Why blog?

Why do I maintain this blog?

It requires me (the way I have it set up) to maintain a VPS to host it, to run Syncthing to make it easy to edit blog posts, to keep a domain registered and pointed at the VPS, and I need to find some reason to put something here every so often or what’s the point?

So what is the point? It is just a place to publish my thoughts, my public ephemera. For some reason I want to put a piece of myself out on the web and leave it there for people to find. I could do it on Twitter or Facebook but I find they insist upon themselves. Most people I know wouldn’t even politely pay attention by reading even as far as this if the text didn’t directly concern them in some way, and I can’t blame them. We are all busy, there is a lot of content, and it’s not all interesting.

Part of my keeping this here is to see if it will ever get organic Google traffic. Probably not! I find that interesting because there was a time when a site like this had a slight, slight chance of being discovered by someone. Now, I know my bounce rate will 99.99999% but it is still interesting to crack open the analytics every so often and see how people ended up here. Hint: no one ends up here.

Because no one comes here I feel comfortable writing that I am working on a new story idea where the Split Brain theory is actually related to an alien super-race planting a “voice” in our heads to guide us. It is supposed to be subtle, it evolved with us, but as our worlds are more complex morally and socially the voice diverges and becomes more obvious to some people. In others the algorithms have split into more than one voice, or the voice has become overbearing. In this world I am imagining it takes a person who has excelled with the voice, become the ultimate example of what the voice was guiding him to be, to discover he is nothing but a puppet. Deep meditation has led him to be able to distinguish the voice from his true self. But everyone would think he was insane if he explained his discovery.

Meanwhile, an observer from the super-race who, like a small percentage of others in her society, has been kept in her natural state (not merged with the Strict Father hive mind to preserve a “backup copy” of unaugmented minds in case it is ever needed to fix a computer/brain virus or other failure) and yearns to be part of the hive mind in the same way as our ultimate human yearns to be free of his guiding voice. A neuroscientist who has been following the humans career has made the same discovery. Can these three unite to free the Strict Fathers and humanity from their shackles?

And so forth.

Coffee Tips (Espresso)

Discussing using home prosumer espresso machines with a co-worker and wrote up a summary of what I have learned over the years.

  • Save your money and buy pre-ground Illy espresso… a grinder good enough for grinding espresso is very, very expensive and Illy, while expensive, is an excellent quality espresso ground perfectly for “prosumer” machines. Take some time to calculate how much “extra” you are paying for Illy per pound over a good coffee you would grind yourself. Then divide that into the cost of really good grinder (one you would not be disappointed with).
  • Don’t use the milk frother… buy a $10 - $40 milk frother that warms and “whisks” the milk on the countertop. Prosumer machines rarely froth milk efficiently and it’s a pain to clean them…
  • Fill the espresso basket until it is rounded over the top then apply 10lbs of force with the tamper… you can do this on a bathroom scale to get the force right… it only takes a few tries to figure it out… this gets a good pack for the slightly underpowered home machine normals can afford
  • Penultimately, use “preinfusion”. Some prosumer models pre-infuse automatically but basically: run the water pump until you see a drip of espresso and then turn it off as fast as you can (quicker the better but I have had this work even after 1/4 of the cup got extracted). Let it sit for say 20 -30 seconds, then turn the water back on… this produces WAY better espresso…
  • And also finally, if making capucinno just make the coffee into a low coffee cup and pull more than an espresso shot, it’s fine.

The espresso machine I use now is the Breville Cafe Roma: https://www.amazon.ca/Breville-Caf%C3%A9-Espresso-Machine-ESP8XL/dp/B0002VAFWA/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1528408112&sr=8-1&keywords=cafe+roma

The frother we are using is the Brewberry Electric Milk Frother & Heater, Stainless Steel: https://www.amazon.ca/Brewberry-Electric-Frother-Heater-Stainless/dp/B01GQQZ64G/ref=sr_1_7?s=kitchen&ie=UTF8&qid=1528408159&sr=1-7

Illy Espresso: https://www.amazon.ca/Ground-Espresso-Roast-Coffee-Packaging/dp/B007PDDDWC/ref=pd_sbs_325_2?_encoding=UTF8&pd_rd_i=B007PDDDWC&pd_rd_r=c9634abe-6a9c-11e8-8e75-010044d11cdd&pd_rd_w=1cR4k&pd_rd_wg=PowgZ&pf_rd_i=desktop-dp-sims&pf_rd_m=A3DWYIK6Y9EEQB&pf_rd_p=3743643050606576516&pf_rd_r=2N8NNQHQJRDCC259SK06&pf_rd_s=desktop-dp-sims&pf_rd_t=40701&psc=1&refRID=2N8NNQHQJRDCC259SK06


Last night I was thinking “man, I haven’t had a cold in forever! I am so healthy” (spoiler: no, I am not).

Just sneezed about 3 times in succession. Can definitely feel a cold coming on.


I get up early. I want time. Time to work, to write, to organize my papers and so on. I down an espresso while the aeropress steeps. I might have a problem.

I am trying to eat a big breakfast (low carb, high fat, includes vegetables), snack at lunch, big dinner (LCHF + more veg).

sitrep 2018-05-31

Been good to get back to work. I am having trouble settling down to work this morning so thought I’d do a quick post to clear my head and refocus.

  • 8-Tracks continues to be the best aid to kicking my brain into gear - along with coffee, of course.

  • In free time I have been working on some Google Apps Scripts to handle some defciencies in Google Tasks (easy list email for grocery list, send me one random task from my WIP list at scheduled times, etc). The “random task” takes very little time to code and has great pay off if you have trouble focusing.

  • Stretching - I have fallen behind and am trying to get back to doing this a couple times a day like I was doing a month or so ago. I am getting one stretching session in most days but i need to get better. My long term health depends heavily on this.

  • A clean environment is a productive environment for me. Working on office tidying and getting the garage squared away after all the big house projects (generating a lot of tools everywhere and cardboard/packaging/mess) has made a difference for me in focusing.

sitrep 2018-05-25

Day 7?

  • Leaving for home tomorrow morning from Tofino.
  • Started using Multiling O Keyboard this trip. I spent a lot of time configuring it but I’m pretty happy with it now. Prediction seems to improving as I use it…
  • The place we are staying I’m Tofino is tiny and had zero light blocking so our son is not going to sleep well at all. It’s a bit of a nightmare.

sitrep 2018-05-21

Day 2 and start of day 3:

  • Stanley Park - really incredible park and a great beach. It was nice to smell the ocean and get our get wet. A large heron was hunting for worms very close to where our son was playing in the mud flats. Very cool.

  • Our day started with the Lynn Canyon suspension bridge. So incredible. The views are mindblowing and so are the very tall, old trees you see all around you. Definitely a good spot for “forest bathing”.

  • Not much to report on the culinary front as we’ve been mostly cooking in our airbnb and trying to stay low carb but we might get off the plan for some excellent pizza. Looking for a place now!

sitrep 2018-05-18

Vacation day 1 - the mountains are beautiful and we aren’t even all the way into them yet. Tonight we’re in a motel that reminds me of my childhood. Beds are comfortable, though. Sadly, the WiFi is garbage. :)