Kyle Seth Gray

Kyle Seth Gray's blog. Usually writing about tech, personal experience, but now leaning more towards health and fitness.

New Years

New Years always rolls around as the time of “New Goals!”, “New You!”, and other motivational posts on Instagram by your friends that got sucked into a pyramid scheme to help you get rid of ‘bloat’, make your hair shine, or just those dumb motivational quotes that are supposed to make everything better.

While it may be a big mental hurdle in our heads, and may not be as significant as it feels it is, the “New Year” is useful in the sense it can help you jumpstart something.

The best way to start out the new year, if you really want to join in on the mayhem, is find something in your life that you can measure. Use apps like Streaks, Pedometer++ that can help you easily quantify those goals in an easy manner. They’re quick, simple to set up, and can have reminders to push you towards reaching your goal.

The biggest reminder with the whole “New Year’s Resolution” gag is that, although you may roll your eyes at the slew of things you see people oversharing or throwing at you as ways to improve yourself, is to remember that you don’t need a position of the planet around the sun to start any new goals. Starting a habit can happen at the beginning of any month, week, or day - the most important part is being true to yourself, and reliably tracking the goals you set.


(And maybe getting a few fancy badges while you're at it. )

2017 for me

Years can be looked at as the events that happened around you rather than those that happened to you. In this, I wanted to reflect on what has happened for me this year and what positive things I encountered.

The year started out with freezing cold temperatures, but my weird dedication to going to the gym. I was becoming more and more dedicated to getting up at 5 am [yes I know, I know], eating a quick breakfast and chugging coffee, and then taking the 5:20 bus to get to UVU’s gym for the 6:30 spin class. I’ve already written loads about my Apple Watch, but that’s what was motivating me getting to the gym - closing my rings early. And we all know how that went.

While this was happening, I also kept up my outdoor cycling despite the cold weather. I didn’t use it to commute as much, because man is that just depressing to bike in the cold morning and have to use the showers at the gym to regain feeling in my hands, [I had terrible gloves], but I made sure to bike often on weekends, through snow, cold, but mostly some part sunshine filled days. I got more and more obsessed with biking, and enjoyed it a ton.

Another thing I made as a goal was to get more involved at my school. This was my last full year of university, and I felt like I hadn’t really gotten involved in school spirit, or attended too many events.

So I body painted myself.

Another bigger project I worked on this year was using ad promotion material, and getting some of the more specialized experience in the real world with digital marketing. It was fun to be all sides of the project, including corny shots of our team to use as the creative side. Our teacher really pushed us to do the whole enchilada with the marketing, from the writing, photography, editing, and actual end result ad promotion. It was loads of fun.

After finishing my last full semester, I also got a new job and ended my employment as a web developer for the university, and am now working as the web expert on an integrated marketing team. That transition went over way better than I initially thought, and I’m enjoying a ton of different aspects of my new job - everything from ad managing, website cleanup and coding, to AV work at events and brainstorming new campaigns for a healthcare clinic. It’s a job that allows me to use a lot more of skills, to even being that guy so people don’t have to hunker over to the IT department, which I see as a plus.

Rounding out the end of the year, I got my first real road bike, biked 2000 miles on it, and beat my all time 50 mile times, worked on getting more PRs and KOMs on Strava, and keeping a crazy move streak going.

This year was a fun one for me, and in my professional development, it was one of the biggest years yet. Now I’m graduated, full-time employed, and hoping to figure out how to get into good cycling competitions next year. Here’s to 2018.

Little Wrist Computer

Little Wrist Computer is an aptly given name to the Apple Watch, and it's true - it's a super computer on your wrist. James tells in this wonderfully edited episode of Welcome to Macintosh how the computer he's been wearing may as well have saved his life.

Give it a listen. It's really worth it.

Turkey Achievement

Since last year, Apple has added various event achievements to the Apple Watch - and this year they're doing the Thanksgiving Day run again!

I think this is great, and I look forward to getting it this Thursday - It's fun to share them with friends, and I know people like my family love to get them.

Turkey Trot 2017

I'm going to see if I can participate in one of my local races to get it. And it'll be fun to see when my family down in Arizona, participating in their Turkey Trot, achieve it too.


(Although I wish I could see when they achieve it. Yes, I've filed a radar. 35504519)


Matt had a great writeup over at about the whole YouTubers and early iPhone X access debacle:

The consensus, from what I can tell, is that more established and traditional voices in the tech community are rather upset that younger and lesser-known reviewers and YouTubers were given access to the phone and able to publish their reviews on Monday. The more established, mainstream crowd was able to publish on Tuesday, with most outlets having had the phone for anywhere from a week to as little as 24 hours.

The upset, although I’ve not seen it written explicitly, seems to be that the traditional crowd feel better equipped to provide a critical analysis of Apple’s new flagship, product-line altering product.

And, although that’s true, it’s worth bearing in mind that Apple’s goal isn’t for you to produce a multi-thousand word treatise about the Face ID mechanism for your audience of people who are statistically most likely to have already pre-ordered the product.

Yes, Apple going after new audiences and giving younger YouTubers (like Sara Dietschy) a chance at 1: Exclusive press and 2: Getting the message out about a new iPhone is different, but it's done for a reason. Some reviewers can really just get repetitive (see The Verge literally just saying the iPhone 8 " an iPhone!". Quality writing there.), and others focus on things that the majority of the market simply do not care about.

Literally no one cares about your hexacore snappy lizard processor.

no one.

For the most part, I'm glad that reviewers are reasonable and can see that this is a marketing strategy. It's targeting a different audience, and going after a different crowd than weirdos like us with personal blogs and RSS readers.

But I do not get the amount of saltiness from some bloggers, and tech fans, about this. It's not hurting you. Your fireball isn't going to just go out, and your bloggers aren't going to suddenly become nonexistent. The reviewers we all watch/listen to/read all got review units still.

Don't get mad that Apple is marketing properly.

If you somehow are reading this and haven't read iPhone X reviews, Nicole Nguyen at Buzzfeed, Matthew Panzarino of TechCrunch, and Sara Dietschy all had great reviews.

And you know what?

NONE of them mentioned the arrangement of pixels on the iPhone X


Thanks Apple for giving real people who do things besides reviewing tech early access to the iPhone X.

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