Thursday, December 24, 2020

So. Here we are.

Tree day. Pre Xmas day. I know there are lots of people who are totally into Christmas and their traditions around it. Good for you and have fun. Or as much fun as you can have with COVID restrictions. I don't think that back in March anyone thought it would still be a big problem now.

That isn't me, but I don't want to harsh your mellow, as the saying goes. I was never really a huge fan of Christmas and doing shiftwork turned it into just another day. 

The tree itself is new. We tend to buy things we need or want, maybe spending a bit more than actually required in order to get better quality, or the version of it we like. Then we use it till the wheels fall off. Then we're surprised at how long we've been using it, and are amazed at what's available to replace it. Then we wonder why we put up with the old one for so long.

So lately, the water heaters. The old ones were 16 and 20 years old. We think they were getting pretty scaled up inside since they were turned all the way up and still the supply of hot water didn't seem to be as much as it used to be. We did not want to find out the hard way we should have replaced them one day sooner. There are many things that fail in a mode where they simply don't work any more and no further consequence beside the inconvenience of getting it repaired or replaced. Water heater failures are likely to be wet. No thank you. We have a local plumber that does great work. He fit us in, gave us a good price for one stop shopping, and we don't have to worry about discovering a new swimming pool in the basement.

I'd mentioned the failed door lock on the oven. The stovetop worked so that part was good, but that's a short term solution. We got the new one in and like it. We haven't tried the air fryer thingie yet, but soon. It's taken a bit of doing to get used to the controls. On the old one I could set the timer for coffee with a tap tap tap. The new one I have to push a dial, open a menu, select the timer, push the dial again, and again, and again, turn it to the desired time, and press it again. I think there's a way to shortcut it based on speed reading the manual, but I haven't tried to actually do it. Hmmm. Using the phone, it's take it out of my pocket, turn it on, maybe a couple taps to get the clock, select timer, press start. 

And the tree, we had an artificial one we picked out in a boxing day sale a few years ago. 19 years ago, we think. Last year as we were taking it down we were thinking it looked pretty tired. Linda found a nice one, and it was delivered last week. Long time readers will know that Christmas eve is when we put the tree up. It will be fun doing a new version.

So, (referencing the second para), WFH and all, today I'll be deep into shuffling data around via SQL. Parsing in Excel, trying to account for a vast array of data vagaries. Figuring out which is the most efficient way to slice it up. Being very careful, since one update query can undo hours of work. 

So that part is kind of fun, actually. There's another task, mapping an obsolete souped up MS Access database to Maximo in alignment with a huge batch of business requirements. Normally this kind of work is kind of fun as well, but this is a tougher nut. The database structure is oddly normalized, and I'm not as familiar with the data itself. It just means looking at everything carefully and keeping good notes. I'm pretty sure there's going to be a bunch of clarity questions at the end of it.

Enough of that. Most of this year has gone by really quickly. We are fortunate that COVID is mainly an inconvenience to us, nothing more. And up until the last week or so I was pretty motivated to be up and at it, whatever 'it' might be. Last week was blah. Maybe things are catching up to me. I just wanted to watch cat videos on the internet. 

One thing I was watching was For All Mankind. It turns out when I got my phone I got a free year of their Apple+ tv service. What the heck I thought. I checked it out and discovered that Foundation was going to be airing. Soon, though nobody knows quite when. The trailer looks really good, so I signed up, figuring maybe it will come in my free year. 

While checking out Apple+ I found For All Mankind. I'm kind of a fan of alternate histories. Doing the IMDB thing, and found out Wrenn Schmidt was in it (I liked her in Elementary) and Chris Bauer (I liked what I saw of him in True Blood) and Colm Feore is always fun to watch. I've mostly enjoyed it, and have a few episodes left to go till the end of season 1. It's turning into a bit of a soap opera in places, so I probably won't watch season 2.

I'm liking the new Wacom tablet, though I'm still getting used to it. I had a pretty solid routine for editing, so it's a bit tough to make the change. One piece of advice I haven't followed is to go through, set it up for all the applications you use, and then put the mouse or trackpad in a drawer. I'm not quite there, but I can see the reasoning in that approach.

Here's the first image where I did some serious work with the tablet.

And yes, since you ask, it will be a white Christmas. There's been enough snow that some transit buses got stuck. This one slid across the road and was there almost 24 hours. Right this moment it's +3 C in the back yard, and today is supposed to be warm. It might turn into a sloppy enchilada out there today, and then probably freeze tonight. Santa's sleigh had better have studded snow tires.

It may surprise you to learn I was in a Christmas gift exchange. Last year my buddy Neil hosted a Christmas party where a bunch of photographers did a print and we did a secret Santa exchange thingie. Plus some comments from local pro photographers, treats, and beer, and it was a ton of fun.

The mechanics were a bit different this year. We sent a jpg to Neil, he took them all to be printed at once at Resolve, and he asked some local elves to deliver them. Our instructions were to not open them before the Zoom party. Then each was opened in turn and held up to the camera. This did not do the photos justice, not even close. Later a social media sized version was posted on Facebook so we could browse. They are all amazing! I got a shot of the white cliffs of Dover near Brighton, shot from the beach, with a moody dramatic sky. I sent in this one, from Muriwai beach. It was hard to choose, not knowing who was going to get it. 

Of the Day

1 comment:

  1. Happy Christmas to you both. Like you, we don't really 'do' Christmas - a nice supper, a nice wine, the twinkle of the tree lights is all we need. Ron used to work shift work, so we have gotten used to having Christmas when we can (this year it will be when we get our new stove - ours kicked the bucket and they're telling us 10-14 weeks before delivery). Also, like you, stuff needs fixin'. The stove, then the septic pump died - call out needed immediately - but our tree is still going strong (almost 20 years old) knock on wood (ha ;) And like you, I am working today.
    As always, love the photos. Cheers!


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