Ways to build your personal brand, featuring examples from the Praxis community.
So, you are learning Python and want to build a portfolio that helps you land your first technical job at a company. Here are some project ideas for building your portfolio.
College degrees don't send the signals they once used to. You have to take charge of building your personal brand and work out loud instead. Here are ten ways to build your brand.
What if you didn't have to copy, switch window, paste, switch window, copy, switch window, paste, switch window, copy, switch window, and paste just to copy multiple items? With a clipboard manager, you don't have to.
So you have a job offer from another company and are ready to leave your existing role. You want to leave without burning the social capital you’ve built up over time. What do you do?
First, relax. Having that first conversation with your manager is usually nerve wracking, but everything will be okay. Switching jobs is expected, and chances are that your manager has been on both sides of the table before. Follow these guidelines and you’ll be on your way to your new gig in no time.
I started this blog ten years ago today. I was in a room at the Doubletree in Tarrytown, NY. It was a Sunday and it was the weekend in-between my first FEE seminars. I ordered a pizza and some ziti from Capri Pizza and decided to tear down my old HTML site and give blogging a try.
During the Praxis bootcamp, participants are expected to make every single day a non-zero day. Most participants ask us to hold them accountable, so they email one of our staff each day and that person emails them the next day if they miss a check-in. This takes an enormous number of emails, staff overhead to keep track of, and is difficult to search. Here is my solution to that problem.
Praxis alumni Nate Baker and Nick Rundlett both became new managers this month. Congrats, guys! Nate asked the community for tips on how to be a good supervisor. Here is what our advisors and alumni had to say.
Yesterday my friend Derek Magill asked the Praxis community about the books that have had the most impact on their career/education.
I love this question. Notice the use of the word impact. He isn't asking for your favorite books, the books you recommend on a specific subject, or the books you agree with the most. He is asking for the books that have had a significant impact on your education. Books that influenced and changed the way you think and interact with the world.
Here is my list, in order of when I read them. I explain what impact they had on my education and how that shifted the way I interact with the world.
I made a video that shows you how to send custom conversion events to Facebook whenever a visitor, lead or customer engages with one of your website's calls-to-action – all without having to touch your website’s code. It was featured on the ConvertFlow blog!
Reamde is a wild ride that traverses half the globe, has multiple storylines intertwined, and jumps back and forth from the virtual and physical world. Stephenson is a captivating writer who pulls you into the story. He makes 1000+ pages feel like 300.
TIL how to improve the build time on my Jekyll site. Here is what I did to cut my build time in half.
TIL that PHP 7.2 doesn't support mcrypt and MySQL 5.7.5+ changed GROUP BY behavior. Both break Craft CMS. Here is how to solve those issues.
Hey David Hogg, don't sweat the college rejections. You don't need college. You have skills that you can put to use and improve instead of wasting four years in class. Take the gap year you are thinking about and don't look back.
If you are going out for a development job or any sort of technical job, especially if you don’t have a lot of professional experience in the field, the best thing you can do is put some of your work on display. GitHub is the most popular place to do that.
Here are the guidelines we give our technically skilled participants at Praxis for getting their GitHub accounts ready for their apprenticeship applications and interviews.
Here are the three pillars of getting work done. If you are having trouble with staying on top of your work, chances are that it comes back to one of these three main areas.
This is common advice for our participants as they complete their challenging apprenticeships at growing startups.
We have a big focus on projects (learning by doing!) at Praxis. Here are three recent participant projects I love and what the projects signaled.
Amanda and I spent the weekend exploring the Hudson Valley. On our way back today we stopped at the Sawkill Farm store. I had my camera gear in tow and they graciously allowed me to take some photos of their sheep. It was a drizzly day, but I had a wonderful time. The sheep have so much character and personality!
People often compare actual things with imagined, perfect, idealized alternatives. Asking Compared to what? helps you frame your decisions in relation to the relevant alternatives and ground them in reality.
TIL that you can't change the CSV delimiter or enclosure characters on Excel for Mac or Apple Numbers. You have to use Open Office.
TIL how to build JSON strings in Excel with concatenate.
I never remember the keyboard shortcut for Fill Down in Excel on macOS, so I'm posting it here where I'll have it. Control + D.
I'm catching up on my book notes. Today I posted three more: Show Your Work, Shoe Dog, and E-Myth Revisited.
I'm catching up on my book notes. There are a lot of books I read this past year that I neglected to post notes for, so I'm getting caught up on that. I posted five new books to my Book Notes section today: Kindred, Stories of Your Life and Others, A Burglar's Guide to the City, Boon Island, and The Story of Sushi.
Today I upgraded from Homestead 4.0.0 to 5.0.1 so I could test my sites in PHP 7. That was a major upgrade and a number of things changed, so I decided that I needed to back up my databases before I did the upgrade. I'd only ever dumped specific databases before, but TIL how to dump them all at once. Here is how to do that in Laravel Homestead.
A Praxis participant emailed me last week asking for recommendations on free embeddable charting tools for an article he is writing. I thought that the information would be useful for everyone, so I wrote an article with examples!
Earlier this week I did a major revamp of cagrimmett.com. It started with redesigning my page templates to include a sidebar, then it morphed into making a long-standing goal of mine reality: Reviving the posts from my old 2008-2012 WordPress blog and getting them into Jekyll while preserving old links. Here's how I did it.
TIL how to use the viewbox attribute on an SVG to make it responsive and preserve the aspect ratio.
This month I'm spending some time researching altcoins. I'm posting my notes on Yours.org. First up: Sia.
TIL that you can save changes you make with Chrome Dev Tools directly to your disk.
TIL a ton about the WordPress template hierarchy and the conditionals that select them.
TIL about Genesis hooks and filters.
Derek Magill's 100 Things That Made My Year post inspired me to write one, too. Here are my 100 highlights of 2017:
TIL about CSS Grid
TIL that all forms of communication can be described by the same process, no matter the sender, receiver, or medium.
We emphasize the importance of working out loud throughout our curriculum. Each of our participants make portfolio sections on their websites where they collect projects they've built. How you package and present your projects matter as much as the projects themselves! Here are some general guidelines for what makes a good project write up.
Using Homestead, WPengine, and Git.
I don't know all the answers, even if I think I do. Sometimes I need to ask for help.
How do you address being fired when asked in an interview? Turn it into a growth story.
How to structure responsive breakpoints in Sass, with examples.
I saw this question on Reddit: I recently graduated with a degree in business management, but I’m having a hard time finding a management job. I’m not getting any interviews because I have no experience. What can I do? Here is my answer.
A translation of my favorite passage of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight to mark my own Christmas Game.
The old saying, 'You are what you eat', applies to the creative process. If you want to be creative and come up with ideas, the best thing you can do is engage the creative ideas that are already out there. Not because you want to copy or emulate them, but because creative ideas catalyze other creative ideas.
The past few days have been quite a ride in the crypto world! This rollercoaster is reminiscent of late 2013, except now there is much more skin in the game. My latest piece on Yours.org covers my history with BTC, BCH, and Ripple, and my investment and use strategies for the currencies.
I'm not sure that we have a bitcoin-caused environmental energy crisis on our hands. This piece on Yours.org points out some of the issues with the articles going arount about bitcoin and the environment.
I'm testing out an idea on Yours.org. If you pay and then a section is revealed to you, that doesn't have to be just for articles. It can be used for anything digital!
At Praxis we use Restrict Content Pro as the membership system for our curriculum portal. We decided that all grads get access for life, not just during the program. So, I needed a way to clear over 200 member expiration dates. Here is how I accomplished that task with SQL.
Adding dates is tricky. Months have different numbers of days, so you can't rely on just adding 30 days to get an extra month. You also can't just add a certain number of months because formulas in Salesforce don't auto increment the year. The solution is modular arithmetic and conditionals.
No more forgetting to export the database regularly.
s3_website doesn't work with Java 9. Use jEnv to define an earlier version.
Line height doesn't work on spans by default
Using d3.nest to transform stacked data.
Switching IDEs after 10 years.
Gulp and Sketch first use notes
Tldr Pages Simplified Man Pages With Practical Examples Probably Covers 80 Of Your Daily Use Cases Looks Super Cool
TLDR pages – Simplified man pages with practical examples. Probably covers 80% of your daily use cases. Looks super cool.
Great email from Paul Jarvis’s Sunday Dispatches this week. The relationship doesn’t end once you make the sale. That is just the beginning. Don’t be the hot tub guy.
I got this error today when trying to partition a Western Digital My Passport 4TB:
Sometimes I get off track. This is what I need to do to get back on track:
Venkatesh Rao had a good take on the big data/machine learning/blockchain mania in Breaking Smart a few weeks ago:
Sometimes you have to stop what you are doing and climb out on the roof to take a #ManhattanSkyline photo because the sunset is so beautiful. #nofilter
A lot of email services track you by putting a tiny transparent image in your email and logging when you load it. You can prevent this by turning off autoloading of remote images in your favorite email app’s settings. If your app doesn’t have that setting, consider switching. I’m currently using Airmail across all of my devices and the setting is under Settings > Advanced.
A quick vacation sketch a few weeks ago at a diner after seeing many buoys along the Maine coast.
Wes Anderson and his team are so good. Their attention to detail is extraordinary. Every single one of the dogs in this animation have a deep level of emotion and personality. I’m looking forward to seeing this in theaters next year.
This is a super cool short film documenting a series of art installations by Lucas Zanotto. Simple colors, shapes, and movements can convey so much emotion and character.
Like many, I’m all about that Inbox Zero life. I’m not going to preach here about it. You’ve heard enough of that elsewhere. I’m going to show you how I get it done.
Here are my notes from The Future of Intelligence, a Conversation with Max Tegmark on the Sam Harris Podcast.
If you write any sort of code or markup in iOS 11, constantly getting curly quotes out of your keyboard will drive you crazy.
A lactic sour wheat beer with guava from Yonkers Brewing.
I’m working my way through Rolf Dobelli’s The Art of Thinking Clearly by reading a few sections each morning. Here are my notes on the first 11 sections (Confirmation Bias had two sections, which I’ve only noted as one below):</p>
I got this question from a Praxis participant last night: “Hey Chuck quick general question: do frameworks like angular and react compile to JS? How exactly do they work?”</p>
I’m very torn on jury duty. I despise politics, I don’t vote, I rarely follow the news, and I think that most laws should be nullified. I’d prefer to be rid of the whole business.
Someone I’m advising asked me this morning how to build a wide base of knowledge across many subjects and disciplines. Here was my answer:
They used to make elevators here. Now it is where they make NYC’s subway cars.
Isaac, Praxis’s founder and CEO, had me do an exercise today that helped me clarify what the education part of our product is and how we expect customers to use it.
Garden garlic! 👨🌾
I bought the 10.5” iPad Pro the day it was announced and received it the following Monday. My old Gen 3 iPad didn’t support multitasking, Touch ID, iOS 10, or True Tone. Basically nothing that makes an iPad awesome for work. It was getting pretty slow and desperately needed an upgrade. I’m super happy with the new iPad Pro. Here’s what I love about it after the first three weeks of use:
I read this article from The Guardian about an ophthalmologist who is spending his retirement living out of a backpack and hiking all around the US. Most of it is only mildly interesting, but I loved this part:
I was having trouble connecting to my Karma Go device on my iPad. Wasn’t auto connecting to the website to authenticate. So I tried the old http://192.168.1.1 trick (happened to be the device’s IP) and it worked!
