Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Getting myself to believe that I'm not stupid.

I'm just mired in a thick, gooey mental morass. And there's no around to help me out of it. I dig and dig, but it doesn't seem to help.

I wonder if I'll ever get anywhere with this. It's making me sad.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Well, the sock is finished. It didn't really take that long, but an unexpected bill in my life forced me to concentrate on work instead of coding. I wanted to get at least one thing done that I set my mind to.

Now it's just trying to jump on this Angular train again. I've been looking for walkthroughs that might explain things a different way, so I don't end up in the "Why doesn't this work?!?" spot I was in earlier. The basics are easy enough, it's just everything else that makes a framework useful.

I'm a slow learner I guess. I need mentoring.

My Treehouse subscription will end next month. I haven't been into it these past two months as much because of trying to work and make a little more. It drained me for everything else. I'm so grateful for the chance they gave me to learn and practice. They seem to be making more community building tools on their site, so I hope that if/when I come back it will be better than ever. They'll keep my progress so I can jump back in at a later time. I they work in employment finding help into that mix.

I think I have enough of the basics under my belt that I can try to learn from other resources. It's probably not good to learn everything in one place, anyway. Hopefully it won't be like before. I know I need at least a little structure for me to get anywhere.

I'd like to sit through another intro to programming course, one of those Stanford or Harvard ones, because a lot of my roadblocks come from logic. Sometimes I just can't get the code right and I get stuck. Along with that I was thinking of reading an algorithms or design pattern type book, and read more code to see how others figure things out. I've done some reading, but I always feel like I'm about the cheat if I use it on a FCC project or something, so I've been abstaining.

At this point though, I shouldn't be so moral. I'm not taking trade secrets or anything. There's no rules and I won't get expelled for looking at someone's work.

And FCC chat doesn't seem to happen for me very much. Honestly, the time I've gone in there I've felt disconnected as fuck. It's either people talking way over my head or people are a little bit behind me. And someone jumps in to get their brownie points before I can help on a question.

I wonder if I have some sort of online stink or something people smell when I say hi. If it's because I don't show my face, that's because I have severe self-esteem issues and after a few minutes it's obvious I'm not a bot or anything. Isn't it?

That's it. I'm still alive and kicking. Real life problems just seem to take over when they're not wanted.

I still have dreams. Gotta have that.


Friday, January 29, 2016

I've been to the doctor for the first time in a long time. Years. 

I was prescribed the biggest bottle of pills I've ever seen. 360 iron pills with two refills. I'm on these for the year, I guess. My levels were that low.

I'm hoping it helps with some things. It might be too much to ask that it's the magic bullet to everything, but iron is related to energy and mood and overall health. So I'm hopeful. I don't know how long it will take for my levels to go back to normal, but I'm going to be positive. 

She also gave me some medicine for my cramps. This is the first week in ever that I've been able to function normally during my monthly hell week. I even have an appetite. 

I'm still tired, but I'm not constantly hurting. It might be a fluke, so I'm waiting for a month or two before I shout from the rooftops, but for now I'm enjoying this week as best as I can. Instead of laying in bed with 0% energy and 200% pain.

I still have to go back for all the standards exams a woman has to go through. I'm not looking forward to it but it's best to get it over with. The NP that saw me seems pretty nice, so maybe it won't suck too badly. If those are okay I'm good for until next year.

This month there were things to be paid on a deadline so I focused more of my time on trying to work more than anything. I started doing transcription and while the pay is just as rotten as the other online work I've done, it pays quick and there's bonuses added. Plus I get to transcribe a lot of tech video, which can be interesting. There was a Greek philosophy class that I wanted more of but that one went poof pretty quick. There was some TreeHouse video in there too (they have to know the people transcribing their courses are getting paid peanuts, right?) Some political debate stuff. Hopefully this is something I can stick with for a while, and hopefully move up. I'm getting faster already, so hopefully I can get an okay wage per minute with it soon.

And that's the probably the last update for this month. 

Saturday, January 16, 2016

I finished the gusset on the sock and I'm working on the foot. Knitting really is like riding a bike. It all comes back pretty quickly.

I wonder if coding is just a matter of Gladwell's hours. I don't know I've actually made knit fabric for 10,000 hours, but it feels very calming to be so masterful over something. To know what to do when something goes wrong. To not panic.

I wish I could make money knitting. There's still people that do piecework from home on knitting machines for designers, but I don't think I can bankroll a life on that. Definitely knot hand knitting socks.

I feel hyped for tech, but it's not always a wonderful adventure that I want to jump into. Sometimes it's tedious. Somethings it's downright frustrating. Sometimes it's the material, sometimes it's the people.

I thought maybe I should log my hours from here on out and see if I notice any skill in 6 months to a year. Part of the reason I haven't tried to get even the most basic work is that I'm afraid I'm going to run into a problem that I can't solve. And I have no tech friends to pose the question to.

No one to get me out of the hole.

If only I could find a mentor to talk to without having to pay money for it. There's services like that.

