Saturday, July 18 2020

monkey patching, knife accidents, and the biergarten

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Dear Journal,

Happy Saturday, everyone. Hope you got a chance to sleep in, and that you have plenty of coffee on hand to drown any grogginess from a regretfully late Friday night. This morning, an energetic YouTube video is blaring out from the living room TV, and an unexpected summer storm emptied the house of almost all natural sunlight, leaving a cozy dark haze in the air. Even though I just started typing today's entry a minute ago, I've been yammering on the computer keyboard all morning while Rodney finished his breakfast at the table behind me.

"What are you working on," said Marissa, finally feeling the caffeine needed to carry a conversation.

"Hacking on my blog," I said. "The blogging framework I use expects all the journal entry filenames to have both the date and the URL slug following a specific pattern," I explained. "But for my entries, I just use the date as the slug. So consequently, all of my posts have the date in their name twice, and I think it looks silly."

I hit a key command, dumping a list of files to the screen.

"I'd like to teach it to read in a much simpler filename format without the redundant extra date and extra "dot html", I continued. "A list that looks like this." My fingers struck the keyboard again, opening a second text buffer.

I continued to ramble. "So I'm writing a monkey patch - that's when you inject just the bare needed code into somebody else's code on the fly to change the behavior."

"A monkey patch," repeated Marissa. "That kind of sounds like what we did to your finger yesterday." She chuckled, gesturing at the wad of gauze and tape hanging off the end of my left index finger.

"At least the bandages are holding this time," I laughed.

Yesterday was knife sharpening day. Once a month, I take my two chef's knives, butcher's knife, and three paring knives and give them a few swipes on a whetstone; then I finish them with the honing rod and a hot rinse in the sink.

With all the knives sharpened, proudly hanging on the magnetic wall mount, I moved on to making lunch. As usual for Friday's, we decided to use up the rest of our stale loaf of bread to make grilled cheese. I moved the bread, cheese, and bread knife to the cutting board.

Our bread knife is a recent purchase. It's an odd knife - bright orange, sleeved in a flimsy plastic holder. Despite the outrageous orange color and silly wavy edge, it lives up to the glowing Amazon recommendations. I cut four slices of bread, then layed the butt face down on the board. "I think I can get one more slice out of this," I muttered.

The bread knife slipped. The wavy orange blade slid deep into my index finger. I recoiled in pain.

"Ooh," said Marissa from the table. "Are you alright?"

"Just a little knife accident. Oof, that's a bad one," I said wincing in pain. I ran fixed a bandaid around my finger and kept preparing lunch, but after a few minutes it became clear I would need something a little more heavy duty. Marissa entered the kitchen to assist me.

"This is a real bleeder," she said. "Just hold a paper towel on hit for a while."

"Would you mind finishing lunch?" I asked. Marissa took a place in front of the cutting board. "And be careful with that bread knife," I laughed. "It's looks like a silly play knife, but that thing is mean."

I talked Marissa through my grilled cheese method. And even though she's been a fan of our Friday lunch staple all quarantine, I don't think she liked learning how it's actually made.

"OK, so next the butter, right?" she said, taking a small pad of butter from the plate.

"Oh, way more than that," I laughed. "Like... triple that."

"What?" she asked. "It gets that much butter?"

"Oh yeah," I said. "You need a lot of butter. Honestly, it's gotta be like you're giving a baby a bath in butter."

We finished lunch and lounged around the house for a bit before planning the afternoon. We were meeting Alex and Cassie for happy hour at the biergarten just before dinner.

"Let's do our exercises before we go," suggested Marissa.

"Oh good call," I replied. "Last week, push-ups and sit-ups were not fun after a few beers in the hot sun."

We finished our exercises, then in a burst of last minute energy, changed Rodney into new clothes and packed the car. We pulled out of the driveway just slightly later than we had promised.

"Uh oh," I remarked holding up my hand. "I think push-ups may have irritated my finger." Marissa grimaced at the bandages, now tinted pink from the soaked gauze.

"Just hide your finger while we're there," she laughed.

"I feel like all day I've been 'high maintenance finger injury guy'," I remarked.

The weather was beautiful at the biergarten. There was a cool breeze washing over the grass from the lake, and the air felt so good I didn't even mind that Rodney accidentally dropped some pebbles in my beer. We stayed a little later, and my soft commitment to making pasta for dinner turned into a resignation to just pick up Portillo's on the way home instead.

Back at home, Marissa was kind enough to redo the bandage on my finger. And the second iteration of the dressing was good enough to allow me to type - not as quickly or accurately usual, but it's getting the job done.

Thanks for stopping by today. Be careful with knives.