Sunday, May 16, 2021

I'm 42; I'm going to start blogging again

So it's been close to two and a half years since I could be bothered to click the "new post" button here.

Some of the cause of this has been busy with far more important things like family, purchasing and moving into a new house, doing DIY projects around said new house, working my day job, sim racing, working on projects related to sim racing, board gaming, and frankly... not feeling like I've got much worth blogging about.

Lets step through some of the above:

My kids are turning into real people. They're 7 and 5 now. I think I'm teaching them important things. I hope I am, because they've started to teach me some important things. Number 1 is that sleep is important for general life happiness. Number 2 is that I've neglected my fitness for too long. I'm going to work on this every day from here on out.

The new house is amazing. It's on a flat block, compared to the very steep land of the previous place. It's got more space for the kids to have their area, a room that my wife can call her own, and a converted garage where my office / man cave is located. Gigabit fiber to the house. Honestly, it's incredible. I've thoroughly enjoyed building the massive garden bed with built in seating. Planting out the front lawn with native plants has been a recent accomplishment. We've still got a list of projects, but that's great. It's fun being a house proud person.

Day job is stimulating and challenging and my co-workers are incredible. It's been over 4 years now and I still gush like a paid shill whenever I talk to people about my job. I do feel like I need to step up and engage in a bit of "career building" ambitious effort. As I've found myself stuck in a "cruise mode" rut that I'm sure is being noticed. I'm going to work on that every day too.

Sim racing is really just iRacing, and while it's still my go-to entertainment I've sort of been in a lull for the last few months. I had been competiting at the tippy top of the Formula Renault 3.5 series, getting some good results in the "high strength of field" broadcast race that runs on our Sunday mornings. Alas, with the end of daylight savings this race time slot become too early for me. Since dropping out of that series I've been enjoying being very average in GT3 cars. The highlight of my week's racing continues to be our Thursday night open wheeler league, where this season we're running the Lotus 79. Good bunch of guys, and some great racing.

A fair chunk of the time I used to dedicate to actually sim racing, has now been spent working on projects related to sim racing. The big one is the iRacing Stats Discord Bot. I'd hacked this together as a simple way to allow my friends and team mates to access the race results database that I've been collecting over the last few years. Previously I'd utilised this to share end of season stats on the iRacing forums and my (also pretty dead) iRacing Blog, and scratch my own statistical itches when I've pondered such things as "who does the most races", "who has the best results", etc. After some very kind words from the small circle of people who were using the intial version of the bot, I was convinced that it was worth taking a bit more seriously and opening it up to a wider audience. The bot's home discord server now has over 2,000 members and I've got a good count of teams chipping in some money to cover the hosting costs involved with running the bot. I've learned a huge amount while working on it, and am really proud of the big push I've recently made to get what I'm calling "version 2" out into production.

A while back my wife and I decided that we'd try hosting some boardgaming nights. Initially this started with getting a group of 8 together roughly once a month to play through Pandemic: Season 2. It was a huge success and these sorts of nights have become a huge part of our schedule. My collection of games has grown and grown, edging into the "I think you have a problem" teritory. Luckily my kids are also into baordgames now and I'm sure that my investment into all these games will pay off over the years to come.