What I’ve Been Doing at 20:15 (8:15 PM) – December 2015

Another month’s worth of what I have been doing at 8:15 PM every night. Doing this has become a great way to see what I’ve been up to on a particular day along with what else I add in about my day. It’s become a regular habit of what I’m doing and what has happened that day and a wonderful little one paragraph diary/journal of my actions and thoughts.

A Little Background on This Post

I started keeping track of what I was doing at 20:15 (8:15 PM) every day for the last few months after reading Kitt Hodson’s Pastry Box article from Jan 1, 2015. Which was about how a year earlier she read Erica Douglass’s article about writing down what she did at 11:11 AM and 20:14 (8:14 PM) every day.

I thought this was a great idea to see if I could find any patterns in my nights. So far, I tend to watch TV Monday, Thursday, and Sunday nights when I’m home. Also on the weekends I tend to be leaving or coming back from dinner, sometimes even eating dinner.

Here is my post on what I’ve been doing at 20:15 (8:15 PM) in January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, and November.


Dec 1 – ENTERED – 12/02/2015 – I was watching TV, but can’t remember exactly what it was. Spent most of my day taking the last Trusted Tester prerequisite class.

Dec 2 – Sitting at iStrategy Labs listening to Chris Coyier and others talk/demo Pens at the Code Pen DC meet-up. Was interesting to see what kinds of things CodePen can do and what new features were coming out soon, along with some cool things people were working on or built using CodePen. Worked on reviewing the new ILAB ‘Sweat and Toil’ Android applications to see how much more accessible they made it. Now, for the most part, the issues seem to be with how Talkback (screen reader) does different things that I’m used to working in JAWS, NVDA, or even VoiceOver.

Dec 3 – Waiting for takeout from South China. As usual, I got the Malaysian Lo Mein, which has shrimp and Tofu. During the day, I tested the new ILAB Sweat and Toil Android application and found they fixed most of the issues and that Android’s screen reader TalkBack reads information much differently than iOS’s VoiceOver or even what you would expect out of JAWS or NVDA. One thing that was weird if you place valid HTML into a view TalkBack doesn’t read any of the headings. Another thing that is weird is that TalkBack reads the text of list item then the bullet/number and the text a second time before moving on to the next item.

Dec 4 – Putting my name on the wait list for a table at Caphe Bahn Mi. Spent my day tying up loose ends before heading to DHS’s Trusted Tester training all next week and then the full day exam the following Monday. Hope it goes well, since 70% of the people don’t pass the test the first time. My guess is most of those people that don’t pass are either people who have never done accessibility testing or those that have done it a certain way for years and have difficulty switching their process.

Dec 5 – ENTERED – 12/07/2015 – Sitting in St. Elmo’s listening to two musicians after dinner with a few friends at Pork Barrel (still now a fan). We had gathered earlier in the evening to see the Del Ray, VA,  tree lighting, along with a few of us going down the street to the Purple Goose consignment shop for a used babies crib. Earlier in the day met most of these friends at St. Elmo’s for coffee and our weekly gathering of the minds as we call it. Plus, to see how everyone’s week went and discussed the news. After that headed home to read for a bit, then went to Pho 75 for lunch, which was a small bowl of number 10 (rib eye and fatty brisket) with extra noodles. Then it was off to Java Hut in Arlington, VA, near the Whole Foods for hot cider while doing prep work Sunday’s mini Just-F’ing-Ship-athon, which was going to be doing research and reading about my web application idea I had for keeping track of places to eat. Posted a blog post about stopping work for now on my event registration application because it got too large for one person or, at least, me with what I know now, along with the first part of a post on Sunday morning about what I want to work on next.

Dec 6 – ENTERED – 12/07/2015 – Sitting on my sofa downloading food and restaurant related iPhone application that I wanted to see if they had any features I might want to have in my application or if they had anything like it at all. Started Googling information at 9:00 AM. Hit publish on my blog post of what this 12-hour sprint or hack-a-thon is about. Spent the majority of the morning Googling and then updating the blog post. Then at noon showered and headed to St. Elmo’s to do more work there to get out of the house. Spent two hours there and updated post before leaving. As I was walking out ran into a friend I had seen in close to a year so stood around and talked for about 30 minutes then it was off to a late lunch at 3:00 PM. Once lunch was done went to head to another coffee shop again near Whole Foods in Arlington, VA. Did a bunch of reading of articles and posts I found. Headed home around 7:00 PM to spend the last hour or so from 8:00 Pm to 9:00 PM or so downloading applications to my iPhone. Lots more to read and applications to try out, which will then require more digging.

