The remaining six batches continue to smell okay on their half-week check-up. I have reasonable confidence they won't go bad.

We ran out of store-bought pickles. I picked a tub and filled up the jar, keeping the brine that was in it. We can at least have some kinda pickle experience while the rest mature. They're not really really done yet. 

Tasted one. Kinda... garlicky... [ coughs ] .. yeah... going to be a good pickle when it grows up. I wonder if there's enough dill, though. Maybe I should get some dill seed and toss it in, just to be sure. Couldn't hurt, right?

Edited to add

Good news: I did buy some more dill and added it to all of the batches. It just felt like the right thing to do.

Bad news: I think one of them is going bad. It doesn't smell quite right when I opened it all the way up, and there's a bit of an oil-slick appearance to the surface of the liquid. I'll look at it again on Saturday to verify but we are probably down to five. Fortunately, the hot pepper amended batch is still fine.

I love pickle updates.
I too am pro pickle.
Please mail me a pickle when done. Kthxbai.
Karen 15m

OPW appears to be the culprit in draining my iPhone battery when I keep a tab open 24/7.

Maybe it's also the culprit on my laptop battery, which is having trouble keeping a charge for more than a few hours' use.

(If I thought the problem was just the batteries' age, I wouldn't be writing this post.)


I took a peek. OPW does very little when it's just sitting there on the page, it's not running one of these newfangled frameworks... it does update the counters, but that happens only once per minute, and it's what you were hoping for, presumably, when you left the tab open. Hmm.

Aha: the "infinite scroll" mechanism that loads more stuff as you scroll down was relying on an interval that fires 10 times a second. While it doesn't actually go get a new page every tenth of a second - that would certainly shred batteries - it does do a little math every tenth of a second.

So I switched it, just now, to actually look for scroll events rather than firing on a timer, and this may help. Hit refresh and let me know, if you would.

I just wrapped up the followup work I mentioned on making sure existing notifications in the system go away when someone gains or loses access to a lock, or the lock is removed, or the locks of a post are updated.

I need to be realistic about this: I'm one guy, alas, and there will be issues. These were minor in terms of people affected and likelihood of impacting someone. I think I've designed well to avoid more serious problems. I could be mistaken.

So the best I can do is try to be proactive, be responsive when things are pointed out, and oh yeah, be straight with y'all that I'm one guy.

So yeah: I'm not the entire Internet security department of Amazon. Consider yourself reminded. (:

If OPW were to grow, making sure there is a second engineer involved regularly and a code review process in place would be a priority for me. It's not intended as a high-wire act.

(Edited to add: Sean made many large contributions to OPW, including tons of code. Grateful for that! I'm thinking more of what would happen if we had a real budget in terms of best practices for review.)

So how big is OPW anyway, and will it grow? Well: it's tiny. There are about 25 posts per week.

And: it's constant. There have been about 25 posts a week since things settled down in 2015.

But everybody who's here really likes it here. So!

We'll see if little changes like the new Network posts indicator help bring the occasional newcomer more successfully into the fold. But if not... hey. It works for us.

Well, I just wanted to say I love OPW and I use it a lot. Most... if not all... of my posts are locked.

Do you think it would help it's growth in terms of discovery if we did more public posts? Had an intro post get together where we all said who we are and what we do and like to write about? Are you interested in it growing larger?
Thank you for this hard work, Tom.

is there a way we can contribute to making OPW easier/better/more beneficial for you?
What she said.

I can’t imagine what skills I possess that could possibly be of use to you. But if YOU think of something, please please ask.

Also, I love it here in our tiny little village and am daily grateful to you for providing it.
I too am not amazon’s internet security department but if you want an informal code review let me know.
Informal code review is a great idea. I will let Sean know we're reviewin' as well.
Thomas Boutell 3dedited
Hey, thanks for all the care and support. I appreciate it. I've accepted Waider's invitation to code review. And in response to the rest...

Public posts help; inviting folks who would enjoy the place helps a lot; and just enjoying it as you always do is the most important thing.

I am saddened to report the loss of 1 of our 7 tubs of fermenting pickles to -- probably -- moldy garlic, as the cloves were shot through blue. I check them every day to see how they're doing and this tub smelled awful.

​​​​​​​Hoping the other garlic wasn't contaminated, but a little concerned as they look a little bluish. All we can do is watch.

