Post-Ian, Pre-Dominican Republic

I figured I’d finally post up here to let everyone know we made it through hurricane Ian just fine. Since the storm shifted trajectory at the last minute, we dodged the majority of the winds and water. As a result, there was no damage to the house. The only mishap we had was that several trees in the preserve out back fell over in a domino effect, with the last tree landing in our back yard. Since we have nothing in the backyard, there was no damage to anything. The tree still needs to be removed, but since it originate from off-property, the CDD is expected to remove it. I reached out to them on October 9. I suspect it’ll be a little bit before they can make it around.

A view from the treeline.
The opposite view, from the lanai.
The trees covering the walkway in the preserve.

Carl flew out from L.A. on Oct 3rd to help his mom, who lives down in Venice. She was without power and water (she has well water and no electricity for the pump). He used my place as a sort-of base of operations for a week and went back to California on the 10th after her power and water came back.

This weekend was pretty busy getting small tasks done around the house. I’m back into using a detailed Excel spreadsheet to plan out blocks of my personal time, so several thing were able to get done. I also have gotten tired of way I feel and have decided to go back to Keto to lose weight and combat how terrible I bottom-out when I eat carbs. I’ve been good the last few days, but had some rice tonight with dinner. Back on track tomorrow. I intend on tracking weight up here publicly at some point, but I need more momentum first.

I bought and watched Clerks III today. I think those movies are a great little trilogy, but this third one really had me on an emotional rollercoaster. Hat’s off to Kevin Smith on a fun one!

Lastly, this week and next is shoring up nicely. Becasue of all the hard work during the hurricance, my boss is forcing me (oh shucks!) to take off Thursday and Friday this week. This is even with the knowledge that I’m off all next week as Cari and I and another couple travel to an all-inclusive resort in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic. So, after I “clock out” on Wednesday, I’ll have eleven days off. The plan is to really relax in D.R. and reboot myself physically and mentally. I hope this makes up for the debacle that was Christmas time.

It’s February Already?!?

Wow. I just looked and saw that it’s been about three months since I posted last. I guess a quick recap is in order of what transpired during that time.

Thanksgiving was great. I took off from December 18 through January 2 to relax and get some projects around the house done, however I was mostly bedridden that entire time as I threw out my back on the FIRST DAY off. As a result of that, and that the girls were out of state for Christmas, Cari and I did very little and postponed Christmas day for a couple of weeks. Last week I got a little bit of the flu. That’s about it.

I finally received my Bobcat Helium coin miner that I ordered in June of 2021. It’s up-and-running, but is mining slowly. I intend on replacing the stock 4 dBi antenna with an all-weather 8 dBi one that I’ll mount to the side of the house. I’m currently working on adding some movies to the library. I plan on also working on the DeLorean today, so there should be some updates on that coming soon.

Time Management

It’s Saturday again. I’ve spent my morning doing some usual things like updating my financial portfolio and scheduling bills to be paid, cleaning my desk (i.e., going through the week’s mail) and ripping Blu-rays for the video library.

I’ve been struggling with productivity the last month mainly due to having to devote so much extra time to my day job. I was meticulously planning my time for a short while. And while this helped keep me moving forward on things, it was hard to constantly be scheduling that. But, since I can’t seem to be productive without that tool, I need to figure out a better way to manage the time.

On Thursday I started Keto in an effort to loose weight. Today is #KetoDay003. The last time I did this was about 10 years ago, so it’ll be interesting to see how my body responds now that I’m older. Luckily, I’m not feeling mentally sluggish yet, and my energy levels have only dropped a little bit.

I’m going to head out to wash the car and get more groceries now. Will spend time on learning how to better plan things later today.

Added to video library: The Dirty Dozen, Frozen II

Slow Day

Was a busy week at work, so I didn’t get much done. The only thing creative that was accomplished was in Minecraft. I created a redstone circuit that allows me to turn on and off the iron farm I built a while back. The massive output of that farm was making so I had to tend to it every few days, whether I wanted to play or not. Now, it’s off until needed.

I’ve been relaxing all day today, and will likely be doing a bunch of reading to catch up on some magazines. I have five flight magazines, three Raspberry Pi magazines, and another miscellaneous one on the docket (won’t read them all today, of course).

Added to movie library today: Big Trouble in Little China, Enter the Dragon.

Weekend Loose Ends, Scheduling

I added Marriage Story to the library today and fixed the cover art to Jojo Rabbit.

We completed assembling and populating the new fish tank and I was able to put the surrogate 10 gallon tank and all the supporting tools back into the garage to dry out over the next few days until I can properly put them back on the shelves.

I went through the hard drives of my old PC and cleared off all of the data I might need and put it on my new machine.

I have a lot of projects I want to complete and have decided to start properly planning them out and putting them on a schedule. This basically means that I’m going to take all of my non-day-job time and divide it up and organize it so I can start to get things completed. Once I figure this out, I may post a calendar on the site here.

