Blacklist that Black Hat Hacker Black Sheep

With the groundswell of support for Black Lives Matter and racial justice, my company — like many corporations — has decided it wants to jump on the bandwagon. To this end, my boss delegated my coworker to draft some writing standards to ensure our documentation is appropriately inclusive.

I agree with this plan. For example, when I write, “An advisor generates a report. When he reviews it…” I really should stop to think about whether I need to write “he.” Could I say “she” or “they,” or should I just rewrite it to avoid gendering “advisor” in the first place? We don’t want to implicitly assume advisors are all cis-gender men preferring the “he” pronoun. Most of the time we can write around it, and I think we should do so. Continue Reading >>

Masks

Masks.

Everyone’s talking about them these days, even if not everyone wears them. Thanks in large part to the President’s astonishingly consistent leadership, a significant segment of the population now sees wearing masks as “unmanly,” suitable only for weaklings and liberals. In some places, people see wearing a mask as a political statement: only Democrats wear masks. 

I’m not here to debate the politics of mask-wearing. I’m not even here to debate the science of it. Health experts have provided evolving advice as the situation changed, an understandable response in a fluid situation. Initially, they recommended against masks not because masks were ineffective, but because we didn’t have enough of them. And initially it appeared that homemade masks did less to protect the wearer than N-95 masks or surgical masks, so people saw homemade masks as less desirable. Continue Reading >>

A New View

Needing corrective lenses while doing athletic endeavors poses all sorts of problems. If, like me, you’re squeamish about poking contact lenses directly onto your eyeball, you find yourself with fairly limited choices. When I started biking, I iterated through several different solutions:

  • Regular glasses (not enough coverage, not good in the sun)
  • Regular glasses with clip-on sunglasses (dorky, heavy, prone to falling off, still not enough coverage)
  • Regular glasses with transition lenses (too slow to respond to changing light conditions, not enough coverage)
  • Prescription sunglasses (too dark for wintertime riding and varied light conditions)

Finally I came to standard sunglasses with prescription inserts. Almost 10 years ago, I bought a pair of Smith Optics Pivloc sunglasses with Rx adaptors and had a local optometrist fill the lens prescription. That solution has served me steadily for nearly the last decade, despite its drawbacks (mostly miscellaneous items, including fog, condensation, water, bugs, sweat, and dirt getting between the prescription lenses and the sunglass lenses). Continue Reading >>

Bunny Graveyard

And I’m not talking metaphorically.

We see rabbits in our yard every day, almost every time we look or step outside. A couple months ago two babies appeared, as they do most years. Then we saw just one baby bunny, and then I didn’t see any for quite a while. One of our neighbors mentioned their dog caught one baby rabbit, but the other disappeared inexplicably.

Well, I can’t explain it, but yesterday while I was trimming the (incredibly tall overgrown) grass along the side of the yard, I found where that second baby rabbit went. Continue Reading >>

Sprucing Up the Home

Before:

House Paint - Before

After:

Repainted House
New gutters and new paint.

New paint and gutters weren’t originally part of our financial plan for the year, but we found the beginnings of rot on some gutter fascia, and then it turned out all the gaps between our siding needed re-sealing, and in the end it was one of those “welcome to homeownership” moments.

But, on the bright side, we got to pick the color of our house for the first time. So now we have no excuse if we don’t like it.

Now that’s done, I spent some time cleaning up the back yard the last few days. I’ve found quite a bit of this type of post-construction detritus: Continue Reading >>

Big Events and a Small Blog

This is a strange time to write a personal blog. 

As a nation, our people and our culture are undergoing once-in-a-generation upheaval. It’s hard to even keep track of everything happening at once: We’ve got Black Lives Matter protests, the COVID-19 pandemic, an economic depression starting with the highest unemployment rate since the Great Depression, a uniquely unsuited Presidential administration at the helm, an upcoming Presidential election, acrimonious, dysfunctional, and crippling partisanship — and that’s just what’s on fire right now. Continue Reading >>