Monday, July 31, 2017

this box is not entirely useless

We use our stereo receiver with the many speakers connected to it to watch television. The receiver lives on a shelf behind our couch. The contraption below allows us to control the volume on the receiver using a knob rather than relying on a remote control.

I added a nice knob after taking the first pic.

Here you can see a bit more of the key parts.

And here's a video demonstration.

Eventually, if I ever get around to it, I will write an app that lets me control the volume (and perhaps some other features) from my phone.

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Cosmos, Neil deGrasse Tyson style

Watching ep. 1.

(This second pic shows I was there.)

It's a hit! (The pacing was a bit slow for Soren, though.)

the cilantro is done

The cilantro bolted. At least the flowers are pretty, though.

Saturday, July 29, 2017

good as new

In 1999 (I think), I bought this recliner and ottoman. It's an Ekornes Stressless recliner (a Dipolomat, I think). It's super comfortable, and it's lived with me in five apartments and houses.

A week or two ago, I noticed that two of the feet on the ottoman had broken.

I contacted Ekornes, but didn't hold out much hope. What sort of support could I expect on an 18 year old chair? For all I knew, they didn't even make the same parts anymore. But not only did they send me new feet, they sent them free of charge! What service!

Friday, July 28, 2017


Anders and I have had an eye on the carrots in the garden, keeping a lookout for which ones are going to grow huge. This one was so gigantic that we decided to pick it now rather than wait any longer.


Wednesday, July 26, 2017

BLT bites

The first early girl from the garden was small, but half of it was enough for a pair of cute bites.

We have these "pinch" bowls that were perfect for this treat. In each, I started with some mesclun greens from the garden, added a dab of mayo, a couple of slices of tomato, and half of a strip of bacon.

Monday, July 24, 2017


little kayaker

Ready to hit the water. (Note the color coordination.)

Ninety minutes later...

Saturday, July 22, 2017

peak garden jar season

All three garden jars are going gangbusters.

a half of a quartet is a duet

Linda is visiting. Sigrid asked her to bring her violin so that they could do a bit of reading together.

Friday, July 21, 2017

useless, take two

I swapped in a different motor on the useless machine, and discovered that the new motor has a different gear ratio, slowing down the action, which makes it more visible at normal speed (but that doesn't mean it isn't fun to watch it in super slo-mo).

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

what a difference 3 days makes!


Three days ago.

87 days ago.

Monday, July 17, 2017

two wheeler

Seventeen months and 11 days ago—on February 6, 2016—we took the training wheels off of Soren's bike. I took this video of his first or second try that day, which I thought went really well.

But after falling, Soren was done for the day. I didn't bother uploading this video, because I figured I'd get better videos of Soren on his bike soon enough, given how well he did so quickly, on his first day without training wheels.

Soren, however, refused to ride his bike again. Like, ever.

After eleven months of this, Sigrid had had it, and in January signed him up for Wheel Kids bike camp this summer. And over the last six months, Soren has whined repeatedly about how he didn't want to go to bike camp. Today, the first day of bike camp finally arrived. And, minutes after Sigrid left (and then snuck around to watch), Soren was tentatively trying his bike out. Class hadn't really started yet, so there wasn't anyone to teach him yet. Fast forward about ten or fifteen minutes, and Soren had taught himself how to ride his bike!

Seventeen months of refusing to ride that bike, over!

Sunday, July 16, 2017

getting close?

I think this tomato is thinking about turning red.

The one in this middle of this pic is bigger, but is greener than the one above.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

boys at the beach

useless machine

(This idea is not original to me. There is some suggestion that Marvin Minsky at MIT created the first. I went with a design that uses no processing power. A DPDT switch is wired to a power source and a motor, such that flipping the switch reverses the polarity. A second switch turns off the machine when it is in reverse and the mechanism has fully retracted into the box. I had to glue a bit of wood to the bottom of the lid of the box, because otherwise it wouldn't close on its own when the mechanism retracted.)

Monday, July 10, 2017


We finally got our new outdoor signage at work.

Sunday, July 09, 2017

Kwun camping

We camped at Manresa again.

This tree was Charlie's preferred napping spot. It offered afternoon shade for reading. And it was a great climbing tree.

Anders and Gray playing badminton.

"The tipi place." That's what a mysterious post-it note on the ground on said. All was revealed a bit further down the path. (Well, maybe not all, but enough.)

Beach time.

Buried boys.

As much fun to make as it is to eat.

We invited our neighbors to make s'mores with us.