Posts concerning personal

Books, Ebooks, and What to Keep

20:49 03 Jun 2012

In the time since I bought a Kindle, I’ve been extremely happy with it. But the rise of the ebook has brought with it questions about my relationship with books, specifically about book ownership and the notion of a personal library. I’m still trying to cut down on the physical books in my possession—the limited physical space that partly prompted acquiring a Kindle in the first place is still the same—and am finding it difficult to do so.

Permalink     2 Comments     [, , , , , , ]    

Impressions of the Grand Canyon near Supai

23:57 15 Apr 2012. Updated: 02:16 16 Apr 2012

The very first time I saw the Grand Canyon, it had a helicopter in it, rising above the sides. I was looking from the car as we approached, and the blue and white helicopter was there, hanging in space, space with walls of rock behind it, white and ochre stone.

Permalink     2 Comments     [, , , , ]    

Some Clues to How Creativity Works

20:43 08 Apr 2012

Last Wednesday I went to a talk by Jonah Lehrer on the topic of creativity, and left it feeling quite inspired. This post is a brief summary of why.

(Any inaccuracies in this outline are my own, as there is no guarantee that I understood what Jonah Lehrer intended to convey; I intend to read his book Imagine: How Creativity Works for more insight, but have not yet done so.)

Permalink     2 Comments     [, , , , , ]    

Corruption: Ireland’s Mahon Tribunal

23:34 01 Apr 2012

Dublin has grown a great deal over the last 30 years, and in so doing has become a case study in how not to manage urban/suburban development, planning, or transit policy[1].

The urban planning process for Dublin County in that period was endemically corrupt, which was common knowledge at the time but has been made extremely clear by the final report, released 22 March 2012, of the Mahon Tribunal, a body set up in 1997 to investigate such matters. It seems unlikely in the extreme that the corruption and the terrible urban sprawl aren’t connected.

Permalink     1 Comment     [, , , , , ]    

Blog Features I Want

22:44 11 Mar 2012

A discussion of common and custom blog features, and candidate applications that might provide them.

Permalink     2 Comments     [, , , , , , , , , , , ]    

Always Have Good Backups, Reprise

20:19 04 Mar 2012

Last week I went through a data loss scenario similar to last year’s, but with a less happy outcome—no miraculous recovery of the data this time. I screwed up some things in my backup infrastructure, so I did lose some data—and this should serve as a warning to you all. Backup your stuff, do it well, do it often, and don’t leave any holes.

Permalink     Comment     [, , , , ]    

2012 Goals

11:47 01 Jan 2012

I’m deliberately giving myself fewer of these this year, partly because I particularly don’t want to start the year feeling as if I’m already behind, so I’m trying to make the first quarter, at least, one in which I don’t have a pile of self-imposed tasks. So, this year, a shorter list of goals.

Permalink     Comment     [, , , , , , , ]    

2011 Goals Review

13:41 25 Dec 2011

I feel as if I did worse than usual on my goals for 2011, but that could be due to getting a bunch of them done early, with not many coming in the second half of the year.

Permalink     Comment     [, , , , , , , , , ]    

Favorite Posts of 2011

19:01 18 Dec 2011. Updated: 11:54 25 Dec 2011

What I liked most from my posts this year.


Permalink     Comment     [, ]    

“Still in the City”

23:44 11 Dec 2011. Updated: 00:48 12 Dec 2011

At Clay and Gough, after I crossed the street, there was something. No cars in sight, no car sounds, not even from Franklin. No people in sight. No people sounds, until a man in Lafayette Park broke the spell by speaking to his workout partner.

Until then, however, I had felt as if I were alone.

Permalink     2 Comments     [, , , , ]    

PTQ at Worlds 2011

23:52 20 Nov 2011. Updated: 22:08 26 Jun 2013

The last time the Magic: The Gathering World Championships were in San Francisco was September 2004. 2004 might have been the high water mark of my MTG career, and at one of the side events for that Worlds I racked up probably my best win, a two–one victory over Tsuyoshi Fujita with my Black/Red Death Cloud deck[*]. A month later I picked up my first (and, it seems, only) PTQ top eight result[†].

Permalink     1 Comment     [, , ]    

Steve Jobs

23:47 09 Oct 2011

I wasn’t a big Steve Jobs fan; despite my working almost exclusively on Mac hardware for the last several years, I disagreed strongly with the direction I thought he was moving computing in. I was surprised to find myself feeling very sad at the news of his passing.

I’m not entirely sure what drove the extent of that sadness.

Permalink     Comment     [, , , , , , , , , ]    

Q’Rith: Maps and World-Building

23:31 11 Sep 2011. Updated: 18:19 17 Sep 2011

I started the process of building the world of Q’Rith, and the nature and politics of the area of it my campaign would be focused on, conceptually rather than visually, which is to say: I didn’t have a map.

