Bank of America has decided they aren’t extorting enough money from me, even though I do the majority of my banking though them. They’re now going to penalize their customers for buying things with debt cards—$5/mo. to be exact. I’ll probably keep some money in a savings account with them, but I’m looking into moving my money to a friendlier institution. USAA is looking better and better, but there’s more research to be done.

Five years ago, I could use my shitty Motorola 551 to call my parents from pretty much anyplace around Baltimore. When I got my iPhone, coverage was the same. As the years have gone by, my calls have been dropped more and more. It’s to the point now where I can’t call my parents on my ride home from work; staying connected in downtown Baltimore, along I-95, or driving north up I-695 is impossible.

When Apple releases the new phone next week, I’m going to be standing on line. And I’m leaving AT&T.

Date posted: September 30, 2011 | Filed under money | Leave a Comment »

A quickie: Jen wrote this recap up and posted it today: Third Birthday Party for Ox and Finley.

Date posted: September 30, 2011 | Filed under finn | Leave a Comment »

Lots of things are happening around here, but I haven’t had time to write them all down. In no particular order:

My sister-in law and fiance asked me to come and take a look at a house they were considering purchasing in the Hunting Ridge neighborhood. A little Google-Fu revealed it was the former house of some acquaintances we’d made through friends who live two doors down the street. It’s a beautiful house from the street, but over a year of being on the market hasn’t been kind to it. Walking in the door, I was immediately faced with debris left behind, which included clothes, papers, books, a drum kit, mattresses, and most hauntingly, piles of toys. Knowing the couple had split up, and that their departure was most likely done in a hurry was depressing. In a more positive note, I was snooping through the basement by the light of my iPhone (I hadn’t had time to go home and fetch a flashlight) and came upon an old Cones and Rods poster with my name on it.

Yesterday, before bed, Jen, Finn and I spent about a half an hour playing with a balloon left over from the birthday party. All we did was play a game of keep-it-in-the-air. Time stopped; she giggled.

I have a new brewing kit ready to go, if and when I get some free time to brew it: it’s called Chinook IPA, and it’s a two-step fermentation recipe. I’m already down to about 18 bottles of the English Pale Ale, which has settled down from its initial molasses-like flavor into something that tastes only mildly caramelized. Brew and learn, I guess.

Due to all the rainfall, I haven’t been in the Scout for two weeks, other than to pull it out of the garage to put the soft top back on. I have to source a new bolt for one of the bow brackets, which disappeared while I was reinstalling everything. I’m also going to buy a pair of pipes to use as sleeves for installation of 3-point seatbelts, which I’ll have welded in when I get back out to Chestertown to have the bumper constructed.

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

Date posted: September 28, 2011 | Filed under brewing, finn, friends, Scout | Leave a Comment »


Date posted: September 27, 2011 | Filed under photo | Leave a Comment »

On Saturday, my main website got lightly hacked by SQL injection attack from an IP address originating in Bulgaria. I have some cleanup work to do tonight, but for now things are restored to normal. Here’s a good checklist for how to prevent your website from getting hacked.

Date posted: September 26, 2011 | Filed under housekeeping | Leave a Comment »

warming tray 2

happy birthday muffin


Three years ago today, as you came into this world, I almost passed out. I think I’m still trying to get my feet back under me. I love you, Finn.

Date posted: September 21, 2011 | Filed under comparison, finn, photo | Leave a Comment »

Some signs I designed for the University of Baltimore have gone up around the city; I spent some time last week hunting them down and getting some pictures. When I was stopped on the side of I-95 shooting the billboards with a long lens, and heard the distinctive chirp of a patrol car siren behind the Scout.

UB billboard 2, V1

The officer (a Transit Authority cop) was very nice; when I explained what I was doing and why, he somewhat apologetically asked if he could see the shots I’d taken, and then explained why. I thanked him for his time, asked if I could shoot the final billboard, and we both went on our way.

UB billboard 1, V1

Below is the product of three coats of normal oil-based polyurethane on our office floor. When we originally did the floor we used a water-based polyurethane, but after four years of usage it wasn’t holding up at all. After moving all of the furniture off the porch, I sanded the edges with steel wool, knocked some of the high spots down, and laid better product down. Tonight I’ll begin the process of putting furniture back where it belongs (we counted the number of times we’ve moved stuff out there; we’re up to 4).


Date posted: September 19, 2011 | Filed under art/design, house, photo, porch | Leave a Comment »

Jen and I took Finn to her first day of Pre-K this morning. Jen did a ton of work to make sure this place was the right fit, and I feel awesome about her experience there already. The building is a total throwback to the cinderblock schoolrooms of my youth, but filled with warm, cheerful decoration, and the staff is energetic and caring and friendly and everything I’d want for my daughter. I snapped a few pictures with Jen’s camera, and I’ll put one up a little later in the day.


Standing outside the door, several parent/child pairs were waiting quietly as we walked up, chatting with each other, the children (mostly) stone-faced and rooted to the spot. Our daughter walked up, introduced herself to some of the other children, then decided to dance, run in circles, and explore the width of the driveway. No social fears, this one has.

Date posted: September 15, 2011 | Filed under finn, photo | Leave a Comment »

OK, I fixed the issue I was having with my Flickr feed plugin last night; I’m not sure exactly what the issue was, but it’s working now. It seems like a lot of people are using that to get to my Flickr account, because as soon as it went down my view counts dropped to zero, and now that it’s back up my counts are back up again.

Sadly, it looks like the fuckheads running Yahoo are looking to sell it to somebody; apparently AOL is interested in buying/merging the company, which means nothing but trouble. So, added to my housekeeping list for the site: shopping around for a new method of serving photos (or adding them all to the site itself).

I’ve been holding back on tying my Facebook account to my Flickr feed, and I rarely link to weblog posts on Facebook, but I’m thinking that having things more tightly organized would be nice.

Brian and I cracked the first two homebrews of the new batch in Corolla, and while they weren’t perfect, they weren’t bad, either. I think the sugars got cooked too hot and caramelized a bit, which gives the batch a slight molasses flavor, not unlike (but not nearly as strong as) the Hefeweizen batch. I poured out 12 more bottles of the Hef on Sunday, and I think there might be one 6-pack left down there.

Date posted: September 12, 2011 | Filed under brewing, housekeeping | Leave a Comment »



Friday morning we filled the Scout up for a beach adventure, and struck out for the sand above Corolla. Finn’s seat strapped easily to the rear bench, and she happily held on to Ox and Kasoogi as we left the pavement and drove north to find a quiet patch of ocean to ourselves. Once we’d parked, she laughed and played in the surf, and I carried her into shin-deep water to brave the breakers together. It was great to see Chewbacca out on the beach again, and I tried to shoot as much of the experience as I could for Brian.


After returning home (and a short road nap in the Scout), we adjourned to the pool for the afternoon, taking advantage of the last sun of our stay. Burgers on the grill accompanied whatever we had left over in the fridge, and Brian started mixing drinks as Mama and I waited for Finn to fall asleep. Note to self: beware the offer of a Mudslide on the evening before the trip home.

Date posted: September 10, 2011 | Filed under finn, photo, travel | Leave a Comment »