Happy St Patrick’s Day

Happy everyone in and around Boston, Massachusetts pretends they are Irish day! Even those of us who actually are of Irish descent. It dawned on me yesterday that with all the weight loss over the last year, and all of the needing to buy new clothes, I don’t actually own any green clothing. After I had that realization it also occurred to me that I didn’t own any green clothing last year either.

We are not doing anything special to celebrate my national heritage this year. I floated the idea last week, but after having Harry home for spring break it seemed underwhelming and I didn’t pursue it. I’d like to drive to New York instead, but I haven’t floated that idea at all so it ain’t happening. Unless Jen reads this and jumps at the idea. Heh heh heh.

No stomach issues today. Yesterday I was dealing with stomach aches off and on all day. The day before I had a minor stomach issue at lunch and then a huge issue at dinner. Today, nothing yet. I had a protein bar and a little bit of chicken for breakfast. No problems. I am hopeful that I can keep this trend running for the day.

I’ve been trying to get into Mastodon (@RobJ_1971). I wrote there this morning that if I had my way my agenda for today would include playing guitar and watching The X-Files and nothing else. Obviously that ain’t happening either (thanks, adulthood). Tomorrow though… Sunday though… who knows. I might finally stop thinking about it and start trying to sell my Stratocaster and using the proceeds to make repairs on my ES-335 (frets and wiring harness) and Les Paul Custom (frets, wiring harness, and pickups). Maybe. Frankly, the idea terrifies me. Mostly because I don’t know what a 2000 American Series Stratocaster’s fair price should be. The used guitar market is constantly in flux and I don’t want to let it go too cheap. I also don’t want to try to gouge people either. I’m thinking $1,200, but is that fair? I don’t really know.

Okay. Get to work, Robert. Happy St Patrick’s Day, everyone. Happy Friday. Don’t drink and drive tonight. Be careful out there. Wash your hands and be safe.

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.

Nine Minutes to Go

I am probably going to jinx things, but there are nine minutes left in my work day before the start of two whole weeks of vacation. I don’t know if I can hang on for the final nine, now eight minutes.

My clothes are all packed but I still have to pack my camera gear and my food/drink stuff and all of the toiletries and phone/watch/ear pod chargers. There’s still a ton of stuff to take care of. The punchline here is that we’re not leaving for three days so… maybe I’m actually WAY ahead of the pace.

The further punchline is that Jen is upstairs packing her clothes too. I think we’re both a little excited for this trip. Six minutes to go.

The last vacation we took was in February of 2020 when Harry, Jen, and I went to Disney World for Harry’s school vacation week. That trip wasn’t really planned. It was just a last minute idea that Jen had so we just jetted off like crazy people. We all know what happened when we got home… Covid… that prick. We’ve been more or less locked down ever since and have been afraid to do any traveling or any anything, really. We were supposed to go to Disney World for Harry’s high school graduation in June of 2021. That got postponed to June of 2022 and then re-postponed to January of 2023… next week. I don’t think anything shy of an asteroid colliding with our house would keep us away this time. Enough is enough. Let’s freakin’ gooooooo.

Three minutes left. All quiet on the Western front.

Two minutes left………

The Last Work Day Before Vacation

It’s Friday. Tomorrow is New Years Eve. Monday is New Years Day (celebrated). Tuesday is the first day of my two week vacation. That means that I am officially on vacation at 5:30pm today. Nine hours and 13 minutes from now.

I haven’t started packing yet, but I have done some pre-pack preparations. We have a dining room table full of toiletries that are ready to pack. Last night I went to a department store and bought three pairs of jeans. I’ve been buying new clothes every 5-6 weeks or so, and it was about time anyway. The new jeans are, shockingly, TWO sizes smaller than last month’s jeans. I’m not sure, but I think my waist size is 16 inches smaller than it was a year ago? something like that. I really cannot believe it.

This morning I wrote up a packing list that (hopefully) is ridiculously thorough so that I don’t forget anything. It was so over the top that Jen actually suggested I drop a few items because they were overkill. That’s okay with me.

Plans for the weekend are mostly up in the air. The kids are with Dad for New Years Eve, but they said they would come over for a visit in the afternoon. I am so happy about that. I was thinking maybe we could sneak out to the city after they leave and pretend we are not afraid of Covid and stuff like that. The temperature is supposed to be super warm, but it’s also supposed to rain all day and night. So much for that plan. I want to visit both of my parents before we leave. I need to do a little more travel supply shopping, but mostly just for protein supplement stuff. The kids are coming to our house on Monday before we leave. Actually, when we leave sort of depends on when they get here. We want to spend a little time with them at home before the chaos commences. There’s also a little NHL Winter Classic game happening at 2:00pm that includes the Boston Bruins and Fenway Park. If we’re home, I’m watching. If we’re on the road, I’m listening on the radio.

Jen and I just added our Disney passes to our Apple Wallets so that we can use our phones and watches in place of the Magic Bands we used on the last couple of Disney trips. That’s pretty cool. We’re both hoping we can leave all of our various cards behind and do anything we need to do through Apple Wallet via Apple Pay and what not. It’s time to embrace the future!

I punched into work a smidge early today, just to get a jump on stuff on my last day. At this point I am eight hours and 35 minutes away from my two week, epic vacation. May today be a quiet day at work while still managing to not drag. Fingers crossed on that. Happy Last Work Day Before Vacation, everyone!

Christmas Eve Eve

It’s christmas Eve Eve. The last work day before a three day Santa Clausy weekend. The work days have been quiet this week and I am thankful. Remind me to mention it next Thanksgiving.

