Weekly update, September 7, 2020
Howdy internet friend and welcome back to my blog! Everyone is so busy these days, I appreciate you taking a few minutes to read this weekly update post. Unlike the last few weeks where I’ve really gone off, this post is going to be short(er) and sweet. I am interested in jamming with my wife and tired from swimming and woodworking so I will get on with it!
Black Lives Matter!
Once again I do not have much to say on this subject except to keep bringing it up and repeating that Black Lives Matter! Like last week I am not going to give you a reading list, or suggest an author for you to follow on Twitter. I am going to once again encourage you to do some self discovery and figure out the best way you can help. There are plenty of ways to help and if you can’t figure one out, reach out to someone and ask how you can help! I do not have all the answers, but I want to do my part to help.
Last week I quietly updated the about me section as a precursor to some of the work that I will be releasing in the coming weeks. You can check it out if you wish here. I also got my hands on a few awesome books last week, including The Paul Goodman Reader and The Long Loneliness: The Autobiography of the Legendary Catholic Social Activist Dorothy Day. I started working through the Goodman reader last week and I began reading the Dorothy Day book yesterday. Day is a really inspirational figure to me even though I am not Catholic. I think that she represents an intellectual tradition that is often forgotten in more secular revolutionary circles, but that she has some really valuable insight. It’s also a well-written book and reading it has been enjoyable so far.
Aside from the reading I’ve been doing last week, the biggest thing that happened with me last week was that I started woodworking! I had been thinking about it for a few weeks and my wife encouraged me to pick up some basic tools to do woodworking with handtools. I bought a really crappy plane (that doesn’t really work), a set of three chisels, a saw, and some sandpaper. I did not buy it, but I had a rusty old hammer lying around and while I could use wood as a makeshift hammer, I decided to use the rusty old hammer until I finish my first project. One thing I quickly realized was that I needed a workbench. My wife suggested two A-frames and a sheet of plywood and that ended up being the most expensive thing I bought. I got a few pieces of wood and a vice because I needed something to hold the wood while I worked on it.
Other than those few basic things, I’ve done everything so far with the saw, chisels, an old hammer, and sandpaper. I mentioned the plane that I bought being crappy and I still have to figure out how to make it work. So far I’ve not made the damn thing shave a single flake of wood. Now, it was only $15, so I am not really surprised or super burned, but I think that I can do some work on it and make it useable. For now I’ve been doing all the plane type work with a chisel.
My first project is to build myself a mallet that I will use to build my first big project, a workbench. Since my wife has a smallish car and I do not own a truck, I’ve been starting to think through the logistics of how I am going to get lumber to work on projects, but for now I will let future Dave deal with that problem. For now I am glad to find a project that helps me turn my brain off. I find myself thinking from the time I wake up until the time I go to sleep. When I am in my garage working on wood, the only thing I am thinking about is what I am doing in that moment, and occasionally I will start to play out what to do next. Often I do that while I’m sanding, so I can work and think and the same time, which is a beautiful feeling! It feels really great to be in the moment, and it also feels good to see progress made every day!
Over the weekend I took my wife on a date to an antique mall. I really love living in the Coachella Valley because there is so much to do. Even during the pandemic there are many options for looking at antiques. At one place we found a original Pablo Picasso painting, including certificate of authenticity. There are also many old woodworking tools, many of which did not even need much (or any) restoration work. However, I didn’t really know what is what, so I decided to wait until next time to buy some antique tools. My wife found an art piece she loved for our bedroom and I found a few excellent records. Overall it was a good date!
Later that evening we watched Bill and Ted 3 and while I will not spoil it, I will say I loved it and thought it was most triumphant! 10 out of 10 - would recommend!
Last week I dialed back a bit from the programming I had been working on to focus more on writing. I’ve also been diving deep on AWS Security, as I am sitting for the AWS Security Specialist exam this coming Saturday and I’m pretty nervous! I’m going to spend the week re-copying my notes (which are at seventy-five pages right now), taking a practice test, and trying to cram the areas I lack the most strength.
Ultimately I am just going to work hard and do my best. I will report back next week with how the exam went. Otherwise I don’t have much more to report this week. Like I mentioned, keeping it short and sweet.
People to follow
As I do every week, here are some tech and non-tech people you might consider following on Twitter.
Martin Luther King III - The son of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Bernice King - The daughter of Dr. King
@cetolyne - great friend, awesome programmer, super helpful!
@blenster - cool maker, very positive, well worth a follow!
@GWeessies - very smart person doing interesting research!
Marley - first place champ! Marley is one of the best on Twitter!
Null Coder - another awesome person to keep an eye on!
@EvilMog - creator of the DC MUD and an interesting person to follow.