Friday, November 19 2021

schoeps icecream, salmon smashburgers, and rough housing

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Dear Journal,

Good morning, friends. Happy Friday. It's a beautiful scene here in Madison. Bright morning sunlight scatters around a baby blue sky. The whole house, even the dogs, are sound asleep, and the loudest thing about my dining room right now is the quiet hum of our computer. As far as mornings go, it doesn't get much better than this one.

I'm happy it's Friday, and I'm grateful we're heading into some of the holidays. We're approaching what might be my favorite time of the work season - the holiday slowdown. Soon people will stop pushing code and take some end of the year vacation. Slack messages slow down and the calendar gets more room to breathe. It's peak time to roll the dice on a MacOS upgrade, clean up my configs, or dive into a tool that I'm not familiar with for personal learning. For an introvert, the last month of the fourth financial quarter are a contemplative paradise.

We've got a nice mix of work and play slotted for this weekend. Marissa and I are knocking out the final basement window. The last three we did proved to be their own uniquely difficult but rewarding adventure. It could take fifteen minutes, or it could take hours, but no matter how long it takes, we'll be there in the basement grunting, sweating, imposing our will on a hundred year old window by way of a bright yellow crowbar.

For the sake of accuracy, we actually have two windows to finish. But one of the windows looks out underneath our deck, and as much fun as it would be to shimmy under the wood panels through twenty feet of undisturbed Wisconsin wilderness, we don't even think it would be possible to get the window out. So we're instead going to cheat and just install the new window from the inside.

I also scored a last minute day off on Monday. Marissa climbed the wait-list of a special dog agility seminar, so I'm just going to hang around with Miles. We might even have to bundle up for another adventurous wagon ride to Rodney's school in the afternoon. I'm not sure if I'm going to write on Monday - I might just lean into the weekend, sleep in, and wind up for the day watching Blues Clues on the couch with coffee instead of writing.

Sip. It's good to be here today. Happy Friday. In other news, I have an unexpected Instagram stalker. I just noticed that the official account for Schoeps, Madison made ice cream, follows me on Instagram. Marissa helped me with some Instagram sleuthing.

"Here, click here to see who else they are following," she said. We flicked through the list. "Nope," she laughed. "Just a bunch of other brands. And your spider account apparently."

It makes me feel kind of cool, and for Schoeps, the feeling is mutual. We've always loved their icecream, and knowing that they have some secret spider and reptile fans running things strengthens our bond. Icecream and spiders - what a winning combination.

Speaking of spiders, I've been struggling to get a good picture of glassy. Thus far, he's been my fastest growing spider. He's already completed two molts, but since his last molt he's been shier than usual. Glassy only comes out at night for a few hours. The rest of the day, he's holed up in his underground lair. I snapped this picture last Wednesday. After feeling the vibrations from me prying open his lid, he was already en route to his trusty hidey-hole. I decided to feed glassy last night. They say a spider's abdomen should be 1.5 times the size of his cephalothorax, and I think Glassy only needed a small roach to stay right in the sweet spot. What do you think?


His bed hair is also really coming in thick, and that sort of comes with the territory of being a "curly hair" tarantula. Pretty soon, he'll just look like a ball of hair. A scratchy, creeping mess of bed head.

Karta, though beautiful, is a good example of a spider that may need to wait a while before her next meal. I'm trying to be careful with my wording. It's generally impolite to comment on the size of a lady's butt.


We had a good day yesterday. I worked all morning, then Marissa and I made a quick, improvised lunch from some leftover salmon. We fried it into some sliced French bread with gouda cheese.


Though I'd usually reach for parmesan or cheddar to do something like this, I now know gouda makes an excellent frying cheese. It's not as delicate as parmesan or cheddar. Retaining some of it's goopy qualities, the open face sandwich stayed together perfectly with a simple smash from the spatula.

"It's like a salmon smashburger," commented Marissa.

It was a boys' night last night. Marissa took Ziggy to an evening agility class. Staying home with Rodney and Miles, I let them zonk out in front of the TV while I sat on the computer. Then just a half hour before bedtime, Rodney got up from the couch and approached the baby gate. "Let's all play together," he commanded.

His burst of energy was contagious, spurning an all out war in the living room. We threw plastic balls and foam bricks at each other. We wrestled in the couch cushions. We pelted each other with pillows. Rough housing can be so cathartic. It's been too long since we had a nice "beat-the-crap" session.

That's what I got today. Thanks for stopping by, and have a great weekend.