December 28, 2020

Trucky Truck

Recently purchased a 2015 Toyota Tacoma TRD Sport, four door, four wheel drive. We're Sending the Prius on down the line. We've had the Prius for eight years, and changed the traction battery on it in 2018. But it will be nice to have a four wheel drive vehicle again.

November 21, 2020

Spin Cycle

Trying to improve my cardio, so I purchased a used spin bike off of craigslist.

Very happy to have an exercise bike with the cold weather coming.

October 25, 2020

Pain in the Neck

For approximately the last five years, I've had substantial neck pain. I've changed chairs, mattresses, had an MRI, physical therapy, and been on prescription muscles relaxants. 

However, the cause of the neck pain was never fully clear. Recently, when the pain was quite intense, we resolved that I should go to a chiropractor that used x-Rays. It was immediately clear from the standing profile x-ray (as apposed to a horizontal MRI of just a few vertebrae), that my neck was too straight. There should be a curve to your neck, and mine was not behaving appropriately. I later googled this, and there is a term called 'Military Neck' which seems to describe it. So I've embarked on working on my neck posture, and though sore, it seems to be helping so far. I purchased a blue neck alignment pillow, which makes me happy, though will have to see about its efficacy.

In the mean time, you can see my Halloween costume photo this year (or x-ray rather). 

ePebo Vacuum Brewer

 20 years ago, I purchased a Starbucks Barista Utopia vacuum brewer (when they were on closeout from Starbucks). It was a great coffee maker, I nicknamed the coffee volcano, but was used pretty heartily for making several pots of coffee a day for me and my roommates, and eventually wore out. 

Bodum (who manufactured the Utopia back in the day), have another electric vacuum brewer, the ePebo. It was (probably) on closeout, so I purchased us a new coffee maker at 50% off. Also, our trusty drip maker finally gave out.

Starbuck's Utopia from long ago

August 24, 2020

George Foreman George Jr. Rotisserie Coffee Roaster


After using the Popcorn popper method for a while, I wanted to upgrade to a drum roaster. I had intended to use a drum on a barbecue. However, my daughter and I were at the thrift store and saw a nice rotisserie for cheap, so I have been using that to work on my home roasting. It wasn't shedding the chaff, so I merged it with the popcorn popper, and now it's roasting nicely. The video above shows the second crack for a dark Ethiopian yergacheffe, with a photo of the results below.

May 17, 2020

Acts of the Apostles - Bible Study

This year our small group from church has been working through Acts of the Apostles. We just finished last week. Some of our meetings were virtual through video teleconferencing software so that we could meet during the COVID-19 lock down.

FCBC Life Group Acts 2019-2020

May 10, 2020

The Scroll of Isaiah - Bible Study

Last year, our church small group studied the Scroll of Isaiah. We worked through the scroll, taking bits at a time every two weeks. Here is a link to the content we went through in our small group:


May 3, 2020

New Garden Beds

Our house came with some garden beds, but they were in a very shady place and in a bit of disrepair. So, Melissa has been working on setting up a new garden area. We used some Behlen galvanized bottomless planters, which look like stock tanks, but do not have a bottom (allowing water to percolate through). The garden has been very happy and getting much more sunlight.

May 2, 2020

5 weeks of Lock Down

We are five weeks into the Stay Home, per the governor of Idaho. The governor is rolling out a phased plan to return the interaction of people to normal. Social distancing has worked pretty well so far to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus. The CDC reversed their stance on masks, but I think they didn't want an additional run on personal protective equipment (as there has been apparently a short supply for hospitals and medical workers), so they said that your should fashion your own masks. It looks like social and economic factors will be affected by the new ways of operating for a long time. Businesses are realizing you can effectively manage employees remotely, and still be productive. The lessons learned from online education are now being learned by traditional business.

March 27, 2020

COVID-19 and Stay Home

The world has caught the Corona Virus. The governor of Idaho has issued a state-wide 'Stay at Home' order. So here we are, staying at home. It was nice we hit Disneyland a month ago, as it looks like we are not going to be out much for the next month, or three.

Americans seem to be adverse to wearing breathing masks. Other cultures, such as Korea and Japan are much more culture friendly to wearing masks. From photos of the great pandemic of 1918, it looks like people were more apt to wear masks in the USA a hundred years ago. The CDC reports that wearing masks is more helpful if you are sick, but it seems like there is push back from various physicians about that information.

Information, in the information age, is a precious, but yet also an abundant commodity. Good information is precious, but that it rests in a sea of information that is opinion, misinformation, and ignorance.

