April 2023

01May23

Pupdate

It’s (finally) warm enough for the boys to be walking without their coats again :)

Loss

The month seemed to be marked (and marred) by a number of losses.

Dad

My Dad died on Easter Saturday, and I heard the news from his wife just as I was getting up on Easter Sunday. After posting the eulogy I read at his funeral people have been asking me if it was sudden. It was sudden, but not particularly surprising. Dad had been unwell for a while, and spent his final months in a nursing home. I knew that we could lose him at any time, and that each visit was potentially the last; but also he might have plodded along for a few more years.

My last visit was only a few weeks ago, and he was on good form as we pored over maps of where he’d lived and talked about the history of the area. So I’m glad to have a happy memory of our final time together.

Water damage

A trip to Discovery Cove destroyed my Series 5 Apple watch and my Benq LM100 Waterproof camera. The watch didn’t have any signs of a crack or anything that would let the water in, but it stopped responding to touch input, reset itself, and then wouldn’t restart. I was hopeful that it would come back to life when it started back up on the charger at home, but the crown button wouldn’t work, and it didn’t seem to charge anymore. It was quite discombobulating to be without a watch (and fitness tracking) for a few days, but I now have an SE2 model, which seems very similar.

For the camera it looks like the waterproof seal in the battery compartment stopped doing its job :( It was a decade or so old, so maybe I was expecting too much that it would just work forever.

Bag

I booked flights for our US holiday with American Airlines in an attempt to avoid BA, but we had a BA code share for the final leg home. I may write more about what a mess that was, but the final indignity was one of our bags not showing up.

Days later we were just at the point of thinking about putting together a full inventory of what was lost (to start the various claims processes) when it was ‘found’, and the next day it was back with us.

US Trip

Before the pandemic we used to do a family trip to Florida every other year.Thankfully we’d not planned anything for 2020 due to exams, which is why we also didn’t even try for 2022.

The villa we usually rent in Florida wasn’t available for both weeks of the Easter break, so we decided to make it two trips in one, with most of a week in Chicago (which the family loved from our time there when I worked for Cohesive Networks) and then a week in Florida.

Mural at the end of the block where we stayed in Chicago

Chicago was mostly about visiting old haunts, and eating at our favorite places: Yolk, Billy Goats Tavern, Lou Malnatis, Blackwood BBQ.

In Florida it felt like we crammed two weeks of activities into a single week, with trips to Busch Gardens, Animal Kingdom, Hollywood Studios, Sea World, Boggy Creek and Discovery Cove; but we still found time to relax, and it was all good fun. I may write up a more comprehensive trip report like the one I did in 2010.

Truphone eSIMs

For past trips to the US we’ve all had Three SIMs with ‘Feel at Home’ roaming, but post Brexit changes have ruined that, so I got Truphone eSIMs for our iPhones. Compared to GigSky, which I used for my last US trip, these were a little disappointing, often showing good signal strength, and an LTE connection, but not actually providing any data.

Solar Diary

April was noticeably sunnier, with almost twice the production of March. It was a week after returning from holiday (and a gloomy day) before I noticed that the hot water from the boiler was still off, because until then we’d been getting by with the iBoost.

475.8 kWh generated in April

Beating Beat Saber

I got to Full Combo a few more Lady Gaga levels before turning my attention to the Electronic Mixtape pack. Darude’s Sandstorm, is the most mental level I’ve played. I’ve not yet been able to finish it on Expert, and it’s pretty wild even on Hard.



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