Monday, March 22 2021

cheese balls, motherboards, and ziggys modeling career

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Dear Journal,

Good morning, everyone!

Oof. There it is, I think I just exhausted all my morning enthusiasm in a single greeting. What a struggle this morning.

This is my own doing. This weekend was filled with all kinds of debauchery. First, it was the snacking. I decided to take a weekend off of the calorie counting, succumbing to the ample supply of apple sauce, beer, and homemade desserts from seeing my parents this weekend. And then there were the cheese balls. Oh, the cheese balls. Rodney and I bought a big jug of them from Hy-Vee on Friday, and they didn't even make it to Sunday. I threw the empty container in the garbage just to rid the evidence. I have zero self-control when it comes to those things, and it made me sick thinking of all that delicious orange dust coursing through my body.

And then there were the late nights. We pushed the envelope with bedtime this weekend, turning in for the night in the regretful 1-2AM window. Afternoon naps helped, but this morning I'm feeling the chilling lurch back into the real world of 6:30 AM.

Marissa had better reasons for staying up late than I did. She was trying to finish all the pre-work for her Monday tax appointment, and I guess I convinced myself that I could be of service staying up late with her out of solidarity. Before we settled in to watch a movie, I helped her take inventory. We tallied up every frame, wood panel, and can of spray paint. We even counted every little ink refill on her shelf - it was like counting the pegs in a Lite-brite. We both multi-tasked during our viewing of Scary Movie, a film so dumb and forgettable that it was perfectly suited doing taxes.

"How do you want me to tally these for you?" I asked. "Do you want me to do roman numerals?"

Marissa made a confused face. "No, definitely not roman numerals."

"Doh," I said. "I meant tallies. Roman numerals wouldn't be very helpful would they?"

"I was going to say," laughed Marissa.

"I don't even think I'd make it to ten," I added.

"You couldn't?" asked Marissa. "Ten is X."

"OK, fine," I laughed. "I could make it to ten. But beyond there it would get a little dicey. Once's the C's, L's, and M's get involved it's a total crap shoot."

The theme of this week is getting back on the rails. I have two full weeks of work before our little puppy vacation, and the way I see it that's the perfect amount of time to fix my sleep and reign in the snacking.

The ten day forecast from today projects lots of clouds and chilly rain. That sounds like the perfect weather to douse my craving for cheese balls with homemade soup.

Sip. How was your weekend? Mine wasn't all bad sleep habits and snacking regrets. I got in a decent amount of hobby time too. Recently, all the parts for my new server build arrived. This is the quieter, lower powered replacement for the Frankenstein'ed desktop PC I have bolted to a plastic board on the top rack. When it was finally time to put it together, I brought Rodney along and commandeered the dining room table as our temporary work bench.

2021 03 22 computer 1

By far, the coolest part of a new computer build is the mother board. The amount of detail welded into a motherboard makes is a pleasure to study, like you're looking at a page from a Where's Waldo? book. Rodney, studying the board, noticed the four holes on the outside.

"Do you need me to screw something?" he asked, twirling a tiny phillips head screwdriver in his fingers.

"Actually, yeah," I said, dumping a bag of small metal screws into a tray. "I'm going to read the manual for the board, why don't you get a jump on screwing the motherboard in."

I pretended to read while watching Rodney out of the corner of my eye. Trying to seat the first screw, he fumbled it and dropped it inside the metal case. But he persisted. Slowly and methodically, he tightened each screw in place. It was neat watching him find that extra level of focus inside him to do something so challenging.

2021 03 22 computer 2

"Nice work, dude," I smiled. "This is perfect."

Letting him bolt the board to the case was the short-lived peak of our bonding experience. Once that was done, it was hard to hide the glaringly obvious fact that I was all out of jobs for him. To hold him over, I let him stab at the unused IO shield while I wired up the front panel.

Unfortunately, Rodney had to go to bed just as we were getting to the exciting part. I would first boot the machine later that night after he went to bed, using a long VGA cable running from the table to the dining room computer monitor. As always, when you're building a new computer from scratch, seeing the boot screen for the first time is an exciting milestone.

2021 03 22 computer 3

Unfortunately that's as far as I would get with the new server this weekend. The boot screen hung on an error code that mapped to a RAM problem. I missed a small detail in the specifications and accidentally ordered RAM that wasn't compatible. The project is stalled, pending the arrival of new parts.

Before we go, it's time for the chump of the week. This week's chump award goes to Zavanci Dream, Pierre Arden, and all the other weird Instagram accounts that comment things like DM us, we'd like to collab on Instagram pictures. I posted a picture of Ziggy and I this weekend, and apparently the words "daughter" and "beautiful" in the comments were enough to attract these seedy amateur modeling accounts. So Zavanci Dream, Pierre Arden, and all the other weird Instagram accounts that are trying to "collab" with young girls - you're a bunch of chumps. Nobody wants to collab with you, and we want you to go away and stop bothering people. Could Ziggy be a professional model even though she's just a puppy? Absolutely. Even an idiot could see that her smoky eyes and exotic features would set the modeling world on fire, but she deserves to have a regular life too. Plus, no boy dog will ever be good enough for her, so what's the point?

Thanks for stopping by today. Happy Monday, everyone.