Monthly Archives: August 2021

I wish I had more time to write!

Calah and I got married on Sunday, and I haven’t had much time to write.

I will catch you up on some things soon.

Sorry for the delay.

Matt

NYT Crossword Puzzle 8-20-21 Complete (contains spoilers)

I pulled out 17A Routine part of a routine: STALEJOKE because when I perform magic, I have to remember that the thing I’m doing is the first time anyone else has seen it. So I have to perform stuff as though I’m performing it for the first time.

I’ll update this with more things later, but I gotta post this right now.

Finished this one in 26:19.

DayThis WkBestAverage4-Wk AvgStreak
Monday6:523:499:277:3170
Tuesday10:075:2213:3711:4413
Wednesday7:587:3817:2516:2611
Thursday29:2312:1229:0727:1111
Friday26:1916:2334:4331:2111
Saturday27:4335:1033:1810
Sunday15:1155:1340:4910

NYT Crossword Puzzle 8-19-21 Complete (contains spoilers)

I pulled out 39A _ Romeo: ALFA because whenever we see an Alfa Romeo parked while we walk, I point it out and announce to Calah (who is now my wife yay!) that it’s going at the average Alfa speed. You know, because the Alfa Romeo is notorious for being broken.

They say you can’t be a real auto enthusiast if you haven’t owned an Alfa Romeo. If you want to be one of those, and also have a desire to never arrive at your intended destination, we have the car for you. Car and Driver has confirmed that a dealership is selling the magazine’s former long-term Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio, which spent 80 days in the shop over 14 months of testing.

From a worthwhile Jalopnik article “Car And Driver’s Nightmarishly Unreliable Alfa Romeo Giulia Is Up For Sale”

I will be finishing this post a little later with the theme.

Finished this one in 29:23.

DayThis WkBestAverage4-Wk AvgStreak
Monday6:523:499:277:3170
Tuesday10:075:2213:3711:4413
Wednesday7:587:3817:2516:2611
Thursday29:2312:1229:0727:1111
Friday16:2334:4333:0810
Saturday27:4335:1033:1810
Sunday15:1155:1340:4910

NYT Crossword Puzzle 8-18-21 Complete (contains spoilers)

I’m on a 73-day streak, but I know that that will end soon. The Jewish holidays are coming, and that will mean missing the days puzzle here and there. Don’t worry, though, I’ll have other content posted on those days.

I pulled out 65A Brand in the ice cream aisle: EDYS because I feel like the brand only exists to be featured in the NYTXW so frequently. Out here in the west, Dryers is the same brand but the one used on the east coat. Like Carl’s Jr. and Hardees.

Theme time!

16A With 26-Across, game that uses a blindfold: PINTHETAIL / ONTHEDONKEY. I immediately got this. The only one I could think of as an alternative is Hit the Piñata, but that didn’t quite fit.
36A Item exchanged in a so-called “yankee swap”: WHITEELEPHANT. Probably my least-favorite office holidaytime tradition. (My favorite? Vacation! Wooo!)
50A Frequent reveler, or a hint to 16-/26- and 36-Across: PARTYANIMAL.

I now realize that the theme is specifically political. The Democratic Party is the donkey, and the GOP is the elephant.

Finished this one in 7:58.

DayThis WkBestAverage4-Wk AvgStreak
Monday6:523:499:277:3170
Tuesday10:075:2213:3711:4413
Wednesday7:587:3817:2516:2611
Thursday12:1229:0622:5310
Friday16:2334:4333:0810
Saturday27:4335:1033:1810
Sunday15:1155:1340:4910

NYT Crossword Puzzle 8-17-21 Complete (contains spoilers)

I pulled out 57A Luxury watch brand: MOVADO because I’d never heard of the company. Is it new? Nope! Founded in 1881. Hmm. I know of Citizen and Timex and Tag Heuer and Breitling and Casio and Omega. Movado? Nope! Uncultured Matt makes a reappearance!

The theme of this puzzle is a cross-up!

15D See 17-Across: You might dip a 15-Down in this before writing something: INDIA INK / NIB.
25D See 26-Across: You might dip a 25-Down in this to test the water: SWIMMINGPOOL / TOE.
27D See 44-Across: You might dip 37-Down in this at a dinner party: CHEESEFONDUE / BREAD.
55D See 59-Across: You might dip a 55-Down in this to make a candle: PARAFFIN / WICK.

Finished this one in 10:07.

DayThis WkBestAverage4-Wk AvgStreak
Monday6:523:499:277:3170
Tuesday10:075:2213:3711:4413
Wednesday7:3817:3118:0310
Thursday12:1229:0622:5310
Friday16:2334:4333:0810
Saturday27:4335:1033:1810
Sunday15:1155:1340:4910

Woodworking: Step-Up End Table Pair Project (Part 7)

I left off last week having sanded the side pieces for the first table. All was well there. Now I get to share how the same pieces for Table 2 posed more challenges.

The challenges: Warped wood with a crack.

I had expected the solution to be easy! I have wood glue. I have clamps. I have time.

I’d need the wood glue really to get all in that crack so there would be good adhesion when clamped. I didn’t want to remove material to make a fresh surface because I didn’t expect the surface not to be ready for wood glue.

Plastic knives ftw.

And with my bar clamps, it was sure to dry properly.

Letting it dry for days would make the rest of the job go without any issue. Right? RIGHT????

But with the warping, it returned to its split state. And now there was glue that was messing with the surface! Yayyyyyyy!

So I used an Xacto knife to cut off all the glue that I could to prepare the surface for another attempt. This time I decided to dilute the glue some because maybe the plastic knife didn’t really get all the glue where I wanted it. The depth of this crack was no joke.

Well, the slightly diluted glue definitely made its way in, and I went through the clamping and waiting process again.

