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, from the literal to the metaphorical. 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…]

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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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...

A Million Ways to Spend Time Poorly

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I’ve always held an entirely unsubstantiated and implicit belief that we all have much more time than we think we do. But it escapes us. Slips through the cracks. We mostly suck at spending time, and so we cope with it either by leaning in or dropping out. Most of our neurosis seem attributable to the feeling that tomorrow is coming either too fast or too slow. I’m not much better...

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...

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...

Days 2-6: Installing Sturdy, Good-Looking Plywood Walls in a Van

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Walls are the thing that that first transformed the way my cargo van felt. It went from an industrial/shipping vibe to… something vaguely cozy within just a few days. Why Plywood? I liked the idea of a wood aesthetic, but I didn’t want the walls to look too rugged. The idea was for a little woodgrain to show through lightly-stained walls to improve the sense of spaciousness in such a...

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zane

Thank you for your comments — they help motivate me to keep writing. The kindest show of support is to share this with someone who'd like it.

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