Author: Derek

Weekend at Ward Manor

  1. The Wife and I walked up to the neighborhood’s “Vendor Fair”. Honestly, it was kind of pathetic, but I’m chalking that up to it being the first year. Hopefully, there will be more stands next year. From there, we went up to the local market. That was much more fruitful, as we needed to pick up some gifts for the holidays. We also joined the local civic association – something we’ve been discussing for a few months.
  2. We did an initial pull of the holiday decorations. The Wife has a lot of holiday decorations, and we just brought home the first load. The Ward Wagon will require more trips due to its smaller cargo size. I also helped pull out one of her trees. She wanted to put it up to get Freya used to it. Hopefully, that will keep the destruction down.
  3. During our shopping, The Wife and I discussed pulling weeds on Sunday morning while it was still cool out. We came home to find the neighbor girls pulling our weeds. Apparently, they offered to pull the weeds for some spending cash. Well, okay, it was something that we didn’t really want to do anyway. They did a real good job too. The Wife asked if they could come over every couple of weeks and take care of the weeds. I do love rewarding entrepreneurship. Particularly when it relieves me of having to do hated chores.
  4. We did manage to hang a couple of paintings we bought a few months back. I found a print of Monet’s Impression, Sunrise and The Wife found another print we liked. The hard part is that we hung them on the wall facing the stairwell, which meant reaching out from the second floor.
  5. I ordered a new iPad. My current one is getting long in the tooth. I mean, long enough it wasn’t even worth trading in. So, now I get to wait a bit for it to be delivered. Still, it should be powerful enough to last me the next four or five years. Particularly since I don’t do a lot of heavy lifting with the iPad.
  6. If you are going to do a gender reveal party with some fireworks, it is considered polite to let the rest of the neighborhood know. Particularly those that sound like shotgun blasts.

Monday Links

One of the big stories from last week was NASA launching their big new rocket for a trip around the moon. I, unfortunately, did not see it launch, but Rocket Engineer Brother and his family were kind enough to send over a video.

Heading over from space to the tech sector, the apparent Ponzi scheme that was FTX came crashing down. This is an item in the crypto arena that bears watching, because it may be the catalyst that drives regulation of the crypto arena that will kill its promise. One bit of advice for those of you who have any crypto currency? Don’t leave it on an exchange. Put it in a cold storage wallet.

Amazon has joined the ranks of massive layoffs in the tech sector – particularly in the Alexa and Luna teams. This is of some concern because Ward Manor’s smart systems are in the Alexa ecosystem. And with the Matter standard not quite ready for prime-time means interoperability with another digital assistant will be tricky.

Oregon’s recently passed anti-RKBA Measure 114 is facing heavy attacks on its many issues. Ammoland reports that many sheriffs are refusing to enforce the magazine limit. Other sources are reporting that many small departments are refusing to even handle the new purchase permit due to cost and the fact that the state doesn’t even have the permits available – even though they’re supposed to go into effect next month. Let the shitshow commence!

It was a couple-three weeks ago I shared an article about a 3D printed home in Tallahassee. Now, we have an article about a company doing it in Tampa. Since it’s running about $600K for the list price, I’m not as hopeful on the cost savings. Particularly since a townhome in the same area is going for $400K.

Now on to light items:

War Is Boring has an article on how warfare is responsible for the necktie.

The Wife and I have tickets to the Quintessential Quintuplets Movie coming out next month. I really enjoyed the series, and I’m hoping The Wife enjoys the movie.

Friday Quote – Milton B. Medary Jr

It must sing of music, sculpture, color, architecture, landscape design, and the arts of the workers in brass and iron, ceramics and marble and stone – each a part of a chorus, each adding beauty to the others.

This was an inscription in the museum for Bok Tower in Lake Wales, FL. If you have the chance to visit, you should.

Losing Two Greats

On Veterans Day came word of the passing of the comedian Gallagher and Batman voice actor Kevin Conroy.

Gallagher’s infamous Sledge-o-matic entertained me as a kid, and then I grew to appreciate his humor as I matured.

