Self Driving Is All or Nothing

April 6, 2024

The graveyard of self-driving car projects is full, and for good reason. I think the technology must reach 100% perfection before it can become a part of our day-to-day reality.

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Spatial Memories

February 11, 2024

Friday (the 2nd) was launch day for Apple Vision Pro. Two days later, I found myself on a newly-installed L-shaped bench in the Apple Store, sitting next to Nick.

While Nick explained how the demo would work, a different employee silently placed a Vision Pro on wooden platter between us.

An Apple Vision Pro, sitting on a small wooden platter with a cover on the front

I love the cute little cover they put on the front.

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Camera Roll: Christmas

January 8, 2024

Where Cassidy and I spent Christmas. Also, where Cassidy grew up. Taken with my Nikon Z f, on December 28th, 2023.

A house in the evening, lit up by Christmas lights on the porch, as well as lights from the inside

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Canyon Lake, Texas

November 28, 2023

After a few rolls processed with this new film camera – I’m learning things!

1. People love the look of film!

For me, this photo (of my wife) from our recent trip to Canyon Lake evokes a strong emotional response. I immediately feels like I’m looking at a fond yet distant past, in spite of this occurring just days ago.

My wife standing in front of a cabin

“Damn grandma, you were actually cool” vibes

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Lyft Conversations: Drunk Whisperer

November 3, 2023

A conversation with my Lyft driver, around 3:45am this morning, paraphrased:

Me: “You out early or late?”

Driver: “Oh I’m out late. I get all the partygoers. Some people don’t like driving the partygoers, but I’m fine with it. I’m the drunk whisperer. 11,000 rides and only two times they’ve puked in my car.

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Derping Around With a Toy Camera

October 31, 2023

My recent YouTube bender, Nick Carver, has sent me on a minor film-photography bout. Watching him scout, compose, and execute a single frame with surgical precision was kindling for me to start derping around with film. (Seriously – this guy will take days, if not weeks going after a single photo!)

As with any addiction, I need to start small. So I bought a Kodak Ektar H35N. This is the first roll of film (Kodak Ultramax 400) I've ever developed on my own! (Excluding a few disposable cameras I had as a child – but I didn't even know they used film.)

Me walking my tiny sausage dog

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Camera Roll: Balcony

September 22, 2023

Taken on September 14th, 2023.

A woman sitting on a balcony, facing away, with a small dog

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The Mystery of the Bloomfield Bridge

September 12, 2023

Almost everything around us is overflowing with history and story, including something as pedestrian as... a pedestrian bridge. I absolutely found myself enthralled in this piece by Tyler Vigen investigating how this oddly-placed piece of infrastructure came into existence!

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New Little Guy

September 10, 2023

About one month ago, on August 7th, we appended a new little guy to our life: a dachshund named Picasso! (His larger-than-life name makes us laugh.) This is the first time we (Cassidy and I) have been responsible for any living being on our own.

It's been fun to see our dynamic change as we gradually move from “couple” to “family”. He’s not a child, of course – but when a couple adds a dog to their life, is it appropriate to begin calling them a family? I don't know.

A small dachshund puppy

His glamour shot

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Ben Thompson's Take on Apple Vision

June 6, 2023

Ben Thompson – a fellow Wisconsinite and among my favorite tech writers – has what I think is a bullish, yet balanced view on Apple Vision.

I agree with Thompson that productivity could be the most compelling use case for the device. A keyboard, mouse, and Apple Vision Pro could make a killer (and much more portable) workstation.

As Apple hones in on the device’s purpose, I wouldn't be surprised to see a “workstation” version of Apple Vision in the future – with external compute for more power (similar to how the battery pack is external on the Vision Pro).

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Camera Roll: Sunlight

March 21, 2023

Just a few photos from the last week – filtered to look more dramatic, of course. While filters may not do a good job of representing reality, they can do a good job representing how the moment felt.

The red glow of a sunrise cast into an apartment

Sunrise in the apartment, featuring a chair we overpaid for and drove 1.5 hours to pick-up. Don't get ripped off on Facebook Marketplace, folks.

