06/2019

Monday, June 03, 2019

List Day: 4 Major Adjustments Since Having A Kid

  1. Massive uptick in having to drive while other people are on the road: After years of traveling everywhere at 5 AM to avoid society, Maia's naps now take me into the thick of congestion. I now embrace what I once referred to as a "Tax on the Entitled Class and People Too Lazy to Wake Up Early Like the Rest of Us" when driving Maia to her grandparents' house. $20 to skip 20 minutes in a 2-mile traffic jam with a toddler in the back? Yes, please.

  2. Greatly reduced tolerance for movies and TV shows that are a "slow burn": Every minute of my time where I'm not actively parenting is precious. I'm much more likely to turn off a plot going nowhere fast, a show with 20 minutes of lingering reaction shots and montages, or a show with any subplots involving the dumb teenage children of the protagonist. Had Bloodline come out in the last two years, I would not have made it past the opening credits. Time is money, friend!

  3. Significant reduction in preventative maintenance: Before Maia was born, I had so much free time that I was always on top of things like checking tire air pressure, A/C filter replacement, and organization of clutter. Now, even penciling in a recurring task like mowing the lawn or getting a haircut seems like a huge disruption.

  4. Reduction in the retention of social knowledge: Taking care of Maia saps a huge chunk of my social energy, such that when I am at a party or conversing with real adults, I struggle to retain even half of what was discussed in my long-term memory. Usually it's all forgotten by the time we're driving home and I'm narrating all of my street turns in an impressive attempt to keep her awake in the backseat 5 minutes before bedtime.

tagged as lists, offspring | permalink | 2 comments

Wednesday, June 05, 2019

Memory Day: Snapshots

These pictures were taken 15 years ago today, on June 5, 2004. The occasion was a housewarming party for my newly-purchased Sterling house. The basement was quite cheery and had not yet been made over with bachelor jazz posters and a pool table. There may have been twenty different types of cast-off chairs furnishing the room.

The guest list was roughly 20% people related to me, 30% people related to Anna, 30% people I went to high school with, and 20% coworkers. Evil Mike (then known as Jaood) got me a clock shaped like a billiards rack which still hangs on the wall today even though it permanently stopped working around 2006.

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Friday, June 07, 2019

Maia Month #23 Battle Report

Maia is almost 2! A couple weeks ago, she weighed 21.8 pounds though she feels much heavier when she goes sack-of-potatoes on my arm. She enjoys assisting with our routine, from putting away the clean dishes to watering the plants outside with her own personal watering can.

Her brain continues to word associate -- when I pointed at a bench, she mentioned the statue of frogs sitting on a bench drinking coffee at the grandparents' house. When I said Rebecca was tall, Maia said "long neck giraffe". She also likes to remind us to finish unfinished tasks or rectify unresolved situations by saying things like "shoes off", "put shirt on", "close gate", "put back". Other recent likes include riding on my shoulders, The Berenstain Bears Forget Their Manners, the lawnmower, and fountains.

With 2 rapidly approaching, the first signs of tantrums are on the horizon. She will make the continuous "whiny noise" instead of applying her English skills when she wants something. Her two true tantrums to date resulted from not getting to walk through a fountain while clothed and running out of chocolate milk. If a lack of chocolate milk is the worst thing in your life, you're living a pretty good life.

Naptime is roughly 50% effective right now. She goes down to nap around 2 PM and if she hasn't fallen asleep in two hours, I get her up. It takes her much longer to settle into sleeping nowadays and she still recaps her entire day to her stuffed animals before calling it quits. When she does nap, she'll do a house census upon waking up -- "Mommy at work, Daddy at home, Amber sleeping on the big bump in the bed"

tagged as offspring, day-to-day | permalink | 1 comment

Monday, June 10, 2019

List Day: 10 Imminent Events

Within the next 90 days:

  1. Our little family (sans Amber who will stay home sleeping on the big bump in the bed) will fly up to Rhode Island to visit my sister's family.

