So this week will be light on links, mainly because next week won’t be. This week is Microsoft Build, and this year it is an entirely virtual conference. So enjoy,, and next weekend is Memorial Day in the United States, which is the start of summer.
I hope everyone is still doing ok with the new normal, and finding ways to have fun and relax. For my family, we’ve taken to doing more gaming as a family, and its been an absolute blast. And additionally my normal DnD group, which met monthly, is now meeting weekly via video conference. So right now its led to some really amazing stories and fun, and been something we all look forward to. If you’ve never tried TTRPGs, now is a great time to do so:
As I mentioned one of the things, my family and I have really gotten into is gaming as something to keep things interesting in this crazy new world. And one of our favorite has been Dungeon Mayhem, if you have kids this is a super easy game to learn and play, and my 5-year-old, and 7-year-old love it.
So while we all think we’re are in groundhog day from lockdown, its important to find ways to get out of the house. So the big one we’ve been doing is on weekends, every week my wife and I have been taking on a “culinary experiment” involving the smoker. Here’s the model I’ve got a Weber Smokey Mountain.
So given that we are all in lockdown, I’ve been making my way through netflix like everyone else. Finally about halfway through Altered Carbon season 2, and I have to say I’m really enjoying it so far. Anthony Mackie does a great job as Tak, and Poe’s story arc really is fantastic. A stellar second season for this series.
So I know this post got out a little late today, and for that I do apologize. Home schooling has been interesting at our house. Its definitely been a transition for everyone involved. But overall its been going well. My kids have been real troopers. My wife is the most amazing woman on the planet, and has been the expert in all of this.
My daughter has setup a desk in my office, so its nice to think that during COVID, my home office has basically become a Wework.
So I’ve made no secret of my enjoyment of Outside cooking, and over the past two weeks I’ve done a lot of work with my Weber smoker. And this past week turned out great. I went from a small chicken, to a 11 lb Brisket! And then 12 hours later, we had an amazing meal.
So this weekend, I was able to actually get out and use the smoker I’ve had for a while and no time to use. I am a huge fan of outdoor cooking, and have been grilling for years. To the point that my kids know that “Dad’s night to cook” means a grill is involved. And a while ago I got a smoker but our lives were always too busy to use it.
For those of you who have never used one (there will be a blog post about my first time). But it can take a long time. But totally worth it.
Custom Skills in Azure Cognitive Search : This is a really cool features I’ve recently been using in Azure Search. The ability to do custom skills allows for you to create really robust augmentation of the data for indexing and plug it right into your indexing process.
As I mentioned, I did use my Smoker for the first time this weekend and it worked out great. Below is the video I used for the “how to” of using a smoker. For those interested check it out, it really is the best one i’ve found that explains the process.
So here was are, another week in quarantine, and really we had Easter and my family was able to still make it special without seeing family as much as we’d like. The one thing we did was my parents and my in-laws, hid eggs for my kids (cleaned them) and then we arrived, stayed outside and they hunted for the eggs. It actually was a lot of fun and a good way to do it with social distancing.
So I love storytelling, and have always found it to be fascinating. I’m a movie fan, comic fan, TTRPGs, etc. And I’ve tried my hand at writing several times, mainly I’ve never released anything and my writing loses out to competing priorities. But It is cool to see ideas for new ways to tell stories. I saw on Twitter this week, @CSharpFritz, posted on twitter about how he likes to write, and mentioned RenPy, a python based framework for writing CYOA adventure games and releasing them via Mobile apps. I researched it a bunch of the weekend and its pretty awesome.
So its been more of this mad, mad world this week. And I honestly don’t know where to begin. The world right now seems to be completely different and changing at a constant rate.
What I will say is the following are top of mind for me:
Thank you to all first responders who are out there every day making sure to help us all.
Thank you to all those who work for essential businesses. Those who are going into work and putting their life on the line to ensure the rest of us can function.
To all those who are finding themselves without income or with a severe drop in income, or if you know someone who has. It’s important to help each other. Take someone a meal, and leave it on a door step. Or help them to make ends meet.
For many of us, WFH is a hard transition, figure out ways to reach out and make contact using technology. We could all use support right now.
So for this week’s fun stuff, I thought I’d share we found a new family game. Dungeon Mayhem, and it was a lot of fun. Led to a great evening with the kids, and if you are looking for something to do to breakup the boredom for the kids.
So life has been interesting during this self-quarentine. For my family we are luckier than most in that we have been able to rely on my job, as well as been pretty used to working from home (5 years of it). But honestly I know there are others struggling, and also terrible in my mind is the number of people who are single, and live alone that are in isolation right now. Please take some time to do some things to help yourselves. Mental health is important.
To that end, here’s so quick hitter tips we found this first week:
Now is the time to adopt a new routine, build habits that you’ve been too busy to do. Force yourself to structure parts of your life that were previously unstructured.
Take time to walk away and be alone, focus on yourself and your health.
Find way to engage with friends. In my case we took our monthly DnD game and made it weekly on roll20.net, and its been great. The opportunity to do something different has been huge.
Learn something new, give yourself an objective and work towards it. Before this I had planned on learning to use a smoker, and had been putting it off forever, now I’m finally doing it.
ASP.NET Core Apps Observability : Observability is absolutely critical to customers who want to be able to build resilient systems, and should be top of mind for every developer, and here’s a great post to help.
So a lot of movies have been coming straight to digital right now and the one I’m most excited about is Bloodshot, its like Memento meets Rambo, and I’m excited. I’ve been a huge fan of the comic for a while now, pretty much since the valiant relaunch. But you should check it out on your streaming service of choice. Here’s a trailer.
So we’ve all been home for a week now, and honestly most of the world is still grappling with working from home. And having made that transition over the past 2 years, I know how big a transition. And I honestly hope everyone is taking time to step back and be healthy both physically and mentally. Otherwise we end up here:
So before the craziness of COVID-19, we got the opportunity to take the family to see Onward, the new Pixar movie. And honestly this was amazing, a great story with great performances. The story is timeless, the relationship between brothers and figuring out who you are by figuring out where you came from is amazing. The story of the relationship between a son and his father hit me right in the feels. A truly amazing movie, and honestly if you have dry eyes at the end, I question if you are a human or a Cylon.
Ok, so I have to admit there has been a lot of stuff going on and a lot to look at. Right now I’ve been really enjoying the John Hickman run on X-Men. Now full transparency, I have never liked X-men, I don’t like the movies, I don’t like the shows, I don’t like the comics. For me it feels like there is only ever one story, “I have powers and people hate me.” But Hickman did the impossible and gave it an interesting spin.