A Downside of Weekend Work

So there is a hidden downside to working around the clock over the weekend.

There are a bunch of podcasts that I like to listen to during the work week that release new episodes over the weekend. This week I’ve listened to all of them. Now I have nothing to listen to during my actual work shift tomorrow.

Bummer, dude.

Unrelated to work, there was good news today. First, we got to see Bellana for about five minutes. She was passing through town and stopped in to say hello. Second, we had a FaceTime call with Harry! Both kids on a random Sunday! If only I had had a chance to shower and change out of yesterday’s clothes! Also, if I don’t get a haircut soon my head is going to collapse under it’s own weight. Keep an eye on the news. The headline will likely be, “Red Head’s Head Implodes. News at 11:00.”

Sleep is for Suckers, Boom!

I finished up the routines I needed to run last night at a little before 3:00am. I wanted to go to sleep right away but I was too wound up. I knew a call was going to be coming to start the next phase of the process but I didn’t know when. I wanted to get at least some sleep so I spent about half an hour cooling down and I was able to finally conk out at a little after 3:30.

The text messages asking us to log back in started at about 4:45.

I didn’t actually go to bed. At least not to my bed. My work setup is still in Harry’s room after the quarantinie adventure so I just dimmed the lights a little and laid down on his bed. I messed up his pillows a bit. Sorry about that.

The SleepWatch app tells me I got 70 minutes of sleep. 55 minutes were deep sleep, so I have that going for me. I reached 14% of my nightly goal. Kick ass.

I’ve got a feeling today is going to be one of those “do not operate heavy machinery” kinda days.

Wheeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!!!!!!

“Exercise”

The clock was fast approaching 10:00pm and thanks to our glorious flake day I still hadn’t closed two of my Activity app rings. Move was about 3/4 done, but exercise… I had five minutes from going up and down the cellar stairs for laundry and flood clean up, but that was it. Five minutes down and 25 to go.

When Jen went to bed I went down stairs to check on the flood situation. While I was down there I “exercised” for 15 minutes. That’s the longest I’ve gone at once since I started this whole ring closing push two weeks ago.

After that I went upstairs to the bed room and gave my back a good 20-30 minutes of rest before getting up and finishing with 10 more minutes. Kick ass! I had all three rings closed at 11:00, with a full hour to spare.

I’m going to be busy tomorrow so it’s not a guarantee, but I’ve got a shot at my first perfect week in a long time.

Kick ass, dude.

I Love My Family

I love my family. They are the best. You will never meet finer people.

Knowing that I am going to be at my parents’ for two whole days and that I won’t see them at all during that time, they asked me if I wanted to play a game of Ticket to Ride Online with them. We all have it on our iPads and figured it would be a nice thing to do together even when we aren’t together. Look me in the eye and tell me that isn’t the nicest thing anyone has ever done. I mean, seriously. How wonderful are Jen and Harry? I know Bellana’s not a big fan of that game, but maybe we can find something we can all play, assuming we can sneak it in around her work schedule as she is working up a storm in the final weeks before school starts.

I’m not sure who setup the network at my parents house, but I am pretty sure they have a firewall of some kind that is blocking online games. I’ve mentioned my troubles with World of Warcraft in the past, and tonight I had to switch from the wifi to my iPhone’s hotspot in order to connect to the game. I know my sister’s kids were doing some of their remote school here last year. I wonder if they put something in to keep them honest.

Speaking of online games, Jen and I have been playing World of Warcraft for the last month or so. WoW is owned and operated by a company called Blizzard. Blizzard has been getting demolished with charges of various kinds of sexual misconduct in the work place. I believe their CEO resigned over it recently. Karmically speaking (I do not believe in Karma, but the principal still applies) we are both starting to feel uncomfortable supporting the company so we’re looking for something else to play. Jen was looking into Star Wars: The Old Republic today. She won’t have to twist my arm to play that one. A game where I can be a Jedi? Sure! A game where I can get in touch with my dark side and be a Sith? Sure! I’ll have to download that one when I finally get home from this nana/papa sitting shift, sometimes in 2043 or so.