If you are like me, you just rebooted your HBO subscription in order to watch the new Game of Thrones season. Here are three great shows you can watch Monday through Saturday:
I’m putting my daily drawing exercises on hold. They tax me more than I want in terms of both time and mental focus. Instead of a fun creative exercise, pushing through these at the end of long work days ends each day on a low note.
Instead of another try at my portrait, I decided to try another drawing with a focus on light and shadow, so I set up a swinging arm lamp to light up a coffee cup on a pedestal.
I was supposed to do another self portrait today after learning about seeing light, shapes, and lines.
Read about different intensities of shadows and various crosshatching techniques, then practiced them:
I jumped on-board the Medium Membership train back in March, as soon as I could. I was excited about it. I couldn’t wait to see the great content behind the paywall and to see what new features they were going to roll out just for members.
Today I read about light logic, which results in four aspects of light and shadow:
Today I filled in the details of yesterday’s drawing and fixed some of the scale issues. It isn’t perfect, but I’m going to call it complete today and move on to another drawing tomorrow.
Today’s drawing is still in progress. I had a busy day today and spent the entire evening down in the city, so I only got about 30 minutes to start a drawing of a leaf on the cover of this book I’m reading. I’m going to work on filling in the details tomorrow.
Today I did a quick sketch of the Broadway Bridge over the Harlem River on my iPad.
Today I decided to take a break from the specific Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain exercises and try out drawing on my new 10.5″ iPad Pro with the Apple Pencil. I used the Linea app and did another pass at my Day 8 hand drawing.
Trying out Things 3. I really like the hierarchy: Areas > Projects > Sub headings/groupings > To do items > Checklists. Exactly what I’ve wanted. Goes 1-2 levels deeper than most to-do apps.
Today I drew a portrait of Amanda’s profile. She graciously sat at the table and worked while I drew and revised.
Burning the midnight oil. Today I read about expanding the sighting and spacing I’ve been working on the last few days to faces. Then I spent about an hour applying what I learned to a line drawing of a portrait by Sargent.
Currently reading: Ego is the Enemy by Ryan Holiday
Today I did exercises to learn how to draw perspectives. The first was about finding scales and angles, then the second was a drawing of a complex scene to put those to use. I chose our entryway, complete with a crooked doormat and a pile of our shoes.
Today I had to draw a chair, but not in the usual way. Instead of drawing the lines and shapes that make up the chair, I had to draw the negative space instead. I didn’t take a photo or use the plastic pane very much, but drew from looking at the chair and occasionally using the frame to check proportions. This exercise is supposed to help with noticing negative space, framing, picking a guide for scaling, and comparing angles. After I was finished, I erased out the tone from the area between the shapes I drew. In this case, that ended up being the chair.
I repeated yesterday’s exercise, but this time with a fountain pen in my hand, cap on. It took me about an hour. I still don’t quite get the shading, but it is becoming easier to zoom in on details and lines.
Today I did my first “real” drawing. Not a trace, not an upside down copy, but an actual drawing. I focused with one eye on my hand and drew the lines and curves the best I could.
The NYTimes Magazine’s set of graphic stories (read: comics) they published last week are fantastic. Check them out: https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2017/06/02/magazine/new-york-stories-introduction.html
Today I did an exercise to help see like an artist sees: Using a plastic viewfinder to create a flat plane, resting it on my hand, and then using a non-permanent marker to trace all of the edges. (Reminder: In drawing, an edge is where any two areas meet, not just an outline.)
I used to think that walking, driving somewhere, and commuting were things that we fundamentally opposed to work. Complete downtime. Even using them to listen to podcasts isn’t working. It is a good use of the time, but it isn’t working.
Today I read a section on childhood drawings and then did another exercise to help me shift my perception: Pure Contour Drawing.
Listening Notes: Venkatesh Rao on The Three Types of Decision Makers, Mental Models, and How to Process Information | The Knowledge Podcast
|Listening Notes for Venkatesh Rao on The Three Types of Decision Makers, Mental Models, and How to Process Information||The Knowledge Podcast|
That was a good keynote. Makes me excited about Apple’s future again. I’m preordering a 10.5″ iPad Pro. I’ve been waiting a full year for an update to the line and this looks incredible.
Today was the last upside down copying exercise: Picking a line drawing on your own and copying it. I searched around for a few minutes on Google Images and found a drawing of a Tufted Titmouse from SuperColoring.com.
Betty Edwards in Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain recommends copying 2-3 line drawings upside down to get a sense of how it feels to shift to a different way of seeing. Today I copied a line drawing of a knight on a horse by an unknown German artist.
Yesterday I had about 30 pages of information about the brain and how it works and a short symmetrical vase (an optical illusion made out of two face profiles) drawing exercise to do. That took up the whole hour I set aside with only a few squiggly lines on a piece of paper to show, so I didn’t think it was worth a post.
First radish of the season! (D’Avignon)
This month I’m learning to draw. This is a skill I’ve never had. I once thought that there are analytical people and artistic people, but I’m no longer willing to accept that. Just like swimming or writing is a particular skill that can be taught and learned, drawing and calculus are both skills that can be taught and learned. I already know calculus (all the way through real analysis), so it is time to learn to draw.
Forget about daily work/life balance. Juggling too many things at once leads to stress and poor performance. Trying to balance everything by offsetting stuff with other stuff just leads to too much stuff. Set your priorities for each day (or each week or part of each day) and focus intensely on those few things.
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.
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.
- The gap between focused and unfocused reading is huge, especially when compounded over time.
- Reducing distractions can lead to huge improvements in the number of pages read and understood. Maybe even more than traditional speed reading methods.
- 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.
- 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.
At dinner with Amanda’s French-Canadian Grandmother: “I don’t drink Bud Light. It tastes like rat saliva. Give me a nice IPA.”
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.
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.
Dr. Quandry. Guy out of Boston I’ve been following since 2008. Experimental instrumental stuff. Great working music.
My answer to “What are the best things to do on weekends as a student at Hillsdale College?” on Quora
Over at Quora: What are the best things to do on weekends as a student at Hillsdale College?
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.
- 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.
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.
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:
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.
Have you ever pasted text from Google Docs onto your blog (WordPress or otherwise) and had to fix wacky formatting? Here is how to quickly strip out all those extra HTML tags using regular expressions with Atom.io, a free text editor.
The DataSketch.es 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.
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.
The Mystic Whaler is out on the Hudson in Yonkers today.
Deconstructing and seeing things in different ways is often the first step toward understanding something new.
There are two ways to handle client requests:
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.
I’ve been feeling stuck with some creative issues at work and decided to try a new tactic today:
|Notes from The Productivity Show||Why Time Management Doesn’t Work & Why You Should Focus on Energy Instead (TPS142)|
When I learned about the Micro.blog 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.
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.
I’m all about committing and being relentless about pushing through tough situations no matter what comes up. Stopping because something is hard, you are tired, you don’t feel well, or it isn’t fun is unacceptable. Collect yourself and get back to work.
Want to learn to program? Actually building things is the best way to learn. Here is a great list of projects that you can complete in popular languages: https://github.com/tuvttran/project-based-learning
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.
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.
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.
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.
You aren’t the first to romanticize failure. Keats was way ahead of you:
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.
Working outside this morning and enjoying a bowl of Cult’s Blood Red Moon from this month’s Tin Society box.
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.
Awesome video on design thinking:
Great stuff on marketing from my coworker Derek Magill:
“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.”
Cool writing prompt from Cheryl Strayed on the Tim Ferriss Show: Pull out your keychain and write about the history of each key. https://overcast.fm/+BmGWAa3Lc
I just made a WordPress theme made to be used with Micro.blog. It is simple, minimalist, and includes a small tool to verify your site with Micro.blog. You can download or fork it here: https://github.com/cagrimmett/simplemicroblog-wp
Testing out this Twitter cross-posting bot from http://micro.blog/cagrimmett
Yesterday Amanda and I visited Great Falls in Paterson, NJ.
Testing a new post from Micro.blog’s iOS app.
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.
Check out Leonard E. Read’s sweet bookplate that I found:
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.
Creating is awesome. Creating consistently is even better. Here are some strategies for being consistent in your creative endeavors.
We all understand the importance of setting deadlines at work. Everything revolves around intentionally set deadlines and there are consequences if they aren’t met. Deadlines are a useful tool at work to keep progress moving forward. If there were no deadlines and no consequences for missing them, how many projects would realistically get done?
Two weeks ago I had a problem I wanted to solve with Zapier: Only running a particular Zapier action during business hours and delaying everything that happens outside of business hours until the next day.
Resources for Wordpress users who want to use HTML and CSS to alter the structure, look, and feel of their themes, posts, and pages.
Sending a thank you note is one of those pieces of common wisdom we always hear, yet an astonishingly low number of people actually do it.
You should never ask someone else a question without first attempting to answer it on your own.
Take screenshots, get reading statistics, export your highlights, and remove the ads from your Kindle.
Taking a day trip from Los Angeles to Joshua Tree National Park is completely doable as long as you plan ahead. Here is what you need to know.
Here are the tools, hosts, themes, and plugins I use to build WordPress sites quickly and get the most out of them after they launch.
Two and a half months ago I started asking myself two simple questions every afternoon and I've seen a clear improvement in my mood as a direct result. Don't take your mood as a given. You are in control and can take actions to improve it.
We’ve all been there: It is 4:30pm, our energy is low, we have at least four hours of work left to do, and we feel like giving up and taking a nap. Here is what I do to hit reset and keep going.
I often get asked about what I use to get my work done. This post will be updated regularly with my current toolkit and setup.
Most Genesis themes don't allow content to go edge-to-edge out of the box. Here's how to add a new full width widget area to your Genesis theme.
Are you moving your Jekyll site from shared hosting over to S3 and Cloudfront while using your own DNS? Here is what you need to do.
Do you use Hubspot? Here are three lesser-known Hubspot tools to help you get the most out of your marketing and sales workflows.
Commitments are a key part of our program. Praxis is not the kind of product that can simply be purchased and sat on a shelf.
There is but one cure for ignorance: enlightenment! Lesser treatments, such as ‘selling the masses,’ political activism, and the like, are an utter waste of time; as well try to bring daylight by cursing the darkness!” (To Free or Freeze, p. 18)
I got the chance to spend a week driving from coast to coast with my parents last summer. We started just north of Seattle, took Route 2 across Washington, Idaho, Montana, North Dakota, Minnesota, and Wisconsin, then went across the UP and drove down through Michigan, then across Ohio and Pennsylvania on I-80 to NYC. Here are my notes from the trip.
Do you want to be on top in your field? The bar is lower than you think, but few people even attempt to jump it.
Earlier this week I looked at my web hosting's usage stats and decided that I needed to move a bunch of static assets somewhere else because they were eating my available bandwidth. I decided to use Amazon S3, and to my surprise, it took less than an hour to get everything up and running.
A book review template for Jekyll sites using Collections. Complete with a star rating system.
Christmas, Hanukkah, and Kwanzaa are quickly approaching. Here are some gift ideas for your friends and family who like to spend time in the kitchen. Everything is under $50, half of the list is under $30. I approve of it all.
It’s not just the balloons at the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade that are inflated. At first glance, it seems like the price of food has trended upward since 1986. Once you adjust for inflation, however, you get a different story.
Learning all about D3.js's area and sorting functions to implement Sol LeWitt's Wall Drawings 852 and 853 with random generation.
I took my implementation of Sol LeWitt's Wall Drawing 614 using a D3.js Treemap and made it possible for users to change the number of rectangles and the width of the bands. Now you can make your own!
