I write... occasionally

Here's a collection of 635 pieces of nonsense that I've felt the need to journal about over the past 21.39 years.

My first attempt at using Des Moines Public Transit

It's no secret that I fell in love with public transit while I spent those 15 months in Chicago. So last night, when Iowa Senator Janet Petersen scheduled a meeting with me in downtown Des Moines, I decided to leave my truck in the garage and finally try out our public transit system.

Here's how it went.

Step 1, get directions

I looked up transit directions to my meeting via google maps (like ya do) and was instantly shut down. "Public transit coverage may not be available in this area."

Step 1, get directions (take 2)

I visited ridedart.com hoping for a place to put in some addresses or plan a route map, but I couldn't find one. This is either because it doesn't exist or due to my inability or impatience while using their …

Two Thousand and Twelve

What I was actually doing for those 15 months in Chicago...

I moved to Chicago for 466 days, where I lived in 3 different neighborhoods and visited 375 different places — 239 of which were restaurants or bars. I walked around 10,087 steps (or 7.67 miles) per day, slept roughly 7.19 hours per night, and gained 1 pound before returning to Iowa.

I was actually in the city on 400 of those days and ventured out of Chicago on 117 of them. 68 of those (spread across 17 different trips) were spent in my actual home, with my wife in Iowa. I was also fortunate enough to get out to Washington DC, San Francisco, Arizona, and Napa Valley.

I spent 302 days at Obama's campaign headquarters, where as an engineer I committed over 140,000 lines of code written in 6 languages to 19 applications across 1,675 commits. …

Going Gluten Free

A few weeks ago … err actually I guess it was more like 2 months ago (the concept of time has completely broken since I've taken on this crazy job of mine), I decided to try a little experiment in gluten free eating.

First let me start off with the gross backstory… For years, I've been prescribed with various medications to make this random rash on my ankles go away. Doctors have told me it's eczema, a fungus, and several other random types of dermatitis. Some of the treatments have helped, but nothing has really made it go away. So I've pretty much just lived with it - as annoying as it may be.

After some conversations over the fourth of July weekend, I began wondering if these spots were my body reacting to a gluten allergy. …

Lollapalooza 2012

I'll start off by saying that the weirdest part about lollapalooza this year was the line-up. I wasn't really stoked about ANY of the headliners and kinda "meh" about most of the other shows. This has never really happened to me on any other year. However, I'm living in Chicago right now and couldn't pass up the ease of going to the festival.

Here's how things went...


I obviously had to work on getting that President re-elected, but was able to sneak out and catch some music in my downtime. Actually, The Head and The Heart came to perform IN our office, but I missed most of their performance for a meeting, which was a bummer.

The other shows I saw were...
  • Anamanguchi - I took a lunch break to check out this 8-bit rock …

The 30 Year Old DJ

I'm 30 years old, love music, and am about to become the sickest DJ my bedroom has ever seen.

But first, let me give you a a bit of a backstory...

In the late 90s (high school, for me) I found house music. I had mostly been listening to terrible metal and rap at the time… but once I heard those crazy electro sounds, I started to become super interested. I even started going to some under-18 dance clubs in the Quad Cities.

As soon as I heard a DJ mixing these crazy electro tracks on ridiculous house systems I fell in love. I still remember that first club pretty vividly… Not only was I blown away by what I was hearing, I was also blown away by what I was seeing. There was an entire room of people just raging out, crazy raver kids, …

A Visit From The President

Once I got to work, things were fairly normal - well aside from most everyone else being dressed to the nines… especially the ladies.

But then around lunch time, about 30 giant secret service dudes started showing up along with cops, dogs, etc. We had a mandatory office leave while they swept the entire place. (Remember, this is Obama's campaign headquarters. These are the people who love the president and are hired to re-elect him. Security was still this tight)

After the sweep was done, we all came back to the office and went through security similar to an airport (or a hip hop show), but with qualified professionals. Not the TSA.

Once through security, we hung out for a bit, working as usual while tip-toeing around the secret service …

Preparing to Meet the President

After my shower this morning I thought to myself, "What should I wear to make myself presentable to the President of the United States?"

