Archive for the ‘General’ Category.

Parenthood Joy

Wonder and joy!

(this montage is from way back in 2018)

Back Yard Life

Cistus Victor Reiter in our Backyard

Cistus Victor Reiter in our backyard. Picked out by Abigail at Annie’s Annuals. :-)

California Poppy

From my backyard :-)

ISO Kids Music

ISO good music for our 6-year-old. Recently our family has been loving Jim Gill on Spotify. In the recent past we’ve loved Tom Chapin, Laurie Berkner, the A Year With Frog and Toad soundtrack, and the indomitable Raffi.

Phone spam

In the past 2 days, I’ve gotten some 40 spam calls and 10 spam texts about getting medical care. I’m thankful that my phone is filtering most of it out but… yow, is this going to be the new normal?

The Mystery Spot!

I visited The Mystery Spot in Santa Cruz last weekend, some 35 years after my first visit! Instead of my parents taking me, I took my wife and daughter. It was both hugely nostalgic and and a lot of fun! Our guide, Chris was awesome!

So Many Phones

I’ve bought my 3rd phone on in 3 weeks. I’m kinda over it. But third time is the charm, right?

My old phone, a Pixel 2 had this one quirk that I didn’t notice for the longest time: the audio on recorded videos is very quiet. EVERYTHING else works and I couldn’t find a fix for the audio problem so… buy a new (to me) phone!

Pixel 4… I realized it didn’t have fingerprint unlock, only face unlock. Face unlock doesn’t work when you’re wearing a mask and… ugh, I would much rather that the phone unlocks when I push the magic button and not when it sees my face.

Pixel 3… the top speaker didn’t work. So I could do everything except take phone calls with it. So, a smartphone that did everything except “phone”.

Pixel 3… third time’s the charm, right?

[Update 5-2-21] [Sad Trombone] The third phone is a fail. Some kind of image stabilization problem when recording videos. Blah!

Camping & Hiking Resources

We visited Yosemite and Sequoia National Parks over spring break, taking a Moterra luxury camper van.

Here are some camping & hiking resources we used
Gypsy Audio Tours – We really enjoyed hearing the audio tours while driving through the park, even multiple times.
National Park Service individual park guides, good for finding the main attractions
– National Park Rangers. Go to the Information Booth at the entrance to the park and ask questions of these flat-hatted fonts of information and good vibes find national park campgrounds and activities
National Park Service app, find National Parks

We heard about these resources and will use them next time
All Trails find trails
The Dyrt find campgrounds
Campendium find campgrounds

Hard Boiled Eggs in a Pressure Cooker – WIN!

Using my new pressure cooker method, hard-boiled eggs reliably come out of their shells without damage! Before I discovered this method, about 1 in 5 eggs had unsightly tears and 1 in 20 eggs got so chipped and torn, they were essentially unusable. Unacceptable!




– Add about 1 cup of water and up to a dozen large to extra large eggs to the pressure cooker.
– Cook eggs for 1 minute at high pressure (it takes a few minutes to get up to pressure), then let them cool in the pressure cooker naturally at least 7 minutes and up to… I dunno, I’ve left it for 15 minutes and the yolks were only slightly green.
– Put straight into an egg carton and into the fridge to cool for use later.

This method reliably avoids:
– undercooking (the yolk being soft or gooey)
– overcooking (the white being hard, the outside of the yolk turning green)
and most importantly…
– sticky shell (the shell sticking to the white so hard that the white tears when shell is peeled off)

It is a joy to peel them every time! It is still helpful to peel under running water to wash off tiny shell fragments, but not required.

My pressure cooker is a Fagor Lux Multicooker. The manual says it runs at 9psi. Your pressure cooker may be different. For example, the Instant Pot reportedly runs at 15psi, but then I’ve also heard Instant Pots cook slightly slower than the Fagor Lux. Whatever! Experiment a little!

I’ve tried a lot of saucepan timing and temperature methods that kinda-sorta-sometimes work. I tried ice baths before and after cooking. I tried using vinegar in the pot which sometimes helped but wasn’t reliable and boiling vinegar makes the house smell funny. Different pressure cooker timings work but my 1 minute pressure / 7 minute cooldown version is the easiest, most reliable so far!

Thank you Gail for giving us the Fagor Lux pressure cooker!

It’s weird, I don’t remember having this problem when I was younger. Maybe it’s a localized Bay Area chicken problem? I wouldn’t think so because in recent years I’ve had the problem with several different brands of eggs, fresh eggs, older eggs, even fancy organic pasture raised not-debeaked hormone-free etc… etc… eggs. But when we hard boil them in a saucepan, we reliably have 2 out of 12 eggs be a horrible, messy failure! But no more! I am in pressure cooked hard boiled egg heaven!

(This is something of a repost, but my updated method is so much better that I had to share!)