Can It Be True?

Is Aaron Hess leaving Rex Hill as the winemaker? Rex Hill has some of the best pinots in Oregon and it would take a pretty poor winemaker to make bad wine from their grapes. But Aaron did amazing things with their grapes. If he’s leaving, I want to know where he’s going.


How to Paint a Room: What Your Mother Never Told You

Someone today asked me how to paint a room. About once a month, someone asks me how to paint a room because they think I’m “handy.” I’m not a professional painter. I don’t even like painting much. But I have gotten pretty fast at it over the years. I’ve ignored lots of rules and found lots…


Fixing My Father-in-Law’s Computer… Or Not

Today at 11AM, my wife arranged for my father in law to call with an Outlook Express problem. So Phil sat down in a local coffee shop with a wireless network and gave me a call. I was all set on my end, with my computer set up as much like has as I could…


Windows Forms and Avalon

A lot of people have written on Windows Forms and Avalon, from Michael Harsh  and Joe Stegman on the Windows Forms team to the PDC docs, to Ian Griffiths. Based on all this, I realized that it’s clear that, even though we at Microsoft think we’re clear about when to use each, we haven’t made…


If I Had Kids…

I was browsing bbspot today (as I often do to learn the latest international news), I ran into a link that might be of use to many. You see, it seems that there’s a group of people out there wanting to teach evolution in the schools. Yes, I know — shocking. Something that we must…


Throw The Yule Log On Uncle John

Yesterday we bought a Christmas tree. Originally, after much discussion, my wife and I had decided that we weren’t going to “do” Christmas this year. But ever since the Christmas advertising began (shortly before Halloween!) I’d been rethinking this decision. There’s just something about having trees and ornaments and lights. Of course, here in Seattle…


Building a Platform Bed and Renting an Industrial Space

For several months (ahem, maybe a year) I’ve been meaning to build a platform bed. Right now our mattress is on the floor which, while convenient for the cats, is less than stellar for getting in and out. So yesterday I took to the shop and built the frame and cut the platform and sides….


Are Home DIYers Getting Smarter?

I consider myself reasonably handy — drywall, framing, electrical, plumbing (shudder), cabinetmaking. I can do most of them reasonably well (at least if you kind of squint and shake your head really fast when you’re looking at my work). Historically when I needed some particularly sophisticated piece of hardware like a really good Freud blade…


Oil vs. Latex Paint

90% of the time, I use latex paint because it’s easier to clean up and dries much faster. But every once in a while, I haul out some oil paint and remember why oil is still superior for some tasks. Last weekend, I primed my wife’s chaise lounge with oil-based primer (mostly because I have…


Comcast DVR

Locally in Seattle, thanks to a Comcast/Microsoft deal, Comcast has begun a broad trial of a digital cable receiver that’s also a DVR (a la Tivo). I’d always wanted a Tivo, but the addition of another remote control, the cost of the service, and the fact that it couldn’t record high-def TV left me in…