Friday, January 22 2021


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Dear Journal,

Good morning, everyone. Happy Friday, I can't help but crack a smile finally getting to type that. Let me kick things off first with an important announcement regarding Joke Friday: I'm not going to do Joke Friday anymore. Look, I'm going to level with you. I don't know too many jokes. I've learned I don't even enjoy telling them. My brand of humor is a little more contextual. I like ripping on bad movies and teasing myself about baking fails, but story jokes are just not my style. If you have a joke that you'd like me to share with fellow readers, by all means send it my way on any day of the week. But as benevolent dictator for life of Alex Recker dot com, I hereby declare that Joke Friday is cancelled.

Sip. Joke Friday is cancelled and replaced with a new segment - Retrospective Fridays, or Retro Fridays for short. In my industry, a retrospective is a team ritual in which you look back on the week. You celebrate the highs and the lows. You dole out credit to the heros. You suss out things that can be improved upon. A retro is all about closing the book.

So let's jump into it. I'm going to follow the KALM method, which goes like this:


Keep expectations tempered. A small way we've been doing this is adding new friends to the fish tank. Yesterday Rodney and Marissa came back from the fish store with a bag of snails. They were shy at first - in fact so shy that all five of them remained clumped together in a single mass of shyness. Rodney, thinking they were all just once snail, named the entire herd snail.

It's always exciting adding new friends to the tank, but the harsh reality of keeping a home saltwater community dictates that we really can't call them our own until they last for a week. This morning the clump has moved, so that bodes well. But we're going to keep tempering expectations.

I also learned this week that my work office was postponing it's opening until this September. It makes no difference to me since I'm just permanently remote now, but it stung a little. Deep down I think I was expecting to come out of quarantine sometime this summer, and that email from work was the first time I read September anywhere. We're coming up on almost a full year of coronavirus, and while there are lots of reasons to be hopeful, there are pre-existing reasons to keep expectations tempered.

Keep time management. It was a busy week. The vault bug had me spinning my wheels, and I can't help but feel that if I hadn't stepped away from it every twenty-five minutes, I would have burnt out. Keep controlling the clock and taking breaks.


Add cream. We ran out of heavy cream this week. I used the rest of our carton in those terrible biscuits I made. I didn't think it would be a big deal since I'm a former black coffee drinker, but black coffee just doesn't do it for me any more.

Add skin care. Yesterday while changing Miles diaper I noticed some dry skin around his legs. It suddenly dawned on me that whether he is in his bouncer or in his swing, he's sitting in the same uncomfortable saddle for most of the day. So I gave him the premium diaper change package: powder, Vaseline, and a thorough tickling. It was nice to finally hear Miles laugh as loudly as he has been shrieking this week.


Less cheap bread. We bought a pack of cheap white bread to make Korean street toast earlier this week. I thought it would be sort of fun to have a Wonderbread type snack around the house, but I think sourdough has ruined us. I tried dipping it in soup, toasting it, using it in a sandwich, and broiling it with cheese. No matter how I dressed it, store bought sandwich white bread just wasn't as good as I remembered. Call me crazy, but KRANG tasted a little extra sour this week and I can't help but thinking it was because he felt slighted.

This one isn't really up to me, but personally I'd like to see less (fewer) toys in Rodney's bed. We have the core group - corgi, green dino, blue dino, and orange stegosaurus. Then Rodney discovered all the back-up green dinosaurs we had set aside in case he ever lost his favorite toy, so now he has three total. Then you add the baby giraffe and the much larger mamma giraffe, who gets stuffed in the corner with her flexible neck unnaturally twisted into a ball. All seven poop prize rubber dinosaurs - baby dinosaur, giant t-rex (GTR for short), longasaurus, look-back-a-saurus, stegosaurus, spikes, and SKONK get stuffed under his pillow. And on top of it all, Rodney just added his new find Sparkles the giant python to the group.


More baking experiments. The biscuits I made form sourdough discard were terrible, but it was fun to rip on them. I hope they provided some amusement for you.

More Rodney. Yesterday I was doing my usual silly live streaming of Miles feeding time. Hearing his auntie Sarah join the call, Rodney stopped by and took over. He sequestered my phone from me and proceeded to give Sarah a tour of the house and a demo of all his toys.

Marissa and I watched the video footage later. We were howling with laughter. Rodney was doing all the things he usually interrupts us with throughout the day, but seeing him doing it to someone else from a different perspective just put a different lens on it and made me realize how funny he is. Rodney is a perpetual motion machine. He's an endless source of surreal and aimless stories. When you pay attention to him, he's quite fascinating.


That's what I got today. Hope you enjoyed the new segment - personally that was kind of a nice way to wrap up the week. If you want, come hang out with me tomorrow morning on YouTube where I'll be making a retro style video game on the PICO-8 emulator - otherwise I'll see ya Saturday night. Have a great weekend, everyone.