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glowinthedark  ·  17 hours ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Impromptu LA Hubski meetup Feb 20

Hello world.

goobster  ·  7 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: February 14, 2018

Hey Pubs. Just a water for me, barkeep... I'm still not remembering to drink enough water every day.

Keto.

I can deny it no longer... I have actually lost more than 20 pounds now. That means that - for the first time in my life - I weigh less than I did before.

From a skinny 175lbs in 1987, to 269lbs at Christmas 2017, I have always gotten heavier. Amortized over time, that's only about 3lbs/year, but of course the weight did not gracefully grow over time. It grew rapidly, then leveled out for a few years at the "new normal" weight, until something happened and it went up again.

For the first time in my life, my weight is going the other direction.

I had to put several pairs of pants into storage. (Note: I wanted to get rid of them. But my wife insisted we keep them until we know whether I am going to keep the weight off or not.)

I am maybe 2 months away from departing the land of XL, and purchasing L shirts... for the first time since the 1990's.

I feel better.

I don't "crash" at 2:PM every day.

I no longer eat two antacid tablets every night.

I don't fart prolifically anymore.

My diet has changed significantly, and I now strongly identify with Michael Pollan's quip, "Eat food. Mostly plants. Not too much."

I haven't started working out or stretching regularly. Which I planned to do Feb 1. Not sure why I haven't started, but I need to get on that.

The road to "Fit and 50" is looking pretty good right now.

Food Perspective.

Mushroom hunters talk about "putting on their mushroom eyes" when they go mushroom hunting.

You go out to where the mushrooms should be, and you see nothing. Damn. Wrong place? Was someone already here? Am I at the wrong elevation?

Then they just go calm and stop moving for a few minutes. Scan the landscape. Be still.

POP! Oh! There's one! ... and another!... oh! there's another one!... woah... they are EVERYWHERE! Holy crap I am STANDING IN THE MIDDLE OF SO MANY MUSHROOMS!!

With my new diet, which generally avoids most carbs and sugars, I have my "Carb Eyes" on.

Vending machine? Nothing in there edible.

Coffee shop? Nothing in there either, except black drip coffee, espresso shot, or an almond-milk latte.

Restaurant? Side dishes start to look REALLY tasty... and main courses look heavy and unpleasant. "Can I just get these two sides, and a steak?"

And now, I will post this message, and walk out into the lobby where my company is providing everyone with ... Valentine's Cupcakes. And I am going to enjoy the shit out one of those carbo-sugar bombs.

Because carbo-sugar bombs are AMAZING treats.

But that's what they should be: Treats. Not Food.

francopoli  ·  7 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: In honor of Valentine's Day, tell everybody your tale of heartache and woe

I sat and though about this for a few while working. I'm not angry, not really. I'm pissed off at a lot of things: the direction of my country, the regression of politics, internet cultures, education, etc. But being pissed off is not the same as angry.

When and where I grew up, men did not display emotion. We were supposed to be Stoic rocks around which we build friendships and families. Emotions were for women and children. If you cried as a man there better someone in a casket, and once the box was in the ground you better stop that shit. If you got overly emotional you better be drunk, and we are all going to make fun of you in the morning.

This of course leads to the inevitable conversation:

    Kid: Gee, Mister, a lot of these older guys are alcoholics, and the younger ones are killing themselves. Why is that?

    Adult: Well, Billy, it is a great mystery, isn't it.

I got lucky. About the time my friends started on the path to having this shit eat them alive I discovered the online world and anonymity. With an anon account I could be angry, sad, etc and not have to deal with parents and family telling me to snap back into shape. Some people I grew up with were not so lucky. So I come off as an angry bitter cunt online sometimes (most times?) but that is not really what I am for the most part. 25ish years ago I was living in the void asking, legitimately, why bother keeping on. Then, yes I was angry. At the world, but mostly myself. Now I have a job I love with people I enjoy working with. I have a seven-figure net worth (at least on paper), a house I love living in, a car, money to do fun shit once in a while. I have a hobby that brings me joy with people who appreciate my contributions. I even use my hobby to better the community I live in and can say I'm doing my part to make the place suck just a bit less than when I found it.

I can honestly say that right now, I am content. But that is not really the word I am looking for. The word is Happy. I Am Happy. It's weird typing that out as there have not been many times in my life I could say that and mean it. But yes, now is one of those times. It takes getting used to somedays because I still have that Stoic anti-emotional mindset and appearance that was beaten into me from childhood. But, yea, happy.

flac  ·  14 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: February 7, 2018

I MADE SOME SHIT, Y'ALL

First of all, my first sweater is done!

