Going to try and bring this blog back to where I started it; like Twitter. Finally watched Step Brothers. Exactly what I expected. New Years Dinner with the family at Jaleo, then made reservations and had a 2nd dinner at La Pizza & La Pasta at Eataly.
Rather simple New Years Day (Observed). Got back to my Apple Fitness+ 10 minute core workout, and Gravity Push-Up Workout. Took a couple naps. Finished up Artemis. Nice fast read. Moving on to Project Hail Mary. Sous-vide a ribeye for dinner. Worked my way through the rest of NYE champagne in cocktails. Back to work tomorrow.
Was contemplating setting up a Mastodon server, abando.social, so I could at least have an account. But it’s been so long being off Twitter, I’m not sure if I want to go through the effort. Maybe I will, just to say I have. I am slightly curious to see if it’s like it was during my early days on Twitter.
Got Tsaocaa for dinner, picking it up when I got Lucy from swim practice. I’ve forgotten the sauces we didn’t like, so just got their golden original and the cheesling. So good. Felt like I slept well and a good amount last night, so surprised when I took an hour nap this afternoon. Trying again to cut out coffee.
Just got some molds for ice spears. I know it’s cheating, and they aren’t clear, but I did the directional freezing technique to make clear ice (large cubes and spears) and it was just way too much hassle, especially to just filling molds and placing them in the freezer. Works well enough for me. In other news, went to get mealworms for Banana but came back with super worms. Will go back tomorrow and get the right ones.
Jackson’s been asking to make water you can play with, so I finally ordered a spherification kit from Modernist Pantry. Excited to see what I can make, like 30 years after it was first popularized. Who knows, maybe I’ll start making some foams next? Made hard boiled eggs yesterday, I thought for myself, but then Jackson ended up eating all but one. Also decided to limit Amazon purchases to once a week, instead of whenever I think of something. Also going to try limiting delivery to a single day, which is more work than it probably should be. Lucy’s got a swim meet this weekend, excited to see how she does in the 1000 Free she’s doing for the first time. Jackson’s got his first game of the winter season. Also got to take the Christmas decorations down.
I got a pair of Merrell Nova 2 Mid Waterproof to replace my Merrell Atmost Mid Waterproof which started falling apart (like plastic pieces falling apart on the inside. These are my winter waterproof shoes, and the Nove 2 Mids look like sneakers, but they’re waterproof. Haven’t had to test that feature yet, but they’re plenty warm for the winter. I also ended up getting a pair of Merrell Moab 2 Mid Waterproof as a true replacement hiking boot, but not sure how much use those will get. Jackson had a super early soccer game this morning which they won. I was off on doing the in-game reporting in TeamSnap. Watched the Wolverhampton Wanderers F.C. FA Cup game (it’s the random Premier Club team I’ve decided to follow (mostly because of their name/logo. Noticed that Wrexham A.F.C. is making a surprise run at the FA Cup. Guess that means I should watch Welcome to Wrexham. Gotta love a cinderella story.
Lucy swam the 1000 yard freestyle event at her meet this weekend (Saturday evening session). First time, and she qualified for regionals in it. First in her age group (of which there were 3) but more impressively 4th overall (from boys and girls 11-17). So that’s very cool. Turns out they had electrical problems today so the 2nd day of the meet was cancelled. But then her and Alex decided to do a self practice session at the gym anyway today. Guess she likes swimming. Christmas decorations are down and put away in the garage attic. Opens up some more space in the storage room downstairs. Leaves the parlor very empty until Tracy puts her plants back in. Went to the O’Tooles Solstice party last night. Good times as always. Impressed that Jackson wasn’t asking to leave earlier. The earliest he asked was around 9:30, but then he decided he wanted to stay longer so we didn’t leave for another hour. First time drinking beer in a while (since I’m usually a cocktail/whiskey person), my body was not happy with that choice. Kids go back to school tomorrow. Lucy starts her orthodontics tomorrow. Back to the grind.
