August 29, 2014

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via Matt Gemmell:

It’s important to have a boundary between your work and home life, psychologically and physically. For anything but the most casual, occasional periods, you need a dedicated working environment.

there are a lot of tips in here and I encourage teleworkers to read it but this one really stands out. It’s good to switch off and be home when your’e at home. That’s hard with an apartment but you have to make it work.

August 29, 2014

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Every year for as long as I can remember, I post a blog post about the last year here on Earth and what I’m looking forward to going forward. In 2010, I moved to New Hampshire on September 4th so I’ve been doing New Hampshireversary + Birthday blogs as a single post since then and the format has worked pretty well.

This is the first year where I was at a loss for words. I’ve been writing a Quarter-Century biography over the past few months off an on. The chapters are split not chronologically but in sections like there’s one about my Dad (both of them) and my move to San Francisco and various life events. It’s been fun to write and readers of this blog probably have noticed lately my blog posts containing more nostalgia than before and that’s because in writing these chapters, I start thinking that the past few years have been pretty boring. Exciting in the grand scheme of things, exciting if I compare my life to my peers from high school but compared to the first 25 years, the last 3 have been boring.

Traveling the world, meeting new people, finding and losing love and exploring my career and working up the ladder are great but the last 12 months have felt stagnant as if I’m a quiet stream covered in mold and not rapids of fast moving water, roaring and throwing up mist with every rock that comes in my way. 

This is all my fault of course but besides the stagnation, I’m also not feeling driven to actually do much about it at least not yet. I’m very happy in New Hampshire, happy with how I spend my time and with who I spend it with but I’m also going through some mental and physical discoveries about myself that should have been unearthed years ago. This could be a feeling that all people go through as they settle down. I’m no longer looking for a better job, a new lover, a new hobby or bench pressing more than I did the last day. I make more money than I ever thought possible and have a savings account. I feel good and see no reason to make changes. Maybe that’s why I’m stagnating. First world problems, right? I love going to Belgium but after being there 8 times, it’s just another trip to Europe.

In the last year on Earth, I guess I did some cool things. It’s just unfortunate that I don’t feel like they’re worth covering here. I’m also approaching my 4th full year in New Hampshire. Wow. Soon, my job @ TomTom will be the longest I’ve ever held, another thing that older people appreciate more than younger people. Four years @ TomTom. Incredible and every day feels new and fresh and fun and I have no desire to look elsewhere. In fact, there are opportunities there to do something really great that I’ll talk about should they come to fruition.

I am becoming less social which is not at all surprising. Last year and the year before, I wrote about wanting to live more remote and have a smaller circle of friends. I’ve mostly realized that goal. For the longest time, I wanted to know everyone, see everything and live in New York. Now I’d be happy with a cabin in eastern Oregon with a dog and a goldfish. Alaska also sounds pretty good or the Northern Territories of Canada. As long as I have Internet, I’m good. 

I celebrated my 28th birthday alone and by choice. I bought a cake, had some whiskey and watched old movies. I’ve celebrated most of my New Years alone as well. I prefer it. Milestones to me should be enjoyed in solitary so you can really reflect on things and not distracted by entertainment and other personalities. 

Here’s to another year at my current job and another year in New England. 

As always, thanks to everyone who drops in to read this blog. It’s a labor of love and one that I’m happy to keep maintained. 

28th Birthday

Quiet Night @ Home

August 28, 2014

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via Sweet Mac Setup:

I find it depressing whenever anyone suggests that RSS is dying, because I honestly think it is one of the greatest inventions in the history of reading. What’s not to love? You get to handpick a series of feeds that will then send you articles to read, and instead of piling up around you, like magazines and newspapers of yore, the articles magically disappear after you read them, replaced by a fresh batch. That’s the concept anyway. The execution of that concept took a while to find its proper form.

This was a great review. I’m going to stick with Reeder.

By the way, RSS isn’t dying, it’s just most people are too stupid to know how to use it. When I explain RSS to people, they get really excited. Then they forget about setting it up because just going to @CNN on Twitter is easier. I love RSS. I could not update this blog for years and the 200+ people who subscribe will know I’m back as soon as I publish something new.

