Five things for the week

Merry Christmas!//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js
  1. This. Just… we just need more of this in 2019. Throughout the whole year. I know that I want to do more. I love random, anonymous, acts of kindness. I’ll be looking to do more in 2019.
  2. There’s an 80% chance I’ll be buying a car (used) this week. We have been a one-car household for the latter half of 2018 and it was okay. I’m starting to realize, though, that I need to get out into the world a lot more often than I have been, lately. A car isn’t the answer but, it definitely would help.
  3. I’m enjoying the daily Connect Four games my wife and I have at our dining room table. It’s one of her favorite games and we recently started playing it again.
  4. I rejoined Nextdoor (since our move back to CA) for our new neighborhood and yeah, it’s still a dumpster fire of a social media platform. Now, instead of arguments breaking out between random strangers, I can witness arguments breaking out between neighbors. Fun stuff. Thinking about deleting the app again.
  5. Merry Christmas!

Recently read, watched, and listened

Read

I wasted my time on Lee Child’s The Christmas Scorpion. Sure, it was cheap and just meant to be a short story but, I got no enjoyment from it whatsoever. I can’t even throw my “it’s entertaining because it’s part of a series and even if it is predictable, like every other procedural, I still am entertained” defense because, I wasn’t.

No excuses but, all of my other reading this week was school and work related, all in the interest of closing up all of the loose ends before going out on vacation.


Watched

Once my workday (the last of 2018) ended, I started watching Season 8 of Voltron: Legendary Defender. I love this series and think that Dreamworks did a good job with this reboot. The season (I’m only 4 episodes in as of this writing) is a slow burn; definitely building up to something big.


Listened

The simple joy of loading all of my music onto my iPhone, opening the music app, and then letting the songs play on shuffle. I get to hear songs I forgot I had, artists I forgot had existed and wonder what they are up to now, and feelings and imagery I haven’t visited since, in some cases, decades. Even when I’m home alone, I still opt to put on my headphones and let shuffle run its course. I’m able to get lost in both what I am doing and what I am listening to.

Some of my favorite “rediscoveries”:

And then, pretty much the entire Michael Jackson catalog. He was a musical genius.

Love/Hate Instagram

My continued love/hate relationship with Instagram continues. Love because it’s where the people I want to keep in touch with are (more so than other social media sites right now), and hate because of… well, everything else.

It could be said for any social media site, really. But, it’s stuff lie this that really makes me hate the platform:

I’m going to be making a lot of salsa

I have reached the point where I am tired of trying to find the right “jarred” or pre-made salsa, and am now on a mission to begin making my own salsas from scratch. It’s a very odd thing but, I have made salsa from scratch exactly 0 times before this past weekend. At least, I can’t remember ever having made my own.

Which is a weird thing. My dad would make homemade salsa periodically. It’s good salsa but very chunky, which isn’t my favorite texture for salsa, so I never really was interested in making his. It is good, though. 

I don’t know, I always resorted to just buying salsa from the store, whether jarred or the “more fresh” ones from the deli areas. And if I wanted any kind of “real” salsa, I just went out to restaurants to get my fix.

No more! I need to start making my own, which means experimenting with ingredients and textures until I get something that I really like.

Making my own salsa

This past Saturday, I started with my first one. It’s slightly modified from this recipe on Serious Eats, where I omitted the sugar, used fire roasted tomatoes, used one each serrano and jalapeno pepper, and opted for red onion instead of a yellow. I also opted for chipotle chili powder for some extra flavor. 

On a scale of 1 – 10, I rated it a solid 8. I liked the way my food processor turned it into almost the exact texture I wanted. I love the color of it, especially the little green specks of cilantro. It had decent heat to it. I just wanted something… more. I think that the tomatoes I used were a little too sweet, still.

food processors are great

It did turn out good enough where I can see coming back to it, working it into a regular rotation. Perhaps for those occasions where I need to lean on a tried and true recipe.

Here’s the recipe for my version:

Ingredients

  • 1 28-oz can fire roasted tomatoes
  • 1 serrano pepper,diced
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, diced
  • 1 cup of cilantro leaves
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup diced red onion
  • 2 tablespoons of chipotle chili powder
  • Salt to taste
  • Juice from 1/2 lime

Directions

Put all ingredients in food processor and blend until smooth.


Five things for the week

peeking

Photo: The above picture is blurry. I caught her staring at me from underneath the tree while I was sitting in the adjacent chair writing out a grocery list. So I quickly switched from Notes to Camera on my phone to grab this shot before she raced away.

  1. I have all of our recurring bills on auto-pay. It’s nice knowing that payments will be taken care of, automatically, on the same day each month. It’s one less chore I have to do. But, I still have reminders setup to periodically check in on them, as well as continually check statements when they come through. Just in case.
  2. My foray (back into) mechanical keyboards may have started obsession. Much like writers obsess over fountain pens, and artists over brushes, and thousand of others who have already ventured into the weird wonderful world of mechanical keyboards… I already have a substantial list of other keyboards that I want to try/buy.
  3. One of the projects that I want to start soon is to document our digital life (financials, files, photos, and network setup) for my wife. In the case anything were to happen to me, I want her to have something that would walk her through getting to all of the important data that she needs to get to.
  4. We attended a taco party, yesterday. Basically, just a party where there was a taco bar. I was in charge of salsa and guacamole, which I enjoyed making (both from scratch). More importantly, it felt good to get out and socialize with friends.
  5. The week will be my last working week of 2018, and I’m excited to get through it. Here’s looking forward to unplugging soon.

Recently read, watched, and, listened

Read

This article about unlikely friendship has made its round on the internet but, if you haven’t yet read it, I fully recommend it.

This post about Product Managers is also a good read. This is the area that I work in, and the area where I’m still learning quite a bit. Product/Project Management is an industry in itself and I find it all fascinating.

I did start another book but got nowhere near finishing it, so I won’t include it in this week’s post. I, again, have been swamped with work and school. My final project (school) is due this week and I’m so close to completing it.



Watched

Avengers: Infinity War –With the Avengers: Endgame trailer released, it was a reminder that we hadn’t seen this last one. So we watched it. And we’re entertained, somewhat. I hate watching movies where you already know it’s going to lead into another sequel. Also, I’m almost at my limit with the entire superhero genre; it’s over-saturated. 

Ocean’s 8 – I wanted to like it but was bored the entire way through. Great ensemble cast (of course) but things were too tidy and too easy. I was never a fan of the Ocean’s movies because of this. 


Listened

I’m not a huge fan of end of the year lists (best of this, best of that) but, I do appreciate end of year music lists. I like to revisit songs/albums that I listened to close to their release but may have already forgotten about since. I also like to scan these lists for works that I missed. Rather than post all of the lists I have been scanning, I’ll leave you with this one, from NPR’s All Songs Considered, and let you carve out your own rabbit hole from there.