Friday, August 14 2020

daisy chaining, frozen chicken, and my baby fluid limit



banners/2020 08 14

Dear Journal,

Good morning, everyone! Happy Friday. How are you feeling today?

Today I'm coming to you from my brand new, built-from-scratch static blogging framework. Hopefully the website looks no different than it did, but I'm pleased to report that after only about 1200 lines of code in a single sprawling ruby script, I finally had something that was comparable with Jekyll, plus a little more. It parses markdown with metadata. It can automatically resize images and generate dynamic links. I slimmed down the templating engine.

The most important thing in all of this is that now my text and images are organized the way I want them to. No more silly file format to trick Jekyll into giving me the correct URLs. No more giant configuration file or lists of plugins. No more redundantly pasting the date everywhere. It makes me so happy I could giggle.

Along with switching over to a new framework, I've made a few other changes while I was under the hood. In the footer of the website, I've added a link that will take you to the last change I made.

footer with git hash

Click the number & letter link for real time typo fixing action.

Over on the stats page, along with writing graphs and metrics, I'm also publishing the test coverage report. And I've split the journal entries out into a separate page from archives, where I've also tried to group all my old blog entries into topics.

I miss writing about topics. You may find this hard to believe, but sometimes it's hard to write 1000 words about my day. Shaking it up every once in a while with a movie review or an essay about something I care about would be a welcome change.

Sip. So how has the week been? Marissa and I kicked butt on projects around the house. Heading into the weekend, there are but a few lingering project cards, one of which is installing a new wireless access point in the basement.

The plan was to install it last Wednesday, when the new equipment arrived in the mail. I ordered a new futuristic glowing blue disc, much like the one mounted to the wall behind our dining room computer. I also ordered another POE switch.

Sitting down to plan the new addition, I suddenly started to second guess my hardware choice. Staring off into space at the computer, I wondered if I actually needed an extra switch.

Some quick Internet research introduced me to the concept of daisy chaining, which is when you hook up a network switch to another switch. Not only is daisy chaining considered a bad practice, but my home network is practically an advertisement for it. I have one switch upstairs in our bedroom beside our router, which daisy chains to another behind our TV, daisy chains to another underneath our coffee bar.

"If daisy chaining is unavoidable, do not chain together more than three," I read, suddenly feeling very dumb for purchasing a fourth switch.

"So you can get a refund on that switch, you don't need it anymore," I said to Marissa in a project update over coffee.

"I guess that IT guy I hired was wrong," she said coyly.

"HA - good one," I laughed. "In this case you get what you paid for. You shouldn't have went with the guy who works out of a bath robe half the day."

(Just in case it's not obvious, she was talking about me. There's not something weird going on).

We treated ourselves to a fleet of leftovers for lunch before running some errands. Before we left the house, I plopped a tightly wrapped package of frozen chicken breasts in the basement sink and turned on the water. We returned from shopping. We put the groceries away. I fixed a green been salad and got the garlic bread in the oven. When it was finally time to cook the chicken, I trotted downstairs to retrieve it from the sink.

To my horror, I saw the package of chicken floating, bobbing on the surface of the plastic bucket I laid under the faucet - pink meat speckled with ice chunks in clear view above the water.

"Ah... I think I'm going to have to throw out the chicken breasts," I said to Marissa. "I forgot to sink it under the water with something heavy."

I broke out a package of frozen chicken thighs and hurriedly arranged them on a plastic plate. I frantically thawed the meat in the microwave, opening the door every thirty seconds to check it with a poke from my finger. I don't enjoy thawing meat in a microwave. I find raw, warm meat unsettling, even if it's just a temporary stage before cooking. But with garlic bread in the oven, and a pad of butter melting on the pan that would soon be ready for chicken, I had no other choice.

"I think it turned out pretty good," said Marissa, digging through her plate of chicken and sauteed onions.

"Yeah, it worked out," I said. "Just bummed that I wasted a pack of chicken breasts. And those thighs were supposed to be for a West African stew I wanted to try this weekend."

Evening came. We cleaned up, put Rodney to bed, and were finally ready to crash on the couch with a pair of beers.

"Would you put the little man to bed?" asked Marissa. "He just needs some new jammies."

"Oh sure, I gotcha," I replied, reaching for Miles. "I'll change him too."

I laid Miles in his crib and retrieved a new diaper. I removed his old diaper and feeling the cold living room air between his legs, Miles immediately sprung a leak. Being well versed in diaper change technique, I was prepared, laying a spare wipe over the equipment to catch the liquid.

But I wasn't prepared for the second wave. Another wave of relief washed over Miles' face, sending another tiny stream of liquid straight up into the air.

"Oh c'mon, dude," I sighed.

"Need backup?" asked Marissa from the living room.

"No... no I got it," I said, gathering myself. I dabbed up the mess with a third diaper and carried him upstairs for a change.

I laid Miles down on the changer. He puked. I quickly reached for a clean rag from his shelf, and using the patented "polish the bowling ball" maneuver, I patted his head dry, then unzipped him. Miles puked again.

"Hey... could you...", I stammered as Marissa passed by his room.

"Yeah, I'll take it from here," she said.

I tiredly rubbed my eyes. "Thanks. That was just a lot of cleanup in a short amount of time. I think I hit my limit."

I poured a pair of beers while Marissa finished putting Miles to bed.

"Hey, thanks for swooping in there," I said. "I think I just hit my baby fluid limit for the day."

"He puked again," she said smiling. "A third time."

"Oh for crying out lout..." I sighed.

"But no problem. That's why there are two of us, right?"

Thanks for stopping by today. I hope you have a wonderful day today.