Implementing Sol LeWitt's Wall Drawing 614 with D3.js Treemap and randomization.
Implementing Sol LeWitt's Wall Drawing 289 with D3.js transitions, randomization, and responsiveness.
Implementing Sol LeWitt's Wall Drawing 86 with D3.js transitions, randomization, and responsiveness.
Exploring Sol LeWitt's Wall Drawing 87 with D3.js transitions.
The video, slides, and notes from my Praxis workshop on data analysis and visualization.
Design decisions and notes I made in implementing Sol LeWitt's Wall Drawing 391 with D3.js.
Design decisions and notes I made while implementing Sol LeWitt's Wall Drawing 11 with D3.js.
My first attempt at implementing Sol LeWitt's work on the web! Here are the design decisions and notes I made while implementing Sol LeWitt's Wall Drawing 56 with D3.js.
This is the most recent addition to my Jekyll Tools repository on GitHub. Isotope is a popular jQuery filtering and sorting plugin. I combined it with Liquid to generate category filtering in Jekyll.
Amanda and I spent a few days in California wine country at the end of March before we drove over to Yosemite. We were kind of disappointed in wine country because we expected to learn a lot more than any of the tour guides seemed to be interested in teaching us, so we took one of the days and drove over to the Point Reyes National Seashore. That turned out to be a great idea.
Here is how to get rid of a pesky Jekyll undefined method downcase error.
How to compare data columns of data from different sheets in Excel.
This tutorial shows how to make smooth transitions in a pie chart using d3.interpolate.
This tutorial builds on previous work and updates a pie chart in realtime.
We love going to national parks in the spring. The weather is cool, the parks aren't crowded, and the waterfalls are spectacular due to snowmelt. Here is a small collection of photos I shot in Yosemite at the end of March 2016.
Here I learn the basics of making a pie chart with D3.js
This tutorial is a way to apply what I learned about data joins, click events, and selections in D3.js. Along the way I learned about building arrays.
Learning D3 by playing with circles
Notes from the D3js.org Introduction and Thinking With Joins
Emmet is a tool that expands your HTML and CSS workflow.
How I'm relearning D3.js.
TIL how to forward error pages to real pages with .htaccess.
Here is how to load scripts on specific pages in Wordpress with wp_enqueue_scripts
TIL how to quickly replace elements with jQuery
TIL how to implement search on a Jekyll site.
Your stuff in the cloud could disappear at any time. Here is how to download a copy of your data from popular online services. (Written by me, published on Medium)
TIL how to copy files from a Microsoft Remote Desktop connection to my local machine.
It is super easy to power your blog with a custom domain through Medium. Here is what you need to do.
The iOS 10.0 Public Beta came out Thursday, July 7, 2016. I installed it within a few hours of its release and began using it on my main phone. Here are my thoughts so far.
Did you know that you can pre-fill Google Forms based on a URL? Did you also know that automate it with a database and send personalized forms via services like Mailchimp?
TIL that the best time to learn how to handle crises is right after you just had one.
TIL about jQuery's greater and less than selectors
TIL how to schedule tasks with Cron.
This heatmap calendar gives you a visual representation of when you posted on your Jekyll site.
Today I took another stab at automating my blog posts.
Today I learned about Many-to-Many relationships in relational data models
TIL how awesome Trifacta Wrangler is for transforming and digging through data.
TIL where to find certain things on Linux servers
Today I learned how to clean up my Mac with Hazel
You can use word count charts to complement word clouds for better understanding.
How to learn anything:
1. Spend a focused hour reading and watching videos to pick up the basics of what you want to learn.
2. Apply those new skills immediately by working on a tiny project that uses what you just researched and gives you the opportunity to pick up more skills along the way.
3. Get constructive feedback on your tiny project from people who know more than you do in that field.
If you want to learn more, check out this episode of the Isaac Morehouse podcast!
TIL the basics of Ember.js.
TIL how to make link posts a la Daring Fireball and Marco.org with Jekyll.
Episode 3 of Snack Time is out! Sean and I celebrate Negroni Week on the air. We discuss recipes, bitters, art, hipsters, and glassware. I get a little tipsy and say "incredible" too much, and I have minor recording issues that I'll fix on the next episode.
TIL how to count and make JSON output in Jekyll
A post-game write-up of what I learned from a recent personal data project, complete with instructions so you can try it!
Last year Amanda and I visited Glacier for a couple days before the official start of the summer season. Going to the Sun Road was still closed, but we avoided the crowds, explored the park in solitude, took in the wonderful scenery, and ran into some incredible wildlife. Here is the best of what I shot over three days in Glacier.
TIL how to kill rogue background Python processes
TIL how to make a simple HTTP server with Python
TIL how to do lookarounds in Regex
TIL how to make
Safari on iOS and Safari on Mac OS X are not created equal.
Having trouble accessing your website from Google's public DNS? Check your DNSSEC.
TIL about some resources for making web work easier.
I used ProgressBar.js to build a date counter that counts up from a particular point in time visually.
Converting Aperture photo libraries to Lightroom
When you enjoy a beer in Germany, there's a very good chance that the bottle you're drinking out of wasn't the first time it was filled with Berliner Kindl. This time on Snack Time we talk about recycling glass and the German bottle deposit system.
Today I collected the things I learned in the past week.
Today I reminded myself how to toggle divs with buttons.
TIL how to run other scripts with AppleScript
TIL how to read CSVs, count, order via lambda expressions, and plot with Python.
TIL how to deal with files in AppleScript and how to do conditional counts in Excel.
How do you become a leader in the NBA? Take more shots than everyone else.
TIL how to concatenate columns and convert time in Excel and some more SQL functions.
TIL how to make aliases for tables in SQL and how to sort tables with jQuery
TIL there are multiple paths to every end goal and sometimes you need to try another one instead of spinning your wheels.
TIL how to sum in Excel with filters and a trick for bringing myself back in perspective.
Last year Amanda and I visited Yellowstone for a couple days before the official start of the summer season. It was chilly and some roads were closed due to snow, but we avoided the crowds and got to explore the park in relative solitude. Here are the best photos I shot over two days. I took a few landscapes, but I mostly focused on the colors and textures I encountered.
TIL how to hide my TIL posts from the front page of my site, the Unless tag, and inserting mysql with PHP.
Sean and Chuck are launching a podcast! This first episode is a bit rough around the edges, but it is a start of great things to come. We discuss the Supreme Court vacancy left by Scalia's death and what happens during the nomination process.
TIL the basics of connecting to a MySQL database and creating tables in PHP.
TIL a new-to-me development philosophy and the basic parts of creating a Wordpress plugin.
TIL about easier syntax highlighting and how to download Wordpress.com email subscribers in a CSV.
A collection of Liquid templates I made for my Jekyll-powered blog: Adding open graph and Twitter cards, Disqus comments, posts by tag, a heatmap calendar for posts, and a book review template.
Today I learned about best practices in development infrastructure and git.
TIL how to check for keys and look up values in arrays, as well as how to restrict files via .htaccess.
TIL how to do basic logging to CSV in PHP and how to highlight syntax in Jekyll.
I didn’t do much technical work today besides some front-end debugging. Instead I did a lot of administrative and project management work and ended up thinking a lot about how I work.
TIL how to convert unicode characters in PHP and I released my first personal project on Github.
My first personal project that I released on Github - A custom slash command that enables users to put time entries into Toggl from Slack.
TIL about date/time conversions in PHP and a lesson about automatic inheritance in CSS.
TIL how to sort tags alphabetically in Liquid and I did some reflection on work and the status quo.
TIL how to keep track of files and requests in Slack.
Today I learned how to tackle my RSI issues and I thought about useful analytics and product scalability.
TIL the basics of Meteor, how to tell Apache where to find your 404 page, and all about secure hash algorithms.
TIL how to make code snippets pretty, which VPN client to use, and common misconceptions about privacy.
TIL two ways to tile patterns in Photoshop. One is manual and time consuming, the other is fast, easy, and less prone to error. I also re-learned some stuff about Homestead and Composer.
TIL about what to consider when architecting and planning out a software development project, how to automate the tedious parts of my TIL posts, how to tackle the lack of parent selectors in CSS, and project-wide find and replace in Coda.
TIL about upgrading Jekyll from 2 to 3 and how to make a TIL index template in Liquid.
TIL about creating pull requests on Github, accessing Reddit's APIs with Python and storing that data in MySQL, and quirks with CSS's flexbox module
For the past two weeks I’ve been using a single iPhone home screen configuration a la CGP Grey.
I joined Praxis for a group discussion last night on technology and building a personal website. Here are the apps, services, and pieces of advice I mentioned during our conversation.
A few weeks ago, Slack rolled out a very useful email integration. I didn’t think I had much use for it at first because Slack drastically cut down on the amount of email I receive.
A photography project that explored the light, exposure times, and shadows.
For the past 29 years, the American Farm Bureau Federation has conducted an informal survey of the price of a classic Thanksgiving dinner for 10 people. At first glance, it looks like the price of food has been steadily rising. But when you adjust the numbers for inflation, you get a different story. It isn’t the cost of our food that has been rising, but the amount of US currency in circulation.
Underneath the bombed-out buildings and bullet-riddled doorways of Mogadishu lies a vibrant marketplace and hidden infrastructure known only to locals. Mitchell Sipus is trying to make that data public that with his “project to digitally map Mogadishu, encoding not just geography but also businesses, infrastructure, and people” (Wired).
This is a big win (making a very small change in your routine that you don’t even notice after a week but that adds up over time) disguised as a small one (taking the stairs.) I am more concerned that you get the big lesson here, but I think that a story about a small application of this lesson is the best way to explain it.
This is the first post of a series that will focus on improvements I’ve made in my life that have led to advances in my productivity, effectiveness, or general well-being. I call these things big wins.
I have a policy when it comes to giving to people who come up to me in the street and ask for money to buy food or some basic necessity: I tell them that I do not carry cash (this is the truth, I do not carry cash), then offer to purchase for them what they say they need the money for. (I won’t purchase them alcohol, drugs, weapons, cigarettes, or things like that. But, who actually tells you they need those things?)
Back in March, I had a photo of a Hillsdale College Center for Constructive Alternatives lecture picked up by Huffington Post College in an article entitled, “The 13 Most Conservative Colleges.”
My photo of the Reagan Statue at Hillsdale College that was picked up by the National Review Online was just picked up by Dream Villager Magazine to accompany an article by Andrew Roberts! Download the PDF of the article, or view the article online (go to page 30.)
On December 24, 2011, at around 12:45 a.m., Amanda Kate Rubino and I got engaged.
At the beginning of the semester, I got to spend some time down at the pool shooting some fun photos for the Hillsdale Collegian. The sports editor wanted to run a profile on the swim team’s new diver, Gretchen. She is the first diver Hillsdale has had since the 2008 season.
I shot this for a story at my college paper about the city deferring the medical marijuana decision ruling four consecutive times. We needed a catchy jump from A1, so I came up with this. This was a fun shoot. We got some strange looks, but good results.
Disclaimer: These are hand-rolled tobacco cigarettes. No illegal drugs were used in these photos. While I am in favor of drug legalization, I am most certainly not in favor of using drugs. They destroy our most valuable asset, our mind.
I posted again over at The Primal Challenge today. Here is the post, in its entirety, below:
Check out my lastest post over at The Primal Challenge: Chicken Tacos with Guacamole.
A year ago today I summited Longs Peak in Estes Park, CO with a wonderful group of people from the RMNP Forums. We took the Keyhole Route. At 14,259 ft, Longs Peak was the first “fourteener” I’ve ever climbed. Here are a few photos by John Swadley. Click to enlarge. I will post some of my photos from the hike this coming week.
