Sunday, June 28, 2020

Roomba Shaming 3: AAAAALFREEEEEED!!!!!!!

[The text of Alfred the Roomba's shaming sign: "I got a hold of my mom's Apple headphones and chewed them up."]

The other day at work, I got a notification on my phone saying that Alfred needed his main brushes cleaned out. I rolled my eyes, because I had just cleaned out his brushes earlier this week, and it sounded like he was being a drama queen.

I came home for lunch and found Alfred sitting in the middle of the living room floor. I rolled my eyes again. But then I looked up, and there in his vacuum tracks path, looking utterly steamrolled, was a white cord. My heart filled with dread.

I don't know how he got them, because I certainly didn't leave them on the floor. But Alfred made a snack out of my Apple headphones. You might notice that one of the ear buds has been chewed right off. Want to know where I found it?

Alfred, you jerk.

Sunday, June 21, 2020

Fatherly Advice

Happy Father's Day to all the fathers out there! (Especially mine)

As part of our celebrations today, I reminisced with my father about some of the advice he's given me over the past five years. But I also wanted to give a special shout-out to some of the advice he gave me earlier in my life.

With zero context, I present to you three suggestions my father made to me before 2015:

1. Pull my finger.

2. Give that trash can a kiss.

3. Try this new pen I got- it writes in a really cool color.

(I might never forgive you, Dad. Happy Father's Day, though.)

Friday, May 22, 2020

Doggo Drawings

This morning, I am sitting at my laptop, waiting for my doctor to begin our appointment via Zoom.

This truly is a weird time we're living in.

But while I was sitting here, I had the urge to draw a picture of myself petting a dog, because I have had very little dog petting time since the world's current predicament began. And then I drew some other things that vaguely resemble dogs.

I tried several different iterations of "dog doodles" for the title of this post and found nothing that didn't sound disgusting.

Happy Friday.

Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Pixel Me

I made some Excel art during this morning's tag-up teleconference!

It's me, but pixelated! Ish.

I was disappointed to find that I couldn't just make squares by making the row height and column width the same number. Apparently they don't use the same scale. So I kind of just eyeballed it and dragged the column width down until it looked pretty much like a square, and then I made all the other columns that width, too.

In case you're curious, it ended up being: Row Height = 14.4, Column Width = 2.

Monday, April 27, 2020

Purple Mountain Majesties

I doodled a little during Bible study tonight. Due to the world's present difficulties, we're doing it over Discord, so nobody can see me drawing and accuse me of not paying attention. If you've hung around this blog a while, you'll know that it's quite the opposite!

From sea to shining seeeeeeeeeeaaa!

Monday, April 20, 2020

Twinkle, Twinkle

Here's another little drawing I made during a conference call. I hope your Monday was tolerable!

Friday, April 17, 2020

This Conference Call's a Beach

Since we're all teleworking due to the world's present difficulties, my teammates and our immediate supervisor have a conference call each morning to check in with each other, ask questions, and let each other know what we're up to.

I may or may not cry on the days it's cancelled. Quarantine is doing strange things to people, and you have no right to judge me.

I will readily admit I tend to talk a lot on these calls. I have issues, man. I have a lot of stuff going on. Also, I was trying to deal with the IRS for a few weeks, and that was stressful. I fully deserved some venting time for that.

(No offense, IRS. Thank you for depositing my stimulus check this week.)

But some days I'm not the one talking for hours on end. Sometimes it's my turn to say, "Yep, entering invoices today, that's all," and then sit back and politely listen to my coworkers talk about the frustrating reimbursements they're dealing with, or which payroll thing didn't get processed correctly, or what needs to be entered as a journal entry...

Finance is a large and terrifying machine. I am but one cog. I know my particular spins and whirs, and everything else is a mystery to me. So although I try to pay attention and do the verbal equivalents of nodding understandingly, my mind wanders a bit sometimes.

But you know what helps you pay attention during meetings?


And you know what I've recently pulled out of storage to help mark up digital invoices?

My Wacom drawing tablet!

And you know what the IT Department forgot to uninstall on my new work laptop?

Paint 3D!!!

I drew a picture of a beach during our call one day and emailed it to my boss and teammates to brighten up their dreary, rainy, isolated day. I don't know about them, but it sure cheered me up!

Thursday, April 16, 2020

I Excel at Art

So, due to the world's current difficulties, I'm teleworking now! Work keeps me very busy, but I recently re-discovered something I made when I was decidedly not busy at work. Since I have my work laptop available here in my living room and I've clocked out for the day, it seems a good time to finally share it with you all.

I made a spreadsheet in Microsoft Excel earlier this year, and because the occasion just called for it, I figured out how to fill cells with textures instead of solid color. This discovery thrilled me, and I probably wasted a bit too much time replacing all the "N/A"s on my spreadsheet with colorful diagonal lines.

Shortly thereafter, the Internet broke. I'm kind of dead in the water without the Internet, so I sat twiddling my thumbs while the IT Department (bless their poor, stressed hearts) tried to get it up and running again.

And then I thought of a way to entertain myself.


Monday, February 17, 2020

Roomba Shaming 2: Electric Roombaloo

[The text of Alfred the Roomba's shaming sign: "I wedge myself under the futon and get stuck so I don't have to sweep anymore."]