Last time I was here I mentioned that the only place I feel comfortable doing my “exercise” is in the cellar, and I don’t like going down there and leaving my parents alone without having a legitimate reason to go down stairs. There is laundry to do tonight, so I have my reason. I didn’t have a chance to start it until a little after 9:00, and only had five out of 30 minutes done, but I think I can close the ring. I have been down stairs once and I got my time up to 15 minutes. I think I will have two legitimate reasons to go into the cellar before midnight and I think I can get in the 15 remaining minutes. We’ll see. It’s really hot here and the humidity is unreal. We’ll see.

I left work for the day at 3:30 today so that I could spend some time with Harry before I came to my parents house. We watched the first episode of What If…? It was really good. I can’t wait for more! While we were busy with the Marvel fun, an email was sent to the whole company saying that our return to the office policy was changing again. Our requirement to come in approximate once a week has been temporarily put on hold due to the increasing Covid-19 numbers (which reminds me, I haven’t updated my spreadsheets yet). My boss called me a little while ago to make sure we were all on the same page. It’s looking like going into the office is off the table until (probably) mid-October. Obviously that could change at any time, but I feel much safer. It was pretty uncomfortable being there the last couple of times. I didn’t feel unsafe per se, I just didn’t feel comfortable. Tonight’s announcement was like a sigh of relief.

Okay, I need to update my MA and US Covid-19 numbers spreadsheets, and then I need to mix a song. All of that sandwiched around laundry and “exercising” and actually going to sleep and stuff. Here’s hoping the quiet night stays quiet. Fingers crossed.

Gig Economy Fail

I used DoorDash to get my parents some dinner tonight. It was my first time. I had to download the app and create an account and everything.

…and they got my order wrong.

Nothing like an epic fail on the first try, huh? Stupid gig economy.

Lunch Break

I’m on my lunch break. What’s going on?

Podcasts… What’s the deal?

MacOS used to have its podcast functionality baked into iTunes. At some point recently (was it the current MacOS or the last one? I can’t remember) they spun it off into its own application. It sucked. Like… bad. It sucked bad. The interface is terrible and nearly impossible to use. Discovering new podcasts… can you even do that? I don’t know. It just sucked.

iOS and iPadOS had their own standalone podcast apps. The two are virtually identical. There’s a screen thing here and there that is a little different, but the two of them are basically the same. That app (I am going to refer to the two as if they are just one app on different platforms. Hey, it’s my post I can do whatever I want. FREEDOM!) was never good. In fact, it was always pretty crappy. It was, however, a work of absolute genius when compared to the MacOS app.

Something happened recently. I don’t know what. I heard the Grumpy Old Geeks podcast talking about it a few months (I think) ago, but I am still not sure what happened. Whatever it was, it took the two mobile platform podcast apps, stabbed them in the heart multiple times, cut their heads off, and flushed all the bits down the toilet. It is absolute garbage now. Nothing viewable has changed. The interface is exactly the same. It’s just the performance that has more or less overnight become unusable. The Apple mobile podcast applications are now as useless as useless can be. Crap-tastic. Crash-tastic. Terrible. Garbage.

They are so bad that I am currently listening to podcasts while I work via the MacOS podcast player. I have my MacBook Pro streaming through the HomePods in my bedroom. I’m using the awful Mac version… that’s how bad the mobile versions are.

There are new versions of all three OS’s on the way. I am hopeful, though not optimistic, that improvements are coming.

Come on, Apple. Let’s fix this. You are making my work day more annoying than it needs to be.

Welcome to August

Happy August 1st, everyone! August doesn’t have a national holiday so this year I am going to try and make it feel better by acting like every day is an extra big deal. No I’m not. I’m just so happy that July and its constant rain is over. Granted, August might get constant rain too, likely will thanks to climate change, but for this one, sweet, shining morning, August is dry and I am happy about it.

