10:08 PM Wednesday, January 2, 2019
New Year, new account. The kids and I all started brand new Pokemon GO accounts yesterday. We're going Valor. And as a surprise, Tracy decided to start up an account as well. And we're already all friends. One day at work and I'm already at level 16. That is fast. Already hitting bag storage limits, so going to start leaving Pokemon at gyms, early this time, to hopefully more space quicker than previous account. And being all on the same team means we can all leave them together. And eventually, should make it easy to take over gyms. And eventually, make it easy to do raids. Oh, I forgot, I should set up all our new accounts to be friends with my old account so when we're all best friends with it, we can trade for all the good ones.
11:48 PM Thursday, January 3, 2019
No, not a New Year’s resolution, but in Pokémon GO, a poke stop accessible from my desk became one of 2 gyms at Willis Tower. Which means I can raid from my desk. And battle in a gym from my desk. And try and get coins from my desk. A little surprised because they took away the old gym. Only a little because the actual sculpture is now gone, but still, there’s an Ex-Eligible gym at a defunct Sprint store up the street which is still around. Should hit Level 20 tomorrow.
10:45 PM Sunday, January 6, 2019
Took down the Christmas tree today, and all the lighting, and think I've never explained my lighting style. First off I like Warm Whites for my LEDs. The warmer the better. And that puts me at odds with Tracy's preference. It's possible we might take turns for Christmas Tree decorating styles each year because they're different (she likes the cool white and blues for ornaments, while I prefer warm whites and reds I guess for colors). Anyway, I start at the bottom and wind a strand of lights close to the trunk going up, then once I get to the top, I go around further out on the way down. For the 8 ft. tree we had this year I think I used 6 boxes of lights. However, just reading online now for tips, and we've been skimping out on lights. I see howtos on pulling lights in and out on each and every branch. 1) that's a lot of lights, 2) that's a lot of work, 3) not to mention taking it all down. Not sure if I want to try that. One year I'd like to try a cluster, 3 increasing height trees, simply decorated, which I think would look really nice.
12:07 PM Wednesday, January 9, 2019
Played as Tracy's Pokemon GO account yesterday. Got her up to a respectable level (17). Jackson's up to 20, Lucy's at 18, and I'm at 23. Thinking I should hold off and wait for everyone else to catch up. Would be nice to keep everyone at the same level. Just need to be careful when I play as them so not appear in multiple places at the same time (don't want to get banned at all). Having a gym reachable from my desk isn't really that cool, because it's changing teams maybe every hour? And I don't think you can lure a gym, so that's 1 negative from have a stop turned into a gym. Otherwise, just grinding away. Making sure everyone's got completed research tasks. Not even really thinking about the community day coming up.
10:42 PM Saturday, January 12, 2019
So the kids have been watching a lot of Kids Baking Challenge. And I'm getting affected by it too. There was an eclair challenge one episode, so I had to hunt down some eclairs to eat (didn't want to try baking them yet), and didn't find them at Magnolia Bakery, Vanille Patisserie, or Maison Parisienne, but eventually found them at Southern France Patisserie. They were good, but I still want to try my hand at it. Then we saw an episode on tie dyed cakes, and one of the commercials or info spots was how to make tie dyed cookies, so we made those last night. And then today Lucy wanted to make cupcakes, so we made some of those as well. And there was another episode with making lava cakes, so they want to do that, so I've started looking for someplace to buy dry ice. Maybe for next weekend. But right now have cookies and cupcakes on the kitchen island. And Tracy reminded me of the chocolate souffles with best sauce I used to make. So we'll have to try that with the kids too. Oh, and with all the baking watching, they watched Ratatouille last weekend and were enthralled. So that's pretty cool.
