Busted

I’ve been dealing with a knee injury for the last week, a bouldering accident. It didn’t seem like a big deal at the time, it was near the beginning of my session and I walked it off pretty quickly. I knocked my right kneecap on a volume or something, I don’t remember. I do remember having a really good session though. I did several V4s that I was surprised I was able to complete, including one that involved a high step on my right foot, hip to the wall. It was a lot of torque, almost like a one-legged squat, but I was able to apply some counter pressure with my hands. I felt strong as shit.

I finished the session on a 5.10 on the top rope. I really pushed myself, it was really hard and my forearms were absolutely crushed, but I sent it. I got home late and hopped into the shower and came out to find a golf-ball sized swollen lump on my right kneecap. I iced it and took some ibuprofen and it came down, but it’s been bothering me for the last week.

Apparently I have knee bursitis, and inflammation of one of the fluid-filled sacs that protects the kneecap. It’s a huge mess. My knee has multiple bruises on it, in addition to the blistery spot on the kneecap, I’ve seemingly got a bruise that runs through my knee, starting on the front outside left and ending on the back outside right. It’s almost like I got shot through with an arrow. I’ve got most of my functionality back at this point, but the bursa is still tender and I’m hesitant to go back to the gym and risk fucking it up worse. It looks like these things can take two to six weeks to heal, so I’m going to wait another day and assess whether I should go back.

I did some research, and it seems that bouldering causes more knee injuries that top rope or trad climbing. ACL tears are common in bouldering from unexpected falls, but the high step, heel hooks and drop knee moves also cause problems. In my case, I know I had direct trauma to the knee cap, but I don’t think that explains the extent of the bruising, but who knows.

I really enjoy bouldering and I love pushing myself, but I’ve got to acknowledge that I’m not a spring chicken anymore. I’ve gotten other scratches, scrapes, bruises and pulled muscles while climbing, and the best thing I can do if I want to keep up with my new hobby is wait and give my body time to heal. I’ve been getting lots of sleep, and haven’t been active other than mowing the yard. I did some squats this morning, and I’ve been doing some stretching exercises to try and work my bum leg. Hopefully I’ll be healed up and ready to get back on the wall tomorrow.

Reset

Doing my best to get back on track with my Atomic Habits. Now that the Star Atlas Dao launch is over the team has a little bit of breathing room, which means I have no excuse for anything.

Step one of course in my plan is sleep, and making sure I get to bed at a decent hour. So I picked up some CBD gummies while I was out shopping for the girls yesterday and popped one last night. They’ve got melatonin in them, so turned out the lights at 10:30 and was asleep seven minutes later. Best quality sleep I’ve gotten in weeks probably.

So I managed to get up at seven and meditated for the first time in a while. And now I’m here journaling. So far so good.

I have to take Elder to sleep-away camp in an hour, so it’ll be lunch time before I’m back at the house and able to focus on work. I might have enough time to plan the rest of my day before I leave, but I doubt I’ll have time to do a pomodoro.

I’m not quite sure what I’m going to do with Younger this week. Left to herself, she’d probably just watch TV all day, so I need to find activities for her to do, to give her alternatives. I wouldn’t mind sending her to the neighbors, but I don’t want to impose. Speaking of the neighbors, we let the girls have a sleepover Saturday night. It did not go well. Younger has been begging us to let her friend sleep over, and we did, but it seems her friend was more interested in playing with Elder than Younger, so she was feeling a bit left out and sensitive. Sunday was rough, I don’t think either of the girls got enough sleep the night before, but I took them to their auntie’s house for a couple hours at the pool.

I spent most of the weekend playing Tarkov and failing miserably at PVP. I also spent a notable amount of time playing piano. I re-subscribed to Playground Sessions — it actually uses notation and has popular songs, as opposed to Melodics which uses the player piano style and has original music for the lessons. I’d rather build up my sight-reading capabilities, so I wanted to give it a shot. I never really used it when I was trying to get Elder interested in the instrument, so I’m using it for myself and learning to play All of Me on it now. I’m making good progress.

