and by ‘Slumgullion’ I mean

a cheap stew made by throwing anything handy into a pot with water and boiling it, an improvised dish which has had many other names…

so yeah, lots to share! In no particular order then.

Forget silver spoons

Metal spoons, photo credit Zoe Laughlin

Different metals change the flavor of the food. More than you might think, especially if like me you’ve been dining from stainless steel your entire life. This fantastic post and accompanying Gastropod podcast will, if you’re like me, inspire you go go in search of less-expensive gold plated spoons. My lovely wife humored me and found a set of four for around $40 but I don’t know the source. Sorry. Don’t be fooled by gold-colored ones made from a titanium film – no idea how that’ll taste.

One spoon ruled them all, however: as Laughlin put it, “The gold spoon is just sort of divine. It tastes incredibly delicious and it makes everything you eat seem more delicious.” After tasting mango sorbet off a gold spoon, Laughlin told us, with a note of regret in her voice, “I thought, I can’t believe I’m ever going to eat off anything other than gold ever again. Sadly, of course, I do.”

Electric paraglider

I miss flying. The higher land-use density and cost of living here in San Diego combine to keep me grounded but the dream endures. A co-worker flies powered paragliders like these, basically a small gas motor + prop worn like a backpack plus a glider wing. As usual, Wikipedia has a decent article about them.

(Aside: Please donate to Wikipedia! Can you think of any other site on the internet that has stayed true to its mission, useful and honest? Short list, isn’t it? Do us all a favor and toss them a few bucks. I too find the Jimmy ads annoying but still donate every year.)

I find paramotoring compelling – the equipment is small and affordable enough to be purchased and carried around in the back of an SUV or trailer hitch carrier. You’re even more constrained by weather and flight rules; it’s really recreation only. That matches how I flew fixed-wing at the Fox Flying Club, though, so no worries there.

Anyway, I’ve been keeping an eye out and it looks like the electric vehicle revolution has made it to paragliding – and open source no less! Voila, OpenPPG.

It’s what you think it is, a scaled-up drone-style quadcopter. It folds down, packable into the back seat of a car. You can scale the battery pack from about 20 to 40 minutes of flight, with all of the advantages of direct-drive motors. I so want one.

So now I gotta convince my wife and get lessons. Co-worker went to this place and recommends them if you’re in the San Diego area.

On a related note, the local glider port has a nice, Raspberry-Pi-powered site showing glider conditions. As I write:

Synology hassles and solutions

We’re on our third Synology NAS. We got a 2-bay in 2015, a 4-bay in 2017 and an 8-bay in 2019.I’ve used the NAS migration built into their software to migrate the data from NAS to NAS, so when I got a volume-full warning I simply ordered two more WD 4TB drives and dropped them in, assuming I could grow the volume.

Nope. 16T limit, not the 18 expected. There’s an issue with migrated volumes with no known fix. Here’s the workaround, which took two weekends of fiddling/waiting:

  1. Move shared directories from volume1 to volume2 as explained here. You have to do this manually, one at a time, so it takes forever. (Note that volume2 is my internal backup drive, so yes you need free space to do this.)
  2. Create a new, small-dish volume for applications such as DNS. I went with 128GB just to leave room. Follow these instructions to move the applications to that new volume.
  3. Delete volume1 and create a new volume, which magically will be the full 18TB or whatever.
  4. Repeat step 1 instructions to move file shares onto the new volume.
  5. Curse the programmers at Synology.
  6. Bless the kind folks who posted answers like the above.


One very enjoyable job years ago had me writing LabVIEW software for a new, state of the art ultra-high-vacuum mass spectrometer at the UNM Advanced Materials Lab. The instrument designer and my boss was an amazing guy named Janos Farkas, and his latest project is a very interesting idea around more-robust hyperlinks. Consent, payment, attribution – lots of ideas in there. There’s a WordPress plugin too, so I’ve got a project to add them here as well. Have a look at and see what you think.

It took few seconds for Janos to make his post available for reuse and less than a minute for Gulzar to make the request, get his website verified, accept the license offer (he knew the license terms and conditions because the license templates are published online), receive the post to his WordPress backend and publish the linked post.  In the meantime, electronic records of the transaction were created both for Janos and Gulzar. The referent, linked posts, license transaction, and rights status have been given persistent identifiers and are trackable in the CLink registry.