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EricMN - Jedi Master in Exile


EricMN

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Jedi Masters have a canon-long history of going into hiding when their plans went sideways.

 

Obi-wan Kenobi went to Tatooine.

tatooine.jpg

He evidently didn't hate sand, even though it's all coarse, and rough, and irritating. And it gets everywhere.

 

Yoda went to Dagobah.

dagobah_1ab566e6.jpg

Mudhole? Slimy? His home this is.

 

Luke Skywalker went to Ahch-To.

ahch-to.jpg

And refused to answer the door.

 

That puts me in good company as I practice social-distancing while my world remains on hiatus during the COVID19 shutdown.

home_office.jpg

From the comfort of my home office, in front of the standing desk I knocked out last weekend.

 

"Practice". Seriously, people, as an introvert I've been practicing social distancing almost my whole life. Pandemic social-distancing and potential quarantine is like the Introvert Olympics and I'm going to win all the gold medals and look like Usain Bolt in his prime while doing it. 

49e4f1_edec8be84fff420bac5b4fb93d6c6006~

The challenge for me won't be social distancing, it will be to not allow myself to shut down while preparing for a Shelter In Place order. I don't want to let myself lose the healthy habits I've been started to regain over the first part of this year.

 

Goal: Strength Training

For all of January and a good part of February, I was staying consistent with a gym regimen. Somewhere at the beginning of March I came down with a case of influenza (tested), which knocked me out for the better part of two weeks. I was just starting to feel like myself again when the State mandated gyms and spas to close, which meant my gym was closed. Fortunately, our gym has an amazing owner who has built up a large Facebook group for gym members support, and the trainers are all broadcasting their classes online. I've got weights at home. I literally have no excuses for not working out.

Goal: Three strength, boot camp or crossfit-style workouts per week. Follow the recorded live broadcasts if my work schedule doesn't accommodate doing them live.

 

Goal: Cardio Training

This one's not hard. I have good running shoes and good running gear, and most of the snow is gone. I don't like cold weather, but that's an excuse. I should be running multiple times per week while it's still allowed.

Goal: Run three times per week.

 

Non-Goal: Nutrition

The bad part about being stuck at home is that boredom leads to eating. The good part is that it's harder to go out to eat, even though takeout is still a viable option and being widely suggested as a way to support local businesses through the economic disaster that will accompany the pandemic. The other good part is I already know how to batch prep for meals and there's less of an excuse now as to why I'm not doing it. I'm not going to track my macros because I'm not in that kind of headspace right now, but I generally understand what 1800-2400 calories is when I'm batch-prepping.

Non-Goal: Eat sensibly and avoid snack binging while home.

 

Goal: Self Care

This is the tricky part. We're only a couple weeks into widespread social distancing and I'm seeing a LOT of people reporting issues with anxiety and depression. I'm worried about my kids as much as I'm worried about myself. Kids were scheduled for spring break this week, but got an additional week off as schools cancelled the previous week to give districts and teachers time to prep for distance learning. Additionally, my three adult kids all work in the hospitality industry - restaurant, barista, hotel - and two of them are temporarily out of work and the third would be, but his hotel is still under construction and he's on the management team trying to open it to... no guests any time soon. Nobody is panicking and it looks like the social safety nets that are supposed to be in place will do what they should to help, but I'm concerned and I'm already a worrier and a habitual caregiver who needs to make sure I am taking care of myself.

 

AAE2sYm.img?h=315&w=600&m=6&q=60&o=t&l=f

No green milk.

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Following along. Would you consider red milk?

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"By the Most-Righteous-and-Blessed Beard of Sir Tanktimus the Encourager!" - Jarl Rurik Harrgath

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Nice setup(s) and processes!

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Level 71 Wood Elf Druid

Druid: || 59 | 60 | 61 | 61.5 | 62 | 63 | 64 | 65 | 66 | 67 | 68 | 69 | 70 | 71 | ||

Ranger: || 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23 | 24 | 25 | 26 | 27 | 28 | 29 | 30 | 31 | 32 | 33 | 34 | 35 | 36 | 37 | 38 | 39 | 40 | 41 | 42 | 43 | 44 | 45 | 46 | 47 | 48 | 49 | 50 | 51 | 52 | 53 | 54 | 55 | 56 | 57 | 58 ||

||Char/RPG||
STR: 57 || DEX: 59 || STA: 52 || CON: 47 || WIS: 59 || CHA: 59

 

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On 3/25/2020 at 12:49 PM, EricMN said:

Jedi Masters have a canon-long history of going into hiding when their plans went sideways.

 

Great minds think alike ......  😉

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Some sort of Jedi .....

We are better than we know, if we can be made to see it, [then] for the rest of our lives, we'll be unwilling to settle for less.  

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"No, I'm from Iowa.  I only work in outer space." -- James T. Kirk

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Let's Check In, Shall We?

 

Monday was the first day back to school for the kids. I had spent the entire day Sunday making sure the kids had appropriate Distance Learning environments: usable computer, usable bandwidth, good monitor, keyboard and mouse so that it didn't feel like school was taking place on FunTimeComputer that they use for personal stuff. The Boy was pretty excited about the whole thing because he got an upgraded workstation and he got to participate in the Zoom meeting for his classroom. The Pink Princess was less excited. She barely wanted to get out of bed, didn't use the workstation I set up for her, claimed her classes all got cancelled online for the day (I have no way of confirming this, although the online School software the district uses was only up sporadically during the day due to failure under load) and basically spent the time the same way she has for the past few weeks, doing nearly nothing and barely getting out of bed. 

 

I was frustrated, so I went out in the garage and did some self-care.

20200330_garagetherapy.jpg

My garage is a mess.

 

I started working on built-in bench seating with storage drawers for our kitchen/dining area over the weekend, and made some more progress Monday evening. The carcass is mostly complete. I've still got a lot of work to do - drawers, drawer faces, connecting it all together and painting it white to match the kitchen. You'll probably get progress photos along the way.

 

It was a failure to launch regarding any fitnessing, although I ate mostly healthy throughout the day. Snacking is going to be a challenge, there's too much crap in this house due to all the people who are here all the time. At least I got outside for a bit to enjoy the nicest day of the year so far.

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Love the bench! 

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Level 71 Wood Elf Druid

Druid: || 59 | 60 | 61 | 61.5 | 62 | 63 | 64 | 65 | 66 | 67 | 68 | 69 | 70 | 71 | ||

Ranger: || 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23 | 24 | 25 | 26 | 27 | 28 | 29 | 30 | 31 | 32 | 33 | 34 | 35 | 36 | 37 | 38 | 39 | 40 | 41 | 42 | 43 | 44 | 45 | 46 | 47 | 48 | 49 | 50 | 51 | 52 | 53 | 54 | 55 | 56 | 57 | 58 ||

||Char/RPG||
STR: 57 || DEX: 59 || STA: 52 || CON: 47 || WIS: 59 || CHA: 59

 

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Not a lot to report.

 

I'm frustrated with distance learning for the kids. Teachers are scrambling and I know our district is trying to ease kids into the idea that we're working from home now, but I don't think that's putting my kids in the right frame of mind. Physically going to school puts most kids in a school headspace. I tried to duplicate that by creating school workspaces for my kids. My daughter isn't buying it and right now she's barely getting out of bed. I'm worried for her mental and physical health.

 

Trying to program over my remote connection is an exercise in pain. The lag makes me want to throw things. About every two to three minutes the whole system buffers and everything I type shows up a jumbled mess. It looks like it was transcribed by my dyslexic brother. I don't know how people do this for years. Maybe they just set the appropriate (low) expectations.

 

Oh. Also. My partner/fiancee/whatever went to Florida in mid-February for her annual "save me from seasonal affective disorder" and I was supposed to fly down a week ago to bring her home. We postponed that indefinitely because we just didn't feel it was safe after at least one TSA agent at the Orlando airport - where I was headed - was hospitalized with COVID-19. As of today Florida is under a 30-day Stay Home order. Who knows when she'll be back. We had a good run...

 

Snacking was a lot better yesterday. I had a Kind bar and some M&Ms late in the afternoon when I made a lumber run. 

 

No fitnessing. I haven't wrapped my head around that yet. I will get there.

