Garage Door Painting

April 29, 2024 5:37 pm

The paint on the garage door was in need of a refresh. It was puckering, buckling, chipping, and peeling in sections across the lower half of the door (which gets direct sunlight for about half the year). So on Saturday I scraped, sanded, and pressure washed the door. And on Sunday the girls helped me prime and paint it.

I don't have a before picture, so you'll just have to trust me that it needed the work. You can see how badly faded the paint is by comparing the finished door to the wall on either side which was originally the same color.

The End of Elementary School for Heather

June 10, 2023 2:46 pm

Heather finished up elementary school this year which came with a bunch of end-of-year activities. Here's a smattering of them.

On April 21 she had her "Walk Through the American Revolution" play for which she was Benedict Arnold:

On May 5 was the Rancho Color Run, which included Corinne:

On May 30 Heather had her first violin concert:

And a video of part of the concert (sorry for the shakiness, I was standing in the back hand-holding the camera with a zoom lens):

June 2nd was the 5th grade recognition assembly:

And the last day of school was June 8:

That afternoon and evening we invited some of the girls' friends to go to Lost Worlds (family fun center) and have a little party to celebrate.

COVID-19: Part 69

May 11, 2023 1:13 pm

Almost a full year since my last COVID-19 update post.

Today, May 11, 2023, marks the official end of the federal COVID-19 Public Health Emergency declaration:

The CDC reports the total number of deaths in the U.S. from COVID-19 as 1,131,819. Even as the emergency declaration ends, we're still recording ~1,000 deaths a week from COVID-19. But that's the lowest weekly figure recorded since March 2020.

According to the CDC, 81.4% of the overall population received at least one vaccine dose but only 16.9% have kept that up to date with the latest vaccine updates available.

As far as we know none of myself, Jess, Heather, or Corinne ever became infected by the virus. We've tested ourselves when we've had respiratory symptoms, but never had a positive test. It seems more likely that we've had asymptomatic cases rather than never being infected, but who knows--perhaps we were of the lucky group for whom the vaccines were highly effective and any contact was prevented from taking hold. We've kept our doses up to date whenever new boosters have become available.

So what does that mean in our lives? (A reader in the future might ask.)

Life has been basically back to normal--at least for our family (probably not for the families of the 1.1+ million people who died--for whom a pre-pandemic normal will never return).

The girls have had regular school and activities. We've had them wear masks when community transmission levels were "high" (according to the CDC criteria), but that hasn't been true for months now.

When out and about there are people around who still regularly wear masks. Not a lot, but it's also not particularly unusual to see. I taught Mathcounts in person this past year and I estimate that 1 out of 15-20 students that I saw on campus was still wearing a mask (Mathcounts ended at the end of March, so maybe that number has fallen since then).

I'm still working mainly from my closet. In fact I'm supposed to be losing my office on site any day now because I don't use it often enough. Just waiting to get the notification.

So I guess that essentially wraps things up. Here's to hoping we don't do that again within my lifetime. It wasn't fun.

Easter 2023

April 10, 2023 7:04 pm

After a long, wet, and cool winter Spring finally decided to show up. Our foxglove and wisteria are doing quite well at the moment.

I spent Saturday cleaning up the outside of the house. Finally got the backyard cleaned up from all the windstorms we've been having. It was quite a mess, but now it actually looks alright.

I planted pumpkins and wildflowers in the planter box. The pumpkins have sprouted, maybe we'll actually get one to grow this year.

I planted an elderberry tree last year, which then got fried by a heatwave. I figured it was gone, but it's trying to regrow from the roots now, so it may yet survive.

We dyed Easter eggs on Saturday evening and the Easter Bunny stopped by on Sunday morning. Then we made cake pops, because why not?

This little critter was hanging out on one of our heavenly bamboo plants:

Heat Wave

September 10, 2022 3:18 pm

Our recent heat wave as measured on my weather station:

DateMax Temp (F)

Thankfully the power stayed on the entire time and the California grid operator avoided implementing rolling blackouts. But they did reach a level 3 emergency alert which authorizes rolling blackouts.

We pre-cooled the house with our excess solar before the mid afternoon and shut off the air conditioning during the worst demand period to alleviate grid draw. And we didn't use the oven so as to not add more heat to the house and to reduce demand.

Today the storm system moving up the coast finally pushed out the heat and some rain even fell.