New Computer Woes

I know, “woes”? Who pairs “new computer” with “woes”?!

Normally I wouldn’t pair those two words myself (although, as I’ve gotten older, I’ve become less keen on adopting new technology and much more keen on keeping my functional, familiar technology running as long as possible). But the last few days have convinced me to avoid getting a new work computer for as long as possible in the future, and that’s driving my unusual pairing of new technology with sorrow, misery, and anguish. Continue Reading >>


On my commuter bike, I currently run Compass Stampede Pass tires with tan sidewalls. Besides looking pretty slick, they feel and handle great, and 99% of the time I love them.

The big downside: Flats. Because they are supple and light, they are prone to flats. And the tires have a really tight bead with my rims, making it very hard to get them off and on. In fact, the last four times I’ve flatted, I didn’t even try to repair it myself. I just went to the nearest bike shop.

Notice how I said “the last four times”? Well, three of those happened in the last week, and two of them happened yesterday. Continue Reading >>

Career Update

I got my first promotion at work, from Technical Writer II to Technical Writer III. I value this not only as an acknowledgement of my skill growth, but because my boss uses promotions very sparingly. They only go to people he considers both technically competent and personally a good role model for others to follow. I really appreciate the vote of confidence, but also feel there’s more to live up to. I need to rise to the occasion.

I’ve known my boss was pushing for this for quite a while; he had to do some politicking to get it through because of budget issues, but fortunately for me he’s good at that kind of maneuvering. Continue Reading >>

Fabulous All Round

Yesterday Benji brought home a packet from school that he’d completed. It had all sorts of prompts, like “Here is a picture of my family,” and “I am X years old,” etc. Among this standard fare came a page with this prompt: “This year, I want to learn…”

His answer: “Chemistry, but water was the easiest to draw.”

I really wish I’d gotten to see his teacher’s face when she read that. I’m also very curious what other kids wrote. Continue Reading >>

Whistler Gran Fondo 2019 Ride Report

After a successful Levi’s Gran Fondo last year, I set my sights on the Whistler Gran Fondo as my big riding goal for 2019. I spent every Saturday all summer riding up all the biggest hills around, usually in succession, usually alone. This weekend the event itself capped off the summer of dedicated training.

I borrowed a car from Mom, drove up to Vancouver, and spent Friday by myself, first figuring out all the logistics of where to get my packet, where was my hotel, etc. The drive went well, except for driving in Vancouver, which stressed me out. After I had acquired my packet and checked in to my rather seedy affordable hotel, I found a grocery store and acquired oatmeal and yogurt. They had some really strange oatmeal flavors. Continue Reading >>

Talapus Lake Hike

Yesterday Dad and I took Benji for his first hike to an alpine lake in the Cascades: Talapus Lake, about 20 miles past Snoqualmie, just off I-90.

Benji had no trouble with the distance — just shy of 2 miles each way — and overall he handled the climbing with reasonable stoicism. It was much hillier than any hike he’s done to date. Although… I doubt stoics talked nonstop for hours on end. In any case, there were about as many meltdowns as I expected, but not more, which I consider a win. Continue Reading >>