This last month lasted ten months. It started with some travel to Houston (Pasadena, actually) to visit my mom. I did some solo-parenting as my wife had some planned end-of-summer travel and an unplanned funeral. In these Delta times travel brings along some low-grade stress, as our doctor friends text us that hospital beds are filling up in Austin with young people, but we got through it.

I continued to pursue some hobbies and my health. I was playing pickleball… I was doing Apple fitness workouts… I was hitting a stride as the kids went back to school and my daughter started kindergarten…


On the third day of school we got a notice that the kid that sits next to my kid tested positive for COVID-19. Stress levels rise. At-home tests, family quarantine, both kids out of school until we knew we had a negative PCR test. Everything was okay. This won’t be our last quarantine (thanks, shitty Texas governor), but a day one COVID-19 exposure at school is a special kind of shock. Big “oh no, it’s not safe” vibes. Our school has had over a dozen exposures so far and that’s disconcerting. But we know a dozen kids in the “splash zone” of an exposure, and thankfully no one so far has tested positive. The mask mandate seems to be working. Confirmed to me by the fact that the unmasked neighboring school district has half the kids but triple the positive cases.

Dan Sinker wrote an article about parenting in the pandemic that I think sums up the situation a lot of us are experiencing. We’re tired. The way I explain it, my “risk credits” are all going into my kids’ public education.

Drawing vibes

Got into watching YouTubes about 30-day challenges. There’s something about watching someone dedicate themselves to learn a new skill in a single month. One of my favorites is Kize Bae’s channel and over a handful of months she’s learned guitar, tennis, the drums (‼️), and is consistently challenging herself to extend the limits of what she can do. That’s inspiring.

In that vein, I started drawing. I watched a lot of videos from Bobbo Andonova, Mark Brunet, and old web friend Brad Colbow. My experience so far has been a lot of repetitively drawing heads, but I hope to move on to bodies one day soon.

I have a fancy iPad with a fancy iPencil and while I like the forgiveness of digital art, learning the ins-and-outs of Procreate is turning into an extra step on my journey. I’ll stick to pencil and paper for now.

I also rediscovered my broken brain. Instead of enjoying the analog process of drawing, my brain jumps to “I should make an app for learning to draw heads!” instead of… y’know… drawing heads. Jokes on me tho, I already have a drawing app! I’m sure this is some subconscious psychological effect at play; I’m attempting something I’m unskilled at, so my brain tries to parlay that activity into something familiar that I’m skilled at. I told my brain “No.” and it replied with “And an app for drawing bodies!”

Work vibes

Work-wise I wrapped up a client contract where the last three-and-a-half months were heads down crunch time. And of those three-and-a-half months, the last two I was on an island by myself. I’m spent. Probably lots to postmortem about, but I got to work with pleasant people and for that I’m thankful.

Before I dive deep into coding again, I’m going to carve out some time for a mini-learning sabbatical. I plan on running through Mastering Nuxt and finishing out Testing JavaScript. I’ve worked on three or four Nuxt projects at this point, I like it but my knowledge feels pieced together and I like to formally round out that knowledge with a comprehensive course. I’ll also be attending Nuxt Nation in the middle of the month for more Nuxt vibes. As for testing JavaScript, it’s not my strong suit and I saw some blowouts where even basic tests in place would have helped the situation.

Up next, barring any major new client contracts, I get time to work on my startup. Oh yeah, I have a startup. Still needs more time baking in the oven, but I hope to be able to share it with you soon. I think you’ll like it.

Vibe summary

  • 📖 Reading: Finished one book this month.
    • Moonwalking with Einstein: A book about creating memory palaces so you can become a memory champion.
  • 📝 Blogging: Published 2 blogs, lots of drafts. Two posts that I thought would be bangers got nearly zero reach. The inverse law of blogging strikes again!
    • The Surprise Chain is a post I quite literally worked on for over six years, but it got under a thousand hits.
    • CSS Modules-in-CSS Module Scripts did a little better but I’m not cashing any blogging checks. I thought the formula was good: a cool new CSS feature, a cool CSS trick… but not cool enough I guess.
  • 💪 Fitness: Still enjoying pickleball. Did some Apple Fitness. Walking at least a mile every day taking the kids to school.
  • 🎙️ Podcasts: ShopTalk, Aside Quest… and something else on the horizon!?!??
  • ⌨️ Open Source: Built a <spicy-sections> version of my bookshelf for Open UI. Had some good discussions there.
  • ⚖️ Budgeting: Still not doing this.
  • 🎮 Gaming: Military Barbie and Mini Motorways.