I am seeing if this blog is a place to put life updates. Facebook can get a little overwhelming sometimes when you post something, especially something positive and you get lots of likes and comments. I don't do those posts for the likes so much any more, I just do it for as it's a social outlet and I think people might like my little updates.
New Old Job
I've been increasing my hours a fair bit at Ditto. Which has been an amazing opportunity, to still work part time, with Mondays mostly free for myself. As I have posted here in the past, I can't really work full time, it can be quite overwhelming when I apply myself in my strength areas of software and hardware development. I do get burned out over time. But so far Ditto for 2 days per week, plus my business the remainder 2 days has been mostly fine. The main issue I have been having is just getting up early. I am naturally a night owl. But that is going to change. I need to be in the office by 9am, which has been a challenge when in the past, most of the time I was arriving at the office after 10am. Increasing my scope of work has been great, and I am not really running out of things to do, but also not too overwhelmed either. I can be alright at being autonomous, sometimes a little too autonomous and I make GitHub big pull requests (which are approved beforehand) but a recent one I have made has been a little disruptive, but will be a good thing ultimately. This job has been quite fulfilling, working in a team, where it's not all on me to make the thing, which is nice. I am still making things, like apps and test programs. But not the core software, which I have historically done a lot of in the past. Working with others is nice, I don't really have major issues. I am a little shy for sure, I hope I will build confidence over time and get to know more team members. The culture at this job seems fairly relaxed for the most part. Everyone works as much as they want to, no more no less (or their specified hours). I think if the company can avoid burning out their developers, they can sustain their employees in the long term with their relevant expertise and "grow with the company" which is ultimately a good thing... We'll see.
So as I've mentioned in a previous post, I have been going to a new gym. It's been going well and I believe it has had a pretty good impact on my well-being overall. I have fewer or shorter anxiety patches. My concentration has improved. I also certainly feel fitter, when doing physical exercise, I am more able to do things like walk uphill better, and jog without feeling too puffed out. I'm sticking to it because I want to have a good quality and quantity of life. Live as long as I can for as well as I can. And I think strength training helps a lot with that. The other habits have recently been working on have been VR cardio exercise, learning Spanish with Duolingo, riding my electric bike into town and more meditating. I fell out of the habit of playing VR for cardio exercise. So I decided to just play a very short burst. I saw a talk on how to form habits. You just need to start by doing something for a very short period, but repetitively. I certainly don't feel motivated to play VR for more than a half an hour per day. But if I play for just 5 or 10 minutes, I can justify playing it basically every day. And then, I do it as soon as I get to my office with the VR setup at the end of the day. I am doing a similar thing with Duolingo. I set the minimum amount of learning per day, and strangely I have stuck to it. It's an addictive app, if you just use it in small amounts. I am slowly but surely learning Spanish. I've made more progress than I did before when trying to power through it in bursts. Meditating I still struggle with. I tend to do it last thing of an evening, and often the evening ends late so I don't fit it in. Perhaps I need to fit it in right after VR exercise. I will keep trying to make it a daily habit. But it's not there yet. And then there's my electric bike - I don't like to let it go to waste. I've moved in to a new place, even closer to the bike track. So I hope to use it at least once per week. It is a little bit of cardio exercise, especially going uphills. It's not as beneficial as a regular pushbike, but I can't ride a pushbike over the Tasman bridge. Or at least I couldn't. One day I will try it again.
Bye Bye Apple
As I posted in my last post. Apple has it's flaws. Repariability and upgradeability. But really, I just can't afford to get the Apple devices I need that will have the specs that I need. To upgrade my MacBook Air and iPad Mini I need to spend a substantial amount out of pocket. And then, just to get what I absolutely need it's still fairly expensive. I would like a MacBook with 32GB of RAM and 2TB of storage. You know, just in case. I can easily afford a Framework 13 with those specs. But certainly not a MacBook. Lack of SSD upgradeability at least is preventing me from sticking with Apple as a whole. I have recently bought a Lenovo Chromebook Ideapad Duet 3, Lenovo Tab M9, Nokia G42 and Fossil Gen 6 Hybrid Machine smartwatch. To fully jump ship over to the other ecosystem. And it wasn't all that expensive. I have the devices I want (minus laptop) far sooner than if I held out to save up for Apple devices. The Chromebook has been quite compelling, with it's Linux support and included keyboard. The Lenovo M9 Tab has been fine, fast enough to be usable and enough storage for now. The Nokia G42 is a smartphone that you can repair yourself, and I bought it from a brick and mortar store, JB HiFi in town. It's been quite good actually. With a 90Hz screen that does feel nicer to use than the iPhone 12's 60Hz screen. I haven't needed to get a case for it so quickly as it's all-plastic and I don't fear dropping it will crack the back glass. But I have ordered a case. Much better battery life too, than the iPhone. No wireless charging, ultrawide camera, secure face unlock. But I can live without those really. It does have a micro SD card slot and a headphone jack. Amazing. My thinking is that I will eventually go back to Apple, when I can afford the devices with the specs I really want. But that may not be for a fair while. So in the mean time, I am quite happy in Android and Linux/Windows land. Though my work clients sometimes require a Mac, so I think I'll buy a Mac Mini and set it up for remote access from home. I tried a macOS virtual machine, but you can't log in with Apple ID so that removes some required features for the work I do. And it's pretty darn slow. So I really need a bare metal Mac, what a concept.
Side projects and Me-Time
As a result of this job, my spare time has been reduced a fair amount. The only thing I can think to do is to cut back on some of my regular evening activities a little. Not too much but somewhat. So I can fit in more time for myself and my projects and other stuff I like doing at home by myself. It may hurt some of these groups a little. As I have become a knowledgeable and key person. But they'll just have to deal with it as that's life - I've got to look after myself when I work in IT for more hours in the week now. The me-time is very beneficial and important to well-being. I won't lecture you on it, it should be very well-known. A side-effect of less me-time is that I am not posting as much about my cool projects. And fixing up this website which I need to do. Time management is a skill and it's always making compromises on this and that, with the end result being achieving certain goals in the long term. A main goal is my overall well-being, and I can't let self-imposed social obligations get in the way of that, too much. But I don't think I'll be disappearing any time soon from these groups. They're still stuck with me.
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