Younger seems to have a genuine interest in playing music, so I’m trying to encourage that. She’s been making her own songs up, freestyling acapella, so I spent some time with her yesterday while Elder was packing. She wants to play the piano and do the lessons, but when I try to talk to her about fingering she gets frustrated and then we start fighting. We did have a pretty good jam session, I broke out a couple of guitars that I had in storage, and the three of us had a nice little jam session. I had Amplify Studio running on the girl’s computer and my Mac, the latter of which was hooked up to the digital piano. Elder was messing around with one of the guitars, and Younger had the microphone. It was great fun.

I told Missus I didn’t want to drink this week. I’ve spent a lot of money on beer, going through a six pack or more of high-dollar IPAs. Some of them are twelve or fourteen dollars a pack, and it’s a bit much, both for my pocket book and my liver. So I’m going to see if I can get a permit for the local cannabis dispensary. Enough dealing with people on the street, I’ll just get the medical grade stuff from the dispensary and be done with it. I’ve known about it for over a year, but never went through with the process because I assumed that they wouldn’t give me one, but I’ve made up my mind. If I had to choose between alcohol and cannabis, I would easily choose cannabis.

Daily notes

It’s the second day that the girls have been at camp. Elder is doing overnight camp and I’ve been driving Younger to day camp. The location is about 40 minutes away, so I’ve been spending a lot of time driving. I had originally planned on getting a spot at a co-working space near the camp, but traffic was good Monday morning and so I decided to go home. It was $25 a day to get the spot, and I wasn’t looking forward to sitting at some strange office for eight hours all week and dealing with all that, so I just drove home. It’ll cost me an extra $50 or so in gas, and as long as traffic isn’t bad I don’t mind driving. I’m catching up on my podcast feeds anyways.

We’ve got just over 48 hours until the big launch event at work, and everything is coming together. I’ve almost wrapped up my KB articles, and besides a few minor changes to the presentation, I’m almost wrapped up. The web and blockchain teams are just chugging along, and looks like we’re going to have everything that we need ready for the launch. We’re pushing a couple things out a week that aren’t needed for Thursday, but overall things are pretty chill. Everyone’s busy, of course, but there’s no panic or anything around potential failures or anything like that. Everything is going well.

Missus is at the office today. She’s got two more weeks till she’s done with her work as a social worker and will be full-time union August 1st. We’re both really looking forward to it.

My friend T stopped by yesterday, we had dinner and messed around with Melodics. I wound up giving him my M-Audio keyboard. The kids haven’t been using it, and I’ve got my Mac working with the piano now. I’ve been thinking about getting a year subscription to Playground Sessions. Melodics is good, but it doesn’t teach sight reading, at least traditional notation. I’m not sure what you call the player piano type slot notation, but I want to train that brain muscle better.

I’m hoping to get to the rock gym today. I went Sunday with Younger and they had most of the bouldering area setup with new routes, and I want to work on them some more. I did a V4 or two, which I think is the best I’ve done, but there are still V1s and 2s that I haven’t been able to do. Need to work on my upper body strength. Been getting better at pullups and hanging at the playground, but I’m not where I want to be.

Sleep-away

So Elder is going off on her first sleep-away camp this afternoon. After she gets back from church I’ll be driving her out to the Girl Scout camp and dropping her off. She’s done a weekend camping trip with her troop before, but I don’t think there will be anyone she knows at this one. She spent yesterday packing her bags, she’s bringing a lot of stuff. They told her to pack eight changes of clothes and a laundry list of stuff, her suitcases are filled to the brim.

I didn’t want Younger to feel left out, so I booked her for day camp. It’s a forty-five minute drive each way, so I’m trying to figure out if anyone else in the area is making the trip, but I’m probably the only idiot that did this. I’m really not looking forward to driving ninety minutes a day to taxi her around, but having the house empty of kids during working hours could be worth it.

Next week is going to be a critical one for work. Everyone has been busy as hell getting ready for this 426Live event. I can’t say much more than that. We’ve been in crunch mode for the last couple weeks, and besides a bit of wet paint following the event, we should be able to go back into a more relaxed tempo once that’s over. I’ve got a lot of work to do this week, then I need to focus more on being an actual product/project manager. I’ve been neglecting it lately.

I’ve been neglecting things around the house as well. I’ve just been doing the bare minimum on upkeep. I haven’t really been working on the projects I have around here, like taking care of this mining rig that is sitting on the table behind me. It needs to be disassembled, cleaned up, and disposed or sold. Problem is the price on graphics cards is so low right now it’s not even worth the cost. I always sucked at timing the market. I should have sold them a year ago. Buy high, sell low.

