ianmclaury + advice   128

The Best Window Air Conditioner Bracket: Reviews by Wirecutter | A New York Times Company
After more than 20 hours of research and a hands-on look at five window air conditioner brackets, we recommend the Top Shelf TSB-2438. Because it requires no drilling, it’s far easier to install than any other model we tested. Plus, you can remove and reinstall it whenever you want, whether in preparation for colder months or for a move—a benefit that drilling-required brackets don’t offer.
air-conditioner  install  bracket  advice 
5 weeks ago by ianmclaury
Chain cleaning: A complete guide from lazy to obsessive | CyclingTips
Your bicycle’s chain is like a mechanical log of your riding adventures: road grit from that last wet ride, red mud from adventuring in the desert, clumps of pollen from the springtime blooms. But if your chain is left dirty, that grit will form an impressively effective grinding paste, causing expensive wear, poor shifting, rough pedaling, and wasted efficiency.

If you’re looking to get more performance out of your bike, but without spending a lot of money, keeping your drivetrain clean should be a priority. As the saying goes, a clean bike is a fast bike.
bicycle  chain  cleaning  advice 
12 weeks ago by ianmclaury
How to Make a Résumé — an 8-Step Guide
No offense, but your résumé kind of sucks. Or at least it probably does, because most people’s résumés do. That is not surprising, since it’s hard to be good at something you might only do a handful of times over the course of your life. But do not panic! We’re going to walk through exactly how to make a résumé with a minimum of pain and angst. That’s not to say you will love this process, because you will not, but at the end of it, you will have a résumé that will represent you well and encourage people to hire you.
resume  advice  checklist 
june 2018 by ianmclaury
Ten Things I Learned from a Job Hunt for a Senior Engineering Role
I recently went on a search for a new full time gig and I learned that today’s job search is not what it used to be. Here’s the quick summary of what I learned:

The job search takes much, much longer than it used to.
No one believes that anyone can actually code.
Coding Tests Can Trip Up Even Good Engineers
Extensive homework is now normal.
Every company’s “process” is different
Outsourced hiring “services” are very much in vogue
Companies Really Want to Know Your Salary; Don’t tell Them
Interviews Matter Much, Much More to You Than to the Company
Age discrimination really exists.
You’ll never really know why you weren’t hired.
programming  jobs  hiring  advice 
april 2018 by ianmclaury
What are some non-touristy places and things to do in Italy? - Quora
For instance: avoid Venice, and visit instead Chioggia, which is like a working class version of the famous lagoon city (like Brooklin and Manhattan respectively). Avoid Verona, and visit Trento (a similar Middle Age northern italian city), or the beautiful Vittorio Veneto (once the countryside vacation spot of Venetian aristocrats). Look for masterpieces of Italian arts outside the touristic circuits, such as the gothic Duomo of Orvieto, or the Giorgione paintings in Castelfranco Veneto. Visit the Etrurian necropolis in Cerveteri or Tarquinia instead of Pompei. Avoid Alberobello in Puglia and visit the nearby Ostuni, or Locorotondo, or Cisternino; or Scicli and Modica in Sicily. Try the food in Modena, or in Cuneo.

If you want, instead, to try something totally different, that doesn’t sound stereotipically italian, there are options. Torino has a French elegance, and Trieste a central european spirit (and cuisine to go with it). In Milano you can experience night life both glamorous and underground, according to your taste. You can enjoy bird watching in the swamps of the Parco del Delta del Po’ near Ravenna. But it really depends on what you like to do.
italy  travel  advice 
april 2018 by ianmclaury
How To Survive Backpacking In The Wilderness
Despite the parade of nor’easters that have recently struck the East Coast, spring has officially arrived, and with it comes the promise of camping and backpacking trips. But before you set out on your first backpacking trip of the season, let’s review the gear you should be packing and what condition that gear should be in.
backpacking  hiking  gear  advice 
april 2018 by ianmclaury
How to Stash Your Luggage for a Couple of Hours When Traveling
Sure, you could drop your bags off at some places in airports and train stations, or perhaps rent a luggage locker somewhere, but there are other, sometimes cheaper options out there. Over at the New York Times, Stephanie Rosenbloom suggests travelers use luggage storage services that operate out of typical businesses, like restaurants, markets, dry cleaners, and salons. They work similarly to Airbnb, but for your bags. You go online and book a time and location, drop off your bags, then pick them up later. And yes, most of them provide some form of insurance against damage, theft, and loss. Here are some of the options out there:
travel  luggage  storage  advice 
march 2018 by ianmclaury
A Guide to Swedish Laundry – It's Different Here
Laundry is something we all have to do, but how one goes about it can vary greatly from country to country. Here in Sweden it’s even different — different enough for five American emigrants to converse (and mostly complain; we were all women) about for 30 minutes while eating brunch.
sweden  laundry  advice 
january 2018 by ianmclaury
Unrolled thread from @patio11 - 23 tweets
Your idea is not valuable, at all. All value is in the execution. You think you are an exception; you are not. You should not insist on an NDA to talk about it; nobody serious will engage in contract review over an idea, and this will mark you as clueless.

Technologists tend to severely underestimate the difficulty and expense of creating software, especially at companies which do not have fully staffed industry leading engineering teams ("because software is so easy there, amirite guys?")

Charge more. Charge more still. Go on.

The press is a lossy and biased compression of events in the actual world, and is singularly consumed with its own rituals, status games, and incentives. The news necessarily fails to capture almost everything which happened yesterday. What it says is important usually isn't.

Companies find it incredibly hard to reliably staff positions with hard-working generalists who operate autonomously and have high risk tolerances. This is not the modal employee, including at places which are justifiably proud of the skill/diligence/etc of their employees.

The hardest problem in B2C is distribution. The hardest problem in B2B is sales. AppAmaGooBookSoft are AppAmaGooBookSoft primarily because they have mortal locks on distribution.
valley  koans  startup  culture  advice 
december 2017 by ianmclaury
The Essential Questions You Should Ask Before Renting an Apartment
So I developed a list of questions to ask during that 5-minute showing to get all of the answers I would be looking for during a longer visit. I used many of these questions during my most recent apartment hunt, and they worked exactly as designed: I got the landlords/property managers to share all kinds of information about tenants, maintenance, bugs, and more.


How long have you been managing this building?

This is a great opening question for two reasons:

It gives you and the landlord/property manager something to talk about on the walk from the leasing office (or apartment front door) to the unit.
If you remain silent when the landlord/property manager finishes talking, they will likely start talking again to fill the space—and what they say might be very interesting. (“This unit’s been empty for a while because...”)
Consider this question the equivalent of a job interview’s “tell me about yourself”—except this time, you’re the interviewer. Like the “tell me about yourself” question, you can learn a lot from the way the other person responds: are they enthusiastic? Pessimistic? Critical? Evasive?


Are most tenants here long-term?

This question is less about the amount of turnover the apartment gets than the types of people who live in the apartment. Are they mostly students? Young professionals? Families? Senior citizens?

