2023

I’m sitting outside at a cafe here in Mexico City drinking a flat white. I’ve mostly kicked almond milk and drink black coffee/espresso, but sometimes I indulge myself.

My past week was supposed to be about living my overly optimistic daily routines to start the new year, but I got a mild flu that’s been going around, so I passed it in a lethargic and mostly non-productive state. Maybe 2024 will be the year (just kidding I hope)…I whipped myself into shape today though re-starting all of my good habits, and feel healthy and ready to return to ( a better) normal life tomorrow. 

One of my biggest regular surprises is how long things take. I think I had nearly the same goals last year as the year before, and I made huge progress, but wasn’t always disciplined enough/needed more time to accomplish them to the level I want. So here we are again. Apologies for another navel-gazing post. I promise to talk more about some of the interesting books I’ve read and other such things in the future.

My health and fitness did improve. I lost around 10 lbs and my strength/mobility is better. I can have pretty dramatic improvements from where I am though. The only thing I’m missing is super-consistent runs of (near) perfect nutrition. I know the foods that make me look and feel good. It’s just a matter of routines and habits. I realized one of the biggest things that has thrown me off is getting sick. These past few years I’ve had more flus and issues than in any time I can remember. I’m guessing it’s because I’m in one of the biggest cities in the world at the same time with all of these virus variations popping up. Also my stomach is more sensitive as I’ve gotten older. My life gets put on hold for a week or so, I give myself permission to eat/drink whatever can help get me through it mentally, and then when I’m back to health I’m very susceptible to continuing whatever bad habits I picked up while sick. The thing for me is to just be aware of this consistent hindrance that I never see coming, and to realize I need to jump back into clean eating and living as soon as I can.

My trading operation didn’t become an empire and provide me with lifetime riches like I was hoping it would. This one wasn’t for lack of hours, focus, or effort at least. The market transitioned last year from a historic bull market, to a pretty nasty bear market. Everything I worked on was overfit to the previous years of craziness, and although it didn’t lose money, it stopped trading. I mentioned this several times throughout the year in my blog. In many ways it was fortunate for me. In the past I kept thinking about trading things like bonds, corn, oil, etc., but the amount of effort/possibility of not working didn’t make sense when random stocks/cryptos would go up 100-300% a day. I put in work, found out I needed to redo everything or make important changes, and repeated this process until present day. Now I have automated trading running 16 hours a day trading bonds, grains, currencies, natural gas, crude oil, individual equities, and equity indexes. It has algorithms trading on different time frames, and everything is integrated and will only trade one correlated thing (but several non-correlated) at a time. 

Throughout the year I kept thinking I’d focus on stocks, soybean products (gross I know, but it can be lucrative), bonds, etc. I’d turn everything off, work on whatever was hot, and inevitably it would stop being hot. Then the thing that wasn’t hot became great for trading during the period when I turned it off. I kept thinking about having everything all running together at the same time, but it was too hard. Until I decided it wouldn’t be. This past month I finally got it all going. What I thought would take a month took six. I am realizing the dream I’ve had of “trading everything”. Of course I could be trading international markets for a full twenty-four hour operation, but I’m content staying sane for now.

I was planning to transition at some point in the year (I was pretty convinced when my birthday hit in July) into more artistic/altruistic endeavors, but it didn’t end up sticking as a habit. I let my mind get consumed with the enormous trading projects. I’ve started a little streak recently of writing, meditation, and learning Spanish yet again. I’m really aiming to transition this year to more writing/some other fun things, but being realistic that I will still put in work on a regular basis with my trading. I enjoy many aspects of my trading work, but I don’t want it to be 100% of my brain-power with the rest of the day just being relaxation/obligations. It seems like a simple goal, but it’s been elusive to me in the past.

Otherwise like many people I’m excited and surprised by the new developments in machine learning with images, but especially text generation. I’m spending money subscribing to some of the apps to keep up and educate myself. I started out with a broad machine learning knowledge, but have been very honed in on a specific niche of predicting time-series (ie; what happens in the next minute) for years now. I stopped reading my AI newsletters because nothing interesting was happening, but there’s been an explosion of powerful new models and people building apps on top of them. This week I’m going to see how useful I find it in integrating it into my short-story writing process. At the very least it’s great for sensory detail. For an example I just told it to describe the park across from me right now (with three minimal spelling corrections from me):

The park across from the café is extremely busy for a Sunday morning, and it smells like a blend of fresh rain and wet dog, like the dog parks at home. The grass is very green and lush. I hear people chatting and laughing, their voices and laughter echo off the trees and bounce off the buildings. The air is cool, the sun is warm.

Pretty cool right? I look forward to experimenting more and will keep you posted. Leaving you with a few pics from the Teotihuacan Pyramids just outside Mexico City, my cat with my girlfriend, and my cat passed out on me. Wishing you all a great start to your new year!

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