A Brave New World

Late last year, I discovered that someone had hacked into the Wordpress blog that I’d hosted for years on a Dreamhost server. It took me awhile to clean up the mess, and I took the opportunity to simplify things by leveraging systems offered by my employer. For starters, I decided to switch to a static website that could be served up from an Amazon S3 bucket, rather than requiring its own server.

Instant Pot, week one

We joined the Instant Pot revolution last Sunday. Here is a run-down of the recipes we’ve tried, in the order we tried them. Beef Stew. I deviated from the recipe by using a whole can of tomato paste, and by skipping the wine and parsnips. I also substituted chicken broth for beef broth. It turned out great and we’ll definitely make it again. Easiest beef stew ever. Chicken Yum Yum.

2016 Review

I am sure I am not alone in thinking that 2016 was a very strange year. Not much to report, but definitely looking forward to 2017. Travel: We took family vacations to Vancouver BC in February, Santa Barbara and Disneyland in March, and Cannon Beach in September. I went to Hyderabad for work in June, followed by a week in Berlin (and one day in Luxembourg). And I went to Kennewick for work in October.

Disneyland, take 2

We went to Disneyland in May. This is our first trip with two kids, and second overall. Here are my notes from the first trip. Hotel: We stayed at the Courtyard Marriott Theme Park Entrance, and I’d definitely stay there again. It was closer to the park entrance than the Disneyland Hotel, and at least $100/night cheaper. Our room had bunk beds for the kids and a separate bedroom. The waterpark was fabulous and I think James liked it more than Disneyland.

2015 Review

I haven’t made any New Years Resolutions! I usually make a couple dozen resolutions and track them carefully. But this New Year snuck up on me. Life: This year has been about figuring out how to live with two children. I don’t know how any couple survives more than two kids. The first kid is difficult, but manageable. Adding another kid is exponentially more difficult and less manageable. Three kids? No f’ing way.

It's Your Store

I worked for Albertsons for 10 years, between 1989 and 1999. In those days Albertsons was a company run by good ol’ boys (emphasis on boys). Once, my Store Director pulled me aside and informed me that “women just are not cut out to be leaders. Never forget this.” The men who worked at the district office took obvious pride in being tyrants. They would publicly berate store employees if there was a single item misplaced during a store visit.

Today's food for thought

Why has human progress ground to a halt? - Michael Hanlon - Aeon.

What I did on my winter vacation

I took December 25 through January 2 off work, and accomplished quite a bit: Celebrated Christmas (three times, technically). Started pruning an ornamental fruit tree that hasn’t been pruned in the five years we’ve lived here–it is a mess! Pressure washed the parking areas and front walkway. Installed our new kitchen faucet (which took a lot longer than I expected, and was a great learning experience with several skinned knuckles along the way).

Goals

The trick to setting goals the right way – The Washington Post. An effective vision is what we’d call an idealized image–a portrait of the best possible future that can be visualized. This is the kind of speech tactic that someone like Martin Luther King was so good at–speaking about the best possible future but doing it in a way that resembled a story. The key is that the best visions are mini-stories or mini-movies.

Rational self interest will only get you so far

‘Billionaires’ Book Review: Money Can’t Buy Happiness | The New Republic.