It's extra fine. Like the apex of mediocrity.









6.21.MMXXIV - Arts and Crafts Updates

I guess updating the landing page would be a wise choice. What have I been up to since... April 20, 2024. Not much. Just kidding - oh me.

I have updated the Arts and Crafts page with quite a few projects I've completed in the past year or so. I still have more to post, but they'll have to wait. Time is limited. So very limited these days.

4.20.MMXXIII - Arts & Crafts cont.

So the arts and crafts page basically just renders all the projects from a json file that has all their details. Which means to update the page takes a few minutes (not including photo editing) instead of like half an hour. 1. Build JSON => 2. Deploy => 3. ? => 4. Profit?

That said, I've managed to get all the projects from 2022 and the ones I've done so far this year updated! :easy_button:

That is not to say I have a couple I need to take some pictures of, but I'm happy with how this turned out and how simple it is to update.

4.17.MMXXIII - Arts & Crafts

So this is a fairly large update, as I've added a new section and updated the behind-the-scenes on that page. My Arts and Crafts page is now up. It's basically a collection of the projects that I've been working and taking pictures of. That second part I frequently forget to do. That said I have like 10 more folders of pictures I need to edit.

So whats with the update to the behind-the-scenes stuff? Well my day job is software engineering. I primarily work on the backend of systems, like 98% of my time. So I'm not often concerned with making things look pretty or user experiences. Just functionality, speed, code cleanliness, readability, structure, etc... However, the last time I thought about the user experience on this site was roughly 2002? No joke. I've been running on the format, css, js, etc. for like 20 years. Which I guess speaks well to it's build. But its age is showing. Especially if you're looking at this on a phone, or inspecting my pages. :shudder: Its bad, like written 20 years ago by a hobbyist bad.

To that end the new arts and crafts page has better css and is designed mobile first. It still has some shoddy js work but I did not want to turn the whole thing into a react app - yet. But the gallery for the images is pretty smooth. So there is that.

1.25.MMXXIII - Into the new year we go

While living in Hawaii we spent most of our vacation money going to the mainland to snowboard. So the wiser decision was to move to the mainland - to snowboard. Well last year I made it up 0 times due to circumstances. Well this year we finally made it back up! It was just as amazing as I remembered!

This year for Jolabokaflod I received Fairy Tale by Stephen King, it was really good! I've not read him since some of the Dark Tower Series, in the middle of which I lost my Kindle :shrug:. After which I got some more interesting books, check out the reading page for more!

So by day I work for a company that helps stop bad guys on the internet. In my day-to-day research'n the things I found a way for someone with access to Google Workspace to silently steal all of a company's email. Google bug bounty ... did not pay out - instead said it was working as designed. So I guess I'll be making a blog post somewhere to get this information into the open. Just crazy.

Speaking of finding things at work, one of my team's junior engineers found a way to view private channels on slack without being a member. Slack took this far more seriously than Google. Good job team mate! Fun times.

12.27.MMXXII - Get'n read.

Coming off of a nice 10 day stay-cation for Christmas. It was a good low key time. Got to do some reading at night, which was nice and I updated the reading page.

Also, this year I was able to get my Christmas cards finished! As last year my printer cancelled my order days after they said they'd have it done, and days after Christmas. It was hella lame. So this year both are printed, front and back to my card! Now to mail them... 2 days after Christmas. Which is fine! Why? Because mail has been horrible due to the weather.

Speaking of the weather. A couple days before Christmas we were going for a walk with Elijah and Apollo. I looked behind us, a few blocks away from home, and could see what looked like a dust storm coming at us. It was 46F degrees and fairly nice out for a walk. Well the wall of stuff hit us. The temperature dropped to 12F in seconds (I took screen shots of weather stations by us) and realized that the dust was actually frost in the air. I've never experienced anything like that before, it was wild.

Oh yea! Also the Great British Baking Gear blog continues to do well! Though I need to do some updates for this current season, in particular the apple peeler and new scissors!

7.5.MMXXII - Updates a year apart make sure my reader base is spartan and dedicated.

The day after my birthday is my brothers birthday. 2 days after that my son decided to show up. It's been a busy, sleepy, and fun ride so far.

But to keep my personal life - more or less personal I'll leave that there :).

Somewhere in late 2021 I stopped reading. Well at least my reading page seemed to think I did. I thought it was a good idea to put those rumors to rest and go ahead and update what I've been reading. I only updated the technical books and will get the fun reading updated on there soon.

Also I've been thinking about putting up a learning section of Udemy / Coursera courses I've gone through and found value in, both to keep my notes available in 1 place and to push them on other people who may be looking for good classes - but not today!

5.2.MMXXI - Seriously why was it so hard to get a copy of Jurassic Park?

Not too many awesome things to update on, April went by crazy fast!

I've continued to post videos for season 3 of "The Great Not-Indoors" which has been a fun project. I wrote like 20 companies to help with a joke for season 4, basically please send me a sew on patch. 0 - Zero ... companies wanted to send me a patch. How lame.

I've also continued to blog for The Great British Baking Gear website which has been a lot of fun. I posted on reddit in the /bakeoff/ subreddit and made it to the third post in there for a while. So that was exciting.

