Neural Flatus: Stultifying

Most of the time these posts are about ideas or words spontaneously floating through my head. This time, however, my wife was talking to me right before bed last night about how our son seems to have lots of random thoughts floating through his head, similar to me. That seems to have been enough to jar loose a word that kept my awake after getting up to use the bathroom at 5:17 this morning.

"Stultifying" is impairing or dulling, or making one seem kind of stupid. Sort of how I feel whenever a random word floats through my head and keeps me awake, costing me sleep, and I can't quite remember what it means.


For the past year I’d been wearing a silicone wedding band because I’d lost enough weight that my actual ring was starting to fall off my finger. Before that time, I pretty much never took it off, but after the third random slide-off, I was afraid of losing it. But I procrastinate with so many things and my gold ring sat inert in a filing cabinet drawer for many months.

I finally took it to a local jeweler to be resized (from a 13 down to 11.5), and yesterday I got it back! I was kind of unexpectedly emotional when I put it back on since I don't even take it off to do the dishes, shower, or work on stuff with tools. It’s a small thing, but I'm happily married, and happy to have that symbol back on my hand.

Cliché Post About Kids Growing Up

This is the first week of school for my kids and, for my nearly 10-year-old daughter, the start of her final year of elementary school. This is only really starting to sink in for me; next August she'll get on a different bus from her brother at a later time. She'll get off the bus by herself. We’ll start letting her stay home on her own as she feels ready for it. She'll be in *middle school* for crying out loud.

Okay, maybe not actually crying out loud. Yet.

Two Wildlife Encounters


After some lunch tacos, I was riding my bike past Maymont and around to Kansas Avenue when I saw first one, then two, then at least half a dozen deer ambling beside a house. There were several large-racked bucks, a few younger fellas, and at least one or two does. Once they spotted me they picked up the pace toward the woods or I’d have stopped for a photo.


On my way back from Church Hill I had rounded the corner from East Leigh Street onto North Third Street when I noticed something on my shirt just on the edge of my field of vision. I hadn't felt it, just caught a glimpse. It was a fuzzy, fairly large honey bee (definitely not a bumble bee). I was rolling at about 15 miles per hour and didn't want a sting on my belly, so I sort of gently pulled my shirt out quickly to get the bee to fly away while simultaneously putting some distance between any potential frightened sting and my flesh.

Plants and Animals

cropped album cover from the Plants and Animals album, "The Jungle"

Last night I stopped into the original downtown location of Triple Crossing Brewery to grab some suds in the middle of a bike ride. I heard a pretty awesome song on the speakers and Shazam'd it to find out who it was. The next song came on and sounded like the same band, so I checked it out and, yes, it seemed they were playing the whole album from what turned out to be Montreal indie rock outfit, Plants and Animals. Specifically, the 2020 album The Jungle was tickling my ears.

This album has just the right elements of Arcade Fire, Talking Heads, Radiohead, and miscellaneous Scandinavian electro-pop outfits. All of this combines for a sound that is at once contemporary and reminiscent, at times, of some more obscure 60s rock tunes that Wes Anderson might use on one of his soundtracks.

Roll(ing While Shooting) Film

Today I watched the most recent stream/interview from The Path Less Pedaled (a favorite channel of mine) where Russ spoke with photographer and cyclist Erik Mathy. Mathy has a number of projects and professional jobs involving the cycling world, but what was most fascinating was his preference for and cycle touring with large format photography gear (and some other film goodness, mostly). Whether it’s a Travelwide or an Intrepid, with a classic or homemade lens, he’s keeping film alive while he gets from point A to B on two wheels. The perfect intersection of my two favorite hobbies!

Rebuilding an Audience

As Twitter continues to fragment here in mid-2023, so many of its users continue scattering to the would-be replacement or otherwise alternative social media platforms. But I see a pretty common refrain among many folks I follow - whether on Mastodon or Bluesky. Some flavor of:

How am I going to rebuild my audience?

