Comics & Pizza

Today was knuckling down to the business of assembling Irregular Webcomic! strips out of all the photos I took yesterday. I had 24 strips to make, and powered through them starting as soon as my wife left for work in the morning, and finishing a bit after lunch. That’s a really fast pace, as I was pushing myself to complete the task before having to go pick up Scully for the afternoon.

As it turned out, Scully stayed at work for longer because not one, but two of my wife’s workmates also brought their dogs in today, so there were three of them at the office!

Workplace Wellbeing Officers on duty

That’s Scully, Ted, and Leo, from left to right. They played hard in the office all day, and Scully was dead tired by the time I got her home. Which is good!

For dinner tonight I made pizza. This time I tried about 1/4 wholemeal flour in the dough, as requested by my wife. It made the dough tougher to knead, but the final result turned out pretty well.

Tomorrow… is a special day and I have some very cool stuff planned. Which you’ll hear about tomorrow.

New content today:

IWC photography day

This morning was dedicated to shooting photos for the new batch of Irregular Webcomic! strips that I finished writing yesterday. Or rather, “finished” writing, as today while looking at the scripts to figure out how to set up the photos for each panel, I revised several of the scripts.

Photos done, I picked up Scully from my wife’s work at lunchtime, and brought her home via a park where she did some ball chasing. At home I sorted through a pile of documents and receipts, scanning various things that needed to be kept and then tossing everything out. I also baked some sourdough bread, which I’d started yesterday. And then took Scully to the regular 4pm dog park for some more exercise.

That feels like not much when I describe it, but it was a pretty busy day.

New content today:

Writing and fish and chips

After yesterday’s busy and long day, I felt a bit worn out today. I worked on Irregular Webcomic! scripts, hoping to complete the batch in time for photographing tomorrow morning. I made it just after lunch, then took a break to build a new Lego set I’ve been working on for a bit.

I picked up Scully from my wife’s work, and my wife suggested we go out for some fish & chips for dinner. The local place is a short walk away and pretty good, so this is a nice easy dinner. We sat outside in the evening twilight at a table and benches on the side of the road, watching the stars come out.

New content today:

Comic writing and market prep

Tomorrow (Sunday) is Kirribilli Markets, where I’m attempting once more to sell prints of my photography. The last few markets have been pretty dismal, for various reasons, but the forecast for tomorrow is good and I’m hoping to actually make a profit above the market stall rental fee. We shall see.

So I had some prep work to get ready for that today, going over my checklist and making sure everything is in order, before the 5:30 start tomorrow morning, to load the car and get down to the market soon after 6am and start setting up.

The other thing I tried to do today was write the next batch of Irregular Webcomic! strips. I got a decent few written, but I’ll have to knuckle down on Monday (after the market Sunday) to finish the batch off ready to photograph, hopefully on Tuesday at the latest.

New content today:

Catching up on things

My wife set an alarm for 6:30 this morning, intending to start getting up early again this week in preparation for returning to work next week. I heard the alarm go off and assumed she got up. I woke up properly around 7:30, and she was still asleep! So, catching up on sleep, after our road trip and a fairly hectic weekend after we got back home.

After breakfast I went to buy some groceries so we’d have fresh milk and dinners this week. Catching up on food stocks.

I spent some time writing annotations for that batch of Irregular Webcomic! strips that I made in the week before we went away. So catching up on that.

And then I sorted through my bird photos from the holiday and entered them into my bird photo database. I photographed 5 species for the first time on last week’s trip, taking my total to 295 species. (There are 296 entries in the database, as I have one for “Unidentified”.) The new ones are: bar-tailed godwit, Far Eastern curlew, Pacific golden plover, scaly-breasted lorikeet, and little egret.

(I should probably point out that the list of photos in the database is incomplete – I have yet to go back through my older photos and add links to them all. The number of species is correct, I just haven’t indexed all of the photos into it yet.)

