Designing a Well Lived Life: Checking In (November)

Craig Maloney - Fri, 11/30/2018 - 09:08

Checking in for November for my "Designing a Well-Lived Life" blogging. This is about making small changes during the year to make larger changes.

  • Writing more / designing more: I'm nearing the end of the editing pass for "The Mediocre Programmer" which is exciting for me. I'm in the process of getting someone to help me with chapter 7 (the chapter on burnout) to make sure that what I'm putting in there makes sense from perspectives that I don't have. I'm also starting work on writing more for the Pepper&Carrot RPG (which I'll be detailing in the coming month).

  • Programming more: Again my programming has been happening more at work than it has for myself. I haven't taken the time to really sit down and learn, but I hope to change that this next month by spending at least 10 minutes per day learning Django. I'll document that progress as well through weekly check-ins on this very blog.

  • Engage more with people, not things: The holidays provided many opportunities for this, but that's kind-of-cheating, wouldn't you agree? :)

  • Blogging more: I did a few blog posts in November. Expect more of this in December.

  • Getting out of debt: Still slowly chipping away at the mountain.

  • Supporting creators in sustainable ways: Patreon and Liberapay seem to be the way that I can move forward on this. I'm still trying to support musicians on Bandcamp as well. I'm sure there's more that I can do but I haven't taken more time to find them.

  • Physical health: I need to give this more attention. At the moment no progress to report.

  • Kindness: This past month we released a Code of Conduct for Pepper&Carrot. The discussions gave me some practice on trying to be kind. But this is definitely an area that needs more focus.

  • Mindfulness: I've been meditating every day this month, but once the meditation ends I'm not finding myself being terribly mindful. Part of that is just the stress of the day, and part of it is a feeling of falling behind in what I want / need to accomplish. I'm looking to allocate more time to do more deep work, and also commit myself to focused learning (Django) and writing (Pepper&Carrot RPG).

Categories: LugNut Blogs

The Any-Benefit

Craig Maloney - Fri, 11/16/2018 - 20:40

I've been re-reading to "Deep Work" lately and I've really taken to the idea of reducing the number of "Any Benefit" things that eat up my time. These are sites / services where the lure of them is that they provide some benefit that makes them attractive to keep around. What differentiates something that is "any benefit" vs. something that's important is that the site / service justifies its use by offering a possible or potential benefit for its use. This is often true of sites like Facebook or Twitter where folks believe that they need to have a presence in order to keep up with what their friends are doing, or because they feel they'll be missing out on something. The same is true for sites where the perceived value is higher than the actual value received. So I've been slowly pruning things in my day-to-day life. Things like Reddit got removed from my RSS feeds because I wasn't really checking it, and didn't see the benefit. There have been other sites that got the axe as well because the amount of effort that it took to maintain the interaction on those sites outweighed the potential benei received.

Slowly I'm implementing bits of this book into my daily life. Really finding this book helpful for getting myself back to a more focused state.

Categories: LugNut Blogs

Consistency is key

Craig Maloney - Mon, 11/05/2018 - 08:26

Some of you might know that I'm working on a book called "The Mediocre Programmer". I'm in the editing phases of the book now (cleaning up the language in the book and hopefully releasing something that isn't a confusing mess). One of the things that I've committed to is doing at least 10 minutes per day on the book. This has netted me a short book of about 26,000 words. I've been doing this since April 1st (The significance of the date is not lost on me), and have worked on a routine where I do at least 10 minutes of either writing or editing. I'm currently editing the last chapter now and it's been interesting to see how I've managed to go from "I can't possibly find time to write this" near the beginning of the year to "I'm about ready to open the beta to the rest of the world". All because I did a little bit each day (10 minutes isn't that much of my normal day).

This is in stark contrast to some of my other projects that I've worked on where I feel I need to clear off 30 minutes to 2 hours to even start on them. That gets me more into procrastinating about them than anything. But 10 minutes? That's easy enough.

The other secret is when the 10 minutes is up I sometimes want to keep going and keep the flow.