I get it. For journalists, writers, photographers, or other media personalities (or even folks who gained a following simply for their actual social media content) it feels like a critical problem. Where do you put your "posting energy" (I just threw up in my mouth a little...), or do you have to do 2x, or even 3x the work to reach even a fraction of your former audience? Additionally (and crucially on Bluesky lately), why put energy into rebuilding an audience somewhere that will allow the same kinds of abuse and bigotry that Twitter failed to stamp out (and readmitted under Musk)?

But like, what about a normie like me? I also want a place that doesn't tolerate abuse or bigotry, but I don't have an audience, let alone one to rebuild. I just want a stable place where I can get some form of what I got out of Twitter. Joking with my friends. Updates from local agencies/policy people. And yeah, even following a number of those folks with audience concerns.

I guess I can't have what I want unless enough of the "audience" people find what they want, and maybe that’s just another reason why the age of a few social network giants is in flux, if not falling apart.


I think Apple's silicone MagSafe case might be one of the more comfortable cases I've ever used; soft to the touch but not squishy, good grip, and rigid enough that I'm confident it’s protecting my phone. I'm a big fan of orangey-pink tones that we frequently call "salmon" or "coral", so I got the similar "pink pomelo" color that seems to complement my pale blue phone.

Fix it in Pre

YouTubers, please. This editing style of machine gun jump cuts to clean up sentences or whole spoken passages makes my eyes dizzy. It’s a visual medium! Why ruin the visuals to fix your audio? Are you so fast in your video editing suite that this is more efficient than practicing and recording a few takes of each paragraph?

Daddy Issues and the Families We Choose

This is something that I feel like could have made an interesting topic for PBS Idea Channel, assuming it has any legs: a lot of entertainment from Generation X explores the effects of paternal absenteeism, while entertainment for millennials explores and or celebrates the notion of the chosen or assembled family.

Improv Dictionary

My daughter and I invented a little game this afternoon that gave us some good laughs for a solid half hour. We call it "Improv Dictionary", and we basically take turns with one person making up a word and the other making up its definition. She’s six years old now, but I immediately started thinking about playing this as she get older and more capable with her writing or computer skills. We could actually start cataloging the words we make up into a document or little notepad so we can remember what we’ve done before - a real sort of silly dictionary of our own.

In Pursuit of Accessibility

I’m presently on my way to Logan, UT to attend WebAIM’s accessibility training. I’m not a web developer or designer, and I have lots of issues to fix on my own website. But I do help make websites for my career, so I’m excited to get an in-depth look at how to make the web better for folks of all abilities.

I’ve performed audits using automated tools and consulting some WCAG documentation, but my hope is this training will help me to develop a holistic practice of producing accessible sites, from sales and requirements through delivery.

samurai key

I drive a Volkswagen with a key fob where the key flips out like a switchblade. Every day, when leaving the building, I extract my keys from my pocket and open the car key. I extend my right hand along my side, not quite resting at my hip, key angled slightly out and down, like a katana.

vcu advances to the final four

Quick update: VCU gave me a scare on Friday night beating Florida State by 1 point in overtime, and University of Richmond fell hard to Kansas. But my VIRGINIA COMMONWEALTH UNIVERSITY Rams soundly defeated Kansas this afternoon 71-61 to advance to the Final Four.

Looks like I'm watching more basketball next weekend!

river city sweet sixteen

I earned my bachelor's degree from Virginia Commonwealth University. I'm working on my business degree from the University of Richmond right now. Each of these schools face challenging opponents tonight in the Sweet Sixteen round of play in the NCAA Men's basketball tournament. It's the first time both schools have been in the Sweet Sixteen together, and VCU's first time making it this far at all. Here's hoping for victory for both of my schools so they can face each other in the Elite Eight on Sunday!

Here's to watching nearly 5 hours of basketball this evening...