I tasted a pickle from a tub that smelled okay and it has a good flavour and a decent crispness. It's young. It has promise. These will be good pickles if they survive.

Blue garlic means moldy garlic?
Crap. I'll tell my neighbor across the street. She makes fire cider, and she said her garlic turned blue, too.
Well, it turned blue during fermentation. Next time I will absolutely make sure the garlic was freshly harvested rather than sitting around for n months.
I admit I never heard of fermented pickles. I always assumed pickles were made by putting smallish cukes in vinegary salty spiced liquid for n months and eventually you ate 'em. I never even considered that fermenting was part of it.

But thanks to you (and I mean thank you sincerely) I went down a pickling rabbit hole and enjoyed learning about the various ways to make something I really like eating.

I hope your other batches survive!
I'm kinda tempted to get some cukes and throw em in a jar with stuff.
Karen 13m

Just got back from NJ. 

Sadly, they postponed Mom's surgery again... when they were prepping her for the surgery at the hospital on Wednesday morning at 6AM (*gulp!*), she had a mini-heart attack (her AFib went nuts and her heart rate shot to 170) so they stopped what they were doing immediately.  They had only gotten as far as inserting her IV and she has no fear of needles or anything, so they don't know what caused it (plus she was totally chill going into surgery), but we suspect it was because they told her not to take ANYTHING (not even meds) by mouth the morning of surgery, so she didn't take her heart medication. 

This is now the 3rd time her knee surgery was canceled. So we're really disappointed... but better safe than sorry. Per the hospital's orders, we went to her cardiologist immediately from the hospital who gave her a monitor to wear and also did a meds adjustment, hopefully she can try for a 4th time soon.  Man. 

Her cardiologist was really irritated that she wasn't allowed to take her heart medication that morning with a tiny sip of water, but that's what you get when you only see one doctor at a time, I guess.

I don't think she realizes how unhealthy she is... rampant diabetes, emphysema, COPD, congestive heart failure, AFib, blah blah blah... an anesthesiologist would be crazy to try to put her out.  Hell, when she had her hysterectomy they gave her an epidural because they knew it was too dangerous to knock her out, and that was 6 years ago when she was healthier. 

Anyhoo, we wound up staying in NJ for the full duration even though she didn't get chopped up... I could tell my dad just kinda needed us there.  

When we were in the waiting room on the morning of surgery and the nurse came out to tell us there were complications, Dad was pretty much trying to wrap his head around Mom dying. It was awful. 

(I'm too tired now as it's 2:54am, but remind me to tell you about Jerry.)

What a strange tease. Hoping for progress.
For realz. Thanks, beb.
I'm sorry this is such a roller coaster for you.
That it is. I feel like it's so common for people in their late 40s/early 50s to go through this with their parents... I wish there was a simple solution. Alas.
Damn. I hope this improves and quickly. All of you have more than earned a respite from this.

How is she feeling now?
She's more disappointed than anything else. She's just in so much pain as she tries to move... yet somehow she remains agile enough to pop out for a cigarette every hour or so. So y'know.

But we're hoping she gets another chance soon.
"agile enough to pop out for a cigarette every hour or so"
Okay, you know what? As a person who just accidentally sneezed a Nicorette lozenge across the from (not for the first time), and my process of coping with the Nicotine Demon can be measured in Hunter's height, that makes me mad. True, I've been the person who could lift up a couch to find out if there were a nicotine source under it.

It makes me particularly mad because Vince's dad was/is a lifelong smoker, yet every single time he gets hospitalized, he is offered and refuses nicotine patches, because he says that he wants to deal with it on his own. So he spends hospital stays not only coping with whatever put him there, but also weaning himself off of nicotine.

Her consumption is going to affect whatever meds she's on, especially heart meds. She can ask for nicotine support: gum, patches, whatever. Argh. I'll shut up now. You don't need that shit. Sorry.
Ennnnhhhhhhuuggghhh. What a pain for everyone.
It is indeeeeeeedy.
I have had similar things happen, but with blood tests, i.e., "you said this was fasting blood work," "yes, but we meant you should take your thyroid meds."

How incredibly frustrating.

who's jerry?
I wonder what it would take to get all of her doctors in one room to duke out a care plan in person, where they all heard what the others were recommending. That would be really cool.

Jerry was another patient in the waiting room with us that day. I've got a half-written post about him that I need to finish.

