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Reviews

Pick of the Week: Radio Activity

In March, as the coronavirus pandemic prompted the cancellation of nearly every activity besides sitting at home, one local hobby group I belong to was undeterred. Having prided ourselves for years on the reliability of our regular meetings, we continued to get together weekly, and even enjoyed a major increase in attendance. No, we’re not […]

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Reviews

Double Pick of the Week: Hyrule to High Intensity

As I explained in a post several years ago, I missed a long chunk of video gaming history, and never even owned a dedicated game console until 2013. Since then, though, ours has been a Nintendo household. The Wii U that served as our gateway to console gaming was never a great platform, but a […]

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Reviews

Pick of the Week: Turtle All the Way Down

For the past several years, I’ve been working my way through one of the longest, best selling, best written, and certainly funniest series of novels in the English language: Terry Pratchett’s Discworld. To provide an idea of the scope of this project, I started at the beginning and just finished book 26, which means I […]

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Reviews

Pick of the Week: Dark Times at Winden High

A couple of years ago, Netflix’s algorithm, no doubt inspired by our apparent enjoyment of “Stranger Things,” recommended a German drama series called “Dark.” It turned out to be a brilliant, compelling, tightly-written work of art that used the medium of a television series to its full potential. The third and final season, or “cycle” […]

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Hobbies

An Epistolary History of Wesorts

It’s time once again to round up some Wesort news. For those just tuning in, this is a long-running arc on the blog, based on some of my earliest childhood experiences in boats. The first real post in the series is here, where my dad lays out the history of a small sailboat design called […]

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Reviews

Pick of the Week: Yes, You’re a Gamer

For several years, my now-teenage daughter’s friends, and their parents, have found it quite amusing that her dad plays video games with her. It seems a lot of folks still have trouble expanding their image of a “gamer” to include a gray-haired guy with a wife, kid, mortgage and respectable career. A bit of probing, […]

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Reviews

Pick of the Week: Nothing Doing

Kicking off a new series here, this is my first book review. Those coming from my “Self-Care” post on the Turbid Plaque will already understand one reason why I’ve started doing this. Another reason, though, is that my perspective on the hellscape of the modern internet has changed and deepened in recent months. That’s a […]

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Projects

Power of the (Word)Press

A few years ago, I blogged about moving my sites from WordPress to Pelican, a static site generator. At the time, static site generators were getting a lot of hype for building fast-loading, secure, self-archiving web pages while allowing people to escape the bloated sluggishness of WordPress. Those benefits are real, but they come at […]

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Projects

Falling Off the Apple Cart

Last Spring, I faced an important purchasing decision: my seven-year-old desktop Mac Mini was reaching retirement age, and I needed to replace it. This was my main work computer, the latest in a succession of Apple products I’ve used for my job since I started as a science journalist over 20 years ago. Indeed, my […]

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Hobbies Projects

Building an Exterior Door with Plywood and Epoxy

The back door of our garage was in rough shape when we bought the house ten years ago, and we’ve been procrastinating its repair for just as long. Ordinarily I’d just go to the lumber yard, pick up a pre-hung door in the appropriate style, and install it by lunchtime. However, this particular door is […]