Workout journal formatting

March 16, 2015

exercise, journal, workout

Journals are an incredibly valuable tool. Mostly because they help you honestly assess how much progress you’re making, and insofar as they do that, they also help you figure out whether what you’re doing is effective. Since I often like to figure things out myself, even if I’m doing things the wrong way, my journals are a vital way for me to actually make progress. This is a quick post about my workout journal.


Workout strategies for new parents and other busy people

March 11, 2015

exercise, hashing, jump rope, running, workout

I don’t love the articles that are out there on getting a good workout when you’re a new parent. Or any other sort of busy person! A lot of them give very nonspecific advice about priorities or time management. “Put in the effort” is an actual heading I’ve seen, for example. The is a guide to some specific strategies I use to stay in reasonable shape when things get busy.


Simplify, or your users will do it for you

March 2, 2015

ux, web

We used to run a rotating carousel on the front page of our .com site. Rotating carousels are very useful for solving political disputes about who gets real estate on the front page, but not for much else. One day I tested to see what percentage of clicks landed on each banner. The results were extremely unbalanced. Over 90% of clicks were on the first banner, then a few percent on the next, and a very small number on the third.


A bundle of routines

March 1, 2015


One way to view a company is as a bundle of routines. What does that mean? It means that it’s possible to view a company not as people, or as real estate, or as a brand, or even as the products it produces. Instead, any company can be viewed as a set of steps that are undertaken - probably hundreds of thousands or even millions or billions of steps - spread across all the various functions from product management to HR.


Buying stamps is painful, or, philately will get you nowhere

February 22, 2015

e-commerce, stamps, ux

Buying stamps is… painful. My local post office is rather poorly reviewed: long lines, broken machines, etc. Sometimes e.g. grocery stores will carry stamps, but there’s no way to know in advance. So how do I get stamps and get on with my life? Ominously, the “Easy Ways to Buy Stamps” section on is… blank. Well, in today’s era of instant gratification, I’m sure I can buy some stamps online somewhere, right?


Bringing an old project (Kitify) back to life

February 18, 2015

Heroku, Kitify, Rails, Ruby

Kitify is a project I built a few years ago; it was my first web app using a modern framework (Ruby on Rails). I had written web stuff before, but never something using MVC. It was an extremely valuable experience to build Kitify; I still remember most of what I learned about the architecture of modern web applications, and the knowledge comes in handy pretty frequently since managing web development is part of my job, now.


Young warrior

February 18, 2015


Once there was a young warrior. Her teacher told her that she had to do battle with fear. She didn’t want to do that. It seemed too aggressive; it was scary; it seemed unfriendly. But the teacher said she had to do it and gave instructions for the battle. The day arrived. The student warrior stood on one side, and fear stood on the other. The warrior was feeling very small, and fear was looking big and wrathful.


Historicism and psychohistory

February 16, 2015

asimov, historicism, popper, psychohistory

Isaac Asimov’s Foundation series is about the fall of the future Galactic Empire. 30,000 years of barbarism are expected, but a man named Hari Seldon invents a new science that allows future events to be predicted with a high degree of statistical accuracy. The name of this science is “psychohistory”, and the quality of its predictions allow for a plan to be developed and followed that shortens the dark age from 30,000 years to 1,000.



February 16, 2015

And then there's good old Mortimer, that person who is sitting next to you in the meditation hall, or perhaps someone who works in your office. — Pema Chodron, Start Where You Are Who’s Mortimer? Some people are lusting when they see Mortimer. He looks wonderful to them... A certain number of people hate him. They haven't even talked to him yet, but the minute they saw him, they felt loathing.


Migrating a blog (yes, this one!) from Wordpress to Hugo

February 13, 2015

hugo, wordpress

I had been meaning to move this blog from Wordpress to a static site generator for a while. Why? Mostly, I like having control and access to my blog posts in a standard raw form; Wordpress (and most other CMSes) store posts in a database, but a static site generator lets you use a bunch of Markdown files. Also, I wanted an easier way to write posts offline. With a static site generator, I can just save everything locally and publish it all together, very easily, once I’m ready.

Newer posts...
Older posts...