Building a habit where I'm consistently starting is paying off for me. I'm hoping to continue this trend.

Categories: LugNut Blogs

Designing a Well Lived Life: Checking In (October)

Craig Maloney - Tue, 10/30/2018 - 09:12

Checking in for October for my "Designing a Well-Lived Life" blogging. This is about making small changes during the year to make larger changes.

  • Writing more / designing more: I'm still working on editing my book "The Mediocre Programmer". I wrote more blog posts in October, in part because I had a few thoughts on the closure of Google+ and the resulting feelings of grief I had. I'm also working on some other projects (a code of conduct for Pepper&Carrot in particular) and am starting to read more RPGs to get myself back into thinking about designs. Part of this is in trying to apply some of the thoughts in "Deep Work" which I'll talk more about in a future post.

  • Programming more: Still doing most of my programming for work, but am working through the "Teach Yourself Godot in 24 hours" book to learn more about Godot. Also have been helping some other folks with learning coding, both at Coffee House Coders, and in private sessions.

  • Engage more with people, not things: I've been meeting more folks at Coffee House Coders, and have shifted my focus toward engaging with people at deeper levels (eg: on chat platforms). We're hitting the colder months so this will be more challenging, but I'm still keeping this in mind.

  • Blogging more: Mentioned this above, but I've been blogging more this past month.

  • Getting out of debt: Still slowly chipping away at this mountain. I'm trying to be more mindful about what I pick up and what comes home with me. Sometimes I'm successful.

  • Supporting creators in sustainable ways: Still working on this. I've made a more conscious effort to try to buy directly from creators and to use platforms like Liberapay where they have a more monthly cadence of support (as opposed to "per creation". Ahem.) There's still more work to be done on this front, and I hope that we can get to where creators aren't having to work as hard to fund themselves.

  • Physical health: I got a flu shot, so now I am invincible. Oh, alright, yes, this one has gotten no attention at all.

  • Kindness: I've been working more with kindness toward myself, but tend to think of myself last when it comes to my kindness. This is something that I need to keep in mind. I've been approaching my other interactions with kindness. Hopefully I have succeeded.

  • Mindfulness: I've been working on at least getting 5 minutes of meditation per day and being more aware of what I'm doing. This has helped when I've gotten into distraction loops (understanding that I'm essentially playing a slot machine to see where the next dopamine hit will come from). I've not been great at this (I've still gotten stuck) but I'm understanding the patterns that are emerging.

Categories: LugNut Blogs

Picking myself

Craig Maloney - Fri, 10/19/2018 - 12:31

I've been thinking a lot about a recent podcast by Seth Godin about Picking Yourself called "You're It". In this he talks about the struggles of being picked and what that used to mean. In today's world it's easier than ever to pick yourself because you have access to getting your stuff out into the world via the Internet and other means. This resonated with me. As a child it felt like I was the least-likely to ever get picked for anything. Plenty of times I was the last one to get picked, and that was because they needed an equal number of players on the team. Recently I spent a year looking for work and felt the sting of not getting picked. I spent the year applying to jobs and watched myself getting not picked over and over. Usually it was after the second interview. One such position even flew me out to meet the team and have lunch with them. When I got to the airport I bought myself a cup because I figured it wasn't going to work out. So I have a memento of not getting picked in my cupboard. One company said they'd get back to me after several interviews, and (as of this writing) has never gotten back with me. The year went on without being picked, and the echoes of instances where I wasn't picked haunted me.

We have this culture where picking yourself is somehow less genuine than being picked by others. Doing things by yourself (self-publishing in particular) is considered less than having a "real publisher" pick you. I've been guilty of it myself, where someone says they're the president of a company that you know is a company of one. It seems less authentic than if they had worked their way up the chain-of-command at a "traditional company".

What we need to realize (and what Seth points out) is that we are perfectly able to pick ourselves to do the work that matters. We are the final arbiters of publishing our own work. We don't need to rely on others to say "you are now good enough to do this work". We can pick ourselves and do the work regardless if there's an audience for it, and regardless if we'll make a living doing it.

