Posts by Year

2018

Food geek shopping spree bonanza

1 minute read

I’ve been freelancing for the past few years. It was overall good, but I’d be lying if I said there weren’t some lean times. Clients who didn’t pay on time, ...

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2015

Kimchi

3 minute read

This year my folks got me The Art of Fermentation for my birthday. Ever since then I’ve found myself fermenting all the things. It’s a fascinating (and delic...

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2014

A Toast

1 minute read

This past weekend I attended the wedding of my friends Ben and Stacey. I was asked to give a toast during the reception and prepared a few words in advance. ...

Running Songs

1 minute read

Since just before the prior post, I’ve been using the couch to 5K iPhone app. Despite tendon and knee problems (which I probably shouldn’t be ignoring), I’ve...

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2013

The Pause That Refreshes

2 minute read

Rather than beating about the bush, let’s just get right to the point:

Requiem for a Science Museum

2 minute read

Soon after I moved to San Francisco I purchased a basic membership to California Academy of Sciences.

Open all the things…including my home

1 minute read

Even before I moved to San Francisco, friends have joked that I’m running some sort of flop house. My San Francisco apartment has been dubbed “Vicky’s Home f...

Spoiled

less than 1 minute read

Today…

Wherein the Author Does Not Understand

3 minute read

Due to the topic of this post, I’ve bypassed the Informality Filter through which this text would normally have passed as it’s written. The te...

Pondering my shoes

3 minute read

I spend a lot of time walking. Sure, I love my bike and I’ll even use public transport when necessary, but walking is my preferred mode of getting from place...

Ragù Bolognese

2 minute read

Pasta Bolognese and Kale salad Ragù Bolognese is, in my opinion, the reigning king of pasta sauces. Sure, there are other splendid ways to ...

More crackers

less than 1 minute read

This afternoon I was standing in my kitchen preparing a snack of crackers and cheese (and sriracha). Surveying the munchables laid out on the counter I thoug...

Inked

3 minute read

No, it’s not henna

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2012

Hario Drip Pot and a Coffee Ritual

3 minute read

Last week I pulled out my pile of filing, sorting it into Keep, Shred, Recycle piles. During that process I stumbled upon an old unused Williams-Sonoma{.brok...

Long time no see

less than 1 minute read

We walked to the farmers’ market. Few things grabbed us until the seafood booth. Fresh. Very fresh. One could even call it “dead fresh,” if that didn’t sound...

Multigrain Congee (aka Jook)

2 minute read

The rain started sometime after midnight and didn’t stop until sometime in the afternoon. The day was grey and dreary, but at least it wasn’t too cold. Still...

Lentils with Sausage

2 minute read

This weekend I was pleased to host an East Coast friend who needed a place to crash before a business trip began. I wanted there to be hot food awaiting him,...

Onomatopoeia

2 minute read

I recently added an audio notification to my email. The intention is to keep me from checking it every couple of minutes. “Did you hear the sound? No? Then y...

The next project begins

1 minute read

My parents found and mailed me an old wool blanket, large enough to cover a double bed. It set them back a whole $2.50. The lighting is bad in this photo so ...

A Minimalist’s Home Workout Plan

9 minute read

Though you might not know it by looking at me, I’ve been doing the workout/fitness thing for most of the past fourteen years. Admittedly, it’s been an on-aga...

Always Forward!

1 minute read

In 1990 I met my first openly gay friend. While I don’t see him as often as I’d like, he’s still very dear to me (Love you, Tom!).

Blue Angels? Cool…to complain about.

3 minute read

As I sit here the city reverberates with the sounds of jets shooting by overhead. Fleet Week is upon us once again, bringing ships to our piers, sailors and ...

Love Letter to a Pub

1 minute read

I stepped off the train a few stops early. Quickly crossing out of traffic to the sidewalk, I snatched a look at the sky. No rain yet. That’s something at le...

Best. Apartment. Ever.

1 minute read

Back in May I moved from Oakland to San Francisco. This is the sixth place I’ve lived since I came to California and, aside from a wide variety of dorm rooms...

Beer-Braised Beef and Onions (and Garlic)

2 minute read

Winter has finally arrived in the Bay Area. Temperatures have dropped into the 40’s, the skies are gray and the streets wet with more or less constant rain. ...

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2011

Paul Potatoes

2 minute read

I’m posting this one for a friend who’s asked for the recipe twice now, once after each time she’s had this dish at my house. It’s a simple recipe that peopl...

Foundation Food: Stock

7 minute read

People often ask me, “Vicky, what’s the easiest way to improve my home cooking?”

The MacBook is dead. Long live the MacBook!

3 minute read

A little over a week ago the sound went all wiggy on my MacBook. At first it would only play through something plugged into the headphone jack but that rapi...

Greetings to new visitors!

less than 1 minute read

Came here expecting to read about programming and management and the like? ‘A’ for effort but this is the wrong location. This is my personal blog, where I t...

Tech Support

4 minute read

The following is a paraphrased phone conversation which I had this morning.

Of Things

4 minute read

“The time has come,” the Walrus said, “To talk of many things: Of shoes–and ships–and sealing-wax– Of cabbages...

Asian Squash Soup

less than 1 minute read

A semi-impromptu dish, written up impromptu-ly on my iPad as I sit on the couch rewatching some Doctor Who.

I’ve been laid off.

3 minute read

When the manager who’s rarely seen in the office before 11am IMs you at 8:30am asking whether you could please join her in the conference room you know exact...

Auto-nomy

2 minute read

The topic of this post is cars and how I no longer have one.

Gumbo

2 minute read

Yeah, so, I’m supposed to be posting about my car. Some things are far, far more important. One of those things is gumbo.

New city, new home

1 minute read

The commute had become a drag. A walk/ride to the BART station followed by a bit of a train ride and then either bus or bike to the office. All told it could...

New Job

1 minute read

Six years at my first job in California. Six years at my second. Hmm…

March? Really!?

less than 1 minute read

Judging from the date of the prior post (March, 2011) it appears I’ve been more than a little remiss in the blog updating. This is a shame as rather a lot ha...

Foraging the East Bay

20 minute read

I signed up for one of Forage SF’s Wild Food Walks. It was an excellent use both of my time and money. Our guide, Kevin Feinstein, wasn’t only knowledgable b...

Step Away From the Box

2 minute read

Today’s dinner took less than twenty minutes for me to throw together and was far superior than anything you’d ever get from a box:

Ginger Stewed Okra

1 minute read

This is inspired by—but a pale copy of—the okra at Shalimar{.broken_link} in SF. Shalimar, BTW, is one of my favorite places to eat in this most foodie of ci...

The ABC’s of my net usage

1 minute read

Chrome has become my primary web browser. It has this nice feature where it pays attention to the sites you visit and then later, as you type into the Locati...

Dosun J-1 Safety Pedals

2 minute read

{.broken_link}Pun entirely intended, but these pedals are brilliant.

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2010

Lamb and Barley Stew

2 minute read

Last weekend I had the pleasure of having Nicole visiting for a couple of nights. Eric and Chrissy came over a couple of times to hang out.

Impromptu Pork and Hominy Stew

2 minute read

I stopped at the farmers’ market{.broken_link} today on the way back from the office. My “shopping list” was a $20 bill that was burning a hole in my pocket ...

Nu-cu-lar [sic]

1 minute read

And with the purchase of a new microwave I’ve returned to modern American culture. Well, OK, I still don’t own or watch TV (and don’t intend to) so perhaps ...

Hissy Fit: The cats have a blog

less than 1 minute read

Pathetic though it may be, Nigel and Percy now have their own blog. Hopefully this will help this blog from being overrun with posts starting like “The cats ...

