Christmastime in the year 2020 | Holiday Blathering

What can I say about 2020 that someone else hasn’t already said? I can say it has been… a bit of a disappointment. Nothing has really gone to plan, it seems. I would say, tho, 2020 started out pretty great. Things were looking good for most people and evens occurred that really took the shine off of the year, to put it mildly. I don’t want to focus on the negative, I am going to focus on the positive things.

For starters, I and my family still have their health. We all recovered from whatever sickness was thrown at us this year and I call that a blessing. I may have lost my job this year, but I haven’t stopped working, I just happen to be working with my hands more and subject to the whims of Mother Nature as of late. As part of my layoff package, I got a new computer which has been fantastic and has made my ability to work mobile much more enjoyable.

There have been a lot of great developments in the open source world, it seems like software packages rolling down on openSUSE Tumbleweed have just been rock-solid. KDE Plasma 5.20 has been an incredible joy to have on all my machines. If you have a touch screen, the interface controls are top-notch. I learned of a replacement shell called FISH which may very well be the neatest terminal based tool I have ever used. I am truly thankful for all the hard work put in by so many people to make life on the computer more enjoyable and productive.

I have been able to continue to enjoy my time with the Destination Linux Network where I can make a positive contribution to the community on a regular basis. I have been able to meet some incredible people with such incredible knowledge and seemingly endless patience. I have been able to learn so many new and interesting things because of the interactions and I am forever grateful.

I have been afforded the opportunity to create new Christmas Light Shows on my expanded house display. It’s been fun and frustrating. It has also been incredibly educational and has exposed my cavernous knowledge gaps. Learning and making mistakes is something that helps us to grow individually. I may not be happy about the forced self-education but I end up better for it.

I have began my journey in learning Python which has also been a challenge. I have nothing to show for it, yet but that will come, hopefully fairly soon as works lows down due to the weather change. Which, makes me think. I am not working much in a cubicle these days, unless I am able to count my “SuperCubicle” in my home as one.

Most importantly, for the first time in many years, there is peace in my life as it relates to family. Something to always be grateful for is peace. No, things are in no way perfect but they are far better now than they were a year ago. I would like to count that as a victory.

The year isn’t done and we are still in the throes of adversity with all that is going on but we are also in the midst of Christmastime. A period were with think and hopefully act a bit more on good will and kindness to our fellow humans, no matter the “poo-sandwich” we have had to choke down. c

In an effort to celebrate, what should be a time of joyous family gatherings, I created a 2020 version of Christmas musical lighting sequences with my home’s Linux Powered festive lights. I had numerous headaches with expanding the system. What I thought would have been a straight forward add-on ended up being a painful event, banging my head against the wall at every stage. The positive is, I did add a large number of lights to my system and it is mostly stable but it certainly is a kind of “science experiment” and requires a lot of refinement at this point. Regardless, here are the three 2020 sequences I put together this year. I retooled two of my 2019, Trans-Siberian Orchestra, songs and a new song called “Frozen Memories” by CJ Simpson aka Perifractic. There was a fourth song I planned but ran out of time.

Final Thoughts

In the words of Doc Brown, “Your future is whatever you make of it, so make it a good one.” So is your life. Bad things will happen, adversity is a part of life. The question is, how are you responding to the stressors? Can you respond to them while keeping your dignity intact? It’s not easy and it takes work. 2020 has been a year of trials and incredible testing of ones resolve. Lets hope that 2021 will be better, but if it isn’t, let us all try to individually be better in 2021. Learn something new, be more compassionate, show more kindness. It won’t hurt!

References

HP EliteBook 840 G7 running openSUSE Tumbleweed
FISH | Friendly Interactive SHell on openSUSE
CubicleNate YouTube Christmas Light Sequences
“Frozen Memories” by CJ Simpson aka Perifractic
Another Christmastime Blathering | Linux Powered Lighting

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