Weeks of November 6 and 13, 2023

Busy couple of weeks. I didn’t write last weekend because I spent the whole weekend doing work around the house: Putting things away for the winter and mulching in the leaves outside, and moving things in the basement, garage, and attic in preparation for getting foam insulation in those spaces.

We were out of the house Wednesday through Friday morning to let the foam set and outgas. We got an Airbnb here in Peekskill. The house we stayed in was built around the same year ours was built, but not as well maintained. The basement was damp and dingy, the paint was peeling on a lot of trim, the floors were largely unlevel, and it had a base smell of old cigarettes (though obviously covered with a lot of primer.) It makes me thankful for our home.

I’m really looking forward to seeing what kind of difference the added insulation makes. Before we had bare rafters in the attic! I also need to put the weatherstrip on the doors and windows. The goal was to cap off the main place where heat was escaping (roof) and the weatherstrip will deal with the incoming drafts. Then we’ll reevaluate.

I’ve been bouncing around a lot with my book reading, starting lots of books that haven’t stuck. I think I’m scrolling too much on social media again. I started a new book (Candle by John Barnes), which I’m now halfway through. I credit that to putting my phone on the other side of the room while reading this week.

Attention span is a muscle and sometimes it needs retraining.

With it getting dark so early, it is time to start prioritizing morning walks again, as well as restarting my D3/K2/magnesium supplements.

WordPress Site Editor question: I know how to set default site-wide padding for certain blocks, but how do I pick which block style is default for the site? For example, for the Separator block, I want to set the Dots style as the default.

We attended a Friendsgiving at Meg and Jeremy’s on Saturday. Amanda baked a Milk Bar Pumpkin Pie cake, I made a punch bowl, and we made a sweet potato side dish. The kids provided the music.

We had a nice sous vide pork shoulder, pastrami and rye dressing, roasted potatoes with fennel, homemade butter, crusty bread, and roasted cabbage. Good meal!

An appetizer I enjoyed more than I expected was breaded and baked Boursin, served with water crackers. IMO much better than baked brie.

Charlie got to ride a pony again today after Amanda’s lesson. He was excited about it for the past three days. The English saddle was hard for him to hold on to, probably need a Western next time. I bet he will want to take real riding lessons in a couple years.

More Charlie photos from this week:

This NY boy loves a bacon egg and cheese.

Charlie loves to be included and help with whatever we are doing. While we were picking the last batch of tomatillos for the season, I noticed that he liked peeling the paper off the outside, so when it came time to wash and peel them, I asked him to help. It kept his attention the entire time and he helped with the entire bowl. Afterward, he enjoyed sorting them into two different bags. (Ignore the messy sink and kitchen. We did dishes after Charlie’s bedtime, I promise!)

The Peekskill Library has a children’s room with lots of great books. Charlie enjoyed picking some out this week, so I think we’ll be there a couple evenings a month. We discovered that the deli the next block over also makes a great chicken over rice platter (which Charlie absolutely houses), so we go there afterward and pick up dinner.

This OpenAI situation is wild. I don’t have any commentary other than I’m looking forward to finding out more real details about why sama was ousted. Did Ilya get spooked by new research, try to pump the breaks while Sam charged forward, and coordinate the board to push Sam out?

Looking forward to more El Yud hot takes.

I love that the firing went down over Google Meet. Even OpenAI with Microsoft as a huge investor, doesn’t use Microsoft Teams 😆

I took apart my dryer for the first time today. It started making and awful squealing noise, which my Dad said is most likely the idler pulley. Changing that requires taking the whole thing apart, including pulling the drum out. I’m thankful that there were a few YouTube videos to watch and that Dad was available to FaceTime a couple times to answer my questions and talk me through a couple steps.

I wish I had paid more attention watching Dad take dryers, refrigerators, and ovens apart while I was growing up. Half the battle was trying to get the thing taken apart in the first place, and having seen someone do it would have made replicating that easier. That said, I probably did see Dad do that a couple times (I know I was always by his side, holding the flashlight, and interested in what he was working on), but seeing something 20+ years ago is tough to recall. I guess so much of learning is doing something yourself and figuring it out. Next time it will go a lot faster because I figured it out this time.

Charlie woke up from his nap and wanted to check it all out. I always appreciated my Dad being patient with me and showing me how stuff worked, so I took some time to show Charlie. He helped blow out the blower housing with the air compressor, too.

I’m surprised that old dryers, especially gas ones, don’t catch on fire more often, given how much lint gets past the lint screen and packed around the blower assembly and in the bottom. I took some time to vacuum the whole thing out and blow out the blower housing with the air compressor while I had it all apart.

When I put it back together, the squealing was gone, the drum still turned, and it heated up, so I think I did it right.

Charlie wanted to help me put the screws for the control unit back in. “I fix dryer too!” I got the final screws started and let him finish them.

I made a Digital Garden page for this:

I’m really excited about FeedLand‘s implementation of Reading Lists. The general idea that you can subscribe to an OPML file of feed URLs that gets regularly polled and resynced. So you are subscribing to a list of feeds rather than individual feeds, and you see the items from the feeds on that list in your reader. Cool stuff.

Since FeedLand generates OPML for each user, I’m also able to subscribe to other people’s subscription lists and their changes flow downstream to me. I’m busy subscribing to as many blogrolls in OPML format as I can find. That is where the best stuff comes from.

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