Dinner a’la Saint Julia (Child)

less than 1 minute read

A gratuitous post, simply because I haven’t done it in a while and need to ease back into it. Plus, well, I’m showing off.

How to Make Yogurt

5 minute read

OK, let’s get something clear right out of the gate: Making Yogurt Is Stupid Easy. No, really. That stuff you spend so much money for at the store? Requires...

Kobo Kozy

1 minute read

Welcome the handmade Kobo Kozy into the world.

Essential Technology

3 minute read

There are some bits of technology that I’ve come to rely on more than I’d care to admit. Some are there to help simplify{.broken_link} my life, some just bec...

Hurrah! The conversion is finally complete!

less than 1 minute read

After much hemming and hawing and more than a little foot-dragging the project to move FirstStep from the (slightly flaky) home server to the (awesomely stab...

Almost done…

less than 1 minute read

The migration of FirstStep from the home server to Dreamhost is almost complete.  What you’re looking at right now is being hosted there but, alas, it’s only...

Testing the new setup!

less than 1 minute read

WordPress, I love you.  This transfer from the home server to the hosting service is going swimmingly so far.

Support Dennis!

1 minute read

{.broken_link}For the past few years around this time I make a post requesting that people help sponsor my friend Dennis as he does his yearly San Francisco ...

Anger

3 minute read

AP Photo/Charlie Riedel. Click for more.

Music library, I ♥ you.

less than 1 minute read

Total Tracks: 30,205 Total Albums: 2,351 Total Artists: 3,068 Total Genres: 148 Total Playing Time: 2225:35:05

Book Review: Mistborn: The Final Empire

1 minute read

Two different friends recommended Mistborn: The Final Empire to me. Unlike The Anubis Gates this book wasn’t portrayed as anything other than good entertain...

Book Review: The Anubis Gates

1 minute read

A few months ago I received a second-hand book review from friend Z. “I was speaking with X and Y and they both said that The Anubis Gates was the best book...

First Impressions of Portland

2 minute read

Everyone I know who’s been to or lived in Portland has told me that it’s the sort of place that I would really like. Progressive, good food, geeky. Sounds pr...

WTF(ruit)?

less than 1 minute read

Warning: cranky mini-rant ahead!

Surprise!

1 minute read

This past Sunday I was scheduled to meet a couple of friends for an early birthday dinner at Camino{.broken_link}. I’d been working in the yard all day so I ...

Aioli Woes

2 minute read

They say it happens to everyone eventually. I mean, you just can’t keep going and going without a failure from time to time, that’s what they say.

An unhappy one month anniversary

1 minute read

It occurred to me this morning that today is the one month anniversary of Moira’s death. As the blog is now running again I can post this, which was sent out...

Back in the saddle again

1 minute read

So, yes, it’s been a while since I’ve posted. Hell, for that matter it’s been a while since the damn blog was even up…

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2009

Fromage Fort

2 minute read

So you’ve just hosted a party (or two) and now are the proud owner of an assortment of ends and bits and oddments of various cheeses.

Nucular [sic] Experiments

2 minute read

I’ve been without a microwave for about two weeks now.  It’s curious just how inured we’ve become to this instant gratification thing.  “What?!  I have to wa...

Anniversary

less than 1 minute read

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No More Nukes

1 minute read

My first microwave was functional and that’s about it: no temp control, just a dial for time and a button to open the door. I found myself wanting more.

How not to save money

less than 1 minute read

I’ll be camping this weekend so I’ve started preparing for that. From the last camping trip I know that the batteries are dead in my headlamp. This morning I...

District 9

less than 1 minute read

Yesterday I caught a matinee of District 9. My nutshell review:

IT Frustrations

less than 1 minute read

If there are any readers left out there they’ve undoubtedly noticed that FirstStep has been unreachable for a while. It’s a continuation of the server/networ...

Purge

1 minute read

Today’s task: clean the house. It’s been ignored for almost a month and the place had gotten out of control: clothes and shoes everywhere, tufts of cat fur l...

No phone!

less than 1 minute read

Image courtesy of icanhascheezburger

Dinner tonight

less than 1 minute read

My evening’s plans were unexpectedly changed, leaving me with time at home to make…

Serendipity!

less than 1 minute read

Photo by: Max Johnson There are a lot of meetings on my calendar this week, so during today’s lunch I went for a walk to get out of the office and decompress...

TV Free?

2 minute read

I admit to being somewhat conceited because I haven’t had TV—broadcast or cable—for the past nine years. Sure, I’ve had a television set, but it’s only used...

New look

less than 1 minute read

After a great deal of yak shaving the blog has finally been updated, software, theme and all.

The Ten Stages of a Dinner Party

2 minute read

Unless you’re very experienced in such things or you just don’t give a flying fig, when planning a dinner party you can expect to pass through the following ...

Insert Geeky Gleeful Squeal Here

1 minute read

I walk up to my door, later than usual. Grab the mail. Acknowledge the unintelligible greetings of my neighbors with a big smile and a wave. Fumble for my ke...

Croc Socks

1 minute read

Please welcome the Croc Socks into the world!

It's a Sweater!

1 minute read

It’s a sweater! A blue sweater! A blue sweater of Peruvian highland wool! And I made it! With these two hands of mine! And it fits! And it looks good! I can ...

Packing

1 minute read

I’ll be in DC in less than a week and have been creating a list of things which I need to pack. The list has been a work in progress for a short while and to...

Gryphons, Geeks and Goodness

2 minute read

A few weeks ago some friends and I got together to go see Bruce Campbell in-person doing a Q&A following a showing of his latest movie, My Name is Bruce.

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2008

Pastry Hubris

2 minute read

On Sunday I’ll be attending a Pre-Thanksgiving meal down south. My contribution will be dessert and I’ve decided that dessert will be a pie.

It all started with a call to Tom…

1 minute read

To say I’ve been busy lately would be putting it mildly. I haven’t had time to do laundry let alone keep up with friends. Once some of the pressure dissipate...

Well, that was fun

less than 1 minute read

For very large values of “fun,” that is.

Your Lateral Deltoid and You

1 minute read

The muscle marked in red is the lateral deltoid. I do not recommend damaging this muscle, as it seems to factor into just about every single frakking movemen...

Vote Vote Vote

less than 1 minute read

The baby stoat pretty much says it all: I voted, b***es, and did so from the comfort of my own dining room table thanks to my lovely permanent mail-in voter ...

Plum Wine Progress Report #2

1 minute read

When last I reported on the Plum Wine it had been racked from primary into secondary with the intention of re-racking every two weeks.

Sock Woes

less than 1 minute read

Dinner tonight

2 minute read

It’s been far too long since we’ve had a food post around here (probably because I’ve been too busy to cook, but let’s not discuss that). Time to correct that.

Someone is grounded

1 minute read

This evening I finally got around to hanging some stuff on the living room wall. During that process a piece of hardware fell behind the couch. While I was r...

OK, that does it

less than 1 minute read

I arrived home today, dragging my tired self up the front porch steps. Fumbling for my keys my gaze fell on the porch wall.

MacBook status update

1 minute read

If you recall, back at the start of August I went Mac. I’m here now to tell you how that transition is coming along[*].

Thief!

less than 1 minute read

I’m incensed!

Moira's Representin'

1 minute read

Picture courtesy of Herr Strobel This evening we all got the pleasure of meeting Shelly, the woman who very generously (and understandably) has moved from B...

I think I over did it

1 minute read

Sundays have become my day to clean up from the week behind and prep for the week ahead. That usually involves doing a lot of cooking so I won’t have to worr...

Camping: Kaspian Campground at Lake Tahoe

5 minute read

Last weekend was a day longer than normal so I could go camping with Eric and Anneke. After an extensive search we located the Kaspian Campground along the n...

