Peeing in Space: An tweet overview by Mary Robinette Kowal

For those of you willing to learn more about getting to space, read on.

These are some of the many details that need to be figured out for space travel to become a normal thing. Glad to see there has been progress, but clearly more is needed. Twenty years from now, we will likely look back and cringe at what astronauts have today.

Mary Robinette Kowal is an excellent writer (The Lady Astronaut and many others), puppeteer (worked on Sesame Street), and love learning the details that go into her books. She is part of Writing Excuses, a writing podcast I recommend for all fiction writers.

A glorious tweet thread (keep reading!) about peeing and pooping in space. And a few other related topics. Lots of fun facts. I didn’t know the Apollo 13 ‘fun’ fact.

Propinquity: 2021 Word of the Year

The winner of the Bredesen 2021 Word of the Year contest* is:


The Propinquity Effect refers to the seemingly obvious fact that you make connections with people you are physically, mentally, or emotionally in close proximity.

I chose this word because of the work from home (WFH) situation many have found themselves in due to the pandemic. This includes those that were laid off or otherwise had no regular physical space to go to where interaction with others could take place. This could include churches, libraries, and other physical gathering spaces.

I predict that, in 2023 or 2024, this word will make a comeback as all the companies that have gone to full WFH as a permanent arrangement will shift back to a hybrid or mostly in person.

All the people that are changing jobs during the Great Resignation and are working from home from the beginning at these “perma-WFH” companies will never feel as connected to their new companies than if they were in the office at least some of the time. This applies to those that are working far-remote (in other states) also.

I believe this connection to the people or the organization is an important part of employee retention. Without it, without Propinquity, these non-connected employees will seek other organizations when the job no longer satisfies.

* not a real contest in case you were wondering. Unless I remember to do this next year.

Quantum Typos

Fact: if you have n readers check you work for typos, the n+1 reader will find a previously undiscovered typo with 42/n seconds of looking at the work.

Fact: If you open your book and successfully fix a typo, you will introduce (6.5x-y)/3 new typos, where x is the number of keystrokes used to fix the typo and y is the number of pages in the chapter.

Further research is needed to verify the constants across multiple writers. This may all just be me.

Installing a Touchstone Sideline 28″ Fireplace into a Winnebago Adventurer 30T

I’m putting all this here in case others find it useful. We recently purchased a 30T motorhome. It will come as no surprise to anyone who knows my wife to learn that she wanted a fireplace in the motorhome. We have added a fireplace to each of the two homes we have owned. Why not add one to a home on wheels? She even knew where it would go. Photos at the end of this post.

I knew it was just going to be a visual fireplace with maybe a little heat that we probably wouldn’t use very often. No gas, no wood.

There were several things I needed to figure out:

Continue reading “Installing a Touchstone Sideline 28″ Fireplace into a Winnebago Adventurer 30T”

My book is on sale!


I did a thing and it is now available for sale from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and other fine bookstores.

The I.T. Leader’s Handbook is a book for current and aspiring IT leaders. From the back cover:

Is your IT department working harder than ever and still falling behind? Does the organization have unreasonable expectations and tightening budgets? Do you have a strong understanding of your company’s needs and priorities?

Drawing on over 25 years of IT experience, John has learned that leading the IT department is more than just understanding technology. You must also understand the Business and the People and how everything works together.

The IT Leaders’ Handbook will get you going in the right direction in four major areas: Foundations, Business, People, and Technology. Concepts like Focus & Finish, Square Root Of Change, and Proactivity Is Overrated, along with real-world advice, will help you raise your game and be a better IT Leader. In his personable style of writing, John uses triathlons, race cars, alligators, and sailing ships to present concepts that are straightforward to understand and powerful to implement.

If you want a book about the latest technology, this is not that book. If you want a book that will give you useful information on leading the IT department, regardless of your technology stack, then grab your favorite beverage, settle back in a comfortable chair, and let’s start the journey.

The Unsinkable Maddie Stone, Google’s Bug-Hunting Badass | WIRED

“There was such a clear, direct impact,” Stone says of her Android-focused work. “I find these potentially harmful apps, I flag the malware, and the defense we develop propagates to 2.8 billion devices. It was just such a massive, tangible impact that most people don’t get in their jobs.”

The Unsinkable Maddie Stone, Google’s Bug-Hunting Badass | WIRED

This is a really cool article. I’ve always thought that there were those on the good side of the fight, but they don’t seem to be as worthy of news reports.

Academic Silos

First, Sharks & