Hi. Here’s some things I’ve been doing and stuff that’s been on my mind:

🔨 Woodworking

I spent the near entirety of November at my mom’s home, helping her recover after a surgery. I decided that a good, supplementary, and stress relieving use of that timme would be to woodwork. This was correct. I’m working on producing a bunch of the same thing. (Perhaps I’ll send a picture of the best looking one of the completed ones) as well as a new desk for myself for my mom’s home, a Christmas gift for her, and a drawer for one of my woodshop cabinets.

I successfully completed the drawer… except because it was my first time building a drawer from scratch, I built it where the bottom was too large so the sides didn’t completely meet and I only realized this once I had begun applying glue.

Lesson learned: Don’t rush.

I’ll get to finishing the other projects over the next month or so. Perhaps I’ll send Christmas Gifts out on time this year. Perhaps I won’t. 🤷

💻 Working

In case you haven’t talked to me in a long time or need it written down somewhere, I’m a data analyst at a research hospital. My team is trying to make genomic data easier to access for less money. The goal is to empower scientists and doctors to find better treatments - and perhaps cures - for pediatric cancers more quickly than ever before.

I’ve been writing a lot of code, talking to a lot of people, and looking at a lot of data. It’s a lot of fun and obviously, it consumes a lot of my days. This work makes me very happy, is empowering, and I work on an amazing team.

🍺 Brewing Beer

Like I said above, I was away last month so I haven’t gotten to brew much beer.

That said, in 2021, I became a certified beer judge. That means i get to go to beer competitions and taste things and write down my thoughts on the things I taste. Judging beer is more challenging than I ever thought it would be. It’s also a ton of fun.

🐕 Walking my dog

I have a dog. She’s a pitbull mix.

It’s a PITTIE I didn’t get a dog before.

She’s great. She’s a brat. She’s spoiled rotten. I love her to bits. Ask me for a picture of her and I’ll send you one.

Let me know if I should get stickers of her made. If enough people say I should, I may send you one.

🎶 Live music

This past week I saw live music for the first time since before the pandemic. It was glorious. If you know me even slightly it should come as no surprise that I went to ska/punk shows.

Jeff Rosenstock

Jeff Rosenstock is a solo punk musician who plays with a touring band because punk music played by one person would be …. actually it would be fun but I also totally get how one would want to have complete creative control over their thing.

The show was my first since the pandemic started. It was a bunch of fun to see other humans that look like they go to shows - think denim jackets with patches and skinny jeans and did you know people still wear beanies that don’t cover their entire head but only like - the back third of their head? I love people at shows.

Streetlight Manifesto (and Catbite)

This was my upteenth time seeing Streetlight Manifesto. They’re a folk-ska-punk band that’s been around since before I cared much about music or much of anything. They always put on a great show. Lots of dancing and flailing and moshing was had. I told my friend that I would never forget that show. I think that may end up being one of the best shows of my life.

The show was opened by the ska/ rock-&-roll band, Catbite. They may be my favorite band. They are a ton of fun to listen and shake your booty to. Their style caters to basically everyone. 1

🍊 What’s the difference between clementines and mandarin oranges? 2

I think about this every time I go to the store. I love tiny, orange citrus fruit that isn’t too anything. Tiny oranges are my favorite snack. When I go to the store, I always gravitate towards the tiny oranges. But I’ve been thinking about how some stores have clemintines and some stores have mandarin oranges.

I’ve got many questions:

  1. What’s the difference between clementines and mandarin oranges?
  2. Why don’t stores ever have both? 3
  3. what would I choose if I actually had an option

After an investigation that lasted many, many seconds and a search that encompassed nearly the entire page on the difference between clemntines and mandarin oranges, I can tell you that I now know my preference is for clementines because they are supposed to be sweeter and because they are seedless.

I now also know that clementines are a hybrid, created by a French Missionary in Algeria. I don’t know how to feel about that, but I can say that it’s my preference. I know that because the tiny oranges I currently have in my fridge are Mandarin oranges.

And I don’t like it.

I picked up this bag of Mandarin oranges at Trader Joes because I wanted a tart, sweet, citrussy snack. Instead I got a fruit that was hard to peel, and even worse: THESE MANDARIN ORANGES HAVE SEEDS AND I CAN’T STAND IT.

I don’t like seeds in my oranges

Seriously. This sucks. I have one of these half opened on my desk and I’m dreading finishing it because I know i’ll have to deal with the big seeds in this tiny fruit.

All of this makes me wonder:

Why do we have seedless oranges, watermelons, and grapes, but no seedless apples?

I almost always love the webiste/ podcast/ media juggernaught, How Stuff Works but thery’re wrong when they glorify seeded watermelons:

So, those unsatisfying white seeds just hang out in the watermelon’s pink flesh, with no use except to remind you that you could be spitting shiny onyx projectiles at your brother — if only you had gotten the right kind of watermelon.

I never enjoyed having to deal with black watermelon seeds and I never will.

Because of my question, I did learn that seedless grapes do have a seed, it just lacks the hard coating that makes it seed-like

Turns out, a woman in Huntington Park, CA had a tree that made seedless Apples in… 1940. But what about today?

I have no clue. Please tell me if you know of any seedless apples.

If you made it this far, congratulations. Let me know if i should write more about things i think about and do - or if I should stop. I don’t want to share things over social media because social media generally makes me unhappy. So I figured sharing my thoughts in a newsletter would do well. At least there’s no ads from me 🤷

  1. You can’t see me, but I promise i’m in this crowd. Just a warning, there’s swearing in this video. ↩︎

  2. Should i capitalize clementine? Mandarin oranges? Do I just call them mandarins? or do I clarify they’re mandarin oranges? If I specify that the mandarins in question are oranges, do I capitalize the m in mandarin and the o in oranges or just the m↩︎

  3. I say it like I know this to be true, but It’s very possible that I’ve been in one or many stores with an option for clementines or mandarin oranges. ↩︎