Spork in the Road

Back when I was 24 I was like “the year I’m 25, that’ll be the year everything changes.” That year, we bought the VW, and if you don’t know about how that ended…read this. This was also the year I bought a fedora. On purpose. I think you can judge for yourself how that went.

I just don’t even know.

Back when I was 29 I was all “the year I turn 30, everything will change.” That year, we wrapped up Shine Like Stars, so I guess I was kinda right, but not in the good way. I also got creative with my facial hair, then immediately decided I didn’t want to drive semi trucks for a living.

Another thing I did when I was 30.

So, all things considered, I suppose the year I turned 32 isn’t too late to get some productive stuff done, all things considered.

To be fair, lots of big things have happened in the last few decade, lots of things that were major influences on my life. Switching to music school led me down a path that resulted in a life that’s dramatically different than it would have been otherwise. And I hear you saying “but Seth, you didn’t finish music school.”

Solid burn, dude.

Anyway, all that’s to say that I’m well along a path right now that’s going to likely lead to another major shift in life. I’m not sure exactly how it will manifest, but I really think that 2017 is going to end up being one of those fork-in-the-road years where I could’ve just coasted, but didn’t. Sure, I would’ve probably been like really good at Rocket League, but I’m still like, okay at it, so it’s not a total loss.

Oh also, it’s looking increasingly like I’m gonna get to work on another collaborative album this year. We have some stuff brewing at City Life that should be pretty great. I’m really looking forward to that project.

I also want to point out, though, that I clearly peaked back in grade school…

California

I flew out to California last week to spend some time with my cousin Ryan. He recently moved to the LA area after taking a job at SpaceX. So, obviously, he and I have basically nothing in common.

As near as I can remember, I hadn’t flown since my sister and I took our trip to LA, so it’d been a solid 7 years since I’d been in a decent airplane. I forgot how much I loved it, even in coach.

So, let’s get to the highlights:

Day 1

Santa Monica beach

I arrived at LAX and was impressed at how quickly I retreated into my introvert shell. Way. Too. Many. People. Ryan picked me up and we made our way to his apartment where I settled in, met the cats, and we ate dinner. After that we went out exploring, ended up at Santa Monica beach, walked around the pier a bit, then ate at a Hummus Bar (yep, it was exactly as awesome as you think), and then ended up at a place called The Yard House.

Around 1am I remembered that there’s a 2 hour time difference and I should probably get some sleep, like, stat. I fell asleep mid-sentence talking to Ryan about how sometimes I snore. He made fun of me the next day for it.

Day 2

USS Iowa

I slept in until about 10:30am. LA time. It was like college all over again. We sort of milled around until we were all sufficiently awake and ready to leave the apartment. After a few errands, we wound up at the USS Iowa museum. In case you’re unfamiliar, the USS Iowa is one of four Battleships the US operated since WWII.

It’s humongous. 

We spent a few hours exploring the ship before heading out for boba.

In the evening we arrived at SpaceX for my tour. We were there nearly 3 hours. We hadn’t eaten yet, but that somehow didn’t bother me, being that I was surrounded by rockets and spaceships.

I went to bed somewhat euphoric.

Day 3

F-20 Tigershark

For lunch, we hit up Little Tokyo. One might assume it’s a tiny little piece of Japan in the middle of LA, but it’s really more like a conglomeration of shops designed to appeal to that one weeaboo friend you have (lookin’ at you, Landon.)

We ate some sushi and then drove through what appeared to be the thunderdome of LA on our way to the California Science Center. This might be the coolest science museum I’ve been to, not just because the Space Shuttle Endeavour is there, but because the exhibits as a whole were all incredible. Also it was free. Add $2 if you want to see the Endeavour.

At night I introduced my cousin and his wife to Rick and Morty. We were up quite late binge watching episodes.

Day 4

Manhattan Beach

On the final day of the trip, we went to lunch with some friends, walked around Manhattan Beach, and spent a little time in the actual water. We wanted to go swimming but we hadn’t brought our suits, so we ran home then completely failed to find a beach with parking available for under $30.

So, we did what any reasonable people would do, we ate dinner and went back to the Yard House and had long talks about space, science, programming, our futures, and whether or not Rick C137 is the Rickest Rick.

Day 5

I flew home.

Full Photo Album Here

One Year of Weather

For the last year now, I’ve been saving weather data every afternoon to a spreadsheet with the help of IFTTT. I had no plans for this other than to just store the data and see what it looked like. And, full disclosure, there’s nothing groundbreaking about it. After all, it’s only a single year of data, there’s really nothing new or groundbreaking to get out of it.

