Weekend update

Another Monday, another daylight savings time. Fall is always better, since we get the extra hour, although I wasted the extra time by staying up too late last night. At least the girls are at school and I have a clear calendar the rest of the morning. That’s good, too, because I’ll need it.

Yesterday was much more chill than Saturday, which was a bit of a rough one. I let the girls be their worst Sunday morning. I kept them home from church since it felt weird for me to send my six-year old by herself. No sir. So they watched TV and ate garbage until noon, at which point I had them help me straighten up the house. We really went to work and organized all of the girls coats and shoes. Then we went out.

I took them to the local outdoor mall, and we walked around. They’d been asking me to bring them to the playground there as it has these … cups? … that the girls sit in and spin around in. The cups are on an angle, so that one tends to spin around, and by moving your body slightly you can get a good spin going. It’s like a merry go round for one. So we did that, then we spent some time in B&N looking at books and games. The girls wanted to act out a play on the stage in the kids’ area, they’re so cute. Then we went to the library, then picked up groceries for the week. We had dinner, then we played Heroes of Hesiod, although the girls didn’t finish it — it’s too hard with just two players, but they made it more than halfway.

Then I read them to bed.

So this week all I have to do is grind through and make it to Saturday when Missus comes back. The girls are going to be fine. Elder can talk to her mom via Apple ID now, so that’s good, but Younger still woke up in my bed this morning. We’ll have to work on that.

Active

Today is the last day Missus is home before she flies off to Vegas for a week. Union-related, of course. The girls will be stuck her with me of course. The last trip Missus took wasn’t too bad, it kept me on my good behavior, and I’ve had to keep it up this week because I’m kicking so much ass. Other than some drinking last Saturday and on Halloween, I’ve been on top of my game.

But my shoulder still hurts, either from injury or overuse, I’m not sure. Most likely the latter. Between my climbing stint on Saturday and the yard work on Sunday, my right shoulder is on fire. I thought I had sprained a muscle or tendon, but it’s been a whole week now and I still experience discomfort lifting my elbow behind me. I’ve been doing some gentle hangs around the house to work out the pain, hanging from the molding around the interior doors, and I’ve got a spot in the garage where I can hang from a two by four.

Yesterday a garbage truck hit one of the overhead wires in a nearby intersection. It was the fiber optic cable that feeds the cable and internet to the entire subdivision. It went down as I was wrapping up a meeting, so I decided to go for a ride. I packed my go bag with library books and a bottle of water, and rode up to the library to turn them in. Then I headed back in a different direction and rode to the local bike shop to see what they had. I wound up taking a drive on a used Specialized that had the caliper brakes and shifting system that I wanted. It wasn’t everything I wanted, it still has smaller tires and is only a front suspension, and the tires are almost too knobby for riding around the city, but it’s what I need if I’m going to continue going off-road.

In all, I rode over eight miles, which is OK, but is probably only about forty minutes of riding. I’ll pick the bike up this weekend and take the girls out for a riding session.

Busy weekend

It’s Wednesday, and I’ve got a lot to catch up on: the climbing comp, Holly hacking, Halloween, work.

Saturday night I participated in my first climbing comp. I just did it for the t-shirt, really, but I’m really glad I went. I pushed myself really hard and met a lot of interesting people. And I placed second in my division — out of two! So when I was signing up I needed to pick a division. I thought men’s rec was going to be too easy, so I signed up for beginner to give myself a bit more challenge. And what a challenge it was. I made a few attempts on the first route, but after four attempts I thought it better to move on. There was a crowd.

So I eventually made my way around the routes on my score card, trying to avoid ones where groups of more experienced climbers were working. I managed to flash two of them, and sent another two, completing half of my routes. Then I settled down to work on the harder ones. After the three hours was up I had sent two more routes and had put another dozen attempts on the last two.

It was the longest climbing session that I’ve ever done. What was interesting was that my Whoop showed a lower strain level that my normal climbing sessions. It’s likely because of the turn-taking that was going on. I usually let two or three people work through my attempts, which kept my heart rate much lower. My muscles, on the other hand, got a lot more work than they normally did, especially my shoulders and forearms.

So when I was done I got a couple of beers while they tallied the results, and just kinda hung out talking with people. It was super fun. They announced the winners — I did not meet the person who beat me — so I got another gym shirt and a block of chalk — which I sorely needed.

Sunday I did not want to do the yard work that Missus wanted us to do. She wants me to cut the grass but I’m determined that I’m not going to do that until spring. So I procrastinated by trimming the wall of holly bushes and transplanting a rosemary plant. The hollies are seriously overgrown. I’m not sure if I cut them last year, but the tops had shot up like another four feet in the air. I had to cut a foot of the back of the plants to make my way between them and the house, and then I proceeded to trim the entire north side of the trunks, pruning any branches that were growing toward the house. Then I started climbing the trunks like a lumberjack and took down the tops. I also cleaned out a bunch of invasive creepers and runners, plus a bunch of small trees that were growing inside the hollies.

