life

A collection of 33 posts

Getting Serious(er) About Flight

life 6 min read Getting Serious(er) About Flight

Flying planes has always been a dream of mine.

To adventure. To exist in a cloud. To chase a rainbow. To marvel at the machinery of invention. To reminisce of the pioneers who took to the skies with inferior technology and daring bravado.  To be reminded of the power of science to not only educate by conquer.

There is risk. Awe. Freedom. Camaraderie. But there is also technology. Simple physics. Complex physics. Data. When your interests run broader than deep, these multifaceted topics always carry an allure.

All romance aside, it is still a dream, and one I've not pursued

The Last Time I Visited Europe Before Covid. Way Back in 2019.

Video travel 5 min read

We began with a short stay in London. We visited the Churchill War Rooms. Strode through several parks. Enjoyed a tour of Westminster Abbey to admire the resting places of Chaucer, Darwin, Newton, and, apparently, Laurence Olivier. Sadly, Big Ben tower was hidden behind walls of scaffolding.

We grabbed fish and chips at Red Lion pub. Visited Haggards, the oldest bookstore in London, because that's what you do. I was intrigued by a handful of American history books written from a distinctly British perspective. Finally, we hit up a couple bars and taverns for beers and to escape the rain,

Making Stuff around the House (and Becoming my Father)

mycreations 4 min read Making Stuff around the House (and Becoming my Father)

When I was a kid, my dad watched Bob Vila's This Old House every Sunday morning. At the time, I knew it as the most boring show on television, possessing zero entertainment value for a ten year old boy who'd rather be watching Transformers.

The show had no games. No robots. No fancy animations. The hosts pontificated on the best type of nail to use for the underside of a countertop or how best to cut a particular wood joint for stability. Are you kidding me?  C'mon, Dad! Who cares?!?! Why would anyone spend their free time watching such nonsense?

Mellon Collie and Me: 25 Years Later

life 4 min read Mellon Collie and Me: 25 Years Later

Shortly after midnight on October 24, 1995, I lay in bed, in the dark, my stereo volume low, and, for the first time, heard that famous piano melody drift tenderly from tiny speakers. The album was Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness by the Smashing Pumpkins. I had waited in line with friends and hundreds of other kids to snag a copy the moment it went on sale. The piano melody was followed by the triumphant strings of Tonight Tonight. The hard distortion of Jellybelly. The sinking isolation of Zero. I had no idea, in that moment, how familiar those

A Relaxing Trip to Wisconsin (with Cameras!)

Video life 4 min read

Last week, the girlfriend and I took our Quarantine Roadshow to a tiny Wisconsin cabin we found on Airbnb. Our goal was to mix up the routine for a few days, do some hiking, experience some nature, and find a way to enjoy our now-traditional Autumn adventure despite the best efforts of a pandemic.

I won't go into all the details of the trip, but I do want to talk about my attempts to shoot video along the way.

Every shot was taken on one of four devices: a Pixel 4XL phone, my GoPro Fusion MAX camera, a DJI Mavic

Building a Simple Garage Shelf

making 2 min read Building a Simple Garage Shelf

My days at Expedia recently came to end. There will be a forthcoming post (or ten!) about that experience, but I’m passing much of my new free time growing out my quarantine beard and getting my house in order.

First up: the garage.  My old house had an entire basement for storage, but my current house has only a garage. I’m trying to be smart about optimizing the space.

So when I noticed an abundance of vertical emptiness above my table saw paired with the lack of solid storage options for my shop vac, I thought, “Hey! I

Social Distancing with Ori and the Will of the Wisps

gaming 1 min read Social Distancing with Ori and the Will of the Wisps

I like video games, but I'm not a huge gamer. I dream of being a superb gamer the way I sometimes imagine I'm still a collegiate gymnast: in my head I'm a rockstar, but reality tells a different story.

In any case, other than dabbling in No Man's Sky, filling leisure time with Rocket League, and dying frequently during way too many hours of PUBG, I don't play too many games.

What better time to try a new one than during a bit of social distancing due to a global pandemic?

Disclaimer: I am not a person who must make

Old Endeavors Forged Anew

life 2 min read Old Endeavors Forged Anew

Circumstances change. Life events happen. Inevitably, we redesign our websites.

