Technical Difficulties from on Top of the Mountain
  How I spent my day off
Ok, today wasn't really a day off, cause as a contractor I don't get paid when I don't work, but it was a Friday, and I wasn't working. But it was a worthwhile day anyways.

It started out a little rough, Oscar and momma headed off to the doctor as the six month old has been fighting some congestion for a while and it didn't really show any signs of improving, so I held down the fort with the two older ones. Zakary was trying to get the little driver to fit in the Rokenbok train cab and get the door shut while at the same time his brother was trying to drive the train down the track. I sided with Zakary and told Max to knock it off, which had absolutely no effect (we're talking a five year old here after all), so I cut the interface by relocating Max to the other side of the house. He survived in time-out period and went to sulk on the couch after that (which was fine with me), and would have stayed there except for the arrival of fedex with a rather large box.

There were two possible items it could be, and it turned out to be the less likely of the two: the last of the long lost legos. About six months ago, one particular seller started offering a lot of bulk buy items for sale. No picture, and his feedback was kind of sketchy, but I decided to grab a few lots (ok, I grabbed a bunch of lots, totalling 88 pounds). The reason I decided to give him the benefit of the doubt was price--usual lots sell on ebay for four to six dollars a pound (sometimes you can get a bargain in the three to three fifty range), but these lots went for about a dollar and a half. Even with shipping, I was only out slightly more than two dollars a pound. Of course I was out that money in April. Now at the tail end of November I was finally seeing a payoff.

I actually received one smaller box back in September, but a couple of weeks ago I finally got a 46 pound box (which we're still going through), and today the rest showed up in another large box. Well, there's few things that will cheer up a five year old more than a box of legos as large and as heavy as he is. So we spent the whole morning and part of the afternoon sorting blocks, pulling out partially assembled robots, spaceships and bionicles; and even digging out a few complete box sets. A fun time.

After that the kids took off to do errands with mom and I attended to other chores. While there are numerous projects around the house still ongoing, today I focused on the school shop where a number of issues needed some attention. There was a lathe that wouldn't power up, and sander that needed reconnecting, broken regulators to replace and some CAD software to configure. Spent the afternoon with the volt meter, pipe gunk and various other tools of the trade messing around, which brought its own kind of satisfaction as well.

My wife was a little puzzled by my attention to a shop I teach in a couple of hours once a week, but its more than that to me. The metal shop is a resource for the community (both for learning and for making things). Its a skill that hasn't been that important as we have imported materials and labor from overseas, but that dynamic is changing. Also teaching, and helping others making things, helps build bonds in the community; something which I think is going to be more and more important as time goes on.

So today was just one more small step making those connections just like the morning was making connections with my kids. Creating a legacy that will out-live me. In the grand scheme of things, probably much more important then all that XML, perl web-api stuff that makes up a day job. That stuff pays the bills, but you also have to make time for these other things, so that you can look back over the years and see progress towards those big picture goals. That's what puts a smile on my face at the end of the day.

Comments: Post a Comment

<< Home
Life in the middle of nowhere, remote programming to try and support it, startups, children, and some tinkering when I get a chance.

January 2004 / February 2004 / March 2004 / April 2004 / May 2004 / June 2004 / July 2004 / August 2004 / September 2004 / October 2004 / November 2004 / December 2004 / January 2005 / February 2005 / March 2005 / April 2005 / May 2005 / June 2005 / July 2005 / August 2005 / September 2005 / October 2005 / November 2005 / December 2005 / January 2006 / February 2006 / March 2006 / April 2006 / May 2006 / June 2006 / July 2006 / August 2006 / September 2006 / October 2006 / November 2006 / December 2006 / January 2007 / February 2007 / March 2007 / April 2007 / June 2007 / July 2007 / August 2007 / September 2007 / October 2007 / November 2007 / December 2007 / January 2008 / May 2008 / June 2008 / August 2008 / February 2009 / August 2009 / February 2010 / February 2011 / March 2011 / October 2011 / March 2012 / July 2013 / August 2013 / September 2013 / October 2013 / November 2013 / December 2013 / December 2014 / February 2015 / March 2015 / July 2016 / September 2016 / December 2016 / April 2017 / June 2017 / July 2018 /

Paul Graham's Essays
You may not want to write in Lisp, but his advise on software, life and business is always worth listening to.
How to save the world
Dave Pollard working on changing the world .. one partially baked idea at a time.
Eric Snowdeal IV - born 15 weeks too soon, now living a normal baby life.
Land and Hold Short
The life of a pilot.

The best of?
Jan '04
The second best villain of all times.

Feb '04
Oops I dropped by satellite.
New Jets create excitement in the air.
The audience is not listening.

Mar '04
Neat chemicals you don't want to mess with.
The Lack of Practise Effect

Apr '04
Scramjets take to the air
Doing dangerous things in the fire.
The Real Way to get a job

May '04
Checking out cool tools (with the kids)
A master geek (Ink Tank flashback)
How to play with your kids

Powered by Blogger