life Posts


Been reading the Harry Potter books for a few years with the family at night, and in the middle gets introduced this thing of Dumbledore's called the "Pensieve", which is like a bowl into which Dumbledore can put his memories so he doesn't have to keep them all in his head.

I just realized I've been doing this, sort of, for the last year or so. I'm full on manager now, all I do is phones calls for the first half of any given day. I started taking notes with pen and paper sometime last...

My kids and social media

I'm working through some thoughts in my head about social media, as I've been doing since founding this blog well over a decade ago. Back then I thought it was going to be a savior of democracy in oppressed societies around the world, and we see how that's turned out.

Lately it's an issue closer to home. My kids are creators. At some point years back they got inspired by Captain Underpants and started making their own comic books. We have bookshelves full of 8 inch sketch pads from AC...

On FinOps, 5 months later

I am on my way to San Diego for the first Platformer meetup thing that I've been to since the Beforetimes, at least the first that's not just my team. On my way to San Diego I stopped by Austin for the FinOpsX conference, an amazing little thing put on by ... maybe the Linux Foundation through some other community community, idk.

Anyway, it was really amazing. Open source is just so much fun, I'm really glad that I found it all those years ago. This conference was smallish, like 400...

It's not The Path, it's My Path

I don't know, this just came to me. For several months now I've been trying to make some changes to old behaviors. One of them is a lack of communicating, of building up a thing or a plan in my head without talking it over with the people whom it affects.

I've summarized this as something like

When I have a good idea - when I see the path - I assume everyone sees it too.

So I've been making more of an effort to communicate everything in the last few months, whether it's the Big Idea...


I caught this thought train last night and hopped off before writing it down. It has to do with the visible trappings of success. First the obvious bits.

True success isn't something that someone gives you. It's not something that you get. It's not a thing. It's a feeling. I am currently riding the wave of it for maybe the first time ever. I am doing my best work. This post, written over a decade ago - I'm finally there. It may not last, and I'm ok with that. I'm grateful for it...

What I'm up to professionally, early 2021 edition

Started here at this company about 5 years ago, a smallish technology startup (30 or so ppl) HQ'd in Paris founded by some really smart people that I wanted to work with.

I didn't view myself as having the engineering skillset to go out for the engineering team, so when I saw a post for a Solutions Architect that fit my resume perfectly I applied. It was a move out of the "back of the house" programming toward the front of house, talking with customers, working with the Sales team to bring...

Starting a new team in a remote company

This is one of the aspects I didn't consider. A bit of background:

I'll have been here at for 5 years this July, which is crazy because it's now the longest I've ever held a single job in my life. Last summer I was poised to propose that we start a new team here around Data and Analytics right as someone else, much higher up then I, proposed that we start the exact same team. I raised my hand to start this team.

Prior to this I was leading a team of 15 in charge of...

Crazy thing is...

I never would've dreamed when I was 24 and hitting the road full time with a band that I would ultimately find career happiness not playing music but actually with a full time job working w a bunch of people I almost never see in person.

Two kinds of managers

[This was partially inspired by this excellent article that I read Saturday morning.]

I manage two teams. One of them has been through a lot of changes in the last 12 months, basically taking a rather sharp turn in responsibilities and day to day work. This was always the plan because I believed that there was no better team to take over this particular process than ours, but when it came down to actually implement the changes clearly it was not what some members of the team had signed up...

Dunning Kruger

I've known about the Dunning-Kruger effect for years, thanks to Hacker News and its penchant for surfacing the names of Things. It never occurred to me before just now that my steady decline in productivity here on this blog, or rather the extreme productivity I enjoyed in posting to this blog in its first year, were the result of the Dunning-Kruger effect. I had so much to say! I had no idea what I was talking about!

It's a damn shame, because it really did help me to let that stuff out...

Tips for working from home

Basically nothing you probably haven't learned already, but let me detail my latest take on web conference call nirvana:

An iPhone with a mini tripod, search "iPhone tripod" on Amazon, and a pair of AirPods. This lets you set up your meet anywhere - the yard is my personal favorite since about a month ago when spring began - and carry on doing whatever you're doing without having to balance your phone on whatever is around.

The Struggle

Just because I'm losing Doesn't mean I'm lost

I don't know really how to get into this one, but I was talking with someone earlier today about The Struggle. The Struggle is all I've been working against for the last 10 years since I started this blog. I don't want to say that The Struggle is over, but if it's the mountain I've been climbing I think I'm basically at the top of it now. I need to find another mountain to climb now.

I started this blog a lifetime ago, and I feel like...



