Thursday, October 8 2020

gitlab, chicken bones, and falling off bikes

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Dear Journal,

Good morning, everyone. Happy Thursday. This morning, getting out of bed was a real test of will power, and I almost failed. I don't even remember my alarm going off. I think what actually woke me up was accidentally tapping a loud video ad from my twitter feed. It took some time, but I'm finally here at the computer, and I'm going to cling to this cup of coffee as if it were the only thing keeping me tethered to the world of the living.

It's a good day today. We have a football game in the evening, and we're going to order out for dinner tonight. My hard drives also finished copying, and I'm finally ready to re-roll our Plex server. On top of everything, it's Thursday, and the week is almost over.

Sip. We had a good day yesterday. I pretty much had the whole morning and afternoon to dig into something that was fun and complicated, and to round things off there were just a few meetings at the end of the day.

One of these meetings was with a company named Gitlab, who is probably the top competitor to github. Their team is looking at ways to revamp how they manage secrets, and they wanted to hear some stories about what we've done with a product named Vault.

Isn't this a little too detailed? Surely I'm violating some kind of confidentiality agreement here, right? Well, the really cool part about Gitlab is that along with their code, they keep their documentation, run books, research notes, and project tracking completely open to the public.

"We even try to shy away from private slack messages," they explained. "We are just obsessed with making everything at our company as freely available as possible."

I envy that about Gitlab. That attitude about transparency tickles the spot in my heart where the liberal software hippie, the grounded Midwesterner, and the vulgar Dutchman all converge.

"We gotta figure out how to do more of that," I said in our team's private channel just before signing off for the day.

In lieu of casual last minute science class, Rodney and I quartered up a chicken for the recipe Marissa was making that evening.

"Where is the head?" I asked.

"Right here," said Rodney, patting the top of the chicken with his gloved hand.

"Nope," I replied. "They cut it off."

"Cut it off?" he repeated.

"Yep," I nodded. "Before you buy a chicken for food, they pull all the feathers off, and the cut the head off."

"Oh, I get it," said Rodney, his voice trailing off.

We pulled off the skin, peeled back the bones, and piled the breasts, legs, and the wings to the side of the cutting board. Rodney scooped up a pile of skin and fat, holding it out for Marissa.

"Momma," he said. "These are the bones." Marissa flinched, watching with horror as juices dripped to the floor.

"We were just about to clean up," I said. "I don't know why I thought the latex gloves would help, he still just touched everything around him."

To give Marissa space to cook, I decided to take Rodney and Miles for a little walk up the street. Rodney climbed on his bike, tagging behind me and Miles' stroller. Rodney insisted I hold his bike too.

"No, I can't dude," I said. "I have to push Miles. I'll grab you if you need it."

"But I need your help," he pleaded. I walked ahead anyway, and Rodney peddled faster, trying to keep up. Only a few houses later, Rodney forgot all about needing me to hold his bike.

"Dada," he said. "I'm going fast - like Blaze."

"Oh blaze?" I asked. "That's a new character, right? From when you play Nick Jr. on the computer?"

Rodney, feeling confident, raced ahead of me and Miles. He lost control of his bike and careened off the end of a driveway, rolling to the pavement. I locked Miles' stroller and rushed over.

"Are you OK dude?" I asked. Rodney, sobbing, gingerly climbed to his feet. He rubbed his knees, wincing in pain. We heard a screen door creak open.

"Do you need a band-aid?" called out a neighbor from her front porch.

I turned and smiled. "Oh thank you, but we're OK - no blood."

"I need a band-aid!" yelled Rodney. "Please? You get me a band-aid?" If I had let Rodney take over, he'd have invited himself in, and also asked for an ice-pack and some paw patrol fruit snacks.

Rodney didn't want to climb back on his bike. We turned around and walked beside it for a few houses. I tried to encourage him to try again.

"Falling is part of riding a bike, dude," I said. "C'mon, what do you think Spider-man would do if he fell?"

Rodney, looking more composed, rubbed his eyes and sighed. "I know," he said. "He'd shoot a web and swing back up."

I laughed. "I was looking for get back up, but sure. Maybe that's more technically correct." I scooped him up and placed him on his bike. "Now shoot a web, and swing back up, Spider-Man."

"Dada," said Rodney. "I'm not Spider-Man. I'm baseball player Rodney."

Rodney forgot all about falling on his bike, and in no time he was back to racing ahead of us.

"Dada, let's play a game," he said. "I spy...".

He slowed his bike, swiveling his head, looking for something on the street in front of us.

"I spy... a motorcycle," he said, finishing his thought.

I laughed. "Is it... that motorcycle right in front of us - the one parked at that house?"

"Yeah!" yelled Rodney. "Good job! OK your turn."

Marissa had dinner ready when we got home. We had Jamaican braised chicken in a brown sauce with rice. Rodney finished his whole bowl on his own.

"What was that dinner?" he asked while I was putting him to bed. "That was so delicious."

"Wasn't it tasty, dude? Chef momma made that."

"I really like it," said Rodney, his eyes bulging with excitement.

Thanks for stopping by today. Have a great morning, everyone.