Some things on this site:
Since we did the family Thanksgiving last weekend, the last four days have been nothing but relaxation for us. The six-year old watched TV until her brain melted, my wife read books or did research until her brain melted, and I just kind of chilled until my already melted brain reshaped. Or something. Maybe it’s still a little gooey.
I picked up the RESIDENT EVIL 2 remake around Halloween. I finally beat it this weekend. I’m not usually a fan of games that you have to play through twice to completely enjoy but I went through both the Claire and Leon runs and I'm glad I did. I played the original game on the N64 and never beat it, so this might set a record for the longest time to finish a game.
I also said last week that I would start reading again, and I did. I finished Mexican Gothic, which was a well done little bit of horror. I think pretty early on it became obvious where the plot was going so I sped through the later half of the book but I'd still recommend it 1.
Put up the tree. Immediately the cats starting losing their minds.
We also watched The Shop Around the Corner which is the lesser known of the Jimmy Stewart Christmas movies. Arguably the better of the two.
Every year around Christmas / New Years I look at the systems I used for my personal life the year before and reevaluate things. This year I wanted to get a head start on it, mainly because in past years if I start something at the beginning of the New Year and then find out three months in it’s not working I think “well I’ve already got three months” in or “well there’s only nine months left?” or some such silly ideas.
Today I sat down and organized Things, Bear, and iCloud to all be in line. Essentially I borrowed the structure from Things (Areas with Projects in them) and used that in Bear and iCloud. So now at the top level of iCloud there’s the areas, and inside of that there are folders that correspond to a project or context for that area. Same with Bear, there’s top level tags for the areas, and second level tags for the projects / context.
Some notes on the process:
/folder of iCloud is a disaster to organize, so I created this structure inside of
/documentsinstead, and the top level can be whatever apps want to make of it.
I did find this in one of my Bear notes, from Think Again:
As Bridgewater founder Ray Dalio told me, “If you don’t look back at yourself and think, ‘Wow, how stupid was I a year ago,’ then you must not have learned much in the last year.”
So I guess I learned something in the last year?
I might have more thoughts on this later2, but for now I’m just here to point out that with us entering COVID round three…
…we’re looking at two years of whatever we’ve been calling the last two years, and should probably stop talking about “the new normal” or “the way things were” and start living like things are as they are. I suppose it’s a human way of thinking to say “now is bad but the future will be different and better!” but… I dunno, it’s probably not!
We did Thanksgiving this weekend with my parents. I’m a big fan of doing holiday gatherings not on holidays, whenever possible, because traveling and planning is so much easier. Some menu notes from this year:
I don’t have any pictures because this isn’t Instagram. I made the food, I ate the food.
I ordered new speakers / tried out switching around the ones we had. I picked up the two base, not ad-revenue-driven “smart speakers” on the market, the Apple Homepod Mini and the Ikea Symfonisk shelfspeaker. Both are around $100. They’re both… ok. They work for what I wanted them for, the Homepod (mini) is in an office, and the Symfonisk is in the basement literally being used as a shelf. If I didn’t also want a shelf I think a stereo pair of dumb speakers would have blown it away. I also tried the mini as the output for the TV (haha - no!), and tried the Homepod in place of the lower-end soundbar we have. I think a stereo pair of Homepods would sound great. I’d think a stereo pair up front and stereo minis as satellites should work really great. I expect that will be a thing Apple sells and supports just before the heat-death of the universe.
Not a lot of updates this week. It was a super busy one at work, so that was my main focus. When things get busy my journaling falls off first, then scraps of notes, then photos, and I’ve got like two photos from this week so I guess that means something.
The Solar Dial is my “weekend” watch face for my Apple Watch. It’s set to show the temperature, when the Sun is going to set, and if it’s going to rain - and also the date because I have never, in my life, had any fucking idea what day it is. Today it gets a bit more fun by lining up on both sides.
Unfortunately for the next months it will slowly descend into a tiny sliver of sunlight. I should put on my bucket list taking it to a location with 24 hours of sunlight.
Writing this while manning the trick-or-treat duties. Not a lot of kids so far this year3, which is surprising. Last year we had a decent turnout even with COVID and it being below freezing.
I started re-reading Y: The Last Man. We’ve been watching the TV series on Hulu, but I’d forgotten the exact plot beats of the comic. Y was the first comic I got into when I got back into comics as an adult, and I’m enjoying how the TV series is going deeper into some character’s backstories, being more subtle about others1, and splitting other characters into multiple characters (and going deeper into the backstories of both!). I’m glad it’s getting the treatment it deserves.