6:22 PM Tuesday, January 15, 2019
New Year, nuke and pave time. Already did my work desktop, mostly because SQL Server Management Studio started crashing randomly after I forced a cumulative update. And my my NUC at home is exhibiting the same issues, so time for that one as well. I did my iPhone at the end of the year, I think with the last iOS release, and I don't have any Mac that runs the newest OS, well, besides the hackintosh, and the last time I tried to update that it didn't go so well. But nuke and paving a Windows 10 box is pretty easier, easier still that we've moved to G-Suite for work.
12:08 PM Wednesday, January 16, 2019
Finished up reading The Hunger Games trilogy again. This one deals with PTSD compared to Harry Potter and Percy Jackson. And I wonder why I'm reading a lot of books about children fulfilling prophecies and/or world changing events. I guess because they make for good stories. But I'm wondering if there's any books I like to read that aren't this. But not sure what time around this is for me with The Hunger Games, but I feel like I picked up more this time around, about just how screwed up the kids are. Not sure what's next on the book list, but think I need to find a pallet cleanser.
9:02 PM Thursday, January 17, 2019
So I've been sleeping with my Apple Watch to track my sleep (which is pretty bad, at 17 nights tracked averaging 6.7 hours, using Sleep++, which means I have to find a time to charge it, which is usually after dinner and before bedtime, and today I was carrying my phone in my pocket and it was vibrating all the time. And I realized I normally just get all these notifications on the watch, and the phone wouldn't. Also I'd normally just have the phone on the charger and not be carrying it around. But today I had it on me. And if I did that more often, I'd be turning off a lot more notifications. But I guess I just don't notice it as much on my wrist.
12:33 PM Tuesday, January 22, 2019
Finally feels like winter. Snow, cold, good times. Actually went sledding the other day, at Horner Park. Stayed away from the steep side with the tree obstacles, and stayed on the gentle slope with the kids. Jackson didn't stay long. Left Lucy with Chris, who also had Eliot and Alex. But used the old Slide the City tubes, which worked well until they popped. But surprisingly slick. Seemed to work better than a lot of other slides we saw. But made some snow piles in the backyard (Lucy's making a slide, Jackson's making a hotel). Also, not a fan of rock salt for the sidewalks. Next time, will try and get magnesium chloride instead.
10:46 AM Wednesday, January 23, 2019
So Tracy watched a couple episodes of Tidying Up With Marie Kondo on Netflix, and I've had the book in my queue for a while, but haven't read it. But just from glancing at the show while cooking, and from what I've heard in reviews or comments, here's my uninformed take. To me, it seems, the basic concept is you are in a relationship with your things. The clothes you wear, the stuff around you, the things you carry, hold on to, throw away. These things are in your life. They keep you warm, cool you down, help feed you, keep you entertained, make you feel things. And you need to respect them. You need to respect the things, places, objects in your life, just as much as the people. The scene where they take a moment to thank the house. The action of thanking an article of clothing before tossing it. This is showing respect for things. This is recognizing the importance of everything in your life. That it actually is all important. And you don't hang out with people that are bad for you, you don't stay with people that don't respect you, or that you don't respect. That's why I like seeing/reading about high quality items, about clothing that lasts, that's comfortable. Why you want to pay for quality, because these things, if you like them, you want them to be in your life for a long time. You have a relationship. You have a relationship with the world around you. Respect your food. Respect the environment (don't litter). Respect the things you want in your life.