  2. We will spend a weekend a (brief) distance away in Lovettsville at a farm rental house with sheep for Maia to baa at.

  3. Rebecca will turn 36.

  4. We will book October plane tickets for a 10th Anniversary Weekend in Montreal.

  5. I will earn another Amazon Web Services certification (#7).

  6. Maia will turn 2 years old and have a party with all of her little friends.

  7. We will spend a weekend in Richmond with the Edwardses and Catanias.

  8. We will spend a weekend with Elisa and Sayak in Ohiopyle, Pennsylvania.

  9. We will go to a wedding of Rebecca's mom's sister's brother's son in St. Michael's, MD.

  10. We will figure out what I should do for my 40th birthday in September, besides probably dying.

tagged as lists, day-to-day | permalink | 2 comments

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Chad Darnell's 12 of 12

12 pictures of your day on the 12th of every month

4:57 AM: Showered and ready for work.
5:41 AM: Sunrise in the office.
8:09 AM: Writing about THE CLOUD.
11:33 AM: Safeway wings for lunch.
12:42 PM: Freshly mowed grass, the mortal enemy of interesting jigsaw puzzles and JPEG compression.
1:13 PM: Instilling new luxury into Maia's bath and shower routine.
1:36 PM: Maia is home from the park.
3:33 PM: Watching the last season of 12 Monkeys during nap time.
4:26 PM: Learning about shadows from Grandma.
4:44 PM: Trying on a new dress.
5:04 PM: Helping Grandpa fix the sidewalk.
7:19 PM: Swiss and mushroom burgers for dinner.

tagged as 12 of 12 | permalink | 1 comment

Friday, June 14, 2019

Review Day

There are no major spoilers in these reviews.

12 Monkeys, Season One:
Based on the classic movie starring Bruce Willis and Brad Pitt, this first season takes a while to get away from the source material and discover its own voice. It drags a bit in the middle and there is too much explanation of time travel for the sake of dumb network audiences. However, when it finally does strike out on its own, it becomes an intriguing, watchable example of high-concept sci-fi. The last 3 episodes in particular do a great job of tying everything together. I liked this enough to buy the remaining 3 seasons all at once.

Final Grade: B

Reset by e-dubble:
Clocking in at just 7 songs and 26 minutes, this hip-hop EP left me wishing it was longer. Songs like Down are catchy and pleasant to listen to. It's equally as good as the album that follows it, Two Tone Rebel.

Final Grade: B+

Jim Gaffigan: Noble Ape:
The first half of Jim Gaffigan's latest comedy special is stronger than the end, but we enjoyed the entire thing. You generally know what types of jokes you're going to get from a special like this, and he doesn't stray far from the template. Free on Amazon Prime.

Final Grade: B

Samsung Galaxy S8 64GB:
I only upgraded phones because an S8 was part of my 15th work anniversary loot bag. Otherwise, I would have been happy using my S5 forever. The S8 is taller but narrower, making it easier to pocket but harder to browse content on. It's also incredibly slippery, making it the only phone I've ever bought a case for. The phone functions just fine although it's weighed down by the typical bloatware from Samsung that I can only partially remove / disable without rooting the device. Ten years ago I would have done this, but years of Windows and Firefox updates destroying my careful curation of customization has worn down my willpower to stray far from the factory settings. Overall, this is a nice little phone that satisfies my limited phone needs (texting, Reddit, the Washington Post, and Instagram).

Final Grade: B

tagged as reviews | permalink | 0 comments

Monday, June 17, 2019

List Day: Cycles of My Life

  • It takes me 5 months to empty out a propane tank by grilling. Before Maia, it was a 3 month cycle.

  • I cut my own hair every 21 - 25 days.

  • I replace my razor blade every 3 - 4 months, when it's finally dull enough to noticeably destroy both skin and whisker.

  • I brush my teeth twice daily, and floss once.

  • It takes the family 3 - 4 days to fill up a laundry basket with dirty clothes. It takes the washing machine 90 minutes to do its estimated 50 minute cycle.

  • On average, it takes me 3 weeks to drain my car's gas tank.

  • I wash my car once annually.

  • I have never replaced my family or upgraded for a newer model.

  • After swearing them off for awhile, I usually go for about 3 months before purchasing some more bacon, shells & cheese, or Marie Callendar pot pies.

  • I mow the lawn every 8 days in the spring and every 12 - 20 days in the summer and fall.

  • I average 1 - 9 days between Amazon orders.

tagged as lists | permalink | 0 comments

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Memory Day: Snapshots

This picture was taken 15 years ago today, on June 19, 2004.

Sporting my 2004 look-and-feel and a rented tux vest with some ridiculous European name, I'm at my sister's wedding at the Barboursville Winery, breaking hearts and draining eyes with a self-selected reading:

BRIDAL SONG by John Ford

Comforts lasting, loves increasing,
Like soft hours never ceasing:
Plenty's pleasure, peace complying,
Without jars, or tongues envying;
Hearts by holy union wedded,
More than theirs by custom bedded;
Fruitful issues; life so graced,
Not by age to be defaced,
Budding, as the year ensu'th,
Every spring another youth:
All what thought can add beside
Crown this bridegroom and this bride!

Happy Anniversary, Ellen and Dan!

tagged as memories | permalink | 1 comment

Friday, June 21, 2019

Review Day

There are no major spoilers in these reviews.