I ripped down a bunch of builder’s favorite Closetmaid shelves in our house this week, and replaced them with Elfa shelving. They aren’t cheap, but I do like that you can set the entire thing up with 6 screws in a headrail, and then make infinite2 layers of shelves in-between. The only complaint is that every piece has a sticker on it, and about 84% of the installation time is peeling stickers and getting rid of packaging.
Lorelei is back home with a pile of candy. Small turnout this year so… I think I’m gonna help myself to
one two a few of these candies we bought to hand out.
Oh and if you’re curious, my Halloween candy power rankings:
And Days N Daze, short one member, but made up for with some mouth trumpet and backup from the previous bands.
And shoutout to Dan for getting the tickets and convincing me to leave the house. We both acknowledged it’s a lot harder these days.
An iPhone 13 Pro showed up this week. I wasn’t planning on upgrading my XR (it was fine), but the AT&T trade-in for a decent amount of money only to be mind-controlled by them for the rest of your life1 was hard to pass up. Also, the number of cameras. My XR was definitely lacking in Fuck Everything, We’re Doing Five Blades energy.
So far that camera has been great for taking pictures of my child who finds the most adorable faces to make.
Just posting this for posterity, so some day my kid can find this and know that I was good at video games (some times, when other people are bad).
From My Little Pony - Friends Forever #21 from… October of 2015. Also worth noting when the find the cure, no one (not even Applejack) makes a fuss about how they can’t be forced to take it.
Which reminded me we watched Six Degrees of Separation last week, and there’s a scene where Will Smith’s character talks about how his father (who he pretends is Sidney Poitier) is going to make a movie version of Cats.
History repeating, and what not.Permalink
The very first blog post on this blog is about why I decided to get a Dell instead of a new Macbook Pro. I’m glad to see the new M1 Pro/Max fixes everything. I already bought an M1 Air but someday this touchbar/butterfly workbox will get replaced with one of these, so there’s that to look foward to.
Also, that Dell I went with was fine. I ended up getting rid of it because I don’t game on PC any more. You’d still be better off with any Dell with a dedicated GPU than a Mac for gaming, even if it will pull down 400 watts of power to run.Permalink
Let’s start with a riddle:
Q: What do a couch and a baby have in common?
A: If you want one now, you have to wait 10 months.
We purchased an Ikea sectional when we moved into this house not many years ago. It was fine, it filled the space we wanted to fill, but lately it’s become spine-tinglingly uncomfortable1. We went to the Jordan’s superstore which is… definitely not one of my favorite places on Earth, but the combo of nice weather / COVID / and the fact that every scrap of furniture upholstery is sitting in a cargo ship currently lost in the middle of the Pacific meant there was hardly any one there. We ordered some new couches and a chair and they’ll be in our house (🤞) before I die.
Since it was pretty empty, we took Lorelei to do the crazy indoor ropes course thing they have there. The excitement of it was enough to get her into the harness and up to the first level, but after a few crossings I got two big thumbs down while she held on to one of the landing posts.
After that she came down and did the much closer to Earth version a few thousand times.
The team got together in Woostah on Monday. This is the third time I’ve seen them IRL since starting at Chewy. The entire team has joined during the COVID
lockdown year era.
Growing up we had a few people in the neighborhood I trick-or-treated in who would take things too seriously. Like, put on a hockey mask then hide in a leaf pile with an actual chainsaw seriously. So, I’ve always been a fan of more sedate Halloween decorating. A few pumpkins, maybe some sugar skulls, a couple of leaves I failed to rake blown about. Lorelei had a specific request for spider webs this year. Sure, why not. I had to go to Home Depot anyway, so I brought her along, thinking they always have a seasonal display with some decorating stuff in it. Well, apparently the “season” appropriate for October 15th is Christmas. But! It’s 2021, and “thanks” to COVID there are hundreds of empty retail stores out there for Spirit to sink its creepy claws into. So we found one of those, which, amazingly I don’t think I’ve ever been in. They had an entire rack full of decorative spider webs. The store had probably the most people I’ve seen in a retail establishment since the beginning of the the COVID
lockdown year era. We passed on the 7+ foot animatronic Baphomet but man for $300 that puts the animatronics in some local theme parks to shame.