The rosemary plant I carefully trimmed down, keeping all the branches for processing later. I managed to get it down to one trunk, which was growing out at an angle, but was straight, and I dug it up and replanted it where it will get more sun. I rotated the root ball so that this new trunk was pointing straight up and the branches were poised to receive the most amount of southern sun.

We also had a fire Sunday evening while the kids were playing.

We had a fire Monday also for Halloween, but this time in the front yard. I moved the firepit and a patio couch to the front yard, move the empty birdbath and put the candy in it. I pulled out the PA speaker and found some spooky music to play. Then I sat and handed out candy while Missus and the girls went out with the other neighborhood kids.

And here it is Wednesday, and I can almost move my right arm without flinching. I can’t remember the last time I was this sore, and not in a good way. I don’t know if it was just the climbing, but I know the hedge trimming didn’t help either. All I know is that I could barely move on yesterday, and I had figured I’d be ready to go back for another session. Maybe today, I could, but I don’t think a full climbing session would be a good one. I’ve got some hanging around the house I can do, just working on the shoulders and hand grip. It’s obviously my weakest and I need to get where I can do some pull up and one-handed holds.

Work has been going great, to the point where I don’t want to stop coding. Even now, I’m thinking about what I need to do today and can’t wait to publish this post and get to it.

Rested

I have one of the most precious things in the world today: a clear calendar. No meetings at work, just the opportunity to put my head down and deal with a few things that I have on my list. Missus does come back and I have to pick her up; we’ll go out for lunch also. So not quite a ‘clear’ calendar, but at least no work meetings.

Elder and I finally got her homework done. Thank god for Wolfram Alpha and the fact I know how to plug 14 * (2 3/8) into a command line. She finally understands that she needs to write out each step and show her work. Her other papers she’s gotten in class have been A’s since we’ve been working together, so there’s progress there. Now I just need her to actually turn in her work.

I’m signing up for a climbing competition this weekend. I’m entering as a beginner, which is v0-v2. I’m tempted to do intermediate, which is v2-v4, but I’m not sure if I want to put myself in a position where I only finish half the routes.

I’m sitting on the back deck right now, hoping I can work outside, but it’s too windy and chilly. Back to the desk, I suppose. Lots of things to do, can’t wait.

Content

I seem to have found some contentment as Missus has been gone. Not that it’s an ideal routine, mind you, but the last few days have been somewhat peaceful. I’ve been getting to bed on time and have been following a similar routine each day: wake with Younger in my bed, get her off to school, come back and meditate, take Elder in, come back, write, then spend the day working, either in meetings or in 25 minute pomodoros until 4:30, then pick the girls up; give them 25 minutes of free time, then we start dinner or do homework, eat, clean the kitchen, do more homework, watch a show, get ready for bed; I read to Younger until 8:30, then read Drizzt to Elder till 9:00. Then I get to play BGIII or whatever, watch a show, read a book, then lights out. It’s been working well so far, with a few wrinkles.

But that’s all there is to say, I’m ready to get to work and tackle some problems.

Tiger mom

I feel like these days with the girls alone is where I grow as a parent. I’m no longer able to rely on my parter to get things done around the house, so it’s up to me. Sure, it’s frustrating to manage the girls while we prepare dinner and clean up afterward, but it’s very satisfying when we finish the job ‘on time’.

I still feel compelled to drive things and push the girls in a certain direction. Elder had the opportunity to take pre-algebra, two grade levels above where she is now. I signed her up, and I spent some time over the summer tutoring her in the 5th grade curriculum that she would be skipping. I should put ‘tutoring’ in quotes, as I’ve never been able to find a way to teach her math without getting into yelling or crying. If something is “too hard” and I try to break down concepts into first principles, she gets frustrated and shuts down, which triggers me, and so on and on.

It finally came to the point where she had no choice but to accept my help. It was a segment on fractions, and Missus was no help. Elder remembered the steps wrong and there was no way we could force that revelation.

But over the weeks since we’ve come to an understanding. She got an F in the pre-algebra class. The teacher let us know halfway through the grading period and we agreed to drop her to the 6th grade honors class. Which is still a bit tough for her. She got a zero on an assignment and I found out from the teacher that she can make up anything under a C for partial credit.

So she’s making it up. And she’s fighting me real hard on it. She’s forgotten to turn in her homework and thrown it out the next day, she’s thrown out the other paper we did make-up on because she couldn’t show her work. I’m not sure if she’s doing this intentionally or what’s going on, but she’s going to make up these assignments before she has any privileges.

Still, I feel like I’m being a good dad helping her this way.

Adulting

I’m running a bit late today. Younger and I got into a spat after I ripped out the insole from one of her shoes. The thin, upper lining had come loose and needed straightening each morning, so I thought it better to pull it out and be done with it. Younger did not agree.

Day one without Missus here went rather well. No drawn out brawling so far, and I managed to handle all my business yesterday. The girls talked me into letting them watch TV a bit later than my rule, but they did good cleaning and following directions so I let them. I still had both of them down by nine, giving myself a good two hours to play BGIII and watch Andor.

