entertainment · Me

Cultivating cultivating

My daughter finds the best shows to watch. She introduced me to the amazing Avatar series. More recently we’re watching Neon Genesis Evangelion, a post-apocalyptic anime series from the 1990’s. 🤩

One thing jumped out to me in episode 17. The cool guy Kaji, who seemed like just a shallow “player” type, introduced his friend Shinji to his secret watermelon garden.

It’s my hobby. Don’t tell anybody, okay?

Shinji was feeling down at the time, and Kaji was trying to lift him up.

It’s great to make something. To grow something. You notice things and figure stuff out. Things you enjoy, for example

Shinji was’t super receptive at the time, but I knew exactly what Kaji was talking about, having experimented with gardening some myself in my tiny urban plot.

There was the early attempt in the pandemic, then everything getting wiped out in the 2021 snowpocalypse. Hints of a natural rebirth, then actively clearing out the dead brush for new growth. This was followed by some small success at growing something you can eat, and then some wild growth this spring.

Right now I’m eating a few bell peppers, tomatoes, jalapeños, and strawberries from my tiny garden. The pesky birds and squirrels have caught on and are usually getting to the good stuff before I do. 😭

Still, I don’t mind feeding the wildlife. I just like to grow stuff. 🤷🏻‍♂️

Me · Practical

In case you notice a change in case

It struck me recently that I didn’t have a strategy for capitalizing my blog posts. So I’m making a change.

As the sole proprietor of this blog, I hereby decree that henceforth and regressively back to 1 June, year 2021, all blog posts shall follow the Sentence case standard.

Title Case was starting to bug me. It was overly formal and hard to read, as in Who Do You Want to Be On The Other Side Of This Crisis? And it was confusing. Which words do you capitalize, again? I took my best guess on 5 Things You Don’t Need to be Happy, Fulfilled, and Successful.

Plus Capital Case was constantly being dissed up by quotation-titles such as “The only real escape from hell is to conquer it.”

Capital Case also made it hard distinguish Proper Nouns from normal words, as in Favorite Austin Hotel Pools. Was that post about hotel pools in Austin? Or was it about pools at the Austin Hotel?

I’m pretty happy with this change, so much so that I am tempted to go back and fix all the old posts, such as “Favorite Austin Hotel Pools” to “Favorite Austin hotel pools”. But there are 742 of them, and sometimes it’s better to live with your imperfect past anyways.

With that, enjoy all the easier-to-read blog titles, future reader. I’m going to figure out punctuation for quotations next. 🤷🏻‍♂️

Me · Music

“I Want It All” 🎶

Here is Japanese Breakfast’s perfect companion to The Walkmen singing “Baby, I want everything”.

I want it all.

Japanese Breakfast – Diving Woman

I’m feeling this vibe. I do want it all.

I don’t want six cars, a mansion, a helicopter, or even a fancy watch. Please, no. Just no.

I do want to travel, but not all the time. I could probably spend 1000 years happily just goofing around Central Texas.

But I do want to write a novel, make some music, raise some amazing kids, have a long and challenging career, learn to tell good stories and jokes, improve the world a bit, take care of myself, and be a good friend.

Am I asking too much? We shall see. 😆

We’re only given this one life, so you might as well at least try to make the most of it.

You’ll have it all
I’ll have it all
We’ll have it all

Me

All the “Things” 2020

I’ve been using the Things app to track all my personal to-do’s and projects for a couple of years now. I love this Mac-assed Mac app and use it all the time.

I recently discovered how to get access to the Things database and took the chance to reflect on how I’m spending my time.

So here are some highlights of all my “Things” in 2020.

Lastly year, I completed 108 personal projects. Each project consists of a number of specific to-do items (tasks). A project can be something small like 🛳 Renew passport (6 tasks) or big like 🎸Convert guest room to a music studio (31 tasks).

I generally include an emoji in my project names because somehow they help motivate me. 🤷🏻‍♂️

Some favorite completed projects of 2020 were:

  • 🗳Vote (3 tasks)
  • 🤹‍♂️Plan for best self (7 tasks)
  • 🦠Corona (5 tasks), my most fitting “project” for 2020

I canceled 9 projects, such as:

  • 🌶Home gardening
  • 🥋Grav Maga
  • 🦃 Holiday family plans, the most fitting cancellation for 2020

I completed 11 projects to “fix” things, including:

  • 🐍Fix that gap under my door (3 tasks)
  • 🥁Fix drums (luckily only 2 tasks and zero dollars)
  • ✍️Blog fix up (6 tasks)

Top project in progress:

  • 📘Write a book (43 tasks completed, many more to go — and growing)

In 2020, I completed about 7 per day on average. This is useful because it tells me how to pace myself.

I canceled about 1.4 per day. Canceling isn’t a bad thing — it’s just the opposite. It’s a conscious choice not to do something you thought you needed to do.

Going into the new year, I have 62 projects in progress. Hmm, it already looks like a busy year coming up. 🤔


Here is one of the SQLite queries I used for this post. 👨🏻‍💻

SELECT title, date(creationDate, 'unixepoch') as start, date(stopDate, 'unixepoch') as stop from TMTask
WHERE type = 1
AND status = 3
AND date(creationDate, 'unixepoch') BETWEEN '2020-01-01' AND '2020-12-31'
ORDER BY creationDate