Recently read, watched, and listened


Watership Down Richard Adams’ book was one of my favorites. Watching the recent Netflix series left a bad taste in my mouth so, I decided to reread this to remedy that. Still a classic. I still so very much love the darkness in this book.


Ralph Breaks the InternetI think I’m just tired of sequels, no matter what the franchise. The most interesting scenes were with the Disney princesses, but even they felt more gimmicky than I expected them to be. This movie was also longer than it needed to be.

Bohemian RhapsodyI expected better. The only highlight was watching Rami Malek’s stellar acting job. The story was just… so not what I know about Queen and their story. Watching this is like watching a movie adapted from a book; it wasn’t true to the characters or the story. This movie did spur me on to buy the video of their actual LiveAid performance, though.

Behind the Curve My interest in this was akin to watching a trashy reality show to simply remind me how extreme people can take their beliefs. I truly support that everyone is free to believe what they wish to believe. It’s just fascinating to see people believe, and defend, something that has been debunked so many times.


Ep. 43 of The Dave Chang Show this is an excellent conversation between Dave Chang and Jerry Saltz, on art and artistry. One of life’s constant lessons is “be who you are and screw everyone else”… but, why is it so difficult to do this?

First outdoor grilled dinner 2019

First outdoor grilled dinner 2019

It took me until Feb 28th to finally get a chance to grill a meal outdoors (first for 2019). That’s too long, especially considering that we’re in California and I don’t have snow working against me anymore.

Today, I had the ingredients, I had time, and we got a break from the rain (BTW, I love the term “atmospheric river“). So I started simple, just throwing some teriyaki marinated chicken breasts on the grill (after giving it a good cleaning).

Paired with a baked potato and some more artichokes and all before 7 PM. That’s amazing! We’re looking forward to many more outdoor grill sessions.

So clean!

I recently bought a Magnasonic Ultrasonic jewelry cleaner. Ever since first seeing these in my optometrist’s office, I have wondered about having one for home (but never really followed through with it until now).

Two things about this:

1) I never realized how truly dirty my glasses were until I used this thing. It was a little disgusting when I saw the state of the water after the first glasses cleaning.

2) I want to take this EVERYWHERE and use it all the time! It is almost ridiculous how clean my glasses are now, and how clear everything is.

We used it to clean our wedding rings, too. That worked well though, they still need to be polished. I also ran my Swiss Army knife through it and was impressed; the knife looks almost brand new.

I’m now on constant lookout for other things I can run through the cleaner. Highly recommend getting one of them if you can.

Five things for the week

  1. I have to make a very difficult decision in the name of my health. This will take an opportunity away from me but, it’s needed. I need to heal. This was inevitable; I admittedly have been putting off this decision for quite some time. It’s time I verbalize it, take action on it, and stand by it. I need to heal.
  2. The best technology gets out of your way and allows you to do what you need/want to do. If you have any technology, hardware or software, that gets in your way, get rid of it.
  3. I learned that Cattleman‘s is a real steakhouse restaurant (not just something on Fresh Off the Boat)! There’s one about 25 minutes away from me so, I’ll be indulging soon.
  4. Just shut up, put your head down, and write.
  5. I can’t work on messy, cluttered desks. I don’t understand how others can. Physical clutter clutters my mind (at least, I think so) .

Recently read, watched, and listened


Giving Myself to My Garden and Keeping Enough for Me Christine Lee‘s excellent column about care, self care, care for others, and taking care of, well.. care.

The Curse of the Twitter Reply Guy I have to admit, there are time where I fall into at least one of these categories. I do appreciate being more aware, though.

Fujifilm X-T1 User Manual I spent some time with this and the camera, to re-acquaint and customize some of the settings. Shame on me for letting this camera sit on the shelf as long as I have. I also started making sure that it’s always within arm’s reach of where I am.


One Strange Rock I played these episodes during lunch breaks this week. Earth science fascinates me. I used to get excited about biology too (there was a brief while when I wanted to become a marine biologist). I enjoyed the astronauts’ perspectives, and love how the series illustrated how everything is so connected.


Noisli For the most part, I had iTunes on shuffle this week. There were quite a few times, each day, when I had to cut the music and use Noisli to focus in on getting some tasks done. I used it to pump out a few technical documents, muddle through a very busy email inbox, and do some user acceptance testing on some new development. It’s a good tool; I like it a lot.

I’m just… tired

she goes where the sun goes

I’m just… tired.

I hit a mental wall around 3:30 this afternoon. Thankfully, that was about the same time that my last conference call had ended.

This week, the workdays have started around 5 AM with conference calls. That’s the perk of working for an international organization, on a project with stakeholders in practically every single time zone. I always keep in mind that these calls could be even earlier.

The effect the early morning calls have is that I still need to get my work done throughout the day, in my own time zone. So, I usually end up working some pretty long hours. Sure, I take breaks…

I should take more of them but, the work!

So, here we are at the end of the workweek and all I really want to do is what my cat (pictured above) does while I work… I just want to curl up and sleep!

4 for $5

pressured for 18 min

I love artichokes. The store had a sale on them, 4 for $5, so I grabbed four and we’ve been having them for dinner this week. I remember driving around the farms in Camarillo, CA and seeing hundreds of artichoke plants. I wonder where these came from.

I used to steam them (for about 45 minutes) but have discovered that the Instant Pot does a much better job (high pressure for 17 or 18 minutes). The only thing, in my opinion, that beats this is when I drizzle them with olive oil and toss them on the grill.

Last night, we had these along with some roasted asparagus and a few veggie spring rolls. It was the first meatless dinner we’ve had in a while. Nice and easy, and quick.