What’s different?

Just past five weeks since full-time WFH .. I meant to write this at a four weeks, but I have achieved balance.

Four or five weeks .. It’s well past time for a little whimsy. So, what’s been different for me?

  • Getting up earlier (6:00 am).
  • Shorter commute (22 seconds).
  • Starting work earlier (6:00:22 am).
  • Drinking more coffee. Way more coffee.
  • Working out later .. usually during a briefing or learning session .. where my comments are limited and breathlessly-delivered.
  • Increased my workout time and regimen (watch out Dennis Quaid).
  • Shaving less often (candidly, this drives me crazy).
  • Shaving at my desk in schedule gaps.
  • Vacuuming more often, especially around my desk.
  • Showering later in the day.
  • Wearing fewer clothes .. typically a workout kit.
  • Making soup on the weekends for the week.
  • Eating more soup during the week.
  • Perfected my Eggplant Lasagna recipe.
  • Eating more Eggplant Lasagna.
  • Learned how to use my new Small Big Green Egg (thank you Jeff!). This is for when I’ve had enough soup and Eggplant Lasagna. It happens.
  • Dropped 11 pounds so far (about a kilo per week).

What else?

  • I’ve worn out my slippers .. I’m wearing socks with them until the new ones arrive.
  • I discovered my heels don’t like rubber flip-flops .. they crack (my heels, not the flip-flops). Wearing socks with them as well .. the between-the-toe thing is annoying when wearing a sock .. and it looks silly. Amazon?
  • Managing the entryway as a decontamination zone, complete with scary UV light.
  • My dress shoes are all polished.
  • My dress clothes are all dry-cleaned, as are my suits and tuxedos.
  • My shirts are all ironed.
  • My clothes are too big for me. Time for a socially-distanced fitting.

And at home?

  • After over three years in this house, I just realized the topmost railing in my staircase is upside-down. It still is. Now that I’ve written about it, I’ll fix it.
  • My floors sparkle.
  • My sparkly floors are not level.
  • My rugs are beaten to death to remove dust. They now whimper when I approach them.
  • After an unfortunate desire for the house to install an inside pool in my bar in Thanksgiving (i.e., a flood), the work was finally bid and scheduled .. the day before WFH orders. Maybe by next Thanksgiving?
  • The garbage disposal is on its last legs .. see the above.
  • Oh: the master bathroom fan sounds like a 747 (Remember those? We used to fly in them to go to far-away places with strange-sounding names). Again, see the above and above.
  • My Arlo batteries are wearing out at an incredible rate .. too much motion in the house makes them switch on and off and on and off.

On tidiness:

  • Washing my hands and face more often.
  • Cleaning the house more often.
  • Running the dishwasher every day.
  • Washing towels and kits upon any exposure outside.
  • An ‘inside kit’ that I only wear after I shower.
  • Oh: I still sweat .. even whilst just working at my standing (not walking) desk. Go figure.
  • A haircut that is now six weeks old .. think Einstein Hair.

On clothes .. beyond kits, I tried to think of something better to say than Tom Hanks, who, on his SNL skit said: “I forgot how buttons work”.

So have I.

Stay connected. Stay safe. Stay home.

When did you realize you were mortal?

For me, and up until this point, well never.

Had a humbling experience with the Arizona Desert yesterday; a walkabout (of which I’ve written of several) resulted in too much heat and too little hydration for me after only three miles.

Granted, I had a big bottle of water and it was a short hike .. but temperatures over 100 and just the right combination of hills .. well, I deserved what I got.

The riot (and the blessing): it hit me after I returned to the hotel (rule of thumb with me: when half the water is gone, replenish or turn back). I climbed four flights of stairs and everything went white.

A few minutes rest, then I walked to the ice machine to fill my hat. Twenty minutes and the rest of my water, I found my way poolside for water and more rest.

So: despite the bike rides and hikes .. I need to keep an eye on myself.

Great lesson learned .. and the opportunity to make better plans going forward.

 

Sweet 16 for My Cassie

Quite a day for my Cassie: her 16th birthday is today.

“Sweet 16” (as it’s commonly called here in The States) is a significant milestone. It’s considered a coming of age (although not quite the age of majority, which is 18) .. it’s when you can get a driver’s license, an adult job and earn the right to health-related privacy laws.

At 16 you can donate blood in many states (with parental consent) and obtain an ten-year United States passport. It’s the age you can drop out of school (please don’t!) and get married (with parental consent .. please don’t!)

Sixteen is the legal drinking age in Germany, Belgium, Switzerland, Austria, Italy and Portugal. It is also the legal age for a person to purchase tobacco products in Belgium, Switzerland and Italy.