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Austin FC Mural

November 7, 2022

A new mural appeared on the east side of the city – celebrating Austin FC's kickass 2022 season. (I did a double-take when I saw giant Driussi while driving on I-35!)

I captured a few (decent) photos. This is the best I could do without literally removing street signs. Full-res download links are under each image. Feel free to share/post them anywhere!

If anyone is aware of the original artist(s), or the story of how this came to be, I would love to know.

A panoramic view of a mural celebrating the Austin FC soccer team

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Lyft Conversations: Chewable Aspirin

November 5, 2022

My Lyft driver, this morning, paraphrased:

“One time I was suspended from Lyft for taking drugs while driving. Can you believe that? It was aspirin! I was taking chewable aspirin gummies. I had the bottle right here in my cupholder.

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Austin in One Day

September 30, 2022

Recently, a dear friend came to visit me in Austin, TX. I had exactly one day to convince him to move to the city.

I wanted to hit as many tourist-y Austin-y spots as possible, so this is exactly what we did, in this order (starting around 6am on a Friday).

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Camera Roll: Distant Utopia

September 26, 2022

A hazy, distant view of downtown Austin from the Pennybacker Bridge overlook. It almost looks like a little utopia from here – but drive once on I-35 and you quickly realize it isn’t.

This was taken late morning, on September 23rd, 2022.

A winding river with trees and greenery on each side, leading to a city in the distance

Not featured in this photo: the bridge.

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Camera Roll: Downtown at Dusk

September 22, 2022

The Google building is a fine addition to Austin’s skyline, in my tiny opinion. This was snapped at dusk, on September 21st, 2022.

A tall, sail-like building in downtown Austin reflecting an orange glow

Do people work here now? Is it done inside? It’s hard to know.

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New Masking Tools in Adobe Lightroom

November 14, 2021

Maybe I’ve been living in the stone ages, but up until yesterday I’ve used the brush tool in Adobe Lightroom to make selective edits to photos. Take this photo for example:

Two people on a pedestrian bridge

These are some really cool people, by the way.

It was taken during golden hour – lovely! But the sky feels a little gray. Normally I would whip out my brush tool and, like a caveman, begin a vain effort to select the sky by hand.

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Hiking Hidden Lake Trail, Glacier National Park

May 16, 2021

I wanted to share photos from one more hike at Glacier National Park (taken during a trip last September). Like the Highline Trail hike, we got an early start from Logan Pass (about an hour’s drive from the park entrance).

Early morning hiking in the dark

It's dark.

When we stopped to turn around, we were greeted with a brilliant orange that cascaded through the landscape.

A group of hikers watching a sunrise

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Hiking Highline Trail, Glacier National Park

May 12, 2021

Last September, some friends and I made the long-haul drive from Wisconsin to the far side of Glacier National Park. (The East side was closed due to COVID restrictions.) While there’s an album full of images, I wanted to share a few of my favorites from our hike on Highline Trail.

Highline Trail spans 15.2 miles round-trip, with a steep side trail that cost us an additional 2.4 miles (more on that later).

We started the journey around 6am at Logan Pass, where we were greeted with violent winds that nearly knocked us over.

Side note: The pit toilets at Logan Pass had a shared reservoir. Pressure changes in the reservoir (due to the wind) caused strong gusts of air to blast upwards from the toilet. It was a rather unpleasant experience for the user.

We started early on the trail, as common wisdom had it that the Logan Pass parking lot fills by 7am. (If you plan on hiking the full 17.6, you’ll need to start this early anyway.)

The trail greets you with a ledge, as well as a thick cord to hang on (to make sure you’re awake, of course). Luckily, after this, the majority of the trail is smooth-sailing.

Highline trail early in the morning

This is not a photo of the ledge, you can find that in the full album. I’m just posting the pretty photos.

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Snowy Landscape

February 6, 2021

Another photo of the snowy landscape outside our home.

Wisconsin snowfall at sunset

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Asahi Linux

January 6, 2021

Hector Martin “marcan“ is building Linux for Apple Silicon Macs. To me, the most impressive part is reverse-engineering Apple's hardware with zero documentation or help from Apple.

