Week of June 13

It was a long, tiring week. Despite that, I’m feeling really thankful and lucky this week.

  • Both Amanda and I have good jobs.
  • We have a sweet, curious little boy.
    • It is my first Father’s Day as a father. Spending the day going for a long family walk, holding Charlie while he naps, and hanging out on the deck making pizza.
  • We closed on our house at a great time pre-covid and don’t have to worry about the constantly rising rental market prices.
  • We live in a place where we used to drive > 45 mins to get to on the weekends to escape our apartment. We also traveled here by train when we didn’t have a car.
  • We can look up and clearly see the stars at night, something that from 2012-2019 was only really possible on vacation for us.
  • We have a garden where we can grow things. Planting seeds and watching them grow seems like a miracle.

It is so easy to get caught up in the current short-term difficulties. I do all the time. (Teething babies with separation anxiety are no joke!) It is important to remind yourself what you are thankful for to take a longer view.

A father holding and gazing down at his infant son, who is smiling. In the background there are lots of trees.
From the lookout on top of Bear Mountain this week

The most useful thing I learned from studying economics is methodological individualism. Only individuals, specifically individuals with subjective motivations and values, act. Groups don’t act; individuals within that group act. Companies don’t act; employees and owners within companies act. Political parties don’t act; individual voters and politicians act. Keeping this in mind when evaluating situations brings a lot of clarity.

This week in cooking:

  • Lots of big lunch salads. The vegetable shares started up last week, so we have plenty of salad greens coming in right now.
  • Stir fry bowls. Usually some kind of meat + vegetable + sauce + rice. This week it was pork + bok choy and chicken + asparagus + broccoli.
  • Grilled meat + vegetables. Chicken, bratwurst, corn, asparagus.
  • Strawberry cobbler. We got a fruit share along with the vegetable share from local farms this year, and right now is fresh strawberry season. Since the rest of last week’s batch was starting to turn, I made a quick cobbler with almond flour on Thursday morning.
  • Buttermilk biscuits
  • Sausage, kale, cheddar, and onion quiche. I used puff pastry for the crust since we had some in the freezer. It worked pretty well!
  • Tiki Friday: Missionary’s Downfall with fresh mint and borage flowers from our garden.

I’ve been thinking a lot about how to protect my family against the effects of natural disasters, prolonged recessions, cyber attacks, new pandemics, power grid outages, food shortages, and supply chain issues.

I’m thinking about this in a “prepper” way but in a risk-weighted way. I’m not spending my days convinced something awful is happening and digging a bunker. I mostly want to protect against the major downside risks for my family while going about our daily lives.

It is important to keep in mind that whatever we are currently going through is likely not a temporary outlier. (h/t @aspiringpeasant)

I feel pretty good on the food and fuel/energy generation front. I don’t feel great about our water storage, though. Turning my attention to that next.

Currently reading:

  • King of the Vagabonds by Neal Stephenson
  • Best of Edward Abbey
    • Edited by Edward Abbey himself. Using it as a way to figure out which of his full books I want to read.
  • 12 ways to be better to work with by Jaimee Finney
    • The book is full of great reminders for both coworker and client interactions: assuming positive intent, being proactive and following up, tips for diffusing rather than inflaming situations, making situations impersonal and solutions-oriented, and making small changes to critical words to underscore our intentions.
  • Building a Second Brain by Tiago Forte

We got a cast aluminum chiminea for the porch. I’ve wanted one since we moved in. Used it twice this week. Part of the ongoing effort to spend more time outside and away from screens, especially before bed.

Time to press publish and go outside 👋

One response to “Week of June 13”

  1. Jeremy Felt Avatar


    These are the books I am actively reading.

    The Three-Body Problem, Liu CixinThe Long Fall, Walter MosleyHamlet, William Shakespeare, but just barely—my eyes were so tired I had to put it down before finishing the first page.How the Word Is Passed: A Reckoning with the History of Slavery Across America, Clint SmithLess actively reading

    I’m always “reading” a dozen books, some of which I haven’t actually touched in months. These I’ve at least opened at some point in the last month or are collections that I’m working through slowly.

    English Magic, Uschi GatwardComplete Short Stories, Graham GreeneThe Stinging Fly, Issue 46, Volume TwoRecently finished

    Still super close on How the Word Is Passed.

    Chuck mentioned Jaimee Finney’s 12 ways to be better to work with in his weekly note a couple weeks ago and I decided to grab a copy. It was a nice read over breakfast and I enjoyed the tips, especially “silence will hurt you” and “follow up and follow-up”.

    On deck

    The Storyteller, by Dave Grohl, is on the nightstand.Lean Inception, by Paulo Caroli, is on the breakfast/lunch table.Added to the long list

    These are books I’ve run into over the last week and added to some sort of “to one day read” list that is ever growing and will never shrink.

    The Beginning of Spring, Penelope FitzgeraldThe Sense of an Ending, Julian BarnesHow Music Works, David ByrneThe World of Cajsa Andersdotter, Bengt Hällgren

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