7:54 AM Monday, March 22, 2021
Found out last week I'm eligible to get the Covid-19 vaccine in the most recent phase (1B+). So I've started checking availability sites. Haven't quite escalated to checking pharmacies or suburban locations. But apparently I have an underlying condition, so that's kinda cool? Weather's been warming up, so actually been spending time outside. Back to stooping as well. At least when it's sunny. Not sure if I'm expecting another snow before summer or not. Kids are in hybrid learning. Different. Thursdays and Fridays are so quiet now. It's crazy. Hoping it's good for them to be around other kids in school again. I think Jackson's doing well with it. Haven't made a cake in a month or so. Got a couple coming up though. Doing pretty well keeping up with my home workouts. And staying hydrated. Next health issue to tackle is my irregular sleep schedule. Need to get more regular with that. Did get a cargo box, a Rhino-Rack Zenith Cargo Box 400L. Easy enough to get on and off. Need to find a storage place in the garage for that one though. Trying to burn through the rest of my wood pellets from the winter. I didn't keep them airtight, so they aren't the best anymore. But still keep things warm I think. Last week for HelloFresh. Going to try out Blue Apron next. Did another Power Red blood donation, still no Covid-19 antibodies. I failed to complete the February 2021 Photoblogging Challenge. So I'm trying to complete it on my own. Got to reach April 8 to make it.
9:56 PM Sunday, February 28, 2021
Big news is the kids are going back to school this week. When they go back on Thursday, it'll have been roughly 11 months, 2 weeks, and 4 days since they last were physically in school. It's hybrid learning, with half of those that opted in go on Mondays and Tuesdays, and the others go in on Thursdays and Fridays. Wednesdays everyone is remote. Non in school days are remote from 8-11am and asynchronous (on their own) in the afternoons (like last spring). With any huge changeover like this, I'm sure this first week is going to be a little bit, or probably a whole lot crazy. I have no idea what Thursdays and Fridays will be like without kids in the house. It's gonna be so quiet. Another month has come and gone. Snow piled up and is gradually leaving. Makes me happy because cars should be closer to the curb now and make driving not so difficult. Diet's been a little all over the place. Lost a few pounds when I tried fasting for a day or two. Of course, I'm starting to gain some of it back, so going to try it again. The Pancake Layer Cake I made for my birthday was ok. It's different. Don't have to make it again. Made a White Layer Cake for Sonya. I think it was pretty good. Found a use for all those egg whites leftover from the pancake cake. Been keeping up with the pyramid workout and plank workout. Feeling better. Tried not spending as much money this month, mostly succeeded. I think. Planning on getting a cargo box for the roof relatively soon. Hopefully they'll be in stock still and the run on them hasn't started yet.
7:41 AM Saturday, January 30, 2021
Keep on, keeping on. Typing this from the iMac (Retina 5K, 27-inch, 2020), booted into macOS for the first time in a. while. It's a really nice machine. It continues to just stay booted in Windows though. So much gaming available. Although the Xbox Series Wireless controller issues are annoying, and that seems to be Windows's fault, which makes me tempted to get a console, since those should at least be more reliable? Finally getting some snow up in here. Looks like winter. Again, my proposal of shifting the calendar a couple months so it's cold and snowing in December instead of Jan/Feb should be taken seriously. Although I wonder if such a shift makes sense for seasonal weather around. the globe, and not just in Chicago. Otherwise, not much has changed yet. I did nuke and pave all my devices a couple weeks ago. I had added some additional regex rules to my Pi-Holes to block ads from the News.app, but I was too aggressive. Safari stopped syncing iCloud tabs. Took a bit to figure that out, after some help on micro.blog. But kinda nice to start fresh. Finished watching New Girl and the most recent season of Cobra Kai, and started up Kim's Convenience from the beginning. Did a bunch of network hardware upgrades. All rack mounted devices now. Was also able to setup Let's Encrypt for the Unifi Controller. Added benefit, should make it easier to keep up the same on this site. Speaking of which, I renewed this domain for another 10 years. Had it since July 1998. Crazy. Got myself an early birthday present when AirPods Max were available for pickup a couple weeks ago. They're amazing. So yeah, it's been an expensive January. Made a Peanut Butter Layer Cake for a friend's birthday. It was amazing. Probably my favorite thing I've made yet. Planning on making the Pancake Layer Cake for my birthday. Had to order some special supplies from a place called Modernist Pantry. They have supplies for molecular gastronomy. Tempted. Trying to keep the Memex updated more. Trying to exercise more, simple Plank Workouts and the harder Sterling K. Brown Pyramid Workout. Got a new work from home setup with a Cora Standing Desk Adapter and Roost Laptop Stand. It's setup at the end of the kitchen table and I spend most of the time standing, but easy to bring it down for dinner or when I get tired.
