The first day of the Automattic Grand Meetup this year was spent with our various teams, and the lead of my team put together a scavenger hunt through Whistler Village. It was a lot of fun, and gave us a good chance to get all around the area and see what’s out there. And the weather was great, which didn’t hurt.
It’s been a long time since I’ve posted anything…sorry. But today marks the beginning of a new streak; lets see how long I can keep it going.
Right now I’m on my way to the airport to fly to Whistler, BC for the Automattic Grand Meetup. I’ll be gone for a full week, and it was really tough to leave my family this morning, but I’m looking forward to the trip.
The picture at the top of the post is from the Wildwood, NJ boardwalk over Labor Day weekend. That’s just one of the many recent events I failed to post about. Also, Gia turned 3 and I had my 1-year anniversary with Automattic (my Matticversary).
Back on October 21st, almost a year ago, I posted that I had sadly lost my streak on Duolingo. My record was 292 straight days, and I lost it by going two days in a row without taking a lesson. My excuse was that it was the last two days of the Automattic Grand Meetup, and I was pretty busy. But it was a little devastating.
But the next day I started over, and as of today I’ve finally passed that record! 293 days! Huzzah!
Although in the grand scheme of things, this means that I’ve been studying Danish for almost two years, and I’m still nowhere near being able to speak it. I can read/write okay, but I don’t have a very big vocabulary.
A few weeks ago I received a summons for jury duty for the first time, scheduled for today. So this morning I got up and put on khaki pants and a polo shirt for the first time in almost a year, and drove down to the courthouse. I checked in and sat in a room with a few dozen other people waiting to see if we were going to be selected to actually sit on a jury. They said there were 3 trials scheduled for today, and there would only be a handful of us who wouldn’t be needed, but the earliest they would be able to release anyone would be 1pm.
Around 10am or so they called back the group for the first trial, and about an hour later a handful of them came back. At that point the court clerk came out and told us that the jury for that case was selected, another case was settled with a plea, and the third was postponed to another day. So we were let go around 11am.
It was great to be able to go home early, but I was actually looking forward to sitting on a jury and being a part of it all. I assume it would be like every courtroom drama I’ve ever seen in TV and movies. I wanted to see the judge throw the book at someone, or alternately have somebody rush in at the last minute with some new evidence that exonerates the seemingly guilty defendant. Those are really the only two options.
5 years ago today I first started running MythTV, an open-source home DVR solution. So I’m running my own computer instead of leasing a box from the cable company. Sure, there have been hiccups and maintenance headaches, but overall I much prefer having the personal control over my recordings. In the statistics above you’ll see that I recorded 659 episodes of The Simpsons during the FX Network’s Every Simpsons Ever marathon, which took up 1.5TB of disk space. Try doing that with your cable box! (Full disclosure – I held onto them for probably a year before I deleted them because I needed the space)
Gymnastic Bodies Week 1
I finished up week 1 of the Gymnastic Bodies fundamentals program over the weekend. I like it so far. Every day there are just a couple of videos to watch detailing a new stretch or exercise, including solutions and workaround for common problems. Even after just a week I can already feel a difference in my hamstrings. I might even eventually be able to do the most difficult yoga move of all – downward dog.
I can also feel a difference in my hips/quads, but that mostly shows up when I’m sitting in a regular chair (as opposed to one that’s designed for good ergonomics). For better or worse I’m now much more uncomfortable sitting with bad posture in a crappy chair. I don’t know if that will go away as I work out other flexibility issues or not.
So my hands don’t get cold
Recently Gia’s been asking for ice in her water bottle (which she takes to bed with her). The natural evolution from that is that she needs socks on her hands because the water bottle is too cold.
Gymnastics Strength Training
This morning I started a new workout routine from GymnasticBodies. It’s a subscription service, and I purchased* their Fundamentals course, which focuses on building range of motion and flexibility. The course structure is that every day you get access to a new video or two with some exercises for you to perform that day. There’s no defined number of reps or sets to perform at this level, it’s just focusing on figuring out your weak points and working through them. I thought going into this that I had a good range of motion in my hip flexors, but walking across the room in an ape pose proved otherwise. I couldn’t get my heels all the way to the ground and still support any weight on my hands. But I’ll get there.
The site doesn’t give a ton of information on the courses up front; it’s kind of locked down until you progress day by day through the program. I believe that’s by design to prevent people from jumping ahead and injuring themselves. But it also means I don’t really know what to expect from here. The general idea is that I’ll do 5 days of different motions, only doing a little bit per day (again, to prevent pushing too hard, leading to injury), and then the 6th day will be some form of self-assessment that puts everything together.
Like everything else in the self-improvement department of my life, I learned about this through Tim Ferriss and his podcast. Coach Sommers (former US national team gymnastics coach) was a fascinating guest, and started giving a deal for podcast listeners to save 25%, which was enough to convince me to give it a whirl. I don’t plan on posting results every day, but I’ll probably update weekly or so if you’re interested. The Fundamentals course is 4 weeks long. But for today – the exercises were stressing range of motion in shoulders and hips, and I expected trouble with the former and not with the latter…but it was the other way around. My shoulders were a little tight, but not terrible, and my hips were awful.
*Technically I purchased it because it was the easiest way for me to sign up, but officially it’s a birthday gift from my mom. Thanks Mom!
Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes
I bought a refurbished Gear VR headset recently. It’s great, but my biggest problem is that I don’t own a compatible phone…Jen does. So I can only play with it when she’s around, but not using her phone. Last night we started playing a game with it together, though, and it was a ton of fun. The game is Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes, where the person wearing the VR headset is in charge of disarming a bomb, and the other people (just me in this case) are the “experts” with the bomb manual that says how to do it. For example, the person wearing the headset might say “Ok, I have a module here with a bunch of wires”, and then the expert flips through the manual to find the section on wires. “How many wires? Are there more than 3 reds? Is there a vowel in the serial number on the side of the bomb? Ok, cut the second wire”
We took turns going back and forth wearing the headset and being the expert and made it through the first 5-10 levels or so.