It's a common sound in my apartment: the whirring of little wheels going into overdrive, the sudden silence, and the distressed beee-dooooop. Soon follows the pleasant female voice announcing "Error: Five. Spin Roomba's side wheels to clean." And I know Alfred's done it again.

The futon has always been an obstacle for Alfred. He's short enough to fit under it, but there are parts of the frame on either side that he gets stuck under sometimes.

This is understandable- it's a tight spot, and all he can do is his best. But it's been happening a lot more frequently lately. Like, six times (or more!) in an hour.

If my roommate or I are home, we'll reach under the futon and pull him out. We'll pat him on the head and send him on his merry way...

...and then we'll repeat the process a few minutes later.

Sometimes I bodily lift him and carry him to another room (a room that actually needs attention, Alfred!), and not two minutes later- beee-dooooop.

There he is, under the futon, blinking at me innocently. "Oh, dear, it's an Error Five. My wheels are unable to turn. I think there must be debris stuck in them- would you kindly give them a spin?"

Alfred. I know that you know that your wheels won't turn because you shoved your head as far under the futon as you could possibly get it!

The problem, I fear, lies in our inability to enforce the rules during the work week. My roommate and I typically aren't home when Alfred starts his daily 2 p.m. cleaning, so if he gets stuck under the futon two minutes in, there's nobody there to make him do his job. He gets to laze around until someone gets home (and if we don't realize he's stuck right away, he gets a real laugh out of beee-dooooop-ing at us out of the blue and scaring us half to death).

I'm trying to counteract this recent behavior change with extra enrichment and stimulation. I had fallen into a habit of closing off certain untidy areas before running out the door to work in the morning, but now I'm making more of an effort to pick things up off the floor so Alfred can go in and sweep during the day. Some studies say Roombas are much happier when they have room to roam, so I'm hoping the extended territory will encourage our little robot to keep sweeping and quit slacking.

If it comes down to it, I could place a Virtual Wall Barrier in Halo Mode under the futon to keep Alfred out of its radius, but I want to run this household on shared trust, not by putting up walls and treating him like a criminal.

Also, we snack a lot on the futon, and I need Alfred to keep going over there to pick up the crumbs.

Thursday, February 13, 2020

Valentine's Day 2020: Valentino the Assassino

This is Valentino the Assassino. He has a lot of love to share with you.

In the video game Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood, you play as Ezio Auditore da Firenze, a member of the Assassin Brotherhood living in Italy during the Renaissance. Throughout the game, Ezio rescues civilians who find themselves in a tight spot with the law and recruits them to the Assassin cause, training them until they reach the rank of Assassino (Italian for "assassin," in case you couldn't guess) and become fully fledged members of the Brotherhood.

It's a game mechanic that's a lot more detailed than I expected it to be. Each recruit you find on the street has a unique name and appearance, and you'll sometimes see them hanging out in the Assassin hideout. Valentino is one of the Assassin recruits from my game. I don't often see him in the hideout; I can only assume that's because he's out wooing his various romantic conquests.

This is the real Valentino:

He looks a lot more... intense than his cartoon counterpart. But it's the passion, you guys. The passion for freedom. The passion for liberating Roma from the Borgia menace. The passion for you, the wonderful person who decided to read my blog today.

Happy Valentine's Day, dear reader. Valentino and I give you all our love because you make us happy and you deserve it.

(Unless you're a Templar, in which case I still love you, but you'd better run, because Valentino is probably on his way to pay you a visit.)

Saturday, January 4, 2020

What I'm Reading: How Not to Get Eaten by Ewoks and Other Galactic Survival Skills by Christian Blauvelt

I was paging through my blog last night and remembered I did a "What I'm Reading" series in college, and I thought I'd bring it back! Nowadays I read for leisure instead of reading what my professors tell me to read, so it'll be a little different!

One of the books I'm reading right now is How Not to Get Eaten by Ewoks and Other Galactic Survival Skills by Christian Blauvelt. It's a guide for surviving in the Star Wars universe. So far, it appears to be written from the perspective of someone living during the Imperial era (when Emperor Palpatine was in charge, from the end of Episode 3 through Episode 6), so anything from the first six episodes, the cartoon series that occur in and around those episodes, Rogue One, and Solo: A Star Wars Story is fair game, but it also references places, situations, and creatures seen in Episodes 7 and 8- just without discussing how they're relevant in the story.

At least, that's the impression I get so far.

This is a fun book! It's a great mix of informative and humorous, and it's got LOTS of pictures. Also, it's provided me something I've been needing for a good while: a map. Finally, finally I can correctly picture where all these planets are supposed to be. The Inner Rim? The Outer Rim? The Core? The Unknown Regions? All there on the map!

The book was published by DK with Disney/Lucasfilm's blessing and assistance, so it's the real deal! I'd definitely recommend it to my fellow Star Wars fans.

Friday, January 3, 2020

The Joy of Doing

I managed to upset myself pretty thoroughly tonight. In the end, I pulled out my laptop and started doing some art- no plan in mind, no design intended, just layer upon layer of shapes and colors. This was purely for the satisfaction of putting pen to paper, in a manner of speaking. It was just for the joy of doing. And I think I feel better now.