Looks like a gaming PC is in our future. I’m starting to delve into all the options and thinking whether to build one or buy a pre-built model. It’s hard to know what will be “good enough” for the CPU and GPU.

I’ve started taking courses from FEMA (US agency for emergency and disaster management) as part of being an ARES volunteer. I completed the first course and passed. Three more to go. Then the ARRL training begins. I’m hoping to finish in ~2 months.

Early morning wisps

Decadent dinner tonight: French toast + bacon πŸ₯“ πŸ˜ƒ

By unanimous consent we’re watching the first half of Hamilton again tonight. Turn. It. Up!

Family viewing of Hamilton on Disney+. No one is looking at their ‘second screen’. 🍿 πŸŽ₯

Dawn sky

The fall semester for our kids is getting real. Later this month we will have a one week window to commit to either at-school or at-home learning. Never imagined I’d have a decision like this to make. 🏫 I don’t envy the school staff either. I think this year will be chaos.

I made an appointment for our daughter to get her driver’s license learner permit. The earliest in our area was 3 months away (some locations were 5 months). I think we’ll try to get her classroom instruction done before school starts since the academic year could be crazyπŸš™πŸ˜±

Stopped to pick up some BBQ ribs to go. About 15 minutes later we were driving through very heavy rain. πŸ“· Oh, the ribs were great! πŸ‘πŸΌ

We finally got our tax refund from the IRS today. About 3 months later than normal. They did add a bit extra as interest since it was late. Wonder if we will have to report that interest on this year’s return? πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ 😜 πŸ’΅

So far we’ve relied on face masks my wife made. As we contemplate the potential for some degree of school attendance for the upcoming academic year I’m wondering if we need to get some commercially made models. I don’t think they have any real advantage though.

In our household the ability to run Windows natively, for gaming, has been a real boon. The best of both worlds. The eventual loss of this ability may be the main downside of the transition for us. Here’s what’s happening to Boot Camp amid the Apple silicon transition

A different kind of school choice is looming. What should we do? Will it further disadvantage special needs and kids with poor learning environments at home?

The school district let us know yesterday morning that parents will be able to opt for traditional at-school learning or a home learning program this fall. I think for planning purposes they're trying to get a feel for how many people already know they will opt for the home option.

We strongly believe attendance at school is best for both of our kids. The district assured us that unlike this past spring, at-home learning will have full rigor, content and better access to interactive sessions. That's good to hear but I still don't think it will be as beneficial for the kids.

Of course the decision has a context which is Covid. Although local hospitalization rates and fatalities have not spiked, cases are edging up. I'm sure some parents already know they will opt for the safer option of at-home learning. But it will be a devil of a choice for parents of special needs kids and those whose home situation makes learning very difficult.

Even for us I don't know which way we will go just yet. What data should we base our decision on and which thresholds are 'safe enough'?

If Covid gets worse then there won't be a decision at all, we'll have to go with home learning either to start the year or as we enter winter.

The kids’ iMac is 7 years old (the late 2013 model). Big Sur won’t run on it which is OK. I am trying to wait until our daughter goes to college in 2 years before deciding what to replace it with. It is surprisingly functional - the kids don’t even complain about it being slow.

The aspect of the transition to Apple Silicon I’m most anxious about is graphics performance. There’s currently nothing to compete with budget and moderately priced Windows gaming machines. I guess we’ll get an idea late this year if this will change.

I love college football but it is hard to be optimistic about the games being played this fall due to the number of players and coaches testing positive. Some of the reports I’ve seen show higher infection rates on teams than in the general population. 🏈

I’m happy to see the Supreme Court making favorable decisions on LGBT+ and DACA.

US Corollary: it is so important people get out and vote in November and do so from the smallest race up through Presidency. Every single seat matters.

Both our kids and I had dental checkups this afternoon. It didn’t feel as weird as I thought it would. Really the only strange thing was waiting in the car for our temperature checks. Otherwise pretty routine. 🦷

Watched the first English Premiere League soccer game since shutdown. They all kneeled to start, all jerseys have ‘Black Lives Matter” and there are banners around the stadium. Wonder what US sports will do?

Note: if you don’t follow soccer racism is an issue at games worldwide

Chalk art from the exercise trail this morning. Particularly poignant for us atm.

It’s been a rough week for my wife. Her dad died Sunday night and she’s been focused on making arrangements from nearly 2,000 miles away taking into account the virus. That’s about done so she can finally start to grieve. They weren’t close but it still takes a toll.

Some good news in treating the most severe cases

Scientists hail dexamethasone as ‘major breakthrough’ in treating COVID-19 - Reuters

Dexamethasone, a cheap and widely used steroid, has become the first drug shown to be able to save lives among COVID-19 patients

I recently dumped my Eve HomeKit accessories and replaced them with Aqara. I’ve been very pleased. I got an extra wireless mini switch and have it setup to trigger one of 3 different playlists on my HomePods. Snazzy as our teen likes to say. Easier than Siri.

While exercising I noticed some critter has created a home. I haven’t figured out what sort of hidey-hole this is.