Wednesday, August 11 2021

legos, missing teeth, and new ethernet ports



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Dear Journal,

Goooooooood morning friends and readers alike. Welcome back to the grind. I'm feeling a little sleepy, a little over-junkfooded, and just a little off-kilter today. But even amidst the physical "jetlag" of returning to work from my week long staycation, something inside of me feels grateful to be back at it. Let's grab a cup of coffee and see if we still remember how to do this whole journaling thing, shall we?

Sip. It feels good to be writing again too. Finding time and motivation to write on my days off is becoming nearly impossible. Looking back on my week-long break, I wish I had just committed to skipping it for the week instead of the game of "will-he-won't-he" I'd play every evening while the day ran out. Truthfully, I felt guilty for skipping out on writing. I skipped out on pretty much all of my constructive routines - writing, exercise, flossing, and waking up early. Once that lazy vacation mentality starts, it has a way of building momentum such that it can't be stopped.

Taking a break from writing gave me a chance to re-tool my blog. While I was away, I totally gutted out the engine. I removed markdown, templating, and all third party libraries and rolled my own framework with pure standard library python. I'm aware that normal people don't obsess about these kinds of things, so the best analogy I have is LEGO's. You can make something cool with LEGO's, but models built with Star Wars, Harry Potter, or other special-order pieces don't feel as timeless as something built with just regular-ass LEGO's. LEGO's feel like an apt comparison. What is my blog if not a continuous pile of virtual LEGO's - a construction project that never ends?

Let's see - my last update covered fun staycation things like naps and wandering around at the fish store. Our family hit another entirely different milestone shortly after that. Rodney, Miles, and I were quietly eating lunch in the dining room. Rodney began to gripe about the grilled cheese sandwiches I made for us.

"I don't like this sandwich," said Rodney. "It's too crunchy."

I was already conditioned to ignore his complaints. Rodney complains about any lunch that falls short of his benchmark classic peanut butter and jelly. "Just eat it," I sighed. "It's good for you."

Rodney thoughtfully chewed. "It's too crunchy," he repeated. But when his lips repeated the phrase a second time, a square black hole in his jaw caught my eye.

"Wait a minute," I interrupted. "Smile for me."

Rodney smiled hesitantly. My chuckling made him self-conscious.

"You lost a tooth," I announced. "Dude - you lost a tooth."

Rodney didn't take the news well. He slapped his hands over his mouth in shame. He erupted into a delirium of tears - and for good reason. Rodney wasn't trained for this. Marissa and I guessed that missing teeth were still months and years in the future. On its face value, without any training or briefing, of course the concept of his teeth falling out without warning would make Rodney burst into tears.

After some convincing, I coaxed Rodney into letting me get a picture with my phone. Even in such a state of shock and confusion, he couldn't hide his own fascination with the new gaping hole in his mouth.

tooth

Rodney really looks like a hockey player now, doesn't he?

We video called Marissa and she helped talk him down.

"Did you keep the tooth?" she asked.

"No, he swallowed it," I answered.

"I guess the tooth fairy is out of the question," laughed Marissa.

Speaking of which, we decided to skip out on the whole tooth fairy narrative. Rodney, still trying to wrap his head around the concept of his teeth falling out, had enough on his plate without the added distraction of offering his tooth to a tiny magical stranger in exchange for a negligible amount of money.

In other news, we had the electricians over on Monday. Mark and John (Marissa and I refer to the pair as the electrical apostles) fixed a dead outline and installed a new ethernet run. Minutes before they arrived, I could be found in the dining room in my bathrobe frantically making a sloppy diagram. Before Marissa and I had the budget for this kind of "nice-to-have" work around the house, we had to find some wild workarounds to wire up our house.

wires-before

This diagram includes the first run Mark and John installed for us from the bedroom to the living room. But a tough problem spot remained in the dining room underneath the computer. With two POE access points and a desktop on the other side of the house, I had no choice but to daisy chain a third network switch, complete with its own rats nest of wires.

daisy-chain

The dining room switch is connected through the floor vent to another switch in the living room. The worst part about it is that in order to power Marissa's studio access point, I had to run another cable back through the vent in the same direction.

vent-cable

Mark installed a fresh pair of ethernet ports beneath the computer. With that simple change, half of this mess just melts away - the daisy chained switch, the thick cable running through the floor vent, and the mess in between.

ports

Report: new ethernet ports make area dad emotionally break down in front of the electician.

That's what I got today. Boy it's good to be back. I'll see you tomorrow, everyone. Have a great Wednesday.