As I edit the photos from the wedding I photographed this weekend, I will continue to post photos I took last semester.
I shot these photos of Meghan Haines last semester for a fashion section of the Hillsdale Collegian. See a few more photos and some commentary over at the Hillsdale Arts Blog. A special thank you to Marieke van der Vaart and Rachel Hoffer for helping me with this shoot.
I shot these photos of the Tower Dancers for the Hillsdale Collegian and the arts department last semester.
Josh Taccolini is a very talented musician with a passion for helping others. I shot these photos for an article on Josh’s fundraiser for his Detroit missions work last semester for the Collegian. Check out the article to see what he is doing for Youthworks Detroit this summer.
For the next few weeks, I am participating in the Strobist Boot Camp III in order to have some fun and hone my skills.
I gave myself an assignment this week to photograph patterns, textures, and shapes. Here is what I ended up with.
Today marks the 40th anniversary of Nixon’s War on Drugs. Check out the video and infographic below to see what the war on drugs costs and decide if it is worth it.
A fallen column at Sardis.
Click on the photos to view them larger.
Click on the photos to view them larger.
Click on the photos to view them larger.
Purple is the traditional headscarf color in this heavily arab-influenced region of Turkey, which is close to the Syrian border.
We visited a cave church in Antioch, believed to have been dug by Apostle Peter so the early Christians in Antioch would have a place to meet.
Here is another portrait of a shop owner in Boğazköy. I posted one of him outside of his shop a few days ago. After I took that one, he wanted me to come in and shoot another:
Ancient homes in Cappadocia, Turkey were traditionally made out of these natural formations, called hoodoos.
We only stayed one night in Boğazköy, but that little village has been my favorite so far. The group from Hillsdale who came to Turkey last year told tales of climbing a hill with a single tree on top outside of the village early in the morning. We were on a mission to locate the hill as soon as we got to the hotel. From the third floor of the hotel, we quickly located the hill. It sat staring at us just beyond the village. Seven friends and I decided to leave at 5 a.m. to hike up the hill to watch the sunrise. We knew the way through the village from exploring the evening before, so we were able to make it to the hill in short order. It only took us 25 minutes total to get from the hotel to the top.
We spent some time in Boğazköy, the modern-day village of Hittusas where the ancient Hittite ruins lie. We stayed at this wonderfully cozy hotel.
Our fantastic tour guide, Mehmet Yuksel. He is an Istanbul native who loves history and has an encyclopedic knowledge of the places we’ve been so far. We are all having a wonderful time thanks to his guidance and interpreting.
General photo highlights from the first week. I will keep most of the updates brief as I would like to spend as much time as I can exploring. I have many stories, however, that I would love to talk about over coffee. Text on the internet can hardly do them justice.
I shot this photo for an above the fold A1 Collegian story on the reinstatement of the varsity women’s tennis team. Disbanded in 2005 due to lack of funding, the tennis program is coming back next year.
I shot these photos for a story in the Collegian about the talented Flint Brothers. Read it here. The brothers, students at Hillsdale, wrote and conducted the entire score for the Tower Players’ production of King Stag. Visit their website.
The semester moved into high gear quickly and I’ve spent my time recently finishing other projects and keeping on top of my classwork and exams. I want to post some photos I’ve shot recently for The Collegian.
On August 24, I posted this on my blog about August 23:
On day two the Staffords and I did an approximately 11 mile hike from the Glacier Gorge Trailhead to Blue Lake and back.
This is the first in a series of five posts about my trip to Rocky Mountain National Park back in August. I anticipated writing detailed posts, but I left my hiking journal at Hillsdale. I will try to recall my hikes from memory, but I will have to rely mostly on photos. I don’t remember the exact milages for each hike, but I do remember the approximate route. I will do my best. If you want a reference to the places I am referring to, consult this map (PDF).
This summer I had an internship with the Foundation for Economic Education. I was based out of Atlanta where I worked with the Programs branch of the organization. We did a total of 7 week-long seminars in 3 cities (Atlanta, Estes Park, CO, and Irvington, NY) with over 600 students in attendance during the 2010 summer seminar series.
After a semester-long hiatus away from my blog, I am back. My papers are turned in and so are my finals, so now I am home for Christmas break. I’ve been enjoying the many comforts of home, including the small things: the wind chimes outside, the fireplace, the smell of wood fire smoke outside in the air, and our downstairs clock that chimes on the half-hour and hour. Most of all, I am enjoying being home with my parents. (I haven’t been home much at all this year.)
About Monday, August 23:
I am in Estes Park, Colorado this week for the Foundation for Economic Education‘s Freedom Academy for high school students. (I know that I haven’t posted on my blog much this summer. I’ve been quite busy. I have a wonderful internship with the Foundation for Economic Education. I am working out of Atlanta with trips to Colorado and New York. More on that in a later post!) The seminar staff all flew in on Friday night, then we did as much prep work as we could in order to take some time to ourselves today before the students show up on Monday morning. Since we are right next to Rocky Mountain National Park, we decided to do a short 3.6 mile (roundtrip) hike in the late morning/early afternoon.
A few weeks ago I spent a long weekend in Charleston, SC visiting my friend Alex Cothran. I went to Charleston last year for spring break, but Alex showed me around a bunch of places I haven’t seen around the city. I had a great time!
Read the Declaration today. Print it out and discuss it with friends and family. It is profoundly important. Spend time going through the structure and diction. Each word is important and was not idly chosen––the words written here have power, meaning, and purpose.
On Friday morning, I started my trip down to Atlanta for my summer internship with the Foundation for Economic Education. I got to my grandparents’ house in Kingston, Tennessee in the early evening and stayed with them for two nights. I had a nice time staying with them, and they took me to a few neat places on Saturday. We went to Ozone Falls and Black Mountain. Here are a few photos of Ozone Falls:
(Click on the photos to view them at a larger size)
The last city I stayed in was Nice, a beautiful city in the on the French Riviera in south-eastern France. It is such a gorgeous place! David and I took an overnight train from Bordeaux and arrived around 8:30 in the morning. The train was an experience… we stayed in a couchette car with four other people and were woke up multiple times during the night by either a shaking train or children with asthema. Anyway, once we arrived we put our stuff at the hotel, freshened up, and bought some pastries and ate them on the edge of the Mediterranean. The rest of that day and the next were devoted to much exploring and eating, then I had to take another overnight train to Paris to fly home.
Finally, after a stressful week, I have a few hours before I have to start studying for finals.
Institutions, Institutional Change and Economic Performance by Doug North. Read it; it will likely change the way you think about why some nations manage to become rich and others stay poor, despite the billions of dollars being thrown at them annually.
After my short stay in Paris, I took a train a few hours south to Bordeaux, where my friend David lives. After a short nap at David’s apartment, we immediately went to the town of Arcachon, a small but beautiful place on the Atlantic (well, technically on Arcachon Bay, but we could see where the bay opened up to the Atlantic from the beach.) We were originally going to go there two days later, but the forecast was rain for that day, so we went right after arriving from Paris. Below are a few photos. As always, you can click on the photos to make them appear at a larger size.
I am finally getting around to posting some of my spring break photos from France! I won’t write the story of my trip on here… I would much prefer to tell you in person, so call me and ask me to hang out! (Or if you are too far away to do that, call me and we can talk!)
Sorry basketball fans. This blog post is talking about the March madness of Hillsdale and my life. Complete with photos!
A few photos from Hillsdale College’s CCA III: The New Deal, which went from Jan. 31- Feb. 3.
Here is a little logic quiz for you:
Wow, it has been over a month since I last updated! It was so relaxing to not have to come up with a post every day that I came up with no posts at all. For those of you who used this blog as a window into my life, rest assured after you read this. I have not taken off to the wilderness of Alaska to live in seclusion from the social world. I just took a break from updating this blog. Below is the highlight of what has happened during that time.
I didn’t have time to post about it yesterday, but yesterday’s date was a palindrome! (For those of you who don’t know, a palindrome is something that reads the same backward as it does forward- Yesterday’s date was 01022010.) It was only the second palindrome date of the 21st century. The first was 10022001 (October 2, 2001), and before that the last palindrome date was August 31, 1380! (Note: I am talking about palindromes of the form MMDDYYYY or YYYYMMDD. Both of these forms, when reversed on the dates listed below, read the same.)
Year two thousand and nine has been an exciting, grace-filled year full of adventures, lessons, and valuable time spent with family and friends. This post draws my modified Project 365 to a close. Posting every day this year has been a challenge and a lesson in discipline, to be sure. Sometimes the posts came after midnight (never after 2 a.m., however), but there was a post for every day and the majority of them came in on time. My friend Emily Fisher did a good job making that happen by scolding me whenever she noticed a late post.
As I stood in front of the fireplace this evening, I realized that I don’t remember a time when my family has not had one. Both of our houses have had one, and so has my grandmother’s house. It is so wonderful to come inside from a cold, snowy, windy day and warm up in front of the fire. It is also a wonderful place to sit in front of and read or think. As soon as the weather turns cool, I yearn for the smell of a wood fire in the air outside and the warmth inside that it provides. It is something I miss greatly in cold Hillsdale, MI.
I did a little thinking on New Year’s resolutions today, and they do not make much sense to me. Why resolve to do something that you think will better your life in some way starting at a future date? Whether what you are doing is trying to break a bad habit (smoking, drinking, overeating, procrastinating, etc.) or doing something positive (reading your Bible and praying more, saving money, becoming more disciplined, getting in shape, etc.), why not start as soon as it occurs to you to make a resolution for the upcoming year? January 1, 2010 is really not much different than December 31, 2009, or even December 10, 2009. If you have a change you want to make in your life, it is best to implement that change immediately. Waiting to make a change does not make much sense to me (with one exception, stated below.) If, for example, you want to lose weight but keep overeating until January 1, what have you accomplished? You have only made it more difficult for yourself. If you’ve waited until January 1, what is one more day? Pretty soon those “one more” days might add up… If you are going to do something, do it now.
Today, Amanda and I went for an afternoon hike in the snow at Schoepfle Gardens and the woods behind. It was snowing a lot, but we had fun. Here are some photos:
It has been quite a while since I have done much of anything with long exposures, so my parents and I went down to the old train depot and took a few shots. I am getting rusty!
This is my answer to the Friday the 13th calendar question my friend David posed to me on Monday:
Tonight we celebrated Christmas with my Mom’s side of the family. Here is a picture I took of my little cousin Evie:
After a routine checkup at the dentist this morning and a quick lunch with Dad, I went to Amanda’s house and helped her make three batches of cranberry pecan biscotti. I’ll admit, I was not much help besides mixing together dry ingredients, but it was nice to spend part of the afternoon with her, anyway.
I visited my friend David Wagner today, and we drove all around the Huron/Sandusky/Port Clinton area this afternoon. David just got home for Christmas from his teaching position on Bordeaux, France. I haven’t seen him since the beginning of September, so it was wonderful to spend all afternoon and evening with him. If everything goes according to plan, I am going to fly to France to visit him (and take photos!) over spring break at the end of March.
While I was out finishing my Christmas shopping on Saturday, I couldn’t help but think a little bit about economics. I know I am strange, but it is what I am majoring in and what I’ve been studying these past three semesters at Hillsdale, and I am not very successful at turning my mind off (not that I’d ever want to…) More specifically, the work of Israel Kirzner. I read quite a bit of Kirzner in Austrian Economics I with Dr. Steele this past semester, so I thought I’d look at the world immediately around me through the lens of his work. The result? Shopping as a learning and discovery process.
