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2020-10-31 14:33:30 (UTC)

Goals Reflection: October 2020

[any identifying names and locations will be changed for protection and privacy.]


It's the rainy season in the eco-compound's region, so their updates have been sporadic through this month, particularly the latter half. For me personally, I've been excited about going outdoors more frequently. Even if I'm not doing any sort of woodland/self-reliance practice, just catching fresh air is nice. The weather is to the point that I can start my day off (when working from home, at least) with a cup of coffee and an apple in the backyard. I was missing that. There's no telling when I'll be heading off to work in the office full-time (with a workstation lacking even a single window, but of course), so I'll take advantage of these mornings in the cold and the sun while I can.

There was a clean-up day for the community garden, and I assisted with that. There's one more on 1st November, and then that's a complete wrap for the year. I am 60/40 as to whether or not I'll be heading back. The advantage if I do go back is that I'll be able to start planning now, and conditioning the land as early as March (instead of this year's mid-May start).

I will have a lot of books to read over the off-season.

Though the workshop went off as planned, it was very lightly-attended. I still enjoyed myself, and I also helped a few others stretch their brains a little bit.

After that happened, I went full-steam-ahead in the day job, but I still had a few game ideas pop into my head. As my spare time was at what I see as a minimum, I mostly scribbled down these notes for posterity. There's one idea I can put into a deck of cards with perhaps an afternoon's amount of work, and then playtesting can begin.

My brother's birthday happens close to the middle of November, and I want to build a "dwarf tamagotchi" game for him. He's a big fan of the game "Warhammer: Total War" which is a visually-stunning fantasy war-conquest strategy game. It's with this knowledge - and both of our loves for video games in general - that I developed the idea. I hope this project will turn into something he can run in the background of his computer while he's at the day job, checking in on it once in a while, seeing what his dwarf is up to.

There's a training in full-swing at the day job right now, which means I am facilitating online meetings and occupying myself with admin tasks. This cohort in particular seems much more involved and sociable than those in the past, which is a pleasant surprise. There are a lot of variables to this, but my thoughts are generally that the job coaches have been upping their game, so to speak. Maybe that one staff member leaving/being fired is part of it? I don't know. Too many variables to say with certainty.

I've experimented with video summary-feedback on clients' written assignments, and that seems like it's received very well - even in the case of poor scores. At least clients are writing emails back to me now, which is some sort of acknowledgement of the assignment. That's a nice development.

Starting in early November, there will be two simultaneous trainings, so that will be a busy time for me. Fortunately, I go to vacation immediately afterward.

Regarding laser-cut projects: My brother paid me over $250 for the golf tags I created for him which was huge! It was very generous of him to basically match my top request, and a pleasant surprise. Also, the Canadian guy I'm making a board game for paid me CN $100, which roughly converted to just over US $70. Pretty great, considering I was asking for $40. The project has been a significant challenge, so the increased price seems justified. It's an ambitious four-panel design for the game board (I'm limited to what can fit in the cutting bay of the laser cutter), as well as coloured/tinted game pieces.

As I type this, a project piece is cutting in the laser cutter. I'm on a second version of one of the four panels, since the first version was too small. I've not found an exact way to measure the pieces - it's a convoluted process of converting computer graphics files into vector files - and I'm running through a fair amount of supplies while I do this. Additionally, the online store is currently sold out of supplies so I'm outta luck if I screw up too many times...! If I knew how to use a vector creating program myself, then this wouldn't be as difficult, I imagine.

The laser cutter itself is also presenting some limitations. Apparently my portable filter is at capacity. It's machine-sealed, so I am unable to empty and/or clean a used filter myself. The company compels users to purchase new filters. That's close to $300. Yeah.

So as a result, I am running the exhaust tube out the sliding patio door and simply venting outdoors. Again, thank goodness for the cooler weather...! Using some large-format pipe-cleaners and a toothbrush, I scrubbed caked-on soot and particles from the intake and exhaust fans. So the upshot of all this maintenance is that I learned more about the machine, and I'm now more comfortable with at least the mechanical workings of it. And the built-in fan is doing well enough without the use of the portable filter, so I reckon I can put off the filter replacement for a bit.

