One Year Ago Today

I keep doing this but here’s something I posted one year ago today:

179/365

Just in case you forgot that society fell apart in March 2020 and here we are in February 2021 and it still hasn’t come back online yet.

We are only 15 days away from the one year anniversary of my last day in the office. It’s been a brutally long two weeks.

Screw you, Covid-19.

One Year Ago Today

I can’t believe it. One year ago today Jen, Harry, and I landed in Florida for a week in Disney World.

DSC_0128

Civilization has more or less collapsed since then. It’s amazing how much things have changed.

Will it ever go back to normal, or is the way things are today what normal will be from now on? Ugh… I hate waxing philosophic. Bite me, Socrates.

2020 in (bad) Pictures

January. We lost Neil and the world has been shit ever since.

In February we went to Disney World for a week, but we were not the droids they were looking for.

DSC_0336

In March civilization came to a screeching halt.

In April we were locked down solid, but we still went for drives and sometimes saw interesting things.

In May we finally gave in to The Great British Baking show and just let it take over. Jen and Harry tried their hands at decorating cakes. I just made a lot of Tewksbury Tweets.

In June the kids finally cracked a little (just kidding).

In July I tried to spend as much time outside as I could because I knew it wasn’t going to last.

In August we had a Vote By Mail dry run thanks to the State Primary.

In September we went into a store for the first time in six months. It was creepy and scary and weird, but we came out with a flu shot. A dry run for the Covid vaccine maybe?

In October we did it for real and sent that nazi prick packing.

In November the lights came on a little early.

In December we pulled off a great lock down Christmas.

DSC_0037

Up next is 2021. Here’s hoping Covid will be history and lock downs will end and we’ll get to see a little more of the world than just our house. 2020 was a friggin’ mess, but we made the best of it. I’m proud of us for doing it right.

Happy New Year.

2020 Recap is Coming

It may not be today, and it may not be tomorrow, but one of these days there will be a post with a photo a month from all 12 months of the shit show that was 2020. I was just perusing the Camera Roll on my Flickr account and I saw something that made me ask… is 2020 my fault?

Back in February Jen, Harry, and I all took a ride on the Millenium Falcon. Was this Disney Imagineering Magic dream come true so colossal that it required the entire universe to a pay a price in return? Did me taking a ride on the Falcon karmically cause the Covid-19 lockdown and all the shit that came with it? It didn’t cause Covid-19 because it was already running wild in other parts of the world, but did it cosmically open the door for the mess we have in the United States right now?

No. No it didn’t. It was pretty awesome though.

The Most Useful Quarantine Tool

A couple of years ago Jen and I took a drive North for no reason other than we like to go on day trip drives and there is a lot of cool stuff to the North.

On this particular drive we ended up near Lake Winnipesaukee. I forget what town we were in but there was this ice cream shoppe and we had to stop in.

They had a little gift shop inside and we bought some silly little trinkets for the kids. I bought a couple of these things:

I got one for me and one for Harry. Why? Because they have names engraved on them, that’s why:

I would have bought one for Bellana too, but that particular first name doesn’t end up on gift shop trinkets that aren’t custom made. Rob and Harry, easy to find. Bellana? Not so much.

Harry lost his. He had it in his backpack when we flew to Florida last summer and TSA tends to frown on bringing knives onto airplanes.

Mine stayed on my bureau. Every once in a while I’d need a knife to cut open a cardboard box or something and I’d take it out and use it, goofily… because it’s a gift shop trinket with my first name on it.

Fast forward a year or so and find us up to our eyeballs in COVID-19 Lock Down. During the last two months the only time I don’t have this little pocket knife on my person is when I’m asleep. We have been surviving off of Amazon and Instacart and every day there are boxes and bags that need to be cut open. This little puppy has been my right hand man. I’ve used it so much that I’ve actually had to sharpen it a couple of times.

So I’d just like to take a minute and sing the praises of this little souvenir shop trinket that has become the most useful tool of the quarantine. Thanks, little Lake Winnipesaukee fake Swiss Army knife! Keep up the good work, my friend.

No School for Me

I tried signing up for a wordpress.com Blogging University course last night.  Nothing happened.  I tried again today using Chrome because maybe it had something to do with click functions in Vivaldi.  Nope.  Same nothing as before.

I was going to have veggie burgers for lunch today but I bought a different brand this week and they need to defrost.  I don’t have time for that.  Crud.  I bought a package of veggie (imitation) chicken nuggets too.  Maybe I’ll have some of those.  Maybe I’ll just make a chicken sandwich and pass on the veggie meal of the week for now.

