I can be a pretty patient guy. Having an eight year old daughter has taught me that I must wait for many things, and find a way to keep my cool while they get done on her time. Simple things like taking a shower must be broken down into their component actions so that they actually get done. Get your jammies and towel. Bring them into the bathroom. Use the toilet. Get yourself undressed. Turn the water on. Turn the shower valve on. Get in the tub. Pull the shower curtain closed. Rinse your body. Get shampoo on your head and start AAAAAAHHHHH GOD WOULD YOU JUST DO AS YOU’RE TOLD?!? I can give her a single instruction and within milliseconds she’s broken contact and is examining the spout on the soap dispenser. It’s like giving instructions to the guy in Memento. I should tattoo instructions for unloading the dishwasher on her arm.
After waiting the better part of five years for some progress on our master bathroom, refinancing the house, and hoarding a kitty full of money for the project, we called a guy who came recommended to look at it before the Christmas break. He took some measurements and disappeared, and resurfaced after New Years to re-measure everything because he’d lost his clipboard. I finally got an email back from him this evening with a price that’s roughly double what we’d budgeted.
That was sobering.
Now, we’ve made some minor modifications in the plan since we first laid it out. We’re re-organizing the back half so that what was a 4′ wide closet will now be a 7′ wide walk-in, which will delete two more windows on the back corner of the house. We’re going to add insulation under the floor, which was raised on plywood, leaving a cavity of dead air beneath. Deleting windows will save money, but insulating the floor will cost money.
Tired of waiting for Guy #1, we got a recommendation for another guy, who came out to measure last Saturday. I got a good vibe from him, and he seems interested in the job. I’m going to look through Angie’s List to see if I can find a third contractor to give us a price, and then we’ll see how they all stack up against each other.
Um, what the fuck?
President Trump has reorganized the National Security Council by elevating his chief strategist Steve Bannon and demoting the Director of National Intelligence and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
Before joining Donald Trump’s inner circle during the 2016 campaign, Bannon was the head of Breitbart News, a far-right media outlet that has promoted conspiracy theories and is a platform for the alt-right movement, which espouses white nationalism.
Wonder why there’s a sudden ban on Muslims entering the country? This shit is going to get worse and worse.
So it begins.
I walked up the street to the front of Union Station yesterday to peep out what I could see. The main room of the station building was closed off for a huge banquet of some kind. Out in front, people hawked Trump tchotchkes, all made in China (I checked) amidst huge lines of porta-potties. Here and there, red-hatted supporters wandered around the station, asking for directions.
One of my coworkers said it felt like Paris in ’42 as the German army rumbled through the outskirts of the city. It feels to me like the circus has pulled into town, and clowns are just going to keep pouring out of the cars.
I subscribe to many podcasts for my commute, one of which is NPR’s Marketplace. I’ve listened to this show for over 10 years now, actually, because it came on during my car commute back in the day. Imagine my surprise when one of the experts I work with at WRI, Joe Thwaites, was interviewed yesterday for a segment on Trump’s plans to cut payments into the International Climate Fund.
I’m sitting on the couch drinking an oatmeal stout with my brain turned almost completely off. The last week has been a blur, with family in town, a freelance gig, several appointments, and a large event happening at work all at once.
Family was the high point; my sister drove down from NY for Second Christmas and we all enjoyed opening presents in January (especially Finn, who had the lion’s share.). Renie had to bomb in and out due to work, and so only got to spend Saturday with us before heading home on Sunday. We did have a great afternoon, ate a delicious dinner, watched the playoffs, and went to bed early. Thus ends my season of holiday eating; I’m throttling way back on desserts and heavy foods because I feel like it’s gaining on me.
The kittens are settling in well with everyone; Bellatrix (hereafter known as Trixie) is chill by day but a raving terror at night. Nox will let me pick him up and lay in my arms like a drugged-out hippie for as long as I want to scratch his head. The two of them wrestle and fight and chase each other around the house, then pass out cold for hours at a time. As much as I hate cleaning a litterbox, it’s great to have the sound of paws on the floor again.
I took on a freelance gig last Wednesday, figuring I could knock it out in a couple of days, but was only able to really get to it over the weekend. The sketch went together quickly but the client asked to change the view after I’d gone to final art, so I had to redo the whole thing Monday night. It was a pretty simple job but it could finance the purchase of something I’ve been thinking about for a while–an iPad Pro. This would allow for the use of a pen and real-time drawing on the screen for illustration, something I’ve been waiting on for 10 years. One of my self-improvement goals for the year is to commit to drawing again, and find a workflow to make illustration fast and easy from sketch to screen. I think this might be the answer, and my ultimate goal would be to make it another source of income by the end of the year.
We held one of our major events at work Wednesday morning, which was the culmination of two weeks’ work for my team and about a months’ writing time for the larger group. My designers are aces and knocked together a great deck, and the system we put into place for production a few years ago helped streamline the process. Meanwhile, during production last week, I accidentally spilled coffee into my laptop, thus frying it, and had to scramble for a replacement. The IT guys gave me a castoff machine that wasn’t booting, and after some work I got it up and running, set up my workspace, and scraped the stickers off the case. It’s two years older than the dead unit but it’s the same form factor and has more memory. With a larger hard drive it should be usable, and I’m not going to complain one bit.
Using my personal laptop in the interim, it became clear how painfully slow a seven year old machine is. I can still make good use of it–so I purchased a SSD to speed up the disk. At some point this year I’m going to have to bite the bullet and buy a new machine; the question is whether I go all-in on a Thunderbolt-only MacBook Pro or get one of the last multi-port models available.