On the social media platform Facebook, I saw an article re-posted by the Rockbridge Virginia Historical Society about the 1918 influenza pandemic:
This was encouragement from another time from another pandemic, and I think it is good medicine for the heart. The verses were apt:
  • 2 Chronicles 7:13-16 NIV
    • 13 “When I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or command locusts to devour the land or send a plague among my people, 14 if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land. 15 Now my eyes will be open and my ears attentive to the prayers offered in this place. 16 I have chosen and consecrated this temple so that my Name may be there forever. My eyes and my heart will always be there.
  • Joel 2:12-18 NIV
    • 12 “Even now,” declares the Lord,
      “return to me with all your heart,
         with fasting and weeping and mourning.”
      13 Rend your heart
         and not your garments.
      Return to the Lord your God,
          for he is gracious and compassionate,
      slow to anger and abounding in love,
          and he relents from sending calamity.
      14 Who knows? He may turn and relent
          and leave behind a blessing—
      grain offerings and drink offerings
          for the Lord your God.
      15 Blow the trumpet in Zion,
          declare a holy fast,
          call a sacred assembly.
      16 Gather the people,
          consecrate the assembly;
      bring together the elders,
          gather the children,
          those nursing at the breast.
      Let the bridegroom leave his room
          and the bride her chamber.
      17 Let the priests, who minister before the Lord,
          weep between the portico and the altar.
      Let them say, “Spare your people, Lord.
          Do not make your inheritance an object of scorn,
          a byword among the nations.
      Why should they say among the peoples,
         ‘Where is their God?’”
      18 Then the Lord was jealous for his land
          and took pity on his people.
  • Psalm 3:5-8 NIV
    • 5 I lie down and sleep;
          I wake again, because the Lord sustains me.
      6 I will not fear though tens of thousands
          assail me on every side.
      7 Arise, Lord!   
      Deliver me, my God!
      Strike all my enemies on the jaw;   
      break the teeth of the wicked.
      8 From the Lord comes deliverance.   
      May your blessing be on your people.
  • Matthew 11:28 NIV
    • Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.
  • 1 John 2:1 NIV
    • My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have an advocate with the Father—Jesus Christ, the Righteous One.

Addendum (6/17/2020): 
Apparently the government was 'down-playing' mask efficacy to ensure health care workers got the n95 masks first. We've reached stage 4 of the recovery in Idaho, and most people (outside healthcare and job-requirements) are not wearing masks at all.

February 22, 2020

Space Engineers

Been playing a bit of Space Engineers recently. A fun game with a load of engineering and physics. Though the physics is a bit truncated to allow the game to run efficiently.
Anyway, good fun with explosions and whatnot.


We recently went on a trip to Arizona and Southern California. The main reason was to visit Disneyland with the kids. Also to go to the beach, and see Arizona.

At Disneyland we visited the following:

  • The Disneyland Castle
  • Peter Pan's Flight
  • The Tiki room 
  • Thunder Mountain Railroad
  • Pirates of the Caribbean
  • Jungle Cruise 
  • Disneyland railroad from New Orleans to Tomorrowland 
  • Autopia 
  • Nemo Submarines 
  • Small World 
  • A tour of Toontown
  • Lunch in the Rose Tavern
  • Dumbo ride for Andre & Tinkerbell interview for Lauren 
  • Found Melissa's lost Kona hat 
  • Buzz Lightyear's Blasters 
  • Shopping at Small World 
  • Visited Mickey's house in Toontown
  • Shopping at Toontown 
  • Tour of Starwars land 
  • Pooh's magical adventure 
  • Splash Mountain 
  • And ended with Ralph Brennan's Jazz Kitchen's beignets

February 10, 2020

Music: ACDC - Who Made Who

Who Made Who by the Austrailian band ACDC typifies Eighties industrial rock music. It's got a wonderful groove that soaks.

February 1, 2020

August 2019 & 2020 Reading

Recently finished the Wheel of Time series, stretching approximately 12000 pages, consisting of the books The Eye of the World, The Great Hunt, The Dragon Reborn, The Shadow Rising, The Fires of Heaven, Lord of Chaos, A Crown of Swords, The Path of Daggers, Winter's Heart, Crossroads of Twilight, Knife of Dreams, The Gathering Storm, Towers of Midnight, and A Memory of Light.  All written by Robert Jordan, except the last few were finished by Brandon Sanderson. Wheel of time is right; that was a whole lot of reading. I also read The Stiehl Assassin, by Terry Brooks, which after hopefully one more book will round out the Shannara universe.

I've picked up several other books, that I've dug into, The Hermeneutical Spiral by  Grant Osbourne.  The Bible As Literature, by John B. Gabel, et al. I read the History of Israel, by J. Carl Laney. And worked through The Prophecy of Isaiah: An Introduction & Commentary, by Alec Motyer. As well as The Gospel according to God: Rediscovering the Most Remarkable Chapter in the Old Testament, by John MacArthur. I'm currently working through Acts an Exegetical Commentary in four volumes, by Craig S. Keener.