Made it back to Movement Wrigleyville today. Apparently, according to Swarm, haven’t been there for 3 weeks. And it showed. Forearms got tired pretty quickly. Also, Kava app didn’t seem to retain the sends I put in. Kind of annoying. Also was there early enough that it was nice and empty. Was also surprised at my footwork today. Was kind of nice. Jackson had his basketball game tonight. They got killed. Other team had a really good player, another tall player, and a bunch of shooters. Tracy’s looking for a Spring Break destination for us.
Been a long time since I’ve since daily doses like these in the CMS for the site. Today was Amazon Delivery Day for me. Annoyed they can’t put everything in a single or at least consolidate some of the boxes, I got 3 boxes, and 2 packaging envelopes. But understood that they’re probably coming for various warehouses throughout the country. Already got stuff in the cart for the next order, basically a bunch of Sonic Comic Books for Jackson. Will be nice when/if he starts reading bigger chapter books. Wonder if he’ll go down the Rick Riordan rabbit hole when they read Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief later this year. That’s a good 5 books that series, then another 5 in the Heroes of Olympus, then the Kane Chronicles and Magnus Chase series. Speaking of reading, I’ve started Ancillary Justice. Hoping I can keep my reading up throughout the year. I think I started strong last year too.
I’ve started keeping one of each type of cocktail glass in the freezer, ready to go. Actually seems like it’s making a difference. And yeah, I’m back on the cocktail kick, instead of whiskey. Had one called First Lady from The Educated Barfly that was very tasty, even though I haven’t tried it with fresh basil. I opted for a basil simple syrup I’ve had, and it was quite good. Doesn’t look good since it has matcha in it, but still, delicious. I got to use the new ice spears for this one in a collins glass. Had a Naked & Famous last night because I just got some Del Maguey Vida Mezcal, and it was also delicious. The chilled coupe I think helped this one too. And the other week I got grapes from Jewel specifically so I could have an Enzoni. Makes me wonder what other cocktails you could replace a sweet vermouth with muddled grapes as well. Oh, and how could I forget the Jungle Bird from earlier this week. So good I had another one. Quite tasty. Which I guess is a Tiki drink.
Was looking back to see when I did the Paganello/Philippines trips almost back to back, and didn’t have any records here, or in my Memex or Musings. Had to dig into my personal journal in Day One to get confirmation it was in 2000, and actually forgot that we also went to Jim Schanz’s wedding in between. So that March/April was like Philippines for a week, then back for a week, then a weekend in Florida, then a week or so, then a long weekend in Italy. Those were the days. Young, dumb, with almost zero responsibilities. The following year that time was multiple Vegas trips with friends, then with family, then an Spring Break Reunion frisbee tourney in Florida. Definitely seemed like travel came in spurts. Didn’t do a good job spreading it around the year. Watched Jackson’s Hip Hop class performance that got delayed from the snowstorm before Christmas break. That was fun. Too bad he doesn’t want to keep it up.
Friday the 13th. Can’t say I’ve ever had superstitions I watched out for. Or lucky charms I kept around or certain behaviors or articles of clothing that I thought would affect my performance or those of the team’s I might be rooting for. Did some laundry, tried getting my wool cycling caps cleaner. I realized as I grow my hair out, that I’ll mostly likely need to start wearing caps to keep my hair in check. Also went ahead and ordered an Anders Erickson dad cap. Coudln’t think kof a sports time I should get a hat for. I don’t think I like the Numerator cap, Makes me wonder if I have a Northwestern Ultimate hat somewhere, that I didn’t cut down into a visor.
Went to Jackson’s soccer game this morning, even though he slept over at Hudson’s with Serafina last night. Jackson’s team lost 0-4. Did not play well. Jackson didn’t play well. He went back to their house after the game with plans to meet up for lunch. I drove back home (Lucy and Tracy were at the gym), so I ended up walking down there. Nice day, and I need the exercise. Had The Crepe Shop for lunch, the Lox, which was delicious. Also a cortado, which was served in a Gibraltar glass. That was cool. Lucy and Jackson are sleeping over at the grandparents, so Tracy and I are headed out to Roister for dinner. Think this counts as my birthday dinner.
