Noodles!

It’s what I call them at work, the 3D printed elbows between straight sections on a crash bar prototype. Since my favorite color is orange, I ordered orange plastic. Since they already look like noodles in any color, they’re noodles, even by file name.

I figured some stuff out, excitedly as I write this, and it has to do with a noodle as well: the mind. Get yours out of the gutter. “Let it marinate,” some will say, while others prefer the phrase, “Put it on the back burner.” Suffice to say, I’ve been pondering some things for months now, trying to get the totality of what I want while not discarding my dreams, or my relationships. In fact, I’ve managed to figure out how to leverage a relationship I don’t like, but am obligated to engage in (it’s professional; Sera and I are doing well).

Time management, the elusive, if over-hyped skill. Ponder that on the noodle back burner. Since having moved from downtown to Seattle to West Seattle, my bike commute went from a short, sweet, and relatively flat 3.7 miles (6 km) to a non-trivial 10.7 mile (17.3 km) ride with a whopper of a hill coming home.

I still want to ride to work. The fastest way to work by car requires me to leave by 7:00 at the latest to avoid traffic, and within a month or so, it’ll become a toll road (it’s on Highway 99, the new tunnel). I don’t want to ever pay the toll. I also want to get back to the gym a few days per week. But, with the longer commute, I need to maximize my time in all aspects. These are the problems and goals.

What do they require? It requires being in bed by 10:00 every day, simply enough. Wake at 6:00, head to the gym near my old place on some days, which takes me off Highway 99, and start biking in to work on the others. 5 days per week, I’ll be getting some form of physical activity. Since work doesn’t have a hard start time, riding isn’t pressured. Fantastic. Gym 3 days per week, ride 2.

Another thing I’ve sorted out is my job. I don’t like the hours, but I’m the only engineer or designer currently. That is, until Tuesday, when a new guy I’ve not met starts. I’ll have to get him up to speed, but I recall my boss saying that there are times he had no need for a designer. We’re about to have two, and when the time comes that we have no work, I’ll voluntarily go part-time hourly. It gives him on-demand access to an engineer experienced with his products, and it gives me flexibility. Boom. Problem solved.

Besides, I don’t need the money. Sure, I could always use more, and I’m by no means financially independent, but I’m strikingly frugal, and Sera and I manage to have a good life together while managing to spend alarmingly little money. Little things add up, and though I agree that I’ll never get rich by not spending money, I can get time to pursue business ideas, fly helicopters, train for the Ironman I have my list, paraglide, work on the Tree Fort (what I’ve begun calling this townhouse in West Seattle) or simply watch the world twirl by.

It seems really simple now that I type it out, but damn I’m excited. Since we started living here, my fitness has taken a really firm back seat, which has my lower back hurting, both my energy and self-confidence very low, and subsequently my outlook is poor. Fitness, then, is exceptionally important.

Notes:

Gym

Gym exercises need to be minimal in number, which means complex motions like dead lift, back squat, chin ups, and Turkish get ups. My friend, Chad, gave me a list of some 8 excerises to work toward. They are: 1 arm chin up, front lever row, planche push up, handstand push up, jefferson curl, split squats, back squat, pistol squat. Lofty. Let’s start with establishing a routine. If I’m going to the gym three days per week, then I need to both lift and swim. In about an hour, that’s a schedule that looks like pure business. Show up, focus. Will I run over at first? Probably. Focus. I bring you Dwayne Johnson:

Work

I’m cooking up some things over here I can’t speak publically about. Multiple things in parallel. Fixate on the event horizon, and you’ll avoid the black hole. Yes, that was existential. Yes, I had to Google event horizon to make sure I had the right term.

Housing

The market is on its way toward a recession. How big? When? Who knows, but it’s been on an unprecedented run for the last decade plus. Maybe I’ll sell my condo before that happens, or maybe I’ll hold through it and keep renting it. Maybe I’ll just be too busy with other things to take care of this. Either way, rents don’t downtrend with the market, and people always need a place to live, so I can’t go wrong.

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