Art is my illicit drug of choice. The more I create, the more I need to make to get off.

Okay, so I put it that way to be a touch provocative, but it's also kinda true. I've been doing more illustration work pretty much every chance I get and I'm still getting further behind. What's more, I want to do more. That's kinda crazy.

ETA: Okay, I think I was going to go deeper into this and then change the post to public, but I've lost the train of thought and figure I should just let folks see it as is for now. I can always comment more later if I get that thought back.

Dood, your coloring skills are really getting great!
Thanks beb. All I can see is how very far they have to go, but I'm glad someone is seeing the improvement. ;)

I don't bike to work much in the summer--too hot, too crowded. This year (on top of the heat and crowds) both the path and the roads between my office and home were under construction.

But the schools are all back in session (so the crowds are less) and it's finally cool and the construction near my office on the path is complete, so I took Linus to work today.

Only to discover the construction no longer covers the last two miles of my commute, but the first one mile.

I hope it's done by the time the good winter weather sets in.

We haven't met, that I know of, but I have a very similar commute. About 70% of it is paved trail, so I keep going all seasons too, although in winter I have to take into account the risk factor of dumb drivers on snow days.


We are back from Burning Man and had a lovely time and are very excited to go again next year.  Lots to report, and a full writeup will likely be coming soonish.

But in the meantime... I have not had a chance to read OPW since right before we left... Say August 24th or so.  I will start reading what y'all wrote and getting caught up... but if I missed anything huge while we were gone, please lemme know!  :)

We are en route to my folks' house today where we'll be until Saturday morning. My mom is having knee surgery tomorrow-- she was supposed to have it done before Burning Man but when she showed up to the surgi-center the morning of her surgery, the anesthesiologist said, "I had no idea you had emphysema and AFib and COPD and all these other risk factors... I don't have the equipment to keep you alive here. We have to reschedule you so we can operate in a real hospital and not an outpatient surgi-center like this."  So tomorrow's the day. I'm praying she gets the relief she's been needing, poor thing.

We then have a wedding to attend Saturday afternoon back here in DE.  We fly to Arizona a few days later on Wednesday the 19th for a week to help my friend Jeff figure his life and house out since his wife (and my good friend) Debbie passed away last month... man. 

I've got a bunch of work travel scheduled between now and early December, so when it rains, it pours travel-wise.

Ok, imma get crackin'.

Hope everyone's rockin' in the free-ish world.

Holy sh!t. I hadn’t heard about Debbie! What happened?!
It's a long-ish story, but basically she had a mental health breakdown (we do not know the trigger), and despite getting her every possible help money could buy, she drank herself and pilled herself to death. I can give you the full scoop when I see you. It's devastating.
Oh man. I'm so sorry.
1. Welcome home. I saw some photos of BM and it looked friggin' amazing.
2. Best wishes to your mom; I hope the surgery goes well, she recovers quickly, and it improves her quality of life.
3. I'm so very sorry for the loss of your friend. I know Jeff will deeply appreciate your visit.
Thanks so much!

They canceled her surgery yet again (complications during surgery prep-- see my next entry), but here's hoping for the 4th time being a charm...
Hey, congrats on getting another burn in the books. Thanks for the temple delivery service, Talley appreciated it.
Sorry to hear about your friend. Someone much wiser than me once said that living is a process of accumulating scars until you die. Losing friends is one of those scarring processes, but it doesn't make it easier.
I hope your mom's mutant healing factor let's her pull through this knee surgery with aplomb.
Catch you sometime between now and next year!
Welcome back, bebe. *smooch*
Karen 9/12
So much. Very sorry about your friend.
How did I ever miss this song? Heather from 11th Grade, if you're out there, you would have loved this.
Karen 23m

We bought half a bushel of pickling cucumbers Saturday. I was determined to make fermented a.k.a. barrel pickles. Since we don't have a canner any more. I read up on the theory behind the process, studied recipes and synthesised my own. I've got seven small tubs with about 3l of pickles in each.

At this point, all seven pickle tubs seem to be full of happy bacteria turning cucumber carbohydrates into gas and hopefully lactic acid, which is the whole idea behind fermented (barrel) pickles.

The tubs I got have snap lids and they are too air tight and the foam was rising up and seeping out the edges and pouring liquid on the floor. That sucked. I drilled holes in the tops, that should stop the pressure build up.