Finished up The White Lotus Season 2. Wonder where Season 3 is going to be set. Floriday? Caribbean? Costa Rica? France? Started watching Halo. Not the best idea considering I just started Ancillary Justice as well. Probably going to finish it up today, so now need to find a nice palate cleaner of a show. Put a bunch of shows on my Plex watchlist, and I’ve got a lot to catch up on. Also just found a Plex version of Spotify’s Wrapped yearly review. So for my users, expect that sometime soon. Dinner last night was pretty good. Had a hearth reservation, so bar type seating with a nice view of the kitchen. Probably end up doing some work tomorrow even though I think I have the day off, but I do have a meeting scheduled.
As my palate cleanser I’ve started watching Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan from the beginning (even though only Season 3 is new to me). Can still get kind of intense, but “grounded” in the real world. Driving my parents to the airport tomorrow. Hopefully early enough that traffic’s not bad coming back in. Rained today, a little unexpected for the middle of January. I saw a couple fat squirrels chasing each other around a tree today. I’m sure they weren’t expecting this weather either. Had an Amaretto Sour last night. Really really good. Had a little bourbon in it. Wouldn’t have expected it, but it was quite tasty. Hair’s actually long enough to put it into a tiny little top knot. I’m on my way. Got a drawer for my desk at home. It’s pretty nice, fits all the stuff I want to get off my desk, but it’s pretty tall. I had to adjust the desk height so I wouldn’t run into it with my leg. I think that has the added benefit of making me have better posture at my desk. Hopefully it doesn’t annoy me too much.
Drove my parents to the airport this morning. Never really go to O’Hare at 6:30 in the morning on a weekday, so the amount of traffic was surprising to me. Managed to get out and back in a little over an hour. So way less than expected. My turn to drive the Northwind kids to and from practice today. Took a little bit longer to get the kids since we’re in the middle of the two. Only 2 minutes or so late to practice. Bought my first YouTuber merch for myself, an Anders Erickson Dad Hat. Fits well, so probably going to be the hat I’ll continue wearing while my hair grows out. Although I realize now that I might want a white hat for when the sun’s shining down. Also, I’m used to cycling caps, so the brim (while normal sized) seems huge to me.
Just realized my left AirPods Pro isn’t charging when placed in the case, unless I play with placement, slightly twisting it. Not sure if this is just a way to get me to buy the new version. Never mind. I just looked it up, cleaned it out and adjusted the contacts, and it’s charging. Oh well. Weather seems off. Warm and lots of rain today. Not mid January weather that’s for sure. Another pretty good workout at Movement Wrigleyville. Treating my climbing sessions more for workouts than climbing skill progression. I’ll take what I can get, for the first 15 minutes, then it’s about raising the heart rate.
Not sure how long ago it failed, but had a drive go bad on my Drobo 5D. Good that it was only 1 and I didn’t lose the whole volume, but nice that it was just a drop in replacement with one of my spares. At the same time, I was almost hoping I’d lost it, because I’m over the Drobos. I’m fine with the plain external hard drives I’ve got, with BackBlaze backups, but have too much to do any onsite backup. Not sure if the next step is to try and consolidate, which means I’d need around 104 TB to mirror my current setup, but I’m going to need headroom. I’ve got 5 TB runway, so not pressing. Planned on doing my fake bike commute to work today, but had to have a couple meetings instead. So I’ll take a break after the next couple of meetings for some exercise.
Who knew regular exercise could lower high blood pressure? Yeah, actual working out with an elevated heart rate actually lowers my blood pressure. It’s only been like a week, but almost immediate results. Kind of nice. Although riding my Miyata 610 makes me miss my Raleigh Carbon Clubman. It was almost the perfect bike for me. Carbon frame, nice and light, color matched factory full coverage fenders. I just needed better rack mounts to have been perfect, but oh well. Wonder if my indoor riding will bring back my outdoor riding desire.
