What a Month

My last brain dump was early February, and now it’s the end. There are some things on my mind as we head into March. Things that changed, things that didn’t, surprises and shrugs.

NANA is out, AKIRA is faltering

I enjoyed NANA for a few weeks, but reached a point where it wasn’t doing anything for me anymore. The more I explore, the more I realise I’m not particularly interested in story for story’s sake. Some rare novels can inspire me like a magic trick, where I see and respect how the author is setting things up for a satisfying conclusion. But in most cases, I’m not immersed enough to care. And when it comes to volume after volume of a manga, it’s even more clear that there’s no real direction. To me it can feel like the end of LOST, where they’re just filling time. I don’t read for a vibe, I read to reach a clear goal.

I haven’t read AKIRA in a few weeks, but I am encouraged by the idea that the story has a clear beginning, middle, and end. It doesn’t feel like much like filler content, which is a good sign. But, shrug, what I really love are memoirs.

Prince Harry’s memoir

I am not a royal watcher, and I am annoyed by the UK tabloid media. That’s where I stand on the Prince Harry story, so as I read his life story I don’t have a ton of bias other than being inclined to agree that celebrity culture is toxic. I was surprised by how well the book is written, and found that it was ghostwritten by a highly respected author. Makes sense! It’s a good book.

Moving the Playstation

It shouldn’t really matter if I move my Playstation from one room to another, right? And yet I know it does, and I’m excited to see what sorts of changes it brings to my daily routine when I make the switch this morning. I’ll be moving it into the main family room, which means more games played as a family. Not typically two player, but rather one person playing an epic one player game while others watch.

The kids started school

It’s a big school year for all of my kids, and so far things seem to be going well. It’s awesome seeing each of them take on more responsibility and figure out how to balance everything. Watching kids grow up is fun.

Still no luck with databases

Maybe eventually I’ll break through on this front, but it hasn’t happened so far. I know once I can unlock this one step, I’ll be able to build much more exciting stuff, so I’m eager to finally figure it out.


I went to the afterparty for a conference I didn’t attend, and ran into an old friend. “So what’s new? What’s exciting?” I looked back sheepishly and didn’t say anything. “Oh, so AI right?” Right. It’s like when the web first exploded in popularity. Why would anyone talk about anything else?

I’ve basically given up on trying to write about AI, because things are changing so quickly from day to day that it feels like a waste of time. But I did get to sit down with my mom and say “this is the sort of conversation that you will remember for the rest of your life. I mean it.” And after I showed her chatGPT we both agreed that, if anything, I was underselling it.

A personal style in Midjourney

I’ve been posting lots of images to my Firehose site, and getting better at prompt engineering. I think that term sounded a little awkward and precious at first, but it doesn’t anymore. Not to me, anyway. The future will be about prompt engineering. Whether you do it yourself as a consumer or it’s all happening behind the scenes, prompt engineering is now a verb, alongside other permanent fixtures like Google stalking or doom-scrolling.

I keep seeing amazing companies

There are some really amazing companies out there right now, and they’re hiring. Yes, a lot of tech people lost their jobs. Yes, big companies are in hiring freezes. But there are plenty of companies that are flush with cash, enough for a few years of runway, and they’re looking for new people. It’s fascinating seeing millions of big company tech workers let go while the startup space feels as healthy as ever.

That’s not quite true, of course. Someone who actually studies this stuff could point out that valuations used to be like 30x and now they’re 10x, and something something market cap billions blah blah blah. But from where I sit, startups don’t seem to be in a bad place. Relative to three years ago, sure. But in absolute terms, are startups a bad place to be? Absolutely not.

I want to teach!

I’ve always known I’ve wanted to teach. I am working on making that happen, but maybe not in as direct a way as I usually tackle my plans. It’s less A to B and more … I should have coffee with a lot of As and maybe eventually I’ll get to step X. Networking is indirect, which is why nerds struggle to figure it out, yet it’s an absolute requirement.

Dice versus intuition

I don’t like when games are too spreadsheet-oriented. I don’t want to know that a sword has 53 attack and +3 defense when paired with shield. It takes all the magic out of it. I want a game where you pick up a sword and … just like real life, you don’t know its raw stats. Just like real life, you can have a hunch. Just like real life, you can talk to experts, but just like real life even experts could disagree. I like the idea that you have to discover, not just lazily be shown all the math.

And that’s how networking works. If you go on five coffee chats, something will happen. Who knows what? Or in what timeline? You just have to trust the process, even if you don’t see a “+2 charmed” symbol lights up over someone’s head when you say the “right” answer. Life is confusing and vague. Dive in!


I jotted this down while I waited for my oatmeal to cool down. My app tells me I wrote a little over 1000 words. That’s a lot of words! Which is another reminder: I love to write, and it comes easily to me. Anything I do in my future can, and should, have a strong writing tie-in. Some people couldn’t reliably write a thousand words if their life depended on it! I’m the reverse, my life depends on communicating through words. I should find ways to amplify that. Like teaching. Which will start with coffee chats. I have three next week.