Today was my last day of finals, and I finally got to come home! I am very excited to be home for a few weeks.
Four down, one to go!
Here is where I’ve been studying all night – a room in the math building. I pushed multiple desks together to make a table.
My linear algebra exam is tomorrow morning. I am feeling a little better about it than I was yesterday.
The Hillsdale men’s basketball team played their home opener today! They played a tough game, but unfortunately lost to Ferris State 78-67.
Today was the last day of classes. Thankfully, all of my papers are turned in now, so all I have to worry about is finals.
“Senior Kevin Hershock keeps careful count of his T-shirts. As the president of Be A Number, every $20 shirt he sells has a twin that will become the property of an underprivileged child in America or a third world country.” Read the rest of the article.
Two statues of great Americans braving the harsh winter while their ideas do the same.
Click on the photos to view them at a larger size.
I took some photos of the men’s basketball team practicing today:
As I was looking through my photo library tonight, I realized that it was exactly a year ago yesterday that I saw Handel’s Messiah performed at Hillsdale. (If you didn’t read yesterday’s post, I went to see it performed in Detroit yesterday.) I saw the performances exactly a year apart! I thought that was pretty exciting.
Today, Amanda and I drove to Detroit to see Handel’s Messiah performed by the Detroit Symphony Orchestra (I bought her tickets for her birthday). We had a wonderful time! The performance was excellent, we had great seats, and we ate good food afterwards at Union Street. Overall, today was a great day!
I shot this photo of a few CCA papers for a Collegian article that was featured on page A1. Read the corresponding story at HillsdaleCollegian.com. (I had two A1 photos this week!)
When I first heard of this, I thought someone misspelled “Clunkers”… then I read on and realized this is another CfC-named program the government is putting on. I am sure you remember Cash for Clunkers, the $3 billion transfer program that destroyed wealth, right? Well, here is a new one- Cash for Caulkers, a “stimulus” program that plans to retrofit energy inefficient houses to make them more energy efficient, while providing jobs at the same time.
Let’s turn back the clock back a little bit to halloween (and no, I am not talking about retrodating this post…)
As soon as everyone returned from Thanksgiving break, they got in the Christmas spirit! Here are two quick and rough shots I took of areas around Simpson dorm:
As you probably know, I love logic puzzles. I came across a particularly difficult one today, so I thought I would share it with you. I first came across it on mathematician Terence Tao’s blog, but I saw another formulation by xkcd creator Randall Munroe, and I like his formulation better. It is his formulation which is reproduced below. This puzzle is not of my own thinking. It has been around for a long, long time.
My grandparents on my Mom’s side moved to back to Tennessee 10 years ago after living in northern Ohio for over 40 years. I don’t get to see them as much as I would like, but whenever I do, my grandfather usually gets a guitar out and plays a little bit, especially if other musicians are around. My grandparents came to visit for Thanksgiving, and my grandfather and my cousins’ other grandfather got out their instruments and played for a little while.
The ship wherein Theseus and the youth of Athens returned had thirty oars, and was preserved by the Athenians down even to the time of Demetrius Phalereus, for they took away the old planks as they decayed, putting in new and stronger timber in their place, insomuch that this ship became a standing example among the philosophers, for the logical question of things that grow; one side holding that the ship remained the same, and the other contending that it was not the same.
I took this shot on Thanksgiving day, when a bunch of us went in my aunt’s basement to play pool after dinner. This is my Dad with the break:
My friend Richard Amos came home with me for Thanksgiving, and since it was his first time in Northern Ohio, I showed him around. After we took Aaron Mortier to the airport so he could fly to Virginia, we started exploring. First we went to Crocker Park, which was closed still since it was only 8 a.m. So, from there we drove along Lake Erie from Avon Lake to Amherst, stopping along the way. We stopped twice in Avon Lake, then at the Lorain pier and Black River Landing. Even though it was kind of chilly, it was a pretty nice day, and the lake was as smooth as glass. Luckily, the rain held off until late afternoon, so we had clear skies for our adventures.
I often hear individuals on the news or read articles that lament about “U.S. consumerism.”
Today, during a discuss about an economics article with a friend, the question of consumerism came up. After the discussion, as I browsed my bookshelf, I spotted my Pocket World in Figures 2009 edition by The Economist, and thought, “I wonder what the stats show about how ‘consumerist’ the U.S. is compared to other countries?”
I realized tonight that there are two different, commonly accepted meanings of “Fair Trade,” and only one meaning I support.
Hillsdale College just had a Liberty Fund Library dedication ceremony today that I attended. Liberty Fund gave the college an entire set of the books it publishes, which is available to students in the Grewcock Formal Lounge.
While on my way to take a photo for The Collegian Tuesday night, I ran into the men of Mu Alpha serenading various women’s dorms. I decided to snap a few shots, as I am friends with and respect many of the Mu Alphans. (For those of you who do not know, Mu Alpha is a men’s music honorary fraternity at Hillsdale.)
First of all, today is Sean Nelson’s birthday. Happy Birthday Sean!
Richard Brookhiser held a public lecture and book signing at Hillsdale tonight:
Today was a big day for Hillsdale sports!
The football team won 27-24 against Minnesota State in OT at their first ever D2 playoff appearance.
Then, the volleyball team won their GLIAC playoff match against Ashland! They go to the championship tomorrow!
I went out tonight to do a dry run before the Leonids show up on Tuesday or Wednesday.
Author and journalist Richard Brookhiser has been on campus for the last week giving a journalism seminar, and will be holding a public lecture on Tuesday here on campus.
Even though I’ve been carrying my camera around for the last three days, I haven’t taken any photos for posting. I’ve had close to 30 people to track down over the last three days in order to take their photo in some fashion, so I’ve met people all over campus at any time between 8:00am and 12:00am Monday, Tuesday, and today. I finally got them all finished around 6 this evening, so I am glad that is over. Now it is time to work on my Collegian photos for next week!
Today is Amanda’s Birthday!
Today, the Classical Liberal Organization (a group at Hillsdale I am the president of) organized a speaker panel on the topic: “The Fall of the Berlin Wall: Past, Present, and Future.” The CLO set up this panel to bring to light the reality of communism and how it affected the entire world. For far too many students today who did not live through the Cold War era, communism and its end can become just another set of historical facts. We don’t want this to happen here.
My friends Paul, Joe, Forrest, Richard, and Seth (L-R in the top photo) have a band named “The Gentiles,” and they are competing in Hillsdale’s Battle of the Bands next week.
…one of many that took place during the 59 Hillsdale-24 Tiffin game this afternoon.
Dr. Wenzel, an economics professor here at Hillsdale, occasionally gives his students an atypical assignment: Do nothing for 15 minutes. Turn off the cell phone, computer, music, television, etc. Get rid of all distractions, even books. Just sit on the edge of your bed in silence and think for 15 minutes. That’s all.
Tonight, Richard Ebeling travelled to Hillsdale to give a thought-provoking and engaging lecture, titled “Why the Berlin Wall Came Down and Socialism Failed: Ludwig von Mises and the Power of Ideas.”
Have some spare time (unlike me)?
Hillsdale made a limited supply of shirts commemorating the homecoming game where the Chargers Football team beat No. 1 ranked Grand Valley State.
Two more Halloween Photos:
It is time to schedule classes for next semester!
Tuesday, political theorist, activist, former Google engineer, and World Series of Poker player Patri Friedman came to Hillsdale to give a talk on structural activism and seasteading. Friedman is the founder of The Seasteading Institute, whose mission is “to further the establishment and growth of permanent, autonomous ocean communities, enabling innovation with new political and social systems.”
Yesterday afternoon, I was pulled over by a Michigan State Trooper for a traffic violation. I received a citation for violating code 257.637: passing a vehicle on the right.
Here are more of the photos from yesterday:
The weather was absolutely beautiful today. I took a little time this afternoon to go out and take photos. I will post a few more tomorrow!
Click on the photos to enlarge them.
Here are two settings on the Canon 40D that few owners know about. If you know someone with a 40D, send this along to them!
I originally compiled this list for Mr. and Mrs. Odell, but I thought it would be good for everyone to check out.
I have a lot more photos from my Chicago trip, but I am not posting anymore after today.
Taken during a riverboat architecture tour:
Click on the photos to view them at a larger size.
Hancock Building & Others
Today was the last day of Fall Break and my last day in Chicago. I celebrated by sleeping in, going to Eleven City Diner with Ryan and Carrie for lunch, then visiting the Art Institute. Shortly afterward, I made my way back to Hillsdale.
I had another great day today! We got a late start (slept until 11), but Ryan and I met Carrie at Jake Melnick’s for lunch, which was excellent. I had a beef brisket sandwich, and we got an order of the XXX wings. Those wings are the hottest, yet most flavorful wings I’ve ever had. They blow Quaker Steak’s atomic sauce out of the water. They were very good, but insanely hot. Even now, 7 hours later, I can still feel the dull burn in my stomach from those wings.
I had an excellent day today!
I finally got my paper finished, turned it in, then hopped in the vehicle and drive to visit Ryan in Chicago. Before I left, it was snowing in Hillsdale! It stopped after 10am, but there was definitely snow falling for a few hours. The ground was warm enough that it melted right away, though.
I am on my way to Chicago on Thursday. I am excited!
All three pre-fall break exams are finished! Now I have to put the finishing touches on my Austrian Economics paper on the notion of cost and its use in economic regulation, and I will be on my way to visit Ryan in Chicago!
The Hillsdale Baseball Alumni came together last weekend to play a memorial softball game:
A shot of ∆T∆ (pronounced Delta Tau Delta) in the homecoming parade:
I had an interesting concept brought up to me today while I was discussing the difference between rationality and reason with Professor Lea. To try to understand the difference, we did a thought experiment about making choices. When a person makes a choice, he or she weighs the expected utility (broadly defined) of each unit, ranks the units by preference, then chooses the one with the highest utility. This happens whether or not a person is conscious of it, and it is a systematic way of making choices and rationally fulfilling ends. Professor Lea and I both understood this.
This photo ran in today’s Collegian with this article. I also had a number of portraits I took for the homecoming bios, and I compiled the quick hits this week.
Today’s post is short.
I got to go in the clock tower of Central Hall today! What a cool place! The webcams up there had smudges on the lenses, so I volunteered to go up to clean them for ITS. The journey up the various ladders and the rough hand-hewn stairs is a long one, but definitely worth it. The view is amazing from the platform at the top. I took my camera with me (with only one lens, unfortunately). There are some very neat rooms and spaces up in the clock tower. Here are a few photos:
I looked out of my window while I was studying after dinner, and I saw this beautifully colored sky.
Coffee House is a venue where student musicians can perform for the campus in the student union. Hillsdale has some very talented musicians! Unfortunately, I could only stay for an hour. Click on the photos to view them at a larger size:
Last year, I managed to not get any sicker than a sore throat or sinus problems. Nothing I had to miss class over. I am not so fortunate this year. I caught a bug which managed to take me down. I slept 16 of the past 24 hours and missed 3 classes today. I went to one, thinking I would be okay to go to more, but I felt worse as the class progressed, so I went back to my dorm and slept more. I plan to go back to bed as soon as I am finished with this four hour shift I have sitting at a computer lab.
The fountain pens I ordered from xfountainpens.com arrived today! I’ve been practicing writing with them, and I hope to use them exclusively after I get used to them.
