Wednesday, January 08, 2014


Hey family -- remember this commercial?  The jingle popped into my head after... four decades?  That's good jingle.  So I decided to Google it.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013


Hamish made quick friends with this dog the other day.  They chased the ball non-stop for twenty minutes and finally took a break.  They were thick as thieves at this point.

Frosty morning

It's been seriously cold this week with no real relief in sight.  Our house does not heat terribly well so we are left to bundle up and shiver.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013


Trying to cure some olives that we picked off the tree in the backyard again this year.

Photogenic dog

Maybe we are biased, but we think Hamish is a good looking dog.

Veggies a la Mark

Recipe for Veggies a la Mark

Chop squash, zucchini, okra, water chestnuts, green chili (optional: baby corns, broccoli, cauliflower).  Fry on one side in vegetable oil.  Flip everything, season to taste, add chopped Chinese cabbage or chard, and a spoonful of ground red chili, and maybe a splash of stir fry sauce or rice wine vinegar, and fry for another minute.

I do this a couple of times a week these days.  Delicious.

Monday, May 06, 2013


An side effect of the genealogy research I've done over the last year or two is an effort to document various things about my own life.  Not because I think it will be important or even mildly interesting to future generations, but just for my own satisfaction.  So I've been keeping (privately) a number of lists of things that stick out in my memory, or more accurately that I want to keep there.  Some examples:

  • Concerts I've attended
  • Comedians I've seen
  • Lectures I've seen
  • Plays I was in, in high school
  • Addresses I've lived at
  • Countries/cities I've visited
  • Airports I've flown through without visiting the city
  • Where I was when I first heard about various news events

At any rate I've just come across a site called BoardGameGeek that has an impressive catalog of just about every game you can think of, spanning back decades.  So I decided to see if I could find a few that stand out from my childhood to keep as another list.

One in particular I could only remember the barest details of.  It was a baseball game, and was already an old game when I was very young.  All I could remember was that the pitcher would select a pitch via a little slider, and the batter would decide whether to swing or not via his own slider.  The equations were good pitch+swing = hit, good pitch+no swing = strike, bad pitch + swing = strike, bad pitch + no swing = ball.  So I looked over all the baseball games in their database and finally found it behind the last link in the list.  You can see the sliders in the "Images" section.  It actually debuted in 1949!  (Edit: there's actually a version of it made in the 60's that's the more likely candidate.)

I also found this messy and slightly hazardous game that I used to have.  Hard to imagine a kids' game these days that features a heater that heats up a metal washer.  I'm glad the internet can still surprise you after so many years.

Sunday, May 05, 2013

Trip hazard

Hamish likes to crash out on the shower mat when you're in the shower.


Tried my hand at baking for the first time ever, and this red velvet cake was the result.  It wasn't perfect, but not too bad for a first effort.

Wednesday, May 01, 2013


Now that I have a new droid with a decent amount of memory for apps, I can get back into photo blogging at least.  Which means, not a lot of text, but a picture is worth some quantity of words, isn't it?  Anyway, if you know me, you know of my recent kidney stone issues.  So here's my view for the last few days while I was getting the second one lasered.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Catching up

This blog seems to have followed a common pattern, where there's initial excitement that can go on for years, followed by a gradually tapering off, eventually to nearly nothing, followed by the occasional "I'm going to start blogging more" pledge that never actually pans out.  So I'm not going to promise anything.  I do know that I really like having the early days to check back against for reference, and that I'll regret the long stretches in recent years where there was nothing written here despite things happening in our lives.

Rather than try to remember all that I neglected to post about, I might as well just say what's happening now.  Others in my family are having health issues at the moment, which I won't go into (other than to say "Hi!" and "Get better!"); instead I'll talk about my own.

During a recent vacation to Sydney I had a mild attack of kidney stones, so a part of each day there was spent trekking down to a medical clinic for consultations, scans, diagnoses, etc.  Followed up on it when I got back to Melbourne, and after some more tests, it looks like I'm going to have a percutaneous nephrolithotripsy for them, where they jab a needle into my kidney, break up the stone, and suck out the pieces.  Twice, for the two stones.

It doesn't sound like a lot of fun.  I'll probably have to do three days or so in the hospital for it, and a week off of work.  Mostly I just don't like the idea of being effectively stabbed in the back, and worry about infection and such.  But it should solve the problem for the long term, which is good.

First I need to get some x-rays to make sure my stones aren't the uric-acid kind, which would be awesome because you can get rid of them with drugs; this is unlikely though.  I see the doc again next week.