Went to Breakneck Ridge to hike again this Saturday with lots of friends (7 people in total). It’s almost an exact replicate of my one-man hike 1.5 years ago: Breakneck Ridge loop => Little Stony Point => Cold Spring. The difference is we took a smaller loop this time, and had some drinks in Cold Spring.
The fun part of Breakneck Ridge is at the beginning. The first 0.5~1 hours, depending on how fast you hike, can be pretty challenging for people who don’t hike often. After that there are many trail choices, and you can plan a loop of almost any length. This time the 7 of us split to 3 groups: riki couple was really fast and went ahead a lot; Jack/Sharon/Xiang took photos and fell in the middle; xw and I were really slow and took the shortest possible loop…
Little Stony Point park has small beaches. It’s warmer this time so we hang out there for a while. Most of my photos on Instagram of this trip were from here.
The whole team rendezvoused at a French restaurant in Cold Spring. It’s an interesting feeling to walk into this beautiful town after 1.5 years. I saw those nice buildings, yards, bench by the river which had been so clear in my memory stayed exactly the same, only the season changed. Such a quite and timeless town.
It was actually my dream to revisit all these beautiful places I had been in US with xw again. Breakneck Ridge and Cold Spring are the first step!
A tiny side project for day to day works, hosted on GitHub.
Basically it’s a tool to import time logs from toggl to JIRA. It reads logs on toggl by toggl REST API, then pushed them to JIRA by some ruby wrappers (soap4r and jira4r) of JIRA SOAP API.
JIRA is heavily used in FreeWheel. In my current group, almost everything I do can be tracked by a JIRA issue. JIRA serves as the todo, report, and bug tracking system here, and keeps everything visible to everyone.
Fortunately we just upgraded JIRA from 3.x to 4.4 so the SOAP API is much better than JIRA 3. This upgrade made it easier to import work log to JIRA because the API is upgraded a lot. If we had JIRA 5, the new JIRA REST API would be an even better option.
I have been trying to track and manage my work time for a while. Most time-tracking tools are designed for works with billable hours, such as freelance programmers or outsourcing workshops. But I think it’s also beneficial to keep time logs for other jobs. I had tried quite a few ways or tools before, none of them worked very well until I found toggle:
- Directly log on JIRA: In this way you’re “estimating” how much time you spent after finishing a task. What I need is a “timer” to really track it, different and better. Also, it’s easy to forget to log time in JIRA. When a process brings more troubles than tangible benefits, people will tend to forget or ignore it.
- A very simple OSX dashboard widget I can’t remember its name. It’s too simple. Features like idle detection or exporting logs are still necessary for me.
- Harvest. A very powerful one. I used it on iPhone for a while, but found it didn’t work very well because I often forgot to stop/switch timer. “Idle detection” is actually more crucial than it looks. And Harvest is only free for 30 days.
- JIRA worklog assistant. It seems really nice at first: seamless integration with JIRA, lots of useful features. But soon I found the Mac client crashed so often and had lots of bugs. A tool with such a bad quality won’t be accepted by the team.
Toggl is the best tool I found so far. Its client is very well designed and polished, easy to use and intuitive. It has a REST API so I can export the log and import to JIRA easily. Toggl also has pretty nice report features, but I still want to keep all records in JIRA for maximum visiblity. And all my needs can be satisfied by Toggl free edition, sweet.
In the last, I want to clarify: the purpose of tracking time allocation is definitely not to measure “how hard you work” or “did you work 8 hours a day”, but to analyze “where are our time spent” and “how long a project/task actually takes”.
Finished reading the first book of The Hunger Games today. I enjoyed it and want to watch the movie very much now, lol.
The vocabulary of this book is at a moderate level, much much easier than read The Game of Thrones. So it’s a more enjoyable reading experience. It’s a little hard for me to understand why this book has been so popular. It was said to be the successor of Harry Porter. But I don’t think the fictional world in Hunger Games is not as spectacular as HP, neither is its story. Maybe it’s popular because it’s more close to real life? Or because it’s more bloody?
As a Chinese, I do realize some similarities between the model in Hunger Games and in the famous novel “1984″. And some descriptions did remind me of my life in China, especially in the middle school. Fortunately those uncomfortable memories are only memories for me now.
Finished it just now. Normal difficulty, Sentinel class, 31 hours.
The ending was not as bad as I expected, maybe because there had been too many bad words about the ending of this game so my expectation couldn’t be lower. I don’t think its ending is especially bad, compared to other parts of this game. In my opinion, the whole game is quite boring.
The battle system is too similar as ME2: barrier/shield/armor, fast weapons, slow weapons, skill system almost stays the same too. I can hardly find any new interesting places in ME3 battles, after playing through ME2 for 3 times. Actually, I think it’s even worse because of a few glitches. For example if you want to stay behind a cover of “L” shape, you’ll notice Shepard turn to some directions you don’t want. It turned out to be a very annoying problem because this is not a game encouraging you to rush and melee. So at most times you have to stay in cover and deal with glitches. And those cool melee skills don’t seem very useful to me.
In the ME3 story I feel almost everyone died. I got 4 companions at a very early stage, and ended up with these 4 comrades.. Tali joined a while then killed herself. I guess there is some way to get more companions alive, but I want to experience the “original” gameplay in the 1st pass. And my feeling is the story is very simple: need to gather power => [get a mission => mission accomplished, someone died] x n => final mission. The structure is so simple that I don’t see any suspense. Again, boring.
An obvious improvement in ME3 is there are much more weapons. And grenades become more useful. I can see they built a pretty big gun system, maybe for online play, maybe for catering shooting game lovers. But I don’t really like this. If I want to use 100 different guns and throw grenades, why not I play CoD?
Anyway ME3 gave this trilogy an ending. Maybe I’ll try another pass or online play. But now, after finishing the 1st pass, I’m not in the mood.
Yesterday, at Garden Dental Arts again. Surprisingly cheap, 16.80$.
Then I realized my teeth count is less than my age now…