I don't really like dressing up and I wasn't about to start… but I felt like I should at least make an attempt. My normal attire consists of a hat, a pair of skate shoes, an unwashed pair of jeans, and an inappropriate/inappropriately priced screenprinted tee.

To me, the only real variables of this outfit were my hat and shirt.

So I glanced at my 2 stacks of t-shirts and thought, "I probably shouldn't wear a screen printed shirt... Maybe I should throw on one of my 'fancy' flannel button ups."

After looking through those for a bit I remembered that I worked in a 76 degree office and that everyone in the …

2011 Retrospective

Ah, 2011. A year that was brought in while wearing tie dye tighty whities at a house party in Des Moines, and finished at a freshly painted warehouse party in Chicago.

It was quite a roller coaster year with my new job, huge culture shifts, and a long distance relationship with that amazing wife of mine.

There's sooo much to talk about, but I'm gonna try to keep this short and list style.

So, other than my new job and the move to Chicago... I also traveled a bit. Here are some of the places I visited...

Lollapalooza 2011

The 20 year anniversary of Lollapalooza, my 5th year at the festival, the 30th anniversary of my life, and the turning point of a pretty major change in my (and Kari's) life. We had some huge milestones going on this year... all of which sort of overshadowed each other, and moved too fast for me to fully appreciate them like I should have.

Either way, Lollapalooza was a giant, super expensive blast again this year. There's the standard eating of great foods, dealing with crowds, late night dinners and even later night partying, so I won't get into all that… but here's a breakdown of the shows we saw this year.

  • Tinie Tempah sounded great. We only stayed for a few songs of his set, but I wish we would've stayed longer.
  • Skrillex was …

My New Gig: Helping Reelect the President

So my buddy, Harper is currently serving as the CTO for the 2012 Obama Campaign. This spring, he told me I should interview to join his team. However, after taking the 5 hour commute and a couple other minor details into consideration, I declined.

… and regretted it immediately. It was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, working on technology for our president with a team of baller engineers. There would've been a lot of sacrifice, but the experience and knowledge I could've gained would have been completely insane.

So fast forward a few weeks... I began talking with Harper and his team again.

Today, I accepted an offer with Obama for America - so did my friend, Nick.

Most of you probably know that I'm not a very political dude. …

How I lost 20 pounds to let my pants hang

Let me start off by saying, I don't care about diets and dieting (I think most diets sound completely awful and unhealthy). However, I do care about being healthy, so I thought I'd share a bit about how I lost 20 pounds over the span of a few months.

The extremely short version is that I stopped eating like a dickhead.

And all that really means is that I began snacking less and started paying attention to my food portions. That's it. No gym, no additional excercise - I changed 2 simple things and now I get to sag my pants until my ass shows!

Feel free to leave now, haha. That's it!

But if you want to know a bit more about it, here's the rest of the story.

I got back from a trip to Ireland last fall and weighed 199 pounds. …

Sorry to have to write this

This is one of the best, most condescending emails that's ever been written about me. Back in my corporate days (circa 2007), a director sent this to all of information management.

Subject: Sorry to have to write this...
Importance: High


I'm confident that it's no one in our group - given your maturity and professionalism, but you can help me by spreading the word that the reoccurring stupid and immature prank of taking, or tearing, a "bite" from Friday donuts (and other food) and putting the remainder back into the box is a thing of the past, starting now.

If you see anyone doing this in the future, please politely ask them to take the whole thing and not replace the remnant.  Please also politely inform …

2010 Was Good

So a couple weeks ago I put together a timeline of my 2010 with plans of writing a year end blog... so now that you've forgotten about everyone else's 2010 retrospectives, here's 1 more.

Every time I write these I start out thinking, "man, I didn't really do a whole lot last year," but after looking back through photos, blogs, and tweets... I'm quite happy with last year. I traveled a lot, saw a lot, became a bit healthier, and progressed professionally. All awesome things.

So 2010 in a nutshell...