A few shots from the auditions for Red Herring and rehearsals for Our Town. It looks like this year is going to be a good one for the Hillsdale theatre department!
Tonight, Amanda and I went to the SAI Ball!
Here are two of the men who live in a house named “The Graveyard.” I took the photo for The Collegian, but it ended up not running. Oh well.
Today I thought about the blogs I read authored by people at Hillsdale. I want to recognize them because I think there are wonderful insights and photos on these blogs. Please check them out.
Part II of my Studying on the Quad series. I was walking around campus taking photos for the college last week, and I saw my friend Casey studying in what was left of the dwindling sunlight of the late afternoon.
Today’s lesson from watching flag football: Make sure you always grab the flags, not someone’s shorts. Also, it is useful to have an extra pair of shorts in case someone does not follow the first lesson and rips your shorts to shreds.
At their first evening game in 3 years, the Hillsdale Chargers football team had a shutout victory over University of Indianapolis. Here are a few shots from the evening. Click on the photos to view them at a larger size:
I had a few photos in the Collegian today, but here is one I took that did not get published. It was supposed to go with an article that ended up not running this week.
Tuesday night’s speaker, James Ceaser. More about Hillsdale College Center For Constructive Alternatives.
Today, economist and professor David Henderson visited Hillsdale today and gave a talk to Praxis, the political economy club. David Henderson blogs at Econlog. (This is not a photo from the CCA. I have yet to edit those photos.)
I have only been taking photos for paper assignments the last few days, as I have been pretty busy with homework. So, here are some cool links I found today. I will post a photo from the CCA tomorrow.
I rarely hand my camera off to someone else, and I rarely wind up in photos. When I do, however, here are the kinds of things I find on my camera (or on Facebook) afterward. I thought some of you might enjoy these:
Scenes from the Mock Naval Battle in the Arb Pond:
Here is a shot I snapped of Dr. Weaire teaching at the outdoor forum. After the fog cleared this morning, the weather was beautiful, and many professors took their classes outdoors. Click on the photo to view it at a larger size.
Starting on Earth Day in 2004, Don Boudreaux at CafeHayek.com did a series of posts titled “Cleaned by Capitalism”. These posts display low cost pollution-fighting technology that capitalism has brought the world. He only did a few posts in 2004, but in the last couple months, he has made a lot more posts displaying how capitalism cleans our lives.
An aspect of human behavior has been puzzling me lately…Expectations. When we are asked a question, why do we expect there to be an answer? Since this is probably not terribly clear, consider this:
A friend walked up to me in my dorm one day and asked me if I noticed anything different about his looks. I didn’t right offhand, so I looked at him for a minute, then said, “It looks like you have makeup under your eyes.” He was kind of puzzled at this answer, because he thought his hair looked strange, when in fact it looked no different than any other day. I did not know that he had his hair in mind when he asked me, so I studied him, looking for something different about his appearance. I looked to the point of actually making up something which was not there (makeup). Why? I expected something to be different since he asked me. Since I thought this, I rejected reality (that nothing was different about his appearance) and tricked myself into seeing something that did not exist. Why did I expect there to be an answer? I have no idea.
What is different about these two photos? Please leave your answers in the comments. This is for a project I am working on, so I appreciate your answers. Click on the photos to view them at a larger size. You can then toggle between the two to examine them.
Hillsdale beat Michigan Tech 37–35 in a close game today at home. The photos below show number 22, Vinnie Panizzi, scoring a magnificent touchdown late in the fourth quarter. Click on the photos to view them at a larger size.
Today was the second first day of classes (Hillsdale has two schedules…MWF and TTH). I have a lot of homework, so I am just posting a photo today.
Click on the photo to view it at a larger size:
I took this shot at Freshman Convocation yesterday. These two sisters were saying goodbye before the older one went to officially start her college career.
Dr. Arnn, President of Hillsdale College, speaking at Freshman Convocation:
Today was the last full day at the retreat. In addition to going to the excellent lectures, I went on the blob in the lake, and on the waterslide. Here are a few more shots (also taken on my phone) of Michindoh.
The blob (someone sits at the far end, and someone jumps from the platform onto the blob, and the person at the other end flies into the water) :
The honors program:
Today was the first full day at the honors program retreat at Michindoh. So far the retreat has been great. We did some icebreaker activities to get to know the new freshmen, played ultimate frisbee, went on the huge waterslide, listened to wonderful discussions on Oscar Wilde and Picture of Dorian Gray, and had a bonfire. Here is a photo (taken with my phone…sorry about the low quality) at the bonfire:
Here is another Amherst quarries photo. Click on the photo to view it at a larger size.
I got the chance to teach two classes today at the spur of the moment! I went to work this morning (at Amherst Steele High School), and found out the teacher that the district hired to teach two visual design courses quit the night before. Since it was the first day of school, there were two full classes of students who were without a teacher, and the classes started in a half-hour. The students were just going to have a long, boring study hall, so I volunteered to teach some basics of web design and photography to the two classes. I really enjoyed it, and I hope the students got something out of it. The rest of the day was hectic with lots of tech problems, but at least those 3 hours went well. Today was my last day of work. I am spending Wednesday packing, then I am going back to Hillsdale on Thursday.
My home town of Amherst, Ohio, has numerous sandstone quarries. In fact, from the late 19th to the middle of the 20th century, Amherst was known as the Sandstone Center of the World. Now, only one or two of the quarries are still in operation. Here are a few shots of some of the beautiful, old quarries that are now filled with water:
On day 184, I posted about visiting Gatlinburg, TN for the day. During the course of the day, I got my photo taken on the Sky Lift, which runs up the side of the mountain. When my parents and I got home, I found out that I had my photo taken on the Sky Lift in 2002, too! (Also, my Dad has his photo from when he is on it in the 70s.)
I spent the evening at my Aunt and Uncle’s house tonight where my Dad and Uncle bottled some wine that my Uncle made. Here are some photos:
I’ve been taking sports team photos for Amherst Steele High School this week. In the middle of taking headshots of the seniors on the girls soccer team, the four seniors wanted me to take a quick shot of them together. (I made sure they were okay with me posting this after I took it.)
I got a Palm Pre! I’ve only had it for a few hours, but I really like it. I will write an in-depth review in a few days, after I’ve had time to find the ins and out of it. For now, here is a low quality photo of it charging on the touchstone:
I was in the picture taking mood tonight, so I decided to take some photos of a candle that is part of the centerpiece on our kitchen table. Which one do you like best? What could I do better? Click on the photos to view them at a larger size.
Today, my Dad’s side of the family had a party at my Grandma’s house. Amanda joined us! Here are a few quick shots:
Hello everyone! As you have probably deduced from the title, this is not CAG posting, but his girlfriend. I would first like to apologize to Emily Fisher and all of Chuck’s other avid readers for posting after 12:00 AM. We just returned from swimming with Sean Nelson, Lydia Witte, Nick Bonominio, and Erica Gigliotti in Grandma Grimmett’s pool. We finished swimming about an hour ago and were sitting by the pool talking when Chuck realized that he would not return in time to update the “CAG Blag.” He had a few ideas in mind for tonight’s post but was concerned about sacrificing quality for immediacy and decided to allow me to post in his stead. I have been teasing Chuck for quite some time about letting me write a guest post, so I am excited to finally take my place amongst the prestigious ranks of Cag Blag Guest Posters.
In this interview with Reason.tv, the Foundation for Economic Education’s President, Larry Reed, gave three lessons of freedom we are in danger of forgetting:
I was thinking about all the nonsense coming out in the health care reform debates about insurance companies denying coverage based on pre-existing conditions. I want to question what will happen if insurance companies can no longer pick who they insure based on this.
Here are a few shots of the Miller Bell Tower at the Chautauqua Institution. The lake was pretty rough today, so I only took a few shots, then Brad and I brought the boat back to the dock.
Today was a beautiful day! Here are two shots of the lake as the sun was going down:
The weather has been pretty unpredictable these past few days.
There was major lightning before the full-blown thunderstorm rolled in tonight, so I hurried out and took a few rough shots:
Brad and I drove up to his house on Chautauqua Lake this morning. On the way, we discussed some of the recent health care issues taking place in this country. (We also discussed various other things, but that is not the topic of this post.) While discussing the arguments against the health care reforms and how effective these arguments are, I was reminded of the importance of using philosophical arguments to win these types of battles.
I just got word that one of my photos was selected for the Schmap photo guide of Atlanta! It was one that I took on my trip down there to visit my aunt and uncle. Check it out.
My Google Voice account got activated! (If you do not know what a Google Voice account is, visit http://voice.google.com/.)
I went kayaking on the Vermilion River after dinner today (or should I say half-kayaking and half-hiking?). The Vermilion River is too shallow, at least right now on the part I went on, to easily navigate with a kayak. I had to climb out and carry it around trees and across shallow areas countless times. I am not going back on that river unless we get a lot of rain!
If you ever wondered how the long exposure art (a.k.a. light graffiti) shown below is created, Sean and I put together a short guide about it. Everything below was created in camera, not effects put in with a photo editor afterwards. Download the PDF to see how it is done! If you have any questions, feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
More photos from the Ferber wedding:
As promised, here are more wedding photos. Some info: the ceremony was at St. Joseph’s Church in Avon Lake, then we took photos by the lake in Avon Lake and at a formal garden in Birmingham. The reception was at the Ferber house.
Today my first hired wedding photography gig! It was Bill and Angie Ferber’s wedding. I just got home and I have over 1900 photos to edit, but here are a few of the reception hall. I will post some more once I edit them. Tomorrow will be a solid day of editing for me!
I took this photo outside the Castalia Fish Hatchery on the Cold Creek in Castalia, Ohio. The hatchery raises rainbow trout, and these guys are the ones that got out. They live freely outside of the hatchery where people like me can come and take photos of them. Click on the photo to view it at a larger size.
Today, Amanda and I spent the day at Put in Bay. (For those of you not from the Ohio area, Put in Bay is South Bass Island out on Lake Erie, off of the Sandusky/Catawba area.) After canceling because of rain twice, we finally had a beautiful day to go and hang out on the island. Here are a few shots from our adventures there:
On Tuesday, I went out and took some photos that will be part of the set of the local Amherst cable station. They told me they wanted photos that exemplified the uniqueness of Amherst, and they all have to be horizontal. Here are some of the photos I am submitting to the station:
Today, I spent the afternoon and early evening with David Wagner. We went all over the place–Huron, Sandusky, and Castalia. Here are a few photos from our adventures. As always, click on the photos to view them at a larger size:
Here is a shot I took a few days ago. This sign was put up in front of my town’s city hall during the Ohio Bicentennial in 2003. The sign is commemorating my town’s heritage as the Sandstone Center of the World.
Early afternoon today, I went and shot four rounds of trap to try out the choke tubes I just bought and to continue breaking in my over & under for the shotgunning course I am taking when I get to Hillsdale in a month. Here are a few shots my Dad took while I was shooting:
Tonight, I went out and took a few night portraits with my friends Shelby and Josh. Shelby was the model and her boyfriend Josh helped me with the lighting. Below are a few shots. Click on the photos to view them at a larger size:
This evening, my Mom’s friend and her son from Seattle came to visit. They are in town for a wedding, so they stopped by for the evening. My Mom and Terry have been friends for 28 years. I first met her son (his name is also Chuck) in 1998 and again in 2000. He has lived in Seattle, Vancouver, and around Australia, where he worked at an Apple store! He is studying to become a dentist. It was nice to see him again!