 

To ease my frustration at the whole "Shit is not going the way it needs to for us to make it through this" thing, I spent another evening doing garage therapy. I got all the drawers assembled and installed. Woodworking might be the only thing keeping me sane right now.

 

20200331_garagetherapy.jpg

 

I have a plan for how I'm going to lay out the face trim and the drawer faces. I'll share that tomorrow after that portion of the design build is complete.

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That’s a lot of crap to deal with. It must be worse having to deal with it on your own.

 

I’m worried about a lot of different kid’s mental health right now. I don’t think anyone knows what we should be doing. You keep trying though and that’s the right thing for sure.

 

ETA: I’ve been thinking about this today. I don’t think the learning is the most important thing, or even all that important at all. It doesn’t matter much if they learn whatever the current math standard is. What’s important is that they feel some sense of normalcy and routine and for most kids that comes from being in school. Your setting up a school work station was good thinking. They also need to feel like they’re working toward the next thing, that this isn’t their whole life and that there will be a next thing. Anyway, I think you’re doing a good job even if it doesn’t feel that way. When all this is over, let’s stop talking about it and actually have that beer or go running at Leb together.

 

I like the bench. It sure beats my way of coping which is too spend too much time staring at my phone.

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“We might as well start where we are, use what we have and do what we can." – Caitlin Rivers

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3 hours ago, EricMN said:

Woodworking might be the only thing keeping me sane right now.

 

Then you keep woodworking till we can't tell you apart from Ron Swanson.

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"By the Most-Righteous-and-Blessed Beard of Sir Tanktimus the Encourager!" - Jarl Rurik Harrgath

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Your wood working is amazing!  

 

Good luck with your kiddos.  Mine are enjoying the social distancing for now. They go back to school on Monday but its not real school.  I think it will be more social and participation.  They only get pass/no participation for the remainder of the year.  I think it will be a mess.  

 

Keeping you in my thoughts, Master Jedi!  

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Thanks, everyone, for listening. I think this week is just New Normal Therapy week for me. Having y'all around to be supportive is making a difference. Thank you all.

 

Wednesday was a ton better with nutrition; I could have tracked and still not felt bad about it. The kids did a lot better with checking in with school. I still want The Pink Princess to emerge from her nest and have a routine, but I think I'll take what I can get in increments. The Boy was productive and he knows his IEP support team from school is checking in with me so at least he feels like there's a reason to get the work done. I'll work on why it's important to have a schedule going forward with him.

 

Work was long and dull. We had three separate teleconference meetings. I am doing what feels like busy work. I'm not in any hurry to finish my current project; it's really just busy work and I hate that. I've been asked to make a lot of design decisions on others' projects and maybe I just need to wrap my head around being a team mentor as opposed to a major producer. As long as I still have a job, I guess.

 

After work, I only had about an hour before I was needed to do a church broadcast and help the team work through issues with distributed remote contributors that will be asked to fill roles on Sunday. That took far too much time, and part of it was broadcast (an intentional testing broadcast) for the world to see. I'll manage for Sunday when I'm pulling it off live.

 

I was going to start face frames for the drawers on Wednesday, but decided to see how the piece fit in place. It didn't - it was half an inch too long, even though when I measured - all three times - I had given myself about half an inch of play with the final dimensions I built. That's how out of plumb my walls are. The kicker base is EXACTLY the size it needs to be and it needed to be wedged in to fit. The bench cabinet didn't fit at all. Fortunately, when I built the cabinet bases, I had covered the ends in quarter-inch plywood - not because they were needed, they're not visible, but for stability and to prevent racking over time as people sit and scooch around. I had glued the ends on and had to remove them by hand.

 

20200401_resizing01.jpg

 

Once the ends were removed, I had to flush cut the back panel so everything fit.

20200401_resizing02.jpg

 

Once everything was sanded down smooth again, I brought the cabinets back inside to check again for fit and hoped I wouldn't have to sand any more material off to make it fit.

20200401_testfit01.jpg

That's tight. At the bottom, anyway. You can see the gap at the top.

 

The floor is also not level and I'm resisting the urge to cut out the flooring and see if it's un-level all the way down to the sub-floor. I'm just going to shim it.

20200401_testfit03.jpg

It's off by over 1/4 inch over just a 15 inch run. That's obnoxious. I'm surprised our chairs didn't all slide downhill toward the table when we sat here.

