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First weekly post, just a little late (3-30-2019)

Howdy internet friend!

Welcome back, and thanks for checking out this post! I don’t have a theme for this week, instead this will be more of a potpourri of topics include my plans for upcoming projects as well as some stuff I’d like to share with anyone interested in reading. Let me also apologize to anyone using a mobile browser. I know the experience is not very good right now, but I’m planning on working on sorting out that issue in the coming days (hopefully not weeks, I’m going to start working on it right after I post this)! Finally, I’m going to end the post with a little encouragement and hopefully it’ll cheer you up if you’ve been having a rough go of things. Given that it almost seems like we are living through the end times (for those who believe in that, and objectively difficult times regardless of your belief system) I hope you can forgive me for rambling a little here and there. Ready? Take a deep breath, in through your nose, out through your mouth, and let’s get started! First thing I want to do is to share a quick win from last week.

If you are reading this, it’s because after about a month or so of building a custom theme, learning how to arrange all the files, writing a few additional posts, and doing a few other administrative odds and ends, I migrated this blog from Github and Jekyll to a different hosting solution and Hugo. This took longer than I anticipated, but I learned heaps during the process, and if you were reading through all the new blog posts you can find my longer take on that process here. I’m also sharing this again because last week was rough and getting everything online (even with mobile being more or less broken) felt really good. I tweeted about it last Friday but I think a bunch of people decided to take an early Twitter break to try and avoid all the bad news which, I mean, is totally understandable because I did the same thing and stayed off Twitter almost all weekend. So rather than feel like I’m just shouting my victory in to the void, I figured I’d share it again here and since I’m the only adult around running this site, WE’RE SHARING VICTORIES MULTIPLE TIMES!

Having shared my win from last week (and some might argue having too much fun), I want to share with you the next project I am working on. While I know there are easier ways to do it, I’m going to try and build a multi-user dungeon (MUD) in Go. I’ve already started sketching out how I would like the design to look, and after that I’m going to start hacking away on the code. I’m hoping that my friend Acetolyne might help me out, or if not, I’m going to volunteer some of my time to working on a project with him. He’s an awesome programmer and a great teacher (as well as a great friend)! I learned more from working with him for two weeks than I learned in a year working on my own. Now that version two of this blog is complete, I can focus my energy on other projects for the time being. I find it helpful to find projects or distractions to work on to keep me from just scrolling Twitter endlessly.?*

Originally, I wrote that after returning from panic scrolling Twitter, that I was going to end this post (ostensibly not to go back to panic scrolling Twitter…. He writes, with eyes darting around wildly) with a little encouragement. I do intend to end this post with encouragement, but not quite yet. I know things are bad right now. I just saw a tweet that said this year has been like if 1918, 1929, 1933, 1987, 2001, and 2008 were all rolled in to one horrific year, and sometimes it feels that way because somehow it is still only March, and not even the end of March somehow?! Just try to remember that even though things are hard right now, and it may be more than just the next few weeks that we all have to stay inside and distance ourselves from one another when out doing essential activities like grocery shopping, that we can make it through if we all work together.

For the good of everyone, if you can, wear a mask. I even went a step further and shaved off my beard because I knew there was no way it would fit under my mask. I live with very important people and I have to do everything I can to keep them safe. If you don’t have a mask, invest in a sewing machine and learn how to make your own. I bought our family a cool purple sewing machine with the ultra-cool name of, “Sew and sew” and I plan on dusting off the skills I learned in junior high health class to re-learn how to sew using the machine. When my wife and I first got married I learned hand sewing to upgrade my computer chair that came with scratchy fabric on the arm rests would be really comfortable. I’m looking forward to getting a refresher course in sewing so I can make a few more masks for myself. It’s not the cyberpunk future I envisioned, but it’s the one we’ve got for now. I would also suggest that if you decide to learn to sew and are in a rural area, check and see if your local hospital is accepting donations of masks. Not all of them are, but if the CDC changes their recommendations regarding masks, it would be handy to have the ability to make more. You might also consider reaching out to nursing homes, because they might be more interested in taking on homemade masks.

This reminds me of something I wanted to circle back to. For me, I’ve found that working on small projects or playing video games has helped provide a distraction during these brutal times, which helps. It’s important to remember that if you don’t live alone, you can have a potentially huge impact on the people you live with. If you are constantly in a panic, you will raise the anxiety level of those around you. If you can find ways to play games and have a laugh, you can help everyone around you feel more at ease.

In the end, we are all in this together. Please do your part and don’t go out unless you absoultely have to, and when you do, wear a mask and practice social distancing. You don’t know who the person you are coming too close to has waiting for them at home. Finally, try to remember the words of @Blenster and #MakeKindnessNormal. We can all do a little bit to make the world a more kind place. Thanks for reading, and I hope you have a nice week!

* Author’s note. After writing this, I stopped for at least ten minutes to scroll Twitter and contemplate muting all terms related to COVID-19.

** One final note. Grocery workers and delivery drivers all deserve a minimum of $15 per hour and hazard pay, in addition to big bonuses. I see that companies like Kroger are trying to hire lots of new employees, but honestly whatever they are paying them isn’t close to enough. They are so brave for what they are doing they deserve serious perks for putting themselves and their family directly in harms way. When this is all over, I hope people remember the workers who allowed life to continue.

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