Really happy with how it turned out, just a smidge short, but that's okay. Already started another sweater, because I'm crazy.

Also, I started painting stuff this weekend. I've never really been good at or liked drawing/painting, but I've been toying with some isometric stuff for the past few weeks, which has been fun. I'm making about 1 room a day, might connect them, might not.

First one:

(The dog is named Sammy)

Not quite as cleanly executed as I'd like, but I like the design of this room. Might make it again sometime.

WIP of the current one.

kleinbl00  ·  14 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: February 7, 2018

I know. And that's why I refuse to humor you.

The difference between being glum about a physiological limitation or not being glum about a physiological limitation is glumness. Worse, the worse your attitude the worse your hormonal and chemical balance. The more you act like a little bitch, the longer you will be a little bitch, the harder it will be to not be a little bitch... physiologically.

Toughen the fuck up. Not because I think less of you but because your strongest ally in this is yourself and you sell yourself short at the drop of a hat.

veen  ·  49 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: January 3, 2018

Instead of creating a separate thingy, I'll use this Pubski as a chance to reflect on 2017.

John Green recently recommended writing two letters to your future self about what to take with you going into 2018, and what to leave in 2017. I think that's a great way to reflect and look forward simultaneously.

---LEAVE IT IN 2017---

The first thing to leave behind is my indecisiveness. If 2017 has taught me anything, it's that I need to make decisions and stick to them, not fret and worry and ponder forever on them if it doesn't make the result any better. At the end of 2016, I read something which took me most of 2017 to internalise: "doubt must come to an end." I haven't been able to find that quote's source ever again. The insight that phases of doubt are just that, phases, has been meaningful to me.

The second thing I want to leave is gliding. In a classic "it's not you, it's me" scenario, I've had a lot of fun gliding, but I don't have the free time to do it properly. Once or twice a month isn't gonna cut it for something as complex as learning to fly. It's been fun, but I gotta close that chapter for now.

I also want to leave calorie logging behind in 2017. I tried picking it up again last year, but it made me feel guilty for eating, which is the exact opposite of what I needed it for. It helped me figure out a healthier diet, which is good. Other than that it's just not for me.

Finally, I want 2017 to be the last year I would describe myself as reticent in unfamiliar social situations. I avoided small talk the first weeks of my internship as I've done many times before. It took a Sherry Turkle book to make me realise how embarrassingly unsocial that is and that it doesn't hurt, you fuckin' hermit, these people are nice if you just let them be nice.

---BRING IT IN 2018---

First some minor things I want to take with me from 2017. It was the year I went out of my comfort zone a bunch of times, which is always insightful. It was the year of less distractions: after reading Deep Work by Cal Newport, I realised I should do with much less distraction in my life. My phone is now almost always on silent and I'm all the happier for it.

2017 was also the year I started meditating. For me, it's valuable as a kind of mental defragmentation: if I have any stress, worry or emotions on my mind I've found meditation to clear that up, or to at least make me more aware of how I'm feeling. I have also noticed that that clarity of mind carries over to the rest of the day. Meditation, for me, is a kind of mental health upkeep I didn't know I needed.

I also started upping my reading game, and it's been one of the best things the year has brought me. A quick back of the envelope calculation puts me at more than 11,000 pages of nonfiction just in 2017, which is more than I have ever read in a single year.

After five years of following my interests and curiosity to the best of my abilities, I finally figured out what I want to do in life. Not in the "I have found my calling" sense, but more in the sense of finally being able to connect the dots:

    Again, you can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backward. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something — your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.

That's from Steve Jobs' commencement speech in 2005. I remember watching it ten years ago, and those words have been etched into my soul in the form of hope ever since. The naive and dreamy kind of hope that everything will work out in the end. While I can't say that has happened or will happen, I feel like I'm headed in the right direction with the right tools and people around me, and I'm incredibly grateful for that. 2017 was the year I connected a whole bunch of dots and settled on a direction, and I look forward to see where that will take me.

Need we really spell out why we'd rather have an alien megastructure than cosmic dust?

Please don't go into debt to support Hubski. The best way to support Hubski is to continue to be here to provide your perspective. Leave the monetary supporting to those of us who are dumber but richer. Be you, and be you on here; no donation can hold a candle to that.

