August and everything after

Tue Aug 31, 2021

So there we were - violently donkey kicking the flat tire in turns like a gang of crazed soccer hooligans. Rust, dirt, and mother nature’s malice had fused the tire rim onto the wheel hub and it wasn’t coming off.

We were in Port Renfrew. If you don’t know Port Renfrew then let me explain: with two restaurants and about a hundred residents, there isn’t much else to it. True to its name, there is a port. But certainly no auto repair shops. And most tragically - no cell service or internet.

We had no other option than to bruise that tire.

Then, humanity shone through. One after another, people stopped to help. One guy bent his piece of rebar trying to pry it off. Another shirtless, barefoot guy borrowed my shoes and taught us the donkey-kicking technique. Another suggested we lower the tire back down with the jack to loosen it with the car’s weight. Another clean-cut young man used his satellite internet to look up the problem. He wasn’t much help but his heart was in the right place.

Incredibly, they kept on coming. And each one contributed to cracking that bad boy off, taking a turn to kick when we were too tired to kick anymore. Eventually a grizzled Hulk-Hogan lookalike picked out a piece of wood and a rock from the roadside and hammered that tire off like Thor swinging Mjölnir in the heat of battle.

It was a glorious, heart-warming, fitting end to the summer.

I’m not going to lie - I’m looking forward to everything after August (I’m partial to stealing Counting Crows song titles, and now I’m stealing their best album title for the post).

I’ve made the most of summer, but now it’s time for hot coffee warming cold hands, rain spinning leaves, heads huddled in hoodies, and shiny new phones.

August was one of those months where a confluence of events chewed through days at a frenetic pace. A camping trip to Vancouver Island’s west coast (bookended by the flat tire incident from the intro). At home, an infestation inside our wall spitting angry wasps from our fireplace. Parents moving out of town. Kids rattling around at home for the summer. At work, a DITA database upgrade and switch to a new XML editor in the same week as a major documentation release.

Tech takes a breather in the summer months, but gadget season is coming and I’ll be soaking it up. To be fair, Samsung did put out some foldable phones this month and they’re getting better. What really piqued my interest though was the first appearance of an under-display-camera in a Samsung device. For fellow notch watchers, this article presents a great summary of the current notchless landscape.

Unfortunately, bargain hunters looking to score a deal this shopping season might be have to settle with window shopping only. The shortage of, well, everything in the supply chain is not only ongoing, but is getting worse. You still cannot, for example, easily buy a Playstation 5, even though it is now almost a year old. I’ve been mulling over upgrading to a 4K TV this year, but who knows if Black Friday will end up being Blue Friday this year, if you know what I mean.

Well, it isn’t much, but that’s the post. With a month this busy, I normally wouldn’t write at all, but I’ve been making an effort to make the monthly deadline. Sorry for the boring read, but you have to admit I worked really hard on the “hook” in the intro, right?

If nothing else, I’ll leave on that positive note: faith in humanity restored.

See you in September.

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