That year of not getting picked was rough. I'm not going to sugar-coat the frustrations and feelings of inadequacy I felt. I really felt like my career was over and that I was going to forever be a shell of my former self.

But that's one way of thinking. If my own self-worth is what I can generate for other folks then is that really something that I want to invest in?

Let me be concise and direct: "Fuck that".

I pick myself, and I will continue to pick myself. Each day I have an opportunity to do things that matter and it's up to me to pick myself to do that work.

If not me then who will?

Categories: LugNut Blogs

Deep Work and Closing the Bar

Craig Maloney - Mon, 10/15/2018 - 18:36

Over this past weekend I borrowed Deep Work: Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World by Cal Newport from the local library. True to the spirit of the book I blocked out large chunks of the weekend to read it. In the book Cal Newport drives home his hypothesis that we spend most of our time not doing the sort of work that requires deep concentration. We're too distracted to get ourselves into the spaces where truly great work can flourish (what Cal calls "Deep Work"). The first part makes the case for having deep work states, and the second half of the book describes four rules that Cal uses to allow himself more deep work states. What was in the book wasn't particularly newsworthy to anyone who has lived near a computer in the 21st century, but what was interesting to me was his third rule: quit social media. Cal began with the story of a farmer who was considering whether to buy a hay baler to get the hay from his fields. The farmer weighed the pros and cons of this decision and ultimately realized that he would be better served purchasing the hay for his animals rather than make his own hay. That seems counter-intuitive (why buy when you can make your own for "free"), but the farmer explained that the time and effort in making hay didn't offset the overall cost. In the end he would be losing money making his own hay rather than picking it up from someone else. This relates to social media in what Cal terms the "any-benefit". The "any-benefit" is where we over-value something if we get any benefit from it at all. Even if we're losing out in the equation we still cling on to the things that we feel are benefiting us in some small way.

I've mentioned that Google+ is going away. Google+ (G+) was a network that I put a significant amount of effort into, both with posting content and maintaining a presence. For me G+ was like a wonderful bar, filled with interesting people and good conversations. I could wander by any table and find something interesting to talk about, or at the very least I could show my appreciation by "plussing" someone's post or comment. With the announcement that G+ is going away a lot of folks are trying hard to find out where everyone is headed. Now that the bar is closing people are making their plans on where they want to head. For some they want to head to other bars to try to replicate the same conversations they had on G+. Others are slowly realizing that G+ was somewhere special and they can't replicate those conversations anywhere. Still others are wondering if they should even pursue a presence social media at all.

After reading about the "any-benefit" I started thinking about my own usage of social media and what I really want out of it. When I joined G+ I found groups of RPG gamers and designers. Their conversations gave me insights into the realm of RPGs. I saw people talk about their problems with designs, and got a glimpse of how to run a RPG company. This was very fascinating to me and I wanted to learn more. I participated in discussions, plussed interesting conversations, and felt like I was well on my way to learning how best to design games.

Unfortunately I've now realized that the conversations I've had (interesting as they are) were only a taste of the conversations I wanted to have. These conversations were more like idle chat amongst a group of people who happen to be in the same spot at the same time, and weren't at the deeper levels of game design. What I saw was the equivalent of the post-mortem or the public journal of game design. And while those are important they lacked one thing that would add another layer of depth to the discussion.

My own designs.

See, talking about things is not the same thing as doing the things. My own designs and programming have been hampered because I've spent more time trying to get folks to pay attention to me rather than put out the work itself. The benefits of having the conversations came at the costs of me making things to drive conversation.

In short, the benefits didn't match the costs, and I valued G+ and the interactions there more than I received.

That's not to say that I didn't have great conversations on G+ (or any other social media, for that matter). I still enjoy the heck out of bantering with folks online.

