Week of June 6

As I write this on Sunday morning, Charlie is napping on me. I’m sitting in that one Ikea chair everyone seems to have, Charlie’s head is on my shoulder, he is wrapped up in a blanket, and my laptop is perched on a pillow on my lap.

Some sweet Charlie vignettes from this week:

  • Having dinner as a picnic on a blanket in the backyard, Charlie enjoying every bit of it and feeding himself from his own bowl of chicken, rice, and cauliflower.
  • Charlie taking turns feeding Amanda and me.
  • Charlie saying “Dada” while I was looking the other direction so that I’d turn around and play peek-a-boo with him. First time saying my name to get my attention so that I’d do something!
  • Taking Charlie swimming and him having a thrill each time I disappear under the water across the pool and pop up next to him and his Mom.
  • Charlie learning how to stick his tongue out in the mirror, then sticking it out at us when we stick our tongues out at him.
  • Charlie is strongly in favor of self feeding, so we’ve been having a lot of fun putting together little plates and bowls of whatever we are having for him to self feed. This week it was ham, eggs, cheese, toast, and hashbrowns for breakfast, deconstructed taco salad, deconstructed cheeseburger, chicken, rice, and cauliflower bowls, and sushi (avocado roll) for lunch/dinner.

The potatoes, tomatillos, tomatoes, lavender, and borage are blooming! Growth has been a bit slow this year. After a few scorchers in May, it has been fairly cool. Looks like it is heating up next week, so we’ll probably see some nice growth this week.

Jon and I got his pergola all framed in! The 6×6 beams were freshly milled and very heavy. He had two dry ones laying around from a project last year, and they were half the weight of the wet ones.

The main skill in woodworking is not executing plans, but figuring out how to adjust when those plans don’t go as expected. For example, we spent a decent amount of time today figuring out how to adjust for a half inch gap between two 12ft beams that were supposed to be abutted. Ended up taking 1/4in off one end of the brace and 1/4in out of the brace’s opposite end housing on the post. Worked!

Also, one of the beams was actually 5.5×5.5″ instead of 6×6 like all the others, but didn’t catch it until it was already up, braced, and pegged, wondering why the two abutting beams didn’t match. We adjusted by cutting the shoulders a bit deeper on the one we hadn’t pegged yet.

We got smart toward the end of the framing and made templates to make cutting the mortises go faster, and used a router to clean out mortises and cut shoulders and brace housings.

We decided to get an Ooni Koda 16″ pizza oven. We tested it out on Saturday evening. I burned my calzone and charred one margherita pretty good, but the two other pizzas came out pretty good. Looking forward to improving my dough shaping technique and dialing in the temperature. Porch pizza summer.

Our tiki journey continues, too. I made my own pimento/allspice dram and honey syrup this week. The pimento dram: Toasted, crushed allspice berries soaked in rum for two weeks, mixed with equal parts brown sugar, vanilla, cinnamon syrup. Honey syrup: Equal parts honey and hot water.

I’m looking forward to incorporating more fresh fruit into the tiki drinks as it comes in season.

The tiki and pizza projects are great examples of how approaching something as an ongoing, long-term endeavor changes how you do it.

When you only make pizza once every couple months, you tend to try to make one of each of your favorite kinds, which becomes stressful with all the varied prep and execution. When you make it once every week or two, you can focus on 1-2 kinds each week, which takes the pressure off, makes prep easier, and allows you to dial it in.

Same with tiki. You can make 1 syrup/add-in each week, which allows you to explore that flavor in a couple drinks. Then after two months you have a wide variety of flavors to choose from and a better understanding of what you like.

I wrote a couple big bash scripts this week. One for work to pull data from a CRM and transform it into a sqlite database to hook up to Metabase for visualization, and one personal script to automate archiving website backups monthly (pulling the latest backups from my webhost’s API.) I used curl, jq, and tr pretty heavily. I posted some learnings in my digital garden.

Less reading this week than I’d prefer. Finished Quicksilver by Neal Stephenson and started King of the Vagabonds, the next book in the series. Also made some progress on Neuromancer by William Gibson , which I hadn’t picked up for a few weeks.

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