It’s My Birthday.

And tomorrow is Christmas.

About five years ago, my friend Angelique got me started on setting up a list of goals/”to do” for my birthday. I let it go for a couple of years, but picked it up again this year. And today starts a lot of these goals.

I’m not going to share most of the list, because it’s fairly private. But I will say that it’s odd to do this so close to New Year’s Day. It means the list isn’t really de-coupled from the traditional “New Year’s Resolutions” as much as I would like it to be. But that’s fine.

It’s also not as far removed from the chaos of the holidays as I’d like. And, unfortunately, this year hasn’t been as relaxed and fun as normal.… Continue reading →

Science Links

Retraction Watch, which you will see over on the right as one of the blogs I enjoy, recently retracted their advice for going to editors of scientific literature regarding misconduct. Editors will often first suggest contacting authors, which is a problem. “Contacting authors before anyone else knows about potential issues in their work, only serves to give unethical scientists time to hide their tracks – and let’s face it, those who are actually guilty of misconduct probably don’t have any scruples about covering up the evidence of that misconduct.”

I love the phrase “a bit of a goth parrot,” and it’s fascinating to read about this relatively oddball-looking parrot also being rare in behaviors by using tools. Grinding down seashells, eh? Possibly for the calcium!… Continue reading →

Today Feels Like a Cooking Day

It’s been grey out. Grey and wet. I know that’s what I was promised it would be when I moved here, but somehow knowing that wasn’t the same as experiencing it. It’s gotten me down.

Bill and I still haven’t found the sunrise alarm clock we normally wake up to. It’s making mornings a lot harder. On the other hand, though, he found a very cool bulb which fits into our normal lamps that seems to be helping. I try to sit under it for 20+ minutes a morning.

What isn’t helping is the completely terrible photo lighting in my kitchen. We actually have really big, beautiful windows and a nice view. It’s great for being in, when there’s even half decent amounts of natural light.… Continue reading →

Korean Lemon Tea

Sometimes, friendship arrives in the form of serendipity. And sometimes, that serendipity tastes of lemon.

A close up of a woman's hands slicing a lemon.

Long-time readers of this blog may recall that I spent a big chunk of time exchanging conversation in English for learning piano. I did a shit job of learning or retaining piano, I have to be honest. I know that was frustrating for Grace. But I also know we had a great time baking and eating and celebrating together.

It was a great way to make a friend, and swap cultural conversations. And generally be happy. And, back in those days, make new recipes for the challenge.

I miss Grace. And I never did learn how to make those ribs. A damn shame, because they were a delight. I wonder how she’s doing, as we’ve lost touch1.… Continue reading →

Beer Links

You guys know I don’t shy away from hard conversations in beer, and so when my friend Nora shared There are Almost No Black People Brewing Craft Beer. Here’s Why. on Facebook, I dove right in. In honesty, it says a lot of the same things Bryan Roth did back in August when he asked us to address the whiteness in the room, which is also excellent reading. Frankly, read ’em both.

I enjoyed the heck out of this animated snippet of Garrett Oliver of Brooklyn Brewery talking about how A Career in Beer Will Make You Poor — and Happy, According to Brewmaster Garrett Oliver. The description of “falling in love with beer” certainly sounds right. The full podcast is interesting, though at an hour and a half long it’s only for the hardest-core beer geeks, I think.… Continue reading →