10:37 PM Friday, January 1, 2021
New Year. Same as the old year so far. Last month bought more things to get better sound for the garage home theater. Got to use it once or twice. Got my Q Stoves Q-FLAME Q05C Outdoor Wood Pellet Patio Heater. Seems to work ok. Only really tried it out once so far. Takes a little tweaking to get the heat up, definitely not light and forget. Definitely not as much smoke as a fire table, that's for sure. Didn't have smokey smelling clothes at all. Been going to Menards a lot. I like that store. No idea why. But easy to go to when I have to wait to pick up Lucy after dropping her off at swimming. Got a Christmas tree. Setup the LEGO Winter Village with train underneath. Got a USB Adapter for the lighting sets so it's hooked up to the same Lutron Lamp controller as the tree lights. Tracy got into decorating a bit, did the outdoor planters, added some additional lighting to the front tree/bushes. Did not sign up for the Winter Wonderland walk though. Did have our first possible confirmed exposure during the group walk (at least Tracy and Lucy did) through one of the Blaine dads. Not sure what to do, we found out maybe 6 days after the possible exposure, and we were all feeling fine and showing no symptoms. Ideally we'd all get tested to be sure, but wasn't going to happen. Been getting a lot of Tea Ninja (usually every Saturday after Lucy's swim practice). Got some taro powder to make at home. Made the taro tea I think, but haven't tried making a slushie yet. Hung up all the foam dart blasters on pegboard. Almost need more pegboard already. Almost bought Airpods Max on release day (just by checking available stock for pick up). Actually purchased the silver but then cancelled my order because I second guessed my color choice. So been checking daily since then for Space Gray availability for pick up. Christmas was good, Zoomed with the Argaos, FaceTimed with the Abandos. Jackson's presents were mostly digital. The new iMac pretty much stays booted in Windows. So many games available. Lucy's coolest present was a LEGO Mindstorms Robot thingie which is pretty impressive. It's cool. There's coding and everything. She successfully presented on getting a Leopard Gecko, so started getting the infrastructure for that. Actually watched Wonder Woman 1984 and Soul close to release days. Tracy got me a clear ice block kit, which works ok. Rang in the new year with The Princess Bride and some board games. Kids actually stayed up until midnight.
9:29 PM Tuesday, December 1, 2020
Let's see, SCI had to come and replace the Lutron Main controller, and then had to completely reprogram the replacement. Completed binge watching Brooklyn Nine-Nine. Good stuff there. Rewatched season 1 of The Mandalorian, and thoroughly enjoying season 2. Also because of episode 3 I started watching Star Wars: The Clone Wars (tv series), didn't realize there was a movie that started it off, so watched that maybe 14 episodes in, and trying to plow through those. Pretty heavy stuff. Had to believe it was on the Cartoon Network. Seems more adult than anything. And I'm only in season 2. Also decided to lighten things up so started The New Girl from the beginning. Got the new iMac, mounted on a VESA arm, which is pretty cool. It's currently the only Big Sur machine in the house. Got a High Sierra (old iMac), Mojave (Mac mini server) and Catalina (MacBook Air). Maybe after the next quarter for Lucy I'll update the MacBook Air. But having a 27" retina screen? Awesome. Immediately set up Boot Camp on it, and installed a bunch of games. Ended up getting both a PS4 Dual Shock controller (because I thought it was the best) and then an XBox Wireless controller (because it's better supported in Windows). The additional gaming started because I grabbed the free Google Stadia Pro setups that were offered to YouTube Premium subscribers, so I grabbed one each for me and the kids. I'd have to say, it's pretty impressive. First game played: Destiny 2. Helps that it's free to start, and only pay for DLC (and probably other stuff, but that's the only stuff I bought so far). Even set it up on the projector in the garage when Hudson came over once. Quality of game streaming, at one point it was doing 4K I think because I had it hooked up directly to the TVs, was really impressive. I mean, the controller sends commands over WiFi to the servers which send the video data down to the Chromecast, which you then respond to and send commands back up over WiFi and video down WiFi. Pretty cool. The fact that you just plug in Chromecasts to play makes Stadia the clear winner for me, but not enough to keep paying for it after the free trial. Oh, on my "bike commute" the morning after the election, got hit by a car. Cracked the frame on my Raleigh Carbon Clubman. I had a bump abrasion on the left lower forehead, abrasions on the knees and bruising and swelling on the right knee. All rather civilized. Lady stopped, got a lot of help from bystanders, especially a guy who lived on Southport and was driving next to me, ended up being a witness for the police report and giving me a ride home. I'd say I'm pretty much back up to speed physically. The frame seems like the only unsalvageable part, so I parted it out. I just realized I could maybe get a new frame and put a bike together. Shut down the get togethers we seemed to be ramping up as the pandemic ramped up again. Maybe in a couple weeks we'll get back to hanging out again without masks. It's weird to go back to that. Trying out some intermittent fasting (16:8), non Keto. Seems to be maintaining. Also trying cutting out coffee. I was doing like 3 cups a day for a while. Wasn't helping my blood pressure. So I've switched to tea (black, mostly Earl Grey, some English/Irish Breakfast). Thanksgiving came and went, only sous vide the breasts, Tracy roasted the legs/thighs/wings (she had a whole bird broken down). Made Tracy a Key Lime Pie Layer Cake (from Milk Bar) for her birthday, and more key lime tarts for Thanksgiving. Implemented Game Night in the house again on Tuesdays. Fairly eventful November.
