Tuesday, January 5 2021

dinosaurs, the toy whisperer, and peak nerdery



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Dear Journal,

Good morning, everyone! Happy Tuesday, from me and my dining room table. The lights are dim. Water gently trickles into the fish tank. Distant thumping can be heard upstairs from Rodney's feet as he plays some kind of dinosaur toy basketball game he invented.

It's funny watching Rodney toy preference change. This week been he's all about the dinosaurs. Between big green Hauncy, his big scary T-rex, and his five rubbery dinosaur toys that mark five successful poop transactions, he's built up a quaint little dinosaur committee. They all have different voices and personalities. Conveniently for Rodney they seem to get lost right around his bedtime.

There's no winning the lost dinosaur game. Rodney always finds a way to use them to fit in a last minute dinosaur hunting activity, extending his already drawn out bedtime. Just after climbing into bed last night, he sat up looking scared.

"Hey, where are my dinosaurs?" he asked.

I rolled my eyes. "I'll go grab 'em," I said, getting up from his bed.

"Oh no problem, dad," said Rodney. "I'll go with you - "

"No no no," I laughed, sitting him back down. "You're already in bed. Just stay here - I'll go grab them."

The minutes passed as I hunted for his lost gaggle of dinosaur friends. They weren't stuffed inside the couch cushions. They weren't scattered under the dining room table. They weren't even smothered underneath his toy power tools in favorite green backpack.

"Did you find them, dada?" called out Rodney, sounding just a little too knowing. "I come help you?"

"I can't find them dude," I said. "I'm sorry - we'll just have to find them tomorrow. They're somewhere in the house - they're not going anywhere."

Rodney looked dejected. Suddenly I no longer felt like he was playing me. He didn't know where they were either. The were really lost. The two of us, now hell bent on finding them before bedtime, knew that if anyone had a chance at finding them, it was the toy whisperer.

"Help!" I called out. "We need the toy whisperer!"

Marissa stepped into the room. Her instincts were already guiding her in the hunt. Her sharp senses followed the invisible clues.

"Did you check the sea patroller?" she asked.

"Which one is the sea patroller?" I asked. Rodney had already climbed out of bed, turning the corner into his closet. He dragged out his impressive Paw Patrol Sea Patroller toy.

"We're going to show this to dada," said Marissa, moving the large toy boat to the bed. "This is something he likes to do with his dinosaurs and sometimes he forgets about them."

She turned, facing Rodney. "OK Rod," she said. "Can you show dada how this opens?"

Rodney extended a tiny finger, finding a yellow button on the front of the button. He struggled force it down flush with the plastic. Marissa gave him some extra help. With a loud clatter, the doors of the boat swung open and five wriggly dinosaurs tumbled onto the bed.

"The toy whisperer," I said, nodding with approval.

Sip. So how's your week going so far? Did you ease back into a well-balanced work routine, or did you make the same mistake I did and push yourself just a little too hard? Yesterday was overwhelming, and it was due to a combination of factors. I happened to have a lot of meetings yesterday. It was the first day of my diet, and I was feeling hangry. Also, with baby Miles' front two teeth finally cutting through, all of this happened over the backdrop of a fussy baby crying across the hall.

It was a tough day, but it had its moments. My new note taking system is working well. The pomodoro timer ran all day. I was exhausted, but as far as the work itself went, I absolutely crushed my to-do list.

I finished out the work day with a quick jog. After spending the entire day inside, the crisp winter air felt refreshing. The peace lasted for about 100 feet, then all I felt was a cruel burning in my lungs. My first run lasted all of about five minutes, and it probably took me twenty minutes to recover.

"You gotta start somewhere," encouraged Marissa. "The first one is always the worst."

Before I started on dinner, Marissa and I met for a long overdue planning meeting. We laughed at how unfamiliar everything seemed after the long break we took from doing things around the house. I still had a single "small" sized task to my name. I probably had a little over five weeks to finish the simple one time wiping the washing machine cover clean, and I still didn't get to it.

"That's OK," said Marissa. "Let's just reset everything and start fresh."

"Except for that washing machine cover card," I laughed. "I'll finally do it today."

The board has been great, but I think this year we're going to move things back into the electronic realm. The whiteboard and index cards have a very cozy appeal, but ironically it's becoming kind of a chore to maintain. We have to keep the index cards organized, the color coded stickers stocked, and hunting down the Sharpies that keep mysteriously wandering out of our room.

"I'll move everything to github," I said. "The issue tracking is actually pretty good, and it's by far the simplest."

By the end of the week, I'll have all of our hand written index cards moved to Github issues. And if that isn't peak nerdery, I don't know what is. Might as well lean into it. I'll tell you what, after I get it working, I'll make my first live stream of the year to show it off. Gotta keep plugging away at the New Year's resolutions.

Thanks for stopping by today. Hope you all have a great day today. Remember to rest, drink water, and take things slow if you are still adjusting to regular life. Have a happy Tuesday, everyone.