We’ve been fans of Trader Joe’s Brownie Truffle Baking Mix for a few years now. When he was quite a bit younger, I once handed Matthew a plate of brownies and he remarked “you just can’t beat a good brownie.” No, no you can’t.
I have been so busy with pandemic-related tasks that I barely saw Easter approaching and, when I did, I discovered that getting Easter swag was going to be a challenge.
Now, mind, Matthew and Joshua are teenagers and particularly mature ones at that. They don’t think that a bunny comes around and hides eggs in the yard or poops out little foil-covered confections. As for myself, I’m not a fan of cheap milk chocolate in quantity. If I am going to take on the calorie load of some chocolate, I’ll opt for quality over quantity. So our tradition has become that the children wake up to a tasteful basket, usually from a fabulous local chocolatier, usually with one large chocolate bunny and a small, tasteful assortment of miniature chocolate bunnies and eggs of exquisite quality. Continue reading
Privacy seems to be the latest casualty of COVID-19. I guess because I am involved in the information security community, I thought everybody knew about the atrocious privacy policies and reprehensible actions of Zoom. I was shocked to discover that Matthew and Joshua’s school district is planning on forcing children to use this platform whose policies probably make Mark Zuckerberg envious. Here is what I wrote to them today:
While I was searching the net for ways to get testing for my patients with upper respiratory infections who might have COVID-19, I stumbled on a local effort to fill the shameful gap in the availability of personal protective equipment for healthcare workers by getting volunteers to 3-D print face shield parts. I am transitioning my practice to telemedicine, which means I’m home a lot more. I can babysit my 3-D printer while I’m working on the telemedicine gear and helping my home-from-school children with their educational enrichment activities. I’ve fired up the printer and my first mask is printing as I type.
Over the past many months, I have been having a harder and harder time seeing to read (and I spend 80+% of my waking hours reading). I wasn’t really consciously aware that anything was wrong, but I did find that I’d take out my contact lens far more often, I had all my devices set to dark backgrounds, and I was spending more time in my darkened room. I would also get terribly fatigued when I read for more than a few minutes (which, generally, meant all the time). I was getting increasingly behind in reading and responding to email. After months of things getting gradually worse, I realized suddenly that I couldn’t read at all without a lot of squinting and straining.
A recent article in TidBITS announced that the $20 WyzeCam Security Camera Is Almost Too Good to Be True. Joshua has been having a lot of fun with security cameras lately. He converted some old phones into surveillance equipment using Haven and Alfred. But $20 for a full-function dedicated camera just seemed like a deal we couldn’t pass up.
In the past, we’ve usually stayed in California for our vacations. I decided it was time that Joshua and Matthew saw a little more of the world and, on something of a whim, decided it would be cool to visit the Florida Keys. It had been a long time since I was in the land of John D. MacDonald, Ernest Hemingway, and Jimmy Buffett. I had fond memories and thought the Matthew and Joshua might make some of their own. Continue reading
What better test of new orthotics than tromping around Key West and then Disney World for two weeks?
I’d like to say that the shoes were 100% successful. Alas, it was not to be. I endured some pretty remarkable pain, particularly after the second day at Disney. Overall, however, some foot pain is to be expected in such extenuating circumstances, and I was able to (pretty much) keep up with Matthew and Joshua for the whole trip. So, overall, I’d say the plan worked.
Our tradition is that I set up the pool after the first day the temperature exceeds 90°. Today was pool day.
Even after all these years, I still marvel at how small the box is. Continue reading