Tuesday, November 3, 2009


I hate searching for motivation to do something. I hate not being able to sit down and focus solely on one given task. Right now that task is coding. In the morning that task will be getting up to run. Lately I've been struggling to be productive or to get anything done. I've been telling myself I need to get up and run to keep in shape for soccer. I need to start on my homework earlier so I'm not up at the last minute working on it. These are things I need to do to get better at things I like to do.

I love playing soccer. I love programming. Why can't I get myself to practice them? I know that practicing is the only way to get better at anything. I know it's the only way to get to the level I want to be at. Why is it so hard for me to do then? Why am I so easily distracted? I know I need the practice and every day that goes by is another one lost to me.

I waste time. I waste a lot of time. I don't consider this blog post a waste of time, because I need something to get my juices flowing and this is helping me. Getting started is the hardest part of any task. Whether it's getting up in the morning and putting my running shoes on, or typing the first lines of my next program. Getting started is always the hardest part.

Luckily once the rock starts moving it gains momentum. So I need to continue to remind myself of my goals and ambitions so that I can get my momentum going. Practice is the only way to get good, and reading blogs can only help me so much...

Thursday, September 17, 2009

The great Netbook - MacBook Debate

So this may not seem like much of a debate to most, but this one plagued me for a couple months. Why would anyone put a netbook and a Macbook Pro in the same debate, let alone the same sentence, yet I did. Each machine has it's strengths and weaknesses.

So I got both. Pretty sad I know. It didn't happen the way I would've liked it to go down, and I didn't get exactly what I wanted either but in one form or another I was able to get them both. Now I need to figure out how to use them both effectively and together.

So far the netbook has been great for traveling. I took it on a flight home with me, and on the airplane ride I was able to watch two whole movies and still have about 30 minutes of battery life left. Mind you the flight was 5 hours long, so I was pretty excited. Also the netbook is the size of a James Patterson book, which isn't that big ( < 11 inches). I was able to get the netbook running the evaluation version of Windows 7, which is pretty cool. I haven't done too much with the operating system other than test out the media center streaming to my Xbox 360. Sadly it didn't work as well as I hoped it would, but it's a netbook not a full scale laptop so I didn't have high hoped. For the most part on the netbook I open a text editor and a web browser.

On the other had I got a 2007 edition (I don't know the generation) 13 inch white Macbook. I was able to get it for $350 and it's running a fresh copy of Snow Leopard. I've been mainly using it to take notes in class and soon to be writing code on. Mac OS X is a lot different than windows, and I've been learning a lot of quirks that it has. It soon will be my default OS for most things but for right now I'm still working my way into it, slowly. So far it's pretty cool though. I'm actually writing this on it right now.

I've discovered a few apps to keep things working between the now current 3 laptops I have. I've discovered Dropbox to keep my school notes in sync between each laptop. I'm searching for an editor I like and a way so share music between the three. I've heard of Airfoil and look forward to giving it a try eventually, but so far I'm taking it easy. I'm slowly defining roles for each one, and hope to use them to their fullest potential.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Fancy Footwork

Friday, I played in my second soccer game for my A-league team. We played against one of the top 5 teams in the league (I think they came in 3rd last year). For starters I hate when our team captain starts his weekly email chain off by saying this week we are playing a tough opponent, they are the X-best team in our league. To me I feel as if he is saying that this team in so much better than we are so we need to step our game up this week. FACT: Every team in this league so much better than us that we need to step our game up each and every week. So it's kinda redundant in my mind, but that's another story.

So this week I was once again reminded why I love soccer so much. I didn't play as well this week as I did last week. I'm not sure if it was because my ankle hurt, or the brace I bought was too bulky, the fact I kinda didn't want to play( didn't want to mess up the fresh do), or the fact that I was a little tired. Friday just wasn't my day.

To be perfectly honest it wasn't any of these things. I was simply in awe. The team we play had such beautiful footwork at times I found myself watching the game as a spectator rather than as a player. It was something I would think a rookie would experience, in his first practice or game on the big stage. Lining up opposite his idol, not to observe but to compete against. Or on the first day of your new job you find yourself in a meeting with someone you've read about and aspired to be like. I found myself enjoying the "Beautiful Game." If I was more focused I could have done much better. It wasn't like I was some little kid stuck in the outfield of a little league game. More like I would take my eye off the my assignment when the ball was on the opposite side of the field, or taking extra time off the field just to watch, observe, and learn.