I’m pretty excited about the Far Eastern curlew, as this is an endangered species. Wikipedia says it’s estimated to number 38,000 individuals as of 2006, but I found another site that with a more recent estimate from 2015 which is even lower, at 32,000 individuals. Here’s the photo I got:

Far Eastern curlew

Unfortunately it was across the mudflats and I couldn’t get any closer. So, anyway, catching up on bird photo cataloguing.

And a bunch of houseworky stuff – catching up on folding laundry.

New content today:

Churning Irregularly

I spent most of Sunday working on Irregular Webcomic! strips. In the morning I finished writing the new batch, and then after lunch I spent the afternoon photographing them all.

In between I went for a long walk with my wife and Scully. Normally we do a big walk on Sunday mornings, but she went for a morning tea with her mother and brother today, so we did the walk after lunch.

I picked some different music to listen to while working today. Normally I go for something in the rock genre, or perhaps movie soundtracks if I want something without lyrics to be less distracting. But today I went for Beethoven – the 6th and 9th symphonies. It’s been a while since I’ve listened to these, but I just felt like it today.

New content today:

Holiday Saturday

My wife is on three weeks leave from work, beginning today. She kicked it off by doing a bunch of sewing for the dog bandanas she’s started making. I asked the market organisers for one of the markets I do if I can take some of her bandanas to sell along with my photography, and they said that would be fine. So next time I’m there we’ll see if we can sell some of them.

I worked on Irregular Webcomic! strips today – starting to write a new batch of comics. I want to get this batch completed before we go on a short road trip in just over a week. We’re planning to drive up the coast and spend a few days away with Scully. We found a nice hotel that allows dogs in some of the rooms, so that should be cool.

I went out with Scully to the fish & chip shop for lunch today. We went out to my favourite local lookout spot to eat and watch the view.

And that’s about the whole day.

New content today:

Listing things to write

Several times in the past weeks I’ve sat down to write my daily blog entry and thought, “There was a thing I wanted to write about today, but what was it?” And I’ve been unable to remember what it was. So I’ve started writing down brief notes to remind myself. Let’s see how we go today…

I’m overdue for a haircut. I’ve avoided going for the past few weeks because of the current COVID outbreak here in Sydney, but now it’s getting long enough that I think I really need to get a haircut soon. The NSW Government has ordered mandatory wearing of masks in places specifically including hairdressers and beauty salons. At first I thought okay, I can just go to the barber and wear a mask… but then today I realised that there’s no way they can cut my hair normally with a mask on, as the barber trims sideburns and around the ears and stuff where the mask straps are. So I don’t know how that works. (Some searching now reveals on the NSW Government site that “You may also remove your mask for the proper provision of goods or services, for example, if you are having a facial or beard trim.” So I suppose that applies.)

Secondly, I had my first ever peanut butter and jelly sandwich today. In the USA food package that I received the other day was a jar of Smucker’s Goober Grape PB&J. Peanut butter and jelly is a very American food. We don’t really have “jelly” like in the US here in Australia, so it’s actually not easy to replicate the effect, except by using jam, which usually has at least small chunks of fruit in it. Indeed, to most Australians, the very idea of mixing peanut butter with jam/jelly sounds disgusting, so it’s not something that most of us would try to experiment with, either. So yeah, I’ve never had it before. I do enjoy making a sandwich with peanut butter, honey, and cinnamon, so I’m not averse to mixing PB with something sweet. And I like jam. But I still approached this PB&J with a bit of trepidation.

PB&J prep

I took some photos of the preparation. I’m guessing that traditionally in the US PB&J is probably made with plain white bread, but I never buy plain white bread – I always get wholemeal or something with lots of seeds in it. But today the only bread I had was my home-made sourdough. So I spread the PB&J on a slice of sourdough.

The verdict: Well, it was mostly PB since the top of the jar seems to have a lower proportion of jelly in it than further down. It tasted fine, PB with a bit of sweetness mixed in, not disgusting at all. I’m interested to see how it goes when I get further down the jar, where the jelly ratio looks higher. I expect it’ll be perfectly fine, even yummy.

In market news today, I received an email from Kirribilli Markets, where I’m supposed to have a stall this Sunday. I thought it might be notice of cancellation due to COVID, but no. It said that they’d been informed that the current railway sleeper replacement work being done on the Harbour Bridge was behind schedule, so instead of finishing this Friday, it would extend over the weekend. Which means no trains running to the station where the markets are located. They figured this would reduce shopper turnout enough that they felt the need to postpone the market for a week, moving it to Sunday 17 January. At first I thought this would conflict with my other market, which is on the third Sunday of each month, but then I realised that that market had already cancelled for January. So there’s no conflict – it just means this weekend’s market is moved to a week later.

Workwise today I had planned to complete all of the Irregular Webcomic! annotation writing by lunchtime, and then move on to writing new Darths & Droids strips. As it turns out, I had so many distractions that I still haven’t completed the IWC annotations, and probably won’t until tomorrow. I try to schedule a certain amount of “worklike” stuff each day, but it’s often amazing how long it ends up taking.

And I reached a milestone in my Italian practice today. I’ve been using Duolingo every day for a practice session for 183 days, more than half a year as of today. I’ve had longer streaks before, but I was interrupted by travel towards the end of 2019 and took a while to get restarted. But I’m pleased to have made it six full months of practice again.

Oh, and finally I got a photo of some rainbow lorikeets while taking Scully for a walk today.

Rainbow lorikeets

New content today:

A big storm

Rather than just light rain today, we had a full on summer thunderstorm.

storm

That was the rain radar image at one point. It was spectacularly heavy rain and intense lightning and thunder. The thunder just kept rumbling and more lightning would add more thunder before the previous peal had died away, so it was continuous rumbling thunder for several minutes at one point. Before the storm (which hit about 4 pm) it was very warm and humid – very tropical feeling weather.

I spent the morning shooting photos for Irregular Webcomic! My wife was back at the office for work, so I had time alone to spread the Lego boxes all over the floor and generally make a mess, before cleaning it all up in time for her to come home. So she doesn’t know about the mess… except she reads this blog so now she does!

Also today I received a package in the mail, all the way from the USA. I did a food swap with a friend in the US, and they sent me a bunch of American foods, while I sent them a bunch of Australian stuff.

American food care package

Some of these things I’ve had before and know I like, while some will be a new experience, including the Twinkies, Goldfish Crackers, stuffed marshmallows, Goober Peanut Butter and Jelly. And I told them I like hot sauces, so I got a cool selection of new ones to try! It’ll take me a while to get through all of this stuff.

New content today:

Photo batches x2

First cab off the rank this morning was photographing a new batch of Irregular Webcomic! strips. I finished writing them on the weekend, but was busy with golf yesterday morning, so I didn’t get started then. I like to do them as soon as my wife leaves for work with Scully, so I have the house to myself, because it makes a big mess on the floor with all my Lego boxes laid out all over the place. If I start by 9 o’clock, I can be done just before lunchtime, then have a nice lunch to wind down.

This batch is big enough to take me beyond Christmas – wow, that’s not far away now is it? I just need to assemble the photos into the strips and write annotations over the next few days.

The other photographic thing that happened today is I got delivery of a new batch of greeting cards, printed with selections of my wildlife photos. I’ve added one of the new card images to Etsy already. I’ll add the second new card to my Etsy shop in a day or two. I also restocked on my cards for the sea lion photo, which were sold out after the market I did a couple of weeks ago.

And in other good news, my comics just updated, and it looks like the mysterious Tuesday cron job failure for Irregular Webcomic! has not occurred this week. It’s updated correctly! I had implemented a logging function on the cron job, so now if it does fail again I can diagnose it a bit and see exactly what part of the chain is failing. But hopefully now that I’ve done that I won’t need it. 😀

Oh, and look at this Sith car I spotted!

Sith car

New content today: