For the Birds

Lily is sitting on the back of the comfy chair in the living room and she’s chirping at birds out in the yard. She spent the last few hours hiding under a bed somewhere as Jen’s folks were here for a visit. Why were you such a jerk, Lily? She came out of hiding within about a minute of Nana and Papa leaving. What a jerk, right?

We were talking about bird houses. That does it. I am getting a bird house for the yard this year. Hell, I might get two. One for the front yard and one for the back yard.

I’m off to amazon to do some bird house shopping right now. Updates to follow.

Three Years Today

Three years. Bullshit.

Today is March 13, 2023. On March 13, 2020 we left the office in Waltham at 5:30pm and the Covid-19 pandemic lockdown started. I mean we all had our own individual experience as we did not have a functioning Federal government at the time, we just had a nazi cunt in the White House pretending to run a Federal government. We were all sort of left on our own while more civilized societies worked together. Yeah, I ‘member.

So Jen’s company sent everyone home after work on Wednesday and my company sent us home after work on Friday. The kids both came home around the same time. Bellana was on Spring Break and they just had everyone stay home. Harry was still in high school so his experience was more closely similar to mine. Just one day he was told to stay home and telecommute.

So that’s how it all started. Today? Today the pandemic is still a thing, but our society is more or less ignoring it. Very few of us are still wearing masks. Most of us in the Tech industry are still working from home for the most part, but we’re being pulled back into the office more and more often. My company has us coming in once a week. My fingers are crossed that at some point soon we’ll eliminate that requirement, but that hope is not based on any actual evidence. Jen’s company closed their buildings, but they are still pulling people in to temporary work sites now and then. I don’t know anyone who is still 100% working from home.

In my family, we’re all vaccinated up the wazoo, and every time a booster is made available we jump on it. It hasn’t stopped anyone from contracting Covid-19 but it has drastically reduced the severity for most of us. Jen and I haven’t caught it at all. Three years of precautions have been successful for us. Sure, we’ve over done it and we continue to over do it to some extent, but we’re still Covid-Free.

And that, folks is the long and the short of it. They told us to expect to be working from home for a couple of weeks and it’s turned into three years. It’s not even unusual anymore. It’s not even “the new normal” anymore. It’s just normal now. As Bruce Hornsby and the Range once said, that’s just the way it is.

Happy third quaren-versary, folks. Do something fun at home by yourself to celebrate.

Mini-Split Success

We have a new, functioning mini-split HVAC unit in the primary bedroom. Say goodbye to overnight frostbite! I just went into the room to move the furniture back into place and there was actual warm air coming out of the wall unit. It’s been so long! Oh happy day!

When the AC staff left I was able to let the cats out of prison. We put them, and their food and water, and their litter boxes into Bellana’s bedroom and closed the door tight. We didn’t want them getting in the way or running out the door or anything like that so we locked them up. While I was upstairs just now they were sitting on the cat tree and I got to spend 10 seconds petting them and apologizing to them and researching whether or not they hated me now. They don’t. We’re still buds, all three of us.

I just checked the Find My app. Harry hasn’t left Burlington yet. I’m not sure what time we’re supposed to be expecting him, but given that it’s 3:00pm and he’s three hours away, I’d say sometime after 6:00pm. That’s called, “math,” kids. Respect it. It can do shit for you. Bellana is spending Spring Break with friends in the confederacy. She’s well on her way and currently somewhere in the wilds of Pennsylvania. I wish she was coming here too, but she’s going to have a good trip so I’m happy for her.

Okay, I got a super late start to my lunch break today but it’s over now so I need to get back to work. Until next time, my readers and only friends. Good day.

Good Stuff Coming Tomorrow

There are a couple of good things coming tomorrow. One good thing and one really good thing.

The good thing is a new mini-split AC system for the primary bedroom. We had one installed five years ago and were told it would last for a long time. It didn’t. It’s only a tiny bit better than useless right now. It’s freezing in there. We’ve had to add a space heater to keep from turning to ice some nights. The new AC is going to be installed tomorrow and here’s hoping it’s going to last as long as they tell us it should. At least this one has something like a 12 year warrantee.

That’s the good thing, what’s the really good thing? Harry. Harry’s Spring Break starts tomorrow and he’s coming to our house first. We’re going to have him here starting tomorrow evening and running through early next week. He’ll spend the second half of his break at his Dad’s but I’ll be sad about that when it happens. Until then though, I am stoked that he’s going to be at our house. He’ll be here when we ring in the start of daylight savings time on Sunday. I’m totally here for it.

