Category Archives: Paul

Another WE Build Lesson

My exercise/smart watch (a Garmin, not an Apple Watch) is very good at bugging me if I’m getting sedentary or not reaching my current daily walking/exercise goals. (Currently at about 8,000 steps per day.) It also is very good at handing out cheap rewards if I hit that goal. It vibrates to get my attention, then shows a brief fireworks show in celebration.

From yesterday’s WE Build, I learned new things about that Garmin.

  1. When you hit that goal about 08:30, you know it’s going to be a long, long day.
  2. When you hit that goal a second time in any given day (i.e., something like 16,000 steps) it goes off with fireworks again.
  3. Ditto for the third time…
  4. When you hit 4x your daily goal, it should tell you, “Jesus, are you trying to kill yourself? Sit down! Chill!!”

It doesn’t, but it should. My brain filled in the correct dialogue.

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Filed under Habitat For Humanity, Health, Paul

Creepy

On this little shelf next to my desk I have a video picture frame that flips through a few hundred favorite pictures of family, friends, vacations, and so on. I also have a very special bobble head. At some point the shelf got crowded and the bottle head doll got moved behind the video picture frame.

He doesn’t seem pleased. Today I noticed that he’s just staring. And staring. And staring.

It’s pretty creepy once you notice it.

Yet strangely appropriate.

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Filed under Paul, Photography

The Thursday Egg

I’ve noticed something that I can’t explain.

I’m a creature of routine to a certain extent. As a result of this, I generally eat just about the same thing every day. In part this is because I’m always running late in the morning and need something quickly, in part because by “standardizing” what I have every day I can have it prepared for the whole week and just grab and go as I’m heading out the door.

There’s a reason that Steve Jobs had whole closets full of the exact same black turtlenecks and jeans. He never had to spend a second thinking or making decisions about something as trivial as what to wear.

One of the things that I have almost every day is a hard-boiled egg. It’s quick, it’s relatively healthy, it’s got some protein, and in theory at least, it’s easy.

For years we’ve been on a quest¬†to find out how to perfectly hard-boil eggs. (I could have sworn that I’ve ranted about it here, but for the life of me I couldn’t find any thing by searching for either “egg” or “boiled.”) We think we’ve got it about right.

FAQ: Put eggs in a pot with about 3 cups of water, put it on a low boil for 27 minutes. When the timer goes off, immediately pour out the boiling water and gently fill the pot with ice. This will cause the eggs to shrink while the shells stay pretty much unchanged, so the egg pulls away from the shell, making it much easier to peel the shell off. So easy that one tap and the shell just about cracks in half and falls off by itself.

Except on Thursday.

We boil six eggs on Sunday, for my breakfasts on Monday through Saturday. (Sunday morning we go out for breakfast before going grocery shopping.) The six eggs come from the same carton, they’re prepared the same way, they should by rights be about as identical as they can be.

However, I’ve noticed that almost every week, the egg I take on Thursday does NOT allow the shell to be peeled off easily. It fights every molecule of the way, the shell clinging to the white egg by shattering into pieces about five microns across, practically requiring sandpaper to get it off. The only way to eat the Thursday egg is by doing the snake thing, swallowing the entire egg whole, crushing it in our gullet, and regurgitating back up the whole and empty shell.

Why Thursday? The eggs are all the same, they’re all from the same carton, they’re all prepared the same, they’re all kept in the refrigerator the exact same way in the same bowl. What variable is at play that makes the Thursday eggs so different from the Wednesday and Friday eggs?

See, this is what your brain is reduced to thinking about after it fries (like an egg!!) from thinking about the state of our nation’s government (or lack thereof). Thanks, Trump!

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Filed under Deep Thoughts, Paul

Twitter As A Horizon-Widening Tutor

Tonight there was a mini-rant on Twitter by someone I follow in which they used a word which I did not know.

From context, I was pretty sure that I would be better off visiting the Urban Dictionary rather than Merriam-Webster. I was not disappointed.

So now I know about something that I might have experienced once or twice but didn’t know it had its own word. I am less ignorant than I was this morning.

It’s not clear where I’ll use the word in a conversation – but I’m ready if the need pops up.

And, no, I’m not going to tell you what word it was. Go look through my Twitter feed if you want, it’s not that hard.

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The Next Two Weeks

If you’re local and you’re interested in some interesting and unique aircraft, you’ll have some great opportunities to see some gems in the next two weeks.

If you’re me and you’re still trying to get your annual audit and corporate tax returns done on top of having two major events going on at Camarillo Airport (CMA), you’ll have some great opportunities to have a nervous breakdown in the next two weeks. Consider this a heads up that there may be multiple days when a couple of pictures might be all I’ve got time or energy for. The good news is that they could be really good pictures!

Fifi is the CAF’s B-29. She visited us for a week two years ago and she’ll be back for a week starting tomorrow (weather permitting, of course).

Two years ago I spent every day of that week out in Camarillo, not just to see Fifi but to help out with all of the activity that will be surrounding her visit. With a (great!) day job now (and that audit etc) that won’t be an option. Which probably means that something like every other day I’ll be going out to the hangar after work in the evening.

The following weekend, April 28-29, there’s an AOPA Fly-in at CMA. Again, I won’t be able to be out there on Friday, but the rest of the weekend will be spent out there.

Oh, and did I mention that this weekend I’ll be running a 5K and going to the Angels’ game in Anaheim, as well as seeing my daughter and sister(s) and family?

“No pressure – no diamonds”

Yeah, that’s it. If I make it to May with the audit done, my blood pressure under control, and my sanity intact (or at least not any worse off than it is now) it will be time for a vacation. Which I won’t get until August.

It’s gonna be a slice!

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Filed under Paul, Flying, CAF, Airshows

Eight Years

The “Four-Four” mnemonic (as in April 4th) has a special meaning for me for the past eight years.

I have no idea who took the picture – some random stranger who happened to be in the right place at the right time. There was no one else around and I really, really needed the picture to be taken. I remember seeing someone walking by and I shoved my point-&-shoot camera at him and asked if he would take the picture. He did and walked away.

I was a bit discombobulated and excited – I had just passed my FAA Private Pilot practical exam (otherwise known as a “checkride”) and was now a full-fledged private pilot, single-engine, land. That’s my certificate that I’m holding.

I had been certain that I had failed the test. There were a couple of things that I didn’t do too well, and one particular thing I thought that I had bungled. (He cut the engine on me and asked where I would land. I started off on whether or not I could make it back to Whiteman, Van Nuys was too far away, there were multiple freeways around to choose from, a number of golf courses up in Santa Clarita… He pointed out, politely, that we were almost directly over Agua Dulce Airport and I should probably be aware of that sort of thing.)

We landed, I taxied in and shut down the engine. He got out and started to do paperwork while I pushed the plane back into its parking space and tied it down. He came back over to me and I asked what was next, expecting to be told I needed to work on A, B, C, etc and then I could take the test again. Instead, he said he was going to start filling out my private pilot paperwork inside, when I was done locking up the plane I needed to come in and sign it.

April 4, 2009. It was a very good day.

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Filed under Flying, Paul

When Your Night Goes Left

All of a sudden it’s about 23:15 and you’ve got a couple of different folks bugging you for stuff…

…and you have no time at all to explain the long and bizarre story behind my attitude toward this poor, innocent blender.

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Filed under Paul, Photography