Garden Update

Experimental pepper garden update: Cayenne, jalapeño, Anaheim, Hungarian wax. We will ripen all peppers to red for making hot sauce and tastier eating. Direct seeded March 29.

Scrub jay!

Comet C/2020 F3 (NEOWISE) at 04:17. Very cool. The last quarter moon washed it out a lot. iPhone 11 Pro, night mode.

Watering the front yard and this hummingbird was really curious about the water and I swear the bird took a drink.

Our cultivated native California grapes are ripening! The birds will hopefully soon find them. Or we’ll enjoy them despite their massive seeds.

Our peppers are doing okay despite the very late seeding. Just a bit of brown rot initially but some Jobes organic fertilizer seems to have stopped that.

Somewhere around Tehachapi, CA.

The last two days of 110°F heat has also resulted in our cultivated native California grapes turning to raisins on the vine.

cultivated native California grapes turning to raisins

110°F yesterday and today. The avocados we planted 2-3 years ago transpire water more than they can replenish from the ground and so their leaves desiccate and die. Especially the young leaves on the Bacon (1) variety and random adult leaves on the Mexicola (2) variety. ☹️

Bacon avocadoMexicola avocado

Scrub Jay patiently waiting for the grapes to ripen.

The makings of Chai ice cream (admittedly without the tea).

Upon a recent update to VMware Fusion 11.5.5, sound began crackling in Windows 10. For some reason

sound.virtualDev = "hdaudio"

was missing from my .vmx file so Windows 10 was using VMWare’s generic audio drivers. Added that line into the .vmx file and all is well as now Windows is using its High Definition Audio device drivers. Thanks to this AppleVis post for giving me the idea.

Follow up: I just noticed that this AppleVis post reported nearly the same issue I had and the same fix. Apparently this may be known to be an issue at VMWare.

So many Brown Turkey Figs!

Leafhopper Assassin with a meal.

Hummingbird enjoying succulent flowers.

Shooting Star or Primula hendersonii (maybe) at Hidden Lakes, Lassen National Forest last Friday 6/12.

Sous Vide Filet Mignon, Medium Rare

We set the Filet Mignon into the water bath (in a bag of course, air displaced by water so water touches as much steak surface as possible), then set the Sous Vide to 130ºF. Once the water hit 130ºF, we set the timer for an hour to officially start the cook. When the Sous Vide cook was finished, we removed them to pat them dry, and then generously salt and peppered them. We then seared them off in a smoking hot cast iron pan with a tiny bit of peanut oil. After about 1 minute and 15 seconds, we flipped the filets, put unsalted butter in the pan, and basted the heck out of them for about a minute. So after about 2 minutes and 30 seconds of searing heat, we removed them and put a bit of finishing salt on them. This method worked perfectly for Medium Rare-- without the guess work of typical cooking methods! The steaks weren’t mushy, which can happen if you overcook thin pieces of meat in a Sous Vide.

Sous videFilet Mignon

Tostones or patacones (made whenever we find green plantains at SavMor, which isn’t often). 😋

Hidden Lakes, Lassen National Forest

We went on a hike to the Hidden Lakes in the Caribou Wilderness on the Lassen National Forest. It started at the Hay Meadows Trail Head, north of Lake Almanor, California. It was six miles of relatively flat hiking with periodic steep inclines. The trails were not at all crowded, though we brought masks just in case.

We saw a male Western Tanager (bird). I cropped to zoom:

Western Tanager on a snag

A closer view, using Pixelmator Pro’s ML Super Resolution with crop:

IMG 3227


And plenty of lakes — here’s Long Lake:

Long Lake

And plenty of Basalt of Hidden Lakes:

Basalt of Hidden Lakes

The Shooting Star flowers were brilliant:

IMG 3283

Volunteer tomato is flowering. Who knows what kind of fruit this might grow (if pollinated). So too blooms our late April direct seeded peppers blooming.

[Crispy Cheese and Kimchi-Topped Skillet Rice]( — quite delicious.

Keep MacBook from Sleeping with Lid Down

The MacOS app Amphetamine is pretty slick. As promised, it keeps my MacBook Air awake even if the lid is closed and there is no external display attached. So now I can run it as a part-time file server (via SFTP and Secure ShellFish for iOS). At least, that’s the plan. Since it is running on a laptop, I really appreciate the audio alert it’ll give if I unplug the MBA while Amphetamine is keeping it awake. Now that MacOS 10.15.5 has battery aging management, now is the time to try this out.

My goal is to somehow simplify things by no longer needing an aging QNAP NAS and using a single platform. I love the idea of having a spare laptop but also actively using it and getting more value out of it.

The California Buckwheat is now blooming — cool hot pink anthers!

The toyon is in full bloom and it is impossible to photograph its flowers without pollinators. A very popular plant!

Today’s front yard Poppies and Clarkias.