38 of my favorite blog posts

View up Brynwood road in west Portland, looking uphill. A “yellow lion” is painted on the foreground. Road sign reads “Steep narrow road. No through trucks. Cars going uphill have right-of-way”

The perfect climb


Riding a bike up a hill is like eating spicy food, an acquired taste and one that aficionados take seriously

Composite photo resembling an old-fashioned double exposure, of a road sign reading “PAVEMENT ENDS” superimposed over a gravel road leading into light woods

Farm roads


I grew up on a gravel road, and that’s still my favorite kind of road, and my favorite kind of landscape

Closeup of a lego contraption

Imagining and building


There always comes a point where I can’t finish “designing” something in my head. I have to start building it to find the edges.

Preschooler on a rickety suspension bridge over a foresty gully, summer, walking away from the camera

Trolling Works


Every three or four years I’ll kick a hornet’s nest by saying something like: fellow front-end devs: if you ever feel intimidated by your back-end...

View of the eastern sky at sunrise; the sky is is cloudless, yellow; sun is orange

Reality TV


Discerning whether something is real or a fantasy is no longer a salient problem for daily existence.

Sign near the turtle pond at the Southern Temple in Xiamen, China. English text reads “Observe social ethics and pay attention to public hygiene”

Right and Wrong


Pondering the distinction between being right (correct) and right (moral).

Highly-motioned smeared photo of sunlight shining through the leaves of a forest. In the upper center of the frame the faint outline of an owl’s wings



Over the last four years I wore a literal groove into the gravel behind the bleachers at the Lewis and Clark baseball diamond.

Scan of a photo from 1971. A man — my father — napping on a couch, with an infant — myself — asleep on his chest

You’re a Good Man


About twelve years ago, in the middle of my divorce, my father paid me the greatest compliment I have ever been given.

Golf to work


I like my commute so much I make it longer, and do it on the weekends

Last Post of the Decade


I don't know anyone who says anything other than “good riddance” to the first decade of the 21st century.

Swiss Army “Champ” knife with all the blades extended

Technique and Technology


You can use a Swiss Army knife to cut your fingernails in two different ways: with the scissors, or with the knife blade.



In the last 24 hours the feeling finally hit us: OK, we're actually leaving.

Arrival: Xiamen


After about 25 hours of transit we are finally in Xiamen. Flights were all smooth, after a delayed departure from Portland. The delay actually worked...

Closeup of two decals on the right rear of a 1990 honda civic. One is an “Oregon duck” sticker; the other is of Antarctica

The Champ


1990 Honda Civic, Runs, Sort of - $250 (SW Portland) Reply to: anon-xxxxxxxxx@craigslist.orgDate: 2005-07-24, 6:47PM PDT This is a Champagne (transl: “Gold”) 1990 Honda Civic...

This is My Cathedral


The squall of March rain arrives like an announcement, travelling a patient course, propelled by 8000 miles of Pacific Ocean. I hear it crawling eastward...