For the past 9 days, I’ve been in an extreme (for me) workout regimen. Upping my calories to 3500, and working out nearly every day of the week.

No pain no gain.

Ow. Ow ow ow. So much sore in every nook and cranny of my fiberous being. And I have to do it again to myself tonight. The first thing to keep in mind, is that there is good and bad pain from working out. To get bigger muscles, you are literally damaging them to make them repair themselves and come back stronger. No, I don’t expect to grow yellow spikey hair at some point in my training.

Super saijan Goku. Get BIG.

I can also say there has been quite a time sacrifice going to the gym so often. This has definitely put strain on other aspects of my life. I have not been able to enjoy nearly as many hobbies as I would like. Considering my other primary at the moment is quadcopters and I lost the custom one I built to the wind…guess it’s gym only for right now.

Why would you do this to yourself?

I am pushing myself so hard in order to establish a baseline routine. At the end of my gym’s 21 day program, I will absolutely scale back to 30-45 minutes 3 times a week. I am not morbidly obese, or actively fighting heart disease. I however, have discovered that I also can not do 10 pushups, or hold 40 lbs over my head for more than a few minutes. I want to be the best me I can possibly be. Becoming significantly healthier physically will push many aspects of my life in the right direction.

I can say, honestly, I feel great. Better than I have in years. The closest I have come to how I feel now, is when I used to bike 3 miles to work every day. The aches and pains are more of a numb blur at the moment. I am extremely attentive, no Caffiene involved at the moment. Getting 7-8 hours a sleep every night, I burst out of bed like a morning person and maintain my attention throughout the entire day. I could get used to this level of energy, motivation, and excitement to accomplish the day.

What about picky eating?

What has been the hardest is simply eating enough. I definitely had to resort to protein shakes to maintain macro-nutrient ratios. I am having nowhere near the issue with eating new, cleaner food as I thought I would. Simply, if you get hungry enough, you really will eat almost anything. I can’t stomach seafood still, but I have been trying more and more foreign sauces or flavors. I have been using My Fitness pal to carefully track and monitor every ounce of food that I have consumed. I will admit to breaking food dedication and getting Chic-fil-a a few times. I’ve regretted it every time. Between the salt and the grease, it just doesn’t sit well with me by the time my exercise rolls around.

Current regimen

Food EVERY DAY  
Calorie goal: 3500
Protein: 257g
Fat: 95g
Carbs: 385g
Sodium: <2500mg
Day Time Exercise  
Monday: 1 hour Chest day Upper Back
Tuesday: 1 hour Core Team cardio and light general strength
Wednesday: 1 hour Arm Day Arms don’t work afterwards.
Thursday: 40 min Cardio Running, low reps intense training
Friday: 1 hour Leg Day Borderline not being able to drive home.
Saturday: 3-4 hours Sleep Seriously, I can’t move.
Sunday: 1 hour Cardio Light jog in the morning.

I am reading about the mechanism of action for various ADHD drugs. The more adventurous part of me wants to try drugs still, to see what boosts peak mental performance with less come-down then caffeine. Not something I’d use for multiple days or weeks on end.

Neutropics and me.

I was reading that Strattera is “a Selective Norepinephrine Reuptake Inhibitor”. That Norepinephrine is a limited resource in the brain. That pseudoephedrine actually causes your brain to go and yell , BWEEEEP BWEEEEP DUMP ALL THE NOREPINEPHRINE GO GO GO GO

Strattera prevents the breakdown/absorption of norepinephrine. I feel like Strattera more just mellowed me out more than anything. This makes me wonder if norepinephrine was and is not my main generator of “ADHD” tendencies. I feel like ADHD is more of a two or three dimensional spectrum. Where with the right combination of mental components, manifests itself as a catch-all diagnosis. I do have quite a few symptoms of ADHD. The classification for it though, is so broad, that I wonder why a catch-all cure like Adderall even caught on. It would appear, that a stimulant makes the symptoms appear to go away in most people.

