Category Archives: Uncategorized

only living vegetables in Las Vegas 

I keep meaning to post something here, maybe a roundup and retrospective of the past year…for it has been quite a year. Presently, I’m attending a software convention in Las Vegas. This morning during an Agile workshop we discussed the concept of antifragility, “systems that increase in capability, resilience, or robustness as a result of stressors, shocks, volatility, noise, mistakes, faults, attacks, or failures.” This really set my mind moving at a certain pace and direction that I found extremely pleasurable. I’m actually still thinking it over….what it means to relationships, what it means to software, what it means to the physical human form. 

More soon, or maybe not, but I wanted you all to know that I found vegetables in Las Vegas.

Bellagio Hotel & Casino
In-Room Dining

3600 Las Vegas Boulevard South

Las Vegas, Nevada. 89109


the death of the ball turret gunner

Great Scot Fizz – Sutler’s, Apple Jack, egg white, lemon, basil simple, seltzer, Angostura: shaken, short.

Marcel Martin – Crémant de Loire

From my mother’s sleep I fell into the State, 

And I hunched in its belly till my wet fur froze. 

Six miles from earth, loosed from its dream of life, 

I woke to black flak and the nightmare fighters. 

When I died they washed me out of the turret with a hose.

by Randall Jarrell

PrintWorks Bistro. Greensboro, NC. 

feedback ramen 

A few hours ago I had a heated, public, rush hour conversation with the poor bastard who inherited the thankless task of teaching me how to develop financial software: real-time trades! Cash transfers! RISK! Documentation! Blotter code!

We typically try to discuss these things over ramen.

Kizuki Ramen & Izakaya, NW Cedar Falls

We all know I’m far more of a poet than a technologist, yet here we are; two tall people, gesticulating wildly on a sidewalk, blocking the entrance to a restaurant, volleying the plausibility of low hanging sFTP fruit. 

Marukin, SE Ankney.

Does anyone have the information that I need? I am never convinced that anyone has the information that I need. I have learned this is a systemic condition that I can now blame on working in software. 

Noraneko, SE Water (spoiler: it’s the best)

Is all help charity in disguise? There are people who do so much more with so much less; therefore, I must not need your assistance. I’ve learned this is a systemic condition that has absolutely nothing to do with software.

Noraneko Purism

(don’t forget the soupy dumplings)

the bells of saint mary’s aren’t bells at all

I attended Elastic{ON} last week, the event is hosted by an infamous technical stack that actualizes data, built by a self-titled company. And when I say “self-titled” I mean they are trenchantly branded, no distinction between a user and a buyer.

Trade shows are always trade shows. When I worked as a product manager for a wholesale coffee roastery in the early 2000s their pop-ups were similar. Lots of addicts hocking their wares, over-caffeinated and shakey. The same was true in the leadership development field which occupied my time and energy in the mid and late 2000s. Vast concrete spaces selling you whatever they have: a nifty compresso double-tamper/a tomb of alphaish psychology/a cloud that nearly rains data. 



 Pineapple Spritz at The Slanted Door

(all hail the mocktail)

The Zenpine at Hog Island. 

See: Old Salts.

Buster Posey :: Linchpin



that shell you like

Olympia Oyster Bar


4214 N. Mississippi

Portland, Oregon

the leghorn theorem

On a more recent trip to Chicago (this is now a Portland-based food diary about Chicago-based food) I read The Man Who Loved Only Numbers, a biography of Paul Erdös. Who was, in addition to being an under-sexed ampethamine addict, just your garden variety mathmetician. Of particular interest, to me, was his work with combinatory logic rooted in a generalization of Dilworth’s Lemma – “the partial order width of a set P is equal to the minimum number of chains needed to cover P.”  This can be expanded to a node-based model called the Theorem on friends and strangers — a simplification of F.P. Ramsey’s great work, who Erodös absolutely adored

It’s also excellent airport fodder; if the line at the Concouse C Starbucks has more than 6 people you can consider any pair, at least three pairs will either be mutual acquaintances OR at least three pairs will be mutual strangers. The fun doesn’t stop, try parsing the entire crowd huddled around United’s baggage claim. But you have to use a set of at least 6 people or else the theorem does not hold.

  For when there are too few pairs for the theorem, I present Leghorn chicken.

  Leghorn Café is empty at 7am, except for yourself and the cook, with whom you are mutual strangers. The cook is a bit suspicious of you until you announce, to the silence, that you do not Yelp.

  A pair of maple-sage house made sausages, who are mutually acquainted.  

The spicy chicken is absolutely acquainted with a side of verde ranch but they are so, so bad with hot coffee. You order a Mexican Coke at 7:15am. The biscuit is a vision, it belongs in The Book!, which is where Erdös put all of the proofs that were heavenly and perfect.

Leghorn Cafe

600 N. Lesalle St.

Chicago, Illinois

The Man Who Loved Only Numbers: The Story of Paul Erdös and the Search for Mathematical Truth by  Paul Hoffman (1998)

before these violet hours fade

Had a pretty good trip to Chicago a few weeks ago, and a few good cocktails. I’d like to commit all to screen before the memory fogs or I lose my notes.

I flew to the Windy City for a day of work and the opportunity to compete against a bunch of high-tech traders in a rousing Texas Hold’em tournament. I short-stacked my way to a decent showing. Decent enough for me, anyway.

That ball of light and energy is Wrigley Field and during my entire trip the city was in a state of electric enthusiasm. In the end, the Cubs didn’t reach their shinning moment but the hope on the streets, bars, and Ubers of Chicago was palpable; a lovely atmosphere that was a true, rare pleasure.

Inspired directions. 


After poker and a couple slices of Free Pizza I was thirsty. My boss suggested I try The Violet Hour and, luckily for me, I generally do as I am told.

You can open the hidden doors.

Looks promising.

BONFIRE GOSPEL: domaine dupont calvados, botran white rum, lustau palo cortado, Leonard Cohen’s Songs Of Love and Hate, and campfire bitters.

It was a bright fire to behold. More blaze than smoke, more Laud than Vigil, more tabernacle than temple. A strong first showing.

ALLEGHENY MOUNTAIN FLIP: Rittenhouse, lemon, whole egg, The Paris Sisters’ I Love How You Love Me, malted rye-walnut syrup.

Those of you who have followed this diary for awhile know that I tend to always drink excellent cocktails in Chicago. This flip knocked them all into the ivy at Wrigley. Phenomenal. I love a good egg in good booze but this was something special. Rye on rye on rye, a subtle chill brushed awake by precisely the right amount of lemon. It’s milky yet it’s not milk, it’s garnished with fresh nutmeg yet you’re mentally sipping this next to a beach somewhere quiet with a new book. Simply outstanding. I could have giddily finished more than a dozen.

I want to thank Harrison (my barkeep on this violet visit) for his consummate professionalism, being an expert on walnuts — such keen knowledge. Thanks for not being a creep and for suggesting we enjoy a few rounds of Amaro Di Angostura. I always forget that’s allowed in your area code. 

The Violet Hour

1520 N Damen Avenue

Chicago, IL 60622