Dec 7 – Sitting in my spare bedroom on my old white MacBook entering in the last two days worth of what I was doing at 8:15 PM. Today The class at one of GSA’s office building for the first day of DHS Trusted Tester training. The class wasn’t too bad, since I know a few things about accessibility, but need figure out and use their process. The biggest thing I think is to be able to figure out what tool and what part of that tool I need to use to do a given test to see if the code passes or not.

Dec 8 – Sitting in Cabin John having a second bowl of pasta Fagioli, which is commonly made using cannellini beans or borlotti beans and some type of small pasta such as elbow macaroni or ditalini. Ours had some kale and leftover chopped up ham on the side along with some grated cheese. We all were there trying a lot of different beers. My favorite of all the ones we tried was “The Eleventh Labor”, which is a sour Berliner Weiss brewed with 62 pounds of apricots per barrel, then aged for six months. Not being a beer guy this was the best one I have ever tried. Another day of DHS Trusted Tester training and getting my mind to think like them and to realize some of the things pass because it’s a negative question.

Dec 9 – Walking to my spare bedroom to check on how the updates to Microsoft Windows 8.1 on my netbook were going. Still at 10% or 15% completed. Another big day at DHS Trusted Tester training today. Today seemed to make more sense because they have a way of doing things that isn’t the way I do things or would mark stuff right or wrong. A case in point is page had the correct ARIA HTML code, but the tool and IE11 don’t recognize it, so it was wrong.

Dec 10 – Laying on my sofa watching “The Big Bang Theory” while reading Linda Eliasen’s blog post “On Quitting Part II. Had finished reading the first part. Another day at DHS Trusted Tester training were we finished going through all the rest of the necessary testing steps.  Need to pay attention to the software sections, along the with any of the negatively worded questions and things I don’t agree with to make sure I pass the test.

Dec 11 – ENTERED – 12/13/2015 – Standing in the high-end wine room at Wegman’s in Alexandria looking to see if they had any older Ridge Zinfandel. Finished up the final day of DHS Trusted Tester training. Think I will do well if I take my time, read the criteria for passing, failing, or not necessary.

Dec 12 – ENTERED – 12/13/2015 – I was sleeping. I had a long week with the DHS Trusted Tester training this week. Got up early and attempted to go back to sleep after reading for a bit, but after falling back to sleep a friend texted me, which woke me up with a chime of a text on my phone. After that, I went to the local coffee shop to meet a friend and then home for a short bit before meeting two of them for lunch and then going to two wine stores. They enjoyed learning a bit about wine, and I spent way too much on 11 bottles of wine. Part of my trip was to find a bottle or two of Ridge Zinfandel for a tasting on Tuesday at a buddies place. Once done with that I drove around the DC area to enjoy the nice weather. Once home read for a bit and then I napped for two and a half hours, which is why I’m writing this at 1:28 AM on Sunday, Dec 13th.

Dec 13 – ENTERED – 12/14/2015 – I was watching This is Life with Lisa Ling on CNN. The show was about teaching men how to pick up women called ‘The Seduction Game’.  From what Lisa read on the teachers website, it was completing different of what they showed on TV. It was mostly about building up the guys confidence, along with ways to start a conversation with women. I spent the day reading and then heading to Bob and Edith’s in Crystal City for breakfast. It took forever to get my food, and I’m not sure why. Then I headed over to St. Elmo’s to mostly go over my notes for the DHS Trusted Tester exam for Monday. Luckily I was able to zip up the baseball website, and one of my other classmates did the same for the template website. Having these examples gave me a variety of pages to test and, more importantly, software to test. Next I did some work on my “What Was I doing at 8:15 PM” daily text, which ended up mostly being cleaning up the grammar using Grammarly for the last four or five months.

Dec 14 -Watching Rev Run from Run DMC’s show on Travel Channel called “Rev Runs Around the World” in Tokyo. They are celebrating his oldest son’s birthday. They travel to a bunch of places and do different things. Completed the DHS Trusted Tester exam in about five and a half hours including about an hour for lunch and a few breaks. Managed to get through everything in six pages except the software part of the recipes pages by 12:30 PM. Came back to complete the software part. Once I was done, I went back through all the pages to double check my work because of they way DHS words the questions. By doing this, I found about four answers I had to correct but more importantly found four questions I never answered in the software section of the recipes page. Now we wait about four weeks because of the Christmas and New Years holiday.