10:37 PM Friday, February 22, 2019
So back for my Dad's 75th birthday, my mom surprised him with almost all of his family on a trip to Disney World. This year is my mom's 75th trip around the sun, so we wanted to do something for her. She goes home to the Philippines every year to visit her sister and nephews and niece and other relatives. So, my dad, my brother and his family, me and mine, surprised her by being there. She loved it. She loved having her grandkids there, because she always wanted to take them. That's why I got passports renewed last fall. And turns out planning and organizing a surprise halfway around the world is hard, but all the hard work was done by Auntie Agnes, and cousins Jay, JP, and Jenny (and Thom). We actually made flight arrangements before my mom made hers, so we ended up being in the Philippines before she got there, and my family was staying an extra week, so she was flying back before we got back. Too much to change her ticket, so she'll have to go back to spend more time with her family soon. But yeah, Tracy, Lucy, Jackson and I made it to the Philippines and back. Took Cathay Pacific, went through Hong Kong (16 hour flight). Kids did surprisingly well. Took a couple days for jet lag to wear off. I think the melatonin helped. Stayed in Bonafacio Global City, which is I guess the new Makati. Mostly new for me, since the last time I went was in 2000. But we did get to visit the Flores Compound, which is where I always stayed when I went before, and it was like I remembered it. I kinda wish we had stayed there so my family could experience what I had on my trips before. But great seeing Auntie Agnes and cousins, and they were so helpful driving us all around through Manila traffic, out to Hidden Valley for a day of swimming, to the fabulous Spiral buffet, to and from the airports, to various malls and kids activities. Al and family only stayed a little longer than a week, Dad went down to Davao, and we went to Coron for 5 days. It was pretty cool. And coming back was fairly straightforward, jet lag again took about 3 days to get over, and once again I think melatonin helped. But it was a good trip. But makes me determined to learn tagalog, because people would see us and start speaking to us, and we'd have to apologize and ask for English. Definitely wasn't keto for the trip. We'd like to go back, but not sure when, have to save up, learn the language, and maybe over winter break for the kids because taking them out of school for 2 weeks is a bit much, especially when they get older. Worth it.
6:51 PM Wednesday, February 27, 2019
So while on the boat tour that first full day in Coron, it's like mid afternoon, and finally Jackson said he'll go into the water. It's one of those lakes, I forget which one, and we're anchored far from the entrance, so we'd have to get in, then tow Jackson over (while we're all in our life vests). It'd be the first time that I got in the water. So I jump in, start swimming on my back, pulling Jackson in his life vest, and I suddenly notice, my Apple Watch is gone. I give Jackson to Tracy to keep heading to the lake with the kids, and I go back to the boat. Because a couple on the boat that got stuck on this tour were free divers. Had the huge flippers and everything. So I get on, ask if they might be able to help find my watch that dropped somewhere close to the boat. I was hoping they'd be interested, because they hadn't really done much on this trip, because they got stuck on because the tour they wanted to go on probably got shut down because the coast guard shut down some of the islands and tours because it was too windy. So they hadn't really been going out on any of the snorkeling or lakes because I think they've already done it. I'm happy because they agree. Turns out, the boat next door had scuba gear, and the guy had been with them before, so they borrowed a tank and the couple went down. I was on board the boat just watching. 15-20 minutes later, they come up holding my watch. Absolutely amazing. I offered a finder's fee, but no takers. Amazing. So thanks, to whoever you two are, and hope you got in some good dives later that week. Although, I wouldn't have minded having to get a new Apple Watch, but still, thanks.
9:52 PM Thursday, March 7, 2019
So I'm like 4 weeks behind on my podcasts, so I'm trying to plow through those. Haven't decided yet if I want to declare podcast bankruptcy and start fresh. However, I would have missed the back and forth on the Bill Simmons Podcast with Ryen Russillo on the size of people's heads. I was close to laughing out loud on my way home on the L when I was heard it. It made me think if jokes about people's head sizes are always funny, or if they way they joked about it was funny. Because that bit in So I Married an Axe Murderer is hilarious. Anyway, it's also pretty interesting hearing about things, roughly 3-4 weeks in the past, as if it's news. But then again, I don't necessarily have any breaking news sources. In Pokemon GO news, the kids accounts are at the same level as their previous accounts, although with much worse Pokemon. As soon as they hit level 30, we'll start worrying about filling out the stable. But I'm actually close to completing the Let's Go Meltan task on my old account, since I was stuck on the Kabuto and the Aerodactyl tasks, and those are current available research tasks. So that'll be nice. Oh, and since you can switch teams for 1000 coins, I'm tempted to switch my old account over. Of course by the time I get that many, we'll all hopefully be best friends and we'll have traded for all the good ones. Tried to take part in the Q1 Hack Days at work, digging into node.js for the first time. Finally have a beginner grasp of it. Tempted to put together this rickety old system in node.js, but not sure if I'll ever get around to it. Switched over to a Sports Loop on the Apple Watch. Also, coming up on a year since I broke my collarbone. Might be time to start biking to work again. I've forgotten all it entails, what to pack, how to pack, parking, showering at the gym, all of it. I should find out if my bike even still works.