Lastly, I need to get on teh ball with finding time to do some more work on the construction time lapse videos and edit some photos. I also need to find my Kindle and a bunch of gift cards, and my copy of Jurassic Park. They're probably all in the same really awesome and fun place...

4.1.MMXXI - I can teleport! April fools - so got you.

I do understand the implications of posting on April fools day, but as I have time this morning guess what! I'll do it anyway.

At the end of February I ended up going on a magical journey to Hawaii. Magical because to day is April 1st. It was actually a pretty good trip, we ended up going out due to a near family emergency, but everything ended up going great. Which meant I basically just did not interact with all of our friends - thanks Covid and got to WFHi for a while and after work go enjoy the great not-indoors. The last few days when I was no longer seeing the family I managed to do a couple awesome things.

First, I managed to go snorkeling which is the thing I miss most about leaving Hawaii - aside from missing friends. So that was great. Also got go go on a hike which was cool. Secondly I was evacuated from Haleiwa Town due to crazy flash flooding and catastrophic rains. That was crazy. I managed to get some video from the Haleiwa bridge for "The Great Not-Indoors" series I'll post soon. And then lastly we got to shoot 90% or so of "The Hanauma Bay Experience," a short film I wrote the script for in 2011! I'm excited for that.

As anyone who has thoroughly studied this website knows, which is no one, when I fly I like to read books and thus I've been able to do quite a bit of reading. If you're curious about what that was - head over to the reading page.

Oh yea! Before I leave, I finally went snowboarding at Loveland Ski Area. It was EPIC. There was like 10 inches of fresh snow, we did laps for hours! It was awesome! The epic powder probably makes Loveland seem better than it normally is, but oh man what a great day.

2.22.MMXXI - make that bread!

So I recently read The Bread Bakers Apprentice by Peter Reinhart. It was actually pretty fantastic - I have more info over on the reading page. Should you read it? Well I guess the answer to that is "do you want to make bread?"

Also I went ahead and started my Great British Baking Gear blog. So far its been pretty fun! I like watching the episodes and trying to figure out what they're using. Its a long long long process, but eventually you can glean what they're using. Check it out if you're curious!

And lastly - a bit of a gripe. In 2010 or 12-ish I purchased a permanent license for Adobe Photoshop (Web Development 5.5) which was nice to have and since undergrad I've been trying not to pirate anything. Not even Photoshop - the most pirated thing ever. So I made the move to purchase it - and on a grad student salary it was a bit of $change. Well - recently I had to format my computer and then reinstall photoshop. Adobe no longer supports the automatic updates and I can't get patches to anything. Super uncool. So I upgraded to the Adobe CC Photoshop (which sure is faster and has newer features) but still - not too happy about that.

12.31.MMXX - 2020 is hindsight - or just really stressful

Looking back at 2020 is like looking back at a train wreck in slow motion. We had some great happenings in my house - we'll get to them in a second. But first things first, Covid-19 - what in the world? It showed that asking people to make very minor sacrifices and endure inconveniences is dang near like asking them to remove their arms. Why can't people wear a mask? Why do they NEED Applebees RIGHT NOW! Why can't they quarantine until we're all safe. It felt like it lifted the veil on a crazy crazy selfish face of a LOT of people. And the more people resisted being kind and considerate to others the more stressful it became for everyone else. I guess the one good thing that came from this is now every zombie movie makes sense. How did everyone get bitten? Well they walked up to the zombies, licked them, let them gnaw on their arms to prove that the whole thing was a liberal hoax. And bam - zombie apocalypse.

However 2020 did have some crazy high points for me! I published by first novel - "LFM" (Amazon) - which I had sitting in final form for far too long. I then purchased a house from all the book earnings - or years of savings - I've sold like 12 copies? Something like that! Then I got a dog - who has a cute face and a tail, and then we got a new vehicle - a 2010! So like 10 years newer than anything I've ever had before and I continue to be employed! Yay.

Along with those major things I've kept up with some fun projects. I started taking a picture every minute of the new town-home construction across the street from me - and turned that into some time-lapse animations (Youtube! ) And I think I've finished the filming of all the episodes for season 3 of "The Great Not-Indoors". In the next few weeks I'll start to edit those down and get them posted - which should be fun!

Also I got hooked on "The Great British Baking Show" over Thanksgiving and I'm thinking about starting a blog about the gear on there as its pretty cool and I'm a cooking gear fan :P. Let me tell you about my kitchen knives!

And what else new? Well I just finished reading 2 more books - "Clean Architecture" and "Agile Principles, Patterns, and Practices" by Robert Martin and I did a few Udemy classes on various subjects (Adobe Premiere CC and Go! for example). I think I may start a learning page where I keep notes on them on this site as well - as I think there may be a person who reads them at some point in time... or just for my own notes.

10.16.MMXX - Hear ye, Hear ye!

So I finished The Lost Art of Listening by Michael P. Nichols (Amazon). It was pretty good. I've put my thoughts up in my reading section. Should you read it? Probably - especially if you think you are a good listener.

What else has been going on? A few things. I've been designing some furniture which has been pretty fun. Now to find some cabinet grade plywood. Going for that Scandinavian aesthetic.