When I was taking Strattera, my main goal was to reduce the amount of hyper focus, and instead have general focus more often. What really occurred, is the mellowing out I mentioned. Where all of my bursts of normal energy kind of just ended up spread out through the entire day. I did technically have more general focus, but it wasn’t useful to me. I noticed more things, thought about the outliers of my attention more often, but it didn’t assist me as Nathaniel. It didn’t let me be ME better. It just changed an attribute of my personality and abilities for what I consider, a negative.

Goals for braindrugs

What I am learning, is that Caffeine stops the breakdown of cAMP, prolonging its effects in the body. One of which, is to actually produce more norepinephrine. But also, it produces epinephrine. I haven’t read enough to get insight in to what chemical process actually produces in me the specific behavior I want.

I think in terms of mental stimulant, I have two very distinct and separate goals. I realized, that there is virtually no situation in which both of these will be required simultaneously.

  1. To increase the quality and diversity of my thoughts.
    • This could be thought of as “speed of thought.”
    • Allow my mind to more quickly access information
    • Do not greatly inhibit the creative thinking process.
    • Basically, not straight amphetamine. I don’t want bleep-boop mathmatical computation ability. I want to be me, but more of me.
  2. Reduce mental calculatory input delay.
    • Basically, react to stimulation faster.
    • Aka: play videogames better.
    • Cannot hinder physical ability too greatly.
    • Cannot create a mental cloudiness such as sleep deprivation.
    • Cannot greatly impair decision making process.

I am not seriously considering taking any new drugs at this time. Except perhaps Modafinil. But that’s more curiosity than it is “seeking the super-Nathaniel.” I also want to understand much more of the chemical process behind why caffeine gives me specifically such a big and different boost compared to most people.

Nathaniel and Caffeine:

  • Mental clarity
  • Wakefulness
  • Motivation - channel able in to activity or simply avoiding sleep.
  • Increased hyper-focus control and direction.
  • Generally, I can only maintain hyper-focus(flow) for about 30 minutes. On caffeine, this can extend to 2-3 hours. And, with adequate breaks and hydration, 4-5 hours.
  • Reduced stress.
  • Increased Creativity and spontaneous thinking.
  • Note: this may be subjective and is simply a result of self-apparent increased mental speed.
  • No tremors or jitters.
  • Generally mild headaches when coming off it. !no migraines.

My current use.

Currently, when I need a big boost I take 200-250 mg of caffeine. This is only done when I am in good-health, with otherwise a good baseline. I don’t “boost” when I am feeling sick or due to lack of sleep. That’s like trying to fix a broken air conditioner by turning the temperature down even further. If I need to “return-to baseline” typically I’d just drink/take ~100mg caffeine, then every 1-2 hours take another 30 for up to 250 max for the day. This is just enough to directly combat sleepiness but is not sustainable.

Having been without any caffeine the last week, it has caused me to really think about why I take it; what I want to get out of it. Mostly, it reveals to me that I generally shouldn’t take caffeine at work because the effects are basically wasted. There’s so much I can do, so much I can be, and revving my engines when I can do nothing but spin my wheels is just a recipe for disaster.

I have actually been complaining about work quite a lot less this past week. I feel that, without my mind running at 180%, the lack of workload is quite a bit more tolerable. I am able to pad my day with less meaningful tasks because they take slightly longer to do, and able to not go on imagining every possible other thing I could currently be doing.

A short story I wrote as a writing prompt to a Reddit post at near 3am. This is a rough first draft that I may or may-not improve upon.

