Choices, Changes and a New Addition

When Courney and I were first engaged we both agreed that we wouldn't start a family until we turned 30. Two and a half years ago I turned 27 less than a month after our son Riley was born. Over these two and half years we've grown as a family in so many ways. We've sold our home, moved to a completely new city, sold our cars and donated most of our possessions to live a simpler life without a robust support system of friends and family like we had in Memphis. Courtney is able to stay at home with Riley and we make it work on half our previous income in a city that's twice as expensive to live in. Every parent out there knows this but parenthood isn't something you come into knowing how to do. You make choices and adjust as you go, constantly monitoring and considering everything. We're really happy with the big choices we've made since Riley was born and not so happy with some smaller ones (but that's for another day). At the end of 2015 we were ready to grow our family and in February we got the great news that we're having a second child. Usually people share this on social media much sooner than I am but we chose not to. It's been fun to tell people individually over the last few months. We're having another boy and we can't wait to meet him in November. The holidays are going to have a new blessing and a new chapter for us as a family. I can confidently say that we're ready for it.

Oh, and Riley is ready to be a big brother!

Riley’s Going to Be A Big Brother!

Concerning the Ebb and Flow of “Work”

Shawn Blanc writes:

You have to be inspired first before you can create.

You have to learn before you can teach.

You have to experience before you can share.

There is no shame in taking time “off” of your work, in order to learn something, experience something, and be inspired.

This is the ebb and flow of work. This is having multi-year cycles where we grow in our mastery of creation beyond just mastery of tools and workflows. This is why resting well is so valuable and why learning, thinking, and discovering cannot be underrated.

Over the last two years I've been going through a mental transformation to adapt to a mindfulness that mirrors what Shawn has conveyed in this piece. It's one of the reasons Course Code isn't updated daily and probably won't be for as long as I maintain a day job. I'm happy with that now but two years ago I was a mess between my stressful day job, independent consulting business and expecting myself to write something of any value. It's difficult to find inspiration when that's how you spend your life. It's not that I regret that time in my life, I'm glad I was able to learn from it in my mid-twenties just as we found out Courtney was pregnant with our son. I've been on an interesting road to a more thoughtful investment of my time since. That has included a couple of dramatic changes in our lives and spans of time where I retracted from aspects of life that I needed to let rest (this site included). Overall it's lead me to have longer sprints of inspiration and creativity and has helped me continue to hone in on what's worth my time.

If you're stressed and pulling yourself a hundred different ways, take a break to assess and find what you truly want for your life. What's in the way of letting that be the driver for the decisions you make? If you need to make changes to get there, do it. It will take time (likely more time than you're imagining) but I can tell you that it's worth it. Rest and reflect so you can move forward.

Mr. Independent

My buddy Stephen announced he was going independent today. Let me just take this internet armor off for a minute to say I’m so proud of Stephen. He’s poured himself into his writing and podcasting for years now as a side gig and he’s finally able to take it full time. I have immense respect for the amount of hard work and dedication I know Stephen put into getting himself prepared to sustain the independent career. It’s not easy to be steadfast in saying no to so many things so you can say yes to the the long term goal. Speaking as someone who has similar long term goals of going independent I’m proof that sticking with it is difficult [1]. Stephen joins Shawn Blanc, Myke Hurley, Marco Arment, Jason Snell and many others in proving that if you put in the effort and continually invest in your craft it is possible to live sustainably doing so.

512 Pixels 2015 T-Shirt

Ok, now that all of the feels are out it’s time to help support Stephen’s independent career in the best way possible; buying a t-shirt! I’ll leave it to Stephen to describe the thought behind the design.

The quote on the back of the shirt comes from the original Macintosh unveiling in January 1984. After an impressive multimedia demo, the computer spoke:

Hello. I am Macintosh. It sure is great to get out of that bag.

Unaccustomed as I am to public speaking, I’d like to share with you a maxim I thought of the first time I met an IBM mainframe: Never trust a computer you can’t lift!

Obviously, I can talk, but right now I’d like to sit back and listen. So, it is with considerable pride that I introduce a man who’s been like a father to me … Steve Jobs!

In so many ways, this single demonstration explains almost everything about Apple. Take good technology, infuse it with something special and you’ll end up with a great product that can change the lives of its users.

  1. 6 months between posts is bonkers. My Illiad length post that explores why it happened is currently being drafted.  ↩


As much as I enjoy Merlin Mann as a podcaster, this piece he published last night reminds me how I first fell in love with his writing.

And, even nine goddamned years after I’d left Ohio and improbably found myself in a pretty good college in Florida, I still craved the Reds cap that I thought was worthy of my childhood.

Then, one day—maybe 1988—I was at at sporting goods store in Tampa and I saw my Rosebud. A gorgeous and worthy and seemingly authentic Reds cap that brooked no mesh nor foam nor notch dingus. A classic 7⅛″ felt cap with authentic stitching and the humbly round shape that befits a journeyman megafan.

Just go read it and try to suppress that lump in your throat when you do. I hope this is a sign of more to come.

Pray for Peace

Part of the service at Soul City Church yesterday was devoted to grieving and praying in response to the attacks in Charleston, South Carolina, this week. I didn't expect it and it overwhelmed me.

I tend to tout my ignorance of current events and am often truly lost when conversations include it. I somewhat purposely avoid what's going on in the world as it's easier to bury my head in the sand than it is to face the horror that is the evening news. I'm not proud of this but I bring it up because I know I can't be alone in this. I'm part of a population that tends to avoid anything that encroaches being politically charged because it all feels like an amalgam of garbage that has a negative outcome no matter which side you stand on. I'm also outing myself because it's unacceptable behavior and yesterday's service made me realize how apathetic and weak it is that I'm not doing something about the racial divide that our country seems to be unable to move past. I've lived in the North and the South for a nearly even split of my life and I've seen it from Cleveland to Memphis to Chicago. In some parts of the country it's spoken in hushed tones; in other parts of the country it's put on display as a part of the fabric of the region as best articulated by John Stewart in his opening monologue for this past Thursday's Daily Show. The unavoidable fact is that, like sexism, there is a racism bias that effects all Americans and the only way we can fix it is to accept it and address it.

I'm aware of the blatantly negligent racist attacks and murders1 that have been occurring with increasing frequency in the United States over the past few years as anyone in the country is. It's been too loud of a noise for anyone not to be aware of it. I've watched the stream of tweets and video that follow as the protests break out across the country. I've been in downtown Chicago while death walks were underway. I've seen the wretched way that some have reacted by causing destruction and taking their anger out on cities and other people. This is war and it's occurring inside our country. We are tearing ourselves apart and the ripples of hate continue to grow. This is why I can't help but fall apart when reading the responses from the family members of the victims of the Charleston murders as they forgive Dylann Roof when given the opportunity to address him in court. Forgiveness is powerful and has the power to actually move the human race forward. The strength that it takes to forgive someone who murdered your family isn't something that comes without the greater strength of faith. Amongst all of the darkness is this light of forgiveness and I have faith that it's the start of a path to peace.

I'm asking that the rest of us pray for peace. Pray that we can forgive one another for the centuries of hatred that we allow to divide us. Pray that we can be conscious of our own biases and work to eradicate them. Pray that we can be the generation that isn't lethargic about racism as we raise our children. Pray for the peace that only God can bring in our broken world.

If you need to grieve and are in the Chicago area looking for a place to pray with others who are trying to figure out how we move forward as a human race; Soul City Church is opening it's doors to pray for peace as a community tonight at 7p.

1: Let's not sugar coat this. It's murder when you make a choice based on a bias and it leads to the death of another human.