And so another weekend starts. I got a few hours head start today, and I filled it with exciting summertime activities like picking up the backyard and mowing! Do I know how to live or what?

It’s not too bad of a day. It’s 75° (F), sunny, slight breeze, and generally quite enjoyable in the shade. I think I’ve spent more time outside this afternoon than I have the rest of the year combined. Of course this is just commentary on how much I just don’t go outside unless I’m doing something, like mowing. Or bike riding.

Which is something I haven’t done yet this year. The knee is coming along I guess. It’s still sore, and it’s definitely weaker than it was before this whole knee thing happened. But hopefully I’ll get there. One of the things I’ll be doing before I actually get back on the bike is swapping out my pedals for something that doesn’t clip in. I have a feeling that the twisting motion you do to get out of the pedal just won’t work well with my current situation. So I’m going for what most people would call just plain old pedals. Mine will have some additional grip to keep my foot from slipping off if I’m really pushing, but I fully intend to go back to my SPD pedals at some point this summer. I just need to get some rehab work in without worrying about falling over or twisting my knee awkwardly. So that’s the current plan. No idea when I’ll put that plan into action, but it’s a start.

So, about that task thing. Yeah. I’m playing with Todoist right now. It’s not perfect, but there are some things about OmniFocus that aren’t, either. Don’t know if I’ll stick with it or if I’ll go back to OmniFocus. It could go either way right now. Todoist has natural language entry, which is fine in most instances and maddening in others, especially trying to find the right combination of words for repeating tasks that aren’t every week or month or whatever. It still uses due dates only and doesn’t use start dates, which annoys me to no end, but I’m trying to see if I can make it work without too much effort.

So why did I change? I don’t really know. Todoist has more integrations with things. It works with Fantastical, which I’m using right now mainly for the iPhone and iPad widgets; I don’t use 75% of what Fantastical can do. Todoist integrates with services like IFTTT and Zapier. Only thing I’ve done with IFTTT is to have it create a task to shovel the driveway when snow is forecast. Kind of cool, but not sure it’s a critical item. Todoist also works on more platforms like Android, Windows, and Web. I generally like apps that are multiple-platform when they are a service. But again, only if it works as well or better than the alternatives. Not sure it’s there. Only been a few days, so, still in the honeymoon phase. Time will tell. Probably before next weekend with my current tendencies.

I’ve been working on the fish tank lately. My wife was criticizing the recent cloudiness of the water, so I did a cleaning (which I do at least every other week anyway) and broke out the water test kit, which apparently expired 2 years ago. I should probably check the water more often. Anyway, the ammonia was through the roof according to the kit. The fish weren’t displaying any signs you’d normally see with high ammonia levels. Reddened gills, death. So I changed more of the water than I usually do. Still off the scale. I was beginning to wonder if this was the end of the great fish tank experiment which started over 10 years ago.

So through some aggressive water changes, more thorough cleaning (a couple of times), a couple doses of ammo lock, and some “quick start” stuff that supposedly has the nitrifying bacteria in it, the tank seems much, much better. Ammonia is down to 0.25 ppm. Just above the ideal “zero.” I also changed the filter unit I was using. The old one had replaceable cartridges which you swapped out regularly. Problem is, a lot of your bacteria live there, too. So every time you throw away the filter cartridge, there goes a whole host of good bacteria. Plus, I was in the habit of changing the filter when I did water changes. So even more bacteria literally down the drain. It was not a good process I had.

The new filter assembly doesn’t use cartridges. It has a large “bin” that you build up what kind of filtering material you want in there. So, I have a “sponge” or mechanical filter to filter out the you know what. I have a big bag of carbon to help with clarity and smells. And I have a “bio bag.” It’s just some porous ceramic cylinders that the bacteria can grow in, on, and around. When the filter gets clogged, I just rinse it out in some discarded aquarium water (not tap water) to get rid of the crap but hopefully still leave a lot of the bacteria that are clinging in there. Same with the bio bag and/or carbon. And I can mix and match. I can put twice as much bio material and leave the carbon out. I can rely on the pre-filter sponge and replace the inside sponge (which I won’t do, because there’s a boatload of fish in there right now). It’s a better solution I hope. At least I won’t be throwing away all my bacteria when I do a cleaning.

So, taking a wait and see approach. I did get a new water test kit that wasn’t expired. So, I’ve been monitoring it daily for ammonia and maybe every other day for nitrites and nitrates, both of which are fine. If I see a spike in ammonia, then I’ll need to figure something out. The tank is overpopulated by most metrics. Darn mollies multiple like rabbits. So, I’ll probably need to monitor more than my current pace of once every couple years.

And a dog from the past, enjoying a head scratch. He was quite an interesting boy, and I doubt I’ll ever see a dog with his personality again.