Sunday, October 18 2020

spherical pictures, free time, and talking philosophy with my neighbor



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Dear Journal,

Hello everyone! Happy football Sunday. Hope you've had a relaxing weekend. Today I'm happy to report that our Bears squeezed out a close victory over Carolina. Our team looked more lopsided than ever - a pins and needles victory powered by a combination of big defensive stops, opportune turnovers, and offensive whiffs. But like the four wins that came before today's, it must be meant to be. Whatever we're doing, it's working.

I'm in a good mood today. Even if the game hadn't gone our way, spending the day watching football on the couch, drinking coffee, and snacking on barbecue pork sandwiches isn't a terrible Sunday, is it?

As the game wound down, things around here quieted down. Rodney retreated to his room with a bag of fruit snacks for quiet time. Miles is hanging out in my bedroom office on his turtle mat trying to yank down his silly foam coiled up snake. Marissa is out for a quick jog around the neighborhood. In a bit, I'll shift into dinner prep mode - after updating the old blog of course.

Sip. It's been a good weekend - a heads down kind of weekend. Starting on Friday night, I attacked my mini datacenter wall, seeking to consolidate some hardware around the new Synology box. I did away with the cheap USB hub, bulky pi cluster, and finally decommissioned those USB hard drives that were likely minutes away from bursting into flames. After copying all the data over to my new NAS, I reached up to the top shelf to unplug one, and it felt so hot to the touch that I mentally reacted as if I accidentally grazed a hot stove with my finger.

Working in the IT corner inspired Marissa and I to think about a redesign. We think we'd like to extend my desk all the way to the wall, wrapping around the corner. It would be nice to have a second seat here for when Marissa pays bills or works on her website.

"I hope you know what you're getting into - this is your last chance to shoot the idea down before I invade your space," said Marissa.

"I like working side by side," I said. "It reminds me of how we used to do homework in college. But you are pretty messy, I may need to set up some kind of damn or barrier to keep your crap from rolling onto my side of the desk."

Today's picture is a shot of my bedroom office in its current state. And just in case that's not detailed enough, I also took a full spherical photo of our whole bedroom. With Google's camera app, you can stitch together a dozen individual photos of the room and view the aggregate as if it were virtual reality. It's not perfect though. I must have accidentally moved off my footing while turning around, as the image makes it look like Miles' crib is missing an entire side.

2020 10 18 crib

We only bought half a crib... to save money.

Here's the link if you'd like a blurry virtual tour of our bedroom.

We've had a good weekend. The kind of weekend where the free time is suspiciously ample. With Marissa getting so much time to paint and me getting so much time to fiddle with computers, we were both suspecting the other person was making a conscious sacrifice.

"Thanks for giving me so much time in the studio," said Marissa after finally emerging from the basement. I furrowed my brow in confusion.

"What are you talking about?" I asked. "I assumed you were watching Rodney, I've been working on my server wall non stop."

Neither of us were watching Rodney. He had been contently playing with his Paw Patrol toys all afternoon in the living room. To show our gratitude, we took Rodney and the dogs on a long walk around the block.

After Rodney went to bed, I made my rounds around the kitchen and back porch, picking up things left out from the weekend. My neighbor Lucas waved from his back porch across our driveway. I wandered over and chatted, leaning against our fence.

"That little burst of rain we got was so silly," I said. "It happened while we were trying to hang outside by the fire, and then it stopped."

"I know," he laughed. "I got rained on while picking up beer from the liquor store."

"Oh did you go to Trixie's?" I asked. "That place is great. I owe it to them for getting me onto tequila."

"I had too much tequila in college," said Lucas. "I don't think I could ever drink it again."

We got to talking about college. Lucas told me he studied Philosophy and rhetoric. "I got a question for ya," I said. "Who is your favorite philosopher?"

With full license to ramble, Lucas went on to tell me about Spinoza, a blue collar worker from Spain who was thrown out of the church for his heretical ideas about the oneness of all things.

"With most philosophers, there are places in their argument where their logic falters. But Spinoza is one of these guys where the only way to reject his theory is if you reject his starting principles." Lucas, who had lost track of how long he had been talking, suddenly felt embarrassed. "Sorry, I think I got a little carried away."

I laughed. "No, that was a good answer. That's a good reason to have a favorite philosopher. Like, even if you don't agree with him, you can still admire the science in a carefully constructed argument. It's like what a lawyer does."

"Do you work in law?" he asked.

"No, not at all," I chuckled. "I'm a computer programmer."

"OK," he said. "But still, you must spend a lot of time thinking about how logic is applied."

After Lucas had finished his cigarette, we both headed back into our houses. Marissa had just finished feeding Miles, and was ready to hand him off to me for bedtime.

"Who were you talking to?" she asked.

"Oh, that was our neighbor Lucas," I said. "We were nerding out about philosophy. He was telling me about a philosopher he likes named Spinoza."

We live in an interesting neighborhood. I feel lucky that I can wander outside and walk into a discussion about philosophy.

Thanks for stopping by everyone. Hope you have a great rest of your weekend.