My mind is blank

Yep, it is. I am in one of those weird phases where the more I try to think of something to write, the more the thoughts find ways to squirm out of my head and fly away, never to be seen again. Or maybe they just splat against the nearest window.

So when in doubt, let’s list1I like lists!

The Five Best Colors in the World According to Me

  • Dark pink
  • Red
  • Dark blue
  • Verdant green
  • Black. It’s not a color, but it’s so handy. And black.

Three articles of clothing I will likely never wear

  • A speedo
  • A kilt
  • A burlap sack

Perks of working in IT Support

  • lol
  • lol
  • Seriously, lol

Ways to Make the World a Better Place

  • Ride your bike
  • Grow some veggies
  • Be nice to others. Not super stupid nice, just reasonably nice and pleasant.
  • Eliminate all management
  • Probably need to do something about capitalism, too
  • 1
    I like lists

The state of wearing masks and the pandemic, late July 2021

Sometimes I’ll read an article that nearly perfectly matches what I’m thinking, and this Atlantic article on wearing masks is one of them. It’s free to read, as is all of their COVID-19 coverage, so the link below should keep working. And yes, I did feel a bit weird reading at the end that the free coverage is in part due to sponsorship from the Chan Zuckerberg (re: Facebook) Initiative.

Case numbers in BC have doubled over the last two weeks, and are back into daily triple-digit territory. For me, it’s really simple, with Reason #1 being dominant–I don’t want to catch COVID-19. We simply don’t know enough about long term effects for me to be comfortable lowering my risk for the (admittedly welcome, but ultimately minor) benefit of going mask-free in public indoor spaces, especially transit.

4 Reasons I’m Wearing a Mask Again by Katherine Wu, The Atlantic

Walk 48: Not so great (but not so bad)

What’s a little weird is after a slothful eight days off, I was certain I would put in a worse performance on today’s walk/run–yet I was actually a fair bit faster, if a little pokey on the running bits.

Still, the weather was pleasant (even if the Fire Danger signs have been upgraded to Extreme Fire Danger signs) and the dust kicked up from passing cyclists was not that bad. I ran the back half with only a brief musical interlude around the midway mark and had no issues to speak of. BPM was higher as expected, but still within range.

All in all, not great, but not bad, either.

Stats:

Walk  48
Average pace: 8:21/km
Location: Brunette River trail
Distance: 7.41 km
Time: 61:53
Weather: Sunny
Temp: 23ºC
Humidity: 56%
Wind: light
BPM: 133
Weight: 179.4 pounds
Total distance to date: 369.51 km
Devices: Apple Watch Series 5, iPhone 12

Max stats: Pandemic version

As of today, it’s been two weeks since I had my second Pfizer vaccination for COVID-19. This means I’ve reached about the maximum immunity granted by the vaccine, which is nice. I am free to drop wearing a mask in public indoor spaces, and in doing so would present only a minimal risk to myself or others. This is good.

But this is bad. The much more contagious delta variant is spreading at the same time that vaccinations are starting to stall out. A minority of the population who are hesitant to get vaccinated (for whatever reason) may undo a lot of what we have achieved in getting around 80% of the population covered. The thought is we may now need 90% or more–which seems unlikely.

There are few people who would not be tired of the pandemic at this point. I really hope that come fall I’m not reporting high case loads again and a renewed mask mandate.

As always, we will see.

(And for now I’m going to keep wearing a mask at least when using public transit. I’m pretty sure something like 90% of every cold, flu and other ailment I’ve gotten came from a fellow SkyTrain or bus passenger, so it’s totally worth the minor inconvenience.)

Office Lens attempts to translate my handwriting

Admittedly, it works better if you import the same thing into OneNote and convert from there, but it’s not as funny.

I am tempted to make Okan Jörnes my new pen name.

A second trip back in time, to Tuesday, January 27, 1987

This is another entry from the handwritten journal I kept back in 1987. I had been living in Vancouver for five months at the time and was 22 years old.

My handwriting was extremely neat back then.

You can read one other journal entry that I posted to this blog, way back in 2012: Travel with me back in time to Saturday, January 24th, 1987


Tuesday, January 27, 1987. 10:53 p.m. When worlds collide, headaches follow.

Sorry, nothing even slightly, vaguely, infinitesimally exciting happened today.

Goodnight.

No, really. Work was uninteresting, after work was uninteresting, sleep was uninteresting.1Alright, I’m just guessing that sleep will be uninteresting. We’re talking boring here.

Briefly, for the sake of posterity, here are the lowlights:

  • I got up
  • I dressed, ate breakfast and left for work
  • I worked
  • I came home
  • I talked to Mike on the phone
  • I washed dishes and cleaned up
  • Brook came over and worked on his play
  • I watched (with brook) Moonlighting (a rerun, strangely).
  • I went to bed

And now, goodnight for real.

Log off: 11:20 p.m.

Supplementary note, 12:09 a.m.:

Okay, seeing Tiny Tim being pelted by snowballs during the New York Giants Superbowl Celebration was kinda fun. Those fans, ya gotta love ’em!


This is, as you can see, not a particularly memorable entry, but it is short, which is why I’ve included it until I can see if there’s any kind of text recognition software that can convert my stunningly neat handwriting into electronic form. Also note that the footnote was originally presented with an asterisk and was written in all caps vertically on the left side of the page. I’m going to re-read more of this journal, to possibly gain insights, but mostly to see how funny I was as a young adult. I hope I don’t disappoint myself.