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January 3, 2021

Yup, just a photo of the driveway at golden hour. Living back home in Wisconsin has been a silver lining of the remote-work-pandemic world.

Wisconsin snowfall at golden hour

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Shoveling Snow and Testing iPhone’s Night Mode

January 2, 2021

I’m always surprised by how much I’m able to suppress. The mind needs space to breath, let things rise to the surface, and be creative. Sometimes it needs freedom from podcasts, work, and endlessly scrolling feeds.

A few hours of shoveling a Wisconsin driveway does the trick! This was also an opportunity to test my iPhone mini’s “Night Mode” photography. This is the road just outside our home:

Road covered in snow at night

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AWS Announces Mac Instances

December 1, 2020

I’ve long been a fan of MacStadium — a company that provides a cloud service based on macOS.

They’re about to get a run for their money — AWS just announced EC2 Mac Instances. Is there any other cloud provider doing this? Or is AWS the first aside from MacStadium? Either way, it’s neat. It’s also kind of funny to think about a rack of Mac Minis hanging out in us-east-1.

Here’s another article with more info.

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Nova by Panic

September 24, 2020

From the homepage of Nova, a new code editor for macOS created by Panic:

If we're being honest, Mac apps are a bit of a lost art. There are great reasons to make cross-platform apps — to start, they're cross-platform — but it's just not who we are. Founded as a Mac software company in 1997, our joy at Panic comes from building things that feel truly, well, Mac-like. Long ago, we created Coda, an all-in-one Mac web editor that broke new ground. But when we started work on Nova, we looked at where the web was today, and where we needed to be. It was time for a fresh start.

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Playing With Pixel Sorting

September 21, 2020

A few years back I wrote a small program to “pixel sort”, or rearrange the pixels of an image to create surreal distortions. This is a photo of a dancer, taken when I was in college:

Dancer distorted with pixel sorting

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State Street, Madison

June 15, 2020

Dozens of murals grace the lengths of State Street today in Madison Wisconsin (a place very close to my heart). Here are two photos from my walk – my only regret is not taking more:

Mural on State Street in Madison

(Artist: @blckslimshady)

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April 5, 2020

I’m up late, and I’m making scrambled eggs because that’s what I have left in the fridge.

Here’s a foggy sunset in my neighborhood; this was on my way to the grocery store a few days back. I’ll need to go back in the morning.

Sidewalk in Chicago with fog

It’s not as apocalyptic as it looks of course – just apt timing for the photo. The following afternoon was sunny, with plenty of folk playing/walking/running in the park (with a safe distance between them).

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Lake Michigan This Evening

March 4, 2020

Lake Michigan at sunset

Just a nice photo of Lake Michigan this evening. Nothing special – hope you enjoy.

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Lyft Conversations: John McAfee

February 1, 2020

My Lyft driver, a few weeks ago, paraphrased:

“In order for society to work, people have to act a certain way. There’s a norm, there’s behavior we consider normal, you know? There are expectations.

“You are young, so I expect something different from you than someone who is older. But you are educated, yes? Then I expect you to speak as an educated person in society.

“Someone who is older, well, we expect wisdom from them.

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A Small Handful of Mac Apps

July 5, 2019

I freaking love macOS. I joined the club when cat names were cool. My first Mac was a Mac mini rocking Mountain Lion.

Apple’s WWDC19 revealed a glimpse into the future of building software for macOS. No longer will it be siloed with its own UI framework. Instead, apps can be composed with UIKit and SwiftUI, neither of which is Mac-only.

As someone that loves a good native Mac app, the future of the platform looks bright.

Before Apple opens the floodgates with the release of Catalina, I wanted to share my list of beloved Mac apps that are here and now.

macOS app icons

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Push Your Shoes Down the Stairs

November 10, 2015

Abstract cave artwork

I was sitting in a large open stairwell, with gaps beneath each stair that led to the lobby area below. I work as a leader at a children’s summer camp, and right now we’re in what we call “small group time”. I’m sitting in this stairwell with several other kids (think 8 to 11 years old) discussing what we learned today.

Clearly bored with the discussion, one kid decides to push objects through the opening in the stairs, sending them plummeting into the lobby below.

The first object he chooses is his own shoe.

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