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.
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.
I always giggle at these.
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.
The resolution is terrible, but I love these guys.
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.
Last Sunday morning walking the shores of Magnusen Park. Man, I love this place.
Learning to skate along the Burke-Gilman.
Always surprises me when they come up with things like this.
Grand Canyon earlier this year, a stop on our great cross-country roadtrip.
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.
You'll hear it.
Designed for Umbra by Alan Wisniewski.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
My father and I are both engineers, but the kinds of things we make couldn't be different: he's a mechanical engineer, so he builds mostly physical things, whereas mine tend to be more virtual. Even my hobbies — photography, filmmaking, various flavors of design — are nearly all pixel-based and happen in front of a screen, generally at the direction of my fingertips. So whenever I get a chance to make something in the physical world, I usually try to have fun with it.
My wife asked me to make her some candlestick holders for the holidays. Our in-laws are in the process of finishing their basement, so I figured it might be neat to grab a few discarded chunks of 2×4 and see what we could make from them. Here's how it went.
Yay! I did manage to injure myself (by dropping my brother-in-law's old, insanely heavy drill press onto my finger), but on the whole, I'm pretty happy with the result. It's fun to work with wood.