Part 1: 3 positives over 4 years

This is a brutal manual analysis of my responses to a daily email that asks me for 3 positive things in my life. I don’t always respond to it seriously and I’m not using any crazy means to analyze this text, it takes a lot to clean data and also if you separate words apart too far, they lose their meaning. The goal is to plot this data to see if there is any noticeable correlation to any major changes in my life.

The takeaway

This was pretty much a waste of time to do, nothing really gained eg. no major revelation/insight/pattern. Also shows my lack of ability in automation/data science. Good reminder though of progress in life I guess.

The interface/tech stack

You can see above the email sends a few times. I have it where it keeps emailing me up to 5 times a day between 9 and 10 until I respond. This is using Mailgun for the emailing and a basic LAMP setup. A Raspberry Pi CRON job calls the event by a GET request. When I respond to it, Mailgun forwards my response to my own endpoint to accept that POST request with the email body. I unfortunately did not clean it up so that stuff about “respond with 3 paragraphs or less” and date-time is in the email body, I had to clean that out as well.

You can see that I have 1239 entries to go through and add up. The general idea is to give a sentence/word (if only one) a value between -1, 0, 1. I will try two graphs, a simple +1, 0, -1 distribution over time and a sum eg. if you had 3 days in a row with positive sentiment you’d have up to 9 (3 x 3). Then if it goes to negative, subtract…

Processing the data

I had to dump this out and get it into JSON somehow… due to the characters in the strings breaking JSON formatting I opted for a DOM-loop to JS object approach. The content is arranged as date: entry. So I got something like below.

Then I had to make some interface to sift through this data with a few filters (just string cleaning) to get the stuff I wanted.

A thousand entries is kind of a lot to go through manually. It will improve over time as you strip out neutral/bridge words. But as mentioned it is tough/some will be subjective. If you just said “I have a football” is that good or bad, or just a fact? Maybe it’s a gift/you’ve wanted it a long time.

Ehh… I just need to get this done… I’m going to rework the interface where it’s a set of buttons like: -3, -2, -1, 0, 1, 2, 3 and that’s how much each entry is worth. I will also utilize local storage so if I have to restart eg. have to filter some weird word out, I don’t have to start all over again.

Omg… this is gonna suck… gotta relieve through my past.

That’s my crappy upper case separation the Saa S part

We’re starting off well though 3’s generally. Yeah… this is not that accurate… there’s not always 3 things, more than 3 sentences or incomplete sentences…

Here’s an example where there’s more than 3 positive things, have to cap. This was when a JDB was suing me for a defaulted credit card.

The regex for the date string broke ugh… that’s on me I didn’t realize I changed the pattern in the future. Summing won’t work… hovering between -3 and 3 is not that interesting either.

Yes I am insane to do this manually, it is 11:37 PM now and I have 1,195 left.

Most of the answers are the same about: job, health, brain, time, future, etc… this post isn’t about positive thinking or anything. I worked my ass off, there was one time I was biking 30 miles a day for a few months because I didn’t have a car, that sucked ass. I’m not a biking person and I was riding a piece of crap Walmart bike. It was nice listening to podcasts/books though and being in nature.

This is probably where I could use this data to make a sentiment analysis model but yeah… not on my radar at this time.

Haha… got my first full time web development job May 2018. Pay increase of $20K+.

Ahh omg this is too much. I used to do data entry work I remember those days.

I mean assuming I can get 30 done a minute, should get it done in an hour right?

Aha see:

Yeah I don’t think I ever did 5 whole days back to back, I would usually get lazy and use Uber but it cost me $60 or 3 hours of work at the time.

This is hard like is the above a negative sentiment “My legs are on fire…” I mean that’s a good thing for exercise or saving money… it’s bad in terms of pain… I’ll call it negative because of time lost (3 hrs a day).

Look at this guy moving up in the world.

Yeah this is not great, you can get say 2 with 3 good things, 1 bad entry, or only 2 entries.

I’m just sitting here like why am I doing this.

I forgot about this, I used to turn my ringer off at work and turn it back on later… now it’s always off.

I forgot about this, that sucked.

There we go, use your anger, good good.

He’s self aware

Alright last one, I will stop posting images.

I remember this day… was at a car lot bought a car that’s been sitting there for who knows how long. I get a few miles down the road and it’s pouring smoke from the hood. This guy next to me is like “that’s you man” I’m like “that’s me? oh no…”. Ahh yeah that car cost me $10K+ in repairs. Also I had to switch my NY license to KS.

What’ll probably be more interesting is doing a word frequency analysis.

12:49 AM below 1000 rows.

Ahh man… sometimes it is not good to remember the past.

1:21 AM down to 791 rows… will have to do the rest “tomorrow”.

I did see I specifically said “not liking my job” in Jul 2019. And then next month accepting new job.

Haha aye, my pay increased by $30K+ here.

It is trippy re-living these past events though, remembering what you went through. I’m actually about to leave my current job soon (contract ends/also wanting to do something new). Been fat/lazy for over a year and a half now.

> Ran 710c Second PR with code/unit tests starting graybox

Ha this was new to me this heavy testing. Graybox was a manual end-to-end testing you did where you recorded the DOM events/network requests and then would be able to replay it with new code for regression testing/add to existing set of tests. Doing something similar now but with WDIO.

> Maybe first savings that will not disappear

Ha yeah… I’ve been helping out my own family for the last two years broke af.

It’s funny my job now is like just a job, not hard. I should feel lucky, but I lately have felt like I’m just going through the motions. Been working from home for over a year and a half… but there is more opportunity out there, need to grow.


I keep saying “failing at life”.


Oh that’s right, met this dude thought I made a new friend, pyramid scheme lmao.

Ooh this’ll be interesting seeing Corona come up.

Lol that’s not good. I’m double vaccinated btw got lucky had Pfizer down the road.

2:22 AM below 400 now, going to take a quick food break. My sleep pattern is shifted far forward from catching up on sleep over the weekend so I have to reset it again. One of the reasons I eventually want to work for myself so I can sleep/wake when I want to.

3:03 AM alright let’s finish it, once and for all (until Part 2)

I don’t know why I keep writing these

Omg it’s done. 3:35 AM Now I need to format this and get it into Excel.

Data data data (Radical Edward)

Let’s see if those physics labs from almost 10 years ago can help me ha. And… it doesn’t mean anything… I can’t see a pattern of any kind.

I will try doing a cumulative sum thing see if that does anything.

Yeah not sure if there’s anything here either, I can see some downward curves. In those times I was talking about: overtime working, feeling laziness, struggling at work, feeling dumb.

Side update on me

I have not done much lately because I’ve been working my full time day job and also a startup. I was flying my plane on some nice days, getting into photography more recently though. But I do want to make more stuff/write more. It’s going to be winter/will be inside mostly so I will have more time. I also have a lot of parts for projects I wanted to do but never got around to.

My plants are doing well, maybe too well.

Look at that a yellow bell pepper haha

Here’s me flying my DLG

Other random thing wanted to mention, my “Remind me” SMS app I made with Twilio is something else that I’ve been using for over 3 years. That I think has positively changed my life as my short term memory is not great.




Software developer and general technology tinkerer

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Jacob David C. Cunningham

Jacob David C. Cunningham

Software developer and general technology tinkerer

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