This is also another good way to gauge the landlord’s personality. “We’ve got some great tenants who’ve been here for years” is very different from “Some people, I think they’ll never leave!”
apartments  renting  advice 
november 2017 by ianmclaury
node.js - JWT (JSON Web Token) automatic prolongation of expiration - Stack Overflow
I work at Auth0 and I was involved in the design of the refresh token feature.

It all depends on the type of application and here is our recommended approach.

Web applications

A good pattern is to refresh the token before it expires.

Set the token expiration to one week and refresh the token every time the user open the web application and every one hour. If a user doesn't open the application for more than a week, they will have to login again and this is acceptable web application UX.

To refresh the token your API needs a new endpoint that receives a valid, not expired JWT and returns the same signed JWT with the new expiration field. Then the web application will store the token somewhere.

Mobile/Native applications

Most native applications do login once and only once.

The idea is that the refresh token never expires and it can be exchanged always for a valid JWT.

The problem with a token that never expires is that never means never. What do you do if you lose your phone? So, it needs to be identifiable by the user somehow and the application needs to provide a way to revoke access. We decided to use the device's name, e.g. "maryo's iPad". Then the user can go to the application and revoke access to "maryo's iPad".

Another approach is to revoke the refresh token on specific events. An interesting event is changing the password.

We believe that JWT is not useful for these use cases so we use a random generated string and we store it on our side.
jwt  auth  refresh  token  advice  auth0 
july 2017 by ianmclaury
To Make Better Decisions, Ask Yourself ‘What,’ Not ‘Why’ -- Science of Us
I asked Dan if I could practice my new self-awareness tool on him: one that I call Ask “What” Not “Why”. He agreed, and when first I inquired, “Why do you want to change what you’re doing?” Dan let out a huge, hopeless sigh and started rattling off all of his personal shortcomings: “I’m bored too easily. I’ve gotten cynical. I don’t know if I’m making any difference in the world.” The “why” question had the impact I’d predicted: not only did it fail to produce useful insight, but Dan became, if anything, more confused in trying to figure out why the spark had disappeared.

So I quickly changed course: “What do you dislike about what you’re doing?” He thought for a moment. “I dislike sitting in front of my computer and remotely leading a company—and don’t even get me started on the time zones. I just feel burnt out and disconnected.”

“OK, that’s helpful,” I replied, “What do you like?” Without hesitation, Dan replied, “Speaking. I really like speaking.” He told me that when he was in front of an audience, he could make an immediate impact. I knew the feeling, and could see the spark right away. This realization made Dan immediately more focused and clear-headed—he began to think about whether he could adapt his current role to spend more time sharing his message. I could have asked Dan why questions for hours and he’d likely have ended the conversation with no more insight, and probably in a much worse mood. But less than five minutes of what questions had drawn out a high-value discovery and a potential solution to his problem.
advice  motivation  change 
may 2017 by ianmclaury
Should You Go to Graduate School? - Lawyers, Guns & Money : Lawyers, Guns & Money
Fundamentally, I think the reason for this is that because we had second-rate funding packages (only 3 years of guaranteed funding as opposed to the 5 or 6 years at supposedly better programs) and because no one believed in us anyway, we had to hustle. So we ended up on the market having done a whole variety of different things that the Yale students never had to do, making us more versatile and allowing us to stand out. I put myself through the last couple of years of graduate school doing work at Los Alamos National Laboratory, making sure it complied with the National Historic Preservation Act. I also put together a climate change report for New Mexico environmental organizations that gave me some early consulting experience. That, plus the blogging, made me different than other candidates. I never quite realized how important that was until I was on a search committee for a job last year for the first time. What became instantly clear to me is that every Ivy League applicant is basically the same–the projects are very similar, the letters are all from the same people, none of them have meaningful teaching experience. You could barely tell them apart. We ended up bringing in 4 candidates from public institutions and hiring two amazing historians.

I say all of this because there are a couple of interesting posts from the last couple of days about graduate school and I think these stories help frame a discussion not only of whether to go to graduate school but also how to do graduate school. There is one basic rule about graduate school: don’t go into debt for it. If someone doesn’t want you or you can’t pay for it in some way yourself that makes sense, then don’t do it.

Now, you might say that it is immoral to send students to graduate school for jobs they won’t get. Possible, but this gets to how to do graduate school and why to do graduate school. The biggest problem right now with Ph.D. programs is that professors don’t know how to get a job as a historian today because they all got extremely lucky to get a job in academia or they did so a long time ago. So when I advise a student on going to graduate school, the first thing I tell them is that they have to assume they will never get an academic job and therefore must prepare for that as well as doing the academic work necessary to get a dissertation and compete for whatever jobs are out there. As part of that, I tell them to keep this in mind even if their advisor doesn’t agree because their advisor may be the absolutely worst person for a student to listen about career preparation.
gradschool  academia  debt  advice  t-ruck 
april 2017 by ianmclaury
Hike the Hudson Valley
Welcome to Hike the Hudson Valley!

Inside, you’ll find:
 Step-by-step trail guides to 72 (and counting) of the best hikes in the area

 Heaps of photos from each hike

 Exact trailhead locations marked with Google Maps

Hike the Hudson Valley helps you choose a great hike, then gives you everything you need to get out there, short of packing your snacks and water for you.

You can start by perusing the map below, or by jumping straight to The Hikes page to see a one-page overview of all the hikes.
hiking  travel  nyc  hudson  maps  advice 
april 2017 by ianmclaury
The Biggest Misconceptions About VPNs
For our part, we’ve long recommended Private Internet Access, SlickVPN, NordVPN, Hideman, and Tunnelbear because they’ve been reputable over the years, but that’s not an all-inclusive list, nor is it one we can consistently update. The Privacy Site attempts to catalog VPNs based on where they’re located, their logging rules, and more, but even that’s such a complex undertaking that it’s never completely up to date.

Whichever service you go with, make sure you do the required research ahead of time, then take a few extra moments to make sure everything is set up and properly working.
privacy  vpn  advice 
april 2017 by ianmclaury
Ask a Female Engineer: How Can Managers Help Retain Technical Women on Their Team?
In the past, what are the reasons that have contributed to your decision(s) to leave a particular company? How can managers help retain technical women on their staff?

Adele: The biggest factor for me has been when an employer promises changes to how the tech team is managed and then doesn’t deliver on them. To a certain extent all teams struggle with the trade-offs between spending time developing good specs versus staying agile, and between addressing technical debt and building new features. But I’ve left companies after years of chaotically fighting fires while simultaneously needing to build new features, or after repeatedly getting disorganized braindumps or single line descriptions from stakeholders rather than the thoughtful, detailed specs they’ve promised.

Frances: I’ve heard the quote “people leave managers not companies” a number of times and from my experiences it’s true. I almost always leave companies because I don’t think I can work effectively with my boss anymore.
business  career  advice  management 
march 2017 by ianmclaury
HTTP Streaming (or Chunked vs Store & Forward)
The biggest problem when implementing HTTP streaming is understanding the effect of buffering. Buffering is the practice of accumulating reads or writes into a temporary fixed memory space. The advantages of buffering include reducing read or write call overhead. For example instead of writing 1KB 4096 times, you can just write 4096KB at once. This means your program can create a write buffer holding 4096KB of temporary data (which can be aligned to the disk blocksize), and once the space limit is reached, the buffer is flushed to disk.