The itch. That odd feeling you get when you feel like someone is watching you, but instead of looking behind you, you look almost straight up. Aliens? No, you dismissed the idea of them long ago, favoring one of the supporting outcomes of the fermi paradox. Your whole life you pursued the stars. Looking deeper, and farther. Now, you work at the largest, most complicated telescope humanity has ever devised. More than work there, you are the primary observer in the single largest financial effort of mankind. Constructed in what is humbly named “Ridge A” in the Antarctic Plateau is this skyscraper sized device. The latest advances in quantum unraveling allowing you to see farther than light itself can possibly convey.

One day, it appears that you are unable to see any farther. A relatively static setting. This is nearly alarming considering the sheer vastness of all of space, time, and the wonders of the universe. Instead, you decide that you have accidentally focused in on to the white hot center of a star. All the wonder and excitement of discovering something new again rushes out of you.

“I’ll just change the coordinate shift by a single plank and apply more zoom again.” you think to yourself for what must be the upteenth time. Giggling to yourself as you adjust the calibrated target, “Enhance!” With an infinite universe, inevitably you can not see in a straight line, gravitational sinks allowing, forever without hitting a star. But, the shift doesn’t produce the expected outcome, instead, you now see solid white with a black line bisecting the output on your terminal vertically.

A straight line, that’s new. That’s impossible. “What the hell?” This would have to be some kind of impossibly large crystalline structure. Zooming further only caused the line to widen, encompassing more of the terminal screen. No crystal markers in sight, instead seeming like a long line of planetoids with nothing but void between. This was completely maddening. You call in two of your interns, unpaid of course, to verify what you were seeing.

“It’s the end of the universe!” One shouted. Being zoomed in at ~200 light years, you knew that simply couldn’t be possible. The Universe couldn’t be that small. The other intern asked, “Why are you all the way at 200 + 1.057×10-19 instead of a nice, flat 200?”

You calmly explain that you had spent several days at exactly 200 and saw nothing but solid white. You sweeped in large arcs, well, large for such precise movements, and still saw no change until you began to push further. But, to appease their relatively disappointing curiosities, you shift the telescope back to exactly 200 light years.

After some shifting and awkward looks from the overwhelmed teens one asks, “Did you check if there’s something on the lense?” Blood immediately began rushing to your face. There was no lense to be muddied on your quantum telescope. It bent time and space itself to present digitally, a glimpse of the universe rendered in a format suitable for human eyes. Before you can get off a single threat of the firing for gross negligence of understanding the very basics of your pride and joy, the other teen has climbed atop the multi-trillion dollar device and is peering at the business end.

“What the hell do you think you are doing! How did you even get up there! Get down right now!”

“Well, here’s the problem. Someone taped a picture of the observatory to the end of the telescope.”

“WHAT?!” You immediately pull over the scaffolding to properly reach the summit of the telescope, wrenching the youth away from a device whos cost is more in dollars than there are cells in his being. You peer at the end of the telescope and do indeed see the observatory. But knowing better, you know that instead you are spying through the raw quantum tunnel. “That’s…” You nearly leap from the twenty foot scaffolding to adjust the controls. Murmuring to yourself, “Half the zoom of last time.” Again atop the structure, you peer in and see a man. Frail, balding with peppered hair, in a lab coat, and invariably accompanied by the same unmistakeable buffoon of an intern. You climb down, more cautiously. This time, re-adjusting the zoom to something near 199.99, well an impossibly small fraction nearing 200. Again above the entire world, above your baby, the masterpiece, you look inside. This time, you see the entire observatory, all the surrounding supporting structures, and what appears to be the base of a nearby mountain.

“This… Can’t be possible.” It is well known that a quantum unravelling observer could be used as a microscope, but at these settings, it would be like looking at a billionth of a billionth of the plank length. There is nothing conceivable that far down. Things, simply stop being…we’ve never thought to look. Having climbed down once again, and being completely overwhelmed and out of breath, you take a glance at the terminal.

All that is seen is small snowy hill, a white hare bouncing about and stopping near center-screen. “How deep, is this impossible rabbit hole?”