A few years ago, I did a major photo edit for a lady in my school district. The original 4×6 photo had 5 people in it, and she wanted the guy on the far left taken out, but there was a problem: the guy next to him had his arm around him. So, I spent about two hours putting the guy’s arm back in and fixing the back ground. Click on the image below to see the before and after at a larger size:
I got a few comments on the Black Eyed Susans that were in the back ground of the photos in yesterday’s post, so here is a photo of them:
A heavy rainstorm came through right after dinner. Luckily, it ended quickly and the sun came out, so I went outside to take pictures around my yard. Which one do you like best? I recommend you click on the photos to view them at a larger size:
Tonight, Amanda came over for dinner with my parents and me, and I made muffalettas! The sandwiches had capicola, salami, pepperoni, provolone, and a freshly-made olive tapenade. They were delicious!
At 4:00 today, I met a friend of mine at the Amherst Townhall to take some photos. He is in an intro photography class, and he needed to use a SLR for this week’s assignment. After he finished the assignment, I let him try out all of the different lenses I have. To show to what extent a wide-angle lens distorts things, I let him take a photo of me holding out my hand in front of me:
“My goal is to confuse you at a higher level about more important things.” – Dr. Wenzel
Today was the last day of FEE’s YSC in Midland. I had a wonderful time this week! I met so many wonderful scholars and defenders of liberty here. Tomorrow, Brad and I are driving down to Hillsdale for a little while, then we are driving home.
Today was another great day at FEE’s YSC. Among other things, Walter Block talked about privatizing roads, which he recently authored a book about. I also got to participate in a discussion over lunch with Block, Ben Powell, and some other students about the legitimacy of fractional reserve banking. I also went out to dinner with a group of pretty cool people from around the world and discussed various liberty-oriented topics. In addition to all of this, the weather was beautiful, so it was a wonderful day. Two photos:
There were some wonderful lectures today, including an immigration talk from Ben Powell, in which he destroyed every argument brought up against open borders. Another highlight of my day today was that I spent some time having a discussion with Walter Block. Also, Brad and I went to an asian restaurant for dinner, and I ate my first Korean meal: Bibimbap. It was very good, even with the fried egg on top!
I am having a wonderful time at the FEE Young Scholars Colloquium seminar at Northwood University. Here are some shots from today:
I am on my way to Midland, MI to Northwood University for FEE’s Young Scholars Colloquium. I will be back in Amherst on Saturday, July 18. This wonderful man, Dr. Birzer (pictured below) is speaking there tonight. (He was my history professor this last semester.) I am excited to see him!
I spent last Friday evening taking photos at an All-Star Girls Softball game (middle school/junior high league, I think) at the request of one of the parents. I gave my CF cards to someone who edited and printed the photos, so I just got them back today. Here are some of the photos:
I follow the Digital Photography School‘s feed in my RSS reader. They have weekly assignments for their readers to complete. Though I have never submitted any photos to their contests, I occasionally do the assignment for fun. This week’s assignment is A Mistake: a photo, originally thought of as a mistake, which turned out better than expected. When I read this, I immediately thought of this photo I took of Liz and Andrew dancing at a jazz performance at Hillsdale. I forgot to change the settings on my camera, and the shot ended up being a long exposure. Luckily, I had the strobe on rear-curtain and a steady hand, so the ‘mistake’ shot ended up as a photo which froze Liz and Andrew in place, but still showed their motion. I miss Liz and Andrew. I can’t wait to see them on August 27!
A week or so ago, I received a comment from David at freeofstate.org on the post I wrote about Jeff Knaebel. Here is what he wrote:
I thought I would give you all a look into what I listen to. If I could take only 5 albums with me on a very long road trip, this is what I would take:
I have only had my kayak out four times since I bought it a little over a week ago, but I am really enjoying it! I took it out tonight at the Wellington Reservation. Here is the view from where I sit:
As many of you already know, HTML 5 was released a few days ago. Say goodbye to XHTML! (Finally!)
My parents and I are on our way home today, so here are some photos I took yesterday. I suggest viewing the photos at a larger size by clicking on them.
There was once a dream that was America. And friends, this is not it. This is not it.” –Robert Hawes
Today, my family and I went to Bass Pro Shops and the Smoky Mountain Knife Works in Sevierville, then through Gatlinburg, and part way through the Great Smoky Mountain National Park.
My grandparents, aunt, uncle, two cousins, parents, and I rented a boat and spent the day on Tellico Lake, one of the TVA lakes in east Tennessee. We had a wonderful time. We also bought along my kayak, and almost everyone tried it out. The weather was wonderful, and we had a full day of water, sun, and fun. Here are some photos. As always, click on the photos to view them at a larger size:
Here is another shot from the outdoor jazz concert two weeks ago. Click on the photo to view it at a larger size.
To celebrate Independence Day (coming this Saturday), it is Secession Week over at Let A Thousand Nations Bloom. Here is a blurb from their intro post about why they are calling it secession rather than independence:
The wonderful dorm I lived in this year at Hillsdale was Niedfeldt, at 86 E. College St. Here is a dorm photo, taken by William Clayton. Click on the photo to view it at a larger size.
I bought a kayak today! My parents, Amanda, and I took it up the the Oberlin above-ground reservoir to try it out. Here are photos of Amanda, my Mom, my Dad, and me trying it out. As always, click on the photos to view them at a larger size.
Today, my parents and I went to the Huron Herb Fair at the Mulberry Creek Herb Farm in Huron. I am not all that interested in herbs, so I wandered around and took photos.
A few of my friends played at Peabody’s in Cleveland tonight, so I went out to take some photos of them and another band. As always, click on the photos to view them at a larger size.
I came across a PDF version of Aesop’s Fables today, and I spent a while reading them. While reading them, I was struck by the economic principles his fables contained! Though the principles were not named until long after his time, some of his fables definitely contained some ideas that modern economics uses. I suspect that this is because Aesop, much like economists, tried to understand human action. Obviously the two differ immensely, I think the same foundation is there for both. By the way, don’t fall into the trap of thinking economics is all about numbers and money; it is, at its core, trying to understand human action.
A friend of mine sent me a link to an article about an anti-war protestor renouncing his U.S. citizenship in New Delhi. The man, Jeff Knaebel, declared independence from not just the U.S. government, but all governments, and made a speech about how non-voluntary citizenship is forced slavery. He afterwards destroyed his passport, birth certificate, and all other forms of government-issued identification. The local police then carried him out of the Ghandi national monument area and directed him to turn himself into the local police officials, which he did. Jeff Knaebel voluntarily walked three blocks and informed the police that he was trespassing and did not have a passport. His current status is unknown.
I took photos at the Amherst Youth Soccer Camp this morning for the Amherst school system. Here is a nice shot I took of a boy leaning up against the goal net. View the rest of the gallery.
First of all, Happy Father’s Day, Dad! I love you!
Today was a day of cleaning for me. Amanda came over and helped me clean out my room and we took a few bags of trash out and reorganized things significantly. Then, after she left, I helped my parents take the cover off of the pool and start the cleaning process to get the big in-ground pool, which is up the street at my grandma’s house, ready for swimming. I estimate that by next weekend it will be ready! We usually open it up earlier than this, but the weather has been unusually cool for this time of year, so we held off.
Today, I worked in the morning, then went to visit David Wagner. We decided to go canoeing on the Huron River, which was quite an adventure. The weather was excellent when we started out, but by the time we got about a mile and a half up the river, a huge thunderstorm rolled in. Around that same time, the river was blocked by about 5 fallen trees, so we were out of the river searching for a way around when the lightning started, so we stayed on shore during the storm (which, lucky for us, passed quickly). We got soaked, but we managed to keep David’s camera dry, so there are a few photos of me below.
This summer, the Amherst Rotary Club is sponsoring live music on Thursdays at 7 p.m. in the park that it maintains in front of Amherst Hospital on Cleveland Ave. Tonight the LCCC Jazz Band was playing. I took the opportunity to go out and take some photos. Let me know what you think.
A week from when I am writing this, I will be standing in line waiting to get in to the midnight showing of Transformers 2 – Revenge of the Fallen. In order to celebrate this and get everyone excited about the upcoming movie, here are two desktop wallpapers that my friend Sean Nelson made last year when Michael Bay released high quality images of Optimus Prime and Ironhide on his website. Sean laid them overtop of Apple Aqua backgrounds. I currently have Optimus Prime as my desktop background. You can download the two backgrounds in a .zip file right now.
Here is a shot of the Sosnowski family (my aunt, uncle, and cousins) at OU’s graduation:
First of all, thank you Joe Teets (nonarchist) for doing my updates for the past two days on such short notice. I flew home from New York on Friday, come home for 20 minutes to repack, then drove south to Ohio University for the weekend for my cousin’s graduation. We stayed in a cabin, which I assumed was going to have internet access. On the way down, I found out it was not going to, so I called Joe and asked him if he could do two guest updates while I was gone. Thanks, Joe!
Hey, it’s Joe again posting in the place of Chuck, who is out of town probably shoving his camera in the faces of unsuspecting strangers. Thanks again for letting me post the last 2 days, thereby making my contribution .547945% of Project 365!
Unfortunately, Chuck is MIA today, so the Nonarchist will be filling in for him today and tomorrow in order to keep Project 365 alive.
Yesterday during one of the question and answer sessions at FEE, one of the professors, Gene Callahan, brought up this hypothetical situation for the students to think about and attempt to answer, then he revealed the actual answer to us. So, since I occasionally ask questions on here for people to answer, I am going to post this one. Also, I will make it a contest. The first person to post the correct answer and valid explanation will receive a copy of Gene Callahan’s Economics for Real People.
The lectures and discussions at FEE ended a little earlier than normal today (we did not have any lectures or discussion after dinner), so 5 of us decided to take the train up to NYC for the evening. We wandered all around Manhattan and had a lot of fun. We didn’t know each other before Monday, so it was nice to get to know each other.
Today was my second day at FEE (but the first full day). The seminars have been great so far! A few of my friends from Hillsdale are here, so I have enjoyed catching up with them in between seminars. Here is a shot from the room that the seminars are in:
I took photos at Amherst Marion L. Steele High School’s graduation ceremony tonight. Here is a shot of graduate Josh Gonzalez shaking the Superintendent’s hand after receiving his diploma. View the Steele HS website for three more photos.
I thought a little bit this evening about how much Hillsdale has challenged and changed my ideas, just over the last year. What started this tonight was that I read a note from my friend Matt Stone, who is interning in DC this summer. He went to a lecture hosted by the Leadership Institute, and the speaker, Ian Ivey, stated that Bastiat’s The Law was the greatest book written in the history of mankind. When I read this, I immediately thought, “how absurd!”. I like The Law, but is it the greatest book in the history of mankind? Of course not!
Tonight, Amanda and I ate at Fat Fish Blue in downtown Cleveland, and then went to the concert at the House of Blues that I won tickets for. (Pete Yorn and Ryan Humbert) The music was alright, but not something I would have paid for. Amanda liked it a lot, though, so that was good. Fat Fish Blue was definitely the best part of the evening. Our food was excellent, and we actually left the concert a little early so we could go back to FFB for dessert before it closed. We ate the famous Carpetbagger for dessert. For those who don’t know what it is, here is the description on the menu: “the amazing chocolate sack, loaded with sponge cake, fresh fruit and Godiva white chocolate mousse.” Excellent. Since I did not take my SLR with me, here is a shot of FFB from their website:
Hillsdale was in the Wall Street Journal today! Read the article.
I have been posting lots of photos and thoughts lately, and I have neglected to post about what is going on in my life, so I will do that today.
