Examined Self

"The unexamined life is not worth living."

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Projects

Things I’ve worked on distilled into something between step-by-step guides (how I did it) and reflections (what I would have changed). These projects take many forms, from the maker/DIY-space to self-improvement. [Explore All Projects…]

 

Journeys

Places and situations I’ve found myself in. While this category is something of a public journal, you may find something inspiring or useful here. Stories from the road mix with the occasional life lesson as I bumble my way around this swiftly titling planet. [See All Journeys…]

WritinG

Creative writing and op-ed pieces which needed some home. This is my honing of the craft of storytelling, argumentation, and presentation of my ideas, eclectic as the subject matter may be. [Read my Writing…]

AbouT

I’m a Michigan-raised, California-distilled male of about thirty years. I’ve been a student, athlete, world-traveler, video game designer, startup-founder, engineering manager @Airbnb, author, and otherwise lived a life for which I feel very fortunate. I enjoy nothing more than to consume and create new things. This blog is a projection of my collected interests. [Read more…]

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Latest stories

The Plan to Build a Van

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About a year ago, a friend first told me that he was buying a “sprinter van” to live in. Knowing the friend, I laughed and shook my head at the prospect — something I’d later learned is called #VanLife. Come to find out, there’s a whole community out there of people who convert vans into tiny homes. Skip Ahead… Day 1: Insulating a Van for Summer and Winter Living Why...

The First Time at Burning Man

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Some subjects are indescribable… which is precisely why so much ink has been spilt upon them. I’ve been putting off this post for months, not because I had nothing to say, but because I had no idea how to say it. Still, I’ve been asked so many times with (apparent) genuine interest about my experience at Burning Man that I need to write down my thoughts… if only to...

That Time I thought I had been Kidnapped in China

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Just over ten years ago, on the eve of my 20th birthday, I arrived in Beijing without a return ticket back to the United States. All I knew, vaguely, was that I wanted to go somewhere far away and do something personally challenging for a year or so. So I applied for a leave of absence from college and embarked upon what would become one of the biggest adventures of my life. I wasn’t...

The First Week with a (Mini American Shepherd) Puppy

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It took me a long time to decide that I wanted a puppy. I’ve generally traveled a lot and not felt that I’d have the time. After nearly 6 years living in San Francisco, though, it seems that I’ve become relatively stable. What’s more, the travel I have planned for the future is domestic and much more focused around camping and nature. Like many computer programmers, I find...

Bright

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Bright was brilliant on multiple levels. Re-imagining a now-classic fantasy mythology in a modern setting, extending and building upon the original idea… it’s as if Tolkien’s world never ended, and is layered behind a modern present as some distant past. I especially appreciated touches like the vaguely Nordic accent of the elves, providing some coherence to the extrapolation of the...

How to Speak Human (as told by a puppy)

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Humans are quite easy to train, if you have the time. It takes a lifetime, unfortunately; for humans never really learn anything. Oh they do wondrous enough things, to be sure. They’re quite adept of the conjuring of food, and other such magic. Their word for magic is “technology.” Of course, the Pupish word for technology is “boring.” It’s not a direct translation but it will suffice. Synonyms...

Day 1: Insulating a Van for Summer & Winter Living

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The first thing I did to my new Ford Transit van was rip out all of the factory-installed cargo gear to make room for insulation. This is part of a series of posts about building a tiny home inside a cargo van (#vanlife). Insulation Needs I wanted to be able to park my van to the base of a ski mountain, like Tahoe, so that I could get first runs in the morning. In order to not freeze my butt off...

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