Archive of <December> <2023> [reverse chronological]

11:04 PM Friday, December 1, 2023
Crazy only 30 days left in the year. Had a checkup and labwork done at One Medical, then picked up Beacon Donuts after. Felt like deja vu getting it, but no previous Swarm checkins. Anyway, they had 11 different types, and I couldn’t limit myself, so I just got them all. Figure I’ll treat today as my cheat day. Worked out because we got Sal’s Trattoria for dinner too. Wet day, made driving annoying, until it stopped raining. Tracy’s trying out Kindles, the newest Paperwhite and Oasis (didn’t realize the current Oasis is still micro-USB). We’ll see which one she picks. Wouldn’t have had to order/return if Amazon Books was still open on Southport.
9:46 PM Sunday, December 3, 2023
Missed an update last night, went out and saw some stand up. Saw Brad Williams at The Den. Dinner at Antique Taco which was really good. After dinner drinks at Tuco & Blondie and a nightcap at home. So yeah, night out. Took Jackson’s to week 1 of i9 Sports basketball at Bell. Interesting. Took Lucy today for her swim meet. Took some photos and actually got to time her 500.
9:39 PM Monday, December 4, 2023
Ordered another pair of GoRuck shoes, this time the GORUCK Rough Runners, for actually running. Waiting on them to show up before I go running again. Also figure that gives my left calf/achilles time to heal. Gotta get back on a schedule. Saw someone who wanted to walk 500 miles in a year using a treadmill desk. Wonder if that's actually doable for me? Maybe I should try for 2024. Cause that's right around the corner. Oh, after getting a haircut, my Blaine trucker hat fits great. Doesn't feel too small. So that's cool.
9:47 PM Tuesday, December 5, 2023
Brought the treadmill out again and did some walk and work today. Also worked on setting up the old MacBook Air Windows 10 for fun. Might be able to bring that out and about for work, instead of my actual work provided laptop, so one 3 years old instead of 10. Still works fine for me though. I just checked and my MacBook Air link says the last one lasted 10 years and that this one should last 10 as well, just 7 months before they announced the Apple Silicon transition. Funny that. Still not sure when I’ll get an Apple Silicon Mac in the house. Have to specify Mac, because I’m currently typing this on an M1 iPad Pro which could probably run macOS no problem. Back to the treadmill, doesn’t seem like 500 miles would be doable. At least I don’t think so. I guess I can try. Can’t hurt to try.
9:16 PM Wednesday, December 6, 2023
Worked from the kitchen today. Started on the iPad Pro and moved to the MacBook Air. Finally got the MacBook Air mostly setup for work stuff. Even figured out how to get runas to work with saved credentials, so I can use SMSS with integrated authentication. Getting decent battery life, so might think about doing some remote work from home (funny). Ate dinner, although fast food tonight. Had a Popeye’s chicken sandwich (wings again for Lucy) and then a McRib (Jackson wanted a Big Mac). That’s too bad because I was trending down on weight, but I’ve also been starving.
10:35 PM Thursday, December 7, 2023
Tried making Bo Ssam. Not sure if I used or had too much sugar in the marinade, or I cooked it wrong, but definitely wasn’t as good as I hoped it would be. I did make it over to Dom’s Kitchen & Market to pick up some stuff, and produce is just so much better than Jewel, although I didn’t try Mariano’s. Maybe I’ll head over to Dom’s to work remotely tomorrow. Finished up Raiders of the Lost Ark and started Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. Just backgrounding them for now. They definitely show their age.
11:56 PM Friday, December 8, 2023
Tracy got us a Christmas tree and outdoor decorations. I gotta get holiday decorations down from the garage attic and put the tree up. Kind of weird considering it’s quite warm for December. Also went to the Winter Wonderland at Gallagher Way tonight. Gina and Kaye got a chalet, which was nice. Turns out the kids like ice skating. Funny, I think Jackson’s at the same age as when Lucy liked ice skating too. Go figure. I think I’ve been pocket dialing with my phone. Not sure how it’s happening, but weird to see so many outgoing calls in my call list. And I noticed the yesterday that Dip and Sip closed over on Roscoe. Supposedly they’re just moving up to Glenview, but still, sad.
