how is it almost august

Updates from the compound!

This morning I’ve learned how to on-line rescan a virtual disk so that the Linux server picks up size changes, re-size the underlying partitions, and also tell the LVM setup to resize so that I can actually use the new capacity I added to the VM three days ago that was never utilized. I swear I never want to admin servers but I always end up building and adminning servers.

I also made coffee, which was kind of weak tbh.

Just finished a reread of KITCHEN CONFIDENTIAL which is one of those “once every year or so” books for me, and I’m starting in on THE BALLAD OF SONGBIRDS AND SNAKES, because I was such a dork for the original HUNGER GAMES series and I was shocked to learn this prequel came out! I’m not 100% sold on the protagonist being the cruel dictatorial leader from the original books, but I’m giving it a shot.

Gonna go clean a kitchen and try to figure out how we’re going to manage our two kids’ schooling in the fall since my country is now run by incompetence.


gotta go fast

Or, in my case, painfully slow. I haven’t actually been outside on a run in years, but I went out this morning. I think I jogged/walked maybe a tenth of a mile? My GPS tracking failed miserably, so I don’t actually know, but for my dilapidated body it was a decent workout.

I gotta fix myself now, while I’m in my 30s and it’s easy. Or possible. Otherwise I’ll wake up in my fifties, completely unable to bend at the waist or move quicker than a gentle trot.

Also I gotta clean the kitchen today because I left it an absolute wreck. But I am pleased to report the brisket turned out amazing — less pepper next time in the rub, which was just salt and pepper to begin with, but otherwise my first 16-hour brisket smoke was a success!


kamado diaries

Stayed up until the wee hours of the morning trying to stabilize temp on my big-ol’ Kamado so I can smoke a brisket up all night. I’ve never tried Brisket before, it’s typically pretty expensive and hard to manage, but my brother convinced me to give it a go.

Of course the fire died, and now I’m awake and grumpy. I pumped some air into the bottom of the Kamado to try to get the existing fire hotter, but it needed more. Kamados don’t have separate fireboxes, you build the fire at the bottom of the “egg” then put the diffusers/grates/food on top of that. Which means if you need to maintain the coals? Off come the food, grates, diffusers if you have them, then you can play with it, then all back on.

Also it’s raining.

Stay tuned for Ep 2 in this series, “Why I’m frustrated that my brisket isn’t good.”


wrong neighborhood

These geese are patrolling the neighborhood, just waiting to catch the wrong person in their territory. I’m not super street-smart or anything but I know enough to stay in my doorway and not cause these toughs any trouble.


focus, shifting

So I probably won’t get back to streaming on Twitch anytime soon. I had a good clip going, but it’s hard to keep up sans interest, and when my routine’s been interrupted for so long it’s hard to get back into the swing of it.

Streaming only really works if you’ve got folks who are interested in watching. It’s a surprising amount of work, and if you can’t be consistent it’s hard to build an audience. And it’s looking like for now I’m unable to be consistent, so.

I’d like to continue doing stuff with my setup though. Longer form video stuff might be the ticket there — not “watch me do this thing live” but “after I’ve figured out this thing, watch me do it and explain it in one or more scripted video sequences, with pauses for explanations and stuff.” It’s less conditional on the time of day, too — if I’m streaming at 3:00pm EST, and you’re busy working, you can’t watch live, which kind of matters when the goal is live broadcast.

Not saying I’ll never do any more live work, but for now it’s looking like I’ll be trying some new stuff.


streaming / trickling

I’ve been streaming software development stuff for a while now.

I started just writing a meaningless Ruby app, but that wasn’t fun for anyone — even me. Then I pivoted to writing a Jackbox-style Jeopardy clone in Phoenix LiveView. Not only does this let me get some more experience in a language I haven’t used, it’s also just plain fun.

Hard to keep going though.

The past two weeks have seen significant disruptions to my streaming schedule. Family plans, technical difficulties, and once just plain old “eh, don’t feel like it today.” Whatever minor viewership I’ve managed to build isn’t going to last if I can’t keep to a published schedule.

I’m considering moving back to longer-form, recorded video. It’s more work up front vs. just slamming the “BROADCAST INIT” button on the StreamDeck, but also there’s a longer tail on each. Folks can watch, enjoy, subscribe based on a video I published years ago.

Or maybe the trick is to only stream once a week but to make it a more polished product? Right now I’m winging each and every stream. I have a vague idea of what I want to do with the code, but no idea of how I’m going to accomplish it. Half the time I run into a bug that takes half my time budget to fix anyway.

Maybe I should spend the week putting together an outline for how the show should go, do a little rehearsal so I can do what I intend to do, get the production values up a little — my [streaming setup]( is pretty beefy as it stands but I could use a decent intro/outro and my main layout could also use some lovin’.

