July review and everything coming together

August already? This year has just been a whirlwind. The alternative would be a boring year, and nope, I don’t want that.

Here’s the June review
Here’s the May review
Here’s the April review
Here’s the March review
Here’s the February review
Here’s the January review
Here’s the 2016 review

When I started writing my monthly review, it got so long that I broke it up into this and two other parts. The first two parts are on Steemit, a blogging platform that ties in blockchain stuff. Basically, the more people who like my stuff there, the more my posts become monetized.

Here’s the first post. I talk about quitting my tutoring gig and the search for a new gig, which I got three weeks later.

Here’s the second post, about my biking adventures.

It didn’t hit me until after the second day of my new gig in Gardena, that I started my new gig nearly seven years to the day I lost everything and had to return to NorCal.

Yes, I still think about it. I ‘went for it’ in 2007 and moved to Long Beach with the thought that I could make it running my own business. Nothing went right, and I lost everything. Eh, you all know the story, so I’m not going to hash it again.

Plus, people have ripped me for constantly talking about it. When you’re so down in the dumps that all you have is $31 and a half-working truck remaining, that doesn’t leave you.

It serves as the reminder for a lot of things.

So to leave a negative situation and fight to get a new gig is something I will remember.

I’m enjoying the challenge of my new gig. As mentioned in my first Steemit post, my Excel skills are being put to the test, and this serves as a good warmup ahead of the certification exam.

So, when will I take the exam?

I want to get the first paycheck from my new gig, which will be in a couple of weeks. From there, I’ll know what I can budget for. Ideally, it will be either Aug. 19 or Aug. 26.

Although I am being tested in Excel at work, the test is reportedly 100 times more difficult. Many people fail on their first attempt. I want to make sure I am completely ready for whatever comes. There are a few practice tests available, some free, others at least $40 or more. I probably will pay for the practice tests just to be sure.

This is, as of now, the biggest challenge of the month.

= = =

I don’t want to keep going without mentioning two of the meetup groups that I am a part of, Learn Teach Code and Uncoded. Without their help and guidance, I probably don’t get the gig I have.

Excel is not a language used by many in either group. But what they did that I appreciate a lot was help guide me toward that concentration.

I remember when I finished my split chart for my Capcom Pro Tour database, and I showed it to the Uncoded group. The guys were wowed by it, but one of them mentioned that I have to get paid for doing this work.

It was right after that where I started thinking about looking specifically at Excel jobs. Before that, I was looking at content writing, social media and some new media jobs. There, I didn’t get a sniff despite my 22-year history in writing/journalism (it’s something I’ve thought about a lot, that because I obviously don’t put my age on my resume, that 22 years of journalism would make many people believe I am near 50. I feel 50, but I’m not actually 50).

Most of the excel jobs came down to two categories: data entry and data analyst. I focused on data analyst because that’s the higher-paying category, and I have knowledge of sorting out data thanks to the CPT database.

Where I am I officially do data entry, but there’s a lot of excel work that goes along with it.

= = =

Before I get to the goals, I want to talk about beans. Yes, beans.

I had never gone with bagged beans before. It was always in the can. With a crock pot, why not try?

Late in the month, I cooked a pot with canned beans as usual (with ground beef, tomatoes, onions and spinach). It tasted great. The consistency of greatness is nice having gone from stove top to crock pot.

A couple of days later, I went with bagged beans, soaking them for 12 hours and then putting them in a crockpot for chili. And this tasted hella better! The best part was knowing that it didn’t taste as salty as the chili with the canned beans.

There was one bad and weird part. I tried again, soaking beans to prepare for another batch of chili. This time, I soaked the beans for nearly 24 hours. But when they were done in their cooking session, the beans were crunchy. I didn’t understand.

After cooking them again in the slow cooker, they remained crunchy. I was hella bummed. A whole pot of chili gone to waste because for some weird reason, the beans weren’t fully cooked despite being soaked for a day.

Even with that down moment, I don’t see myself going back to canned beans. I’m going to get better at preparing bagged beans for the crock pot.

Goals for the year

Let’s have a look …

— Reach at least $2000/monthly combined in the online and content marketing businesses.

Talked about this a little bit in one of the Steemit posts. I reached almost $2,000 in ‘sales’ again, but a lot of the items that were being picked up weren’t available anywhere, so again, it ended up being a lost cause. :/

I did see a trend that made me think about what I should post inside my store.

— Begin reaching out to companies looking for copy editors and get to freelancing.

Going to stop actively doing this now that I have a full-time gig and am working toward becoming an Excel teacher, but I will keep this open.

— Be the official statistician for one major esports event

Still aiming for an event at the end of the year.


— Get up to 10 miles running per session (currently at 8.5)

I didn’t run at all last month … because I was biking everywhere. And I’m going to continue biking because it’s been amazing. I should probably set a goal and attempt to go for it.


— Post on social media less and stay away from getting the Twitter/Facebook dopamine.

Tweets in June: 453
Tweets in July: 545

This is in part because Evolution happens in July, so I was stat tracking quite a bit.

I also did a mass mute of the people I follow. The result: nothing much except that more of the “Tweets people liked” and “Tweets you might have missed” started showing up more on my timeline (I fucking hate that, Twitter!)

So, I might dive deeper into muting more people.

— Get partnered on Twitch.

Last month, I talked about becoming an affiliate because that’s a more attainable goal than getting partnered, which definitely isn’t going to happen, at least this year.

I found out that getting affiliated just happens, so I could wake up one day and get the notice in my email, or I might never receive it. At this point, it’s just about streaming and being a good streamer.

— Attend one out-of-state tournament that I haven’t been to before

I don’t see how this happens this year given the new gig and what I’m going to be working on in the future. Maybe 2018.

— Read at least 10 books. My book reading in 2016 dropped BIG TIME from the previous two years, and I need to get this back up.

Just picked up “The Only Rule is it has to Work” by Ben Lindbergh and Sam Miller, two guys who use stats to build a winning baseball team. This seemed like an interesting book given it’s stats and sports, so I’m eager to dive in. Plus, I just NEED TO READ SOMETHING. I haven’t read a book in months.