Some Podcasts

24 November, 2018

I really like Podcasts. They seem to have taken off in a really big way in the last five years, and it’s awesome. Unless you’re a big fan…

Write For Your Legacy

24 November, 2018

It’s a wonderful Saturday morning, just after Thanksgiving, and I’m at my favorite local cafe - Donut King - with my two oldest kids. We…

I'm Building Three Instances of General AI

10 November, 2018

I’m in the process of doing something very controversial. Some even think it’s completely impossible. I’m building some AGI systems. Not…

The JAMStack is PRPL at Build Time

27 October, 2018

Two interesting web-related things happened this week. First, I finally started reworking 12inchesbehind.com into a personal gallery for…

The Personal MBA

26 October, 2018

You wasted $150,000 on an education you coulda got for $1.50 in late fees at the public library. Good Will Hunting I recently finished…

Nuclear Efficiency and The Wins In Front of Our Faces

08 September, 2018

Big Ships A couple of weeks ago, I was headed over the Chesapeake Bay Bridge to Delaware with a large container ship about to head out under…

The Best Test

23 August, 2018

People love lists and litanies of superlative adjectives. The best. The most. The funniest. The smartest. The cheapest. The strongest…

Urgent and Important

05 August, 2018

What should you do right now? Obviously the thing that has to get done right now. But how do you know what that is.. and then what? I…

Leaf Nodes

04 August, 2018

When most people think of organizational structures, they usually think about trees. Workers who work all day generally sit at the “bottom…

The Tribalism Answer

30 July, 2018

Aside from everything else he does or says, Jordan Peterson has gotten just one thing right , and this one thing is enough to have…

The Two Graphs That Made Me Stop Worrying About Impostor Syndrome

27 July, 2018

Without further ado: Add it all up and you realize that Impostor Syndrome is kind of like a reverse Dunning Kruger effect . Dunning…

Book Review - Conspiracy

17 July, 2018

A couple of weeks ago, I finished up Conspiracy: Peter Thiel, Hulk Hogan, Gawker, and the Anatomy of Intrigue . I’ve been thinking about…

Introverted Idea Thievery (Listening)

02 June, 2018

A friend calls me an idea thief. Not that I’m literally stealing ideas, but that I tend to ingest more than I output, especially in real…

The Most Important Skill You'll Ever Teach Your Kids

20 May, 2018

My kids right now are 6, 3, and 1. They are completely amazing and I adore them. I can’t wait to see where things go from here. I also…

The Captain of The Ship

06 May, 2018

Spend time leading any kind of team of skilled workers and you’ll quickly find yourself in a position of significant and unintuitive anxiety…

Math for Theologians

17 April, 2018

Caveat lector : This is an opinionated piece around topics that have a shared surface area of controversy. The endless and unendable debate…

Pro-Imagination not Anti-Technology

31 March, 2018

I had a cigar recently with one of my best friends, who is a teacher at a local private boys school. We live in a fairly affluent area near…

Why It's Insane To Consider Snow When Buying A Car Below The Mason-Dixon Line

21 March, 2018

So here’s the thing: I’m a car guy and I’ve bought about 25 cars in my life. This means I talk to a lot of people about buying cars…

Hello Trello

27 February, 2018

I’ve been on a roll lately. For once, some of my grand aspirations have started a slow transfer into reality. This is the 14th post of…

Photos Are Better Than Video

25 February, 2018

At this point in our history, the technology and ability to take pictures and record video is completely ubiquitous. We can - and do…

Being Wrong for Leaders

24 February, 2018

I love being wrong. It’s one of the best things to be. Being wrong generally means that you’re learning, assuming you accept your…

Golf and Baseball

19 February, 2018

I listened recently to an Econtalk episode interviewing Bill James - the guy behind sabermetrics and the statistical view of baseball. If…

The Mailman - Why Introverts Should Write

18 February, 2018

Spoilers! I’m talking about one of the big twists in Vernor Vinge’s True Names . If you want to read it first - and you should, it’s…

Asymptote Towards Truth

17 February, 2018

Awhile back, a friend pointed out an apparent conundrum in his world view. His opinions, he said, aligned to what ended up being provably…

Gatsby Tumbld

16 February, 2018

Last weekend, I made this . It was a fun little exercise and I continue to get utility out of having this, so I thought I’d go over what…

