Category Archives: Home life


I took the kids up to visit family in Alaska (and chase a few halibut – got three). I did, of course, take the Kindle because the daughter is a bookworm and flying takes a while. I teased her about the number of paper books she was taking when I’ve got a lot of them on the Kindle. While in AK we visited the Friends of the Library bookstore (great place) and got out with less than $20 in damage for our two large stacks of books we picked up. That evening, the on/off button on the Kindle died. The flight back was delayed due to mechanical problems with the plane. We ended up spending more time than expected in the airport. I ended up starting the 1943 edition of Marcus Aurelius’ Meditations on the flight back. In, obviously, very dead tree format.

After doing some testing, I’ve pretty much confirmed that my old Kindle Touch is (a) out of warranty, and (b) the power button is dead, and (c) while it’s technically fixable I can buy a new kindle for more than the cost of a “proper” repair because the switch is an integrated part of a larger sub-assembly and cannot be replaced standalone. (BTW, some cell phone repair places work on Kindles, too). I can plug it into a computer’s USB (not just a power-only USB to recharge it) and when I unplug it or eject it on the computer it will turn on, then function normally. I cannot turn it off, however, nor can I adjust the time-out before it auto-turns off. So, it’s awkward to do, but it’s still “sort of” usable.

Score one for the old-school paper books, may they never truly go away.

BBQ cupcakes

That was different.

It’s been hot and dry here. Maybe not the near-biblical hot and dry of a Texas drought, but pretty darn close for the PNW. As my neighbor said, looking at the wast-high brown on the unmowed part of the lawn, “that’s late August grass, not early July grass.” So cooking inside seems like a bad idea. My daughter, though, wanted to bake something. Turning on the stove wasn’t an option. Indoor heat generators are a Bad Thing when the AC already can’t keep up. So she asked if we could cook them outside on the grill. Well, we’re already planning of grilling steak for dinner. Hmmmm… Maybe…. Continue reading BBQ cupcakes

Happy Solstice and Father’s day 2015

The longest day of the year for those of us in the northern hemisphere. The sun is as far north in the sky as it will go, ~23.5 degrees north of the equator. The warmest days are ahead, but only ever-shortening days. A fascinating day for all of recorded  human history, as for most of it we’ve not really understood why the length of day or seasons changed. It was THE GODS!, they declared, and worshiped accordingly. Studying / developing spherical geometry to try to understand the motions of the stars, planets, and sun, some early people like the Babylonians counted in base 60, which stays with us today in seconds and minutes.

Of course, for most healthy adult males, becoming a father is comparatively trivial (and many do that likely shouldn’t, and some don’t that likely should). It’s being a dad that really counts. That’s where the difficult, persistent, consistent, thankless work is. To the scum that managed to spawn and then run away to let others raise them, this day is NOT for you, even if you technically qualify. This is for those that stay involved with the mother of their children, and their children’s activities, giving them as good a role model as they are able, supporting and guiding them. It doesn’t mean being their slave – far from it, but doing what is best for them in the long run.  Moms are necessary for optimal family health… but so are dads.  The family is a unit, that works best when intact. So, for the dads out there, doing their best with what they have to work with (internally and elsewhere), Salute!