August brought about some pretty sweeping changes. Kids are going back to school and I’ve found myself stepping back from some commitments.
Running out of spoons
This month I ran out of spoons. Neck-deep into starting a company and feeling that ambient stress, I realized I’m running out of available bandwidth. This manifests in tiredness, grumpiness, back pain, etc. I made the tough decision to step back from some extracurricular activities: a podcast, Open UI, my DnD group, and a handful of other obligations.
A lot of it comes down to something I mentioned in my post about PARA, the idea that projects have an end date. Almost everything I do ends up being an open-ended project. I need to reset a bit to hedge against that tendency.
In the interest of protecting the spoons I do have, I made a lot of efforts to groom my Twitter feed. I trimmed my follow list by ~20%. This round was an easy clean up of non-mutual follows, but the next round of reductions will be much harder. It might make more sense to unfollow everyone and rebuild my follow list from zero. That’s the nuclear option though, right now I’m comfortable with the current feed.
In the interest of reclaiming my time, I installed content blockers for Twitter Trending Topics on all my devices and browsers. This has been wonderful. I feel disconnected from the Outrage Machine. I’m not mad about daily British political drama or a myriad of other topics that have no bearing on my life. Some outrage still seeps into my feed, but it feels more warranted and natural without the bot-fed armies inside Twitter’s Trending tab.
My granny’s knee
Spent some spoons getting a handle on my (and my son’s) health. After years of off-and-on headaches and congestion, we visited an allergist. Describing my symptoms on how I seem to get headaches a couple days out from every rainstorm…
“Sounds like you have a granny’s knee.” ”?!?” ”Sort of like how grandma’s knee can predict the weather, your sinuses are sensitive to changes in barometric pressure.”
Yes. That’s what I have; a granny’s knee. Glad to have that confirmed by an IRL doctor. He put me on some metallic tasting medications that have helped and we’ll be getting a full panel of allergy tests to narrow in on what specific allergens might be bringing us down. I suspect it’s the cat…
The end of summer push
Most of my spoons went towards getting Luro ready for primetime. We had an aggressive “End of Summer” goal to finish a big re-architecture project and land some critical friction-reduction onboarding work. The last month is probably best illustrated by a burn up chart of the “End of Summer” tickets…
I’m happy to report we hit the mark and only broke one major feature in the process 🤪, but we got that fixed. 👏 Yay, team.
We put a lot into this deadline. I knew I was entering a season of hard work and making some tradeoffs with my time. My body and back are feeling the pains from overworking and hunching over my kitchen table (this is also where I blog, build gunpla, and play solitaire).
Starting a company is hard work, but thankfully we completed a lot of the heavy lifting. Now onto the next phase…
My son turned 9 years old this month. 5 years ago I was walking him into Kindergarten and in 5 more years he’ll be walking into high school for his freshman year. That is shocking to think about.
I saw the Austin FC beat the LA FC. That was epic.
I went to a tiki bar with some friends and had some pink drinks, a pu pu platter, and shared a drink out of a pineapple.
My son dropped his iPad. I watched him go through all five stages of grief. I tried to play it down, telling him he’ll have to be the kid with cracked screen for awhile and that’s okay.” But as I put on the case my thumb went right through the spongy screen. He’ll get a new one I’m sure, but this break in screentime is welcome (for us, his parents).
I read one interesting book, blogged some blogs, watched some anime, got into improv television, and built some enjoyable gunpla.
- 📖 Reading - Lost some reading steam, gave up on some books (see “Spoons” above).
- The Factory by Hiroko Oyamada - I need to remember that even though I love Japan, I don’t like Japanese fiction. It tends to be conversational, picking up on nuances in social situations, which the majority of that is totally lost in translation. I finished the short book, but it never hooked me.
- The New Megatrends by Marian Salzman - I was hoping for a speculative techno-futurism piece, but I guess speculating on the future you need to rehash everything that’s bad about the present (global warming, rise of global fascism, etc). Depressing enough I quit.
- Do Nothing by Celeste Headlee - Based on a recommendation from Brad Frost, I devoured it in a couple days. It’s not the anti-capitalist wail that How to Do Nothing was, but it drives home the point that the cult of productivity can wreak havoc on the soul. You have a choice not to give in. The book couldn’t have hit at a better time (see “Spoons” above).
- The New Climate War by Michael E. Mann - Recommended after my post on climate change, this book reaffirms my feelings that making environmentalism an issue of personal responsibility is a diversion tactic.
- 📝 Blogging - Three posts (see “Spoons” above) but I think they got more traction than usual.
- Thoughts on Copilot - my complete review of GitHub Copilot
- The web is a harsh manager - my look at how complex the front-end has become.
- Modern alternatives to BEM - my look at alternate CSS architectures.
- 📺 Media - I resubscribed to Dropout.tv and that was the majority of my TV watching and I couldn’t be happier.
- The Bear (Hulu) - Great show, but “guy trying to get a business off the ground” was a little too real to me (see “Spoons” above).
- Dimension 20: A Starstruck Odyssey (Dropout) - Enthralling sci-fi TTRPG. Great characters. Great banter. Great fun. Absolute joy.
- Game Changer (Dropout) - Improv game show. Absolute joy.
- Make Some Noise (Dropout) - A “Whose Line Is It Anyway?” style spin-off of Game Changer. Absolute joy.
- Gundam Build Fighters (Crunchyroll) - What a great anime! It has almost everything I want. Gunpla, a kid determined to be the best, shonen love interests, and all the mech fights you can handle. Is it a giant commercial? Yes. Is it great? Also, yes.
- Finished The Adventure Zone: Ethersea - I loved Ethersea. I felt like the series ended abruptly. I suppose there are reasons (tired premise? want shorter arcs?) but wish they explored that universe and those characters more.
- 🎙 Recording - Normal’ish month of Shop Talk, couple great guest episodes.
- 528: Alex and Andrew on Working in an Agency - Alex Riviere and Andrew Walpole (from the D-d-d-discord) tell us what #agencyLife is like from a web development perspective.
- 529: What’s new in Safari with Jen Simmons - Always a joy to have Jen Simmons on and a insightful to recap the progress made on Safari over the last year.
- 🧶 Crafting - Heaps o’ Gunpla, I may need to buy a new bookshelf.
- HGCC ∀ Gundam - The “Turn A” Gundam designed by American sci-fi visionary Syd Mead. The ∀ Gundam is my favorite Gundam. Wonderful lines, retro-futuristic. A stunning edition to the shelf.
- RG Eva Unit-01 - The Eva Unit-01 from Neon Genesis Evangelion. A super anime accurate kit filled with nostalgia.
- HGIBO 001 Gundam Barbatos - I don’t know how the got so much out of this inexpensive kit. Incredible detail and infinite pose-ability. My minor complaint is that some of the large stickers could be molded parts. A+ would recommend.
- 👾 Video games - Uninstalled Warzone. The balance got off and I didn’t have meta guns leveled up enough to survive.
- Fortnite - For some reason Fortnite was the fallback game for the squad… and I kind of like it (tho it’s a giant advertisement). There’s a lot of positives about the game: I don’t get tilted when I lose, the weapons balance feels fair (except for the kamehameha) and feels less pay-to-play, and I enjoy the weekly quests a lot. I even started playing on my Switch to clear missions out while watching the kids play their devices.
- Icarus - A crafting horror survival game. I had fun. Progression is slow and the monsters are hard. Felt like a nice version of Rust.