Hiring Again

One of the writers at work left recently, and today we’re interviewing for his replacement. This brings back memories of last year about this time when we were interviewing to grow out team by one writer.

That outcome… Let’s put it politely and say the person we hired proved incompatible with the team and the work. The approximately sixty days she spent with us remain indelibly etched in my memory.

Needless to say, we want to — have to — do better this time. I found in the last interview that I’m really terrible at judging people. I assume the best and just cannot tell when they’re a bad fit. I hope this time I’ll learn from the mistakes of last time and judge more accurately. Continue Reading >>

Elemental Collection

After spending so much time learning facts about elements, reading books about elements, playing with ptable (https://ptable.com/), and pretending to be elements, I suppose Benji would inevitably want to start collecting physical samples of elements.

That day has arrived, with Himalayan peaks of excitement and Mariana Trench depths of despair.

Last night Benji adamantly insisted he WOULD begin collecting elements that very moment. In a rare moment of logic, I managed to convince him to plan out how he would organize them, where the would go, etc., before dashing off to begin gathering items. This strategy paid off immediately: As we repurposed the poster board from his kindergarten science fair project, we rediscovered the samples of pure metals we had displayed on the poster. This gave us about half a dozen elements right off the bat. Continue Reading >>

Fishy Adventures

At Christmas we welcomed a guppy named Butterfly into our home. This marks our first foray into pet ownership since Ian and I moved back to Washington, and Benji’s first pet ever. Fish don’t exactly fulfill the “snuggly buddy to play with” role that a mammal might, but they do have the benefit of demanding very little. And over time it does appear that Butterfly might, slowly, be associating the food container with food.

Anyway, Butterfly has survived in our care for three weeks, so we decided to introduce some additional fish into the tank. One guppy occupying an entire 20-gallon tank made people ask, “Is there anything in there?” After a little research, and at the recommendation of the pet store, we purchased a dozen neon tetras. (Now, reading the recommendations, we should’ve gotten 15 neon tetras. Oh well, I trust they won’t feel too stressed.) Continue Reading >>

Riding Again

On Sunday I went for my first ride outside after surgery. I rode my rain bike on a solo modified 7 Hills of Kirkland loop and felt like a puppy off the leash, a wind-driven cloud, a butterfly freed from its cocoon, a plastic bag finally joined with its brethren in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. Oh wait, sorry, not that last one.

My left leg felt both awesome and terrible. Awesome, because I didn’t have any of the excruciating pain I’ve come to expect on rides. That means that the surgery worked! Continue Reading >>

Bay Area Hiking

As promised, here’s a post with pictures from the hikes I took in the Bay Area while waiting for my appointment time.

Just to remind you, here’s what it looked like near my neighborhood on Monday that week:

IMG_20200113_121349

You can imagine how I luxuriated when I stepped out of the car at a park in the hills above Palo Alto on Friday and got this:

Bay Area Hiking
Bay Area Hiking
Bay Area Hiking
Bay Area Hiking
Bay Area Hiking
Bay Area Hiking
Bay Area Hiking
Bay Area Hiking

After finishing a 3.5-mile walk at the first park, I had a little extra time, so I drove up the hill a little farther. There I found another couple parks. I picked one and, at the suggestion of a helpful ranger, found a trail where I enjoyed the sweeping views. Continue Reading >>

EIAE Update: Two-Month Follow-Up

In the 11 days since my last post (sorry), I’ve jogged. Since I resumed going in to the office to work, I got up at 4:40 am, went to Ian’s gym, jogged on the treadmill for 40 minutes, and then came home and started my regular day. A couple times I jogged outside, but mostly I stuck pretty consistently to the surgeon’s instructions: No biking; no weight training; jog on a treadmill as much as you want until the two-month follow-up visit.

Needless to say, I keenly anticipated that follow-up visit, which took place yesterday, January 17. Continue Reading >>

January Snow

I’m writing this retroactively to note that, for the second year in a row, we got substantial snowfall that canceled school for an extended period. Fortunately that period only stretched to three full days and one two-hour late start. Even so, once again, it threw everything for a loop and added to my deep anxiety about making it to my surgery follow-up (spoiler: I made it).

Snow. On Sunday, January 12, some flakes started drifting down in the evening. By Monday morning, Benji’s fondest wish had come true: School was cancelled as snow blanketed our area. Continue Reading >>