Wednesday, August 18 2021

debian, colored lights, and kindegarten

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Dear Journal,

Good morning, everybody. Happy Wednesday. Are you awake? Do you feel like reading something? Do you have a hot cup of coffee with you? Great - let's get started then.

Sip. First and foremost, happy new Debian release. If I were to guess, most readers out there are using normal person operating systems like MacOS or Windows, but for my fellow Linux weirdos - and the even smaller, weirder subset of those weirdos using Debian - it's time to ugrade to the next version. I managed to roll a few of my machines last night. The desktop computer, which has a history of misbehaving, actually faired pretty well. Only Marissa and I discovered that our beloved search bar is missing from the interface.

"So I used to just click up in the corner and type if I wanted to open something," said Mairssa. "What do I do now?"

"You have to find what you want in the menus," I informed her. Silence hung in the air while Marissa clicked through the menu categories to test launch the web browser.

"It feels like... I'm in elementary school," she said.

Another small problem - my upgraded spellchecker is broken. Launching my editor this morning, it crashed trying to parse the word Beyoncé from my personal list of spelling exceptions. If I had to guess, it didn't like the accent mark. I'm sure that I could fix it quickly by removing it from the list, but it just doesn't feel right with her being Queen B and all. For now, the Queen stays, and in the meantime you will all just have to put up with some spelling errors.

So how did your Tuesday go? We had a lot of action yesterday. Our electrician John stopped by to install some remote control light bulbs in our living room, and my neighbor Mark also came by to touch up our tuck pointing. Marissa, our home's defacto embassador to hired laborers, had agility in the morning so I had to seve as backup ambassador. I did all the right things - getting them coffee and setting out some snacks, but I don't think I'll ever get over my own awkwardness when talking to people working on something in our house. I try to be casual. I stat over-thinking. Suddenly, I don't know what to do with my hands or where to stand in my own house. The word welp becomes my new silence filler. "Help me," I wrote Marissa. "You have to come home and talk to these people, I'm so damn awkward."

Rodney, on the other hand, has effortless rapport with our electrician. The two of them talk comfortably like long time roommates. Rodney asked John questions about the hole in the wall, and John asked him about the new Spider-Man show he was watching. I headed back upstairs to work. John wrapped up his work after an hour before I heard him say "OK, Goodbye Rodney!"

"Bye John," said Rodney casually. The front door snapped shut behind him.

"Did John leave?" I asked.

"Yeah!" said Rodney without taking his eyes off the TV.

I crack up thinking about John just saying goodbye to Rodney then leaving. Rodney sitting on the couch in his Spider-Man suit fielding questions and taking down instructions from a professional electrician then sending him on his way.

John told us that one unexpected perk of these remote control light bulbs is that they support different color settings. "You may not use it, but I don't know maybe Rodney will get a kick out of it." Before he left, John teasingly set them to cycle between all the colors. After Marissa returned home, the two of us fiddled with the remote.

"What's your favorite color?" said Marissa.

"I like the soft orange," I said.

"I like the teal," she replied.

We agreed that the worst of the color settings is red. The red lights make our living room look like a Dutch brothel, but maybe that will come in handy for the next Halloween or something.


In other news, Spidey played a prank on me. Yesterday I noticed he piled dirt in front of his burrow, finishing it with a stringy web. "He's getting ready to molt!" I exclaimed. Peering around the back, I could see Spidey sitting comfortably in the back of his burrow, scratching his butt and looking particularly molty. I made a rambly Instagram post. I indulged in some proud Spider parent nostalgia and looked through pictures of Spidey from when I first got him.


Spidey's shoddy "pre-molt" cave.

This morning, Spidey was back to his old tricks. He had climbed through his web, and was contently hanging on the wall. I guess he's not molting any time soon after all.

We've got a busy day ahead of us today. I have meetings in the morning, a busy training session in the afternoon, and afte work the whole family is heading over to Lowell Preschool so Rodney can meet his teacher and tour his classroom.

"Can you say Lowell?" asked Marissa at the table. "That's the name of your school. Lowell."

"Low," said Rodney.

I gave it a try. "Lowl. Low-ell. Lowill?"

"Could they have picked a harder name for Kindergarteners to say?" laughed Marissa.

Thanks for stopping by today. Have a great Wednesday everyone.