Chicago Trip Post 4

Thank you bathroom attendants. Thank you for providing spray-on deodorant that has a crisp, clean fragrance to cover up my body odor on the dance floor. I also appreciate the ample chewing gum options you offer, and the disposable cups of mouthwash. Your steadfast commitment to dental hygiene is something I share. I’m not embarrassed to use the toilet in the room with you, as I know you’ve seen and heard it all. You’re just doing your job, and your job is to support us. If I ever record an album, I will write a song devoted to you and your work.

Thank you.

Chicago Trip Post 3

If there’s ever a recommendation I can make, it’s to go to Pain Stop Massage on Milwaukee Ave in Chicago. It is hands down the best deep tissue massage you can get on the Planet Earth.

Pain Stop is bare bones, but not so bare bones that it feels shady or dirty. Perhaps utilitarian is a better description. The walls in the private rooms are only 8 feet high. The floor is linoleum. The therapists set an electric timer before they start, and they stop their work shortly after it goes off. The front room has a receptionist, a few massage chairs, and sometimes a table scattered with Mahjongg tiles.

The therapists will work on loosening up your glutes as much as they work on your back, arms, legs, and feet. There is no embarrassment, just deep tissue massage at a reasonable price. Please tip the therapists; they truly deserve it.

I had a 90 minute massage today, and I’m about to fall asleep as a puddle of a human being. I am truly content.

Chicago Trip Post 2

I’m beat. For what it’s worth, I did sleep on my red eye flight, and then a couple hours before work in the office. Not the good kind of sleep, but any kind is better than none.

Seeing the Chicago skyline from the street level is comforting. Also, it’s great to see my coworkers who are good people and also my friends.

I’m considering a new feature for this blog which I call “evocative adult thoughts”. The best writing is the most truthful, and sometimes the most truthful writing is about genitals.

Chicago Trip: Post 1

I wrote the following blog posts in separate emails to myself. I should just subscribe to my password manager service so I can make posts on my phone.

Waiting in America’s best airport for my red eye flight back to America’s best airport for… best airport for…. ah! America’s best airport for tortas, Chicago O’Hare.

Is there nothing better than a cross-country red eye flight? Gazing out over a black sea spotted with a million amber flecks. Hidden minds asleep or barely sleeping or working the late shift, all without the faintest notion of my voyage between the stars above their heads. It truly is peaceful.

You know what else is great? Sleeping upright in a middle seat for 4 hours. Past Tony, why did you think this would be a good idea?

Evocative thought for the evening: turds in a urinal


3D printing on the Ender 3

I’m working on a new keyboard project, and I’ve taken to 3D printing some of the brackets I’ll use to paste the thing together. Back in October I bought the Ender 3, a Chinese 3D printer known for its solid prints and low price point. It’s also known for its setup, which requires quite a bit of physical debugging. It took me a month of learning to properly tune it. It still needs some occasional upkeep. I haven’t used it for a few weeks, and I spent a lot of my free time today getting it back up and running right. That’s what you get for a sub-$200 3D printer, and I’m fine with that.

I’ve 3D printed a few brackets for that earlier keyboard project, and I’m generally impressed by their strength. I know 3D prints tend to be weak, but for my use cases, I’m finding them more than adequate. Here’s a POC filament/nail bracket I worked up. This should be the final design.

A 3D printed bracket affixed to wood.


Sunday’s ending, and with it a fine and long weekend.

I spent the evening 3D printing some brackets for a new keyboard prototype I’m working up. I hatched the idea a good while back, but I haven’t turned back to it until now. I’ve been telling people about it, which is actually motivating. Then when people ask me if I’ve finished it yet, it provides the motivation I need to really get started.

If you walk around a dark house with only a laptop to light your face, I imagine you look like a tired ghost to any burglar who might be casing your place from the street.

I retired the second ladder I made for Zavian. It seems he lost interest in it before I was done making it. That’s ok. I’ll keep it stored in the basement in case he remembers it later. If not, I’ll dismantle it for the precious scrap wood. If my planning is accurate, Z will ask where it is one day after that.

