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OftenBen  ·  31 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: June 19, 2019

My long term disability got approved last week. No appeals, no court battle, just long months of waiting and a few of scraping brokeness.

I get my full package, benefits and 401k contribution included.

Thankful to be able to take some time to actually take care of myself the way I need to. Eat the way I should, daily. Take exactly the medications I should, without thinking about rationing, daily. Attend cardiac rehab and be able to pay my copay. Have to do some doctor shopping, new psych, new pain doc, but it's manageable.

Truthfully I'm kind of numb. I want to be elated, we went out to a nice dinner to celebrate, but it hasn't set in yet that I actually got the benefits that I earned, that I signed up for years ago specifically for when the day came that I needed them. I guess I find it hard to believe that the corporate end of the bargain is being held up.

Just need some time to process I guess.

Finished The Universe in a Nutshell, gonna re-read it for the sake of clarity and comprehension before moving on to the next one. Hawking is a wonderful breather from Durant.

blackbootz  ·  32 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: June 19, 2019

gonna be a data scientist?

Got accepted to Lambda School! It's an intensive coding bootcamp I'll start in September: nine months of 40 hours a week online instruction, following instructors build applications and building our own under their supervision. I'm told that it's the same or more amount of coding as in a 4-year CS degree.

My acceptance is conditional on completing "precourse work" which I'm finding involves a steep learning curve. It dawned on me that this is their weeding out process. I'm not averse to the approach at all; instructional time is better spent on more complicated things than learning to define variables or importing libraries. But some of the later assignments which I haven't gotten to yet have names like linear algebra, pandas, training models with sklearn. Thankfully, there is a metric fuckton of resources online for learning the basics of python on your own.

I'll speak to my decision for the subspeciality--data science--at a later pubski.

summer 2019 curriculum

In addition to the coding I'm doing this summer, I'm training and coaching gymnastics. I'm basically living at the gym and a bagel place next to it. Had a really discouraging day today. I'm so old and stiff. Trying to remember that there are a lot of slow-going, sometimes deeply uncomfortable and miserable days that comprise the road to progress.

Saturday

Officiating my best friends' wedding this Saturday; been reading my speech every day in preparation. It brings me chills. "I now have the privilege to announce--for the very first time as husband and wife--Andrew and Grace."

Devac  ·  39 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: June 12, 2019

As of about an hour ago, I'm no longer a student. BSc² -> MSc², yo.

PhD application process in progress.

swedishbadgergirl  ·  46 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: June 5, 2019

Guess who finally has a high school diploma? This girl!

kleinbl00  ·  46 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: June 5, 2019

IMPOSTER SYNDROME

Had Veen and 'bootz out last week. Veen for ten days, 'bootz for three. Did much hosting. Had many "what do I do with my life" conversations. Drank astonishingly little alcohol. Spent a few hours showing veen how to take apart a watch; apparently the parts Elgin I bought last year is hella more hammered than even I knew 'cuz my screwdrivers looked brand new for the past two years but as soon as I had to get the dial off that thing I'd snapped two blades.

Veen asked if I ever experienced "impostor syndrome" when it came to watchmaking. It's a fair question. After all, two years ago I knew virtually nothing. Thing of it is, though, it's an extremely shallow field. Immersing myself in it for a year and a half has me revealing manufacturers and history my instructors never knew, manipulating small parts my instructors can't manipulate and knowing by heart industry statistics that lifelong watchmakers are completely incredulous about.

I learned as an acoustical consultant - a trade that requires a mechanical engineering or physics degree and several years experience with esoteric empirical knowledge - that the way you prove your worth in a gnostic field is by slagging on others. The normies don't know so if you piss all over everyone else they assume you're pissing with reason. And watchmakers piss all over everyone. As a group their shit doesn't stink and if you ask 'em questions they'd best put your ass in its place. Their Facebook groups are largely about how stupid customers are, how stupid vendors are, and how horrible everyone is to their preciousssssss.

