Sunday, January 26, 2014

Fun Updates

I feel like focusing on some positive things today, so let's check in on the progress on our family fun list, my personal fun list, and my goals for 2014.

First up, let's check in on the family fun list. We have already crossed two items off- we went and ate doughnuts at the doughnut shop after one of our trips to the park, and last weekend, we rode a ridiculous bike around Coronado. And we already have the next Family Fun Day planned- since neither of us are football fans, we're thinking of hitting Legoland on Super Bowl Sunday.

I'm doing less well on my personal fun list. I've started work on learning how to make a great margarita. I've decided to break that down into sets of experiments. The first round of experiments was to determine whether triple sec or Cointreau was the better source of the orange flavor. To my surprise, I and all of my tasters came down firmly on the side of triple sec. Next up, I'll try out some different tequilas- I need to do some research before I embark on those experiments, though. Finally, I'll try some of the adjuvants that have been suggested to me. So, clearly, this particular item is going to take some time.

I bought some new socks, but haven't sorted out the mess in my sock drawer, which therefore continues to annoy me every morning. I continue to gather songs for my playlist of new (to me) music, but I'm still less than 2/3 of the way to the final list.

I have taken a bubble bath, though, so I'm not behind on my list yet- that can be my January item.

My biggest accomplishment, though, has been on my 2014 goals list: I wanted to expand Tungsten Hippo to include collections, and I finished that this week. I'm quite excited. Even though it looks like a small addition, it took a fair amount of work.

That is all of the technical work I'm likely to do on Tungsten Hippo this year, I think. I'll move on to my other goals. However, I will continue posting there and trying to grow its audience. The audience growth part is challenging, and I have yet to hit on a truly successful strategy. This doesn't surprise me, or even frustrate me (yet), because I expected it to be hard. I've tried a couple of Facebook campaigns and am running an AdWords campaign right now. I haven't been all that impressed with how either has done in terms of actually growing my audience, but then, I'm not spending much money (about $30 per campaign, and the first Facebook campaign was free) and I don't have any prior experience writing ads. So far, my most successful "marketing" activity was to post a comment on Scalzi's pre-Christmas fan recommendations post. I'm looking for more blogs where it would make sense to comment as Tungsten Hippo, to see if I can get some more organic audience growth going. (If anyone has suggestions, please leave them in the comments!)

All and all, I think I'm off to a good start on my lists. I know that last year, I slumped mid-year. That is perhaps inevitable. So this year, I decided to try to go strong on my goals early. So far, so good!

How are you doing on your 2014 goals/resolutions/fun lists/whatever else?


  1. I liked your idea of a list for each year, so I tried it out with my family. After objecting (we do lots of things anyway) everyone came up with a few things to put on our list (which is a bit vaguer than yours). I'm pleased to report that we went kayaking this morning around Sydney Harbour, which we all enjoyed.

    I'm inspired to post that here partly because one of our favourite kayaking moments was where you are - in La Jolla where we saw seals, pelicans, dolphins and sharks! I'd recommend it for one of your lists.

    1. I've done the La Jolla cove kayak! It is really cool. Not sure where we'll kayak this year.

  2. I think I gave you my margarita recipe, the one that won our local newspaper's contest to see what emulates those from local perennial favorite "Best Margarita" winner, "The Rio Grande" restaurant (which purportedly has the largest Cuervo account in the country). We used to use Cuervo gold, but recently have become devotees of Rancho Allegre Reposado. See if you can find it; it's cheaper than Cuervo gold, and made from 100% agave (many tequilas are less than 100%).

    Also, I always thought traditional "margs" were lime-flavored. Making one with Cointreau sounds interesting, though. FWIW, "The Rio" also offers strawberry and mango flavored ones (good, but too sweet for me).

  3. Yes! Your recipe is on the list for when I get to trying out adjuvants. A traditional margarita is lime juice + tequila + orange liqueur (triple sec or Cointreau) + maybe a smidge of sugar, depending on how tart your limes are.

  4. Anonymous11:49 AM

    Cook's Illustrated had the most amazing recipe for margaritas from fresh citrus, using the zest as well as the juice. I love that this is on your list!

  5. Anonymous5:42 PM

    I know a lot about tequila - I am writing a book on tequila! I think that since this is one of your big goals you should go for a good tequila - I think that Siete Leguas Blanco would be great. (Whatever you do, make sure it is 100 agave!).


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