Typical HTTP architectures include these components:

Client <--> Proxy <--> HTTP Server <--> Application Server <--> Database Server
Each one of these components can possess adjustable and varied buffering styles and limits.

To correct perform streaming, you have to know and adjust the buffering limits at each component.
http  javascript  streaming  sse  buffering  advice 
february 2017 by ianmclaury
Advice from a high-level staffer for a Senator: There are two things that every... | Hacker News
Advice from a high-level staffer for a Senator:
There are two things that everyone concerned should be doing all the time right now, and they're by far the most important things.

You should NOT be bothering with online petitions or emailing.

1. The best thing you can do to be heard and get your congressperson to pay attention is to have face-to-face time - if they have town halls, go to them. Go to their local offices. If you're in DC, try to find a way to go to an event of theirs. Go to the "mobile offices" that their staff hold periodically (all these times are located on each congressperson's website). When you go, ask questions. A lot of them. And push for answers. The louder and more vocal and present you can be at those the better.

2. But, those in-person events don't happen every day. So, the absolute most important thing that people should be doing every day is calling. You should make 6 calls a day: 2 each (DC office and your local office) to your 2 Senators & your 1 Representative.

Any sort of online contact basically gets immediately ignored, and letters pretty much get thrown in the trash (unless you have a particularly strong emotional story - but even then it's not worth the time it took you to craft that letter).

Calls are what all the congresspeople pay attention to. Every single day, the Senior Staff and the Senator get a report of the 3 most-called-about topics for that day at each of their offices (in DC and local offices), and exactly how many people said what about each of those topics. They're also sorted by zip code and area code. Republican callers generally outnumber Democrat callers 4-1, and when it's a particular issue that single-issue-voters pay attention to (like gun control, or planned parenthood funding, etc...), it's often closer to 11-1, and that's recently pushed Democratic congressmen on the fence to vote with the Republicans. In the last 8 years, Republicans have called, and Democrats haven't.
usa  politics  trump  protest  communication  advice  methods 
january 2017 by ianmclaury
FriendlyChimney comments on How do I live the fullest brooklyn experience?
Congrats on the job. Ive been here 5 years. Pace yourself and be sustainable in what you take on. If you like coffee shops, spend every morning there for 30 minutes. Or if you like bars, do something similar at night. Being regular somewhere is an easy way to make friends. I have a dog, so dog park is great too. If your roommate has a dog, they might appreciate that, and if you're regular, its a fast way to make friends.
A lot of people here are a little more guarded at first than other places. That wall is at its highest on the street and in transit, so don't try talking to people on the street is my general advice. The wall breaks down faster if you don't try to be cool, but just smart and fun conversationally.
Everyone is trying to do their own thing, so take an interest and support in what they're doing, and they'll be happy to have a friend. Having friends in your own hood is really awesome, most of my friends now are just people I've met around the hood, I go to see my baristas band play, etc.
nyc  newyork  social  advice 
january 2017 by ianmclaury
How do you appear sophisticated when ordering wine at a restaurant?
Here are the reasons I pick the third least expensive in any category:

If I’m ordering the wine, it tends to mean I’m paying for the meal. So it’s a cost-saving measure without the appearance of being cheap.

The cheapest bottle on the menu or in any category (except for off-piste drinking, such as South African wines) is usually crap. So you’re not going to impress anyone with that.

The second least expensive bottle on any menu was often the cheapest bottle last year, and it suffers from self-esteem issues.

The cost difference between the third least expensive bottle on the menu and the next three to five in the category tends to be about $20, but the overall quality of those wines are all the same: They’re all drinkable and pleasant and, sometimes, surprisingly good. So no one will fault you for choosing bad wine, and you can go through the meal without wine being a hindrance to good conversation.

Because of No. 1 above, it’s easier to order multiple bottles to get everyone to a happy place.
wine  restaurant  advice 
july 2016 by ianmclaury
The Minor Tweaks that Change How Your AeroPress Tastes
For example, stirring thoroughly will increase the effectiveness of the extraction, where underextraction can be acidic. A slow, steady press also reduces acidity. Choose to bloom and you’ll saturate the grounds evenly to get a sweeter-tasting result. Using water at higher temperatures produces a more bitter taste. Finer grinds are saturated faster, but may leak through the filter more quickly and tend toward a bitter cup. Adding more water and less pressure will get you closer to brewed coffee. Or you can make a stronger cup with less water and more steep time as a base for a latte or Americano...The popular inverted method, in which the device is turned upside down after water is added to the grounds, is used to keep coffee from escaping and increase the steep time to get you a sweeter cup.
coffee  aeropress  howto  advice 
april 2016 by ianmclaury
corduroyblack comments on A quick update on the drama with my scumbag brother and sister-in-law taking advantage of my mom
Hey OP!
Good for you. I'm an attorney who has done a lot of work in order to prevent Elder financial exploitation. The country needs stories like yours, and your Mom is very lucky to have you.

Now that you have financial POA, you have several things you must do:

Maximize the value of your Mom's assets. This means - kick any squatters out of her house. Immediately. Check your locale's rules on evictions. In my state (WI), you still have to give 28 days notice even if there is no lease.

Contact any bank that DID have accounts with your Mom where there may be old POAs on file. Sometimes, banks fuck up and don't get rid of the old POAs.

Request bank records from the last 3-5 years on your Mom. It is likely that your brother and SIL committed "theft by a fiduciary" which basically means they enriched themselves at the expense of their agent. Having POA means that you have a duty of loyalty to your principal (your Mom). If they enriched themselves AT ALL above a very low payment for services, they probably committed a felony. Hopefully law enforcement in your area will do something about this. Good luck if you're in a small county or a place that doesn't realize this is probably a crime.

Theft is actually a civil tort (conversion). You can sue the person who stole money. While it may be difficult to get anything back, you don't know what they have. A lawsuit gives you the power of discovery, and you can get access to their bank accounts by subpoena as well. Maybe you'll get lucky and find they stashed away some money or other items of your Mom's.

[continues]
legal  advice  elder  law 
april 2016 by ianmclaury
From Stolen Wallet to ID Theft, Wrongful Arrest — Krebs on Security
If your wallet or purse is lost or stolen, it’s a good idea to do most – if not all — of these things:

-File a police report as soon as possible to establish a record of the loss. If possible, get a physical copy of the police report at some point. You may be able to file a report and obtain a copy of it online, or you may have to go down to the local police station and pay a small administrative fee to get a copy. Either way, this report can be very useful in getting you a freeze on your credit file or an extended fraud alert at no cost if you decide to do that down the road.

-Contact your bank and report any checks or credit/debit cards lost or stolen. Most banks issue credit and debit cards with “zero liability” provisions, meaning you’re not on the hook for fraudulent charges or withdrawals — provided you report them promptly. The Truth In Lending Act limits consumer liability to $50.00 once a credit card is reported lost or stolen, although many card issuers will waive that amount as well. Fraudulent debit card charges are a different story: The Electronic Fund Transfer Act limits liability for unauthorized charges to $50.00, if you notify your financial institution within two business days of discovering that your debit card was “lost or stolen.” If you wait longer, but notify your bank within 60 days of the date your statement is mailed, you may be responsible for up to $500.00. Wait longer than that and you could lose all the money stolen from your account.

