Anyone else do some cool stuff this summer?

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by Nicki, Aug 30, 2020.

  1. Nicki

    Nicki SS.org Regular

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    Obviously if you're observing the lockdown and not going to people-filled places you wouldn't be doing that kind of cool stuff... but like... just other things?

    This summer I painted 70% of my house after living here for a year. I changed the brakes on my car. I bought myself a new TV (55" Samsung QN55Q70T) & soundbar (Samsung Q60). Wall mounted the TV and the soundbar. Ran the cables behind the walls for a nice clean look. I bought myself a (used) snowblower but had to do a little bit of work on it like run the leftover fuel from last year through it, add new fuel and stabilizer, lubed up the bearings and so on... Just bought a new socket 229 piece socket set and 24 piece ratcheting wrench set because Canadian Tire is having a decent sale... Cleaned out the BBQ. Pulled an evergreen tree and lilac bush from my weed filled lawn and fixed up said lawn so that it's gone from 90% weeds to 10% weeds. Installed ceiling fans in every bedroom of the house. Paid off a credit card and set aside a Christmas budget (assuming Christmas will not be cancelled this year).

    Nerdy stuff: Signed up for some online programming courses because I haven't gotten caught up with new languages and technologies like Angular and .NET Core. Upgraded my Ubuntu Server instance on my blade server from 18.04 to 20.04, also upgraded my Ubuntu laptop from & to the same. Set up a private git repository on that server as well so all of the code I write as part of the online courses I'm doing I can version control.

    I feel like despite 2020 being such a shit show... I'm kinda crushing it this year.
     
  2. jaxadam

    jaxadam SS.org Regular

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    Had a great summer, but it still won't end here for another two or three months!
     
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  3. Demiurge

    Demiurge Intrepid Jackass

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    Yeah, that's kind of how I'm feeling, too. Got some cool gear, made some palpable improvement in my playing, got a promotion, cut back on drinking & snacking, lost weight, and- perhaps more importantly- tried to appreciate those things rather than let them drown in the negatives.
     
  4. Metropolis

    Metropolis SS.org Regular

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    The whole lockdown and social distancing thing was just because people would buy more cool stuff when they're bored af :D

    • Bought new pc parts and assembled it, upraded also my monitor, mouse and keyboard
    • New Samsung Q70R 55" tv & Q70 soundbar
    • Few new carpets for the apartment, new tv stand, furniture for balcony
    • Bought a hardtail mountain bike for excercise and commuting
    • And we had a leasing car for three months
     
  5. Nicki

    Nicki SS.org Regular

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    Yeah dude. Celebrate any victory you can. 2020 has been such a disaster for everyone globally that it's really put the small victories into perspective for me. A lot of the stuff I mentioned that I did seems like such mundane garbage but for me most of them are actually a big deal.

    Take the snow blower for instance. We moved into our house in a region of Ontario where there's a lot of snow. Due to the wrecked finances of buying and moving into a house, we couldn't afford a snowblower last winter. This year, we were able to afford one because I chunked off a lot of debt over the last year and I also got a solid bonus from work which allowed me to afford one without ruining the better financial position I put us in. And the TV. Most people would look at that and say "Whoopie, you bought a new TV, it's nothing special" but it's a big deal to me because the last TV I bought was a 43" 720p plasma panel from 2011. I couldn't afford a new one up until now. "Oh yay, you budgeted for Christmas, welcome to being an adult" well fuck that. You know what we had to buy for everyone on our list last year? $5 chocolate bars because that's all we could afford and it made us hate ourselves. My wife cried for 2 days because we couldn't do a proper christmas shop. Having a healthy christmas budget this year is a huge win for my wife and I. Removed trees? You bet I did. That was a shit load of work. Fix up my lawn? Hell yeah I did because no one took care of it prior to me and it was nothing but weeds and now it looks like a proper lawn and increased my property value.

    I'm celebrating those small victories as if they were huge. You should too.
     
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  6. TedEH

    TedEH Cromulent

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    It's been a weird summer. I feel like the most positive things I've managed to do were just small things or one-off days of productivity. I had one weekend of drum tracking for an album one of the bands is doing. I managed to get out on a bike reasonably often. I re-arranged my living room so that I'd have different spaces for working and everything else?