I wore a mask at my mother’s house yesterday. Not all the time, just when I knew she was near me. We are both vaccinated, but she ain’t catching jack shit from me. The MA department of public health is recommending vaccinated people wear masks when they are indoors with other people around because we can’t tell who the morons who aren’t vaccinated are and if they aren’t going to do anything to protect their own health, then we the vaccinated have to do it for them. Because they are stupid. Because they are morons.

Thanks to the never ending pandemic of the unvaccinated we are still using instacart for groceries and they screwed up big time today. We had to go back for a second round. All in all I am happy for the service, they are right a crazy high percentage of the time, but every once in a while… We asked for hamburger patties and got pumpernickel bread. Riiiiight.

What else is going on on this fine Sunday morning in August that hasn’t seen any rain yet? I broke the music mold a smidgen today. We slept kinda late. Not super late, I was up at about 8:15, but for me that’s pretty late. I wanted to do some car music but the aforementioned instacart delivery was on its way, and I had some things I wanted to do before I left so I didn’t get into the car until almost 10:00. I do my car music in a movie theater parking lot, and due to the idiotic decision to re-open the state despite the never ending pandemic mentioned in the previous paragraph, the movie theater was going to be open at 10:00. I rolled the dice. I park in the back parking lot so hopefully anyone going in early to catch the delta variant and a movie would probably park in the front. My risk paid off.

August 1st

I did park in a different area of the lot though. I recorded four songs. There were two technical problems but neither stopped me. First, I use Trello to track my progress. The songs I needed to work on are on a list called Complete Lyrics/Melody on a board called 2021 50/90. My normal workflow is to bring up the Trello app on my iPhone and use that to let me know which songs to work on. The last couple of times I’ve done this though, the iOS app wouldn’t refresh. It’s showing me the board from about two weeks ago. Nothing is up to date. I had to turn my iPhone hot spot on and bring it up on the Mac. That is annoying as all hell.

The second technical problem wasn’t a problem but I would have had I kept going. The temperature outside was in the mid-70’s but the sun was out and shining bright and damn if it didn’t get roasting hot in that car. I’d open the windows but then people would be able to hear me “singing” and ain’t no way that’s happening. About halfway through my little “session” the Mac’s fan kicked on and it never shut off. I don’t know how much longer I would have been able to go before it started to overheat but “fortunately” my voice ran out of gas after about an hour and I had to stop.

I did manage to finish four songs. That’s one more than I had planned. I had three songs with the guitars finished and I wanted to pick those off. I also had six songs with lyrics and melodies already written that don’t have guitars yet. A couple of those have MIDI guitar tracks acting as place holders. I did one of those.

So the plans for the rest of today include, but are not limited to, cutting some grass, recording some guitar parts, having a cookout for dinner (weather permitting, of course, though July is over so the weather will be glorious), and hanging out with my step son who only has a few weeks left before he moves to college.

Of course, as I type out that to do list I am sitting at my computer reading twitter, making fun of creationists, and thinking that it would be really nice to just sit and watch movies with Harry and Jen all day. That might be the better to do list.

Welcome to August, may it stay sunny and dry. Good luck, folks!

Apple Pissed Me Off

How’s that for a click bait title? Good?

I have the Apple News widget on my iPhone. It just gave me a headline talking about some idiotic covid-19 conspiracy. What the fuck is that, thought me. It was a Fox News story. Why the fuck is a Fox News story showing up on a News app? What idiot at Apple let that right wing nazi propaganda bullshit company onto their news app? Thanks for insulting my intelligence, Apple. What the fuck? I am so pissed off right now I can’t even. Why not just put adam nazi jones or some bullshit like that? News? News, my ass. What the hell, Apple. You need to be better than this. This is unacceptable.

Missed Chance

I cooked burgers on the grill tonight. Jen made the patties from a package of ground beef and some other awesome stuff and I grilled them.

I totally forgot to take pictures for the ‘gram. Like, dude… missed opportunity. They were really good.

My wife Jen is basically the most awesome awesomeness in awesome town.

FYI

Just a little FYI for all of my fellow Apple fangirls and fanboys.

Fruit Ninja on Apple Arcade is just as wonderful as it was when the iPad was young. Zen mode doubly so.

You’re welcome.