Secondly, I'm currently on my first day of using a Corsair K55 RGB Gaming Keyboard (Amazon). I picked this guy up because of my continued quest for a good, quiet, gaming keyboard. Basically, I want something super quiet because I hate the key-clicking sound, and something that has antighosting so that I can push like 10 keys at the same time - or however many my little heart desires. I'm roughly an hour into using it and I have to say I'm going to need to have a couple days of playing with this guy to get used to it. It is not super loud, but it is not super quiet. So far I do like they layout, but the key-travel distance seems a bit excessive and I find myself hitting keys and not having them register. Previously I was using a HP Wireless Spectre keyboard (apparently discontinued?). It is incredibly quiet, and looks nice, but suffers from ghosting to a very large extent - I think it has roughly an n-key rollover of like 3. Additionally, the reason I moved over to the K55 keyboard is that being wireless every now and again it just does not care that I've pushed keys or it decides that I pressed a key like 50 times. Which, when typing is really annoying (it happens every 2 mintues or so) while playing any game, it basically runs you off cliffs for free.

How goes the work front? We released version 2 of a very major product - our core product - which is pretty cool. Additionally, I've gotten to start the Architecture and Design for implementing a multi-tenant system to reduce our costs. Which, so far has been pretty extensive in scope and pretty fun and interesting.

So why then an update on a Saturday? Well I guess because I'm inside - weird. We've had some horrible wild fires (not wild-fun as in wild cherry Pepsi but out of control in the wilderness) that have turned our air quality into mush.

Though I'm seeing some blue skies - perhaps time to go outside!... Or as this keyboard would like me to say - outside. - Give me all the keys I touch!

10.4.MMXX - Cadillac Desert - It's a book.

Keeping to my normal MO on our flight to Portland I started reading Cadillac Desert. It turned out to be a FANTASTIC read - I stuck my review of it up over here.

What else is up? I've been considering rewriting this site - perhaps doing some more React (javascript library) - or just vanilla JS. Make things work a bit better under the hood - but keep the same mid 00's aesthetic. I'm not quite sure yet.

While I'm at it, perhaps I could fire up a spell-checker as most - if not all of these posts - are typed as fast as my fingers will go with no real proof-reading. Perhaps ... not.

9.26.MMXX - Portland - Zombie town USA

How is the dog doing you ask? You read my last entry? :flattered: He's doing pretty good! We're working on socialization and today he went to the doggy doctor for some dew claw removal and neutering. Egads - he is currently not happy - just kinda drugged up on the couch on his blanket. But thanks for asking! I'm sure he'll be back to his slightly-less-spritely-self shortly!

For a while we've wanted to go to the Willamette Valley to try some of America's best Pinot Noir - and I've learned, perhaps, I'm not the biggest Pinot Noir person. But the trip was pretty awesome all the same!

We spent the first 2 days in Portland - it was rainy but the rain cleared the smoke out of the air. Regardless of the improving air quality, Portland was a ghost town. Like the first night there we saw like 3 people in 15 blocks of meandering. Then the next day it was a zombie apocolypse of homeless people wandering around yelling at the rain - and no one else. All the same Voodoo Dohnuts and Deadstock Coffee were amazing!

When we made it down to Willamette it was a different story - super pretty - less zombies. We managed to get in 3 wineries the first day, 3 the second and 1 impromptu winery the 3rd day. We made reservations and were able to plan out our tastings at 11am, 1pm and 3pm every day - so if you're thinking of following suit and hitting up the valley sometime soon - make reservations!

Wineries to not miss? I'd say that Legacy Estates Vineyard and Alloro Vineyard were both tops. Legacy for amazing wine and scenery and Alloro for a super tranquil ambiance and decent wine. Also on the food list - hit up Rosmarino Osteria Italiana - crazy good. Like good enough I don't think I've ever advocated for people to go eat somewhere on here but have done so now good.

On the video front I've been posting time-lapse videos of the construction of the new townhomes near me. It's "oddly educational" or so I've been told.

8.12.MMXX - Dawg.

What better to do during a pandemic than get a dog? Apparently everyone has the same idea! We were looking to get a dog after this last snowbaording season. However, that is when Covid 19 decided to hit.

Now it seems like every single person is trying to get a dog. All the shelters in Denver are literally sold out and empty. Which, I guess is awesome for the dogs!

So we went down to Colorado Springs and got a rescue from New Mexico. It's kind of crazy how fast a 1 year old dog with no training picks up things! Sit - check. Down - check. Stomp Foot - close!

Also, just finished up the Elon Musk book. It was a really good read!

7.21.MMXX - To North Dakota and Back Again.

Two Sundays ago we decided to up and drive to North Dakota to visit some of our best friends. It was an adventure!

About 50 miles south of our destination our alternator decided to stop working. About 20 miles from our destination our battery decided to stop running all of our systems and we found ourselves on the side of the road. Well - today I'm glad to say - I'm now one of those people you've seen driving a car being towed by another one - we made it!

