This page contains general site updates and Ryan's personal updates. You can subscribe to it via https://thelionsrear.com/updates.xml in your feed reader of choice. It's also mirrored to my Fediverse instance.
Obubu Tea Farm's 2023 Spring Harvest has arrived Tea
It's a new season which means my Kyoto Obubu Tea Farm member packet has come in. These packets are sent as one of the perks of being a patron of this farm. (…)
This season there are some really great first-flush Sencha which I will avidly dig in to tomorrow; they brought me the 2023 harvest of my favorite teas.
Volunteered at the 2023 Eugene Tea Festival this weekend
I volunteered with the 2023 Tea Festival, helping to run the educational workshops at Mountain Rose Herbs Annex. It was a smooth event, the first year of this tea festival coming together, but it was good. Got to meet some interesting folks and talk tea, and listen to some folks talk about tea, too.
Added an Atom feed to my Tea Practice Tea Writing
2023 is a year where I will probably get more intentional about my Tea Brewing again and start up my tea journal, especially now that the Planet Computers Astro Glide lets me always have my org-roam and The Arcology Project in my pocket; previously these tea journal entries went directly in to my daily notes Journal, but I'll attempt to capture the more intent brewing sessions in to that page instead.
If I did this properly, they will be posted to the Lion's Rear Fediverse account alongside this feed, but I'm not sure how Arcology's Feed Generator handles things deep inside those date-trees
Today's session was back to back Wakoucha (Japanese Black Tea) Brewing.
Published A Short Note on Tea Water Tea Writing
In A Very Quick Introduction to Japanese Tea Brewing I make a claim:
Boiling the water removes a lot of the non-soluble minerals in the water, giving the tea a less harsh flavor.
@email@example.com on Fediverse sent a direct reply when I posted a link to that guide stating "Minerals don't evaporate, so I think you're more likely to concentrate them as a (small) portion of the water evaporates.", and I've spent some time unpacking all of this. My initial claim was non-soluble minerals would precipitate on boiling and that the remaining soluble minerals would allow for the tea to have more "places" to bind to. I'm not so sure it's that cut-and-dry any more, and in fact I think that the purpose of soluble minerals in tea may actually serve in mediating the tea extraction rather than encouraging it. In A Short Note on Tea Water I expand on this thinking and try to back-stop some of my intuition with an afternoon spent reading Wikipedia.
New in the Archive: New England Forests Ecology
Cataloging some nice Videos I've Watched and trying to get that budding interesting in ecology, forests, and trees flowing again. Ray Asselin produces some really neat documentaries about, well, New England Forests.
Reading the Forested Landscape has me really itching to go out in to Oregon's forests – many of them are "working forests" cut down by loggers every fifty years and most of the rest are national forests which are managed by the Forest Service, but I wonder what a bit of "forest forensics" skills could net me…
Composed some Haiku last night Poetry
Nothing special, just bumping this feed… Winter 2022 haiku composed while in Phoenix for Christmas time
Today I Got Marra back with a larger frame
In October I started wondering what to do with my touring bike – my 52cm Salsa Marrakesh was something that I had to "settle" on when trying to buy a bike during the height of COVID-indoors-insanity and supply chain buffoonery. This fall I finally started to sit down and solve this, and ended up moving all the components to a 54cm frame at Paul's Bicycle Way of Life in Eugene. I picked it up today, and it's too cold and icy for me to ride it until I get back from holiday travels, but I am quite excited by it. They said it would take a week and I picked it up in two days, very communicative and helpful all along. I had a number of shops in town ghost me or tell me I was SoL, I was about to start calling up in Portland before I walked in here on a whim.
Going from the "midnight blue" frame to a black frame like this was a bit worrying, but the pop of color from the new BTP woven bar tape makes it really stand out nicely, and I'm not above slapping some MASH SF stickers on it 🚴
I Received this year's Obukucha from Obubu Tea Farm
Four times a year I get a shipment of Sencha Tea from Kyoto Obubu Tea Farm in Japan; this is basically my only source of sencha tea and I have grown to love the experience and surprise of brewing each season's "unfinished"/unblended Aracha (荒茶). December's shipment is always a special one because it includes a special ceremonial tea, Obukucha.
It's green tea with kombu and salted ume plums and a bit of gold flake used to bring good fortune to those who drink it. It's a nice little tradition I wouldn't have inherited were it not for the folks at Obubu and my visit to them in 2018 alongside my growing interest at the intersection of Tea and Zen.
