Archive for the ‘General’ Category.

Help Me Get RC Cars

Can you help me get a pair of RC cars for Abigail and I? She took an interest in my RC plane but the learning curve is way too steep there for someone who’s never done RC!

I’m thinking we want:

  • Offroad, through our back yard, on woodchips, in playgrounds, I think that means a buggy or truggy.
  • Probably under $100 including everything for each

I tried looking online for some good vehicles but finding real and legitimate buying advice was daunting. Sadly, I don’t really have a local hobby store. I’d be happy to buy used if I had any idea what I was getting!




My Burning Man Experience

While I didn’t get to go to Burning Man this year, I got to help build one of the most dangerous pieces at the event this year, so that’s pretty awesome!

I love teaching a flame effects class at The Crucible. A student of mine took what he learned in the class (and his own moxie!) and made this fire happen in 2016:


This year, Toby upgraded the fire on the Boring sign! More fire! Bigger fire!


And even more wonderfully, he consulted me about a very awesome piece he put the fire on called “Night At The Climb In” by Dustin Weatherford. The fire sits on top of a 50 foot tower that’s been skewered with cars and a camper!

It’s got multiple solenoid valves including several 1″ valves and a 2″ valve, a sweet (and safe) propane warming system, and a diffusion plate that let it create huge rings of fire!


Are people climbing on top of a stack of junked cars without any kind of safety equipment? Yes they are! Sounds dangerous? Yes it is! That could lead to headlines like this in USA Today: Burning Man towering art car installation closed after someone fell off!

BLACK ROCK CITY, Nev. – Safety rangers have closed one of the most popular art installations at Burning Man after someone fell off it late Tuesday or early Wednesday morning.

Artist Dustin Weatherford on Wednesday confirmed someone fell off “Night at the Climb In.” He said he didn’t know their condition, adding, “I hope they’re OK.”

Burning Man officials didn’t immediately return a request for comment. Weatherford’s installation consists of seven junked cars topped with a small RV trailer, spiked onto the desert with a tower about 50 feet fall, topped with flamethrowers.

The annual Burning Man event, which is actually a pop-up city where pretty much anything goes, is in the Black Rock Desert, 120 miles north of Reno, Nevada. This year’s festivities run from Aug. 26 through Sept. 3 and are expected to draw 80,000 people.

Wednesday morning, a trickle of attendees rolled up to the sculpture, which is now surrounded by yellow safety tape and guarded by volunteer Burning Man rangers. Rangers said they also had concerns that one of the cars about 20 feet off the ground had either bent or broken in half. Weatherford said the car posed no safety risk and the sculpture remained structurally sound.

Until Wednesday morning, Weatherford’s tower had been one of the most popular attractions at the festival, with dozens of attendees climbing up. Like many of the interactive Burning Man sculptures, the tower had no safety rigging or guardrails for people as they clambered over the stacked cars to reach the top.


Was this the most dangerous art piece at Burning Man 2018? Tell me in the the comments!

Hard Boiled Eggs in a Pressure Cooker – WIN!

I don’t get to say this often enough… Problem Solved!
You know how sometimes the egg shell sticks to your hard boiled egg when you’re peeling it, making an awful mess? I HATE that!

I’ve tried many different ways to remedy this but here’s what works: 4 minutes in the pressure cooker makes hard boiled eggs where the shells peel easily every time.

You can fiddle with the exact timing… 4 min… 5 min… natural release or quick release. Right now I do 4 min of pressure, 5 min of turned off, and then open up the cooker. It is a joy to peel them every time! It is still helpful to peel under running water to make sure there are no tiny shell fragments but not required. I’ve tried lots of timing and temperature methods that kinda-sorta-sometimes work. I tried using a tiny bit of vinegar in the pot which seemed to help but wasn’t reliable and boiling vinegar makes the house smell. We have a Fagor Lux Multicooker pressure cooker that is just terrific. Thanks Gail for giving it to Megan and I!

Wedding Photography

I overheard a conversation among some people that had hired wedding photographers. some weren’t happy with the results… not enough photos, not dynamic shooting, “could have done as well myself”…

It reminded me that Megan and I are VERY happy with the wedding photography we got from Lydia Daniller some 4 years ago!

Chez Panisse: Bucket List Check Mark!

This message is about 11 months overdue but I still have to say that last September, for our birthdays, Megan and I went to Chez Panisse for lunch. It was an amazing food experience, a culinary touchstone for years to come! Going to Chez Panisse had been on my bucket list for almost 20 years and, having gone, yes, it deserved its place!

Dearly Loving Fire

I still dearly love fire. I saw this today and squealed with delight!
(click to load the 10 second video or go to the link below)