Nearing the end

This morning, I gave the final speech in the Toastmasters “Develop Your Vision” project; I talked about my plan for the Shir Hadash Ritual Committee in the upcoming year as our new Senior Rabbi begins his tenure with us. It wasn’t the best speech I’ve given; it wasn’t the worst, either, but it was probably the one which would have benefited most from handing out a glossary in advance!

I have one more speech left to complete the “Visionary Communications” path. The last speech in each of the Toastmasters paths asks you to “Reflect on Your Path” and talk about what you’ve gained from the experience. When I completed “Engaging Humor”, I tried to make that speech funny; I’m not sure how I’m going to work visions into the speech this time, but I’ll try.

Day 800

We got a few things accomplished today.

I wrote the speech I’m going to give at Toastmasters tomorrow.

I finally got the replacement crown installed for my dental implant (it broke more than 9 weeks ago; the replacement came in just after we left for the East Coast and then I had to postpone the installation twice for Covid).

Both of us got a haircut.

Each of us got a “fit to fly” letter from our doctor which should save us from needing an antigen test to come back to the US for the next two trips we’ve got planned.

We even updated the various painkillers in our travel kit, which required a trip to Target. I was astonished at how much less generic painkillers cost at Target than they do at CVS, especially since Target’s pharmacy is run by CVS.

I thought about not posting today because my day was so uninteresting, but that would have made today interesting and so I’d’ve felt compelled to post!

Talking about power

Diane had a dentist’s appointment this morning and I took advantage of her absence to do something that was likely to be annoying if she had been home.

I decided to test the power consumption of the various devices in our A/V rack – both while they were running and when they were in standby. That required me to keep turning things off and on and plugging and unplugging them and having them make noises, something best done in solitude.

I was surprised at the results.

Device Standby Power Active Power
2001 Boston Subwoofer 15 18
2009 Sony LCD TV 0 200
2009 Sony Blu-Ray Player 0 11
2011 Denon Receiver 2 45
2015 TiVo Roamio 15 24

I expected everything to draw a lot more power when it was in standby, but it looks like the subwoofer is the only thing worth unplugging when we’re away (and the TiVo if we don’t plan to record anything).

I had the audio gear at the level we usually listen at – it would take a lot more power if I turned it up, of course.

I did a little research and found that a modern LED TV would use only about 25% of the power that ours needs – we would save dozens of dollars over the course of a year. That might not be a winning argument!

Playing outside

We had our regular session with our trainer this morning – that makes two weeks in a row! It won’t last, though, since next Monday is Memorial Day and then we expect to be traveling again.

Unless a bureaucratic miracle happens, we’re going to have to take an antigen test within 24 hours of our flight to Portugal, so we decided to go outside to minimize the chance of being colonized by a new variant; it was a really good day for an outside workout anyway.

This afternoon, I went to the allergist for a desensitization shot for the first time in six weeks; they had to cut my dosage in half because it had been so long since my last shot. It’s a good thing I made it this week, though – if I’d missed this opportunity, they would have dropped the dosage down to 25% next time. It’s a slow enough climb to the levels that are supposed to be effective if you don’t miss any appointments – dropping down to 25% would add a few months to the process.

Out of timeout!

Today marked the 11th day after my positive Covid test and I tested negative for the second day in a row, so the CDC guidelines say I no longer have to take special precautions to avoid infecting others. That doesn’t mean I won’t be wearing a mask around other people, but it’s voluntary rather than mandatory.

This afternoon, we celebrated Cantor Felder-Levy’s 25 years at Shir Hadash. She actually reached that mark last year, but…. The celebration was a concert with music by the choir and by some of the Cantor’s colleagues; it was a very special day and I’m glad we were able to be there in person instead of watching it on livestream.