  • 1
    Alright, I’m just guessing that sleep will be uninteresting. We’re talking boring here.

One thing macOS does better, one thing Windows does better

This week I’ve been using the M1 MacBook Air exclusively for work (I’ll post more on the experience soon) and as I’ve grown accustomed to using it for days at a time instead of hours, I’ve come to see how it does some things better than Windows.

But Windows still bests it in certain ways.

Here’s one way each is better than the other, in my opinion, WHICH IS OBJECTIVELY CORRECT.

macOS: Better font rendering. Fonts do not look bad in windows, but they look better on Macs. This is especially noticeable when you get into smaller font sizes or where color contrast is higher. Everything looks a little smoother on a Mac’s screen.

Windows: Perhaps unsurprisingly, given its name, but window management is better on Windows. It has easy to use options for snapping windows in place and resizing them, and has other handy features like window previews on the taskbar and more logical behavior on the taskbar vs. Apple’s dock.

I’ll expand more on which OS does things better in a future post, but I can confidently say that people who tout one being obviously superior to the other (without having some weird edge case or niche use) are big fat liars. For common tasks like browsing the web, listening to music, writing or doodling, they are both fine.

Walk 47: Tired without bugs

I have felt a bit tired all day today and didn’t expect to actually do any running on today’s walk/run, but in the end I cut the distance down a bit and did some running after all, especially since it was a bit cooler.

I felt a bit woozy on the way in, but coming back I managed to pick up the pace and finished with a decent overall pace of 8:45/km. Not exactly a blur on the ground, but certainly better than just toodling along. BPM was down significantly, as expected.

Stats:

Walk  47
Average pace: 8:45/km
Location: Brunette River trail
Distance: 7.11 km
Time: 62:17
Weather: Sunny
Temp: 24ºC
Humidity: 56%
Wind: light to moderate
BPM: 119
Weight: 179.3 pounds
Total distance to date: 362.10 km
Devices: Apple Watch Series 5, iPhone 12

Facebook thoughts, 2021 edition

It’s time to metaphorically step back and take a look at Facebook again, that lovable scamp of the internet accused of everything from destroying democracy to poisoning all public discourse.

I do not make any effort to post on Facebook at present. In fact, the only posts that appear there are auto-generated from Instagram, and these consist entirely of photographs I take of flowers, birds, scenery and objects I find interesting or weird. I don’t post pictures of food or myself, though the occasional exception is made.

My time actually spent on Facebook consists of a few things:

  • Looking at the photos posted by a friend
  • Looking over the posts of other friends and family
  • Otherwise, getting out as quickly as possible

The friend’s photos I also see on Instagram (which is a surprisingly terrible site for posting photos, given that its origin was for doing exactly that), so it’s more a review of what I’ve seen, and FB does an admittedly better job at displaying them.

The friends and family list consists of a majority of people who never or rarely post, a few who post semi-often and a couple who post pretty much constantly. All of these groups overlap in that they post little original content—photos they’ve taken, thoughts that have popped into their heads, interesting milestones in their lives, funny things they’ve personally witnessed and so on. Most just re-post stuff they’ve found elsewhere or on FB itself. The whole “share and like” thing. Several of them often share the exact same “funny” story or “interesting” quiz.

It’s all basically a bunch of garbage and I ponder ignoring their posts (which is to say changing the settings to stop showing their posts but not actually blocking the people themselves), but there’s always the niggling thought that they might post something genuinely interesting and would I want to risk missing it?

So FB is pretty much now just a waste of time. It’s not a huge waste of time because I’m typically only looking at it for a few minutes, but I toy with the idea of just taking a good, long break from it and seeing what the consequences, if any, are. I wouldn’t flounce off dramatically or make a big deal out of it, I’d just stop checking it for a few months or something. Treat it as a kind of junk social media detox.

Now that I’ve written this out, the idea sounds more appealing. Maybe I’ll try it and see how it goes.

In the meantime, I really wish there was another social media site that was really just about people posting interesting photos, but I suspect there’s no viable market for that or it would exist already. Alas.

Bugged out

I was going for a walk/run today at my usual time and despite it being a reported 28ºC, it actually didn’t feel that warm, so I was looking forward to a pleasant outing to start my week’s exercise.

Then it happened, so swiftly and unexpectedly I’m still not sure what happened.

I was walking on the trail between the two staircases separating Hume Park and Lower Hume Park. It’s fairly short, so it only takes maybe five or six seconds to traverse. Midway through I felt a prick on my right leg and my first thought was an accursed mosquito had chosen to dine on me. I swatted at whatever it was and that’s when I noticed two things:

  1. Whatever had done this and was flying off into the brush was BIG. I couldn’t tell what it was except it looked to be about two inches long.
  2. The pain suddenly hit in a way that was also BIG. Whatever the critter was, it packed a wallop.

I briefly entertained the idea of ignoring the bite/sting and press on, but the jolts of pain convinced me otherwise. I didn’t want to aggravate the spread of venom through vigorous activity, so came home with a little under 2 km clocked. Once home I wiped the wound with a cold cloth then put some Polysporin on it.

It doesn’t seem to be hurting now, but I’m also not moving my leg as I type this.

This is what it looked like after I applied the cream:

I can now add bugs to my list of The best worst running conditions.