Wanna look good? Focus on Surface Area

12 February, 2018

The last 15 months or so have been a winding path towards a healthier and better lifestyle. It’s a longterm process, and nowhere near done…

On the Dangers of Potential Energy

07 February, 2018

My last goal of 2018 was to focus on doing , and to revive the joy of doing, without regard for the outcome. I’ve been trying to…

Two Weeks, Over Ten Pounds

24 January, 2018

It’s been just over two weeks since I hopped back on the keto bandwagon, and I’m both frustrated and excited. Keto is the best way I’ve…

Mulatsag

20 January, 2018

I’ve just come across the most fantastic word, and I have a thing for words . The word is mulatsag , which I have no idea how to pronounce…

Car Washes and Girl Scout Cookies

15 January, 2018

I’m going to talk about some traditions we have with our kids in a rather stern way, so if you’re easily offended, feel free to leave now…

Alright 2018, What You Got?

06 January, 2018

I already went over it, but 2017 was a banner year . A lot changed too. My wife and I joke a bit about the popular kids from high school…

2017 Review

04 January, 2018

This has been an interesting year. Filled with way more ups and downs than I expected. After what has happened and what I’ve learned, I’m…

Your 30s - The Most Important Decade

08 October, 2017

I’ve just recently turned 37. A younger version of me once thought this was hideously old, but now that I’m here I still feel young…

Three Girls

21 July, 2017

Some people seem to think I do a lot of different things and that I push pretty hard when I do them. I’m not very gradual; once I’m into…

Bacon as a Health Food.

15 June, 2017

So recently.. this happened: And through this process, I’ve learned I have a lot to say. And even more strangely, people sometimes listen…

Evergreen News

14 May, 2017

I’m working right now to setup another blog, get a mailing list going, and build an audience. I’ve never actually tried to build an…

Words

13 May, 2017

Language Philology is an underrated study. Tolkien was a diehard - that alone should tell you something. He invented something over 2…

Two Signs You Might Be A Bad Driver

12 March, 2017

There’s a lot of bad drivers out there. Most of them don’t know it. It’s really hard to measure something like that. Heck, there’s a lot…

Steve.. Jobs?

02 January, 2017

Within the last year, I’ve been compared to Steve Jobs four times, twice directly and twice by proxy. The first time I laughed, the second…

Welcome to 2017

01 January, 2017

Well, shit. All of a sudden it’s 2017. Not sure how that happened, but it’s been an eventful and busy year. We added a porch to our house…

Some Haiku

15 October, 2016

Haven’t been writing a ton, but I have accumulated some haiku over the last couple years. I figured I would put them all in one place, so…

Freaking Out.

05 July, 2016

So I’m freaking out. Like totally. Just because I read something. What could I have read you ask? Well, I’ll tell you. I started reading…

Proprioception

06 March, 2015

Most people think of our interaction with the world through the traditional five senses: vision, hearing, taste, smell, touch. But there…

Weather Needs An API

31 January, 2015

Weather really needs an API. I’ve been thinking about this since I played around with OMGEarthquake awhile back. I had originally wanted…

The Year's Goals

05 January, 2015

We’re a week into 2015 and I need to write down my goals for the year. I’m hoping this will be a tradition every year, since writing…

Things They Don't Teach You In School

10 September, 2014

This is the transcript of a talk I gave at Howard Community College to Intro to Engineering students, September 2014 Hi everyone. My name is…

Career Goals

29 June, 2014

When I got out of college, I set my first career goal. I think everyone does this at some point - it’s a natural and almost expected thing…

Three Kinds of Wine

05 July, 2013

A bunch of my friends think of me as a wine snob. I can understand that to some extent, I like good wine. But a snob I am not, at least…

An Inspiration

16 June, 2013

It’s a sunny Sunday afternoon and I am sitting in one of my favorite spots. It’s a small side table in the sunroom of a small red house a…

The (Re-)Privatization of Big Dreams

27 May, 2013

The 20th Century had some really big ideas, not all good. Genetics. Nuclear Power. Computers. Nuclear Weapons. Socialism. Fascism…

Two Kinds of FOSS

17 April, 2013

About a month ago, I went to 10Gen’s MongoDC Conference. It was a nice little day long conference; the speakers were highly technical and…

2 Month Check-In

11 March, 2013

Last Wednesday was two months from my starting point, where I weighed 258. The last couple weeks, I’ve been hovering around 244. So I’m…

The Incredible Shrinking Man

29 January, 2013

I had planned this to be a two week checkpoint.. I think at this point I’m just over three weeks. Progress so far has been good. It hasn’t…

It begins, now.

