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Dandy Cast 048: On finding new and pleasing hobbies...

Sean Anderson
Sean Anderson

This podcast episode was recorded as an accompanying audio version of the Dandy Newsletter that was published on October 27, 2020.

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Show notes

I’ve got some new hobbies in mind for myself and I’m looking forward to getting into them. Now if I could only work up the effort to get out into the world. I’m not looking to spend time amongst other people during a pandemic. That would be the stupidest thing a person can do (I’m looking at you, stupid people). Nah, I’m just talking about taking more photos, going on walks, and beautifying the planet.

Still, it’s a big ask when you’re a huge homebody. You want to go outside and see the world, but your home is comfy, safe, and lovely. New hobbies are worth it, though. I’m developing some for myself and I think you should do it, too. What new and fun things can you do with your time?

There’s also a brand spankin’ new blog post waiting for you. It’s called, The Advantage of System Fonts and How To Use Them in Your Website.

System fonts can sometimes be thought of as boring. I mean, they’re kind of supposed to be that way. However, while they might not be the flashiest things around, they have some major benefits. Let’s talk about how to use them to help speed up your website. Oh yes, system fonts can give you a decent speed boost. They’re great like that.

We’re wrapping things up with what I’m watching, reading, and listening to this week. It’s a great assortment of media that’s worth your time.

Links to stuff that was mentioned:

Hi, Speed - YouTube

iPhone - Apple

iPhone 12 Pro Max - Apple

Grabby claw thing - Amazon

The Advantage of System Fonts and How To Use Them in Your Website - Dandy Cat Design

Eliza (Entry 404.LK0247) - Omnibus

The Boys - Prime Video

Smother | Wild Beasts - YouTube


The full text

The Dandy Newsletter—10/27/20

A couple weeks ago, I sent out a newsletter called “How are you going to add logs to your fire?” I thought it asked a good question about how to avoid burning out in your life and work. It also had a pretty great metaphor about campfires in it, if I do say so myself. In it, I suggested that we should be vigilant about recognizing the signs of burning out with our work (even if it’s work we love to do) and care for ourselves before we do real harm. The dispatch could be boiled down to:

  • keep an eye on your mental health, and
  • take more vacations.

It’s fair advice. We need to care for ourselves more than we probably do. There’s an insistence in the business world that the business is always worth all of you. If you’re not giving it 100% all the time, then you’re not cut out to be a leader. Maybe you should find some desk-centric peon job instead and leave the work of running the business to the adults. It’s condescending, harmful, and something I’ve spent a good amount of time denying. Yeah, business work is hard work, but it shouldn’t chew you up and spit you out before moving onto the next sucker. Why shouldn’t you have a life outside your job that you can enjoy?

While writing that October 13 dispatch, I came to the understanding that I needed an extended period of time away from working on Dandy Cat Design. I decided to take the month of December off. Now, I’m mulling tacking on a couple of extra weeks and starting this extended vacation around mid-November. I haven’t made a definite decision about it yet. As I’m wont to do, I may change my mind again and go back to just taking December off. We’ll see. Rest assured, I’ll keep you informed about my plans.

This won’t be a vacation in the sense that I’ll be doing nothing but sitting on a couch watching Netflix all day (although who doesn’t want to do that every once in a while?). Instead, this vacation will be spent on doing things like learning more about web coding languages, specifically JavaScript (because so much seems to stem from there), doing more writing, and indulging in what’s been taking over my thoughts lately.

For instance, I enjoyed the recent Apple event, “Hi, Speed,” where they introduced the new iPhones. I was especially enamored with iPhone 12 Pro Max (and not just because I enjoy having the biggest and best iPhone). In the last couple of years, the size of the phone has been the only distinguishing factor between the pro-level iPhones. This year, the largest iPhone will be receiving camera upgrades that will overshadow all the other models. It’ll receive the same huge ƒ/1.6 wide-angle lens (meaning the opening of the lens, the aperture, is exceptionally large) that all the other phones will be getting, but it’ll also be receiving a 47% larger sensor. This means that more light will be captured in each photo. More light equals more detailed, sharper, better images, including those taken at night. As a camera geek, this was music to my ears.

A phone like this, along with what talent I have with a camera, presents the opportunity to take some photos of which I can be very proud. So, I’d like to get out and take more photos. It’s something I’ve always enjoyed doing. Why not give myself more time to enjoy it?

A thought occurred to me in the middle of my new iPhone excitement: if I’m looking forward to taking more photos, why not also do more walking? I’ve been trying to lose some weight this year (looking good for my brother’s and my wedding to our respective fiancées is a nice motivator), so why not actually do the exercise that weight loss demands?

A further idea popped into my head as I was thinking about walking more: if I’m going to be outside taking photos, why not give back to the world while I’m out in it? It’s providing me with nice views and fresh air, after all. Would it be so difficult to take along a trash bag and a grabby claw thing and pick up whatever litter I come across? I don’t think it would be.

Putting them all together, I’d get some good exercise, beautify a bit of the planet, and practice taking some nice photos. That sounds like a nice activity to start doing. I’ve been looking for new hobbies; this plan would give me something good to do.

I feel that spending my extended time off doing healthy activities that benefit the world around me will be invigorating. I’ve been feeling the tell-tale signs of burning out lately, and it’s imperative that I keep myself feeling healthy and happy. Another point I’ve tried to make several times in these dispatches is that we should all be taking good care of our mental health. It’s hard to be happy and engaged with life if your mind starts slipping.

Taking time off will mean less communication from me, but it’ll also mean I’ll feel happier and healthier. I would again encourage you to do the same thing.

A bit of coding can give your visitors a lot of happiness

There’s a new blog post waiting for you. Let’s do a dance! 🎉

It’s called: The Advantage of System Fonts and How To Use Them in Your Website.

All the way back in May of this year, I wrote a dispatch about the benefits of using system fonts in your website. At the time, I was considering ditching the custom font I was using and going with something more standard. Since then, I’ve adopted system fonts on my site and I’m happy with the results.

I feel that my site’s looking and performing better than it ever has. This is due in large part to not requiring visitors to load a large custom font when they come to my site. Things are just... snappier.

I’m expanding on that dispatch with this post. It’s an adaptation of what I wrote in May, but I’ve added additional information and tips. It’s well worth a read if you’re looking to speed up your site. Not only will your pages load faster, your visitors will be more satisfied. Remember: a slow site is a frustrating site. Keep it speedy!

Click through the link above right now to read the post and learn how to use system fonts in your website. It’s a simple process that can bring great benefits to your business.

If you ever want to throw some suggestions my way, then send me a reply to this email. They’re always wonderful to receive.

Seriously friend, I'd love to hear from you.

Until next time, stay dandy, cat.

Podcast

Sean Anderson

Lover of productivity tips, Apple devices, and vegan ice cream. Mostly, I'm busy petting cats 🐱 and dogs 🐶


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