Break over

So the Thanksgiving break ends and a return to normalcy is upon us. The girls are off to school and I am back to work.

I took off Wednesday because the girls were home. I forget what we did; I probably made them go for a hike or a bike ride. I think we rode to the park to play with their friends, then rode to DQ for dogs and mini-Blizzards. I had Missus come pick up the girls so that I didn’t have to take the on the main drive. I left them and booked it home with out them and beat them back.

Thanksgiving Missus decided to cook a nineteen-pound turkey and about five side dishes. I stayed out of the kitchen. DT smoked a turkey in the smoker, the kids played all day, and we actually decided to have a real dinner with Momo and her boyfriend. I took off for a couple hours in the AM to go put my new bike to use, and went to the Mill.

I did the three bike trails, figured out how to use my bike and managed to make it through each one without stopping for rest. Then I took off through a tunnel and headed off into the wilderness. I had spied the tunnel, a wildlife causeway under a two lane highway. I took off down the trail, heavily wooded, paths covered in pine needles. The occasional tire ruts from the large utility vehicles that used the area. I ran into a couple of horseback riders on their tall, magnificent steeds, then I hurried along to catch up with a couple bikers. Father and daughter.

I talked with them for a while, mainly because I was unfamiliar with the area and needed to know where the trails headed. We left the woods and came on to a disused train track that was followed by utility towers and a gravel road which we rode. The gent I had run into worked at a bike shop across town, so I had lots of questions for him. We rode a few miles to a gate near another public road and I left them, pedaling my ass off and not stopping until I was back to the car. I rode twelve miles, almost thirteen.

Friday Missus worked again, so I took the girls out of the house to visit their aunt, who was being visited by her son, his wife, and their seven month old daughter. I wanted the girls to have as much time with their family as possible. So we went there for an hour, then I took the girls to the rock gym for some climbing. Fun time.

Saturday I got out of the house, determined to buy a balance bike for DT’s youngest. I had already given him one over a year ago, which was lost, and the boy still hadn’t learned how to ride. Everywhere I went was closed. Two bike shops and the Goodwill. I ran by the hardware store and bought some privacy film for our bedroom windows, then back to the house to put them up.

As I was opening the first box, I sliced open my middle finger on my hand with a brand new razor blade. Blood fell to the carpets immediately, and I’ve been doctoring the injury — Misuss has been an excellent nurse. The wound is right on the side of the knuckle and is hard to close, so it’s resulted in a quite a bit of blood. I think it’s closed now, but no guarantees on climbing this week.

Anyways the windows are going well. They’re all in, and look great. The installer is cleaning up today. We’ve been doing a lot of cleaning as well, and have hung up two blinds so far, even with my gimped hand. Screwing the brackets into the drywall is super-fucking hard, usually when two rotations from the wall. I did some experimenting with the drill depth, trying to figure out how I can do the rest of the house without draining myself.

I don’t even know if I want to do the rest of them or hire someone. The hardware is expensive. We’ve got thirteen windows in the house. I did two in three hours. Granted, one was a 60-inch, but I got shit to do and don’t want to spend the next six weekends putting these damn things up. And we haven’t even started with the blinds.

Well I’ve got some work to do. This update ran a bit longer than normal but I had a lot to cover, apparently.

Just when I was starting to enjoy things a bit

So there was a mass-shooting in Colorado Springs earlier this week and I had been trying to figure out how to acknowledge it in work Discord because we have team members there. So I hadn’t figured that out and then heard earlier from DT that there was one in Chesapeake earlier tonight.

I was so emotional that I was about to post in the work Discord “So we can add that to the 14 victims in Virginia Beach and the 35 at Tech and I’m so sick of this and anyways HAPPY THANKSGIVING” but I’m glad I didn’t.

Then I saw this and my mind is completely broken:

So I’m glad I have a blog where I can post ranty shit and I don’t need to give a fuck about who reads it.

We’ll see

Thanksgiving is in two days, and it looks like today will be the girls’ last day at school for the week. I thought they had Wednesday in class as well, but it appears not.

Elder’s class is having a Turkey Trot, and she has asked me to come in to help her class win an ice cream party by coming and doing laps around the track. Somehow I decided that I would ride my bike to her school (1.5m), then give her a solid half hour of running (2.5m), or ten laps to her class’s total, then ride back home. I told her if I did this that she would be mine and would acknowledge that she is mine and would act right. We’ll see. It’s 40 degrees out right now, which is a bit below my comfort zone, but I think I can handle it.

