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veen's profile

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hubskier for: 3538 days

Infrastructure & Planning student in the Netherlands.

Sometimes make things like this:

And I write here:


recent comments, posts, and shares:

I can only imagine how much further your L.A. range would be if you'd sport an ebike instead.

The iron-clad laws behind urban geography is that speed and travel time dictates how far away people will live from each other, and that transit only makes sense when said transit is faster than driving. The decades-long attitude of US transportation planners, channeling their inner Robert Moses, is that driver speed is the penultimate measure of success. Thus the biggest argument against transit and bicycle lanes is that it will slow down car traffic, whilst ignoring that it's a bit of necessary collateral damage. Thus the U.S. urban topography throws people as far away from each other as possible, with everyone in their own solitary steel bubble moving to their solitary McMansion bubble. (Didn't Bowling Alone have a large section about this?)

More and more people are realizing that a) the shittiness of suburbia is by design, b) that cars are a large part of the problem, and c) that it doesn't have to be this way. Ever heard of Carmel, Indiana? I have:

    Geography, Business decisions, social choices and the general development of the United States over the past 100 years have created an environment in which the utility of the automobile is fundamentally unmatched.

And what a shame that is. I would kill for L.A. weather with Dutch urban topography and bicycle infrastructure. The past few months of 'I am physically unable to move outside of my neighborhood without a car' have really reminded me of how much I hate car-dependancy and commuting by car, even if the former is a nearly traffic-free 15 minute drive. It's interesting how the one mode of transportation that requires a license, some modicum of skill and permanent engaged attention is the one that's championed for giving people freedom when I feel so much more free and present when cycling or on a comfortable train ride. I get why, but it's still a shame that there is no room for alternatives for the large swathes of people who don't want to or can't drive.

veen  ·  11 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: May 17, 2023

Also piling on to agree and point out that the reason I got my six conversations, were all (except one) because I reached out to specific people in the organizations that I’m interested in with three things: why I’m looking for a job, what I want from the person I’m reaching out to (to help me), and how I think I’ll be valuable (why helping me is a good idea for them). Clearly YMMV but that formula has so far worked pretty swimmingly.

veen  ·  11 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: May 17, 2023

Job hunt starting to pick up steam, with six conversations in five work days (sorry c_!). Even vague work acquaintances are willing to help me out; but I guess that’s in no small part because my corner of the job market is small enough that we’ll run into each other again anyways.

The big all hands meeting yesterday had the iciest of vibes; what was most telling is that there were no questions from the audience after they hammered home some more details of the reorganization. And that they didn’t mention the understream of two thirds are considering quitting. No, we got a bunch of band-aids and “y’all be fine! Really! But we will close your office and kill your culture.”

It feels like I’ve been going to physical therapy for a long time, but it’s really only been 12 weeks now. I’m doing pretty great; I still have some bad days but most days I can get around pretty easily, and I’m enjoying going back to the gym after years of little to no sports. My weights are low but my spirit is high. Running still kills me (I can’t last more than five minutes) but I did a 30 minute bike ride, a 40lbs deadlift and a bunch of 30lbs squats today pretty easily.

veen  ·  18 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: May 10, 2023

It was unusually frank, and I did get a strong “I’m leaving too” vibe. I think our corporate overlords haven’t quite gotten that so many of us are thinking of leaving, so for me the most unstable part is that I have no idea what they’ll do once they do realize it. Although - the move to reorganize might be initiated by someone high up the chain deciding it was a mistake to acquire us, so perhaps they dgaf. There’s an all hands update on this early next week, so I’m very curious what the message will be then.

veen  ·  18 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: May 10, 2023

I've succesfully gone through the stages of grief around my current job and have moved on to active job hunting. The way my brain works, is that I am now legitimately spending every fleeting moment and thought on the problem of what I want my next step to be. Reaching out to friends / ex-colleagues / work acquaintances and thinking out loud helps a lot, but it also spurs more thinking and reflecting and pondering.

Meanwhile, I've lost any and all motivation to work. I knew I need that inner motivation to work, but I didn't know I needed it this much. I now realise I've been lucky for always having had some kind of motivation for the past decade, so it is jarring to have absolutely none of it and to feel so adrift. Fortunately I really don't have a lot on my plate at work. I can just do a bit of quiet quitting and I doubt anybody will notice or care. Especially since my conversation with HR last week went like "yeah, you're one of our high performers, so we get it if you want to leave. We'd love to keep you ofc but it's best if you just take your time to figure things out".

veen  ·  27 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: April 26, 2023

You hit the nail on the head. They're gonna get our group of entrepreneurs and force it into a megacorp of employees, and I just don't see that work no matter what they say. Entrepreneuring requires freedom, autonomy, the ability to tell management to fuck off. None of that will be the case because it doesn't fit the mold.

