Data is Beautiful: My Simpsons shitposting over it’s second year

I can’t believe that February 2nd has passed and it has now been 2 full years of making Simpsons shitposts. Because I’ve got so many ideas bouncing around in my head, and MS paint is a god send, I found that most of this blog has now been overtaken by them. For that I am truly sorry. Last year I made a graph of what my Reddit net upvotes looked like out of curiosity, and did a bit of a write up on the subject of making them for one year. I’m not going to regurgitate that post but rather continue from there so I recommend reading that first post here if you’re interested on any sort of backstory.

Much over the course of the second year of making Simpsons Shitposts has remained the same though, I still have not found any sort of formula for what works or what does not, which I again consider a good thing. I suppose the key change is I’ve spread to a new platform for posting them. I tried to see how I could post them on Instagram, but I was unable to find a satisfactory method and gave up. I revisited the idea by going with the slideshow method which seems to work. I’ve gained a bit of a following after a fair bit of likes. I’ve even seen some of the biggest Instagram Simpsons Shitposting accounts take some of my originals (probably ones from Reddit that got quite high upvotes though) and repost them of their accounts. Ultimately I don’t really care if they do, but I wish they would give me credit. Oh well.

Looking at the graph below, we have to take into account that since the first graph, the number of subscribers has nearly doubled, from about 34,000 to 59,000 which is a major factor for the higher average for year two (+55% from year 1).

In addition to the graph, here are some fun statistics. Ok they may not be fun but here they are anyways. I wanted to practice in Adobe Illustrator and make some fancy info graphic about them but I got lazy. It’s now already 9 days after February 2nd and I don’t want to delay it anymore so here’s the simple table.

So does this trend mean this entire blog will slowly become nothing but Simpsons Shitposts? Not really, I plan to expand into Futurama shitposts too. Ok maybe not. But this blog will not become just Simpsons shit, in fact quite the opposite. I’ve found that making such frequent shitposts has hindered progress of my other creative projects I’d like to put together. I plan to put the brakes on the shitposts, well not entirely, but I will pump them a bit. I’ll continue to work on them from time to time, but I plan to focus more on other stuff so you may see less of them in the coming year. If you’re a fan of them I’m sorry, if you hate them you probably don’t read this blog. Either way sorry.

On quitting smoking

smokes

With New Year’s resolutions right around the corner, I thought I’d do a little write up about one of the more common (yet often broken) resolutions made every December 31st. The one I’m talking about is quitting smoking. I’ve been a regular smoker since I was about 19 or 20 and I’ve tried a few methods to quit. Some stuck, some did not, and some worked better than expected. This past year I gave it up again and hopefully it will be the last time and would like to share what worked the best for me.

As a little background, I began smoking later in life than most. This was mostly due to reaching drinking age and heading to the bar with friends when I turned 19. It was the mid 2000s and more people smoked back then. So after some drinks and joining friends outside for a smoke at the bar (smoking indoors was banned entirely) I occasionally was given one by a friend. Eventually I craved a smoke even when I wasn’t at the bar and in time it became a regular habit. While there are certainly more negative effects than positive ones, a smoke never failed to temporarily relieve stress and it helped me through some tough times, so I never really considered quitting.

As I grew older, somewhere around the mid 2010s, I decided I wanted to quit. There were a few factors that led to this. One was the stench or it. Two was the negative physical consequences, such as throat irritation and lung capacity. Three was the threat of permanent serious physical consequences such as lung cancer. And fourth was the cost. While the adverse health effects SHOULD be the ultimate reason to quit, the driving factor for me was the money as I’m a fairly frugal person. After I began doing my personal full cycle accounting, I saw just how much it was costing me. My pack a day habit was setting me back $300 per month which is a nice $3,600 per year. So with that figure at the front of my mind I decided to attempt to quit. Since that first attempt to quit, I’ve been on and off smoking for a few years now. At one point I even quit smoking for two full years but still found myself going back to it. So below is a list of what worked and what did not.

What did not work for me:

– Cold turkey. As delicious as this method sounds, it did not work beyond a day or two. All the power to those strong willed folks that go this route, but I found that I became quit irritated and could not last long without a cigarette given the high levels of nicotine in my system. If you smoke a pack a day I do not recommend this route, but given that the price is completely free it may be worth a shot and see how you do.

– The patch and gum. I found that even the strongest patch could help me for only a week or so. I first tried the patch alone, but I ended up caving after a few days. I combined it with the gum, so that the patch kept a constant flow of nicotine and I would rely on the gum for whenever I had a major craving. I would recommend this method if you’re a light smoker but ultimately this did not help me quit for a long period of time, it did help though my reducing my smoking significantly when I was using both.

What did work for me:

– Champix/Chantix medication. I used this to quit for the two years as mentioned above. It’s a three month treatment of two pills a day and you can continue smoking until day 30. There are some side effects though that some people experience such as crazy nightmares and stomach cramps. Over time it makes you detest even the smell of a cigarette. I was lucky and did not have any side effects and was able to stop smoking completely, even though up to day 30 I smoked a pack a day. Day 31 I was at zero and stayed there for a couple of years. Highly recommend for heavy smokers provided the side effects are not severe for you, also many insurance companies (or work benefits) cover this medication so it can be free for some people.

– Vaping. My most recent method to quitting and surprisingly my favourite. The route I went with was starting with 35mg nicotine and going down a step each time I finished the bottle. Went to 24mg, then 12mg, 6mg, 3mg, and eventually nicotine free. By the time I was in my third month of vaping I was nicotine free. A big factor as to why I liked this method the best was because it gave me something the other methods couldn’t; the habit of smoking. Cold turkey, patch, gum, or medication all gave me my nicotine fix, but man did I miss taking a smoke break and going outside while at work. Also as mentioned above, the amount of nicotine you receive can be controlled closely which is a nice benefit. Vaping is also significantly cheaper than buying packs of smokes. I would highly recommend this method for light or heavy smokers.

There are other methods to quitting smoking, but I feel I can only comment on the ones that I’ve actually tried. The most important piece of advice that I can give to all smokers hoping to quit is simply keep trying. Try different methods and find what works for you. If you quit for a little while and then fall back into it, don’t take that as a negative. Focus on the fact that maybe you quit for six months and saved a lot of money during that time frame and then try quitting again when you’re ready.

I hope that this may help some smokers stick to their resolution, or perhaps it helps someone decide that now is the time to quit. Or maybe gave someone an idea on a method they haven’t tried yet. If this article helps one person quit it was worth writing. All the power to you with this resolution in 2020.

Au revoir!

I’ll see you later folks! I’m taking a much due vacation with a friend and we’re hopping across the pond to explore the French countryside. As always, I’ll have my notebook with me to jot down any ideas that may one day find their way on here. I really don’t plan to work on anything while there and actually just enjoy the sights and sounds. The most I’ll do is maybe post a bit on my Twitter but that’s all for a bit.

Happy Halloween!

Halloween has always been on of my favourite holidays. But surprisingly enough I’ve never carved a pumpkin in my life! For some reason as a kid I never had a desire to, so my folks never got one and carved it with me. And if I didn’t care carve one, my parents never got one to decorate for the holiday either as Halloween was never celebrated back in the old country. At least not back then, maybe nowadays it is though.

So I decided to give it a whirl this year, I mean as a man in my 30s it should be super easy. So I grabbed a stencil of an appropriate design; the Pokemon known as Haunter has always been one of the favourites and I figured he’d be a great fit. The stencil doesn’t seem too difficult so I got myself a decent sized pumpkin and a sharp knife from the kitchen.

Well shit I had no idea how thick a pumpkin could get, which meant I had to put considerable amount of muscle into cutting out shapes. This meant that my lines were not straight and all over the place. Ugh. Also the stencil required some fairly small and narrow cuts that might no way could make. Ugh again. So I messed up my Haunter stencil badly and to plan B I went, a traditional Jack O’Lantern face with lots of easy straight lines!

Ultimately I’m happy with it as my first pumpkin carving attempt, perhaps next year I may try something a little more complex and perhaps actually get more precise tools rather than just use the first knife I find. Also why no pictures of it with the lights on? Well, this pumpkin only had one good side, and it was messed up with the terrible Haunter attempt. The side with the face you see unfortunately had bruising on the skin. But I figured when the sun goes down it won’t be noticeable so I still decided to use it. Happy Halloween!

iPhone 7 and a Q400 propeller

It’s been a little while since I’ve posted anything (though I am working on things) so I thought I’d post this. I was going through my old files on the phone and forgot that I had taken this short video of the propeller of the Q400 I was riding on. With the shutter speed of my phone I thought it produced a mildly interesting visual effect. Sorry for the vertical video, I wasn’t really thinking at the time.