Based on where we are in this post, you know already that it didn’t work. But it only was a few days of waiting with anticipation only for it not to work, so it wasn’t like I lost too, too much time.

I learned that gluing was not the answer.

I made the decision to sand down the pieces and go from there.

Just like I’d done with the top of the table, I made my own wood filler out of dust from sanding and wood glue.

Back on track!

The knob design element issue makes a return next week.

NYT Crossword Puzzle 8-16-21 Complete (contains spoilers)

I pulled out 55D Jacket fastener that’s not a button: SNAP because those can be amazing. I wish I had those on my kittel–the white robe used in some Jewish holidays. Also worn by grooms on their wedding days, as I experienced just yesterday. NBD. The kittel that my wife, Calah, had gotten for me has the buttons on the wrong side. It was the first time that I’d attempted to fasten wrong-side buttons. It was mess. Much respect, women out there.

There was a Monday theme!

16A Universal code of ethics: NATURALLAW.
30A Quick-minded sort: SHARPCOOKIE.
45A One who says that you’re not on the ball?: FLATEARTHER.

63A Speaking of which … or where the starts of 16-, 30- and 45-Across can be found?: ONTHATNOTE.

16A A natural note is a note that isn’t altered in any way by a flat or sharp.

30A Sharp: A note that is half a step up.
45A Flat: A note that is half a step down.

Finished this one in 6:52.

DayThis WkBestAverage4-Wk AvgStreak
Monday6:523:499:277:3170
Tuesday5:2213:3911:4112
Wednesday7:3817:3118:0310
Thursday12:1229:0622:5310
Friday16:2334:4333:0810
Saturday27:4335:1033:1810
Sunday15:1155:1340:4910

NYT Crossword Puzzle 8-15-21 Complete (contains spoilers)

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I pulled out Where a 101D “Married at First Sight” contestant meets his or her mate: ALTAR because Calah and I got married today.

So it’s a very short post.

Finished this one in 58:38.

DayThis WkBestAverage4-Wk AvgStreak
Monday11:443:499:287:2769
Tuesday12:295:2213:3911:4112
Wednesday19:587:3817:3118:0310
Thursday20:1812:1229:0622:5310
Friday34:2816:2334:4333:0810
Saturday32:2827:4335:1033:1810
Sunday58:3815:1155:1340:4910

NYT Crossword Puzzle 8-14-21 Complete (contains spoilers)

I pulled out 19A Its flag features a pine and the North Star: MAINE because It took me a while to get there. I kept wanting to put in Libya because it fit, even though it’s Lebanon that has a tree on it, and that tree is a cedar because the cedar of Lebanon is a big deal.

Libya’s flag does have a star on it, but that star isn’t a star but the planet Venus. With Lebanon and Libya ruled out, it had to be Maine, and it was.

Wrong tree and no star (CIA World Factbook)
No tree and star that is really a planet (CIA World Factbook)

No theme this puzzle, so here’s more fun:

Another thing about Maine is that the first time I saw Maine coon, I thought that it was a racoon from Maine. How silly I was two years ago!

It’s just a normal giant cat. But it is from Maine.

NORWAY would I get a cat that big.

Finished this one in 32:28

DayThis WkBestAverage4-Wk AvgStreak
Monday11:443:499:287:2769
Tuesday12:295:2213:3911:4112
Wednesday19:587:3817:3118:0310
Thursday20:1812:1229:0622:5310
Friday34:2816:2334:4333:0810
Saturday32:2827:4335:1033:1810
Sunday15:1155:0538:559

I’m getting married tomorrow

It’s so crazy that it’s finally upon us, but Calah and I are tying the knot tomorrow morning.

It’s been a long time coming, but to make our relationship official in the eyes of the law is something that’s long past due.

Covid has required us to delay, and our reception and our honeymoon are delayed still, but it’s nice to resolve one key step of the process.

I’m so lucky that Calah has agreed to married me–and continued to agree as she’s gotten to know me more and more through our 517 days of engagement.

Calah is special in a way that gives me faith in the future. Sounds dopey and extreme, I know, but I mean it.

Calah is a person who sees the world and acts on her desire to make it better.

She’s been a registered nurse for years, but she decided to go back to school for nurse practitioner. But rather than go for a masters, she is doing the doctorate of nursing practice. She has to do a study on a topic of her choice.

Covid took away her original subject: Dental hygiene in oldtimers. I probably got it wrong, but I think that’s what it had been.

She saw the healthcare system get overwhelmed and thought there had to be a better way. One day she said to me, “Wow, it’s been a long month today” or something to that effect.

What she’d meant is that the day she had had felt like a month. From there, she and I talked about how some hours feel longer than others and that the stressors and demands aren’t equal each hour of a day or in every work condition.

From there, her topic of addressing nursing stress in the workplace grew and grew.

I could go on and on about her project, but that’s not the point of this post. What I’m saying is that she saw a thing that is broken and didn’t just say what a shame it was took action and is taking action to resolve it at a systemic level. And she’s not discouraged by people who say it can never happen.

That’s the thing about Calah: She does cross-discipline impressive stuff because she doesn’t seem to know that it’s hard.

I’m lucky that she said yes when I asked her out in July of 2019.

Readers of this blog can thank her for my current 312-day posting streak because when I was feeling really down 300+ days ago and couldn’t even bring myself to post about the crossword, she told me to put something down after she got fed up with me being inconsolable. And that got me out of my funk.

I’m frazzled right now in anticipation of the wedding. I feel like there’s a lot left to do that I’ve forgotten but can’t figure out exactly what that is.

And with Calah spending the time up to the wedding away from me, I can only rely on her notes to make sure I don’t royally screw stuff up.

I’ll have more to share after the wedding, but I can’t wait till Sunday morning.