Not too much to talk about today. I had a pretty normal day at work, and then Monica and I took a walk to Salt and Staw for ice cream in the evening.
I’ve made two iterations on the Pixelbook power cable wrap. The first was from last night, and it was a bit too small to hold all the cable. You can feed the cable through the circular holes to keep it wrapped up.
For the second iteration, I enlarged the piece, and added a deeper channel and more holes for locking the cable in place.
The edge is a little sharp on this one, but it serves its purpose and I probably won’t design and print another one.
I’ve been using the Pixelbook for the past month, and I really enjoy using it. It’s clear that they put a lot of thought into the design of this device. This thing is light but sturdy in any orientation (including the pleasing “tent” mode), and the keyboard is snappy and comfortable. Touching the screen to scroll a web page or file provides immediate joy. Surface users must’ve realized this years ago.
I’m fortunate that the eBay auction I won bundled in the stylus and the case. I’d be unlikely to buy them separately, and with them I’m able to see how Google applied great design to the whole package. The stylus is comfortable in my larger hands and really useful for sketching out ideas. The case has a pleasing texture, a satisfying magnetic clasp, storage for the stylus, and easy access to the Pixelbook’s USB-C port for charging while stored.
Tonight I 3D printed a simple ring to keep the charging cable from getting kinky. It could use a few more iterations.
We’re in Astoria still. We took Zavian to an elementary school that converts its gym to a play space on the weekends, complete with a fleet of old tricycles and scooters. Zavian ate it up. I used the bathroom, and I was surprised to see that there were no urinals for the kids. I distinctly remember urinals in my elementary school bathrooms because there was one kid who could pee into them from like ten feet away.
There are a couple landmarks out here with some depressing names: Dismal Nitch and Cape Disappointment. Apparently when Lewis, Clark, and Sacajawea arrived, they were trying to meet a ship with supplies before it departed. The awful Oregon weather forced them off the river and onto that nitch, preventing them from meeting the ship. The disappointment story is from another explorer who just missed the discovery of the mouth of the Columbia River because of an awful storm. I thought the stories might be connected by the explorer who discovered them, but it turns out they’re actually connected by how awful the weather can get out here. It rains twice as much as Portland, but we’ve actually had pretty mild days.
Here’s a rhyme from the computer:
transcontinental distribution of temple prostitution / an experimental contribution to the dental institution
Monica, her parents, Zavian and I are in Astoria for the weekend. It’s really scenic out here, and the drive was a mild two hours. We climbed the 162 steps to the top of the Astoria column to launch our souvenir balsa wood planes. We ate dinner at a Rogue Pub on an old cannery pier. We walked through a bustling downtown with a still vibrant DVD super store. We drove over the Megler Bridge at midnight, across the massive Columbia River and then through a black vacancy until we reached what I understood to be the afterlife, where we pulled over and backtracked, returning to this living land with no memory of what transpired beyond. We bought some of Zavian’s granola bars at huge discount at the Safeway.
I went to a community yoga class today. I realized pretty quickly that Monica and my occasional home yoga practice is much less strenuous than it should be. I anticipate more yoga classes in the next few months followed by me abandoning it when I getting distracted.
I sold my Nintendo Switch today. I loved Mario Odyssey and Zelda Breath of the Wild, but Smash Bros didn’t grip me that same way. Nintendo’s on their “one new game a year” trip, and I didn’t want to wait until November for Animal Crossing while the Switch gathered dust under my bed. The resale price will only fall from here, so I let it go. All and all, I spent $100 to lease it for a year, and I think it was worth it. If Animal Crossing comes out to rave reviews, I’ll pick up a used Switch then.
Contemplating using the Switch money to get an electric skateboard off Craigslist. I never learned to skateboard, so I might as well add electricity to the mix and really take a run at it.
The rhyming algorithm is getting smarter, but it needs guidance on what to produce. I’m also running into some limitations with the 8GB of RAM on this Pixelbook. I might need to take things to the cloud, or better (and cheaper) yet, to my gaming PC with its elevated specs.
Zavian went to school today, and I had some unbridled time to myself. I showered, shaved, and trimmed my eyebrows, and it all felt pretty good. I also went to the consignment shop and bought a new shirt. Self care materializes in different ways.
Monica and I took a walk tonight. I apparently bought and drank all of the Jarrito club soda from our local Plaid Pantry, so we settled on a can of Canada Dry. The carbonation was lackluster and fleeting.
For my first project of 2019, I made a sleep mask. I’ve been waking up with gritty eyes, and I blame it on the dry air of our home. It’s been a surprise to me that the air in our house is so dry even though the winters are so damp. That’s the motivation for a future project I’m devising in which I build a humidity tent for the head of our bed.
For now though, I can address the eye problem with a sleeping mask. Monica and I both sleep with our eyelids partially cracked, and I hope that covering them with a mask will shield our eyes and help maintain their moisture.
From the front, you can only admire my deft sewing. This is some left-over green felt from my Frog Mario Halloween costume a few years back. Also, it’s not apparent from this picture, but it’s actually a bit larger than a regular sleep mask to accommodate my industrial-sized head.
It’s kinda hard to see what’s going on back here as well, so I’ll explain it. There wasn’t enough felt to make two identical pieces for the front and back of the mask. Instead, I sewed together two halves for the back portion, and it created something of a pocket within the mask. Right now I’m storing an extra piece of felt in there to further block out ambient light, but I could see me storing some emergency cash in there for when I travel. The bottom portion also contains a semi-loose loop of felt that will surround my nose. After I put the mask on, I slip a finger in that loop on both sides of my nose to afford a closer fit and prevent light seepage.
I’m satisfied overall, and I’ll let you know tomorrow if my eyes are better moisturized in the morning.
Monica’s parents arrived today, and I jumped at the first opportunity to show them my laptop harness. I don’t think I have daddy issues, but I do think I have a longstanding desire to gain my dad’s respect. That desire has since extended to Monica’s dad, who has dozens of patents. He and Monica’s mom were both encouraging about the laptop harness while acknowledging that it looks pretty funny.
It’s a new year, and another opportunity for me to criticize the idea of New Year’s resolutions while concurrently making my own. My immediate resolution is to stop playing Into the Breach and focus my efforts on studying for the AWS Cloud Solutions Architect exam that I scheduled for the 15th of this month. The good news is that most of these services are actually really approachable, much friendlier than the old days of just start up an EC2 instance and manually do everything. Also, I can definitely see how the linguistic service I’m envisioning could live in the cloud. More to come on all of that.
My hope was that Zavian would learn to stay in his newly transformed bed, but he fell out two more times last night. When I asked him about it this morning, he only remembered falling out and crying once. The funny thing is that he’s slept without issue on multiple hotel couches—couches thinner than this bed—so who knows what’s at play here.
Together he and I whipped up this scrap wood railing. I provided the scrap wood, screws, and DIY ingenuity. He provided the ball point pen detailing.
My basic rhyming engine is off the ground, but there’s a lot I need to do to make it interesting. Right now it just serves as a tool to assist in simple rhymes, and the rules that it uses are too basic to allow for much creativity. I have some ideas about polysyllabic multi-word rhymes, and I need to try those out next.
I spent the day again with Zavian as Monica’s service continues. We converted his crib to a starter bed this evening, and he already fell out of it once tonight. Here’s to hoping he stays put for the rest of the night.