For many turning 16 you throw a party of select friends and the family. The honored guest selects the guests, the venue and the activities .. for Cassie it was her school chums, at home and all electronic .. all the time.

Happy Birthday, my Cassie.

Blockers

We all find blockers frustrating. For Writers (humor intended) .. it can be career-ending ..

.. for me, it’s those little technology blockers I feel the urgent need to overcome before I can do the actual work that needs to be done.

I used to find myself stuck in ‘toolkit’ mode .. this is where I felt I had to be completely prepared for all eventualities. This put me in a perpetual ‘download-and-install’ loop, preparing systems before any actual work could be done.

But, no more.

Thanks to cloud-based sync and enhanced capabilities .. coupled with necessity mandates (that eliminate the ‘nice-to-have’ factor), work and creativity can flourish.

This post actually represents the capacity manifestation of my return to the ‘sphere, where I test out various:

  • Format
  • Execution
  • Management

.. components that let me do my work.

So .. let’s get to posting!

Seattle to Portland – STP 2013* (the ride with the asterisk)

For my third year, I had the pleasure to ride with 9,999 of my fellow bicycle riding buddies in the 2013 Seattle to Portland Bicycle Classic. The ride was approximately 203 miles this year, and I completed in a single day.

WP_20130713_013Why the Asterisk? Well:

  • I made amazing time for the first half of the ride, arriving at the half-way point (Centralia, Washington) at 11:45am, 6 hours and 45 minutes after departing the UW parking lot starting point. As it’s about 100 miles, averaging 14.81 mph (with stops).
  • I had a tire blow out (not to be confused with a flat) 1,000 feet short of the Napavine mini-stop (the top of a nicely challenging hill .. see the route map for details). Not knowing any better, I attempted to repair the blown tube, and then trying a new tube. Note that a blowout looks a lot like the results of the scene in ‘Alien’, where the innards become ‘out-ards’. While I didn’t know this at the time, a hole that size will simply destroy the tube within. I know better now.
  • The first repair (including patching the original tube) took 30 minutes; the second, 15 (putting in a new tube). Upon inflating the tire and heading up the hill, the new tube gave way, and I was pushing the bike up the hill.

My hope was there would be a mechanic at the Napavine site .. unhappily, the nearest was 13 miles back and 14 miles forward. At that point, I made the call. The ride is fully-supported .. that is, there are supplies and mechanics at nearly every stop .. except for this one. I made the call to the support number, and the truck arrived to collect me. after that, a 14-mile ride in the truck and I was on my way .. losing over three hours in the process.

As you know, figures lie and liars figure .. but some math is in order. For the back half of the ride (my trip computer reset while my bicycle was upside down .. argh). Napavine is mile marker 112, Vader at 126, 77 miles from the end of the ride. I rode for just short of 6 hours (including stops), arriving just before 10pm. So, the breakdown:

  • 6.75 hours for the first 99 miles (5am to 11:45am .. including stops).
  • 1 hour at Centralia (insane long lines for one-day riders).
  • 1 hour until the blow out .. 3 hours lost / 14 miles in the truck.
  • 6 hours for the last 77 miles (4pm to 10pm).

So, I got to enjoy the ride so much more than my fellow one-day riders .. 17 hours, all told .. but just under 13 hours pedaling / taking breaks, a respectable (for me 15.6 mph overall. Would have beaten a personal record, if not for the snafus.

All that .. an amazing day. Please check out the ride on my Endomondo feed.

Schmaltz ..

.. sort of defines me. Not that I’d confess that ..but  let’s discuss:

So .. when I can, I find the Schmaltz story on the video player on a plane. You’ll LOVE how the Web defines it:

.. I get that (those).

You’ll find me, on the aisle, watching an unnecessarily sentimental film and feeling deeply about it.

Thanks Comcast!

New modem .. wahoo!

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New Digs, New Speed

Just ran a quick speed test from my mobile phone in my new digs .. the first is over Wi-Fi (Comcast). The second is LTE (ATT).

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In a word: wow.

Hiding Everything on Facebook ..

Dear Lord .. how does this happen?

I am sure, through a convoluted series of posts and ‘accepts’ that it does.

Let’s not let THAT happen again.

Yeah, I’m fifty (something), but I talk like I’m thirty (something)

Here’s what I know:

Beyond that, I also know:

  • TTBOMK (always fun).
  • STFU (reminding all that ‘U’ somehow manifests itself as ‘door’ for the FCC-proper-types).
  • WTF (Whisky-Tango-Foxtrot, which, in no way, shape or form can be FCC-proper).

For (my) whimsy, I’d add:

So .. where does that put me? Where does it put you?

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