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  • Weeknotes for the week ending September 12, 2021

    [Sep 13, 2021]

    Blarg. That’s my high level recap of the week. Nothing bad happened, just a lot of blarg. I think it’s a bit of recovering from the whiplash of going from “school is about to start” to “September is almost half over”.

    First grade

    So far the reports from Lorelei about First grade have been more about her friends and what she does during the day than her Kindergarten reports, which were mostly about what they had for lunch and how she didn’t get lost at any point during the day. It’s nice that we’ve gone from like, hardened Mafia crime boss who won’t say a thing to low level goon looking to maybe give us enough to let them go.

    Take the skinheads gaming

    Recently I’ve had a semi-regular “gaming night”, and I was thinking the other day it’s a continuation of “semi-active, semi-social nights” I’ve had in the past. For a long time I was in a bowling league (one in Connecticut, one in Boston), and after / concurrently with that I played in a co-ed softball league. There’s a lot of similarity, you want something that requires some (but not too much) skill, has a few breaks to catch up with the people you’re playing with, and (this part might be crucial) isn’t impeded if you chose to drink alcohol the entire time you’re doing it.

    Every once in a while I think “I miss playing softball”, but tonight I took Lorelei to a local park and was watching a game being played on a nearby field, and saw someone slap a line-drive at the second baseman off a carbon fiber bat and I immediately went to “oh no I don’t miss that”. Bowling, on the other hand, I occasionally look at what it would take to open my own lane.

    HEY MAN NICE BIKE

    Tallboy at Gordon College

    Took the bike out this weekend and on the way back someone felt the need to yell, “HEY MAN NICE BIKE” at me from his truck. This is not the first time this has happened, and I don’t understand why! That said, two hours in the woods was a pretty good way to beat the blargs.

    etc

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  • The Girls' Guide To Hunting And Fishing

    [Sep 13, 2021]
  • Weeknotes for the week ending September 5, 2021

    [Sep 5, 2021]

    First day of first grade

    Lorelei wearing her first grade crown.

    Started another school year. We’re doing in person this year, and Lorelei (and we) are much happier about that. The town didn’t have open arguments about mask usage, and the kids don’t seem to mind wearing them, and most of the parents seem reasonable around here, outside of some S-tier dumb-assess who showed up to the meet-and-greet day wearing AR-15 apparel1.

    If you think of everything in seasons, this Fall feels more optimistic than last Fall. Less “this isn’t what I wanted” and more “this isn’t what I expected” which is par for the course of life.

    NBD (new bike day)

    My new 2021 Santa Cruz Tallboy. Last time it’ll ever be clean.

    I’ve been biking nearly as long as I’ve been walking, and mountain biking only a bit less than that, but for the last few years I’ve been without a mountain bike. The last one I had was a Santa Cruz Nickel frame that I had slapped hand me down parts on, which was a nice enough bike, but it went into storage for a while and when it came out I realized a lot of those parts needed to be replaced, and if I was going to do that, wouldn’t it make more sense to buy something newer with bigger wheels? Sure. So I sold it, and then put off finding its replacement thinking, well, there’s house projects that need funding, and how often do I really have time with a kid, and all other excuses. I finally decided to look at getting a new bike in 2020 but… they all quickly disappeared. This Summer I finally said I’m going to find something and kept tabs open at all the local shops and online, and found this 2021 Tallboy on evo that’s likely a hold over shipment from last years orders. I’ve been out on two rides, and it’s a lot like the Nickel but with bigger wheels, so in the end I got what I wanted. I will add, mountain biking has gotten harder in the last 4 or 5 years that I’ve been away from it. Like, the mountains 2 got bigger, or all the rain this year really washed out a lot more roots. It’s definitely not me being older or more out of shape.

    etc

    Finished A Children’s Bible by Lydia Millet. Years of Catholic schooling has left me a fan of ominous, religious literary fiction. This book mixes a few themes: the failings of the generations who came before us, global warming and the changing climate, the separation (or lack thereof) between religion and science. It doesn’t pull them altogether in one driving plot action, but neither does the Bible, so I think that’s the point.