Weber Genesis II E310 LP Gas Grill:
This Weber grill assembles easily and doesn't have that flimsy "gonna break tomorrow" feel that my 8-year-old Weber had (Just after giving that grill an A-, the starter stopped working permanently). Apart from a minor issue with a bent starter connection, I had the grill up and running in just a couple hours. I've used it about 6 times since then and it's resulted in consistent timings and grilling quality. I also like that the burners go from front-to-back, reducing the propane wasted on smaller servings.

Final Grade: A

12 Monkeys, Season Two:
In the second season of this sci-fi show, the rules of cause and effect are massaged just enough that every episode doesn't need to focus on the minutia of time travel. There's a nice arc across the 13 episodes, and a finale that's both surprising and clearly telegraphed.

Final Grade: B+

Complaint by Watsky:
Watsky's latest album isn't bad, but someone dropped it in a bucket of autotune during mastering. The use of autotune is overwhelming and unnecessarily distracting. As Rebecca said, it's like the lead singer of FUN decided to release a rap album with emo lyrics.

Final Grade: C+

Dead To Me, Season One:
Almost anything that Netflix tries to get us to watch with annoying trailers tends to be awful, but this dramedy about two women who befriend each other in a grief support group (is a bro-mance with women called a ho-mance, or is there a less offensive term?) is surprisingly good. Although it's nothing like Barry, it sometimes reminded me of the way Barry can juggle several contrasting tones at once. Here, the comedy, anger, sadness, and murder mystery suspense are well executed without jarring transitions. Free on Netflix.

Final Grade: A

tagged as reviews | permalink | 3 comments

Monday, June 24, 2019

Weekend Wrap-up

For Rebecca's 36th Birthday weekend, we took a family trip to Weatherlea Farm in Lovettsville, a working sheep farm that was just far enough away to be "away" without travel hassles.

On Saturday, we had brunch at Market Table Bistro (deviled eggs, a white gazpacho, mac and cheese, and an overly decadent pork belly hash). In the evening, we drove out to Harper's Ferry Brewing for the views, bluegrass music, crabcake sandwiches, forgettable beers, and soft-serve.

Among the animals at the farm was a cat named Castor that welcomed himself into the cottage and our adventures.

Maia enjoyed seeing the dog, cats, 2 horses, and a herd of 18 sheep being guarded by 2 goofy llamas. We also enjoyed the explosion of fireflies in the evening -- something we realized that we hadn't seen in the suburbs for a few years now.

tagged as day-to-day | permalink | 1 comment

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Cloud Cert Day

My 7th cloud certification came with a free sandwich and small drink.

tagged as programming | permalink | 1 comment

Friday, June 28, 2019

End-of-the-Month Highlights Day

New photos have been added to the Life, 2019 album. Google Photos sucks.

  • Events
    • Friends Dinner with Car and Ben (pasta with homemade pesto and mojitos) on S 6/1.

    • Popeyes dinner with Rebecca's dad during a thunderstorm on S 6/2.

    • Family dinner at Bungalow Lakehouse on M 6/3.

    • Visit to the Uri grandparents on H 6/6.

    • Went to Rebecca's work picnic at Lake Fairfax on F 6/7.

    • Visted Joe and Katie for dinner in Fairfax on S 6/8.

    • Solo dad dinner at The V on S 6/9 after a rainy morning at the Cascades farmer's market.

    • Had parents over for porch burgers on W 6/12.

    • Got a sudden short-lived flu-like sickness on H 6/13.

    • Rebecca and Maia went up to Rhode Island to visit my sister's family, F 6/14 - S 6/16 while I stayed home recuperating. Maia had her first boat ride. Rebecca's car battery died at Dulles in the interim.

    • Spent the weekend at Weatherlea Farm in Lovettsville, F 6/21 - S 6/23. Had lunch at Market Table Bistro, dinner at Harpers Ferry Brewing, and saw sheep, llamas, horses, dogs, and cats.

    • Visit to the Uri grandparents on T 6/25.

    • Maia played with her cousins, Renae and Sammy, at a playground in Leesburg on W 6/26.

    • Family dinner at Fireworks Pizza in Sterling, on F 6/28.

    • Maia had a little fever on S 6/29. Went to Game / Birthday Night at the Smiths.

    • Walked around Reston Town Center with Maia and had gelato on S 6/30. Planning to go to a Barn Dance in Taylorstown.

  • Projects
    • Eked out a Pass on the AWS Big Data - Specialty exam on M 6/24.

  • Consumerism
    • Enjoyed watching the complete 12 Monkeys series and Dead to Me, Season One.

    • Still playing Grim Dawn and its expansion packs.

    • Listening to new and newly discovered music from Watsky, Webby, e-dubble, and Lil' Dicky these days.

June's Final Grade: B, Fun hot month, but I missed a trip to Rhode Island (the classy version of New Jersey).

tagged as day-to-day | permalink | 2 comments

 

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