All that to say, if you like what I do, hit me up and let me know.


boiled veg water

I had half a bag of frozen kitchen scraps, too much celery to reasonably eat, some carrots that were on their last legs, and some forgotten garlic cloves that weren’t going to get used.

So, I plonked it all in my biggest stockpot — that conveniently had the built-in strainer — and covered it with water. Threw some salt in. Now I’m bringing it to a boil and eventually I’ll take a look at it and see if it’s any good.

Making chicken or beef stock requires bones, the good marrow-y ones ideally, and hopefully nicely smoked or roasted. But vegetable stock? Just take the peels/scraps of used vegetables (freeze ’em up and use them later, it’s fine), and maybe some veg that you know you won’t get to eat before it’s no good, and boil and season until it tastes decent.

Don’t use starchy veg (no potato scraps) or anything you wouldn’t want to drink a broth of. I’ve got some zucchini and cauliflower that were on the border, but I can’t imagine either would taste good boiled to hell. At least mirepoix stuff — celery, carrot, onion — would be edible.

I’ve posted Chef Becky’s Provencal Vegetable Soup recipe to If this turns out well I’ll be making a big batch of that!


covid birthdays

Earlier this year, my wife had her birthday. We celebrated as best we could — made a homemade cake, from scratch, with the kids. None of us had ever done that before! And presents were left on our porch by kind family members, which always helps.

Later in the year my youngest son had his birthday, and we video chatted with family and ordered him presents and decorated the house and made cupcakes this time. He said he wanted to go see people but we explained that we couldn’t and he’s young enough for that to be Good Enough.

My oldest son’s birthday is in a few weeks. Doing a grown woman’s birthday is pretty easy — it isn’t like we go wild for her birthday parties anymore. Same with a little kid, they’re excited about whatever you do special. But my oldest is old enough to remember having parties and celebrations with family and friends and also is probably a little ADHD and has a strong sense of “fairness” (despite his feelings having little relationship to the actual concept of fairness) and so yeah.

I’m expecting that day’s gonna be a little tough. But we’re gonna do our best with it and show him he’s loved and celebrate what an amazing person he is and will be. And it’ll be enough.


This morning I launched, a discussion forum for Columbus OH tech folks. Or Central Ohio tech folks. Or Ohio tech folks.

I’m tired of every single user group only having a Slack. Realtime chat is not the best way to build a community. Some of the Slack teams I’m on I can’t even follow anymore, they’re so busy. If I turn on mobile notifications my phone’s blowing up all day. If I turn them off and miss a day, I have no idea who’s talking about what.

Screw that.

Forums are persistent. You can put a thread up, come back to it a few days later. You can follow threads or categories you care about, and ignore the ones you don’t. Turn on email notifications and try to pretend its a listserv if you want.

This isn’t a Columbus Ruby Brigade thing, because it isn’t Ruby-specific. This isn’t a “sponsored tech hangout” kind of place. This isn’t supposed to replace Techlife Columbus, or your user group, or your conference. It’s supposed to be the conference hallway, or the bar after the user group. It’s run by my company Third Star Technology LLC, which promises to not narc on you.

Come bitch about the office, promote a side project you’re doing, tell us you need work urgently or tell us you’re looking to hire folks yesterday. Or just chill out and vibe. It’s at


why do i still listen

NPR has someone on Morning Edition, I didn’t hear who, who has a “wonderful plan” for dealing with Confederate statues in the United States: leave them up, just with placards that tell us “the cause this person fought for was wrong.”

Why the hell I turn NPR on still is beyond me.

The interviewer, to her credit, did tell the guy that she goes to museums and never reads plaques or placards. His response was to “make them and place them so they cannot be ignored” which makes me believe he has never gone on a school field trip, dicked around, and only gleaned the most surface-level information from everything.

Look, there’s an easy question that can be used to resolve this: would you erect a statue of Hitler or Goebbels in the middle of a Jewish community, and claim it was educational because you put it in front of a giant STATE THE OBVIOUS plaque?

[Editors note: if your answer differs from the “no” we’re clearly alluding to here, you may proceed to the station exit marked AIRLOCK.]

The Confederacy turned on their country and waged a horrible civil war so that they may continue to enslave other humans. They lost.

Statues erected many years later by sympathizers deserve to be toppled, crushed, safely blown up, dissolved in acid, or just plain ol’ thrown out.

If you demand that there be publicly available information about the Confederacy, congratulations you have finally discovered museums and history books. I’m truly sorry it took you this long to learn about them, they’re amazing.

If you want a reminder of how awful slavery was, please consult your basic fucking morality.

(Photo credit: Alexa Welch Edlund/Richmond Times-Dispatch via AP)