Posts from 06/2022

Wednesday, June 01, 2022

Census Day Results

Congratulations to Asmodues for being the randomly selected winner of the $10 census prize! Email me with your preferred email address to claim your virtual Amazon gift card.

Asmodues has been visiting for nearly 19 years, commenting at an average rate of 3 times per year. His very first comment asked me if I was obsessed with Alias (I was). I have never met Asmodues in person, although I did bump into him in a World of Warcraft Warsong Gulch match during the brief era (2007?) where Level 49 and 59 cross-server battlegrounds were popular.

Congratulations also to Rebecca, for being the only respondent to follow my directions and reply to the 3 questions. There is no monetary value associated with this.

tagged as website, contests | permalink | 3 comments
day in history

Friday, June 03, 2022

Maia's Art Day

Portraits of the artist as a preschooler

I particularly love the evolution from "I have exactly 20 fingers and toes" to "Drawing all the fingers and toes is boring" to "I'm polydactyl!"

tagged as offspring, media | permalink | 2 comments
day in history

Monday, June 06, 2022

Easy Photos Day

Ian can now butterfly kick his way up onto couches and beds. He then pretends to be lazy like his parents.

The Gillises stayed overnight on Friday as a stop on their whirlwind tour of the East Coast.

Here's the family!

tagged as day-to-day | permalink | 0 comments
day in history

Wednesday, June 08, 2022

Data Day: A Typical Summer Weekday

tagged as data, day-to-day | permalink | 2 comments
day in history

Friday, June 10, 2022

List Day: 6 In-Office Exercises Killed By Remote Work

  1. The Half Crouch: When you enter a multi-person restroom and, without stopping, fluidly crouch down just far enough to see if any of the stalls are occupied.

  2. Whole World In His Hand: Balancing a soda, mouse, and laptop all on one hand so you can reach your badge with the other to get through a security door.

  3. The Uppercut: Again in the restroom, when you make a fist and punch upwards into the paper towel dispenser to make enough room for the bottom towel to come out without ripping it or pulling seven other towels with it.

  4. The Leaning Tree: When you're in the elevator waiting for it to act upon your button press and you lean surreptitiously, just far enough to the left to see if anyone is approaching the elevator from the lobby.

  5. The Button Maker: When you throw open the Keurig lid to eject the old K-cup with verve and then mash it shut with great force on the new K-cup, remembering that one time when the K-cup didn't get punctured and water went everywhere.

  6. The Finger Shimmy: When the restroom trash bag is billowed out because of the HVAC system so you try to push your used paper towel down into the bag without actually touching the bag itself.

tagged as lists | permalink | 1 comment
day in history

Monday, June 13, 2022

Chad Darnell's 12 of 12

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

6:25 AM: Showered and ready for the day.
6:36 AM: Breakfast #1: Bagel.
7:02 AM: Ready for a 30 minute neighbourhood walk / trash pick-up with light drizzle.
8:08 AM: Breakfast #2: Banana.
9:08 AM: Early Father's Day breakfast (#3) with just Maia at Virginia Kitchen (her first breakfast at a restaurant).
9:53 AM: Camping in the Grand Canyon.
11:44 AM: Waiting in line for the crepe guy.
12:40 PM: Swinging at the Potomack Sportsplex playground.
1:16 PM: Eating the crepes.
3:58 PM: Using quiet time to catch up on the fourth season of Stranger Things, which isn't awful.
5:29 PM: Dinner from Burger 21.
6:34 PM: "You have to use your hands? That's like a baby's toy!"

tagged as 12 of 12 | permalink | 1 comment
day in history

Wednesday, June 15, 2022

Neighbourhood Day

A new side project I've taken on in my copious free time this year is joining my neighbourhood homeowners' association. I'd considered joining last year but didn't find my resolve until the winter newsletter came out, stating that there had been so little interest at the annual meeting that the board members actually had to go out and knock on doors for proxy votes to reach a quorum (roughly 26 total votes of 260 households). I decided it'd be worth joining even if just to arrest the entropy and disinterest.

I've attended each monthly meeting since Christmas and am now a board member on a trial basis until regular elections in October. My impression of the HOA up until now has always been pretty neutral -- I always used to appreciate that our dues were super-low and the board seemed mostly hands off (a complete 180 from the usual HOA power trip stories you read on the Internet), so it's very interesting to actually participate and see the complexity of what's going on under the hood. Hearing about the problems that the HOA deals with each month has inspired me to start morning walks with Ian where we hit every street and court that's a part of the HOA at least once a week. I also built a Church Mills Homeowners Assocation website, the first one we've had in over a decade.

Independent of the HOA, I've taken on some maintenance of the common ground sidewalk around the corner from my house. The common grounds get a cursory mow every few weeks, but our dues are so low that no maintenance is done to keep the forest (and poison ivy) at bay and the trash off the streets.

I realized throughout the pandemic that the absence of real connection is something that many people struggle with. Joining the HOA and cleaning up the sidewalk are conscious, simple actions I can take to improve the world at a very hyper-local level. I'm not someone that wants to go out and meet everyone on the street, but I can definitely take small steps to model the type of neighbour I'd want to live next to. I can grumble about the people dumping Taco Bell wrappers out of their cars or take less than 5 minutes to clean it up.