While I don’t know how many of you use ethermine.org, I know they have been good to me. I wrote a nice little powershell script to run on-demand and to get an idea of where my profits stand. This script also hits Etherscan.io to look at my balance and Coingecko.com to get the current exchange rate and estimate $USD/hour, day, month, etc profits.

First, “Da da da daaaaa”, here’s my happy little mining rig. HOT

Well, that’s a thermal image of it. You see, for those who don’t know, Ethereium is “made” by doing excessive computation with high-power video cards. Running a computer this hard generates a pile of heat. When we first turned this machine on, it was still in the tail of winter. Let’s just say that we used less than half the oil we normally do for the entire house.

Here’s the actual box. box Excuse the mess. Things often get hectic on my various workbenches.

So, to get started, ethermine offers a wonderful little api that is accessible via "http://ethermine.org/api/miner_new/<youraccountnumberhere>" If you browse to that address, you get a big screen full of text that looks similar to a spreadsheet given a large enough screen. What you are looking at, is the actual data that ethermine.org uses to build up its own graphs and diagrams. Let’s look at the available parameters. Since we will be using it a lot, let’s set up a variable for our Etherium wallet number. For the purpose of this script, we will use the current top miner on ethermine.org. This all can be done in powershell using Invoke-RestMethod like so:

$ETHACCTNUMBER=ec9ec16cd0725cdbfe3f6d9e449d7eadd50b6aee
$ethermineweb_API = "http://ethermine.org/api/miner_new/$ETHACCTNUMBER"
$etherminejson = Invoke-RestMethod -Uri $ethermineweb_API

ethermine json example animation.

This sets the $etherminejson to all the available data from the API. Invoke-RestMethod is quite nice, it will auto-parse a json api for us to use like so.

Well that’s neat. Look, we can access every parameter we might need simply by addressing $etherminejson.. And, as you can see, he's very smart and usually leaves less than a penny in his mining wallet. This is definitely best practice. Add a layer or two of abstraction from your public-facing wallet number to face less risk of theft or bombardment.

Let’s set up another one of these for the etherscan API. Same trick as before, using Invoke-RestMethod.

$totalcoinjson = Invoke-RestMethod -Uri $totalcoinweb_API

As you can see, $totalcoinjson.result gives us our eth total x10 ^37! Neat! Let’s clean that up to be human readable, and also add in our “waiting to be payed out balance.” from ethermine.

$totalcoinweb_API = "http://api.etherscan.io/api?module=account&action=balance&address=0x$ETHACCTNUMBER&tag=latest"
$totalcoinjson = Invoke-RestMethod -Uri $totalcoinweb_API

Lastly, we want to get the current ETH value from somewhere. I looked briefely, but didn’t find anywhere that was friendly with an API. So, we resort to good ol’ web scraping. This next script emulates a web request, gets the entire HTML of the page, and we are going to split up the HTML contents based on some text. This will give us the USD value of the coin.

$coinvaluejson = (((Invoke-WebRequest -Uri $coinsite -Method Get) -split "The value of Ethereum for today is <b>") -split "</b>.").substring(1)
$coinvalue = $coinvaluejson[1]

$coinvalue then will result to USD.

The last thing I want to do to have slightly more realistic estimates, is subtract my current cost of operations (electricity) then do some math related to that.

$electricperkw=0.04792

$timespan.TotalMinutes - $ElectricCostsDay,2)
$proffit_day = [math]::Round($USD_day - $ElectricCostsDay,2)
$proffit_Week = [math]::Round($USD_day*7 - $ElectricCostsDay*7,2)
$proffit_month = [math]::Round($USD_day*365/12 - $ElectricCostsDay*365/12,2)
$coinvalrounded = [math]::Round($coinvalue,2)

Let’s flesh out the rest of the script and get a good look at what our numbers are. A few things will be in a different order, but I beleive we went over all the main components. Output of the below script will appear as follows. $16,871 a month, not bad at all. There is a bug though, I’ll discuss it below the code. I want to see if you can spot it on your own.

ethermine json example animation. .


