Getting things done

This morning I thought I wanted to get another 5k run done, because I’ll have limited opportunity for the rest of the week, due to having an ISO Photography Standards meeting. It’s an online meeting, from 8:00 to 11:30 every morning in my time zone. I don’t really have time to do it before, if you include having breakfast and cooling down and probably having a shower to be comfortable for the meeting, and the afternoon is not a great option in our summer, and evenings are usually busy with other stuff. (I don’t think I’ve ever done a run in the evening.)

But this morning I also had to get some blood drawn for a cholesterol test, after fasting, so I couldn’t have breakfast before. So I wanted to get that done as soon as the pathology lab opened, and then go home and have breakfast… and by the time I was ready to go run it was approaching 10 o’clock. But fortunately it’s very cool today, with overcast skies keeping the sun out. So I got ready and went for the run.

I wanted to see if I could break 30 minutes for the 5k on the street route I’ve worked out, which is about as flat as I can find in this area. But it’s still a bit hilly, with an elevation gain of 87 metres over the 5k. I started hard, but when I hit the uphill sections about halfway through I thought maybe I’d gone too hard and would run out of steam before finishing. But I pushed through and managed to complete the 5k in 28:39! Much better than I’d hoped for.

Energised, I got stuck into writing a lesson outline for my planned initial class on Outschool: Human Vision and Colour Perception. I wrote out a list of bullet points of topics to cover. Then I made a list of diagrams and illustrations that I want to have. Many of these I could find on the Internet – however Outschool insists (justifiably) that you have legal rights to use any images you present in your classes. Which rules out most of what you can find – doubly so for scientific diagrams. There are a many good diagrams, but all covered by copyright, or which need to be purchased, or which are at least Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike, which is no good because I can’t easily include correct attribution in class materials and don’t necessarily want to release my material under the same licence.

So I’ve decided I need to draw the diagrams myself. So I have a list of diagrams, and now I need to sit down and draw them all. I did manage to get one done today, after fiddling with a couple of different drawing apps on my iPad. I’ll get stuck into the rest tomorrow.

I also had a combination of thoughts prompted by two things:

1. Earlier today I saw a question on AskReddit:

To those who think to themselves, “I should do this today,” and then end up doing it: is it possible to learn this power?

With several answers along the lines of: “When you think you should do something, just get up and do it, don’t put it off.”

2. I was thinking I really need to watch more of Neon Genesis Evangelion to get through all of the series, but how the heck am I going to find the time to do that…?

This made me realise that watching TV is one of the things that I procrastinate and never manage to get done. I always have too many other things that I want to do, so much so that I often end up thinking “I should watch some TV” and then never get around to it.

So maybe in order for me to achieve this goal, I need to stop putting off watching TV and just sit on my arse and DO IT.

New content today:

Pumpkin seed sourdough

Today was another baking day. This time i tried adding some pumpkin seeds on top of the sourdough loaf.

Pumpkin seed sourdough

I used all of the seeds I had handy without opening a new packet. I think it needs a bit more than that to be really effective, and I probably need to roll the shaped loaf in the seeds to embed them and get them to stick a bit better. Live and learn! But it tastes good.

Apart from that and taking Scully on a long walk with my wife, it was a pretty easy day. We also watched some more Doctor Who, working our way through the new series 11, Jodie Whittaker’s first episodes. I must say I was very surprised when I first heard Whittaker’s accent – I had not expected that at all. The stories so far don’t seem quite as good as previous seasons, but hopefully they’ll hit their stride soon.

I’m also getting through Neon Genesis Evangelion. I’m a bit more than halfway through the episodes, and things are starting to get… very interesting.

New content today:

Frogmouth surprise

This morning my wife got up before me, and then came running back into the bedroom and said, “There’s a huge owl outside!”

I expected it might be a powerful owl, as I’ve seen a few of them around this area before. I jumped out of bed and went to look… but it wasn’t an owl. It was a tawny frogmouth, which admittedly looks a bit like an owl. I quickly grabbed my camera and took some photos.

Tawny frogmouth

I needn’t have been so quick. Being nocturnal, it had settled onto that branch for the day, and it was still there approaching sunset, around 8pm, when it finally stretched out its wings and flew off. I was very pleased to get some good photos of this guy, because I hadn’t photographed a tawny frogmouth in the wild before.

The rest of the day was not quite so exciting. It was a bit rainy, so I only went out once for a walk with Scully, and spent time writing comic annotations, doing housecleaning, and playing some Codenames Duet with my wife.

New content today:

Virtual games night

Tonight is the interstitial virtual games night, between our fortnightly scheduled games night (that was face-to-face last week). I also have freedom to play because my wife is having a girls’ night out with her friends (and Scully).

I spent nearly all day working on Irregular Webcomic! strips, assembling comics form the photos I took on Wednesday. I managed to get all of the strips made, which was a marathon effort – it normally takes pretty much a full day to do this for a batch. I also started writing some of the annotations, but didn’t get far through those.