But the reality is that I don't need to replace G+ at all. My own happiness lies in spending more time doing the deeper work to create things that get people talking. Rather than spending my time decorating people's timelines with my witticisms and "plusses" I should instead work on things that bring about more benefit.

So as the bars close and people wander off to the next big thing I think I'll put on my jacket, bid my farewells, and saunter off home. And if we meet in one of the other establishments then we'll talk about the good times we had and then kindly get back to making amazing things together.

Categories: LugNut Blogs

Open Source Journeys interview with Marcel Gagne

Craig Maloney - Tue, 10/09/2018 - 12:18

Marcel Gagne is starting a new series with the Linux Professional Institute (LPI) called Open Source Journeys. I'm thrilled to announce that I'm Marcel's first guest in this series:

Open Source Journeys: In Conversation With Craig Maloney

I hope you'll give it a listen.

Thanks Marcel for being such an engaging and kind host. Looking forward to hearing the rest of this series!

Categories: LugNut Blogs

Grieving Google+

Craig Maloney - Mon, 10/08/2018 - 21:22

Today Google announced that they are closing down Google+, their social network. Naturally this elicited three sorts of reactions: the "oh no!" of frequent users, the "people still use G+" of non-fans, and the puzzlement of folks for whom G+ never caught on. Google+ was Google's attempt at making a social network. When it first arrived people were confused at how it worked. Google+ introduced the concept of "circles" where folks could collect up a group of folks with similar interests and treat that as a separate group. You could post to circles and follow the activities of folks in that circle. What was really cool though was the ability to share circles and merge them into your own circle. This was great because someone could say "here's a circle of cool folks that are interested in tabletop role-playing games" and others could add those folks to their own gaming circles.

It's hard to convey just how cool circles were in the early days of G+. It gave you a ready-made list of folks who had similar interests to you. Before long those circles became groups, and those groups became communities.

I mention the role-playing game community in particular because that was the community that was the most interesting on G+. I was suddenly following a bunch if interesting and talented game designers and folks who were thinking deeply about games and game design.

It's hard to overstate how amazing these communities were.

Google also felt the need to make all of their social products work with Google+. They added events, actual communities, and Hangouts integration into Google+. They created ways for role-playing groups to get together online and play games. People created add-ons for hangouts to roll dice and show maps. Events allowed folks to meet online or in person. Coffee House Coders and Michigan!/usr/group used events and communities to help keep people up-to-date, and the Michigan!/usr/group also streamed meetings using Google+ events and streaming.

People quickly figured out how to make beautiful things with Google+. They built relationships. Those relationships prospered.

Unfortunately Google couldn't articulate what Google+ was to anyone. They tried advertising, demos, and what-not but unless you were steeped in Google+ it was difficult to figure out.

So Google did the thing that they thought was most obvious: they tried to strip it down and simplify it.

They took away the ability to share circles. No longer were people able to share lists of interesting users. They also disconnected the integration of Google Hangouts, and removed events from communities. They killed off the ability to add apps to Google Hangouts, and streamlined the user experience to the point where even expert users were having a hard time doing things they used to do.

In their efforts to make Google+ more accessible to the masses they killed off the product that the experts found useful.

Naturally the power users moved on. If they wanted shitty Facebook they could go back to Facebook just fine, thank you. And over time Google+ became a shadow of its former self.

Today Google announced that Google+ was slated for closure. August 2019 will see the closure of Google+.

I mourn the Google+ that I knew. I mourn the friendships and interesting discussions that happened there. Today the discussions were of people trying to rebuild their communities on other platforms. But the reality is there will never be another platform like Google+. Google managed to create something that encouraged folks to build communities. But because they didn't understand that they did everything to stifle those communities.

I was going to title this post "The Last Social Network" in part because I'm fatigued. I'm tired of corporate-owned social networks where the users are an afterthought. I'm tired of corporate-owned networks where it's all about lock-in and monetization. So I'm on Mastodon for the foreseeable future. And should something happen to make Mastodon and the resultant ActivityPub ecosystem disappear then I'm done.

Goodbye Google+. You were unique and misunderstood, even by the people who ostensibly loved you the most.

Categories: LugNut Blogs

Designing a Well Lived Life: Checking In (September)

Craig Maloney - Tue, 10/02/2018 - 20:20

Checking in for September for my "Designing a Well-Lived Life" blogging. This is about making small changes during the year to make larger changes.

  • Writing more / designing more: Been working on the editing pass of "The Mediocre Programmer". Haven't been doing much in the realm of designing, or in the realm of the other writing that I would like to do. I need to allocate more time to this.

  • Programming more: I've done a little programming here and there but not a while lot of programming. I want to do more development with Godot. Again, most of my programming has been work-related.

  • Engage more with people, not things: I've been on Mastodon and Plus a lot more than I would like. I've still been doing Coffee House Coders and MUG. Also we've had a few occasions to meet up with folks. Still more work to do in this area.

  • Blogging more: Seems to come in fits and spurts, but at least I have a monthly outlet.

  • Getting out of debt: Still making some progress in this arena.

  • Supporting creators in sustainable ways: Still doing Patreon and Liberapay, and picking up albums on Bandcamp. Wondering how much more I can do.

  • Physical health: Not much progress in this area.

  • Kindness: Still working on being kinder to others and myself.

  • Mindfulness: Still practicing mindfulness with meditation and pausing during the day.

Categories: LugNut Blogs

Fans: Stop giving companies free labor - they don't want it

Craig Maloney - Sat, 09/29/2018 - 13:04

There's a story going around the net about how CBS is being awful to a group of fans. The folks at Stage 9 created a virtual tour of the Enterprise D in startling detail. I saw videos of this project and was stunned at the level of accuracy they put into this effort. The articles mention that Stage 9 put in two years of effort into creating a magnificent tribute to the set designs and creativity of the show.

Stage 9 never intended to sell this, but anyone who has seen this play out knows exactly what happened next.

Techdirt has a great article about this: "CBS Bullies Fan Star Trek Project To Shut Down Despite Creators' Pleas For Instructions On Being Legit". Basically CBS shut down the project without giving Stage 9 any recourse to fix the project. "To keep the project alive, the team were prepared to make any changes ordered by CBS. Sadly, CBS said that the project could not continue in any form, no matter what changes were made. They provided no further details and, as noted by Eurogamer, did not indicate how Stage 9 had violated the fan art guidelines previously published by CBS and Paramount".

This is an altogether familiar tale. A group of excited fans gets together to create something using recent cultural shows / movies / books, the company that ostensibly owns the material starts to get wind of this, and the project gets shut down because the company takes offense that someone else might be making something without them getting proper remittance.

Folks, I have a simple strategy for how not to get burned by this in the future. A fool-proof way to ensure that you won't be served with cease-and-desist letters from lawyers for applying your creative energies to folks who couldn't be less enthused with your machinations. A concrete way to engage with companies and their "intellectual property".

Here it is:

Unless you're getting paid by the company stop giving them free creative labor!

Let me restate that for the folks in the back of the room:

Unless you're getting paid by the company stop giving them free creative labor!

Companies like CBS, Disney, and the like pay people to create material and you're busily giving them your creative energies for free. Why? Are you that much of a fan of their material that you would rather interfere with hardworking folks getting paid to create that stuff you ostensibly like?

Now you might counter "but I have these ideas about how these characters could interact" or "I think there are more untold stories that can be told". And that's fine. Write up a proper pitch letter, find an agent, and see if they'll pay attention to you. Because it's pretty clear that they don't want the free stuff anymore.

They're not interested in your faithful recreation of that ship you saw in that show. They're not interested in your "fan fiction" or "fan theories". They have a department of highly-skilled creative folks who get paid to do this sort of thing. Never mind that the last time they did an actual walk-through of The Enterprise D it was over 20 years ago and used Quicktime. Nope, they don't care. They'd rather someone fire up an emulator for a Macintosh System 8 machine than have you see their content for a second without a proper license.

