My expedient Walden


Last weekend I had the brilliant notion to take my laptop to our HOA pool house, which is unused now for the winter. I have no idea why this never occurred to me before, but it’s so obvious. The (outdoor) 


FFR: Astronomically-correct horoscopes

The newspaper says I’m a “Virgo,” which implies that the sun was in the constellation Virgo at the moment of my birth. It wasn’t. It was actually in Leo. This isn’t a small error: it’s off by nearly two weeks. 


Effective heckles


“Dig deeper you APE” “If you catch that guy you’ll be in [nth] place” “You are gonna get LAPPED” “That guy only had ONE gear.” “Brakes are for QUITTERS.” “Get up get up GET UP” (after a crash, natch) “You 


Why I Ride (repost)

It’s fun.  The first thing my wife  ever said to me was “do you know any good bike rides?” It saves money.  (My family saves $6000 a year with one less car.) Um, because it’s fun?  It’s good exercise.  (My 


How to take a nap


Drink a cup of coffee. Lie down flat in your clothes. Get up in 20 minutes. Do this early in the afternoon (about an hour after lunch) or whenever when you’re feeling logy but not sleepy. The trick is to 


The College Sweetheart


(Cross-posted to Medium) I dated The College Sweetheart for three years: from our Freshman through Junior years. Early one Saturday morning in May, 1992, she showed up at my dorm room. This was totally planned; she was there to help 


Content-first design ain’t herding cats

(Cross posted to Medium) Kill Lorem Ipsum for good I use the term “content-first design” a lot, but haven’t had to explain it in great detail. A colleague recently asked me to do so, here are my rough and random 


Oregon weather happens in cycles


Today is the first day of summer. This doesn’t mean the same thing in Oregon as it does in my native Nebraska. My first spring in Oregon, I couldn’t wait for “winter” to be over. I thought “gray” meant “winter” 


The twelve months of the Oregon year

January February March April Mayvember Junuary Julcember Summer Fritestember Crosstober Mudvember Wafflemas Addendum This wee list sparked a heated (?) conversation on FB. It led me to write: From a Midwest Perspective™ (western) Oregon has six months of spring, four 


Inside baseball

I just got an advocacy call from the American Lung Association (“Can I speak with Mr. Soe Durz?”) The script was dreadful. It took the poor girl more than a minute to get to the ask, and she talked FAST. 


Notches on the bedpost, 1999 – 2012

These are all the Internet thingies I was paid to touch. Code or pixels or wireframes or words. All the ones I can remember, anyway. There are some I can’t. (Some kind of investment firm? Some kind of outdoor store? 


The hardest week ever


How about a little misery to end the Hardest Week Ever? Well I use the word “hardest” advisedly. It was certainly hard for America. And it was by no means my hardest week ever. Things that are hard work: Networking. 


A manifesto for the rest of my career


I work for me, for now I just got out of a long-term relationship. It was a good relationship but I’ve been single exactly one weekend. I won’t marry just anyone. I’m gonna date around a little. But if someone 


The Last Week


My wireless mouse threw a “low battery” warning so I had to swap for fresh ones from the charger. I realized: this is the last time I will change the batteries in this mouse. A week of lasts: Last Monday, 


The holes got rounder and I stayed square


Before I say anything else: I believe in Mercy Corps. I believe in its mission of empowering the world’s poorest to improve their own lives, on their own terms. I believe in Mercy Corps’ innovative programs; its crackerjack field and 


Negative Visualization and Gratitude


On her excellent Maternal Journey blog, my friend Kirstin wrestles with gratitude: Have you ever tried to do a gratitude practice? Keep a gratitude journal? Have you tried to simply be grateful? How did that work out for you? I 


Manly Men


Attention fellow penis-owners! Affecting interest in the following items will not, in fact, make you “manly” Bacon Cigars Firearms Whiskey Straight razors Muddy bicycle races Facial hair The kind of boots, shirts, or hats loggers used to wear Crappy condescending 


Three things, loosely related

First thing A kind of tough weekend. Feeling a little old. Had an outburst of childish impotent emotion, of which I’m not proud. Second thing Turned yesterday from X-Files reruns on Hulu to Twin Peaks. Specifically, the pilot. Without my 




Fish or cut bait. Boredom is a luxury. Be nice. The deal with rain is that you get wet. Let the dog drive. Anyone can say anything. All hat, no cattle. A sad story and a nickel will get you 


Here comes the future, you can’t run from it


So the USPS plans to cease (most) delivery on Saturdays. Not hard to predict the impact on our family. At our (literate, college-educated, closer-to-retirement-than-high-school) household, friends and relations have to learned to notify us by email that they’ve sent us 


Django vs. Drupal


I spend most of my work day hammering on a Drupal site which is why I (re)built my free-time website in Django. Django isn’t “better” than Drupal. It has a different philosophy. Disclaimer! I’m a designer, not a developer. I 


About this site


I (re)built Axoplasm in about one week in Django. For the longest time — OK, about four years — this site was built with Drupal. Before that it was on Blogger. Before that it was a pile of PHP files, 


Puncture Your Sofa

Just-slightly-more-than 17 years ago, during winter break of my first year of graduate school, I designed my first website. In early December 1995 I kinda sorta knew some computer and Internet stuff but I didn’t know Unix or HTML or