My New Year Resolutions for 2013

Ok first to review how this past year’s resolutions went…

2012 Resolution Review:

#1: “365 Project: Weekly or Daily iPad Paintings”

This one just fell off the map – I completely forgot about it really. I did create a few paintings on the iPad throughout the year (here) – but I definitely didn’t do anything close to a painting a week/month! I do like doing these things but I’m going to leave this off my 2013 list and just see what happens.

#2: “Submit app to the Apple and Android Store”

First – I did not get anything into the Android store this past year. However for the record I gave it 3 fair shots before giving up. While I won’t give up until I get something in the Android store I do find some solace in the fact that I’m not the only one who thinks that developing Android apps just plain sucks.
Aside from the Android note, I think I did pretty good on this resolution because I ended up getting not one but two new apps posted in the Apple app store this year. First was the iPhone-only app “PocketSwatch” (Blog Post | iTunes link) and the second one was a universal iPhone/iPad app “Kana Cards HD” (Blog Post | iTunes link).

Special Mentions

#3: Pull-Ups!

This one may sound silly to some folks but earlier this year it started bugging me that I couldn’t even do 1 pull-up (with good form). I would always skip the pull-up moves in my workouts and that always bugged me. Anyhow – at some point I got my hand on a book “7 weeks to 50 pull-ups” so I printed out the schedule/plan and gave it my best shot. First of all I did NOT make it to 50 pull-ups (the book actually has some small print to explain that not everyone will get that far on their first pass). However I am proud to say that I am now able to do 8-10 pull-ups and 8-10 chin-ups in single sets now with pretty good form! I want to get much better so I plan to keep working on this next year – but I’m definitely happy where I got after a few months.

#4: Rock Climbing: Part 1

This wasn’t on my list at the start of the year either but it is something new I went out on a limb to try out and am glad I did. As my fitness improved this past year (thanks to P90X2) I was wanting to get out in the world and try some kind of active/outdoor activity – and one idea was to try rock climbing. So a few months back I tried out and joined an indoor climbing gym near my office (TRC) and so far I’m really enjoying it. Please note I am still a huge noob at it and am still undecided on whether I prefer top-rope climbing or bouldering (I think bouldering wins right now) – but either way I find it a great workout and a fun new pass time for me (a great fit for lunch break on work days).

2013 Resolutions:

Ok – here’s my plan for 2013. Note – while I’m still into digital art and mobile app development, I think I am going to focus on more physical stuff this year.

#1: Continue the Journey of Fitness

I did pretty good this past year to never skip a workout day – although catching the Flu this past week forced me to take 5+ days off … and I coped quite badly with that. Anyhow – this won’t shock those who know me but I plan on continuing my workout schedule/pursuit of fitness in 2013 as well. I am very happy with the P90X2 program but will probably try mixing in other things this year to keep me on my toes.

#2: Couch to 5K Program #C25K

This is a famous program designed for people who never run (couch-sitters) to be able to run a 5K in around 9 weeks of 3 days investment per week. I’m not a runner and have often assumed I wouldn’t be able to do it due to having funky instep and wonky knees sometimes. But until my body or a doctor tells me otherwise I’m going to go for this and see where it takes me. I’m also really excited that Holly has agreed to do this program with me. Even though we may not be able to run on the same days due to schedule complexity having her go through it at the same time will help with my accountability and motivation … and of course will just be fun to share the experience together.

#3: Climb (or hike) a mountain

I don’t think this has to tie in to my indoor rock climbing gym hobby but maybe it will – who knows. The bare minimum for meeting this resolution is for me to walk or climb to the top of a mountain (not a hill!) and get back down w/out dying. As with rock climbing and running, I know zero about hiking, trekking or mountain climbing right now so I will need some help and research to get me up there – the trickiest part may be finding people to do it with me since this isn’t really a “bring your kids” type activity … but I’m aiming high and crossing my fingers I’ll figure something out!

My New Year Resolutions for 2012

Just like last year I’ll review how I did with my resolutions from last year before  listing my goals for this coming year. I only set two goals for 2011 but that didn’t mean I had it easy! Both of them took a fair amount of time – in different ways.

2011 Resolutions Review

  1. Resolution #1: “365 Project: iPhone-Painting-a-Day…(or Week!)” | Grade: A-

    As soon as I got my iPad (~March 2011) this quickly changed to “iPad-Painting-a-Day/Week” – hopefully that didn’t disqualify me for this resolution. It is interesting to note that I went through 3 different painting “apps” in addition to moving from the phone to the tablet – so the paintings this year crossed quite a spectrum.  There were a fair amount of weeks where I just worked on one painting (instead of 7) but other than a few skipped days during the Christmas card project time period I kept up with this pretty consistently. I posted all my paintings for this on Flickr here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/chris-emerson/sets/72157625724352098/with/5801934265 – go take a look to see the whole batch.

  2. Resolution #2: “Submit an app or game to the Apple App Store” | Grade: A

    This was a long-term/long-shot considering where I was at the start of 2011. I did have some basic knowledge of the technologies available to make mobile apps then but I really hadn’t had any opportunities at work (or in my own, scarce, free time) to build an actual mobile app yet. Anyhow – as 2011 progressed I explored the mobile app development landscape further at work and in my own (did I mention scarce) free time. My initial assumption was that I would end up using PhoneGap but for various reasons I ended up using Adobe Flash instead. The main reason for this was because Adobe made great strides in 2011 in staying in the mobile app game – specifically around playing well with Apple – plus, in an ironic turn of events, Adobe actually acquired PhoneGap later in the year – which I wasn’t expecting. Anyhow, as some folks may not know, even though Apple doesn’t allow Adobe Flash to run on their mobile devices, Adobe has created a way for their developers to “export” standard Flash applications to run as legit, native Apple applications (i.e. not Flash) – so that’s why/how I was able to use Flash. Just for the record, I am still a big fan/follower of PhoneGap – and thanks to my job change in February I have had the opportunity to build a few PhoneGap mobile apps at the office this year – so I’ve been able to get some experience with both technologies.

    Earlier in the year I started a few “game” projects that were fun – but they both lacked the time and structure that those kind of games would need to be successfully pulled off – so I ended up leaving them on the cutting room floor for now. I may revisit them in the future but here are a couple screenshots showing the proof of concepts I put together for them – all of which were running on the iPad.
     

    This won’t be a shock to some, but my final “app” idea was too complicated  for the time I had left in the year to build it. So in mid-November I decided I had to simplify it to a drastic bare minimum if  I was even going to attempt to finish and submit it to the App Store before the end of the year.  I am holding out hope to still build my original app idea so I won’t say what that was, yet – but the app I built for this is called “Wooden Clock”. It’s as simple as it sounds by the way – it’s just a wooden clock that tells the time. No bells or whistles – other than a ticking sound, hourly chimes and a pendulum. Aside from the pain of letting go of my original app idea, the only challenge to getting Wooden Clock built was keeping the app running smoothly. It’s not as smooth as I’d like but I think it’s good enough for now.

    There are of course (literally) hundreds of clock apps on iPad and iPhone – so this app certainly doesn’t get huge points for originality. That said  I would say a good 75% of all those clock apps are pretty ugly (IMHO) – so I take some solace from that since I did try to make this one prettier than the average clock app. But – the goal for my resolution here has always just been to simply get an app or game submitted to the App Store so I probably shouldn’t analyze it too much – it is just a clock app. On a related note, I couldn’t justify actually charging $ for this given the already over-flooded “clock app” market – but if I add more bells and whistles eventually to it I may think about charging a buck or two for it… we’ll see.

    In standard “over the top” fashion, I whipped up a single-page website for the app – you can view it, and the eventually working download link here: http://apps.chris-emerson.net/woodenclock/. The app was submitted to the App Store a few days after Christmas – I’ll post an update or comment here if it ever gets put on the App Store or not (there’s no guarantee it will get posted… unlike the Android store heh). Special thanks to some of my pals for providing me some “pre-release” customer quotes for the website 🙂

2012 Resolutions!

  1. Resolution #1: “365 Project: Weekly or Daily iPad Paintings”

    Based on this past year it seems like my tendency is to paint one painting a week – so I figure I’ll just shape my “365 Project” to expect that. There may be times where I do one thing a day, but we’ll see. The bottom line here is that I really like painting on the iPad so I will continue doing it until I get sick of it! So here’s to another year of digital painting.

  2. Resolution #2: “Submit another app or game to the Apple App Store and Android Store”

    Pending my success at getting this year’s app into the App Store I aim to get a 2nd app completed and submitted to both the Apple App Store as well as the Android Store. Whether or not my app will be my old idea or a new one is to be determined!

  3. Placeholder for Resolution #3

    Two resolutions just seems too easy since I’ve done that for 2 years now… so I’ll come up with a 3rd soon…

Ok that’s all for now… happy (almost) new year everyone!

My New Year Resolutions for 2011

Are you allowed to talk about new year’s resolutions before Jan 1st? December 28th is close enough right? In any case here I go. But before talking about next year I’ll review how I did in 2010. As some of you might recall, I set two resolutions for 2010: “Save My Fingers” and to do a “365/Sketch-a-Day Project“…

2010 Resolutions Review

2010 Resolution #1: Save My Fingers | Grade: F-

Sadly I failed miserably on this one.  I did OK for the first couple months -I  even had one trip to get a manicure – which was weird, surreal and fascinating.  But around March I started to realize that to truly accomplish the goal I’d set for this would actually take up a decent amount of $ due to all the various nail/hand products needed for the daily “care” involved. I guess I should have expected that – but I didn’t think of that at the outset so I opted to save the $ and let this resolution go – probably ending this year in the same (bad) shape as last year.

Oh well! Maybe I’ll find some frugal finger care blog somewhere to encourage me to try again.  If nothing else – this was worth the attempt for the manicure experience alone. I hope Jane the manicure girl is doing well. 🙂

2010 Resolution #2: 365 Project: Sketch-a-Day | Grade: A+

Fortunately I succeeded with my second resolution of 2010. At first it was a bit hard to get my brain to squeeze out even a 2 minute sketch of anything at the end of the day – but I eventually got in a habit and found ways to keep the ideas going. One of the more helpful things was that Lincoln and Corgan would often draw a “picture of the day” themselves next to me – which made it a fun group thing a lot of the time. Plus when I had artist’s block – Linc would always have an idea for a sketch topic… “Hey Linc… what should I draw tonight?”.

Here’s a link to all sketches for the year – the numbering may be confusing but there should be 365 in there (after the 31st).

2011 Resolutions!

2011 Resolution #1: 365 Project: iPhone-Painting-a-Day…(or Week!)

Most of you know I really love doing paintings on my iPhone so this one seems like a natural evolution of the “sketch” project. Of course, pretty much all iPhone paintings I’ve done to date have been 5+ hours each so doing something in 5-10 minutes every day may turn out to be quite a challenge – so I’m reserving the right to downgrade this resolution to an iPhone-Painting-a-Week if the first couple weeks go badly.  I have no idea what kind of art styles/techniques this will lead to – we’ll find out I guess. Will be interesting to see if I miss the pencil/paper from 2010…

2011 Resolution #2: Submit an app or game to the Apple App Store

Gulp.

Here is the big one – the one that will take actual focus and hard work.  This will make doing a silly 5-10 minute iPhone painting a day/week seems like cakewalk. Make sure to note the wording of this one though – my goal here is to submit an app or game to the App Store. Whether it gets accepted/listed or not is not part of the deal! It’s ambitious enough to aim to get something in a state that’s worth submitting to the App Store – so as long as I submit the app or game by December 31st, 2010 I will consider this one a success.

As some of you may/may-not know – there are companies you can “sell” you idea to who will handle the actual development of the app/game for you – my goal (at least at this point) is to NOT use a service like this! I want to build the whole thing myself! (ask me that in 6 months though…)
I have a couple ideas for what I might do here but I’ll give that a month or two before committing. Of course if any of you have ideas (for an app or game) by all means chime in!

Ok that’s it. I’m sure I could come up with 5 more resolutions to aim for – but I think 2 is a nice manageable number for me. I have other goals for the year – but they’re not year-spanning in scope so they’re not going to be listed here.

I just noticed… both my resolutions are completely connected to my iPhone – funny. Just goes to show that it is STILL the best money I ever spent on an electronic device and my most precious possession…after my kids, wife, my health, life – you know… the small stuff!

Chime in if any of you have set resolutions for yourselves!