Skip to main content

Pilch

Pilch

First draft of concession speech, Nov 9 2016

2 min read

Congratulations, President-Elect, and best of luck in your two (2) court dates before your inauguration.

Congratulations to white people. You have proven your point, and we must all live with the consequences. I believe it was Maya Angelou that said "When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time."

Condolences to Secretary Clinton on a hard fought campaign. I have never respected the cost of wanting to use a single phone for personal and work emails until now.

Shout out to the electoral college for exposing our expertly rigged system, identified by the GOP president-elect. I bet this is one of the first things he addresses when taking office.

Shout out to Antonin Scalia for gutting the Voting Rights Act and then dying, steering the boat towards and then tripling the size of the iceberg. I'm sure the Honorable Peter Thiel will keep your legacy alive for the next 275 years before dying of vampire-related causes.

(Related: Shout out to the 46.9% of the electorate that could not find a way to show up to the polls.)

Congratulations to our future presidential cabinet. Chris "Bridges" Christie. Newt "Moon Base" Gingrich. Rudy "I forgot 9/11 even though it's kind of my thing" Guiliani. I am sure you all will have our best interests in mind.

Apologies to folks who are not straight white men, whom this will affect disproportionately, as it always has. I will try to be here for you, but if it is too much, I hear Vancouver is lovely.

Shout out to the Chicago Cubs, for siphoning off the extremely limited supply of karma for the year 2016, and taking an advance on the next 4 years.

As always, all glory to Mother Russia.

Let the self-fulfilling prophecy be fulfilled. America has signaled to itself and the entire world that we are not exceptional, and are no longer great. Time to get to work.

Pilch

An Open Letter to the Governor of Indiana

3 min read

Dear Governor Pence,

has not been doing great in the media lately. First Pawnee had to merge with Eagleton1, then the Mole Women emerged from Reverend Richard Wayne Gary Wayne’s bunker.

In all seriousness, I would be glad to have those issues. They are preferable to the reality of transitioning from an HIV outbreak to legalizing discrimination by religious organizations.

There is no getting around it - this is about discrimination. No matter how many times you tell us it is not, you also won’t just say you are against the discrimination of LGBT people. Pretty sure Stephanopolous is not known for hard-hitting journalism, Mike. He was putting a softball on a tee for you, and you struck out.

Can you think of another reason a business would need “free exercise of religion”? Or that it would need to use that new-found religion as a defense in civil litigation? You have had several months to think of some examples. I’ve tried for a few days, and I am coming up empty. Maybe if it actually was the same as the federal RFRA, which has been falsely claimed by several conservative news outlets, this would be easier.

I have been an Indiana resident since I was in elementary school. It makes me glad that this kind of skulduggery2 is coming to light, because there is always the small hope that the attention will help the problem. Now the CEO of the richest company in America, Parks and Rec’s own Nick Offerman (and Jeff Tweedy), and your predecessor are all throwing you under the bus. I know if there is one thing you guys like more than religion, it is capitalism.

But if the past is any indicator, things probably won’t change. I’m not sure if it is the cause or the effect, but smart, (even mildly) progressive people have been leaving the state for decades. Little, trying-to-be-subtle moves like this are the reason. This policy is only driving more people out of the economic ghost town that is (northern) Indiana.

Please don’t make us form a religion3 and sue you, which we are now allowed to do under your law, which does not define what a religion is.

Good luck with reelection,
Your constituency


  1. It was honestly hard to find something negative that happened to Indiana in that show. Which makes this even more disappointing - it is like you are correcting the show, saying “No, it’s ok, we’re actually assholes.”
  2. Awesome word. Should be used more often.
  3. Our first commandment is “don’t be an asshole.” To inject some of the founder’s personal bias into it, our second commandment is “Notre Dame sucks.”