Bad kitty! Bad!

less than 1 minute read

This morning I woke up with Moira curled up under the covers and my arm around her. Very cuddly and comfortable and cute. I carefully extracted myself so as ...

Plunge Taken. I've gone Mac.

1 minute read

You may have noticed (or may not) but “work stuff” is a verboten topic here on FirstStep. It’s one of many, really, but it’s definitely near the top of the l...

Requiem for a Local Homebrew Store

1 minute read

In November I moved back to the East Bay. It took me a while to settle in but eventually things were in such a state as they could support a little brewing a...

Carnitas Dinner

7 minute read

My expected plans for Saturday fell through, leaving me temporarily rudderless. Then I got a yen for trying to make carnitas again. No single human should be...

Dr. Horrible!

1 minute read

I almost never post during the day. I almost never post merely for the purpose of linking to another site. But for Dr. Horrible I’ll make an exception.

Plum Wine

3 minute read

People tell me I’m pretty bright. Evenings like this really make me wonder why they say that…

Friends == w00t!

1 minute read

I had a trying day at the office today. No details forthcoming, just believe me that it wasn’t the easiest day on record.

Pintos!

1 minute read

I admit to being a bean snob. I usually eschew “supermarket” varieties in favor of something heirloom or just about anything from Rancho Gordo. But yesterday...

WALL-E

less than 1 minute read

I won’t ruin the movie for others by saying anything specific about it. I’ll just say that I very much enjoyed it and am pleased to be able to recommend it t...

Mid-day Cafe

less than 1 minute read

As I type this I’m sitting in a cafe, drinking a decaf americano and attempting to pound out some projects for work. From the fact that I’m posting on my blo...

Culinary Experimentation Gone Right

1 minute read

I don’t know what prompted me to do it. I don’t know the source of the idea. All I know is that it worked. The recipe sounds downright bizarre, I know, but t...

To the Unknown Driver

1 minute read

Dear Mister Driver of the Biodiesel VW in Front of Me on the Freeway Onramp on My Way Home from the Movie:

Best. Neighbors. Ever.

less than 1 minute read

One of my upstairs neighbors dropped by my place the other evening. She, saint that she is, came bearing two baby hops plants. Hops! Real hops! No, we don’t ...

Well that just figures.

less than 1 minute read

I’m out of the office all this week. You could say that I’m on vacation but as I’m on call for a project at work it’s not all fun and games. It’s not looking...

Indoctrinated

1 minute read

I spent this evening hanging out with dear friends at a pub. It was a really casual, relaxing and fantastic evening spent with people whom I both love and re...

craigslist ROCKS

1 minute read

Part of the grand plan I have for my home office is to make it more project-worthy. Buy a sewing machine[*], buy a table in which to hide it, use the table f...

Email is down

less than 1 minute read

Comcast is currently experiencing technical difficulties with their email. It looks like their MX servers are accepting the messages rather than bouncing the...

One. More. Night.

1 minute read

It’s been about two weeks since we were struck by the Attack of the Weak Geriatric Feline Bladder and we’ve been sleeping on the couch since then. The two of...

All hail me!

less than 1 minute read

Today is Victoria Day. An entire country gets the day off just to celebrate me. Ain’t that considerate of them? Well, that’s Canadians for you. I think it’s ...

LOST: My happy place

1 minute read

I am not a happy camper right now. Not in the least bit. I’ve been avoiding posting about this since there’ve been far too many cat-related entries of late b...

Muahaha!

less than 1 minute read

Diabolical plan commenced!

Don't Touch Me

less than 1 minute read

No, don’t touch me. Don’t even look at me. Just get out of here already, would you?

The Nine Chilli Dinner

1 minute read

Inspired by some of the posts of Steve from Rancho Gordo, today’s dinner was a tribute to the almighty chilli. A total of nine different chillis were involve...

Big Softie

1 minute read

Sure, I’m a busy professional gal on the go. Working a lot, socializing a lot, always on my way to or from something (or both, more likely), always with too ...

Forbidden Island's Kill Devil Rum Club

1 minute read

A while back I posted about my first visit to Forbidden Island Tiki Bar in Alameda. Near the end of that post I mentioned that I’d like to learn a bit more a...

Huh

less than 1 minute read

I just discovered that for the past three or so months my washing machine has been hooked up backwards with the hot water hose going to the cold spiggot and ...

Coach Sushi

3 minute read

About a month and a half ago I met someone at a sushi gathering at Drunken Fish. “Yeah, this is pretty good,” she said, “but I still enjoy Coach Sushi better.”

The Natural History of the Chicken

1 minute read

[ Editor’s Note: For the curious I answer that no, this is not an April Fool’s post. I don’t have the energy for that sort of thing right now. Want great Apr...

I need book suggestions

less than 1 minute read

I’ve been in a reading slump lately. It’s been, um, longer than I care to say since I actually completed a book that I started reading and if I recall correc...

Closed for business

less than 1 minute read

I was both hunky and dorey with having a wide-open wireless router when it didn’t affect anything. Sure, drop on by and leech my bandwidth. I’m obviously not...

Goodbye Yellow Brick Road

1 minute read

I needed the space. I hadn’t used them for years and years. They were big and heavy and, unfortunately, beloved. But they had to go because, again, I needed ...

Homemade Crackers are Crazy Easy

2 minute read

Tomorrow I’m joining some friends at an Easter-ish gathering. Aside from my two friends and their dog I’ll know no one there. The invite asked that people br...

Bean Recipe Template

2 minute read

By now any regular reader of FirstStep knows that I like beans. They’re just so darn useful and tasty besides.

Shiny! Coffee! Shiny! Coffee!

1 minute read

Would you LOOK at that thing? Can you even bear gazing upon the beauty of this object? Doesn’t it fill you with awe and an overwhelming lust to own it? It d...

This is my cat. This is my cat on drugs.

1 minute read

When a body gets old things start to break down a bit. It’s no different for cats or for humans. At almost eighteen years old, Moira has had bad arthritis in...

I'm alright with computers again

less than 1 minute read

It took about 1.5 hrs (which included time to cook dinner), but wireless is once again working on the old Toshiba laptop.

We need some changes around here

less than 1 minute read

Heads up, all. For a while now a number of things have bugged me about this version of the blog:

sproing

less than 1 minute read

My brain. I think I broke it.

Take your stereotypes and…

1 minute read

I live in what is often called an “urban” neighborhood. In common parlance the word “urban” usually translates to “black” or, if you’re feeling very politica...

Never a dull moment

less than 1 minute read

ZOMG. I haven’t even lived the next week yet and I’m already tired…

I be illin'

2 minute read

Three colds in one season? That’s a some sort of a record for me, and not a good one.

Successful dinner party

less than 1 minute read

This evening I hosted my first official sit-down dinner party in my new apartment. The menu:

Today's accomplishments

less than 1 minute read

Created a lovely (to look at and eat) blood orange-rosemary sorbet Got rid of more crap that’s been taking up space in my house Voted for the first ti...

Space Food Sticks!

less than 1 minute read

Every once in a while I find myself thinking something like, “Remember those weird food stick things we used to get when we were kids? What in the hell were ...

Mine Goes to Eleven

less than 1 minute read

Last night I went to bed at almost 10pm.

Oldie but Goodie

less than 1 minute read

This video has been around for a long time. The link has been sent to me by a number of people and I re-watch it every time it arrives. It never fails to get...

R&R

1 minute read

Mom Strohmeyer, this one’s for you! 🙂

Spin

2 minute read

This year heralds the start of my tenure in a spinning class at my gym. I’m there for an hour every Tuesday and Thursday night (with lunch hours MWF spent on...

Mushroom fairy

less than 1 minute read

My neighbor from across the street, Junior, just stopped by. A friend of his in a town across the hills (Moraga) bequeathed him with a ton of freshly-picked ...

