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No Repeat T-Shirt Week 1

We didn't turn on our cameras at my old job but I'll probably make at least one appearance every Monday-Thursday at the new one. (Fridays are a quiet day for us because it's Saturday in Australia, and the same is true Mondays for them because it's Sunday here.) I thought it'd be fun to see how long I can go without being seen in the same t-shirt twice. I'd gotten into the habit of wearing the same shirt several days in a row for years now, and only wearing light-colored ones at home so cat hair and beard dandruff wouldn't show so much. It's actually pretty funny to scroll my TikTok page and see how many videos in a row have a similar thumbnail and wonder, just how many days am I looking at with that shirt?

I have so many t-shirts even after a major cull several months ago. It'll be fun to wear them all again and maybe even donate a few more. Week 1:

week1-a week1-b
week1-c week1d
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Chirp chirp

Without looking to confirm, this is probably the longest I've gone without posting. It's because the main thing going on in my life is the job search and one thing I absolutely can't stand is when people post about that every step of the way. It's a long-and-mostly-awful process and I don't understand people who get really excited about every opportunity without so much as an interview to show for it yet. I've got a couple of irons in the fire and hopefully one of them will turn into something but until I sign an agreement, that's all you'll hear about those.

But something happened yesterday that I thought I'd share. A position came up for a food and restaurant reporter at my local paper recently, and of course I applied. It was a little shocking that it hadn't shown up in any of my daily automated job searches and someone else told me about it. And someone else pointed out that maybe they should have reached out to me since I'm probably the most active food writer in the county.

They called yesterday to see if I was interested in interviewing for the position and I'm grateful that they were up front about the salary so we could decide if it was worth even talking about it. The reason it wasn't is because it'd have been a nearly 50% pay cut. I wasn't overly optimistic about that when I applied, but was still shocked by how low the pay is.

Teaching and journalism are two of the most important professions but you can't make a lot of money doing either.

Side note: I'm going to my first concert in a very long time tonight. Front 242 at Neumo's in Seattle. I'll be staying at a hotel in my old neighborhood, a few blocks between two of my old apartments. I just looked up how much parking at the hotel is and was glad I didn't really want to do anything but the concert, a simple dinner, and maybe some walking around. Yeesh.
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Friday fun

I didn't really want to go to a wedding or a funeral during the pandemic, but I did both. Finally on Friday I had a family obligation that was a little more fun: the fair. Garrett was sick so it was just me and my mother-in-law, and we made our day easier and more fun by deciding to eat at the casino instead of the fair, and played some slots, too. I lost $40, she won almost $60. That means the purse she got at the fair was nearly paid for. And we accomplished our most important mission.

Snapchat-822253508

Just after I took this she wondered why she couldn't find her glasses

Scones! I'd sure love to know why one of us was ripped off, though. You can see one bag's smaller and that's because it's a bag of 10 instead of a baker's dozen. But we both asked for baker's dozens and paid for them. They're 13 for the price of 10 so it's like one bag is just...not the deal. And I unknowingly grabbed the smaller one.

She had me take this picture to send to Garrett to let him know we got them and I think it's just got such a quality to it. I took it with Snapchat because I had a full hand and Snapchat's easy to work with one hand. (Why isn't the volume button for the camera universally available? Beats me.) This was just after a major downpour and it was such a relief to get home a few hours later and take a warm shower.

Friday was such a weird day but at least it was a little bit fun. I'm happy to report that mask compliance at the casino was 100% because obviously people are worried about being banned from the facility much more than they're afraid of any consequences out in the real world.
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(no subject)

Today was the best day I've had in a long time. I shifted my sleeping schedule by an hour because I need to stay up late tomorrow, wacky and vivid dreams ensued. I walked the penultimate section of a 30 mile trail I've been working on occasionally for a while now (60 miles if you count getting back to the car). The cat I'm taking care of for a friend instantly appeared to say hi for the first time ever instead of hiding under the bed until I coaxed him out with treats. I visited two restaurants to review them and enjoyed the shockingly different experiences in each, especially the warm and joyous discussions at the second one. I arranged that one ahead of time and interviewed the owner, and that led to me chatting with several people there and getting the meal comped, too. One thing people don't know is that I usually pay for the things I review and am lucky to break even, so right now while I'm out of work and on a budget, it's wonderful to be social and not lose money doing it. There's more but a gentleman has a few secrets and this particular one doesn't like to jinx things.
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Activities in context

Back in 2014 when we moved from Seattle to Everett, I stopped commuting to Redmond four of the five work days and began working completely from home, except for the occasional meeting. One of my bosses during that era had us meeting in person every couple of weeks, which was fine but kind of stupid. Why spend several hours out and back for one hour of face time? I always treated my time on the road those days as on the clock.

A huge change for me in 2014 was that I almost completely stopped reading books. Up until then, I got through about a book a week on my Kindle, reading on the bus. Since then, I just never found the time and place where I really wanted to read. I'll read a bit on vacations and last summer I read when I sat in my stock tank, but it's just not a regular part of my life any more. I associate reading with passing time that I can't otherwise do what I please with, and I just have a lot more freedom at home.

