Thomas Boutell

Just some guy who made a thing.

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I just renewed for three more years. 🎂

Every few years I reach out to the guy who owns He always says no. I have made some credible offers. That's cool, the man likes his domain.

I should really take "beta" off the site, huh.

6/14 '20 5 Comments
Happy fifth anniversary!
why did I say fifth? what's wrong with me?
It's a great site!
Chris Herdt 6/14 '20
I do love this neighborhood.

I wish I could convince friends to move in next door. On the other hand, being a quiet cul-de-sac is a large part of the charm.

I am ever grateful for your consistent efforts over the long term to create and hold space for community.
Anne Mollo 6/15 '20
Happy Anniversary to you!
And us!
  • Three roma tomatoes
  • Two carrots, peeled
  • Two green onion stalks
  • Two stalks of celery
  • 6 small mushrooms of varying kinds
  • 6 ounces tomato paste
  • Goodly shake of MatoZest
  • Goodly shake of italian seasoning 
  • 1/2 tablespoon nutritional yeast

Chop everything. Chuck everything in a vitamix or good blender. Add enough water to get the blender to cooperate. Blend until it looks right — no huge bits but still texture, mostly from the carrots.

Simmer and serve over zucchini noodles.

The carrots lend it a meat sauce texture.

3/9 '20 7 Comments
I read the first two lines of your post and my brain instinticly sang FIIIIIIIVE GOLDEN RINGSSSSS!

Sure, your recipe doesn't scan, but my brain don't care nope nosiree
Four pounds of back bacon, three French toasts, two turtlenecks, and a beer!
I-in a tree.
Five gollldenn toooooques!
(Ba-dum-bum-bum!) is forever in my head in Miss Piggy's voice.
Mine too. This year during the holidays, Vince was singing "Five. GOLDEN! Rings." in the voice of Mario Cantone doing an impression of Bette Davis. I can almost side-step that ear worm.
Happy to see you didn't add nutria. (Which honestly was my first thought when I saw the title.)
Ursula Sadiq 3/10 '20

I have tried both Google's my maps and scribble maps and boy, it is a pain in the ass to just... make a map of an interesting route. With some waypoints and some connecting lines. it's not impossible, it's just so fussy that I say forget it. Is this always so bad? Is there a tool that everybody swears by? should I just give up on the idea that I should be able to do this on my phone?

10/12 '19 3 Comments
I’ve tried the same thing, using Google, and I never achieved it to any satisfaction.
For a route, are you talking about public roads, or are you on a bike?

I generally don't have issues with Google Maps (shhh - don't tell the boss), but I'm not sure how many stops you're talking about / publicness of the route / etc.

Oops, I forgot to take a picture before enjoying.


1 red rose black tea bag

1/4 teaspoon fresh-grated nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon fresh-grated ginger

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

2-3 cloves

1 scant handful almonds

A few raisins

1 teaspoon brown sugar


Bring a mug's worth of water, less an inch or so, to a boil. Steep the tea for a few minutes.

Pour the tea and everything else into the vitamix.

Run a smoothie cycle.

Pour into mug.



Tastes as good as a "chai latte" and who the hell knows how much sugar (and perhaps fat?) is in those.

If you haven't worked with whole nutmegs before, the "small holes" side of any grater can handle it just fine. Ditto grating fresh ginger.


Cinnamon and ginger, nutmeg and cloves

That's what gave me this shiny red nose.

8/15 '19 8 Comments
This looks divine.
Anne Mollo 8/15 '19
Innit tho? And prep time is almost nothin'
Thomas Boutell 8/15 '19
A splash of brandy and I'd call it an ABC (Almond-Brandy-Chai) Alexander.

That looks like a well-loved mug!
Chris Herdt 8/15 '19
Like something out of Beauty and the Beast. I like the "t" on the side. Did you make it yourself? Or was it made by your offspring?
Anne Mollo 8/15 '19edited
Brandy Alexander always gets me into trouble 🎶
Thomas Boutell 8/16 '19
Yeah, that seems mighty delish.
Jenn A 8/16 '19

... You are looking cute!

Specifically, you'll note there is now a little picture icon after you hit reply.

Currently you can post either a picture, or text, not both in a single comment.


10/21 '18 18 Comments
Thomas Boutell 10/21 '18
Thomas Boutell 10/21 '18
Thomas Boutell 10/21 '18
Excellent. That's something I've been wanting here. :-)
Rachael 10/21 '18
Anne Mollo 10/21 '18
damn you people for continuing to raise the awesome bar
Waider 10/21 '18
That's ridiculously adorable.
Dinner out at the new restaurant in Winooski, with the kiddos +1 (someone else's kiddo), after performing in the Sunday matinee show. From the angle, you can't see how much hair spray is in my hair or how much eye makeup is weighing down my lids!
Anne Mollo 10/22 '18edited
Oh, wow, look at you, Anne!
Karen Kuhl 10/25 '18
Here to confirm it works with Chrome on iOS. :)
Hey, Tom, the picture thing doesn't work with the Grammarly plugin on win10 + chrome. The picture icon appears briefly and then disappears. Not sure if Grammarly is widely used enough for you to care...
Weird. If you start typing it's supposed to disappear... not that?
Thomas Boutell 10/24 '18
It reacts when the text is no longer empty. Grammarly must be putting some kind of marker in the field, maybe an invisible character.
Thomas Boutell 10/24 '18
Karen Kuhl 10/25 '18

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.

9/15 '18 5 Comments
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.
Anne Mollo 9/16 '18
I too am not amazon’s internet security department but if you want an informal code review let me know.
Waider 9/16 '18
Informal code review is a great idea. I will let Sean know we're reviewin' as well.
Thomas Boutell 9/16 '18edited
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.
Thomas Boutell 9/17 '18

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.

9/7 '18 6 Comments
You're the best.
Thank you.
Robert Bryan 9/7 '18
Danke schön
Anne Mollo 9/8 '18
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 Kuhl 9/9 '18
You are goodness personified.
Love you!