Wed Apr 22 2020

rocket, ses 9 launch, cape canaveral

Another day, another post. The days are all flowing together now that I’m back on a polyphasic sleep schedule. This is not a complaint, just an observation.

I just walked to Albertson’s and back. This morning I took 4 or 5 packages to the mailbox, and I was thinking about putting off the trip to the grocery store until my Amazon groceries arrived. I checked my amazon orders and I was shocked to discover that my groceries aren’t arriving until the 18th of May! That’s almost an entire month from now!

No way I can wait that long for a resupply. I thin Amazon is really struggling with the demand put on them from the COVID-19 panic. Perhaps I am a low priority customer now that I no longer have prime? My sister A. said she ordered a gift for me on the 30th of March, and it hasn’t even shipped yet. They are really struggling indeed!

It’s interesting to see Amazon struggle like this. I think Amazon Web Services is all about, “elastic scaling” to where it doesn’t matter if you have a trickle of traffic to your Amazon web server or a white water rapids flow, their service is designed to automatically scale and handle the load. It’s very clear that their fulfillment centers are not designed similarly.

Well, Amazon does have the camper workforce which is one way that Amazon scales their fulfillment centers. But the thing with the camper workforce is that it’s a seasonal thing. It’s meant to scale up at a predictable time of year, which gives the campers time to get to the campgrounds outside of the fulfilment centers.

COVID-19 was not planned. I can only imagine what corporate Amazon must be going through right now. I can only imagine what the Amazon workforce must be going through! I heard that there were strikes at one point. I have heard a lot of horror stories about the Amazon workforce and how they’re treated like dogs and held to rigid performance quotas… I think they aren’t treated like dogs, they’re treated like robots. I bet there are so many engineers in management roles who are so used to working with AWS that they begin to tread the humans like just another piece of the computer!

I say go for automation. I think computer vision and robotics are at the point where 99% of the fulfillment centers can be automated. I say get rid of shitty jobs that nobody wants to do. Instead, keep people who love their jobs and people who love to maintain robots.

I think we’re already seeing automation take over in a lot of industries. I don’t think people will be out of work, work will just look different. Online streamers is a legit job nowadays. YouTuber is a legit job. Software developer is legit as fuck!

I’m thinking I like the idea of Universal Basic Income. I want it for myself, LOL. But I think I might just be getting greedy. I think UBI might be a sign of an empire in decline. I think UBI might be a sign that people have become soft and squishy and weak and useless.

I mean, I can’t even paint my apartment, with it’s chipped paint. I can’t afford to pay someone to do it for me. I’m not even sure if it’s my responsibility because I don’t talk with my dad and landlord very much. My point is that if this were my house, I don’t think I would paint it even if it needed to be done. I’m not lazy, I’m just not acclimated to that type of work. I’m acclimated to 70 words per minute on the keyboard. I’m acclimated to JavaScript toolchains an provisioning Virtual Private Servers.

Am I wrong to have all my eggs in one basket? I don’t think so. But I recognize that I’m not good at much else.

Ideally, I could monetize my skills, and I could simply pay someone to do the work for me. I think that’s what a lot of people do. As an example, I don’t know many people who do plumbing. That’s somewhat of a specialized job and most people are fine calling a plumber to install a new toilet.

I think my problem isn’t that I am good only in a few categories, I think my problem is purely social isolation. I think I would do better in life if I integrated more closely with a community.

I don’t know what community that would be. Perhaps it’s Nerds United. Perhaps it’s the Spokane Buddhist Temple. Perhaps it’s Tae Kwon Do or Jui jitsu. I don’t know. I think my deal is that I haven’t found my community where I really feel like I belong. I think my deal is that I don’t want to belong.

I’m working on that. I think. It’s hard right now. This is an unprecedented time in my life. I don’t know of any other time when I was actually encouraged to stay home and avoid contact with other people. This is truly bizarre and strange for me.

This is a difficult time for me. Before covy, I was going to behavioral therapy three times a week. I was going outside of my comfort zone at Nerds United. I was really starting to make a change.

I kinda got a reset. A reset to my default state. It’s a setback, and it’s going to be a challenge to get back to where I was, once the social distancing order is lifted.

I got some yummy food! Tomorrow is my birthday. That’s the main thing that got me to get walking to the grocery store this morning– I didn’t want to be without yummy food on my birthday!

Just ate some of that yummy food! Muesli with cashew milk, a handfull of soynuts, several handfuls of pistachios, and an orange. Fresh fruit is wonderful!

I took my time cracking open the pistachios while I watched today’s Starlink launch. A successful launch and first stage landing!

I want to spot some Starlink satellites now. There was a night a few weeks ago when I noticed a fast moving object in the night sky. I deduced that it must be a satellite. I wonder which satellite it was!

Aha! There is a tracker. It looks like there are actually several Starlink trackers online. I’m gonna find ’em now!

I was pleased to hear that the northern hemisphere is going to get Starlink service before the southern hemisphere does. Something about the overlap between satellites makes for more optimal coverage in the northern. Apparently Starlink plans to launch their service later this year! No pun intended! I’m not sure what type of service they are launching though. I could see there being a enterprise subscription plan which comes out first, before a commercial subscription gets released later on. We’ll have to see!

I want to jump on the Starlink tracker and figure out when I can see them, but I’m really invested in managing my time using my Pomodoro timer. Right now, this time is for writing in my blog. I have 20 minutes remaining on the timer for this purpose. Managing my time this way helps me stay mindful when I’m on the computer– a task which can be very mindless.