Senator Warren dropped out of the Democratic Presidential primary today.  If you didn’t see that coming then you weren’t paying attention.  The thing I didn’t see coming was her not running the table.  I really thought she would be the one.  Now I’m looking at Senator Sanders and thinking Senator Warren would be a really good running mate.  Probably not though.  Ideologically they are too similar.  I don’t know.  Maybe if Biden tagged her as his VP it would be a better mix?  I don’t want to have to vote for Biden.  I absolutely will, but I don’t want to.  I really don’t want to vote for Sanders either.  I will, but I don’t want to.  Warren was my choice from day one.  Hell, I wanted Warren to run in 2016.  Oh well.  I guess she has to go back to kicking fascist ass in what’s left of the US Senate.

A new episode of Star Trek Picard came out today.  I watched it before work.  I was hoping the Troi-Riker family would have had an easier go of things, but it was nice to see them.  Have I mentioned this show is fantastic?  I am pretty sure I have.

Apparently there was a suicide at Disney World yesterday.  Some one allegedly jumped from an undisclosed location at the Contemporary resort.  I’m glad this didn’t happen when we were there, though there was an incident during our stay.  We had gone out for something one evening and when we returned there were insanely well armed cops stopping everyone at the entrance to the Yacht Club driveway.  Our Lyft driver was stopped and asked if she had received any threats that day.  No, she hadn’t.  It turned out that the Yacht Club/Beach Club area was on lock down while we were out.  As we were going into the lobby I asked a staff member if anything was up.  He had no clue, or at least he told me he had no clue.

We found out the details the next day and it was all nothing.  There was a report of a suspicious, armed individual wandering around the Beach Club parking lot and everything was locked down as a result.  It turned out that the suspicious, armed individual was neither suspicious nor armed and it was all an overreaction.  I wonder what he was doing to scare whomever reported him.  According to the news it was nothing at all.

Fortunately our stay at the Yacht club was undisturbed, apart from having our Lyft stopped, of course.
DSC_0188

Projects

March kinda sucks.

I go through this every year.  I finish my February music projects and then feel this gaping hole in the universe during March.  From reading blogs and forum posts on rpmchallenge.com I’m clearly not alone in feeling this way.

So what to do?

A few months ago I was working on a way to add the rest of my old myspace blog to this site.  I started up on that again last night.  WordPress.com is able to back date posts but it’s a royal pain in the ass to go back to 2007 and 2008.  Instead, I created a Blogger account and I’ve been posting back dated entries there.  Once I have them all I’ll export them to an .xml file and import them here.  That should work fine.  The myspace blog covered pretty much all of 2006 through November 2008.  I had pulled all of 2006 into my previous wordpress.com site so those are all here already.  As of last night the Blogger page has almost all of 2007.  I think I have about 75 more posts to go.

I’m still going with my Flickr photo-a-day project.  It suddenly feels difficult though.  It was easy last month.  There was always music happening so I could take pics of that, and Disney made things even easier.  Now?  What the hell do I take pictures of now?  Where’s the cat when I need her?

Back in January Jen and I did a tutorial for a javascript extension (I think that’s the right way to describe it… a scripting language built on top of javascript).  It was fun and interesting but my javascript knowledge is ancient and more or less nil at this point.  I thought I might have gotten more out of it if I did a javascript tutorial first.  I would like to try something like that in the coming weeks.  I would like to be a better all around programmer than I am right now.  My company’s development tools and programming languages are proprietary, so even if I’m firing on all cylinders at work it doesn’t really extend to the rest of the world.

Years ago I found a set of wordpress.com tutorials called Blogging University.  There are various beginner and intermediate level courses to help you get the most out of your wordpress.com experience.  There were classes for customization, writing, photography, and interacting with other blogs.  I might give some of those a try again, just for schnitzengiggles.  If I remember correctly they were mostly prompts.  Things like, today you should write a better About page, or today you should take a picture of water.  Stuff like that.  The photo stuff would be fine to redo, as I just said I’m always looking for ideas for photo-a-day.  The basic blogging stuff is probably too simple for this page, but there is always the lizardfishmusic.com page.  I could make some changes there.  I don’t think I’ve made any changes to the layout there since I first created it.  Maybe a face lift would be fun?

Exercising should be an obvious target for new projects.  I had a really bad night Weight Watchers wise last night and I’m feeling a little crummy about myself today.  I got home from work and just started shoveling food into my face and I really didn’t stop until I fell asleep.  I need to be better than that.  The gym might help in that regard, or at least minimize the damage of any future bad days.  Right now I am having a problem with one of my feet (again).  My right foot feels a little swollen and it hurts to walk.  It’s not the same thing I had a month or so ago, and it’s not nearly as bad, but it is slowing me down right now.  Once that eases up I need to get back to the gym, and I need to get into a regular routine.

