Return to Butano

This morning I had an errand to run in San Mateo. I had access to a car, and Stephanie was busy, so I decided to go hiking afterwards. I was thinking Butano State Park might be convenient, as it’s also south of San Francisco, but it turned out to be an hour from San Mateo, over the peninsula and all the way to Pescadero.

My cousin Christy introduced me to Butano only two months after I moved to California—which I think counts as my first hike in the state. Looking back over the brief blog post I wrote about that day, I was amused to discover that we hiked there exactly 10 years ago, making my return visit an anniversary of sorts.

I arrived, paid my entrance fee, and studied the map for a promising loop. They described the 9.5-mile Canyon Loop as “strenuous”—that looked like the hike for me. Besides crossing paths with a few people at the beginning and the end, I had the trail entirely to myself.

I hiked at a swift pace, stopping only to take the occasional photo. At about the halfway point I sat down and had a little lunch of cherry tomatoes, string cheese, beef jerky, and macadamia nuts. I completed the loop in a little over 3 hours, and I was quite happy to be done after the steep descent on the Año Nuevo trail.

View of the trail from the Canyon Loop at Butano State Park, near Pescadero, CA

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Portuguese Cheese

Tonight, after a long absence, I returned to the Cheese School of San Francisco for a class about Portuguese Cheese and Wine. I enjoy subjects like these, focused and unfamiliar to me. I’ve tasted many different cheeses over the years, but I can’t say that any have been from Portugal.

Portuguese Cheese and Wine at the Cheese School of San Francisco
Portuguese cheeses, in dramatic light

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The Great Purge

Consider this a sort of transparency report. As I mentioned in my recent Responsive Redesign post:

Though I’ve long been a staunch proponent of not self-censoring old content, I may start “unpublishing” some old posts that I feel have little or no redeeming value, besides being cringe-worthy indicators of where I was at the time.

This was a massive undertaking, that involved twice going through each and every one of the 2,088 posts I’ve published over the last 13 years (many of which I reread) and asking myself, Is this something I’m proud of? In the end, I answered No to 277 posts. The vast majority were culled from my early years of blogging. It’s hard to categorize the subject matter which most often fell under the knife, except to say that many of my old political or complainy rants had not aged well.

Graph of blog post words unpublished by year
Word Count by Year (Spared vs. Censored)

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Trinity Alps’ Canyon Creek Trail

It began to pour the moment we pulled into our campsite. So we napped in the car waiting for our friends who were a few hours behind us. The rain had passed by the time Julie, Patrice, and their daughter Eva arrived, but the trees were still dripping, so we ate dinner that night with our rain jackets on.

Justin, Stephanie, Julie, Pat, and Eva at the Canyon Creek Trailhead in the Trinity Alps
The gang at the Canyon Creek Trailhead

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Responsive Redesign

I have finally abandoned the 380px-wide column that I chose arbitrarily for my first attempt at a blog design in 2002. That relatively narrow column became fixed when I began embedding photos in my posts, all scaled down to 380px-wide, shortly thereafter. To overcome this limitation, in 2009 I added the ability to enlarge photos using a Lightbox plugin. This meant that I had to manually generate a 380px-wide version and an 800px-wide version of every photo in a post, linking the former to the latter. I attempted a responsive redesign at the end of 2012, but it was really just a hack job. I got things into a place where they sort of worked, but stopped short because I had a new job to focus on. Finally in 2013, I abandoned the 380px-wide “thumbnails” altogether, and just started posting the 800px-wide versions—bandwidth be damned!—allowing the browser to scale the image down to my then-still, 380px-wide column. The benefit being that the newer high pixel density screens in smartphones and tablets showed much crisper images than they had previously.

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