best gaming chair

My Pandemic Birthday

So this birthday was a bit different as it took place during a pandemic. So that ruled out adventuring somewhere, getting something to eat out, etc.

The day started with with my kind co-workers all putting up custom birthday themed backgrounds for our Microsoft Teams meeting. That was a very nice of them, it was funny. I also received some pretty amazing videos and greetings on social media.

Of note was an amazing happy birthday song my Michale Bolton and the most epic happy birthday video I’ve ever seen. I still chuckle at both while typing this.

After work I stopped over to my parents. Had dinner with them and we had some ice cream cake. The cake was great, it was from Dairy Queen and I have to admit it tasted much better than in the past. I think I was told they’re under new ownership, not sure.

Stacey stopped over the next day and brought some gifts with her. Got some nice dumbbells (couldn’t of been too fun for her to carry them up my steps), The OuterWorlds for PS4, an Escape the Crate escape room in a box, and The Master Theorem book.

The dumbbells are great. Not able to go to the gym, they’ll really come in handy. They’re nice ones too, not something you get at a yard sale. The Escape the Crate was great. It comes with 2 escape rooms, and we went through one of them that night. It was challenging, but very fun. A great idea.

The Master Theorem book has been quite the hit thus far. It’s full of really complex and unique puzzles. They’re tough, but it is very satisfying when you solve one. Highly recommended.

As well as a Lego mini-figure I also got an ice cream pie and a pint from Springer’s in Stone Harbor. Amazing ice cream, and a big surprise. Several days later I would begin to regret so much ice cream at once, but it was fine to have such treats!

So while it was a bit different without being able to go places, I was still quite happy. Definitely a memorable b-day!

Comments (0)

1st Week Working from Home

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic I started to work from home beginning last Wednesday. Work had been extremely busy and at times stressful dealing with the unique and trying situation, so social distancing is being put to the test.

Working on the web, my role translate favorably to a work at home schedule. My trusty MacBook Pro can handle any task I would have done in the office. So technology isn’t much of a concern. How things go without being able to interact directly with humans will be the true challenge.

The first few days were extremely busy. This in uncharted territory and our team is very busy and doing as best a job as we can given the circumstances. so even though I’m home, I’m still very much occupied.

I’m been able to communicate with the rest of my team via email and with our latest addition to our toolset, Microsoft Teams. When we found out late on Tuesday we would be working from home beginning the next name, I immediately had us setup some Teams and we gave ourselves a quick 10 minute run-through of how we may be able to use it from.

All things considering, it’s been working extremely well thus far. Everyone at our institution is available in the chat (assuming they’re using it), so that’s a huge plus for us. The video chat quality and ease of use has been most impressive. We have 14 users, with probably 10 or 11 using the video chat and the rest on audio chat with no issues. As clear as can be.

Microsoft Teams will officially be a part of my daily work going forward, even when we do return to the office. It’s been a great friend.

Work from Home Tools:

  • MacBook Pro 13″
  • Office 365
  • OneDrive
  • Google Drive
  • Adobe Creative Cloud
  • Visual Studio Code
  • Microsoft Teams
  • GitHub
  • A chair and table (it’s not a very comfy chair)
  • A place to stand and work (using an exercise mat to stand on really helps)

Supervising looks to be interesting. Teams has really done a solid job of making it not too awkward. We can have meetings without too much issue, sharing our screens when necessary, and just using old fashioned chat and link/file sharing to get the job done. Thus far not losing too much of a step.

The first week we were so busy in crisis mode, we didn’t have to get too creative in coming up with projects and managing folks. I’m sure the next days will be similar, but it will be interesting to see how it goes should things slow down. I’ve always been a self starter, but I’d like to see how everyone else adapts as well.

Comments (0)

Joe the Plumber

I was very proud of my plumbing achievements this weekend. First, I successfully replaced my garbage disposal.

My previous garbage disposal was getting a bit old, needed frequent resets and I suspect early stages of leaking too. I went with an identical model, as it seemed to be an easier replacement.

All in all it took me probably a half hour to complete. If did require wiring, so bonus electrical work for me.

I know it’s not much, if I was impressed and proud to of done it myself without any left over parts or wads of duct tape used.

My second plumbing task was replacing a sink drain. This was a little bit tricky, I was having a hard time reaching a couple of the necessary parts.

After a bit of sleuthing, was able to get to everything and with way too much plumbers putty, no leaks!

The ball rod was of bit of a puzzle, but I do think I figured it out. Future attempts should be much easier now.

All in all, I was proud of my plumbing weekend!

Comments (0)

Lipoma

I noticed a little lump around my temple a couple of years ago, and made an appointment with my doctor to take a look. He set me up with a CT skull scan and they scotch taped a tums to my lump and ran the scan (apparently a 5 cent calcium taped to my head helps a very expensive machine give a more accurate result).

