Wednesday, September 30, 2015

How to Turn the Page (on Life)

I'm not sure there is a wrong way.
This week, I learned that I will be entering a new chapter in my life. For those of you who are following me on social media, you will probably already be aware that I found out that my contract at NSERC, where I've been working for the last 11 months or so, will be ending come October 9th. That means that as of right now, I have a little over one week left to find work to replace that job.

Obviously, there are a number of negative ways I could choose to look at this. It would probably be very easy to sit back and let the bad news occupy my mind and bring down my mood. But I'm not going to do that. I've been here before. Since I left school in 2011, I've been unemployed 3 times, the longest time for 6 months (most of that by choice). The work I've done since I left school only vaguely relates to the work I am doing since I finished my degree.

Mostly, the reason I'm not worrying about new ventures is that things are going REALLY well in my life overall. Despite this looming potential unemployment, my life is mostly looking way up, which is something I'm really happy about. I just got married to the girl of my friggen dreams, I've lost almost 20 pounds since the beginning of July, I've got a large number of very satisfying hobby projects, and I have an amazing network of friends who have been incredibly supportive of everything I do.

I was very briefly hesitant to talk about my soon-to-be unemployment as publicly as I have, but in the many years since I basically became an open book to the world socially, my life has only gotten way better. And the reaction and help I've gotten from friends, colleagues, family and many other people is really quite touching. Once you tweet your weight to the world, directing them to a website where anybody can see what you've weighed for the last 30 days, there's really no reason to keep anything too secret.

Oddly (though maybe I shouldn't be surprised), the main question I get when people want to help me look for a job is "What kind of work are you looking for?". I think this is a weird question mainly because I don't really think too much about it. I want to work, I want to make a living and I want to do something I love. I really like media (video, audio and writing), the internet, technology, and science. I'm getting to the point where work I do in those fields can be put on my resume as real experience, something I definitely didn't see happening just a couple of years ago.

I've talked before about how wonderful if would be if Canada instituted a basic income for its citizens, because more than anything what I want to be able to do is to be creative. I want to share my experiences and knowledge with people who want to learn and try new things. I want to open minds. I've been thinking for a very long time about doing a big project where I get to do things like this on a regular basis, but for that today I really do need a day job where I make enough to support what I'd like to do for the other big part of my life.

However, even considering all of this, the biggest priority for me, and the reason why I'm so keen to get a new job as soon as possible, is that I want to start a family. I'm not in a rush to do that, but I do want to start sooner rather than later. And, seeing as how my wife and I are responsible and financially prudent, we'd rather wait until there are two sources of secure income in our lives before moving forward with that. And that is the most frustrating part of all of this. I just want to express my ideas and thoughts in a positive, constructive way and make the world a better place, and pass those traits along to the next generation of humans. But first, I need someone to take a chance on me.

It's worth it.

If you know of any job openings or places that might be hiring, especially those looking for young people who are ready to learn and looking to make a difference in the world, please let me know. You can send me email at me@robattrell.com.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

What's my weight again?

Future Chat is on hiatus this week, while Mike schmoozes with Disney characters in Orlando, but that doesn't mean there isn't a lot to announce this week!

I've decided to take my health changes even more seriously, and give you real-time (daily) access to how my health changes are impacting my weight. I've never done anything like this before, and it might go terribly, but here we go...
Click through the image (or here) to get straight to the live version!
I've created a special page so if you're interested in my weight loss progress, you can follow along. Feel free to leave best wishes, or heckle me if I eat way too much on a given weekend. Go check it out!

It's a big week for me and my friends, Ottawhat is launching a brand new initiative! We're calling it Ottawhat News, and it involves us taking a look at the lighter side of news in and around Ottawa. I really hope you like it, and you can learn more here. You can also check out the first story, by our own Keegan On, below:

Deer Shot in Greenbelt, Refuses to Cooperate with Police

Also, don't miss the new episode of Ottawhat:

This week on the show, we spoke to Jessica Heuther from Ottawa Geek Market. She told us all about the event, going on during October 3rd and 4th at the Nepean Sportsplex. Jessica also works with Carnival Diablo, Canada's only* carnival sideshow...
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Thursday, September 10, 2015

How to make slow and steady progress

People ask me from time to time these days: "Rob, do you think you will regret keeping people updated on your weight from week to week?". To those people, I say "Maybe...but if it stops changing in a healthy direction, I'll probably just stop talking about it." For the time being though, my not so diet is going really well! Last weekend hit a small speedbump, but it seems to be back on track now.
More importantly, riding my bike to work every day has made me FEEL a lot better!
In addition to biking to and from work, I also did a 30 km bike ride on Saturday, followed by eating WAY too much on Sunday. Being active on a regular basis and not eating more than I need to has been extremely beneficial when it comes to feeling and looking better!

Check out the shows we put up on UnwindMedia.com this week below:

On this episode, we chatted with Mrigank Shail. He's a doctor fresh out of med school who's been all over the world studying and trying to better the world...
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On this week's show, we talk data plans, smartening your old appliances, and the next steps for Uber. Stay tuned for the after-show (1:35:00 or so), where...
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Thursday, September 3, 2015

Milestones! Gains! Losses!

That's a lot of views (I'm just one man)!
It's been far too long since I last wrote something on here, and given that a whole heck of a lot has happened in the last month! First up, around the time of the writing of this post, my blog is going to pass another base 10 milestone, racking up a total of 50000 views! This isn't a big milestone, but I still consider myself as just getting started, so I'm pretty pleased with it.

As well, in a follow up to my piece about weight loss/overall health, I'm pleased to announce that although my wedding and three-week vacation caused me to gain back a significant amount of the weight I had lost, as of today I will get back to a new all-time** low weight (**least I've weighed in over 2 years). I have been working really hard, and I wouldn't have been able to get to where I am now without my bike, my Soylent, and the willpower to not go nuts eating snack foods. I've also effectively eliminated traditional meals from my diet, relying on snacking and smaller portions throughout the day, which has also been nice for me.
During your wedding/honeymoon, you may experience mysterious weight gain paired with a complete loss of data.
Finally, I went almost a month without recording a single podcast, but I've been back at work on them now (Ottawhat did have an episode every week while I was on my honeymoon though, so you'll have to go and catch up on those). Last week on Ottawhat, we interviewed my beautiful new wife, Julia, and Mike and I have been getting into some great conversations on Future Chat. On Ottawhat this week, we talked to the owner and manager (2 people) of a local 1-screen cinema, the Mayfair. It was a really great conversation and you should go and check out their podcast too! Links to the episodes can be found below:

This week on the show, we met with Josh and Mel from the Mayfair Theatre. These diehard movie buffs told us all about the origins of the theatre, why they...
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On this week's show, we agree non-Celiac gluten sensitivity probably isn't a real thing, electric, self-driving cars will be all over our roads soon, and...
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