Pilch

Beginning the move to Known

2 min read

Moving the blog to Known has been in the back of my mind for a while now, so I finally pulled the trigger. This has been a fun weekend project, now spilling into Tuesday. Wordpress maintenance has become too cumbersome for my needs, and Known has been a breath of fresh air. Some notes from my experience:

  • Invaluable installation instructions in the Known documentation, as well as here. The only issue I kept having was where to place the uploads directory, and how to point to it.
  • Really, reeealy looking forward to importing my old blog content here. I know that Wordpress import is on the horizon, and I forsee it bringing a large influx of personal sites to their hosted service.
  • I love that the functionality works out of the box.
  • Chrome handles it very well on Android, but I need to play around with it more to figure out how to reply. Almost needs to be its own app...
  • Facebook thinks I am a robot when I try to setup POSSE here, even after I answer a captcha and verify my mobile phone. So they don't get to see any of these posts.

I have not written many posts lately, as evidenced by my Wordpress page (currently at pilchernet.com). Hopefully this refresh will kickstart some creativity.

Pilch

Snow cars

1 min read

All dug out, except for our car mohawks - with Jessamine

View on Path

Pilch

Year-Listicle In Review 2014

5 min read

Lots of pretty terrible things happened this year. It wasn't all bad though. Here were the bright spots. (And here is the review of last year.) Enjoy the verbose headers.

A reminder on how to make listicles:

MUSIC I ENJOYED THIS YEAR THAT MAY OR MAY NOT HAVE BEEN RELEASED DURING THIS CALENDAR YEAR

PHOTOGRAPHS TAKEN BY ME (OR SOMEONE ELSE) THIS YEAR WHICH WOULD CAUSE ME SADNESS IF THEY WERE DELETED OR OTHERWISE LOST

Or: In Case You Can't Tell, We Have A Dog

[gallery type="rectangular" ids="1667,1669,1666,1571,1548,1544,1526,1525,1673,1674,1672,1529"]

MOVIES I WATCHED THIS YEAR AND WILL LIKELY PURCHASE ON DIGITAL VIDEO DISC (OR OTHER FORMAT) BECAUSE I ENJOYED THEM

Interstellar

http://youtu.be/0vxOhd4qlnA

St. Vincent1

http://youtu.be/9dP5lJnJHXg

Birdman

http://youtu.be/-umj5cxtgBA

The Grand Budapest Hotel

http://youtu.be/1Fg5iWmQjwk

The Lego Movie2

http://youtu.be/fZ_JOBCLF-I

ARTICLES I READ THIS YEAR AND THEN BOOKMARKED AND PROBABLY SHARED SO OTHERS WOULD READ THEM AS WELL

The Future Of Culture Wars Is Here, And It's Gamergate - Deadspin

In many ways, Gamergate is an almost perfect closed-bottle ecosystem of bad internet tics and shoddy debating tactics. Bringing together the grievances of video game fans, self-appointed specialists in journalism ethics, and dedicated misogynists, it's captured an especially broad phylum of trolls and built the sort of structure you'd expect to see if, say, you'd asked the old Fires of Heaven message boards to swing a Senate seat. It's a fascinating glimpse of the future of grievance politics as they will be carried out by people who grew up online.

Playing With My Son - Medium

If you have a kid, why not run experiments on them? It’s like running experiments on a little clone of yourself! And almost always probably legal.

It’s disappointing how many people have children and miss this golden opportunity, usually waiting until they’re in their teens to start playing mindgames with them.

My 14-Hour Search for the End of TGI Friday's Endless Appetizers - Gawker

The day after "Endless Appetizers" was announced, I went to TGI Friday's in the Brooklyn neighborhood of Sheepshead Bay. I wanted to challenge the hubris of a company co-opting the infinite for a marketing gimmick. I wanted to demand accountability from copywriters.

I wanted to call their bluff and eat appetizers until they kicked me out, to seek the limit of this supposedly limitless publicity stunt.

I soon learned the limit does not exist.

