I’m experimenting with HomeKit Automations converted to Shortcuts. This one, when a Home member arrives, will turn on a welcome light if the Logitech doorbell reads < 200 Lux. Otherwise it’ll flash the living room lamp to indicate an arrival.

This morning: the most symmetrical Dutch baby we’ve ever had.

top-down view of dutch baby in cast ironoblique view of symmetrical dutch baby in cast iron

The Fantasia nectarine (planted Jan 2020) is still in swollen bud stage. Has been for days. It’s sooo close to blooming. Here’s hoping it’ll produce fruit for the first time this year!

swollen lateral flower bud with a red tip

Look, I put a pressure gauge on the new hose bibb! I must be an erudite of irrigation systems. 🙃

water pressure gauge on new hose bibb.pressure gauge showing a reading of about 50 PSI.

Korean cheese buldak for dinner tonight. Chicken in a hot chili sauce covered with mozzarella 🌶🌶🌶🌶 😋

cheese buldak

I pressure checked the new hose bibb this morning; it had a slow leak at the valve threads & PVC adapter. Tightening made it worse, so after redoing the pipe thread tape with more layers, the new hose bib seems to be fine at full water pressure.

Front yard update: the manzanitas are in full bloom! The poppies are trying to take over. Waiting on the Ceanothus (California lilac) to bloom… they’re the most showy.

I installed a new hose spigot on an old PVC waterline today. I’m trying to have the patience to give the PVC joints lots of time to cure before pressure testing 😬

Someday we’ll figure out how to make rice noodles right. Did a bunch of experiments today and almost got there. We just want perfect Drunken Noodles and Pad See Ew.

Got to make the rock rings around the citrus trees larger so drip emitters can be moved back for better root growth. Also may help with frost as the ground can now radiate heat up into the trees rather than be insulated by wood chips. Here’s before and after.

before expanding the rock ring around the mandarin.after expanding the rock ring around the mandarin tree.

Energy makes growing peppers & tomatoes in the winter possible. Got lots of jalapeños, serranos, santa fe, and a variety of tomatoe. We’ll transplant outdoors in mid to late March 🌱

Mud Creek, CA south of Mt. Shasta after a pretty intense debris flow in 2014. The deposits are muddy and full of variously sized rocks and other debris (such as entire trees).

We’re craving Manzanita flower blooms in the front yard. Almost there… 🌱

Apple Photos thinks eating campfire roasted marshmallows off a metal stick is a sport. I agree.

Cats are pros at comfort.

Currently reading: City of Ghosts by Victoria Schwab 📚

A screensaver with the best most relaxing photos and a nice hot morning beverage to start the day.

Close up of a Meyer Lemon still on the tree. 😋

Here’s my iOS Shortcut that uses ShellFish App to show all journals over the years written “On This Day”. I’m pretty pleased with it. You’ll see it relies on good file management!

Secure ShellFish for iOS is wonderful. Its shortcut functions allowed me to create a Shortcut that shows all journals written “On This Day” from my SSH server. Slick.

Last year we successfully grew peppers by direct sowing mid-Spring. Today we’re starting plants from seed indoors. Mostly peppers: Thai, Serrano, Jalapeño, Santa Fe. 🤞🌱

Possibly a Cooper’s Hawk casing out bird feeder and really freaking out the House Sparrows and White Crowns. We’re honored to have a hawk visit our backyard. Amazing.

coopers hawk sitting on a fence. has barred tail feathers.coopers hawk

A Peaceable Washington D.C. in 2015

I’ve been looking through photos of my work trip to Washington D.C. in 2015. Insurrection against the Constitution at the Capitol was not a thought and I felt safe, secure.

Near the Washington Monument, looking towards the White House:

Near the Washington Monument, looking towards the White House

The Washington Monument:

2015 06 09 09 10 37

The Yates Building, U.S. Forest Service HQ:

The Yates Building in the background with a busy street

Looking toward the U.S. Capitol, under extensive renovations:

Looking toward the U.S. Capitol, under Renovations

Ultramafic rocks at the Smithsonian:
Ultramafic rocks at the Smithsonian

Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport:

Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport

Installed Logitech Circle View Doorbell Chime-Kit and Hardware Doorbell Chime

Why did I decide to install the chime-kit and doorbell chime after I installed the Logitech doorbell (and it worked fine)? Netatmo released their doorbell and in their FAQ they wrote this about why a chime is required (Logitech never explained but they require it despite their doorbell seemingly working without one):

The Smart Video Doorbell was specially designed to replace your existing doorbell and, therefore, to work with an existing wired chime. This chime is required in your installation because it creates a charge in the doorbell circuit. When someone presses the doorbell button, a switch closes the doorbell circuit causing electricity to flow through the circuit to activate your chime. Without a chime, when the switch closes the circuit, a short circuit would occur and cause damage to your Smart Video Doorbell.

After reading that, I decided to protect the doorbell investment by spending a little bit more time and $15 to install the chime-kit and hardware chime.

Installing the hardware chime and then the Logitech chime-kit in the garage was easy though I accidentally cut the transformer to doorbell wire; wire nut to the rescue. I did check to see if the doorbell would work with only the chime-kit installed and its switch set to no doorbell – it did. In fact, when I cut power to it, a green LED stayed lit up in the chime-kit above the switch, suggesting it keeps a charge like a hardware doorbell chime. However I don’t know definitively if that chime-kit charge would resolve possible shorting issues on doorbell press. With the chime-kit I can toggle the hardware chime to ring or not via the Home app — I have no idea how Logitech made that work. The chime-kit has a switch for analog chime, digital hardware, no chime, and analog chime.

So far the Logitech doorbell has been great with a perfect view of the front yard and super reliable notifications with videos. Video is pretty sharp and its HDR does work — the shaded porch and bright streetscape are all well exposed. It does well at night with just the almost-bug friendly amber porch light so I’ve disabled the doorbell light to keep light pollution to a minimum. That built-in light does not illuminate far so it is only useful when someone is at the door. So I wish I could set up an automation to turn on the extra light when it detects somebody at the door. I do recommend setting up Activity Zones on an iPad (easier to draw them on a larger video feed vs iPhone) to help minimize notifications. Turns out our street has more vehicle traffic than I realized. I’m very happy I patiently waited for a HomeKit Secure Video doorbell like this. If you think activity zones might limit what the HomeKit home hub detects, it seems as if when there’s motion detected in an activity zone, the HomeKit hub analyzes the entire scene for people, animals and vehicles.

Our data usage for uploads has gone down dramatically now that our Nest Outdoor IQ no longer has Nest Aware and is only useful for on-demand delayed “live” video feeds.

Logitech Chime-Kit at the top and the new hardware chime at the bottom. The included wire splices are nice.

Logitech Chime-Kit (top tiny box) and new hardware chime


Logitech Circle View Doorbell installed on cement fiber board lap siding, doorbell wire routed through a security door frame and then along the foundation, tucked out of sight between cement foundation and sheathing. I used foam as a spacer behind the straight mount to create space for the wire to come in through the side of the mount. The mounts are made for doorbell wire coming out of a wall, so creative thinking was necessary. Notice how the Logitech logo at the bottom is barely visible. Compare that to a Ring doorbell or the new Netatmo! I love that Logitech decided to not make their logo stand out.

Logitech Circle View

Apple is successfully getting me to put HomePod Minis all over my house. Bought one, liked it for my smaller rooms, so I’m slowly adding more. They all have U1 chips and Thread radios. I hope Apple takes advantage of this new network of devices. So long, Sonos.