Tom Scott

Maybe you’ve seen Tom Scott’s channel, but I wanted to share it in case you hadn’t (he does have over 5 million subscribers). These three recent videos are good examples – short video essays, typically about amazing places, science, technology, etc.

Tom Mix

My wife and I are giving our 4-year-old daughter an old iPod shuffle.  In the process of looking for music to give her, I found a few mixed CDs I’d made for people over the years.  There’s one that I don’t think ever got to the person, so I’ve compiled it on Spotify to send to them.  There are a few substitutions from the original, but I’ve found what I can on YouTube.  That’s still missing a few things, listed here:

  • The Beatles’ cover of The Band’s ‘To Kingdom Come’
  • A cover of Dylan’s ‘Tonight I’ll be staying here with you’ by Mark Erelli

I also added Lady Lamb’s cover of Cher’s cover of Bob Dylan’s ‘All I really wanna do.’

It’s full of in-jokes and randomness, but then again, isn’t that what mixed CDs and tapes were for?



I’m frequently amazed by what you can do with a cell phone.  If you told me 20 years ago that a phone could do macro photography, I would have laughed in your face.

Here are some recent photos made with my iPhone and processed through Instagram (I’m a sucker for their vignette tool):


Dirty Old Town

The last time I was in Ireland was December 1999 at the end of my study abroad, around my 22nd birthday.  I’ve written a lot (maybe too much) about my time in Ireland, but now I get to go back for the time in nineteen years!

Working at Automattic, we gather with our teammates on a trip or two each year.  Being a distributed company, my particular team has members in Australia, New York, and South Africa.  We’ve decided on London for meetup this year and I’ll extend my trip for a few days in Dublin.

I’ll fly into Dublin on a Wednesday night and sleep in a hotel near the airport.  In the morning I’ll make my way into the city and do some exploring.  Afterwards I’ll stay with a college friend and her husband about 40 minutes south of Dublin.  We’ll spend Friday hiking and exploring Glendalough or other areas nearby.

Embed from Getty Images

That leaves a little time left on Saturday before I fly out that afternoon.

While not exactly the trip I’d envisioned for my return, my hope is that’ll recharge my Ireland batteries for a bit.  Here’s to making it back before another 19 years pass!


My wife, two kids, and I recently moved into a newly-built house.  Even though it was built from a pre-drafted plan and we only had to choose the finishes, it was a longer process than we’d imagined.  We sold our house back in June of last year and moved in with my in-laws for about the 9 months it took to build.  We picked the counters, door knobs, sinks, faucets, doors, lights, flooring, and more!  The house is so new that it lacked towel bars and toilet paper holders.

We’ve now been in the house for about a month and couldn’t be happier!  In the springtime, the builder and developer will plant grass.  We’re excited to see the end product, meet neighbors, and settle into our new community.  I’m sure this isn’t the last post about the house, so here’s to many more!

This is not my beautiful house (but it’s the same model)

Me, Myself, and I

It’s time for me to speak out.  While my English isn’t aways perfect, there are some grammatical things that drive me nuts.  I’ve tried to document some examples that are an easy fix.

  • me vs I:
    • Correct: Here’s a photo of John and me.
    • Incorrect: Here’s a photo of John and I.
    • Why: The easiest rule here is to pretend the other people don’t exist.  Using the examples above, you’d never say “Here’s a photo of I,” right?  We’ve all had it beaten into our heads that it’s “I” and not “me” in most cases, but it doesn’t work here.
  • myself: If you use ‘myself’ you have to have an ‘I’ in there.
    • Correct: Here’s a photo of John, Sarah, and me, which I photographed myself.
    • Incorrect: Here’s a photo of John, Sarah, and myself.
  • begs the question: Just don’t use it, it doesn’t mean what you think.  You probably mean “raises the question.”
  • puncuation
    • commas and quotation marks: If you live in the US, commas go inside quotation marks.  There can be exceptions if it involves a something like a book or movie title in quotes.
    • ellipses: You know those three periods?  Those are called ellipses (…).  I use them a bit too much myself, but my two issues are more about usage.
      • Never try to accomplish this with three commas.
      • There are shortcuts on keyboards for this, so don’t type out three periods (option + ; on a Mac).
    • spaces: I personally use one space after a comma and two spaces after a period.  The most important part here is consistency.  If you work for a company and are writing public posts, make sure you know their format.
  • less vs. fewer: if you can count it, use fewer.  If it’s more nebulous and intangible and you can’t count it, use less.
    • Correct: We need to buy fewer apples.
    • Incorrect: We need to buy less apples.
    • Correct: We need to buy fewer food.
    • Incorrect: We need to buy less food.
  • “Where’s that at?”
    • Avoiding ending sentences with prepositions can be difficult, I know.  For this example just say “where’s that?” and drop the “at.”
  • Others:
    • you’re/your
    • there/their/they’re
    • it’s/its
    • too/to