Dec 15 – I was in Cabin John for Amiee’s coming home wine dinner homecoming from Afghanistan. It was great to see her home in one piece in the United States. She had a layover after getting here before heading to Indianapolis and then home in Chicago. From what she was saying we were the only ones that knew she was back in country as not to worry others if it took longer to get home than planned. We Skyped with another friend in Chicago that she knows for like 15 minutes before she wandered pas the camera when she thought our other friend distracted when her husband came home. When she saw her and realized what was going on she screamed “You B*itch” and then burst into tears of joy, which made most of the guys manly men start to cry or, at least, tear up.

Dec 16 – Watching American Pickers after a day of starting to review the DOL FOIA pages for accessibility issues.

Dec 17 – Watching Big Bang theory to see what was going to happen with Sheldon and Amy after they kissed for the first time the week before. Sheldon had to choose between spending time with Amy or going to see Star Wars with the rest of the guys. I will leave it there in case people haven’t seen the episode yet. Finalized reviewing most of the DOL FOIA pages to see if they were accessible and found most of them had some kind of issues that needed to be corrected. A few issues will be easier to fix than others.

Dec 18 – Sitting in wine friends kitchen at his holiday party talking with other friends who are mostly Republicans what they thought of the top candidates. For the most part, they agreed the top few were crazy and that the RNC must be having a cow/fit worrying that one of them could be the candidate for the party.

Dec 19 – Flipping through channels on the TV and had stopped to watch “Pit Bulls and Parolees” for whatever reason. Went to St. ELmo’s to meet friends in the morning then wrote out a bunch of bills to be mailed before meeting another friend for lunch. We went to grab Loa food at Bangkok Golden in Falls Church, VA. As usual, we ordered crispy rice salad, duck larb, and pork drunken noodles. Once we were done with lunch, we went to Union Market where I grabbed some French pastries. Then we went to A. Litteri’s to purchase some cured Italian meat for me and a meatball sub for him. I managed to give the two older guys that take care of me most times I’m there with a generous tip, at which point they were even nicer to me than they normally are.

Dec 20 – Sitting in Thia Lemongrass with a friend one last time before they move out west. Earlier today went to Wegmans and had one of their sausage, egg, and cheese croissant sandwiches before heading to Hoffman 22 to see “Bridges of Spies”. After the movie headed to Pho 75 for a small bowl of rib eye and fatty brisket and extra noodles. One I had finished my late lunch went to a coffee shop down the street to have a hot chocolate while creating two blog posts. First one was about what I did at 8:15 PM in August and the second one was for September. When I got home, I read a bit before taking an hour and a half nap.

Dec 21 – Watching older episodes of “Big Bang Theory”, since I had missed a bunch of episodes from last year for whatever reason. Started our first day of Kanban training to figure out the process we need to learn.

Dec 22 – Watching “Chasing Classic Cars” on Velocity. Wanted to be watching “Knife Fight” on the Esquire Network, but my COMCAST cable was stuttering, pixelly, and the sound kept dropping out. Another day of Kanban learning and looking into how to best use the process for us at DOL. Also had an hour and a half meeting in the middle of my Kanban meeting to discuss VETS 4212 projects accessibility issues and demoed them with JAWS when necessary. Even showed them some successful examples within DOL and other outside examples.

Dec 23 – ENTERED – 12/24/2015 – Eating dinner at Wegmans because I needed to get dinner. I wanted to pick up a few things like some cheese, bread, and cookies. The cookies were to take in for hopefully the last Kanban training/workshop of the year. Spent the full day working on getting our Kanban board and terms figured out as a team.

Dec 24 – Sitting at friends kitchen table with the young adults drinking a few wines (1983 Ridge York Creek Zinfandel, 2011 Piccolo Cru, and a 2013 Shotfire Shiraz) I brought with our Christmas Eve dinner. As usual, the food was beyond awesome. They had baked ham, prime rib, roasted pork, Mac and cheese, green beans, stuffing, and many more items that didn’t fit on my plate. Later in the evening, I had homemade pumpkin pie with fresh whipped cream for dessert. I had a shortened four hour day at work. Managed to grab lunch with a few co-workers and then home for a couple hour nap.

