Weeks ending 3/14 and 3/21/2021

Chrome Tabs : 86 -> 76

Gmail Inbox : 69 -> 63 Unread, 74 -> 67 Total

Two weeks in one this time…

Friends and Family

I got to do some backyard cocktailing with some friends of mine who I did a Zoom cocktail “class” with last year. I was really impressed with the drinks they came up with! Varied, creative, and delicious. They learn fast!

I’m also helping another friend apply to grad programs, one of which is in Connecticut. If she gets in, she’ll be all the way across the country for 3+ years! So I’m just grappling with that a bit. Not like we’ve seen each other much this past year anyway. :roll_eyes:

My Mom has been going through some challenging things the last year or so (not pandemic related, but certainly exacerbated by it). She recently moved much closer to me, into a house she really loves, with a lot more access to nature, and she is doing so much better! It’s really remarkable, and I’m so glad to see her back in a good place.

Dreaming of Houses

I’ve been looking into the possibility of buying a house, but the market here is pretty crazy. A house I saw listed at $1.2 million just sold for $2.025 mil! Ouch. Fortunately they’re not all like that, it was a pretty amazing house, but still, it’s daunting…

I bought some “Bay Area Dream House Raffle” tickets. This is something I’ve done a couple times in years past, have never won anything, but with the swings in the stock market, while it’s a lower chance of returns, it’s also a much lower investment to get some chance of decent return. But no, I don’t consider this a serious investment strategy, and yes, I know they’ve basically never awarded the house, and there are huge costs (taxes, mainly) associated with accepting some of the prizes too…

Photography

I got a new Tamron 28-200mm f/2.8 lens for my (also new) Sony A7 III. So far it’s an extremely promising and fairly impressive lens, especially for the price. A bit heavy and, yes, a bit imbalanced on this small-ish camera, but great range, sharp, great max aperture at the wide end. Even a bit of macro capability.

On the flip side I experimented with it as a webcam and via USB it seems too choppy. Apparently this might be an issue only with newer versions of the Sony app? Hopefully it can be fixed then.

I have this project to learn to take good photos of myself. It’s useful for dating, business, and so many other things. I started my experiments last year and even ended up with 1 photo I think works pretty well in the dating context. But autofocus was poor on my old camera, especially in combination with the timer. So I’ve been looking forward to picking it back up again with my new one, and I did some initial experiments this past week or two. Now I can control it with an app, and although it’s a little clunky as an app, it’s a big improvement over past attempts, far more repeatable and easy to setup. Initial results are promising!

Dating

I installed the Bumble dating app again. I’ve had the most luck on Hinge over the past couple years, and nothing from Bumble last time I tried it. But it sounds like it’s the 2nd most popular dating app, and I at least like the premise of it. So I’m giving it another try.