Stuck Inside

Not a whole lot to go on this week. The weather has been atrocious (all things being relative,) restricting me to a steady routine of playing on my computer and/or binge-watching DVR’d Gunsmoke episodes. I have done no small amount of both. I even updated the main picture on; It needed a little freshening up. Of note, the picture was taken at the same spot as the previous one, ten years later. (Napali Coast on the north shore of Kauai.)

On the PC / Home Network scene, I rolled out a super-neato new ad blocking setup. For the last several years, I have run an ad blocker on my home router, which has served me well. But, I had a few old Raspberry Pi’s laying around collecting dust, so I decided to put them to work. After a little reading, I decided on Pi-hole as my solution. A very little reading, I might add; It’s pretty much the go-to for ad blocking. It took me a little longer than I expected, due to some of the “oddities” of my home network that I’d long since forgotten about. After a few hours I had it up and going though, and I am quite pleased with the results. As it happens, I had two of the little Pi’s laying around, so I made a second one as a backup, in case the first ran into trouble. The house is now happily ad-free online. What advantages does this new setup give me over the previous config on my router? Well, in truth, none at all. It did serve to kill several hours of my weekend, and that’s about it.

Other than that, it was quiet. We had another couple over for Valentines dinner, and enjoyed what I considered a tasty meal. We went the traditional steak-and-lobster option. At least it’s something of tradition for us… That has been our menu for the last few years. I did the steak sous vide this year though, with rather successful results. For a relatively simple cooking method, I feel I’m just now starting to get the hang of the whole sous vide technique. We did chicken in it last night, and it came out tasty also. Just needed a year or so of practice I guess.

Merry Super Bowl Sunday

Lamest Super Bowl ever! It didn’t really help that I was entirely disinterested in the game in the first place, but then add in the fact that it was just a poor excuse for entertainment and it felt like a waste of a day. Well, the day wasn’t completely wasted I suppose. I kicked the morning off with a good cleaning of my PC’s. Ummm what? Yeah, cleaning my PC’s. To be exact, my NAS devices, but for the sake of conversation let’s stick with “PC’s.” That project was kicked off the other day when I happened to glance down and notice that one of them was completely covered in dust. The side vents were plugged, the external ports were all packed with dust, and they just looked generally grimy. I don’t know how they heck they got that way. I guess they have big fans, and big fans suck in dust. I dunno. At any rate they are not particularly cheap devices, and are semi-important to my day to day existence, so I resolved to give them a cleaning. First thing I did was order an air duster off Amazon. Little more than I intended on spending, but I just can’t bring myself to buy disposable cans of air. Through the magic of Prime, I ordered it Saturday morning and it showed up that same night, ready for me to use Sunday morning. I took the drives out of both devices, carried them out in the back yard, and just dusted away. Wow. Needs to be a regularly scheduled maintenance for sure, they were in bad shape.

I’m sure it seems like a day just couldn’t really get any more exciting after that, but we gave it a go. Since the game held no interest for us, we decided to at least eat some good football-ish food. We went the classic route; Wings and Nachos. For the wings I used a tried-and-true recipe I found some time ago that is supposed to be a knock-off of Peanut wings. I don’t know about that, but it is a solid recipe at any rate. Unfortunately due to some inclement weather I had to use the gas grill, but they still came out pretty darn good. They are even better cooked on the Weber kettle, but it was pouring rain. For the nachos we used some pork and chicken that were left over from a BBQ we had last week. You just can’t really beat pulled pork nachos, and the chicken was a dang solid topping too. That pretty much wrapped up the day. And now I’m staring at another long week of work, but doing so with a full belly and clean computers.

Quick Island Trip

We were able to sneak out of town for a quick getaway last week. It was short, but much needed and quite enjoyable. We got up super early last Sunday morning and drove down to San Jose airport, and flew out for a nice week on the beach in Kauai. We pretty much nailed the weather; It was rainy and “chilly” in El Dorado Hills, and sunny and 80 all week in Kauai. (I used the quotes there to point out that weather is pretty relative… By chilly I mean high in the 50’s. I understand it is chillier elsewhere on the continent.) All-in-all, a great trip. Donette’s nephew Justin and his fianc√© joined us, and we did some mighty serious relaxing. Plenty of beach-time, not a whole lot of “activities.” We did take a whale watching trip, which is one of our Hawaii staples. It was a good one too. Nothing super exciting, but we at least saw lots of them. The only snag of the week (my trips always seem to have at least one snag,) was a minor fender bender in the rental car. We were stopped in the seemingly endless traffic on our way to the beach, and out of the blue got blasted from behind by some lady. She actually hit the guy behind us, so hard that he was pushed into us. It turned out to be a minor ordeal though; The cops came, took a report, and we were back on our way. We’ll see how minor the rental company thinks it was when they get back to us….


Well a new year, and an all-new WordPress interface. I hope I can figure out how to use it, it is significantly different. Knowing my old-man challenges with change in general, I probably should have left it alone.

Anyway, I guess I will make some attempt at getting back into the routine of updating this. I have to ease into it though, so I’ll kick things off with just some pictures taken during my extended absence.