Archived entries for Life...

A long time…

…is how long it’s been since I posted anything here. I need to get back into the habit. This short post’s purpose is to get the first one — always the hardest — out of the way.

There. That’s done. Phew.

While I’ve got you, a few words: The last year has been a great one. I had a daughter. I switched jobs. I traveled. I wrote. I coded. I designed. I laughed extensively. I ate a bunch of great things. I picked up some new habits while shedding others.

I had fun.

Esme is the highlight, of course. By a mile. I’m in love.

More on that later. More on all of it later.

For now, nice to see you all again. It’s good to be back.

Walking for Farm Animals

This weekend, Aimee and I are taking part in the Walk for Farm Animals 2008 to raise money for Farm Sanctuary, a national non-profit that works to end cruelty to farm and food animals through rescue, education, and advocacy. It’s a great organization that, to me, is way more palatable than more confrontational organizations such as PETA.

We hope you’ll support us by donating $5-10 (or more) via our FirstGiving page (a secure way to send directly to Farm Sanctuary, and they’ll mail you a tax-deductible receipt).


goat at farm sanctuary

We visited Farm Sanctuary’s California farm in Orland last weekend (they have one on NY, too). We stayed in the farm’s guest cabin and were able to spend a lot of time with all the animals (Aimee discovered I’m something of a turkey whisperer). It was fun to see them in action and we had a chance to volunteer a little by preparing food and feeding many of the animals and brushing the goats.

Aimee posted a set of photos (ad 2 vids) from our time at Farm Sanctuary on Flickr.

happy pig at farm sanctuary

Also, if you vote in California, please join us in supporting Prop 2 (sponsored by Farm Sanctuary) with a “Yes” vote in November.

Prop 2 is a modest measure that would allow farm and food animals the ability to stand up, stretch and turn around. Through the reduction of these inhumane caging/crating practices (most commonly used by factory farms) will improve the health and safety of our food, support family farmers, and reduce the environmental degradation caused by these unnecessary practices. The NY Times has endorsed Prop 2 in a thoughtful and straightforward article.

We hope you enjoy our pictures and hope you’ll consider helping us raise money for this important organization.

Thanks and love,
nate & aimee

Finances: Avoid Rash Moves

The New York Times has a story up today called Switching to Cash May Feel Safe, but Risks Remain. I highly recommend that you read it.

I’m not a particularly savvy financial person, but “think long term” always struck me as wise. There’s no doubt that it’s pretty hairy out there right now, but I think changing course or being overly emotion is the worst reaction. It’s tempting to be emotional and run for cover, but this article cites research that should give you strength and resolve.

As the title says, switching to cash may fell safe. But:

But if you sell now, you’ll be locking in your losses. And once you’re in cash, there isn’t much upside. In fact, with interest rates low, you’re likely to lose money in cash, because inflation will probably eat up the after-tax returns you earn from a savings or money-market account.

Beyond the low upside of cash, selling low is, obviously, the worst time to sell. It’s bad because you lock in your losses, but the read damage is that you’ll miss the eventual upswing, to devastating effect.

The research they cite is pretty amazing (emphasis mine):

From 1963 to 2004, the index of American stocks he tested gained 10.84 percent annually in a geometric average, which avoided overstating the true performance. For people who missed the 90 biggest-gaining days in that period, however, the annual return fell to just 3.2 percent. Less than 1 percent of the trading days accounted for 96 percent of the market gains.

A portfolio belonging to an investor who missed the 10 best days over several decades across all of those markets would end up, on average, with about half the balance of someone who sat tight throughout.

They note that if you need the money in the next five years — if you’re about to retire — then perhaps the loss of the move to cash might make sense. But for me, and for many of you, “today’s price is not your price. Your price is 10 or 20 years from now.”

So, hang on to what you’ve got and don’t make any rash moves.

Large Hadron Collider (LHC) Rap

Here’s a pointer to a scientifically accurate rap about the Large Hadron Collider (LHC).

Story on www.telegraph.co.ukYouTube permalink.

From the story:

Now a larky but accurate rap song explaining the point of the 17 mile circumference machine [under Switzerland and France], which formally starts up on September 10, has made a star of Kate McAlpine, 23, aka “alpinekat”, who stars with her friends in a YouTube video that has been downloaded more than [was 400,000 times when the article was published, and nearly 1.4mm now.]

I liked watching the video. I’ve heard about the LHC before, but this 4 minutes taught me new facts about both the collide *and* its science. And there’s funny dancing.

The Big Picture: The Fires

Eric Miraglia, my friend and YUI teammate, tipped me off to a great blog last week during the show-and-tell portion of our weekly staff meeting. It’s a photo-journalism blog called The Big Picture. It’s published by Boston.com / The Boston Globe.

As the name implies, they publish big photos. Not thumbnails or small one-column photos like most news sites (and sites in general), but true large format photos. Generally 990×660. It’s remarkable the greater impact that larger photos can have.

Today’s feature is on California’s Continuing Fires.

There are a LOT of fires burning. Coming home from Golden Gate Park yesterday after Tasty, we crested Twin Peaks and had an eastern view of the entire bay as we drove on Portola Drive. In near unison we all noted the “fire smog.” The air is thick with smoke, even in SF which is currently fairly removed from the fires.

About a month ago, my buddy Matt’s house in the Santa Cruz mountains came within a kilometer or two of being engulfed. If the winds had been normal his house would have been gone. But luckily the winds were anomalously blowing the opposite directly. They evacuated, but were spared.

About 10 days ago, my friend Jud’s mom was evacuated from her home in the Brisbane hills just a few 2 or 3 miles south of SF. She avoided disaster, too.

Last week I flew out of SFO. All flights were delayed because of lack of visibility due to fire smoke in the air across the whole region.

So, take a look at the fires through the Big Picture lens to get a better sense of what’s really going on, and the amazingly tough and dedicated firefighters. There are more than 20,000 hard-core people out there fighting to get it all under control.

Here’s to them.

And here’s the feed for the Big Picture so you can add it to your reader.

London and Amsterdam

Update: Slides for these talks have been posted: Professional Frontend Engineering in London and High Performance Web Sites in Amsterdam.

Next week Tuesday I’ll be presenting an updated “High Performance Web Sites” talk at the inaugural Kings of Code conference in Amsterdam. From there I’m headed to the second half of London Web Week and will be giving a talk called “Professional Frontend Engineering” in the Friday plenary slot at the outstanding @media conference.

Kings of Code logo

The Kings of Code conference is shaping up to be a great event. I’m excited to hear what fellow speakers John Resig, Peter-Paul Koch (PPK), Folke Lemaitre, Nate Abele, Mark Birbeck, and host Robert Gaal have to share with us.

@media conference logo

The @media conference is equally impressive. It’s consistently been one of my very favorite events for the last few years. The speakers are insightful and generous, the attendees are smart and engaged, and Patrick and the rest of the organizers put on a warm, welcoming, and action-packed event with lots of time for networking, hallway conversations, and a wee bit of pub-based debauchery. Spread over two days it promises to saturate us all with inspiration and insight.

Please email me, leave a comment below, or shoot me a note of Twitter (follow me) if you’re going to be in the area and want to catch up. If you let me know in advance that our paths will cross I’ll be sure to bring you a little gift.

Now if somebody could please do something about the #$%#@$# exchange rate…



San Francisco, California | Creative Commons By-2.5 License | Contact

RSS Feed. This blog is proudly powered by Wordpress and uses Modern Clix, a theme by Rodrigo Galindez.