A little over a month into self-imposed isolation and the insanity is creeping in. At what point will we ever escape? What will our mental health look like on the other side? What will my mental health look like in the interim?
The day has come and I have to say, it wasn't as painful as I was fearing. The Gray Matter blog is now running on Google's Cloud Platform, and the results are really encouraging so far. In this post, I'm going to explain how I shed my old school hosting provider and embraced "the cloud"!
With only 5 more weeks of lectures remaining, and a daunting pile of assignments, study and exams ahead, things are mentally pretty tough at the moment! I'm so deep into this now and I really want to do well, but the sheer volume of work is forcing compromise on all fronts...maybe that's the point?
A long time ago, I had a weather station at home dutifully sending data to my Weather Underground profile. Long story short; that weather station hardware died. About 18 months ago I lashed out and bought a Netatmo weather station partly on the promise it would eventually send data to my neglected Weather Underground profile. Well, it has been 18 months and Netatmo is still no closer to sorting their crap out with Weather Underground, so I gave up and made a "DIY" solution!
As I have recommenced study at university, I have a renewed interest in software and systems that facilitate good research habits and consistently reliable access that research in a way that doesn't interfere with me getting my thoughts and ideas committed to paper. I think I have landed on a great setup that makes research fun again. Maybe this could help you too?
Not long ago, I announced on Facebook a rather radical change in direction for my life both personally and professionally. After almost 20 years working in the information and technology sector, in a number of different roles and industries, I came to the realisation; I really don't like it. I could go on about the many things in this industry I don't like, but rather I would like to focus on my future: nursing!
A while ago, some 4 years to be more accurate, my server which magically recorded details from my Aurora Solar inverter died, and along with it my enthusiasm to restore said function. However, recent events have restored the need to know what exactly is happening on my roof so I rekindled my programming mojo to see what could be done. Long story short: my solar is being monitored again courtesy of PVOutput.
How many times have you threatened your kids "Do that again, and there's no more Internet!"? How many of you can actually do it without shooting yourself in the foot and locking everyone out, including yourself? Many parents have asked me, as a person experienced in technology and Internet "stuff", how do I manage Internet access for my daughters? In the past, this has been a rather complex task involving routers and some specialised internal systems. Definitely, not something your average parent would want to attempt. However, all is not lost! Enter the "Fingbox".
This is going to be a short one. Basically, I've been reading the book The Power of Habit and decided to try some of Charles Duhigg's ideas to the test. Specifically, I'm trying to create making time for exercise a habit. This has many benefits for my physical, and mental health. Plus it means I'll use less gas when diving...and that's always a good thing!
So in order to replace my sedentry habit with a new one I need to interrupt the "cue, behaviour, reward" cycle and replace the do nothing behaviour with exercise. This is not as easy as it sounds, because I like to do nothing :)
So I've been focussing on the "reward" part. What is it, after exercising, can I look forward to? Other than "the end" of course. So I've been trying to be as self-aware as I can when I finish exercise of the wonderful rush of endorphins and subsequent dopamine hit. Then when I feel it, engross myself in it. Absorb it! Let it become everything I focus on in that moment. Rinse and repeat for a few gym sessions over the course of a week.
Now I find myself sitting at my desk and quite out of the blue, I want that rush! I'm getting agitated sitting here typing this blog post! I want to go exercise :) Seems like this book actually might work. Go figure.
It has been a while since the last blog entry and that is rather remiss of me. However, it has been a very busy year and it's not over yet. It all started when my wife found "a lump" which turned out to be breast cancer. Bugger.
So into the cancer fighting machinery we went and 9 months later the end is starting to materialise. A few more weeks of radiotherapy (after 6 months of chemotherapy) and then it rolls into annual reminders, sorry, check-ups. So much uncertainty.
This whole season in our life has caused me to seriously re-evaluate what is important for not only myself, but also my family.