-Contact one of the major credit reporting bureaus (Equifax, Experian, Innovis and Trans Union) and at the very least ask to put a fraud alert on your file, to prevent identity theft in the future. By law, the one you alert has to share the alert with the other three. The initial fraud alert stays on for 90 days. If you have that police report handy, you can instead request an extended fraud alert, which stays in effect for seven years.

-Fraud alerts are okay, but consider placing a security freeze on your credit file with the major bureaus. For more on the importance of a security freeze, check out How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Embrace the Security Freeze.

-Order a free copy of your credit report from one of the major bureaus. By law, you are entitled to a free report from each of the bureaus once a year. The only real free place to get your report is via the site mandated by the federal government: annualcreditreport.com.
crime  credit  id-theft  advice 
march 2016 by ianmclaury
content to be slightly forlorn
“hey karli did you ever make any more of those weird motivational animals?”

well friend
predator  advice  posters 
february 2016 by ianmclaury
Produce Pete's picks: Power to the pineapple - NY Daily News
While many people think that a pineapple is ripe if you can easily pull a leaf out of the crown, this test doesn't tell you anything useful.

Like tomatoes, pineapples are considered mature when they develop a little color break. If a pineapple at the market looks green, take a look at the base. If it's begun to turn a little orange or red, you'll be able to ripen it at home.

If there's no break, the pineapple was picked too green and will have a woody texture and never be very sweet.

When selecting, choose a pineapple that's very firm, never soft or spongy, and free of bruises or soft spots. Also, use your nose — if the pineapple has a good aroma, it's ripe. If you can't smell much of anything, it needs to be ripened. And if it has a fermented smell, don't buy it!

Here are some other fun facts about pineapples that you may not have known:

- Many supermarkets have machines that will cut and core your pineapple for you, but it wastes up to 35% of the fruit.

- To cut a pineapple at home, simply twist off the leaves, lay the pineapple on its side, and slice it like a loaf of bread, then peel and core each slice.

If you want to serve the pineapple chilled, chill it whole and then slice and peel it.

- Pineapples are high in bromelain, which has natural anti-inflammatory, digestive and anti-cancer properties.

- Because they help break down proteins, pineapples and their juice are effective meat tenderizers.

- Believe it or not, to ripen a pineapple, stand it upside down (on the leaf end) on the counter. This makes the sugar flow towards the top and keeps the pineapple from fermenting at the bottom. Then let it ripen for a few days. When it develops a golden color and smells good, it's ripe.

- Peeled pineapple should be wrapped in plastic and refrigerated, but be aware that if it's not wrapped well, a pineapple will absorb other food odors in your refrigerator.
pineapple  produce  advice 
february 2016 by ianmclaury
JavaScript fatigue fatigue
JavaScript fatigue fatigue

Enough with the fatigue – tips against feeling overwhelmed:

Don’t try to know everything – it’s impossible in modern web development. Given that there is always more to know, it doesn’t matter that much what you learn (unless you have a specific need).

Go for depth in areas you love.

Go for breadth and on-demand learning in areas you are merely interested in or think you should know more about.

Wait for the critical mass. You can often afford to get started by reading the opinions of people you trust and wait it out until new ideas prove themselves.

Stick to things you understand: don’t use more than 1–2 new technologies per project.

It’s important to retain at least some feeling of control.

Every technology that people need to learn before they can use your project raises the barrier of entry and makes it more difficult to find collaborators, colleagues and employees.

Do exploratory toy projects: I like creating small projects that explore technologies or aspects of technologies.

Diversify in life: Specializing is good, but it’s also good to have regular activities not related to tech and/or brain. The advantage is that if you are frustrated in one area of your life, you have others to fall back on.

Even with the last of the previous tips, I find it important to remain human. Don’t overdo discipline, don’t become a life improvement machine. Periods of boredom and doing nothing are important for recuperating and inspiration.

When in doubt about what to learn next, you can always go back to fundamentals:

JavaScript, CSS, etc. (which technologies are fundamental depends on your work)

Non-technological skills: time management, social skills (communication, team building, …), health (posture, breathing properly, moving well, eating well, …), management processes and so on.
javascript  programming  fatigue  advice  axel 
february 2016 by ianmclaury
Carolyn Hax: Knowing when you’re ready to move in with the beau - The Washington Post
Saving time and money are terrible reasons to move in with someone, and water-testing doesn’t cut it either. Here’s why. Inertia is one of the most powerful forces in human existence, despite how eager we are to credit our logic and judgment. Yes, you’d save time and money, and yes, you’d find out how well you share space, the logic is hard to refute, but you would also be ceding so much say in your relationship to the inertia of being together. Moving in with someone is tempting and romantic. Moving out of a home you share with someone is about as fun as ripping off a layer of skin.
hax  advice 
february 2016 by ianmclaury
Another Way To Breathe — Comic Writer Masterpost
I get asked of how to write for the comics form a lot, and have put a bunch of advice in a bunch of different places. I want to put it all in one place. This is a work-in progress thing, which I’ll try and add to as things occur to me. Failing that, I’ll be using a Writer Advice tag from now on so you can click that.
writing  comics  advice  gillen 
january 2016 by ianmclaury
My iPhone 6s Case: Evutec Karbon | Kirkville
At $49 this isn’t a cheap case, but considering how much the iPhone 6s cost, it’s a worthwhile investment. I have nothing negative to say about this case at all. I bought the black model, from the Apple online store, but there are a few other colors, which you should probably see in person before deciding.
iPhone  case  iphone6  advice 
october 2015 by ianmclaury
Winter jacket stores? : Brooklyn
Male here. I don't shop for new clothes all that often so when I do I'm never really sure where I should go or what's out there. I like h&m and old navy but that's about all I know. I need a new winter jacket and could use some suggestions. I don't have any style preference really as long as it's warm, but like I said, h&m and old navy are my go to, I'm no fashionista (I don't know what that word actually means).
brooklyn  winter  clothing  advice 
october 2015 by ianmclaury
Standard Reddit Brooklyn Post : Brooklyn
Hey guys! Just a few things I wanted to run by you:
I'm considering moving to [Gentrifying Neighborhood], but I know there are some sketchy areas. Can you explain to me in detail what every single block is like? I would like to learn as much as possible about the area without actually setting foot there, until I move there (based on whether you tell me to or not).
The other day in McCarren Park, this weird looking guy came and sat next to me on the bench. He looked crazy, and was sort of mumbling to himself. I agree that public spaces like parks should be available to everyone (I guess), even if they're not upwardly mobile young people, but...is there some sort of number I can call or a website I can visit when another person makes me feel uncomfortable? I just feel so powerless and like I need to be able to take action (online).
There's a restaurant in my neighborhood that looks sort of cute, but I've never been there. I keep meaning to check it out, but instead I just order from Seamless (lol). I was wondering if you all can explain to me what it's like inside (it looks sort of cutesy-retro, but I'm not sure), and what the atmosphere is like, and what the food is like, and what the waitstaff is like, and what art is on the walls, and what sort of music they usually play, and what kinds of people go there. I know it seems like a lot, but I just feel much more comfortable if I have a long list of pre-approved assumptions about any new environment I expose myself to.
Thanks, you guys are the best!!!
EDIT: Omg so many good ideas in this thread. Not sure I'm going to do anything with any of them, but it's so good to just exchange empty concepts with people I've never met! It sort of makes me feel like I've had actual experiences of these things. Thanks again!
brooklyn  advice  meat-grinder  awesome 
october 2015 by ianmclaury
One of the biggest mistakes I’ve made in my career — Twenty Years in the Valley — Medium
A career is something you pursue for decades, hopefully over an entire lifetime. A career fulfills and rewards you in a way that money or your position in the company org chart cannot. A career is one of the things that will make your heart ache knowing just how much you’ll miss it when you eventually kick this mortal coil.