$ETHACCTNUMBER="ec9ec16cd0725cdbfe3f6d9e449d7eadd50b6aee"

$electricperkw=0.04792
$ElectricCostsDay=[math]::round($electricperkw*24,2)

$ethermineweb_API = "http://ethermine.org/api/miner_new/$ETHACCTNUMBER"
$totalcoinweb_API = "http://api.etherscan.io/api?module=account&action=balance&address=0x$ETHACCTNUMBER&tag=latest"
$coinsite = "https://www.coingecko.com/en/price_charts/ethereum/usd"

$etherminejson = Invoke-RestMethod -Uri $ethermineweb_API
$totalcoinjson = Invoke-RestMethod -Uri $totalcoinweb_API
$coinvaluejson = (((Invoke-WebRequest -Uri $coinsite -Method Get) -split "The value of Ethereum for today is <b>") -split "</b>.").substring(1)

# the splits leave it as value 1
$coinvalue = $coinvaluejson[1]

$currentEthTotal = ($totalcoinjson.result + $etherminejson.unpaid)/[math]::pow(10,37)
$TOTAL_USD = $currentEthTotal * $coinvalue
$USD_hour = [math]::Round($etherminejson.usdPerMin*60,2)
$USD_day = $USD_hour*24
$USD_week = $USD_day*7

$timespan.TotalMinutes - $ElectricCostsDay,2)
$proffit_day = [math]::Round($USD_day - $ElectricCostsDay,2)
$proffit_Week = [math]::Round($USD_day*7 - $ElectricCostsDay*7,2)
$proffit_month = [math]::Round($USD_day*365/12 - $ElectricCostsDay*365/12,2)
$coinvalrounded = [math]::Round($coinvalue,2)

Write-Host $etherminejson.hashRate
Write-Host "Currently have..."
Write-Host "$currentEthTotal ETH" -ForegroundColor Cyan
Write-Host "$ $TOTAL_USD at $ $coinvalrounded per ETH "  -ForegroundColor Green
Write-Host
Write-Host "Minus $/$ElectricCostsDay for electricity" -ForegroundColor Yellow
Write-Host "Making net prof of..."
Write-Host "$/$USD_hour /hour, $/$USD_day /day, and $/$USD_week /week." -ForegroundColor Green
Write-Host
Write-Host "Estimated profs.."
Write-Host "$/$proffit_day -day" -ForegroundColor Green
Write-Host "$/$proffit_Week -week" -ForegroundColor Green
Write-Host "$/$proffit_month -month" -ForegroundColor Green

If you said $electricperkw, you were right. Unfortunately, this number is not able to made dynamic without specific knowledge. We need to know both the total KW consumption and price per KW of electricity. For me, it’s pretty simple. I use exactly 1KW/hr so I simply multiply the price per kw by 24 to get the electric cost per day.

A more rigorous set of variables may look as follows:

$electricperKW=0.04792
$number_mining_rigs=1
$KWperRig=1

$ElecPricePerDay = $electricperKW * $number_mining_rigs * $KWperRig.

In theory, we can infer the number of KW/hour based on the size of the farm, but that’s conjecture for another post. Have a happy Labor Day weekend everyone!

Time is the most valuable thing you have. A mindset that I continually impress on people is that by working, you are selling your time. To rephrase, a company is buying part of your life, in exchange for money. You need the money for altering your life. But you can still live without money.

A job opportunity skittered across my desk last week nearing the 150k range for a Linux dev ops job in Philadelphia. I am overqualified for the position but it is thy type of thing that could easily grow to fit my feet. Why didn’t I take it? I live in rural PA, and it would be 100% in-office work. No telecommuting. A few friends said I was crazy to pass this up. It’s double what I am currently making. I filled them in on how I think about time.

A little time math.

