• How do I filter out the world so I can think?

    This morning I asked for a writing prompt and my friend Seth Clifford obliged:

    Filtering out the world when you need to think then prioritizing your thoughts… or cookies.

    I don’t know, Seth; I really don’t. There’s alchemy involved. What magic goes into what I think about? Why is it that I can do some things immediately and other things slog for weeks?

    An example: I’m going camping with my kids really soon and I haven’t planned it nearly enough. I’m going with a group and I’m leaning heavily on some of the other dads to do a bunch of the cognitive work, but I still need to do some myself.

    I’ve had a task in OmniFocus to do this planning for what feels like two weeks but has probably been closer to a month. I’ve only done the barest of bones of planning. During last week’s weekly review, I even changed the next action to “Spend 30 minutes outlining plans for what I need to do for this camping trip”. While the OmniOutliner document does exist for this, I’ve yet to spend 30 straight minutes working on it. I’ve added to it here and there, but not in any way that makes me feel like I’ve made progress.

    This isn’t entirely fair to myself, I have made some progress. But, the idea that I’d shut out the world and spend 30 minutes thinking about only one thing just hasn’t happened.

    What has happened is:

    • I played Battleships
    • I changed how I receive iOS notifications on my iPad
    • I asked for the writing prompt that’s resulting in this writing

    Last night my wife Kat asked me what my plans were for the trip. Fortunately, my months of work at Cognitive Behavioral Therapy gave me the emotional skills to say “I’m really stressed about it. I’ve had a task to plan this for weeks but I haven’t finished yet. I have to do it tomorrow, but now I’m tired and can’t think about it”. (Kat just wanted to help: to receive directions on how she could guide our daughters to prepare themselves when she’s with them and I’m not. She’s pretty great.)

    So to come back to your question, Seth, what’ll probably happen is I’ll finish writing this, do a little bit of work for my job, have a relaxing lunch with my friends, and later this afternoon start to feel stress around my lack of plans. But, then I’ll reflect back on this post and turn that nugget of stress into the peace needed to focus on this one thing and get it off my brain forever.

    Turns out™ what I need in order to successfully filter out the world is to first get it all out of my head and talk about my feelings with other humans, to feel the peaceful seclusion that can only come with knowing I’m not alone.

    And Oreos are delicious.

  • I present to you Episode 60 of Sam and Ross Like Things with special guest, Friend of the Internet, @liss.

  • Consider yourself teased for Episode 60 of Sam and Ross Like Things.

  • Who’s your favorite Final Fantasy VI character? Mine’s Celes Chère.

  • Patriarchal “Production”

    From Bullshit Jobs: A Theory by David Graeber:

    “But as in so many patriarchal social orders, men like to conceive of themselves as doing socially, or culturally, what they like to think of women as doing naturally. “Production” is thus simultaneously a variation on a male fantasy of childbirth, and of the action of a male Creator God who similarly created the entire universe through the sheer power of his mind and words, just as men see themselves as creating the world from their minds and brawn, and see that as the essence of “work,” leaving to women most of the actual labor of tidying and maintaining things to make this illusion possible.”

  • Lies

  • In less than 10 minutes using Ferrite 2, I made a podcast template that will save me hours.

  • I’m excited to upgrade from it when new iPads are announced, but my iPad Air 2 doesn’t feel nearly four years old. A testament to a great product.

  • The 59th episode of Sam and Ross Like Things is now up. I hope it brings you joy! This episode? Revolving Doors & Megaman 2

  • I can’t wait to get an iPhone 🎾.

  • I love winning arbitrary virtual pins on my iPhone X running Micro.blog!

  • Happy Apple Event Day! May the exact piece of expensive, yet fulfilling technology you desire be released for sale.

  • “I like Storm better with a mohawk”—my 11 year old daughter.

    We all do kid. We all do.

  • Tomorrow, @rosscatrow and I record Episode 59 of Sam and Ross Like Things. Tell me something you like!

  • No one cares about my Trapper-Keeper

    At the bus stop this morning, I posted a few tweets to Twitter about a messed up traffic intersection. I was snarky and I wasn’t particularly kind.

    It caused me stress. It caused me stress to have Twitter on my phone again. It caused me stress to have those posts up there at all—would people reply? What if someone replied and was mean?

    Later, it caused me stress when people didn’t reply, or fave, or retweet my perfect tweets. Why didn’t the Mayor send me a direct message telling me that not only would he fix it, but that we should totally hang out and be best friends?


    The fall break after I graduated from high school I went back to see some friends in the school play. I was sitting on a bench outside the auditorium and a senior I used to do colorguard with came up to me very, very stressed out. For some reason I never found out, she needed the bench I was on to move immediately. It needed to be in that hallway over there or the play would be unprofessional and ruined. It was very important. So, of course, I moved it.

    It struck me how much she cared about her thing and I didn’t care about it at all. I remembered caring that intensely about stuff in high school and I was surprised that how, just half a year removed, not only did I not care about high school stuff, but I didn’t think I would ever care that hard, that intensely, about things ever again.1

    Twitter feels like high school. I want my tweets to be important. I want them to change the world the way a highschooler wants their production of Fiddler on the Roof to change the world. It’s three lines of text. It’s a video. It’s a picture. It’s a musical in a school auditorium. Sure, it could change the world, but it probably won’t. People who care about tweets care about them so hard and I feel myself wanting to be one of them.

    But, the more I’m away from Twitter, the more I realize it’s a thing that I don’t need to care about. I could post more posts about bad intersections, but I’d probably feel way better if I just went to a public meeting. I don’t need Twitter drama. I don’t need that false hope of internet fame. I can spend my time doing other things and it’ll be not only OK, but better.

    I deleted the tweets.

    1. I was wrong. I found new things to care intensely about like my family, but I never sweated the small stuff like I did when I was a teenager. No one cares about anything as hard as a teenager cares about their thing. 

  • Listing to TMBG’s Apollo 18 on shuffle, as god intended.

  • ACK! Pixelated Doll Trigger Warning next time, USPS!

  • Yay! My friend and podcast co-host, @rosscatrow, is here!

  • With the great release of Sunlit 2.2, the challenge becomes getting friends and family on Instagram to switch over. Time to lead by example!

  • Yes I will go back to school and achieve victory! No one will take what my father has built, unless that man is me!

  • Girlyman, Fall Stories:

    September’s still summer, but the nights are like fall. Tell me your Fall stories

  • Lies.

  • This amuses me greatly:

    🦄 The Enterprise™ programming language

    Every Enterprise™ program must begin with a copyright notice, else it will not compile and fail with an UnexpectedNonDisruptiveOpenSourceException error.

  • I showed my daughters this font comprised entirely of corporate logos and was surprised at just how many they immediately recognized.

  • From @aleen earlier:

    Hey guys. If women are telling you that the use of “hey guys” to reference a group of people from all genders makes them uncomfortable, your job is to listen and adjust your behavior. Your job is not to argue about why women are wrong.

    Listen more, talk less.

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