Five Things

The first month of the year is two-thirds complete, yet it feels like a week has passed since the start of 2019. My awareness of the passage of time has been severely disrupted either the the boy or the weird split days of work for the day job. Perhaps it’s a little bit of both. That said, the year is already shaping up to be more challenging than 2018 in a good way.


Reiko’s grandmother was born on this day in 1920. She’s battled Alzheimer’s for the last few years and often forgets things. Her faith has been a guiding force throughout her life and she would often quote large sections of the Bible verbatim when making a point about something. However, as her memory falters, she’s lost all memory of God. She’s forgotten the names and faces of her children. She’s forgotten that she’s not a young girl living in Imperial Japan. What she hasn’t forgotten, though, is the boy. She often asks if he will come to visit her in the care facility. While we had planned on visiting to celebrate the special occasion, the weather was not cooperating. We’ll likely make the trip on a weekend in February.

Nine Percent

Kirin has a line of semi-carbonated vodka beverages that are quite enjoyable. They come in a number of flavours including Sichuan lemon, grapefruit, strawberry, and a bunch more. I generally stick to the lower alcohol content line, but will pick up a can of their “strong” 9% variations from time to time. Today I tried a 355mL can of “strong yuzu” and was surprised by how quickly it hit me. One should not consume these is they intend to drive at any point the rest of the day. The company isn’t kidding when they say it’s a strong drink.

Almost A Digital Island

Over the last six months I’ve been pulling back on what cloud services I use for personal data and where my information resides. What this means is that a lot of the useful tools provided by companies such as Google, Apple, Microsoft, Dropbox, and others have been replaced with self-hosted alternatives. I’ve been fortunate enough to have the computing and storage capacity to make all of this possible in my house, but there’s just one last service I haven’t been able to ditch, and that’s Zoho; a company I rely on for all of my email needs.

At some point I would love to host a mail server out of my home, but it does not make sense to do this until I can ensure that my messages will generally avoid landing in people’s spam box. A lot of self-hosted email servers are never added to the various white lists that allow mail to travel to a recipient without being flagged as suspicious.

Two Pillows to Stop Snoring

For much of my adult life I have snored while asleep. According to Reiko the noise is not an all-night affair but starts just after 4 o’clock regardless of what time I crawled into bed. We’ve tried a number of things to resolve this problem, including sleeping in separate rooms for six years. Recently, though, the snoring has stopped. What’s changed? I’m now using two pillows, one stacked atop the other, to hold my head a little better.

We should have tried this years ago.

Moon Photography is Hard

This evening I brought the camera with me for Nozomi’s evening walk in the event we saw some of the blood moon. Unfortunately our walk in the park was a bit early, but I wanted to take some pictures of the moon anyway. 66 attempts at a good, clear image later, I called it quits and brought a Nozomi home. Not a single photo with the nice Canon came out decently enough. A bright object against a dark background requires a little finesse to adequately capture. Sadly I have none.

Tomorrow is the start of another week. I hope it’s a good one for everybody.