Thursday, June 10 2021

chicken tendies, fish tacos, and our bathroom sink

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Dear Journal,

Good morning, everyone. Happy Thursday. I'm grateful to already be near the end of this work week. Some ticket duty weeks squeeze me dry like a sponge, but at least they make the week go by fast. I'm already looking forward to the next moment I can sit outside without my phone dinging next to me. This too shall pass.

But this moment is pretty good too. A bird is singing just beyond our front yard, and it sounds nice over the electric hum of the fishtank in the living room corner. It's just me and Ziggy here. She's has assumed her "firefox logo" position, curled into a pretty grey and white ball on her own chair.

Sip. How are you today? What kind of work week are you having? Yesterday pulled me into several different directions, but I carved out time for a lunch date with Rob. Apparently the two of us lack the creativity to pick any other restaurant than the Brass Ring, but why should we go anywhere else? It has a shady outdoor patio with a nice view of the capitol. They have a deep, respectable tap list. And - Rob's words - their chicken tendies are phenomenal. Not to mention the place is completely empty at lunch time. On second thought, maybe we had better downplay this gem. The last thing we need is for our favorite chicken tendies spot to get blown up.


Don't come here

Work was work. Slack threads. Zoom calls. Fong and I started doing research to prepare for our incident post mortem. Now that our former intern Connor is graduated and hired as a full fledged teammate, we looped him in on some of the work. He was not familiar with all the paper work and process that goes into incidents. We were making a detailed timeline, submitting screenshots and dashboards for evidence of impact, and creating a thorough remediation plan.

"It's like you're a cop or something," said Connor. My imagination ran wild, and I pictured myself as a detective in a dimly lit police station sifting though Polaroid photos. Here, the server's healthcheck failed. The process didn't even have a chance to exit cleanly. Dropped TCP packets, stack traces, and kernel panics. Not a pretty picture - what kind of monster could have done this?

In other news, Miles pulled an interesting magic trick yesterday. When I went to collect him from his afternoon nap, he had managed to pull his shirt up over his head, but his arms were still in his sleeves. You read that right. Luckily I have a picture.


Marissa and I stood around him and laughed. "No wonder he was screaming so much," she commented. The visual of Miles shrieking and wriggling out of his t-shirt gave us a good laugh.

I feel like I don't talk about Miles much these days. The truth is he's in a rough stage of development. All his teeth are growing simultaneously, and his promotion to people food has caused an overwhelming surge in his poop production.

One year olds are tough. They still require all the same care they do when they're three months old, but they're heavier, louder, and smellier. When Marissa and I change his diaper, you can hear sound bites like these:

Fine, don't wear socks.

Good god, what did you eat?

Could you lay on your back without completely freaking out just once?

Oh good, now you're thrashing. That's helpful.

Rodney and I had an ice skating lesson. Afterwards, Marissa treated us to fish tacos. She found the recipe from a random YouTuber whom she mistakingly thought was Chef John.

"I thought it was his old channel or something," said Marissa. "But I thought it was weird how he kept advertising his seasoning.

We called him Budget Chef John. Bizarro Chef John. Kirkland Brand Chef John. But whoever this mysterious YouTuber was, the tacos were fantastic. A tangy cabbage and carrot salad on seared tilapia with a side of pico de gallo.


Putting Rodney to bed, I gave him a choice between evening questions and hanging out with the super worms. Being in a bug mood, he chose the super worms. I sat him at my desk and let him poke around their habitat with the tongs. I think we both get the same kind of enjoyment from watching the tough, fat worms wriggle around.


Tomorrow marks ten days of isolation for the first class of pupas. This was the first class that I kind of botched by opening the box lid too often. I expect to have a few dead worms on my hands, but that's nature. Death isn't so tragic with insects - that's why they lay so many eggs. Imagine if instead of curing diseases and anticipating natural disasters, humans overcame these dangers by just having more babies. That's the Zophobas morio way.

I prepared the second tank yesterday for the adult beetles. They got a fresh layer of oats, but since I'll need to search and move hatched worm babies from this one, I made the substrate shallower. I also gave them a cut up egg carton to climb around on. I can't wait to fill this thing with beetles.


Marissa worked in the bathroom yesterday. She set out to replace the faucet and drain - a simple aesthetic change. But she discovered new, exciting problems with the way our sink was installed. The heavy porcelain cover in front of the pipes wasn't supporting the sink at all. The whole thing rested on the pipes themselves, causing them to warp under the strain. She showed me where the sink pulled off the wall, and how the previous owners just caulked it back in place.

"How long are we going to live here before we stop finding these surprises," she wondered aloud.

That's what I got today. Have a great Thursday, everyone.