9:23 PM Saturday, December 9, 2023
Tracy did some outdoor holiday decorations. I got the tree up and in the stand and watered. Gotta put lights on it and start decorating tomorrow. Jackson had another i9 basketball game today. Played a bunch of 3rd graders this time. They won. Was tempted to have a fire in the backyard tonight, but got too cold. Otherwise felt like the day went by pretty quick.
11:01 PM Sunday, December 10, 2023
Indoor Christmas decorations are up, Christmas Tree lighting schedule is in. Not sure if I’ll put lights outdoors or not. I guess I should check to see if the HomeKit outdoor plugs still work. Found out I lost a drive for my Plex Server. Had to order restore drives from BackBlaze, That’s gonna take a while to restore once I get those. I think it went bad when it filled up. Whoops. In case anyone’s wondering why a bunch of media isn’t available via Plex, that’s why. Started 7 minute workouts today. Ended up doing it twice, once in the morning by myself, and again before dinner with the kids. Turns out with rest cycles it’s like 8 1/2 minutes total. Gets the heartbeat up. Otherwise a nice lazy Sunday. I’ve also started Knotwords classic in addition to the mini. I might drop the mini, since I got my year streak completed. Also I’ve started Duolingo again. So I’ve got a bunch of stuff now to try and keep the brain sharp. There was another one that had a listening game, that I never did well on, I should track that one down.
10:31 PM Monday, December 11, 2023
Did another 7 minute workout today. So that’s officially 2 days in a row. Back to work in my basement home office. Updated all my devices to iOS 17.2, iPadOS 17.2, watchOS 10.2, macOS 14.2, and tvOS 17.2. Went to 3 different, kind of, grocery stores. Walked to local Jewel this afternoon, then after dropping Jackson off at basketball practice, had to get stuff for Jackson’s packable lunch for his field trip tomorrow, so tried Cermak Produce, which as the name implies had great produce and lots of Mexican consumables, but not a big box grocery store, so ended up going to another Jewel I’d never been to on Kedzie and got stuff there. Also noticed there’s a Chik-Fil-A right there as well. I guess I never go out that way anymore, so no idea what’s new.
11:35 PM Tuesday, December 12, 2023
Instead of my usual Tous Les Jours visit after my nephrologist check up, I tried Mano Modern Cafe. It was busy, at least all the tables were taken. More than half had single people at 2 tops on laptops, so maybe not so good? Anyway, food was pretty good, although I expected more Spam and the pandesal was more biscuity than roll like. The Ube latte was pretty good, not too sweet. Anyway, got another 7 minute workout in with Jackson before dinner. Doing a whiskey survey type thing through ReceiptHog. Go figure it’s about Sagamore Spirits. I’ve only had 1 bottle of theirs, the Double Oaked, but haven’t wanted to get another. Had to drive Lucy and Matilda to swim practice, and traffic wasn’t that bad at all today. Unlike yesterday, when there must have been something going on at the Lincoln Park Zoo because that parking lot was backed up with people leaving when I picked Lucy up.
10:42 PM Wednesday, December 13, 2023
Back on team Panthers for NBGC prep basketball. We got a couple familiar faces besides all the Blaine kids. And we come out with a win (as far as I know). First time watching the game at Revere Park Gym. We were up top, watching from the balcony, overlooking the court through a chain link fence. Interesting. A little annoying, especially since I was trying to take pictures. I drove the kids around today, so had to take them out of soccer early to make it to the basketball game on time. Not sure going forward how many more Wednesday basketball games they’ll make, as the rest of them are at the exact same time as soccer practice.
11:19 PM Thursday, December 14, 2023
Somehow managed to scratch up the frame on my month old iPhone 15 Pro. Not sure how, but pretty annoying. So I put the Apple Silicone Case in Clay on it. Too bad, cause the phone looked good caseless. Took a long walk down to Whole Foods to get some fish. Also wanted to get some white grapefruit, because apparently it’s the season. Which means it’s Brown Derby season. Went ice skating with Jackson this afternoon. Fun to get out on the ice. Grabbed some food at the Christkindlemarket on the way home. After dropping Lucy and Matilda off at last swim practice until the new year, stopped by Binny’s. Wasn’t planning on getting anything but walked out with a Buffalo Trace Kosher Wheat Recipe and a Still Austin Blue Corn Bourbon Whiskey Bottled In Bond and some Tiki bitters.