There is always more music to record, and more songs to learn for Lizardfish, and more practicing in general to do.  Just because February is over doesn’t mean I can stop playing.  I was doing pretty well with finding time to practice back in January.  I need to keep up with it.  I’m tired of feeling like the weak link in the band.  I’m also thinking of trying something new gear wise.  I want to try to run a two amp rig in the band, but most of the amps I have now are way too powerful and if I paired them up I’d be unable to not drown out the rest of the band during rehearsals.  I keep looking at my 15 watt Fender Bassbreaker as the solution.  If I could pair that with another lowish watt amp that could work.  I am thinking about going to Guitar Center to inquire about trading my Fender Stratocaster in for a Vox AC15.  I think that might be the key to making it all work.  A Fender Princeton reissue could do it, but it’s only a 10 inch speaker and I’d prefer to stick to 12 inch speakers if I can.  I just like them better.  We’ll see.

Should I start looking into using in-ear monitors?  One of the guys in the band uses them.  One of the hosts of the Gig Gab podcast swears by them.  So much so that he’s always inspiring the other host to try them, even though he has a hard time with them.  I don’t really want to spend money on it, but we’re getting to the point where we’re going to be mic’ing the room during rehearsals and I always wear ear plugs anyway.  Is it time?  I’m trying to decide.  I’m definitely on the fence.  We’ll see.

I was hoping that by this point in 2020 I would be able to do something to help out with the Warren for President campaign.  I guess that isn’t going to happen.  At least it seems highly unlikely now.  I can get behind Bernie Sanders, but the idea of a candidate in his late 70’s who has already suffered a heart attack during this campaign is a little depressing.  Platform wise I can 100% get on board.  Human wise… ugh.  As for Joe Biden.  He’s a great guy and I love him to pieces, but he’s literally my last choice of all of the candidates we’ve had.  Dead last.  Yet another guy in his late 70’s but this time one who just feels like a frat boy who got lucky.  He just seems a little too dumb ass for the oval office, and we already have a total dumb ass in the office now.  If he ends up with the nomination he’ll get 100% of my support… I was just hoping the rest of the country would jump on the Warren bandwagon, that’s all.  Yet another reason to feel let down by my fellow Americans.

There are a crap ton of TV shows that I want to watch.  February has resulted in me falling way behind on all of the CW super hero shows that I like to watch.  I’m like two months behind on The Flash, Supergirl, and Batwoman.  I’ve been trying to get caught up on Star Trek Discovery.  Season two is really good, I just haven’t had time to power through.  The last season of Star Wars The Clone Wars is either about to come out or has just recently come out.  I wanted to binge the whole series before I watched the new season but… Jar Jar… he kinda killed my interest in that.  I want to finish season two of You even though it’s definitely meh.  I want to watch Lock and Key and The Expanse and I still want to get back into Breaking Bad and Preacher.  I’ve started both of them, but just haven’t been able to keep going.  I’m not sure why, the are both good.  I’m caught up on The Walking Dead, and the second spin off is just a month or so away.  One show that I did not fall behind on in February is Star Trek Picard.  It is so good.  Just, so very good.  I wish it was going to be a 25 episode season instead of 10 (I think it’s just going to be 10).  I don’t want it to end… ever.

I’m sure there are other projects I can come up with that are just there for fun and a sense of creative accomplishment.  If we get lucky and Spring actually gets here there are always day trips up to the mountains that I can drag my beloved Mrs to.  There are so many waterfalls, and so many scenic views up there.  They are all just sitting there, waiting for me and Jen and my camera to come and visit.

There’s also always Disney World.  Or Disneyland.  Or Euro-Disney, if that’s even still a thing.  I’d say Tokyo Disney too but I have a co-worker who was supposed to go there next week and he told me it’s closed due to some global pandemic* thing.  Maybe you’ve heard of it?

On an unrelated note, I am trying a new browser again.  The same podcast that inspired me to try Brave has inspired me to try Vivaldi.  This post is the first thing I’ve done with it.  Isn’t that exciting?  I’m just glad that the Last Pass plug in for Chrome works in Vivaldi too.  That makes life a tiny bit easier.

 

*Go wash your hands.  Seriously.

Water

What can I say, I like taking pictures of water.  Fountains, lakes, waterfalls, whatever.

DSC_0138

DSC_0173

DSC_0179

DSC_0207

Untitled

DSC_0494

DSC_0749

DSC_0757

DSC_0922

Untitled

Untitled

Untitled

Untitled

I also changed the layout of this page… and if history is accurate, we can expect I’ll change it 5-6 more times before I settle on something.

Also, have you voted yet?  It’s Super Tuesday, is your state involved?  If so… vote.