Lao Wai Chili Oil

We’ve been using Lao Wai Chili Oil from Chef William Do for the last year, it’s “the secret,” to many of our dishes, including this Challah Grilled Cheese Lao Wai. Right?

There is a lot being subtly communicated here.

First, for my kids, I will use cheese, otherwise, I prefer the idea that “animals are not ingredients.” I’m trying to slowly improve my diet, I went vegan to improve my cholesterol levels, the ethical animal issue is a natural result, trust the process.

Yo, did somebody say Challah? Alex made that Challah with light coaching from me. The flavor is delicious and I still have some work to do to loosen up the bread and bring a little more fluff. That said, it was great to bake with Alex and even better to make him a grilled cheese using the Challah he baked. This is an important part of Knead For Peace.

Third, you might want to sit with the mind blowing idea of gourmet challah grilled cheese. right?

Fourth, yes we use Lao Wai as a verb around here, “I’m gonna Lao Wai that grilled cheese.“ And, we all know spicy grilled cheese is not novel, hello Quesadilla with hot sauce of your choice. Jewish Spicy Grilled Cheese, a fusion, and yet Challah! Lao Wai is a mixing of cultures for William and it is this blending with Challah, slow long heat to balance the sweetness of the Challah, of life. When your day needs a lift, Lao Wai it!

Lastly, a gentle reminder to get outside of your comfort zone and experiment, whether that is baking with someone or using the latest generative AI tool, or adding spice to your life! Making small mistakes is an important part of growing, we practice, observe and repeat. Growing is natural and an experimental process. Practicing is the process, the joy.

Whew, breathing deep and letting go!

Ready To Bloom – Patience

There is some perfect balance that nature consistently delivers, between budding and blooming, between participating in the struggle and doing the work to remove obstacles, to softening into the opening and being vulnerable and strong while fully exposed. There is something in between, that’s right now.

I was looking at the garden, seeing the cut flowers from Summer dry and withered next to the leaves falling from the Birch and Oak trees, when I noticed that some plants are budding, maybe a result of early El Niño rain with a long dry season, or maybe just the seasonal change between Fall and Winter, the light and shadow and changing temperatures. Maybe these bloom at a different time???

As the Sun shifted, light beaming between the leaves, cold shadows fleeing as quickly as they arrived, I felt the optimism of this bud, the unknown potential for expression and the corresponding emotion and feeling from unbridled joy to a soft fraying and decline. All of it is important, even right now.

I took a few deep breaths, noted how quickly the day was moving, and shifted into the next project. Finishing and cleaning up leaves space for something new in the future. WhatL half an hour.ike the bud in the picture, we don’t have to know exactly what is going to bloom, we do the work now and create the next chapter. Finding the place between observe and reflect and build and grow. Finish strong.

Take The Fork to the Right

Maybe. Right? Left?

It is a strange balance, stay in motion forward and make decisions that change your direction, significantly. It is recognizing opportunities to Think Slow vs Think Fast, as discussed by Daniel Kahnman. When are we on automatic and do not have to think, time to let the dogs out; and when do we need to consider what our choices are, looking at their diets more intentionally and deciding between raw and kibble and dehydrated raw dog food. It seems easy with dogs.

What about our lives and our careers? Where we invest our time, thought and energy? Is this an obvious choice for you or me?

The current path has been reasonably straight with some precarious cliffs. I’m practicing and polishing old skills and learning new skills to remind myself how I learn and what I am interested in and experience what we can do with technology today. More on that coming, for now, I’m walking the path intentionally, ready for a fork in the road.

“When you come to a fork in the road, take it.” Yogi Berra

On Quitting

It is o.k to quit. Say it with me people!!!


As someone who has had a lot of hobbies and jobs, it is so important for me to remind myself that it is ok to be a quitter. Alcoholics? Right?

