Cheese Trees

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A Bitter Divorce: Moving from Vim to Sublime

Vim and I are…slowly…splitting up.

Update: as of July 2016, we got back together. For now…

Note: This is a post about one of the nerdiest topics imaginable. If you want to hear one man’s ‘there and back again’ about a text editor, read on. Otherwise, you can (and should) skip this post. The next one is probably about music :)


This all started around mid-2014 when I made the decision to learn Vim. At the time I was spending a fair amount of my day on servers where it made sense to be using an editor native to that [linux] environment. I didn’t want to be copying & pasting into different editors or scp-ing files to my local environment just to do basic text manipulation, (e.g. searching and sorting TCP traffic dumps using various regex patterns). Note: I’ve learned that it’s actually possible to connect your favorite editor to remote files over an SSH tunnel. Well...

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JP Status


Further updates about Justin’s road to recovery can now be found at a dedicated blog, here.

In the early afternoon on Saturday, April 9th, Justin had a bad skiing accident in Tahoe, resulting in a severe spinal cord injury (from a fractured T4 & T5 vertebrae), along with a number of broken ribs, a fractured sternum, and a collapsed right lung.


This past Wednesday, Justin was successfully transferred from Renown Hospital in Reno, to Craig Rehab in Englewood, CO (right outside of Denver). The transfer and flight went as well as we could have hoped for - there were clear blue skies with no turbulence, and Randi, Justin and I were accompanied by a wonderful team of medical transport nurses and pilots.


Upon our arrival to Craig, we were greeted by many of the nurses on Justin’s doctor’s team (each doctor...

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Opting Out

I’ve recently started opting out of airport full body scans, and it’s pretty satisfying.

More generally, I think opting out itself is something that we all ought to make a regular practice.

To understand why, let’s talk about Aristotle for a sec.

Yep, it’s time to dust off my ol’ Philosophy degree and put that expensive B.A. to work.

Note, I’m not going to be citing anything in this post. If you think I’m badly wrong, I’ll try to dig up some passages for you. Feel free to correct me or call out my ramblings for shaky academic integrity by sending me an email.

In Nichomachean Ethics, Aristotle considers what a well lived life consists in. His conclusion roughly stated is that it will be one in which a person consistently exercises their rational capacities in accordance with virtue (aka excellence).

I know what you may be thinking: Why that rather than a life maximally...

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Let’s slow down

I’ve decided I’m going to start writing more letters. I’ve got myself some good custom stationery and a cool pen. If you want to receive a note, email me your address. (Yes, that is laughably round-about).


  1. I spend most of my day on a computer typing out words at a 1000 miles an hour. I probably send or reply to hundreds of communications a day. It’s all speed, efficiency, and accuracy. But it lacks almost any human element. And no, emoji’s don’t really do it. Modern communication feels soulless.

  2. Email, slack, sms, mms, snapchats, hashtags, tweets. The bulk of communication I encounter day to day is so fast, my brain is barely able to form the thoughts before they get shoved out the door. I don’t sit and marinate in what I want to say before I ship it. And they’re almost always useful…transactional. I think sending less utilitarian information to people is a good thing.

  3. ...

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One final time I look around my room, barely lit by a grey January morning beginning to emerge from the night. I scan over the bookshelf, my desk, my closet, the floor, and everything. I’m partly nostalgic, partly just making sure I don’t forget any of my shit (again).

Leaving home after the annual winter return is always a bit difficult. There’s so much history here. So much memory. In the uncertainty and challenge of life as a newbie techie in NYC, coming home to my past–preserved in the plaques, pictures, and paraphernalia–it can be as comforting as my favorite easy chair and a blanket.

But each year it grows more distant, and the glow it casts dims. Some of that nostalgic sheen wears away. (It’s a good thing–I’m far too sentimental.) Friendships change, and the old rhythms of winter homecoming become a little less frequent and a little less exciting. Memory making...

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Redwood run

Only a few days into 2016 and I think I’ve already bagged a highlight.

Devon and I headed out to Redwood Regional Park on a drizzly, grey afternoon. Funky jams blasted as our car wound up the fog laced Oakland/Berkeley hills, greening everyday with frequent rain. Devo is classic: Hours-old cup of Peet’s in one hand, and a diminishing bottle of Pellegrino in the other.

The mission of the day: Find a trail I hadn’t done in years, and get it all done before dark. This one takes you through miles of windy and heavily forested single track that overlooks an expanse of hills on one side. It eventually dumps you onto a fire trail that splits miles of cow pasture and comes to an overlook of the Caldecott tunnel. The entire run is between 6-8 miles depending on how you link it together, but by the turn-around it feels as if you’ve gone a very long way.

The run was perfect. The views...

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2015 in review

Preface-y stuff

The last post was a healthy brain-dump and a good way to get this thing started. But it wasn’t exactly positive.

As I look toward the new year and start compiling a TODO list, I’m also looking back the good stuff of 2015. Highlights, milestones, all that jazz.

In doing so, I’ll:

1. Inform my list for 2016.

What did I like? What can I improve? What can I get insanely stoked about? (Or just wistfully amused. Both good)

2. Facilitate positive self-reflection.

We could all be a little more grateful, couldn’t we?

3. Help me remember stuff.

I tend towards nostalgia, and I suspect one reason for that is because I have a terrible memory. Friends and family will recall events that are distant and vague to me–sometimes completely forgotten. Because I don’t remember very many events or details of my past, the ones I do recall are a bit shinier than maybe they should...

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(Adapted from a rambling brain-dump)

I think I need to start a blog.

I think I just started a blog?



For one, I miss simply reading and writing. I miss assessing arguments, producing prose, and expressing well thought-out opinions in a manner at least halfway articulate. Whether I’ll do that a lot here is TBD. But this is a good step in that direction.


While that particular part of my brain has atrophied a bit, l think my mind is going more generally. I re-visited the short story Flowers for Algernon recently, and I actually identify a bit with the main character.

My vocabulary has thinned, and my thoughts seem to be getting slower and less…thoughtful (there’s that vocab problem…) and I seem to struggle to recall words and names.

I’ll hear a line of argument or read some statistic, and instead of producing a cogent counterargument or reasonable first analysis, I...

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Posts from 2022

  • Wisdom Walks (04-07-2022)

  • Remembering Remembered (01-02-2022)

Posts from 2020

  • Dim Sum (07-13-2020)
  • On Emotional Skepticism (06-21-2020)
  • Something. Anything. (06-05-2020)

Posts from 2018

  • Spices (07-27-2018)

Posts from 2017

  • Faux Interview (07-27-2017)

Posts from 2016

  • Once (2016-09-30)
  • WF* (2016-07-14)
  • Music! (2016-06-10)
  • A Bitter Divorce: Moving from Vim to Sublime (2016-05-13)
  • JP Status (2016-04-30)
  • Opting Out (2016-02-21)
  • Let’s slow down (2016-01-17)
  • Leaving (2016-01-09)
  • Redwood run (2016-01-07)
  • 2015 in review (2016-01-04)

Posts from 2015

  • First? (2015-12-30)

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