Missus is doing well. Two more weeks and she’s officially one-hundred percent union and no longer beholden to the management and bureaucracy of the VA hospital. It looks like she might also get that special dispensation for telework. Meaning she’ll be in control of her own schedule and able to stay home. I can already tell the difference in her mood, and she helps out with the girls and the housework when she has breaks. She’s also been shopping for new windows, trying to figure out how she can put twenty thousand dollars on her credit card so she can get a Southwest Companion Pass so that we can travel with a free plane ticket.

I’ve been maintaining. I haven’t been as physically active. It’s too hot to run much, although I did get out to run Friday morning. Haven’t broken a ten-minute mile lately. I had a number of injuries from climbing that have finally healed up, scabs and bruises are finally gone. I’m playing music, trying to make a daily practice of playing piano and the beat pad. I just got an adapter that lets me plug my Macbook up to the piano, which has nicer action than my M-Audio keyboard. The girls aren’t as enthusiastic about it, but maybe that’ll change. I actually broke the guitar out this week. I’ve had Running Up That Hill stuck in my head constantly and found a cover from this guitar duo that I wanted to pick up. It’s a simple song, mostly built around a iii-II-I progression in the key of B. Very similar to All Along The Watchtower with a few differences. Makes me wonder what other songs use that, but quick search turns up nil.

I’ve been using this online Pomodoro timer to use with work. It’s not motivating me, but it is adding a bit of disciple that helps me break through the procrastination. It helps me stay focused on the task, and sometimes I even stick to the short 5-minute breaks. It depends whether I’m doing stuff I enjoy or not. Doing 25 minutes in Melodics on the keys, then taking a break before doing another session on pads is easy, but when I’m working on a work presentation that takes me four hours to do I might cheat a little bit.

I’ve been playing Tarkov constantly, haven’t even opened any other games. The PMC runs are still terrifying, filled with moments of terror as I slowly walk through the maps at night, listening for the sounds of other players or scavs running through the woods next to me. The scav runs aren’t bad at all, but it feels like most of my time is spent playing Tetris in my hideout. I finally hit level 15 this week and unlocked the flea market, so I’m building out my hideout as much as possible, using scavs for loot runs and running quests with my PMCs. I’m actually handicapping my PMC as much as possible, running around Woods with a bolt-action rifle, trying to pop off headshots from a distance. It’s a bit of a problem when I run into other PMCs up close — I’m not good at no-scoping headshots, but I’m running cheap rigs so I just load up and go back out. I’m getting to the point now with some of the quest lines where I’m going to start taking some of my better gear. And today is my regular Sunday play sessions with my brother, and it’s time to go.

Whooped

So I pushed myself yesterday. My Whoop said I was at 98% recovery, so I knew I had to do something intense. I hadn’t had a score in the 90s in weeks, so I had no excuses. It was really hot yesterday, running was out of the question, so I decided to do some mountain biking. There’s a park about half an hour from here that has a trail that I’d never done before, and I knew it was a bit advanced for the girls, so I went to go check it out.

It kicked my ass. I guess I should say that I kicked its ass, really, all seven plus miles of it. It did wear me down, I had to stop several times because my heart was racing, but I only think I walked the bike up one or two short sections. There were tons of fast sloping downhills that made it totally worth it. The first three miles were the toughest, as it probably got the most traffic; lots of exposed roots that made it a very rough ride. Once I cleared the switchback though it was a lot smoother, and there was a fast gliding section around mile five that didn’t require any pedaling. I went late in the day, before sundown, and it got a bit too dark for my first time out there, and I rode through countless spider webs, but it was exhilarating and I’m really glad I made it.

The rest of my day wasn’t as productive. Elder gave me a hard time as soon as she woke up, fighting with her sister. Younger gave me a hard time going down to bed, so there’s that. Elder also got accepted in the pre-algebra program for fifth grade, and we got a message from her school that we need to get her up to speed on her fifth grade math before the school year starts. So I told her that she needs to do IXL for twenty-five minutes a day and she did not like that and threw one of her fits. Missus said that we needed to give her some positive reinforcement, so I took her to DQ so that she could redeem a coupon she got as a reward from the library reading program.

