Pandemic Journal, Day 395

We were out on one of our usual walks when I happened to look down and see a credit card on the road. I picked it up, of course, figuring I’d call the bank and have it cancelled and hope that they’d notify the owner. But then I had an idea – I checked NextDoor for the owner’s name and found the person in my neighborhood, so I sent a PM and got an almost immediate response: “yes, I’m out looking for it now!” We were able to meet the owner while we were still on our walk and return the card.

I had my six-week return visit to the oral surgeon today – he was happy with the way the implant had healed. He replaced the temporary healing abutment with something sturdier and set up an appointment with my regular dentist to start the process of putting in the crown. In the meantime, I’m free to chew on both sides of my mouth again. Progress!

Pandemic Journal, Day 394

Tonight was the Toastmasters District 101 Division B contest. I was a contestant in the Table Topics (impromptu speaking) contest, having won at the club and Area levels. I had been the last speaker in each of the previous contests, but this time I drew the first slot – it made a difference in the way I experienced the contest.

I enjoyed being able to see and hear the other contestants instead of being sent to a lonely breakout room to wait my turn. But being the first speaker meant that the judges heard five speeches after mine – so they had to judge my speech on its own, while they could judge the others relative to the previous speeches.

We were all given the same prompt: “John Wooden said, ”˜ability may get you to the top, but it takes character to keep you there.’” I don’t remember exactly what I said, but I do remember closing with the advice to be nice to people on the way up, because you’ll meet them on the way down.

I was surprised when the results were announced – I won. And my fellow club member, Gordon, won the International Speech Contest at this level, so we’ll both be competing at the District level the weekend of May 15.

Our club meeting is tomorrow morning, less than 10 hours from now – it should be fun!

Pandemic Journal, Day 393

We got our refund from Vueling Airlines today, and thanks to currency fluctuations, we made a small profit ($16.87) on the deal! I hope I don’t have to report it to the IRS.

Diane has been working on a photo book of our 2018 trip to Greece – she’s nearly finished, and asked me to look at it before she places the order. I can’t wait for it to arrive!

Shelter-in-Place Journal, Day 392

Our cars haven’t been moving very much for the last 392 days – my Subaru has only traveled about 2500 miles since I last had it serviced in November, 2019.

I had planned to take it to the Subaru dealer for its last pre-paid service appointment in March, 2020, but that didn’t happen. And the plan expired soon afterwards, which freed me to take it to my favorite mechanic, Auto-Tec, instead of going to the dealer.

I finally did it today. I knew it would take an hour or so, and since it was a beautiful day, I planned to walk around their neighborhood while I waited. It’s not the most exciting area to walk in, but I did find one very colorful house on my way.

I was Tale Topics Master at the Silicon Valley Storytellers meeting this evening. The theme of the meeting was “Metamorphosis”, so I used the opening of Kafka’s Metamorphosis to create my first two prompts: “tell us a story about a dream” and “tell us a story about a bug”. After that, I went further afield, probably to the relief of those I called on!

Shelter-in-Place Journal, Day 391

This afternoon, we spent a fascinating hour at the Tenement Museum (via Zoom, of course) as one of the events in anticipation of the Shir Hadash Gala. We learned about the Rogarshevsky family‘s life at 97 Orchard Street in the early 20th Century, including a look at their record in the 1910 Census. The museum offers nine virtual tours, including this one, for $10 each, with live guides; there are also several free online exhibits.

I also helped Diane get some of her photos from our Costa Rica/Panama trip into the proper format for her digital scrapbooking. It was easy to export the photos from the Apple Photos app into a folder so she could upload them to Forever, but for some reason, the titles and descriptions she’d added to the pictures she’d taken on her Olympus TG-4 camera didn’t get exported – instead, the description of each exported photo said “OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA”, which was useless.

If we had exported the “unmodified original” of the photos, the export could create a XMP sidecar file which contains the real title and description, but the photo wouldn’t include the editing Diane had done to the picture. Very frustrating.

Fortunately, there was an answer: osxphotos from Rhett Turnbull. I could use that program to export the edited versions of the photos and have it use exiftool to put the correct title and description into the exported photos. It took a little fiddling to find the right command:

osxphotos export --exiftool --convert-to-jpeg --skip-original-if-edited \
  --skip-bursts --skip-live --skip-raw --jpeg-ext jpg \
  --directory '{}' --edited-suffix '' \
  --from-date 2020-02-01T00:00:00 --to-date 2020-02-15T23:59:59 \

but it worked. Thanks, Rhett, and thanks, as always, to Phil Harvey for exiftool!