The Entertainer

Jul 18, 2012

The Entertainer (mp3)

By Scott Joplin. One of the reasons I took up piano in the first place.

Gratitude as Currency

Jun 11, 2012

A little incident that took place last week got me thinking about gratitude on the web. Without getting too far into it, some people I know launched a site that was heavily inspired by a thing I made last year. Great stuff, except that they made no mention of my work on their site or the announcements around it. I’m not upset; the world is a slightly better place for both of these sites existing. But I am confused.

It seems so obvious to me that you’d link to the site that inspired you. For those of us who make free things for the web, gratitude is the only currency we have. And unlike other forms of currency, which you have less of after you spend, when you give gratitude, you wind up with more than when you started. A tweet mentioning my work would have earned a retweet to all of my followers and a congratulatory reply. Share the love is all I’m saying. Otherwise, what’s the point?

Solo Piano #20

Apr 22, 2012

Solo Piano #20 (mp3)

This one’s for my dad.

Coffee Setup, February 2012

Feb 11, 2012

My coffee setup, February 2012:

I’ve been using the Chemex for a year or so now, but with a generic kettle and a cheap blade grinder. The addition of the Hario and Bodum have made a noticeable difference in the quality and consistency of the coffee.

Beans from Counter Culture. Mug from GitHub. Inspired by “The Coffee Setup, 2010” by Marco Arment.

Solo Piano #19

Feb 6, 2012

Solo Piano #19 (mp3)

Back after a long hiatus. Arpeggios over Cm-Fm-G (melodic minor key).

Solo Piano #18

Nov 20, 2011

Solo Piano #18 (mp3)

Trying to incorporate some of the new left hand stuff I’ve been learning. C major scale runs over a C-G baseline, shifting up a whole step in the middle.


Nov 17, 2011

Five (mp3)

Here’s a little piece of music I’ve been working on off-and-on for a few months. What’s “Five” you ask? It’s one more than Four.


Oct 24, 2011

A few weeks back, I noticed several paragraphs on this site ending with single-word lines, known as orphans in typographic circles. I took it upon myself to see these orphans removed, a problem which turned out to be much trickier than simply making the last space non-breaking. I got it nailed down, and the result is Orph, available as a Ruby gem. Check it out if you’re as selectively anal as I am.

Is Francesca’s Open?

Oct 23, 2011

Despite its popularity among Duke undergrads, Francesca’s has become my go-to coffeeshop here in Durham due to its late hours and reliable wifi. Only problem is that its website doesn’t include hours of operation or, really, any useful information at all. I got tired of calling them to find out how late they’d be open and decided to put up a website for that exclusive purpose, and thus: Is Francesca’s Open?

Whole thing took about five hours start-to-finish, and it was fun to dust off the old PHP skills. Font is Arvo from FontSquirrel, and the code is available on GitHub.

No Such Thing as Atheism

Aug 18, 2011

More DFW, this time from a commencement speech he gave at Kenyon College:

Because here’s something else that’s true. In the day-to-day trenches of adult life, there is no such thing as atheism. There is no such thing as not worshipping. Everybody worships. The only choice we get is what to worship. And an outstanding reason for choosing some sort of god or spiritual-type thing to worship — be it JC or Allah, be it Yahweh or the Wiccan mother-goddess or the Four Noble Truths or some infrangible set of ethical principles — is that pretty much anything else you worship will eat you alive. If you worship money and things — if they are where you tap real meaning in life — then you will never have enough. Never feel you have enough. It’s the truth. Worship your own body and beauty and sexual allure and you will always feel ugly, and when time and age start showing, you will die a million deaths before they finally plant you. On one level, we all know this stuff already — it’s been codified as myths, proverbs, clichés, bromides, epigrams, parables: the skeleton of every great story. The trick is keeping the truth up front in daily consciousness. Worship power — you will feel weak and afraid, and you will need ever more power over others to keep the fear at bay. Worship your intellect, being seen as smart — you will end up feeling stupid, a fraud, always on the verge of being found out.