Dealing with burnout

I don’t want to treat this blog as my personal diary. I needed it to be the place where readers will only find useful and good content.

But I feel compelled to share with the world my current situation.

Two weeks ago, I worked a 60 hour-week instead of the usual 44 hour and I went four days surviving only on 6 hours of sleep total, relying on caffeine so that I could code and fix bugs.

And last week, it was a 50 hour-week and I didn’t pay off my sleep debt.

And the kicker was, the company doesn’t give time-off to us for burning our weekends and nights just because they deemed our jobs to be “professional” and doesn’t care how we deliver the results.

I was thinking maybe I should throw in some more physical activities to help contribute to my energy levels and reduce my stress levels. It helped a little.

Then my boss told me I have to quickly take over the product development because the main developer for it was leaving by the end of the month while my current project has multiple deliverables also by the end of the month.

So I suspect this coming week will be another 60 hour-week, possibly even 70 hour-week, depending on how things turn out. I also have a medical appointment for some conditions that I’m suffering from and needed some relief.

With all that, I thought I could write my novel during whatever free time I have. I’m pushing hard to write my novel because I intend to get it out before my next birthday in a few months time. The novel will be at least 70,000 words long, meaning I need to be churning out 23,000 words each month.

And for the month of June, I only managed 10,000 words instead of 23,000 with the month coming to an end. Most of the time, I had to deal with wasted hours of staring at the blank canvas, not sure what to write. Words don’t come out. Even if they did, they felt forced. They lack life.

In addition to that, I have had literal nightmares for several days, continue to suffer from insufficient sleep due to anxiety. The hatred for my day job continues to grow. Even my attempts to see it “working in service of my writing” didn’t do me much good. Mind you, I am already at this stage where I am no longer interested in building software. I really just want to do something else for a living and is just forcing myself to go to work so that I can pay off my credit card debt, my bills and generally live a decent life in this expensive country.

Right now, I’m frustrated and disillusioned. My gastric issue and body pain came back, requiring me to survive on antacid, painkillers and muscle relaxant. And as a writer, I don’t even have the time to read so that I can be inspired and learn new stuff…

I just don’t know how long I can keep this up.

Writing Break – Playing With LEGO Day #2

I will be continuing my process of building up the LEGO set. You can read about Day 1 here.

Spiderman Building – Fourth Bag/Second Floor

The fourth bag contains parts for Spiderman and the second floor of his building.

First up is Spiderman himself with Iron Spider Armor.

Laying the foundation bricks for the second floor…

Construction in progress…

After twenty-minutes, the level is completed. Don’t judge me for the slowness. After all why should anyone rush through building LEGO? It’s not your day job with a looming deadline.

Time for a break

I took a quick break to make myself a small jug of green tea.

As I took sips of green tea, I continued with my LEGO construction. Thus far, I am really enjoying myself. Deep down, I really want another LEGO set.

Spiderman Building – Fifth Bag/Third Floor

Then I continued with building up the third floor, which is Spiderman/Peter Parker’s bedroom. I just can’t believe that he’s so unhygienic with pizza on the floor beside the bed. How could anyone sleep in a room like this? =P

After the third floor is done…

After the third floor is done, it’s time to do up the roof of the building.

Spiderman Building – Sixth Bag/Roof

The roof of Spiderman’s building is relatively easy to build.

Laying the foundational bricks. It was during this time I realized that I do have some issue identifying pieces in the pile of bricks.

Once the Spiderman Building is done, it’s time to move on to the third floor of Sanctum Sanctorum. So far, I’m loving how the set is turning out.

Sanctum Sanctorum – Seventh Bag/Third floor

Before I went with building this level, I stood up to do some stretching. After all, I took a break from writing because I didn’t want to use the computer after work to let my body recover. I didn’t want to let LEGO be another contributing factor to my pain.

After laying down the foundational bricks and build up the so call library of books and ritualistic items

Adding the rest of the structure.

And it is time to introduce Iron Man…it does look like he’s giving us the middle finger. Hahaha.

Spiderman Building/Sanctum Sanctorum – Eight Bag/ Everything else

It’s time for the last numbered bag. I got up and did some stretching again. Then, I sat back down and poured out the content inside onto the ground in front of me.

Final Touches/ The End

With the last bag done, it’s time to arrange the heroes and villains in the way I want to present them.

My apologies for the overexposure because I activated flash on my camera.

I put the completed set into a display cabinet and cleared out existing toys that I no longer want. Once in the cabinet, I rearranged parts and the characters.

Writing Break – Playing With LEGO Day #1

I took a break over the last few days from writing and in general from spending too much time in front of a computer. I needed to get my back and neck pain sorted out. It wasn’t as bad as a week ago but the pain and the aches are still there. It will take time to sort them out with exercises. Patience is key here.

After lunch on Wednesday (04-Apr-2018), I got myself a box of LEGO to entertain myself. The product I got, called Sanctum Sanctorum Showdown, is part of the Marvel’s Infinity War.

After unboxing, there are eight numbered packages and a few scattered pieces. In each of those numbered packages, there were smaller ones to house those smaller pieces.

Instead of going my way, I chose to build the set according to the instruction. Personally, I always saw LEGO as a form of collectibles instead of a toy.

Now, even though I’m on break, it didn’t stop me from wanting to document the LEGO building process.

