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Idling in Idyllwild

Those familiar with southern California would be forgiven for thinking that it is a mostly dry place, with scrubby brush and stubby trees. If you move here from NorCal, as we did, you soon come to miss the tall redwoods and old oaks that dot the hills and valleys.

You’d be forgiven for thinking its a dry place, but you’d still be wrong. Head up any one of the three or so mountain ranges around here and you’ll soon find yourself driving through alpine valleys bordered tall mountains which are often snow-clad even in summer, studded by pines which may not be what you are used to, but are familiar nonetheless.

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Youtube vs. Vimeo

You may notice that sometimes I use Vimeo for my videos, and sometimes I use Youtube. My decision process is pretty simple: if the video has music, it goes on Vimeo, otherwise it goes on Youtube. Youtube will cram ads on videos with music, and I don’t want to trouble you with ads.

BTW, Vimeo used to have the advantage in terms of encoding quality. That isn’t really the case any more. The community is still awesome though.

A Lazy Covid Saturday

This a quick post to my future self – something to read when the quarantine is nothing but a faint memory…

The coronavirus threw everything out the window, and devastated a lot of people’s lives. For the lucky enough to have a job easily done remotely, like me, it was chaos, but not terrifying chaos. It took a while, but eventually my family and I settled into this new, hopefully temporary, reality.

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Antartica 2020


When I say ‘indescribable’, what I mean is that I don’t have the art to describe it. That no matter what I write, I’ll be unable to convey the feeling of being there, the scale of the thing, the sounds of the place, and the feeling of being somewhere so unfrequented by us humans.


So many penguins…
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Five Years, One Post

A lot has changed since that ancient post from 2014 (“look at my new apple watch!”, :eyeroll:). I’ve changed jobs, cars, houses, and even cities. I bought a boat, travelled to Yet More Exotic Locales, learned new skills and abandoned old ways of thinking.

So much stuff to write about. I’ll mine it all slowly for posts and such, knowing full well that I’m basically writing for myself (why not? It’s fun!). Still, I owe my ancient blog a “previously on”, and here it is.

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Galapagos 2019

I was lucky enough to visit the Galapagos back in February aboard the Silver Galapagos. What an amazing trip!

This video is a distillation of about 6 hours of 4K videos (roughly 300GB!) into about 4 minutes.

ps. I’m starting up the blog again to have somewhere to post things like this, and other longer-form items that don’t fit social media’s attention-starved ecosystem. For example, there is a ton of cool footage I’m proud of, but couldn’t fit into 4 minutes.. Hi again, y’all!

Apple Watch, Two Weeks In

I’ve now had my Apple Watch for two weeks, starting from AW Emergence day (thanks to my Apple Store pre-ordering prowess). I spent one of the last two weeks abroad, and the other here at work, so I’ve had a chance to use it in various ways.

tl;rd: It’s neat, but can be borderline annoying, and potentially turns you into a watch-hole.

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Driving in the Rain

I finally drove the Roadster in a decent downpour today, and I loved it. I took the (rare-in-CA) opportunity to push the limits a bit and discover how my car comported itself in the wet – I figured it was better to do this now, in a safe way, than to do it in the middle of an emergency.

Driving my Lotus in the rain was always a slightly terrifying ordeal for many reasons: no traction control, warm weather tires, a oversteer-tuned suspension and being so low to the ground you were always in someone’s spray. It was twitchy, white-knuckle stuff, and I never really enjoyed it.

And the softtop leaked on your shoulder the whole time.

The Roadster, as I have it set up today, corrects the worst of these problems. The traction control makes it *almost* impossible to kick the rear out (I tried), the car oversteered a bit, but in a very controllable way (especially helped by the electric throttle control). It is still deep in the spray, but the transparent hardtop help a bit.

I also did some very hard launches and stops on wet pavement, and the car felt in full control at all times (I was only able to trigger the ABS when I drove over some wet leaves).


OK, let me get this out of the way: I loved the movie. Mostly, I loved that scientists and engineers are the Heroes, and they talk like actual scientists and engineers that I know, and are flawed and human. So there’s that.

And the visuals were breathtaking. I need me some tickets to Saturn.

However, since poking holes in movies is in vogue, here is my engineery hole-pokingfest (spoilers after the More)

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