Port Gamble fireworks
He was asking for it. ?
Year one in Kingston
We just finished our first year of living in Kingston, WA, after moving from Moscow, ID last summer. While Kingston wasn’t necessarily the plan (we didn’t really know we were moving until we did), it’s hard to imagine landing in a better spot. We love the community (and the surrounding communities), weather, water, mountains, food, beaches, wildlife, and proximity to Seattle.
To push my self to write/post a little more frequently, I am going to write a short post about each of the general “loves” mentioned above over the next couple of weeks. Hopefully, I will follow through 🙂
For some reason I waited until I was 43 years old before knowingly making and eating a duck egg. If I was my father or his father I would have never had the chance. The duck eggs tasted very much like chicken eggs, but they were creamier (and larger).
Cline Spit County Park
Albums I am currently really loving
I find myself constantly listening to these four albums recently. Most of these are singers and bands that I have only become familiar with during the pandemic, thanks to Bandcamp Daily – a must-read for me these past couple of years.
By The Weather Station
By Black Pumas
Cooks Chasm Bridge
Boxing Day nachos
Port Gamble fireworks
Morning at the beach
I have become fascinated with ocean tides leading to Tide Now WA being one of my most-used apps.
Hood Canal sunset
Creosote Park views
Celebrating the halves
Any reason to celebrate is a good reason to celebrate. Especially these days holed up at home. So, we are celebrating our half birthdays this year.
It pains me seeing the Houston Astros in the ALCS. The MLB didn’t get this right.
Port Townsend waterfront
In the rain forest
Sunrise – Port Gamble
Black Lives Matter
Backyard stare down
Like so many others during this time of physical distancing, I have found myself watching The Great British Baking Show. It seems to be filling my need for consuming competitive events. I am also learning plenty about baking.
Bright through the trees
I felt my first earthquake today. It is weird feeling your house sway with items clanging. ✅ Life experience
Blogging like it’s 2011: I’m really enjoying using post formats. This past week is the first time I’ve ever used them.
Balcony on orange
width: max-content; is super useful and well supported.
Starting to use variable fonts. Super fun. Web fonts have come a long way. This is Montserrat served as a variable font.
A charcuterie plate lunch
My household’s embrace of physical distancing during the COVID-19 epidemic is in full operation. I hope you and others are taking this epidemic seriously and are taking appropriate precautions.
To kickoff the physical distancing I decided to do some pickling. I’ve been pickling onions and peppers for many years. They are wonderful on sandwiches, salads, cheese boards, and for topping off pastas, to name a few. For me the key is cutting them really thin, making them easy to pile on whatever it is you are eating. I feel the thinness brings along a better onion/pepper-to-vinegar ratio.
In addition to onions and peppers, I started pickling asparagus recently as well. I wish I would have started long ago. For me there isn’t a better pickled anything than asparagus. They are delicious. They are also convenient (grab a few spears out of the jar). They work as a snack or as a part of a meal. The key is using a hot brine for the asparagus (this also works great for Brussels sprouts), thanks to Six Seasons by Joshua McFadden for this advice. Just pour in the boiling brine into the jar of asparagus.
As for the cauliflower, this is my first time pickling them. I’m looking forward to giving them a go in a few days.
Note: these are all refrigerator pickles. They are usually ready to eat in 2-3 days.
I have settled on using the same brine for all of my pickling, hot or cold.
2 cups - water
1 cup - white vinegar
1/4 cup - rice vinegar
3 tbsp - salt
2 tbsp - sugar
When making the hot brine for the asparagus and Brussels sprouts combine all the brine ingredients and bring to a boil. When making the cold brine bring everything except for the water to a boil. Then add the hot liquid to the cold water.
The asparagus and Brussels sprouts use raw garlic, black peppercorns, dried chilies, and thinly sliced onion. These spears have a nice subtle bite.
The peppers and onions use raw garlic, black peppercorns, and mustard seeds. The mustard seeds provide a little tang.
And finally, the cauliflower has raw garlic, fresh rosemary, and one thinly sliced carrot.
Stay safe. Take care.
MLB and the Astros billionaire
Yesterday Major League baseball handed out their punishment to the Houston Astros for stealing signs during their 2017 World Series winning season. In addition to the punishment handed out by the MLB, the owner of the Astros, Jim Crane, fired his manager, A. J. Hinch, and his general manager, Jeff Luhnow. Both becoming the fall guys (along with Joey Cora, manager of the Red Sox, and Carlos Beltran, manager of the New York Mets) for the cheating that took place. The Astros also lost four draft picks and were fined $5 million. A small price to pay for a World Series title.