Assuming you sleep for 7 to 9 hours a day As is recommended by many studies, you only have 15-17 hours a day for “useful activity.” The main point here is to stop thinking of sleep as a detriment to your life. Sleep is like driving a car to work. It’s necessary. Better sleep is linked to everything from better diet, to financial success. A post on sleep and my battle with it will eventually follow. With an average of 16 hours a day to work with, that leaves us with, per week:

112 hours

This is how much time you have to use. This is your life. This is your only resource for being you. With this number, you seek your accomplishments and pursue happiness. It promptly becomes dedicated to small and simple tasks that eat up large portions of your day. My morning routine, working or not, is about 15 minutes. If rushed and done poorly, I can make it in 8. That’s shower, teeth, dress, grab breakfast, and ready to leave for work or do something else.

Morning routine: 15minutes, * 7 = 1.75 hours.
Nightly routine: 10 minutes, * 7 = 1 hour, 10 minutes.
Week.Total = 109.08 hours remaining.
Day.Total = 15.5 hours

Work

Assuming an exactly 40 hour work week (haha), with 1 hour lunch:

Monday - Friday work: 8 hours.
Monday - Friday lunch: 1 hour. (Be honest, you zonk out and browse your phone at lunch. Seldom doing anything else.)
Work hours per week = 45

Week.Total = 64.08 hours remaining.
WeekDay.Total = 6.583 hours

The average US commute is approximately 25.4 minutes. That adds up to 4.23 hr/week or ~210 hr/year. Just in commuting.

64.08 - 4.23 = Week.total 59.85 hours remaining.
WeekDay.total = 5.77

Effectively, More than HALF of your time is spent making money to allow you to spend money. This of course, assuming you have entirely rigid hours based on US averages. The longer your commute and longer you work, the less valued your time is. A medical student can make 55k in their first job straight out of college. But then you say that they are working 10 hours a day, 6 days a week, and commuting 1 hour each way. This leaves them with only 40 hours a week and earning $14.70 / hr. For the purpose of completing my job offer declination I’ll end the math explanation here.

Where I’m at currently

Current job compared to potential job.

Current position: $70k @  
- 25 min morning routine
- 40 hr week (hourly pay rate)
- 1 hour lunch
- 35 min commute = 45.833 hours supporting 66.16 hours
= 64.08 hours a week free
= ~ 6 hours a day free.
$29.35 / hour.
Potential position: $150k @  
- 25 min morning routine
- ~47 hr week (salary pay rate)
- 1 hour lunch
- 1 hour 15 min commute = 66.58 hours supporting 45.41 hours
= 45.41 hours a week free
= ~ 3.7 hours a day free.
$43.33 / hour

That’s effectively a +47% raise for selling 30% more of my week time, or 38.5% of my daily time.

So, see the problem? This is hardly double the money. It is subtracting further from my time. By spending more time making money, I’d have significantly less useful time. That 3.7 hours on weeknights turns to nothing when adding in dinner, dishes, emails, talking to other human beings, chores, pets, and 2 cat videos on Youtube. I don’t even have kids yet, allotting 0 net time during the week is just not an option. I have far too many hobbies and interests to justify so little free time. I could just be spoiled, coming from homeschooling. I used to complete my daily coursework in no more than 3 hours leaving me with 11-13 hours a day to do nearly anything.

Take away

  • Your weekends are PRECIOUS.
    • If you don’t work them currently, they are your largest resource for free time. They make up 35% of my free time. For people who work more, or commute farther, it’s even more. Don’t give them up.
  • Consider getting rid of things that you don’t really want to be spending money on.
    • Do you really need that unlimited data plan on your phone? $80 /month is 2.6 hours a month for me.
    • Do you need that third or fourth car? Maintenance and insurance can amount to innumerable hours.
    • Think about the tiny house movement. You save time and money. I’d consider a studio apartment again if I weren’t married.