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I started making this iOS game with Sprite Kit

Side benefits of jet lag + general insomnia include lots of time to learn new things. I decided it was time to learn Sprite Kit by making a game for my 2-year old to play on my iPhone. I call it “Say Shapes” – Here’s progress after 4 total hours.

Asides

  • I recently went on a vacation to some foreign lands. It gave me the opportunity to reflect on the things I love about the USA. Don't get me wrong, we had a great time and there are some great things about other countries. However, in the end, I really did long for all things American and appreciate the life I have. Here's a list of why: Free Speech We visited three very different, "first world" countries. In all three, there were stories of people being jailed and/or fined for speaking their minds openly on different issues. In the USA, we were founded on the value that no matter how annoying the message or the messenger, government suppressing free speech is unacceptable. +1 USA Fast Cellular Data During my vacation, on average, I had a maximum of 2 bars and never better than 3G data that felt like a dial up modem. Doing anything on the move had to be limited to the bare essentials. Even then, even checking email was a 5-10 minute endeavor. Even in low-coverage areas in the USA, data speed is much faster. I know there are technical explanations for this, but suffice it to say, knowing why doesn't help. Cellular data should always just work. No excuses. +1 USA Rockstar I love my favorite energy drink. I love that I can get Rockstar anywhere I visit in the USA. +1 USA Capitalism We like money in the USA and people up in the middle of the night have money like anyone else. 24 hour 7-Elevens and other convenience stores are everywhere in the USA. Not to mention, having set and posted hours on the front doors is a USA thing I love. Maybe it's just me, but I like getting things done and knowing when a store is open makes my life easier. When I get to a restaurant or retail store, getting a friendly welcome and a non-tribal/non-cultural protocol to follow establishes order and sets everyone involved at ease. Especially for us visitors who don't have the benefit of the local customs. Not astonishingly, all of the tourist shops I went to embrace all of the above and were packed with customers. +1 USA Ice The new ice-age is one were there are cubes in my glass, at least when I ask. In the USA, when I order an iced-tea or an iced coffee or an ice water…there's actually ice in the cup. +1 USA Traffic Organization In the USA, there's only one grouping of traffic going a particular direction. You don't see two lanes heading one direction with a third lane going the opposite direction splitting them straight down the middle. Yes, I lived through that and a 7 directional intersection and other insanity. It was clear that if there were rules, they could be ignored anyway because there's no way to explain it. +1 USA Breakfast The USA knows how to do breakfast right. We don't eat spaghetti, beans, fish or sauerkraut. In the USA, we like sweet and savory things for breakfast, and that's the way it should be. EVERYWHERE! NO EXCEPTIONS! Bring on the syrups, honeys, jellys, jams, preserves, sugar bowls, salsas, tabasco, ketchup and sausage gravy so I can drench my waffles, pancakes, biscuits, toast, cereal, rolls, crescents, fried chicken, sausages and eggs with it! +1 USA Drive-Ins and Drive-Thrus Getting food in your car or on the go is awesome. Having a separate line for those who don't want to dine-in only makes total and complete sense. +1 USA #
  • I'm writing this today to relay my tactics for combating insomnia. Please comment if you want to share your tactics! For years, I battled insomnia to the point where I began documenting my trial-and-error approach in an attempt to find what worked for me. Here's the list. 1.) Start a conversation with yourself by saying the following: "This is okay and human. A lot of people go through this and they didn't die or 'go insane'. Nothing bad is going to happen if I stay up all night other than being sleepy." 2.) Take a chewable vitamin-c and drink water until you have the sensation to urinate. Repeat every 4 hours all day. 3.) If you drink caffeinated beverages, stop at noon. No caffeine after noon!!! You need it out of your bloodstream by bedtime. 4.) Just before bedtime, get a notepad and make a list of all the things that are stressing you. 5.) Then make another list of all the things you have to do tomorrow. 6.) Pick up the notepad tomorrow before bed and check off your accomplishments. Repeat steps 4-5. 7.) If you're under stress, use rational thought to ask "What's the worst that would happen?" You'll quickly come the conclusion that even if you "lost" everything that unburdening yourself would actually be a blessing. 8.) Use my patented "fuck it" technique when your head is spinning with anxiety. When each negative thought of worry creeps in, say: "fuck it." Over and over and over. You'll quickly see that worry has no real power over you. 9.) Turn your negative into a positive. Find something that you can do to be productive in the middle of the night. Start writing, sewing, or whatever. Sometimes not lying down is the best thing for falling asleep. Get up and make something. Set out the materials you will need so you aren't scrounging in the middle of the night. Prepare and enjoy the quiet. 10.) Don't dismiss being artificially positive. Congratulate and compliment others as often as possible. The tide of positivity will come back to you in a big way. Oh, and a little "yay me" doesn't hurt either. 11.) Celebrate your own successes with subtle indulgence. After a good day, break your normal routine for 10-15 minutes, go to the park and swing on the swings like a little kid. Why did we ever grow up? 12.) Lying awake in the dark is hell, I know. Don't ask yourself why, instead, try to become physically tired. Get up and do 50 pushups and 50 chair squats. If you're still awake at least you're strengthening your body. 13.) Ask your doctor about trying Relacore PM. This REALLY worked for me. Maybe a little too well. I can only take this once a week because it makes me sleep too much. It lowered my feelings of stress and allowed my body to calm down enough to stay asleep for 7-8 hours. 14.) Keep a sleep calendar. Every time you get up, write down the hours you were able to sleep. 15.) See a psychologist and get over it. Probably 99 out of 100 people you know had childhood drama that now has them seeking answers as adults. This is actually a GOOD sign. Your brain knows there were problems and shelved them. EMDR - Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing is a fantastic therapy that is under-utilized IMHO. ..I've got more, but I'm tired now and going back to sleep… Zzzzzz #
  • Linode is a fantastic cloud provider. #
  • Fear is the enemy of ambition. Anger is the enemy of control. Panic is the enemy of focus. Action is the best friend of luck. #
  • sunlightjs syntax highlighting is fun and awesome. Thanks, Tommy! http://sunlightjs.com/ #

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