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Tired, Star Wars 5k, sours, and my SPARC

Our new au pair is here! I’m beginning this post with that because welcoming a new person into our family is a big deal, and the help she’s already provided in just her first few weeks here has been an incredible relief. On May 5th I was chasing Adam at the playground and managed to sprain my foot, so in addition to the general 24/7 care of my kiddos, I was suddenly injured in a very inconvenient way (my foot! I need that!). Caring for an infant and a toddler is no small task, but our new au pair seems to be handling it well, and I’m really glad to be back at work full time.

I’m also glad to have a little time to myself. I had a revelation one morning when I “got enough sleep” but was still tired, that it wasn’t just physical exhaustion that was hard on me. I am an introvert, and being with the kids all day gives me no time to recharge on my own. Now that I’m aware of that, I can be more strategic about rest. In most cases, if I’m up at 6AM and got over 7 hours of sleep overnight, it’s more restful if I get up and spend an hour alone before anyone wakes up, rather than attempting to sleep for another hour. I’m still tired all the time, which is unavoidable until the baby sleeps through the night, but at least I’m understanding myself more so hopefully I can handle it better.

Introducing kiddos to Studio Ghibli while I rested my sprained foot

Sprained foot aside, we did manage to have fun during my time off. The day before I sprained my foot, on May the 4th (be with you, Star Wars Day!), I dressed the kids up as little R2-D2s and we did a 5K walk around town. It was my first 5K with one of the virtual run websites, so I got my first 5K medal and everything! It was fun and I see more virtual 5Ks in our future.

I also received a case of sour beers for another virtual beer fest, but the event feed didn’t quite pan out, and after a series of failed streams they postponed it. Still, while I’m certainly looking forward to the pandemic being over, and technical glitches aside, this virtual stuff does have its benefits. As a new parent, beer fests are tricky to make time for right now, but one from the comfort of my own living room? And 5k I can do wherever and whenever I am able? I can do that!

Beer fridge in the garage, all stocked for the sour fest!

I’m trying to squeeze in some time for hobby projects. It’s so hard, but just like alone time, having a little hobby time is also important to my well-being. I decided to start playing with my SPARC Ultra10, which has been sitting in my home office since we moved in. I was pleasantly surprised to see it boot into Debian Lenny. So it still boots! And the hard drive was still functional! Of course Debian Lenny is ancient and I can’t keep running it, and Debian no longer supports SPARC64, so I’m going to have to install NetBSD on it. The next phase of my project was giving an install an attempt, but my CD-ROM started throwing errors. It’s old, so it’s not surprising. I think my next step will be giving up on the drive and doing a netboot install. Ultimately I’m not sure what I’ll do with the system once it starts running, but I am enjoying playing around, and I haven’t touched NetBSD in years, and never had a lot of experience with it.

In better health news, I got my 2nd COVID-19 vaccination a couple weeks ago, so I’m fully vaccinated! The side-effects this time were similar to last, but the exhaustion hit pretty hard and I ended up taking a three hour nap the next day. My life probably won’t change much though. With two unvaccinated kids at home, it’s not worth the risk to them just so I can do some indoor dining. With mask mandates being lifted state-wide in mid-June, things may actually become more dangerous for them inside public places, so we have to continue doing grocery and meal runs solo.

I also spoke to my boss about continuing the pause on travel. Thankfully, the company hasn’t even fully opened offices yet, let alone lifted all the work travel restrictions, but I wanted to get ahead of it in case I was expected to get back on the road before I believe it’s safe for our family. As the vaccines become available for the little ones and infection rates drop, we’ll continue to do risk analysis to see what we are comfortable with, but it’s good to know that I won’t have pressure on the work side in 2021. It’s also nice that my role has so many facets to it that while dropping the event travel is major, and even with other people start going to events in the fall, I’ll still be busy and effective without it in the short term. I have been doing some virtual events too. I did one for Mom Relaunch last week where I did a quick Linux on Z workshop. Next week I’ll be speaking at a virtual conference, giving a brand new talk on developing for non-x86 architectures. It feels good to be back.