Wet, soggy, moist, damp

Today was all about the weather. Since my last blog entry, we’ve had almost 90 mm of rain here in Sydney. It mostly came in two large bursts, about midnight last night, and at lunchtime today. I heard the heavy rain in the night. The midday rain was amazing – it was absolutely torrential for about half an hour, with heavy rumbles of thunder.

I took a photo, but this was after the peak, when the rain had eased off a bit:

A bit of rain

By 2pm or so the rain had eased to a sprinkle, but the weather radar implied that we’d be getting more later, so I went out for my run, and just got wet. I didn’t have time to do it in the morning because I had two ethics classes, at 9am and then 11am. And this evening I have two as well, 6pm and 9pm. The 9am class is a new one, that a parent requested because none of the available time slots were suitable. This is the first time I’ve been doing 4 classes in one day, and it’s a bit exhausting, and doesn’t leave time for much else.

In between the morning classes, I took some time to go down to the garage and clean off some of the mould that I’d found growing down there the other day. Disgusting stuff, but alas inevitable in this sort of tropical humidity we’ve been having for over a month now. I installed the damp removers in the garage cupboards – hopefully that will keep things under control from now on.

This evening my wife found a leech in our living room! A leech! That’s how wet it is! I suspect what happened is that during the walk I took Scully on around 5pm, after all of the rain, she picked up the leech while walking through the wet grass. And then once we got inside it dropped off after getting a taste of her anti-parasite treatment. My wife caught the offending annelid in a tissue and we disposed of it before it could attach to a human.

New content today:

Relentless humidity

After I went to bed last night following virtual board games night, a huge storm broke. I was drifting off to sleep when it began: pounding rain, lightning, and thunder. I don’t know how long it lasted, but it was a while.

This morning I slept in a little, then got up, had breakfast, and went for my 2.5k run. I really thought I was doing a god time, pushing myself a little, and getting really exhausted by the end of it. But the clock told me it wasn’t that great. It just probably felt more exhausting because it was 24°C and 94% humidity.

The maximum temperature today was just over 30°C, but it was steamy humidity all day. And then there was another storm late this afternoon, although the most intense part swept just north of me and we only saw the edge of it. We go some moderate rain for half an hour or so. And then the clouds cleared and the sun came out again, baking the moisture back out of the ground. It’s 9pm now and it’s over 90% humidity again. And this is the way it’s been pretty much all this week. I really wouldn’t mind if it got hotter, if only the humidity would go down a bit. (Of course, in a summer or two, I’ll be complaining about the 42+°C temperatures and skin-cracking 5% humidities…)

I don’t think I mentioned the other day that when working on that tricky bit of Darths & Droids plotting, I actually scribbled out a couple of pages of calculus and was using Matlab to figure out some things. I’m just reminded now because I have the pages sitting next to me here in the desk.

Scully got to go out today with an old friend – Bella the dog who she has stayed with a couple of times when we’ve gone on holidays. Bella belongs to friends of ours, and one of them came over with Bella and one of the kids to visit for a bit.

New content today:

Summer humidity

The weather has been ridiculously humid lately. We’ve been having temperatures around 30°C, and humidities hovering in the 80-100% range. WIth some occasional rain to really drive home the humidity. This is in contrast to the summer of a couple of years ago, when we had much hotter and drier conditions. La Niña is causing this current warm (but not hot) and humid phase. It’s meaning I’m finishing my 2.5k runs every morning completely dripping in sweat.

Today: more ethics teaching, another 3 classes, and more Darths & Droids production.

New content today:

Delivery trek across Sydney

My wife got an order for a dog bandana from her Etsy shop this morning, from a customer who wanted it delivered in time for New Year’s Eve. They live in Sydney, and wanted to know if they could pick it up. But my wife decided we could drive over and deliver it, and take the opportunity for a day out and grabbing some lunch somewhere. I found a good looking pie bakery not far from the delivery address, so we set out.