August 27, 2014

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via NYTimes:

Unlike pens, fingers don’t run out of ink, they’re free and you always have one with you. I use mine to take notes on my phone, highlight books on my Kindle and draw pictures on my iPad. I don’t have to worry about losing this work because, unlike a piece of paper, my digital notes live in perpetuity online.

This is the dumbest thing I’ve read all week. I feel dumber for having read it.

With the exception of signing credit card receipts, I haven’t used a pen/pencil since I was 12 years old. Why? What device do you think killed the writing utensil for me in the year 1998? The personal computer did. It was in 1998 that I got my first laptop 2nd hand from eBay and took it to school. It was a PC but my school had WiFi. It was’t secured because no other kid in school had a wireless device that could connect to it. The teachers used it…and they printed to laser printers located in every other classroom. So that’s what I did.

Freshman year of high-school, I saved up and bought my first new Mac (iBook Clamshell). It was the first of many Macintosh computers and the thousands of words I I wrote in high school were done on a laptop. In Sophomore year, I got one of those thin USB scanners so i could scan in work and then mark it up in Adobe Reader Professional.

The iPad didn’t kill the pen. the finger didn’t kill the pen (Nick is talking about touch screens) it was the keyboard that killed the pen.

By the way Nick, I’d love to see your artwork drawn with your finger on the iPad.

August 26, 2014

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via Shawn Blanc:

Since the Synology is attached directly to my modem, it has its own connection to the Internet. But all NAS drives connect direct to the modem (usually). The Synology is cool because, since it has its own operating system, it doesn’t require a dedicated Mac in order for the files to be accessible from my home or from anywhere else in the world. While it’s not quite as powerful as a Headless Mac mini plus NAS setup would be, it is about $1,000 less expensive. And if you’re just wanting to dip your toe in the water with this stuff, from where I’m sitting, a Synology DiskStation is a great place to start.

Shawn’s review covers most of what I’ve wanted to say about my DS214 Play which is similar to what Shawn has but also has a hardware transcoder to compress & encode media files at the NAS (great for streaming content to my iPad from the road).

I do want to write more about the unit once I’ve had more time with it. My experience while similar to Shawn’s is quite a bit more intense because I had much more content. My iTunes library alone was 3.9 terabytes (almost filling up my LaCie Blade Runner) and I had another 800 megabytes of files from when I was younger, school work, memories, etc. Then there’s the 400 gigabytes of RAW images that live on my iMac. I ended up getting two 6 terabyte WD Red drives and w/ mirroring the NAS is almost completely full. I attached my 4 terabyte Blade Runner (USB3) to the back of the NAS and that is where my 3 computers back up via the wired/wireless network.

I plan on doing more with the Synology over the coming weeks.

August 25, 2014

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via NYTimes:

The N.S.A., though, is unique in its ability to match images with huge troves of private communications

.“We would not be doing our job if we didn’t seek ways to continuously improve the precision of signals intelligence activities — aiming to counteract the efforts of valid foreign intelligence targets to disguise themselves or conceal plans to harm the United States and its allies,” said Vanee M. Vines, the agency spokeswoman.

It took a long time for us to get to where we are but I can safely say, United States of America is the most paranoid country on Earth. We’re also one of the dumbest and fattest so at least we we’re #1 at something.

August 22, 2014

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I’ve been reading more on the topic lately (no it’s not for a friend or a coincidence) and have enjoyed a few articles that I thought would be nice to share with you all.

Life Without Sex: The Third Phase of the Asexuality Movement via The Atlantic:

 In other words, you might want to have sex five times this week, or you might not want to have sex at all. Your experience of desire might be intensely physical, or it might be indistinguishable from emotional attachment. You might experience next to no attraction for years, and then find yourself consumed with another person. At one point in your life, sex might be the ultimate thrill; at another, it might be boring and routine. And all of it is okay, and none of it marks the essence of who you really are.