Here's the thing, though. A mechanical watch movement has between 50 and 250 parts, from the most basic to the most fiddly chronograph. Yeah there are watches with more but really, it's a bunch of gears ("wheels") and axles ("pinions") and other jargon and they only interact mechanically. The engine your Toyota has 5-600 parts and that's just the mechanical shit. A fuckin' fuel injector is like 30 parts and for it to work you've got fluid mechanics, electromechanics, electronics and thermodynamics. Not only that but your average "watchmaker" has no idea how to do anything other than fix the mechanical bits and polish what's there. It's a specialist field where nearly everything else is farmed out to other specialists. And I've been spending the past year neck deep in the "other specialists" shit - I've mixed three seasons of television while also earning sixty college credits in the past year while also spending maybe 300 hours (and $28k or so) in pursuit of "watchmaking" (which is what we call "being a watch mechanic"). I know more about watches and their repair than a few manufacturers I know.

But my daughter was whiney on Sunday. There was a little drama. She insisted she wasn't whining. I let her know (during the hug-it-out period) that if I'd used her tone of voice when I was a kid I would have been shouted at, possibly spanked and sent to my room without any supper and that sometimes I have a hard time when she does stuff I wasn't allowed to do, even if the stuff I wasn't allowed to do didn't really make sense. She asked why my parents were so mean. I said I didn't know. She asked if I told them to stop being mean and I said "I didn't know they were mean, they were the only parents I had" and she said "but you aren't mean" and I burst into uncontrollable tears.

And I mean, she doesn't know. She has no more insight into my suckitude than I had into my parents'. But I had a pretty good idea by 3 that my relationship with my parents was dissimilar to my peers. And whereas every picture I have of myself as a youth is of a haunted-eyed little spooky kid, my daughter is happy to the point of mania in photos. The great thing about kids is they love you unreservedly and worship everything you do (until they become teenagers, anyway). The terrible thing about kids - for me, anyway - is that you're never, ever worthy of it.

I am blowing off the rest of my schooling. Jewelry class for the past 10 weeks has been bang-on-shit-with-a-hammer class and I have received exactly zero instruction. I crafted a silver cup from a sheet using nothing but a hammer - it looks like a Riedel stemless champagne flute. I coated it in Japanese enamel to see what the colors look like. And it looks amateurish and silly because I received zero instruction in enameling. I have some interesting parts from that class, but everything I made I made without any input or insight from anyone while also being sniped by everyone around me (because jewelers are like watchmakers but with less schooling). And I cleaned out my bag, and I'm going to take the F (I'm yearning for that F - I'm eager to have it sit there - so that the instructor knows we're enemies now), and I'm going to pursue my own thing because where I'm going I don't need roads. I set micro-pave last year without knowing the first thing about it and while it looks like hammered shit, the next one won't and if you set out to learn how to do micro-pave the first thing you do is apprentice in Antwerp and get yourself a $2500 microscope.

But I've got a Valjoux 7750 that's misbehaving and when you look up the symptoms the Internet tells you to "take it in for service" and what they don't tell you is that at the price point of that 7750 the "servicepeople" are going to swap the movement and I'm wondering if I fucked it up by wearing it in beat-on-shit-with-a-hammer class. See, I know beyond a reasonable doubt what I know about fixing watches. But when the internet tells me I have no idea how to wear a watch I'm perfectly willing to believe them because I'm fucking white trash and I know it down to my very bones.

This washed across my transom this morning. You don't need to click on it. It's a puff piece about a jeweler opening a new boutique. They're spending about $1.3m and creating ten jobs. Woo hoo. News piece. I built a birth center with about $350k and our payroll now has nine people on it. We're setting up a Vaccines for Children program and it's going to be three phone calls, one contractor and three SKUs purchased. We'll be up in a month. Shit's trivial. Sure as fuck isn't worth making an international trade magazine.