Everyone has been super stoked about the NEOWISE comet - I was hoping to see it Sunday morning on the drive - but to no avail. However, around midnight while taking a shower I was told "Come out side right now!" - The aurora borealis had come to visit, which was awesome to see. And while staring at it I was like ... "vision ... feels... blurry right there..." Turns out that was the comet! We got some awesome pictures. Though I left them on the camera in ND - I hope to have them emailed to me soon. I'm stoked to edit them and post a few!

I also used 2 of my unlimited days off to go out with our flight instructor friend and fly around. It was awesome. I flew into a cloud - it was great! I also got to sit through some commercial flight training maneuvers which was a blast! Thanks!

Aside from that ND does have coffee and our friends - so it was a great time. Also I finished up another book and started a new one - See reading! Now if it just didn't take like 12.5 hours to drive there!

6.15.MMXX - All Pau. Again.

So after like 2 years - congratulations! My wife has her 3rd degree - a BS in Computer Software Technology. We're filling our house with nerds - and it is good!

What do you do when you're spouse graduates? Well you go to the mountains and camp. It was pretty great, we only had incredible winds after we went to bed on the second night - it was loud - what a great way to not sleep.

Additionally while up there I started to appreciate the greatness of compact / portable hammocks (I received this one as a gift... its excellent) and I spent a couple days reading The Lost City of the Monkey God by Douglas Preston it was FANTASTIC. I've always wanted to try mapping things and writing software for lidar - this just poured fuel on that fire.

6.10.MMXX - Move'n ... but like physically.

So I've been doing a couch to 5k program - its not making me any fitter but I can run farther (physical distance farther). Todays task is to run 2 miles and time it. I'm not going to time it, but my Garmin watch will track me. Its always watching.

Additionally I finished up the Effective Ruby: 48 Specific Ways to Write Better Ruby. It was a pretty good read - but HOLY COW It was long. 200 pages, but every 3 pages or so there is something new to play with - so 5 minutes of reading 10 minutes of playing around with what you're reading about. But it is done!

A couple days ago I also finished up my first Udemy course on Adobe Premiere Pro CC. My hope was that learning more about the tool would help me edit down my "The Great Not-Indoors" videos. I think it made quite a difference. I'm going to put together a bunch of snowboarding footage I have into a nice video. After that I may cancel the subscription. I'm not a fan of their pay us $30 / month FOREVER model. I'm sure they make a ton of money.

5.13.MMXX - Move'n and Read'n

Three months without an update! Egads, feels like I'm falling into my old - forget to update - patterns. But alas! I hope I am not!

So one of the biggest reasons for no updates is that I've been busy. Justifibly so! We moved! At long last I've become landed gentry - and stopped paying someone else's mortgage. Which is nice! Who knows how many $houses later in rent I got a pretty awesome place! And the first thing that I did... spill wine. Just kidding! I built a pantry! How exciting.

But that's not what brought me to the update page! No - that was reading two more books! I just finished "Franklin Pierce in The Death of A Vice President" and shortly before that "An Inconvenient Presidency: The Time-Traveling Misadventures of President Al Gore". Both were written by one of my college suite mates - Eric M. Hamilton. If you're looking for a couple short reads I'd suggest them!

Really this was just a way to plug Eric's books to anyone that happens upon this site.

2.12.MMXX - Looking For More

So it took me FAR too long to get this done, but I've published my book on Kindle Self Publishing! I ended up finding an awesome artist on Fiverr (OffBeatAffinity). If you're looking for some sort of illustration his style is pretty fly, check him out.

That said - I'm stoked to be able to link to my book on both the Kindle and Paperback. I'm sure it will reconsile them to the same page shortly and those links will die, but c'est la vie. I'm also going to try to print some flyers ... for a book... and see if I can't get some sales that way. Could be an interesting experiment.

So what then will be my next project? I'm not 100% sure yet. I'm still working on Moneta Trades and its been getting pretty close to working. Just need time to toil away on it. Also, I've been thinking about rewriting this site using React or something fun like that, but the horribly aging early web 2.0 aesthetic is still funny to me.

1.29.MMXX - Good Omens

Happy New Year! Well... happy belated new year. Every year for Christmas Eve we participate in ancient tradition of Jolabokaflod. So many whips and chains and so much leather. Just kidding! If you're unfamiliar Jolabokaflod is the Icelandic tradition of exchanging books on Christmas eve. Then you can read until you're sleepy and Santa comes. Its pretty awesome!

This year I received "Good Omens" (Amazon), which was fantastic! You can check out my brief review over in my I are can read to section! :D. I'm still pleased with that title. If you're so inclined and like funny books give it a whirl!

Additionally, this year (really last year but its a long story) I commissioned an artist to do cover art for the book I wrote back in like 2014 or 2015. It (I hope) is hilarious... the book... and the cover? I'm excited to get that published. I'll probably go the Kindle self publishing route as the reason it has stalled for so long is finding a literary agent is a stupid process.

Lastly, I should do more frequent updates. That is - I decided to double down and get really good at Ruby (its a living...) and read through "Ruby Under A Microscope" which is also described over in that "I are can read to" section. It was actually really really informative if nerding out on how a programming language is constructed is your thing.