11:04 AM Tuesday, March 19, 2019
Figure I need to update, but not really sure what to post. I had something about unintended consequences, and it was both work and personal life related, but I've forgotten what it was. So instead, I'll just ramble on for a bit. I miss being able to eat whatever I want, whenever I want. I look forward to the weekends when I decided to not be full keto. Yet, I enjoyed getting down to my lowest weight in a decade? So trying to get down again, and hopefully just have a 5 pound window that I gradually lose over the work week, then gain over the weekend, and repeat. Made Earl Gray Ice Cream last night. So good. And a surprise I don't see it more often. Used a Kitchen Aid Stand Mixer Ice Cream Maker attachment. Super easy. And I remembered to not use a metal utensil to get the ice cream out. Finally put the deadbolts on the fence door on the west side. Oh, I had my broken collarbone annivery followup. Everythign's good. Need to start riding again to work though. Although the streets are pretty awful with potholes. Wouldn't want to run into any of those. Maybe I'm just looking for excuses not to ride again. Yes, I'm gunshy. Been reading a lot. Just finished up Mistborn and started the Wax and Wayne trilogy. Not quite tired of the universe, but getting close. Not sure what's next. Also finished up Marvel's Daredevil S3 on Netflix and in the middle of Punisher. Finally saw Spider-man: Into the Spider-Verse. Quite good, and I'll have to watch it again soon. Been drinking a lot of coffee, so maybe I should tune that down. Also really tempted with the new iPad mini (2019) announced yesterday. I really do like that form factor. Wonder if it'd ever get the rounded corners and FaceID in that size, or if that's it? Also got me wondering if I'm going to bother upgrading my iPhone this year, or maybe I'll just hold on to it. Maybe need a compelling reason. Might need new Airpods though, I get about an hour charge out of them, just about my commute length. Would be tempted to get an over the ear headset like a Beats model, but kind of holding off for an Apple branded one instead.
10:09 PM Friday, March 22, 2019
I've started using the iPad Pro 11-inch either without a case or with just the Smart Folio instead of always with the Smart Keyboard Folio, and it feels so much better that way. Like it feels amazing, like so super thing and light. So I swap back and forth between the two. And the magnetic attachments make it super easy. But definitely feels like I'm using it more. I think that means I'm using the phone less, so my screen time is staying constant. Going to try using Toggl for some time tracking stuff, mostly at work. Maybe I should just do it 24/7, to start tracking how much time I waste on things.
10:34 PM Monday, March 25, 2019
Forgot to mention I tried donating blood earlier this month, my usual Power Red, and I got turned away. All because I went to Coron. Apparently it's a malaria risk area of the country. If I had stayed in Manila, I could have donated. Don't think I have malaria, but something I wouldn't have thought of when planning a vacation. Not that it would have stopped us from going I guess, but I wouldn't have made the appointment if I had known. Just didn't think that I was going to a malaria risk part of the world.
11:24 AM Wednesday, March 27, 2019
Apple News+. I'm already subscribed. Not sure if I'll use it much, but I use Apple News enough. Apple Card. I'll get one. Assume it'll become the daily driver. The Amazon Prime card gets relegated to Amazon only. The Barclaycard Apple Rewards card probably gets put out to pasture. Just another backup (like the Sony Rewards card). Apple Arcade. Interesting. Not necessarily what I think was expected, which I think is good. Makes me think of Apple as a patron of the arts, in this case the video game arts. Apple TV+. I think it's similar to Arcade. Also interesting that Apple is pushing values. Overall, I find it interesting they're pushing the + moniker. Just as Google+ is getting killed.
