Monthly review: May 2010

May was quite a learning experience. From an oh-no moment when I accidentally mail-flooded around 70 people to a new hobby (woodworking!) that led to lots of shared time with W-, to more hacking in Lotus Notes… It was a very fun month.

I have a new manager at IBM. I’ve talked to him a lot before, and I’m looking forward to working with my new team, which is really mostly my old team plus some people I’d worked with before, so it’s more like a logical reorganization of people I enjoy working with anyway. =) This probably means there’ll be plenty of coding in my future. I know this high-flying strategy/consulting/marketing stuff is more prestigious, but I do like code. Maybe it’s time to flip back.

One of my goals for May was to declutter, get better at keeping things tidy, and remember things. I’m happy to report that my dresser top has been clutter-free, my bedside table has remained simplified, and I haven’t forgotten my keys once. I still have a lot of work to do on the decluttering front, but I’m slowly getting there.

The garden is growing merrily now. The chicken-wire-and-wood cage we built is doing a great job at protecting our garden from the predations of squirrels. Lettuce and radish harvests regularly fill our salad bowls. The first green tomatoes dangle from stems. The pea shoots have stretched almost all the way to the top of the twine supports. There are even some bittermelon plans bravely giving Canadian summers a go.

Woodworking turns out to be an awesome hobby. It’s fun making things with your hands. I’ve built three boxes so far (including a bread box that’s now keeping our bread safe from Neko!), and I’m looking forward to building my fourth. The next box I build will have a floating bottom and a sliding top, I think. I’m not sure if my 1/4” stock is too thin to cut a groove into, so I might go up to 1/2” sides.

Woodworking + deck repair + shedding cats + warm weather = no baking and no tea parties. However, people have been hosting barbecues and things like that, so I’m happy to catch up with people at other people’s events instead of mine. =) Perhaps I might still have a fresh fruit party. How would we do it? We’d move the kitchen table outside and clear out the living room, I think. More decluttering…

I also realized that I’d like to get to know a whole bunch of people more. Taking a look at my interests (which were practically all home-based), I realized I needed something that involved some kind of regular social interaction, too. I wondered how people manage to make friends outside school, and how I might work that back into my schedule. Going to people’s get-togethers, though, I realized that I managed to make good friends somehow or another, and I’m looking forward to getting to know them and other people. Fortunately, the tech scene is absurdly well-connected through social networks and things like that, and good weather + daylight savings time gives people an itch to get out and meet up.

So, what does June look like? More adjustments at work, a flurry of wedding preparations for August, lots of woodworking while it’s fun to work outdoors, lots of writing, a bit of gardening and sewing, and some more conscious attention to people’s lives. It’ll be awesome.

Posts this month:
Travel kaizen and the meaning of life
Exercising the senses
Imperfection
Getting the hang of big companies
Woodworking
Exponential awesomeness
Getting the hang of gardening
Braindump: On face-to-face and online social networking (xpost)
The garden in May
Presented Remote Presentations That Rock v2 for the Best of TLE 2009 series
Thinking about the path ahead
I want to learn how to make drawings/videos like this
Custom fields in Lotus Notes / Domino? You may need to set the SUMMARY field flag
Org-toodledo
Picking hobbies that fit together
Even more awesome LotusScript mail merge for Lotus Notes + Microsoft Excel
Quick notes from a conversation about speaking and facilitation
Dear future Sacha,
Holy cow, that was a lot of mail – so sorry
Quick guide to domain names
Remote Presentations That Rock (revised)
May 2010: Remember and declutter
A letter to my 8-year-old self
Holy cow, that was a lot of mail. So sorry!
Squirrels, shop class and drafting: making my peace with high school
Bread of salt and taste of home
Braindump: What I learned from our virtual leadership conversation
Thinking about what people remember

Weekly reviews:
Week ending May 30, 2010
Week ending May 24, 2010 (Victoria Day long weekend)
Week ending May 16, 2010
Week ending May 9, 2010
Week ending May 2, 2010

Last month: April 2010

3 responses to “Monthly review: May 2010”

  1. Victor Calvert says:

    I suspect that you’ll find that 1/4″ is too thin, and you need 3/8″ or 1/2″, unless you’re both lucky and using solid stock. 3/8″ with an 1/8″ groove (for 1/4″ ply) generally works reasonably well…I tend to over-engineer, so YMMV.

    I’m probably atypical in the technical world (especially in the ~25yr age group), as I’m not really into social networking…while I do prefer face-to-face interaction, I’m also introverted, so it’s been hard for me to find something rewarding. The closest I’ve been able to find to a good social event is generally music-related (especially jazz: playing in a big band, dancing, and so on).

  2. Rachelle says:

    Hi Sacha!
    Just a note to say that I’ve heard of a trick for getting better melons in our climate – cover the ground where it is growing with black “thermo-something” cloth. (I can’t find the actual name, it’s the material used under plant beds). Just cut a hole for the melon to grow and the material will help keep the ground warmer, thus helping the melon thrive!

  3. Sacha Chua says:

    Victor: Yeah, I suspected as much, so I’ll build the 1/4″ box with cleats and a cut-open lid instead. I haven’t been able to find good 3/8″ at the nearby home centers and we don’t have a band saw, so 1/2″ might be my standard box.

    Rachelle: Ah, I see! I’ll give it another try now that we have our chicken-wire cage. =)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>