11.7.MMXIX - Mrs. T's Pierogies

For the last few years when ever I encounter a product that I pay for that I do not like, I write a letter to the producer. Well - at least for the most egregious products. Likewise, when I encounter something fantastic I like to heap my praises upon the producer.

My most recent letter was to Mrs. T's Pierogies. To see the initial letter and the back and forth, check it out.

11.23.MMXIX - Empathy... eh?

I finished the Head First Design Patterns book a few weeks ago and forgot to update the landing page. However, I did update the readings page! Check it out, it was a good read!

What was not a good read? I picked up "Empathy: Why it matters, and how to get it." I had high hopes! In the end I was let down. A brief review is over in the reading section.

9.3.MMXIX - Route53!

You noticed! Big changes, many apparents! I'm sure it is the first thing you noticed! We changed DNS providers!

7.9.MMXIX - 2016 and 2017 pictures

Instead of building out every image on the pictures page (silly past Whil...) I made a script that formats them correctly. Really should have been a job for React, but I'm not good at React, so have some plain ol' vanilla ES6. But that said, I can go much quicker now! 2016 and 2017 images have been updated! Check them out over in the fun pictures.

Also I've had the opportunity to look through all of my edited pictures from 2013 - 2017. I've pulled out the prettiest and will probably make a new gallery of beautiful images. However, I'll do that with something 2019... instead of in the beautiful 2000's motif I've got going! :D

7.9.MMXIX - 2016 and 2017 pictures

Instead of building out every image on the pictures page (silly past Whil...) I made a script that formats them correctly. Really should have been a job for React, but I'm not good at React, so have some plain ol' vanilla ES6. But that said, I can go much quicker now! 2016 and 2017 images have been updated! Check them out over in the fun pictures.

Also I've had the opportunity to look through all of my edited pictures from 2013 - 2017. I've pulled out the prettiest and will probably make a new gallery of beautiful images. However, I'll do that with something 2019... instead of in the beautiful 2000's motif I've got going! :D

7.7.MMXIX - 2015 pictures, only 4 years late. I'm catching up!

So fast me. Or ridiculously slow... depends on how you look at it I guess. Check them out over in the fun pictures.

Additionally I've been re-reading through and updating / editing the novel that I wrote way back in 2014. I hope to have that published sooner than later.

How about a little update ... So I guess since 1999 or something like that I've been building websites... see the genesis of this site?... And around that time I started programming as a hobby. It took off quite a bit in grad-school and I founded a little company called Moneta Trades which trades stocks. All of it eventually was programmed in Ruby. It makes money, I'm still working on it though the LLC is gone and the whole thing is private now. But I also picked up a full time job at and while their product is really great they have some issues as all startups do. So from there I moved to programming at PAIRIN which so far has been the best job I think I've ever had. Really fun.

All that to say that my programming skills have drastically improved in the last few years. To the point where I go back and look at some of the code on here and just cringe. So little by little I've been fixing things up. Least of all - indentation. Come on past Whil... indent!

6.25.MMXIX - 2014 pictures, only 5 years late.

For the longest time I was putting all of my fun pictures up on Facebook, with the thought - that was easier than hosting them myself. However, I've come to realize finding my fun pictures now takes all sorts of work. Therefore, I resovled to fix the finding the picture I'm looking for issue and just hosting them myself.

I've gone ahead and picked up where I left off... In 2014 and updated the pictures with the fun ones from that year! Check them out over in the fun pictures.

6.6.MMXIX - That was a long honeymoon.

Apparently having a spouse takes up some of your time! Who knew?

Just kidding. For the last few years I've been professionally developing software. It has been a blast! Instead of programming from around 9 PM until some odd hour in the morning - I now program from some odd hour in the morning until some time in the afternoon. I get a lot more done.

What I do not get done however is updates to this site! Instead of being inspired to update this site I generally just want to not program in the evening. Fair enough I suppose. Howevever I still try to remain productive in the evening to some extent, and to those ends I read quite a bit. I decided a while back that I wanted to share what I've been reading with the world, and instead shared it with my friends and co-workers. Well now I've had some inspired time in the afternoon to do some work on this site. It only took like 3 + years. I've added a page on what I've been reading. I'll do my best to keep it up to date. Be forewarned, the most recent book I read was C.O.D.E. which is an explanation of how a computer works. If you want to nerd out, give it a read!

2.23.MMXV - Engaged!

So lets see. Since my last update, nearly 3 months ago, some things have occured in my life. I went to NC for Christmas, and I had a birthday, and some other little things. LIKE GETTING ENGANGED! :D. So I'm pretty stoked. Soon enough I'll need to procure a larger bed, and that's likely the only major change I foresee in my life. I'm a fan of suprises.

So Decemeber saw a trip back to NC. And as I hate going back to NC simply to stay at home, La Fiance` and I drove up to NYC and house sat for Adam and gaurenteed the survival of Samos. We're basically the best house sitters ever. So you know, if you live somewhere awesome and want me to sleep in your bed while you're not there - let me know. I'll have some pictures put up someday, as it stands right now I have a couple thousand to go through, though I'm widdling them down. We also hit up DC, and the Smithsonian as well as Rosa Mexicana, which was some of the best Mexican food I've ever had.