Finally!

1 minute read

I hosted a party at my place on New Year’s Day. During the party a friend notified me that the carpet in the office was wet and advised that I may wish to lo...

Fondue De Poulet À La Creme

2 minute read

Has it really been more than a month since I posted? Criminy. Sorry about that, folks. I let myself get distracted by life and work and petty things like tha...

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2007

Bisara

2 minute read

This past Saturday I was unpacking when I came across a pound of dried, shelled fava beans which I had purchased a while ago from Phipps Country Store and Fa...

I finally have Serenity

less than 1 minute read

It required compiling xine, xine-ui, libdvdcss and libdvdread from source code, but Moira and I can finally watch Serenity on DVD on my laptop!

Hmm…protein, perhaps?

less than 1 minute read

I left the office early today so I could come home and work some more (easier to focus on some things when there aren’t people around). On my way home I stop...

East Bay Update

2 minute read

In a comment on another post, Tom asked how the return to the East Bay was going. Rather than bury my response in a comment it becomes its own post.

OK, magic brew, kick in

less than 1 minute read

Weeks of dodging the colds of coworkers and friends and days of long hours of work followed by short hours of sleep. It’s all trying to catch up to me today,...

Vegetable stew

2 minute read

I’ve been eating pretty badly lately. Lots of crackers and cheese. Lots of carbs and fats. Not so much on the veggie end of the foodchain and, boy, can I tel...

David Grossman at Nomad Cafe

2 minute read

Yet another advantage to moving back to the East Bay: wicked cool live music for free.

ROCK! BAND!

2 minute read

It’s been a long weekend so far, both literally and figuratively. More figuratively. So I was very grateful to receive an email saying, “We have Rock Band! C...

Rum is a mystery

1 minute read

This evening a friend and I went to Forbidden Island Tiki Lounge on the island of Alameda. I’ve never seen to many fruity tiny umbrella-festooned beverages i...

Boccalone

1 minute read

“Tasty Salted Pig Parts!”

Measure twice, Deliver once

less than 1 minute read

Part of the appeal of this space is that I can have a washer/dryer here. So naturally I ran out and bought some, scheduled to be delivered today.

Wired Science

less than 1 minute read

I felt the need to veg on the couch a little tonight. Normally that would involve watching a DVD. Unfortunately, the DVD player and other stuff from the ente...

Home-cooked dinner

less than 1 minute read

Tonight was the first time in…um…many moons that I was able to cook anything. I’ve been living off of take-out, leftover take-out and boxed frozen food from ...

Quirks of my new flat

less than 1 minute read

I have neither mailbox nor mail slot in the door The bedroom closet has no hanger rail, only some hooks along the wall There is a plug for an electric...

Purge

2 minute read

In the process of unpacking I’m finding myself picking up certain items and saying to myself, “WTF? When did I last need/use/touch/think about/lay eyes on th...

Uninspired

less than 1 minute read

So much to do. Work stuff. House stuff.

Damn you, Ants!

less than 1 minute read

You followed me here! What started out as an innocent attempt to make espresso turned into a pre-dawn ant massacre.

We're Back!

less than 1 minute read

FirstStep is back up and running in its new home in Oakland. The server is one of the few things in the flat which is up and running, thanks to Marc who plug...

Downs and Ups

less than 1 minute read

Things I will miss about living in Petaluma:

Downtime Friday – Sunday

less than 1 minute read

FirstStep will be going down for transportation on Friday evening. Depending upon network availability I hope to get it back up and running on Sunday sometim...

Imposition

1 minute read

My current landlord called. Seems they already posted the place but didn’t bother to ask me about my schedule.

Lack of Foresight

less than 1 minute read

Thanks to Guy and Megan over 80% (maybe as much as 90%) of my apartment is packed.

Rare

2 minute read

I don’t eat much red meat and when I do it’s usually in the presence of the Albertellis (cannot…resist…the…BBQ…).

Pickled Turnips Unleashed

less than 1 minute read

Those neon pink things in the salad above? Yeah, those are the pickled turnips. They’re really great to look at, but how do they taste? Meh, they’re OK. A b...

And the hunt is off

1 minute read

The house hunt is over. And not for the reason you think.

Pickled Turnips

1 minute read

Last Friday was kind of rough so instead of cooking food I stopped by Whole Foods and picked up a little smorgasbord of Middle Eastern nibbles: hummus, baba ...

Um…I don't know how to answer that

1 minute read

Today my last task before leaving the office was to meet with the head of this company with which we’re considering doing business. We sit. We talk. We make ...

Ants: Further Inspiration to Move

less than 1 minute read

As though bolstering were needed, the rain yesterday something with it which does in fact further bolster my desire to move.

Call for backup!

less than 1 minute read

Finally, after saying for months (years?) that I was going to do it, a lovely shiny external harddrive is winging its way to me. No more need I fear losing m...

Balance

1 minute read

It’s all about balance.

The hunt is on

1 minute read

I love my little town. I love my apartment. I love my massive kitchen with its acres of counter and storage space and its two skylights.

Cena Romana: Must

1 minute read

The Romans liked their wine. They liked their wine so much that it was a common ingredient in their food. Not only wine, but wine by-products were called int...

Cena Romana: Herbs

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I’ve reached the next hurdle in my preparations for the Cena Romana: the seasonings. In my review of the recipes it seems that regardless of the menu I selec...

The advantage of waking at 4am

less than 1 minute read

Today I woke up at 4am and despite my best attempts could not go back to sleep. I got up before 6am. Since then I’ve…

Is there such a thing as too much hops?

1 minute read

Last week, during my weekend off, I did in fact start another batch of beer. This time it’s a West Coast Ale courtesy of The Oak Barrel in Berkeley.

Remiss

less than 1 minute read

There are so many people out there whom I owe an email or some other social contact. Rest assured that the reason you haven’t heard from me isn’t that I don’...

Latest eMusic acquisitions

3 minute read

Usually I know down to the hour when one of my two eMusic accounts is about to roll over. Yesterday it snuck up on me, so I was pleasantly surprised to see 7...

Mom's Birthday Socks

1 minute read

Finally! Mom has received her very belated birthday gift and I can post about it.

Viking Helmet

less than 1 minute read

Behold! I give you a Knitted Viking Helmet! Handmade for Marcus Camillo Henry Capua, born August 4th, 2007.

Dick Dale at the Mystic Theatre

3 minute read

Remember that bit on the Pulp Fiction soundtrack? You know, that one where you hear a snippet of audio of Pumpkin (Tim Roth) and Honey Bunny (Amanda Plummer)...

Free Weekend?

1 minute read

What do you mean I don’t have anything planned for the weekend? I have a Dick Dale concert planned for Friday, don’t I? OK, so it’s a show that I can walk to...

Fed Up with the Attitude

2 minute read

After the gym, while eating dinner, before diving into a little more work, I often sit here and catch up on my food blogs. I don’t read many but one of the f...

Whole Beast Feast at Incanto

4 minute read

In May some of us attended Incanto’s Head to Tail Dinner. While we were there we learned of Incanto’s Whole Beast Feast. This special meal requires renting o...

YAWN

1 minute read

Yesterday I woke up over half an hour late. Had traffic not sucked I’d still have gotten to work on time, but, alas, suck it did and I arrived late. Then I p...

Good idea: Grapes. Bad idea: Smoked Grapes

1 minute read

I was standing around in my kitchen on Saturday, cooking things as I’ve been known to do from time to time, and just randomly thinking. One of the things I t...

Onion Tart

2 minute read

How long has it been since I last did some serious cooking? I see the potsticker experiment and the ratatouille, but those were back at the start of July. Ye...

Garum! Garum Colatura!

less than 1 minute read

The garum has finally arrived! HUZZAH! The collision of my inner food geek with my inner Classics geek is now complete!