Dec 25 – Watching the Jeff Dunham’s “Tanked” for dummies. I got up at 8:13 AM and headed to Hoffman 22 to see the 8:30 AM screening of “Star Wars: The Force Awakens”. I managed to get a seat in the last row center with a minute to spare before the previews started. After the movie went to the Crystal City location of Bob and Edith’s. Once done with my cheese omelette, home fries, rye toast, and sausage. When I got home, I managed to text with a few people before taking a few hour nap. Next did a bunch of reading before going to the Eden Center to grab roasted pork for lunch or dinners and then beef Pho.

Dec 26 – Sitting in spare bedroom double checking my text of my  “What I Was Doing at 8:15 PM” from October. Met a few friends at St. Elmo’s, since the one group had family in from out of town and they figured they wouldn’t all be able to get there easily. After leaving around 12:45 PM I headed over to Pho 75 for a small bowl of raw rib eye, fatty brisket, and extra noodles. Once home read for a bit before taking an hour or so nap. Finally, headed over to Wegmans to grab dinner, a few cookies, salad greens, dark chocolate with cherries and almonds, and a couple of bananas.

Dec 27 – Laying on my sofa in my living room reading the latest edition (3) of the magazine Lagom by Elliot Jay Stocks, his wife Samantha Stocks, and others. I was reading about how to pickle sardines from a recipe from a book entitled “Fish and How to Cook It” written in 1932. Earlier in the day, I went to Wegmans and grabbed an egg, cheese, and sausage croissant sandwich, along with two donuts. The chocolate covered chocolate donut was the worst donut from there I had ever had, and I have a lot of them over my lifetime. It was extremely dry, which made me only eat the top part with the chocolate icing and as little donut as possible. After that, I headed over to the Hoffman 22 AMC Theater to watch Quinten Tarantino’s “The Hateful Eight”, which was shot in 70MM. The movie was about a few bounty hunters trying o get people to the City of Red Rock to get their bounties and others attempting to make sure that didn’t happen all in the middle of a blizzard in the middle of Wyoming. Once the movie was over, I went to District Taco to grab a late lunch of two breakfast tacos with chorizo and two fish tacos. Once I was done with them, I headed to St. Elmo’s to work on gathering individual events from each month of what I was doing at 8:15 PM, along with talking to a few of the people that work there. Now back to adding a few months worth of highlights to my year end what was I doing at 8:15 PM blog post, along with doing a spell and grammar check with Grammarly on what I have so far for December.

Dec 28 – Updating my Fitbit numbers by turning my iPhone Bluetooth on, while reading and article about creating cassette tapes to have a physical form of music. Had put laundry in washing machine about 45 minutes ago and I’m waiting for it to finish so I can get the next load in and this one in the dryer. Today was mostly spent starting to review the new Drupal version of DOL.gov. Have found a bunch of accessibility issues with the templates, along with other issues with individual pages.

Dec 29 – Sitting my sofa watching to New Orleans episode of Andrew Zimmern’s “Bizzare Foods”. At this time, they were talking about boudin and other southern classics that were slowly fading away because none of the young generation are learning how to make them or seem to care about them. The type of boudin sausage they were talking about was made with cooked rice, pork, and a mix of herbs other can contain offal or even blood sausage.

Dec 30 – Sitting in my leather chair in my living room using the ottoman while reading Robert Mills article in Lagom magazine called “A Type of Nostalgia”, which is about his desire to use a 100-year-old typewriter to send letters to people. Today was spent reading over the information gathered by 18F on what they recommendation for accessibility. Towards the end of the day, I got the newly created WHD Contact Us application and went through looking for usability and accessibility issues, which I have found a hand full so far.

Dec 31 – Driving from Wegmans down King St. to get dinner at Caphe Bahn Mi. O ended up ordering the summer rolls and the Vermicelli roasted pork. A relatively easy day work, since the government sent us home three hours early. Added a bunch of issues to GitLab for the new WHD Contact Us application. This year was pretty impressive, since I kept track of what I did at 8:15 PM each night along with adding a sentence or two of what I did during the day if it was interesting. Think I managed to write about 28,000+ words on the subject over the course of the year.


In the future, I plan to post this information once a month at the beginning of the following month once I’m caught up.

Hopefully, this has been helpful to you and gets you to keep track of what you do a particular time of the day, along with a short daily diary.

If you want to meet up to do something exciting at 8:15 PM some evening, please leave a comment. Or a suggestion of something that is not part of my ordinary life you think I should do.

P.S. Need to go back through these 8:15 PM posts and add any links or photos that are relevant to make them more appealing.