8:23 PM Sunday, October 18, 2020
Finished up watching the current Marvel Cinematic Universe. Took me 27 days to complete. Definitely pick up things when you know the story so far. And, I'm not afraid to admin, hits the emotions a bit more when all the stories are all so fresh. It is an impressive piece of work. Random thought: in some other Earth in the Multiverse, I'm talking about the DC Cinematic Universe instead. Ted Lasso is amazing. I finally tried out sonarr and radarr and those are amazing tools. I also rediscovered newsgroups through those systems and nzbget. Bought way too much Nerf guns lately, stocking up I guess for future gifts. Or because I don't want to miss out on them in the future. Keep waiting for Apple to release the AirPods Studio (nothing at last month's Watch/iPad event, nothing at most recent iPhone event). Not my year to upgrade. Might not upgrade for a couple years. eLearning's been going ok for the kids. Still chugging along. Car has a weird slow leak on one of the tires. Did some rearranging in the kitchen (toaster oven got moved off the island). Finally gave in after a cold morning and ordered up Slankets for the whole family. Worth it. Going to eventually upgrade the family iMac (sticking with the most recent Intel so we can Boot Camp Windows if necessary, as well as VESA because that's just cool). Trying to use my Fujifilm X-E3 more. Ever since the new iOS update and putting the photo widget on my home screen and seeing old photos unearthed, makes me want to take more and better photos. Still have to finish reading The Amber Spyglass. Started trying to get a weekly bike ride in, usually Wednesday morning, pretend that I'm biking in to the office and back. Also trying out intermittent fasting (12/8), so basically just skipping breakfast, and trying to stay keto too, but neither of which happens on the weekend.
2:11 PM Sunday, September 27, 2020
Figure it's time for a monthly post. Still chugging along. School's started for the kids. Changed the arts and crafts room into a classroom, reused a my old Anthro computer desk for the kids desks. Jackson's on an old iPad Pro (9am-2pm with lunch at 11:30) and Lucy's on her MacBook Air (9am-2:30pm with lunch as 12:30). I'm back at the kitchen table. Been using an old set of Jabra Move bluetooth headphones because I thought I might be coming down with swimmer's ear, so waiting a bit before going back to Airpods Pro. Airpods Studio, or whatever the over the ear headphones Apple will hopefully release, are day 1 buys for me. Lucy uses headphones for her classes but Jackson hasn't found a pair that's comfortable, so he just uses speakers. Forgot, but right after the last post the dechero came through Chicago and we lost power for 3 days, Monday Aug 9 - Wednesday afternoon. We managed. Went to the gym a couple of times, powered up devices off batteries. Tracy was actually off, so that wasn't a problem. Actually worked out of the Brizzolaras while they were out at Lakeside, and Tracy and the kids went to the beach for the day, and I also moved Tracy's work stuff over in case we still didn't have power when she had to work again. But we got power back in time. But that was rather interesting, no TV, no AC. Did get another Nintendo Switch, which is pretty much a dedicated Animal Crossing: New Horizons machine for Lucy. Bought some foam dart guns that are actually too powerful to use in the basement, so those as just mine, not the kids. Back on keto, and skipping breakfast, so I guess intermittent fasting too. Going to try and start biking again, maybe just once a week in the morning when Tracy isn't working. First time back and went downtown to figure out the work commute to the new office whenever we do end up going back in. Started reading again. Really really like Leviathan Wakes. Very impressive. Now on The Amber Spyglass so I can watch His Dark Materials. I always stay up way too late on Thursdays cause I watch Ted Lasso and The Boys when new episodes come out. Also started working my way through the MCU again. Finished Phase 1 and started Phase 2.