Week of September 19

My thirty-third weekly post! A good week at work, some autumnal fare, a sick baby, planning ahead,and some WordPress data exploration.


Charlie surprised us this week! We played a children’s song playlist on Spotify and he started doing hand motions to some of the songs. We had no idea they were doing that at daycare and it was really fun to see that. Over the weekend he started sounding out a songg by himself without music playing and making hand motions.

Daycare had picture day and Charlie’s photos were adorable. He knows how to ham it up for the camera.

Amanda realized that after a day of playing with other kids, Charlie needs some quiet snuggle time when he gets home, so one of us holds him on the couch or on the porch while he has a snack and the other parent gets dinner going. Such a sweet time with our little boy.

Charlie graduated to taking a bath in the regular tub instead of the baby bath that sets in the tub. He loves playing with floating tug boats and the faucet.

Poor little guy got sick at the end of the week and is having a tough weekend. He was supposed to go to the first day of fall swim lessons on Saturday, but unfortunately he couldn’t. He is snoozing on me while I type this.

When Charlie wakes up from a nap on either Amanda or me and looks up and smiles because he realizes he is snuggling with one of us, it melts our hearts.

Projects & work

My Jekyll Tools repo reached 100 stars and 30 forks this week!

I don’t use Jekyll anymore, so I haven’t updated this in a couple years. Cool to see it continue being used. I’d be happy to take PRs and add other contributors.

I published a post exploring WordPress core contributor stats:

I learned how to use pup (a command line tool for processing HTML) and Datasette (a tool for exploring data) while compiling this.

The post generated some community discussion on Twitter, and I learned:

I helped Charlie’s previous nanny (who we hired for a couple months when I had to go back to work but nighttime wake ups and feedings were still tough and Amanda needed to get some sleep) set up a website for her business this week. It is nice to walk people through using WordPress for the first time and take them from not having a domain to launching a landing page in under an hour.

I had a really good week at work. I can’t talk about most of it, but I’ll just say that I got a lot of work done, got some good feedback, helped out coworkers, and moved some important projects forward.

Food & Drink

A few things of note this week (I won’t bore you with the ham sandwiches or grilled chicken):

Amanda made bacon cheddar chive scones with our garden chives.

I made the first lentil sausage soup of the season. It was chilly in the second half of the week!

Lentil, Sausage, Potato, and Greens Soup – Cook Like Chuck
This is one of my favorite soups. As soon as the cold weather sets in, I make this at least twice a month.

I made one of my favorite quick meals again this week: Turmeric black pepper chicken and vegetables. Takes less than 30 minutes and is delicious. Charlie eats it, too. Asparagus, green beans, broccoli, and snow peas all work well.

Turmeric-Black Pepper Chicken With Asparagus Recipe – NYT Cooking
In this sweet and spicy stir-fry, black pepper, honey and rice vinegar help accentuate turmeric’s delightfully earthy qualities Thinly sliced asparagus doesn’t need much time to cook, but feel free to swap with any other vegetables that cook in just a few minutes, like thinly sliced green beans, frozen peas or baby spinach Serve this with rice or rice vermicelli noodles, or tuck it into a lettuce cup or pita with yogurt and fresh herbs

I finally bottled the orange bitters I started in April.

  • It turned out good! Closest to Regan’s, but has a bit more spice. Nice in Manhattans and Boulevardiers.
  • I used 6 oranges last time and 12 oranges this time. Next time it needs to be 18 or 24 to get the intense orange flavor I’m looking for.
    • I don’t know how some of the brands of orange bitters out there get the flavor and color. I think they use orange extract and caramel coloring.

The recipe for this batch is up in my digital garden.

I have a bunch of 1oz eye droppers of the stuff. If you want a bottle, let me know!


  • Cold weather is coming. Time to start thinking about getting garlic and flowers that need a cold period (black-eyed susans, milkweed, echinacea, poppies)
  • We’ve been toying with the idea of expanding our deck and maybe putting an outdoor screened in porch on part of it.
    • Do we need permits?
    • Can we do this work ourselves?
    • How big is too big?
  • We planned a trip to Lake Placid.
    • What are the must-dos/sees?
    • What is good to eat around there?
    • What are some good books set in the area to read while we are there or listen to on the drive up?
  • I’m looking for some good autumn reads. I’m starting with Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead by Olga Tokarczuk. What else should I read?


Currently reading:

  • The Adirondack Reader by various authors
  • Dancing at the Rascal Fair by Ivan Doig, second in the Montana trilogy
  • The Juncto by Neal Stephenson, fifth in the Baroque Cycle series

Around the web

Cool things I read or dug into for the first time this week.

Robin Rendle’s notes on taking care of your blog:

Blog your heart! Blog about something you’ve learned, blog about something you’re interested in. Blog about cameras or HTML or that one browser bug you’ve noticed this morning or blog about the sky above you right this very second. How many clouds are up there? Blog about your annoying kids and your fucked up relationship and blog about that terrifying time when you went to the beach with some people you weren’t really friends with and you got drunk and then it got real dark and you didn’t have a tent so you slept on a sand dune all night long.

I say again to ye: just blog!

There are no rules to blogging except this one: always self-host your website because your URL, your own private domain, is the most valuable thing you can own. Your career will thank you for it later and no-one can take it away. But don’t wait up for success to come, it’s going to be a slog—there will be years before you see any benefit. But slowly, with enough momentum behind it, your blog will show you the world: there will be distant new friends, new enemies, whole continents might open up and welcome themselves to you.

The revitalization of NY’s waters:

Nine humpback whales recently surfaced there together, spouting and breeching against the city skyline as though vying for the most dramatic selfie. Fin whales and right whales are also appearing in startling numbers—along with bottlenose dolphins, spinner and hammerhead sharks, seals, blue crabs and seahorses. Oysters, which all but vanished decades ago, are clamping themselves to bulkheads from Brooklyn’s Coney Island Creek to the Mario Cuomo Bridge, almost 20 miles up the Hudson from the city.

Off to hold a sick baby and maybe make applesauce from the two bushels of apples on our table 👋🍎

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