I have been struggling with this question for quite some time, and it came up tonight, which rekindled my thinking on it:
How do you ask a man behind the counter for a soda when you don’t think there is a man there?
I took portraits all day today, starting with my cousin and her daughter in the early afternoon, and Michelle in the late afternoon/evening. I learned a great deal about how to use off-camera strobes and different outcomes from different setups. Please check out the galleries and let me know what you think.
I spent part of the day taking photos around Steele High School. Here are a few shots of the Senior Steak Fry and some students in the TV studio:
I went and shot a round of trap and a round of skeet this morning. The people at the Gun & Reel club on Middle Ridge Road are very nice and super friendly! I like shooting there.
Here is another shot of Chris Volante from The Sharp Edges:
Tonight, my friends The Sharp Edges played at the Tower City Amphitheater. Here are some photos:
Here is another photo from the Night Lights & Illum collaboration. This one has our stencils in it!
I drove back to my grandparents’ house in Tennessee this morning, then we spent the day driving through the Smoky Mountains. We had a wonderful time! Here are two photos I took. More will follow in a few days when I am back home and have reliable internet access again.
Tonight I met up with Michelle Wood and her friend (a.k.a. Night Lights on Flickr) to do some light graffiti. Michelle take photos in the Gwinnett, GA area, which is a little less than an hour away from my aunt and uncle’s house, so we decided me meet up while I was down here. We only had a few hours free tonight, and unfortunately tonight was the only night we could meet, so we were only able to take a few shots after we explored the area and got everything set up.
It was raining in Birmingham today, so I did not get any more shots of campus. I did, however, take some photos of the graduation ceremony.
Correction: My post yesterday said that my uncle is getting his PhD from the University of Alabama. This is wrong. He is getting it from Samford University.
Happy Mother’s Day, Mom!
Hillsdale’s Commencement for the class of 2009 was today! There were lots of hugs, laughs, and smiles.
Last night, a fraternity on campus threw a “Club Euro” themed dance party to celebrate the end of classes. In between studying, I went to take some photos. I tried out a few new techniques, so I thought I would post the results. The photos below are not edited. They are straight out of my camera. What I did: 1/2 second exposure at f/5 and a rear-sync flash. In one of the shots, I twisted the camera while the shutter was open. Click on the photos to view them larger.
First of all, Happy Birthday, Will Clayton!
I know that my blog frequently lacks interesting and quality photos, so here are my favorite photoblogs for you to check out:
- ECO 203-01 Macroeconomics T-TH 1 p.m. Lea
- ECO 412-01 Austrian Economics T-TH 9:30 a.m. Steele
- HON 251-01 Lost art of Epistolary Communication W 2 p.m. Wenzel
- MTH 400-01 Linear Algebra MWF 8 a.m. Webster
- PED 393-06 Basic Shotgun Sat. 10-11 a.m.
- POL 101-05 Constitution T-TH 2:30 p.m. Krannawitter
- MUS 204-01 Understanding Music MWF 1 p.m. Jones
What do all of these things have in common? My day today!
I did not pull any April Fool’s Day pranks today; in fact, I forgot about it until my econ professor passed out an exam at the beginning of class, which is a week earlier than it is scheduled for. Anyway, as soon as I remembered, I went online to Google’s home page to look for April Fool’s hoax this year. They always post it as a legitimate announcement at 11:59:59 on March 31. Their announcement always looks like it could be real, but once you look at the links attached to the announcement, you quickly realize the hoax.
Yesterday I wrote about my 6 favorite productivity apps. I thought it only appropriate that today I write about the opposite: anti-productivity apps. These are things that help me waste time (like I need a lot of help doing that…) while I am supposed to be doing work. I am not a huge gamer, but I like to play some small games when I am killing time. Here are the three applications (besides my internet browser) that I most often find lowering my productivity.
We read articles like “Top 10 [insert adjective here] Apps” on Digg at least once a week. Well, I decided to out together a list, not because I think I know better what is best, or I am discontented with the few thousand other top 10 articles out there, but because I wanted to put a list together of what I use most and often to make my life easier. In fact, there are not even 10 apps on this list, nor do I claim that these are the best designed, or the best for the job. They are simply the ones I have found and use almost on a daily basis. I will provide a brief description of each one, why I use it, and a link to where you can get it. I will also indicate the cost, though most of these apps are free. Keep in mind, I use Mac OS X, so the PC users are out of luck unless the developers make a Windows or Linux version of these apps I don’t know about it. Also, I am running these on 10.5.6, so if you are running older versions of a Mac OS, they might not work. (Look, if you are using 10.3, 10.4, or below, it is time to upgrade. If you are still using system 9 or below, it is definitely time to upgrade, and I am surprised you can actually view this site on that system.) With that said, here are 6 applications I use pretty much daily to keep my life in order and running smoothly.
Epiphanies in two senses: 1.) I am getting great ideas while digging into the text of Ibsen’s Hedda Gabler to support my arguments. 2.) I am realizing there is not as big of a difference between math, economics, and English as people think. All three are just different uses of the same basic approach: constructing arguments, logically moving through proving them, and providing ample support for those arguments. All three rely heavily on how you move through the matter at hand, and I think that if you figure out how to do one of these three subjects well, it will only take a little effort to apply those skills to another realm. I hope this works for me in the future. As for now, I am far from figuring out how to best approach any of these three.
As I was going through my daily list of blogs that I read, I stumbled upon an article by Jacob Hornberger advocating an end on the postal monopoly. This caught my attention because I argued for the very same thing in my AP Government class in high school. Of course, many of my fellow students thought that idea was lunacy (which it probably the same thing they thought of me, as I frequently brought up similar ideas…).
Image from the Mises Institute
First, good news! The photo of blueberries I posted yesterday is being printed in a student literary publication on campus called The Tower Light. I will post a photo of it when it gets printed.
Do you recognize this screenshot?
Today I decided to join the Twitter revolution. I admit, this could get addicting. I am really enjoying it so far. Don’t know what Twitter is? Read this article in the Hillsdale Collegian.
Today’s post is also going to be pretty short because I want to devote as much time as possible to working on my paper for Dr. Jackson and getting all of my reading done for my other classes.
When I was in South Haven, I went to a used book store and bought a “Mathematical Games” book. It had all kinds of neat math games to play with shapes and simple everyday objects such as matches. There were riddles in the back of the book and one intrigued me. Let’s see if the people who read my blog can get it:
A few people here at Hillsdale had extra time on their hands and made Calvin and Hobbes-esque snowmen outside of the student union.
David Wagner and I went to Baw Beese Lake tonight to walk around and take photos. He has never seen me to long exposures or light graffiti before, so I demonstrated with a few different shots. In a few of the shots we were walking around on the frozen lake.
“The greatest dangers to liberty lurk in insidious encroachment by men of zeal, well-meaning but without understanding.” ~ Louis D. Brandeis
Today’s post is a response to the numerous comments that I received, both online and in person, on my post about President Obama’s Inaugural Address. Please read the comments before reading this post.
As nearly everyone knows, President Obama was sworn in today at noon eastern time by Chief Justice Roberts on the West Front of the U.S. Capitol. I was in English class with Dr. Jackson during the whole process, so I missed it, but I watched the speeches online later in the day. I admit that the new President is a wonderful speaker, but be wary of this. As Alan Caruba wrote over at The Progress of Liberty, “[I]f words alone could lift this nation out of its current financial crisis, its wars, and other problems, President Barack Obama could make that happen.” Unfortunately for America and its new President, good intentions do not guarantee desirable outcomes.
Today I drove back to Hillsdale after a nice break at home. The new semester starts on Wednesday.
Thank goodness we live in a free country where we can live the way we want and the government does not control us!
For 2009, I decided to start posting more. I posted regularly last year until I went to college and all of my time went to reading, writing, calculating, and thinking. To get in the habit of putting time aside each day to update my blog or work on my website, I decided that in 2009 I will do a “Project 365”.
I have heard many people, especially here at Hillsdale, say they are afraid for America today. Most of them say this because they fear Obama getting elected. I believe it does not matter who has more votes when the polls close tonight. My fear for America will go on, no matter who gets elected. Things made a change for the worse before any of us, or our parents, were born. Until people in America embrace freedom and realize the coercive state is feeding them nonsense, things will be no better.
I apologize for not updating for a few weeks. Also, I have yet to take pictures of the campus. I have, however, taken football and volleyball photos, as well as photos for articles in The Collegian (the nationally acclaimed student-run newspaper on campus).
I moved into my room on Thursday, August 21. I only had a chance to drop off my stuff and then I had to take off and go to a camp about ten minutes down the road for the Honors Program annual fall retreat.
I was just notified that I won second place in the Contrived category in the 2008 AAPT Physics Photo Contest!
I spent the last week in Chautauqua, NY with my friend Brad Akin. I had a great time. We spent the week fishing, jetskiing (I was able to get the jetski up to 53mph!), kayaking, and loitering around searching the internet. Brad introduced me to Andriaccio’s Stuffed Olives Asiago which are quite possibly the tastiest appetizers I have eaten. In between eating lots of pizza and doing the above mentioned things, I had time to take some photos with my new Canon 40D.
A friend of mine was reading New Ideas from Dead Economists, a book by Todd Buchholz that explains and critiques economic thought from Adam Smith to Keynes. In it, there is a section about Karl Marx and his theories. In explaining Marx’s labor exploitation theory, Buchholz points out that Marx rests his claims on the premise that the value of a product is determined by the amount of labor needed to produce it. (Classical economists like Smith and Ricardo also believed this.) Buchholz writes later on the page that critics of Marx argue that this premise is wrong, but he does not go on to explain any of these arguments. My friend asked me what these arguments were, so I did my best to explain them for him.
This July 4, people all across America will be at cookouts and celebrations, their hearts swelling with patriotism for their country and everything in it. Many people will watch fireworks, sing the national anthem, honor the flag, and listen to stories of how the founding fathers inspired a nation to gain its independence. The media will once again rave with support for the United States’ military presence in the middle east and lecture on how the all-powerful state is protecting us and our “freedoms”. We will read in the paper and watch on television the importance of patriotism, obeying the “law”, and paying tribute to all of our “civil servants”.
…not so spectacular this year.
My trip to NY and two weeks of FEE seminars came to an end on Friday. I was originally scheduled to fly home at 7:30, but I managed to get a flight at 5:30 (which I was thankful for because LGA had a 2-hour backup for take-offs). I had a great time and learned a lot. I also had the privilege of seeing two TSA personnel harass a man for making a comment under his breath.
I decided to link to a few articles that I think are worth reading. If you have some time, look through them.
I have been thinking about this for a while.
I am learning a lot from the seminars at FEE that I have been attending. I plan to overview some of the lessons from the seminars on here this week. They will be in no particular order.
I was just informed that I have a few layout issues in IE and Firefox. I am going to continue to try and fix them. The layout is supposed to look like this:
So last week and this coming week, I have been right outside of NYC attending seminars at the Foundation for Economic Education (FEE, henceforth). The first week was Freedom University and next week is History & Liberty. FEE has brought in some great speakers for the week: Gene Callahan, Sheldon Richman, Paul Cwik, Ivan Pongracic, and Burt Folsom to name a few.
Yes, that is actually a person flying through the Swiss Alps. He calls himself Fusionman. He is the first man ever to successfully fly with wings, powered by four engines on his back. Click on the photo to view more photos from Reuters.
Okay, okay, so it does not exactly match that famous line from The Tempest, but you get the idea. Yes, this is the new blog. And yes, it actually works and will be updated, unlike the old one.