Wednesday, 25 November 2020

The Fall Pandemic Response Edition

Welp, the foretold surge is well underway with provincial governments stepping in to keep public health access in place by curtailing activities. Alexa has been telling us the weather is dreary and we had already planned to not travel for Christmas - although apparently that wasn't the case for other family members.

Our city has been under SK mandated 4 weeks restrictions that started last week. Private gatherings up to 5 people or 2 households; mandatory masks in public spaces and shorter restaurant hours. SK has been updating their requirements. At first, masking was for towns over 5K but 2 days later included everywhere. Today there will be another update and our fitness instructor is ready to go it from home again.

When I was working and and giving risk assessment training, I always mentioned everyone's risk tolerance was different and for any tasks you have to accommodate the person with the lowest risk tolerance - now I have to walk that walk as Fred is much less tolerant of health risk and seems to be very sensitive to affecting other people's health. He always stayed home from work if he was sick at all and one reason he won't travel now is because he doesn't want to affect anyone, including first responders if we were in an accident. I'm comfortable going out and wearing a mask etc (aka well on my way to complacency).

I am so thankful for where we are in life. Were I still working it would be a huge source of conflict as it's difficult to work from home and that workplace hasn't shut down or slowed down at all. We have a large house with lots of yard (even now covered), great neighbours and a nice park for walking Bennie. Our internet connection is awesome so I can do zoom classes, on line seminars and video chats. Do I miss meeting and gathering? Sure but this will end. Canadians won't get vaccine access as quickly as some places because a Conservative government privatized vaccine production (which promptly fled to a more profitable market) but Canadians will get the vaccination and we'll be first in line.

Be calm, be kind, be safe. Wash your hands and wear a mask.

Saturday, 21 November 2020

iPhone Mini first impressions

I unexpectedly upgraded my phone when I dropped and smashed the screen. Against my better judgment, Fred repaired the screen with the intention of getting used to Android and, maybe, using it until a phone he liked came out. As luck would have it, the iPhone 12mini came out as his iPhone SE became totally unusable - the SE2020 had no appeal. After a failed attempt to move the SIM from his old iPhone to the S8, he ordered the mini from the Apple Store.

It's a very nice phone, GREAT size and I can see the appeal of face unlock. It was quick and easy to transfer everything from his old phone. While he loves the size, he's not that fond of the glass back and it's an opinion we share. My favourite phone was the Galaxy Nexus because you could through that phone down the stairs and it would be unscathed. Glass backs are slippery and made worse by increasing phone size. Ergonomics can only do so much.

It's good to see smaller phones with decent specs being made. I was concerned about replacing the S8 and the Note 10 is smaller than anything new from Samsung. I suppose I could lose a ton of features (I use) and fall back to a Pixel but I hope that's not a concern for a few years. Phones just keep getting bigger and I hate the glass back. IF I had to migrate to an iPhone, at least I could get widgets.

In the meantime, the new phone is a hit. All the stuff from the S8 (MarioKartšŸ˜) was moved over so he's only using one phone now. All he has to do is set up a home screen. 

Thursday, 12 November 2020

A book and 2 apps

I routinely escape my doom scrolling (now with REDDIT - oh no!) by reading books and writing reviews on Amazon and/or Goodreads. This time I'm putting the review here! By coincidence I've also added 2 new apps to my phone so I thought I would include a first impression of them as well.

Wednesday, 11 November 2020

Could be a l-o-n-g winter


Avalanche for clearing solar panels 
I was on a Zoom workout the other day talking about what this city has to offer with it being so dependent on oil. I was saying what it doesn't have - mountains, ocean/lake/river, long summers when someone asked me why I'm still here? In large part it's because it's a good place to travel from. 

Usually we have a spring trip to carry us through the cold but not this year. So what are we doing instead?

workout space
Our lifestyle has seen minimal change in the large scheme of things! I am very lucky my exercise instructor is on board for Zoom workouts. I can participate from home and those of us who do often have a bit of a chat before or after - not that different than class (but different). We're converting our travel fund to a much less thrilling appliance replacement and home improvement. On one hand not exciting, on the other, new tools like the avalanche and area rugs and stuff.

Bennie is definitely as saving grace. Whether walking him around the yard or around the park he keeps us on our toes by being randomly the best attentive dog ever to the best barker ever. He keeps people at a distance (of 2 m) while giving us something to talk about. We also chat with neighbours as we see them. Even food options haven't changed that much. We have time to cook and have been keeping the pantry full so we can eat what strikes us. We're also doing drive-thru so...

Having parents in their 80s really helps us recognize just how fortunate we are. While they all live in their own homes, none of them are particularly tech savvy so it's difficult to video call or suggest virtual activities that we take for granted. Fred's parents are going out for coffee and stuff while my dad is mostly staying home - a difference in mobility and locations. My dad is in the Fraser Health Region in BC while in-laws are in Alberta South Zone. We are in Saskatchewan NW2 zone. Exposures are low enough in our area that we get warned of exposure events and I can check my Google timeline to see if I'm affected. We minimize in store shopping and wear a mask when inside public spaces. We may start wearing a mask outside as well as trails narrow due to snow.  I find it mystifying that people can bemoan the effects of the pandemic on the economy/leisure activities while refusing to take the simple step of wearing a maskšŸ¤·‍♀️ 

Once the pandemic is resolved in a year or so, we plan to increase our traveling so that's really something to look forward to! How far ahead are you looking? 

Saturday, 17 October 2020

Echo Show First Impressions


We've had both Amazon and Google speakers and have, in the end, decided to go with Amazon. A large reason is because we can have different trigger words for different devices, essential with an open floor plan. Alexa doesn't say thank you like Google but also has fewer accidental triggers. We opted for the 5" model that was on sale for Prime days. 

Friday, 2 October 2020

Definitely Autumn


Days are getting shorter so we are getting up later - the joys of retirement! We have been s-o-o-o-o lucky this year. After snow in September for 2 years in a row - with the cold staying last year - this year has been a gift. It's been windy, but warm enough to do a lot of stuff outside. There's been a lot of P.E. (biking, canoeing and Frisbee golf) from the schools and even band practice! Our workout in the park went to the end of September.

Monday, 21 September 2020

Winter is coming...


Summer is winding down. It was very late in arriving (max solar credits in AUGUST!) but at least isn't early in leaving. We've had some time to adjust to pandemic rules but it will be an adjustment as winter activities kick in.