COVID-19 Journal: Day 263

I think it's Day 263. Each time I take a break from writing and then come back, I count days on my fingers and hope I'm getting it right. I'm not traditionally strong on arithmetic, except in restaurants when I'm in a group getting the bill. (This is mostly because I just round up and simplify.)

I was with a friend last week. I turned into a version of myself I don't like. Needy and questioning. Not confident at all. I think I get like this when I'm insecure. I'm quite insecure at the moment. So, I guess I need to be needy and questioning and sorry for myself in this box.

I've had a testing few weeks. As I've mentioned, I was really excited to be able to make the second official batch of Museums in Boxes, and, everything was coming along, except for getting one of our components, the RFID readers, via the bizarre online marketplace full of crap and dark corners and things lost in translation that is AliExpress. I'd gotten everything else delivered to my front room, and even enlisted my friend, Jenn, to help out making the batch.

Actually, I've moved my workspace upstairs because it's a nicer spot. Here's are several states my new workspace has been in recently.

(I really like observing the changing arrangements in a same space in my house. I have far too many photos of my lunch in the same place on the kitchen table over lockdown. I'm saving them for the world's most boring wall calendar.)

It was the night before the day Jenn was set to come over (with masks and open windows and all that) to begin her second day of training. I was making documentation that I would test with her, and that could be referenced later if we were apart, and hey, maybe even shared with people if they want to buy a Box that's in pieces. (We don't know if that's a thing. Yet.) Anyway, there I was, counting out all the components, getting organised, taking pictures, and making a first Box from the selection of new bits and bobs. 

It's usually so exciting to make a Box, even after making 100s of them, because you turn it on for the first time and it's still fun when it works. But this didn't. The LED didn't come on, and the "Hello" voice (which is me) didn't play. It didn't read a card placed on it. Just didn't work. Luckily, I have a hardy and clever Adrian, who I was able to contact and say WHAT THE FUCK WHY ISN'T THIS WORKING. He wrote back and said he's finishing his tea and will be in touch shortly.

Let's talk about remaining calm. Let's talk about on the verge of tears.

The short version is all 100 of the LED strips were soldered in the reverse of what we need. Electronics does not like reverse. That evening, after we'd figured out that issue, I tested all 100+ RFID readers. The ones that had taken 60 days to arrive. 84% of them didn't work. Luckily, I have 28 that do work, and have ordered replacements from a UK shop that are a bit more expensive, but I just have to. 

Ugh. I'm even just observing myself whinging to you here and disliking it. Luckily, I have cocktails on their way from the Manhattans Project and perhaps drinking is the answer. The short term answer.

I hope the next thing I write will be about a fantastic party, a long Saturday afternoon meal with ten of my closest friends, the best hug, a pub brawl I saw, and a wonderful unexpected present I got that was so spot-on I would have got it for myself, only I wouldn't have thought of it.