Elder is loving “her” new iPhone, although I haven’t installed any apps on it and it doesn’t have a SIM card. We seem to be able to send messages with to other Apple IDs as long as she is connected to wifi. I think the recipient may also need to be, we haven’t quite worked out the bugs. I got to keep a real close eye on her, but I’m showing her how to use calendar and reminders, and letting her take pictures and such. We’ll see how it goes.

Reliable

Well I sent Missus out in style yesterday, I left her at the train station — to catch a bus — for her training. I managed to get both the girls out of the house this morning without yelling, although Younger tested me when I told her what she was having for breakfast. Elder woke up a bit earlier, and I had been promising to let her play with her mom’s old iPhone, so I had to set her up an account with that. She’s super happy but I told her it’s not her phone.

Today is for project work, sprint retros and planning sessions. My big demo on Friday went over like a lead balloon. I may be catastrophising because I was anxious going into the demo. So I got cut off on my last slide, I had two people give me positive feedback so maybe I just keep pushing forward and stop worrying about it.

There’s work to do.

I spent all weekend playing Baldur’s Gate III. It is somewhat perfect, the culmination of the current blend of DnD 5e rules and isometric camera adventure games. I love it. Maybe it’s because I’m so deep into Dnd right now, reading Drizzt both to myself and out loud to Elder. I even found a stream on Spotify that has the audiobooks. I also picked up the first of the Dragonlance books as well.

So I wound up playing BGIII till 3AM Sunday morning, and got up with Missus to be her chauffeur at 7AM. We dropped the kids off at Momo’s and went to a GOTV event with the union and local congressional rep. By the time we got home with the kids we barely had time to take a nap before I had to take her back out to the train station.

Then it was just me and Elder at the grocery store. Myself, making promises and breaking them just as quickly just to get her to comply. It was challenging.

But I managed to get to bed at a decent hour, and although I haven’t meditated this morning I am focused and ready to do my job.

Morning notes

I’ve spent the last few days in a bit of a rabbit hole, generating rustdocs, typedocs, and trying to get an overall sense of how all the code in our main program repo is put together. It’s a bit of a slog, but I’m learning things. Especially from my mistakes. I spent a good chunk of time yesterday trying to figure out how to streamline the process of going from a Solana program written in Rust to a Typescript one, and then on to some sort of documentation structure. It’s slow going.

There needs to be better automatic tooling to do this. Typescript requires many helper functions to interact with the on-chain tools: getters and setters for the Rust code, PDA generators and the like. There’s no consistency between our programs, and we keep pushing forward with new designs.

I’ve been able to spend the last week or two this sprint just digging in from the outside, not just my team’s code, but the other programs that are already finished or still in development. And I’ve got so much to learn about the way monorepos work. We’ve got one repo for rust code, another for the TS code (factory) and yet another or React and other tools that use these bindings. I don’t spent nearly enough in these repos from day-to-day, so it’s driving me a bit mad to be looking at these now.

On some level I feel like I’m procrastinating, trying to avoid some other task that’s more important, but I’m not sure what it is other than the reports and presentations that are due this week. The team has been doing their own thing, behind the scenes work, and I guess part of me feels like we don’t have enough to show, so I’m stepping out of my lane to see what my beginner’s mind can come up with. Unfortunately it’s lead me down some dead ends. Still, I feel like I may have picked up a couple of useful things that might be worth sharing.

Other than that, the week is going by smoothly. I lie, yesterday was a bit of a mess, and my back has been hurting over the left shoulder for some time now. I don’t know if it’s posture, or the result of climbing and biking, or whether it’s from lack of weight training. It’s just starting to get on my nerves.

The weather is chill, but the skies are clear, and life is good.

Learning

Well I am still excited to wake up and work, and why wouldn’t I be? Working for a startup in one of the hottest segments of gaming and crypto? I am part of one of the best teams in the space, working on cutting edge projects with a lot of smart people.

I’m working on developer relations this week, which mainly means writing documentation for our code. Our developers each have their own ‘style’, and we quickly need to develop our own style sheet for the team, or at least our own interfaces.

I wish that TDD was a thing, for the most part we’ve been flying along at warp speed, bringing in auditors to validate things before we put money in them. We’re starting to catch up now, and I’m thankful that I’ve got a dedicated QA resource on our team.

My ideal workflow would look something like this:

Feature is requested; voting, analytics whatever signaling is used to prioritize; planning starts with an eye for design (UX and program), blockchain and web, QA, infra, comms/revops, docs, analytics and BI. Program design should specify the IDL as early as possible, to pipeline with web. Rustdocs should be required to make sure that admin and public functions are documented – this information can later be used for devrev, but makes a handy tool for the web and analytics teams.

I also have some funky ideas for the dao that I need to get down in a less public place.

I’ve been spending a lot of time in code editors, not writing code, but reading through our repos so that I can understand everything that’s going on with my areas of responsibility. The real fun, however, starts when I start poking around outside of it.