New Apple Pie Recipe

• 1 min read

For Thanksgiving, we decided to make Claire Saffitz's Thanksgiving meal that she published with the New York Times. We initially discovered this from her full-length YouTube video making each item in the meal.

There's a lot of good dishes in the meal, but one stuck out to us – the caramelized apple pie.

The caramelized apple pie.

We had never heard of mixing caramel with an apple pie, let alone baking the apples ahead of time before adding them to the pie itself. I've never really found a great apple pie recipe. My family typically makes an apple pie every Thanksgiving. Theirs begins with a substantial mound of apples under the dough, which results in a large air gap below the crust when the pie leaves the oven. Just imagine what Mary Berry's reaction would be to the bottom of the pie.

Since the apples are baked ahead of time, they're soft and the majority of their liquid has been lost. However, they still have a ton of a flavor and the caramel isn't overbearing. As a result, the pie looks great both entering and leaving the oven.

The pie was quickly consumed. We actually enjoyed it so much we made it again for Christmas.

This recipe is definitely becoming a regular for us and I'd definitely recommend giving it a shot next time you're in the mood for apple pie.

2022 Favorites

• 1 min read

I've seen a lot of different 2022 wrap-up posts over the last several days and I think my favorite to read are the favorite posts, e.g. Brett Terpstra's favorite hardware, and Matt Birchler's subscriptions for next year.

Here's a brief list of my favorite items in a handful of categories, sorted in the order of which I read/played/watched/… them.


  • The Maid by Nita Prose
  • A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman
  • Calypso by David Sedaris


  • Celeste
  • Hades
  • Death's Door
  • God of War (2018)


  • The Great Escape
  • Death on the Nile
  • Spirited
  • Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery


  • Town, San Carlos, CA
  • Farm House, Belmont, CA
  • Shizen, San Francisco, CA

Outdoor Activities

  • Sheep Camp Trail, San Mateo, CA
  • Soberanes Canyon Trail, Garrapata State Park, Carmel-by-the-Sea, CA
  • Point Reyes Lighthouse, Point Reyes, Marin, CA
  • Filoli, San Mateo, CA
  • Armstrong Redwoods, Sonoma, CA


  • Kodak Portra 400
  • Ilford HP5 Plus
  • CineStill 50D

Apple Music Replay 2022

• 1 min read

I spent part of last week listening to my Apple Music Replay 2022 and there's a lot of songs on here I forgot about and enjoyed listening to again.

Getting into Film Photography

• 2 min read

I recently bought a Canon AE-1 off eBay.

It was bound to happen.

For a while I've been following a set of analog photography subreddits and came across a thread on favorite analog YouTubers.

I soon found myself binging a ton of grainydays' YouTube videos and quickly decided thereafter that I needed to get a film camera.

I searched to determine if there was a camera I could have from someone I know, but came up empty.

I decided to turn to eBay. You can find anything on eBay. They have hundreds, if not thousands, of film cameras. Some of them are good and some are just sold for parts.

At this point, I had to decide what model of camera I wanted. Initially, I searched for the Pentax K1000 (a popular beginner camera used in colleges), but eventually settling on the Canon AE-1 since I recalled grainydays' talking about it in one of their gear videos.

After many messages with sellers about the condition of their cameras (did the light sensor work?) and a few lost auctions, one seller sent me an offer on a Canon AE-1 I had previously messaged about. I had no idea eBay had offers, but considered it amongst the going price for a working camera on the site and accepted it.

A few days later, I had a Canon AE-1. After reading the manual (again), everything appeared to be functional. The next step was to load up a film roll, take some shots, and have it developed to verify there were no major issues such as light leaks. I chose the well tested Kodak Portra 400 to for the first roll.

Ryan and I took the camera along during our afternoon walk through downtown Redwood City. A few of the photos are below.

You can see more photos on

We definitely got that "special" feeling of film while taking these shots: we spent a while framing the shot considering each one and tried to make each shot count. We only had 36 exposures after all.

I'm quite happy with the purchase. The camera works great.

I've got a few more rolls of Kodak Portra 400 and some Ilford FP-4, which we'll shoot over the next few weeks.

Until I've got more to share, take a look at some other YouTubers I've been watching:

Keeping a Dream Log

• 2 min read

Just shortly before New Year's in 2020, I started keeping a dream log.

I had to keep the process simple. I don't often remember dreams a few minutes after waking. Rather than opening Notes every morning and creating a new note, I created a Shortcut that creates a new note with yesterday's date, saves the note in the folder I had set up for dreams, then opens the note.

This worked quite well, especially after iOS had learned this was part of my morning routine and started to suggest the shortcut in Spotlight.

In 2021, I ended up having 243 dreams, which is almost exactly 2/3 of the year (a dream every other day or so).

Most of the dream entires are only a few sentences, but there's a few odd ones out that I was able to recall in much more detail. Why? I have no idea.

I found there to be a delicate balance between writing a detail dream entry and recording the entire dream. Sometimes I'll find it if I try to extract more details from a particular part of the dream, I'll end up losing detail in a later part of the dream or the entire remainder of the dream.

When I started recording dream entries, I attempted to do some post-dream analysis while recording. For example, if I left a room and I couldn't remember why, I'd try to determine why I would have left and write that down. However, this ended up hurting recall and I decided to leave any potential analysis for after writing down the dream.

What did I learn from keeping a dream log? I've learned my dreams are usually about whatever I'm thinking about or concerned about, e.g. work stress, COVID, travel, or anxiety about visiting the dentist. The remainder are random, typically hilarious, stories with attendance of Ryan, my family, or coworkers.

Keeping a dream log has been pretty rewarding and very low effort. It's worth it alone to be able to read previous dreams and marvel at its absurdity or learn what was bothering me at that point in time.

Here's a selection of a few dreams that I thought were particularly entertaining. They've been edited for content and clarity.

Ryan was making something. I was learning how to wrangle a group of large, shrimp worms.
Tom Hanks saves a space robotic from burning in a space fire before saving a human from dying.
Ryan and I went to Chicago. It was great. We went to lunch at a restaurant and all the tables were spaced out for COVID. Our hotel room was the penthouse but the bed was on the roof outside.
Everyone was getting their last vaccine. My grandma got a job at a hospital. The Obamas drove us the the vaccination site, but we had to stop at their home first. We parked a block down the street and did parkour in the parking garage.
Alton Brown was head of the smallest Apple store in a mall. It only had room for like 6 employees and their desks. For some reason, it was more like corporate than not.

I still can't get over Barack and I doing parkour! 🤣