My father is home from the rehab hospital. Did I mention that yesterday? I can’t remember.

There’s supposed to be an ass kicker of a rain storm going on outside right now. When I got out of bed around 5:40 (an hour ago) I looked outside and it didn’t seem too bad. I might sneak over to CVS after they open and see if I can get a padded mailing envelop and a sharpie or two. I have something to ship to Minnesota and it is bugging me that I haven’t taken care of it yet. I also finished my test roll of film that combines my Nikon camera with Dad’s Pentax lens. I want to send that roll off for developing to make sure the combo works before I take it to Florida. I might take the lens that came with my camera from ebay too even though it’s in pretty rough shape. Maybe alternate days? Dad’s lens the first time we go to a specific park and mine the second? Who knows.

I just finished a (simulated) four mile run. If I had actually run four miles my legs would have fallen off and my head would have exploded. You know how it is.

Christmas Eve is a big day ’round these parts. We have a little family get together every non-Covid year. This year, in the spirit of hybrid work environments, we’re having a sort of hybrid christmas eve get together. That just means the guest list is smaller and there won’t be as much food consumed. The food thing doesn’t have anything to do with the guest list, it just means I don’t have a stomach anymore. I would also like to visit both of my parents, if I can. I would also like to take Dad’s camera to the ocean, maybe. I would also like to clean the kitchen and the bathrooms and the living room a little, but that won’t take a lot of time. We’ll see if I can get to any of that stuff.

Today, apart from the usual work day stuff, I want to bake cookies and make Tewksbury Tweets. We made the dough for the cookies yesterday, but it needs to sit in the ‘fridge before going in the oven. I wanted to make some Tweets, but there was a cat documentary on Netflix and you know how that is, right?

Okay, time to eat some breakfast and take a shower and do all of that boring morning stuff that doesn’t make for a good blog entry but I often write about anyway because I am a stinking rank amateur at this stuff.

Where To… Again?

I find myself asking this multiple times each weekend. If the weather is going to be good tomorrow around sunrise, where do my camera and I go?

Well, the weather is supposed to be good tomorrow so I’m asking yet again. Boston is the big beacon on the horizon, but I just don’t want to deal with parking and getting around town.

Maybe head back to Plum Island and hit a couple of the spots that I saw but didn’t stop at on Friday.

There’s a lighthouse in Gloucester. I think there might actually be two of them. It’s an hour drive, but if I’m on the road early enough it could be kinda cool. I don’t know.

There’s still the Concord River at Minuteman National Park. There’s another pond in Tewksbury and another river walk in Lowell.

I really don’t know what to do. What a weird feeling.

Time Lapse Video Idea

I’m thinking about this, but it’s dumb so I doubt I’ll do it.

After all of those burning candle time lapse videos I’ve posted since Covid came along… what if I do a really, really long time lapse of the little plant cutting from a couple of posts back? Say I put my iPad in front of it tonight before I go to bed and let it record a time lapse for 24 hours and see if we can actually see the new growth grow.

What do you think? Would it show anything? Do plants only grow when no one is looking?

Catching Up

One hour of bad sleep on Saturday and six hours of bad sleep on Sunday. Yeah… it’s catching up with me. I am one sleepy red head right now.

15 minutes to go until I log out of my work computer. I’ve been logged in since about 4:00pm on Saturday and it’s 5:16pm on Monday. Well… I was out for a bit as I rebooted once this morning. I figured the lappy needed it after all the work I made it do this weekend. Have you tried turning it off and on again?

I took tomorrow off to recover from the weekend. What should I do? Besides sleeping of course. Well there was mystery*… no, that’s not right. How about well there is music. I need to do car music. I have eight songs that need singing. Actually, I have 11 songs that need singing. I added two new song ideas to the list yesterday in a very not successful attempt to calm my ass down. There is also one little music memo thing that I added to the song list but it’s not very good so I will probably drop it. So…. eight songs ready for vocal tracks, two songs that still need to have their vocal parts written. Maybe car music in the morning and then more car music in the afternoon? Is that possible?

What else? Well there’s my desk. I have made the (likely temporary) decision to keep my work day desk setup in Harry’s room, but move my MacBook back to the desk in our bedroom. I like it better in our bedroom, but I have also found I really like working elsewhere. It was starting to feel like I never left that room. Now I will definitely be leaving it for 8.5 hours a day, five days per week.

Okay, work time is up. Time to go cook dinner for my love.

*There is a song by Bill Bruford’s fusion band, aptly called Bruford, called Fainting in Coils. It opens up with a quote from Alice and Wonderland where Dr Bruford reads the passage with his voice sent through a harmonizer and lowered an octave or so. There’s some other sauce on there too. Someone else reads some narration and then the good doctor’s voice comes in louder and right up in your face and the first thing he says is, “well, there was mystery.” In my massively sleep deprived state, that’s what I was thinking of as I was typing that paragraph. There. You’re in the know now.**

**Am I the only doofus who puts footnotes into meaningless blog posts? Yeah, I thought so too.

Half Day

I’m working a half day today so that I can go visit my father in the hospital. I’m off the clock at 1:00pm. Sweet. I’m off for a full day on the 18th as that’s the day we help my step daughter move out of her dorm. Mothers Day is Sunday, that should be nice. My step Daughter’s birthday is the 19th and it’s a milestone year for her. Very excited.

There’s something else going on this month too. Another landmark event type of thing. I wish I could remember what it was but it seems I’ve blocked it from my memory. If I remember what it is I’ll probably write about it, but even though it’s a huge landmark it can’t be that important, right?