madbaker: (Bugs Bunny)
I deleted my LiveJournal account. That felt weird.
I was afraid this would happen when it was sold to a Russian company, but I wasn't incented to do anything until they moved the servers there (after explicitly promising never to do so).
madbaker: (Bugs Bunny)
I write checks.
It's the subject of today's WSJ fluff piece - those wacky Luddites who still use pen and paper to transfer money! I know my 28-year-old cow-orker not only does not write checks, but doesn't even understand how to reconcile a statement.

madbaker: (KOL)
I got new lenses for my glasses. The prescription isn't that different, but it's been two years so what the hey. I don't actually notice a significant improvement, but I did have them move the reading blend line down a bit. That is much better - I was finding myself having to tilt my head up to look at distance.

Every time I think about springing for the automatic darkening, but I never do.

madbaker: (KOL)
Our front stoop is terrazzo, as are many of the San Francisco houses of its time. It was cracked when we moved in and of course, it's only gotten worse over the last 12-13 years.

Our homeowners' association has somewhat-high dues, especially for what we receive. (I can totally say that: I've been doing the budgets the whole time.) That's in part because we started with very low reserves and needed to build it up. Now, however, we're over 90% funded. Time to spend some of that money fixing the place up! Which is why we didn't flinch from replacing the border fence, and why we're talking about redoing the upstairs yardlet to make it more of a party* space.
But first: fixing the front stoop. I e-mailed a bid acceptance yesterday. It's not cheap, but what the heck. It's like taking care of the broken sidewalks out front: more than I'd like to pay, but removing a potentially-negative first impression.

One could argue that the prudent thing to do would be to continue accumulating reserves. That's true, but I've also lived in too many places where you never fix anything until you're selling. None of us are anticipating being able to sell any time soon, but the logic still applies.

*For our values of "party".

ETA: Work starts Friday.
madbaker: (Nubian?)
[ profile] ursulav mentioned ginger-honey crystals. This sounded worth trying. I found out that GMC supplement shops carry them, and there's one near my office. So, I went in today.

The store is packed full of huge jars of body-building supplements. And a few other things, but mostly that. This is probably where Mark McGwire stocked up on creatine and andro. Eventually I find the package and go to the register, where two dudebros are standing.

DB: "Dude, do you put that in your tea?"
Me (looking at package prominently labelled "makes hot or cold beverage"): "Uh, yes."
DB: "Sweet. So what does it taste like?"
Me (looking at package even more prominently labelled "Ginger Honey Crystals"): "Ginger. And, um, honey."

I pulled out a $20 bill to pay for it.
DB: "Just swipe there and..." (notices me prominently holding out cash)
Me: "It's this new thing we have called paper money."
DB: "...What do you mean?"
Me: "...Don't worry about it."

These may be fabulous, but I can buy them elsewhere I'm sure. Way too high a dudebro quotient for my taste.

madbaker: (mammoth garlic)
2015 wasn't bad for us. The small company of which I am a small part-owner made money and continues to grow. I refinanced my student loan at half the rate. Commuting to the Financial District kept working out. I didn't work out anywhere near enough.

The wife and I are still married and still happy to be so. We didn't lose anyone close to us.

I continued making charcuterie. I actually baked quite a bit of bread (and rediscovered some of its joys) upon getting a sourdough starter that worked, and the $4 toast bread recipe ditto. Still making Resolution Recipes on average once per week, >10 years later.

SCA-wise, I didn't teach much at all unless you count going around with samples. I did an okay job as a deputy and will be taking over the main job in June, a prospect I do not really look forward to but is necessary. (I just hope I can do the job for only two years and pass it on in at least as good shape as I receive it.) I opted out of the GSP performance this year; I miss being part of it, but it was the right choice for more than one reason.

In short, life continues apace. Sometimes that pace is faster or more exhausting than I'd like, but that's life, innit?

madbaker: (PVP)
Christmas was fine. Star Wars Thursday. It was 40 degrees when I hit the office this morning. So far no one else is in. Can I go home and cuddle under the covers yet?

madbaker: (oxford comma)
Dear cafe next door: "Artisan" is not an adjective. "Artisanal" is. If you are advertising "Artisan sandwiches", they should contain real artisans.

madbaker: (Fred)
My shiny new (and much, much lighter and faster) laptop is almost completely configured and ready for use. The last step was setting up e-mail, which I managed with minimal hassle yesterday. Sadly I can't figure out how to copy over all my saved messages. That's probably a good thing in disguise - it forces me to go through and decide which five of the 300 are actually worth forwarding to keep.