If you want a career in design making digital products, then you should do whatever you can to train up in the art of code. Further you’ll enjoy it in ways you cannot possibly imagine until you have some of that knowledge under your belt. Knowledge that gives you the power to make things with your own two hands. And isn’t that one of the reasons why you became a designer? To bring into creation that which was not there before?

If there’s any kind of addiction you’ll experience as a designer, I guarantee it’s the rush you’ll get after making something with your own two hands that didn’t exist in the universe until you made it. Getting someone else to make it for you is certainly rewarding, but it’s not nearly the same experience.

It’s the difference between the experience of sitting in a racing car as the passenger versus being behind the wheel.

It’s the difference between enjoying fifteen minutes or so indoor skydiving versus actually parachuting out of a plane.

It’s the difference between feeling really good, even great, about your work versus kicking ass and taking names.

Making something with your own two hands is a super power. Why on earth would you willingly rob yourself of it?
design  code  learning  advice  adobe 
september 2015 by ianmclaury
Nick Corcodilos – Please! Stop Networking!
It takes time to make meaningful connections through these exchanges. Be patient. Don’t expect much, don’t expect it quickly, and good things will evolve in time. The best part: No matter what benefits you get or don’t get career-wise, you make new friends!

When you get to the point where you want to talk about your career challenges, here’s the magic sauce: Never ask for job leads. Never.

Instead, ask for advice and insight.

How to Say It

“May I ask your advice? If I wanted to shift over to doing XYZ [as your new job], what kind of advice would you give me? I’d love your insight about what it takes to be successful doing what you do.”

See the difference? Never say anything that feels icky or phony. There’s no begging, no asking for jobs or introductions. Results will come naturally — people will eventually suggest someone else that you should talk to. And that’s what to keep track of — people you’re referred to, who they are, where they work, what they do.

Beware, or I’ll never talk to you again

Then there’s the most important thing. If someone recommends a person that you should talk with, or offers an introduction or referral — always make the contact and do it quickly. Never let a personal referral die on the vine.

If I give you a referral, and I find out you didn’t follow up within 3-4 days, I’ll never do anything for you again. Usually, I’ll tip off the third party to expect a call or e-mail. When the person I’m trying to help doesn’t make that contact, I’ve wasted an introduction and I look bad. I can’t emphasize this enough — it’s the single biggest networking mistake people make. If you want good mentors in your life, do not squander the investment they make in you. (See Mentoring & Getting Mentored.)

Networking should be as easy as talking shop with people who do the work you want to do.
networking  business  advice  referrals  shoptalk 
september 2015 by ianmclaury
help with potential slumlord! : Brooklyn
l just went through a similar situation to the one you're in, which ended up escalating to crazy fucked up shit from the landlord. The only thing I regret is not nipping it in the bud and getting the city involved from the very start.
You need to get the city involved ASAP. That way, if it escalates, there will already be a record and they can act that much more quickly. You have to call 311 and explain to them the entire situation, MAKE SURE YOU KEEP THE CONFIRMATION NUMBERS OF ANY COMPLAINTS YOU FILE.
Do not be afraid of filing complaints, almost every single one of them through 311 can be filed anonymously. 311 might also forward you to the Department of Building, Department of Housing Preservation, or your local Councilmember's office. Complaints through those agencies might require some of your information, I still wouldn't be afraid of filing those complaints either. You literally having nothing to lose, they will not share that information, and at this point you got the City on your side.
Starting an official document trail between you and the City should be your main priority right now.
nyc  slumlord  landlord  advice 
august 2015 by ianmclaury
West Coast / Mission style burrito? : Brooklyn
Anyone know where I can find authentic west coast burritos in BK?
brooklyn  nyc  mexican  burrito  taco  restaurants  advice 
august 2015 by ianmclaury
Best neighborhoods in Brooklyn for parking? : Brooklyn
Sheepshead Bay
Marine Park
Fort Greene (esp by the Navy Yard)
avoid Bay Ridge itself but try surrounding neighborhoods
Dyker Heights
parking  brooklyn  nyc  advice 
july 2015 by ianmclaury
How does parking on residential streets work (Brooklyn)? : AskNYC
There's no special permit program. On/near commercial streets and the like, there's often a muni meter and parking restrictions for loading/unloading during business hours.

On residential streets, you can park anywhere the signs allow it. Take note of when street cleaning is where you're parked (usually an hour and a half long period 2 days per week - Monday/Thursday or Tuesday/Friday) and make sure to move the car to a spot on the opposite side or sit in the car during those hours (no parking just means you can't leave your car unattended - just move when the street cleaner goes by). Pay attention to when "alternate side parking" is suspended - that means you don't have to worry about street cleaning that day.

Also, you must be at least 15 feet away from a fire hydrant, which is farther than most places (most other places I've been require 10 feet). Be careful not to park in front of driveways - sometimes, they can be hard to see.

And, although it may seem obvious, no standing also means no parking, and no stopping also means no standing or parking. These are fairly universal, but you'd be amazed how often people come here asking for advice on how to beat a parking ticket because they didn't know that they couldn't park in a "no standing" zone (the answer is always "you fucked up; pay the ticket."

Edit: and, in case your friend has never driven in NYC before, remember to remind them that turning on red is not allowed (unless otherwise posted) and that the citywide speed limit is 25 (again, unless otherwise posted).
parking  brooklyn  nyc  advice 
july 2015 by ianmclaury
Here's Everything You Need To Know About Buying A $500 House In Detroit
There’s a lot of buzz about cheap real estate in Detroit: how much there is, how to get it, and who actually should.

But while there are lots of true stories and tall tales about getting a house for as little as $10, there are some very real and lasting consequences to investing in real estate anywhere — and especially in Detroit.

So we talked to Nicole Curtis, Michigan native and host of HGTV’s Rehab Addict (currently filming in Detroit), and Craig Fahle, director of public affairs for the Detroit Land Bank Authority, about what it really means to buy a house at auction in the Motor City.
detroit  cheap  real-estate  auction  laws  rules  advice 
may 2015 by ianmclaury
19 Surprising Things That Can Actually Expire
Car seats, fire extinguishers, and even potatoes can be dangerous past a certain date.
life  kitchen  advice 
may 2015 by ianmclaury
Why Are You Still Washing Your Clothes In Warm Water?
Now all this said, warm water does play an important role in helping to make your clothes clean. Well, provided you use high performance detergents and washing machines — and provided you follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Using too much or too little detergent can result in sub-optimal performance, as can using the detergent at the wrong temperature. Using a standard warm-water detergent in cold water, for example, may not get you the results you want. So, unless you opt for a specifically cold water detergent, you may not notice that the warm water is cleaning better. But the fact of the matter is that you can get just as clean with cold.