8:01 PM Wednesday, April 3, 2019
Yeah, I'll probably be getting the Powerbeats Pro instead of the AirPods (2nd Generation). The AirPods never fit snugly in my ears. They worked well when I wore a knit cap, but not so much in the summer. They fall out too easily. So whenever I finally get tired of the battery or lack of battery life on the AirPods, I'll get the Powerbeats Pro and they come in black. So that's another bonus. And the 9 hour battery life. Another bonus. Case probably being too big for a pocket, that's a minus. Got my mom a new iPad mini (5th Generation) the other day. Didn't realize it has an actual home button still. It actually depresses when it moves. Maybe because they can't put a Taptic Engine in an iPad? That just seems so low tech. But it's thinner than the iPad mini 4 she has. Also, iOS 12.2 has a nice model name in the About section. Jackson's discovered YouTube on the Apple TV. Surprised I was able to keep them off it for this long. But jumped through a bunch of hoops to get us on YouTube Premium for the AdFree experience. First off, can't use G Suite accounts. Great. But need a Family account. So I sign in with my old regular Gmail account. Create a Family. Create a Kids account for Jackson. Try to create a Kids account for Lucy. Find out it's taken, because I created one a long time ago for her, actually before she was born. But it's not a Kids account. Fine. Add her to the family. Then I try and get a Family Premium subscription. Turns out I can't apply it to Jackson, because he's a Kids account. And my previous YouTube Premium account through iTunes was at the $9.99 price point. Through iTunes the Family Premium is $22.99. If I want to switch back to a single user it's now $15.99 through iTunes. Ugh. In the end, I just created a separate adult account for Jackson, added that to the Family, will sign up directly through YouTube so the Family account is just $17.99. Still. Annoying. But oh so worth it. Switched to a totallee iPhone X case. Feels great. Noticeably thinner than the Apple Leather case. Hung up a Metolius Simulator 3D Training Board finally. Had to get some plywood cut to order, twice because the first time was for the doorframe to the closet, but wanted to move it to the master bedroom hallway doorframe. But very cool, but wow am I not a climber at all. I wonder how long it'll take me until I can even do the beginner workout.
1:24 PM Tuesday, April 16, 2019
Finally, as of now, I am all caught up on my podcasts. I am up to date, without calling for Podcast Zero. Although I have a bunch of skipped episodes, all spoiler ones, discussing movies and TV shows I haven't seen yet. So got to catch up on watching before listening to those. But it's nice. The backlog stems from when I went to the Philippines. Didn't really listen to podcasts for those like 2 weeks, and then been playing catchup since then. Game of Thrones is back. And now only 5 episodes left. I finished up the remaining Marvel Netflix shows (Daredevil, Punisher). Slow burns but good. Binged The OA Part II over a couple of days. I really like that show. Felt new to me. Switched over to a ThunderFit ring from my titanium. Allows me to do climbing workouts on the Metolius Training Board, which are rough. I'm maybe getting 1/3 of the way through the beginner workout without help. Baby steps. And my forearms are sore all the time. Cooked up a bunch of keto goodies over the weekend. Still haven't made it a full 2 weeks. I always slip up over the weekend, either by going out, eating the kids, or reading an article about ultra premium ice cream and having to eat a bunch. Got out on the bike last Saturday and down to Lincoln Park Zoo with the family and Chris and Elliot. Also managed to be there for the PoGo Community Day, so that was my first time seeing all the people on phones and chargers. There were a lot of players. Kids on Spring Break this week. Weather seems to be trending better after the Sunday thundersnow. And started reading Annihilation, but slow going. Feels a little like homework.
