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What happened in 2020

December 19, 2020

Good old days

Let’s take a trip down memory lane for a year that was like no other:

January was the last time we had date night. I cannot believe almost a whole year has gone by without us getting to dine at a nice restaurant. I’m a typical stay-at-home introvert but this is hard to believe even for me.

Looting

Then struck the whole COVID madness. Scenes like this

became the norm throughout the country. Luckily for us we never got in a dire situation because of the hoarding that people were doing. It’s crazy that people act the way that they do when they are panicking but I think the intervention from the authorities (e.g super markets) came too late. They should have started limiting purchases of certain items a lot sooner. Not strictly limiting, e.g keeping track but discouraging people from buying more than they need. I think Costco made a great move by saying they are not going to accept returns for toilet papers.

Day care issues

The impact of COVID is felt by all and I think we were extremely lucky to not contract a virus and were minimally affected by the changes caused by the virus. The most significant changes in our lives were that we started working from home and that our daughter had to start at a different day care. Ironically the new day care she started was the day care that we had considered and decided against last year. The main reasons we decided against it was that it was farther away from where we lived, they didn’t provide diapers and my wife thought it was an inconvenience she wasn’t willing to put up with and it was 30% more expensive. Well after COVID hit our original day care (which is sister schools with this day care) said that attendance was not enough to justify keeping the school open and that their corporate HQ decided to merge schools in the region. Unfortunately we can’t afford not to send our kid to school because we both work and it’s just impossible to have her around the house and get any work done. I really do feel for the families that are in this situation due to school shutdowns and wish them all the strength in the world so that they can maintain their sanity. Anyways this change in day care turned out to be a good change. The new place had a much better program with more engagement and more STEM oriented curriculum (yes day cares have a curriculum). The updates and reports that the teachers were providing via the app were very detailed and she has learned so much after she started here. After some time the old day care announced through the app that they were reopening but we decided to keep her at the new care permanently.

A forgotten drink

I made my first “Churchill” drink since moving to the US.

This is a simple cocktail made from mineral water, lemon juice and salt. The reason this is important is that the mineral water I got from a Middle Eastern market sat there in the fridge for months and months before I actually remembered to make this drink (which I actually like quite a lot) and became a symbol of my procastination.

A new house

I guess the biggest change for this year is that we bought a house. Buying a house in Seattle, WA is a very long and tedious process. We actually started our search in fall 2019 but actually managed to buy a house in June 2020.

The house is in a great neighborhood ideal for a toddler. We even have a play set in the back yard so I guess she’s a lucky kiddo.

The house was built in the early 90s and the interior reflected that era with it’s oak heavy cabinetry so a remodeling was needed. We decided to go with a small family business that our Realtor recommended and they did a pretty good job, albeit at an extra cost. I was very impressed with the work ethic that contractors have here. When they say they are going to be there at Xpm they are actually there at that time. I’ve seen all sorts of inexcusable behavior such as being hours late to not showing up at all in a previous life, so this was good experience.

Moving is never fun. Moving from an apartment to a house was manageable but moving from a house to a new house was very very exhausting. It’s incredible to amount of crap you accumulate through the years.

packing at the end of the first day. 3 more days of packing followed

A blind test

I have always come across people who claim that they can tell the difference between Coke Zero and Diet Coke. I personally think it’s not possible as the difference is very subtle (if it even exists). One of these people was my wife. So I put her to the test. Here’s the setup: There are 5 glasses with coke in them. Find the ones that are Diet Coke. Pretty simple, 1/32 chance of guessing correctly which is good enough to rule that out. So we did the test. She scored 3 out of 5 and declared her self a winner. I guess it’s my fault that I didn’t explain before the test that she would have to do 100%. I mean, I can tell the difference between coke and water and I would score 100% every time I took such a test so it seemed pretty evident to me that only a full score would pass. But apparently she has a different idea.

Worst weeks

I think 2020 has been a year that is going to be memorable for the bad things that happened. The COVID situation is the most obvious one but it doesn’t stop there for me. Our daughter dislocated (or broke can’t be sure because it was a hidden fracture) her elbow this year. She had her arm in a cast for 2 weeks. This is not super critical but all this happened after 2 weeks of day care shutdown on the day it was opening back. Having her home all that time was very challenging to say the least. As if all this wasn’t enough a cherry tree in the neighbors yard broke and fell on the play set in our yard. Luckily there were no injuries.

Best buy of 2020

I had to buy a lot of tools for the new house this year. I think the best piece I got this year is the Sun Joe pressure washer. It’s very satisfying to see that grime being removed.

I did not get any electronics this year. There is simply nothing worth buying that will provide a trace of utility in my life. So the best buy has to go to my new server rack and the switch (the computers I already had.)

Another big purchase this year was a car. I was having back pain putting our kid into the car seat in the back everyday and we needed something with a larger cargo capacity to haul things for the back yard and the house from Home Depot so we got an 7 seater SUV.

Future

This was a weird and unusual year indeed and I think the old normal will not be the normal. Things in all aspects of life are going to change and adapt to the new findings caused by the events of 2020.

Here’s a piece of play-doh art that summarizes 2020

Tags: #misc #life