Introducing Abigail Jane Flom-Sonko

A month after Abigail was born, we finally settled on what we wanted her legal name to be. But the paperwork had already been filed… So here we are, 5 years later, finally getting around to making it right.

Today I went to the courthouse, spoke to the judge and got a Decree of Name Change. Tomorrow I’m mailing out paperwork to the Social Security office for a new Social Security card and to the Vital Records office for a new birth certificate! In another month, we’ll have her passport fixed. Hurray!

It would have been easier (several evenings and 2 half-days off work so far) and cheaper ($700 or so in fees) if we had decided on her name right away but I wouldn’t have had it any other way!

On Having 2 Monitors

I have 2 monitors on my laptop computer. It’s nice. Here’s info about my second monitor:

AOC 15.6″ USB powered monitor
Displaylink driver

I set up ClickMonitorDDC so I could change the brightness of both monitors easily. Info here. I also set it up to change the volume easily.

I had an, apparently common problem where sometimes the screen would restart repeatedly. To fix it, I disabled “USB Selective Suspend” and upgraded to the December 2019 Displaylink drivers. That fixed it. There’s more tips on fixing that problem here in case my fix doesn’t do it.

I bought 2 of those USB-powered monitors so I don’t have to drag it from home to work each day. That was nice.

Progressive Lenses

I just got my first pair of progressive lens eyeglasses. ARGH! It’s hard to get used to them! It’s this mix of “WOW, I can see close up!” and “AGHGHEHAH the world is spinning out of control! Make it stop!”

Life Hack: Milk Lasts Longer in Glass

Here’s a great life-hack: store your milk in glass, it tastes fresher longer! I’m not saying you should spend $7 per 1/2 gallon every week. Just buy a 1/2 gallon glass milk jug and reuse it forever! Pour 1/2 of your gallon jug into the glass bottle and when it comes time to use the second half of your milk in a few days, it will smell fresh and unspoiled!

I guarantee you’ll notice a big difference very first time you try it. Does the milk actually last longer? I’m not sure but after 3 minutes of googling for it, everybody agrees that glass stores better. Drink month-old fresh-tasting milk at your own peril! ;-)

And if you aren’t happy, just return the glass bottle for deposit and go on your way, having spent a whole extra $3 on the experiment!

Megan discovered this life hack! She noticed that in the supermarket, milk in glass had the longest Sell-by dates. Cardboard 1/2 gallons had shorter Sell-by dates and plastic milk gallon jugs had shortest Sell-by dates. It’s ironic that the largest containers have the shortest dates, eh? She did a little research and it turns out exactly the way you think… glass preserves best! Plastic is pretty good but lets some gases in and out, spoiling your milk sooner!

I can’t believe I’ve lived my whole life without knowing this one!

Pumping Iron-ish

I’ve been doing the Stronglifts workout. I’ve been going to Planet Fitness since it’s close to home, inexpensive, and clean. I was initially really annoyed that their 4 squat racks are always busy in the morning and evening. I got over that by going at 6:30am, which has been more tolerable than I thought it would be :-).

I was more annoyed that their squat racks aren’t squat racks! They only have Smith machines. A Smith machine is a squat rack where the barbell is trapped… (the one pictured isn’t the exact model but you get the idea). And I just figured out that the bar… well… I just came back from my local Planet Fitness, bathroom scale in-hand. I weighed myself while using the Smith Machine and found out something weird and interesting! Their pulley system gives the bar variable weight! At the bottom of the stroke, the bar weighs 13 pounds and at the top, 24 pounds!

I can imagine some reasons why they reasoned that was a good idea: easier on the back at the start, less crashing at the top, smoother feel… It makes keeping track of my workout a little weird. I’ll just call it a 20 lb bar, I guess!

Pumping Iron

I’ve been going back to the gym for the last few weeks and I like it. I’ve got more energy, I’ve been automatically getting up earlier (waking up near my alarm at 6:15 instead of loathing to move at 7:15, feeling a bit more “in my body”, decreasing my body aches a bit, and starting to look a little better in the mirror. Hurray!

Schuyler showed me the Stronglifts 5×5 workout (Thanks Schuyler!). The promise is to get me in and out of the gym in 30 minutes 3 times per week and it’s working!

My workout is very simple:
Stretch, run 5 minutes at 6.5 mph for warmup.

“A” day workout:
* Squat
* Bench Press
* Barbell Row

“B” day workout:
* Squat
* Overhead Press
* Deadlift

All lifts are 5 sets of 5 lifts, add 5 pounds at every workout session.

Deadlifts are just 1 set of 5 lifts. Add 10 pounds at every workout.

Here’s a link to the workout at

I ditched the fancy Stronglifts app in favor of Google Sheets. No figuring out how their app works, no ads, no fuss!


Stay strong!