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oliverkinne
October 03, 2022
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Town 66 Review

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Sagrada Review

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September 07, 2022
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Union Station Board Game Review

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Undaunted: Normandy Review

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What POSITIVE CHANGES are you making in your life?

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20 May 2020 19:26 #310485 by dysjunct

dysjunct wrote: Re-reading my posts in this thread is a testament to good intentions, largely unfulfilled.

I still lift weights but I don’t have a consistent meditation or flossing practice.

I started tracking my drinking. Not changing anything, just tracking, but holy shit. For an American I’m probably a heavy drinker, so I am considering moving to England, where I will be average or less.

I quit my shitty job last November. I am ostensibly an independent contractor doing small business consultation through a branch of the Small Business Administration. My mental health is a lot better but I’ll have to get a job eventually.

I am homeschooling my spawn (5yo) in our new pandemic reality. I am really enjoying it. We go on socially-distanced walks with the dog and she asks me pressing questions. Where did people live before houses? Where did people buy things before stores?

I also clean my house a lot. This is mentally relaxing to me.

Edit: I started playing ukulele. It is easy and fun. The chord progression for “Let It Go,” “Let It Be,” “Don’t Stop Believing,” and “Africa” are identical, so I troll my 5yo by doing impromptu mashups.


1. I have hit new PRs on my deadlift, squat, and overhead press. Fuck yeah. Like Henry Rollins said, friends come and friends go, but 200 pounds is 200 pounds.
2. I deleted my meditation reminder because it depressed me. I haven't meditated in months.
3. I stopped tracking my drinking because it depressed me. I haven't not drank in months.
4. Maybe I don't have to get a job, which un-depresses me. The markets have not tanked as much as I thought they would.
5. Homeschooling is a bit of a shit-show, everyone is tired of it.
6. I stopped cleaning regularly. Between homeschooling and mental health/self-care, I struggle to find time.
7. I am still playing ukulele. I switched to baritone, because it is tuned the same as the top four strings on a standard guitar (DGBE). But, the chords are only 66% as difficult to learn! I seem to have gravitated to songs about murder, drinking, and the sea. With occasional covers of Frozen songs for the spawn.
8. I am now decent at some basic card tricks. I could have spent pandemic-time to learn a language, get a certification in something, BUT NO. Marlo Tilt, Double Lift, Slip Cut, Elmsley Count, this is my new nerd vocabulary. Is it better than a nerd vocabulary of Worker Placement, Deck Builder, Tableau Builder? No, just different.
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23 May 2020 07:25 - 23 May 2020 07:27 #310558 by mezike
I’ve been trying to learn Hungarian (my wife’s first language) for years now and struggling, even with the support of a couple of tutors along the way. It’s really unusual sharing roots with Finnish and Nigerian and not much else. It’s one of the hardest European languages for a native English speaker to learn, but I’m also just crap at any form of textbook or schoolroom study. But I’m trying again now with a different method based on acquiring rather than learning which is really cool and also explains why I don’t get on with tools like Duolingo or Rosetta and find grammar to be a real pain point. In my view, required watching for anyone interested in learning another language.

I’m determined this time to reach a level of at least sounding like an inarticulate idiot in another language, which will be a step up from just ordering coffee and getting it right fifty percent of the time.



Last edit: 23 May 2020 07:27 by mezike.
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23 May 2020 15:29 #310564 by Gary Sax
That's awesome. It and Finnish are the most unusual European language.

And Basque, I forgot that one.

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23 May 2020 19:33 #310572 by Erik Twice
I haven't been able to do job interviews because the whole country was quarantined so, instead, I've been working on my blog like a full-time job. And it has been amazing. I expected to do poorly or get distracted or realize it wasn't for me but it has been great and my output has been very good. It truly has helped me feel better and has made many more things clearer for myself.
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06 Jul 2020 21:47 #311734 by DarthJoJo
So my dad took my four and two year olds on a stretch of off-road biking trails a few weeks back. They didn’t die and even seemed to enjoy it, so I mowed a loop for them. It’s not much, maybe 150 meters in total with ten or fifteen feet of elevation change with a few curves, but it’s on a piece of property with a gas pipeline underneath it that I can’t do anything with otherwise. I think I’ll build a little ramp for it, too. Have to start the next Danny Macaskills early.
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06 Jul 2020 21:53 #311735 by Ah_Pook
I fell off my burgeoning gym routine thanks to gyms closing and not having any home fitness equipment, and I've been feeling like a shlub. So I finally got off my ass and I'm 7 days into this 28 day fitness routine thing by Chloe Ting on YouTube. It's kicking my fucking ass, but it also feels good to be active.
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07 Jul 2020 00:22 #311738 by Cranberries
I’ve been walking 5,000 steps to work and back somewhat regularly and have had a few 20,000 step days. We did an eight mile, 4,000 foot elevation gain hike with the kids on the fourth. My youngest was sobbing at the end from Chaco blisters.
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07 Jul 2020 06:45 #311743 by Msample
I love Chacos, but fuck hiking in those things.
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07 Jul 2020 10:19 #311745 by Gary Sax
You can, but it has to be after a month of getting the calluses. They're very good to keep on hand for river crossings, though.
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07 Jul 2020 17:00 #311755 by Shellhead
No recent improvements in my life, so much as improvements in my yard and house.