Happy early Chinese Lunar New Year! Headed out to a dinner at one of Lucy’s swim teammates to celebrate. Didn’t make a cocktail, but I did look one up, the Bunny Money, which sounds good, but I didn’t have a chance today to get some Kikori whiskey or all the juices that go into it. Maybe tomorrow or later this week. This whiskey itself sounds pretty good, so don’t feel guilty about getting a bottle of it. Jackson had another early soccer game which they lost. They scored early on a PK but no real shots on goal after that. No real chances. Lucy had a distance meet as well, getting 1st place finishes in the 200 breast, 500 free, and 400 IM. Pretty cool. Jackson’s got a birthday party and a sleepover tonight, so that worked out well logistically.
Jackson managed to make his first basket today on his basketball team. Granted the team they were playing against wasn’t that good, but yeah, finally scored. Still waiting on his first goal in soccer. Not sure if that’s ever going to happen. Surprised myself by actually continuing to exercise on the weekend, with another indoor bike ride and core and pushup workouts yesterday and today. Usually I take the weekends off, but actually felt good to keep it up. Woke up to snow this morning. Didn’t stick, but still, looked nice, like it was winter or something.
Decided to stop listening to and supporting via Patreon the Do By Friday podcast. Just got a little too annoying, and figured I’m not gaining much by listening. So I’m really just now down to Daring Fireball, Reconcilable Differences, Accidental Tech Podcast, Upgrade+ and Top Four. That’s not many at all. Since I don’t commute by public transportation for the last couple of years, my listening definitely dropped. I think that’s when I stopped all The Ringer podcasts, and also when they went behind the Spotify appwall (I only use Overcast to listen). So now I’m only really listening while walking to and from Movement Wrigleyville, any other walks in the neighborhood, or in car rides after dropping kids off at practices or before picking them up. Also, had some issues with my Meross smart devices dropping off the network and being unresponsive in HomeKit. Frustrating. Once Matter devices come out I wonder how many I’ve going to buy as replacements for existing devices.
Used to be the only way to get Magic Trackpad 2 abilities on Windows was to use Magic Trackpad Utilities. But found out today, when swapping out a PC keyboard and mouse for a Magic Keyboard and Trackpad, that there’s a new option available that turns it into a Windows Precision Trackpad. So that’s pretty cool. Don’t remember how long it’s been since I last checked on the possible options for it, but still cool that there’s new options available. Hari’s getting long enough to have to put conditioner in. Jackson’s definitely following in the Abando footsteps: in his basketball game yesterday Coach Matt was giving him defensive assignments (of the best player on the other team). So that’s pretty cool. Wonder if Jackson will keep playing though. Started up the 20 minutes Apple Fitness+ core workouts. The first couple of workouts don’t seem that hard. Wondering if they’re going to ramp up. And there’s definitely not as many, so not sure what I’m going to do after I complete them all. Got another heart rate monitor to help track cycling workouts. Impressive that it pairs so easily without any on/off/pair buttons to worry about. It’s like how these accessories should be.
Completely lost my home network configuration. Forgot why I went into the data center, and noticed my UniFi Cloud Key Gen2 Plus was blinking white. I couldn’t connect via the apps or the website to the Network app on the controller, although the Protect App was up. Reboots didn’t seem to work. Found out how to boot to recovery mode. Disk check was fine. Tried booting without a hard drive, but that didn’t work. Found another spare 2.5” drive and it booted right up. However, it didn’t see any of the network devices. I have a feeling something was tied to the HD identifier or something, so I ended up doing a factory reset. And the backups I though I was doing? I think it was just on device, in the network app itself. I wonder if it’s still available somewhere on the HD, assuming it’s still good. I’ll need to see if that’s a better option. Otherwise, I factory reset and adopted all the UniFi devices so at least the family could get back online. And now I have to try and remember all the settings, dhcp reservations, port forwards and everything. I’m guessing I won’t remember all of it. Might be a little screwed.
