Tuesday, July 13 2021

bread protuberances, afraid of birds, and sniffing packets

page banner

Dear Journal,

Good morning, everyone. Happy Tuesday. Here at alex-recker-dot-com, we know you have lots of Internet content to choose from, and we're happy that you chose us. From my web browser to yours, welcome. Pour a cup of coffee. Make yourself comfortable. Pull up a chair, or maybe put a pillow behind your head to help you keep your neck in place while you sleepily stare your phone from bed. Hey, I just write the text, I'm not going to sit here and tell you how to read it. That's your department.

Sip. It's good to be here. This morning I'm feeling appreciative for the time I get to write, and for the people that take the time to read it. I tend to go a little overboard with new hobbies - things like baking bread, breeding worms, or caring for spiders. Taking the time to write helps me keep my time balanced, and helps me enjoy these little side quests even more.

Speaking of bread, I'm still on that sourdough kick I started during early quarantine. I still feed my starter every morning and try to bake one to two loaves every week for lunches. But I no longer obsess about how the loaves look. I don't anguish over getting the perfect score or optimal spring. I've embraced the true ethos of "country bread". When that loaf comes out of the oven, no matter how flat, lumpy, odd, or unsightly it looks, it's still bread and bread is always an improvement over not having any bread in the house. Just look at this otherworldly beauty I baked yesterday. The dough was smooth, shiny, and taught when I gently laid it into the pan. I thought it was going to come out of the oven looking like a thumbnail of a Joshua Weissman YouTube video, but God had other plans for that loaf of bread. It would instead grow a protuberance right out of the middle that would hang uncomfortably over the side of the pan.


Talk about "letting it all hang out"

In other news, our new spider Glassy arrived at the Moreno Valley mail distribution center in California last night. I trust Glassy is snuggly tucked into a moist paper towel or a sealed container with air holes, and I hope he has a safe journey across the US. Our thoughts our with you, Glassy. It's probably not very fun tumbling around in the mail with a box of pinhead crickets, but if it helps, you'll probably get to eat one of those little twerps in your new cozy habitat on the bookshelf.

Meanwhile, Spidey continues to puzzle me with his refusal to burrow. He lives over five inches of fresh coco fiber, tossed and tamped with the perfect amount of moisture. He has his own groovy bungalo carved out of a piece of cork bark keeping a safe and cozy cave. But spidey just hangs out on top of it. Sometimes he adventures as far as the water bowl, but he's pretty much on top of his house chilling out in the fake moss all day.


If i knew how often he'd be on top of his house, I'd have named him Snoopy.

I think I've put you through enough spider talk today. How about some bird talk? Marissa and Rodney took a short trip to the pet store yesterday. She had to get something small for the new aquarium, and she brought Rodney along. "Come back with a bird, you coward," I offered as parting words out the door.

With that, I was knowingly teasing Marissa about her own internal conflict. Marissa likes the idea of owning a bird. She admires them for their intelligence. She's probably drawn to the challenge of training a bird. But birds scare her, and they kind of scare me too.


This is fine.

"I could feel its claws digging into my arm," she said. "It was constantly adjusting its weight to balance, and that made me nervous."

Back at work, we kicked off the week with stand-up. Scott and Derek were back from week long vacations, and after such a quiet week it felt good to be closer to full strength. Scott began our relaxed stand-up with a funny story about how he won two jackpots in the same hour in Reno.

"When you win a certain amount, uncle Sam wants a cut," explained Scott. "I had to go wait in line to fill out all the tax paper work - twice."

Later that day, I joined Derek in a debugging session. Derek had written some auditing code that was suppose to detect when containers are using deprecated methods of service discovery. Derek found the host, located the correct interface, and ran a packet sniffer. Observing from outside this domain, I always envied people who get to regularly use the term "packet sniffing" - isn't that a cool piece of jargon? And being only my sixth day on the networking team, I felt lucky to already find myself in a situation that needed it. I'll be down in a second, honey. Derek and I are sniffing packets. I'm sniffing packets with Derek.

After work, Rodney and I had ice-skating lessons. At the fifth week of a six week class, you know things are starting to get serious when one of the teachers carries around a clipboard. She observes each student, evaluating them for graduation to the next level. Luckily, Rodney wasn't wise to this. He marched, swizzled, and high-fived other kids in the class without a care in the world. Here's a video of the "blast-off game". Rodney spotted me in the stands and waved.

That's what I got today. Thanks for stopping by, everyone. Have a great Tuesday.