Squirtle, I (Should) Choose You! Settling a Great Pokémon Debate with Science - Scientific American

But no matter what my relationship to Pokémon is now, I can’t deny that it was one of the driving forces in my nerdy life. And like any fanboy or girl who has ever played the original games, Pokémon was singular in that it provided me the first life-altering choice in my young life: Which of the starting Pokémon—Squirtle, Charmander, or Bulbasaur—should I pick? It felt like a digital “Sophie’s Choice,” with any decision rendering two Pokémon forever un-catchable, destined to be used against me by my rival.

THE SEVEN HABITS OF HIGHLY EFFECTIVE MEDIOCRE PEOPLE - The Rumpus

...We can’t all be grand visionaries. We can’t all be Picassos. We want to make our business, make our art, sell it, make some money, raise a family, and try to be happy. My feeling, based on my own experience, is that aiming for grandiosity is the fastest route to failure. For every Mark Zuckerberg, there are 1000 Jack Zuckermans. Who is Jack Zuckerman? I have no idea. That’s my point. If you’re Jack Zuckerman and you’re reading this, I apologize. You aimed for the stars and missed. Your reentry into the atmosphere involved a broken heat shield, and you burned to a crisp by the time you hit the ocean. Now we have no idea who you are.

Programming Sucks - Peter Welch

You can't restart the internet. Trillions of dollars depend on a rickety cobweb of unofficial agreements and "good enough for now" code with comments like "TODO: FIX THIS IT'S A REALLY DANGEROUS HACK BUT I DON'T KNOW WHAT'S WRONG" that were written ten years ago. I haven't even mentioned the legions of people attacking various parts of the internet for espionage and profit or because they're bored. Ever heard of 4chan? 4chan might destroy your life and business because they decided they didn't like you for an afternoon, and we don't even worry about 4chan because another nuke doesn't make that much difference in a nuclear winter.

BEST NEWS OF THE YEAR THAT CANNOT BE TOPPED, EVEN IF I WAS AWARDED THE POWERBALL JACKPOT BY A RECENTLY-RESURRECTED J. H. CHRIST

A healthy baby Pilch is on the way. It's a boy.


  1. Hey, there's a St. Vincent in the music and movie section! Not pictures or articles though. Maybe next year.
  2. I've already declared that we are a Lego Movie family. Not a Frozen family.

Pilch

The Internet as a Megaphone

3 min read

We live in exciting, sometimes terrifying times. It has become fashionable to carry a device on your person at all times with more computing power than NASA's Apollo command center. Products raise millions of dollars to essentially communicate with that smart device from several feet away. The most popular uses of of these mobile devices are to shoot round birds with a slingshot at makeshift towers built by pigs, and to broadcast any minute detail that pops up in the ol' brain bucket. Broad new horizons.

However, users of these devices (and the services they enable) bring with them horizons that are neither broad nor new. Certain , previously ignored and subsequently rendered powerless, now have the means to broadcast globally and connect like-minded individuals regardless of geographic location. This message amplification has the ability to force society to progress with great strides, as with the LGBT community. But for some reason, the net-positive effect does not happen with everyone. The most recent instance of this is Gamergate.

In years past, I might have identified myself as a gamer. In the sense that "I enjoy and often play video games in my free time", it is an accurate descriptor to this day. After the past few months, I would be reluctant to identify myself this way. If you have successfully avoided any Gamergate news up to this point, good on you. Keep it up. If you feel like being sad about life, read this summary from Newsweek with actual Twitter statistics, or this in-depth summary about the implications of this type of movement.

Upon further research, this seems like a deeper cultural issue, unrelated to . I would say it is an American issue, but it is likely present elsewhere too. Kathy Sierra, a prominent tech figure, has now had to essentially leave the internet for the second time in less than 10 years. Before that, several private personal pictures of celebrities were leaked, of which there was a single male (and he was collateral damage, as he was dating one of the targeted female celebrities). Even before that, dumb old white guys were talking (seemingly sincerely) about "legitimate rape" in congressional election coverage. The megaphone created by our newly-connected society seems to have pretty terrible opinions about on an alarmingly consistent basis.

