Archive for March, 2013


Friday, March 22nd, 2013

Just to remind myself in the future what a cool life I’ve had, I got to go to this:


I flew down from San Francisco to LA just for this and stayed in a cute little boutique hotel right by the theater. Like a true loner introvert, I went alone and didn’t speak to a single human being the entire time. I’m basically the Bill Watterson of attending movie premieres.

The movie was great. A really heart-felt labor of love. As professional of a documentary as there ever was. The insights from other comic authors were particularly good. I particularly liked one observation that he may be the last great comics-on-paper artist. Digital is taking over. I think XKCD might have a similar legacy in digital.

My name is in the credits twice, once for each Kickstarter (supporter and associate producer). I sent in some artwork as well, which was credited in the credits, but I didn’t see in the film. I’ll have to rewatch it more carefully. It was a drawing by my step-grandfather John Beyler in which Calvin basically makes fun of me for some stuff.

The Pastry Box Project: Good Mood

Sunday, March 17th, 2013


“The best tasting tea is the tea you drink when you are in a good mood.” 1

That’s how I remember the quote from Uncle Iroh from the fantastic cartoon epic Avatar: The Last Airbender. He was full of little nuggets of wisdom like this. Relevant to the moment while hinting at a larger metaphor. I particularly like this one.

It’s a reminder that everything is better when you are in a good mood. Stop lights don’t seem so long. The 40%-on-Rotten-Tomatoes comedy movie you watch is hilarious. You respond with grace to a snarky email.

That’s because your mind is busy smiling. You ignore the bad parts for the good. You choose to stop the cycle of anger with a dash of cheer.

You can’t force a good mood, but if you’ve got one, use it well and hang on.

1 That’s how I remembered it, anyway. I just re-watched the entire series to find it but the closest I could find was: “The best tea tastes delicious whether it comes in a porcelain pot or a tin cup.” which is also awesome.

The Pastry Box Project: Andy Griffith

Sunday, March 17th, 2013


The Andy Griffith Show ran from 1960-1968. Quite a bit “before my time,” but plentiful reruns allowed me to become a big fan.

I don’t like the show for its humor. It has some, but it’s pretty hokey and outdated. I don’t like the show for its stories. It’s just a sitcom with contrived little occurrences that always resolve themselves like any other sitcom. I like the show because it’s a masterclass in How To Be A Man.

Andy always treats people with respect, whether they deserve it or not. Even the town drunk, Otis, isn’t reviled and is given a chance when he needs one. And not just respect, but concern and fairness.

Andy almost never carries a gun. He doesn’t need one to control situations. He could defuse problems with a firm voice and presence.

Andy rarely loses his temper. And when he does he always apologizes for it.
Andy was smart. He often got to the bottom of things before anyone else.

Andy knew how to have fun and relax. He was the sheriff and a serious man, but he went camping, fishing, out on dates, and often played the guitar.

Yep, he’s a fictional character. Shouldn’t we have real people as role models? Sure, and I do. But just as a schoolyard kid might think of Batman to summon courage to stand up to a bully on the playground, I too sometimes think of ol’ Andy Taylor when I’m trying to figure out how to react to something. At the risk of beating an overused phrase into the ground even more, I often think to myself: What Would Andy Taylor Do? I think if I did it even more I’d be a better person.

Just for fun: did you know the theme song had words?


Thursday, March 14th, 2013

“You still use RSS?”

Yeah. All the time. I subscribe to hundreds of sites and going to each of those individually would be cumbersome. I just wouldn’t do it. But RSS allows me to keep up with them.

Cool tweet belittling me for using it though. I’m sure you have some some way cooler way to keep up with sites you like to read or whatever. Like following people on Twitter who tweet the best articles they read through RSS.

I think this is a bummer. I’m a small niche, but I’d probably pay for a service that was just an API for storing feeds. So RSS apps could integrate with it and I could hop between them at will like I do now.

Grab a Coffee

Wednesday, March 13th, 2013

“We’d love to grab a coffee.”

Standard operating procedure for emails from someone who wants to meet with you and see if the things you are working on are mutually beneficial in some way. Seemingly harmless, but for people who are very busy working on things all the time, it comes across as almost rude. It doesn’t respect time. Of course I don’t want to sit around and just theorize ways we can work together, I’d rather be, you know, actually working. I’d way rather you come with fully formed ideas. That is usually highly effective on me.

Of course Paul Grahm has a great article which mentions this, quoted here:

Business people in Silicon Valley (and the whole world, for that matter) have speculative meetings all the time. They’re effectively free if you’re on the manager’s schedule. They’re so common that there’s distinctive language for proposing them: saying that you want to ‘grab coffee,’ for example.

Speculative meetings are terribly costly if you’re on the maker’s schedule, though. Which puts us in something of a bind. Everyone assumes that, like other investors, we run on the manager’s schedule. So they introduce us to someone they think we ought to meet, or send us an email proposing we grab coffee. At this point we have two options, neither of them good: we can meet with them, and lose half a day’s work; or we can try to avoid meeting them, and probably offend them.

So responding to these “grab a coffee” requests is a lose-lose scenario. That’s a bummer isn’t it? Maybe there could be some social convention that makes these two ideas sync up a little nicer. Perhaps a hard-promise that the meeting won’t be longer than 10 minutes.

Not that this happens to me very often, but my usual is to let them know conferences I’ll be at soon. I feel that’s pretty genuine because at conferences I’m usually super happy to talk about work-ish things and have already factored in that I won’t be directly working.

Via Craig Mod

“A Country Bumpkin”

Saturday, March 9th, 2013


Not a Store

Wednesday, March 6th, 2013

Instacube just announced some delays in production and they got plenty of these kind of comments:


That’s why I think announcing this was smart, but they still have more work to do to really drive that home. Kickstarter isn’t Etsy-delayed. It’s “I’m going to help this person try achieve their dream, and even with my help, they may not make it, but without my help they surely won’t.”

I Think I Just Feel How Everyone Feels

Tuesday, March 5th, 2013

- which is I have three of four really great folk albums in me.

From this Tumblr, so who knows where it actually came from.

Clawhammer Ukulele

Saturday, March 2nd, 2013

This is my new Mya Moe Ukulele that I got from Aaron Keim’s Kickstarter. I’m playing a song I learned from Aaron’s book Clawhammer Ukulele.

Wildwood Flower

Angeline the Baker

Cluck ol’ Hen

Or you can watch Aaron who is actually good at it playing John Brown’s Dream