The Launch — The California Sunday Magazine →

There is a lot of hype and high expectations riding on the Cosmic Crisp. I’ve been reading about the development of this apple for a couple of years now. The promise of an apple sweeter and crispier than a Honeycrisp has got to deliver.

Killed by Google – The Google Graveyard & Cemetery →

A graveyard/memorial of all of the products introduced and then killed by Google.

My favorite Google product that was killed too soon was Reader. It was THE BEST RSS aggregrator and reader. I’ve been using Feedly since Reader was pulled (2013) and while it’s good, it’s not Reader.

Another favorite was Google Listen. It was the first podcast app I downloaded in 2011 and it was so simple and great.

The Boeing 737 Rudder Defect – Analysis →

I’ve never really paid attention to the manufacturer of the flights I’ve taken, but this Reddit thread and the Imgur thread will probably make me reconsider taking a Boeing aircraft. There’s a documented history of Boeing trying to re-assign the blame for the failure of its aircraft.

The crashes also highlighted the vulnerability of the NTSB to corporate meddling. In 1996, According to the Seattle Times, the safety board had only 90 employees and relied on manufacturers to provide technical expertise in cases like the United 585 and USAir 427 crashes, which made it much harder to investigate cases where the manufacturer knew that it was responsible. Boeing’s obfuscation at every turn was pure corporate expediency: fixing the problem would require a massive recall costing hundreds of millions of dollars, not to mention millions more in compensation that would have to be paid out if Boeing admitted responsibility. Even when the flaw began to result in deadly crashes, Boeing stuck by this policy. Had the failure been easier to detect and prove, they might not have been able to get away with it, but—thanks in part to Boeing’s muddying of the waters—they never faced the massive backlash that they should have received.

The New 30-Something – The New York Times →

I often take my parents, my sister, and my in-laws for granted, who have all at some point provided free child care and babysitting for me and my wife. My mother-in-law, God bless her, has helped raise all three of our boys. For the last ten years, she has watched our boys two to three days each week. Some Friday’s, she takes the boys home with her and brings them back the following Monday, giving my wife and I a weekend alone to go on a date night, sleep-in, and catch-up on errands or chores around the house without a child nagging for a snack or complaining that their brother has ‘the’ toy they want to play with right at that moment.

Without my mother-in-law, I don’t know if we would have had three boys. Our lives might be totally different without her.

What Is a Vegetable? Do They Even Exist? →

Last night at dinner, we were talking about our favorite vegetables1 and when my daughter said tomatoes might be her pick, my 11-year-old son, who is at that annoying know-it-all stage of his life and loves to shut down his sister on any minor quibble, said “tomatoes are a fruit”. I argued back that while a tomato might technically be a fruit, it is culturally considered a vegetable and that he was just being a pedantic dick in order to dunk on his sister (but not in those exact words).

Pedantic Dick. That’s me!

2018 Highlights

My top highlights from 2018:

1. Driving my truck

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December 2018

This highlight was literally 20 years in the making. You can read the backstory on my truck over in the Garage, but in summer 2018, my dad and I put some serious work into the truck. Over the summer, when I could spare a day off from work and when my dad wasn’t out RV’ing, which amounted to about 3 or 4 days total, we finished the wiring, installed new parts, and improved a few things on the truck. In November, I got to drive the truck about a mile and a half down a public road before we realized the vacuum kick-down tube wasn’t attached. Then in December, I got to drive it six miles.

Driving the truck these short distances might not seem like a big deal, but these two trips were the first time I had driven the truck in 20 years of ownership. There’s still a bit more to do on the truck before I can drive it home from my dad’s shop, but we continue to make progress. Working on the truck has also been great to hang out with my dad, a tried-and-true builder/mechanic/engineer, and learn more about hot rods, how cars work, his approach to solving problems, his way of thinking, etc. The time away from the office has also been a great stress reliever. In 2019, I hope to spend more time working on the truck and hanging out with my dad with a goal is to drive the truck to at least one show, either Wings and Wheels (in July) or the Port Orchard Cruz (in August).

2. Cabo San Lucas

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My wife and I took a week-long vacation in 2018. This was our first real vacation since having kids. We flew into Los Cabos International Airport, rented a car, drove to El Pescadero, stayed at the Desert Moon and then spent the next two days exploring Todos Santos and all of the spots in between. On the third day, we drove down to Cabo and stayed at the Playa Grande and spent the next three days exploring Cabo. I had such a great time hanging out and exploring this small part of Mexico with my wife–no kids, no work, no schedule, no chores, no errands…not a worry in the world. Just us.

Being the types where we can’t sit still, there was very little sitting around. We explored everything we could. We walked the main streets, the beaches, the tourist routes, and then came back around to explore the less-traveled side streets and alleys, climbed cliffs and boulders just to see what was on the other side, and headed down dirt roads because there was something that caught our eye. We talked about everything–our boys, our friends and family, our careers, movies, music, books, t.v., us–but mostly, we discussed tacos. It wasn’t intentional, but we ate tacos every. damn. day. of the trip. Even today, nearly eight months after the trip, we still argue about which day, restaurant, meat choice, toppings, salsas, etc. that made the best tacos (we both agree that it’s hard to top the fish tacos at Bahia Tacos in Todos Santos).

In 2019, we are hoping to take another out-of-the-country trip without the boys. I’m hoping that these trips become an annual thing for us.

3. Chicago

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In August we took a family vacation to Chicago. We had talked about making this trip in 2017 to celebrate our 10th wedding anniversary, but thought it might be fun to go to Alaska instead. We didn’t make it to Alaska in 2017 so we thought we would try Chicago again. My wife went to school in Chicago and has a lot of fond memories of her time there. We got married in Chicago and that was the last time she had been back (I’ve had a couple of work trips that brought me back there over the years).

I didn’t have an agenda for the trip, other than to eat some deep dish pizza and an authentic Chicago dog. My wife planned most of the trip including where we stayed, an architectural boat tour, and a visit to the Field Museum. While we were there, we visited the Miracle Mile, Navy Pier, the DePaul and Loyola campus’, and a handful of Chicago’s smaller neighborhoods. We even biked the Lakefront Trail and visited the spot where we married eleven years earlier. We were in Chicago five days and each day we walked 10+ miles. The boys were well-behaved the entire time and didn’t whine about the amount of walking at all. I got my deep dish pizza on the first night we were there (braving thunderstorms and rain) and found an authentic Chicago dog and cheese fries a few days later. I had such a great time hanging out with my family and exploring Chicago. It was a great way to end the summer.

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Other highlights: finished my shed project, ate a fluffernutter (finally), spent a week in New Orleans, went to two Mariners game, went to four car shows, finished the water wheel project, got to walk on Safeco Field, got my garden to produce a couple of handfuls of strawberries and a few cucumbers, got the Probe running (for a day), went camping (twice), coached Jacob’s flag football team (go Grizzlies!), went to a Seahawks game, built a Rainier Christmas decoration, rebuilt the RC car, completed three video games, and increased my bench press, deadlift, and squat.

Here’s to hoping that my 2019 is full of additional experiences and accomplishments.