We made the delivery, and then drove over to the bakery. It began raining heavily while we drove, and when we got there and found a parking place we sat in the car for several minutes to avoid getting soaked. I could see on the radar (on my phone) that it was a passing shower, so we waited it out. Eventually it stopped and we went out to go around the corner to the bakery…

And it was closed! It said online that it’s open 24/7, which is really unusual for any business in Sydney. But I guess that doesn’t include public holidays. (Today is the Boxing Day public holiday, held over from Sunday since both Christmas and Boxing Day occurred on the weekend. Monday was the Christmas public holiday.)

So, anyway, we just headed back home for a late lunch. Through intermittent heavy rain.

Besides an early evening dog walk, and my regular run, I mostly worked on Darths & Droids today. I wanted to complete three new strips, and just finished a few minutes ago… phew.

New content today:

And relax into Boxing Day…

Boxing Day is the traditional day for consuming Christmas leftovers, and tuning in to watch the opening day of the Melbourne Test match. England are here and have lost the opening two games of the Ashes series in dismal displays, so it’s really just a matter of seeing if Australia can manage a 5-0 whitewash at this stage. And given England’s batting performance today, I’d say that’s a strong chance.

It was also the start of the Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race, which was cancelled last year for this first time in its history due to COVID. So it’s an exciting event with everyone having missed last year. It’s going to be a very tough first night for the boats sailing down the coast, as they’re heading into the teeth of storms sweeping up from the south.

Those storms have turned yesterday’s hot and sunny Christmas Day into a cool, cloudy, and soon to be rainy Boxing Day.

I didn’t do a whole lot today – walked Scully, did some exercising, reviewed some of the Darths & Droids story planning notes.

New content today:

Pre-Christmas market day

Today was the first time the East Lindfield markets were held since July, the last few having been cancelled due to COVID restrictions. My wife and I figured it would be a good day, being close to Christmas, and hopefully a good number of people would be out shopping.

I got up and had a quick breakfast before packing the car and heading over to the market site. As usual, I need to make two trips because we have a small car, and after unloading the stuff I returned home to pick up my wife, Scully, and the remainder of the gear. We had our stall set up and ready to go about 20 minutes before the official starting time of 9 o’clock.

The day was hot, really hot. I heard on the news this evening that it was the hottest day since January (last summer). It felt really humid too, although checking the humidity later when I got home it was only around 50% for most of the day. Fortunately, we had an indoor stall, and the community centre we were in had recently renovated and installed air conditioning, so it was fairly pleasant where we were. But all of the people with outdoor stalls under marquees must have been sweltering.

But there were a good number of customers coming through today, which was nice. We didn’t sell a lot of stuff, but we made a profit above the stall rental fee, and handed out a bunch of business cards. And by the time we got home again, my wife actually got an order on Etsy for 3 dog bandanas from one of the women she’d given a business card to, so that sort of counts as well. And it was nice to see some of the familiar faces of the other stallholders there, after so many months of cancellations. So overall it was a decent and positive day.

The hot weather broke into a storm as I was making my second trip home with our stuff. We got a few minutes of heavy rain, but the storm had merely skirted us, and as we discovered when watching the evening news it had caused havoc further north, tearing rooves off buildings, bringing down power lines and trees, destroying cars, and killing a person. The news footage was really quite scary. Another storm front come through later and we got very strong winds here and heavy rain, but I don’t see any damage from our windows.

This evening it’s time to relax, after a busy and exhausting day!

New content today:

It almost didn’t rain today

It was actually sunny for much of today, although not very hot – there was a chilly wind blowing for much of the day. I got stuck into writing and making some new Darths & Droids comics.

Besides my now usual 2.5k run, I went out later in the afternoon to take Scully for a walk. It was sunny when we left, but 15 minutes later it was raining! Fortunately it wasn’t too heavy and we didn’t get too wet.

