Since my new years resolution this year is “No goals, only vibes” I thought it might be fun to do monthly-ish vibe checks to see what I’ve been pursuing. How fun will it be to look at all the little paths I took throughout the year. Let’s get started.

  • I was trying to be more positive in 2021, but then the insurrection on the 6th day of this year broke my streak. And Ted Cruz is my senator. What a clusterfuck. America has a lot of problems to dig out of and it seems like a long, hard road ahead. But at least a competent person is in office.
  • Re-learning music notation. I’m pitifully slow at sight reading music, going to bass clef or when the notes go well above or below the staff trips me up. I downloaded a musical note flash card app and trying to challenge myself to pull quiz myself instead of check Twitter. I quiz myself daily, but am seeing zero improvement at the piano.
  • Watching TV! I’m sorely behind the zeitgeist shows and almost got banned from my own company’s #water-cooler channel because of it. I started with Ted Lasso, which was wonderful, and am working on catching up on Mythic Quest, Wandavision, and Mandolorian Season 2.
  • Signed up for Apple Fitness+. Fitness+ meets me where I am (in my house) and aligns pretty well with what I can do (short workouts [in my house]). Worked out or did yoga 5 out of 7 days last week (in my house). The hardest part of working out is carving out time, so I’m easing my way into it.
  • I can solve a Rubik’s cube! After a year or more of solving, I took time to memorize all the formulas required to do a basic solve of a Rubik’s cube. This is what I do on calls now. Next step is learn faster formulae.
  • Researching cool office setups. My shedquarters is almost done so the next immediate step is getting the inside looking nice and conducive to productivity. I doubt I’ll succeed on having the coolest office ever, but I’ve watched a lot of videos on office setups, gear, and have started dipping into carpentry videos.

📝 On the blog, I published 4 blog posts but my kanban tells me I worked on 9 different posts over the last month. I’m kind of working on a “Sci-fi Week” series, but I may abandon that because I think it’s creating a bottleneck for me.

📖 Over on my bookshelf, I listened Humankind by Rutger Bregman and it basically questions the premise that humans are innately selfish and evil, that we are instead, innately good. I enjoyed the heavy dose of optimism so much I’ve been buying it for friends and recommend it at every opportunity. I got a third of the way through Barack Obama’s A Promised Land, but Bob Woodward’s second Trump biography Rage showed up in my library app. I’m trying to process the insurrection still, so I’ll dip into the Trump psyche for a bit and will return to Obama’s non-rage-inducing memoir after that. And I’m almost done with Ready Player Two, which isn’t good but has me hooked. It’s basically a Star Trek: TNG episode where Q shows up, but with more Nostalgia Blast™️ flavor crystals added to the end of every paragraph.

🎙️ In podcasts, we (mostly Chris) redesigned the ShopTalk site. This is going to pave the way for merch and allowing Patreons access to our new Discord. Over the month, I launched three episodes of ShopTalk (four if you count today) and one episode of Aside Quest.

⌨️ On the open source front, I attended three Open UI meetings and mostly listened to people talk about focus state. And I opened a PR to refactor my <podcast-player> custom element and have some good feedback to work through on that front.

Ending this on a sadder note, last month my step-grandmother Joyce Wilson passed away. It wasn’t entirely unexpected, the years finally caught up to her. I’ll miss her raspy smoker’s voice calling me “Junior” and telling me to slow down. I think she called all six of us step-brothers “Junior”, not just me, but it was endearing nonetheless. She welcomed me, a new step-grandchild, into her house and her family and she made summers in rural Iowa a lot more hospitable and enjoyable. Her and her late husband Evan’s legacy lives on in their children, their children’s children, and nearly thirty or so great grandchildren. Thank you for everything, Grandma Joyce.