In November of last year I bought a set of wireless earbuds for my commute and quickly fell in love with them—so much so that I gave up almost entirely on wired headphones. The Anker Soundcore Life P2’s I bought were inexpensive and did 90% of what AirPods do at 1/4 the price tag. The only gripe I had with them was that using them to make calls was useless—they cancelled noise but didn’t allow me to hear myself talking, so I had the strange impression that I was shouting with my hands over my ears. Jen says I talk loud on the phone on a normal day, so this wasn’t an optimal solution. But 10 days of solid use between charges, dependable connectivity with my phone, and quality sound reproduction made up for that, and I was extremely happy with them.

A week ago I took Hazel for her morning walk and Jen came out to join me after we’d crossed the street. I took my earbuds out and stuffed them in my pocket so we could talk—but one must not have made it, because I returned home without it. Disappointed, I started looking at replacements, and I was sorely tempted by a new set of AirPods—especially the Pros, which feature Transparency Mode and make phone calls sound amazing. But realizing I hadn’t owned the Ankers for more than a year (I could have sworn it was longer) before one went missing, and given how much I use them, I weighed the cost of losing a $200 AirPod vs. a $70 Anker and went with the cheaper option. This time I got a pair of Soundcore Liberty Airs, which are supposed to be better for making calls, feature touchpads instead of physical buttons, and have a larger set of control options. They’re currently charging in the other room, and I can’t wait to try them out.

 

Date posted: September 27, 2020 | Filed under geek, music | Leave a Comment »

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My bones are creaky this morning because Finn and I camped out in the Chic Shack last night. Before dinner I built a screen for the second window so we could open them both and have a little cross breeze, and that was just right until about 3AM when the temperature dropped. I put fuzzy blanket over Finn’s sleeping bag (and took a corner of it for myself) and fell back asleep. I would have slept sounder if I hadn’t needed to pee at 4AM, but oh, well.

+1, Recommend, Would book a stay again 

Date posted: September 25, 2020 | Filed under finn, photo | Leave a Comment »

The greenhouse is winding down from its peak this summer. I went out this morning and chopped most of the plants that are still producing way back and yanked four plants that have stopped producing out of their tubs. Most of the cherry plants are still producing fruit and some of it is reddening, but there’s a lot of green fruit out there that might not make it through the fall. My plan is to pull the plants out of the bins and hang them upside-down from the roof to send all the nutrients downward to the fruit before it gets too cold. There are two green heirlooms in the same situation; I’m hoping I can get those to ripen as well. Sadly it also means I’ve got to put the door back in place.

I donated to the Biden/Harris campaign last week, voluntarily opening the floodgates of spam campaign mail, and after hitting DONATE I realized I wanted to get a yard sign. Heading over to the store I saw that a 24″x18″ sign is $25, which is entirely too much money to spend on too small a sign. I had some 4×3′ plywood left over from the Chic Shack and I have an overhead projector, so I decided to make my own. It was easy to find a PDF of the campaign logo, and after I printed it on a transparency I busted out the projector and set it up in the living room facing the wall.

Once I had the stencil drawn, I cut it out on the production table and transfered it to the wood. I’d whitewashed the wood on Saturday so it was ready for paint. At Lowe’s I got two pint-sized samples of red and blue paint so I covered the red section and shot the blue through the stencil with the sprayer. When that had dried I masked off the red section with painter’s tape and brushed it on.

From there it was an easy matter of cutting some leftover wood down for yard spikes and pounding them into the lawn with a deadblow hammer. I have to go back out and straighten the west side sign a little bit, but overall I’m happy with the results. It’s right outside the office window so I get to see the neighborhood walk past every day.

Date posted: September 23, 2020 | Filed under greenhouse, politics | Leave a Comment »

Zero 7 (ft. José González): Today. It’s scientifically impossible to make the “samba” preset on a Casio keyboard sound good, but they somehow did it here.

Date posted: September 22, 2020 | Filed under music | Leave a Comment »

warming tray 2
2008

power salute
2009

Second Birthday
2010

Happy Birthday!
2011

Friendpile
2012

Jen, Finn and I
2013

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2014

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2015

Finley owns the dance floor
2016

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2017

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2018

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2019

Date posted: September 21, 2020 | Filed under finn, photo | Leave a Comment »

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Date posted: September 20, 2020 | Filed under finn, friends, photo | Leave a Comment »

Yesterday was my fall cancer checkup in Baltimore, so I drove in to Hopkins for a CT scan and consult with my oncologist. Everything looks OK on the scan, and my bloodwork is trending upwards—I’m still not in the normal range for white blood cells but I’m knocking at the door for the first time since 2018.

My stamina has reflected the low blood cell count; I’m still not at my pre-cancer ability to crank on house projects for two days straight, but I can go for about 4-5 hours solid before I have to stop, and it takes me most of a Monday to rest up before I feel back to full strength. This is all good news, though, and I’m going to continue to push myself in the belief that the work I’ve been doing is making me stronger.

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Date posted: September 17, 2020 | Filed under cancer, photo | Leave a Comment »

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I went to put the Scout back in the garage the other night after dark, and when I hit the running lights I was greeted with the lovely sight of all of the dash lights glowing brightly in front of me. There’s about a one in four chance of this happening at any given time, so this was a nice surprise.

→ This is a syndicated post from my Scout weblog. More info here.

Date posted: September 16, 2020 | Filed under Inspiration, Scout | Comments Off on Illuminating

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Vote.

Date posted: September 15, 2020 | Filed under politics | Leave a Comment »

So there’s been a lot of unrest at MICA (My alma mater) over the last year; there have been multiple allegations of sexual and racial harassment aimed at full-time faculty by the students for years that have not been addressed (some of these teachers I remember, and I don’t doubt the allegations for a minute.) Yesterday a majority of the full-time faculty voted no confidence in the current school administration, including the President, Provost, and COO. In a letter to the Board of Trustees, the group complains of “…poor communication on part of leadership; a lack of financial transparency; excessive workload demands; and unilateral, non-inclusive decision-making practices that neglect the expertise of faculty.”

Notably missing is any mention of harassment or discrimination, which is troubling.

Date posted: September 15, 2020 | Filed under art/design | Leave a Comment »