06 January, 2013

I’m starting a new workout and diet regimen tomorrow. In the interest of disclosure and drive, I’m tracking my goals and progress here…

Voting With Your Pocketbook?

03 November, 2012

Everyone seems to have this idea that Republican policy favors the rich while Democratic policy favors the poor. Additionally, everyone…

We Need More Scientist Saints

04 July, 2012

A Simple Life Christopher Hitchens died recently. Much could be said of his life, but the quality that seems strongest is his biting…

Corbusier Fucked It All Up

24 March, 2012

Forgive me for being a bit brash, but if I were to make the title more palatable it wouldn’t convey the same meaning. Le Corbusier really…

Speed Traps Are Dangerous

21 March, 2012

I want to talk about something we all think we know. Speed traps, especially the unmanned stationary kind all over my home county in…

Constitutionalism

26 February, 2012

A very curious thing has happened over the last fifty years or so. Politics has been ruined by technology and media. It started somewhat…

Money - Bullet Points

24 November, 2011

So that’s a whirlwind tour of money and motivations. I’ve covered most of my bases, but there’s still some little tidbits and such that are…

Money - Psychology

23 November, 2011

Psychology Some of the ideas I’ve presented so far are certainly different than how most people think about money, but they’re not original…

Money - Income, Expenses, and Value

22 November, 2011

This is where we get into the meat and potatoes. This is where things get more fun. Since money is a tool, how and why should I use it…

Money - Wealth

21 November, 2011

In the intro to this little series on money, I laid out a bunch of very simple concepts about what money is and how it works in our system…

Money - Intro

20 November, 2011

Money is a funny thing. It can bring tremendous joy or pain. It can set wild expectations, deliver an emotional punch, and make us feel…

How I Use GMail

29 October, 2011

Even in 2011, email is the most ubiquitous of internet communications. Everyone uses it. It becomes the basic hub of your entire internet…

The Importance of Crowds

22 October, 2011

Fourth of July weekend this year found me on Bethany Beach sitting on a blanket on the sand waiting for the fireworks to start. The show…

I'll Never Own a Ferrari

17 October, 2011

Over the weekend, my Dad went on a joy ride in a buddy’s brand new Ferrari California, a rare and exquisite moment in any car guy’s life…

What You'll Wish You'd Known

18 September, 2011

An Ask PG thread on Hacker News had a comment so poignant I felt inclined to repost it here. The author suggested PG make another book…

Why Robert Reich is Both Right and Wrong

15 August, 2011

I’ve seen this 2 minute economic summation from Robert Reich floating around in a bunch of different places and it has bugged me, so I’ve…

Pandering

08 August, 2011

Awhile back, I wrote about some of my frustrations with the way our political parties go back and forth across their perceived spectrums…

Scarlet Tanagers

09 July, 2011

This morning I sat at my normal Saturday coffee shop next to a table with a mother and her teenage daughter. Though it has become a common…

Public Insurance

03 May, 2011

I’ve finally figured out what insurance is, aside from an elusive concept that everyone talks about and knows they need. Ready? Here it is…

Church Music

17 April, 2011

Last week I went to Mass and it was frustrating. I wanted to share why. I went with my wife and her family to Mass in a different Diocese…

A Review of the Skeptical Environmentalist

17 April, 2011

For a change, I thought I’d do a book review just like my dear friend Lib . And I’ve just finished a book worthy of review. That book is…

Buying Power

09 April, 2011

During the last election, I wrote a little bit about why I didn’t vote for a candidate. Several people close to me were aghast at my…

Oeuvre

31 January, 2011

The French have a wonderful way with words. It’s a beautiful language I don’t think I’ll ever be able to learn beyond a little memorization…

Picasso

30 January, 2011

“Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up.” This is one of my favorite little quips, courtesy of…

Living Memory

29 January, 2011

Walter Breuning is a fascinating person I’m almost sure you’ve never heard of. Walter is 114 years old. He’s the oldest living man. He…

Why Everyone Should Write

14 January, 2011

I have several favorite answers to this question . Here’s mine: Being able to answer questions reasonably is a sign of cleverness…

The Optimist's Dilemma

02 January, 2011

Everybody’s heard the old idiom “Is the glass half full or half empty?” Probably too many times. I’m sick of it. The problem is that…

Statelessness

31 December, 2010

I have, at the same time, both a wonderful and an abysmal memory. I cannot remember many conversations with friends; to their frustration I…

Going Forward, Why Apple?