Start of Day 1

The first thing to build is the corner of the two buildings. It is one of the simplest one of the whole set.

Sanctum Sanctorum/Dr. Strange – First Bag/First Level

The first bag contains parts for Dr. Strange and the first level of Sanctum Sanctorum. I went with fitting Dr. Strange. Well…he looks kind of cute in this form.

Then it was time to construct the first level of the sanctum sanctorum.

This is the back view.

After I was done with them, I put them together just for a photo shoot. I also put on the LEGO parts that represents magical effects.

While doing all the above, I can’t help but recall the childhood I had. Before I had computers or smartphones, LEGO dominates my playtime. And it is also therapeutic because unlike works that you publish, no one is judging you. It is a solo task just like reading a book or playing a single player game.

Sanctum Sanctorum/Cull Obsidian – Second Bag/Second Level

The second bag contains the parts for Cull Obsidian and the second level of Sanctum Sanctorum.

I put Cull Obsidian together first. He looked ugly and menacing yet cute at the same time. Most likely because of the LEGO nature.

Then I went with putting together the second floor of the building.

Front View

Back View

Spiderman Building – Third Bag/First Level

I moved on to bag number 3 which contains the parts for the first level of Spiderman’s home.

Front View

Now, I don’t quite remember if there was a pizza place below Spiderman’s home.

Back View

Yes, I know that Cull Obsidian is on the floor doing pushups with his hammers in hand. =) I had to put him aside so that I can do my stuff and he kept falling over anyway.

End of Day 1

Thus far, it has already taken me more than three hour to do up everything above. A big issue that I was having was how my back and neck pain reached a level where I couldn’t concentrate. And I had some trouble searching for the correct parts to install.

I decided to call it a night and shall continue it the next day.

Friday Tech News Roundup #21

Below are 10 tech news that I found interesting and are related to topics I care about.

Apple on Meltdown and Spectre bugs: ‘All Mac systems and iOS devices are affected’ – Apple just confirmed that nearly all of its devices are impacted by the serious vulnerabilities affecting processors made by Intel and other chip makers. Mashable

Cybersecurity agency: The only sure defense against huge chip flaw is a new chip – The tech world continues to come to grips with Wednesday’s revelation of very serious vulnerabilities associated with central processing units (CPUs) that affect, well, just about everyone with a computer. Mashable

The iMac Pro is tough to repair but has vastly improved cooling – Apple’s iMac Pro is the most powerful desktop computer Apple has ever created — well, at least until the launch of the all-new Mac Pro later this year. Mashable

Intel claims its new security updates make PCs ‘immune’ to Meltdown and Spectre CPU bugs – Intel says it and its partners have “made significant progress” in rolling out security patches and firmware updates to protect against two major CPU bugs. The flaws were disclosed by Google’s Project Zero team this week, and the industry is scrambling to issue fixes and secure machines for customers. Dubbed “Meltdown” and “Spectre,” the flaws affect nearly every device made in the past 20 years, and could allow attackers to use JavaScript code running in a browser to access memory in the attacker’s process. That memory content could contain key strokes, passwords, and other valuable information. The Verge

Burn-in test shows the iPhone X beating Samsung’s Note 8 and S7 Edge – As more phones are launched with OLED displays, burn-in problems have become even more relevant. As part of its ongoing iPhone X review, Korean tech site Cetizen tested Apple’s handset against Samsung’s Note 8 and S7 Edge in a burn-in test, and it was the iPhone that came out on top. Techspot

iOS 11.2.5 beta delivers Siri-powered, hands-free news podcasts – If you’re the type of person who tends to wake up to a cup of coffee and a newspaper, you might now be able to eliminate both of those steps if you own an iPhone. As reported by 9to5Mac, iPhone owners who opt in to Apple’s iOS 11.2.5 beta will be given the opportunity to stream a news podcast by simply saying “Hey Siri, give me the news.” Techspot

Apple just shared some staggering statistics about how well the App Store is doing – Apple has an annual tradition in early January of announcing how well its App Store is doing. Business Insider

Here’s what happens with your data when you use a Chinese messaging app – Verbal sparring between two Chinese billionaires over data privacy has shone a rare spotlight onto a topic in China that has also dogged global social media companies from Facebook to Twitter: who owns the content generated by the users and how to handle it. Business Insider

Chrome is turning into the new Internet Explorer 6 – Chrome is now the most popular browser across all devices, thanks to Android’s popularity and the rise of Chrome on Windows PCs and Mac computers. As Google continues to dominate our access to the web, information through its search engine, and services like Gmail or YouTube, Chrome is a powerful entry point in the company’s vast toolbox. While Google championed web standards that worked across many different browsers back in the early days of Chrome, more recently its own services often ignore standards and force people to use Chrome. The Verge

Intel Titan Ridge Thunderbolt controllers look to the future and the past – Thunderbolt 3 (TB3) can be pretty awesome, even if getting access to the 40 Gbps of bandwidth isn’t as straightforward as Intel has advertised. The standard has yet to really spread across the entire PC market, as it’s currently reserved primarily for relatively high-end laptops and Apple’s premium products. Intel is hoping to spread the adoption of TB3 with its just-announced JHL7x40 “Titan Ridge” series of TB3 controller chips. Techreport