‘We’re married, we just don’t have sex’ via The Guardian:

People always ask how our marriage is different from just being friends, but I think a lot of relationships are about that – being friends. We have built on our friendship, rather than scrapping it and moving on somewhere else. The obvious way we differ is that we don’t have sex, though we do kiss and cuddle. We like to joke that the longer we’re married the less unusual this is. By the time we’ve been married five years we’ll be just like everyone else.

Do I feel as if I’m missing out on something? Not really. We’ve decided that if either of us wants to try sex out in the future then we will see what we can do. We would both be willing to compromise because we’re in a relationship and that’s what you do. 

 The Masturbation Paradox  via Apositive.org:

If sexuality is just the desire for sex, then people who only masturbate should feel like the most purely sexual people on the planet.

They don’t.

Rather inconveniently, people who only masturbate tend to call themselves asexual. We can’t say this universally, but currently the asexual community is the only place where people who masturbate exclusively have gathered together to talk about it in any number. These people don’t identify with sexuality at all. Unlike most people, who consider masturbation sexuality and sexual desire to be central motivating factors in their lives, people who only masturbate tend to think of their sexuality as nonexistent. They spend their time hanging out and sharing an identity with people who experience no sexual arousal at all, or who experience sexual arousal and are never motivated to act on it. These people relate to one another’s experiences, use the same terms to describe themselves, struggle with the same problems and swap the same strategies to tackle them, and they do it all in a community founded by someone who masturbates and calls himself asexual. What’s going on here?

Reading more about this, nothing is black or white. There are many gray-sexuals or there are those who right now aren’t and could be sexual in 10 years. It’s interesting how we go through life. I’m not sure I’ll ever have kids…or a wife for that matter. I haven’t felt love for a long time or at least not in a way most people do. Maybe it’s my upbringing or I was born that way but I like being left alone and there are others that do too even if they’re not asexual.

and swap the same strategies to tackle them, and they do it all in a community founded by someone who masturbates and calls himself asexual. What’s going on here?

August 22, 2014

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My buddy who runs Good Karma vegan cafe in San Jose took me to a small show at a local spot. $12 cover and really awesome indie rock. I haven’t been to a live show in forever.

I snapped a few photos while we drank and vibed

The Fresh & Onlys Live at Cafe Stritch - San Jose, Ca

The Fresh & Onlys Live at Cafe Stritch - San Jose, Ca

The Fresh & Onlys Live at Cafe Stritch - San Jose, Ca

The Fresh & Onlys Live at Cafe Stritch - San Jose, Ca

The Fresh & Onlys Live at Cafe Stritch - San Jose, Ca

The Fresh & Onlys Live at Cafe Stritch - San Jose, Ca

The Fresh & Onlys Live at Cafe Stritch - San Jose, Ca

The Fresh & Onlys Live at Cafe Stritch - San Jose, Ca

The Fresh & Onlys Live at Cafe Stritch - San Jose, Ca

The Fresh & Onlys Live at Cafe Stritch - San Jose, Ca

August 22, 2014

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I really love doing these photo posts. This trip more than many SF trips in the past, I actually took a lot of photos (somewhere around 1200) and narrowed it down to just 100 uploaded. I’m happy with these and the OM-D EM-1 from Olympus has turned into the greatest camera I’ve ever owned. It’s so much fun to shoot with. I primarily used the PRO 14-42mm f/2.8 and the Leica 25mm f/1.4 lenses. 

My buddy Chris joined me on this trip for a few days then the rest of the time was spent working in our San Jose / Cupertino offices. Enjoy!

As usual, I start the photo set off with an airplane wing. Should have straightened this image a bit. Also, the photos in this set all carry a similar vintage look as I was batch processing in Lightroom with a preset that I like a lot. Oh and the watermark is back. Too many people steal my images these days.