    I mentioned last week I re-did my reading list page to pull from the Notion API. I just realized that while it works wonderfully on localhost, the images don’t actually show up here. Something to add to the todo list.


    1. One had a particularly dumb slogan on it, so I looked it up and… yeah. Let me tell you I never feel like a FREE person until I put on my $35 sloganized t-shirt. I’m sure they do some great advertising on Facebook.
    2. “Mountain biking” in seacoast Southern New England is a bit of a funny term. “Small hill filled with tree root biking” would be the better term.
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  • A Children's Bible

    [Sep 5, 2021]
  • Weeknotes for the week ending August 29, 2021

    [Aug 30, 2021]

    Small update this week, as I spent most of the day on the Mass Pike. I forgot it’s “move in” weekend for the local colleges.

    10 years

    The main update for the week, Friday was Andrea and I’s tenth anniversary. We went out for dinner. We had (have had) grand plans to travel for… close to two years now, but having little interest in travel in never-ending pandemic times and with our town popping up a strong supply of new restaurants, we instead sent the kid down to the grandparents for the week and just enjoyed free time in our own town for the week.

    Babies on our wedding day.

    Ten years later.

    Andrea is pretty great, and we’ll definitely give this at least another ten years. We recorded an episode for her podcast this morning about our relationship. She might not run it because I mumble too much, but she might! Her accepting that I don’t quite meet her high standards has really helped keep this ship afloat ❤️.

    School supplies

    School starts this week. As a kid I remember being dragged to the store to pick out new binders, folders, etc, but since Lorelei was at the Grandparents Andrea and I went to pick everything up. That might not sound exciting but we both geeked out over pens and now have probably more than we’ll ever need, but, pens! Including some of these adorable G2 Minis.

    Notion API

    I spent a bit of time this week mucking about with the Notion API Beta. I’ve used Notion on and off for a long time, it does a lot of things really well, and it for other things (writing, quick notes), it’s a bit annoying. But I’ve always wanted a quicker way to update my want to read / read book list. So far I find the API pretty good for dealing with databases — I migrated my “reading” list to it. It’s not ready for prime time for written content like using Notion as a blog CMS, but I think it might be there soon.

    Before the coffee gets cold

    Finished Before the coffee gets cold this week. The local library recommended it on Libby under a magical realism category. It’s an interesting narrative device, there’s a cafe where in one seat you can go back in time (but there’s a list of rules, centrally if you want to meet someone else they have to also have been to the cafe, and you can’t change the future or past). There’s four related stories, they’re all a bit Hallmark-y, and I read it while drinking a lot of iced coffee so maybe it was the wrong season to read about coffee going cold, doesn’t get a recommended from me.

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  • Before the coffee gets cold

    [Aug 26, 2021]
  • Weeknotes for the week ending August 22, 2021

    [Aug 22, 2021]

    A minor change this week, I’m going from bullet points to headers. This week was either chill, or I forgot to write down a bunch of stuff.

    Hurricane more like Hurrican’te

    Lorelei was supposed to spend the week with her grandparents, but since they live in Connecticut hurricane tropical storm Henri threw a wrench in the works. It looks like this might all blow over (pun intended) and she’ll get down there later this week.

    Arts Fest Beverly

    We either missed (or intentionally ignored) the arts fest in town in 2020, but since we weren’t shuttling the child off to another state on Saturday, we took a walk into town to check it out. We didn’t pick up any art this year, unlike the last time we went in 2019, but we did get books at the local book store and jewelry. On the way back we stopped at Backbeat Brewing Company which, even though it’s less than half a mile from our house, we hadn’t been to yet. Decent food, impressively good drinks, outdoor patio, A+++ would recommend. Highlight of this year was that we can all walk to town and back now.