Today I have some deep work on the schedule, although I’m not sure quite what my priority is for work. Personally, I’m way behind on our budget and need to get that, but my work focus is on shipping the dao.

Reality check

Fourth of July weekend was pretty nice. We went to my friend C’s house yesterday. He lives in this bougie neighborhood. Maybe Cleaver-esque is a better description. The neighborhood throws this parade, it was a firetruck, classic cars, and a bunch of families on bikes decked out with red, white, and blue. After it’s over they have hot dogs and pizza, and lots of sweets. It started at eleven so we had to leave the house a bit early, dragging Elder out the door. It was hot but after the event we made our way to C’s house, where we laid out by the pool for most of midday. Left early and got back to the house where Missus could relax and watch her shows, the rest of us played video games.

I was not very productive over the break. I cut the grass, spent as much time playing with the girls as I could, and spent the rest of the time playing Tarkov. My brother found a co-worker who plays, and I joined their Discord server where there was a pretty regular group of people playing.

I did manage to keep the girls from trashing the house. Well, for the most part up until yesterday. The place is in a bit of disarray right now, so they’re going to have to do some cleanup before they can watch screens. I was just about to say how I’m lucky my Monday morning schedule is light, but I just realized it’s Tuesday.

Wipe Day

Escape from Tarkov wiped yesterday, and I spent most of the evening playing, but I’ll get to that in a second. Yesterday was productive, work and home-wise, and I’ve already got today off to a good start. I only had four hours of sleep last night but I’m actually pretty alert and energetic. I haven’t had a drink since the return flight from Disney, so it’s five days now and I’m pretty clear headed. I’m actually kinda worried about this being a holiday weekend, that I might fall back into those habits — old BCM, as Missus calls it — and go back to feeling shitty.

I’ve had a metaphor stuck in my head lately, something from my TL that said something like work like a lion, not a gazelle. Actually, the quote is from Naval, and “working well is hunting like a lion, not grazing like a cow.” I like that much better. I should know that anyways, I have had the Almanac sitting on my dresser for over a year, I guess I should re-read it.

Anyways my point is that I’ve been managing the team like we’re a bunch of cows. Since I’ve never delivered anything like the dao before, I’ve been allowing everyone to do their thing without much interference. It was hard for us to establish timelines without knowing tasks, and we spent a lot of time doing research and doing other things that were dead ends. It was almost leisurely, in a way. Now though, the heat is on, so I’ve shifted how were operating, it’s time to pounce like a lion for the next two weeks and grind out the release. In this case it’s not so much about seeing an opportunity as being given a directive, but the team is confident they can deliver and I have to trust them.

That said, there’s still a lot to do between our initial release and where I’d like things to be, but we’re in a bear market, competition is hot, and the money will be coming into the space soon. Small fish won’t survive, so we need to show we can deliver.

At home I’ve had to make few changes as well. Since we don’t have any daycare plans for the kids, and sleep-away camp is a few weeks away, I’ve had to put some ground rules down for the kiddos. No TV before 10AM. I’ve got a list of chores — maybe I should start calling them responsibilities — that I want them to start doing before I even consider allowing them screen time. Things will easily devolve into a cluttered mess of clothes, toys, dishes, &c., and Missus and I are going to have to maintain our sanity. The girls are going to have to step it up. I’ll not be living in filth.

I’ve started playing Habitica and using pomodromo timers to get my ass in gear. I even created a Habitica party with Elder to try and motivate her. My dailies include meditation, blogging, exercise, and and hour spent practicing music (keys and pads), and I wrote a task list up on the fridge whiteboard for the kids with the things I expect out of them, and I’m trying to establish clear boundaries for them. They will not be watching TV all summer. No sir.

Lasty, Tarkov. I don’t want to be writing about Tarkov as I’d rather be playing Tarkov, or watching videos about Tarkov. I am utterly and completely hooked. The wipe was yesterday, all accounts were reset to zero, and I spent the entirety of my afternoon and evening squeezing in as much time as I could. It’s only my second wipe, so I’ve been playing since December or so, and my progression should be a lot faster now that I know what I’m doing. I actually killed another player in my first PMC raid and it was pretty exhilarating. The game is super fun at this stage, so I want to get as many runs as I can in, ratting with my scav every chance I get, and trying to do missions and chadding it out with my PMC when my scav isn’t available.