Honestly, I am having a hard time thinking of things that would be out of reach (feels like they're in my 'unknown unknowns') but you make a very interesting point. In hindsight I'm happy I made the career moves I did the past year or two because it's given me much more confidence in my abilities to do other types of work.

veen  ·  31 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: April 26, 2023

In rapid succession I've gone from n00b junior specialist, to medior specialist, to near-senior specialist, decided I was fed up with GIS work and moved laterally to a medior consultant position partway through last year. I have attained an esoteric track record of projects in all corners of sustainable transportation policy. On the plus side, that means I have a cursory knowledge of a lot of other places to work; on the minus side, none of them jump out at me right now as the place to go to.

veen  ·  31 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: April 26, 2023

Not really no. Our small company got taken over by a big corporate three years ago, and they've been letting us do our thing for a while. It seems like they ran out of patience.

veen  ·  31 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: April 26, 2023

Severances are part of federal labor laws, so it's more of an eligibility question. A cursory look leads me to believe I won't be eligible unless they actually fire me, which doesn't seem likely as they can't fire without six months notice as I have an indefinite contract. Might be worth looking in to though.

veen  ·  32 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: April 26, 2023

Things are going down south at a rapid pace at work due to corporate overlords making certain decisions. I'm angry and disappointed but I'm pretty dure these decisions won't be reverted despite 70-80% opposition from my colleagues. Or put another way, I feel like it's naive not to start looking around for something else when everything that made working here great is on the balance.

Any advice is much appreciated. At least the job market's good...

veen  ·  45 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: April 12, 2023

It was incredibly dope, but I have no frame of reference so I'm now just assuming they're all like this. I did not get to see most of them on the inside as they were mostly 80 or 90C while my limit's currently at 70.

Update: theme park was fucking awesome, rode my new recency biased favourite rollercoaster twice, and most impressively managed to get in 16,000 steps when my previous record in the past months was 7K. My legs are exhausted beyond compare but I had a good day.

veen  ·  46 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: April 12, 2023

Greetings from Germany!

With the SO out of town I decided to head out on a little solo road trip. I had never been to a sauna / spa before but felt like going today. I went to a large one with 10 “sauna worlds” ranging from koi karpers to Vienna coffee houses, lol.

It was less relaxing than I thought due to heart rate / covid woes, but I had a good time. Boy is it nice to jump into a cold waterfall after a good sweat.

Next stop is arguably Europe’s best themed themepark: Phantasialand! Haven’t been there before. I might not ride much if anything so I’m trying to keep my expectations low. At the same time I’ve been a thoosie (theme park enthoosieast) for two decades now so I can’t not be excited, y’know?

veen  ·  63 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: You Are Not a Parrot

Great article. What I wouldn’t give to put Turkle and Bender in a discussion together about this…

veen  ·  67 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: March 22, 2023

I'm doing...okayish. Have more good days than bad ones. Had to skip the company ski trip, for obvious reasons, but the fomo is real. Currently waiting for a few blood test results.

In the meantime I'm trying to figure out what makes the good days good. Monday I learned the hard way that waking up before 7am royally f'ed up my day. I'm looking at vegan protein shakes because keeping energy levels up seems to work. Got an Apple Watch to monitor my heart rate and learn what that does. Avoiding 'spikes' of effort also seems to help. I am intensely grateful to own a car right now because I cannot see myself bicycling the amount I used to do all the time.

To some degree I am weaponizing my slightly obsessive nature to manage my own health. But I have to keep reminding myself however that my health is not entirely in my hands, that it could be a lot worse, that I have to be patient, that I have to cut myself some slack. Easier said than done though.

veen  ·  80 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: March 8, 2023

Had my first physical therapy the other day. My SO drove me there, and the therapist was kind enough to let her tag along the exercises. We did a straightforward 20 minute stationary bicycle ride with intervals where my heart rate went through the roof in no time while hers was mildly raised. Mine did not go down much, hers went back down in no time. While my heart was racing I wasn’t out of breath, completely able to just chat while my heart was consistently over 150 bpm, which is also not what normal looks like.

It was incredibly validating to see those completely different heart rates between her and I, doing the same exercise, finally having some proof that I’m not imagining things, and that I’m not okay.