Regarding other projects: I made soap for the first time earlier this month. It's currently drying in the basement of a friend's house. It should be ready (for testing, I guess?) in about a week. If it turns out okay, I hope my friend and I can cook up another batch in November.

There are two developments that I hadn't planned for at all that happened this past month.

First, the artist/filmmaker friend of mine who recently moved back into town approached me with a rather immodest, forward proposal. I shut her down because I'm not really interested in a physical-but-not-intimate relationship. I've never been a casual sex kind of person, and although she and I are long-time friends I'm not romantically interested in her. We had a chance to take a day trip together through my old neighbourhood up north, and visit an ice cream shop while we were at it, and I was satisfied with our opportunity to talk things over afterward. As it happens, I think I hurt her feelings because she's not replied to text messages since then.

Second... The friend I made soap with and my ex from a 4 year relationship are one and the same. What started off as two visits to cheer her up within the same week transformed into me buying her a sex toy and then us having sex. Though the second time I visited her I did intend to cheer her up with some heavy petting and perhaps some cunnilingus, and I figured buying her a pricey vibrator or something would ease her off, but I didn't anticipate actual intercourse. So: I know how it happened, but I don't know -how- it happened.

She's one of those women who has been socialized to urge her partner to choke her - to imagine/believe that to feel that way is to feel good - and I am not into that at all - she started encouraging me to do that when we were in a relationship years ago, and that was part of the beginning of the end. So I avoided that maneuver as much as possible (pressing on her chest was the most I could bring myself to do without feeling self-revulsion), and still helped her to an orgasm. Despite my own orgasm, satisfaction was lacking (perhaps for both of us). Those words will never leave my mouth, of course. Besides, who am I to complain...?!?! A treat is a treat.

Meanwhile... The Second Wave of the pandemic is upon us, is upon the world, so I am back to not visiting my family. I am around too many other people that I really don't trust with their hygiene and safe practices to potentially put my mother at risk. She and I enjoyed a long phone conversation earlier this week.

Beyond that, I am on another Facebook break for the foreseeable future. A number of friends pushed back, essentially questioning why I was leaving the club. I didn't try to argue or start a debate or something. It's really none of their business why I want to leave, and whether or not I should stay. Meanwhile I am grateful to the friends who have reached out to share their non-FB contact info with me, so we can stay in contact.

I voted by mail. Although the state I currently live in is largely Democrat and nowhere near classified as a battleground state, I'd kick myself if I didn't do my part to kick the current bum out of the office. The Democratic bum ain't anything to crow about, mind you. Personally I think they both suck, but the current one more so than the other. I was actually hoping to see some interesting local issues on the ballot, but no such luck: just typical, bog-standard budgetary referendums.

After a bit of over-training, I'm in the cool-down phase of a cycle. Four or five days a week, I am doing up to two bids on the exercise bike a day, each at 250 calories. The shoulder is feeling sore, so I scale back on the frequency and use ibuprofen. Body weight is still holding steady at 195-ish. When I go on a pastry binge over a weekend I might jump up to nearly 200.

My vacation happens in November, and I am super, super excited about it. I also put in a vacation request for the latter part of December into the New Year. Pretty much the same vaction I requested last year.

The cinema is therapeutic to me these days. Not only have I seen some excellent seasonal horror flicks and performances, I am supporting a local business and I have a chance to chit-chat with the manager, who seems an honest, good-hearted guy. I started on a first name basis with him a couple years ago, and in all cases he's been courteous and kind. He asks for suggestions for potential films for the revival series, and I'm all too happy to offer suggestions.

Additionally I found a website that allows you to stream films via your library card account, for no cost. This is great.

There's more chaos and unpredictability in my life, beyond the day job - which seems to have settled down to a regular routine (if not regular pace) these days. I think I'll be able to have a better view of the "big picture" when the training isn't happening. But there seems to be little order, and little long-range planning. Maybe I'm waiting for the election results to come in, and a vaccine to develop, before I consider a proactive future beyond this reactive present.