Laundry involves a number of chemical reactions — reactions that go faster at higher temperatures. So, along with chemicals and mechanical energy, the thermal energy produced by warm water helps to get rid of stains, dirt, and residue on our clothing. Until very recently, most detergents were designed with this in mind. Owing to a demand for more environmentally friendly solutions, detergent manufacturers have now found ways to create detergents that work remarkably well in cold water. But to do so, they had to get around some very tricky chemical constraints.
laundry  advice  cold 
may 2015 by ianmclaury
Barbers in Brooklyn? : Brooklyn
Looks like this was last asked about 2 years ago. Not sure if anyone has any new recommendations.
nyc  brooklyn  barber  advice 
may 2015 by ianmclaury
The days are long but the decades are short - Sam Altman
I turned 30 last week and a friend asked me if I'd figured out any life advice in the past decade worth passing on.  I'm somewhat hesitant to publish this because I think these lists usually seem hollow, but here is a cleaned up version of my answer:
advice  life  inspiration 
april 2015 by ianmclaury
How To Grow Your Own Tomatoes, Anywhere
Maybe you think a top-notch BLT isn’t reason enough to grow your own tomatoes, but here are some things to consider: If you haven’t had a garden-fresh tomato, you almost do not know what a tomato is; a BLT (or tomato sandwich) made with a ripe, garden-fresh tomato is the kind of thing that will make you weep tears of joy while eating and tears of real sadness once it’s all finished; growing your own tomatoes is ridiculously, laughably simple. You barely have to do anything at all. Follow the steps below and you’ll be able to raise up some bangin’-ass tomatoes pretty much anywhere.
gardening  advice  tomatoes 
april 2015 by ianmclaury
Don't Buy Expensive Knife Sets: These Four Knives Are All You Need
It can be tempting to buy a knife block, or buy a set for a friend who’s into cooking as a housewarming gift. Don’t do it. The money you spend on a knife set packed with subpar knives could be used to buy fewer excellent knives that will last a lifetime. Here’s why you should steer clear, and what you—or your aspiring chef friend—should own instead.
cooking  knives  advice 
april 2015 by ianmclaury
Choosing where to donate to charity is tough. Here's a simple guide to help. - Vox
Giving to charity is great, not just for the recipients but for the givers too. But it's also intimidating. There are thousands of worthy causes out there, and it can be hard to figure out which to pick. Here are a few simple tips that can help.
charity  advice 
april 2015 by ianmclaury
46 Incredibly Useful Safety Tips For Women Traveling Alone
Recently there’s been a huge increase in women traveling solo, both for pleasure and for business.

Nikki Vargas, travel blogger at The Pin The Map Project, told BuzzFeed Life that her solo traveling began as a way to venture into the world alone with her thoughts. “One of the beautiful things about solo traveling is that you’re living life on your terms. It’s empowering to get to learn about yourself and what you want and do that against the backdrop of a beautiful country.”
So we asked the women of BuzzFeed what they do to feel safe when they’re traveling abroad. And while many of these tips are great for any solo traveler, regardless of gender, there are often real dangers that face a woman traveling alone that don’t necessarily affect a man traveling alone to the same degree.
travel  safety  advice 
april 2015 by ianmclaury
Ten Must-Do's For Renters
Before you decide to rent a new place, we suggest you conduct these ten essential checks:

1.  Turn on all lights and kitchen appliances to ensure that they are, or remain, operational.
2.  Run hot and cold water from every faucet in the apartment (including sinks and tubs), then check both temperature and pressure.
3.  Open and close all kitchen cabinets and closet doors and carefully inspect for evidence of rodent infestations or water leaks.
4.  Inspect the bathtub and/or shower for evidence of mold, moisture, or drainage problems.
5.  Flush the toilets and observe what happens.  This can be more exciting than the Olympic shot-put competition.
6.  Check the number and location of electrical outlets and bring a cell-phone charger (or other device) to test the power.
7.  Open, close, lock, and unlock all windows, then test all blinds and shades for functionality.
8.  Open, close, lock, and unlock all doors, especially the entry door (and check for the presence of a dead bolt on all entry doors).
9.  Verify the existence of smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.
10.  Check all ceilings, walls, and floors for evidence of water damage (in the form of staining, paint blistering, or floor buckling).

If that was helpful, there’s much more to inspect and consider, such as the building exterior, the amenities, the pet policies, utilities, and the neighborhood.  For additional suggestions, feel free to download a copy of the domu tenant guide.
renting  advice  nyc  chicago 
april 2015 by ianmclaury
Will a "Programming Boot Camp" Help Me Get a Coding Job?
All but one of the 15 or so people who shared their boot camp experiences with me were positive about it, even though a few people aren’t working as programmers now but instead working as project managers and founders of their own startups. The majority went into it with some programming experience already and were completely sure about their decision, however. That surety seems to be critical.

How to Tell If a Boot Camp Is Right for You

As with other educational choices and career paths, making this big decision boils down to what you hope to achieve. The ideal boot camp candidates, according to Jesse Farmer, co-founder of CodeUnion, meet four criteria:

They want to change careers and become a full-time (junior) software engineer.
They can afford the opportunity cost, i.e., they can quit their jobs, move across the country, etc.
They can afford the tuition.
They know they can thrive in intense environments.
learning  programming  bootcamp  advice  t-ruck 
april 2015 by ianmclaury
Here's What You Need to Know, Newcomer by Ansel Herz - Seattle News - The Stranger, Seattle's Only Newspaper
Are you lost? No? You chose to come to this gray, rain-soaked hamlet and live in the shadow of a massive, active volcano? (Wait, you thought Mt. Rainier was just a mountain? What else don't you know?)

Sorry, never mind: Welcome to Seattle! Here—have a survival guide:
seattle  civic  moving  advice 
february 2015 by ianmclaury
Do you have any questions for me? — Medium
The few hours you get with the interview panel is mutually crucial for both parties for determining whether they both are the right fit for each other. Also, in the current job market for engineers, it’s no longer the employer who has all the leverage so it’s imperative that you ensure you get enough time for asking them questions.

Asking the right questions can help you determine if the job is truly right for you. I have compiled a list of questions I think can help reveal some things about the company, your colleagues, the work culture and help you make better decisions.

Asking good questions also reflect well on you as employers usually hold curious, well-prepared candidates in high regard.

Without further ado, here are some of the questions that I try to ask. If you have more suggestions, please do feel free to add to this list.
job  interview  advice 
january 2015 by ianmclaury
Schneier on Security: Choosing Secure Passwords
As insecure as passwords generally are, they're not going away anytime soon. Every year you have more and more passwords to deal with, and every year they get easier and easier to break. You need a strategy.

