March 2016 in review

Various photos and events in March,

Amongst lots of inclement-weather days, one really nice weekend for a walk through CBG

Seeing They Might Be Giants at the Vic in Chicago.  (Lyall’s favorite: “Clap your hands”, my favorite: “Robot Parade”)

Waiting for the show to start

Waiting for the show to start

Residual snow on the court (or field) didn’t stop anyone from outdoor tennis (or baseball) practice.



For that matter, when it did: board games and visits to the gym.


Wall art


This gallery contains 7 photos.

Me: “How about we paint something like this? I’m thinking steampunk /slash/ Wysocki.” Artist (not me): “hmm…”

Music in 2015

Now the Pazz & Jop is out, so I can check for albums from early in the year that I’d forgotten.  Here’s my best-of list, in which compared to the nominal P&J critic I overvalue sonic beauty and timbre, production and engineering, and harmony; undervalue lyrics, melody.  (For reference: 2013 and 2012)

Best-of 2015 (version 3)

  1. Punch Brothers, best of the year, of which every time I listened I think of someone to whom I could drop-ship a copy.
  2. Joanna Newsom, almost as good as Have One on Me, maybe better if you appreciate the efficiency of packing as much into a single-album package.
  3. Sufjan Stevens, took a while to grow on me, unusual in serving equally well as background music or listening music
  4. Low, my favorite of all the Lows so far, just the right mix of spooky and something else
  5. Dave Rawlings Machine, is not a Gillian Welch record, but as close as we get is still a really engrossing listen
  6. Sturgill Simpson, like everyone else who liked this album, I don’t much like country, but I keep listening for that vocal tone and will file it away between Bill Callahan and Nick Cave
  7. Torres, rockous and catchy in the same way that Metric used to be
  8. Metric, rockous and catchy almost in the same way that Metric used to be
  9. Decemberists, slowest burner of the year (as was The King is Dead) but now pop-easy to listen to and hum along


Training 2016-Jan

In 2015, some running, here and there; one charity 5k, 25:16 and 9/50 AG.  Some biking, here and there; 463 commuting miles.  (Once upon a time, that would have been $90 of gas money.  Now it’s not enough electricity bill to cover bike brake pads)  TRX class, yoga, boot camp at work.  Just enough TRX and bootcamp in order to survive intro classes at the local CrossFit.

I still need a spreadsheet setup in order to own my data sufficiently.  (And, exercise is all about data provenance.)  Until then, notes, here,  Edit, all spreadsheeted.  First 15 crossfits, which means PRs for everything!  I’m starting to learn how much weight to lift up at a time, which may make watching the summer olympics more fun.  Caveat: I think I was too oxygen-addled on several of these to sum the weight, so let’s call them all ±20.  (Note: \pm character found using the very useful ShapeCatcher site.)

  • Deadlift: 265 (215)
  • Snatch: 105 (95)
  • Front squat:
  • Back squat: 185 (135)
  • Overhead squat: 95
  • Bench press: 170 (145)
  • Shoulder press: 95 (75)
  • Clean: 165 (145)
  • C&J: 145 (105)
  • Push Jerk: 155 (95)

Plus, a 1/31 bike ride on the luxury-bike, 20-mi loop to Lake Bluff.  41 and rainy with some residual ice and snow on the corners.  Now I hope I can find the photo I took of luxury bike leaning up against the shop-loaner BMW I was driving a while back.

Edit: found! 


Posted in VO2

Gordon the Hound

In memoriam, 2001(?)-2016.


Remember that time when we left the garden alone for an entire weekend?

garden cucumbers
It’s a cucumber year.  Pickling cukes, though soon enough those become munching cukes and salad cukes and target-practice cukes.

Good garlic, too, and a fair number of big multicolored tomatoes.  The jury’s out on the tomatillos; depending how many growing weeks remain, we might have 10 or 20 or 150.

We also conclude the weeks of cake bounty, as illustrated by mister 3 and his “here’s my cake, what are you having?” expression.

L third birthday cake


Nearing the end of September, the harvest is still going well.  Frequent, large toms, return of the occasional strawberry, and – maybe – a successful eggplant?   We have begun overgrown-yellowing-mushroomy season. 

Last year’s strawberry box is weathering elegantly.    Go go grow!

Early spring study in blue

All photos: iphone 5

Weekend notes, November

11/8: Saturday late awakening, following the Friday afternoon arrival from NRT. Morning leaf-raking (round three, fight!) with thing 2 and thing 3. Afternoon disc golf sprint with everybody, at Larry Fink park.

Sunday morning trip to LPZ. Favorite sightings,
E: Meercats
L: Peacocks (i.e. all large, colorful birds)
Grandma J: the pygmy hippo
Moi: Exotic birds flocking around us while the zookeeper opened a tupperware of grubs
Wifey: the Tawny Frogmouth

11/15: An early morning departure (and late afternoon arrival) from Seattle, i.e. land of many coffees.  (Best coffees? Storyville, Works, Monorail.  Best food? Radiator.)  Visitors from Bay Village and takeout barbecue (from RUB, of course) for supper.  Sunday, a walk through the light snowfall to Lincoln School for Pancake Day.  In the afternoon, with E to a peer’s bowling/slash/birthday party at The Alley.

11/22: An ordinary weekend, so far as I remember.  We’ve nearly exhausted the game cabinet with mister-no-age-restrictions taking on RFTG.


Contents of the game cabinet

  • Quarriors
  • Catan, knights and Catan Jr.
  • Agricola
  • Bohnanza
  • Ra
  • Power Grid
  • Pandemic and Forbidden Island
  • Lost Cities
  • Ticket to Ride
  • Race for the Galaxy and expansions
  • Puerto Rico
  • Carcassonne, River and T.C.
  • Sorry, Quirkle, Monopoly, Risk and various kid games

11/26: An early start to the weekend, with a Wednesday evening arrival of Anne from the 216. Thurday morning, both of us to the North Short Turkey Trot 10k, a decision that would haunt my quads and adductors for days to come. Food and coffee and food and coffee. After a cheeseboard lunch, a round of frolf with J and E at the sledding hill park while S and Anne chopped and cooked and chopped and cooked.

Friday, dinner at Publican. For the record, the three of us shared some assorted charcuterie: the headcheese was my favorite, pork pie also impressive, pate eech; a salad with persimmon, avocado and toasted quinoa; roasted squash, acorn and some others with a little molasses; clam fry, i.e. basket of lightly fried clams, cheese curds and onions; pork belly; roasted duck; squishing it all in with a bread pudding and last year’s Boubon County stout on draft. (It’s not as much food as it sounds like.) (On second thought, maybe it was.)