Watching the other team play showed me I have a long way to go. I honestly believe soccer is like a dance, with good footwork necessary like no other sport. Football players have good footwork but not like soccer players. The things good players can do amaze me. ( Youtube videos of Christiano Ronaldo, Thierry Henry, Ronaldinho, etc if you want to see for yourself )One day with lots of practice and playing I will get there. Right now I'm still learning how to take the ball and move in directions other than straight forward. I'm also making progress with my passes, no longer holding the ball in one spot. I'm taking time to identify targets ahead of time. One of these days I will be pretty good myself, with some fancy footwork to show off. Sadly right now, I'm just a player/observer...

Saturday, July 25, 2009

I can now die a happy man

Everyone knows that the MLS isn't the top league in the world. I personally think it is a good league. It's not Primership or La Liga, but I think it accomplishes its goal as a major soccer league in America. America has this competitive thing for being the best. For being the top at everything we do. With soccer this is not the case by far. Luckily, Americans are pretty business savy. One thing we know is that when you have a large enough group of people interested in a certain thing, money is ready to be made. Luckily this summer with Team USA's big summer in football (with the exception of Today's Mexico drumming ) the World Football Challege came.

The World Football Challenge consists of 4 top tier teams from Europe and Mexico. These teams were AC Milan, Chelsea, Club America, and Inter Milan. 4 quality clubs playing games against each other in America. This huge for many fans of soccer here in the USA, where the MLS is standard for being able to watch live soccer, with a few international games here and there. Watching a live soccer game with European teams is a dream come true to many American fans such as myself. I've always wanted to, and still want to see a soccer/football game on European soil, but the World Football Challenge was as close as I was able to get without having to pay for a $1000 plane ticket to Europe. This was apparent for many others as well, as for the game I was able to attend, was also attended by 71, 202 other people.

On Friday, July 24, 2009, I was able to attend the AC Milan - Chelsea game thanks to a wonderful gift from my girlfriend. I was able to experience a Champions League game here in America. The experience was great, the seats were great, and the game was even better. I was able to see Ronaldinho, Frank Lampard, John Obi Mikel, Clarence Seedorf, Pato, and Didier Drogba. Sadly Michael Essien did not play. Also able to play for AC Milan, their recently signed American Defender Oguchi Onyewu who came on to a standing ovation in the 2nd half. Lebron was even there, but who cares?

The game was great. The crowd was great. The atmosphere was amazing. This was like no MLS game I've ever been to. Everyone was friendly. If you were standing in line next to someone wearing the same colors (I happened to be sporting my Chelsea blue), conversation was bound to start up. I was invited to a tailgating outing in the parking with some fellow Chelsea fans. Everyone was there to have a good time and I'm sure everyone did.

The WFC ended tonight with Chelsea beating Club America 2-0, but I think the experience was great for all who were able to attend. I hope this continues to happen every year, and Baltimore is lucky enough to get chosen to host a game again.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Protecting Your House

Recently there is some fuss being made over Landon Donovon's comments in a book towards his teammate David Beckham. (I say just some fuss because I believe if it weren't for the USA's recent success in the Confederation's Cup none of this would be news to anyone (it probably still isn't considered news). ) Apparently Donovon is getting criticized for criticizing Beckham. A book is coming out that contains comments from Donovon, saying Beckham didn't play hard and some other stuff. You can read more about it here.

Some people think that Donovon is whining because Beckham is being paid so much more that he is. Others think he is a coward for not speaking to Beckham directly. I think differently. I think he did a good thing by calling Beckham out. I think he is "protecting his house."

Everyone knows, if you don't I'm going to ruin it for you, that David Beckham's signing was a huge publicity stunt. Huge. Where I work, they don't sell any DC United tickets, but the do have Beckham tickets for when he comes to town to play DC United. They also cost twice as much as regular, and it's also the only time the upper deck in RFK stadium is open for seating. Go in any sports (non-soccer store) and you may see a DC United jersey, but you will definitely see a Beckham jersey. He was supposed to help soccer blow up in America. Did he, probably not. Now that I think of it, I wonder who's more popular him or Marta?