Speaking of turkey, Missus procured a nineteen pound bird for us, despite the fact that we are not hosting family. She started thawing it last night. I realized that most of it is going to go to waste, so I wanted to put it back in the freezer but she insists. I don’t know what we’re going to do, but DT is cooking a feast so we’ll likely go eat over there.

I’ve been making progress at work. Yesterday I spent most of the morning showing off my custom trained ML and generating prompts, then the rest of the day was working on SOL data from Flipside and manipulating it in Pandas. I’m starting to get the hang of it.

I’m trying to get the kids to work on the piano, starting them on some Christmas songs now so they might actually be ready for something by the end of the year.

Filling in

My my, where the week went. Let’s travel back in time a bit. Backward, as I fill in the details.

Yesterday was Daddy-Daughter day with Elder. We went to the bouldering gym (!) and stayed there for over two hours (!!). I think it as the first or second time that her and I had gone together, and we both really pushed it. I pushed her on some of the V0s to really try and work out her technique, and she did it. I also had some good routes, although I still have not finished the V4 that gave me trouble three weeks ago. My shoulder is still bothering me, but I think that will be less of a problem as the muscles develop. I can do three pull ups now, so I need to keep up the training in the garage.

We did a whole lot of yard work yesterday as well. Elder wanted to earn some extra money, so I let her push the lawnmower around the yard. It was slow-going for her, since the grass was pretty tall and I didn’t raise the mower deck up. We killed both batteries before the job was done, so we went out to the gym before we were done and finished it up when we got back.

We’ve been rewatching the Dragon Prince show. I didn’t realize they had two more seasons of it, and the girls don’t even remember the first pass through. So that’s our show, although we’ve been watching a couple other shows together. I’ve also been playing Riverbond with both of them, although Younger can do little more than follow us around.

Thanksgiving is this week, so we’ve got a short work-week. Missus has to work Friday, so I might have to plan something with the girls. But for now I’ve got work to do. Lot of data analysis.

ML Wizard

I delved back into the world of Stable Diffusion yesterday, this time to focus on training models. I did not have success. Just trying to figure out how to run Dreambooth was confounding. I tried running it locally as well as in Colab, but a nebulous web of commands and dependencies meant that my first couple attempts were a waste.

Running these training models takes several hours, so trial and error here is monumentally slow. And compatibility with the M1 Mac is a bit difficult as well. I almost wish I still had my six-GPU mining machine to run these models against. Oh, well I’ll have to try again next week. I spent way to much time working on this instead of doing what I was supposed to do yesterday, so I’ll need to see what I can do without tying myself up all day.

Boating accident

So I got paid this morning, which is good. I am only really planning on one more paycheck at my normal salary, then it’ll probably be cut significantly until 23Q2. I’m trying to plan accordingly.

I just had this thought last night:

There was a Tweet going around over the weekend, when it looked like FTX’s internal systems were compromised, and people were saying to delete the FTX app. I did, as I don’t use it anyways, and I couldn’t login. Then another Tweet came out saying not to delete it because FTX was trying to destroy evidence. So sometime last night as I was trying to fall asleep, my brain went WHAT ABOUT TAXES?!

Anyone who deposited funds on FTX could reasonably claim that all funds were lost. I deposited thousands via ACH, and I still have those records. Most of my friends were doing the same and using FTX for custody, so they’ve got a total loss.

Part of my anxiety was the realization that I have no idea what my tax burden is going to be. I’m in a way higher income bracket now — perhaps temporarily — and a lot of my income went into coins that I still own. I could feasibly wash trade my BTC, ETH and SOL right now, and claim that deduction, along with whatever funds I lost in the CREAM hack (was that even this year?)

The good news is that the community is still really with us. The core community is still there and the team just had a huge fire lit under their asses. I feel it, and I know the rest of the team does as well. We have to deliver.

Decisions, decisions

So last week was a bit of a mixed bag. Friday we learned that ATMTA lost half of their operating funds through the FTX collapse. So the company has between six and nine months cash on hand. Meaning that they’re exploring various options to increase their cash flow: raising money from VCs in what will undoubtedly be a down round; as well as cutting costs, including salary cuts or furloughs. Oops.

Thankfully Missus didn’t quit her job, and I’ve been saving cash quite aggressively, although, admittedly a lot of that has been going into crypto. We should likely be able to weather a significant loss of income without too much worry. We’ll have to tighten our budget, not as many toys and games, that’s for sure.

The never-ending doomscroll on my Twitter TL is just something else entirely. And Twitter, poor Twitter. Elon has come in like a wrecking ball, and between the crypto panic and slow collapse of Twitter, I don’t even have the stomach to look at it. There’s still the occasional ray of hope, but it’s pretty dark right now.