Somehow it became an American trait to “Never Quit,” something between endurance and stamina. It might be based in job security from generations past when there might only be 1 or 2 jobs in a Town. Maybe it is related to how long it takes to attain mastery and maximize the capitalist system based in that knowledge, experience and skills. The mind also wants to quit way to early, for all of us.

There is a difference between my Peloton ride or hike, where I never quit; and, continuing to do something we know is done. For some people it is a personal or business relationship and for others it is collecting a type of ceramics or an animal like birds. It is ok to stop, and start doing something new. Seriously, I tell myself this in my hobbies, my hikes and even my cycle rides. We need reminders!

On the way up Angel’s Landing, I stopped here!

“If you don’t like the road you’re walking, start paving another one.” Dolly Parton

Why is it so important to stop or clear out the old? We literally need space for the new. Maybe it is headspace or it might be actual workspace. We all need room to change our minds and grow.

The picture above is a short way up to Angels Landing, after navigating some chains we stopped and looked across the precarious ledge and steep cliff, dotted with people going up and coming down. I took a deep breath and leaned back against the wall, everything swayed and came in and out of depth perception, focus. I knew I did not want to go any further and I also didn’t want to disappoint my hiking mate, my daughter. As we sat there negotiating, I slowly caved in and admitted I’d prefer to take a different hike.

We went back down and took a different path, higher and further, with strangely treacherous hairpin turns up and down switchbacks. As we reached the bottom, the last switchback before the easy canyon walk, I saw a hiker waiting for help at the bottom of a ravine, busted up and bleeding, beyond my help. We hiked down, passing a ranger rescue team on the way up to help. Slow down, think through important decisions and know that it is ok to change your mind.

I took it as a sign to be careful everywhere in nature, I also knew the mountains were letting me know I got lucky.

Sunset in Zion

Also, sometimes when you change your mind and hike for another 7 hours you are rewarded with an epic sunset over Zion Canyon. In case I forget, remind me to change my mind!


I rarely get excited to take night photos, the challenge of holding still, o.k, being prepared with a tripod, timer and a dark sky, all take a lot of coordinating. My old iPhone is taking amazing sky photos at night.

Zion at night, was cold and dark, the sky was filled with stars. The canyon walls dark, rising and falling in their own natural space.

There are some many sensors working together on our devices, capturing more information than we know and creating opportunities for us to share what our imaginations experience.

This photo at Zion, shot in seconds, reminds me technology is evolving faster than the previously conceived limitations of hardware, and human intelligence. I have to believe, and dream while working with new technology and classic techniques, stay curious and in the experiment.

Part of this road trip was to gather some sparks of light and enjoy random creativity.


Take photos




There is always process involved in every project, and experimentation is too easily dismissed as a side track or a waste of time when we know what needs to happen. Adding experimentation into everything changes our end result, creates the possibility of new and previously unimaginable opportunities.


We all have the tools to create what we see and hear, and I am totally upgrading my iPhone immediately!

Local Church – Robson Harrington

This is one of my local Churches, a small grove of Redwood trees at the edge of the Town of San Anselmo.

All religion, my friend, is simply evolved out of fraud, fear, greed, imagination, and poetry.

Edgar Allan Poe

I get excited when we talk about imagination, anxious when we discuss organized religion and lost when we use poetry to communicate.

In a World controlled by GPS and Sattelite Technology, do your best to get lost. Even if that requires reading some poetry, listening to some songs. Most days, that is the only way to get lost, and find ourselves.

Today, everybody needs project management skills and the ability to work independently and in a group. This is obvious.

Generative A.I is enabling everyone to become a creator, to make content within the rules. If you aren’t a writer, definitely use a program to help you with your words. The tools make us stronger and able to do more.

And, you still have to have a religious experience for your self.

I mean, visiting the Redwoods and listening, looking, asking the questions gently; this is the poetry we know in our bodies and hearts to be true. It isn’t about ChatGPT writing a poem in the style of Emerson for us, it is about us getting out to the trees and feeling the poetry in motion, and stillness.

You Are A Creator.