"Look at meeeeeee!"

1 minute read

I acquired a receipt from REI on Sunday. While cleaning out my bag the receipt ended up on my coffee table and from there was blown onto the living room floor.

Cotati Accordion Festival

2 minute read

I know what you’re thinking. “An accordion festival? What, are you completely daft or something? You musically masochistic maniac, you.”

Is there a fish doctor in the house?

less than 1 minute read

My office sports many things. There’s a life-sucking couch. There’s a comfy reading chair. There’s indirect lighting. There’s a lot of funky decorating a’la ...

ARGH!!

1 minute read

I only have one memory card for my camera. When it filled up during my trip I dumped the files from the card onto Tom’s laptop then transferred them to my ho...

DC, days 5, 6, 7, 8

1 minute read

Day 5: As expected, a lot of lounging about. Coffee, pancakes, New York Times on the porch in the morning, followed by a few hours spent with the NYT Sunday ...

DC, days 3 and 4

1 minute read

Day 3: On a whim I (intentionally) got off at the wrong Metro stop so I could walk and see more of the city. It coincidentally came up next to the National P...

DC, days 1 and 2

2 minute read

Day 1: Up at 2:30am to walk a mile to the shuttle bus which would take an hour to get me to the airport where I’ll sit for two hours before getting on a plan...

Vacation prep

2 minute read

V-A-C-A-T-I-O-N! That’s right, vacation is imminent and preparations are in full swing. About this time on Wednesday I’ll…um…OK, I’ll probably still be on a ...

Gone Analog. Lend a Hand.

less than 1 minute read

A few months ago I almost lost my cellphone. That was a bit of a reality check as it dawned on me that the only phone number I remember anymore is my own. I ...

Just not up for the cooking thing

1 minute read

Sure, this weekend I “threw together” a dish of chicken poached in a salsa made of four different peppers, tomatoes and other veggies, all blackened and pure...

Worry

1 minute read

This morning while racing around trying to get out the door and to the office in time for a conference call with our overseas contractors I noticed something...

Do Not Disturb!

1 minute read

Walking back into my office my eyes landed on my desk. Sitting there on the corner was Bob’s copy of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. A jolt of exciteme...

Pseudo-impromptu show tonight

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That Patty Griffin show I figured I’d take in to tick July off my list? Yeah, well, it turns out it’s not on the 28th as I mis-remembered. Nope, it’s tonight...

Well, that's reassuring

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On the way home from the gym today I dropped by the store. One of the things I picked up was a bottle of peach-flavored O Water. It’s sitting here next to me...

La la la I can't hear you la la la

1 minute read

Bob has the right idea: don’t even look at the web until he’s done reading Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.

Consuming the music

1 minute read

A few months ago I resubscribed to eMusic. I’d been a member years ago then left because they changed their pricing structure. Since I’ve been back it’s beco...

Fun with Headlines

less than 1 minute read

A headline in the Science section of Yahoo! News: Giant telescope begins scouring space

New rule

1 minute read

When I enter a house (or my office) I usually remove my shoes. The same goes for my own place. I just like not wearing shoes. It’s a thing.

German games

less than 1 minute read

Tomorrow the Albertellis and I are converging on Marc’s house for some much needed and very overdue board gaming action. This event is in my Google Calendar ...

Woooosh!

1 minute read

For a change all of the ozone-killing gas in my town isn’t coming from the belching dairy cows (which might outnumber people around here).

Back to the fold

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I’m turning into some sort of vaguely human-shaped amorphous blob. I haven’t worked out since before I broke up with my gym two weeks ago. My self identity a...

Update on the New Year's Resolution

1 minute read

It’s been a while since I’ve updated my loyal readers about the progress on my New Year’s Resolution. Lest you think I’ve been failing in my promise…

"Potsticker" Experiment

1 minute read

Today I finished off a culinary experiment started earlier this week during my mini-vacation. Pictured here you see potstickers. Sort of.

Ratatouille

4 minute read

Talk to me for more than a few minutes (or just glance at this blog) and you’ll find out that I know and enjoy food.

Mini-vacation

1 minute read

A month or so ago I was looking at the work calendar. “July 2-4: Vicky on PTO.” PTO? I took days off? When did that happen? Man, I’m a frickin’ genius!

Unidentified Stew

2 minute read

Alright, it’s kinda pretty. All colorful. A little green. A little yellow. A little white. A lot of red. And it smells really good, sitting there on the stov...

Potential downtime next week

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I have a few days off next week, so I might finally take the opportunity to upgrade a few things around here. This may require that FirstStep be offline for ...

Decadent risotto

less than 1 minute read

Shallots, very dry champagne (French, of course), carnaroli rice, Coupe saffron, Parmesan Reggiano.

The Genius of xkcd

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The webcomic xkcd rarely fails to entertain. Randall Munroe, the mastermind behind the comic, has brought us such classics as IN UR REALITY (reference to the...

Dear John^H^H^H^H Gym:

less than 1 minute read

I’m sorry, but this relationship just isn’t working for me anymore. Yes, earlier on we had some laughs, but you’ve changed. There’s that flashy new look you’...

Giant Grasshoppers!

2 minute read

The headline spotted on Boing Boing today: Polk City residents hopping mad over giant grasshoppers{.broken_link}. I had to click through. I just had to.

Weekend Culinary Adventures

4 minute read

This morning I hosted a brunch for my friend, her husband and their two-year old daughter. The last time we got together it was at their house and they serve...

Coach?

less than 1 minute read

I’m sitting here working and I happen to have a look at the playlist currently running on my Slim Server.

Food in Pompeii

1 minute read

There is a restaurant in <href =”http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pompeii”>Pompeii. Like all things in that town it’s there for the tourists, serving up bi...

This Unit is Field Serviceable

less than 1 minute read

For those who follow such things, I’ve started contributing to a new blog. This Unit is Field Serviceable is a blog devoted to hiking, backpacking, camping a...

Yes, I have been remiss

less than 1 minute read

Sorry for the lack of posts lately, folks. I’ve been keeping overly busy with work and neglecting my bloggly duties. Sometimes life intervenes. These things ...

2007 Rutherford Hill Winery Wine Blending Party

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Yesterday I joined my friends Jen and Kevin at the annual members-only wine blending party at Rutherford Hill Winery in Napa. They took me last year as well ...

Pardon the brief outage

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I switched my domain name registrar this week and it finally took effect this morning. As a result of that my DNS records were all frobbed. They got de-frobb...

Spicy

less than 1 minute read

My shipment has arrived from The Spice House. Yet another impulse purchase gone terribly correct, I’m sorry to say.

Customer

less than 1 minute read

The following is the actual entry for “customer{.broken_link}” in Roget’s New Millennium™ Thesaurus, First Edition:

My fridge has died

1 minute read

Yesterday I pulled some soy milk out of the fridge to put into my coffee. The light was on.

Reason #837 Why We Love Megan

less than 1 minute read

Me: Megan! I found dessert for the BBQ on Monday! Bacon-Maple Cupcakes! Megan: That rocks! I’m doing it!

Vote for Dennis!

less than 1 minute read

My friend Dennis is trying to become a guest programmer for Turner Classic Movies. To enter the contest he had to create a video about why he loves classic m...

Incanto's Head to Tail Dinner, 2007

8 minute read

Back in March when I was making reservations for dinner at Incanto{.broken_link} with JR and Jen I noticed this in the event listing on the restaurant’s webs...

Experiments in Spongecake

1 minute read

For my birthday my folks got me the two volume set of Mastering the Art of French Cooking by Julia Child and Simone Beck.

Coffee Table Books

less than 1 minute read

I feel the need to post but don’t have a topic. So instead I bring you a list of the books which are currently sitting on my coffee table. Almost all of them...