United BOS-->SFO

Street Photography - San Francisco

Toronado San Francisco

Street Photography - San Francisco

Street Photography - San Francisco

Street Photography - San Francisco

Street Photography - San Francisco

Street Photography - San Francisco

San Francisco's Bay Bridge

San Francisco's Bay Bridge

San Francisco's Bay Bridge

San Francisco's Bay Bridge

San Francisco's Bay Bridge

Drinks @ Sante Adairius

Marin Headlands / Presidio / Golden Gate Bridge

Marin Headlands / Presidio / Golden Gate Bridge

Marin Headlands / Presidio / Golden Gate Bridge

Marin Headlands / Presidio / Golden Gate Bridge

Marin Headlands / Presidio / Golden Gate Bridge

Marin Headlands / Presidio / Golden Gate Bridge

Marin Headlands / Presidio / Golden Gate Bridge

Cellarmaker Brewing SF

Random Photos around SF

Random Photos around SF

Random Photos around SF

Random Photos around SF

Phillies @ Giants - AT&T Park August 17th

Phillies @ Giants - AT&T Park August 17th

Phillies @ Giants - AT&T Park August 17th

Phillies @ Giants - AT&T Park August 17th

Amy G. - AT&T Park August 17th

Phillies @ Giants - AT&T Park August 17th

The Fresh & Onlys Live at Cafe Stritch - San Jose, Ca

The Fresh & Onlys Live at Cafe Stritch - San Jose, Ca

The Fresh & Onlys Live at Cafe Stritch - San Jose, Ca

The Fresh & Onlys Live at Cafe Stritch - San Jose, Ca

Street Art - San Francisco

Street Art - San Francisco

Pacific Coast Highway / Pacifica

Pacific Coast Highway / Pacifica

Pacific Coast Highway / Pacifica

Pacific Coast Highway / Pacifica

Pacific Coast Highway / Pacifica

Pacific Coast Highway / Pacifica

California vegetation is looking so brown lately, even the trees below at our SJC office are no longer green. The extreme drought in California is so evident! Very depressing. All of the hills in Sonoma county were brown and dead.

Pacific Coast Highway / Pacifica

August 21, 2014

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via Wired:

By the next morning, the items in my News Feed had moved very, very far to the right. I’m offered the chance to like the 2nd Amendment and some sort of anti-immigrant page. I like them both. I like Ted Cruz. I like Rick Perry. The Conservative Tribune comes up again, and again, and again in my News Feed.

and

As day one rolled into day two, I began dreading going to Facebook. It had become a temple of provocation. Just as my News Feed had drifted further and further right, so too did it drift further and further left. Rachel Maddow, Raw Story, Mother Jones, Daily Kos and all sort of other leftie stuff was interspersed with items that are so far to the right I’m nearly afraid to like them for fear of ending up on some sort of watch list.

and

But maybe worse than the fractious political tones my feed took on was how deeply stupid it became. I’m given the chance to like a Buzzfeed post of some guy dancing, and another that asks Which Titanic Character Are You? A third Buzzfeed post informs me that “Katy Perry’s Backup Dancer is the Mancandy You Deserve.” According to New York magazine, I am “officially old” because Malia Obama went to Lollapalooza (like!) and CNN tells me “Husband Explores His Man-ternal Instincts” alongside a photo of a shirtless man cupping his nipples. A cloud that looks like a penis. Stop what you’re doing and look at this baby that looks exactly like Jay-Z. My feed was showing almost only the worst kind of tripe that all of us in the media are complicit in churning out yet should also be deeply ashamed of. Sensational garbage. I liked it all.

I have always hated Facebook and preferred Twitter. This sort of stupidity is why Facebook’s ads are making so much money but there has to be a better way. For a while, I was peeved that every time I visited my news feed, I had to click the drop down that said “all stories” instead of “top stories”. Finally, that option went away completely. If you want to see everything from your friends, good luck.

It’s worse than that though. Facebook today (or at least 11 months ago when I closed my account), is news articles your friends shared / liked. Very rarely are there actual status updates from my friends unless it’s a person or topic I’ve interacted with in the past.

I’ve linked to a lot of these sort of pieces over the last 2 years but when the borg decides what content you want from what you’ve liked / friended, that’s too much. Twitter wins because even though I might miss something in my feed if I close TweetDeck for an hour, I can still go back to it later or not miss an update that I’m looking at.

If anyone asks you what the single different thing between these two social networks. If your friend likes statuses from their friends, they can decide if they want to see every update or what some AI algorithm chooses for them.

I choose to see what I’ve subscribed to and I can’t be alone