18 December, 2010

The other day I saw a Sprint 4G commercial, and it crystallized why I have and will continue to choose Apple products for the foreseeable…

Remarks from a Newlywed

13 December, 2010

About a month ago, I got married. It was the best day of my life. Before the wedding I got into a habit of occasionally watching…

Discuss Disqus

13 September, 2010

Is it just me, or is Disqus a very big deal? I don’t hear too much talk about them, but they seem to me to be on the edge of very big…

Against the Grain

12 September, 2010

There is something fundamentally human about being contrary. Lemmings. Sheep. The Roman Mob. The “unwashed sea of humanity”. These aren…

My Evented Life - Why Asynchronous I/O Does Not Work Everyday

06 August, 2010

Recently, I (re)read two articles that made clear to me the misappropriation of time in most people’s lives. The first was Paul Graham’s…

Git - The Next Filesystem

06 August, 2010

Not too long ago, Google released their cloud storage service called Google Storage. GS includes a REST API and looks remarkably similar to…

The Long View on Fossil Fuels

04 August, 2010

A couple of months ago I ran across this article focused around a particularly interesting graph: And the faux harrowing subtext: Look at…

Apple Computers, Microsoft Keyboards (Keyboardists, Mousers, and Tapists)

09 June, 2010

I bought an iPad. It’s an experiment in trying to be more mobile. My goal is to find out if it can replace my laptop. I have my doubts so…

Reflectivity

28 April, 2010

My friend Chris is a great reflector. I bounce shit off him all the time: questions, ideas of some sort or other, both work-related and not…

Knowing How to Not Know

25 April, 2010

What We Want To Know What we want to know, I think, is everything. We humans have a passionate and innate desire to understand the world…

Some Predictions

24 February, 2010

All sorts of people do predictions . I’ve never tried to think ahead so concretely, so it seemed worth a try. These are in no…

An Interesting Property of Champernowne's Number

11 February, 2010

What is it? Most have probably never heard of Champernowne’s Number . I hadn’t either until recently. Champernowne’s Number is…

Wikiracing

01 February, 2010

Edit: Well, I was all excited for about four days before I came across Wikiracing . I should have known this would have been thought up…

A Note On Post Length

16 January, 2010

I originally started this whole shindig as an exercise to improve my writing process. I was anxious, as a matter of course, to improve my…

Standard Keyboard Shortcuts for Text Navigation

09 October, 2009

Keyboard shortcuts are the fundamental key to speed and efficiency in dealing with a computer. Nowhere is this more visible than the text…

Letter to the SEB - 2009 Nationals Courses, Thoughts, and Thanks

24 September, 2009

SEB, I wanted to briefly express my happiness after the 2009 Solo Nationals and Pro Finale in Lincoln, Nebraska. The site chosen was worlds…

Sensible Hire Defaults

01 July, 2009

Recently, I’ve been close enough to hiring decisions to realize two things: Those hiring go about it all wrong. Because of this, it’s…

The Age of Methuselah

01 March, 2009

There’s been an increasing amount of discussion about human lifespan and the potential through medicine and technology to extend it past…

Customer Service Matters

10 January, 2009

Recently, I’ve had a couple of extremely positive experiences in customer service that have made me consider just how important it can be…

Denouement

04 January, 2009

Now it’s New Year’s. It’s been two months instead of one, and this little place has been empty of new content. Even more drafts sit in…

See you in a month!

31 October, 2008

It’s half an hour until midnight, November 1st. The excuses have been put aside. My study is complete; I have a comfy chair, a beautiful…

Six Rules for the Most Important Part of Your Software - Installation and Upgrade

22 October, 2008

It doesn’t take the extreme examples to realize that the general state of user interfaces in software suck. The available levels of…

Absentmindedness and Smart People

18 October, 2008

I had an interesting experience a little while back visiting a user of the product I help develop at work. This particular user was clearly…

A Contrarian View - Why Should I Vote?