What happened to my social skills? Did I ever have any or was it all luck? Does tech really have a type and I'm not it, so I don't click with people? I really can't tell.

Well shit, I just depressed myself. And I wasn't even on Twitter at the time.

Let me go sort this out.

Friday, January 8, 2016

How's it going so far? Well I'll tell you.

Not fucking with Twitter has been nice. I don't know when I'll go back, but even if I don't it's not like I have much to say anyway. I'll just go back when I miss it. I have no idea what that would feel like.

The sock thing is going well. I've discovered that my knitting chops are still there and skills I haven't used in years came back. I was able to read the pattern on the needles and figure out what row to start with quickly. I could read the extra, extra busy symbol chart (chart notation is a way to convey a knitting pattern without writing everything out) and my hands knew what to do. Best yet, my hands didn't cramp up holding the tiny needles. The only thing I'm fidding with is tension. It might just be the yarn. It's smooth and even when it's wound around my fingers multiple times it slips. The little bit of fabric I've knit seems pretty even. So that's a success.

Angular just kind of sucks right now. I found something that may fix my problem using it with online code editors (Codepen/JSFiddle/etc). I was using JSFiddle and I had to turn the onLoad preset off and I didn't get stuck two steps into a basic data binding with the double curly braces. I have to add to it and see how long it lasts however. I'd also like to get it straight with Codepen so I'm not restricted at least.

Or find a tutorial that explains things in a plain as possible English way. I don't want to skip five chapters ahead to see what the error I'm getting now is. Explain stuff in place, repeat it if ya gotta, but don't do that "We'll get into that later" unless later is the very near future. Hate that mess.

Back to the main point here, I'm stuck in trying to find a lesson that I can follow past the generic intro to Angular everyone seems to use. I did finish the Treehouse course, but I know I'll have to go through it again at least once to make things stuck. In the meantime I'm hoping I can find another perspective on it.

That's been this week.

Monday, January 4, 2016

New Year Post

It's been a few days not obsessively checking my "Tech" twitter account. 

Sooo much less stress.

I have to do this for my personal, just for fun Twitter account as well, because sometimes I check it in a perfectly good mood and leave feeling like the shunned kid at school. I'm not busy enough to not care, I guess. I've felt touchier about that more than usual lately.

The answer in my mind to that is to become more busy. Distract myself so I don't have time to feel bad, basically. It's an old trick but something I forget.

This is the time of year where people make lists of what they want to get done for the year. I should probably do this. I write notes on my phone all the time, but this list will be special. I'm going to find a pen and write on paper! I can do it in the car without using up my battery.

As well as writing down some tech goals and trying to set a timeline for these goals, I want to do more personal development as well. It's all connected in the end. Last year I did a lot more self care: the exercising, the meditation. I want to pump these things up, especially the meditation. I do it, I enjoy it, but I'm not at all regular about it so I'm not getting the full benefits. It would probably go a long way to helping me deal with the stress coming into my life, from without and from within. 

I also decided I should try harder to use up the sock yarn stash I have and start working on socks again. Before I was whisked to the middle of nowheresville, I was an avid knitter. I knit every day after work. I have handmade socks and a couple of sweaters from that time. It gave me something to do and calmed my mind. It was my meditation. I became so sad after moving down here that I stopped doing it. I finished a cardigan that I was crocheting back in Ohio (it's not that great but it was something) and money because so tight I felt like I couldn't devote time to it anymore.

Plus most of my knitting needles have disappeared. I'm blaming my mom for that and trying not to get angry about it. It comes up every once in a while and I get pissed. All I have left are the double pointed needles I found and my crochet hooks. The yarn is mostly there. She didn't get to destroy/ruin the good stuff, at least. I have knitting machines, but since I live in a tiny house and have no time to myself, I can't really get into the swing of using them again. It's like playing a a synthesizer, lots of settings to adjust and fine tuning to do. I bought them to use up my yarn faster but then crap happened.

I have a complicated sock pattern I'm going to continue. I finished the first one, and the second one is close to getting to the heel turn. It's been a good five years, but it's always been packed away somewhere where I could find it. I found the pattern book, and I think (stress think) I found the row I left off on. So I knit a round last night. Funny how all the knitting symbols and the moves stayed in my head. I was a good knitter and I can be so again. This is the sock. 

It's pretty intricate for something that gets stuck in your shoe. This is something the no sense of whimsy or humor code geeks would tell me. The point of going through all that work is no longer necessity (getting it done quick so you can be warm), it's to exercise your hands and brain and have something beautiful when you're done. And be warm. If you've never worn a decent wool sock in cold weather you are missing out. 

The ribbing in the sock also keeps it from sliding down your leg over the course of a day by making the fabric shape to your body, if you really have to have to be utilitarian about every damn thing (coughs). I love that "if it's not programming it's dumb" crowd.

Why am I trying to get into programming again? Sigh...I'm not going to dwell on it. 

So that's what's going to happen in the short term.