Tuesday, February 1 2022

cookie crisp, fighting crime, and schaumburg history

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Dear Journal,

Good morning, everybody. Welcome to the other side of the bleakest month of the year. Congratulations on beating January at its own game. Why don't you pull up a seat at the breakfast table and pour yourself a bowl of Cookie Crisp?

Yes, I treated Rodney to a box of Cookie Crisp. He's been a peanut butter captain crunch regular all school year, and during our last trip to the grocery store I offered to let him switch it out. "Pick anything you want," I said - with no qualifiers. As a kid, if you're given that rare opportunity to pick out literally any cereal you want, you'd have to be a fool to not grab a box of cookies.

Maybe I let it happen because I have a soft spot for Cookie Crisp. In college I used to keep my own box hidden in my dorm closet, or sometimes I'd just cram the whole box in my backpack and snack on it during long night classes. College was a special time - the only time where I could simultaneously eat like a five year old boy and enjoy the independence of an adult with a car.

I recently learned Rodney gets breakfast at school anyway, so the breakfast he eats at the table before jumping in the car is more of a warm-up breakfast. A little jolt of sugar to get his brain working. However, the presence of chocolate chips has thrown a wrench into Minnie's breakfast routine. After joining Rodney at the table every morning for exactly five pieces of peanut butter captain crunch, Minnie doesn't understand why she can't do the same with cookie crisp, and it's tearing her up inside.

What am I eating for breakfast these days? Marissa and I live on the healthy side of the morning, eating fruit, yogurt, granola, and sometimes nothing at all. This morning, I'll just take black coffee, thank you.

Speaking of which, grab your coffee and lets raise our mugs to the first day of February.

Sip. It's good to be here today. We enter into a week specially designated as the Network Team Summit. In better times, I would have gotten to fly out to San Francisco and hit the town with my computer comrades (most of which I still haven't met in person). But for the 2022 edition of the annual tradition, I'll have to settle for a week of expensed lunches and a whole lot of Zoom. Let's say it together - THE NEW NORMAL.

We had a busy day yesterday. Marissa and I started the next phase of trainer Greg's transformation program, and that meant we had new, strange workouts to figure out. Dead lifts, hamstring curls, and a new exercise that involved laying on the ground in a bridge, sliding our feet out. "Magna-tiles work great for this," advised Greg, a fellow parent. "What house in America doesn't already have those lying all over the place?"

Marissa had to leave in the early evening for Minnie's puppy class. So we took the easy way out and dialed up an order from our favorite Chinese food place. While we waited, Rodney and I played video games. Our replacement Xbox controller finally arrived in the mail, so we were back to fighting crime as a duo. Yesterday, commanding Captain America and a helmet, t-shirt, and boxer brief clad Ironman, we had to fight our way into Stark tower and find the bad guy that hacked Tony's security. Rodney use Captain America's shield to douse flames and approach a corridor with an electrically charged floor. He had to deftly jump off the wall to reach the platform above. Rodney tried at least a dozen times, and each time he failed his character hit the floor and exploded into LEGO pieces, making a loud KAZAAAAAAAP sound. The animation was so funny, we didn't mind repeated failure.

Before climbing into bed, I tended to the animals in the "jungle corner" of our bedroom. I learned something about my spider Karta yesterday. Occasionally I find small, tightly packed balls of dirt left out in her tiny enclosure. Out of curiosity, I fished one of them out and used a pair of forceps to break it open. Inside the tightly packed dirt I found a fragment of a super worm tail. My best guess is that when Karta has finished eating, she packs the leftover food in dirt, probably to hide the smell while it decomposes. It's like natural tupperware.

I also fed Ducky yesterday too. She's been exploring her enclosure more, and these days she likes to spend the late evenings perched on top of her mossy hide. This poses a bit of a challenge, since we fill spray down her mossy hide every night before bed. No matter how careful I am to spray around her and not disturb her evening chill session, she leaves in a huff, slinking back into her cave.


Sorry Ducky, but I have to spray water everywhere now.

Lately, I've been filling my downtime reading up on Schaumburg history. I learned yesterday that at one point it was wholly owned by German immigrants, until most of the German farmers had to sell off the land in the great depression. In 1850, the town had a meeting to discuss an official name. Fed up with the drawn out discussion, a wealthy landowner named Friedrich Nerge got up and slammed his fist on the table, yelling Schaumburg schall et heiten. "It will be called Schaumburg", named after the West German village from which most of the settlers emigrated.

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