Week of August 7, 2023

Hi there! 👋

I took a bit of a summer break from blogging this past month. Here are some of the highlights:

  • I went to San Juan, PR, for work.
    • One of the cool things about working at Automattic is that meetups are a crucial part of our remote culture. We meet up twice a year to work together on a project in-person for 5 days and hang out. This time a couple teams decided to meet up together, so 12 of us were at the meetup.
    • We stayed in the Condado neighborhood at Stay at Mare and did most of our work there, with the exception of a few stints at a coworking space when our internet cut out.
    • We successfully shipped an MVP of an internal project and had plenty of time to hang out by the pool, have a picnic at the beach, and do a walking tour of Old San Juan.
  • When I got back, we had a week to prepare for Charlie’s birthday party, which we hosted in the backyard.
    • We trimmed the hedges, weeded, mowed and trimmed, etc. I also disassembled and fixed a problem with the feed on the weedeater.
  • Charlie turned two! We had a party with lots of his friends from daycare and some family friends. My parents came in from Ohio, too.
    • The theme was Wheels on the Bus and Amanda made all the decorations.
    • We served pizza from Pizzeria Baci, which was a hit.
    • Dan the Music Man provided the entertainment. He is great with kids. They loved the parachute.
    • After a scorchingly hot day, there was a torrential downpour just as the party was wrapping up. Thankfully we had tents, so we didn’t get too wet.
  • Charlie started learning how to ride a 2-wheeled balance bike.
  • I put in a big exhaust fan that mounts to the window frame on our second floor.
    • It is the best purchase we’ve made all year. I wish I had put it in 3 years ago. It pulls air in through the open windows downstairs and pushes it out upstairs, cooling the whole house down. It is essential at night when the outside temp drops to the mid 60s.
  • I finally bought a 24ft extension ladder. Another homeowner must-have.
  • Lots of time outside in the garden, mowing, eating ice cream, taking out recycling, catching lightning bugs, early mornings playing with .
    • On the recycling: Charlie has his own bag of bottles, cans, etc, that he carries out to the road and puts in the bin every Thursday.

A mishmash gallery from the last month:

2 years is a magical age. Their language skills and communication ability increases exponentially around 2 and it is so fun to watch. Charlie has been counting to 10, doing the ABCs, pointing to things and naming their colors (and names if he knows them!) and singing lots of songs.

His physical abilities are ramping up, too. He is making progress on climbing the stairs without holding on to the railing (not quite there, but on his way) and he figured out how to climb both up and down his climbing wall completely solo.

I worked from Automattic’s NYC offices this week for the first time in about a year. I had the privilege of working with Dave Winer, creator of RSS and podcasting, and early blogging pioneer. More to come on that soon. He even gave me a demo of his outliner, Drummer.

It was nice to work in the office for a couple days, but I’m glad that we are remote-first and I don’t have to do that commute every day.

Our cherry tree split in a storm on Tuesday and a huge limb dropped on our fence and garden. Thank goodness for chainsaws, rope, hand saws, and axes. It might finally be time to get that fence replaced.

Despite the tree limb falling on the tomato and tomatillo bed, we are still getting plenty of tomatoes and tomatillos.

We got a mediocre potato harvest this year. A groundhog ate all the leaves off the plant in early July, so the potatoes stopped growing and stayed small.

We have black swallowtail caterpillars on our parsley. We go out every day with Charlie to look at them.

I tried a new orgeat recipe this week. It makes a decent Mai Tai. I was able to stop at Astor Wines & Liquors while I was in Manhattan this week (just a couple blocks from the office!), so I picked up an aged agricole rum (Rhum J.M Gold), a Black Jamaican rum (Hamilton), and the Clement Creole Shrubb, all of which where soon put to use in said Mai Tai.

I’m loving these Campfire Rudbeckia in our front yard.

We went to Sloop Brewing in East Fishkill on Friday night. They have a nice restaurant space adjacent to their brewery. We already knew we like their beer, but their food is also good. We’ll go back for sure!

Their website runs on WordPress and WooCommerce, which I love.

Amanda’s brother, Ben, visited this weekend. We spent Saturday exploring Beacon and Cold Spring, then made dinner, a blueberry pie, and played with Charlie at our house. Charlie made friends with the cat at Split Rock Books. Sunday we went to the Bronx Zoo and then had pizza on our porch for dinner.

Tip: Arthur Avenue, the Little Italy of the Bronx, is very close to the Bronx Zoo. You can get incredible sandwiches and stick them in a cooler for lunch instead of the overpriced and terrible concession food.

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