 

My plan had been to build and install the drawer face frames on next, but I think I'm going to shim this thing level, cut the benchtop to length and install it, and start installing the face trim first so that I can measure each individual drawer face to fit its opening exactly, and then this weekend I'll paint it in place.

 

The cats will probably enjoy managing the project.

20200401_testfit05.jpg

They don't even like each other.

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1 hour ago, EricMN said:

 

20200401_resizing01.jpg

My dad always says, "Don't force it, just get a bigger hammer.

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"By the Most-Righteous-and-Blessed Beard of Sir Tanktimus the Encourager!" - Jarl Rurik Harrgath

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Oof, sorry to hear the Pink Princess is struggling! I have been really disappointed in our school district's handling of the whole online learning thing, I'm glad it sounds like your school district is more with it.

 

Not sure if I can offer anything except solidarity, but I'm always available to talk through teen girl issues. I've had a decent amount of experience.  

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Y'all are awesome. I feel a little more like myself every day. Even introverts need their social oxygen.

 

The kids are coming around. The Boy and I had a conversation and I finally got him to see the point to maintaining a schedule and separating school from everything else. It will be a work in progress. The Pink Princess is coming around. She spent the day doing schoolwork and even let me know she had upcoming quizzes that she needed to be present for at specific times. I'm glad to see the reality of the situation is sinking in. She said that by next week she will probably even start using the workstation I made for her because she's starting to see why I thought having it would make a difference to begin with.

 

Small steps will add up.

 

I spent the evening working on the bench. The face trim was attached, the cabinet was leveled and the bench top was cut to fit.

 

20200402_trim01.jpg

I probably could have used more clamps.

 

20200402_benchtop01.jpg

... but these ones were busy.

 

20200402_bench01.jpg

It's starting to look like a bench.

 

I think I need to shorten the kicker base by about an inch, down to the top of the baseboards. By the time I put a cushion on this thing it's going to be pretty high, which isn't so much a problem if I build a table to go with it, but that would mean we would need chairs that are one to two inches taller. That sounds like more of a next year project I think. We'll see how long all this goes on, I guess.

 

Today's project will be to attach the bench top, round over the front edge, shorten the kicker, and finally start on the drawer faces. I suspect I'll be ready to start applying paint while my grandson is over for the weekend, which means I won't be applying paint while my grandson is over for the weekend.

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So glad to hear that things are getting better.  When I sent my students away, that was one of the messages I tried to impart: make a schedule and a workspace.  

 

That bench looks awesome.  And yea, the paint will look better on the bench than it will on your grandson .....

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Some sort of Jedi .....

We are better than we know, if we can be made to see it, [then] for the rest of our lives, we'll be unwilling to settle for less.  

Current Challenge: Return of the Persistent Priestess

Past Challenges: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35. 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42

"No, I'm from Iowa.  I only work in outer space." -- James T. Kirk

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Update

 

I took the day off from work on Friday and spent six hours doing schoolwork with The Pink Princess. She cares about the outcomes of her grades but I don't think she understands that the effort she puts in affects the end result. It's like she's at a disconnect, much like her brother. It's exhausting much of the time. 

 

I spent a good bit of time on Saturday setting up and producing our Sunday church service, plus several hours on Sunday producing the live feed, editing the recording, and publishing it for those who can't or won't use Zoom and who couldn't watch live because Zoom is overloaded and is failing to broadcast to Facebook Live. There was a lot of video editing so that it didn't look like our pastor was running the whole thing solo off his phone in his kitchen.  I know some churches are having their pastor broadcast using his phone from his kitchen, but we have a bit more expertise and invested infrastructure and we're using it. One of the guys at church who also does IT has been doing a lot of planning, but he can't do the Sunday broadcast production right now because he just started chemo last week and he said he isn't comfortable being counted on at specific times right now. I'm just glad he's still willing to brainstorm stuff with me.

 

Weather was gorgeous on Sunday and I went outside and raked our front yard, because it looked like we were the first family to be bitten during the Zombpocalypse.

20200405_yardwork01.jpg

Yes sir, yes sir, six bags full.