One should skim the foam off the liquid each day, and yes there's a bit of white foamy stuff as the air bubbles up through the water which is very alive with bacteria.

If I wasn't afraid of a batch going bad, i'd just dump all the tubs out into a kitchen garbage can because it would be SO MUCH EASIER to deal with one big, non-spilling container rather than seven small ones. But, first time, etc and all that. We must see this through for science.

Recipe I concocted:

For each 3.3l capacity tub:

  • 5-7 cloves of garlic, halved crosswise
  • 3-4 fat dill flower heads
  • 3-5 star aniseed pods
  • 1/2 tsp mustard seeds
  • 6-10 black peppercorns
  • 2-3 bay leaves for crispness
  • enough #2 cukes to come close to the top, both ends cropped
  • brine to cover (2tbsp salt per quart of water)

Put a weight on the pickles so they don't break the surface of the water. Cover the tubs to keep out dust and critters, but not an airtight seal as the fermentation produces gas.  

Supposedly they'll be half-sour in a week and full sour in several weeks, and fermentation will slow down/stop at some point so they don't need to be refrigerated if one is willing to have very sour pickles. I hope so. Our fridge isn't very big.


This isn't much of an update about moving and stuff. But it's what I wanted to write about.

Pickles! I love fermented pickles! I just went and got one out of my fridge after reading this. I did not ferment it myself, because I am not so very BOSS as you, and fermented veggies are easy to come by in farm country, but still. Thanks for reminding me to eat one!

Some people have those fancy dedicated mini wine fridges in their kitchens. Clearly you need a dedicated mini pickle fridge.
I have my eye on this beautiful two door fridge-on-top from IKEA with a pull out freezer compartment; I swear it would hold twice as much as the unit that came with the flat, or at least it would be twice as easy to reach things. But we gotta save our pennies first.
Yeah, fridge configurations can be tricky. You can't just compare cubic feet to cubic feet, because everyone uses the space differently. So the Ikea one you're eyeballing might very well double the kind of storage space you need most, regardless of the measurements.

My solution for the past ... 13 years maybe? has been to have two separate units. One wholly a fridge and one a dedicated freezer. Where we've lived, those matched units end up costing about the same as one of the fancier all-in-ones with the french doors on top/freezer drawer on bottom and gave me a little more fridge space and a lot more freezer space. Since I freeze a lot of stuff, that's my ideal config. But you do have to have to space in your domicile for it. In our first house, the fridge unit went in the kitchen, and the freezer went a few steps away in the garage (which worked great; I don't go into the freezer nearly as often as the fridge). In this house, the freezer sat in the dining room until we renovated the kitchen to give it a home there. (Can't put a freezer in the garage in this climate; too cold; worked fine in CA, though.)
Hmmm. Although the ones I have are labeled dill pickles, there's barely any dill in the jar. Ingredients read: sea salt, garlic, black pepper, allspice, coriander, yellow mustard, celery seed, fennel seed... with dill listed last.
The fennel is interesting, that would have been a nice compliment. I kind of forgot to add a couple cloves to each tub, but given that I don't think we have any, I'm not too worried about it. Next time!
I think pickle seasoning should always be a dice roll. There are too many interesting flavor combinations to stick to just one recipe.

I did like the fennel note. The celery seed I could take or leave.

I made two security fixes just now:

1. Previously, if you knew the id of a post and were a mutual follower of the poster, you could comment on it, even if you did not have the keys to the post. Note that this did not mean you could see the post. However, see below.

2. If you had commented on a post, you would continue to receive notifications of later comments on that post, even if your own access to it had been revoked. Notifications contain roughly 100 characters or so of each comment.

Both issues have been fixed. I apologize for these mistakes in my code.

At no point was it possible to read an actual post you should not have been able to read. But, security issues are never good.

Many thanks to the user who brought issue #2 to my attention, which led me to discover issue #1.

Edited to add: notifications already in the system are still there. I will be working to purge those, and also to purge notifications as needed whenever the privacy settings of a post change. Of course an email sent is an email sent, but I should do what I can do.

You're the best.
Thank you.
Danke schön
I didn't know that these security issues existed. isn't it nice that we're a rather morally gentle bunch? :) Thank you for keeping us safe.
Thank you, darling.
Karen 9/9
You are goodness personified.