McNelson's corner of the web

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Electric Scooters, Upper Back Pain, And You
Jun 25, 2021

Starting from 2019 until recently, I've contended with some pretty disturbing back pain. I'm writing this here because it mostly manifested itself during scooter rides, although I did also notice it a few other times especially when washing dishes. It turns out I brought this problem on myself, and thankfully the fix is really easy.

My tech background

2021
Turned my dev preferences inside out and pitted TypeScript against Ruby, GraphQL against REST, NestJS against Rails, and TypeORM against Active Record.
Began working in React after a small previous taste.
2020
Gave the daunting problem of record history (and all relationships) my best shot as our application outgrew gem solutions.
Changed jobs and took the plunge into the microservices world. Way more devs, new and interesting tooling.
Spent plenty of quality time with Jest. Finally a testing framework that feels as robust as RSpec.
2019
The Xiaomi M365 electric scooter sucks me into an era of modding and tuning on both the software and hardware side.
Pushed myself to spend more time with ES6, Vue and Webpack than Rails.
2018
Chucked our user-facing Rails side in favor of a new Vue single-page application. Put Rails in charge of an API conforming to the JSONAPI spec, which we'd heavily regret.
Designed an S3 deployment cadence for the SPA to complement how we deployed Rails code.
Threw out my .vimrc and rebuilt everything in Neovim.
They Are Billions is the big game of this year for me.
2017
Set up an in-house Elasticsearch/Kibana box behind Nginx. Kibana is such a powerful tool.
Warily ventured into the world of Amazon API Gateways & Lambda Functions, which I found to be very convoluted.
Began playing with Webpack and Yarn after a couple of Rails 5 upgrades.
2016
Took the lead on several complex feature releases for a logistics solution in a 5-person team.
Thoroughly enjoyed building a UI with JBuilder and React.
Realized the importance of automated integration testing to today's application development practices.
Rocket League joins TF2 as probably one of my favorite games of all time.
2015
Attempted to wrap my brain around how ElasticSearch worked.
Took on the agonizing task of migrating a whole Github org from Travis to Codeship.
Upon getting a Continuous Glucose Monitor, made a visualizer app so I could store all my BG readings.
Changed jobs and began building a Rails app from scratch.
2014
Integrated Paypal and Amazon payments for ecommerce platform on very quick order.
Considered launching an idea with some friends, found that I was not much of an entrepreneur.
Wrote a game in Node with a Campfire bot interface that helped encourage our dev team to review PRs.
Poked Angular JS with a stick. Didn't like it.
2013
Extraordinarily lucky to learn Rails inside and out with a top-notch engineering team that changed everything I knew about web development.
2012
Got serious about Javascript and started with Ruby on Rails, professionally and for college project.
Couldn't believe how much more sense the decentralized concept of Git made over server/client-modelled SVN.
Took classes in C & C++ and found them to be exemplary languages.
Came back to Illustrator for a minute after taking class in brand identity design. Not terribly keen on Photoshop, however.
Wordpress here, Wordpress there. Everyone's doing it.
2011
Interest hosting my own email services with Dovecot and Postfix gets me into Slicehost. Not long after, migrating it all to Linode (after Rackspace bought Slicehost) was also extremely educational.
A pretty quintessential Silicon Valley startup revealed to me the miracle of version control software.
Got a Droid Incredible and immersed myself in customizing every last little thing.
Last graduating year to do Flash & Actionscript, then they switch to Javscript. Just my luck.
Learned frameworks exist when I bumped into CodeIgnitor, showed me the concept of MVC.
Big SEO takeaways from an internship.
2010
Comatose for a couple weekends playing Minecraft.
Took a break to do college stuff.
2009
Particular illustration in Graphic Design class clearly indicated it wasn't meant to be, but would at least give me laughs for years to come.
Class in Visual Basic is the first and last time I touch an M$ programming language.
Played lots of Valve games and kept plugging away at PHP.
2008
Attempted to get into the Java world...it didn't click.
Continued theme of PHP hacking after Wordpress got really popular. Mainly worked on CRUD features. If only there was a framework that was good for that. :P
2007
phpBB continues to be a boon for web development experience. Hacked on forum features live via SFTP, and really started to grasp SQL.
Took an Adobe Illustrator class and liked it more than expected. Might have a small, modest eye for art?
Discovered I could break into my KRZR flip Phone with P2K Commander & M-Explorer.
2006
Built a Tripod website detailing a side project.
Continued to enjoy video editing. Graduated to Pinnacle Studio 10 from Premiere, which was more stable, but not by much.
2005
phpBB acts as my very effective catalyst for working with cloud servers, Vim, CentOS, and SSH.
Kept up the game modding. Got into a C-like lightweight embedded language Pawn for awhile.
Installed Podzilla (iPod Linux) in order to watch videos on my iPod nano, a novel concept at the time.
2004
Enamored with The Sims and MS Frontpage. Made a small website that shows all cars in the game.
Video editing in Adobe Premiere 7. Total nightmare, constantly freezing up and crashing.
Made a bunch of cheesy animations in PowerPoint.
2003
Indie game Meteor is perhaps earliest exposure to programming in C. It's built for customization, and ended up writing basic campaigns and drawing lots of game sprites in GIMP.
Tried to write covers of various songs in Cakewalk Express. MIDI and piano roll concept.
2002
Endlessly captivated by Stagecast Creator and building interactive buttons in MS Frontpage.
2001
Tech program at school provided a first taste of Coreutils. I had no idea how fortunate I was at the time.
Acquired hand-me-down SNES and courageously tried to beat Jurassic Park.
2000
Taking apart computers, attempting to put them together again. Pentium III was fast!
Windows 98, 2000, and messing with screensavers/desktop backgrounds.