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Saturday, February 18, 2017

Some days

I had a rather depressing thought today. First some context.

I just took a week off from work. I was hoping to relax and also to get a ton of stuff done. Stupid I know; relaxing and getting stuff done are two mutually exclusive activities. Well, tomorrow I go back to the office, and I have only managed to achieve a small fraction of what I had hoped to do, but I didn't get much "relaxing" done either. To be fair I had fun, I spent quality time with friends and family, so it wasn't time wasted, but... I don't think I ever actually stopped feeling stressed.

There's many reasons for it of course, but one of them is that things are really weird at work. I don't know what's going to happen next month; I could end up in a different team, a different company, a different sector, or just unemployed. Well, I've kind of felt that way on and off for... a long time now. This job just hasn't given me much in the way of job security.

Not having good job security is a bit uncomfortable when you're "trying to get on the property ladder". I've been investing in a flat for a while now. Well, it looks like the project fell apart, and I have currently started legal proceedings to try to get my money back. Fun stuff.

For several months now I've been trying to get into CNC machining. It's been harder than I expected; I'm trying to get into it on the cheap, but it turns out doing it that way requires certain skills that I don't posses. Well, I've been making progress, but it's been very slow. That's at least partly because I've just been having trouble getting anything done lately, for various reasons. Anyway, in the last couple of weeks I've finally managed to carve actual designs into actual wood.

That was pretty exciting; in fact it got me all fired up and I immediately put down a fair bit of money on tools and materials to hopefully allow me to produce actual useful items. While waiting for that stuff to arrive, I slowly started trying to produce more complex pieces, solving problems as they showed up. But one problem that I started to encounter was my computer just randomly crashing mid-carve. I figured this was a good time to update my operating system; perhaps that would make the issue go away? A fresh start seemed best, so I did a clean install of the newest version of the OS. Now it... still crashes, but in a different way. Sigh. Well, at least I was able to find some possible fixes for this new crash, which I will test out if it keeps happening.

A fresh OS meant re-installing the controller software, which was a pain - and probably used up most of my remaining internet bandwidth for the month. Oh, did I mention that I moved recently (one of the other reasons why I haven't made as much progress on the CNC thing as I would have liked), and so far they haven't installed internet yet, so I've been using expensive and limited bandwidth through my phone? Good times.

Anyway, I finally got it up and running again, ready to carve at last. And just as I prepared to try to run a job, the spindle stopped. No idea why, it just... stopped. I poked around the controller box a little bit, but I really don't know what I'm doing when it comes to electronics, so I couldn't fix it. I'm fairly confident that the problem is the controller and not the spindle; that could make it cheaper to fix (at least if I knew what I was doing), if not easier. But I'm pretty much going to have to spend some time online figuring out how to fix it, order some parts that will take weeks to arrive (possibly even a month or more), then hope that I was right about the problem and it starts working again, otherwise... I dunno, buy a whole new spindle, controller, and power source, and try to find a way to mount them on the (not very modular) CNC frame I currently have? Plop down a huge amount of money (that I can't afford) on a higher-quality system that should work much more smoothly right out of the box? I don't know, but I don't think I'm going to be making much progress for the next few weeks.

I was probably stupid for trying to get into a new hobby anyway, seeing as I already have one: Warmachine, and tabletop gaming in general. Well, I say that, but I haven't actually played a game in over two months, and it's been over four months since I've played Warmachine.

But I can still paint, right? Yes, except... well, my first attempt this year ended in disaster. After that I decided to power through the X-Men, hoping to get to a point where I could try the Marvel miniatures game with my friends. But after the first one I basically stalled, getting almost no painting done in like three weeks. Then I found out that Knight Models has dropped the Marvel license, so the X-Men basically have a shelf life as far as gaming goes.

Since moving to the new place I've been trying to get into a better routine; waking up early, getting a bit of exercise, eating healthier, that sort of thing. For a while I seemed to be making a bit of progress, but in the last few weeks that's all stopped. I'm feeling quite guilty about how much sugar and junk food I've been eating lately.

I've been trying to find a really good pen. Long story, but in the last couple of months I've spent more than I would have expected to on a number of pens that I hoped would be what I was looking for, and they have pretty much all let me down. Like, I've bought reasonably expensive pens that just flat out did not work. What's up with that?

Oh, and my flat is suddenly full of flying ants or termites or something. This seems to happen like once a month? I don't know what it is, could there be eggs in the furniture or something? Or are they getting in from outside somehow?

So what was the depressing thought?
My job status is uncertain.
My investing in a home has fallen apart.
My wargaming hobby might not exist anymore.
My miniature paining is just not happening.
My CNC experiments are failing.
My attempts at improving my health, fitness, and daily routine have stalled.
I can't even seem to buy a damned pen that works well.

All of a sudden it feels like my whole life is failing. I've been dividing my time between several pursuits, and right now they all seem to be going south at the same time.

Somehow the idea doesn't have much impact though; I'm just kind of resigned to it I guess. Well, that and I do know that going through a rough patch isn't the end of the world. Honestly, I could use some change right now, so the fact that some things aren't working could be a good thing in the long run. For example, if I do get the CNC spindle working again, it might actually solve a big problem that I had with the system before and I was simply working around rather than putting the effort in to actually fix, meaning it could be a net gain when all is said and done. Perhaps the same could be true for some other items on that list. Right now, I sure hope so.

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