I bought the remastered Spyro games because I thought they would be a good into to video games for Ollie. The 3D controls ended up being a bit much for him.

So I bought the Crash games, which also ended up being too hard.

On the plus side, I can now play Spyro and Crash 😁

My 2018 (and on to 2019)

In my review of Streaks from last year, I mentioned how I was going to try to use it to to implement some lifestyle changes in 20181.

I made some goals and turned them into of concrete tasks that I wanted to do every day (or for some tasks, just on most days).

Those tasks were

  • Work on a side project at least four days every week.
  • Write for 20 minutes at least four days every week.
  • Read at least one chapter of a book every day.
  • Read at least one chapter from the Bible every day
  • Fill my Apple Watch Activity rings every day.
  • Do a workout (even a small one) every day.
  • Drink at least 68oz of water every day.
  • Weigh myself every day.

I started off the year hitting everything for the first couple of months, but life tends to get in the way. A couple of months in, I decided that if I was not going to be able to do everything every time; I needed to give priority to certain tasks if I could only do one.

So in 2018 year, my non-negotiable tasks became my Bible reading and my Activity Rings.

For the Bible reading, I did a Bible-in-a-year plan in YouVersion. I did not do this every day, but I also never skipped ahead. If I got a couple of days behind, I always did extra to get caught back up later. This is the first time I have ever read the entire Bible, so I am really glad that I did it. That being said, I am looking forward to getting back to doing more topical Bible studies for a little while.

For the Activity Rings, there were no skip days. I hit my three rings every day in 2018. I started the year with a 450 Calorie goal for my Move ring, but it was up to 1000 Calories by the end of October.

Hitting the Activity Rings was a lot of fun, but I am glad that it is coming to an end. There were times when I was sick but was still doing laps around the house to hit my rings when my body would have probably been better off resting (but I wanted to hit my rings).

The real cost of trying to hit the rings every day was the time lost to do other things. I tried to get up early every day to get my workout in, but if I missed it then I had to do it that evening. Any night I was working out in the evening was a night that I was not able to work on my side apps.

For both of these tasks, doing them everyday served their purpose; I am now in the habit of working out and reading my Bible everyday. So going forward, I know that even if I miss a day, I will still be in the habit of doing both regularly (which is the whole point).

On to 2019

Like last year, I want to pick two areas to really focus on this year. Also like last year, this will come from taking a large-scale goal and breaking it into something that I can do everyday (or a set amount of times per week).

This year, the goals are to learn more about photography and to ship my side project app.


I have wanted to get more into photography for over a decade now. I always thought it would be something that I would do when I got a real camera. This year, I am changing my strategy. I do not have that real camera yet, but I want to learn as much about manual photography and photo editing using the equipment that I already have.

So I moved Halide and Darkroom to the front page of my iPhone (and moved Darkroom to the front page of my iPad). I am trying to make RAW shooting in Halide the default instead of using the standard Camera app. I also got a Glif and a tripod that can fit into my briefcase that I can use to try to get some more creative shots. And finally, I am going to do is go through The Sweet Setup’s Mobile Photography Course.

For this task to be successful, I need to boil it down to a single daily task. For this, that task will be to post a photo on my blog every day. I tried this last year and made it about 2 months before stopping. I am hoping to make it through the entire year in 2019.

Hopefully by focusing on this goal I will understand more about actually using the nice camera that I want to buy by the time I get it.

Side Project App

The photography goal is just a fun one, but releasing my next app is my big goal for the year. I have been working on this app one and off for a couple of years now. Twice I have set it aside to work on something else for StickerBook and the (discontinued) Workshelf. I am now determined not to start working on anything else until this app is finished and released.

I have wanted a good Apple Watch app for weight/strength training since the first time I got an Apple Watch and so far nothing has been quite what I was looking for. So 2019 is the year that will change.

My task for completing this goal is actually the same as it was last year: work on it at least 4 days a week. Because of my workout goal last year, I did not not get it done. If I did not work out in the morning, then I could not code in the evening.

Since I don’t have to workout every day this year, I will have a lot more time to work on the app. And if it comes down to being able to either work out or code, code will be the default choice this year. There is a bit of irony that I am going to sacrifice workout time to work on an app that will help me workout more, but oh well.

Continuation of 2018

On top of adding (or re-emphasizing) new goals, I want to make sure that I continue the things that I started in 2018. This means that I want to keep doing a daily Bible study. I want to keep working out regularly (even if it is not every day). I want to keep reading every day.

I am happy with the way my goals turned out in 2018. I think the goals that I have set out for myself for 2019 are harder than they were last year, so I hope that I can be be happy with how 2019 went a year from now.

  1. Some may calls these New Years resolutions. I am choosing not to. 

Apple Watch Series 4 Thoughts and Observations

I have owned every Apple Watch since the original. In the beginning, I was happy to overlook areas where the watch left a little to be desired because it was so good at certain tasks. As time progressed, there became a lot less that I had to overlook. By the time the Series 3 was released last year, the Apple Watch was my favorite tech product.

The Series 4 really cements the watch’s place in my tech hierarchy. The iPhone is the most important product I own, but I like my watch way more.

The watch getting so much better has actually led me to be a bit more critical of it than I used to be. The more that I am able to do with the watch, the more the limitations that is has left bother me. So while I am happier with the Apple Watch than I have even been, I see the potential to be even better.

A Quick Aside About Battery Life

Since the day I got the Series 4 watch, I have noticed that the battery life has been noticeably worse than my Series 3. For my previous watches, it was rare to finish the day under 40% battery, but I was constantly getting the 10% battery warnings on the Series 4. I tried restoring from backup, setting up as new, and removing all third party apps. Nothing fixed it.

I finally contacted Apple and sent it to them, but they could not find any problem with it.

It turns out the issue was with a different Apple Watch. The day that I got my Series 4, I connected my old Series 0 watch to my phone to use as a sleep tracker. When I disconnected it from my phone, my Series 4 battery lasted like it was supposed to.

Thoughts and Observations

So here are a few observations I have noticed (some good, some bad) in no particular order:

  • As I discussed earlier, It is really fast.
  • The water ejection sound is much nicer on the Series 4 than it was on the 2 and 3. It no longer sounds like a nuclear test.
  • I never realized how thick the Series 3 was until comparing it to the Series 4. It is still not as thin as the Series 0 was, but it is much nicer than the 3.
  • I really prefer the subtlety of the red ring on the crown on the Series 4 to the red dot on the 3, but I would still prefer nothing (or even better, something customizable).
  • It has always bugged my that the Now Playing screen did not have a progress indicator. This was not a huge problem with music, but now that the watch has a native Podcast app and a bigger screen it bugs me quite a bit more. It is really annoying that there is no way to get the time remaining of a podcast on the watch.
  • I think that Apple needs to go back to square one for analog style watch faces; they have a bunch of different version that all look similar but have different options for Complications and number style. I think that it would be better to just unify these with a single Analog watch face and let the placement of the Complications and the rings and numerals just be customizable. Or, they could let third party developers make faces…

I have found myself wanting to be able to use it for more because it is more enjoyable to do a quick task from my wrist than it is to pull out my phone to do something.

More exciting than wanting to use it more (for me at least), I also find myself wanting to develop for it more. I have a few app ideas that I am kicking around in my head (and one that I am actively working on), and all of them are centered around the watch.

None of these issues are enough to really diminish my feelings for the watch. It is my favorite tech product, but it is also the tech product that has the biggest room to grow.

That combination is pretty exciting.

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