (or is it 5?) of this weight-management run. Most people would be disappointed to learn that they’ve put in almost 5 weeks of effort, only to find they’ve lost little to no weight, but I’m comfortable with it so far. Call me an optimist, but I’m glad that I’m not gaining weight. It means that I’ve entered into a stable, holding pattern and that from here on in I can start making more sacrifices to lose weight.
My personal experience in this regard has taught me one very crucial lesson: discipline is everything. And it can’t be partial discipline either, but total discipline. What I find is that if I miss even one evening of gym-going, my focus goes out of whack and I lose willpower. It’s worse than that though; I find that if I don’t go to bed in a timely manner even, my entire next day is thrown off. I won’t be able to wake up as early, thus won’t be able to get to work early. If I can’t get to work early, then I can’t leave right at 5pm, and if I can’t do that, I won’t get enough time to take care of things in the evening. If I can’t get all my computerizing taken care of and manage to eat dinner early enough, then I’m very disinclined to go to the gym. All because I didn’t get to bed on time the night before!
It really comes down to balance. I find I have to maintain an extremely balanced lifestyle in order to achieve my personal goals. When I’m able to maintain that balance, everything is in focus, and all things are achievable. The human body is built to lead a balanced life, and every factor that causes imbalance is a factor to be eliminated.
105,000 Sources of Imbalance
So, those 105,000 calories. I had set a goal for myself to lose 30 lbs within the next 4-5 months. So how many calories is 30 lbs? How many calories do I have to burn, exactly? Well apparently 1 lb of fat is equivalent to 3,500 calories. So, 30 lbs is 105,000 calories, which is a heck of a lot of calories no matter how you cut it.
Envisioning myself 105,000 calories lighter is exciting, but 5 weeks in, and only a few pounds lighter, am I failing in reaching my goal? I suppose I am, but I don’t mind if I can preserve the balance in my lifestyle. I’m eating healthier, feeling more energetic, am able to concentrate better at tasks, and feel more alive overall. Isn’t that enough?
Having attained a measure of balance, self-improvement seems obligatory now. I am comfortable with maintaining my current weight, but even still, I will be pushing towards some more weight loss. I suppose it’s a consequence of achieving The Balance.