This combined micro USB and lightning cable breaks my brain.

Multi Port Charging Cable

My father-in-law brought me a multi-use USB cable that he got free at some conference. It has one USB-A end, one USB-C end, and one combined micro USB and lightning cable. That’s right, combined! How on earth did they combine a micro USB and lightning cable?!

When I first looked at the gadget, I didn’t think it had micro USB. Then I read the little instructions, and I was confused. I was skeptical that it’d do what it says, as I’ve never heard of such a thing.

Combined Micro USB and Lightning Cable

I was pretty sure it was too good to be true, but tried it, and it worked. It really worked! Both the iPhone and powerbank that I plugged in charged. Two different ports worked with one cable just by turning it over. This little gadget actually worked, even though I have no idea how.

This little gadget is pretty handy, has all the necessary cables, and fits in my pocket. I’m impressed that it actually works and that I’ve never seen anything that has combined micro USB and lightning cables before.

Still hurts my brain though as it seems like it shouldn’t work!

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Lily and I went on a 14 mile bike ride!

black and white hardtail bike on brown road between trees
Bicycle Photo by Philipp M on Pexels.com

About once a year, my daughter likes to go on a really long bike ride. The first time was a fluke. We went on a bike ride and ended up going nearly 13 miles. We weren’t thinking we were going so far, but it was fun.

The second time we went on the same ride and ensured we hit 13 miles, however we didn’t plan well. We didn’t take water with us, went at the end of the day, and just didn’t think it through well.

This year, she wanted to go farther, and her goal was 14 miles. We took a different route, one that I requested was flat, and went early in the morning. We took food and water and were much better prepared this time around. 

We hit our 14-mile goal, but can’t say it was much easier, however I don’t think we would have made it without water and breaks. The only thing we didn’t do, that we probably should have, was work up to the 14 miles. Earlier in the summer, we may have gone a mile or so, but nowhere near 14.

Next year I’m sure she’ll ask for 15 miles, and for that I definitely need a new bike seat and/or padded bike shorts. Sure, the 14 miles took a lot of work, but my butt complained way more than my legs.

It’s a bit crazy to go that far without much preparation, but it feels good to have accomplished the ride.

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My first day back at the office was an interesting one.

Inside Office Space
New Nerdery Office Entry – Photo by Jon Krenz

Last week I went back into our office for the first time in over a year. Not only was it a bit odd being back in the office, but we also have a new office which made things even more interesting.

Since I was going in, I had to get up early and then face morning traffic. It was pretty smooth overall, but still, the commute is long.

Once I got to the office, I found a nice parking spot in the shade, but then realized I wasn’t sure which door to go in. Since it’s an office complex, there are a few choices. I just picked one and it worked out. Since it’s an office building, it just went into a common area and I found our new office in no time.

Then I had to find my desk. A new office means a new desk. To help us find our desk, they gave us a map, however, when you don’t know where anything is, the map doesn’t help too much. The good news though was that they put names on the desk and I was able to find it. It was right next to a window and the view is pretty nice. I’ve always wanted a desk by the window and I am very happy with this spot.

Sat down and started to get my desk set up when I realized I didn’t bring my laptop’s power block with me. And, of course, my laptop was nearly dead. To make it better, I was in early and there was no one else in the office. I then went hunting for one I could borrow from someone else desk until Tech Support came in. I found one and, lucky for me, the employee whom I borrowed one from wasn’t in that day anyway.

Overall, off to a good start. I wandered around a little, but mainly to the kitchen looking for breakfast or snacks. Unfortunately, they haven’t stocked anything yet since the office just opened and there were not a lot of people coming in every day. So I just started working.

After a few hours, and many meetings, I had a small window of time to run to the restroom before my next meeting. Turns out, I had no clue where they were either. So I wandered around until I came across some. Things like the bathrooms are the little things you don’t think about until you need them.

I also had someone schedule a meeting in a conference room. Again, no idea where it was, but I followed someone else this time and they knew where they were going.

We had some technical issues with the conference rooms and it really makes you appreciate having everyone virtual. Even when the technology is working right in the conference rooms, eye contact and sound is better when everyone has their own screen and mic. Either everyone should be in the same room or all virtual. A mix of both typically leaves someone feeling left out.

Once I hit the end of my day I realized I didn’t remember what door I came in so, once again, I just picked one. It didn’t go where I wanted but found my way out and back to my car.

Then traffic once again. It wasn’t terrible, but still.

I have to say, going into the office has its perks. The new office is nice, the view is good, interacting with others feels good, and it’s nice to get away from home every now and then. The biggest downside is the commute. Due to the commute, I worked fewer hours and didn’t get to have breakfast and lunch with my family. I also don’t get my morning walk, but we do have treadmill desks we can use.

Most of my interesting situations were due to the office being new which will get ironed out in no time, but still, I don’t see myself going in 5 days a week if I don’t have to. Maybe a day or two is doable, but working from home is actually a lot nicer than I used to think it’d be. Plus I’m more productive.