The best way to explain how to choose a good password is to explain how they're broken. The general attack model is what's known as an offline password-guessing attack. In this scenario, the attacker gets a file of encrypted passwords from somewhere people want to authenticate to. His goal is to turn that encrypted file into unencrypted passwords he can use to authenticate himself. He does this by guessing passwords, and then seeing if they're correct. He can try guesses as fast as his computer will process them -- and he can parallelize the attack -- and gets immediate confirmation if he guesses correctly. Yes, there are ways to foil this attack, and that's why we can still have four-digit PINs on ATM cards, but it's the correct model for breaking passwords.

There are commercial programs that do password cracking, sold primarily to police departments. There are also hacker tools that do the same thing. And they're really good.
security  password  schneier  advice 
august 2014 by ianmclaury
On being a boss
A friend emailed me this question last night:

I just got my first full-time direct report and realized I’m totally terrified of being a boss! Any advice?

I didn’t realize how much I had to say about this until I started writing. Here’s what I replied:
work  management  advice 
may 2014 by ianmclaury
The Best Standing Desk Mat (so far) | The Wirecutter
Why an anti-fatigue mat?

Standing desk users are often seen as a bit weird. (If you’re looking for our full standing desk guide, click here.) Most people who are required to stand all day for work wish they could sit down, and here we are, standing on purpose. But whether you’re standing because you want to or because you have to, nearly everyone agrees that using an anti-fatigue mat can reduce the risk of injury, improve your circulation, and help you move around more during the day.

That’s why you see anti-fatigue matting in restaurant kitchens, at cash registers, in factories—anywhere workers are standing for hours at a time. Both OSHA [pdf link] and the Canadian equivalent recommend using anti-fatigue mats, alongside changing standing positions and wearing supportive footwear, to reduce the risk of musculoskeletal disorders.

But not all anti-fatigue matting is equal: some is designed for a few years of life on a dirty concrete factory floor for users who are already wearing good supportive shoes. Others are for people who are spending an hour or so washing dishes at home. Others are presumably marketed toward the kind of person who needs fake animal skin on everything they own. For a standing desk, the requirements are somewhat different.
workspace  ergonomics  comparison  advice 
march 2014 by ianmclaury
What Bill Knew: Observatory: Design Observer
Bill was one of the 30 speakers that night, and true to his reputation, gave a talk called "Everything I know about business in one minute." These are the ten things he said.

Focusing on making a partnership work is more profitable than focusing on making money.

Love your employees more than you love your clients.

The best new business is your current business.

Price projects by asking yourself what the client's lawyer would charge.

It's better to be hired for your work than for your price.

When it comes to getting paid, the first of the month is better than the thirtieth.

Making money off mechanicals, printing and computers turns your business into a commodity.

The books in your library are more important than the numbers on your balance sheet.

In order to love your work, take vacations.

Power, in business, comes from sharing money and valuing love.

Reading these over two decades later, I'm struck by the fact that the word "business" appears three times, but the word "love" appears four. It turned out that Bill wasn't all those different people: the business guy, the poet, the theorist, the visionary. Bill had discovered the ultimate secret: how to be all those people at once. His talk wasn't about business, it was about life. His favorite kind of secret was one that he could share with the rest of us. That is what he did that night so long ago, and that is what he did every day of his life. 
design  business  life  advice 
march 2014 by ianmclaury
5 expert ways to deal with difficult people — and make them love you - The Week
1. The feedback sandwich doesn't work — this does

Nobody likes delivering bad news. Stanford's Jeffrey Pfeffer recommends having someone else do it whenever possible. But what about when it's unavoidable? Don't do the old "feedback sandwich" of positive comment, negative comment, positive comment. Research shows it's better to be briefly negative and then offer an extended list of positives.
feedback  advice 
march 2014 by ianmclaury
RedditGotDumb comments on This sucks, I can never get a good picture
Shooting the moon:

Big zoom lens. You want the moon to occupy a significant portion of the frame.

Tripod. Your going to have a slow shutter speed on a big zoom lens. Trying to hand-hold the camera will give you a blurry image.

Manually set exposure. The moon is bright; everything else in the frame is not. Your camera will pick an exposure that overexposes the moon and underexposes everything else, so you have to set exposure manually.

Two shots + PS = One good shot. One shot with the moon exposed correctly. One shot with everything else exposed correctly. Use your favorite image editing software to create a single image. (Or learn about HDR)

Manually set focus to infinity. If your frame includes objects closer than the moon, then there is a chance your camera will choose to focus on those things instead of the moon. Correct focus can be hard to spot on a camera back, and usually when you see it on your computer it's too late to retake the shot.
photography  advice  night  moon 
february 2014 by ianmclaury
remy_porter comments on Why I don't believe in scaling Agile to the Enterprise
> I have the feeling that Agile just does not scale well on big projects or on big organisations.

A common mistake I see in enterprise agile is to apply agile as if it were a project management technique. I see people talking about "Agile projects" vs. "'Regular' projects".

If you're doing a project, you're not doing Agile. While it's rarely called out as a principle of Agile, the key thing that's different is Agile is for products, which continue to live for extended periods of time. It's not suitable for time-boxed projects.

Enterprise organizations love Gantt charts. They like to know when efforts start, and when efforts end, and they don't want to have products that require ongoing efforts- they want to work on something and then reach a point where that thing is "done" and no further work is needed.

The reason enterprise Agile is so frequently a gigantic cock-up is that people try and treat it like a tool for managing a project, not a way to support a product.
advice  agile  enterprise  development  terminology 
february 2014 by ianmclaury
Garage :: Crafting Your Wow! Statement
Most entrepreneurs should just throw out their elevator pitches and start over. What are the three or four sentences that can be spoken by a normal human, and can be understood by a normal human, that really capture the essence of what makes your company so interesting?
venture-capital  pitch  entrepreneur  advice 
november 2013 by ianmclaury
The problem with tech conference talks lately | NCZOnline
Not all conference talks are of the same type. In general, I break down conference talks into several categories:

Instructional – teaches a topic
Case Study – explains a real-life implementation and its outcome
Inspirational – makes you think about something differently
Advertisement – introduces a product/library/framework/etc.
My preference is for conferences to be composed primarily of instructional and case study talks, roughly in equal portions (though I would love there to be slightly more case studies). The inspirational talks are usually reserved for opening and closing keynotes. The three other types of talks can form a really nice conference schedule when used appropriately. It’s the last one, advertisements, that are the problem.
conference  talks  advice  preparation 
october 2013 by ianmclaury
Carolyn Hax: Who to call when children are in crisis - The Washington Post
I realize there is a sense of crossing a Rubicon when calling the police or child-protective services on a parent — of putting them in “the system,” of possibly doing more harm than good. I also understand why this sense is often enough to keep people from making the call.

At the same time, if these kids are in crisis, then it’s every witness’s duty to speak up.

That’s why I recommend Childhelp so often in this space. It’s a nonprofit dedicated to the prevention of child abuse, and it has a hotline — 1-800-4-A-CHILD — that you can call when you’re in the grip of oh-this-is-awful-what-on-earth-do-I-do paralysis. The hotline staff can bring three things that are critical in these situations: calm, expertise and follow-up questions that get at the context of what you witnessed. Share the decision about what to do with someone who is available in the moment to help you make it.
hax  advice  the-system 
october 2013 by ianmclaury
Animated open letter details how to make ‘Star Wars’ great again | Robot 6 @ Comic Book Resources – Covering Comic Book News and Entertainment
Director J.J. Abrams will undoubtedly receive a lot of unsolicited advice about Star Wars: Episode VII, on which hangs the future of the blockbuster franchise and the hopes and dreams of countless fans, but none will likely be as succinct and stylishly rendered as “Dear J.J. Abrams” (or, “4 Rules to Make Star Wars Great Again”).

Produced by Prescott Harvey with the creative agency Sincerely, Truman, this love letter to A Galaxy Far, Far Away manages to capture much of what made the first three films so special, why the others were so … well, terrible, with just four rules. However, there was at least one more that didn’t end up in the video.
starwars  advice  storytelling 
september 2013 by ianmclaury
Writer Beware Blogs!
Writer Beware ® Blogs!
Shining a bright light into the dark corners of the shadow-world of literary scams, schemes, and pitfalls.
writing  publishing  business  advice 
september 2013 by ianmclaury
Good disc golf courses in A2? : AnnArbor
mentioned:

Hudson Mills
Bandemer Park (woodsy, poison ivy)
Mary Beth Doyle Park (formerly Brown Park)
Lakeshore - 2500 Lakeshore Blvd, Ypsi Twp - big open course, long holes
Hines Park near Northville - "very long 18 holes, a ton of fun"

others:
Waterworks Park, Ypsi (S of downtown) - not sure if this is a course or just a temporary tournament site
Pioneer HS (9 holes)
BRATS (18 holes; Waters east of Zeeb)


mobile app:
If you are into disc golf I suggest checking out: http://www.discasaurus.com/
My buddies built it, and are from a2. It list courses all over the country as well as a scoring app.
annarbor  discgolf  frisbee  advice 
august 2013 by ianmclaury
Carolyn Hax: How important is it to have a baby shower? - The Washington Post
You’re under no obligation to have a shower. So, yes, it’s okay to say no and hold to it.

However, the answer to your other question is that people often do like to feel as if they’re a part of your major life events. That sounds like the case here, and having a bunch of people feeling invested in your baby’s life isn’t the worst thing for the baby.

So, why not at least consider a themed shower that allows people to 1. express their taste vs. follow your instructions; 2. spend very little; and 3. promote a beautiful connection between these loving people and your baby?

The idea I have in mind is a children’s book shower, where guests are asked to bring (and sign) a favorite. Another, though, would be an advice or time-capsule shower, where people can write down something they wish someone had told them . . . let’s say upon their high-school graduation, or at different stages of life. Get a nice archival box for them and hold onto it to present to your child when he or she is 18. I’m wishing I’d done this.

Anyway, urge these “close friends and family” to toss around ideas with you, if this version of a shower appeals to you.
hax  advice  baby  shower 
august 2013 by ianmclaury
I've been using knockout heavily for a project recently and have come to really ... | Hacker News
I've been using knockout heavily for a project recently and have come to really like it. This is a small to mid size website, about 6 engineer months of effort and somewhere in the mid 10klocs of custom javascript. Some strengths of knockout:

- it builds on the "Good Parts" of javascript, in that KO observables are just closures. You can pass them around or attach them to different objects however you feel like. For instance, we built a standard UI widget for entering currency values. Anywhere we need to accept currency, we instantiate one of these widgets and pass it the observable that holds the value. Clean, easy, encapsulated.

- Some people have a distaste for the "()" syntax: obj.prop() rather than obj.prop. There's some truth there, but the "()" syntax has one big benefit that overrides the slight ugliness in my experience: it catches naming errors immediately right at their source. If you've ever had to refactor a fairly big piece of JS, you know that one difficulty is correcting all the changed references. And if you miss one, the bug may be subtle, as the old reference doesn't except but quietly returns undefined. With knockout, the old reference blows up immediately, as undefined isn't a function. This is a big win.

We had some growing pains with knockout. Lessons learned:

- don't build anything but a small web app the way the knockout examples demonstrate. The reason is that while knockout claims to be MVVM, their examples are really just VVM -- there're no distinct model classes. They store data directly in the viewmodel classes. Bad things follow as your app grows: since the data is in the VM, any view that needs the data (i.e., all of them) needs to be bound to that same VM, meaning that your one VM ends up needing to feed several views. You find yourself annotating your viewmodel into sections -- "// these properties are used by view X ... // these properties are used by view Y" etc. Yech. Much better to have true model classes, then build a VM class on top of the model for each of your views.

- we now make heavy use of named templates to decompose large views into more manageable pieces. We wrote a simple custom binding to make this easy: since each VM is designed to work with a single view (see prior note), we put the #id of the view's named template into a .Template property of the VM class. The custom binding inspects this property and binds the VM class to its named template.
javascript  webdev  knockout  knockoutjs  advice 
july 2013 by ianmclaury
Django Best Practices/Conventions/Basic Checklist for Freelancers : django
As a freelance developer, I have been involved in numerous Django projects. When I come on board, besides talking to other developers, I have my own basic checklist to go through for analyzing relationships between the model/views/templates, etc. as well as analyzing the codebase in general.
I would love to hear from other Django freelancers to hear how you handle the onboarding process. What questions do you ask? How do you look at the code? Do you focus on unit tests to find hotspots? Etc.
django  freelance  project  advice 
july 2013 by ianmclaury
Is anyone here on magnUM or know someone who is? : uofm
I am going to be a freshman in the fall and wanted to try out for Umich's ultimate Frisbee (magnUM) team in the fall. I want to be part of a team and stay in shape, and I have played ultimate with my friends in track and enjoyed it.
annarbor  umich  ultimate  leagues  advice 
may 2013 by ianmclaury
It's a 401(k) world and it sucks.
Now since we are in fact living in a 401(k) world, here's some advice. You've got to save a lot of money for retirement. More than you think. More than you want to. And you need to put that money in a broadly diversified, low-fee fund. And you have to keep it there. Don't panic when the market plunged and sell. In fact, unless you're planning on retiring in the next decade, don't even check how it's doing. Just buy and hold and shift into something less volatile when you're near retirement. Vanguard has these good Target 20XX funds that automatically shift you into less volatile products as you get closer to your target retirement date, allowing you to do even more ignoring of the state of your investments. Which is good. The only way for anyone to make any money managing your savings is to try and trick you into making trades you shouldn't make, or buying products you shouldn't buy.
economics  investment  advice  retirement  401k  capitalism 
may 2013 by ianmclaury
The 5 Worst Things People Do When Trying to 'Help' | Cracked.com
I understand that the Internet seems to universally hate Dr. Phil, but one of the wisest pieces of relationship advice I've ever heard came from him:

"Ask yourself, 'What is it costing me to be in this relationship?' If the answer is your dreams, identity, or dignity, the cost is too high."

In that quote, his ridiculous child-molester mustache was talking about bad romantic relationships, but it applies just as easily to friendships.
cracked  advice  relationships 
march 2013 by ianmclaury
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