I have a large, old ash tree in my yard, maybe 70 feet tall. It was pretty healthy until maybe two years ago, when a couple of big branches dropped. Those branches were 3 or 4 inches in diameter at the base. Last month, during two separate storms, a total of three huge branches dropped. One landed on top of my garage, but only damaged two shingles. Two of these branches were more than a foot in diameter at the base, so they were too heavy to move until I cut them into more manageable chunks and rolled them onto my driveway.

For the last two weeks, I slept poorly, worrying that one particular huge branch would fall and hit my house. The branch doesn't directly hang over my house, but the recent drops seemed to swing down and out from the tree like on a hinge, and then break loose from the weight at the end of the swing. Like if the original angle between branch and tree was an acute angle that opens up to an obtuse angle, then breaks off. I actually saw the first one as it happened, warned by this vast creaking, groaning sound. I also have an old paper birch that has been dropping smaller branches for years, but has two high branches that pose a potential threat to my power line.

So I finally called some professionals to get quotes. An arborist offered to take down the big branches for $1,500, plus treat my ash for an infestation of emerald ash borers for another $450. I could see for myself from recent storm damage that there was definitely some kind of infestation, but I was flinching at the overall price tag. Yesterday morning, another tree specialist showed up to do a quote, but he also brought his entire Mexican work crew with all their equipment. He offered to take down all three problematic branches for $400, just as a big storm started whipping up. I hired him on the spot. His guys immediately tossed up ropes and started climbing the trees. By the time I got back from the ATM 15 minutes later, they were nearly finished, despite the heavy rain. I contacted the arborist and authorized him to treat the ash tree infestation for $450, sometime next week. I slept great last night, but another ash branch was on the driveway this morning. Only 3 inches in diameter at the base, but still glad that the infestation will be treated soon.

Over the weekend, I demolished a wall in my basement so I could inspect the foundation wall behind it for leaks and cracks. I accidentally noticed a mushy spot near the floor late last fall, but didn't want to mess with it during the winter. I did take some samples from the wall and had them tested for black mold, but the samples all came back negative. Even so, I wore my last NS95 (left over from 2019 projects) while demoing the wall. I found a few dark patches of mold, plus most of the screws anchoring the framing for the drywall were severely corroded. No serious cracks or leaks, but I am going to destroy the mold and patch all the hairline cracks just to be safe. Then I'm going to paint the wall with a couple of coats of Kilz before painting it again with a more pleasing color. I would like to eventually replace the drywall that was there, but I want to live with it as-is for a couple of years to see if the hairline cracks get worse or there is any leaking at all. I had slight flooding (maybe 1/8") on two occasions before I figured out that the drainspout on that corner of the house needed to be replaced. I had slight flooding one more time two years ago when an upstairs plumbing upgrade caused a leak, so hopefully there is no further cause for concern.
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07 Jul 2020 18:51 - 08 Jul 2020 02:24 #311759 by ubarose
I am learning how to be the parent of an adult (The Spawn is 21 btw). Considering the potential for friction when living under the current pandemic conditions, and the fact that I have only once been tempted to give her an ultimatum that included her pitching a tent in the yard and “living off the land,” I’m not doing too poorly, but there is certainly room for improvement.
Last edit: 08 Jul 2020 02:24 by ubarose.
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07 Jul 2020 22:05 #311764 by Shellhead
I had a reasonably happy childhood thanks to my parents, but it was difficult living at home again after my first year of college. After that summer, I never lived with my parents again, though I was always glad to visit them.
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08 Jul 2020 04:57 #311773 by mezike
Uba, my kids are only just in their teens and yet sometimes I feel like giving them that same ultimatum. I think you are doing very well to still be holding out this long!

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15 Dec 2020 19:27 #317223 by dysjunct

dysjunct wrote: Edit: I started playing ukulele. It is easy and fun. The chord progression for “Let It Go,” “Let It Be,” “Don’t Stop Believing,” and “Africa” are identical, so I troll my 5yo by doing impromptu mashups.


I have graduated from trolling my spawn with ukulele covers of Disney songs, to trolling my spouse with ukulele covers of 80s metal ballads. Want to hear a plinkety-plunk version of “When the Children Cry,” “18 and Life,” or “Every Rose Has Its Thorn”? I’m your goddamn huckleberry.
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15 Dec 2020 19:58 #317224 by Cranberries

CranBerries wrote: I’ve been walking 5,000 steps to work and back somewhat regularly and have had a few 20,000 step days. We did an eight mile, 4,000 foot elevation gain hike with the kids on the fourth. My youngest was sobbing at the end from Chaco blisters.


I had some really tight legs after this and took a break, then some weird ligament problems in my feet and basically was overdoing it. Now I have gained 15 Pandemic pounds and am lucky to get 3,000 steps a day. Plus, it's pretty nippy here in Utah.

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