Wednesday, November 6 2019

snow, cleaning, and timezones

1048 words

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Dear Journal,

Good morning, everyone! Happy Wednesday. Man, it’s absolutely beautiful outside. It started to snow last night before we went upstairs to bed, and this morning we woke up to the most perfect layer of powder. The kind that sticks to the grass, but not really to the roads. I’m sure the “OK that’s enough - I’m sick of this now” snow is following close behind, but for now I can’t help but admire the beauty. Our city of Madison looks absolutely beautiful in the winter. It looks good in the fall too.

The snow is putting me in a very good mood today. That, and I did a lot of cleaning yesterday. As part of last night’s Nesting Power Hour, I tackled the cubbies in which we store our shoes and coats. I was a little intimidated at first. I don’t remember the last time I cleaned out those bins. I doubt I’ve ever gone through them - and over time some interesting objects slipped into the bottom of the cubbies. Among the rubble, I found a few lose dog treats, diapers, screws, mosquito trap refills, and Rodney’s long lost giraffe themed monster truck. I sent everything through the washer, and I laid out the rest of the miscellany out on the dining room table. To conclude Nesting Power Hour, Marissa and I sorted through the pile. I felt a little like an archeologist.

Cleaning is a lot like archeology, isn’t it? What better way to study the layers of forgetfulness that accumulate in your own home. I used to think cleaning was a binary operation - a room is either clean or messy. But the more I clean, the more complicated it gets. Cleaning is about making sure people can get to the things they use. Things people use often should be easy to retrieve and put back, and things that are only used once in a while can be kept behind or underneath everything else. Cleaning my house feels like defragmenting a hard drive - as long as nobody is using the disk, go through everything you’re storing and optimize it.

Now that we’ve conquered the shoes & coat cubbie, I feel like we can do anything. My shoes are a little damp this morning, but it was worth it. I’ll take cold shoes if it means I also get the warm satisfaction that I got it done.

After cleaning, Marissa and I watched some more of the Karate Kid. Here’s my ice cold take for the day - the Karate Kid is an amazing movie. Marissa and I were spellbound, and having about a half hour left in the film, I was tempted to stay of up late and power through. But our adult sensibilities got the best of us and we just saved it for the next night.

So what else is going on. Today I’m heading into the office. Usually I work from home on Wednesdays, but there is a team lunch on our calendar, and we have a big change we’re rolling out into production today. I spent all day getting ready for it yesterday, filling out website paper work, cross checking config files, and doing UTC time math. Timezone math - that’s something that I used to dread, but it’s not so bad with enough practice. To convert something from CST to UTC, you just add six hours (five hours if the fall time change hasn’t happened yet). Converting to the west coast is minus two hours. East coast is plus one hour. Repetitive paper work can help you nail down that skill, much like how the repetitive movements of painting a fense and waxing cars made Daniel-son suddenly good at karate.

I normally walk through my day chronologically, but I guess I’m jumping around today. For dinner, I made an asparagus & pork Dutch baby. It’s a quick meal, and while getting it to puff up like our more classic breakfast breakfast variety still eludes me, it still makes for a decent dinner quiche. We all split a castiron’s worth, with a side of apple sauce. I also drizzled mine in hot sauce. These days, I’m really enjoying The Chicago, which is like a smokier, more jalapeno focused version of Los Calientes. It’s also just a little too runny. Between all the bottles of hot sauce on my shelf, I’ve found good heat, good consistency, and good flavor, but never all three. Plenty check two of the boxes; and beleive me, some of the sauces check none of the boxes.

So I guess that’s what I got going on today. Just a team lunch, big change in the afternoon, then I’m finding something else in the house to clean. There are plenty of little corners in the house that could use some attention, but I don’t know if we have any harrowing ‘big bosses’ remaining. I think tonight, I’m just going to cruise around the main floor and see how many spots I can hit, and if I run out of ideas, I’m just going to reflash the BIOS of our dining room computer. That counts as cleaning, right? You can clean software too (or in this case, firmware).

That’s what I got today. By now, I’ve usually hit a 1000 words, and I’m a little dissapointed that I’m a little short. That could be a result of this being such a ‘head-down-and-work’ kind of week. It could also be a result of me hyphenating long descriptors like ‘head-down-and-work’, which will only count as one word.

Wherever you are, hope you have a great day today. Which corner of the house are you afraid to clean? Think you could get it done in an hour? Don’t fear the filth, reader. You are a brave archeologist of your own home, and within that junk heap there are things to be discovered. Most of them are probably junk - loose dog treats, unused diapers - but who knows, you may have a long lost beloved giraffe themed monster truck waiting to be rediscovered. Have a great day, everyone.