Tuesday, May 23, 2023

Step by Step, slowly I turn

Do these steps mean anything:  With eight days left in the month, I am on pace to have 30 out of 31 days with 10K steps.  The one day I missed so far I had 9583 steps.  It was a Sunday and I got a late start on everything such that I was trying to get the last 1K steps in before bed, but obviously failed.

And we are going out of town for Memorial Day weekend so it's possible I'll miss the travel days since we spend 4 hours in the car.  

Nightingale and I go for a 2-mile walk almost every day, which gives me about 4K steps.  But do the other steps count for much?

Speaking of cars, I just put about $5K in my Element on a new exhaust system, tires, and rear wheel brakes.  I'm positive Midas took advantage of me.  Unfortunately, there aren't a lot of nearby options for mufflers and I didn't want to drive around for a 2nd opinion.

Friendship Dynamics:  Lastly, a dear friend from College sent me a card for my birthday.  It arrived two days after my Bday and after she had sent me a birthday text.

Last year, I suggested to Jewel that we didn't have to wait for our birthdays to give each other a call.  I suggested maybe one quick call a season or so and we did slightly better than that in 2022.  

We talked in January for her birthday but not since.  I figured time just moved quickly for her and she was waiting for my birthday for our next live talk.    Her text didn't mention calling to chat, but her card did, so a few days later I texted about it.  She said she's on a crazy schedule for the next few weeks and would let me know when she catches a break.  

I've never been a high priority with Jewel and she's not one for continuous communication through texts or emails.  But this really hit the feels in a hard way.  She's one of the few people I do talk with on the phone and one of the handfuls of friends I still have left in this stage of life.  My neurodivergent brain asks, how hard is it to hammer out a half hour in your day?  I also know this time of year might make her feel wiggy since her younger sister died from a sudden heart attack a few years ago.  I wouldn't think the two are related but you never know.


Friday, May 12, 2023

Crab Fried Rice

 Don't worry, this isn't turning into a recipe blog.  I found another easy yet tasty dish to make.  What's even better is the ingredients are a subset of other dishes I make around here so it is likely they will often be in supply.

Nightingale had bought some artificial crab meat last weekend and I wanted to use it up.  She also happened to have some leftover cooked rice.  I googled crab meat and rice recipes and this one came to the top.

 I did skip/substitute a few things but it turned out fine.  

  • we didn't have any medium onions.  
  • We usually use minced garlic that we keep in the fridge which often works better than cloves.
  • Skipped the white sugar and cucumber, even though we have both.

Edit from the Future:  I've said it before, but whenever I attempt a new recipe, I use the required ingredients (unless I don't have them) and follow the directions.  The second time I made this, I used a couple of packets of these:

In addition to using up the rest of the green onions and cilantro on hand.  It worked out just as well and saved me a little time.

Tuesday, May 9, 2023

Zupa Koperkowa - Creamy Potato Dill Soup

I've been wanting to make this soup for some time but could not find any fresh dill.  You can substitute rice or even pasta for the potatoes.  and you can add celery or even mushrooms in addition or instead of carrots and scallions.  But Dill is in the name of the soup and dried just won't do.

Friday, May 5, 2023

Looking for the good news

 So let's talk about some minor good news.  For years I've been managing a Facebook Page and a Twitter account, initially for promoting the stuff over at ChicagoNow, though the FB Fan Page is more of a MEME page for the last couple of years.  I'm finally getting the kind of traffic I would have killed for when I first started.  Although not nearly as much as the heavy hitters get on an hourly basis.

How did it happen?  Well in the beginning very slowly.  I begged friends and fellow bloggers to like my page and only a small minority acquiesced.  We were told not to buy followers but for some reason, that sounded a tad suspicious.  I mean I know that most of the purchased likes are likely fake accounts but what if everyone else is doing it?  I did a little experiment and invested a measly $25 (I think, it's been a while) and bought a few followers to get me up over some number.  After that, it seemed that my visibility increased slightly.  More of my organic likes were seeing my Page.