Later on, I plan on spending some time handling my Buyee orders. I have two packages in the Buyee warehouse that I need to get shipped out to me. One is consolidated with a bunch of small orders, and the other is the $350 bulk order with a bunch of booster boxes and starter decks.

I also need to e-mail Buyee and figure out if they can tell me anything about the status of my package which is held up in Osaka. I assume that COVID-19 has something to do with it, since this is the first time a package has been held up like this. I’m guessing Osaka is where the customs office is at? It might be good to research this as well.

One of the nice things about the Pomodoro technique is that I can switch up my tasks and alternate between them. For example, I’m writing in my blog right now. After I finish this work period, I’m going to take a 5 minute break. I think I will meditate during the break period. Afterwards, I’m probably not going to be quite done with my blog, so I think I’ll set it aside and switch to Buyee tasks. I think it’s the evening right now in Japan, so there’s no rush or anything, but I want to get the e-mail in to their staff so they can read it in the morning. The real reason for switching tasks is because I’m bored! I wanna do something else for a bit.

I haven’t been talking about emotions and the stuff that I think makes good articles. The heavy shit which burdens my mind! I guess I’ve just been having some good days, and I don’t have much in that area to write about.

Well, I guess I can write about my walk to the grocery store. I was anxious for about the entire hour that it took to walk there. I kept seeing people drive by. I thank my lessons on mindfulness because I was practicing that the whole way. I kept observing what was going on in my head. I identified that I was feeling shame about being poor. I was feeling shame about being on foot when so many people were driving to where they needed to go. I was feeling shame because I was outside and not wearing a mask.

I put on my mask once I got into the Albertson’s parking lot. It actually felt nice wearing a mask. I get to hide when I wear a mask! I went to the bathroom once I got to Albertsons, then I grabbed a shopping basket and went to the produce section. I was happy to see all the delicious food and I quickly filled up that basket! It’s a shame I couldn’t get more food because there’s a lot of food and supplies that I wanted to buy. I brought my small backpack so I had to keep my purchases to the bare minimum.

I need bar soap soon. I only have one bar left, but I made the hard decision to not get soap on this outing so I had more room for food.

I’m not going to starve or anything. I had 3 40oz bags of Muesli left. That’s enough to last me 2 weeks, methinks. I was out of nutmilk though. I have just been eating the Muesli with water, which is meh.

Anyway, emotions. I feel shame that I have holes in my shoes, holes in my pants. I feel shame that I’m walking alone. I felt shame that I’m not driving. I feel shame that I’m not in my home, quarantining myself.

I felt all these things, and I was having a hard time staying calm as the loud, dangerous automobiles drove past at 35 miles per hour just a few feet away.

I checked the facts. The facts are that exercise is permitted, and exercise is an absolute necessity for me to stave off depression. Instead of walking in the backyard today, I walked to the store and back! There’s nothing wrong with being outside to go grocery shopping. Absolutely nothing.

I continued to check the facts. A lot of people in their cars aren’t wearing masks. 90% of the cars on the road don’t have filters that would stop a virus. What’s the difference between them and me? Income? LOL. Just because I’m poor doesn’t mean I don’t deserve to be there. I’m not wearing a mask because I didn’t walk a densely populated route.

I remained mindful. I checked to see if I had been treating myself poorly. It’s important that I treat myself like a king at all times! That’s one thing I’ve noticed during my recovery. I wouldn’t accept another person who treated me poorly, so why did I accept myself when I treated myself poorly? I’ve been rewriting my internal dialog procedures and enforcing kindness towards myself.

I determined that I had not been treating myself unkindly during the walk. I was simply scared and ashamed, but I had not been mean to myself. I kept walking, and kept focusing on my breathing. Strong abdominal muscles push the air out through the mouth. All of the air! Push it all out! Spend the extra time it takes to purge the lungs! Then when it’s no longer bearable, just let a rush of fresh air enter through your nose and stretch out those lungs with that air!

I said something like that to myself. Maybe not so descriptive at the time, but I just focused on that one thing in the world that is under my control– my breathing!

And I’m feeling a bit like putting myself down right now. Putting myself for exaggerating the story or whatever. But that’s not allowed! I am a king and I treat myself like a king. I forgive myself for being scared and anxious about coming into contact with other people. I recognized the shame and I checked the facts. I changed that shame to guilt, and I reasoned with the guilt and determined that any guilt is unwarranted. I did quite alright and I can do this whole trek again next week and it’ll be a little easier and just as rewarding.

75. I will not allow anxious thoughts to steal my joy. (Good one! very fitting!)
76. Today, I forgive myself. (Another good one! I won’t dwell on my mistakes– I will forgive myself!)
77. My body knows how to get better; I will listen to it and rest when needed. (I’m feeling a nap in my future!)

I’m grateful for my friend M. I am going to make sure I let him know today. Hopefully he has today off and we can play Squad again! We played Squad last night from 2AM till 6AM. It was a lot of fun! I think near the end we were both getting tired and short tempered, but I am learning a lot about Squad leading and I’m learning better ways to deal with the game when it goes south. Adaptation is a good thing!

I’m grateful for SpaceX. They are probably one of the most inspiring companies in the world right now. I look to SpaceX for answers before I look to the president of the USA! I have a lot of faith in the future of humanity because of SpaceX and their goal of colonizing Mars.

I’m grateful for Tim Dodd. I watched his coverage of today’s Starlink launch. He talks about a lot of things having to do with rocketry that I would have been clueless about otherwise. I appreciate his research and his passion for sharing.


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