My daughter spent her weekend putting together "scent packs" - her idea of play is to pick herbs, wrap them in paper, put together a merchandising display and haul it into class in an egg carton so that she can dominate a pinecone economy she created. Yeah. My daughter is getting others to hoard pinecones for her by selling artisanal herbs out of my garden. Told my wife this wasn't something all the kids had come up with, like we thought, but my daughter's idea and she said "well it's not surprising, she is the daughter of two entrepreneurs, after all." I immediately said "well, one entrepreneur and one loser who wastes a lot of time and money on useless knowledge." She was quiet for a minute and then said

"That's you talking, not me."

I spent $1300 so that Christie's could teach me the history of jewelry design. It's not a course for jewelers, it's a course for bored old rich ladies. I tell you what, though - ain't nobody in there gonna say that you should feel bad for owning gold jewelry because it's mined illegally in the Amazon for use in iPhones. When I'm done I hope to have a rich old lady's understanding of jewelry as propagated by Christie's because it's hella more useful to me than an angsty community college assistant's understanding of jewelry as propagated by indignant environmental movies. After all, jewelry makers call byzantine chain "idiot's delight." Jewelry sellers call it ten grand.

George Friedman recommended the works of Herman Wouk yesterday. This passage caught my eye:

    Even more instructive was the character Armin von Roon, a German general and aristocrat, whom Pug Henry met in Germany, and who wrote an operational analysis of the war that Henry translates into English. Wouk explains German strategy in detail and unapologetically. He argues powerfully that Germany was forced into a war it didn’t want and lost it only because of the ruthless cunning of Roosevelt. I didn’t agree with it, and I thought he was falsifying history, yet Wouk’s emulation of a brilliant German general explaining his country was, in my view, Wouk’s moment of genius. It was not just that he explained it but, in that passage, he reminded me of something I learned in philosophy. I was taught that you must understand a philosopher as he understood himself. Wouk showed that you must understand a nation as it understands itself. You may take issue with philosophers of a nation, but only after you have disciplined yourself to understand them as they understand themselves. And when you do that you not only understand important things, but you learn to compel your soul to listen and learn, even from evil. From Wouk I learned the suspension of judgement without plunging into the abyss of relativism.

"Impostor syndrome" is, to me, the "abyss of relativism." I know what I know about the outside world because I can vouch for that knowledge. I fought for it, I tested it, I verified it, I expanded it into corners it was never meant to illuminate. The inside world is, has been and shall always be a dark and dismal failure because my n will never be greater than one.

I have no doubts that I will be able to create and sell luxury timepieces. And I have no doubts that I will feel uncomfortable wearing one for as long as I draw breath. And that's pretty much where I am this Wednesday.

Cheers.

cgod  ·  74 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: May 8, 2019

We adopted a five year old Australian Cattle Dog on Monday of last week. He bolted Tuesday of last week. We tried to catch him but he is one smart and athletic dog. A dog recovery non-profit saw our post on Facebook and got involved the next day. A super athletic friend of mine who helped in the chase gave us a 5% chance of catching him by running him down. I had taken to calling him Nelson Bolt because he loves freedom as much as Nelson Mandela and was as fast as Usain Bolt.

You might say that we should have been more careful and you would be right. His disposition the night we brought him home lulled us into a false sense of security. When brought into the house he pretty much glued himself onto family members every moment, especially my wife. He seemed like a lover not a runner and when he took off first chance he had it was a surprise.

We posted fliers within a mile that said call us with a location but don't chase him and don't feed him. We didn't need to post fliers over such a big area, he stayed in small five block area that was about a quarter block from our house. When it became apparent that standing around in a nonthreatening way with a hotdog wasn't going to lure him in the non-profit provided us with a dog trap.

The dog trap spent three days at the edge of his range with no hits besides three or four pissed off house cats.

The dog recovery people said to leave the trap in one place for three days before you move it. During this time most the calls of sightings were one damn block from our house! The trap was at the furthest point from this location that was part of his range (we had a pretty dope Google map of his sightings).

One of the days we got a text that he was heading down the street toward our house. My wife went outside to try and spot him. A random lady walked up just as the dog did, followed my wife's gaze and watched him calmly trotting.