So here I am writing from San Francisco, launching a redesigned website (which still needs some polish), and preparing to embark on several new endeavors, which are basically old endeavors begun anew.

On the website front, I've abandoned Wordpress for a much more powerful solution: Webflow. I've designed and/or built dozens and dozens of websites the past 20 years. I've written simple html sites from scratch and single-handedly built complete ecommerce solutions. Most tools simplify certain tasks while restricting other controls.  Webflow gives me greater design control without the

25 Years Rocketing with the Smashing Pumpkins

music 3 min read 25 Years Rocketing with the Smashing Pumpkins

After a fuzzy, daydreamy guitar intro, Billy Corgan belts out the word Love. That's how a twenty-five year journey begins.

There I was, steering my parents' car through the empty streets of Ottawa, Illinois in the summer of 1994. The windows were open, hot sun heating the dashboard, and that daydreamy guitar intro to the song Rocket began playing on the radio. For some reason, I cranked up the volume.

Soon, I’ll find myself alone / To relax and fade away

Of course, I had known of the Pumpkins before that day.

I turned nineteen years old that summer. I

Comparing Privilege to a Video Game

politics 4 min read Comparing Privilege to a Video Game

For a long time, I struggled to understand white privilege. I'm not proud to admit it. I made the usual arguments: My life has been difficult; I've worked my ass off for everything I've achieved; I've given up time with family and ignored my friends to be successful; I've suffered significant pain and loss in life but focused and pushed forward and earned all the rewards I've attained. How can you tell me I've had it easy?

Obviously, I didn't get it.

I suspect most people who disregard the idea of privilege (or white male privilege to be more specific)

Experimenting

life 3 min read Experimenting

Now that my plan to blog once a week seems to be out the door, I thought it was time to experiment with something new.

Of course, I don't yet know what that something new should be. And I'm not exactly brimming with free time to experiment. I've been contemplating a site rebrand for a while, but I haven't had time to plan it out. This magazine layout style puts too much emphasis on each individual post. I tend to feel, because of the layout, each post needs to be lengthy and insightful, but sometimes I just want to write

New Ramblings for a New Year

news 5 min read New Ramblings for a New Year

A new year begins. A new slate of goals, hopes, promises. An inevitable slew of mistakes, failures, and heartbreaks. I’m in my 40s now. The routine is almost ritual.

And so we begin the search for meaning, the introspective pursuit of purpose. Or maybe just the drive to continue.

As 2018 begins, I’m not unhappy with my life or the choices I’ve made. I’ve had setbacks as well as opportunity. I’ve had privilege. I’ve had pain. I’ve been held back, at times, by circumstance but also by a reluctance to change. In such

The Songs We Lose

love 2 min read The Songs We Lose

If I could sing, I’d sing a song for lost songs.

I’d build a room of tunes and wallpaper it with every song we’ve ever shared with those we’ve loved, and I’d sing in it. I’d sing of pain and misery, of beautiful moments and intimate memories. I’d sing of happiness and laughter, of heartbreak and tears, but mostly I’d sing of loss.

We lose so much with love. Our futures, of course. And our hearts. Sometimes our minds and memories.

But must love take our songs as well? That’s just

Otherwise Optimistically Occupied

news 2 min read Otherwise Optimistically Occupied

Oh. Hello. Who are you? Have we met? I’m Kevin. Once upon a time, I tried to write here regularly. I failed. Now I’m curious why you’re still here?

To be fair, long gaps in my journaling/blogging/writing history are frequent. In some cases, the gaps have been without excuse. In other cases, the only legitimate excuse was laziness.

This most recent gap, however, possesses what I believe to be an unflimsical explanation:

I’ve been busy. But not normal busy.  For real busy. Productive busy. Gettin’ shit done busy.

As I mentioned previously, I spent

To Osten Ard Again with Tad Williams

books 10 min read To Osten Ard Again with Tad Williams

On this day of days there is a familiar stirring deep inside the dozing heart of the fantasy world. The realm of Osten Ard comes alive again with the release of Tad Williams’ The Heart of What Was Lost.

For some of us, it’s a day we never expected. For all of us, it is a day to celebrate, a day to explore, and a day to lose ourselves in the beauty and tragedy and horror and history of one of the most beloved lands in fantastical literature.

Discovery

I first discovered Osten Ard in the summer of 1991.