I always had something to say. In fact, I kept writing down thoughts and ideas into my journal, so that I would always have something to say. But soon enough it became like work to me. More of a chore instead of a fun hobby.
At the start of this year, I decided to stop writing to my dev blog and instead start publishing software development posts on this journal.
I loved the ease of publishing new software development content to this journal using write.as. But I didn't really like how it all turned out. Specifically, I thought it was jarring to be reading a post on SQL Server, then hit the homepage to find posts on video games and God. It felt awkward to me.
So, I decided to once again start publishing software development posts to a dedicated software development blog. This time around, instead of going back to a static site generator, I spun up a new dev blog on write.as. I'm hoping that the ease of publishing new content outweighs the drawbacks of having yet another website to maintain. We'll see how it goes.
I think the reason I’m always critical of my time when writing posts for this site, is because the time I spend writing blog posts, is time not spent with my family. I may be in the same house as them, at times even in the same room, but during those moments when I'm writing, I’m not really with them.
You might be wondering, where is this coming from? It’s coming from the realization that my kids are growing up so fast. My eldest son for instance, is going to start school this year.
I fear that I'm losing my time with them. That window where they think it’s still cool to play with dad, I feel like that window of time is shrinking every day.
Twenty, thirty, forty years from now, I don’t want to regret not spending enough time with my kids. And let’s be honest, time spent with your kids is never going to be enough. They will grow up and eventually leave to have their own families. You can't hang on to them forever.
Trying out a new format for my Weeknotes post. One thing I discovered during my latest digital declutter was that I did not look forward to writing my Weeknotes posts. It's not because I don't have content to put out. It's because sometimes, there's too many to choose from. It then becomes exhausting to me, to decide what gets included and what doesn't. Then there's the editing part which sometimes takes over an hour to complete.
So, my aim with the new format is to make writing Weeknotes posts quicker. I want to spend no more than 30 minutes writing one. — This post still took close to an hour to finish, damn.
The new format is simple. I start with the highlight or highlights of the week. Followed by at least one thing I've learned during the week. Then lastly, at least one interesting read during the week. And that's it.
Let's see how this goes then.
Highlight(s) Of The Week
The main highlight last week was getting our 2nd dose of the Moderna Covid-19 vaccine.
I had to take a sick day the day after, because I was not feeling well. The side-effects of the 2nd dose of the Moderna vaccine are pretty rough. It felt like I had the flu, minus the fever. I felt really tired. I had body aches everywhere. I had chills all day. I felt hot and cold at the same time. It was tough.
The biggest development from last week, was that after weeks of thinking about it and talking about it on this journal, I finally published my digital garden online. You can find it here.
It's a work in progress, so there will be changes. In fact, the nature of it means it will probably be forever under construction. When you go through it, don't think of it as a blog. It is not. There are no published dates. There's no RSS feed. There's no email subscription. The URLs to specific notes will probably change every week. It is really a digital garden/personal knowledge-base.
Matt shared this wonderful website on Mastodon. What an amazing find! It allows you to watch, what looks like dashcam videos, from all over the world. In an age where travel and road trips are put on-hold, this website lets you experience virtually driving in another country. It's a mesmerizing and very interesting way to see what other countries/cities look like.
Power outages and water shut-offs all across Texas. People have died in accidents on the road and at their own homes because of the cold. It's extremely disheartening. We've been extremely lucky to not have lost power or water at all. But that wasn't the case for everyone else. Last week's winter storm really showed how the state of Texas is just not ready for this kind of weather. I'm hoping that the state can learn from this and be better prepared for the next one.
Last week I intentionally decreased the amount of stuff I've been reading. This is to give my brain a chance to digest what I've just read.
I've also taken to adding articles/posts that I want to read, into my Are.na Bookmarks/Reading List bucket. This seems to help decrease the unease that I feel, from not being able to immediately read interesting articles/posts. Since I know that I will eventually get to them someday in the future, it allows my brain to relax and focus on the current task at hand.
Since I have been trying to read less, a problem that I'm running into is what to do with my free time when I can't read. I would prefer to work on my digital garden, but I cannot do so when I'm not at home. This is because my notes in Obsidian, while synced to a Github repo, are not easy to work with via my phone. So, I now have a lot more time to think through things because I'm trying to read less, but during those times I can't work on my digital garden. That's one big limitation with my Obsidian setup.
That said, maybe I should look at it as a benefit in some way. I shouldn't be using my phone that much anyway.
Had this conversation with another blogger about a book he read. Similar to what I learned from reading The Great Cholesterol Myth, the same advice is given on a book about Alzheimer’s. And that is to limit carbs and lower/avoid sugar intake to reduce inflammation.
That's two different diseases — Alzheimer’s and Heart Disease — that gets pretty much the same recommendation to reduce carbs and sugar intake. This should really make you rethink how much sugar you should be ingesting everyday.
It took you years to put on all that weight. Don't be too hard on yourself if you're not losing weight fast enough. Think of losing weight more as a marathon than a sprint.
I've found a compromise for using my gel pen and fountain pen. When I'm at home, I use my fountain pen to write on my bullet journal. Anywhere else, and on any other notebook, I use my gel pens or ballpoint pens.
A few days ago I wrote this on my journal:
“Almost to the end of the k-drama Iris. It's a really good show!”
Then I got to the end. And wow. That ending was horrible! I had planned to say so many good things about this show. There's the amazing plot. The great acting. The pretty good fight scenes. The great story about love and friendship. But it was all brought down by the horrible ending. I can't even recommend it to my wife anymore, not after I've seen the ending. Such a disappointment. The show was great 95% of the time, until it got to the ending. Unless you're a sucker for horrible endings, don't waste your time on it.
I actually use my dev blog to store answers to problems I've encountered before. And every once in a while, I use it to retrieve scripts or pieces of code that I need to re-use. That's easy to do with a dedicated software development blog. It's not so easy to do with this journal. And that's because these bits and pieces of software development content, are buried inside one big Weeknotes post. And that makes it hard for me to quickly get to the information I need. It is inefficient as far as searching for information goes.
For instance, to retrieve the notes I had about the basics of using Git from a command line. I have to sift through the content of Weeknotes-011.
So, 340 grams of Watermelon is around 109 calories. On the other hand, 85 grams of Butter Pound Cake (which I have to say taste so good) is around 337 calories! It's easy to see why snacking on pastries/baked goods makes it so hard to lose weight.
Last week I remembered why I chose to go with pen and paper for my bullet journal — it was to give my eyes a break from staring at screens all day long.
My only issue with this analog approach to journals, is how to digitize the text that I wrote so that they can be searchable in the future. Sure, bullet journals have an index for tracking down specific topics. But let's face it, that doesn't even come close to being able to search text digitally.
I previously tried to get around this by publishing journal entries on this site. As part of writing those posts, the content from my bullet journal would end up in a text (markdown) file when I download a backup of this site. This benefit went away when I decided to stop writing journal entries.
Now, I'm doing a similar thing with these Weeknotes posts. This time around though, my journal entries end up in my Obsidian vault. I still have to manually type them in though. This is the part I'm trying to streamline. But I'm not sure that's even possible. It's either I ditch my analog bullet journal and go straight to digital journal apps, or just continue what I'm doing — write on my bullet journal then migrate (type up) my notes into Obsidian sometime later in the day or week.
I've decided to start publishing software development specific posts on this journal. Previously, they would go into my dev blog. But nowadays, I feel like that's too much work — maintaining multiple websites that is. So, in the interest of simplifying things, for 2021 at least, software development posts will start showing up here.
While I've already had this idea in my head for the past few months, I was also inspired by this post from Angelo.