Nothing important happened today

There’s really not a huge amount to say about today. I slept in a bit after a late night last night playing games online with friends. I had breakfast, went for my run, did stretching exercises, had a shower, then got stuck into writing and making some new Darths & Droids comics. I got stuck with writer’s block for a few hours.

I took Scully for a walk when my wife went to the gym. I cooked baked Brussels sprouts, potatoes, and carrots for dinner, with a chilli garlic miso glaze.

And that was kind of my day. I think I’m a bit tired still from the late night. My plan is to relax a bit this evening and just watch some TV – something I hardly ever do.

New content today:

A busy writing day

My morning was taken up with chores and doing my run and exercise routine. It filled up things quickly since I didn’t get up until quite late, as I’d had a poor sleep during the night.

This afternoon I worked on finishing off writing that batch of Irregular Webcomic! strips that I’d tried to do last week. I now have the batch of 20 strips written, and I should be able to find time to photograph them tomorrow and put together at least one for Monday night’s update. So the brief hiatus should stay at just one week as new comics come online this week. I also worked on writing some new Darths & Droids strips.

And that was pretty much my day, really. I had another couple of classes tonight on the ethics of art, and I also had a little bit of Outschool admin work to do, dealing with various class changes and requests from parents.

And, um, I made some delicious fried rice for dinner.

New content today:

New Year’s Day 2022

My wife got tired and went to bed early last night. I stayed up a bit later, but still went to bed and finished reading before midnight, although I heard the fireworks going off before I drifted off to sleep.

This morning was a brand new year. It was a moderately warm, but cloudy day. I took Scully out a couple of times, and in between I worked on Darths & Droids comics. I did a bit more random housecleaning stuff, though nothing as major as the last two days. I baked some sourdough. I made enchiladas for dinner.

And we worked with Scully and her Picasso Paws art kit that she got for Christmas!

Scully using Picasso Paws art kit

You place blobs of paint on a small canvas, then seal it inside a ziplock bag which has been smeared with peanut butter on the outside.

Scully using Picasso Paws art kit

The dog then licks the peanut butter, smearing out the paint on the canvas inside the bag.

Scully using Picasso Paws art kit

When done, cut and peel off the bag, revealing the artwork!

Scully using Picasso Paws art kit

It was a lot of fun, especially for Scully, who loves peanut butter. And painting.

New content today:

Last day of work

For my wife that is! She had her last day in the office before a Christmas break, and doesn’t go back until January. Scully went into work with her as usual, and I picked her up at lunch time. It was another warm day and after walking home and letting Scully chase a ball in the park for a bit we relaxed inside out of the heat.

I spent much of today working on Darths & Droids comics, trying to get a Christmas/New Year buffer populated.

For dinner I tried a new recipe. Baked ricotta gnocchi, using roughly this recipe, except I used spinach instead of kale. Here they are before baking:

Spinach ricotta gnocchi

And after:

Spinach ricotta gnocchi

It was delicious!

New content today:

Buffering day and games night

Friday was another busy one. We had no buffer of Darths & Droids strips, so I had to put in some time writing and making new comics. In between that I kept up my new exercise routine with another 2.5k run and stretching exercises. It’s really starting to feel like I can do this every day. It was rainy in the morning though, so it was very humid. I’m keeping a record of my runs and the weather, and for the past week every run has been done in humidity over 85%.

Saturday morning (I’m writing Friday’s update late) has dawned cool, clear, and windy however, so the humidity has finally dropped. It’s 50% right now.

I had to go out a few times on Friday -to get the weekly groceries, to pick up Scully from my wife’s work, and then we went out for dinner at a local Turkish place. We had a selection of vegetarian meze, all very good.

And then it was online games night with my friends. I joined in a bit late after our dinner, but played a couple fo games of 7 Wonders, of which I surprisingly won the first one. Then we did 6 Nimmt, Gartic Phone, and finished up with a few rounds of Scattergories.

New content today:

New COVID record

New South Wales recorded 262 new COVID cases in the last 24 hour period, a new record high since the beginning of the pandemic. Today’s press conference was an exercise in the politicians evading questions about further lockdown measures, and sticking to the single line that people should go get vaccinated as soon as possible. The Chief Health Officer stressed that people should get their second doses as soon as possible, to get protected as soon as possible, even if it sacrifices long term immunity by being less than the recommended wait between doses – since everyone is going to need booster shots in another year anyway.

Not wanting to take any more risks with disease than necessary, I contacted my vaccination clinic to see if I could move my second dose appointment up from 1 September. They gave me an 18 August booking, cutting 2 weeks off my wait. I really don’t want to end up being exposed somehow and getting COVID just days before being fully vaccinated.

Apart from that I mostly spent today jumping between writing Darths & Droids comics, and being distracted by my wife’s work-from-home IT hardware woes. I won’t go into details, but suffice to say that her being on the phone to IT support all day is more distracting than her regular work.

With Darths & Droids I set myself a target of writing and making 3 new strips. For the next part of the story I had to review our planning notes in some detail, which took some time, and then do some additional note making to tie things together a bit more, before starting to write. I did end up writing four new strips, but haven’t had the time to make any of them yet. So… partial success. Honestly, I’ve had less productive days when distractions and creative block have conspired.