January saw my birthday, which was awesome, I've survived another trip around the sun! And then February saw La Fiance's birthday and proposal! It was pretty spectacular. We were swarmed by dolphins, and like three whales. Then there was an amazing dinner at Arancino's at Kahala. I've never had wine that truely complimented the meal, however the paring here was amazing. It made the meal. And since then, getting things done for a wedding. Our save the dates are underway, and pretty... cute. I wanted to actually be saving the date from a dinosaur... which may still have to unofficially happen.

LFM (Looking For More), my novel has been completed. I'm now in the process of looking for a publisher. Though if I find that I can't get one I'll go the Amazon route with some fun YouTube things.

Speaking of YouTube, I've been putting some small things up on there. For instance how to make a USB minifigure keychain:

11.5.MMXIV - The Grand Chasm

The Grand Chasm! We went, we saw, we hiked, we slept in a car. And it was Awesome. As soon as I have time I'll give you the full story: Here...


For the longest time I've been looking at this lens. And from everything I've heard, its supposed to be sharp and wide. Like you can get right into things with it, up close and personal, suck the viewer in. And its stupid price tag kept it out of my hands. I even asked to be a tester for the lens and I'd give Tokina all sort of pictures, they didn't bite.
Well at long last I found one on the Craigslists. Its amazing. So wide! So sharp! So that said, I've managed to get some really fun pictures with it.
And how do you do so with the Tokina 11-16? Well you just get it really really close to what ever you want to stick the viewer beside. Which means you have to hold it like 2" off of the surface of the water at the beach, and while incredibly nerve wracking it was worth it! New images in the Hawaii desktops. Yay.

I'm stoked to take this to the Grand CHAAAASM (Canyon for laypeople) in like... less than 2 weeks! So I hope to have some awesome pictures from that too! I've started to get some amazing shots in places other than Hawaii, and may have to in turn add a new gallery with those images. We'll see if I have A. Time. B. Ambition. C. Gumption. D. Pictures. E. Fingers. F. Something I'm forgetting, and G. a computer. So who knows. I really hope I have the fingers.


I have had no time to update (See what I did there? Circles! Yay). So at long last I've been able to do so! But since my last update what has happened?

Well for one, Toddimus got married! So that was pretty exciting, and I have a grand total of ... 0 pictures from the event. I decided long ago (while photographing a wedding) that taking pictures at a wedding really does take away from the experience. So if you want to enjoy a wedding, I'd say let the paid photographers do their job and enjoy the company. And if you are the paid photographer? Well, best luck at enjoying the company :P.

We had a visitor from the mainland come and join us for a week or so. He was a pretty neat guy with a Righteous name. While he was here we managed to get out and get some nice pictures from China Walls which can be seen in the Hawaii gallery.

And speaking of new people over the summer, we had an intern for NOAA stay with us for 3 months. He was a pretty stellar guy, we'll miss him as a house mate. However while he was here, he kept us active, and again, we got some awesome pictures (see this update's shot).

And Alicia had her epic quest to South Africa to look at whales, and while that turned out kind of a bust she returned with some cool pictures and stories. It was nice to have her back and we went on an epic North Shore date where after 3 years of trying to get a picture of the Milky Way, I did! They came out amazing, however they're not posted quite yet. They should be soon. There is a bit of a competition running that they have to grace before they wind up here in the unread neglected annuls of the interwebs.


And... more Hawaii desktop images! Yay. Also restrung a baseball glove and started working on my edits! Woo!


Added some more photographs to the Hawaii desktop images! Enjoy! Also my novel has been edited, now to go through said edits! Woo!


So the culmination of me making jewelry is done, and was done like 2 weeks ago, but alas, I decided to forget to post an update. So without further ado, check it out!


Burning through some old photos? That's right, I have like 20 folders of photos on my desktop from all the way back in November of 2013 to go through. But as I do... Amazements! I updated the Hawaii Desktop Images page with 9 new photos! Example: Below!

Additionally I have sent my novel off to a professional editor to get it cleaned up. Hopefully this process is A. Amazing. 2. Smooth. III. Fruitful :D. So we'll see!

And lastly I have that 'how to' video for making jewelry done. It should be up tomorrow, I'm hoping to get some Dean Timmerman music for the background, but nothing yet.


Snowboarding was amazing. We went to Whistler-Blackcomb, and had a blast! And since my last update, lets see, Maui, Christmas, New Years, A graduation, and a few projects later, I guess I should update! I have about 1000 pictures to go through, which is good news, for you! Because some of them are amazing! Some of them are hilarious. So in the next few days I hope to get some of them up. Below, just a teaser!

And what projects? I'm doing another leather piece, this time its a sheath for my brother's dagger. Its coming together pretty well. I meant to have it done for Christmas but to no avail, I ran out of time :(. But I'm on it now.

Additionally I gave making jewelry a shot for that special someone's birthday. I think it turned out pretty well! It may be worth while to put up a legit "how to" video for making jewelry, everyone that I watched was HORRIBLE on the YouTubes. Egh.