Probably not today, though. I have to make a squash custard pie. We're driving over to my dad's place and cooking him dinner for Father's Day. (He isn't comfortable driving at night any more.) Since it's summer, I'm bringing a loaf of bread to bake and then we're going to have pimentos de padron flash-cooked in olive oil with shrimp, garlic, and saffron. With warm bread to dip in the oil.

madbaker: (Fred)
makeup Christmas Eve dinner on Christmas went quite well. We reheated the lamb in the smoker, and it was still rare in the middle. The green chiles disintegrated somewhat - that's what happens with unfrozen chiles that are baked on a leg of lamb, then left in the fridge still on the leg for a day - but the flavor was very nice. The Mexican chocolate pecan pie recipe worked and will be posted next week.

Company was good; I'm glad my dad no longer lives seven hours away. He is getting uncomfortable with night driving, so I suspect we'll be cooking dinner at his place in the future rather than hosting.

Christmas Day was a nice, quiet day with the wife. Back to work now.

madbaker: (Giants)
We invited my dad over for Christmas Eve. This usually works out well because when he was a kid, they opened all their presents on Xmas Eve. Christmas was... I guess for eating and watching football? Never understood that. Anyway, this is a nod to his family tradition and this way the wife and I get a quiet day to ourselves. (We meet my mother for dim sum on Boxing Day.)

...My dad never showed up. He called me this morning because he realized he thought he was coming over today. That's okay dad, we put the chile-wrapped lamb roast in the fridge and we can reheat it today. We had emergency Indian pouch food for dinner last night... which was okay, but wasn't exactly the stuff of holiday legend. Story fodder I guess.

madbaker: (life is good)
We had a nice dinner cooking for my dad last night. We usually do Xmas Eve with him; when he was growing up, that's when everything happened. Xmas Day was a time to sit and eat and veg, I guess.

Not that I can really complain. We got up quite late (for me), drank more than half a bottle of champers, and had poached egg and bacon and house-made English muffins. With lemon curd, raspberry jam, and citron marmalade. Not simultaneously.

Later today I will put in the boneless leg of lamb, which has been sitting in a dry rub for a couple days. Wrap in green chiles, caul fat, and roast... house-made eggnog ice cream for dessert...

madbaker: (figbash)
Ruddygore last night was good. The Gorey-inspired set looked fabulous, and not just because I'm a lifelong Gorey fan. I'm glad we went to see [ profile] aimeric and Laurie. As I often remark, Ruddygore is my favorite Gilbert & Sullivan operetta - not least because the baritone gets to be the romantic lead for once. %$^&*$# tenors. The "matter" song is also one of my favorite bits (and it was performed well last night). The only less-than-stellar bit, in my opinion, was the actor playing Dick Dauntless. He couldn't maintain a consistent lower-class sailor accent when speaking, and it completely vanished when he sang. (His singing was quite good, however.) Probably for the best that he didn't attempt Cockney.

Late night, but well worth seeing.

madbaker: (Krosp)
I haven't been Posty McPosterson lately. No real reason, just haven't been in the mood. I have a couple Resolution Recipes to put up, and I should talk about our Getty visit (which was awesome). Maybe putting up a post about not posting will break the logjam...

What I'm reading: Tim Powers, Salvage and Demolition

madbaker: (Krosp)
Men are power-washing the front of our house from scaffolding. Right outside my study.

madbaker: (Fred)
Modern art is like a nicely buffed guy. I can appreciate the aesthetic view, and the effort that goes into producing it. But it does nothing for me emotionally, and I don't want to live with it in my house.

madbaker: (figbash)
We had to take Galen in for a urine test - he was dry when we went in for the yearly checkup - and I took the opportunity to ask one of the vets a slightly odd question. It turns out that yes, she is the little sister of one of my high school friends. I think she was a freshman my senior year.

Said high school friend bought their parents' house and has three kids, the oldest of which is a freshman at our high school this year.

What I'm reading: Simon Green, Blood and Honor

madbaker: (Fred)
It's nice to have a day off.

We had a very nice, low-key Xmas. We visited my dad on the eve and cooked him dinner - the first time his oven had been used. Yesterday we had an impromptu Xmas breakfast with the upstairs neighbors: they made Hangtown Fry and mimosas and I baked scones. The rest of the day was quiet.

Today we head down for dim sum with my mother, which is now a Boxing Day tradition for various reasons that I don't feel like getting into.

madbaker: (cthulu-meer)
A few weeks ago we paid large sums of money to have our front sidewalk, driveway, and rear pit torn up and re-concreted. It was well worth it - we went in with two neighboring houses - to improve the curb appeal, as well as get it done before the city ticketed us for the broken-up sidewalk. Which, by the way, was in large part due to the city-planted tree that the neighbors have to pay for to maintain. And whose roots were repeatedly clogging the two houses' pipes...

But anyway. The wife and I called in our local plumber to fix a tub leak; while he was there, we wanted him to look at the house outside drain, which was clogging up.

It turns out the concrete contractors filled in the drain with cement.
Sigh. The fuzzy upstairs neighbor has called them and they'll be coming it to look at it. I have this perhaps-unfounded fear that they'll simply jackhammer out the cement, completely breaking our sewer pipe.


madbaker: (Default)

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