Sharpening My Axe

I am finding it incredibly disheartening to be an American in America right now.

In whole, our response to the pandemic betrays how quickly the selfishness of our collective independence and unnecessary individualism breaks down. Instead of look that in the eye, the country is doubling down.

Police violence has once again come to a head. Governments around the country find it fit to activate in mass to strongarm protesters.

So that's going on. Has been since February. Has been forever.

The only thing I've been able to focus on to some satisfying ends is small projects that improve my skills or improve my space. All of those are suddenly important because I became unemployed (and re-employed) and our home that used to be mostly empty, now houses two full time working parents, our kid, and her full time caretaker, and the other kid from our share. The kids and the nanny can't spend as much time out as they used to. My life is as good as it can be, but it's changing and has changed a lot.

Here's a few of the things I've been working on:

  • Learning a new embedded platform (ARM)
  • Small furniture (literally, for a small person)
  • Basement and tool storage. Everything's off the floor, on wheels, in cabinets that will last my whole life
  • Bookshelves. We're buying more books than we used to. We can't go to the library, and also would like to keep the local bookstores around.
  • My first ML projects
  • I got a particulate sensor last year with wildfires on my mind, but found out that some of the woodwork was making too much dust upstairs. I got some air filtration and dust collection.
  • Reading and Watching, and learning the techniques for all of the above
  • Sewing. Mostly masks but I'm also starting to get some leather work in, and working on some bigger canvas projects too.
  • I got through most of this list before I remembered that I spent a huge amount of time and energy making PPE back in March when it was nearly impossible for professionals to get lifesaving PPE and so hundreds of home crafters and makers were cranking out as much as we could. I hated that.
  • Sharpening everything with an edge in the whole house.

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Issac Kelly