I’ve also been thinking alot about how much content I’m consuming and whether or not I want to slow that down. I’ve unsubscribed from several YouTube channels and have brought my weekly viewing down from about (on average) 7h 17m to about 4h 00m. I need to do the same with podcasts as well and trim all of the fat.

Bucket o’ Updates

I really need to get back on board with blogging. It’s been so long…

I’ve re-enabled my subscription to HakerBoxes. So far, I’ve received boxes 54 (Smart Home), 55 (High Roller), and 56 (Demon Seed). I’ve created some project pages on my internal wiki, but have made no progress toward assembling the kits.

I have a large box of unpainted D&D minis sitting here next to me that were originally intended for a campaign I created for a bunch of friends. Of course, this was all before the COVID-19 craziness. We haven’t played yet, but I do want to start chipping away at painting all of these. Eventually we will use them.

About a month ago my main PC crapped out. I decided to do something I’ve never done before; spec out a high-end machine and order all new parts. I did such, and got all of the components from NewEgg, however the motherboard arrived with damage. I got a return RMA but, because of COVID-19, the RMA took a long time. I should be getting the new motherboard this Monday.

The main 37-gallon fish tank needed a thorough cleaning, so Cari and I took it into the garage and emptied it last week. I’ll be spending a good chunk of time today cleaning everything. I suspect that the tank will be back in place this weekend. Currently, the fish are is a surrogate 10-gallon tank.

Still working on the DeLorean model monthly. I received a special-order package of several mods for the kit. More to come on this.

Movies added to the library this week:

Quick Cap Recap

Sunday we went and saw Captain America: Civil War at the AMC West Shore. I’m not going to spoil it for anyone and go into details, but I loved it and would like to see it again in the theater. It was a long movie, but flew by.

Yesterday was a big day – I resigned from my day job. I have something lined up. More to come.

I’m now going to spend time organizing all of the comics we bought on Saturday.


Stopped at Best Buy this morning and picked up a copy of Uncharted 2: Among Thieves: Game of the Year Edition and started to play it a bit. Gotta say: I didn’t think this franchise could get any better. I’ve only made it three chapters into the game, but it looks and plays amazing. I hope Naughty Dog continues this series beyond Uncharted 3 (due in November). Added it to the Museum too.

Got a copy of National Lampoon’s Vacation on Blu-ray too.

Think I’m going to watch Kick Ass on NetFlix in a minute.


Earlier today I listened to the American Cinematographer Podcast with Eduard Grau, the Director of Photography for the movie Buried. After hearing about how he shot the film, I was intrigued, so this evening I rented the movie on iTunes and gave it a watch. I have to say, it really kept me on the edge of my seat.

The premise of the story is that Paul Conroy (Ryan Reynolds) is buried alive in an old pine coffin. He has a few things in the box with him, including a cell phone that he uses to communicate with the outside world and a Zippo-style lighter.

Grau had to be incredibly creative with the shots and lighting throughout the production. He and the director, Rodrigo Cortes, really wanted to vary the scenes as much as possible (there are only so many ways to shoot coffin scenes). The result was very interesting, stylized shots that weren’t to artsy.

Reynolds was really good in the film and I definately found myself sympathizing with his plight. I thoroughly enjoyed the entire experience. Give it a watch when you can.

Giant Idiot Shadows

Recently I decided to start up my NetFlix account again and have been enjoying some movies, catching up as it were. I’ve been getting more recent titles in the mail and Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen just made it’s way into my mailbox today.

I was somewhat disappointed with the first movie, as I was a fan of the toys and cartoon TV series when I was a kid. I’m not going to get into why it let me down, as I’m sure you already know if you’ve seen it. Suffice it to say, I wanted the second movie to be better, but Bay decided to raise his skirt, squat and shit all over my childhood again – covered it in pure diarrhea.

As I watched, I tried to digest what was on screen. I tried to enjoy it, but a single thought kept popping into my head: “Shame on you, Michael. Shame.”

I wish I could blame the director solely, but as I watched I started noticing terrible errors in the camera work and cinematography. All over the movie were shadows of the camera operators and equipment. And not just something on the ground barely in frame – there were LARGE shadows cast directly onto the main and supporting cast members during A and B story lines! How about bounce cards to fill this out? Maybe? You think?

Whoever was reviewing the dailies MUST have noticed this. For that matter the DP, Ben Seresin, MUST have seen this too. Did he approach Bay and tell him the shots were ruined? Did Bay tell him it was fine and to leave it? God, I hope not. I hope that they’ve at least FEIGNED ignorance and tried to explain it as “large alien robot” shadows, even though there was no continuity supporting that reasoning.

As I step down from the soapbox, I realize that it’s futile to rant. The movie’s made and has made money. I didn’t help with the production. I didn’t act, grip, or finance it. But I did contribute to the franchise in my youth, and helped it rise to a certain level that let Hasbro turn it into a feature film. I did invest part of my precious childhood. And I was let down. Shame on you, Michael. Shame.