Months or perhaps even a year or more later (maybe I'll spend some time looking up the stats) I invested $100, a birthday present to me.  I managed to surpass the 2K mark and now my page seems to get more traffic.  Some of my friends don't even remember that it's my page but they share it as if it's a real celebrity lol.

As for Twitter that's even more of a mystery.  I had an account since nearly the beginning but didn't do much with it.  It was a long time before I surpassed 1K.  I think I worked the TwitterVerse slowly and steadily and the number increased the same.  Then one day (March 19, 2014) I started getting tons of followers, most with middle eastern and Arabic handles.  Our theory is someone with a similar Twitter name or ID bought some followers and I got them instead.  I'm still short of the magic 10K which supposedly makes you an influencer unless that number has increased but I don't mind.  

Thursday, April 20, 2023

Life in a Southern Town

 Every Wednesday I have to take Boris to his OT at 8 am.  It's only a half hour so I wait in the parking lot and then drive him to school.  At first, I used to stress about getting him there as soon as possible because, even though he has a note, he's technically tardy and missing some class time.

However, as the days and weeks pass in this Mid-South town, I realized: it didn't really matter.  He's in 2nd grade, it's not like he is missing out on anything crucial.  I still get him there quickly, but I don't stress if I miss a light or if the Therapist talks too long while giving me the summary report.

My FIL sometimes complains about traffic down here.  I know it's mostly an "I'm an old guy, that's what we talk about" thing.  But on some level, he really feels like there is traffic here.

The worst traffic here is nothing compared to the "best" traffic in Chicago.  

The annoying thing is how most people who are turning left don't pull out into the perpendicular street.  It's annoying because as it is when the light or arrow turns green, the first person is typically slow out of the gate.  If you are more than 5 cars back, you're chances of making that light are slim to none.  

Also, honking your horn at a car for vehicular misdemeanor is frowned upon here.  And given the recent landscape, you don't want to find out the person has a short temper and is armed.  So it goes.

Monday, April 17, 2023

FaceBook Friend Catagories

I always wanted to do a post about some of my Facebook Friend groups so why not.  At one point I almost had 1000 "friends" but I whittled that down to under 400 over the last decade.  At first, I was friending anyone I had ever met but then I got more selective.

Virtual Friends:  In this first group are people I've never met IRL but am connected to somehow.  This includes a good number of former ChicagoNow bloggers.

Virtual Randoms: These are people I've also never met but also have no tangible connection that I'm aware of other than we both lived in Chicago.  There's probably one random leftover from MySpace.  

Actual Acquaintances: These are usually people I met once or interacted with long ago.  Former running group people come to mind.

Actual Friends:  People I actually know and give a sh*t about.

Somebodies that I use to Know: People that use to be important to me but are no longer.  But we kept the vestiges of our friendship through FB stalking and occasionally liking or the random comment.

Thursday, April 13, 2023

Ten Bucks a Day so far

We have had our playset for approximately 15 months, give or take a week.  I'm trying to figure out the Unit Cost so far.  Anne Landers had a formula to justify buying something, say an article of clothing.  If it cost $100 and you wear it once, it cost you $100 per wear.  if you wear it twice, then it's $50 per wear, and so on.  The more you use something, the lower the cost.

Now my kids do not use the set every day.  Some days it rains and then it takes a few days for the ground to dry.  Or it's too hot to be outside.  But this is offset by the fact that there are two of them, plus occasionally cousins come over.  

There are lots of ways to crunch the numbers but I'm gonna just do a very conservative look and a slightly optimistic one.

Conservative Estimate:  I'm gonna assume that 4 kids using the playset most days equals one kid using it every day.  So using the time and date duration calculator to figure the time between January 14, 2022, when it finally arrived, and April 14 this year, I get 455 days.  

that works out to $6000/455 = $13.19 per use.

Slightly Optimistic Estimate:  If we get more optimistic, then we can assume 4 kids using the playset most days equals two kids using it every day.

that works out to $6000/455/2 = $6.59 per use.

And if we take the average of these two values, we get the more like CPU of $9.89.

So after a little over a year, it cost ten bucks to keep my kids entertained and off their iPads.