10:00 PM Friday, December 15, 2023
Got 2 of 3 restore drives from Backblaze today, so started the restore process. Putting them on the OWC Thunderbay 8 - 2A drive. Holding off on reinitializing the Elements 5 drive until I have everything restored, in case I have to try and pull something off it. Slow going though. Ran some errands today, had to get a matching Apple Sports Band in Clay for the silicone case on the iPhone. Always gotta match. Wonder if the next color updates will have something closer to the natural titanium. Another thing I realized sbout the official Apple Silicone Case? It’s got additional magnets for MagSafe in it. Made a couple Amazon returns (wasn’t as simple as just dropping them off at Whole Foods, I actually had to package them, had to label one that went to an Amazon Locker location and the other had to go to a UPS Store. Think that’ll be the only returns until after the new year I think.
9:24 PM Saturday, December 16, 2023
Nothing like a rainy December day. Only had Jackson’s basketball game today. Otherwise just chilled at home. Started my 2nd restore of my crashed Plex drive. The 3rd is still building at Backblaze, which makes sense. It was twice as big as the other 2 that already shipped. So far, A+ experience with Backblaze. Was supposed to put up outdoor lights, but rained, and I was lazy.
8:07 PM Sunday, December 17, 2023
Got Jackson into Ten Pound Cake for the spring quarter. Went 3 for 3 for enrollment this year. Pretty lazy Sunday. Did manage to get out and hang outdoor lights. Started using the Armagnac in the snifter. Works pretty well as a whiskey substitute.
9:12 PM Monday, December 18, 2023
Last Backblaze restore drive shipped. After I get that copied over I can reformat the drive that went bad and maybe start using it again? I think I just have to be more proactive and make sure I’m not running low on space. Might be time to try and spin up Influx and Grafana and Telegraf for my home devices. Dropped off and picked up Lucy early from school today (exam schedule and she had Academy last period). Did a 48 hour sous-vide beef short rib and pork short rib and a 24 hour pork belly for Tracy that finally finished up today. Had the ribs today, and very tender, but I thought the pork had much better flavor.
8:34 PM Tuesday, December 19, 2023
It’s that in-between time of the year. Just kind of treading water waiting for vacation to start, but kids and work. Working my way through Obliterated. It’s been sitting in my Plex Continue Watching line for a while. Backup drive is supposed to show up tomorrow. Still shuffling things around to make sure all the drives have enough free space. Got to make some things for various weekend parties and get togethers. Need to put together a shopping list.
11:43 PM Wednesday, December 20, 2023
Got my third and final restore drive from Backblaze and started copying stuff back. After that I’ll have to figure out how to send them back for a refund. And maybe think about another drive for the OWC Thunderbay 8 in the new year. Had to go out and get some supplies for the drinks and cocktails to be made for this weekend’s festivities. Jackson chose playing a basketball game vs. soccer practice today. They ended up winning, 21-8. And now no more games until January. And now I think it might be time to get a basketball hoop for the garage. Maybe this spring.
11:12 PM Thursday, December 21, 2023
Finished up the Backblaze restores. Tried reformatting the Western Digital Elements HD that went bad, and it’s not. So I guess I’ll need a new drive sooner rather than later. Kids are now official off for winter break. Feels like winter break. Doesn’t necessarily feel like Christmas though (weather has something to do with it, 40°, no snow). Finished off Obliterated and decided to start watching Reacher Season 1 before starting Season 2. Lucy’s holding off on watching Percy Jackson and the Olympians until all of Season 1 is available. So I guess we’re not watching until February.
10:53 PM Saturday, December 23, 2023
Late night last night, no update. Adult party, no kids, so out until 2am. No exercise today. Had to get up and take Jackson for a haircut. Then drove out to Oakbrook for brunch with Mike and Amy and family and the in-laws. Then back in to the city, a nap, and then dinner party at the Wang’s with the Spalding’s. So running on empty right now. Got another Christmas Eve out at Mike’s tomorrow, then a quiet rest of the week before vacation.
