This is my web log, or "blog". I'm not much of a blogger (yet, anyway), so don't expect to post frequently. I'm also not using blogging software, so there's a bit of extra overhead to posting stuff and don't have an RSS feed for the moment. Mainly this is an archive of "diary" type entries, as distinguished from the less time-specific stuff in my writing section.

2022 Review

2022 has been a weird year, for me and for a lot of people. Work has been a big part of that for me. The organization has been going through a long-planned transition that nonetheless was ill-planned and rushed. It’s been a rollercoaster of rising and falling confidence for all of us; fortunately, at the time I write this, things are looking better for the organization.

2020 Review

2020 has been different for all of us because of the Covid-19 pandemic. I've been lucky that the effects of shut-downs have impacted me less directly, since I was already working from home, and I was working in a job that could switch to fully remote work and didn't have to furlough staff. I even avoided the grocery store rushes at the start, because I had plenty of everything on hand (even toilet paper). The only things I was worried about running low on were milk, eggs, and coffee.

Glasgow, Lyon, and London October 2018

Overlooking the Rhône river
Seeing the Queen (band) decorations on Carnaby Street
After the gin tasting with marc and Erin
Deed fried Mars bar

October saw a 2-week trip to Europe, one of my longer times away from home. The reason for the trip was the organization's annual meeting, held this year in Lyon, France. In order to avoid extra trans-atlantic travel and exploit a paid-for trip to Europe, I scheduled long-overdue visits to Glasgow to visit Marc and Erin, and London to visit Colin and Anthony.

Holiday Letter 2017

It's been a quieter year in terms of reportable events. The only work travel was the usual trip to San Diego at the beginning of March, and the annual November meeting that was in San Francisco this year. I didn't take my "usual" trip to the UK because the money that might have gone to that went to home improvements instead. I took a few day trips instead, including to the Wilder Homestead in upstate New York which is where Almanzo Wilder, the husband of Laura Ingalls Wilder who wrote the Little House on the Prairie books, grew up.

Vanilla Extract Tasting 2

About a year ago I did a vanilla extract tasting to test out different types of vanilla beans, as well as compare commercial to homemade. To refine the quality of homemade extracts, I wanted to test out how different alcohols affected the flavour of the final extract. So I prepared four extracts using the same beans and proportions, with the alcohol solvents being bourbon, Calvados (apple brandy), rum, and vodka.


Cryoconcentrating Cider

Cider slushie
Clean ice crystals
Diluted cider on left, and concentrated cider on right

I decided to try making ice cider this year. Ice cider is a sweet apple wine made from concentrated apple cider that allows more alcohol production than normal cider, along with residual sweetness after fermentation. Normal cider is about 10% sugar, and this has to be concentrated to at least 30% sugar to make ice cider. The defining feature of ice cider is that it is concentrated by partial freezing, causing ice crystals to form, and the sugars are forced into the remaining unfrozen portion.

Lisbon Tourism

Santa Justa Elevator (base)

I visited Lisbon, Portugal last week for the W3C annual meeting, and scheduled a couple days after the meeting to look around. Marc and Erin arranged to come down from Glasgow to meet me, though Erin was unable to in the end so it was me and Marc having a good catch-up and sending Erin cruel messages about the fun we were having. The work week had been intense with a couple really late nights, so I was really ready to hit the town.