I’ve also been playing a lot with artflow.ai, a website that generates portraits from text descriptions. It’s a lot of fun, and my friends and I have been having fun making blended portraits, such as:

Bilbo Baggins played by Harry Potter:

Bilbo Baggins played by Harry Potter

Or Gandalf played by Queen Elizabeth II:

Gandalf played by Queen Elizabeth II

New content today:

Today could be a repeat of yesterday

The main differences from yesterday:

  • I picked up the weekly grocery shopping.
  • Today’s storm was more intense than yesterday’s. We got hailstones and torrential rain and some really spectacular thunder.
  • I went out with my wife and Scully to a local Greek restaurant for dinner. It was good and I’m very full.
  • Tonight is virtual board games night with my friends. We’re currently playing 7 Wonders Architects on Board Game Arena.

New content today:

More running, more storms, more ethics of time travel

It’s a bit repetitive, but today was somewhat similar to yesterday. I did a 2.5k run. I had online ethics classes at 11am, 6pm, and one to come shortly at 9pm.

I’m really loving this time travel topic in my classes. At one point I go through a series of scenarios for how you might make money if you invented a time machine.

  • You could send the winning lottery numbers to yourself last week, so that you win. Most kids think this is unethical. Many describe it as “cheating”.
  • You could send your past self instructions to buy Bitcoin, or Apple shares, or whatever when they were cheap, so you make a lot of money on Bitcoin/the stock market. A few kids considered this “cheating” as well, but about half were okay with it.
  • You could go to the future and bring back some tech that hasn’t been invented yet, and claim to have invented it. Most kids thought this was unethical because it involved lying, and a few called it stealing as well, as in stealing someone else’s invention.
  • You could get some furniture made in an old fashioned style, go back a thousand years and hide it, then retrieve it in the present. It’s now genuinely a thousand years old, so you could sell it as an expensive antique. Nearly everyone thinks this is perfectly okay.
  • If you invented the time machine, you could go into business producing and selling time machines. This one is so far universally considered the absolute worst idea of all! The kids all said if they invented time travel they’d do everything they could to keep it secret, because they’d be afraid of other people messing up history. The idea of time machines being widely available horrified them.

And the weather… yes, it’s been thunderstorming again this afternoon. The morning however was fine and sunny. A very rare occurrence lately – I don’t know exactly but it feels like we’ve only had two or three days where the sun has broken through the overcast in the last 3 weeks or so. We’re supposed to get more rain and storms tomorrow, but then the weekend might actually be rain-free. Let’s wait and see.

The annoying thing is everything is just so humid, all the time. I hate it when you dry off after a shower, and then when you have another shower 24 hours later, your towel is still damp. Ugh.

New content today:

5k, storms, and ethics of time travel

This morning it was time to do another 5k run. I missed the 5k last week, so wanted to make sure I did one this week. I did it at the oval, running laps on flat ground, because last time I did it on the streets and the hills nearly killed me. I recorded a surprisingly good time of 27:49, which was a big improvement on my previous oval run of 29:42. I guess the daily 2.5k runs are really building up my stamina.

I wrote the new ethics class topic for the week. This week we’re doing a fun one before I take a break for Christmas, on the ethics of time travel. And I had the first three classes of kids this evening. The last one was really fun, with the kids laughing at the various hypothetical situations I proposed and their various answers. I proposed the following:

A future version of you appears. They show you a tattoo, and insist that you go out and get it done now. You don’t want a tattoo. But your future self apparently does, and thinks it’s important enough that they have to convince you to do it today. What should you do?

One girl said, “Yeah, that sounds like fun, I always wanted a tattoo!” Another girl said, “If I got a tattoo, I’ve probably turned evil or something, so I’d avoid doing it at all costs.”

And, yes, there was more stormy weather today. We had some moderate rain with a little thunder around 4pm, which cleared up enough for me to take Scully out for a walk without getting too wet. But then after 5pm a bigger and heavier storm rolled in, with some really loud thunder and heavy rain. We may be in for more of the same again tomorrow.

New content today: