Evil plans

Curious about anything? Contact me at sacha@sachachua.com . Web: http://sachachua.com/evil-plans Raw file: evil-plans.org

Additional notes: http://sachachua.com/blog/2014/03/reflecting-goals-time/

Current goals

See raw file or end of document for code.



Including "Someday" goals

See raw file or end of document for code.


How do I want to represent specific goals?

Goals   goal

live an awesome life

TODO do a 5-year experiment in self-directed living

so that I can live an awesome life


Questions to resolve:

  • Would I prefer the structure of a regular career, or can I learn how to make the most of a more self-directed life?
  • Do I understand my wants and needs enough to manage my finances with reasonable safety?

More information: http://sachachua.com/blog/experiment

What could "awesome" look like?

  • Good handle on expenses, resisted lifestyle inflation
  • Expenses covered by dividends/capital gains, with a reasonable buffer for the next correction (and so that I can buy the next time stocks go on sale)
  • Be the kind of happy, loving, equanimous person I want to be
  • Icing on the cake:
    • Tickled brain from learning lots of things
    • Good karma from helping lots of people
    • Scaling up (building resources)
  • Confederates whom I know well and am in touch with

What kind of concrete actions or projects will move me towards that? What kinds of things do I want to explore?

  • E-book publishing: Easy to do once I have a clear idea of what I want to put together. I like pay-what-you-want.
  • Print publishing: Doable with LaTeX and CreateSpace.
  • Useful, organized non-fiction
  • A way for people to self-identify as tribe members (ex: e-book purchases, mailing list signups)
  • Git-tip and other microtipping?
  • See other projects in this file

DONE improve our garden in 2014

so that I can live an awesome life

This year:

  • Keep track of which plants were planted where
  • Water regularly
  • Work in the garden every 1-3 days
  • Add plenty of compost


TODO build an exercise habit

so that I can live an awesome life

tickle my brain

DONE learn Morse code for all the letters; receive at 5 WPM; transmit as slowly as needed

So that I can tickle my brain

  • [2014-03-19 Wed] Tried Morse Code Trainer on my phone. =) Learning my .- -… -.-. -..!

DONE memorize Latin declensions

Done [2014-05-07]

So that I can tickle my brain

Testing: http://www.latintests.net/grammar/nouns.php - 5 days in a row, first test 100%

  • [2014-03-30 Sun] One mistake (first declension), second declension still giving me prblems
  • [2014-03-23 Sun] 100% first declension

CANCELLED learn image processing with the Raspberry Pi

so that I can tickle my brain

Using simplecv

  • Load the images
  • Calculate the absolute difference
  • Identify the largest blob (minimum size of X)
  • Draw the path followed by the centroid of the blob
  • Figure out a better visualization for litter box monitoring

DONE Draw the goal graph based on my Org entries   emacs

CANCELLED make ABCs of Emacs

So that I can tickle my brain and share useful stuff

  • apropos
  • browse-kill-ring
  • customize / compile / calc
  • dired, debug-on-entry
  • edebug-defun, eshell
  • fastnav, ffap, fixup-whitespace
  • grep-find, gnus
  • help-with-help, helm
  • ielm
  • just-one-space
  • keyboard macros, kmacro-start-macro, kbd-macro-query
  • load-library, locate-library, list-packages
  • magit, make-indirect-buffer
  • name-last-kbd-macro
  • occur (and occur-edit-mode); org
  • package-list-packages, picture-mode
  • quick-url, query-replace-regexp-eval
  • regexp-builder, recursive-edit, recover-this-file,
  • savehist-mode, server-start, smartparens
  • tags-search, term, thumbs, tmm-menubar, type-break
  • undo-tree-visualize
  • vc-next-action, view-lossage, visual-line-mode
  • where-is, winner-mode, windmove, window-configuration-to-register
  • M-x (execute-extended-command)
  • yank-pop
  • zap-to-char

share useful stuff

TODO publish 12 free/PWYC resources   project

So that I can share useful stuff

  • Sketchnoting resources
  • No Excuses Guide to Blogging
  • Sketchnotes 2012
  • Sketchnotes 2013
  • How to learn Emacs Lisp by customizing Emacs: http://sach.ac/baby-steps-emacs-lisp - 2014-05-07
  • Baby steps guide to managing your tasks with Org: http://sach.ac/baby-steps-org-todo
  • Intermediate guide to Emacs
  • 10-week Emacs Basics course (or 12…)
    1. Mouse, copy, paste
    2. M-x
    3. Customize

CANCELLED sketchnote 10 more books

so that I can share useful stuff

DONE package Sketchnotes 2012 for print

So that I can share useful stuff

TODO get good at reporting

So that I can share useful stuff

build good karma

So that I can learn from people

Is this a true goal, or it mainly on the way to something else? Are there projects that support this instead of the other stuff?

learn from people

TODO learn Japanese

So that I can learn from people

TODO complete project I2

So that I can learn from people

DONE project F2

TODO host another 10 episodes of Emacs Chats or hangouts

So that I can learn from people and help the Emacs community grow

  1. Emacs Chat: technomancy
  2. Emacs Chat: Xah Lee
  3. Emacs Chat: Bozhidar Batsov
  4. Bodil Stokke?
  5. Steve Purcell?
  6. Stefan Monnier?
  7. John Kitchin?
  8. Reach out to the other bloggers on Planet Emacsen

TODO Set up an ongoing mentoring/coaching relationship with an Emacs coach

So that I can get more value from my time

https://www.codementor.io/sanityinc: RoR, jQuery, TDD, Emacs, Javascript https://www.codementor.io/skeeto http://emacs-doctor.com

Possible concrete goals:

  • Follow best practices in setting up my web development environment (Rails, Javascript, NodeJS, Angular); learn how to think syntactically
  • Discover what else I should be doing with Org Mode
  • Set up a solid external data and backup plan
  • Learn more about what I don't know I don't know (Hard!)
  • Get into Emacs development

DONE complete project F

So that I can learn from people

DONE host at least four episodes for the Frugal FIRE show   PROJECT

So that I can learn from people and share useful stuff


I suggested these as a way to get to know other people exploring financial independence / early retirement. I wanted to see if that was a community I resonated with.

DONE host 10 episodes of Emacs Chats [9/12]   project


So that I can learn from people and help the Emacs community grow

  1. Emacs Chat: John Wiegley
  2. Emacs Chat: Avdi Grimm (Org-mode, Ruby, etc.)
  3. Emacs Chat: Thomas Kjeldahl Nilsson
  4. Emacs Chat: Carsten Dominik
  5. Emacs Chat: Bastien Guerry
  6. Emacs Chat: Sacha Chua (with Bastien Guerry)
  7. Emacs Chat: Magnar Sveen (Emacs Rocks)
  8. Emacs Chat: Iannis Zannos
  9. Emacs Chat: Tom Marble
  10. Emacs Chat: Janis Mancevics

make better decisions

so that I can live an awesome life

TODO track and reflect on 25 non-trivial decisions/assumptions   project

So that I can make better decisions As listed in http://sachachua.com/blog/category/decision

What do I want to tweak about how I make decisions?

  1. Hacklab
  2. Experiment
  3. Openness and scale
  4. Time

TODO add more tracking tools to Quantified Awesome

so that I can make better decisions

  • Groceries
  • Recipes

get more value from my time

so that I can live an awesome life

SOMEDAY write 10 blog posts with Dragon NaturallySpeaking

so that I can get more value from my time

Hmm. I am not very good at dictating blog posts, since I write as a way of figuring things out, and I end up jumping around non-linearly. So maybe dictation will have to be more about book notes and transcripts.

  • Dictate blog posts
    • Make posts sound more natural
    • Get ideas out faster
    • Rest my hands
  • Dictate book notes
    • Rest my hands
    • Read more ergonomically

SOMEDAY write AutoHotkey script that has file actions

CANCELLED read the iMacros API

CANCELLED learn Plover steno

CANCELLED set up Selenium for automating web actions

delegate more effectively

SOMEDAY delegate 2,000 hours or $20,000 of meaningful, useful work   delegation project

So that I can delegate more effectively and build good karma

So far:

(let ((dollars 8229.45)
      (hours 486))
  (format "%d dollars - %d%%; %d hours - %d%%" 
          dollars (* (/ dollars 20000.0) 100.0)
          hours (* (/ hours 2000.0) 100.0)))

The work should:

  • move me towards my primary goals
  • help assistants improve their skills and justify better rates in the marketplace

Need to compensate for 2,166 hours as of 2014-05-16

SOMEDAY add 50 items to my process library   delegation

So that I can delegate more effectively and share useful stuff

Process library - for my virtual assistants and for other people who are interested in delegation

35 items - 70%
1. How to add blogs to Feedly
2. How to add resources to the resources page and sidebar widget
3. How to add tags to Flickr sketches
4. How to animate sketches with Autodesk Sketchbook Pro and Camtasia Studio
5. How to convert a Vimeo or YouTube video to MP3 and save it for offline listening
6. How to create a Frugal FIRE event on Google+
7. How to create a Google+ Event banner
8. How to create a Helpers Help Out event on Google+
9. How to download invoices from InvoiceTrack
10. How to draft Q&A posts based on a transcript
11. How to draft an Emacs Basics blog post
12. How to draw and implement highlighted hand-drawn icons using CSS sprites
13. How to extract the MP3 from YouTube or an MP4
14. How to file a healthcare claim for massage
15. How to identify Q&A from a transcript
16. How to import my theme into your local development environment and get ready for work
17. How to look up additional information for people
18. How to post show notes
19. How to prepare for and host a Google Hangout on Air
20. How to process audio in Audacity
21. How to process scheduling requests
22. How to request books from the library
23. How to research related posts
24. How to set up a public conversation over Google Hangouts On Air
25. How to set up a public conversation
26. How to set up a redirection URL
27. How to summarize blog posts as tweets
28. How to transcribe audio
29. How to update Flickr with blog post URLs
30. How to update QuantifiedSelf.ca blog posts with video embeds
31. How to update a blog post with an MP3
32. How to update a book through CreateSpace
33. How to update the MP3 metadata
34. How to upload an MP3 to archive.org
35. How to write a blog post

help the Emacs community grow

DONE delegate to Emacs geeks

so that I can share useful stuff and help the Emacs community grow and learn from people

  • Alex? waiting
  • Oli? waiting
  • Adam? scheduled
  • Xah?

My Philippine assistants seem more reliable when it comes to work, although they don't have the same level of skills yet. Oh well!

SOMEDAY Develop emacslife.com into beginner/enthusiast resources for Emacs   emacs project

so that I can help the Emacs community grow

What do I want to learn from working on EmacsLife?

  • Organizing questions logically, and adding links between sections
  • Writing based on an outline
  • Revising with feedback
  • Developing a smooth workflow for exporting my blog posts
    • Update monthly, perhaps?
  • Herding cats: Delegating to other geeks
  • Eventually: structuring courses, creating resources

Sketching the future:

Because of the time I've invested in working on resources for the Emacs community, I have the confidence that I can logically structure my thoughts and write technical learning-oriented books. I have a community of people happy to proof-read/beta. I have a lot of experience in creating rich media resources as well.

I have a smooth workflow for identifying topics, outlining them, organizing the topics, researching information, filling in the gaps (whether I'm writing things myself or paying other people to do so), pulling everything together, and publishing and sharing the results. This may even be self-financing. I create a useful resource of at least 10,000 words at least every 12 weeks.

This gives me great ways to:

  • Learn more about what I'm curious about
  • Organize my thoughts and identify gaps
  • Communicate clearly, approachably, and engagingly
  • Share in scalable ways

SOMEDAY create a 10-week Emacs Basics course   emacs specific project someday

So that I can help the Emacs community grow


  1. Use the mouse
  2. Call commands by name with M-x
  3. Customize and configure
  4. Learn keyboard shortcuts
  5. Learn Emacs Lisp
  6. Customize keyboard shortcuts
  7. Save time with keyboard macros
  8. Be inspired

SOMEDAY set up regular Emacs hangouts

so that I can help the Emacs community grow

Every two weeks? Every month? Need a co-host.

SOMEDAY draw 10 visual guides for learning Emacs

So that I can help the Emacs community grow

  • Beginner's guide
  • Keyboard shortcuts
  • Org mode
  • Dired
  • Managing your tasks

DONE improve my blog

So that I can share useful stuff

CANCELLED split off topic-focused views

So that I can improve my blog

SOMEDAY review 31 blogs

So that I can improve my blog

4 items - 12%
1. Engagement, sticky shares - markevans.ca
2. Fat footer, lots of structure - extension.org
3. Lots of comments - rootofgood.com
4. Sticky sidebar get started - mywifequitherjob.com

DONE read and reflect on key philosophical ideas

So that I can live an awesome life and tickle my brain

  • Thoreau (Walden): Wanting little lets you be free. Also, note about having people over.
  • Emerson (Self-Reliance): Embrace being different.
  • Borsodi: Factory life; the quantity-minded vs quality-minded. I don't agree with lots of stuff in the Ugly Civilization, though.

Old graph



(let ((count 0)
       (directory-files directory nil pattern)))
  (format "%d items - %d%%\n%s" 
          (length files)
          (/ (* 100.0 (length files)) target)
           (lambda (x)
             (setq count (1+ count))
             (format "%d. %s" count (replace-regexp-in-string strip "" x)))
(defvar include-someday nil)
(defun sacha/fill-string (string new-fill-column &optional replace-char)
  "Wrap STRING to NEW-FILL-COLUMN. Change newlines to REPLACE-CHAR."
    (insert string)
    (let ((fill-column new-fill-column))
      (fill-region (point-min) (point-max))
      (if replace-char
            (goto-char (point-min))
            (while (re-search-forward "\n" nil t)
              (replace-match replace-char t t))))

(defun sacha/org-map-goals (tag)
  "Return an alist, based on the TAG tree and \"so that I can\" link structure.
Structure: ((nodes . ((components) ...)) (edges . ((a . b) ...)))"
  (let (nodes edges)
   ;; Go through the entries
     (lambda ()
       (let ((heading (org-heading-components)))
         (unless (member (elt heading 2) (if include-someday '("DONE" "CANCELLED") '("DONE" "SOMEDAY" "CANCELLED")))
               ;; Ignore subtrees in the body
                 (org-set-property "CUSTOM_ID" (replace-regexp-in-string "[^A-Za-z0-9]" "_" (elt heading 4))))
                (if (re-search-forward
                     (concat "[\r\n]\\(" org-outline-regexp "\\)") nil t)
                    (match-beginning 1)
               (goto-char (point-min))
               (when (> (car heading) 1)
                 (setq nodes (cons heading nodes)))
               (when (re-search-forward "so that I can" nil t)
                 (while (re-search-forward org-bracket-link-regexp (line-end-position) t)
                   (setq edges (cons (cons (elt heading 4) (match-string-no-properties 1)) edges)))))))))
    (list (cons 'nodes nodes) (cons 'edges edges)))) 

(defun sacha/org-map-to-graphviz (map fill-column)
  "Convert MAP to a graphviz representation. Wrap titles at FILL-COLUMN."
   "digraph G {\n"
   "node [shape=box,fontname=\"Open Sans\",pad=1]\n"
   "edge [color=\"#CCCCCC\"]\n"
    (lambda (x)
      (format "\"%s\" -> \"%s\"" 
              (sacha/fill-string (car x) fill-column "\\n")
              (sacha/fill-string (cdr x) fill-column "\\n")))
    (cdr (assoc 'edges map))
   (mapconcat (lambda (x)
                 (if (null (elt x 2))
                     (concat "\"%s\" [style=filled, URL=\"#%s\", tooltip=\"%s\"]")
                   "\"%s\" [URL=\"#%s\", tooltip=\"%s\"]")
                 (sacha/fill-string (elt x 4) fill-column "\\n")
                 (replace-regexp-in-string "[^A-Za-z0-9]" "_" (elt x 4))
                 (elt x 4)))
              (cdr (assoc 'nodes map)) "\n")
(org-babel-execute:dot (sacha/org-map-to-graphviz (sacha/org-map-goals tag) fill-column) params)
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