July 18, 1998

1 minute read

An auspicious day. This is the day when I adopted Moira. She was eight years old at the time. Today she’s seventeen and, according to her vet, fit as the pro...

Maybe next time

less than 1 minute read

As happens all too often, life has intervened and my presence is required elsewhere tomorrow evening. This means no cheese show for me. It’s for the best, as...

Overheard on the walk home from the gym

less than 1 minute read

Kid #1: “So I guess they don’t have drinks there or anything…” Kid #2: “Of course not, it’s f*cking Alcoholics Anonymous.”

OMGWTFCHEEZ!

less than 1 minute read

I’ve been asked to attend a cheese show! For home cheese makers! And I don’t even make cheese!

Birthday Princess Weekend

3 minute read

Whence the concept of Birthday Princess Weekend? I don’t rightly recall, but I suspect that The Pig Overlords had something to do with it. Sounds like their ...

Panzanella: the forgotten salad

1 minute read

This morning I grabbed my loaf of Della Fattoria polenta bread and went to slice off a bit for breakfast. Solid. Well, not quite solid but pretty darn close....

I am not Web 2.0 compliant

2 minute read

Web 2.0 is all about interactions. It’s AJAX-enabled websites and social networking. It’s MySpace{.broken_link} and Zillow and pretty much all things Google....

Flumoxed and Perplexed

less than 1 minute read

I was flumoxed. I was perplexed. I was downright boggled for over an hour.

Amazon Prime rocks my world

1 minute read

Last year my folks signed up for Amazon Prime. $80 a year gets you free two-day shipping on all applicable items without the $25 minimum order.

The State of the Stout

2 minute read

As promised, here’s a quick run-down on the initial steps of making the stout.

Viva El Closet!

less than 1 minute read

Today is the day when the mead is finally bottled.

With, not To

3 minute read

I don’t usually want them to talk to me. Instead, I’d much prefer that they talked with me.

Interesting choice of name

1 minute read

On my drive home today I passed a van for a company called Candid Carpet Care.

Which is better?

less than 1 minute read

It’s nearing your logical bedtime. You didn’t sleep well the night before but you’re not feeling sleepy now. Do you:

Red Elvises at The Mystic Theatre

2 minute read

After a long day of Thai Brunch, train riding, hiking{.broken_link}, Guitar Hero{.broken_link} and onion strings with chipotle ketchup, the Albertellis and I...

Whither bees?

1 minute read

The bees are going missing!

Indicative

less than 1 minute read

I have a dentist appointment tomorrow. It’s been so busy lately that I’m actually looking forward to going to the dentist because it means I get to leave wor...

Earned a break

less than 1 minute read

Accomplished today:

Pardon the downtime

less than 1 minute read

There was an unexpected and thus far unexplained power outage here today, so the server went down.

Cheesemaking class!

less than 1 minute read

For Christmas this past year Rat got me an introductory cheesemaking class at my local homebrew store.

Patty Griffin at the Warfield

2 minute read

Friday night March’s resolution obligation was fulfilled by seeing Patty Griffin{.broken_link} at The Warfield{.broken_link}.

Doja Blue

less than 1 minute read

CRITTERS!

less than 1 minute read

“CRITTERS! PET CRITTERS!”

Kettle corn

2 minute read

Until I moved out to California I had never heard of kettle corn. “What’s the deal? It’s popcorn.”

Misconceptions

2 minute read

Misconception: writing is easy. It’s just talking but, ya know, visual.

Happy New Year!

less than 1 minute read

Chinese New Year Parade!

National Pig Day

less than 1 minute read

March 1 is National Pig Day

Take Five

1 minute read

Five lists…

Kids

1 minute read

I’ve always held the idea that someday I’ll have children.

Coming out

less than 1 minute read

All sides being equal…

Guitar Hero II

2 minute read

Guitar Hero! Dude, I’m SO gonna shred!

Dark Energy

1 minute read

While standing there in the bread section, searching in vain for sourdough hamburger buns, I noticed a blind woman having a rough go of navigating between th...

Gloating is bad

less than 1 minute read

I was going to post about how beautiful the weather was here today.

Poor Impulse Control

2 minute read

As per my usual modus operandi Amoebae, I immediately headed over the the recent arrival section of the clearance rack and started flipping through discs.

Yeah, that's the stuff

1 minute read

Just thinking of going to Michigan will add five pounds to a person

Homecoming

2 minute read

Here’s the quick quick summary of the past three days…

"A lot of space in this mall…"

less than 1 minute read

The movers have come. The movers have gone, taking all the stuff with them. Currently we sit in a house which is empty aside from some odds and ends, the pet...

The New York Times

less than 1 minute read

Newspaper of discriminating packers. If you want to protect your fragile belongings while showing the world that you’re sophisticated and in the know, choose...

1° F

less than 1 minute read

That’s the current temp in Ann Arbor.

Mac Vista?

less than 1 minute read

It’s great to be a geek who’s easily amused.

Dr. Megan PhD!

less than 1 minute read

Congrats to the lovely and talented Dr. Megan Albertelli, PhD!

Minimalism

3 minute read

For this upcoming trip I think I’m going to try to pare things down.

Whirlwind

1 minute read

My social life has officially gotten out of control.

The nose

2 minute read

I itched my nose.

How lucky am I?

2 minute read

Unfamiliar man, delivering a bouquet of flowers

Maximum Density

1 minute read

I’ve essentially maxed out my current CD capacity.

Ventilation

2 minute read

A couple of weeks ago I was told that I’d received the equivalent of a big ol’ promotion at work.

Oxtail Stew

3 minute read

About once a year I get up the gumption to make my oxtail stew.

R. I. P. Michael Brecker

less than 1 minute read

The jazz world has lost a valuable asset. Michael Brecker, tenor sax player, died yesterday from complications of Leukemia.

Wow. What a deal.

less than 1 minute read

Can you beat a bargain like that?

Now that's depressing

less than 1 minute read

Do yourself a favor and don’t look at Box #2* on your W-2 form until you absolutely have to.

Bad Girls?

less than 1 minute read

“Don’t Stand So Close to Me” contains a line which has always intrigued me

New Year's Party a Success

1 minute read

No hostesses were harmed in the making of this party, despite their fears to the contrary…

Happy New Year!

less than 1 minute read

Welcome to 2007, everyone! It’s good to be here with you and I look forward to spending the year together!

Back to Top ↑

2006

Resolve

1 minute read

I normally avoid New Year’s resolutions

Shame on you, Pepperidge Farms

1 minute read

Not being insane enough to make my own puff pastry I went out and bought some. There were two kinds available: the $6.00 Pepperidge Farms and the almost $10 ...

Malt vinegar, anyone?

less than 1 minute read

What happens when you take five gallons of wort intended to become oatmeal stout, get all distracted and wrapped up in the petty dramae and tragediae of your...

Check Engine

1 minute read

The ‘Check Engine’ light had come on

Unintentional downtime

less than 1 minute read

The power blipped last night, so the server went down and stayed down all day until I could get home to restart it.

Bacon Brittle

1 minute read

Yes, that really is candy which contains bacon (and pecans). It’s not as strange as it sounds.

Christmas Traditions

4 minute read

Merry Christmas, everyone. May it be sincere and joyous and end with Christmas pizza.

Knowledge gained

less than 1 minute read

When making a cranberry tart (gingersnap crust, pastry cream filling, topped with cranberries), don’t steep ginger in the milk for the cream. Ginger, it turn...

My numbers in the polls

less than 1 minute read

Every once in a while in Calvin and Hobbes Calvin would walk up to his father, clipboard in hand, and inform his father of how he was doing in the household ...

Latex

less than 1 minute read

Semi-gloss. I’m sick to death of the stuff. Most of my weekend has been devoted to repainting my kitchen. Aside from an abundance of trim pieces (which will ...