New content today:

Brainstorming in finer weather

Today was a much nicer day than yesterday, weather-wise. Warmer, and much less windy. My wife and I took Scully on another long walk. I planned to grab a pie from a cafe we walk past for lunch, but when we got there there was a huge queue snaking out the door and around the corner. I didn’t fancy waiting there amongst the crowd of people (keeping a very rough 1.5 metres apart) for 10 minutes or so, so I skipped the pie. Which means for the second day in a row I had to complete a long walk before returning home for a late lunch!

The COVID news was not great again, with 105 new cases in NSW, although the fact that it isn’t climbing rapidly means it’s better news than it could be. We’ve now had four deaths in this outbreak, the only deaths from COVID this year. After yesterday’s significant tightening of the Sydney lockdown, the screws were tightened only a little bit more today.

Mostly I worked on Darths & Droids writing today. Not so much actually script writing, but brainstorming ideas for some of the events in later movies, which relate to events in Episode VII that will be coming up soon. I had a long online discussion with some of the co-writers about stuff, coming up with and rejecting many ideas, but also coming up with some good material.

New content today:

Triple plus lockdown Saturday

50 new COVID cases in NSW in the last 24-hour reporting period, with only 13 of those in isolation, meaning 37 were out in the community while infectious. With the numbers still going up, the lockdown rules have been tightened again. New today: masks are now mandatory in common property of strata residences (i.e. you have to wear a mask in corridors, lifts, and lobbies of apartment buildings); masks must be worn on outdoor construction sites; and only one person per household may leave home for shopping purposes for essential items, and only one time per day. Among some other new restrictions on things like crossing the boundary between Greater Sydney and surrounding areas.

The State Government seems intent on slowly turning the screw on tighter restrictions, and seeing on a daily basis if it makes any difference – rather than implementing a raft of hard restrictions in one hit. Officially the lockdown is still slated to end on Friday 16 July but epidemiological experts are of the opinion that it’s going to have to be extended until at least September.

It was also cold and gloomy today, though the rain held off until after lunch. We took the time to take Scully on a longish walk in the morning. We met one of her doggie friends in a park and the dogs played around while we chatted with the other owners from a distance of a few metres. It’s all a bit surreal again, like the lockdown we had last year.

This afternoon I started writing a new batch of Irregular Webcomic! strips. Hopefully I’ll get them done tomorrow for photographing some time during the coming week.

Oh! And I spent time this morning watching a new live action performance of Darths & Droids. The stage show originally premiering in 2018 in Florida has been produced by Hole in the Wall Theater in Connecticutt, and they premiered their version today. It was really good – you can watch it on YouTube here.

New content today:

Queen’s Birthday holiday unwind

Today is the Queen’s Birthday public holiday here in New South Wales. We’re a weird country – half our public holidays are observed on a state-by-state basis and can occur on different days of the year even when multiple states have the same named holiday.

Anyway, it was good for my wife to have the day off after we both laboured at the market all day Saturday and Sunday. We took Scully out on a long walk around lunchtime, when the day had warmed up a bit and the early grey cloud had parted to let the sun through.

Before that, I had another online ethics class in the morning. It was a repeat of last Friday’s one on advertising, with three new kids. This time it was very interesting, because there were some rather fundamental disagreements among them, which made for a lively discussion. One student was of the opinion that advertising was just annoying and should be banned altogether, or at the very least that any false advertising or exaggeration in advertising should be banned. Another student said that yes it was annoying sometimes, but advertising was important because otherwise people would have no idea what products were available, and companies would go out of business and people would lose jobs and so on. He also said that while outright lying was bad, it was okay if advertisers exaggerated, because everybody knew that ads didn’t really tell the whole truth anyway, so they should expect it. The third student was somewhere in the middle.

It was good because it stayed civil, and it was definitely more interesting than lessons where all the kids just agree with one another on everything.

This afternoon I worked on Darths & Droids writing and comic construction.

And this evening I tried an experiment and put some pomegranate arils onto pizza that I’d made for dinner (after it came out of the oven). It worked pretty well, and my wife put more on her subsequent slices.

New content today:

A big lunch walk

Today was Darths & Droids writing day. We’re up to over 2000 strips written now! That’s a lot of comic strips.

My wife is spending this week off work, and we went out for a walk to the post office before lunch, planning to come home and then go out somewhere to a local cafe or something for lunch. But there was a queue at the post office and by the time I’d done what I needed to do there it was 11:30, so we decided to go for a bit more of a walk and go straight for lunch.

We ended up at The Grumpy Baker, where we had pies. I had a chicken harissa pie, while my wife tried the mushroom and feta. I’ve had that one a few times, and recommended it to her. The pies there are very big and filling, so it was a nice substantial lunch. We walked home via the waterfront with Scully, and overall we were out and about for over two hours.

It was a nice day too. Cool but not chilly, and perfectly nice in the sunshine. Looks like we have more similar days for the rest of the week.

This Friday night is games night, and this time for the first time I’m going to be hosting it at my place. I haven’t done it before because my place is a bit small, and most of my friends live clustered in an area where the usual hosts live, so most of them don’t have to travel very far. But my place is actually more central for a couple of other guys who have been attending regularly recently, so I put my hand up to give it a try. We’ll see how it goes!

New content today: