Oh Yahoo…

After seeing some commercials for it over the last few weeks, I did sit down and watch a bit of the Yahoo! Finance daily streaming show. Honestly, it was pretty decent content for being free to watch streaming online market coverage. Like a podcast I tuned in for about 30 minutes and it just felt like real-time coverage of the market with a touch of more in depth coverage pieces sprinkled into the flow of things. It is a reaction and set pieces streaming show that is really pretty engaging. Some of the conversations tried to be a bit technical, but for the most part it was coverage of content and allowing the content to be the thing being covered.

Listening to an audiobook and writing for a bit

My office chair

Most of the websites I host have been updated to the new server now. Only one more needs to be updated. All the links to my main website are now different, but that was inevitable at this point in the migration process. Earlier today I spent a few minutes writing down just a bit of prose that reminded me what writing prose is all about. Maybe I needed to settle back into my daily writing routine. Maybe that is something that will not work out any time soon. One thing is happening and that is related to a bit of entertainment. Tonight I’m listening to an audiobook version of the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy on Google Play Books. That was enough to help me sit back and relax enough to write something. Part of the process of writing is really about the act of writing and therefore is more about the creative spark in action than the creative spark on its own. That might be enough to consider for the rest of the night, but it turns out more is about to be brought forward.

One thing that remains true is that this ASUS Chromebook Flip C101P is breaking down slowly as I keep writing. One of the things I’m curious about is when Google will start selling the next generation of the Pixelbook. That might very well be my next mobile personal computing device. I pretty much need something with a keyboard and a rather small screen. It turns out that I simply do not like to write on my ultrawide monitors. My preferences for writing seem to include using a notebook, netbook, laptop, or generally a mobile computing device with a legitimate keyboard. I tried to use a ton of different bluetooth keyboards and smartphones, but not of those combinations really worked based on my need to write for longer periods of time. Apparently, I spend a lot of time thinking and writing about my next Chromebook.

Buying trees

Problems show up from all sorts of sources. We address them in a variety of ways. I spent part of the day yesterday addressing a problem at a tree farm. It is a problem that has to be solved sooner than later.

Tree farms are interesting places. The folks at the tree farm had setup a very complex irrigation system. I’m sure managing that large of an inventory is an interesting part of the job. We looked at a number of trees yesterday. They were organized by lot. All of them had some type of barcoded tag on them. Some of them were very expensive. Some of them appeared to be on sale. It was a huge tree farm. I racked up over 3,000 steps according to my Fitbit just walking around looking at trees. My new Fitbit Blaze watch has been working well enough. That however is a topic for another time. I will write a full review after owning the device for 30 days.

A tree in the backyard broke in three places during the last major snow storm. It was a very heavy dense snow that accumulated up to 18 inches in one day. The tree simply could not hold the extra weight. It was the type of snowstorm that makes you want to buy a snow blower. That could be something that ends up being acquired this summer.

Figuring out what tree to buy and getting the old tree removed will involve making a few decisions. One decision has already been made. It does not revolve around purchasing a snow blower. At some point this year, I am going to build a new wine rack. The old wine rack is full. That is probably a good indicator that it is time to either build a new larger rack, reduce my collection, or stop acquiring new wine. This will be my first major build something project of 2016.

A broken tree
A broken tree

On Painting

Two things sparked my interesting in painting yesterday. First, John Paul moving rooms means an entire room in the house needs to be painted. That has to happen before the furniture gets delivered. It is always easier to paint an empty room. Second, a painting at American Furniture Warehouse caught my eye. I took a picture of it. It almost inspired me to pick up painting again. I would have painted a wolf instead of a tiger.

image

Painting an entire room should be relaxing. It is a task with a clear start and a defined finish. It has happened before. It will happen again. During my time at the University of Kansas, I picked up oil painting on small canvasses. I picked up painting as a stress reducer (I called it a hobby) while earning a Master of Public Administration degree. Some of the canvasses from that time period have been painted several times. It was more about the process of oil painting vs. the art that was produced. I enjoyed focusing on controlled brush strokes and the timing it takes to work with oil based paints. Some of those canvasses are in a box in the basement.

Last night we picked up some paint at Home Depot. During the course of painting the room something unexpected became very apparent. It is frustrating to paint a room that was previously not painted properly. All the defects just jump out at you. The room has roller marks on the ceiling all over the place and the trim was a mess. I’m going to have to go to Home Depot today and purchase enough paint for the trim and ceiling. My Amazon Echo speaker played a part throughout the painting process. It played a classic rock playlist that seemed to be pretty eclectic.

Learning to paint does not require that much training. Painting a room and painting a portrait are two completely different tasks. I’m only talking about painting a room. For the most part painting a room it is about being patient and respecting the amount of control any given brush provides. Yesterday, I started off by using a standard 9’ roller to apply a coat to the walls of the room. A two inch wedge cut brush was used to catch the corners, paint the bottom of the wall, and paint the top of the wall. After the first coat of paint was dry, I applied a second coat of paint with the roller.

This morning when the sun comes up we will be able to see if I missed any spots.