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Dandy Cast 050: These troubling times have troubling decisions

Sean Anderson
Sean Anderson

This podcast episode was recorded as an accompanying audio version of the Dandy Newsletter that was published on November 10, 2020.

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Show notes

Ah, Thanksgiving traditions. The foundation of the holiday season. That event on which all else is built. The time when we hop into our cars or onto planes and travel long distances to visit with barely remembered family that we only see once a year. The occasion when we all eat far too much delicious food and then crash in a heap before remembering that we haven’t even eaten pie yet. Hope you’ve got a second, dessert stomach inside you.

This year, it’s also the time when people should be staying home, but probably won’t be. Because, you know, family and stuff. There’s a pandemic on, people. Stay home! Do what I’ll be doing—have your nice meal in comfort. Screw traffic, screw forced socialization, screw getting yourself or someone else sick. Enjoy your mashed potatoes on your own couch.

There’s also a brand spankin’ new blog post waiting for you. It’s called, Quick Tip: The Pros and Cons of Using a CDN for Your Website.

A CDN, or content delivery network, can be a powerful tool for your website. With this blog post, learn more about what they are and how they can benefit you. Do you even need to use one? Do you already have one and aren’t really aware of it? What is all this internet mumbo-jumbo? Read on to find out!

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:

Quick Tip: The Pros and Cons of Using a CDN for Your Website - Dandy Cat Design

Zoopa! Zoopa! Zoopa! - Do By Friday

Kiss Kiss Bang Bang - IMDb

The Suburbs | Arcade Fire - YouTube

How to Do Nothing: Resisting the Attention Economy | Jenny Odell - Goodreads

The full text

The Dandy Newsletter—11/10/20

For Thanksgiving every year, my parents, my brother, and I would drive down to my aunt and uncle’s house in Carlsbad, CA. Depending on the holiday traffic, this trip takes anywhere between an hour and a half to two hours. For as long as I can remember, this has been our late November tradition. In the two-plus years since my dad died, we’ve kept it going.

For the past sixteen years, my personal sub-tradition, so to speak, includes a lot of cooking the morning of Thanksgiving. I’ve been a vegetarian since I was eighteen and a vegan since twenty, so the usual Thanksgiving fare of turkey, stuffing, ham, and buttery mashed potatoes doesn’t work for me. I feel grateful that there are alternatives available to me now, and especially so in the last few years when the alternative options have gotten more varied and tasty. My Thanksgiving morning consists of waking up early and spending a couple of hours in my kitchen preparing all those tasty alternatives so that I may have something to eat with the rest of my family. I don’t have much time to prepare everything, so you’ve never seen such a flurry of manic oven setting, potato whipping, and vegetable chopping. By the end, I’ll have a mountain of steamy food and only a short amount of time to spare for a shower before heading out.

Those are hectic mornings, to say the least.

I’ll invariably have to microwave all that food again by dinnertime; insulated bags can only help so much. It’s still always delicious. Allow me to brag for a moment: I make some amazing mashed potatoes. I mean, these are some life-changing spuds. I toss in a good amount of garlic, healthy portions of fake butter, soy milk, and salt, and finish it off with some fragrant herbs. I look forward to those every year and am thinking of them fondly as I write these very words. I have it on good authority that my potatoes are far superior to the others offered at the family gathering.

Bragging portion over (but still, they’re the bomb).

Last year, I felt much less enthusiasm about taking that drive out to the family gathering. Part of it is the craziness of the morning, and the other bit is my desire to create new traditions with my fiancée. I do love my family and I enjoy seeing them. However, it’s a taxing holiday at the best of times, and even more so for an introvert like myself. I’d been planning on doing a quieter, less crowded celebration with my fiancée this year. I was looking forward to cooking all our food without feeling rushed or stressed. It was going to be great.

Then COVID-19 happened.

On the plus side, I’ll be getting a Thanksgiving celebration similar to the one I was hoping for, it’ll just have a few more people than I thought it would. The large family Thanksgiving get-together has been officially cancelled and I’ll instead be enjoying a nice meal with just my fiancée, mom, brother, and his fiancée at home. We won’t have to deal with that long drive, the traffic, or any inclement weather. It’ll be, as they say, pretty chill.

(I’m especially happy about avoiding any possible bad weather. Last year, there was unforeseen rain, and a fair amount of it. Naturally, this slowed the freeways down a lot, so we tried getting to our destination through some winding, picturesque backroads, with guidance by Waze. Unfortunately, Waze didn’t account for the roadblocks that had recently been set up on those backroads. Our path was cut off and we had to find our way back onto the freeway with limited cell reception and merge into heavy traffic again. Ugh.)

I’m glad my extended family had the sense to cancel the larger gathering this year. This is no time to enclose oneself in a house, with several elderly people, with many other potentially sick people. Traditions and holidays are important, I get it. It’s damn tough to limit time away from your loved ones (and also the never-before-seen friends of family of friends who unexpectedly show up at the celebration), especially when you’ve already spent so much time away from them. Hey, nobody said getting through these COVID times was going to be easy (and if they did, then they were either ignorant or lying to you).

At the moment, I may still go ahead with my new tradition idea in the coming years when gathering restrictions have eased. The desire to have a quieter holiday with my partner hasn’t disappeared. We’ll see how I feel next year when things have hopefully gotten better.

We’re not going to travel down to Carlsbad this year. It’s a bummer that the choice is being taken from us by a rampaging disease, but that’s just how 2020 is. The important thing is to consider how your choices and actions can affect other people. The health of your loved ones is more important than eating turkey with them.

It’s hard and sacrifices need to be made. Making them is the right thing to do.

Special delivery!

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

It’s called: Quick Tip: The Pros and Cons of Using a CDN for Your Website.

In this month’s quick tip post, I’m talking about the benefits, drawbacks, and questions you should ask about using a content delivery network for your website. This is an interesting topic because a CDN can have a dramatic impact on the loading speed of your site.

Who doesn’t love a site that loads fast? I mean, any site that takes forever to load is a site from which I want to run far, far away.

A CDN can bring you some great benefits, but is it something you have to have? Sometimes they’re not necessary or your website creation service already takes care of this for you. Regardless, knowledge is power, friend, and learning more about how CDNs work and how they can benefit you is worth your time. Follow the link to learn more about this remarkable online technology and how you can start using it for your site today.

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.


Sean Anderson

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

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