I don’t see going back into the office as returning to normal. We can’t, and shouldn’t, just go back to the way things were. Embrace working from home and be flexible with people’s time. Not everyone lives close to the office, not everyone wants to be social every day, and some are much more productive in isolation. Focus less on being in the office and more on getting things done. It’ll be better for your employees and your company.

Ohh, and as a bonus, two days after I went into the office, I found my car keys still in the ignition. Seems that I left them there once I got home from work and didn’t even realize they were missing. Good thing I have a garage!

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Turns out weed & feed works!

Dark green lines on lawn

We’ve used weed & feed on the lawn in the past, but this year it left dark green lines everywhere it was put down. You can see exactly where it was applied and where it wasn’t. It definitely is working and I guess the grass was very hungry.

I used granular so knowing exactly where I had been was hard. Also, I didn’t have enough to cover the whole yard. I got most of it, but some areas got less than others. Those bags don’t go as far as I think they should and it isn’t cheap stuff.

It’s been a few weeks and we still have our green lines. I think they’re kind of fun, but I’m also glad they’re mainly in the back yard.

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Say hello to Monster, Oscar, Imposter, and Carl

Pumpkin Boxes

This year, I’m determined to get a good crop of pumpkins. Meet Monster, Oscar, Imposter, and Carl my pumpkin boxes protecting the seedlings from rabbits and other critters.

I haven’t had great luck growing pumpkins in my yard due to all the great trees, so this year I asked my neighbor if I could utilize some unused portion of their backyard. It’s an open, sunny location, that should be perfect as long as the animals don’t eat the pumpkin plants.

The only downside to this area was that the ground was rock hard due to the lack of rain and it took quite a bit of work getting it ready for planting, but it’ll be worth it to get some pumpkins.

Now comes the hard part, waiting. They’re off to a great start, so we’ll just have to wait and see how this year plays out.

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I traded in a morning commute for a morning walk.

Morning Walk Nature View

When the pandemic started, I was excited to be working from home. One thing I soon realized however is that I didn’t move very much. Walking from the parking lot to the office, and then around the office at work, added up. Not a lot of steps, but way more than I was getting when working from home. So I started morning walks.

Each day I start the day with a walk. I go for a 30-60 minute walk each morning. It helps me clear my head, gets me some exercise, and is a great way to start the day.

Some days, when the weather is nice, I walk farther. Either way, I’m moving and that’s the point. Only a few times have I had to re-think my walk. Brutally cold mornings (negative double digits) have had me walking inside my house, which isn’t as nice, but typically in the winter I just bundle and make it work. Brutally hot days however aren’t really a concern as I’m walking before the heat of the day.

Another benefit of walking is that I’ve been able to listen to my podcasts. I typically only listen to podcasts on my commute, so without a commute, I wasn’t listening to podcasts. The walk helped me catch up and keep up with most of them.

I’ve been walking daily for over a year now. I enjoy it so much that I even do it on the weekends. I’ve always liked walking and having the ability to do it each morning is really nice.

I’m not sure what I’ll do when I end up going back into the office, but hopefully, we still have a treadmill desk to help me keep up my steps. It’s not about the steps though, but about keeping moving and being active.

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I built the 1988 LEGO 6395 Victory Lap Raceway!

1988 LEGO 6395 Victory Lap Raceway

In 1988, I received a Lego 6395 Victory Lap Raceway! Well, I think that’s when I got it, I was like 9 so I don’t remember, but that’s when it came out. Fast forward a few (ok a lot) of years, and I put it back together!

This is a pretty sweet Lego set that comes with four race cars, a truck, a doctor with a stretcher, and like 13 people! It’s completely Shell branded and lots of details.

The instructions are fun too as they’re not as detailed as they are now. Sometimes you just get pictures of the next step all to put together but no indication of what blocks they used or where they go. Not hard, just different.

Lego Instructions
Instructions – Step 10 & 11

By now you’re probably wondering where I got such a sweet retro Lego set. Well, my mom saves everything. She brings up Legos and instruction booklets when she finds them. Sometimes I get a lot of pieces, sometimes it’s just one. Over the years, I’ve gotta quite a few and had 98% of the pieces for the Lego Raceway.

I have a lot more Lego sets that are currently somewhere in my parent’s house. You never know what she’ll bring me next. Could be parts to my Airport Shuttle (6399) from 1991 or the manual to my Lego Giant Truck (5571) from 1996, or just some random pieces. It’s always a surprise!

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We installed a cat door.

Cat in Cat Door

Over the weekend we installed a Purrfect Portal cat door. It was pretty easy to do and looks amazing.

We installed it in the room we keep the cat litter boxes in. It’s supposed to be under the stairs storage but works well for litter boxes. The cat door should slow the cats down so they don’t track out as much litter, keep the smell down when they poop, and it hides the sight of the littler boxes.

Our main concern was that it’d be too small for our bigger cat, but he fits just fine. He has to squat down quite a bit but doesn’t mind doing it. Our kitten has no problems however still goes fast in and out of the room.

Since it worked out so well, we might get a second one for my daughter’s room so she can have her door closed at night.

I highly recommend the Purrfect Portal cat door. Easy to install, works great, and looks amazing!

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