"That's my dog," says the wife. The lady looked puzzled.

"He ran away on Tuesday." The lady gives my wife an more puzzled look.

"You can't catch him, watch," and let out a little whistle, causing the dogs head to jerk around and bound off into a back yard.

The dog knew every Ally and lose fence post in a backyard by this point. He probably knows the neighborhood as well as any creature on Earth.

Finally we moved the trap right next to the house with a chicken broth trail leading from a woodpile he was known to frequent to the cage. That night he struck. Little monster reached over the trigger plate, pulled the plate with the bait out of the cage and had himself a snack. He robbed the cage twice that night.

This was all good. He thought he knew a good place to find a quick and easy meal and it was going to be his downfall. Meanwhile we caught three more cats, one of which was my super dumb cat who got caught three times, much to his distress.

I drilled a holes in a piece of plexi glass and tied it the the front bottom front edge of the trip plate, it extended the trigger for about six more inches but it was invisible under the towel that we had hiding the mechanism. He could see where the trip plate was under the towel but the extension was tied lower than the plate and it was pretty much invisible.

About 9:30 at night I heard a sad sad howl and a few little yips. We had him. The cage with the dog was too heavy for me to move myself but you were supposed to move the cage to an enclosed space before opening. My closest buddy wasn't answering his phone and I didn't know what to do. Probably stupidly I cracked the door open with my body leaned into it, any 50 lb dog that can shift my 230 lbs has earned it.

I got a hand on his collar and he went nuts. It reminded me of catching a real big fish, thrashing in every direction. I worried that he might shake loose as I dragged him out the trap and hoped he wouldn't bite me. I got a second had on his collar and drug him to the front door. He was pinning himself to every bit of architecture in a final struggle for freedom. I basically gave him a big heave with both hands on his collar and launched him through the door, legs splayed in every direction with a spinning thud, claws scrambling on the wooden floors. He looked around stunned for a moment and than crept up to wife and glued himself to her side, just like the day we got him. He was once again a sweet mild dog that loved people.

The chase consumed seven days. The dog appeared a bit skinnier, super filthy but none the worse for ware. He does seem to be unsure of his situation and a bit nervous and I'll at ease most the time. We've had him back for two full days.

He trusts me less than any other person he's met so far, which I suppose is fair seeing as I caught him and than gave him a bit of rough handeling. All the same he's sat next to and put his hand in my lap.

He really likes meeting people and other dogs. He's great at walking on a leash and is a lustful walker. He seems to know no commands which kind of surprised me with how well behaved he is on a leash, he's better than most well trained dogs I've known.

I took him to the vet and and a few not too crowded public spaces. He's behaved really well. He's friendly with kids. he behaved well when given a bath, only twice attempting half hearted escapes and wow was that dog dirty.

I haven't had a dog in twenty years and all the dogs I've had we raised as puppies. I didn't think much about how different adopting an adult dog would be. Giving him as much attention as he wants and lots of sweet praise to let him know we're glad he's with us. They say it takes about three months for a dog to get fully comfortable in new home, I hope he does.

insomniasexx  ·  145 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Who Is Left on Hubski?x 3

hellloooooooo, this is how my life is now.

am_Unition  ·  145 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Who Is Left on Hubski?

31/m/tx, u?

I'm James. Working on finishing up my physics PhD. lil helped me with my grad school application letter! Apparently she did a great job, because it worked :).

Just got engaged about a week ago after an 8 year trial period with the best girl in the world. Looks like a courthouse, nuclear-family-only shindig, and then a backyards kegger for the 1 year anniversary or something. Pomp and circumstance ain't my thang.

Used some of my tax return to buy a Switch. flac, I'll be PM'ing you in a few days or weeks, depending on how long it takes me to get sick of BotW (could be months, I guess).