When my job ended June 30th, I was realistic about a similar change that'd have to happen with podcasts. I got into podcasts at work and have always associated them with sitting at my desk, and part of what I did to wrap things up at the end of June was to cancel all my Patreon subscriptions and quit listening to almost every podcast in my subscription list, which was pretty long. It's been pretty hard with certain shows, especially the ones I'd been with since the beginning for hundreds of episodes. But I'm spending the time doing other things and enjoying them, so it was the right call.

I only listen to two podcasts now: my own, which is a podcast about Melrose Place, and another podcast I enjoy that's also about Melrose Place. We've been on their show and they interact with us much more than anyone else ever has, and they have a different approach from ours that I really love.

It's hard to remember to listen to just these two podcasts. Usually I try to during my walks, but I reflexively always go for music when I head out. One cool thing about having a newer car is that I can listen in there, too, but it's not like I spend much time driving.

A bus commute in my future is unlikely (I hope!) but obviously I'll have a job again someday. Just hope it's one that includes lots of time I need to work on my own so I can listen to my shows again.
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Hello, Venga

For those who don't know, a big part of why I wanted to move from Albuquerque to Seattle was that I was tired of cars and didn't want to own one anymore. Not something that's easy to do in a place like Albuquerque but definitely doable in Seattle. So from 1999 until 2014 when we moved to Everett I didn't have one at all.

After we moved to Everett it was pretty frustrating not having one and I got very lucky and was able to continue my streak of never buying a car when I ended up with Garrett's grandmother's car when she no longer needed it. That was Olga, and I've posted about her previously. She was a great car and I fully planned to drive her until it no longer made sense. And since I never had to make any repairs and her mileage was still quite low, that was shaping up to be a very long time.

But Garrett's mom decided it was time for her to move on from the cargo van that she got for practical reasons a while back. Garrett and I had taken her on car shopping trips separately and she wasn't enjoying the car buying process or the features on the newest cars, and decided she would like to have Garrett's car. That worked out perfectly because he regretted buying the last Rav4 year before they added a console that could do Android Auto.

Now it was his turn to shop for a car and he had a hard time because all the ones he sat in we're not roomy enough to the right of his right knee, even the newest model RAV4. I'm not sure how many he tried, but it was quite a few. On our way back from visiting a dealership I suggested checking out Hyundai and he liked the Santa Fe and Bev ended up buying him a brand new one in exchange for his car. They also traded in her Toyota Camry that she didn't like to drive because it was too low.

I decided to go ahead and take the cargo van because we have borrowed it quite a few times to move things and it's a very practical vehicle to have around. So I sold Olga over the weekend and I'm now in the process doing a few minor things to the cargo van, which I've named Venga.

You can find lots of Ford Transit and Ford Transit Connect conversions online but I'm not going to convert the van because I want it to still be a cargo van. I just want to have some nice options when I'm in it. I'll share those as they happen. But for now meet Venga! She is 5 years old but has less than 5,000 miles which is another reason I didn't hesitate at all to adopt her.

Venga
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Cute coincidence

Yesterday I was catching up on my friends list and a question in one of the posts was whether I had ever painted a rock. I haven't that I can remember, but I see them around a lot. Is it like that everywhere, that it's a big trend to paint rocks and leave them around? I mentioned that not only haven't I done it, but I also see bad ones all the time. Well, today I found the best one I've ever seen!

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It has info on the back about where you can share photos in private groups on Facebook and NextDoor, and the most recent photo in the FB group is where the last person who found it moved it to. I think maybe I'll keep it for the time being, and if we move away from the area I'll leave it in the same park on one of my farewell trips there. That'll blow their minds for it to disappear and reappear after so long.
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Ink tracking

I finally made spreadsheet tabs for my tattoo inventory and the list of ones I want to do. I used to just search for previous versions of the list in Facebook posts I'd made, but that's terribly inefficient. If you count my sleeve and back as one tattoo each, I now have 23.

Mammal bone seahorse skeleton
Starheadboy Focus Group
Starheadboy Burritocorn
Starheadboy Cat in box
Zima bottle
Clearly Canadian logo
Orbitz logo
Crystal Pepsi logo
Garfield phone
Lursa and B'Etor
Freckle
Abbath kewpie
Sark and Master Control Program kewpie
Fire skull
Skull and bones
Question mark shark
The More You Know
Weeping willow, pagoda, peacock, Moonbeam City sleeve
80s Fantasy back
Friday the 31st
Threshold Tom Paris and abandoned salamander babies
Dinosaur Comics panel 2
Him (PowerPuff Girls) with Magic Worm friend

Updated list of tattoos I want to do. How unfortunate that the artist I want to work with on my next large one opened his books up again right as I lost my job!

Snoopy and Woodstock
Night of the Comet think tank symbol palm tattoo
Babies attacking man statue (next large tattoo)
Room 2704 knuckles
Snakes on a Plane logo
Tron leg sleeve
Blockbuster Video logo changed to ROCKLOBSTER E-O-O-O
You Worry Too Much
Get the cheese to sick bay
Clear '90s phone
Escher elves