The scans at the time said the lump was a lipoma. A lipoma is just a growth of fatty tissue (guess I had a fat head), and are almost always benign. Which was a relief to hear.

The next step was to go to a plastic surgeon to have him take a look at it. For some reason going to a plastic surgeon spooked me a bit. Not sure exactly why, but I think I was just afraid I’d leave looking like Michael Jackson or something like that.

I nervously went to my appointment, and he confirmed he suspected it to be a lipoma and said he could easily remove it. I opted at the time to just leave it alone, nobody had yet to notice it beside myself and keep an eye on it in case it continued to grow or change.

A year later I’m pretty sure it grew a little bit and got it checked out again, but again opted to just leave it alone. I wanted to get rid of it, but was just too chickened out at to have it removed. I still feared looking like Michael Jackson.

Two years later I finally made up my mind to get this guy removed. I think it’d grow quite a bit more, though still nobody ever mentions it to me. But once I’d point it out to someone, they then saw it. I just didn’t want to wait until it got much bigger. It’s around my temple and I the larger it got then the trickier the procedure could be to remove it.

I made my appointment with Dr. Rayfiend (who was great) and got my jitters out of my system before going over. I was fine once I got there. I didn’t have to go to sleep for the procedure and it probably took a half hour total.

It was interesting in that I couldn’t feel anything being cut, etc. but being around my temple I could hear every cut, tug, etc. very loudly as it was so close to my skull.

Once he was in there, I knew pretty soon that it was giving a bit more trouble than was originally expected. When the doc asked for the cautery, I knew it must be in there pretty good (I watched a lot if not all YouTube videos on the procedure beforehand as if it would make a difference). He said it was in pretty deep and likely in there for over ten years.

He finally got it out and stitched me up. It wasn’t too many stitches and he did a great job in making the incision in an area where any possible scarring wouldn’t be too bad (around my hairline). He showed the lipoma to me when we were all done. I didn’t bring my camera with me, but it was a fairly gross yet smooth yellowish mass.

I went to work the next day, I think only 2 people bothered to notice the excision and stitches the following week. Either they are blind or don’t pay attention to me, or felt uncomfortable to ask what had happened. It probably just looked like I got into a little fight or hit my head on something, it wasn’t too bad considering how much came out.

Stitches came out a week later, and they were happy with how it was healing up. Results came up benign, with again was great as there is a tiny percentage where they can come up to be bad.

So now I’m just waiting for my little scar to fade away and my head to finish healing up. Outside it looks fine, but inside I can tell that it’s still healing up a bit. Should be all good in another week or 2.

Dr. Rayfield did an amazing job and made the process and easy and relaxing as could be. I’m finally glad I got that stupid bump/lump removed and am glad it wasn’t anything too dangerous.

Comments (0)

Joker

Joker

Always was more of a Marvel guy than a DC guy growing up, but I can’t not check out a movie about a villain. The villains were always the coolest part of comics.

I read some pretty great reviews of Joker, so my expectations were pretty high going in. I have to say, it lived up to the hype. It’s not too often that a movie makes you think so much any more, but this one really did that for me.

It was darker and more disturbing than anything I’ve seen in a while. It really does a great job to get you inside the head of an unstable guy, or at least I though I was in his head most of the time. But frankly, by the end I’m not sure how much we were in his head or in reality. Well done.

Very well done. One of the more interesting movies I’ve seen in a while.

Comments (0)

Avengers: Endgame

Avengers: Endgame poster

Growing up I was big into comics, especially the Marvel titles. My favorite comic was probably Infinity Gauntlet #4. That’s the issue, where the hero’s team up with Dr. Doom to lose in a fight with Thanos wielding the Infinity Gauntlet. My buddy Wes and I read and would draw pages from that comic on many occasions, it was great.

So when the Marvel movie machine started 11 years ago, I was excited but also skeptical. Up to that point, Hollywood always seemed to fine a way to ruin years and years of great comic stories and plots.

The 11 year run has been pretty great. I’ll never forget how excited I was when they revealed Thanos at the end of the Avengers film in the post credits. I instantly knew what was in store, just didn’t know how many films and years it would take to get to the end.

Avengers: Infinity War was pretty great. If focused on Thanos and ended with the snap. An iconic moment that any fan of the 90’s comics knew was inevitable.

The conclusion to 11 years of Avengers: Endgame was great. I had a couple of theories going for how it would turn out, and I have to admit they surprised me quite a bit. It made 3 hours and 1 minute go by in a breeze.

While the quality of the films and storytelling has been excellent and exceeding my expectations, I can never get over at how the films have gone so mainstream. Growing up, only a few of us were hooked on this amazing world.

Last night I couldn’t even begin to count how many people were there to share the end of this story. People of all different ages and backgrounds, sharing a common interest. It was pretty awesome to be a part of.

Comments (0)