Kevin Conroy will always be the definitive voice of Batman. His work on the Animated Series, Batman Beyond, and the Justice League series cemented his voice in my mind.

I leave you with these videos.

There’s A Baby In The Clowder

Since we lost Titus a couple of months ago, the house felt a bit empty. We discussed adding another cat to the group. What sex? What kind? The Wife wanted another hairless, but those are few and far between. Plus, in the aftermath of Ian, there was a heightened scrutiny on all listings. Just as tragedies bring out the greatness in humanity, it also brings out the worst.

Finally, we made an appointment at a local shelter. We looked at several, but ended up with a tiny kitty. A tiny Siamese kitty.

There was much discussion on a name. The Wife prefers old-fashioned names. I prefer non-people names. She started with Alice. I countered with Mab. She offered Hazel. I offered Inara. Finally we settled on a name.

I present to you the newest member of the Ward Clowder – Freya.

Photo of Freya, a siamese mix kitten, laying on a polka dot mat

Monday Links

Last week, we heard what sounded like a crash in the early morning hours. Couldn’t find any damage. Turns out, it was a sonic boom from the X-37B returning to the Cape after 908 days in orbit. That brings back memories of the windows shaking every time the shuttle landed.

Speaking of the shuttle, there’s a report that some divers looking for WWII wreckage ended up finding a part of the Challenger.

Those of you who listen to the Assorted Calibers Podcast have heard that Erin Pallette of Blazing Sword and the Pink Pistols was discussing her recent email exchange with a high school student on gun control. Erin helpfully put up the exchange on her blog. This would be a good primer for some of the folks who are curious about why we keep and bear arms.

Continuing with the gun theme, we have a Reason article about a judge dismissing a challenge to the law forbidding medical marijuana users from owning or carrying guns. I dislike marijuana. Don’t like the smell and don’t like the traditional pot culture. However, I do not think it should be treated any different from alcohol. Including how we treat the users.

From Skeptical Inquirer comes an article asking if sports is a breeding ground for pseudoscience. Well, yeah.

Finally, we have an article talking about some leaked info about a new DLC for Civ 6. Including bringing back some favored leaders. I will admit to looking forward to this. I have really enjoyed the last couple rounds of DLC.

Friday Quote – Rudyard Kipling

You talk o’ better food for us, an’ schools, an’ fires, an’ all:
We’ll wait for extry rations if you treat us rational.
Don’t mess about the cook-room slops, but prove it to our face
The Widow’s Uniform is not the soldier-man’s disgrace.
For it’s Tommy this, an’ Tommy that, an’ “Chuck him out, the brute!”
But it’s “Saviour of ‘is country” when the guns begin to shoot;
An’ it’s Tommy this, an’ Tommy that, an’ anything you please;
An’ Tommy ain’t a bloomin’ fool — you bet that Tommy sees!

Excerpt from Kipling’s poem “tommy”

You Are Testing The Limits Of My Blood Pressure Medications

Last week, The Wife’s job flew her up to New York to meet with her co-workers in the offices around there. Since I can do my job from anywhere with internet access, I tagged along. We stayed in Morristown, New Jersey, which is a very pretty town from what we saw. I mostly stayed in the hotel room working while The Wife gallivanted around with her boss to the various offices.

The title from this post comes from a comment made by The Wife when we realized that I had left my phone at the ticket counter when we checked in for our flight north. Fortunately, we were able to get back and retrieve my phone with little issue, but it was about ten to fifteen minutes of high stress.

Then, The Wife “returned the favor” when she accidentally left her work headphones at one of the satellite offices. We both use Jabra headsets for our work, which aren’t cheap, but immensely worth it for when we have multiple and/or long teleconferences and meetings. And I was running a major multiple-day meeting from the hotel room. Fortunately, one of her coworkers found the headphones and mailed them back to us. They were waiting for us when we returned.

We are done with traveling for the foreseeable future. After three weeks on the road, it’s so good to be back in our beds and in our routines.