Best of 2006?

2 minute read

Oh, the ignominy of the musical minority!

MISSING: Holiday Spirit

less than 1 minute read

LOST: Holiday Spirit. Last seen in vacinity of Northern California at the end of December, 2005. If found, please call immediately. Reward of cookies and ...

iPost Holiday Gala

2 minute read

Yesterday was the Second Annual iPost Holiday Gala.

Drugs

less than 1 minute read

This is the lazy girl’s post today, as I’m just cribbing most of it out of an email I received from a coworker.

I give up

less than 1 minute read

My grand plans have been derailed

MeSsaGE TO mOIrA

less than 1 minute read

wE Are KiDNAppINg yOUr PerSOn ThIS thuRSDaY

I'm going to be a gallery owner

1 minute read

Bare walls no more! I shall cover them with art and then I shall sell it and make my fortune off the backs of the exploited artists!

Bonfante Gardens

less than 1 minute read

Yesterday Andrea, Jonah, Archer and I went waaay down south to Gilroy to visit Bonfante Gardens.

Casino Royale

2 minute read

Blond Bond works for me

Joy!

less than 1 minute read

The Albertellis are moving to my neck of the woods Real Soon Now&trademark;.

Gym!

2 minute read

I love my gym.

Facelift?

less than 1 minute read

I’m experimenting with new themes.

MySQL Camp

less than 1 minute read

MySQL Camp on the Google campus

Whoops: down time

less than 1 minute read

It seems we lost power here last night.

Tom Waits' Orphans

less than 1 minute read

Good news for the two or three readers (aside from myself) who actually enjoy his work!

Fagles does it again

less than 1 minute read

agles does a quite literally beautiful job of capturing the tone and spirit of the original.

For your entertainment

less than 1 minute read

That ought to keep you out of trouble until I can get back.

Greatest? Really?

less than 1 minute read

I just got done ripping my copy of Santana’s Greatest Hits. The album was originally released in 1974.

Weekend Culinary Plans: Success

5 minute read

If “success” is defined as “ticking everything off the to-do list” then this weekend can be considered one, culinarily speaking.

That's more like it

less than 1 minute read

Thirty two minutes to travel twelve miles to work this morning.

The "WTF?" Generator

less than 1 minute read

Guy has the uncanny ability to get me to emit a “WTF?” more or less on demand.

Amused by spam

less than 1 minute read

A snippet from a piece of spam

The apocalypse is nigh

less than 1 minute read

Someone has seen fit to give Rachel Ray her own talk show.

PAW PAW!

3 minute read

“Paw paws: $4/lb”

Lemon-basil liqueur

1 minute read

Today I filtered and bottled a variation on the standard limoncello

Ewwwww.

1 minute read

That “funky smell” was my carpet.

I forgot how to write a "Q"

less than 1 minute read

I’m sitting here doing my bills and have to write a “Q” but for the life of me I can’t remember which on which side of the “O” to put the little tail. Both ...

Insatiable

1 minute read

The process of re-ripping my entire CD collection has begun.

Humbling

2 minute read

I like to think I’m healthy and in pretty good shape.

Cow or pig?

less than 1 minute read

Cow or pig?

Philadelphia Photos

less than 1 minute read

In mid-August my coworker and I got to go to Philadelphia to set up a new data center.

Zoom zoom?

less than 1 minute read

I just opened some mail from Mazda USA congratulating me for my purchase of a shiny new Mazda 3. In the envelope they’d included a “Zoom-Zoom” sticker.

More Italian than the Italians?

2 minute read

A few years ago a woman named Julie Powell decided to work her way through the entirety of Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking.

Mendocino to Lassen and back again

less than 1 minute read

This year’s vacation was spent driving over 1000 miles and hiking what sometimes felt almost as far.

Chocolate Liqueur

2 minute read

Guy and I have been doing a lot of experimenting with the making of liqueurs.

Facts and Rants

3 minute read

An almost political posting from yours truly…

"But that's not what I ordered…"

less than 1 minute read

I walked up to the counter at Peet’s and asked the gal on the other side to please give me a small Ethiopian.

Remiss as charged

less than 1 minute read

No name yet selected for the ESB.

Cheeeeese, Grommit!

less than 1 minute read

Drat, damn and blast! Oh, my kingdom for a house! Preferably with a nice dry basement!

A FirstStep Challenge

less than 1 minute read

The commercial floral industry is a dirty, ugly thing. No, really it is. Few “agricultural” industries use quite as much gunk and chemicals on their products...

Hannah's First Birthday Princess Weekend

less than 1 minute read

This past weekend I made my first ever trip to the Pacific Northwest to share in celebrating Hannah’s first ever birthday.

ESB needs a name

less than 1 minute read

In light of what happened the last time I asked this question I know that I’m going to regret this, but…

CAR!

1 minute read

ZOOM! ZOOM! ZOOM!

Fun with Live365

less than 1 minute read

Today I’ve been hitting random stations in the list Editors’ Picks listing on Live365.

Happy Bastille Day!

less than 1 minute read

Raise the ol’ red, white and blue, lift a glass of some fine (but not too fine) French wine, put on your copy of Rush’s Caress of Steel and party like it’s 1...

Ah, Syd. We hardly knew ye.

less than 1 minute read

I’d say it’s the end of an era, but this one ended long ago. Nevertheless, attention must be paid.

Too much to read, too little time

1 minute read

As a peek into the Mind of Me, here, with minimal commentary, is a somewhat extensive list of the sites which I try to visit on a more or less regular basis

Catching up

1 minute read

So here, in no particular order, is a quick run-down of what’s been going on…

If I Had A Million Dollars

1 minute read

So what if you only got a few lotto numbers correct and only got $500? What would you do then?

Mrs. Henderson Presents

1 minute read

I bring you observations made during a viewing of Mrs. Henderson Presents.

Beer: The Tasting

1 minute read

OK. So? I’m impatient. So I opened a bottle of Browncoat before Sunday. So what?

Name my beer!

less than 1 minute read

I’m hereby soliciting ideas for a name for this batch of beer.

Nut Brown Ale, Week #2

1 minute read

The foam has subsided from the top of the wort. The fermentation lock has slowed its bubbling. All sure signs that the ale was ready to be racked off into th...

Various updates

1 minute read

Activity on the brewing and alcohol front

Geek Holiday!

less than 1 minute read

May the Fourth be with you!

Artichoke stems

3 minute read

Heart? Ha! I’ll show you some heart.

Funny like a truck

less than 1 minute read

Goodnight mister. Goodnight miss. Mmmbye.

I'll be back?

less than 1 minute read

This morning I created a gmail account to act as a black hole.

Um…why?

less than 1 minute read

This week I had to buy new socks.

It must be magic. Black magic.

1 minute read

So today I bought a KVM switch for the office. Turns out I can’t use it (it’s USB, my peripherals are PS2). Drat. That means I have to return the blasted thi...

Mead professionals

1 minute read

I found myself in Santa Rosa today and took the opportunity to swing by The Beverage People for a little free advice. The very kind woman behind the counter ...

Mead Update

1 minute read

The yeasties are still munching, albeit at a slower rate.

Leak?

less than 1 minute read

Leak.

This weekend in food

less than 1 minute read

Let the audience at home think I’d given the food thing a rest, here, briefly, is the weekend update.

What? Where? How?

1 minute read

I have a bad memory and realize it. Rather than fight against it I try and work with and around this little flaw, so I’ve become a creature of habit in order...

ACK!

1 minute read

What happened to my hair? What’d she do?

To 11

less than 1 minute read

Sometimes you just can’t get the music loud enough.

Little Voice

1 minute read

People often need outside influences to do things they realize are good for them.