The proper way to be a fan, it seems, is to present your wallet on demand and pick up whatever it is that they're selling. Proper fans buy several copies of their favorite shows over the years: physical disc, streaming, and whatever format they're offering in the future. Proper fans own the T-shirt. Proper fans buy the action figures for their children (and their children at heart). Proper fans buy the book, the soundtrack, and the plushies.

Proper fans don't get legal involved. They don't create things that the company pays people to create. They don't dress-up as their favorite character unless the company sells that costume. They don't think about the material outside of "gosh, wouldn't it be neat to head to Thinkgeek and pick up some more stuff. Wouldn't that be grand?".

So you have a choice. You can engage like a "proper fan". And there's nothing wrong with that. That's the way that most folks engage with this sort of content. It's the path that companies encourage.

Or you can engage with folks who actually care about people engaging with their content. They license their material under permissive licenses that explicitly tell folks how they can engage with their content. They're things like Eclipse Phase which allow folks to remix the material as long as it isn't for commercial purposes. It's things like Pepper&Carrot that allow folks to do with it as they like (with attribution).

Because it's clear that a company like CBS would rather pay you to be a fan than have you do it for free. And as Harlan Ellison so famously and succinctly put it, whenever a company expects you to do free labor the proper response is "Fuck You, Pay Me!".

Categories: LugNut Blogs

Learning Challenge for September: JavaScript - Day Ugh to Done

Craig Maloney - Wed, 09/12/2018 - 19:52


I've hit a wall with this challenge. Part of it is my expectations that I would be further along. I thought that I would be further in the book where the challenges start to get more interesting. Unfortunately I'm still near the beginning pieces of the book so I'm part way between being challenged and between bored. The other part is I've been down this road before and have a lot of baggage that I'm bringing with me. I'm remembering the past failures and how I keep struggling to learn this language. It's evaded me more than any other language, and that's partly because it also encompasses a lot of the front-end development that I haven't had a lot of experience in. So learning JavaScript is only one small piece of a whole larger ecosystem that can be very frustrating to crack (at least it has been for me).

So what now? Do I just give up?

I'm giving up just learning JavaScript this month. If I keep on this path I'm going to become even more frustrated with this. But I'm still going to schedule myself 30 minutes a day where I move a project forward. I'm still going to work through Eloquent JavaScript but I'm going to do it with the idea that I'm going to learn enough where I can start a project. I learn best when I have a project. I learned Python when I did several PyWeek projects. I learned Perl when I had projects at work. I learn best when I have a project to hang this on. Unfortunately I don't know enough JavaScript to get to the point where I can start up a project so that's what I'm going to spend the rest of the month working toward: figuring out a project to work on in October.

We'll see where this leads. Right now I need to focus my habits on making time to learn.

Categories: LugNut Blogs

Learning Challenge for September: JavaScript - Day 6-9

Craig Maloney - Sun, 09/09/2018 - 20:32

I've been making a pretty good clip through Eloquent JavaScript but this weekend I didn't make any progress in the book outside of a little bit of reading here and there. I was hoping that Saturday would have been just one day but it looks like I extended that to Sunday as well (today).

Hoping to get back on track and get back into the habit of learning. I think part of the problem is I'm not a fan of the WereSquirrel problem that he presents in the book so I've been dreading getting to this point. Perhaps I'll just go through it as best I can and keep going.

Categories: LugNut Blogs

Learning Challenge for September: JavaScript - Day 4-5

Craig Maloney - Wed, 09/05/2018 - 19:47

The past few days I've been trying to take advantage of weird windows of time to work on my JavaScript. I'm working through chapter 3 of Eloquent JavaScript. I'm finding it a little quicker than most books about programming languages because it goes over a lot of concepts rather quickly. I kinda like that because it's part refresher and part "we'll get to that later". Also it lays out some of the blueprint of what we'll cover in later chapters.

Trying hard not to break the chain of learning containers as well. Getting a full half-hour can be tough, but I'm finding it worth it.