Victorian Belle Holiday 2018: impressive lights, lines, horror

Today we attended the holiday celebration at the Victorian Belle, a menagerie of Christmas lights and waiting in the cold to see the inside of a crowded old house. It also serves as a reminder that there are too many families in Portland now, and any family activity will be absolutely mobbed. Nice job moving here, all of us.

If you end up going, you’ll be presented with a staggering arrangement of Christmas lights. It’s truly awe-inspiring and in no way diminished by the many minion and troll movie novelty yard inflatables. You’ll have to wait in a long line to see the arrangements, though. Then you’ll have to wait in a long line while seeing them, and another long line to be done seeing them. It only took me a year to lose my midwestern winter fortitude, but it’s well and truly gone now. Milling about in 40 degrees is cold, and despite all the light provided, there was no ambient heat. It was a god damn LED heat tease.

Eventually, we found ourselves waiting to go inside the mansion, a portion of the venue I do not recommend. It was a 40 minute line that snakes through a crowded, musty house you can’t seem to leave no matter how bad the fire code is violated. Their claims of a Christmas tree in every room were quickly dismissed by a five year old who pointed out there wasn’t one in the small water closet the tour passed through. We put up with it because we expected to get some hot cocoa at the end, but those expectations were also dashed. I asked an employee dressed as a large elf where we could get some hot cocoa, and after a couple suggestions, he revealed he actually had no idea.

Overall, I give this attraction two porta potties out of five, because there were literally two porta potties for the 1000 people who were in attendance this evening.


Back in the summer, I made my son a ladder. It was only about three feet tall and it had four rungs. It’s the equivalent of the wee tiny ladder Link uses in the original NES Zelda game. He was fond of it for a week or so, where he used it to climb up to ring our door bell and fight imaginary fires. I dismantled the ladder a few weeks after he lost interest and returned the wood to my scrap pile. One of the ladder rungs made an appearance earlier in the blog as an essential piece of the podium laptop stand.

Cut to this week, some three months later, and Zavian’s been asking me about the ladder. They must’ve discussed ladders in his preschool class because he’s all about the ladder again. I told him the truth, and offered to make him a new one. He wanted to help me with it, and we spent 20 minutes in the basement working on it. Really, I was working on it and he was making a train out of scrap wood. He’s only 3, so he can only do so much around tools.

I’m typing this on the Pixelbook that just arrived from eBay. I’ve been impressed with my experience so far. The keyboard is divine and the touch screen is super convenient. I had completely missed the trend of useful touch screen laptops since I’ve been on a macbook for the past ten or so years. My Pixelbook came with a pen, and I’ve noticed essentially no lag when I sketch out ideas in Google Keep. It’s truly a fun experience. I’m sure I’ll have a better review after I spend a week or so with it.

The Internet’s Most Boring Blog

We’re about a month in on this writing a blog post every day project, and I thought I’d check in. Also, I’m not sure what to write about, so this gives me a quick topic.

I’d say some of these posts are pretty boring. I recognize that. Also, I write about sleep way too much, probably because I write the posts right before bed. Some posts are short too, like I squeezed out a couple tweets and stamped them “done”.

I’m fine with all of that. I’m not at a place in my life where I can write an entertaining post every day. I’ll settle for writing anything. If I can continue to do that, it’s better than nothing.

Today I biked to the post office to return that turquoise ring and put my office white elephant gift in the mail. It was a chilly, sunny, enjoyable ride. I love the post office. The one here has a great mural, and the postal employees are friendly and helpful. Thank you, USPS.

Hot Shower Fugue State

I will sleep in the nude every night until I die. The only time I won’t is when I stay at relatives’ or friends’, and I’m worried I’ll surprise someone.

The one argument I can see for sleeping in clothes is that it’s easier to get out of bed on a cold morning.  As it stands, leaving the warm bed is an incredibly hard challenge to face first thing in the morning. The second is leaving the warm shower. I have to shut down all of the firing neurons that scream “turning off the warm water will be the worst decision of your life” or I will never leave.