Are cows flammable?

1 minute read

Yes, they’ve got some potent gaseous emissions. And they cook up quite nicely in their “beef” phase of life. But can you torch a cow?

Flower necklace

1 minute read

Much procrastinating later I’ve finally finished my next “trial” piece of wire crochet. As with all of the others, this one takes the form of a necklace.

Enough is enough

less than 1 minute read

Dammit, I live in California!

Little bits of happy

less than 1 minute read

Those little birds that hang around cafes looking for crumbs Being warmed by the sun Puppy ears Sunlight through the trees Sleep

Munch munch

less than 1 minute read

The almost weekly mead update.

Yay, beans!

less than 1 minute read

Whenever someone takes a trip out of the country and asks whether they can bring me anything, my usual answer of late is, “Beans.”

That’s what blind faith will get you

1 minute read

One of this weekend’s other culinary projects was to make bread according to the recipe and method given by Alton Brown in his episode “Dr. Strangeloaf.”

Back to the ol’ grind

4 minute read

Many moons ago my parents gave me a food grinder attachment for my Kitchen-Aid mixer. It’s sat in my cupboard, doing little aside from taking up space. Unt...

Ack! Bloopage stopped!

1 minute read

What? The fermentation lock on the mead isn’t bubbling anymore? What does it mean?!?

Hi, honey

2 minute read

Back in the fall someone planted the idea in my head of making hard cider. That plan never worked out, but it did directly lead to the limoncello and other l...

Albums of my childhood

2 minute read

In no particular order, here are five albums that stand out from what might be called by some my “formative years.”

Meet the new logo

less than 1 minute read

I’ve been thinking of changing the scenery around here for a while now. I’m not ready to commit to a whole new theme yet, but I’m OK with changing the heade...

Sake Tasting with Beau Timkin

1 minute read

Sara and Marc are both alumni of Pomona College. Unlike my alma mater, people who graduate from Pomona seem to actually want to attend alumni functions. Ma...

Curious

less than 1 minute read

A call just arrived on my cellphone. Good timing, as I was on my way out and probably wouldn’t have picked it up had I been in the car.

Naked Fruit, Part II

1 minute read

The limoncello turned out so well that I decided to try again.

A bug!

less than 1 minute read

Though she never leaves the apartment, Moira has FLEAS!

Following the sun

less than 1 minute read

The Albertelli visit to sunny CA.

Zoom!

1 minute read

The overcast skies, overhanging trees and under-populated area gave it a somewhat eerie feel.

The wonder food

3 minute read

Many of the FirstStep readers are already familiar with my infatuation with the lowly legume.

Experiment with wire #2

1 minute read

The first one worked well enough, so it was time to make something slightly more involved.

The problem with my office

less than 1 minute read

This weekend’s project is to finish unpacking or otherwise dispatching the remaining boxes in the middle of my office floor.

Experiment in Wire

1 minute read

During my browsing of crochet literature I’ve seen a number of people mention crocheting with wire.

New Year’s Dinner

4 minute read

I think it’s becoming a tradition for me. Hosting an elaborate dinner to celebrate New Year’s Day, that is.

Welcome to 2006

less than 1 minute read

A grand new year has begun. ‘Tis the season for writing the wrong date on all of your checks, don’t ya know.

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2005

Now tell me again. What part of this is "wild?"

2 minute read

The movie Wild Strawberries finally bubbled to the top of my Netflix queue. Judging from the queue company it was keeping, I’m guessing that a couple of year...

Pink Pigs got Wings

1 minute read

A few weeks ago I stumbled upon this pattern for a winged pig{.broken_link}. As soon as I saw it I knew I needed to make it. I mean, it’s a crocheted pig wit...

Ice Blue Scarf

1 minute read

It’s not often that I purchase yarn with the express purpose of making something for myself, but this scarf is the exception.

Limoncello, Phase Two

less than 1 minute read

On October 30th I began the process of making limoncello. Forty days later, on December 10th, it was time to move on to the next step.

Moooovie?

1 minute read

This morning I had to make an unscheduled trip home in order to take my ailing car to the mechanic.

Snoopy Town

1 minute read

Charles M. Schultz lived and worked in Santa Rosa, California.

The Yearly Trek

less than 1 minute read

The dates have been set for this year’s trip to the Great White North.

Rent

2 minute read

Which got my heartrate up higher today, interval training at the gym or walking home after seeing Rent?

Catherine Wheel Scarf

1 minute read

For a change I wanted to work on a project which could be finished in fairly short order rather than being dragged out for months upon months

Mustela Sauceus

less than 1 minute read

The combination of sauces and weasels. It’s so simple yet so brilliant. How could we have overlooked it all these years?

Hang a Left

3 minute read

Today I had a whole lotta nuthin’ on my agenda, so I decided to go for a little drive.

Halloween 2005

less than 1 minute read

Hannah’s first Halloween

Better late than never

less than 1 minute read

This baby blanket only 2.5 months late rather than the 3.5 it would otherwise be as I feel I’m owed that extra month.

PUPPY!

less than 1 minute read

I want a puppy!

Smoke + Mirrors

3 minute read

I was talking to a friend at work today. In the discussion he stated that he was a geek, then fairly quickly recanted saying that he can be no such thing as...

Congratulations, Jen!

3 minute read

This morning my friend Jen walked the Nike Women’s Half-Marathon.

Bizarro World

3 minute read

In what must be a low-grade fit of madness, I once again started in on unpacking the boxes sitting neglected in my office.

Welcome back to the digital age

less than 1 minute read

Please give a warm interweb welcome to my brand spankin’ new Canon PowerShot A520 digital camera.

IE issues

less than 1 minute read

It’s come to my attention that viewing this site in IE results in a whole lotta ugly.

California Roll Off

3 minute read

On Saturday I attended a high school marching band event here in Petaluma.

I found a peanut.

2 minute read

Something no one ever told me about before I moved up here, and which I never would have expected otherwise, is the wind.

I love my office

1 minute read

The company is great and the people are fantastic, but what I really love is the small dark room where I spend all of my time during the week.

The written word is not dead.

less than 1 minute read

You’d think that someone who doesn’t watch TV would have plenty of time to sit around and read to her little heart’s content.

Back to normal

less than 1 minute read

We’re back to the boring ol’ Golden Gate Bridge again.

I am a goody-two-shoes. Usually.

less than 1 minute read

When did I turn into this boring seemingly-self-righteous altruistic fuddy-duddy stick-in-the-mud?

ARRRR, ME HEARTIES!

less than 1 minute read

FirstStep be flying different colors today.

Their loss.

less than 1 minute read

How? Why? Why don’t people cook for themselves?

Bus: 1. Vicky: 0

less than 1 minute read

groan OK, alright, I’m getting up already.

This is not a photo op

1 minute read

Almost the entirety of Saturday was spent in Napa with a cast of colorful and highly entertaining characters.

Now where did I leave my lips?

2 minute read

Six days from today (one week from yesterday), I go to my first practice with the Petaluma Community Band.

Just too much

1 minute read

Why is it there are still packed boxes of crap lying about my house?

ring ring

3 minute read

At this hour on a Sunday, that call could only be Dad.

Theme Wuhan

less than 1 minute read

Here’s your next choice of themes. It’s called “Wuhan.”

Face lift

less than 1 minute read

This week I’ll be trying out a few new themes for FirstStep. This is the first of them. It’s called “Almost Spring.” Needless to say, if you have an opinion ...

Death to the Blue Carpet

1 minute read

A few months ago I came to Petaluma to view an apartment. It was listed as 900 sq ft., the second floor of a Victorian close to downtown. When I got to the...

At Long Last!

less than 1 minute read

Just a short post for now, but I couldn’t resist saying something now that First Step is finally back on the air (so to speak).

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