Of course I woke up dreaming about Tarkov, and I promised myself that I would limit myself to a scav run this morning, but only after I did all my morning chores.

And I’m done.

Attitude

I’m getting back into a healthy rhythm following the debauchery of the magic kingdom. Last night’s sleep aside, yesterday was very productive. The heat is on at work, and I even went to the rock gym with my new carpool buddy yesterday evening — it was a good session, I did some top rope and nailed a 5.9.

Having the kids gone in the afternoon when Missus gets home has been very relaxing. Having dinner just the two of us is more romantic than anything we did at Disney. Even now, trying to write with them bustling about the house, music playing, is very distracting. It’s like COVID lockdown all over again. Yesterday, as I was involved a rather contentious discussion at work, the kids kept popping into the room to ask me whether they could do this or that.

It’s all my fault for not scheduling summer care earlier in the year. I will not be making that mistake in the future.

Missus is working from home now, waiting on her ruling for a permanent telework dispensation. She might reconsider that, given that I just had to yell at Elder for talking back to me when I asked her to run the dishwasher. She told me that it wasn’t on her list of chores, which I had written as ‘straighten kitchen’.

Anxiety

Insomnia struck again last night. I played Tarkov until eleven and finally made my way to bed a half hour later. The rain was coming down heavily, and Missus was snoring so badly that I went to sleep on the couch. I woke a few hours later. The rain had stopped, and I went back upstairs to my bed to find that Younger had stolen my spot. I went to her bed, only to be kept from sleep by birds, the cat — which startled itself by activating one of Younger’s electronic pets — and finally a neighbor’s Trans Am as they left for work at five-thirty.

So I got up.

I did some stretching. My tired old body was still ravaged from the rock gym from Sunday. I made tea, which I hadn’t done in forever, and cleaned up. Two litter boxes that were nasty, I cleaned up the cats’ food and water dishes that we laid out when we went on vacation — back on your diet, cats! — took out the trash and tidied up the dishes. Then I sat and meditated. By the time I was done I was able to lay back down on the couch and passed out immediately. I dreamt vividly.

The place was somewhat familiar, a frat house, or similar party house that I had lived at before. There was a girl there, my type, one I’ve dreamed of before, but not anyone in particular. There was a party, a roaring party of youthful hedonism, the girls started taking their shirts off and dancing to what I suppose could best be called old-school stripper music. It was going well.

Then I realized I had brought my daughters to the house.

Barfly

I am such a pessimist that I could have a stinky attitude at the resort, on vacation. I think that my main problem is that I feel old. And married. Al Bundy is my spirit animal. There is so much skin on display that I can’t help feeling despair. It’s a case that I can have anything I want, but I can’t have everything I want. And I want it all.

One of my implicit rules about this blog is that I don’t talk about sex. I could, but I don’t see what good would come out of it. Not for me or my future self, nor Dear Reader. For all the talk I do about radical transparency, I still feel like I’m a pervert, or that there’s someone I know reading this that would ruin things if I actually wrote what I felt. All the pretense about anonymity would fail if I thought for a second that someone I knew was reading this.

Also I’m pretty sure it’d be instant grounds for divorce.

Not to cast blame, but my dad was a pretty blatant sexist. I don’t think that we could even go for a drive together without him casting eyes and making lewd comments about whatever attractive women we saw along the way. I assume it was some sort of masculine signaling thing. I know that he cheated on my mom, he also thought I was gay because I summarily rejected the way he treated women. It’s probably why I got stuck in the friend zone with women for so much of my earlier years. The same way I rejected my dad’s gun culture, car culture, so did I reject his casual misogyny and sexism.

My dad and I are great these days, by the way.

I’ve never been one to shy away from admiration of the female form, though, and it’s been on prime display here at the resort. I really do understand patriarchal systems that have sought to oppress the female form. It really is distracting, for lack of a better term. Being a girl-dad as I am makes it even more ridiculous.

I’ve felt somewhat depressed this trip. It boils down to the first of the Four Noble Truths, that suffering is caused by desire. My desire has been great, but it’s been tempered by the realization that it can’t be fulfilled. After all, I’m Married With Children.

I’ve seen so many attractive women here the last few days that I joked to my friends that I have whiplash. It was bad enough at the park, but it’s been unbearable hanging out at the pool. I feel like a pederast.