It’s really nice to be able to support a farm and directly benefit from it a few times a year! for ~30$/month the club itself is not as good of a “deal” as, say, a white2tea monthly puer membership or whatever, but it feels good to directly support a handful of farmers especially in a town like Wazuka which is having trouble surviving as the youth of the town move to cities.
it’s really fascinating to have such a “direct” relationship with my tea and it’s really changed my outlook on food and tea over the last few years. they don’t do any mixing or blending but sell 荒茶 “farmer’s tea”; you get a single field in a single season for each of their tea products and get to watch it slowly develop and change with the seasons. it’s kind of similar to shopping from the same stalls at the local farmer’s market for a few years, every time you shop is going to be different and there is some real beauty and nuance in those differences.
The 2022 Game of the Year votes are in
My favorite video games this year were Vampire Survivors and Jupiter Hell, and the new Dwarf Fortress release will surely be eating up more of my time in 2k23.
More and more now, the games I’m playing should/shall/will run well on the SteamDeck, it’s a really good device and keeps me from firing up my desktop to the point where I’ll be rebuilding it on Linux in the coming year. I refunded at least a few games after learning they did not run on the deck.
The 2022 SuperGT Season Finale was an instant classic.
2022 SuperGT Season Finale @ Twin Ring Motegi:
I stayed up late last night watching this Sportscar Racing Motorsport event, it's an instantly classic memorable race. Exciting, nail biting, and briefly heart-breaking from lap 1 to the checkered flag. All the teams I was rooting for had issues early on that let them out of contention for the win and the championship – or so I'd thought.
Posted: It's not that I dislike my touring bike…
I do a bit of thinking about what the shortcomings of my dear touring bike Marra, and what I might do to end up with a bike I could ride thousands of miles on without gear fetishizing and the sort of constant polish I do for 0$ with Emacs and the CCE. Bike hardware and tooling ain't free!
Posted: Is the Instant Pot Trend Finally Slowing Down?
Bettina Makalintal finally finds words for why I don't want an Instant Pot:
It turns out that the whole “set it and forget it” style chafes at my preference to taste, meddle, and stir. Plus, a cutting board and an eight-quart Instant Pot is a big ask of my counter space.
You'll cook more (i already do, it's fun to cook fresh veg with friends)! You'll eat more healthy (i already eat more veggies and beans and less meat)! Meal prep is easier (it already is easy to make a big batch of beans or sauce or a braise that'll last days)! I really am of the opinion that a large dutch oven is more useful and fun than the Instant Pot for most folks.
You could Date Me
dark laughter what am i thinking publishing something like this
Wrote a quick summary of 2022 Camping near Newport
Went camping for a few days with some dear friends, and learned that I still love it. Learned that I can probably sleep better in my hammock than my tent, though I am quite anxious of only traveling with a hammock since tree selection is always the hard part…
My monthly "i could sell all my shit and move to wazuka and learn to grow tea" was triggered today
Interning with Kyoto Obubu Tea Farm is a thing I still feel called towards. For the last few years as my Tea Practice has developed I feel drawn to Sencha Tea and dream of Opening a Tea Shop, and of helping to support this village where the tea I love is produced.
It doesn't seem like it would be easy, especially if I wanted to stay or put down roots.
I Spent a weekend in Vancouver, BC
I just got back from a weekend in Vancouver, BC that could've/should've/would've had some fast electric cars in it but had a rental bike and a trolley bus instead.
New page for My Watercolor Paintings
Hey Smell This, my bad bad not good art. I have a little water color pallette and "go bag" that fits in Marra's bags, I will be carrying it when I go out on longer rides. 30 minutes of sitting in the sun Meditating, 30 minutes of sitting in the sun sketching, some hours of watercolor work later when I get to my destination… that seems like a good life. In the meantime, I practice at home with screenshots and old photos I have taken as studies.
If for some inexplicable reason you only want to see my watercolor art, you can subscribe here, and I'll update this page when I have things worth sharing more.
New Page: Plotter Art & new work: 茶 - have a cup of Tea
I've made a page cataloging my AxiDraw plotter prints -> Plotter Art. Last night I printed four copies of my latest experiment "have a cup of tea" there with some close up shots and overviews as well. I am really happy with using vsketch as a plotter programming environment and want to spend more time doing even "un-generative" things like this with manual positioning and the like to emulate other art forms.
That page will be updated regularly with my work and has a feed to go with it if you're so inclined to see when I post new art on the page: https://thelionsrear.com/plotter-art.xml
First Post Test
In Generating RSS feeds using
org-rss-export-to-rss I am exploring how to
generate RSS feeds from org-mode