    Outside of that, the whole year so far has felt kinda bleak. Two friends had deaths in their family. An ex I was still trying to get over ended up becoming a fixture in my life again because of an injury and nobody else was around to be supportive so it just sort of fell on me. I bungled a bunch of work situations early in the summer and haven't been able to quite recover from it since. I got into some arguments and heated conversations with people I work with because I was really frustrated with the way certain things were going, and instead of any change for the better, I now get regular emails and meetings and things reminding me to "practice active listening".

    I've managed to build up a caffeine dependency to the point where I get splitting headaches if I go a day without coffee, so that's great. Interacting with people primarily over the internet has turned me kind of cynical and it feels increasingly difficult to just turn-off and try to enjoy small things.

    I guess I haven't gone broke, and I've played a lot of video games this summer so..... ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
     
  7. High Plains Drifter

    High Plains Drifter ... drifting...

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    Just wanted to give kudos to OP for the intended positivity of this thread. With many people spiraling downward in a lot of respects, it's nice to see posts like this.
     
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  8. Nicki

    Nicki SS.org Regular

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    That's awesome! Especially the car. There are so many people who think they can't afford a car, but just don't know how to properly budget for one. Way to go!
     
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  9. Nicki

    Nicki SS.org Regular

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    I think the best advice I can give you about the work situation is that even though it's a shitty situation, maybe try to keep an open mind and read more into the subtext of the emails and meetings, keeping an eye out for things that you can actually take away from it. Even the most mundane task can be an opportunity to learn or hone your skills if you keep an open mind.

    But hey, getting out on the bike more often is huge! Way ahead of me there dude! Even though I have more time than I did before starting to work from home, I still haven't managed to set time aside to get a workout in. Oddly enough, I'm actually playing less videogames than I previously did. I guess I'm just filling my time differently, but really wish I had more time to play games. I particularly miss playing FFXIV :(.

    As for the coffee thing, you can actively manage that by limiting how much coffee you drink, and setting a cutoff time. I try to limit myself to 1 cup of coffee in the morning after I get out of bed. If I need another cup, I set myself a cutoff time of 11am. After that, I just drink water and get up and walk around if I need a quick pick-me-up. The headaches are likely caused by how the coffee is interfering with your sleep, not the caffeine dependency itself. Are you sleeping regularly? Getting enough sleep? I get terrible headaches if I'm not on a regular sleep schedule and get up and out of bed at a regular time. I typically go to bed around 10pm, fall asleep around 11pm and wake up at 7am. A healthy sleep schedule cured me of the migraines I used to get so now I stay strict with my sleep schedule. Maybe you should take a look at yours as well.
     
  10. sleewell

    sleewell SS.org Regular

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    feels like the summer fly by. didnt really take any trips like normal. just spent time with my kids, nice to have a big back yard and playgrounds nearby.

    my band did a few pop up shows recently. that was lots of fun. got a few more shows planned the next few weeks.
     
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2020
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  11. Empryrean

    Empryrean Plucks strings

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    not whole much but I've had a chance to reflect on my poor gear buying habits so thers that, ha! Been inside mostly, caught up on reading a bunch of books I had laying around but besides that I haven't gone out much at all.
     
  12. gnoll

    gnoll SS.org Regular

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    I've been trying to write music and practice guitar and I've not been entirely useless in that respect, but not great either. Pretty bad.
     
  13. KnightBrolaire

    KnightBrolaire Stage IV GAS

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    Went camping/hiking at a bunch of state parks. I was planning on doing a massive road trip all along the west coast to the parks out there, but between work and the covid bullshit I couldn't quite make the timing work.
    Bought a bunch of gear that I need to do a mass NGD for still.
    Did a bunch of woodworking stuff like refinishing the faceplate for my Mesa MK3, making frames for some marquetry stuff, putting together some knives.
    Built some templates for guitar shapes and did a bunch of paint experiments. Excited to finally get back into building guitars fully from scratch rather than just making bodies and slapping a pre made neck on em.
    Refinishing a charvel star right now.
    Started drawing/painting more regularly.
    Did a lot more gardening/landscaping this year. Planted a bunch of bee balm/lillies and other stuff. Transplanted a few spruce.
    Tarred my driveway and destroyed a massive wasp nest in my walls.
     
