Winds started after midnight here and dramatically warmed the air from ~75 to ~87°F. Likely katabatic winds.

Blue Jay yelling at everything this afternoon. Maybe it’s angry at the wildfire smoke.

Can confirm.


Good morning: light of sunrise reflecting off the smoke.

Today starts an oppressive heat wave. At least the humidity is low. The smoke from California fires is thin today so not getting much help from it.

A scrub jay checking out the new bird feeder. Birds haven’t taken to it yet. They’re still eating grapes and desiccated elderberries.

Finished The City We Became (great book) and now currently reading: Tess of the Road by Rachel Hartman 📚

August Complex smoke this afternoon. Silver lining is the smoke cooled the air temperature down several degrees.

Our trio of Scrub Jays are leaving almond hulls behind. Maybe they’re giving us gifts for providing water? We do compost….

We love this homemade smoked beef salami — could use a bit more paprika but great first try.

A day of discovery making salami for the first time with a smoker we were given. Smells and looks great but it may be a bit loose.

Kimchi-Brined Fried Chicken

Kimchi-Brined Fried Chicken Sandwich Recipe by J. Kenji López-Alt is an excellent recipe — those with lower spice tolerance may want to drizzle the finishing sauce instead of liberally brushing. We did not make the sandwich, but served simply with white rice and kimchi.Kimchi-Brined Fried Chicken

Still currently reading: The City We Became by N. K. Jemisin – and enjoying it! Making me look through my photos of New York. Oh look, Brownstone buildings! But hardly anything of The Bronx and no surprise: nothing of Stanten Island. 📚

Large ash flake that landed in my safe backyard — over a dozen miles away from the August Complex on the Mendocino National Forest. This had a lot of atmospheric lift to make it this far. You can see the leaf pattern!

Nothing but pleasant emotions with a view like this. I wish this were my backyard but so glad I had the presence of mind to take this photo. Hidden Lakes area, Lassen National Forest.

Overcome a poorly seasoned cast iron pan by cooking lots of fatty things like Guanciale.

The Annie Cat is not always relentless at being judgy. Sometimes she looks borderline benevolent.

Here’s some hope that our trio of Scrub Jays will eat our cultivated California native grapes.

Frosty garden grown hot peppers (from the freezer) about to become hot sauce. We harvest over the summer and freeze until ready.

In mid-2016 we discovered this graceful Silk Moth at Humboldt Redwoods State Park, CA.

I dislike Instagram’s new suggested posts. It is a new source of anxiety in that I might see something I try to avoid. Instagram is in solid FB territory now but is all I have to maintain connections with friends and family. Maybe it’s not worth it now.

This last week was insane and that is why I posted the Sourdough Dashi Scallion Pancakes twice for the August challenge. Is that cheating? Well, at least they were different photos. Also there is still a lot of Regina Spektor being played. And now Rilo Kiley.

VMware Fusion 12 Player

It is pretty awesome that VMware Fusion Player is replacing VMware Fusion Standard and Player is free for personal use. This is weird to me since I never expect a company to stop asking for money for great software. Now, it seems, I can upgrade VMware Fusion 11 Standard to VMware Fusion 12 Player for free and not miss anything. So weird! I guess VMWare wants to focus on business users and don’t want to cater to end-users like me. That would make sense as I will no longer be paying them money for their software. Well, this is pretty cool at this point in time.