Finished reading: Peculiar Peril by Jeff VanderMeer ★★★★☆📚

December 2nd, 2013: at the Dresden Christmas Market.

Partner made Naan today (along with Turkey Tikka Masala).

cooking naan on a baking steelbatch of naanTurkey tikka masala

macOS Big Sur TimeMachine and Bootable External Drives

If you have any bootable APFS containers on an external drive, macOS Big Sur will not allow you to assign any of the containers on that drive to TimeMachine. I had to delete my SuperDuper! volumes, but SuperDuper! doesn’t work yet on Big Sur anyway. Here goes another reorg of my external drives! Hope I don’t need to buy another. But dang TimeMachine on an SSD is incredibly fast.

Stuffing waffles. So crispy & savory.

stuffing waffles

Mandarins and Meyer Lemons are ripening nicely. Maybe one more month until the Mandarins are sweet enough.

mandarin treemeyer lemon tree

Leftovers 🎉. Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

Alice’s Restaurant, a Thanksgiving tradition:

The makings of Thanksgiving dinner for a couple is bread for stuffing and Turkey stock for just about everything. My partner is very busy; I don’t cook! ❤️

turkey partsturkey stock in jarshomemade sourdough loafcubed sourdough bread for stuffing

Pecan Squares instead of Peacan Pie. And as we’re not having Thanksgiving with anyone, dessert is a day early! 😋

Sunset during our isolation vacation at the North Coast of California.

Fox Sparrows (?) enjoying the cultivated California Grape raisins. We’ve also perhaps identified House Finches… in addition to the many White Crown Sparrows (not photographed).

Fox SparrowHouse Finch

New M1 Mac Mini on the way

I bought a new M1 Mac Mini, 8gb RAM with 1 TB SSD for home server duties and testing software (like Homebrew) I need for a non-server machine. I’ve been using an older MacBook Air for server duties and it did fine but its lack of ports, large power wart, and space it all takes is less than ideal. The MBA also has the butterfly keyboard but admittedly, it infrequently acted up. Hoping Apple will give full credit for trading it in. It boggles the mind the new Mini will grossly outperform my 16” MBP with 16 GB ram.

Cistus × purpureus (Purple-flowered Rock-rose)

We brought ribeyes and a cast-iron with us (and the rest of what’s on the plate. Yeah that’s canned baked beans, so what?)👌

ribeye, searer vegetables, baked beans

Hot chocolate on the North Coast of California.

Moonlight over the Pacific. Above the moon, Jupiter and then Saturn.

Sundown at Trinidad, California. We’re hunkered down here for a few nights, completely self-sufficient and not likely to go anywhere. Not a bad choice with this view. I have a feeling this is the last time we’ll risk going somewhere until vaccinations.

Good morning. This morning’s sun rise almost makes up for my neighbor being obsessive with their sheet metal shelters and sheds.

I’m very thankful that my family is supportive of not getting together for Thanksgiving and very likely Christmas. We’ve so much hope for next year being (eventually) so so much better.

I tested my journaling workflow in Big Sur on a secondary Mac and it worked. So I couldn’t help myself and, despite SuperDuper! not being ready for Big Sur, I installed Big Sur on my production machine. I’ve zero complaints so far.

The Results of the 2020 Home Orchard Fixed Daily Watering Experiment

This last orchard growing season, I watered using daily fixed schedules that took into account average daily evapotranspiration and estimated daily plant water use. I set up schedules for each month in the summer, since evapotranspiration and water usage changes significantly month to month. Previous years I had used a dynamic schedule determined by Rachio’s Flex Daily algorithm and Advanced Zone settings. The Flex algorithm greatly favors deep waterings and the interval is guided by daily estimated evapotranspiration. The trees often suffered on extreme California summer days under the Flex Daily algorithm — it watered too deeply and too infrequently so trees couldn’t get daily access to water with very high summer evapotranspiration rates. Flex does not account for extremely hot days where available water depletes, leaving trees struggling without water until the next day or longer. Fortunately, the Rachio irrigation controller makes it dead easy to create any number of watering schedules. The results of using fixed schedules tuned for each summer month this last growing season were pretty good. While the mandarins are undersized after the previous year’s bumper crop of well sized fruit, our Valencias and Meyer Lemons did great. The pineapple guavas also responded very well to daily watering with a surprising amount of growth. The avocados, while very finicky, did fine too. But it turns out no matter how much water they get, when temperatures go over 100 F their leaves scorch (so we had to rig up shade cloth over the young trees using ladders). Besides the avocados, the trees didn’t suffer greatly from heat stress with daily watering. I do wonder if the fixed daily waterings didn’t penetrate the soil deep enough, resulting in undersized mandarins, so next year I will try watering every other day and doubling the watering times. This should encourage deeper root development and perhaps provide more water to trees from throughout the soil column.

Scorched young avocado leaves despite daily watering:

Scortched, dried out avocado leaves despite daily watering.

Joint Statement by President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris On Diwali, the Festival of Lights:

But Diwali is ultimately a reminder of the light that’s within us all to hope and dream, and to overcome our differences and keep the faith in each other. That’s the light we see shining on this day and that will guide us through the darkness with knowledge, science, truth, unity, and compassion.

Toad in our bird bath tonight. That’s a first. We usually empty the baths to keep mosquitoes at bay and keep cats from being too keen on the backyard at night. Not tonight!

Planted a New Cherry Tree Today

I planted a replacement Lapins Cherry today. Bought it from Stark Bro’s and it has a great unblemished, no prune cut trunk. That is never the case if I buy locally, even from a family operated nursery. As planted, it’s a 42” tall stick. It’ll develop branches next spring. I finally got to use our homemade compost that’s been over a year in the making!

Planting the bare root tree.planted tree, in a slight mound.very dark homemade compost!