Quarantining

Aching for the outside

We’re about 40 days into the pandemic Quarantine. It’s a uniquely fascinating time to experience, though admittedly a little scary. We DiDonatos are lucky enough that we have a comfortable place to live in, jobs, a swing set for the little ones, and a netflix subscription.

Our biggest challenges are temporal in nature. Anyone who is taking care of kids right now are feeling the amplification of time. No longer are there plans or activities… just minutes to consume.

Beyond that, our burden is the annoyance associated with a lack of eggs. Oh how convenient it would be to have chickens… it’s times like these that rekindle those dreams of off-grid farmesque living.

Things that keep me up at night:

  1. Maintaining positive cash flow
  2. The abnormal consumption of raw materials and the looming inflation
  3. The tenuous societal balance that seems to be maintaining our social cohesion

Family Motto

In Game of Thrones each family has a motto. The two most well known are House Stark with: “Winter is coming” and House Lannister “A Lannister always pays his debts*”

There are more that are less known:

House Baratheon: “Ours is the Fury”
House Tyrell: “Growing Strong”
House Greyjoy: “We do not sow”
House Targaryen: “Fire and Blood”
House Bolton: “Our Blades are Sharp”

I decided to come up with a family motto for us DiDonatos. The verdict:

A DiDonato reads the instructions.

Since the motto’s inception I’ve taken it to heart and made sure to read the instructions prior to getting started on new purchases, assemblies, etc. And I have to admit, it’s been a very rewarding experience. I have learned a bunch of new things and all those toy assemblies for J.Atlas have gone exceedingly smoothly. I’m really proud of the motto. I stand by it.

If you’re feeling motivated, come up with one of your own! Feel free to post in the comments. Though due to my poor posting history in recent months I’m not sure anyone reads this website much anymore, so there’s that. Anyway, if you happen to see this post, I welcome your participation!

*Apparently the official House Lannister phrase is “Hear me Roar!” though the unofficial debt one is certainly used more often in the show. I haven’t read the books, so I don’t know if they make a stronger appearance there.

HEY!

Hi!

It’s been awhile. I took the month of February off from technology as I try to do yearly. This year was different than years past because my use of technology has fundamentally changed. It’s hard to see how integrated we are with tech and screens until we try to stop using them. The general rules of previous years have been:

  1. No technology
  2. Unless it aids in socialization (FaceTime for example)
  3. Unless it’s needed for work – obviously
  4. Unless it dramatically increases efficiency (using my recipe index on my phone instead of trying to hunt down the originals in cookbooks)

This year I had to change the rules because my life is more wired. Examples:

  1. I’m reading a book on my kindle paper right now. I could go get the book from the library but occasionally I suffer from swells of insomnia and if I can read at night¬†instead of using my phone – that’s aligned with the goals of the experiment.
  2. All GlowForge designs are implemented via a cloud service. Using the GlowForge is an exploration of craftiness, and the original goal of no-technology-February was to prevent wasted time, not to limit crafts.
  3. We have Alexa. That’s technology, but it doesn’t require a screen. Hmm. We’ll let it slide.
  4. Podcasts: this one I decided to go without. I have access to some educational CDs so I used those instead. It’s less information because I can’t listen to them at 1.5x or 2x speed, but that’s kind of to the point of the whole exercise? Chill with technology overflow? So maybe it’s good.

The biggest changes for the month were no reddit and no words with friends. I’m going to try to continue with limiting my reddit exposure. That’s probably the greatest sinkhole in my life of productivity. Better to limit that one as much as we can.

February was a success! I finished 1.75 books, and printed more GlowForge crafts than I had cumulatively in the previous months of ownership.

I hope everyone else has been doing well! Let me know if anything crazy is going on in your lives!

 

Breville’s Cafe Roma Espresso Machine

Ten years ago, Darcy convinced me to buy a Breville Cafe Roma Espresso Machine on a one day Woot.com sale for $94.

That little machine has been a work horse and stands as my single highest use appliance to date. It has made two cups of coffee almost every single day for ten years. Add in the occasional morning of 4-6 cups when guests are in town and we’re talking 7,500 shots of espresso.

Keep it up little buddy. I appreciate you.