Categories: LugNut Blogs

Learning Challenge for September: JavaScript - Day 3

Craig Maloney - Mon, 09/03/2018 - 16:38

I'm working through the book Eloquent JavaScript from cover-to-cover. Part of this is baking in the discipline to actually read though the book and not let my experience with other languages overshadow the JavaScript experience. I made it through Chapter 2: Program Structure and did the exercises near the back. What's nice about Eloquent JavaScript is there's worked solutions for the exercises in each chapter. What's interesting is how different our solutions were for each of the questions. For the "FizzBuzz" solution I decided to use a switch / case statement, which showed me just how screwball JavaScript's switch / case statements are:

for (let i = 1; i <= 100; i++) { switch (true){ case (i % 3 === 0) && (i % 5 === 0): console.log("FizzBuzz"); break; case (i % 3 === 0): console.log("Fizz"); break; case (i % 5 === 0): console.log("Buzz"); break; default: console.log(i); break; } }

Initially I had it as switch(i) but that didn't work at all. I had to look on StackOverflow to find the right answer.

This is also about carving out learning time. I'm working on trying to get at least 30 minutes per day doing some form of learning exercise. That might not seem like a lot, but keeping it consistent will be key for my learning challenge (especially as I decide to tackle more difficult projects).

Categories: LugNut Blogs

Learning Challenge for September: JavaScript

Craig Maloney - Sat, 09/01/2018 - 17:54

My white-whale of programming languages is JavaScript. It's the one that I've put the most effort into learning and the one that has consistently frustrated every attempt of mine to learn it. But I think the main reason I've had trouble learning it is because I've been looking at it from the wrong angle. Every time I learn JavaScript I think of all of the work-related things that I can do with it. I see it as a requirement to being hired, and feel inadequate for not having picked it up sooner.

I've never come at it from the angle that it can be fun. It always feels like some other bullshit that I have to learn in order to be marketable. So whenever I fail in learning it I feel like I'm somehow making myself less attractive to future employers.

So for this challenge I'm going to have fun with JavaScript. I'm going to see how strange it can be, and explore making games with JavaScript. I'm going to go full-on mad scientist with this. Whatever shows up is what I'm going to be OK with. I'm tired of bashing my head against what other people want.

We'll see where this leads.

Categories: LugNut Blogs

Designing a Well Lived Life: Checking In (August)

Craig Maloney - Sat, 09/01/2018 - 17:44

Checking in for August for my "Designing a Well-Lived Life" blogging. This is about making small changes during the year to make larger changes.

  • Writing more / designing more: I've been working on editing my "Mediocre Programmer" book, but it's going slower than I would like. Our schedule changed so I haven't been able to take advantage of getting up early like I used to. That bugs me a bit. But at least I've been doing some writing. The Designing has taken a back-seat at the moment, though I'm hoping to get back to it later this month.

  • Programming more: Again my programming has been at work. This month I am committing myself to continuing to learn JavaScript so I can say that I have it at an intermediate level.

  • Engage more with people, not things: Haven't been able to do this much since things are now getting busy and we're seeing people less and less.

  • Blogging more: At least I'm getting one post out a month with this challenge. :) But I'm also going to be using the blog for my monthly challenge.

  • Getting out of debt: Slowly plugging away at this. If anyone wants to help please let me know. :)

  • Supporting creators in sustainable ways: Liberapay lost their primary payment processor (Mangopay) so I've been working on moving my contributions around.

  • Physical health: I've not given this as much focus as it needs.

  • Kindness: As the year wears on I'm finding my kindness to myself starting to wane. Starting to feel pressure to get things done and not see yet-another-year go by. But that's also putting undue strain on me so am focusing more on doing things in the moment rather than being unkind to myself.

  • Mindfulness: I've picked up a habit of reading each morning, which is helpful. Also finding myself taking a breather whenever I start to feel frustrated or overwhelmed. That has been helping out with being kind to myself (see above).

Categories: LugNut Blogs