Pandemic Pastimes

Pandemic Pastimes

Figured it was about time I finally breach the topic that has been consuming all of us for a number of weeks. I’m sure it’s all impacting us differently, so we could either share how it’s impacting us or on a little more lighthearted note just share what you are doing to stay busy.

We’ve had our 6 month-old and 3 year-old home from daycare since last Wednesday, although the toddler is currently at Grandma’s for a much needed break. Needless to say, they have been keeping us VERY busy, and proving it’s impossible to work from home with them on the loose (I don’t know how you do it with a pre-schooler, @MrBimble).

On the bright side, we are developing some much needed habits and routines with our toddler that probably wouldn’t have happened unless we were all locked in a house together 24/7.

While I was lucky enough to game during breaks while working from home before, it has now been reduced to the rare nights I have enough energy left over to stay up after the rest of the house falls asleep, and with a 6 month-old, those can be some pretty small chunks.

Anyways, how is everyone else (all few of you) coping out there?

It’s a little more hectic than normal having all 3 kids home. School is likely not resuming before the end of the year, so having a licensed teacher for a wife will come in handy. “Class” officially starts back up next week in a distance learning format.

We eat out a lot less. That’s probably a good thing. Saving some money there.

Otherwise, it is what it is and we’ll be fine.

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I’m doing ok. Our district is doing online classes for all students. But because my kids fall under the sped umbrella and they have home room teachers that means I have no contact with them. So I’m basically getting paid to do nothing right now. It’s not as fun as it sounds. I really miss seeing the kids. My own kids are very self sufficient so they don’t really need much help with the online classes.

I’ve been going on long walks a few times a day in order to keep my sanity and we as a family go for a walk after lunch. I think in total I walked 8-9 miles today. It’s good though as the weather has been good and I load up some podcasts.

Oh, also been playing a lot of Warzone.

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I work for the Restaurant Association and all of them are freaking out right now, so I’m working overtime from home most days. When I’m not working, we are binge-watching shows and drinking beer to drown out the chaotic day.

I bought a Roku so we’d have access to TV+ and DC Universe programs, since Sony and MS refuse to get their apps on their consoles. I’ve not been disappointed yet. And all the binging has eaten into my gaming time.

Because I’m so busy at work, I have far less time to peruse video game sites for news. I guess there might be some PS+ Instant game collection news coming soon or something. Someone should really look into that.

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Here’s what we’ve done as a family. Watched all the Marvel movies in chronological order.

After Marvel we watched Star Wars in the following order

EPI, EPII, EPIII, Solo, Rogue One, ANH, ESB, RotJ, Mandalorian, TFA, TLJ, RoS. That was a lot of fun.

Now we are on Harry Potter. My wife and I have never seen a single one so it’s kinda fun. My daughter just finished all the books too so she’s pretty excited.

Next up is Lord of the Rings except for The Hobbit and then followed by Indiana Jones


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That’s a lot of hours…

I’ve watched a handful of Marvel movies and various other films with my “extra time”. Good call on LOTR - it’s been a LONG time since I’ve watched those. Helms deep, so so good.

We’ve binged so many shows… so many. Let’s see if I can list them all:

The Morning Show
Amazing Stories
Home After Dark
Mythic Quest
For All Mankind
Little America
Defending Jacob
Little Voice
Ted Lasso (current)

Homecoming S2
Tales from the Loop
Hanna S2

Dead to Me S2
Dark S3
Umbrella Academy S2

Little Fires Everywhere
Baskets S3
Mrs America

The Clone Wars S7
Muppets Now
The Mandalorian S2 (next)

AP Bio S3

DC Universe:
Doom Patrol (next)

@Jango How’s the movie marathons going?

Here’s all the series we’ve watched this far.

Star Wars(including the Mando)
Harry Potter
Indiana Jones
Jurassic Park
Back to the Future
Bond(Craig films)

We are starting Pirates of the Caribbean this weekend.

In addition to this we’ve watched Goonies, Gremlins, Labrynth, Adventure in Babysitting, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, and Uncle Buck.

I’d say it’s going well.

So many hours…

We’ve watched quite a bit too but not complete series.

We were on an 80s kick and watched Splash, Adventures in Babysitting, Dirty Dancing and Three Men and a Baby. Top Gun is on our list as is Bill & Ted before the third movie arrives in September.

My wife asked “Well, shouldn’t we watch The Hobbit before LotR?”. Silly woman. Needless to say she got shot down.

Top Gun!!!

I’ve turned my son into a Ton Cruise fan. LOL. He and I have watched quite a few TC movies over the last 3 months.

Top Gun
Days of Thunder
The Outsiders(which he loved as it’s his favorite book)
The Last Samurai
Minority Report
Tropic Thunder

Last night I introduced him Knocked Up. He was wheeze laughing. LOL.

Tonight Pineapple Express and tomorrow This is the End.

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The correct order is to watch the extended versions of Lord of the Rings and then place The Hobbit trilogy in the garbage bin, where it belongs.

How long did it take him to realize Les Grossman was Tom Cruise?

It took him about half the movie.

Another thing I’ve been doing is working on my cooking game. I’ve always though of myself as a good cook but there are a few things I’ve struggled with that I was looking to get better at.

  1. My Grill game

  2. My Pizza skills

Grill Game - I could always do your basics like hot dogs and burgers and grilled chicken. But my wife doesn’t eat red meat so by default we dont do a lot of beef. So I wanted to improve that and boy has it been awesome. I have perfected the method of reverse searing when it comes to steaks and Tri-Tip. I’ve also now learned how to cook everything needed for a meal on the grill. The other night I reverse seared some steaks as well as grilling some asparagus and potatoes (in a foil pouch).

Pizza Pizza - I love making homemade pizza but I’ve always resorted to premade dough or crusts and they just never came out that great. They were passable but not great. After some tweaking and tuning I found a homemade dough recipe that is fantastic. Since then my pizzas have been amazing and I’ve even incorporated it into grilling. Here’s some pics. I made a Korean BBQ Beef and Chicken Pizza the other night. Did the meat on the grill, used left over sauce(mixed with tomato paste and pineapple juice) and topped with pineapple, cilantro, green onions, and shaved carrots.

Then I made these right on the grill surface and this is now my preferred method.

My family and I have also been picking a cuisine type and then cooking it and meeting via Zoom to talk about it. It’s my family(wife and 2 kids), my 2 brothers and their wives and my mom(also 2 nephews and 3 nieces). Rules are the kids have to make one aspect of the meal and nothing can be frozen or pre-made(sauces and marinades can be an exception) It’s a lot of fun.

Here’s what we’ve done so far

Asian Pacific
Korean BBQ
Backyard BBQ(did this in the 4th of July)

EDIT: I also smoked a Turkey breast and some sausages. My fear is that this all leading to me buying a Pellet Grill


Great. Now I want pizza. And steak. And beer. I know you didn’t mention beer, but that’s what I want now. Thanks.

What’s your pizza sauce recipe?