A few of my favorite essays


Farm roads

I grew up on a gravel road, and that’s still my favorite kind of road, and my favorite kind of landscape


Aspects of backpacking, rated

For much of my 20s many of my jobs looked suspiciously like backpacking and I lived for weeks or months at a time in tents....


Five miles

Human beings are machines designed to walk.


Imagining and building

There always comes a point where I can’t finish “designing” something in my head. I have to start building it to find the edges.


Trolling Works

Every three or four years I’ll kick a hornet’s nest by saying something like: fellow front-end devs: if you ever feel intimidated by your back-end...


Reality TV

Discerning whether something is real or a fantasy is no longer a salient problem for daily existence.


Right and Wrong

Pondering the distinction between being right (correct) and right (moral).



Over the last four years I wore a literal groove into the gravel behind the bleachers at the Lewis and Clark baseball diamond.


You’re a Good Man

About twelve years ago, in the middle of my divorce, my father paid me the greatest compliment I have ever been given.


Etiquette for stranded cyclists

Scenario: a bike is broken down. Probably a flat tire. Bike and cyclist are on the roadside and might need a little help…


Golf to work

I like my commute so much I make it longer, and do it on the weekends


Last Post of the Decade

I don't know anyone who says anything other than “good riddance” to the first decade of the 21st century.


Technique and Technology

You can use a Swiss Army knife to cut your fingernails in two different ways: with the scissors, or with the knife blade.



In the last 24 hours the feeling finally hit us: OK, we're actually leaving.


Arrival: Xiamen

After about 25 hours of transit we are finally in Xiamen. Flights were all smooth, after a delayed departure from Portland. The delay actually worked...


The Champ

1990 Honda Civic, Runs, Sort of - $250 (SW Portland) Reply to: anon-xxxxxxxxx@craigslist.orgDate: 2005-07-24, 6:47PM PDT This is a Champagne (transl: “Gold”) 1990 Honda Civic...


Ten Human Universals

As I Learned Them from Seven Years of Anthropology Classes Who you consider a “family member” is closely correlated with the list of individuals in...


Day 7: Distance

The last day of the most consequential bike ride of my life


This is My Cathedral

The squall of March rain arrives like an announcement, travelling a patient course, propelled by 8000 miles of Pacific Ocean. I hear it crawling eastward...