For my birthday the awesome guys from work got me an Arduino! I've been wanting one for like two years and now one is in my hands! Yesss. So there are a couple things that I'm going to try to do with them. First I'm going to try to make a GoPro slider and then upgrade it to a DSLR slider that you can attach to any sort of rail. I'll try to get a video series together on that or something. Also I'm going to see if I can make a CNC machine for leather working. It would be way faster to cut in than doing it by hand, and then hand tool the details at the end. We'll see if I get time, as the large majority of my time has been well spent... chill'n.


It's been days since I saw the sun. That's a lie, but egads we've been setting up a new piece of equipment in a shared lab for the last week. It has taken forever. But I finally got time to go ahead and edit some pictures! They're edited! However, as I'd like to go get in some swing dancing, we're gonna have to wait to post them! So why this albeit pointless update? Why not?


Matt Chafin entered a picture I took of him into the 2013 Just for Men's Beard Competition, and thanks to a pretty sweet beard, photograph, and friends he managed to come in the top 5! Which means he wins a GoPro 3 white! Pretty ball'n if I do say so myself. The picture that took the competition by bearded storm is below. We had some other pictures as well which I've put up at the Fun Pictures page.

I also entered a couple other picture competitions / calls for submissions. Apparently I had a photograph published as one of National Geographic's pictures of the day on August 27, 2010. I was completely unaware of this until I googled my last name and the image came up. I guess all those "your photo has been published" emails were not spam. Who'd have guessed. Also another of mine was published on Gizmodo's "75 Explosive Photos of Fireworks. Kinda cool.


So I'm pretty sure I've never made an entire theatre laugh before with a quip during a trailer... until "Gravity." So for your enjoyment, and to waste 34 of your seconds...


Keeping to my word? Updating my website? Well then, as promised I've uplaoded some more pictures to my Hawaii gallery. Some of them are pretty stellar. And as it would seem from visitor analytics, very few people read the things I've put onto the literary portion of this site. So instead of wondering why people don't read, hahahahaha, oh man - me. What was I saying, oh yea, everything is TLDNR, so I've decided to record some of my stories and just throw them on youtube. I figure if A. they are funny and B. under 2 minutes, someone may watch them and get a kick out of them. So yea, look forward to that. Until then be in awe of the Na Pali Coast.


It would seem that I've been busy for the last few weeks! They have been pretty amazing! One of my friends from NCSU was coming out to Hawaii, so in reasonable fashion, I decided to go visit her. Accompanying me was a wonderful new friend, and while we never met up with my NCSU friend, it turned into a pretty stellar weekend long date. "So what, I don't care," you say. Well let me tell you why you do care: because I can tell you without doubt if you ever go to Kauai go on the Na Pali Riders tour of the Na Pali Coast. It was INCREDIBLE. As soon as I can I should have some amazing new desktop images up, they've all been edited, now I just need to size them correctly. Oh yes, and while you're adding this amazing tour to your itinerary, book it through Tom's Barefoot Tours. You can save ~1/3, and if you find a better deal it sounds like they'll match it (I'm not sure, but I was asked, "whats the best price you found?").

What else? Well if that was not incredible enough (and it was!) we've also been up to some other little projects. I've been working on a new knife design and trying to finish up the twin dagger to my brother's. So far in the last 6 weeks, I've had 0 time :P.

And on top of all of this, for about a year and a half I've been looking at picking up a Technics 1200 MK2 turn table. Well I finally was able to find some in really good condition and split the set with one of my friends. So with any luck I'll have a shining review of that soon!

At this point if you're still reading you're thinking to yourself, "All you've done is talk about content, feed me!" Well then, you should have looked at the previous post. Oh you did? Well then I guess you'll have to enjoy our newest Bodyboarding at Sandy's video. Yea its pretty ball'n and features music by Broke MC. And while his site has something to be desired of it, his music is pretty stellar and is all available for free at, which also happens to be the greatest place I've found to get royalty free music for commercial use. How's that for some key words. SEO anyone?


So I figured I'd post an update because I took a fairly beautiful picture from Tantalus at Sunset. I also finished my Cocobolo magnetic knife bar, which despite its beauty is not in my kitchen. There is no place to hang it. But to any extent, it has three layers. The back is hickory, the middle is maple and the front is Cocobolo. I've stuck twenty 3/4" neodynium magnets in the middle layer, and it can hold any knife I have just fine.

Aside from that I finally broke down and got a Samsung 840 Series Solid State Drive (SSD). And holy smokes it is fast. Photo editing with it is amazingly quick, and though its only like 250 gigs, I can easily just toss all my photos when I'm done on an external HD. Anyway's I'm digging it.

Also, like a year and a half ago I received a FiiO E10 DAQ for Christmas (Thank you :) ! ). However as was the case with the old FiiO E10's, the soldiering for the headphone jack is all sorts of lousy. So its making wretched noises whenever the headphone jack is bumped. So I'm thinking of picking up a Fiio E17 DAC or Audioengine D1 . Though I'm not sure which is tops yet. If you have an opinion lemme know! Thanks.

And last but not least, a very big thanks to Ong King for the gallery display of my calendar! It was really quite neat to see my work up and on display.


