My first experience with Microsoft Teams

I started out my day by reading the open letter from the Slack people. I thought it was spot on. I love the Slack. You have to use it to fully appreciate it. I knew Teams was coming and my greatest fear was that Microsoft would just check a bunch…

First Attempt at Hydroponics

I decided I wanted to try to grow some hydroponic vegetables. My family loves leafy greens year round. Lettuce does not grow well in the summer here, or in the winter. Spring is the best time for lettuce, but the season is short. Hydroponics seemed like a natural solution. I…

How to build a self watering system for seedlings

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Every year I start seeds for my garden in my basement. Every year it is inevitable there is a time when I am out of town and cannot water my plants or otherwise take care of them. In the past I have hired a neighbor kid to come and water…

Inconvenience Store

I have a long list of things I would do if I had billions of dollars. Those things do not often include fancy cars or fancy houses. One thing that I remember seeing as a kid is a Gary Larsen cartoon featuring an "Inconvenience store". The scene was set with…

Backyard Adobe Kiln part II – The Results

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As previously mentioned, I built a kiln out of adobe bricks that I made in my backyard. See my other post to see how. After that, I wanted to make some test pots. I found a couple sources of clay. The first was a narrow band of yellow clay that…

Making a Backyard Kiln for my Backyard Pottery

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In my earlier post on Making Primitive Pottery in my Backyard, I used clay I had dug from my yard and fired it in a pit. While all well and good, I wanted to see if I could do better. So I decided to make a kiln. I had also…

Software Testing and Design in the Men’s Room

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It seems like testing is the hip thing to do these days. Developers are almost more proud of the tests they write than the code that makes the product work. Clone a repo from github and run the tests. It is a great practice. Don’t get me wrong. But…

Stupid things that usually cause defects in software

In software, it seems like there are certain things that we implement that result in the same defects every single time. They are difficult to test and catch in action because they may only occur at certain times of day in certain places around the world. One way to catch…

Pickled Eggs: The perfect use for your Easter eggs

If you were to rank all of the things you can do with eggs, crème brûlée would probably be near the top. Following very close behind is the pickled egg. The pickled egg is one of the finest foods you can put in your mouth. It is more than a…

2014 Garden Retrospective and 2015 Plan

Every year I like to try a few new things. Last year, all the new things I tried were failures. I was also reminded of why I had stopped doing some other things. This year I will be building on what I learned. A Few Sucesses From Last Year Grilling…

Nuance is the Essence of Design

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Let me qualify that title. Design is so much more than just making things pretty. A well designed object is as simple as it needs to be, but no simpler — as probably said by Albert Einstein. Nuance is the detail that makes a design great. I was recently given a…

My Favorite Wassail Recipe

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This is a recipe that my grandmother made every year when I was growing up. Later, my mom made it, and now we do. It is a fantastic winter treat. This is a non-alcholic version so it is good for the whole family. I suppose it is more of a…

Air Quality on the Wasatch Front

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The air in Utah along the Wasatch front is notorious for being bad in the winter. Sometimes in the summer, but in the winter it can get really, really bad. How bad you say? The news likes to hoot and holler when it is among the worst in the nation.…

QA Engineers, Learn About Design

I was on vacation in the mountains of Colorado. We were staying at a small cabin near the Conejos river. The simple A-frame, 2 bedroom cabin was built by my wife’s relatives in the late 1970s. As you would expect from a good cabin, it is supplied with old…

GUI Automated Testing is the Worst — And What to Do About it

The temptation is great. A new feature is developed and the tester goes right for the GUI test. After all, it tests the complete stack of code just like the customer is going to use it. While true, any promises of time or money saved from writing that test are…

Grilled Peaches and Ice Cream

AT the end of winter we are rewarded with spring. At the end of summer, we are rewarded with peaches. There is nary a fruit finer than a fresh peach. I do not claim that this recipe will improve on the experience of eating a fresh peach. I do claim,…

Finishing My Backyard Primitive Pottery

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After several attempts at making a simple cup, (see my previous post on making primitive pottery) I finally got one that was good enough to fire. Above you see my pieces ready to go. I am fully aware that my cup looks like a small pot. The other piece is…

Chicago Zoomed in

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I made a recent trip to Chicago to attend An Event Apart. As we wandered about the city as tourists in the evenings, I tried to take pictures as close as my lens would allow—just to see what I could come up with. Here are some of my favorites.…

Revisit to my rye-ish bread

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I had another go at making bread. I have tried baking in a pan and really prefer the free-form loaf. I used the same recipe as found in my previous post on making artisan bread. I really focused on making it look as good as it tastes, as my previous…

My Favorite Handmade Soap Recipe

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Why I Make My Own Soap It started as a challenge. My wife wanted to buy this $9USD bar of soap in La Jolla California. I thought, “if there is anything different about handmade soap, there has got to be a better way than 9 bucks a bar.” While prices…