Sushi Class

A few weeks ago we celebrated Matthew’s birthday with a sushi class for the family.

We started off by practicing our knife skills. No fingers were harmed:

Next we added the ingredients and rolled everything up:

Not bad for our first try:

My rolls weren’t much to look at, but they were still delicious.

We spent a few hours rolling and eating and all had a great time:

I’m looking forward to taking more classes like this, but I think next time I want sushi I’ll let an expert make it for me.

Christmas Lights

We finished the outside lights today.

It always feels a little strange decorating for Christmas when it’s 70 outside, but I’m used to it.

We put up the tree the weekend after Thanksgiving.

Now I just need to wrap all the gifts I’ve bought.

Pizza Night

Our fresh produce from a local co-op yesterday included Roma tomatoes, basil, and a couple heads of garlic. So obviously I thought pizza.

I got out the pizza stones and peels and mixed up a batch of dough. While the dough rose I got the rest of the ingredients ready.

Not everything was from scratch. The sauce came out of a jar.

The kids’ meat pizza, ready to go in the oven.

The finished product with pepperoni and Italian sausage.

We also made Paige’s favorite margarita.

And my favorite, prosciutto with roasted garlic and arugula.

Smoked Pork Shoulder

Today was a “wellness” day at work so I got a four day weekend for Labor Day. A perfect time to smoke some meat.

It was still dark when we got the charcoal lit. I added some mesquite to the fire and put 15 pounds of pork shoulder in the smoker.

After ten hours at 250 degrees, we had two chunks of meat like this.

After a few minutes of shredding and chopping we had a feast.

We’re Doing Fine

How are you?

What a crazy time to be alive. I’m not even sure where to start.

In case you haven’t heard (ha!), there’s a new strain of the Coronavirus going around called COVID-19. Many people are sick, some are dying. We’ve all been told to stay inside our homes for the foreseeable future. Everyone should work from home if possible. Schools are closed. Restaurants are take-out or delivery only.

If you must leave the house, stay at least 6 feet away from everyone else – “social distancing”. People are stockpiling things like hand soap, disinfectants, and toilet paper. People are really going crazy for toilet paper, buying as much as they can get their hands on.

But like I said, we’re doing fine. None of us are sick. We have plenty of food (and toilet paper). The kids are on their third week of spring break, but they start online classes next. As for me, I’ve been working from home full time for the last year and a half so everything seems pretty normal to me.

We do get a little stir crazy sometimes, but for the most part we’re introverts so this hasn’t been too bad. It is a shame we won’t be taking a vacation this year. Now that it’s starting to warm up outside we’ve been taking advantage of the pool. A staycation won’t be so bad.

Stay healthy, keep to yourself, cover your cough, and wash your hands.


I love living next to the Brushy Creek Trail. I get to see some interesting wildlife on my daily jog, mainly squirrels and a few rabbits.

There are a couple big hawks that like to perch on street lights and fences. I’ve never been able to get a good picture of one, until today.

I saw him on the fence as I was walking up the sidewalk and just started snapping pictures. It was pure luck that I got one just as he took off.

Twenty Years

A funny thing happened on this day twenty years ago. After seeing a few people write dated updates on their web sites, I thought it might be interesting to try it myself. So on September 9, 1999 I wrote my first blog post.

Of course, most people didn’t call it a “blog” in those days. It was just a web page. To my knowledge there were no blogging tools. I was still writing HTML by hand and uploading pages via FTP.

Today I’m writing in Ulysses on my iPad. When I’m done I’ll tap the screen a few times to publish. 20-years-ago me would think this was straight out of Star Trek.

I never really got in the habit of posting every day, or even every month. But when I had something interesting to say, I would sometimes update the site. Things continued this way for about 10 years.

Then, around 2010, the updates stopped. An easier way to update the world appeared. Instead of sharing on individual sites, almost everyone jumped on to social media.

If you look back at many of the old blogs, you can see this happening. Once everyone got a smart phone things really exploded. Even people who had never heard of HTML could instantly share text and photos with the world.

For me, times have changed again. These days I try my best to avoid social media. I can’t believe the time I wasted scrolling through updates that an algorithm thought I might find interesting.

These algorithms are designed to keep users scrolling. Clever (or wealthy) individuals can manipulate what appears in order to sway opinions and sell products. I have personal experience with how this is done.

Whew, this has turned into quite a rant. Maybe I’m getting old and feeling nostalgic. Jason Kottke recently pointed out a thread on Ask MetaFilter called Any old-school bloggers still posting? if you’re feeling nostalgic, too.

There’s a Facebook gap in this site that I thought I might fill in someday. I’ve downloaded all of my data, I just need to find the time to write a program to do the work. Maybe that’ll be done in time for the site’s 30th birthday.