    Bunny cupcakes

    Lorelei watches this show called Bread Barbershop. It’s weird, but this morning the episode she was watching the “barber” made kitty and bunny cupcakes, and rather than the plot being more of, “here’s how you do this as a barber” it was like, a real recipe. I realize that sounds odd if you’ve never seen the show, but stay with me. Lorelei asked if we could do that, and I said yeah, sure, maybe. I had to go to the store anyway. This is what we came up with: Cupcakes decorated as bunnies

    Carrot cake cupcakes, obviously. They’re bunnies.

    Fortnite vs. my free time

    I played Fortnite this week for the first time years, and it’s fun. I didn’t get it at first, but I played solo games and got it. And then I realized that the Battle Pass for this season has a dance that’s a ska dance, with a matching ska song about aliens, which feels waaaaaaay more targeted at my generation than who I assumed played Fortnite, so I had to pick it up (pick it up, pick it up… you get it), and then set out to win a few rounds, skanking on the graves of my defeated enemies.

    Bonus: Balancing things on a cat

    Maggie with a flower on her head

    I’ve had a lot of cats in my life, but Maggie is the best one I’ve ever had for putting up with people putting things on her head.

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  • Four Thousand Weeks

    [Aug 16, 2021]
  • Weeknotes for the week ending August 15, 2021

    [Aug 15, 2021]
    • We had a writer in residence this week, so while my wife was off doing cool and fun things I was going full Dad with my daughter, enjoying a couple of pints of ice cream and crushing levels in a new video game1. I consider this slightly more appropriate than what my dad used to do with me when my mom was out, which was watching 80s action movies on HBO.
    • One night the ice cream was accompanied by crying. When I asked Lorelei why she was upset (seemingly out of nowhere) she said she was sad because if she got older, eventually she would die. It took a bit of back and forth to tease out that these ideas had maybe come from a TV show she likes (Last Kids on Earth), but I pointed out that I was much older than her, and still alive, so it was at least not a thing to worry about at the present moment. Certainly it could wait until the ice cream was finished.
    • Related, I started reading Four Thousand Weeks (Time Management for Mortals). The 4,000 weeks comes from the average life expectancy in weeks. Rather than calling this post “Weeknotes for the week ending August 15, 2001” I could title it “Week 2038 (out of, hopefully, at least 4000)”. If you want the TL;CRAWB2 Burkeman’s last Health & wellbeing column in the Guardian covers the highlights.
    • I finished Rainbow In the Dark, Ronnie James Dio’s autobiography. It’s good, but a bit niche. I didn’t get into Dio my first go round with metal; I think someone convinced me Heaven and Hell wasn’t a “real” Sabbath album (in hindsight, fuck them). It was the Killswitch Engage cover of Holy Diver that made me go look up everything he ever did. 🤘🤘🤘 out of five.
    • Our kitchen project is entirely done. I got to put the new vent hood through its paces tonight (grits and collard greens). For someone who cooks multiple times per day, the hood and the huge workspace-style sink are the things I like best. It looks good, but oh baby those functional upgrades.
    • Spent a lot of time in the yard this weekend. Saturday I got a good outside nap in, today we went out for a walk early. We spotted a praying mantis in the yard. Praying mantis

    It seemed annoyed by us. We also walked to the beach. There’s a new rule here, if I have to carry home a pocket of seashells, they have to be used for something. Seashell art


    1. A very cool thing about Moving Out is that you can can adjust a bunch of properties that affect the game difficulty. So we found a setting where we both feel like we’re playing the game but it’s still a little challenging for each of us.
    2. Too long; can’t read a whole book.
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  • Rainbow In The Dark

    [Aug 14, 2021]

    Things I learned from reading this book:

    • Connecticut at one point had no state income tax.
    • Driving long distances in the 60s was terrifying.
    • I knew Dio was successful, but I didn't realize how successful Elf and Rainbow was, and that Heaven and Hell is the best selling Sabbath album.
    • As far as 80s rock/metal musicians Dio was incredibly tame. Maybe I should read the Dirt next.
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