My mood has been well, considering. I’ve been at a good baseline. Missus is back, the girls are the usual challenge, and my shoulder healed enough that I’m not noticing the sharp pain, and I was able to go to the bouldering gym again yesterday for some climbing.

Now the new week is here and thing are going to be interesting. Will I get paid tomorrow? Who knows? For now I’m going to assume payroll is going to be a few days late. We shall see. The biggest question I have right now is whether to go forward with our Costa Rica trip. I paid a couple hundred out of pocket to book the vouchers, but we still haven’t paid the all-inclusive resort fee.

Crypto bloodbath

I don’t know if yesterday was the worst day in the history of crypto, because it sure felt like it. As if Tuesday wasn’t bad enough, the proposed Binance buyout of FTX failed and the markets tanked. POLIS and ATLAS were down fifty percent, SOL tanked and BTC dropped at least twenty percent down to the 15.5k level. Insane.

I seem to have gotten off luckier than most. FTX.com is completely insolvent, but it appears that the US site (a separate business entity) appears to be processing withdrawals. I pulled most of my funds out over the weekend, and only have a small amount that’s awaiting ACH cooldown. I realized earlier that I still have funds for the girls on there that I need to move off, so that’s the first order of business today.

Younger is already off to school, but Elder is still laying in bed telling me she doesn’t feel well and wants to stay home. So it’s going to be one of those days. Ugh.

And there’s family drama also. My mom’s been in the process of splitting from her husband of twenty-five years, due to some financial — um — mismanagement. Basically he got caught up with some paid group a while back that made options recommendations. Basically he got scammed, took out loans from his retirement funds, borrowed money from my mom, and went down a road to ruin. So they’re getting divorced.

I made the mistake of including his email in a Girl Scout sales campaign — he said he wanted to stay in touch with the girls — and he texted me back asking to check out whether some site was legit. It wasn’t. I was perturbed that he was still messing around with scammy shit, but I let it go. Then he sent me another email last week asking if I was interested in some ‘financial opportunity’. I ignored it. Then yesterday, of all days, he sent me some Nigerian Prince kind of scam where he wanted me to borrow $20k from him. The fucking nerve. I blocked him and vented to Missus over a few messages. I didn’t want to talk to my mom about it but she needs to know.

So that’s my day, and I’m not even talking about work stuff yet.

Post-election

Another election day is passed, and it’s still too soon to know what control of the Senate and House look like. Local results are out though, and the woman who beat me in the primary a few years back is now going to be a City Council member. Good for her. I can’t imagine dealing with all that mess right now.

Crypto is a garbage fire right now. There’s been a battle brewing between CZ of Binance and SBF of FTX; CZ fudded the shit out of the FTT token, caused a liquidity crisis at FTX and then stepped in to backstop or buy FTX. People went crazy, saying this is as bad as the LUNA and Celsius collapse. 2022 has been a hell of a year, what can you say. The entire crypto market — at least as far as my bags are concerned — got hit, BTC, SOL, ATLAS, POLIS, all of them had huge dumps yesterday. The only good news is that the Star Atlas tokens are holding positive versus SOL.

I fixed the build at work again, after I broke it, again. Dependabot alerts and my impatience caused some problems, but we’re clean right now and ready to dive in again today to get to work.

Voting day

Today is Election Day, which doesn’t hold as much significance in the household as it did when I was running for office. The girls had a half-day yesterday, and have school off completely today as their schools are used for polling places.

I’ve been completely cut off from the political process these last three years, although Missus’s Labor activities puts me back in the same orbit. I ran into our Congressperson a few weeks ago and drove Missus on a literature drop. The person is not even our Congressperson anymore since redistricting, but they’re in a tight race and we want Labor-friendly candidates in office. Unfortunately, that means Democrats.

I already voted a few weeks ago, my Congressperson is not in any danger, but there were local Council and Board members up on the ballot as well, so I did my duty there.

I was watching Last Week Tonight and their segment was on Trump lackeys taking over the voting officials in prep for 2024, so that did make me feel a bit guilty around abandoning DSA and going full crypto instead.

I’m bringing the girls over to their Momo’s today. We stopped by yesterday to say hi and she graciously agreed to take them. I was hoping to bike them over there since it was eighty-degrees yesterday, but temps have dropped into the sixties with a strong wind. We might be able to use it to our advantage though, since it will actually blow us toward Momo’s house. I’ll come back by myself, finish work, then pick them up in the car.

Work is well. I fixed the build, although I’m now at a loss where to work next. Docs, most likely.