§ The garlic plants are sending out scapes and I picked my first ripe strawberries of the season.

At the garden center I bought a tomatillo to make up for the seeds that never germinated as well as a summer squash and a whole bunch of herbs for a new patch in the front garden. New to me this year is culantro or “Mexican cilantro” which is in the carrot family, looks remarkably like thistle, and smells just like any other cilantro plant. Weird!

We are getting to the point in the year where I start feeling guilty every time I have to buy tomatoes at the supermarket, knowing that I’ll soon be inundated with more tomatoes than I could possibly eat, once the garden catches up.

§ We—and by “we” I mean mostly Caroline—are on track to lay down a full ten yards of mulch by the end of this weekend. For my part, I’ve been re-laying the stone paths that weave through the gardens and have slowly obscured themselves deeper and deeper into the earth over the years. The large smooth slabs that make up the pathway were all found while digging up and amending the soil for these beds in the first place. All deep red dense clay littered with rocks the size of your torso, each shovelful of dirt is evidence of the former creek that ran through my neighborhood centuries ago. It’s as if the walkway, always sinking, yearns to return to it’s former state of hypogeal suspension.

§ On Tuesday, a mysterious package arrived in the mail. A giant enameled cast iron Staub pan. Neither of us ordered it. As far as I can tell, there are really only two possibilities:

  1. Back in January we purchased a different Staub pan for my mom’s birthday. Maybe there was some sort of glitch in their system that caused this package to be sent too? But
  2. When putting together our wedding registry I had, briefly, added a different Staub pan but removed it before making the registry public.

I’m totally stumped but nevertheless excited to try out this nice new (free?) pan.

§ On Wednesday the muggy humid weather gave way to a giant thunderstorm complete with upward lighting which was utterly captivating.

§ After a year of owning a reMarkable tablet, I find myself tempted by the new Kobo Libra Color e-readers. I haven’t bought one yet, and I don’t know that I will, but I feel the pull.

I still stand by my decision to exchange my iPad for the reMarkable. I appreciate the reMarkable’s focus—it truly is a great e-ink drawing and note taking tablet. The problem, if you would call it that, is that I’ve learned that I really enjoying reading on e-ink screens. While you can read epubs on the reMarkable, it really isn’t ideal. The native reading interface is janky and the size, weight, the lack of physical page turn buttons, and missing backlight make for an uncomfortable experience.

§ My big ISS project opened to the public on Thursday. A 1/64th scale model of the International Space Station constructed out of 75 miles of clear packing tape. It’s been undoubtedly one of the strangest and most ambitious projects I’ve ever worked on. It has been fun to see people’s reactions when they step into it for the first time—almost invariably the urge to explore and play. I think there is something about it being a simultaneously unfamiliar, slightly intimidating, and colorful that inspires play. Again, I would love to design a playground someday.

§ Links