Inherent to baseball
After chatting with someone about the Astros punishment yesterday I was asked if I thought baseball players and executives were more likely to cheat than those in other sports. It was an interesting question. My first inclination was definitely not. There are cheaters in all sports. However, after reflecting a bit more, I couldn’t be sure. Baseball has always had ways to cheat that were considered a part of the game. Just don’t get caught. Corked bats and spit balls (and other substances) come to mind. Sign stealing has also always been a part of baseball. It is legal as long as you don’t use video equipment during the game to figure it out (this is also the case in college and professional football). And then there is performance enhancing drugs.
Cheating feels like a systemic issue from the top when considering how slow MLB was in figuring out how to handle performance enhancing drugs. It was slow because the money and attention were too good. The ratings and media attention around Mark McGwire, Sammy Sosa, and Barry Bonds were too much to pass up. While a black eye remains, the value of MLB teams increased significantly.
According to Forbes in 2003, the top valued MLB team was worth $849 million. The bottom valued team in 2003 was worth $113 million. In 2019, again according to Forbes, the top valued team is worth $4.3 billion. The bottom valued team is worth $1 billion. In 16 seasons that is an increase of 542% for the top valued team and a 885% increase for the bottom valued slot.
It appears no financial investments were harmed during MLB’s slowroll in dealing with performance enhancing drugs. *Only players were damaged during this time.
*Not to say that players don’t deserve some of to blame, but they were part of system that was allowing it for its own benefit. Then they were thrown under the bus.
Billionaire wins, again
The owner of the Astros, billionaire Jim Crane, gets no real punishment. He keeps his 2017 World Series ring. He keeps his franchise. And he gets to look like the good guy because he fired his manager and general manager. I’m relieved that there are respected industry journalists that are calling out the MLB and Jim Crane for what this is, Billionaire protection. Utilizing fake punishment and public relations to shift blame from those that are in charge.
The Astros, predictably, are also the franchise that had the “I’m so fucking glad we got Osuna!” issue.
These aren’t issues that only happen with employees of an organization. These are issues that are carried out by employees within a culture of an organization. The culture is created from the top by the people they hire and the values they set. Jim Crane shouldn’t be let off the hook. Jeff Passan, in his article (also referenced earlier), states “Either Crane did not know that the business he owns and operates was cheating or he did know and did nothing about it. Neither is good.”
Agreed. Either he’s complicit or he’s lost organizational control.
How about a post season ban
The NCAA, which isn’t immune from cheating by any means, has a punishment that professional organizations should consider: post season bans. No playoffs. No World Series. Imagine handing the Houston Astros a five year post season ban where they lose all of their first and second round draft picks through the duration of the ban, so they can’t tank during this time to get better. I can. This would inflict some pain.
While we’re at it, we might as well institute another NCAA tool that forces institutions to vacate wins and titles for seasons where severe cheating was uncovered. This would be an additional sting to accompany the post season ban. The Astros wouldn’t be able to display their 2017 World Series flag in their stadium, reference it in any of their materials, or sell merchandise referencing it.
Major League Baseball needs to find the gumption to actually punish its owners. If not, then the MLB is complicit in the cheating that occurs.
This post also applies to the NFL regarding the New England Patriots.
Joey Cora was fired by the Boston Red Sox for his role in sign stealing while a bench coach for the Astros.
Carlos Beltran has been fired by the New York Mets for his role in sign stealing as a member of the Astros.
- LA Times: Dodgers definitely were cheated out of 2017 World Series title by Astros’ sign-stealing
- ESPN: Why anger is boiling behind the scenes about Houston Astros’ sign-stealing punishments
- ESPN: The five biggest victims of the Astros’ sign-stealing scandal
- The Guardian: How the Houston Astros went from champions to a shamed shambles
- ESPN: The history of sign stealing in baseball – video
- Om Malik: Just get paid & our culture of lies
Mentioning for Webmention practice
Thank you, Jeremy, for helping me along on getting these tools figured out. Very few things about the web have excited me as much as learning about the IndieWeb work that has been ongoing.
The scrumptiousness of fresh bread
I love biting into a piece of fresh sourdough bread that has a schmear of labneh and some pickled vegetables on it. The texture and flavors are hard to beat. Wanting to have this pleasure more often and being in need of some tactile hobbies I decided to start baking bread. The early results have been good and rewarding.
Thanks to Michelle Felt, Eric Sorensen, and Eric Solveson for talking about the bread that they have made over the years, and for sharing. Also thanks to Michelle for getting me started with some tips and a starter!
Here is to more making, waiting, and learning in 2020 and beyond. And learning to appreciate the process in all that I do.