  14. TedEH

    TedEH Cromulent

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    The thought is appreciated, but unfortunately I don't believe it's as simple as that. There's a lot of missing context, and this has been an ongoing issue/conversation for basically the whole summer that stems from me originally trying to voice that I was frustrated with my role/position in the company and on my team. I was upset that my career didn't seem to be going anywhere - and when I asked to take on some more responsibility it blew up in my face and I got sort of "labelled" as the argumentative guy. When several people got incredibly rude in the way they spoke to me, it got pinned on me for having "less than average communication skills" for not letting them just step all over me. I would be asked for my feedback on something, then called argumentative again when I gave my honest assessment. Someone introduced what I thought was a huge security flaw in an app we use at work, so I pointed it out in the hopes they'd realize the mistake and fix it, but everyone got defensive and once again I had to sit through more talk about communicating effectively. But of course everyone tells me that this is my fault and I just have to work on myself.

    I know I have some changes coming at work that might turn things around (I'm changing teams in about a month), so I'm hopeful that I'm not stuck in a weird rut forever.

    Even if that was the case, that's still an effect of the caffeine. I drink enough coffee usually that it doesn't impact my sleep much. I'm not hugely sensitive to caffeine in terms of it being a stimulant. I also have a very regular sleep pattern, get a good 8 hours almost every night, I'm very good about not getting dehydrated, etc., so all the usual suspects for headaches aren't really applicable. Then one day I decide that I should go a day without coffee (when I averaged about 3 large cups a day) and about 30 hours later my brain wanted to violently remove itself from my skull and I felt like I had been hit by a bus.

    Getting out on the bike and distracting myself with a lot of video games is more or less what's keeping me grounded lately.
     
  15. Nicki

    Nicki SS.org Regular

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    Hey man. If the lockdowns have given people anything, it's more time at home with family. I know that they can drive you nuts sometimes, but really, enjoy the time you have with them because one day, those kids will be gone doing their own thing. Hope you're enjoying every minute of it, craziness and all! Hope all those shows go good for you! Make sure everyone is practicing social distancing!

    Good on you for tackling the books! I have a massive backlog that I need to read through but just can't seem to find the time because I'm always doing something else.

    Every bad song you write is one step closer to writing the greatest song you've ever written. Keep writing and hone your skills!

    Whoa, you've been productive! I love wood working but I can't afford a mitre saw right now. Hoping that I'll be able to next year and start doing a bunch of projects that I want to get done.

    Sounds like the environment that you're working in is pretty toxic. I feel for you. I was in a similar situation back in 2012. I hated my team, hated my boss, hated the work I was doing and DREADED going in to work everyone morning. I went in one morning and just had this moment of clarity and peace while I was sitting at my desk. I didn't even bother logging in to my computer and just waited for my boss to show up and just looked at him over my monitors and just went "Yo, I quit" and walked out of there. Not saying you should do that, but hopefully the new team will be much better than your current one. I'll keep my fingers crossed for you.

    Have you looked into any other reason you might be getting those headaches? Mine are actually caused by my cervical spine being completely straight which pulls on the nerves where the base of my skull attaches to my neck. I need a contour pillow to help keep my neck in the proper position while I sleep. Maybe you should have a check in with your family doctor and get things checked out.
     
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  16. KnightBrolaire

    KnightBrolaire Stage IV GAS

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    Haha thanks it sounds like a more impressive list than it really was. Most of the stuff I was already working on before the summer.
    You could grab a cheap miter saw from harbor freight, or whatever their canadian equivalent is. Those are surprisingly pretty good, especially the pro model. My buddy has one and it works quite well.
     
  17. MFB

    MFB Banned

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    Let's see:

    TV shows I've worked through during quarantine: Shrill, Dollface, Devs, Malcolm in the Middle (couldn't finish this ones, just got bored halfway through S6 by them aging out the main kids to focus on Hal and Lois), 30 Rock, DAVE, Adventure Time (didnt realize how long this one ran), Cowboy Bebop, and most recently, Man Seeking Woman

    Working through Justified now, never watched it when it was on FX the first time.

    Games? Ghost of Tsushima after it came out, then finished Bloodborne which I'm now going through again on NG+ mode. Started Sekiro before both of those but it kicked my ass so hard that I dont know if I'll go back to it, even after "getting good" from Bloodborne. I also picked up Ratchet and Clank for something lighter and not so serious.