For dinner for myself I went for a walk to the fish and chip shop. Normally I get lunch here, and this may be the first time I’ve ever gone there to get dinner. It’s a nice change to the regular dinner things.

Now during games night so far we’ve been playing: Can’t Stop, Luxor, 7 Wonders. We’ll probably move on to Scattergories and Sketchful as the night goes on.

New content today:

Tonsil treatment

This morning I saw my doctor about my tonsils. He’s prescribed me a course of antibiotics, which will hopefully get rid of any infection, and reduce the swelling. So we’ll see how that goes over the next week and a bit.

Apart from that, I spent most of the day writing and making Darths & Droids comics.

In my Italian practice I’ve started working on subjunctives again. I did some of this a year or two ago, but didn’t really get on top of it, and I’ve been putting off for ages, but I finally bit the bullet and have started work on them again. I’m finding it easier this time around, I think. Possibly because I’ve absorbed and internalised more of the other grammar, so I don’t have to spend so much mental space thinking about that, and can devote more of the conscious thought to learning the subjunctive cases. Hopefully this time it will start to stick!

New content today:

Two 5k runs in a week

My last 5k run was last Thursday. I felt like I wanted to do one early this week, but I was stymied by having to take a COVID test on Monday and then isolate at home for 24 hours. But this morning I was free, so I launched into it, running the same street route as last time. I wanted to try to break 30 minutes.

Unfortunately I didn’t quite manage that, but I trimmed 4 seconds off last Thursday’s time, clocking 30:18. And I managed to complete this second 5k run less than 7 days after the previous one! That feels pretty good.

The rest of the morning I spent taking photos of Lego sets for the new batch of Irregular Webcomic! I did it in record time, being pumped up from the run beforehand. And this afternoon I worked on writing and making new Darths & Droids comics.

Not much else to report today really… Took Scully to the park, cooked quiche for dinner… I might watch some more Neon Genesis Evangelion tonight.

Here’s a photo I took yesterday. It’s a metal utility cover panel – I guess underneath it are phone wires or gas mains or something.

Utility cover panel

New content today:

COVID negative

Good news up front: My COVID result came through overnight, and I’m negative. So… it’s just tonsillitis. The soonest GP appointment I could get after cancelling yesterday’s is on Thursday. I’m going to see how the tonsils go until Thursday and then decide if it’s getting better naturally, or I should actually go in to see the doctor.

After I got the result, I was able to leave home isolation, and I caught a train into the city to hand in my Working With Children Check paperwork. That was pretty quick, and I hopped back into a train to come home right away. I spent only maybe 15 minutes in the city.

I had some errands to run – sending a package at the post office, and picking up my reading glasses with lenses for a new prescription (after an eye test I did back in December). I took Scully with me, to get her out of the house while my wife was working from home this afternoon. I’d never really thought about it before getting a dog, but post offices are perfectly fine with you bringing your dog in, which is still somewhat amazing to me.

Oh, I baked sourdough this morning too! I tried an experiment this time, substituting 10% semolina for some of the bread flour. It turned out nice, with a subtly different flavour and texture. My wife described it as a little bit “nutty”.

Semolina sourdough loaf

New content today:

COVID testing

So, I had an appointment to see my doctor today about my suspected tonsillitis. When I made the appointment online, there was a message on the website saying that if I have any of {fever, cough, sore throat, shortness of breath, loss of sense of taste or smell} you need to phone beforehand to discuss with the practise. Well, given I have s sore throat, probably from tonsillitis, I phoned up. They told me I can’t come in to see the doctor until after I get a COVID test and have a negative result.

So… I had to cancel my appointment and go get a COVID test. We haven’t had any cases in all of Australia for 15 days, except for that one case detected in Western Australia yesterday. The odds of me having COVID are microscopically small, but I went and got tested – my first test of the whole pandemic, since I’ve never had any symptoms before. It’s amazing how much constantly washing your hands and not seeing people can prevent you from getting coughs and colds and that sort of thing.

I walked up to the nearest hospital and went to the COVID clinic. Testing numbers have really dropped off here in recent weeks because of the low number of actual cases. When I got there, there was no queue at all, and I got tested immediately. The nurse asked me questions about symptoms and I said I had a sore throat, which I actually suspected was tonsillitis, but my GP advised me to get COVID tested first. She did the swab, and while looking in my throat said, “Yep, you definitely have tonsillitis.”

I should get my result back in 24 hours. The other thing I was going to do today was go into a Service NSW office to submit my Working With Children application. But the COVID test nixed that, since I’m supposed to self-isolate at home until I get the result. Assuming it’s negative, I’ll have to go do that tomorrow now.

At home I put together some dough for sourdough baking tomorrow. I’m trying substituting 10% semolina for the flour to see what kind of texture that gives to the bread. I’ll let you know.

New content today: