Strap yourselves in for a couple of well-intentioned tangents, because I’m in a few different states of mind with this entry.
52 post bum-out
Firstly, I’m a little bummed I didn’t get around to this sooner. It’s only a few days late, but I’ve had this lofty goal to post once a week so that by end of year I could be all like, “yay, 52 posts!”. Of course; as soon as a I wasn’t able to hit that target I started to beat myself up. While I was on holiday I made a big list of post ideas, and I got myself really excited to talk about things like my Panicked 2018 Security Overhaul and Quitting certain big-name social media sites to joining open, federated sites like Mastodon and Pixel-fed instead. Now when I look at the list it just looks like big pile of work. I shot myself in the foot! But rather than scraping together a panicked, filler-post (psh, NZ travel diary, indeed) - I chose to stop for a moment and think about why that maybe wasn’t gonna work out.
input → output
I think what it comes down to is that I have some kind of preference for immediacy. The few posts I’ve got published I am happy with because I just wrote what I felt like, and responded to what was happening around me in the moment. Without some form of immediate stimulus I find myself getting a bit bored. Even with the best intentions, and a great look-ahead plan, I just can’t get habits to stick.
I’m always making plans to achieve goals, but rarely achieve them. So I’m going all-in on some spontaneity for a moment.
Back to work!
Despite my excitement (seriously) about getting back to work; the actual experience has come as a bit of a shock this year. I’ve inadvertently juxtaposed some pretty hectic end of year work with a wonderfully relaxing albeit adventurous holiday. I have traditionally scheduled my holidays as mid-year excursions. Upon my return, I feel a bit more “out-of-whack” than I was expecting. My diet is definitely still in holiday mode. My sleep and wake times aren’t perfect. I’m not exercising or meditating either. So, I’m taking it slow, one day at a time, working my way back up.
So far I’ve been working through some clean-up jobs; leftovers from the redesign - refactoring some rushed-to-production code to make it more efficient and pave the way for further optimisation down the track. One of our big to-do’s this year, will be to improve across the board page speed scores. Despite some more modular and efficient CSS and JS, the website is actually performing worse than pre-redesign, due to the way we’re handling legacy code. I’ll be making some notes about porting features from the old website to the new, in order to completely remove legacy code from the pipeline. There is a lot more work to be done on this!
Habit tracking in Notion
In my personal life, I’ve started a journal to keep track of moods and habits. I’m using Notion for this, since I’m already doing my draft blog posts in there. I found a really good template for journalling, with some ideas I’ve been keen to try; like weekly reviews, and goal tracking. I’m trying to focus on one main (work related) goal per day. I hack away at that thing in the morning and leave space in the afternoon for other small jobs that pop up. So far it’s been working out pretty well.
iPhone XR, AirPods, Memoji
sigh I’m really going out of my way to justify my purchases here. This past week I re-contracted my phone plan, upgraded to a new device and splurged on some new headphones as well. Downgraded my data too (since I’m no longer moving house every two seconds, I can actually have wired internet).
My main reason for the upgrade was… Pokémon Go. I play this stupid game all the time, and I started to get really sick of the unoptimised, chugging frame rate, and crashes. It also chews up the iPhone 6 battery like nothing else. I’m talkin’ 20-30 minutes of gameplay before needing to bust out the battery pack.
The AirPods were more of a crazyyy purchase - but have been surprisingly amazing and handy.
Hey look, its on-brand.
Anyway, to bring this back on topic - I’ve used the new AR features of the iPhone XR, made myself a “memoji”, struck a pose, threw on a filter, and now I’ve got a new avatar and website favicon.
On being social
My good friend, amazing producer/sound-designer/musician and ex-bandmate, Thomas has just shipped out to live his best life in New York City. We caught up a few times since I moved to Melbourne, and twice since I’ve been home - ever the pleasant experience. Good luck TG! You’re gonna do great out there, kid.
I’m currently feeling pretty social.. but with a bittersweet twist of never seeing someone again.
To be honest though, I’ve also had to say no to a few outings as well. Either due to some form of anxiety, or just due to a cocktail of being tired from a long day of work + the weight of depression slowing me down.
Michael Plays Games
Over in video game world: I recently downloaded Hearthstone on a complete whim, and got addicted immediately. It’s an online card game. You probably knew that. I always thought “Psh, how could that be any fun”. But trust me, it’s fun. It lures you in with its simplicity and then slams you over the head with game losses that leave you wondering what the strategy was and literally dreaming about it over night. What a weird experience.
Hearthstone’s loading screen
I also like that my PC version stays in-sync with the iOS version thanks to Battle.net
Black-Ops 4 Free Trial (total dud)
The new-ish Call of Duty: Black-Ops 4 has a mode called Blackout, which borrows from the PUBG / Fornite Battle Royale gameplay mode. Anyway, it turns out its a barren wasteland with no players to sustain it. You cannot fill a lobby with 100 players because it seems to have fewer than 100 active players in total? Hence the free weekend.
It’s kinda disappointing because I was keen to try out a Battle Royale style game with technical polish. Big download for such a let down too. Avoid.
Diablo 3 - Season 16
A new Diablo 3 season has started. I had a lot of fun last season playing on my newly revived PC. This time me and some buddies are gonna squad-up on the PS4 version, rush through story mode to unlock adventure mode as quickly as we can, and probably get toward the last few Seasonal objectives before giving up in frustration (going off my Season 15 experience). Think we’re gonna go Crusader (Jacob), Wizard (Bert), and Demon Hunter (Me) — if you were interested.
Update: Yes we did choose these classes - we started a few days ago - it was fun!
Extracurricular New Years Reso’s
Annnnd to wrap this up - Some things I didn’t plan to plan for have made their way into my plans!
E and I are doing our darnedest to get our non-recyclable / compostable rubbish down to ZERO. We’ve adopted a third bin for soft plastics, and will be purchasing a Bokashi soon, to dispose of food scraps. This will free up our “traditional” rubbish bin almost completely, so we should be able to swap it out for something really small, and very rarely have to empty it!
I’ve also just heard back from our local council who are going to provide us with some signage that we can put up in the apartments’ shared garbage area, to educate others about what can be recycled. They’re also fixing our broken bins!
Not to sound too passive aggressive, but you can’t recycle a full loaf of bread. Maybe that’s what I’ll call my autobiography after I save the planet from excess waste.
You can’t recycle a full loaf of bread - by Michael Gale.