    Books? Ran through some quick comic trades, but comics just aren't the same on the Kindle. Finished book one of Monstrumologist series, and planning to start book two after I finish Lovecraft Country. Then I'll be halfway through thr series and might as well finish it off with three and four. Not sure whats on the menu after those.
     
  18. TedEH

    TedEH Cromulent

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    I don't hate my job. I actually have a pretty great job - boss, manager, team, etc. all included. What really contributes to my frustration is that you can't express frustration and have people receive that in a nuanced way. "Man this particular thing bothers me" gets read by people as "I hate my job". And I don't. I have a fantastic job, I'm very lucky. But there are elements of it that really frustrate me, and expressing such a thing has painted me as argumentative.

    I don't see much of a reason to look farther into it. I don't get headaches, except in this very specific case. The all of two times I've gotten these kinds of headaches were when I went cold turkey on the coffee after a week of two of three per day. Seems pretty clear cut to me, I don't understand why people want me to doubt that.
     
  19. Nicki

    Nicki SS.org Regular

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    Listen, any productivity is good! If quarantine is enabling you to finish projects then all the better! You should be patting yourself on the back for it because you're not wasting the time.

    As for the mitre saw, I have my eye on a DeWalt that goes on sale during the Father's Day sales. To be honest, the vast majority of my tools are DeWalt because every time I don't buy DeWalt, I regret it. Everything else just doesn't stand up to the abuse I put my tools through or the customer experience with brand X is just terrible. Take that socket set I mentioned earlier. It was a Stanley Professional Grade. Yesterday, I got to pick it up from the store and they ended up giving me one that had many pieces out of 229 missing and the case smelled like an ashtray, so I could tell the one they sold me was a return that was just put back on the shelf. I go to get it exchanged and even though the store was supposed to have 16 of them in stock, they couldn't find a single one so I was forced to take a refund on it, even though I wanted the tools. I go to another Canadian Tire in Barrie and it was the same story. They couldn't find a single one despite having many of them in stock. I came home and jumped on Amazon and ordered the DeWalt kit that was slightly more expensive with less pieces but better made. Told myself the same thing I always tell myself when I don't buy DeWalt: "Should have bought the DeWalt".

    Oh, I watched Justified a year or two ago. Wasn't a bad watch. I think Walton Goggins stole the show. Timothy Olyphant did a good job, but the insanity of Boyd Crowder was just entertaining to watch. Though Natalie Zea with that southern accent... Ho boy... Hard on city. Speaking of Walton Goggins, have you watched The Shield? That's a pretty damn good show and I was surprised how many actors from Sons of Anarchy were in it.

    I love From Software games! I fell in love with Dark Souls the first time I played it. I think I've played through DS3 5 or 6 times now. I haven't finished Bloodborne, despite having it since release :(.

    What are your review processes like? I ask because I'm a team lead in my company and I try to have regular 1 on 1s with my devs. I give them honest feedback and I encourage them to speak candidly without fear of repercussion because I want them to be 100% honest with me and trust me. I also ask them for feedback on my performance from their perspective. Do you have any kind of opportunity to speak 1 on 1 with your manager? If they're halfway a decent person, maybe they'll be able to listen and understand your perspective and your mannerisms more effectively. I really hope they're not taking a one-size-fits-all approach to managing people because one of the things I learned with managing 20+ people was that everyone needs a manager who can tailor their management of that person to that specific individual. Some people on my team need little to no management at all and effectively manage themselves, some need a bit more handholding to get going, then they do a good job themselves, others need a little more forceful management to get stuff done... I've pretty much had it and do it all. So maybe your manager's management style just doesn't suit the kind of person/worker you are? Regardless, hopefully you'll be able to have a conversation with your new team lead when you switch and you both can lay down the ground rules for each other. I'd highly recommend that.

    I'm not a doctor, and you know what's best for you, but I would just still say to keep it mind that something else may be amiss and you should think about talking about your headaches with your doctor on your next visit.
     
  20. KnightBrolaire

    KnightBrolaire Stage IV GAS

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    DeWalt makes good stuff, same with Makita/Milwaukee and Rigid ime.
    Husky makes a pretty good socket set with a lifetime warranty, but it's only like 150 pieces iirc.
     

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