by Thomas Beutel

Month: May, 2017


It is one of my favorite modeling techniques. Basically, I get a kit and throw out the instructions. The kit parts become raw materials to make something new and different, or to make a model of something from the real world that is not available in kit form. Sometimes I’ll combine two or more kits […]

Legos of Love

Lego kits nowadays are pretty specific. They are made to be put together in a specific way to make a specific model. But the underlying premise of Lego is interchangeable parts. With these kits, it is still possible to put things together in different ways. I think that these kits are a good analogy for […]

Ducks in the parking lot

We went shopping at Safeway yesterday and saw something unusual again – two mallard ducks, a male and a female sitting on the asphalt in one of the parking spots. I had seen this particular pair before a couple weeks ago, so they seem to like it here. You would think that this spot is […]

Automata at the Exploratorium

A few months ago Eli and I went to the Exploratorium to see an exhibit on automata. I find they tickle my brain in a curious way, which I guess is what they are supposed to do. It was great to see automata from well known artists like Paul Spooner and Keith Newstead. One thing that […]

Being in the water

In 2014 I made a decision to fish more often. In years past, I fished maybe 4 or 5 times in the year. And it seemed to me that for as much as I really enjoy fishing, 4 to 5 times a year is not nearly enough. All that changed in 2014. I discovered Crissy […]

The Bite on Replay

This morning I tried out a new toy, a Polaroid Cube+ clipped to my waders. I wasn’t sure what to expect but I’m pleased. The quality is better than I expected. And I got about 1 hour and 45 minutes of record time before the battery gave out. My main goal was to get footage […]

Things I Do to get Unstuck

I get to be creative every day in both my work and play and for whatever reason I sometimes lose that creative energy and get stuck. Being creative over many hours can be difficult, so over the years I’ve learnt variety of methods to unstick myself. Imagine starting This one is very effective for starting a […]

I’d do a VR tour of historical San Francisco

As I’ve gotten older I’ve found that I’m less and less interested in VR. Now, I must say that I haven’t experienced much VR to begin with, but I’m finding reality much more interesting each day. Sure I can play a VR fishing game and catch a bunch of fish. But it’s not the same, […]

The Spark-Joy Heuristic

Marie Kondo suggests in her tidying book that we should look at all of our stuff all at once and only keep those things that still spark joy in our hearts. I’ve been thinking about this and I’m finding different ways to apply this, not just in service of tidying but in other areas as well. […]

Army Hospital Trains at Crissy Field

I go fishing at Crissy Field at least once a week and I often think about some of the fascinating history of the field. During WWII the Army had built a long 4 track yard to stage hospital trains. You can see pictures of the yard at this link. The yard was situated just north […]