 

All this meant I didn't get as much done on the bench as I would have liked. I did get the drawer fronts made.

 

20200403_faces01.jpg

 

20200404_faces01.jpg

 

I ran into a problem once I mounted the first one. If you have a 2.5-inch drawer near the bottom of the 12-inch drawer opening, and you attach the drawer to the approximately 12-inch face frame below the center mark, the drawer face will not stay square to the drawer and there will be a gap at the bottom when you close the drawer. I should have anticipated this; physics is a thing. I fixed this problem by extending the sides of the drawers to near the top. This keeps everything square. I managed to get one drawer mounted.

 

20200404_faces02.jpg

Sanded, filled to hide dings. It will look better when it's painted.

 

I'm repeating the same thing with the remaining drawers, so this will take a bit longer than I wanted, but part of doing a build without plans is problem solving when you run into the things that you (by definition) did not plan for.

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Looks good, and thank you for working on producing your church's service.  

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Some sort of Jedi .....

We are better than we know, if we can be made to see it, [then] for the rest of our lives, we'll be unwilling to settle for less.  

Current Challenge: Return of the Persistent Priestess

Past Challenges: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35. 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42

"No, I'm from Iowa.  I only work in outer space." -- James T. Kirk

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On 4/2/2020 at 3:20 PM, EricMN said:

 

20200401_resizing01.jpg

 Master Jedi has Thor's hammer?   That was my first thought....  

 

Your woodworking is lovely.  I've never seen a house with plumb walls.  

 

Good luck with the kids.  Mine are finding their groove, weird that is it these days.  

 

 

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It's been a week. I hope you're ok. No judgement for not posting, this is crazy time, just concern for your well being.

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"By the Most-Righteous-and-Blessed Beard of Sir Tanktimus the Encourager!" - Jarl Rurik Harrgath

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Check In

 

On 4/14/2020 at 9:52 AM, Tanktimus the Encourager said:

It's been a week.

It has been a couple of weeks, and in more ways than one.

 

The Boy turned 17 under a stay-at-home order. Along with a bunch of video games he wanted, he also got some more interesting gifts.

Spoiler

20200408_birthdaySuit.jpg

He is a Pokemon gamer. I have no explanation for this but I love it.

20200416_kitted_up.jpg

He ordered himself the helmet and gloves with gift cards.

 

I spent WAY more time than I would like doing video editing and production for our church services. My pastor is a great guy and I love my congregation but it took a lot of time away from my family and it's just... a lot.

Spoiler

smiths.png

This Zoom screenshot is from the benediction from Easter Sunday. It screams "I'm a candidate and I approve this message."

 

We had my grandboy here for almost a full week and my son started working 12-hour shifts last week so we were on patrol. The night he came over, I asked if he wanted noodles and he told me "That's not noodles, that's pasta" and that set the tone for three days of awesomeness that included a massive snowstorm.

Spoiler

20200411_pinkyandthebrain.jpg

His favorite book is a young reader facts book on the Solar System. He told her she can't just point to pictures, she has to read it. And he can read some of it so he knows what it says.

 

Work is challenging. I hate coding over remote desktop. The lag is killing me and sometimes it buffers and the letters come out looking like I don't just have arthritis and need to be careful when I type, but more like I have advanced CTE symptoms.

 

I finally finished the cabinet yesterday, except for the bench top.

Spoiler

20200416_PrePainting.jpg

Before final sanding and painting

20200418_NeedsSanding.jpg

After sanding, priming and first coat of paint. Needs one more sanding and some touch-ups.

 

I actually really like the wooden top with the white bench but it doesn't match anything else and it will be hidden by a cushion anyway.

We ordered a custom cushion for this so I'm not going to attach the bench top until it comes. The cushion has tie-downs and I want to hide the hooks below the bench seat, which means cutouts, which means I need to plan it first based on the actual cushions. But this project is done until then, which means I need a new one.

 

I wanted a quick project win so I spent a couple hours and slapped this one together:

Spoiler

2020-04-18-22.36.34.jpg

It's a house number sign. I have hated our currently-installed house numbers since we moved in. I don't know if I care about the crappy joints.

 

Time to keep working on self-care. I let the past couple weeks chip away and it's time to get back to positive outcomes.

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