I had a strong sense of how it was supposed to work in terms of the dynamics between regions, what the scale should be like, and of pieces of the history of the region. I also knew it would start on the east coast of a large continent, and that the continent’s dominant state would stretch from one coast to the other. But that was more or less all.

Permalink     Comment     [, , , , , ]    

Expression, Pseudonymity, Google+

23:06 21 Aug 2011. Updated: 18:19 17 Sep 2011

Google+ has come under fire recently for banning users who don’t have usernames conforming to the service’s rules about what usernames should be like. Google’s policies on the matter are wrong, and the reasons why they’re wrong, as well as the potential implications of their policy, are important.

Permalink     3 Comments     [, , , , , , , , , ]    

Blog Milestone/Schedule Shift

20:51 31 Jul 2011. Updated: 21:44 01 Aug 2011

Today marks five years of posting to this blog at least five days per week (it was every day for the first year). Well over a thousand posts, on an eclectic variety of topics. When I started, in August 2006, my intent was to blog every day for a month. I did that, then kept on going, but after a year recognized that I needed some breaks in a week.

I’m quite proud of having posted that regularly for so long. That being said, it’s time for a change. The new schedule is a minimum of one post per week, posted Sundays (or earlier, but that effectively means Sundays).

Permalink     1 Comment     [, , ]    

July Downtime

22:00 24 Jul 2011

Observant readers may have noticed that tadhg.com was unavailable for much of last week, from Sunday 17 July to yesterday, 23 July. This affected my email as well as my blog, so if you sent me email in that period, it’s entirely possible that I didn’t get it (and, therefore, you should send it to me again if you haven’t heard from me).

Permalink     Comment     [, , , , , ]    


22:07 21 Jul 2011. Updated: 17:41 23 Jul 2011

Because to smile is to spit in the teeth of mortality.

Permalink     Comment     []    

Always Have Good Backups

19:47 19 Jul 2011. Updated: 17:39 23 Jul 2011

At time of writing, the server hosting my blog and email is down, and the possibility data recovery is uncertain. This makes me feel a little dumb, as I don’t have everything backed up. Not good, especially since I’m highly aware of the need for backups. But this server is where I generally back things up to, and having backups of it is something I was once better at but have lost the habit of. So if the data isn’t recoverable, I’m missing quite a lot, and it would be, at the least, a significant headache to get it back.

Permalink     1 Comment     [, , , ]    

Phantom Post

19:58 18 Jul 2011. Updated: 17:38 23 Jul 2011

As I write this, tadhg.com is down, and there’s no chance of it coming back before tomorrow. So I have a post to write, but in the knowledge that once I write it, I can’t put it on my blog for at least a day.

That makes writing it feel quite different, and makes explicit the extent to which I regard my posts specifically as blog posts. That might seem obvious, but there’s no real reason why my posts couldn’t be considered pieces of text that merely end up on a blog, pieces that could be reposted or repurposed elsewhere, rather than being categorized so strictly.

In writing this one, however, I feel acutely the sense of a lack of an audience; this is despite the fact that I know it’ll be read once the site is up and running again. If I regarded it more as an essay or story, that wouldn’t be the case, but intrinsically it is its own form, a blog post, and in this instance would make little sense as anything else.

Hopefully its phantom half-life will be brief.

Permalink     Comment     [, , ]    

Header Images: Root

07:35 11 Jul 2011

Those of you who visit this site (as opposed to reading it via various proxies like Google Reader) will have noticed that the image in the site header changes. I’ve set it up to randomly select from several images, and this post contains brief commentary about those images.

Permalink     Comment     [, , , ]    

CrossFit Milestones, June 2011

23:22 21 Jun 2011

Warning: this post contains images of me barely-clad.

Permalink     1 Comment     [, , ]    

4 Philosophical Questions Examined in Light of The Hitch-Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

23:45 23 May 2011. Updated: 15:05 12 Mar 2012

Unsurprisingly, yesterday’s explorations of scale led me to ponder questions of meaning and meaninglessness, and reminded me of this excellent article by Julia Galef over at 3 Quarks Daily. The answer, of course, must be 42; the questions Galef addresses are:

  1. What’s the point of anything if we’re all going to be dead someday?
  2. What’s the purpose of our existence?
  3. How can any of our lives matter in the grand scheme of things?
  4. Things seem to happen without rhyme or reason.

(Presumably the last one should have been “why do things seem to happen without rhyme or reason?”)

Permalink     2 Comments     [, , , , , ]    

CrossFit Open 2011 Criticisms

19:56 15 May 2011

Through the seven weeks of the CrossFit Open, plus an additional week or so to allow for the system to settle on a reliable ranking for me, I’ve been focused on my own performance and hitting my goals. But it was impossible not to be very aware of the significant mess that CrossFit HQ made of the event, and the problems in the community this exposed.

Permalink     Comment     [, , , ]