August 2021 Update

This year has been a roller coaster year — full of ups and downs.

Last month, I wrote a post about my mental health struggles. However, like many other personal topics, it got stuck in my draft box and I decided to spike it. It was long and somewhat too personal at times.

However, I’ll try my hardest to (concisely) explain my struggles here.

This year has been a transformative year, where one chapter of my life ended and another began. Back in May, I graduated from college. That created a whole new set of challenges: getting a job, moving out, and somewhat starting my life over from scratch. It has been hard to move back home.

For the longest time, the job search produced a lot of anxiety and self-doubt. As someone who suffers from chronic anxiety and depression (and have for almost my entire life,) these changes and the job search put me in a rough spot.

Now I have a job. I enjoy this job and it has helped me rebound slightly from my unemployment-related anxiety. It has allowed me to breathe, and actually meet new people. Things are slowly (but surely) getting back to normal. The return to normal isn’t going to happen overnight; I still have good days and (sometimes really) bad days. But the good news is, generally, I’m moving in the right direction.

One of the issues with the job is the hours. Although I work part time, I work odd hours. I’m usually tired by the time I get off work (which is usually between midnight and 1 a.m.,) so I haven’t had much time to write or tinker much. I’ve usually been reserving my days off for resting and catching up on chores and other things.

The other issue with the blog and my computer hobby is space. After I graduated, I moved back home with my dad. Space is a limited resource around here… my bedroom is quite tiny. I don’t have any space for properly working on my computers, and a lot of them have gone into a closet for storage. I’ve mainly been using my Classic, with my SuperSE on display. I’m hoping to have more space to return to working on the computers and getting them setup when I move into my own place, which I hope to do by the end of this year.

Last, but not least, my depression caused me to lose interest in some things and gain interests in others. My computer hobby has been really affected by my depression. I really haven’t felt the urge to play around with old software or even get the SuperSE project moving along. (Most things right now for the SuperSE are software-related, except for fixing the floppy drive.) I’m hoping to get back into the hobby and the “swing of things” later this fall, especially when I get my own space.

This has also spread to cycling. I haven’t been on a bike ride since May. One of my goals for this fall is to get back out and put some miles on the Sedona on my days off, once the weather cools off. (So far, Mother Nature hasn’t cooperated too well with my desire to get back on the bike.) I’m hoping to move closer to the in-town biking trail, so I don’t need to drive into town just to ride my bike.

While the depression has made me lose interest in some things, my interest/appreciation for other things has grown.

Until last year, I had little to no interest in sports. Last fall that changed, as I started watching football and college basketball. This year, I’ve got into watching baseball. I’ve been following the Kansas City Royals.

On my birthday, I went to my first Royals game (which also happened to be my first professional sporting event) at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City. While they lost, it signaled I was getting deeper into the fandom. I have went an additional time since, and hope to go a third time before the season ends.

I attended my first professional sporting event, a Royals game, on my birthday in June.

I have recently taken my love for the Royals to a whole new level, by starting to collect memorabilia. While my memorabilia has been stuffed away in a closet for storage (right next to my vintage Macs), I finally brought everything out and set up a temporary “display” next to the SuperSE on the chest of drawers in my bedroom.

My temporary “display” of my small Royals collection

Going full circle, I was sad to see Danny Duffy, one of my favorite athletes and Royals player, be traded to the Dodgers. Duffy was an inspiration to me, especially when I was going through my rough patch this summer. Sometimes it’s nice to know you’re not alone when you struggle with mental health issues. Duffy was open about his own struggles, which is helpful to people like me. I wish him continued success.

AT&T Long Lines

One section of the website that has received some attention lately is the AT&T Long Lines section of my website.

I’ve added four new site pages – Brinktown, MO; Dover, MO; Jefferson City, MO; and La Cygne, KS. Three of the four were photographed by others on an AT&T Long Lines Facebook group and republished with permission. (I photographed the Jefferson City central office.) I added Windsor, MO back in May.

I photographed and added the former Bell System/Southwestern Bell central office here in Jefferson City to my Long Lines section. The CO was also a former microwave relay site.

I also expanded the section homepage with additional links. I’ve also done some more work on the Long Lines map, which I’m hoping to make a detailed map of Missouri/Kansas sites.

My goal is to eventually travel and photograph even more sites, including some that have already been photographed by others. I’d like to also re-photograph many of the sites that I’ve already photographed, since some of the photos were low quality.

I’ve also considered expanding the section to include central offices and other Bell-related information and locations.

My Plan

Going forward, I’d like to continue focusing on my own mental health. As I put it in my July update/Fifth Anniversary post, I’d like to “continue working at my own pace.” I’d like for things to stabilize before I start producing new content.

I don’t want to produce substandard content. Rather, I want to produce quality content that I’m passionate about. I have a horrible track record at producing planned content with quality… I’d rather write about something that I’m interested in at the moment. (Hence, I feel my “spur of the moment” content is typically better than the planned posts, like the content I wrote for MARCHintosh.)

I don’t know when things will get back to normal. I’m hoping things will get closer to normal when I get my own place, which will allow some space for working on my computers and displaying them.

There’s another problem I’m dealing with in regards to the blog: storage space. Since 2018, I’ve “upgraded” my hosting plan multiple times to have more space for images and site content. However, about every year, I get the dreaded “You’ve reached your storage quota” emails. I’ve even been in the process of purging large files, unused files, and archiving and removing old pages. As usual, the process usually ends the same way: only freeing up 10 or 20 MB of space. I’m trying to find a better, more permanent remedy – but this is the issue with having a blog that is constantly evolving with new content, new images, and other new assets.

In the meantime, I’d like to thank everyone who has stuck around. I hope to produce some fresh computer-related (or at least interesting) content sometime in the near future.

Thanks, and have a great day!

This post written on a 1991 Macintosh Classic using Microsoft Word 4.0.