Today I slept in, to about 8 or so when the light coming through the shades finally woke me up. I had homemade pancakes for breakfast, from a batch Jen made on Thanksgiving morning. I had a cup of coffee, which tasted good again.

After we got our collective day started, I went outside into balmy 60˚ weather and opened up the garage. Inside, the Scout hadn’t been run up in over a month (since radiation and chemo began) so I squirted some starter fluid into the carb, unhooked the trickle charger and got her rumbling out in the sunshine. The lifters all ticked at first and then calmed right down into a slow burbly idle, and I kept her running for about 10 minutes until the temperature gauge came up to normal. While that was happening I pulled the hose carts in for the winter, tucked the grille in under the porch, and replaced the old, fraying tarp out on the woodpile with a shiny new one.

At about 2 our neighbor the electrician came over to rewire some of the stuff he’d put in years ago before we reoriented the bathroom. While he was up there Jen and I took a walk downtown for coffee to get out of the house, and took the long way back home. The sun and the air tasted so good I just wanted to drink it.

By 4:30 he’d done as much as he could do; we have to narrow the closet opening by about 4″ to allow for switchboxes on either side (2 for shower light and fan, one for closet light). He’s going to put an outlet under the front two windows and another under the back two windows. There are a couple of other small things to wrap up, but drywall is much closer to getting done than it was.

After dinner, the girls went down the street to see Santa visit Catonsville with the neighbors. When they got back we all got into PJs and read Chapter 2 of The Order of the Phoenix together; Finn is in a total Harry Potter place right now that will not be interrupted by anything other than The Last Jedi in a couple of weeks. We’ve got a nice thing going where we each read three pages aloud to each other until we finish a chapter. I think I look forward to that part of the day most of all.

Date posted: November 25, 2017 | Filed under general | Leave a Comment »

Hey! Look at that. I’m not a complete moron and I can still fuck around in code and CSS and make it work, usually. Years ago, when I set up the Scout blog on my other domain, I found a way to syndicate it over to this blog so that posts there would show up here. Partially because this weblog is the running history of my life, and partially because I wanted to see if I could do it. That was years ago and I’ve always been annoyed with how the syndicated posts show up in the feed. A while ago I hacked at it a little bit and got WordPress to spit out the category name as a class so I could restyle the header and link colors (that’s why they show up as blue) but there was never any real context for what those posts were. I fooled around with conditional statements this afternoon and now there’s something that explains what these are and why they’re there.

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The doctors told me that coming down off the steroids I’m on would cause emotional issues this week; I’m going to blame them for the following. SPOILER ALERT.


Watching the end of the first episode of Stranger Things this evening, when Hopper came home to his cabin with two meals set at the table, and Eleven sat down with him, I cried in happiness.

Date posted: October 30, 2017 | Filed under entertainment, geek, general, housekeeping | Leave a Comment »

This case has been called the Citizens United of products, but this time the Supreme Court actually came down on the side of the people instead of the corporations.

I didn’t expect this result, but the Supreme Court just ruled in favor of consumers in the Impression v. Lexmark case, which basically says companies can’t enforce US patent rights abroad–the result of which means we’ll have cheaper foreign-manufactured generic drugs and, yes, cheaper ink cartridges.

Date posted: May 30, 2017 | Filed under general, shortlinks | Leave a Comment »

Four knots every filmmaker person should know.

Date posted: May 22, 2017 | Filed under general, shortlinks | Leave a Comment »

Date posted: May 22, 2017 | Filed under general | Leave a Comment »

There hasn’t been a Sears near us for a while, but anytime I venture into the one, I’m amazed they’re still in business. I read a Businessweek article a few years ago about the crazy Ayn Rand disciple CEO who is running it into the ground, but the news that he’s going to sell Craftsman off to Stanley/Black & Decker is a shock. I have a couple different sets of inherited Craftsman tools (read: 20 years old) in my collection, and with the exception of anything I’ve bought from them lately, I know they stand for quality. As a hedge fund manager, the CEO is going to make out fine either if he saves Sears or if he craters it, but hopefully the folks that make and sell Craftsman tools will come out OK.

Date posted: January 8, 2017 | Filed under general, tools | Leave a Comment »

I have Longreads set up in my Flipboard feed as a great source of excellent journalism and storytelling. Here’s the Longreads Best of 2016 list. Pour a cup of coffee, kick back, and enjoy.

Date posted: December 18, 2016 | Filed under general, list, shortlinks | Leave a Comment »

I love everything about this: The machinists who keep the New York Times running. Part engineer, part mechanic, part inventor, part investigator. It’s obvious how much pride these guys have in their work, and how rare this kind of job is in an ever vanishing industry.

Date posted: December 11, 2016 | Filed under general, shortlinks | Leave a Comment »

Old Line Plate is a Tumblr with Maryland-based recipes. It’s been around for a number of years, but could use more regular updating. Still, there’s some interesting stuff in there.

Date posted: November 18, 2016 | Filed under general, shortlinks | Leave a Comment »

Today I got up, made coffee and breakfast, put on my work clothes, and went out to split some more wood. This involved badgering my neighbor via text enough times that he dragged his splitter over and we set up a (dis)assembly line. In about 4 hours we went through a good number of rounds and made a pile of split, stackable wood that we estimate is about 3 cords. According to this calculator I’ve already got 1.5 cords in my cradle.


The weather was perfect for being outdoors. After lunch we picked up two six-packs of tasty session IPA, one from Burley Oak and one from Firestone Walker, and both were delicious. By about 4:30 we were done, so he hitched up the splitter and took it home while I gathered the chips for kindling and straightened the pile. Then I sat with Finley and showed her how to fix the wheel on her new wagon: drill the axle, add a washer, and secure it with a cotter pin. It got dark before she could really play with it too much, but I’m happy to see it getting love again.


The week was a long haul–lots of early mornings in and late nights out of work. We did close on the mortgage, which is great. Finley assisted with another goal in her soccer game today, before going down in a collision with another player. Jen texted me and said it was “like the Simpsons Trampoline,” which had me laughing after I was assured Finn was OK.

Now I’m laying in bed wondering if I will be able to move in the morning.

Date posted: October 29, 2016 | Filed under finn, general, house | Leave a Comment »