Cemetery Ornaments

Jen and I visited my mother’s grave today. There’s no grave marker yet. Well, there is but it’s just a piece of paper in a plastic holder. There’s no permanent stone yet. There also isn’t any grass, which is a little disturbing, but not really.

At the funeral service, I noticed a lot of decorations on the trees near her grave. I took this for my photo-a-day thing on 2/14:


See the Christmas ornaments? There were things like that all over the place. While we were there today I took a few more pictures.


So is this a thing? I don’t know if I’ve ever seen stuff like this decorating a cemetery before. Sure, I’ve seen things left on headstones and that sort of thing, but never in the trees. I kinda like it. There may be Christmas ornaments from me in these trees’ futures.

Another trend that I am not really fond of us having images engraved into headstones. Specifically, photos of the deceased. That creeped me out a little. When my time comes, please don’t engrave my picture into my headstone. Thank you very much.

Okay, I am going to make myself a little lunch now. Eventually I am going to put my nose to the musical grindstone and write some lyrics and record some guitars. Before that though, I think I am going to try to figure out how to load a firmware update into my new camera. I’m also starting to tag things differently both here and on Flickr. I’ve been tagging the new camera as “Z5”, but everywhere I look I am seeing Nikon list it as “Z 5”, with a space in the middle. I’ll do both for now. Wish me luck on the firmware thing. This is a new one for ol’ Robbie.

Projects for the Weekend

Given that Jen and I have both had a couple of possible covid exposures over the last few days, I doubt we’re going to be going out on the town at all. What should I do to keep my locked down self occupied?

Music. The plan is to redo the four songs worth of guitar parts that were recorded with an amplifier simulator the other day. Yeah, I am a tube amp snob. I want to do that after dinner tonight. I want to use the same rig I used last night, but swap the Blooze Maker pedal with the Rat clone I got for the one heavy-ish song. Then I want to start writing lyrics so that I can have something do sing tomorrow morning when Car Music (2023 edition) kicks off. I probably won’t be able to finish 10 songs over two car music sessions this weekend, but I will do my best. That means I have to write a lot of lyrics in a short amount of time. I can do it. They are all going to suck, but I can get them done. Something is better than nothing, right?

Clean. The house is a mess after being neglected for a few weeks. I started cleaning a little yesterday. The big goal is the kitchen. It’s not good right now. I want to make it presentable again.

Television? I finished The Book of Boba Fett before work this morning so I can get back to Poker Face and Extraordinary (which I have been watching with Jen) and rewatching The Last of Us over and over again.

What else? I haven’t watched a hockey game in ages. The Bruins play on Saturday at 5:00pm. Does UMass Lowell play this weekend? I feel like I’ve been following along with both teams (not a lot with UMass Lowell, but some) but I haven’t been watching and I want to. The Bruins are having an absolutely legendary, epic season and I am missing it.

What else? You know what I need to not do this weekend? I need to not go on Facebook. Ever since my mother went back into the hospital I have been visiting Facebook a couple of times a day again. Mostly because I was sitting in the hospital just waiting for something to happen and I would go there to distract myself for a while. I’ve been spending a lot of time on Nikon Mirrorless groups, and a couple of bariatric surgery groups, and guitar gear groups… and I feel like a junky who fell off the wagon. I need to stop using Facebook again. Enough already.

What else? I don’t know. Spend time with the love of my life. Pet the two new kitties. Maybe watch Wakanda Forever as I haven’t seen it yet and as of today there are now two Marvel flicks I haven’t seen (Ant Man 3 is out today). That needs to stop. Maybe start rewatching Andor? I don’t know. Maybe just veg in front of youtube some more. I don’t know. Also, how about we cut down on the between meal snacking a little?

Okay. That’s a lot to think about. I am five hours and six minutes away from the start of the weekend. I’ll figure it all out as I go.

Who Didn’t See That Coming

Three days after my mother’s wake and the announcements have started. My cousin tested positive for Covid-19. My sister’s sister-in-law also tested positive for Covid-19.

With all the hand shaking and hugging going on at the wake and at the funeral, it was inevitable that Covid would be passed around. Yippee.

Jen and I both tested negative this morning. So far, so good for our house. Fingers crossed it continues, and fingers crossed it doesn’t spread any further.

Stupid effing pandemic ruining my mother’s services.

We Made It

We made it through the funeral and the cemetery and the after luncheon. That’s actually still going on but it’s wrapping up.

It was painful but good. We all came unglued a few times but we are all okay. My dad did great. He left the lunch a little early but he made it nearly all the way through. I’m proud of him.