Posted: 1 September 2022
Stats: 703 words / ~4 minutes
Let’s keep this short, shall we?
As a professor, I am privileged with some time off that other professions do not enjoy.
One would expect—and some hope—that I would spend that time on holiday, or practising a hobby.
That is not my bag.
First, I do not get four, three, or even two months of holiday. I am not complaining. I have about six weeks off. It is paid. Sort of. Anyway.
After finishing up a collection of interviews and report corrections, the plan was to head to Canada. That did not happen for a few reasons. None of those reasons are stories worth telling. I decided that I must make my holiday worthwhile by mixing time-wasting behaviour with some personal development.
Personal development, for me, is not what others would call personal development. I decided to return to my attempts at learning Python. I signed up for the [free version of] Harvard CS50P course. I am very close to finishing it up, and I highly recommend it to anyone who wants to learn some programming in an enjoyable manner.
Normally, personal development would also include some reading. I love reading. I did not read enough this summer. I only read four books this summer, and two of them were novelettes.
- “A Prayer for the Crown-Shy” by Becky Chambers: Highly recommended series, fun, enchanting, buzzwords, etc.
- “Upgrade” by Blake Crouch: Very good.
- “Master of the Revels” by Nicole Galland: Excellent. I wrote a little comment about this book here.
- “Unlocked” by John Scalzi: I had previously read first book in this series, this is a prequel. Interesting read. I particularly liked the number of times it was mentioned how excellent the health infrastructure of the United States is for dealing with a pandemic.
Absolute wastes of time that I will never regret
I am very proud of this next one. Insanely proud. It brings tears to my eyes just thinking about it.
I finally binge-watched all 13 seasons of King of the Hill. Excellent series. Incredibly prescient at times. Crazy good. 11/10. Would watch again, I tell you hwat.
Finally, I played games. I have been a casual gamer since the late 80s when the NES and Game Boy came to my house. So, when my friend came by with his Switch and showed my the Mega Man Legacy Collections, that was it. Sold! The next day I shelled out €60 for a bundle containing:
- Mega Man Legacy Collection Vol. 1
- Mega Man Legacy Collection Vol. 2
- Mega Man X Legacy Collection Vol. 1
- Mega Man X Legacy Collection Vol. 2
- Mega Man 11
I spent any and all spare moments getting through those games. My son, who is five, enjoys watching because I fall (a lot) and say many colourful things. He prefers the X collection. So far I have beaten Mega Man 1, 2, 3, and 11 as well as Mega Man X, X2, X3, X4, X5, and X6. I enjoy all the mainline games, but really lost interest in the X series. The first three games in the X series are perfect. X4 is very good. But, I found the addition of certain gameplay elements in X5 and X6 made the games less fun. X7 adds 3D sequences, and I won’t get into that.
Results and ramifications of sitting on my rump
It became noticeable in a short period of time that my physical activity had dwindled, because my physical appearance had dilated. After just one week of programming, TV, and video games I had managed to gain about 4 or 5 kilos. That is not really a guess. I had a doctor’s appointment just at the beginning of the holiday, and one week later I was much heavier. So, I bit the bullet and made a promise to do some sport.
Every day. Every day I did about one hour of sport. I did cardio and weight lifting. I did resistance training. I tried an app one day. I kept up the routine for five weeks.
I did not lose a single kilo. Not one.
It was all worth it!
As always, feel free to contact me via email or on Mastodon. I will answer.