Week ending 5/30/21

Chrome Tabs : 80 → 80

Gmail Inbox : 74 → 61 Unread, 77 → 64 Total

One of my favorite things is experimenting with new flavors, making new cocktail ingredients, etc., but I haven’t done as much of it lately as I’d like. This past week I was able to make two infusions (ahem “macerations”, sorry Carl) of two of my favorite herbs - lemon verbena and chamomile - as well as an attempt at dianthus syrup “grenadine”, inspired by Darcy O’Neil’s fascinating research on the historical origins of this possibly misunderstood ingredient. Well, it’s the right color, but I have yet to see how it tastes in place of grenadine in a pre-prohibition classic like a Jack Rose or Ward 8. Soon…

I outlined a pretty in-depth set of goals for the second half of 2021, coming up. This was an exercise prompted by work with my coach, but it’s kind of surprising in retrospect that I haven’t been doing this already, on a regular basis. I do a quarterly review which somewhat sets out goals for the future, but tends to focus more on the 3 months prior and what I learned. I think this will be a good practice moving forward, as long as I keep it loose and don’t get too attached to particular outcomes or make my goals too crazy (I know some people feel like shooting for the moon is the only way to go, but so far I haven’t found that works well for me…).

Interesting happenings in the Anytype (forthcoming open-source, Notion-like, local-first app) community. They are aiming to accept their remaining alpha test applicants through June, which is a dramatic acceleration of their onboarding and will be a notable test not only of their alpha software, but of their community and feedback mechanisms. I have a call scheduled with their team this coming week to talk about that and maybe more…

My caterpillar raising adventures continue. Somehow I have ended up with around 12 pupae, but no butterflies for a week or so. It seems as though they may be waiting to emerge (or dead :grimacing:) which is something they do sometimes, though usually to overwinter rather than in the middle of their normal season. I’m experimenting with putting some outside (normally they’re in my dining area right now), and other things, hoping to prompt some of them to emerge. The world needs more butterflies! If I’m successful, photos will follow. :grin:

I finished listening to Michael Pollan’s “The Botany of Desire” audio book and was surprised to find it was not the most engaging experience. I definitely enjoyed “The Omnivore’s Dilemma”, and “Desire” takes the same structure, or rather, “Dilemma” does as it came after (which I didn’t realize until I finished it). In any case I just found there to be too much speculative pseudo-philosophy, allusions to Greek myth, and unscientific anthropomorphizing of evolutionary process to quite connect with it. And to be clear, I do enjoy a bit of some of those things, and his often evocative writing style with a clear love for and wonder in nature, plants, and his garden, which I share. This just felt like it fell too deeply into sentiment and flights of fancy to sell his premise. But it seems like his writing may be getting better if “Dilemma” is any indication, so I might try something more recent of his in the future…

I’m planning a road trip with a friend for mid-June, up to Oregon, to explore some areas I’ve never been, and visit some old friends up there. I’ll be traveling with a friend and I can’t remember the last time we did something like this together, so it should be a real adventure! He’s got a 4WD that will allow us to do some off-roading that my Prius can’t hope to manage, so that too will be new and exciting (I grew up driving 4WD vehicles because I had to cross a creek to get to my house, but it’s been years since I had access to one).

Hummingbird update: they opened their eyes, their beaks are lengthening, and actual feathers are coming in! They grow incredibly fast. Below is a week or so of photos, taken about once a day. Compare to last week. :open_mouth:

As more and more people are able to start visiting in-person, I’m enjoying how social and chill my cat is. She and I have gotten to know each other entirely in quarantine as I adopted her last April or so, and until somewhat recently I wasn’t sure just how she might do with “strangers”. She gets kind of excitable sometimes and runs around, but she also loves to snuggle with people, whether she knows them well or not, which makes me very happy. :blush: