I live in mortal fear of one day being that guy who accidentally forgets to detach the gas hose from their car before driving away, spewing a trail of shame behind me.

    Is there anything more satisfying than working out complex and useful spreadsheet formula improvements?

    Nothing like rounding out the previous night by throwing out your back while slightly leaning over the bathroom sink to floss. Luckily, the rest of the house was asleep, so my gasping, pained waddle to bed wasn’t witnessed.

    Reading the latest essay by Craig Mod, the one about aloneness, has left me feeling utterly, joyfully, and in his words, seen. It made known a sensation that I’ve felt itching at my back for a few years.

    More importantly, what he wrote has helped me recognize that feeling for what it can be—seeking potentially harmful emotional comfort food—and understand that there’s a way to work with it.

    This morning, I feel grateful for him and his meaningful words.

    My wife and I took the Universal Relationship Test today: we went on a shopping trip to IKEA. I’m happy to report that not only are we still married, but we also came home with some delightful new bookcase lamps.

    Step right up, ladies and gentlemen, it’s time to play “Am I Sick or Is It Just Allergies?”

    Completely rearranging and optimizing my bookcases is giving me a feeling of accomplishment that I’ll ride on all night. Great work gives great satisfaction!

    I can’t wait for the day when AirTags become so small and slim that they can be attached or built into my glasses. Trying to find those suckers when you’re as blind as I am makes me feel like a bumbling Mr. Magoo.

    After an extensive amount of dental work (thanks, past me 🙄), I just finished with a biannual check-up. It turned out to be my first dentist visit without any bad news that I can recall!

    Turns out that flossing, brushing, and going to the dentist regularly are good for a person. Who knew?

    While cutting off a shirt tag, I wondered what I would do if I needed to reference its care instructions in the future. I considered putting recording the tag information in a note, or even better, some kind of database.

    Then I considered how useful it might be to log every part of my life in a database app. Literally, as much as I possibly could.

    I ended the whole line of thought by asking myself, What, you’re going to record how many almonds you have in the pantry? How in the world did you get to be this way?

    As a possible solution to the issues I discussed in my post, There’s Room for App Improvement, I’ve decided to think of the situation this way:

    My website on Micro.blog can exist as my place of record and Mastodon can be my primary outlet for online dialogue.

    That should help with my indecision.

    My parents bought their home for a little over $100,000. Granted, this was in the early ‘80s.

    A home on the same street just sold for slightly over one million dollars. A ten-fold increase in just a few decades.

    At this rate, unless I strike it rich, home ownership will never be a reality for me.

    While they’re completely lacking in the premium look and feel of the AirPods Max, my new Sony WH-1000XM5 headphones are filling the gap nicely.

    The noise cancellation is top-notch and I’m enjoying the Multipoint Connection more than I thought I would. I can’t wait to try them on a plane.

    Spending the day with my wife, having a deliciously bad for us lunch, and visiting the Academy Museum made for one of the best birthdays in recent memory. 🥳

    As wished for, my allergy test was indeed an enlightening experience.

    Before the appointment, I watched a video that described the process in good detail. I found it helpful to see—it helped answer any questions I had left over after my initial phone consultation with the office. In the video, the doctor showed a plastic device with, for lack of a better description, eight plastic legs with “medicine” tipped needles. When my test started, I longed for those things. Instead of eight at a time, I was given ninety-six separate skin pricks. One at a time all the way down the entirety of my back. And then the itching started.

    It wasn’t the most pleasant experience, to say the least. However, it was 100% worth the discomfort because I now have a better understanding of what I’m allergic to and should stay away from.

    I’m allergic to every grass that they test for:

    • Bermuda
    • Perennial rye
    • Kentucky blue
    • Meadow fescue
    • Johnson

    Most of the trees:

    • Cottonwood (Lambordi)
    • American elm
    • Olive tree
    • American sycamore
    • Mulberry mix
    • White (Arizona) ash

    This would all explain why I feel so miserable during the hay fever months. I will happily continue taking my antihistamine pills from now on.

    The food tests were where it got weird. As expected, I’m allergic to cashews. In fact, I think that one produced the most dramatic reaction of the entire test. My wife commented that I had a particularly large and angry-looking red bump on my back. I’m confident cashews were the culprit.

    Pistachios, since they share similar proteins with cashews, also triggered a reaction.

    That’s where it stopped making sense. I’ve been unable to eat peanuts for as long as I can remember. They cause an impressive and unpleasant reaction—my throat constricts and I’m racked with debilitating stomach cramps for a few hours. Not fun. However, according to the test results, I’m not allergic to peanuts, but I am allergic to buckwheat.

    This is confusing because buckwheat is something that I’ve enjoyed in the past without issue. Peanuts have always been a problem. I’m thinking that those two got mixed up somehow; there’s no way I’m not allergic to peanuts. Even if I was able to eat them, at this point in my life I wouldn’t—the smell is just too off-putting to me.

    This test, despite my confusion regarding some of the results,1 was worth doing. There’s no question about it. While there may not have been many surprises, I’m happy to have all of this information down in writing now for my understanding and future reference.

    Now, I’m going to eagerly start taking my seasonal allergy pills again.

    1. I’ve got a follow-up phone call with them soon. You can bet that I’ll be talking with them about the peanuts. ↩︎

    On the calendar for today: an allergy skin test.

    I’ve had several food allergies for my whole life, including some that have developed in the last few years. Nuts are the big offenders.

    I’m hoping that this test will finally provide some helpful enlightenment.

    I’ve decided that the best thing for me to do with my life is to win the lottery. Preferably some kind of major, or even historic, jackpot. Any ideas on how best to accomplish this?

    Like a hundred-year-old bottle of fine wine that was accidentally exposed to the elements and turned to vinegar, the past-its-expiration liquid cold medicine I just took burned my throat and insulted my taste buds.

    I think it’s time for a new bottle.

    It may not be news to anyone, but I’m finding that a good1 pair of silicone-coated tongs are perhaps the most useful and underrated tool in my kitchen. I keep finding new uses for them!

    1. A very forgiving word here. Mine were part of a cheap set from Amazon↩︎

    I’m getting new ceiling insulation installed in my work space/bedroom today. Hopefully, this will help mitigate the oven-like temperatures I’m plagued with every year in that room. There’s hardly anything more unpleasant than trying to sleep in a puddle of my own sweat.

    While it may not be a great indicator of overall health, I was still excited to see that my BMI has finally shifted down into the “overweight” category. Being classified as “obese” didn’t feel too good.

    I strive every day to be more like my fancy bed frame: Light, sturdy, expansive, aesthetically pleasing, and tightly assembled with fine Japanese joinery.

    A fancy bed frame headboard featuring great Japanese joinery

    I watched Greta Gerwig’s Little Women last night and, as is always the case with these sorts of films, finished it thinking I should buy and read Emily Post’s Etiquette.

    Why shouldn’t I try to be the most polite and fancy lad possible?

    I started trying to learn how to properly touch type a few days ago. The experience has taught me in short order why some people use and prefer Dvorak and Colemak layouts. QWERTY hardly feels intuitive, even after using it my whole life.

    I’ve long lamented the fact that I’ll probably never be able to become a stealthy ninja or renowned super spy, given the way my knees and ankles crack when I walk.

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