My most recent blather that I don't want to show up on my main blog. posts
processing my sumac harvest

After drying my sumac harvest and rubbing the berries off the clusters, I ground it by hand with mortar and pestle.

Passed through a sieve to remove the seeds and stems, an amazing spice emerged.

This is the first time I've processed a spice. It reminds me of processing tobacco in the barn as a kid. So tactile, hands become sticky with dry sap, and it smells amazing.

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Found this gorgeous thing on a bush, in a spot that I'm eyeing as a site for a small pond.

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solar update

Been online via satellite for over 24 hours straight and have not used dialup at all for ~5 days. Solar upgrade is really working out; batteries have recovered significantly in the past month and despite summer waning, I have more power every day.

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sumac + garlic

Cut a bumper crop of sumac just ahead of the rains. Amazing flavor.

Don't know yet how to process/store it, but I did make this jar of infused sumac garlic olive oil.

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Anna's garlic

Split out the biggest cloves of Anna's garlic and planted them today.

The remaining pile-o-garlic should satisfy me for a month.

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lemon harvest

This is my biggest lemon harvest ever from my potted meyer lemon tree. I've had it for 10+ years and it's always a joy. Next two lemon harvests in prep already..

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Borg seems like the closest backup program like obnam. The main difference is it uses per-client AES keys, rather than gpg keys. So a backup can't be easily made accessible by other gpg keys.

I suppose that encrypting its AES key to the gpg keys you want to be able to access the backups, and storing the encrypted AES key alongside the backup will get the same functionality.

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Drove to Canada and back. Home!

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I walked over this bridge probably a hundred times, but never went down to see the waterfall. Let alone hiked down the gorge to Ithaca before.

Probably sums up my Cornell experience in some way.

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far above cayuga

Back at Cornell for the first time in 21 years. My feet still remember the way around.

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putting up pears

Around a quarter of my pear harvest canned now.

The small jars are ginger-pear chutney. Need to find the time to make more of that, it's stunning.


I'm not a user of it yet, but by chance I noticed your activity mixed into the git-ssb-web feed the other day, including commits on keysafe, which I had never heard of before.

Then today, looking over the project's github repos, I noticed an attempt at a Shamir's Secret Sharing backup system. It seems to work by just sending the shares to your choice of friends. As I understand it, unlike email, it not possible for them to delete the message.

Although compared to keysafe's independent servers, it seems much more possible for two people you know to both have been compromised (or just to collude, but presumably they'd have a good reason for doing so).

- NickNovitski


I happened to be wearing my old LinuxCabal T-shirt when I ran across this video.

Wow, memories.

first snow

of the season..

learning blues harmonica

First try at learning blues harmonica. So far I'm concentrating on learning to play single holes. Hard enough for now, although I think I managed to bend a note once.

I have found my happy sound though. Just draw through hole #1 on my C harp and I get that nice lonesome train sound. This is the easiest hole to draw, too.

perfect popcorn

Weird popcorn experience. I screwed up the first pan, burnt and mispopped everything. So I cleaned it out and put it back on the stove, still quite wet, tossed in a small amount of (olive) oil and popcorn (no test kernels, just all at once), and tried again. This time the corn took quite a while to start to pop, I could hear the water/oil mixture sizzling and splattering the inside of the pan. When it started to pop, it was all over in under 5 seconds, no trail off of slow to pop kernels like I typically get. And only 2 kernels didn't pop. Perfect.

Something went on with that water/oil mixture. My guess is that the water regulated the temperature, as long as the water was in there everything was kept right around the boiling point. When the last water evaporated, the temperature must have shot up to popping point very uniformly and quickly.

mackerel sky

With a full moon behind the blue clouds. Gorgeous tonight! And windy, and brr..


Black bean soup and garlic shrimp home cookin'.

seth on diablo

Driving up Diablo, we're always in awe of the bikers going up it. When we're not thinking they're insane. :-)

Seth biked up. Awesome, and happy b-day!

everyone should program

Funny, I use vimoutliner just like Matther Palmer, and like him I also think that everyone should learn to program. If you don't know how to program, you can't truely use a computer. You can only fiddle with constructs someone else has made for you on a computer.

Somehow I doubt either of these ideas will catch on, but it's nice that I'm not alone in my heresies.