Help Me Find a Bed

Please help me. I sleep on my side. Most nights my hip sinks into my bed, pulling my back out of wack and giving me a backache. Nearly every bed I’ve had in my life has started to sag in the hip area after a few months. Do you know of a bed that doesn’t have this problem? Please don’t write saying “I’ve never had a problem with xxx bed.” Most people haven’t had a problem with ANY bed. I’d like to hear “I had a problem with several beds but found THIS bed to be better…”

A partial lineup of the beds I’ve killed:

  • Actually, the waterbed I had in high school (thanks mom & dad & 1980’s!) didn’t have a problem.
  • I killed a bunch of beds through college and after but I can’t recall the deets.
  • 1999: I think it was a new Sealy Posturpedic. I killed it
  • 2003: Bed in NJ. When I moved in 2005, it was starting to feel pretty bad
  • 2005: I slept on a portable Aerobed for 6 months. It was awesome.
  • 2005: store model Macys bed. I lay on it in the store for an hour and loved it. I had it at home for 2 weeks and my butt sank so low, it felt like I was in a lounge chair. Returned.
  • 2006: new Ikea Sultan queen bed. I had to throw it away after 3 years
  • 2009: another new Ikea Sultan queen bed. I killed it.
  • 2012: Megan’s queen size bed for 3 years. I killed it.
  • 2015: Nest Alexander Signature Select – Medium, King size. After 1.5 years, to keep my back sanity, I have a 2″ mattress topper, and I put a towel between the mattress topper and mattress (over the course of 2 months I go from 0-3 layers of towel to give increasing support) and every 2-3 months I have to rotate the bed 90 degrees. Originally I had to rotate it every 4-6 months.

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!

Problem Solved! I don’t get to say that often enough!

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, 30 seconds 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!

It’s weird, I don’t remember having this problem when I was a younger man. Maybe it’s a localized chicken problem? I wouldn’t think so because I’ve noticed the problem with several different brands of eggs, even fancy, organic, pasture raised, not-debeaked, hormone-free, etc etc eggs. Last week Megan cooked some eggs and at least 2 of the 6 eggs were hard to peel. What gives?

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!