However, the charts are cool, so I figured I’d share them.

…updated for pedantry

 

This is the high/low temperatures in Wichita for the last 365 days plus a few extra, because I’m too lazy to remove four extra days or so. Interestingly enough it’s hardly been over 100F the last year, but it also has not been below 1F. I also didn’t realize how consistent summer tends to be and how hectic late-winter and early-spring tend to be with the temperature swings. 

Not-surprisingly, it’s sunny over half the time in Kansas. In fact, it’s probably significantly more than half because most “thunderstorm” days are actually sunny until it storms, then sunny again afterward, and many of the windy days would still be considered “sunny”. Also, this data seemed to not be super reliable at whether it was a stormy day or not. There were some days when a storm was 20 miles from Wichita and it’d report “thunderstorms”, and other days it definitely stormed and it reported “sunny” or “cloudy.” Overall, though this is a good rough guideline for the weather.

This data groups “partly sunny” and “partly cloudy” days into “sunny”/”cloudy” respectively, for a bit more clarity.

In what I believe to be the single time in my life I’ve actually found a polar chart to be useful, this chart shows us that, as we already knew, the wind in Kansas is almost always from the south, however, I had no idea how much more often it’s due south, or actually even how often it’s from the southeast. It’s weird to me that all the primary cardinal directions are pretty low except south itself, while the others are higher than I expected. Wind is weird.

Anyway, data is beautiful and if you read this far, I’m proud of you. Here’s the link to the actual spreadsheet (which is still going, btw) if you want to check it out for yourself. The data ingested also includes humidity and wind speeds, among other things. It’s pretty cool. 

Generic Title

Keyboards are basically the computers of music, right?

I’m not gonna say “I’ve been too busy to blog” because that’d be lying. The truth is much more real, more raw, and more than I cared to admit before. 

I didn’t want to.

That’s it. Nothing special. I just sort of didn’t care. I’d think to myself “Seth, you should blog sometime soon” and I’d go “…or I could go play Rocket League.”

So here we are, two months later and what do I have to show for it? 

Focus

I’m starting to find my focus. I’m annoyed it took me until well into my thirties to understand how to wrangle my focus and stay on-task, so I fully plan on trying to teach it to my kids so they don’t deal with the same regrets I do today. 

Anyway, the focus is primarily on two things right now. Music and development. I’m finding that those are two areas I’m pretty passionate about, and both areas that I feel a). minor frustration that I’m not at the level I’d like to be, and b). a drive to hit the level I want to be at, with regards to skill.

So, to that end, I’ve been writing a ton more music this year. I’m mostly trying to get music written for our church, but also just practicing legitimate piano and such.

On the other end of things, I’ve been spending a lot more time trying to just keep learning development things. I started a deep dive into AWS this week and wrote an Alexa skill for the observatory. I tried to write an update and have failed miserably so far, but nonetheless the original skill got accepted and published, so there.

That other thing

So yeah I’m also working on another thing. I’m not really ready to like, openly talk about it, but it’s taking up a ton of time and something I’ve always wanted to do. It’s started as a side project but it’s getting more traction now and like, there are lawyers and investors and lots and lots of late nights.

Extrapolate from that what you will.

Birthday Weekend

Our oldest had her 4th birthday this weekend. This is where it starts turning into “normal” birthday parties where they want specific people over, they remember things and they have (lord help us) preferences

Saturday she wanted to go to the zoo. Nevermind that it was 45F and overcast with the threat of rain. So we went, like good parents who do what their kids ask of them. About 20 minutes into the trip, though, birthday-girl stole my camera and started taking photos herself. I mean, most of them were blurry and poorly-framed, but hey who am I to get in the way of her dreams?

 

However, when we were planning her birthday party, she wanted to weigh in and rearrange the schedule. She wanted us to open presents first, but when we told her we were doing dinner first, then presents, she got pretty upset and shouted “stop ruining my plans!” at us. So that was hilarious.

The party was smaller this year, and we had a lot fewer kids. The last time we had a shindig we sort of invited everyone-ish and our house was pretty overwhelmed. This time we were merely whelmed. I still didn’t get a chance to eat until well after the party, but kiddo said she had a really nice time and sort of refuses to take off her new roller skates.

I’d call it a win.

Distant Ringing

Withered memory,
when all asunder is tossed
and gold tastes bitter

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