I’ve written and rewritten this five times and decided to go with a brief, brutal, bulleted list of a December I don’t want to experience again.

  • Stacking viruses ran through our kids over the course of three weeks. My immune system was shaky but held on. It culminated in ear infections in both kids and I learned the city of Austin has a shortage on antibiotics. New, incredible ways the American healthcare system can fail that I never anticipated.
  • This month ended in some sadder news that after a series of tests and treatments we’ve learned that our 13 year old dog Rudy has Transitional Cell Carcinoma, a form of bladder cancer that is inoperable and non-responsive to radiation and chemo. The outlook is not good, a matter of weeks or months, and we’re already at weeks. Holding out hope the kids will see their dog one more time before we have to make a difficult decision.
  • Our holiday plans were in shambles when our kennel cancelled on us (due to a “no bleeding” clause) the day before our flight to Phoenix to see grandparents and cousins. We rescheduled my flight to buy us time to find dog-sitting (our Ukrainian friends who love dogs were available to help us) and I sent my family ahead of me.
  • I spent five hours in the airport on Christmas Eve and became one of the thousands of Southwest passengers who had their Christmas plans ruined. The reason: no pilots. Southwest sold me a plane ticket for a plane with no pilots. Unbelievable. We were able to book a flight on Christmas for 3⨉ the cost.
  • Because of the cancelled flight, I missed Christmas morning with my kids. I know others had it much worse, but it’s hard to quantify how disappointing this is because as a parent. You spend a month or two building up to that one moment, the payoff to see those smiling faces, the hugs, the atmosphere. None of that.

Anyways. Hug your loved ones. Fuck dog cancer.

Consumptions and Contributions

As busted as my month was, I feel like I surrounded myself with some good content.

📖 Reading

I read some good books. Mysterious graphic novels. But the highlight was Celeste Headlee’s book on conversations called “We Need to Talk”. Since reading I’ve tried to be more conscious about listening after that, avoid the natural tendency to counter what someone said with talking about yourself. I also liked the idea that even a short simple conversation can be life-giving, so I’ve been trying to have more of those random conversations with strangers.

📝 Blogging

Short blogging month (see above) but I probably have ten or so drafts on deck for the new year.

📺 Media

I sunk into some good series this last month which has me hungry for more.

🎙 Recording

Short month, but ShopTalk wrapped up its 11th year. Wow.

🧶 Crafting

3 Gundam model sets. From left to right, a 10” tall Master Grade RGM-79 GM: toothpaste greenish in color with vibrant red torso. In the middle a the MSM-03 Gogg: fat, earth toned bad guy robot with dome head and snake-like bendy arms with long fingers. And lastly, a RGM-75 Guntank, a blue robot with red, yellow, and white accents. The most distinguishing feature are the humanoid torso with tank tracks for legs and long cannons mounted to the shoulders.

A successful month of model building with three distincly different builds.

  • MG RGM-79 GM (Ver. 2.0) - I love the mass production look of the “Jim”. While the exterior is boring compared to other flashier winged Gundam, building the Master Grade version of the GM is not boring. Small, secret details live under the blocky exterior and makes for one of my favorite models yet.
  • MSM-03 ‘Gogg’ - A chonky bad boi. I wanted to build something unconventional. It has a low-quality feel to it but this is the model that my kids were most interested in. I think the non-humanoid nature piqued their imaginations a bit.
  • RX-75 ‘Guntank’ - It’s half-Gundam and half-tank. I will never understand how they come up with these names. Again, an interesting build and I went the extra mile and panel lined it too. I love the results and you can see in the picture above how the model looks a little less “flat” than its neighbors.

⌨️ Open source

Nothing to report, but I’m going to be open sourcing a new resource here at the beginning of the new year.

👾 Video games

Skin farming in Overwatch 2 and Warzone 2. I’m a little exhausted by the Battle Pass treadmill.