If you also feel the need to make a connection or bring about positive change but aren't sure where to start, consider something local and personal where you can make a tangible difference. Supporting a global or national cause is very noble but one could advocate for big, bold ideas (social change, racial justice, and more) for years without moving the needle. Instead, volunteer at the voting booths or join a beautification effort.

When I do something at this level, I can immediately see the impact (and enjoy it myself!) I feel more connected to where I live and satisfy my intrinsic need to create or improve something, much more so than when I'm just donating money to good causes like our local food banks.

tagged as deep thoughts | permalink | 2 comments
day in history

Friday, June 17, 2022

Review Day

There are no major spoilers in these reviews.

Brooklyn 99, Season Three:
This show is just funny enough to enjoy as a treadmill show -- a few laugh-out-loud jokes balance out the occasions that just feel too campy. The third season has some fun guest actors as well. On Hulu.

Final Grade: B-

Jim Gaffigan: Comedy Monster:
Gaffigan's latest special starts out strong with his unique takes on the pandemic. The back half is less successful -- sometimes it felt like he was trying something new by being a little more edgy, but it usually came off more mean-spirited than funny. On Netflix.

Final Grade: B-

Emergency:
This movie about a trio of roommates who find a passed out, underaged girl in their living room and do their best to get her to a hospital balances the comedy and thriller aspects quite well. While some of the forward momentum is driven by horrible, contrived choices, the movie succeeds at conveying its message without getting too preachy. On Amazon Video.

Final Grade: B+

Chernobyl:
I realize this limited series has gotten critical acclaim, but I stopped after just two episodes. It seemed too paint-by-numbers, like it was EXACTLY what I expected it to be, and left me no room to be surprised. When we're picking things to watch each night, I'm never in the mood for its grim, serious tone.

Final Grade: Not Graded

tagged as reviews | permalink | 0 comments
day in history

Monday, June 20, 2022

Mother's and Father's Day

How Maia sees her parents

tagged as offspring | permalink | 0 comments
day in history

Wednesday, June 22, 2022

Birth Day

Happy Birthday to Rebecca!

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

Friday, June 24, 2022

Birth Day, Part 2

A montage of photos from Rebecca's wild and stormy birthday afternoon

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

Monday, June 27, 2022

Weekend Wrap-up

My new office art arrived on Friday afternoon, "Sitting Tree" by Cynthia Decker.

On Friday evening while Rebecca was at her physical therapy course, Maia played quietly by herself in the living room.

On Saturday, I took the kids on a trip out to Alexandria to see my parents. Ian's configuration knobs were all out of whack this day, as he only napped for 20 minutes all day long but did poop 7 different times. As such, we didn't stay long, but we did get Maia a Happy Meal lunch with an ugly toy on the way home. In the evening, Maia did a puppet show.

Here is the Sunday sunrise shift, sitting in the basement, trying not to wake up Maia. My window needs a little Windex.

Sunday was a close-to-home day. We hit the playground before it got too hot, and then stayed inside. I played Kirby and the Forgotten Land on the Switch with Maia during Ian's nap, and then a new board game from Elizabeth, Santorini.

Bonus Picture: Rebecca's mushrooms are finally sprouting!

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

Wednesday, June 29, 2022

End-of-the-Month Highlights Day

New photos have been added to the Life, 2022 album.

  • Events
    • Hosted Oklahoma Emily and her 3 kids for an overnight visit on F 6/3 - S 6/4.

    • Went to the Loudoun Farm Heritage Museum on S 6/4 to donate a spinning wheel.

    • Rebecca and Maia went to a play, "Into the Woods Jr.", featuring the Smith sisters on S 6/5.

    • Family dinner at Bungalow Lakehouse on T 6/7.

    • Ian had a fever and slept a lot, W 6/8 - F 6/10.

    • Went to our new neighbor's housewarming party on S 6/11.

    • Went to Virginia Kitchen for breakfast with Maia on S 6/12. Family outing to the farmer's market and playground.

    • Went to the HOA meeting on W 6/15.

    • Maia stayed with my parents, F 6/17 - S 6/19 and went to the Glen Echo carousel.

    • Rebecca was interviewed about bluebells for the Rootbound podcast on S 6/18.

    • Rebecca turned 39 and had visits from Annie & Dom, Andrea & Amelia, and Evil Mike, Taje, & Tobias on W 6/22.

    • Rebecca took a weekend continuing ed course, F 6/24 - S 6/26.

    • I took the kids to visit my parents on S 6/25.

    • Had our babysitter over for dinner on W 6/29.

    • Rebecca and Maia went to the pool while Ian and I went to the mall on H 6/30.

  • Projects
    • Continued maintaining the Lillard sidewalk.

  • Consumerism
    • Replaced my 9-year-old office chair and added new art on the office wall.

    • Enjoyed watching Emergency and Inside No. 9 this month.

    • No amazing new music or books this month. (What is reading?)

    • Still playing Fallout 76 at Level 223.

June's Final Grade: B, nice month but I need more restful sleep!

tagged as day-to-day | permalink | 0 comments
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