Showing posts with label My Life. Show all posts
Showing posts with label My Life. Show all posts

Sunday, November 15, 2020

Things that aren't happening right now

COVID-19
There's a lot of things not happening right now due to covid-time. For me, I've not seen family in a year.  However, it seems there's many who are actually planning gatherings for Thanksgiving.  I hope many reconsider, especially in light of the recent surge in both COVID-SARS-2 cases and related hospitalizations.

Allie and I were lucky to be able to visit Sydney, Australia late last year.  Even still, the Australian fires, which kicked off this crappy year in late 2019 and early 2020, were already starting to consume large regions.  The fires got much worse after we returned home from our vacation.

Allie did get a chance to visit family in Asia in February.  She was very lucky to get back home before things got covid-crazy.  Since then, we've been keeping mostly to ourselves.  Multiple plans to spend time with friends and family were cancelled.  We have no plan to meet other people until covid-time is over.  

That's not to say we've been hiding indoors as shut-ins.  Face masks and copious amounts of the appropriate hand sanitizer are always ready for our visits to the store and other necessary locations.  I've also been working from home almost 100% of the time, only going into the office (after site approval) a couple of times to access specific stuff on my work desktop computer or paperwork at my desk.

I am weary of the need to keep vigilant against the nasty virus.  However, out of love for my neighbor (and of course, family members), my resolve is not weakened.  


Month Event
January Australia fires
February Africa locust plague begins
March COVID-SARS-2 explodes
April Relatively minor events
May George Floyd's horrific murder
June Worldwide protests about George Floyd's murder
July Multiple natural disasters in Asia
AugustBeirut explosion
September Western US fires
October Terror attacks in France
November Massive COVID-SARS-2 resurgence
December To be seen

Thursday, November 12, 2020

Journalization of life

When I started this blog 18.5 years ago, it was used as a true log or journal of my life.  I slowly transitioned away from this for various reasons.  The biggest reason is that a publically available record of your life can reveal things which may be useful to use against you in one way or another, by both people you know and people you don't know.  Beyond that, the world is different today than it was in the early aughties.  Another reason is that Facebook took over many of the duties of life-record without all the work of building my own content from scratch every time I wanted to post something.  Facebook is still not good for long-form or detailed accounts of events.  For that, blog remains the superior platform for recording my view of events in writing.

Even still, there is value in providing an online journal of one's life.  For me, and most humans, memories fade.  Specific memories are still noodling around in our heads, but they are buried underneath millions of other noodles. I didn't realize the importance of this until recently, when I going over my blog's history.

Reading the past posts reminded me of events, and even just average days from my past.  In fact, I ran across a couple of posts that describe things that I don't remember at all now, similar to how no-one remembers most of the first two years their life but there's those embarrassing baby photos that your parents pull out from time to time.  


Posting about my life doesn't generate traffic like my posts about life in our Universe or beeper codes, but that's not the real point of this blog anyway. I'll still post about things I find interesting in the same manner as before.  However, I'll try to post a bit more about my daily life too (more than just Instagram photos).  I've actually started doing this since September this year.  I hope to do it even more often.


Sunday, September 13, 2020

Pontiac G8 Wiper Blades, super low-key custom equipment

The Pontiac G8 is a fun and enjoyable car, though a little rough around the edges for some details.  The G8 model never had time to be polished because it and the whole Pontiac brand where cancelled as a result of the GM bankruptcy from the Financial crisis of 2007–2008. So, there are just somethings where the owner needs to consider their options when replacing worn-out parts.  One consideration: the two windshield wiper blades.

The original sizes for the wiper blades didn't do a good job of clearing the window in front of the driver.  The stock wiper blades don't swipe enough of the upper middle area of the windshield to help the driver clearly see through portions of the window.  Another problem with the original blades is/was that some owners (including myself) reported chatter or incomplete clearing of the window during each swipe.  

Funny enough, it's not easy to find the sizes of the original wiper blades.  You can still buy them, supposedly, but the sizes aren't published in their descriptions. I think they were something like 24" length for the driver's side and 14" for the passenger side.  Whatever the sizes, the original blades left rather large of areas of the window unswiped during rain, not just at the top, but also the bottom of the window between swiped areas.


I didn't wait long to replace the original blades. Either late 2009 or 2010, I found some good quality replacement blades of the sizes 26" and 15".  (At the time, it wasn't easy to figure out replacements of alternate sizes.)  Believe it or not, my replacement blades performed well for 10 years.  Sometimes you get lucky.  Unfortunately, when it came time to replace them this year, I lost track of what I purchased before.

That didn't end up mattering, though.  In 2020, the secret has long since been out.  It's actually more common to find 26"/15" sizes than what might've been stock sizes.  On multiple sites, I found that the main size recommendations are 26"/15".  So, it is really down to quality (since price stopped being a factor since I'm no longer looking at stock blades).

After seeing recommendations on multiple websites (including forums) and reading many reviews, I settled on Trico brand blades:  Trico 25-260 Force Beam Wiper Blade 26" and Trico 25-150 Force Beam Wiper Blade 15".


Many modern blades try to support as many car models as possible, so they come with adapters.  I remember my first replacement blades being very simple to install.  This doesn't seem to be the case anymore.  The Trico's aren't hard to install, but it is a ~10 step process which includes removing their default adapter, adding the included secondary adapter, then removing a piece of that adapter to specifically fit the G8.  Again, not hard, but not intuitive either.  

I like the Tricos because they cover even more area of my windshield than my first replacements.  It amazes me just how much of the window they clear with each swipe. So far, the Tricos work well.  We'll see how they perform as the season changes.  

Friday, September 11, 2020

So, I did it...I saw a movie in Covid-time [TENET]

Yup, it's true.  I went to see a first-run movie during covid-time.  Though, I'm not even considering movie theaters right now.  That's not going to happen until COVID-19 vaccination is widely available.  In the meantime, how should someone see a new movie?  Well, there's streaming services.  But, for some reason, paying $30 to watch a movie on my own device at home seems alien.  So, let's go to the movie drive-in!

Holiday Twin Drive-in

Yup, it's true.  I went to see a first-run movie at the drive-in.  Social distancing is super easy with two tons of steel and glass (and an additional 10 feet of parking distance) between you and others in outside world.  

I saw TENET.  It's an enjoyable, yet complex film that will take multiple viewings to completely understand.  

So, here's the problem.  Seeing a movie at the drive-in is an inferior experience, particularly for big films designed for modern theater screens.  It's an acceptable experience, but not high quality.  The main problem is that your own car fights against the experience, at least many modern cars do.  Even just turning your car on to ACC for the radio (to hear the movie's sound on the drive-in's FM station) will start up all sorts of interior lights, including the status screen that is present many cars.  Yeah, you can turn them down or cover them up, but that's just annoying.  

Then, condensation forms on the windows in certain conditions. You'll have to open the windows from time to time.  In most cars these days, power windows require the car to be on in the pre-start position. Guess what that does!  Yup, it turns on even more interior lights!

Then, there's the weather.  Fog, rain, and even dust or remnants of ash from fires in the nearby mountains can all detract from your experience.  This weekend, I experienced rain, blown dust and fire ash.

The biggest problem of all?  Most movie drive-ins do not play first-run movies.  I literally had to drive 1 hour to see TENET on opening weekend.  

Even still, seeing a movie on a big screen is better than not.  Drive-in may be inferior, but it is preferable to the alternative: sitting for 3 hours in an enclosed space with a bunch of strangers around breathing the same air and touching the same surfaces, or queueing up to close at the snackbar or just walking too closely when exiting the theater.