I haven't posted anything in over a year. I'm almost rusted shut, yet I lately feel the need to commit to creating a new row in the database that backs this blog.


Just start writing.

I've been at this gig for over 3 years now, and I've learned a decent deal about the "real world", the one that I wanted to exist in toward the end of my last career. I scored that tech job, I got bumped up to mgmt about 8 months ago. I actually really enjoy it and I'd kind of...

Removing GA tracking

Well hey, I haven't written anything here in 2018, that's wild.

So here's what I'm doing - I'm removing the GA tracker from this blog. I don't check my stats anymore and I suspect what audience there is to this blog probably has ad blocking enabled. Hell, I have ad blocking enabled. Seems kind of hypocritical to have an ad blocker installed so that the eye of tech-Sauron can't follow me as easily around the internet, and yet to have GA tracking on my own blog. So I'm getting rid of it.

Check in

So much to say, so much to say..

Some day I'll write a memoir, but that day is not this day my friends. The most outwardly memorable thing I've done so far this summer is fly out to Oregon to the String Summit to cover for Mike Devol of Greensky. Mike had a baby a few days before, and back in the winter he called me up to see if I might be interested in covering for him on some summer festival shows. Duh, yes.

So I had several months to prepare, but not prepare so much that I got...

So that was fun.

I just switched this blog over to a Silex application for a few weeks, but I never got around to adding in the functionality to add new tickets, and add new tags, and link the two together, and all that other stuff that a framework like Laravel just gives you.

So we're back.


I was just remembering this post from back in the early days of this blog. Social media was being used to shine a bright light on oppression and old, repressive regimes were falling.

Fast forward to now, the end of 2016. Social media is being used to organize vastly more repressive regimes, and the ease with which anyone can now spread convincing lies makes it almost impossible to tell what's true anymore.

Traditional journalism has never been more important than it is now.

Knowledge Hunters

I work with a guy. He's incredibly smart. He's the seniormost developer here, and if you need to learn something new and get something large done, he's the guy to do it. We basically dropped him off in the AWS jungle and told him to learn Hadoop and the entire Hadoop ecosystem for a data warehouse project and he did it.

I work with another guy. He's also incredibly smart. But he asks me for the answer before attempting to find it on his own more often than not. He's got a point when...

For my friend, who's quitting a band

So yeah. I mean, obviously I can't read your mind and get to all the real reasons that you'd be wanting to move on, so I'll just kinda riff on my experience and hopefully it won't come out too narcissistic. I don't really have time to write this down in a narrative fashion, so I'm just going to bullet point some of the thoughts I still remember from that period.

  • One of the things that I remember well is the space that was opened up in my mind for not having a clock ticking in the...

The Musician's Curse

And I wonder - will you miss your old friends once you've proven what you're worth? And I wonder - when you're a big star, will you miss the Earth?

I heard some news this weekend that really shook me up - that one of my old musician acquiantances and his wife of several years had recently split up.

He's a young dude and his band is killing it, and I know first-hand how rough that is on a relationship, so it was not suprising at all. Yet somehow it was also simultaneously...

The phases of iPhone ownership - the end of the road

And here we are, but first - a story...

Yesterday was my 4 year old's 5th birthday. Michelle and I go back and forth about who's going to take video and who's going to take stills for singing "Happy Birthday", and decide I'll take the video.

We get up to the part where she's lighting the candle and my phone stops recording - "Your phone is full, please manage storage under blah blah blah...". This is an iPhone 6+, bought it two months ago. Obviously I bought...

Dear me, 5 years ago

This shit is all very scary and confusing to you right now. You're about to walk the plank into the unknown. This will be the last "principled" career decision that you make up until the point that I'm writing you this, and you will learn a hell of a lot from it - about yourself, about your marriage, and about life in general. Shit's about to get really difficult for you, in a way that you sense now, and that's why you were up unable to sleep at 3am last night.

There will be no gentle...

For my friend

I started this blog almost 6 years ago. Looking back it was basically chronicling the beginning of the darkest years of my life. It was also, however, chronicling the beginning of the most creative years that I've ever had. Lot of shit went down for me 5 years ago, and being a nice round-number-type anniversary I've been going back over these old posts a lot lately, especially the ones where I really took a lot of time to lay it out exactly right. The creative fire is one that I wrote...


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As a business Owner you might be interested to gain profit by placing your website among top in search engines. Your website needs immediate improvement for some major issues with your website.

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Enlightenment is realizing that the straight job with the commute and the boss actually provides more of what you were seeking from the experience of being a professional grade musician than being in a professional grade band.

