General states of things

Some collected ramblings about the usual whiny stuff. Trying not to think too much about the state of the world because everyone’s already anxious enough about it.

Well okay one thing about the state of the world is that many of my coworkers are based in Ukraine (and the office is in a suburb of Kyiv) and we are all of course very concerned about their well-being. The company is being great in doing whatever they can to help evacuate them and keep them safe, and I love how much everyone cares about everyone else.

ADHD

On that note, one of my big frustrations is still not having a suitable treatment for ADHD. I’m still having a bit of panic which started with the armodafinil experiment a couple weeks ago, although I don’t think it’s still in my system at all by this point. I’ve been experimenting a bit with L-Phenylalanine1 but that doesn’t seem to be helping either.

Today I had an appointment with my doctor (finally meeting him in person for the first time! jeeze, pandemic…) and he’d consulted with a psychiatrist and got some options, and we’re trying the one mainstream medication I hadn’t tried before, Vyvanse, and doing a slow titration.

There’s also a possibility that Adderall IR might work better for me than XR; Adderall worked really well on my focus, but it also stayed in my system way too long, so maybe a low dose of IR taken once or twice throughout the day would work better. That’ll be the next thing to try if Vyvanse doesn’t work out.

One really nice thing about my PCP is that he’s done all the legwork of consulting with a psychiatrist on my behalf rather than making me go through all the rigamarole, and he also doesn’t believe in gatekeeping since it’s clear that I legitimately have ADHD and am not just engaging in drug-seeking behavior. It’s nice to be treated as an adult who is aware of their own needs. And the clinic policy is to only require drug screening for folks who are recently-diagnosed, and he gives zero fucks about my cannabis usage (well actually he does give some fucks, in that he wants to make sure I’m using it effectively and using appropriate delivery methods for how I’m self-medicating my pain and anxiety). So that’s neat.

Around 10% of his patients are trans and he suspects he might also be somewhere on the ADHD spectrum. He’s a real keeper.

Job stuff

Related to ADHD, I am having a really difficult time focusing on work, and in particular I’m having a really hard time just like… buckling down and learning Swift and Metal. I don’t know why this is so hard. Rationally I know exactly what to do and how to do it but emotionally I just can’t bring myself to make any forward progress on it. It’s so frustrating.

People at work are being ridiculously understanding and it feels awful to me for some reason.

Also a couple of weeks ago when I was Having A Moment™ I came really close to snapping and ended up bugging out and going to the beach for a bit, which was cathartic but only a stopgap solution. But I’m really glad I have the option to go to the beach when I’m bugging out, which is at least better than the alternative (and way better than being trapped in an oppressive apartment building where people will be mad at me for having a meltdown that they hear through the thin walls).

Vacation

At Moz, the post-acquisition plan for 2022 was to switch from accrued vacation to unlimited, and to make up for the whole “unlimited vacation makes people less willing to take vacation” problem, they instituted a policy of requiring everyone to take at least one week off per quarter. I left Moz before that policy went into place (and really hadn’t even been using up my accrued time either), but now at Hover I’m definitely using that strategy. My first trip in ages will be going back to Port Angeles (staying at the same AirBnB as last time), which will also be an interesting test of a long-ish distance trip in my Leaf.

The Leaf claims to get around 120 miles of range, but that’s with city driving and regenerative braking. A real-world highway range of 90 seems more realistic to me. But fortunately, there are plenty of charging stations along the way. The total drive is around 100 miles so I’ll probably stop to recharge at around the 50-mile mark, or at least start looking for a charger when I hit 50% or so. The Poulsbo Walmart is about 40 miles (and has CHAdeMO connectors, as best suited for my Leaf) so that seems like a likely stopping point. A 50% charge will cost around $8.60 there. Seems reasonable, especially compared to gas prices lately. It’ll take around half an hour so I guess I could, like, wander around Wal-Mart for a while.

Ceramics

I have completely failed to get any usable prints out of the ceramic printer, aside from one of the test prints which is basically a tiny shot glass (and it isn’t even water-tight). Its software has… let’s say room for improvement, and for whatever reason nobody’s willing to share their slicer profiles. Very frustrating.

So in the meantime I ended up buying a cheap pottery wheel, which arrived yesterday. I haven’t gotten around to setting it up yet, but I hope to have fun learning how to use it. I know it’ll start out pretty simple though. My mom says that my semi-famous potter grandma had a saying, “The first 100 pots are dog bowls.” But in this case it’s more about the process than the results.

I also have around 75 pounds of clay now; 25 pounds fire black, and the other 50 fire white. So that’ll be fun to experiment with as well. I haven’t bought any glaze yet though. I think it’ll be a while before I get to the point of wanting to actually fire anything.

Other hobby stuff

I’ve been playing a lot of DDR but it’s been kind of hard on my ankles and I also want something to get an upper-body workout with. So I bought a bunch of Pop'n Music buttons and I’m going to build a DDR hand controller with them. I might work on that this weekend. The project seems like it should be pretty straightforward (especially since I’ve already written the Arduino firmware) so I might film myself doing it to get some Prime YouTube Gaming™ Content.

Coffee

My beloved Baratza Sette 270 stopped working this morning, halfway through grinding my morning espresso. Fortunately it’s under warranty and I’ve already contacted Baratza, who are being responsive about taking care of stuff. I don’t know if it’ll need to be shipped back or if they’re going to do a unit swap or what, but in the meantime I’m stuck using my Encore and drinking pourovers, because the Encore sucks for espresso. (Which is why I’d upgraded to the Sette in the first place.)

Part of me wants to use this as an excuse to buy yet another grinder, probably a Lagom mini, which is what I would have bought if it had come on the market before I’d bought the Sette 270. But holy crap I already have enough grinders. Half2 of the lo-fi beats videos were my own grinders and I didn’t even use all of them!

This is probably my first-worldiest problem right now and I hate that it’s what grabbed so much of my attention this morning. Also the fact that while trying to troubleshoot my grinder I had a massive brainfart which ended up spilling all of my coffee beans on the floor. Because in my stupor/torpor/brainfog I thought, oh, I should remove the hopper to diagnose this! and I correctly closed off the hopper, then proceeded to set it down on the counter… upside-down, for some damn reason, and of course the lid is not designed to stay on when beans push it outward from the middle. At least it wasn’t beans I care all that deeply about (and most of them were salvageable anyway).

  1. Back in the day, most of my self-medication was actually via Penguin Mints, which, at the time, were sweetened with aspartame, which contains phenylalanine. So I was hoping that maybe I was getting a compounding effect from that. But that seems unlikely now. 

  2. A slight exaggeration, really “only” 5. And that counts the mortar and pestle, which isn’t actually a coffee grinder outside of the one-off experiment

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