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Lights.

I like the bedroom to be as dark as possible when it’s time to go to sleep. This is one of the reasons I’ve held onto the GE Alarm Clock I bought back in 1988; the red LED lights cast absolutely no glow onto my nightstand. Unfortunately, the other functions of the alarm clock are starting to fail.

I tried using one of the Amazon Echo Dots with an LED clock built in. Even at its lowest brightness setting, the clock on the Echo lights up the room enough to distract me while I’m trying to sleep. Aside from the weird maneuvers one has to take to actually turn the alarm off (without barking out commands to Alexa while your husband is sleeping), the brightness of the display ruled out using this little technological miracle on my nightstand.

This is the problem with today’s technology. Everything has some sort of LED light on it. My wireless iPhone charger? White indicator light. Check. Covered with black electrical tape. Check. Sonos speaker? White indicator light indicating its ready to play music. Check. Moved to another room? Check. WiFi repeater? Blue LED light. Check. Turned off in system settings? THANK YOU.

Back in the days when I traveled for work I kept a roll of black electrical tape in my bag to cover all the indicator lamps that are plastered all over technological doo-dads found in your hotel room. And please don’t tell me to sleep with some sort of eye mask to block out light, that’s simply not my jam.

I know LED lamps help control energy cost and are ultimately better for the environment, but we don’t need a status light on every piece of technology released to the masses.

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Countdown.

Regardless of the outcome, I will be happy when the 2020 Presidential Election is behind us. Of course I prefer one candidate over the other, however, the stress of all of this election related crap on the news channels is enough to make me want to hide somewhere until it blows over.

The outcome will affect how I feel about this country, but the uncertainty of it all right now is the stress of the moment. I’ll worry about the rest once I know what we’re in for.

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Home.

Photo grabbed from Metro.style.

Desperate for variety on the entertainment devices during these pandemic times, I started diving deeper into the offerings from Apple TV+. We’ve been through “For All Mankind”, “The Morning Show”, and the LGBTQ+ documentary “Visible: Out On Television”. I was looking for something not too heavy but a little more along the lines of informative instead of fiction. I landed on a series “Home”.

The official description of the series:

Discover the groundbreaking ideas and inspiring stories behind the world’s most imaginative dwellings. In this globe-spanning docuseries, meet the visionaries who are challenging conventional concepts of “home” and rethinking how we live.

https://tv.apple.com/us/show/home/umc.cmc.5xjrgoblr5l5i1ypamtayuhe9

We watched the first two episodes of the series to see if we enjoyed it. In the first episode, a Swedish family discusses the building of a log cabin inside a greenhouse, and vibe it brings to their family. There’s some discussion around construction and political challenges, but the episode is focused on the family unit and their little piece of utopia inside their walls. Apparently this design is not unique, and there’s a small movement of “Nature Houses” popping up in Europe.

I am intrigued by this concept and I’m going to be reading more around the idea.

The second episode featured an artist on the south side of Chicago who is turning abandoned building into cultural, celebratory art centers.

From the Apple TV+ website

It’s always wonderful to see someone who appreciates what we have and who decides to restore instead of replace. Too often the south side of Chicago gets a bad rap. It’s good to see folks who proudly call the neighborhoods home.

VR.

Jamie and Chris have a new Oculus Rift. It’s a fully contained, quite affordable Virtual Reality headset from Facebook. The experience is amazing.

I gave it a whirl and was impressed at how quickly I was able to adapt to the controls and how immersive the experience is. I could easily see this tech doing amazing things, and not just for gaming. I wonder how long it will be before we all just put VR headsets on for our Zoom calls.

Decorations.

I think the neighborhood has more Halloween decorations this year than the number of Christmas decorations last year. There’s pumps and compressors blowing up all sorts of ghouls and goblins. Lights adorn many fences and porches. Two and three flats are adorned with decked out balconies. Every once in a while a tree or a porch will make a screeching sound as one walks by. Motion sensor technology is cool!

Decisions.

A photo from a controversial film on “Netflix” or two folks going to the top of the Gateway Arch in St. Louis. You decide.

I know nothing about this film; the photo just made me smirk.

Sunrise.

This morning’s sunrise was filled with glorious color. I tried to capture it in a photo, but the pictures don’t do it justice.

Mother Nature is awesome.

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Legal 9.

My husband and I celebrated nine years of legally wedded bliss today. There was no fancy dinner at a swanky restaurant to celebrate the occasion as the pandemic has changed all that. We did, however, have a wonderful home cooked meal (yay for a husband that cooks!) and great conversation.

One should marry their best friend.

Even though we’ve been together for over 24 years and as a gay married couple. have multiple anniversaries to celebrate, each one of them is special.

Especially when there’s flowers involved.

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Mini.

I have to admit I’m rather excited about the HomePod Mini. At an affordable price point, we’re going to be able to put one or two of these around our home to supplement our existing HomePods.

I know folks like to gripe about Siri but we rarely have an issue using Siri to play music, set alarms, or control our smart devices. We have Alexa in da house as well, and she seems to get more confused than Siri on a regular basis. Maybe I’m just wired to be more Apple friendly or something.

I’m also excited about the new iPhone 12 lineup. My iPhone X is going on three years old and I’m in the mood for an upgrade. I believe the iPhone 12 will fit the bill. I’ll probably sell my Canon camera to help offset the cost. I haven’t used it in quite a while.