Friday, August 21 2020

my hand painting, the worlds smallest pool, and milk with cookies

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Dear Journal,

Good morning, everyone, and happy vrijdag. How has your week been? The final week of my paternity week is officially coming to a close, and I think it was a pretty good sampling of what the entire summer has been. Silly activities with Rodney, good beer, homemade food, and of course constantly getting puked on.

I'm looking forward to getting back to work. You might expect me to be carrying a raging case of summer-itis about now. But I'm optimistic. Growing up, I secretly loved back to school season. If I were thirteen again, I'd probably be upstairs in my bedroom organizing my new school supplies in anticipation about now.

Before we begin this morning's regularly scheduled journal rambling, I have a brief art plug. Marissa is releasing some new art this weekend. The new pieces are available today if you're an email subscriber. One of these is actually a painting of yours truly.

Is it a portrait of me victoriously crossing the Deleware? Riding a horse shirtless through a field like Vladimir Putin? Those would make fine paintings, but this painting includes a ghostly rendition of my right hand reaching through a mysterious grey cloud flecked with gold.

my hand painting 2020 08 21

I hope the fame doesn't go to my... hand.

Is the painting true to form? Is there also a giant blister on the top knuckle of my middle finger from when I burned myself making donuts earlier this week? It's hard to tell with the orientation, but I like to think that detail is captured behind the painting in the mind of the artist.


So how was your Thursday? After waking up in the middle of the night with a spastic back, I was just about ready to give up on the day. But with enough coffee, stroopwaffels, and good company, my mood and sense of well being improved.

And since all my networking gear was still sprawled out at the edge of the dining room table from the night before, we decided to install the new wireless access point in the basement and take another card off the project board. Rodney climbed around on my back while I threaded an ethernet cable down through the vent. I cut the cable, and ethernet assembly expert Marissa took over from there.

Making ethernet cables from scratch is absolutely treacherous. I tried to make one once to hook up my xbox to the router back when we lived in Rockford. It took me several tries spanning almost an entire Saturday. And the first time I correctly connected the leads, I accidentally severed the cable with a staple gun and had to start over. I also had a lot of issues with my temper back then, and I may have left a fresh fist sized crack in our bedroom door.

Marissa dexterously weaved the leads together, tucking them into the plastic cap. She decisively crimped the staple gun shut, then fed both ends into the tester. The green lights flickered in unison.

"I'm awesome," she said, with well earned swagger.

A few minutes later, the disk was installed in the ceiling of her studio.

"So if I didn't know any better, and I were living by myself and hired you to do this work, without questioning it I would have paid..." I paused in thought for a moment. "Three hundred dollars."

"It was five minutes of work!" she laughed.

Once the disk was installed, I wrestled with the software through lunch time. I lost the original password I created for the Unifi controller software and had to just reset both of them. After some fiddling, I joined Marissa and Rodney out by the new inflatable pool, still distracted by the new hardware.

"I don't see any new client connections yet," I said staring down at my phone. "I'm just going to assume they're still finding a channel. Let's declare victory."

I set my phone on the far side of the table, out of range of Rodney's splashing. Rodney belly flopped into the tiny pool, the swam in circles with his head submerged.

"It's the world's smallest pool," shrugged Marissa.

"I thought it would look huge on our deck," I laughed. "But not even that. He looks like a fish swimming around in a live well."

The pool we ordered on Gigi's behalf was from China, which is why it took pretty much the whole summer to get here. Marissa tells me that all the other pools were sold out. But Rodney was non the wiser - he still ran, leapt, and splashed around like it was his own personal Kalahari water park.

Ziggy took a turn. She loves food and treats so much, it's hard to tell if she actually enjoyed the water. By pure luck, I captured the moment she half slipped, half jumped into the water to get the rest of the treats in Marissa's cupped hands.

ziggy jumps in 2020 08 21

There's a lot going on in this picture, isn't there?

Tired from swimming, the whole family practically shut down for a quiet afternoon nap. When I was ready to pick up groceries, Rodney was still conked out in his bedroom in a pile of blankets, LEGO's, and Dr. Seuss books. So I went by myself.

For dinner, Marissa made a lovely dish with seared salmon, asparagus, rice, and corn on the cob. We would have dessert an hour later. Rodney stayed up past his bedtime to enjoy some cookies with a kingly glass mug of milk. He insisted on finishing the whole thing. As he explained, there were pieces of his cookie that broke off and sunk to the bottom, and those pieces would need to be rescued at all cost.

big glass of milk 2020 08 21

No cookie left behind.

Thanks for stopping by today. Go swimming, take a nap, then eat some cookies.