You know what I’d like? Some sort of way to compare regional pricing on whiskey. I’d love to know if any of the places I might be traveling to will have better allocations or pricing on whiskey that’s just way too expensive here in Chicago. Like where can I find Eagle Rare 10 Year Bourbon for under $100 near Chicago? How long do I have to wait for the bourbon bubble to burst? Or how long do I have to wait for the effects of the Buffalo Trace Distillery Expansion to reach me? Another 10 years from now? That’s when I’ll be able to get Eagel Rare for MSRP? Ugh, Alcohol purchasing is so weird now that I know a little about it. Got a bottle of Kikori Whiskey today to make some Bunny Money Rabbit Lunar New Year cocktails. Got to get a bunch of different juices to make that one though. By itself, the Kikori is pretty good. For some reason I’ve had a hankering for grapes. The green seedless ones I’ve been getting from Jewel have been super firm and crisp. They’re really nice. Still working through rebuilding my home network. Most of it seems to be working enough that I’m not pressed to fix the rest.
Finally got Serafina’s gift of Beat Saber redeemed. Slightly annoyed that the gift purchases expire, and that there’s no straightforward way to redeem a gift in the Meta Quest app. Finally figured out that for any game, you can use the 3 dots menu to get to Buy as a Gift or Redeem a Gift. Anyway, good to know. Definitely have to figure out how to get all 3 of them (Hudson, Serafina and Jackson) in a game at the same time, since they all have one. Wondering if I’m exercising too much. I was barely able to climb today. Didn’t last that long, couldn’t really advance in any of my projects. It’s been over a year and I haven’t progressed that much. At least the 4x4s I end with is a good workout. And I feel lit, so I am getting some sort of exercise out of it. Wanted to get the apple and carrot juices I needed for the Bunny Money cocktail, but didn’t have any at Jewel today on the way back from the climbing gym. Also didn’t get the gyro I wanted (just too late to walk over to Mangi’s Fast Foods). Also means I didn’t get over to Trader Joe’s to get more cookie butter. Early start tomorrow since Jackson has a 7am soccer game. But at least he’s on a bye week for basketball.
Snowed today. Feels like winter. Started watching Invincible today. Also started Welcome to Flatch last night after finishing Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan Season 3. Up super early for Jackson’s 7am soccer game. They lost, 2-4. Heard Premier 2 won 8-0. Makes me feel bad for Jackson. Makes me miss watching winning soccer, although I wonder if it’s good soccer. Still working though remaining network issues. Currently trying to rebuild the pi-holes.
Finally got the Pi-holes setup again. Went with imaging the SD cards with the newest build. Much easier than the multiple release upgrades I was trying. If I had a cheap way to upgrade to SSDs instead of SDs, I’d try and do it, but would have to do more research. Not sure what else I’d use the Raspberry Pis for though. Realized I also had old configs from the Edge Router Lite or original USG Cloud Key, so I think I can recreate any missing port forwards. Didn’t realize the kids have Friday off. And can’t believe it’s already February in a couple of days. Crazy.
Been feeling more tired lately, after increasing my exercising. I even took the weekend off to try and recover, but my bouldering session this morning was pretty short. Not sure if the move up to a 20 minute Apple Fitness+ core workout is the issue, doesn’t feel like it is. If anything it seems like 2x10 minute workouts put together back to back. Anyway, I’ll keep chugging along. Finally setup the port forwards on the network, so I think that’s everything back to the way it was, and mostly documented too, so if I ever lose it again, I can recreate it quicker. And Cloud backups are enabled and I just created a new one. Finished off Invincible last night. Not sure if I read the comics or not, seemed familiar. Started The Queen’s Gambit today. Also watched some more Welcome to Flatch. I like it. Hair’s getting long enough where I can start feeling it on my neck. Although that may just be because of how short I’ve kept it for decades now.
Board party this weekend. You remember that TikTok trend about butter boards? And then the variations on that theme? Six families theme party. And I’m trying to come up with a batched cocktail to bring. Not sure what cocktail could be related to boards. Was thinking something wood related? Smokey? But might be leaning toward just finding something I have an almost full bottle of and finding a cocktail to use that. I am thoroughly enjoying The Queen’s Gambit. Wondering if I should read the book after finishing the series. And makes sense that February starts tomorrow, since it’s freezing now. Seems about right for Chicago.