9:33 PM Sunday, December 24, 2023
Slept in this morning, then out in the ‘burbs. Stopped by Jolibee downtown to pick up some food on the way out to Mike’s. It’s the closest one on the way. Ate some food, watched some football, took a nap. Drive out and back wasn’t bad. Otherwise a nice quiet day.
9:35 PM Monday, December 25, 2023
Got to sleep in again. On Christmas Day no less. Opened presents. Had to get milk, but only place open close was CVS. Ended up going for a run. First one in a while. Used my new GORUCK Rough Runners. Took about 15 minutes to break in, but felt pretty good at the end. Didn’t do a full 30 minute run, but did a handful of sprints at the end. Facetimed with Al and Bo, using continuity camera on the iPhone and the Apple TV (moved it up to the family room for it). Worked well, but probably should have put the iPhone on a tripod closer to the couch for a better view. Also tried playing with Facetime Reaction effects, but couldn’t reliable get them to trigger.
10:30 PM Tuesday, December 26, 2023
Was thinking I’d do some work today, and got up and everything, but wasn’t quite ready yet. So gotta cram a bunch of stuff in the next three days before vacation. Gotta be super productive. Rebooted access points this morning because my iPad Pro wasn’t connecting, but turns out my Express VPN was somehow set to always be connected and was causing problems. But it looked like there were some WiFi issues anyway, even though it was only 8 days since the last restart. Would be nice if I eventually figured out a restart schedule for those. I think I like flannels, so might have to get more of those. And turned Downtime back on for myself. Need it again.
10:02 PM Wednesday, December 27, 2023
Worked, best of my ability, trying to get back into it. Slow going though. Was going to fast, or at least try, but didn’t make it. Just had a bunch of leftovers for lunch and dinner. Did manage to do a 7 Minute Workout though. Started watching Mrs. Davis. Amazing. I’m always late to the good stuff. But only 2 episodes in and it’s already among my favorites. Not sure I’ll finish before vacation, or I’ll have to download it via Plex. Been drinking eggnogs lately. ‘Tis the season and all. Also we had rum and eggs to get rid of.
10:48 PM Thursday, December 28, 2023
Yeah, lots to do, a day left to do it. Snuck in laundry today. Still trying to get work done. Got a haircut. Funny story there, this morning I made an appointment with whoever was available today. When I go, I think she somehow recognized me or asked if my wife was Tracy. Turns out she was Tracy’s stylist too. And she’s now my new stylist too. Did get another 7 Minute Workout in. No runs though, and probably won’t get any in. Not sure if I’ll bring running stuff on vacation. Had to bake Lucy’s gingerbread cookies. And absolutely loving Mrs. Davis.
11:00 PM Friday, December 29, 2023
Think we’re all set for vacation. Not sure I’ll be able to keep this updating while I’m gone, but I”ll try. Trying a couple different things on this trip; using Packing Cubes from Peak Design, using higher capacity USB-C charging stations instead of the old 10 port USB-A one that’s served us well, and everyone get’s their own suitcase. Didn’t get a chance to finish off Mrs. Davis today, but downloaded the last 2 episodes and a handful of other shows via Plex to my iPad mini. Not sure if or when I’ll get around to watching those, but we’ll see. Early start tomorrow. Should be interesting. Hopefully I’ll have time to do a retrospective tomorrow for the year.
7:49 PM Saturday, December 30, 2023
Up early, travel day. Flew to Miami via Baltimore. Slept on the plane some. Still need to catch up. Hoping I do on vacation. Liked having AirTags on the suitcases. Comforting to know that bags made it before even getting to the baggage claim. Baltimore airport was the nicest of the three and it was even under a little construction. They had Auntie Anne’s and Cinnabons, so yeah, winner. Slight delays, nothing too bad. Pretty straightforward. Cool in Miami, so no pool time at the hotel. Gotta make a Target run in the morning before embarking. Dinner at Calista Taverna was great. Ate outside, so pretty cool, but still, really nice area. Food was really good. Now, early bedtime.
Archive of <December> <2023> [reverse chronological]