My birthday is in a few weeks and my wife got me a Denon DP-300F turntable. I hooked it up in my bookcase, wired it to a new Insignia NS-STR514 Bluetooth 2-way receiver (which also supports FM radio), drilled some holes and ran some new Polk T15 bookshelf speakers. This setup is quite the upgrade from the basic wireless speaker we have been using. We were also playing music through the TV, but the sound bar doesn’t sound too great. I also intend to Bluetooth our Echo Dot to the receiver for Spotify playback.
I’ve bought a few records and intend to grow my collection. I’ve set up a wishlist on Discogs and hope to score some good deals on some wanted records. I’ve set up a subdomain with my collection and you can view it at vinyl.aeonn.net. I’ve also added a link to it in my sidebar. I really want to secure the John Mayer 180g records. I have Battle Studies thus far, but have to save up for the others. I intend to spend a lot of my “hobby money” on records, but some of them are so darn expensive. Continuum will likely be my next purchase.
We’re then heading back to Orlando for a quick three night stay at Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort. Check out the pool.
We’re only going to Magic Kingdom and EPCOT as we don’t think Paul, 19 months, will be able to tolerate a longer trip right now. We booked the trip last minute, so didn’t get any reservations for Be Our Guest. We really like the lunch there. We did get a reservation for Via Napoli for dinner at EPCOT and got FastPasses for rides. I am very excited to take the baby on rides like Peter Pan, Winnie the Pooh, and the Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover!
We also got MagicBand 2.0s. I nearly completed my collection of the 1.0s, but never did get or want a pink one.
We’re ready to go!
It was a busy year.
I spent the year doing this stuff:
My son had his first birthday and my daughter turned 14! We are definitely still budgeting. I placed 108 orders on Amazon in 2016. I baked a lot of bread and continue to do so; however, my house is so cold in winter that it takes a long time for my doughs to rise so I am looking forward to spring. We became members of the Saint Louis Zoo, got a yearly pass to Grant’s Farm, and became members of the Magic House. We’ve renewed all for 2017. I upgraded(?) from a Billet Box to a Reuleaux RX200S and am using a Smok TFV8. It lives up to its name as the cloud beast. I also have been using The Sauce LA‘s juice and like their Open Road, Caramel Waffle Cappuccino, and Get Your Kicks.
My daughter and I went to Los Angeles and saw the sights. We visited Galcos (and got a slew of sodas), Disneyland, and Catalina Island where I let her illegally drive the golf cart. She wrecked it and I caught it on video!
My wife and I took our kids back to Port St Joe, FL. We rented a cabin ($100/nt!!) and spent a lot of time at the beach. We saw the Milky Way at night and caught both a sunrise and sunset. I bought binoculars, Nikon 8249s, and watched the ships out on the ocean. It was a fantastic trip and I look forward to booking the next and going back. I would love to buy a piece of property and potentially retire there. We tried to get into Indian Pass Raw Bar, but the place was packed so we ate at KrazyFish in downtown Port St Joe. It was great.
Tech, Software & Gaming:
My iMac crashed on Christmas Eve. Fortunately, I was able to completely restore all of my data with Arq. I have since configured it on all of my machines and my wife’s Mac. Data loss is not an option! My Amazon cloud drive is currently holding 1.2TB from all machines.
I am still playing The Long Dark. At 2015’s end, I had 253 hours logged. I am shocked to say that I ended the year with over 750 hours played. That’s approximately 1.36hrs played per day. I do not play it every day, and sometimes go weeks without playing. When I do play, it seems to be an all-day binge! As of now, I have 796 hrs on record.
Beyonce: Lemonade – Wiki
Chance the Rapper: Coloring Book – Wiki
Chris Stapleton: Traveller – Wiki
Frank Ocean: Blonde – Wiki
Kanye West: The Life of Pablo – Wiki
Ray LaMontagne: Ouroboros – Wiki
Pizza is my holy grail. It is hard to make good pizza. I’ve had some major flops, but am getting better with practice. I made FWSY‘s Saturday white over the weekend and set some dough back. Ready for some pizza porn?
Dough pressed down in the middle. Keep the edges puffy.
Stretching with knuckles
Dressed. Garlic, butter, and a little olive oil. Fresh mozzarella topped with black pepper.
Cooking. That oven spring! Probably needed more stretching or needed less dough.
Done. This pizza was for my wife. She loved it.
Slight leoparding on the bottom. I’m very happy about that, but would like to see more. Maybe I need a different stone.
Here’s my pizza. Nearly the same as above, but with some vine tomatoes added in. Mine was left in too long, I think.
The recipe I used calls for baking soda water. These turned out pretty well, but I hear a lye dip will give better crust and color. I’d substitute whites for yolk next time.
Puffy dough after an hour rise.
Shaped. I’m not the best pretzel shaper, but these look ok.
Hot out of the oven. Looking good. Looks like the single and double twists look the best. Got one good triple twist. They need mustard!
Pork Steaks. That glisten. Sweet Baby Ray’s for life.
Paul. Those curls!
Pigs at the park. It was 100 degrees. We had the place to ourselves. That green stuff really looked like something straight out of Ghostbusters.
Pressure Cooker Chicken. It’s an Instant Pot.
Perfect dinner rolls.
Can you tell anything about someone based on their bagel choice? I like ‘everything,’ Wife like sesame, Sprout likes asiago.
I make King Arthur’s water bagels. The malt is key.
And with today’s batard (80% biga).
People are always like, “What the hell are you doing with all of this bread?”
I make BLTs, mostly.
As Adam early in the morning,
Walking forth from the bower refresh’d with sleep,
Behold me where I pass, hear my voice, approach,
Touch me, touch the palm of your hand to my body as I pass,
Be not afraid of my body.
-Walt Whitman, Leaves of Grass.
I’m working on a reddit puzzle and it brought me around to Walt Whitman. I read Leaves of Grass one summer between my sophomore and junior year. I think I may need to read it again. Good stuff.
I bake bread now. It’s my thing. It’s a skill that needs a lot of practice, and I’ve been baking weekly since February to hone my craft. It’s very common to find a poolish or biga sitting in my closet waiting for morning. I also try to bake something new at least every other week. This week, I baked hamburger buns for the 4th. They turned out fucking awesome, except I suck at kaiser knots. More practice needed.
Anyway, here’s a bread gallery. I take a lot of pictures as I bake, but mostly loaf and crumb shots.
I bake. I bake. I bake!
My son turned 1 and I think it broke his other mother’s heart. Babies don’t stay babies long. He is having a huge party, but we had a quiet day and night on his birthday.
Wife was just able to blow out the candle as he grabbed it.
It’s the official start of the Atlantic hurricane season.
Here are the 2016 Atlantic hurricane names: