Archives: May 2017

Scratch your own itch

May 1, 2017

The best projects are ones that build something you want to use or solve a problem you actually have. They don’t need to be big or new. Almost every project starts out as small and a remix of something else. Then you take it and build on it.

Cooking Rice

May 7, 2017

I got a tip today from a Persian chef about cooking rice the Persian way: After it boils for a few minutes, drain and rinse it. Then put it back in the pot for 25 minutes. You get a nice crispy layer at the bottom and rice that is completely separated, not gummy.


May 7, 2017

Testing a new post from’s iOS app.

Great Falls

May 7, 2017

Yesterday Amanda and I visited Great Falls in Paterson, NJ.


May 7, 2017

Testing out this Twitter cross-posting bot from


May 7, 2017

Cool writing prompt from Cheryl Strayed on the Tim Ferriss Show: Pull out your keychain and write about the history of each key.

Ignore the Rules and Be True to Yourself

May 7, 2017

“Writers write every single day.” “If you aren’t writing code every day, you can’t call yourself a developer.” “The best in every field get up at 4am and start working by 6am after a workout and an hour of reading.”


May 8, 2017

There is no right time to quit a job, have kids, or start something new. If you want something, you have to take the first step immediately and figure things out along the way. The right time will never come. Jump now.


May 9, 2017

Working outside this morning and enjoying a bowl of Cult’s Blood Red Moon from this month’s Tin Society box.



May 9, 2017

The moment you consider a possibility, you are responsible for it. You can choose whether or not you do something about that possibility, but you must own that decision.


May 9, 2017

You aren’t the first to romanticize failure. Keats was way ahead of you:

Integrating Care into the Customer Experience

May 10, 2017

I was at an Intelligentsia coffee shop in Venice, CA, a few weeks ago. I ordered an espresso. As my order came up, I watched the barista. He pulled the shot, and as I was ready to take and enjoy it with the side of sparkling water they include, he paused before he gave it to me. He took the towel tucked into his apron and carefully wiped off the few tiny splashes of espresso that ended up on the rim of the cup and around the saucer.

The Most Important Thing About Creative Work

May 10, 2017

One of the things I’ve had to learn about transitioning into a more creative and visionary role with my new job is to change the way I think about when and where work gets done.


May 10, 2017

The biggest advantage of a microblog: Lowering the posting barrier. I can post whatever I feel like instead of trying to make it “worthy.” I can get my ideas out with less anxiety. As I get into this mindset, I bet it will make putting stuff out elsewhere easier, too.


May 10, 2017

The struggle of reading non-fiction is cutting through the filler quickly and determining what is unique and useful out of hundreds of pages. So many books are much longer than they need to be. 

A Reminder to Meditate

May 12, 2017

Reminder for myself: Meditation is good. Every time I do it I feel better afterward. Doing it continually leads to longer periods of contentment and focus. I tend to not want to meditate when I’m having a tough time because it is easier to complain and shut down than it is to clear my mind and deal with the problems at hand. But I must turn to meditation, especially when things are tough. It helps every time.

Simple Microblog WordPress Theme

May 13, 2017 - Category: Development

When I learned about the project by Manton Reece, I decided that I wanted to host my own microblog, so I made a minimalist microblogging WordPress theme for that purpose.

What to Do When You Mess Up

May 13, 2017

  • Own up to it and take responsibility for it.
  • Fix it immediately.
  • Put a system in place to make sure it doesn’t happen again. Could be a checklist, could be checks by multiple coworkers before something goes out, etc. Whatever works best for you and your team.
  • Remember that feeling bad about it helps keep it from happening again, but don’t dwell on the mistake for multiple days. Make the necessary changes and keep working.
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    May 15, 2017

    I’ve been feeling stuck with some creative issues at work and decided to try a new tactic today: 


    May 15, 2017

    Good test for determining whether or not I’m actually hungry: Would I eat a carrot right now? If not, I’m probably just craving something sweet and I should drink some water instead.

    Learning and Perception 

    May 16, 2017

    Deconstructing and seeing things in different ways is often the first step toward understanding something new. 


    May 16, 2017

    The Mystic Whaler is out on the Hudson in Yonkers today.


    May 17, 2017

    After 10 years of knowing about Pixelmator for the last 10 years, I finally dumped Adobe Photoshop and made the switch last month. The hardest part has been relearning how to do certain tasks, but the tutorials and documentation are great. I don’t see myself going back any time soon.

    Documenting the Process of Data Visualizations

    May 18, 2017

    The project has awesome process documentation for how Nadieh and Shirley go about making their incredible visualizations each month. This is a treasure trove of valuable insights for how they approach projects, how the projects evolve, and how they overcome issues they run in to.


    May 21, 2017

    Amanda and I sampled my barrel-aged Vieux Carre after dinner tonight. This is going to be a fantastic drink after another month in the barrel. It is already smooth and delicious.

    Ted Kooser on Writer’s Block

    May 22, 2017

    Writing Routines, a great new sites that gives behind-the-scenes look at the daily habits of writers and authors, has an interview with Ted Kooser, a former US Poet Laureate. I love his answer to a question on writer’s block:

    January-June 2017 Self-Improvement Projects

    May 23, 2017

    Every month I do a PDP – a personal development project. These PDPs are either theme or project-based and I must do something specific every single day to further that project or theme.

    Two questions to ask when you are stuck on a project

    May 24, 2017

    1. What is this project about?
    This is sometimes a tough question, but figuring it out makes all the difference. If you figured it out at the beginning of the project, simply reminding yourself what the goal of the project is and what the core parts of the project are can be enough to get you back on track. If you haven’t answered that question before and are doing it for the first time, start broad, then keep refining it and narrowing it down. Don’t throw in the towel just because it is tough. When you come out on the other side, your project will be much clearer. Don’t do anything in your project that doesn’t lead directly to the main theme of the project.   2. **What’s missing?

    ** Once you’ve figured out what the project is all about, ask yourself what is missing. What does your still need in order to reach its stated purpose? Write those things down and start working down the list.


    May 25, 2017

    Freeter looks like a good app for gathering various project tools in one place. I’ve spent some time setting up my own automations with TextExpander, AppleScript, Automator, and Keyboard Maestro, but I’m going to try making dashboards for a few of my projects in Freeter to bring everything under one roof.

    Cronuts (Finally)

    May 26, 2017

    After watching the Cronut craze and wanting to try one for the last few years, I finally decided to go get some. I work from home and set my own hours, so why not? I preordered them two weeks ago, worked late night on a project, and took the morning to go pick some up and take them to my wife’s office. 


    May 27, 2017

    Flying out of LGA’s Marine Terminal (A) is always an unexpected pleasure. It has a classic Art Deco look to the outside, has some cool murals inside, and the lines are always short. The coffee options are slim, but I’ll take the tradeoff for a laid-back experience. 


    May 27, 2017

    At dinner with Amanda’s French-Canadian Grandmother: “I don’t drink Bud Light. It tastes like rat saliva. Give me a nice IPA.”

    Focused vs Unfocused Reading

    May 28, 2017

    1. The gap between focused and unfocused reading is huge, especially when compounded over time. 
    2. Reducing distractions can lead to huge improvements in the number of pages read and understood. Maybe even more than traditional speed reading methods. 
    3. On my flight to Chicago this weekend, I read half of James Hogan’s Inherit the Stars. On the flight back to NYC, I reread 60% of Breaking Smart Season 1. Each leg was a little over 2 hours. I got through much more of each of these books than I have in equivalent amounts of time at home. It was like I had tunnel vision on the flight because I couldn’t get up and had no distractions available. 
    4. I need to do a better job at implementing airplane-like focus at home so that I can cover more ground in less time. I’m going though the 10 Days to Faster Reading book right now, but its methods aren’t that appealing to me. Working on my focus might be a better route. 

    How to Avoid Pastoralism

    May 28, 2017

    I’m rereading Breaking Smart Season 1 right now and I got to thinking about Rao’s concept of pastoralism vs prometheanism and how to avoid it. 

    A Prediction for the 2020 Election

    May 29, 2017

    I think that the 2020 presidential election will finally be when we’ll see colors other than red, white, and blue showing up as main branding colors in a mainstream candidate.