Real Seattle Rain

I woke up pretty early the other morning and it was raining out (I love September in the Northwest), so I grabbed my DR-05, leaned it against the bedroom screen and let it run for an hour or so.

I distract rather easily from ambient sound, especially conversation, so I often reach for white noise or nature sounds to fill my ears while I work, but it bugs me not knowing where these random recordings come from. Who captured this? Where was it made? When? Why? So I figured I'd grab some local rainsound of my own, and it came out okay — good enough to fall asleep to on the couch over the weekend, while the kids were in the other room shuffling through Legos.

Please to enjoy, and happy napping.

Sunset

Sunset

Mt. Rainier, from the western edge of Lake Washington near Magnusen Park. When I can manage to remember to, I like to come by here with a book sometimes, after the kids go to bed, just to remind myself where we are, and that this is all still here.

Driftwoodhenge

Driftwoodhenge

Kids made this over the weekend.

Miniature Papa totally wouldn't mind hanging around this place for a while: miniature campfire, miniature hammock, miniature copy of Infinite Jest, miniature beer (or actually the beer would be normal-sized) — I'm just saying, it wouldn't suck.

Hi.

Hi.

A visitor to Shaw's Cove, one of the dive spots I frequented when I lived in Southern California (actually the one where I learned to dive), taken last month on one of our semi-annual visits.

Cookies

Cookies

My wife makes these at least twice a week — no sugar, no dairy, no eggs. I've no idea how. I think there's maple syrup in there, maybe some chia seeds, oatmeal, and depending on what's around, either raisins or chocolate chips. Sometimes both. Always awesome.

It's the Journey

It's the Journey

A shot from our usual walk home off Phinney Ridge, just a few days after we arrived in Seattle in May of 2008. We miss Phinney. We're in Kenmore now, which has its charms and comforts and conveniences, but yeah, we do miss the Ridge. Be good to get back there someday.

How to Make a Good Cup of Coffee

How to Make a Good Cup of Coffee

Oh, Internet, why do you worry so much about making the perfect cup of coffee? You're overthinking it. There really isn't that much to it.

  1. Put some water into a tea kettle. Put the kettle onto the stove and turn the burner under the kettle to high. It doesn't have to be a Le Creuset — any kettle will do. Hell, even a little pot from Ikea will do. Just get some heat under some water and bring it to an almost-boil.

  2. While the water's heating up, grind some coffee. I use a hand grinder. It only takes a couple of minutes and it doesn't wake up your kids. You don't need a hundred-dollar piece of machinery — all you need is something that can crush dried beans into powder. And don't stress over the fineness of the grind, either. It'll be fine. People have been doing this for thousands of years, man. Relax.

  3. When the kettle begins emitting steam, turn off the burner — the water's done. Don't worry about the exact temperature, because it doesn't really matter. It's hot, and hot is all you need. Full-on boiling is maybe too hot, though, for two reasons: it can burn the coffee (which isn't the best flavor in the world), but more importantly, it can sputter and burn you. A little steam with a few little bubbles gathering at the bottom of your kettle is hot enough.

  4. By the simplest method possible, get some hot water through about two tablespoons of ground coffee into a cup of your liking. I use an Aeropress, which makes one cup at a time. You might have a French press or something lying around — that doesn't matter, either. Just get the hot water, somehow, through the beans you ground up a few minutes ago, leaving behind as much of them as you can. Top off your cup if you like; I do. I use a different cup every day, so the dilution is always different, and do you know what? It's always fine.

That's it. Now go drink your coffee and relax in the knowledge that even if it's not absolutely, moleculo-gastronomically perfect, it's probably pretty good, and you've got plenty more of them to look forward to in your future. Adjust your methods accordingly, but seriously — it's hot water through beans. Keep it simple.

Possible

Possible

I love this quote from Philip Greenspun's book Philip and Alex's Guide to Web Publishing (1997) that I noticed just before we decided to stash all our stuff and go live on a farm in Ohio for a year:

When the network infrastructure is powerful enough for most houses to enjoy video-rate bandwidth, the computer will be able to support your collaboration with other people. If you had TV-quality video and audio links to your collaborators and a shared workspace, you wouldn’t have to commute to work or fly around from city to city so much. Though I don’t like to predict the demise of a 3,000-year-old trend toward urbanization, it indeed seems possible that collaboration tools might enable some people to move out to the country yet still keep their urban jobs.

Yep. I guess it's possible.

Meet the Guinea

Meet the Guinea

This is a guinea. He lives with us. He's awesome.

His official responsibility as an FTE Resident Animal of the Farm is eating ticks. I'm not sure how many he actually eats, but we haven't been bitten yet (although I understand we're a ways outside tick season), and he's cool and we like him and he likes to hang out and make guinea noises.

Out for a Picture Walk

Wherein the boys and I go for an afternoon walk with our cameras, skip a few rocks on the ice, and bump into an unexpected visitor.