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.

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.

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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.

 

Stuff to Do at Home

I forgot to take a card reader to Florida with me so I had to leave all of my pictures on the card until I got home.  I’ve sorted through the 1300 or so and weeded it down to maybe 500.  I used to use Google’s Picasa application for that because it made it easy to sort through all of the duplicates, but that app won’t run anymore.  I used Apple’s Photos and it kinda sucked.  Once they were sorted out I started editing them, using filters and the wizard in Photos.  Nothing special.  I’m about 1/3 through the keepers now.  I’d like to finish that today and get them all uploaded into Flickr so I can post some of them here.

It’s not likely to happen though as I still have three songs to finish today.  Two need quick lead guitar overdubs, and the other needs all of the guitars, rhythm and lead, and then all three need to be mixed.  I have the cover art, but once all the mixes are done I need to decide which songs get dropped and then which of the two mixes of each acoustic song gets dropped.

So much to do and so little sleep to do it on.

Actually, I did get a good night’s sleep last night.  I’m just overtired from the last few days combined.  I’ll get it all done tonight.  Well, I’ll get the music done at least.  I can sleep when I’m dead.  Or, you know… tomorrow.

Resort Jumping

In the last 24 hours we have paid visits to five Disney World resorts:

1. Yacht Club

2. Wilderness Lodge

3. Boardwalk

4. Polynesian

5. Contemporary (including Bay Lake Tower)

We are flying home tonight but wanted to check out possible future options.