16 October, 2008

Anticipation (typical unrelated opening paragraph) Anticipation is a bitch. I’m two weeks away from starting one helluva task . My days…

An Automated Method For Making Your Writing Suck Less

22 August, 2008

Inspiration Last night I was on a roll. I had all these thoughts going through my head. I had the main bits down for how to improve my…

Apple's Recent Missteps

27 July, 2008

Apple is known for its exceedingly well planned and executed products. They charge a premium for them and they’ve built a fiercely loyal…

Everything's A Library

09 July, 2008

I seem to alternate between one technical and one (somewhat) non-technical post - excepting travel logs.  That’s fine by me.  It provides…

Coda

27 June, 2008

I have just one last vacation post before I get back to somewhat regularly scheduled programming. Since my trip I’ve had a bunch of other…

The Weekend

11 June, 2008

Friday was my recovery day. The last week and a half had been a whirlwind, so it was time to relax. I slept in Friday, and participated in…

Thursday

29 May, 2008

Thursday was Libby’s last day in Britain before flying back to Ireland for two more weeks in Galway. Like Tuesday, we had big plans to see…

A Surprise (actually, two)

23 May, 2008

Onward I had been told to keep Wednesday open for some pre-scheduled events. As usual, I was a little hesitant whenever I have no control…

First Day in London

16 May, 2008

Insta-Travel! This whole car thing is seriously overrated. And this is coming from a seriously big car enthusiast. Over the course of this…

A Brief Introduction to Britain

13 May, 2008

Libby and I continued the next day to London, while Katie headed back to DC. We flew Ryan Air to Stansted (unbelievably cheap, although…

Driving to the Cliffs of Moher

12 May, 2008

Pictures Just a quick note to say that, even though I’m way behind in detailing my recollections of this trip, all of the Ireland pictures…

Aran Islands

03 May, 2008

We had a full day for exploring Galway before embarking for Inishmor. It was spent leisurely - walking about, peeking into little shops…

Arrival in Galway

30 April, 2008

We’ve arrived! I’m sitting in our room at the SleepZone hostel in Galway. The plane from Dulles was.. interesting. There was quite a bit…

A New Travelog Begins!

28 April, 2008

In about 8 hours time, I’ll be moving down a runway at 150+ mph in an Airbus A340 ready to take off for Dublin, Ireland. I figured since I…

Six Relaxing and Enjoyable Things You Probably Already Do But Could Be Done Better

14 April, 2008

Wow.  That’s a really long post title.  It gets the point across though. Tonight I stopped by my friends’ house to hang out for a little…

You've Got To Be Kidding Me

08 April, 2008

Sometimes the universe is just weird.  Not weird in the things-are-really-completely-random way, but in the profound-truth-that-I-can’t…

Real Work Happens in Dark Rooms

27 March, 2008

Sometime when I was young, my family got dimmer switches in our family room.  I used to make it my goal in the evening to set the switch to…

Eat Flaming Death. Hehe.

02 March, 2008

Aside from being an amusing bit of humor, this situation characterizes something that bothers me about how a lot of people tend to use a…

Not much to see here yet..

02 March, 2008

Finally, I have a proper blog again.  It’s been a long time coming, since I’ve wanted to do a bunch of things in the process: learn…

Knight's Tour, Take Two

02 March, 2008

Well, after last night’s post I did a little bit of reading on better ways to do this, aside from my horrible, ridiculously slow recursive…

Knight's Tour, Take One

02 March, 2008

There’s been a lot of little stuff that I’ve been wanting to practice in the Java language that I haven’t gotten the chance to look at in my…

Post

02 March, 2008

“Hello World!”, Foo, or whatever other placeholder you’d like to call this :)

Antecedents

03 December, 2006

The cobblestone steps lay bare in fluid echoes of the men who in antiquity poured a base of enlightenment from the wills of their fathers…

Remarks on the First Anniversary of Catholicism

30 April, 2006

Here I am, slightly over one year into my journey as a Catholic, preparing again for Holy Week and Easter. It seems a reasonable time to…

Misnomers in Solo2

12 February, 2006

While I’ve been champing at the bit, I’ve been thinking lately about some very common concepts in autocross that many people adhere to 10…

(Flat) Taxes

28 March, 2005

It’s that time of year again, when in a frenetic mess we all try to perform our solemn duty of paperwork imposed upon us by the machinations…