At the start of the year, I began doing some contract work at Dipity, a San Francisco based timeline tool startup. After about 5 months of contracting, I decided I really liked working with the folks at Dipity so I left Red 5

Snow Leads to Geo Detectives of THE FUTURE

And now for a story about Josh and I geolocating a random YouTube video - and how I'm amazed by how easy it was.

So, this all starts with a conversation with my dad over the recent snowfall we've been having... He tells me about this Toro Power Shovel thing, which sorta looks like a vacuum sized, cheap snowblower. My dad said that he was super skeptical of this power shovel, but he tried it out and wound up being thoroughly impressed.

Soon after, I passed this info onto my buddy, Josh. He's gotten around 3 feet of snowfall this winter, so he was immediately interested. We discussed how dumb the power shovel looks but started reading reviews and looking for videos of it in action (such as this one: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kkJ8L…

Ireland 2010

So I guess I should blog about Kari and I's amazing 5 year anniversary trip to Ireland...

Starting off with travel... the flights weren't that bad at all. I mean, they were 6-7 hours, but having my ipad and an exit row seat made everything much nicer. If you're ever going on a flight this long, try to get an exit row seat (but beware - exit row window seats do not recline all the way). Another quick international travel trip: bring a 3G iPad, buy prepaid 3G SIM cards wherever you go. This kept us connected without roaming and saved us a countless number of times with google maps, etc.

Day 1 - Kari's birthday
We landed in Dublin around 8:30am, caught a bus to Dublin city centre, found our hotel, checked in, and went to explore …

Lollapalooza 2010

Soooo, Lollapalooza is starting to make some really nice changes.

First of all, the space. They expanded the fest grounds across Columbus (adding 4 city blocks of space) and moved some of the small stages over there. It definitely, definitely opened things up and made the entire weekend much more comfortable. Everyone was gushing over the new grounds.

Secondly the water. They made a big effort this year to conserve bottles - so there was no more $3 smart water or wedging your water bottle into the crappy fountains. You could buy a little cardboard water bottle thing (or bring your own bottle) and get it filled for free at all these Event Water stations. We loved it.

And most importantly, the shows..

  • Devo - The dudes a…

Thoughts and Suggestions for Working at Home

So a couple months ago I took a job that allowed me to work from home, and I wanted to share my experience so far.

There are plenty of great articles and blogs out there like Goodbye To The Office, Your Office Chair is Killing You, Top 10 Home Office Hacks, Jeff Atwood on Working Remotely, and many, many others. Just google working remotely or telecommuting tips and you'll see what I mean.

So after doing a bit of reading and making a few small changes in both my work flow and my home office, here are my suggestions...
  1. Make your home office shine
    or better yet - make your home office make you shine. Having a comfortable and versatile work environment is huge. Not only are you working at home, but you're also living at home... …

Dipity Doo Dah!

So a lot of you have probably heard by now - I started a new job last week. I've actually been contracting for this company part-time since the beginning of the year, but last week marks the start of me going full-time for a San Francisco based startup called Dipity.

This whole process sorta started last November when Harper introduced me to a dude named Derek Dukes - the CEO of Dipity. After a bit of conversation, he had me talk to some of his team, they gave me a couple programming tests, and actually offered me a full-time position. Getting that offer was super exciting, but I wasn't quite ready to jump into the startup world. So, I opted to stick around at Red Five and do some part-time contracting for Dipity. This Spring …

Big Omaha

A couple months back, I started seeing things pop up in my Twitter stream about a little conference called Big Omaha. Some tech dudes and entrepreneurs that I follow were speaking, the content seemed interesting, and with Omaha being so close to home, I really had no reason to not attend. Plus, we rarely get baller tech guys speaking in these "fly over" states.

So after talking to Nick a bit, we ordered our tickets. I'm so freakin glad we did.

I haven't really ever been to any startup/entrepreneur conferences before, so the content just blew me away. So inspirational, so motivational. I'm pretty sure Nick would agree.

It's hard to really pick all my favorite speakers, but the ones that REALLY blew me away were Scott Harrison of …