TL;DR The only way I know how to help is to write about it. I will be a parent soon. It scares me to think that the difficulty of that kid's life will be so greatly affected by a single genetic coin-toss.

Pilch

Announcement

1 min read

 

Excited to announce we are expecting! Our family expands this spring.

Picture by my wife, cameo by Charlie.

Pilch

Pilch

Pilch

Pilch

Pilch

Productivity in the Age of Angry Flapping Birds

3 min read

I am a flip-flopper. The newest thing is always best; the grass perpetually greener. It is why I just got a new phone, and why my employer using Windows XP (!!!) on all employee laptops until late last year drove me crazy.

In addition, my favorite form of procrastination is reading about new ways to do work. All the bases are covered - the illusion of work, thinking about work, theoretically improving future work - to feel productive without actually being productive. Lifehacker is the ESPN1 of feeling productive, my main source of finding new ways to work (especially the How I Work series).

This is most likely the reason that I cannot choose a to-do/note-taking/organizer program. There are so many, but I think I finally have it narrowed down to about 4.

My previous favorite was Workflowy, basically an infinite nested list. Todo.txt is the open-source nerd tool, which just uses a .txt file. Trello makes everything into a bulletin board with cards pinned on it, and Evernote does all the things, everywhere.

Services2WorkflowyTodo.txtTrelloEvernote
Cost $49/yr Free Free for personal $45/yr
Photos No No Yes Yes
Tagging Yes Yes Limited to 6 Yes
GTD-oriented3 Kind of Yes Maybe Definitely
API Working on it... Unnecessary Yes Yes

They all work great, but at slightly different things. Evernote would be the best option, with its ability to store photos. but most of its function comes from storage, not helping me to process that storage. I am still figuring that bit out, and will probably use one of the other tools to do it.4

My favorite right now is Trello. I tried it a year or so ago, and it seemed better suited for group projects. Now, they have a better mobile client, and the documentation is easier to find. Also, the keyboard shortcuts5 are great and make using it fun. I would highly recommend using one to sort out daily life. None of them will meet all your needs6, but you can make them work together to hit all your bases.


  1. Come to think of it, ESPN : sports :: Lifehacker : working. What percentage of ESPN's programming is actually showing a sporting event? 
  2. OK, you got me, those are all referral links. Throw me a bone :) 
  3. I'm only about a quarter of the way into the book. But from all the lifehacking articles I've read over the past few years, I know the concepts. When my wife tried reading it, and stopped in roughly the same place to go do something else, I told her she clearly learned all she needed. 
  4. There are ways to connect all these services to Evernote on the backend - forwarding Workflowy logs to Evernote, syncing with Trello boards, and todo.txt
  5. Keyboard shortcuts are the stickshift of the internet. Not always necessary, but makes things a lot smoother, and people who always use them swear by them. 
  6. That is more of an existential problem than a productivity problem. 

Pilch

The Hold Steady @ the Vogue Theater, 4/25/2014

1 min read

Some highlights from the show:

  • Some Deer Tick fans popped up in front of us at the beginning of their set, affectionately referred to as Tick Heads. I have never seen someone's mind constantly exploding from that close for that amount of time. They clearly could not contain their enthusiasm, and were escorted away before the end of the set.
  • The Vogue does not know how to make a Tom Collins (maybe just the one bartender). We stuck with whiskey coke after that, considering the band:
  • Craig Finn almost looks out of place at first but makes it clear that he is having just as much fun as you are, which makes the whole show pretty refreshing. Read more about it here (about halfway in, just past the part about bookshelves).
  • Hold Steady fans are generally unthreatening. Lots of plaid button-ups and thick-rimmed glasses. There were some d-bags in the front that were watching ESPN on their phone, literally less than 10 feet from the mics. Disappointing, but they weren't jumping around and throwing elbows and screaming, so whatever.

[gallery ids="1525,1518,1522,1521,1519,1524,1523"]

Pilch

Massive night

1 min read

The hold steady. Double whiskey Coke no ice - at The Vogue Theater with Jessamine

See on Path