As for everyone else, if I'm in your neck of the woods sometime, I'll let you know, and maybe we can meet up. I just got back from Yosemite, and yeesh, it's gonna be tough to top that backdrop. Most beautiful place I've ever been. And before you ask, I managed to miss firefall, mostly because I was either snowboarding or watching PowerPoint presentations.

applewood  ·  130 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: March 13, 2019

Here is a very small sample of some of the books I make. These are the best ones I currently have, but are by no means the best ones I’ve made. Like I told flac last week, when I make a really good book, I’m so excited about it, I can’t wait to give it away. I’m thinking about creating a post eventually, about how I make the majority of my books and why I go that route. It’s funny, because I’ve made so many of them the process seems pretty straightforward to me, but when I stop to think about all of the techniques I use and why I use them, I realize there’s quite a bit of stuff to explain.

In short, I made all of my books with as many natural and bio-degradable materials as possible. The only polymer based materials I intentionally use are PVA Glue and Acrylic Paint. I bind my books with the flat back binding method for two reasons, mostly because I don’t have the tools to do rounding and backing on my books, but also because the extra board on the spine means I don’t have to put headbands on my books if I don’t want to. The one drawback to that binding method is though, while the books open completely, they don't lay flat. It makes writing in them a bit awkward. So it's great for text blocks with pre-existing text already in them, but for journals and sketch books, not so much. When I create my own textblocks, I use linen book tape for reinforcement, french link stitch to help prevent vertical travel between signatures, and kettle stitch on the ends to keep everything nice and secure.

Here’s what a text block looks like by itself.

Here’s a close up of two different lino-cut stamps I’ve made for my books. I like lincocutting a lot. Partly because you can kind of get a woodcut print look out of it, without having to work as hard as you would carving a block of wood. Additionally, because linoleum is made from plant materials, it's biodegradable, which is a plus.

The paint for the dog is Liquitex Acrylic and the rooster on the right is Speedball Block Print Ink for Fabric. I’m not too happy with either. The Luquitex Acrylic, while it dries nice and quick, is really hard to get an even, consistent color out of. I use it though, because I know it’s acid free. I’m saving up some cash this month and I’m gonna buy a few tubes of Luquitex Soft Body Acrylic to see if that’s easier to work with. I’m assuming the answer will be yes. The Speedball Block Print Ink on the other hand, takes forever to dry. We’re talking days. Additionally, I can’t find any information as to whether or not it’s acid free, so there’s that as well.

These are just test prints for the two linocuts I’ve made so far. I’m thinking of buying a button making machine in the future, to turn these test prints into buttons. That way, they’re just not sitting on fabric going to waste.

So yeah. Bookbinding. That’s what I’ve been spending a lot of my free time learning and working on. I have three different projects down the road that I’m gonna try and document to share with you guys, but other than that, if you’re ever wondering what I’m doing with my free time and blowing my money on mindlessly, you’re looking at it.

Have a beautiful day guys.

someguyfromcanada  ·  145 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Who Is Left on Hubski?

Name: sgfc

Location: Canada

Geez my first account here (sgfc) is almost 7 years old. And I have not posted or commented in a very long time.

I quit drinking and dropped 40 pounds to 155 now. My body has been my enemy since May and a medical situation gave me the kick in the ass to start changing.

Stopping booze was easy even though I admittedly am a die hard alkie. Average evening would be 15 to 20 units for 15 years. I miss booze and I miss hanging out with fun drunks. The social aspect has been the biggest hurdle for me. For example, I was invited to a 4 day trip to Nashville. Never been there and would love to go and hang out in bars listening to music all day. How does one do that without drinking? How could anyone possibly want to listen to country music for hours without drinking? I don't know.

Still the primary caregiver for my Mom with advanced Alzheimers. What a shit show that is. She is sure that she hates me. Her body is steady but her brain is lost. There is no exit strategy that will not be heart-breaking. Ugh.

My mood is also very different. In a good way. From sometimes not sleeping for a couple of days, to at least 5 solid hours every night. Sleep is good. Energy way up. Productivity way up. Down to 2 cigs a day and headed towards zero. Have been taking CBD drops twice a day and smoking THC before bed. Feels good man.