I'm getting married! April fools. However, in the last two months we've been up to quite a bit. We finally got some of our Hawaii Desktop Images printed on a metalic paper, they came out AMAZING. We printed them at like 32x11 inches and 16x20 inches, because bigger... is better. They are amazing! Also my good friend Chris from highschool got married (and on St. Patty's day at that!!). So Congratulations Chris!! My other friend got enganged, but its not 100% official so... Congratulations unnamed person!

So in line with our printing of our hawaii images, we went out and tried to get some nice sunset shots. However the sunset was mediocre at best... so better than any mainland sunset, but not 100% up to our Hawaiian quality standards. But that didn't bring us down and I got some AMAZING long exposure shots. Check em out!

Also I'm over 75% done with my novel! Infact, I'm only 4 chapters away from finishing it! So within the next... soon, I should be done!

2.5.MMXIII - Why I'm rooting for Winter. A short review of Game of Thrones.

So I'm currently reading the A Song of Fire and Ice series by George Martin. I'm about four tenths of the way into the fifth book, which is easy math, because its 1000 pages long. Seriously. And I've decided that I'm no longer rooting for one of the protaganists. No, I'm rooting for Winter. Why? Well I'm glad you asked (Spoiler alerts).

Because everyone dies. And there, I've ruined the rest of the TV show for you. But seriously, every time you start to like a character they die some sort of horrible death. Now don't get me wrong, their deaths only make sense, but some of them go down in the inglorious fashion of grass not getting enough water and withering in your yard. The Hound? The Mountain? Blood infections. Seriously. And they only die after you start to see some sort of humanity in them. Well not the Mountain, good ridance.

But other characters you once loved just start to rub you raw, they nag you like some sort of horrible rash until they themselves try to claw the bugs out from under their own skin... to death. Oh hey look a love story, kill one of them. Its like buying one lobster for dinner, knowing that they mate for life, and enjoying the flavor boiled sorrow.

As the Stark family kept saying, "winter is coming." Kept saying. Okay. Winter, you win, go Winter! Its kinda like baseball. You can have a favorite team, mine is the Twins. But in the end you have to deal with the Yankees. Love them or hate them, pick one. They are a force to be reckoned with. Because they win. So I'm done rooting for arbitrary characters and getting attached them. I'm rooting for the winner. I'm rooting for the Winter. Go Winter. Kill them all. /Jaded.


Been working on a few short projects. I corrected the UNC Chapel Hill Pop Tarts... And I've finished the design for my new t-shirts. If you've seen the "Defend Hawaii" t-shirts and other garb, I hope you'll be a fan of my wonderfully pompus "Defend Hawaii Kai" shirt design as seen below. Hopefully I can get these printed somewhere, I'm picturing a black shirt with bold white letters... and a sparkley golden gun. I should go to bed.


I can't wait for 2014. Not because 2013 is going poorly. Quite to the contrary, 2013 has been sublime! I met some beautiful new people, had an incredible birthday wine tasting party and as of today I'm exactly 50% done writing my book. So why the anticipation for the next year? Because MMXIII is silly long to write, and I like V's.

So for Christmas I made V2 a damascus dagger. The steel was beautiful and the handle made of an Alaskan Box Elder burl. Oh my gosh. So just incase you find yourself bored and interested, I posted the process below.


Three week vacation? I've not done that since like elementary school, and it was glorious! So what did I do?

Well I'm glad you asked! Well on Christmas Eve I flew to North Carolina on United. And I learned that United's slogan should read, "United: You should have flown Delta." The price was right, but I had a 7 hour delay in Washington DC because they decided to send my plane to Philly. Really? But alas, every flight turned out sublime, I always had a seat open next to me, save for the last flight back to Honolulu.

Now I know you're thinking... all you did in that last paragraph was complain, additionally I learned nothing of your trip. Good observation there Captain Reading Comprehension! Well come Christmas I got to spend the evening with the Lindbergs! It was HILARIOUS and wonderfully enjoyable! Peter has just finished his App trail hike and had some wonderful stories. The meal was delightful, and though I laughed the whole time I remember nothing of the conversations. Which normally means I laughed the whole time, a good sign.

On the 28th we headed down to South Carolina for my college roommate's wedding. I had the privilage of standing as one of the groomsmen. I kinda hoped that I would find myself as the ring bearer again, however not the case. Had it been the case, in my wedding I would have had no groomsmen, just like 5 ringbearers. The bachelor party consisted of shooting at and missing a lot of skeet. The rehersal dinner had amazing BBQ, something I've been missing for a while! The wedding was spectacular, and ended as most weddings do: With the bride and groom getting married and heading off into the sunset in a giant red truck.

New Years saw us crashing a party of a girl who went to high school with us. She graduated 2 years ahead of us, and for the life of me I don't remember her. That's not to say the party was not a blast!

Come the New Year I headed to Seattle and mother followed to visit V2. We hit up the EMP museum and got some wonderful pictures. Then we headed to Crystal Mountain for a long and boring day of stupid snow. And by that I mean we went snowboarding and it was AWESOME! Snow... mmm. When V2 had work Bethany took us around the Seattle area, I found it really nice. But speaking of snow...

So with that said, I updated the fun pictures (as seen below!) and made a couple facebook albums. Tomorrow, pending this cold ending, back to work!