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2021-05-31 08:26:59 (UTC)

Goals Reflection: May 2021

GOALS REFLECTION: May 2021

SUSTAINABLE LIVING
Things have ramped-up for me personally on this front. For one thing, the garden is alive and kicking. Throughout the month of May I gathered easily over three dozen radishes, and some of them were larger than golf balls. I was harvesting one afternoon, and took a double-take at a large, albino radish... then realized that somehow a turnip seed must have sneaked into my radish seed packet. I've harvested some Swiss chard and realized I'm not too fond of the flavour. The "old guard" at the garden stop by and chat with me every once in a while, and I consider this a sign that my garden is growing all right.

Pumpkin seeds are in the ground now. I re-discovered three ginger rhizomes that are kind of just sitting in the soil - fortunately, not rotting. We'll see what the approaching warm weather and the close of the spring does for both crops. Meanwhile, the potato plants are prolific and healthy. The deer can't eat 'em all. This year's spud crop will be considerable.

Secondly, the eco-compound's KS campaign finished (being rabidly successful), and as a result I've raked in thank-you rewards. One of them is a collection of over 500 podcasts about permaculture and sustainability. So for the past week and a half it's been discussions on raised beds, cast iron frying pans, Masanobu Fukuoka and "One Straw Revolution," and diatomaceous earth whenever I've been in the car. At odd times of the day and evening, I check in at the forums for permaculture-related discussions from which I can learn more.

Whenever I visit the garden space, I hear a pervasive "machine whirring" sound, almost like a high-pitched, constant emergency siren. It's only the cicadas. I was wondering why birds haven't been visiting the bird feeder lately, but I suppose I can point to Brood X, not that I have crappy seeds or whatever. Were those fat bugs not ambling and flitting about, I'm sure I'd have been refilling the feeder more frequently as of late. I think it will be a popular stop for birds throughout the summer.

GAME DESIGN
A game design highlight from this past month was a tabletop game-design jam I entered, on a whim. The theme was a map-based game where the map is gradually erased until nothing is left. My entry is a respectable one, featuring a card-based map, a tech tree for players to invest in, and a peculiar score system where I tried to emphasize a synergy between the various elements the players could collect over time. The usual forum of game designers provided plenty of suggestions and critique that can help make this design better, and I'm looking forward to seeing how this grows over time.

Another entertaining aspect of the game jam was that many of the entries were in a language other than English. I took time out to develop a basic translation of the rules from some of these designers, both to help me understand the game so I could provide critique, but also to help broaden the audience of those other games. This proved to be a surprisingly fun aspect of the game jam, and the other designers were all grateful for my efforts.

I reconnected with a small group of game designers operating out of upstate New York, after receiving word they were to hold their design event in August this year. I tentatively RSVP'd that I'll be in attendance with a couple game designs, including this event's game, plus my roll n' write design. Later today I will be visiting a game designer friend for the first time in over a year, and we'll be bouncing our ideas off one another and I'll be playtesting one if not both of these at his place after dinner. I also want to discuss the animal tile game with him, and see what he thinks of the concept.

INCREASED INCOME
I've not touched the laser cutter lately. I feel like my energy is being pulled in other directions, and after the coasters making barely a blip - plus eBay changing their pricing structure to connect directly to a seller's checking account - something I'm -not- interested in allowing - there's some more thought that needs to be done prior to me jumping in on some other laser-cutting venture.

With a recent cash windfall, I invested in some more soap-making supplies. I also learned about some legitimate soap supply websites, so I won't have to resort to scrambling to find essential oils and other ingredients. There's a friend of mine going through some health scares at the moment, and my next batch of soap will be made with her in mind, featuring her favourite scents and a little tea tree oil.

I had a bit of a mix-up with my debit card and a check being eaten by the ATM when I attempted to make a deposit at the machine. The whole process... What a hassle! But I was reminded that a cheerful attitude with customer service personnel works wonders, and keeps me personally in a better mood about a situation. It's also a reminder that having some physical cash stashed away is a wise move. One of my backpacks has a "hidden pocket" and with the money secreted in there I was able to refill the car's fuel tank: now a vital function that we're back in the office full-time.

Speaking of the office... Raises will be going through at the start of July, along with bonuses. I'm definitely looking forward to that, of course. Another interesting development is that I'm currently going through the interview process for a "junior trainer" whom I will supervise. I supervised an intern for a short time last year, but this will be a full-time permanent employee, and it's been quite some time since I supervised one of those. But if it's gonna get some of these back-to-back training sessions -off- my back, I'll welcome it.

FAMILY & FRIENDS
Mother's Day came and went this month. I found a florist local to where Mum lives and the delivery went off without a hitch. She was grateful and of course fussy like, "You don't have to spend so much money," and so on. So I assume the flowers were impressive. She also has a quarterly book subscription that will be delivered every quarter for a year. She's always interested in new books, and everyone likes receiving mail, so I think she'll be pleased.

This past month was spent reconnecting with friends, and actually being in their physical presence for the first time in a year. Earlier this month my artist friend and I had dinner, prepped her garden, and watched films to unwind and hang out together. She and I also tentatively kicked-off a personal, intimate letter-exchange process that I hope will be interesting and not too much a hassle for us both. It might sound as if it's some kind of personal obligation, but to be clear about it I'm the one who suggested it so there's something about it that intrigues me. We'll see how it goes.

It may also be appropriate to mention the local Farmer's Market at this point as well. This past weekend was the opening weekend. Although the rain and cold had re-emerged, the market was still open and I was still enthusiastic (personally I prefer rainy, cold weather most of the time anyway). I think it's important to show up for local businesses. I walked in with a bucket full of food scraps and a pocket full of cash. I walked out with an empty bucket (the scraps now destined for a local farm's compost), some locally-roasted coffee (which I've already savored), locally-pressed olive oil (for the next batch of soap), and locally-baked pastries (undeniably delectable). Every single thing about that morning was enjoyable, and the vendors were all grateful. Furthermore, if I meet a woman any time soon, I suspect she'll be in some way connected to the garden or this farmer's market. This is not a bad thing.

HEALTH & WELLNESS
The CT scan was apparently inconclusive, so the pains in my abdomen - although not connected to internal organs - are still a medical mystery and therefore untreatable through conventional means. The surgeon suspects some scar tissue (hell if I know what injury that would be from) irritating the nerves in the area. So it's Icy Hot and Aspercreme. I'm sitting here with a hospital bill staring me in the face, certain I'll have more on the way once the health insurance company is done with them, and I'm shaking my head about this situation. I'm just growing old, I reckon. This must be what it's like. The good news is that beyond this weird pain and my aching shoulder, I have a nearly-complete clean bill of health...! So that's something.

I am visiting the garden every other day as long as it's not raining, cycling on the exercise bike on the days in-between and sometimes more often. That's a good-enough pace for now.

When it comes to mental health, I am growing into the habit of deliberately choosing to be in a better mood about nearly everything. In general, I don't care if I'm right anymore - particularly about politics or religion - so why bother arguing about it? No one really cares about my opinion anyway, and it's not like I expect to persuade anyone to join my non-existent crusade for Justice. It's highly-doubtful anyone will want to join me when I eventually move out of the country. It seems better to just shut up and do good works, letting them speak for me (were I to have anything substantive to say in the first place, of course).

TO SUM IT UP
Can I just keep last month's summary? "Working hard. Kind of okay with being alone, since I have friends and family I can talk with and who show me they care." That seems sufficient. Well, that, plus the garden is kicking ass and taking names.


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