For the first time ever I'm part of a team with stated goals and long term plans laid out in service of attaining those goals. It's an amazing feeling that I wouldn't have had I not given the band thing the commitment that I did.

So thank you, Railroad Earth, for...

Dear Dennis

Hey Dennis, I became a first time WNCW member during the Gospel Truth a few weeks ago. It really is a different feeling you get listening to a radio station that you're helping to support, but that's not my point...

I moved up to New Jersey for the Railroad Earth gig a very long time ago now, but I'm an App State alumni, class of 2001. I've been trying to get back down to somewhere in the NCW listening area ever since but despite my best efforts, me and my family have gone and grown roots...

So yeah, I got a job.

I love this blog. It's amazing how much I used to write. I was so young and so passionate! My ego was totally huge! I had no idea how much of a ride I was really in for! It's a good thing, too!!

So yeah. I got a job. I've been bouncing around a bunch of different technologies for the last few years, trying to figure out where to land, what to do, what to be. Emmitt-Nershi is kind of chilling for the time being, and I happened to find out this was going to be the case the day I got a...

"So what are you up to?"

So here I sit, at the end of another brief tour, watching the sky get lighter outside the windows at the St. Louis airport. Listening to a bit of the new Bon Iver record, which is beyond terrific to the point of being maybe the record of the year for me. We'll see.

It's not that I haven't had much to say (though I haven't had quite as much to say), it's just that the time in which I used to say it has been filled by the consequence of my prayers for work being answered. I've been very,...


I might as well ditch this blog. I have no idea where to start another post. Is this a technology blog? Is this a blog about life as a musician? Is this still my rallying cry against the music industry? So much has gone on the last month/year/decade I don't even know where to begin.

I've joined a band. I didn't think I'd be doing that ever again. I actually thought my career as a professional player was over. I thought I'd seen the top of the mountain and that was that and it was...

On Life After Earth

I suppose there's a few ways a post with this title could go. I'm flying back from my first run with the new band, and there were a few themes bouncing around the last couple weeks. This band is a lot lower overhead. There's no bus call. There's no soundguy (although I personally hope that's remedied this year). Load in and setup take about 15 minutes. Billy and Drew managed to work out lift passes for us to all get out on the mountain 3 times in the last two weeks. I grew up skiing a...

Net Neutrality and the Golden Goose

Just a week before the FCC holds a vote on whether to apply fairness rules to some of the nation’s internet service providers, two companies that sell their services to the country’s largest cellular companies showed off a different vision of the future: one where you’ll have to pay extra to watch YouTube or use Facebook.

~From a Wired article earlier this week. READ IT

Now here's why this matters...

It's not about Facebook or YouTube. Those seem on the surface like silly...

ibd Version 5.0, and top 5 bass influences.

Well, here we are. It was a tortuous migration, but IgnoredByDinosaurs (the blog) has reached version 5. I think it's version 5, let's see there was Blogger, then WP, then Drupal, then back to WP, then back to Drupal, and now this bad boy, so I guess you would call this one 6.0.

This blog is now run by a system called Jekyll, a "site generator" that's written in Ruby. What it does is take a bunch of text posts and runs them through a couple of different templates and spits out a full...

More on quitting a band.

I just realized this weekend that I missed something in Friday's post.

So, if you haven't already, take a look at the dates, and allow me to prepare a meditation on why November seems to be such a drag for touring bands... Surprise! I'm a cliche! All of these announcements were dated sometime in November - Billy in '06, Ben in '07, Zac in '08, and myself in '09. I already asked, what is it about...

The creative fire

I just finished "Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance" in the ATL airport yesterday. I tried to read it in college and failed miserably - it was just way too wordy and too deep for 20 year old me. For some reason about a month and a half ago I picked it back up and gave it another try, shortly before I started coming to grips with the fact that my spell in RRE is drawing to a close. It's basically the tale of a man and his son on a road trip. The man has battled mental illness in...

1st set meditation

Lots of personal posts to come these next few weeks, I expect. I wanted to take this opportunity during setbreak in Woodstock to set down a few things that I was thinking about during the first set.

I've gotten a few cautionary letters from concerned onlookers of my situation, most of them warning me of the pitfalls of this decision that I've made. First, I want to let you know that I've been making the internal preparations for this move for well over a year. It was about that long ago...

The road.

It wears you out. All the stories about how road eventually grinds good musicians into dust may be partially true. I'd suspect that it has more to do with drugs and alcohol on the road grinding musicians into dust. I don't have that problem, so mainly it just wears me out.

Exhaustion is a state that usually lends itself to some good playing, at least for me. Last night I was so tired I think my brain went into some kind of alpha dream state during the second set. That's when I do my...