Oh, honey!

Since becoming a grown-up, there are many things about childhood I remember fondly. One thing I was happy to forget about forever was allergies. For several years during my early life, growing up in mostly in Colorado and Michigan, I had the pleasure of getting allergy shots each week, rotating arms because it took about…

Stepdadding: verb.

Stepdadding (sp?) is, without a doubt, one of the most challenging things I have ever taken on in my life. Here’s a part of my stepdad story. An off-the-top-of-my-head inventory of past experiences I draw insights from almost every day in my quest to be a solid stepdad? The list includes experiences like this: Designing…

Heavenfaced: Gratitude and Grieving

When we’re grieving, it’s easy to forget it’s a mysterious process. I’m grateful for the music, stories and art that are also mysterious, the way they find us when we need them and help catalyze the process, which can seem to take such a long time. When Dad died around this time last year, I…

Perfect is the enemy of good

WARNING – This is a long post. Something Dad used to say came into my mind yesterday, a variation on Voltaire’s wisdom: “Don’t let perfection get in the way of your best!” He used to tell me this especially while I was stymying myself by procrastinating on this or that. His words resonate today, even…

Show up. Do your best.

This is the best advice I’ve ever received. It’s so good and I am so grateful, it is the only advice I ever offer. Not surprisingly, it’s transmitted directly and indirectly by some of the greatest characters in fiction. I offer it to my 5-year-old each day when I drop him at school. He answers…

Blending : Building A New World Family : Part II

This is the second time I’ve written about this (first was back in March) and, since then, we’ve taken huge leaps forward together, and each on our own, as our little family continues to evolve. On August 12, 2016, we (all of us!) officially marked our marriage and new family during a festive celebration at…

In the not-too-distant future

I will describe keyboards to my son one day in a not-too-distant future when he asks about them. That is when he and I will ask the computer to show us some examples. We will spend a rainy afternoon making make-believe keyboards (QWERTY and Dvorak) out of cardboard and crayons and pretend to type in…

I didn’t go to university. I learned from Linux instead. 

TOUGH CHOICES When I chose to forego college, preferring instead to join the working world confident that doors would open, there were a lot of the kinds of reactions one might expect. Most asked things like: “what are you thinking?” “why would you do such a thing?” “what are you planning to do instead?” My…

Changing without changing

Many of us make great sacrifice to avoid it. Laws are written and put into place to stymy it. Large, expensive buildings are built to protect against it. Minds are made up against it and reject ideas that even hint at it. Blockades of all sorts are built against potential outcomes that may lead to…

Blending: Building A New World Family

This is the first time I’ve ever done this and, since I’ve spent seemingly countless middle-of-the-night hours reading everyone else’s opinion about it on the Internet, I will offer my own out of respect for others – now knowing just what it feels like, having only imagined it up until now. If you are like…

Parallel Parenting: A Strategy for Acceptance

Divorces are snow-flakey, meaning each one is different. Some people are able to be grown-ups about it and be respectful, friendly enough to co-parent but, honestly, this is the exception rather than the rule. Everyone has to move on, eventually. Acceptance is not always easy, though. Not everyone is good at accepting new paradigms, especially…

R2 me, too

I was 5 years old when my parents took me to my first movie. It wasn’t just a movie. It was a drive-in movie. It wasn’t just a drive-in movie. It was Star Wars. Needless to say, it flipped me right out. Unlike most of my pals at the time, though, who called out “I’m…

Does empathy bridge art + engineering?

It takes a special something, a combination of unique experience and compatible disposition, to effectively temper hard sciences with soft ones in practice. Everything may very well come back to user experience, not only in the product (the outcome) but also in the process (the story). Empathy is arguably a key component of both hard…

URL

I learned one of the most important lessons from URL, who was about 3 when I first met him. Known mostly for peeing all over the place whenever he first saw you, URL always got too excited to see people he knew or any people, actually, who were willing to give him attention. URL would…

On overcoming adversity

Having gone through a particularly trying time over the past couple of years or so, involving pretty much every type of major life-changing event (moving, career changes, divorce, child-custody battle, loss of parents, etc), I made some time to write down my thoughts about it, to write the whole story from my perspective, what it…

Gratitude is Noticing

It is not easy to notice progress. As a carpenter might build a house, it is not always easy to see construction moving forward. It is only after some time has passed, days and weeks of seemingly endless labor, and only then climbing to the top of a hill in the distance to reach a…

Memorial

Right before you got very ill, Mom, you had already made up your mind. You wanted no funeral. No wake. No trace left behind but the memories you built yourself with each of us. You wrote letters to us to be read after you were gone. You made every consideration to make sure we knew…

“Wock, papa?”

Lately, right after dinner time, the little boy will stand there, look up at me and say, “wock, papa?”. Now, this word, ‘wock’ is a thoughtful piece of communication. Your first impression may be that it is simply a two-year-old’s version of the word “walk” or perhaps the word “rock” – but the truth behind…

The unseen upside to donating our bodies to science

“Donating your body to science” is a well-known but poorly understood concept, at least, according to my own experience in helping my own Mom accomplish her last wish. It is important to know there are a lot of options out there for donating but there is little, if anything, written about the process and true…

Perception, Context, Empathy, and the Art of Communication

Perceptions sure are funny things. Everything depends on them. Especially outcomes. This is one for the memory banks. Here is some context: last weekend, my little boy and I had just gotten home. We were unloading our bikes from the day’s festivities (it was Memorial Day Weekend), carrying stuff back into the house: he his…

Race, Socio-Economics, and being cool with each other

What do I know about diversity? I thought I knew something about race, gender, socio-economics, and my own identity in relationship to something larger than myself. Turns out I knew very little. I learned more from this past year than I ever imagined I did not know and am keeping my eyes and ears open…

On being a fan

It is an understatement to say YouTube has changed things. It has replaced Encyclopedia Britannica (merely an artifact from another age of learning) as the de-facto go-to resource for everything everyone may want to know, including how to fix an engine, cook dinner using a recipe, even how to tie our shoes. It is a…