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New phone.

Every few years, I get a new phone. This is one of those years, and today is the day. A shiny blue iPhone 15 Pro Max is wending its way too me even as I type. Back when I had a large, constant stream of income, I’d upgrade my phone every year or two. Dumb? …

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Small engine repair.

I am not a mechanical guy. Growing up, I was into computers not cars. I could build a computer for you, I could program it, I could diagnose problems, and so on — but I was hard pressed to figure out basic engine maintenance. My father did teach me to change the brake pads on …

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Life before electricity.

One of my frequent complaints about us as Americans is that we have no real sense of history. We are very focused on the recent past and pay little mind to things that happened even forty or fifty years ago. This leads to some odd gaps in understanding and knowledge. People don’t grok how we …

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Fall art false start.

For two years now, I’ve been talking about taking art classes. I want to learn how to draw and/or work with watercolors. I’m dabbled with both a tiny bit in my free time, but I’m not so good at being self-directed. I’m much better when somebody imposes structure on me, especially when it comes to …

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My favorite website.

As I re-adjust to writing at Folded Space once more, I’m struggling to know what qualifies as “worth sharing” and what doesn’t. In the olden days, I’d simply sit down and jot a note about whatever was going on in my life — or whatever silly things was tickling my brain at the moment. But …

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Beginner’s mind.

For a long time now, I’ve embraced the Zen concept of shoshin (or beginner’s mind). The notion is simple. When approaching any subject, do so with the openness and enthusiasm of a novice, leaving aside preconceptions and prejudices. Basically, forget what you know — or think you know — and start from the beginning. I’ve …

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Fair warning. This post is J.D. ranting about something few people care about: the climate and weather of Portland, Oregon. If that sounds boring to you, you might want to skip this haha. My buddy Douglas writes one of my favorite newsletters at Substack: Money and Meaning. It’s great stuff, filled with deep insights on …

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A fine mess.

I have regularly scheduled video chats with a handful of friends. Also, irregularly scheduled chats with other friends. This is a new-ish thing in my life — only in the past five years — but I’m under the impression that it’s becoming more and more common for more and more people. (Kim does this too …

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Advance directive.

Kim and I are currently in the process of estate planning. We both completed simple wills about a decade ago, but things have changed. And now that we’re older we’re trying to get more sophisticated with our plans. We’re establishing a trust. We’re creating advance directives for healthcare. Et cetera. This is proving much more …

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Asian disturbing.

Yesterday morning, Kim and I set out to stain the new fence in our back yard. We spent a comical 90 minutes attempting to use a pump sprayer to make the job easier, but we gave up after a frustrating series of problems. Instead, we resorted to good old-fashioned rollers. We managed to stain about …

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