Anyway, back to my main point. I like that Landon is stepping up and saying something about Beckham. For the amount of money he is getting paid, and the skill level he posses he should be contributing more. I understand he feels the league is beneath him and this may be nothing but a cash cow to him, but if he wants this league to step up he needs to step up his participation with the team. The more and the better he plays the more will tune into games, and the better the MLS will become. I think as the former captain of the Galazy and one of the few players in the league anywhere near to Beckham's level, Donovon has earned the right to speak up and protect his team from the mockery that could follow Beckham's exit. If Beckham doesn't want to be here I respect his right to leave, but I don't want him taking the MLS for granted. I understand that we have a long way to go before we can be compared to the leagues in Europe, but we are striving. With and without Beckham the league will continue to grow. Yes he does raise the level of awareness, but he was brought to play. People want to see him play.

Landon speaking out was just him protecting his house. Beckham has to respect it, and he is currently not doing that. If I have a no shoes on in the house rule, I expect all my visitors to abide by that rule. If President Obama came, best believe I would expect him to abide as well. He is a visitor in MY house. Just as Beckham is a visitor in Landon's house. The Galaxy is a house that Landon help build up. The MLS is a bigger house that Landon is the man of. I totally believe it was his right to speak out about Beckham. Could he have done it another way, probably, but that's another story...

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Who I am and where I want to be

This blog is called "The Tech Athlete." I believe these are two words which describe me best. Maybe they don't describe me, but they describe my hobbies and my interests. Isn't that what blogging is about. Writing about your interests, and sharing thoughts and ideas with the rest of the world?

This summer I've been doing a lot of thinking about who I am and where I want to be. Recently one of my good friends turned 25. With this we started reflecting on his life. During my weekly browsing of Hacker News I found an article here talking about a "Quarter-Life Crisis." My friend and I had jokingly diagnosed him with this before I found the article. We had no idea this was a real issue. Since I'm almost to the "quarter-life" point, I started to do some reflecting of my own.

Here are some of my thoughts:
Who am I?
  • I am a computer programmer. Not a very good one.
  • I am a soccer player, once again, not a very good one.
  • I am an amateur photographer, better at this than the previous one.
  • I am a cook. My best skill in the list. Although my cooking skills are limited.

Where do I want to be? (At some point and time in the near future)
  • A kick-ass software developer. I want to be able to code at home as easily as at work. I want to be able to generate side income via home projects.
  • A pretty decent soccer player. One who is comfortable handling the ball, and can run for the majority of the game. Also one who can dribble in more directions that north and south.
  • A good photographer with an understanding of the more technical aspects of photography, optics, focal lengths, etc. I want to be able to shoot comfortably in manual mode as well.
  • A cook who can make his own sauces, whip up a good meal out of anything I have, and manage proportions well.

These are a subset of the goals I have in my life. I hope to use this blog as an outlet for me working towards and achieving them. I have a lot of ideas and thoughts on how to go about. I hope to one day build up the readership to be able to collaborate and spread my ideas around, but for now I'm looking to practice. Practice my coding, practice my soccer, practice taking good photos, and practicing cooking.

My ultimate goal is to be The Tech Athlete I named this blog for. ..

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Today, I cleaned my workspace, started programming my web app, and read a chapter in "I Will Teach You To Be Rich." I know it's late and I should be in bed, but I felt immensely productive and felt maybe I could do one more thing I've been wanting to do... blog.

I've always heard that the best time to do something is now, because in a few hours/days/minutes/weeks you will have picked up something else to do. I've found this to be very true. Ever since I've moved into my new place, things have been piling up and the number of tasks that have been completed has not gone down. I've continued to add things, and find less time to complete them. I'm not sure what's caused it but I've been wanted to do better. With everything I do I've wanted to make improvements. This is something that shouldn't come as new to me but it did. So today, I took steps towards making improvements in my life.

3 Things I want to improve now
  • My Home Neatness and Organization Skills
  • My Personal Finance Skills
  • My Coding Skills
Today I took steps toward improving all of them. For starters I cleaned my desk. Above is what it used to look like and now it looks like this. I got rid of most of the papers. Put books on the bookshelf. Got an external monitor( Acer H233H), keyboard(Logitech Wave), and printer(HP Photojet something).

I'm proud of the progress I've made. Now I need to work to keep it clean.

I started reading Ramit Sethi's "I Will Teach You To Be Rich." I hope to put some of his tactics to use in my fight against the "rat race."

Lastly I started going through the Head First: Rails book. I went through the first two chapters. This summer I hope to build a web app or two. I plan on going through the process and writing about it here.

Don't be afraid to take that first step, even if it's late at night. Getting started is the hardest part.