Wednesday, May 31, 2023

Last Day of May

We went to Huntsville, Al for Memorial Day weekend to see the NASA Rocket and Space Center.  We thought the kids, especially Boris, would love it.  They did have a good time, but we set our expectations too high on how much they would want to be there.  

Huntsville is a very nice blue dot in the middle of a Red State.  And we had a genuinely nice time there.

I was worried about getting my steps in but managed to get them in quite early each day.  As of right now I'm 29/31 and will likely get today's in as well.  What does this do for me?  nothing much.

Before we left for vacation, I tried to get my haircut at the place I go to down here.  I had an appointment but when I arrived, they were taking walk-ins before me.  After 15-20 minutes I got up and left.  No point saying anything and I don't think it was personal.  Another person experienced the same thing.  I suspect they were being loyal to their regulars although I've been going there for about a year so I would hope I was recognized.  Of course, I will never go there again so it doesn't matter.

I got my hair cut yesterday where I take the kids.  Not only is it closer to the house, but it's an even better overall experience.  MC wasn't much on creature comfort.

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.