10:17 PM Tuesday, April 30, 2019
Started riding my bike to work again. Feel relief when I make it past where I broke my collarbone. Feels good to be moving again. And even though it's just like my third day back riding, I already gave in and went non-keto for the day and had donuts for breakfast, and a hot dog and fries for lunch. But lots of rain forecasted and not sure if I want to have wet clothes on or near me for the day at work. Would be nice if I had a place I could hang it up (like before when I was in IT Support and had access to the server room. That was quite handy. Did a bunch of touristy things last week. Thursday was take your kids to work day, so I naturally took the day off but came in anyway to get free access to the SkyDeck. Saturday during the snowstorm, went out to the burbs checking out the Knupper's reopening, but didn't stay long because it's all outdoor gardens/nurseries. Ended up at Hawthorne Gardens, which is off Old McHenry Road, which was the route I used to take going to/from Northwestern/Woodstock. So must have gone by it so many times, but first time stopping in. Quite nice. Kids got to feed the koi. Then after lunch, went out to LEGOLAND Discovery Center Chicago by Woodfield. Kids have been super into LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part, especially all the songs. Surprisingly not that much LEGO building, but lots of playing. Did almost all the activities. My favorite part continues to be the Miniland display, which had little bits and pieces of LEGO Movie 2 spread throughout. Ended up in Woodfield killing time before dinner at Shaw's Crab House. Of course got some LEGO kits at the official LEGO Store in the mall (2x because we had to go back and get Lucy's birthday present). Also first time doing the PAB (Pick a Brick) Wall, as Lucy's currently into making her own little people, and needs joints. Definitely snowed a lot, but wasn't too bad to drive around it, and of course it was all gone by Sunday.
10:49 PM Tuesday, May 21, 2019
Got introduced to dominos over the weekend by Alejandro Rodriguez, Lucy's friend Alex's dad. We had a playdate along with Chris and Eliot over at the high school after lunch (played some kickball dads vs. kids) which turned into a playdate at our place which then turned into dominos and drinks which turned into grilling and dinner which turned into more dominos and drinks and the first use of the firepit and s'mores. Hammels came over, the kids played, it was a little chilly but overall a really good Sunday in the city. Alejandro, turns out, is a trained chef, so he manned the grill and did an amazing job. He's like Tracy: grills and gardens. But also had to get a domino's set for myself, and figured a good as time as any to get a mah jong set. Good summer games. On Friday, had a post girl scout's party at the house, good time since I actually got to hang out with the parents since Jackson could entertain himself at home. But that was a lot of hosting/socializing this weekend. Good though. Saturday got some empanadas and gelato after biking Lucy to tennis. Ended up getting dinner at Bulerias Tapas Bar. Overall just a pretty good weekend. Been getting up early to do meetings with my India team. First time one of my team members is leaving, so dealing with that this week. Also means I'll have to do my first hire. Also means I'm probably not coming close to sleeping enough, and it's pretty much every day, so I'm getting up that early on the weekends even though I don't have to. Not to mention I've already slept through a couple of them. Next step is to go to sleep earlier. Which I think means I have to get better at getting everything done during the day.
10:50 PM Wednesday, July 3, 2019
Missed a June post this year. Whoops. Back from an 8 night Disney Cruise for my mom's birthday. Cruises are fun. Beaches, pools, lots of eating, all good times. Lucy and Jackson got to spends lots of time with Luke. We were on the Disney Fantasy, smaller than the last couple of ships, or at least what I can remember, considering the last time was my honeymoon 12 years ago. Special thanks to my mom on her birthday present to herself. One especially cool thing was at the dinner on her actual birthday, my dad talked to the head waiter and put a special order in for pancit and adobo and rice, which we got, in addition to a normal dinner. Very cool. Did a cognac tasting, and tried a Macallan Quest Flight. Actually saw Toy Story 4 on Wednesday (5 days after release). But back to work. And lots to do. And no more vacation really for the rest of the year. Jackson had his last day at Prairieland Montessori on Tuesday. Starts up Blaine Summer Camp next week. Lucy's been out for a while. Trying to get back into the swing of things, but happy it's a short week. Easier to transition back in to work. Still not sleeping enough.