Edit: I just threw down $20 for you. Happy New Year :)

veen  ·  70 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: December 13, 2017

Good news, everyone! After three months of job interviews, calls, negotiations, asking people for advice and what not I have made my choice and will be signing my contract this Friday.

Out of the five companies I've had serious talks with, two weren't a good fit for me, two were really interesting, and one was the gig I'd been doing alongside my last year of my master's degree. They made a compelling offer but I mostly thought of it as my backup option. Yesterday I called my manager there to let him know:

"Hey! I've made my choice, and it's sadly not in your favour. I had two other very interesting options - one was [well-known engineering firm], and the other was [the Chosen One]. I appreciated your offer and am glad that I could work for you guys, but the Chosen One was better in [all the ways that matter to me]."

"Congrats on the choice! You definitely chose the best out of the three, [Chosen One] is a great company and would totally fit you."

He said that like three more times in the same phone call - not at all disingenuously. I do think I've made the right call, the company I chose is a small urban planning consultancy focused on sustainable innovations. If I were to start a business like that, I'd probably do it the way they already do.

Now I just gotta finish my darn thesis. I want to have it done by Christmas so that I can spend that week with family (and without worries). I've written my executive summary, formalised my methodology and have rewritten the first two chapters, so I'm on track, but I still have lots to do. Plus, I need to do Adult Life Stuff like find a better insurance company and find a place to move to. What's the John Lennon lyric again? Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans?

edit: Also, because I don't celebrate Sinterklaas this year I bought myself this Casio I had been eyeing for a while:

I love that it has a world map! I can scroll through time zones and the map will show the part of the world covered by that time zone. Plus, it's supposedly inspired by the James Bond's watch in Octopussy.

johnnyFive  ·  87 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: U.S. State Department has been gutted, with no end in sight

Absolutely. He's a war criminal by any sane definition: we invaded Iraq based on intelligence that the government knew was false, after lying to our allies. The Afghanistan invasion was shaky but not wholly so, but in both cases the post-war period was so colossally mismanaged that it makes parts of Trump's presidency look magisterial. They chose loyalty and ideology over experience; for example, a 24-year-old with no experience in finance (and who had applied for a job with the White House) was instead sent to re-open the Iraqi stock exchange. They authorized the use of torture if we thought someone might have something to do with terrorism, they locked up people in Guantanamo Bay without proof of wrongdoing or access to lawyers, and generally torpedoed US credibility abroad. He also withdrew us from the Kyoto Protocol (an earlier treaty on greenhouse gas emissions).

On the home front, his administration brought us the Patriot Act, and the president of the United States saying that you're "either with us or you're with the terrorists." Not long after the Justice Department ruled that the precursor program to the current domestic spying programs was illegal, then-AG John Ashcroft was in the hospital for acute pancreatitis, and possibly dying. The administration sent the White House Counsel (Alberto Gonzalez) and Chief of Staff Andrew Card to Ashcroft's hospital room to try to get him to reverse the DOJ's decision (Ashcroft refused). The acting AG, who witnessed all this, was none other than James Comey. Bush also signed laws requiring stricter standards on driver's licenses, a highly anti-consumer change to the bankruptcy code, and subsidies for energy companies that didn't incentivize green power generation.

They also did things like No Child Left Behind, which was roundly considered a failure. He pushed for and signed a law cutting taxes on the wealthy, turning the first budget surplus since World War 2 into a deficit. His first ever veto was a law that would have allowed federal funding for research on new stem cell lines. His administration also thoroughly botched response to Hurricane Katrina, fired eight US attorneys for political reasons (which would result in the resignation of Karl Rove and then-AG Gonzales), leaked the name of a covert CIA operative for political reasons, and, wait for it, used a private e-mail server. The list goes on.

Overall, he presaged the worst of Trump's policies and rhetoric: he was anti-immigrant, anti-LGBT rights, botched healthcare reform (pushed for Medicare Part D, which was a massive giveaway to drug companies), and mismanaged the financial crisis. He totally wrecked any pretense of moral credibility by the United States, including labeling countries as "evil" (at the same time we were happily torturing random folks from the Middle East at black sites all over the world). In any actually just society, he would've been impeached and sent to jail, but we just got left with someone who set a new low for presidential competence, comportment, and integrity. It's worth noting that Bush finished his presidency with an approval rating of 19%, lower than any president in history.

steve  ·  112 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: November 1, 2017

lil gave me the nudge... I better come clean.

The short version of a long story is that I got the job offer. I'm in the middle of negotiating the exit from my current employer... and if all goes well, I will have an even better story to tell after Thanksgiving.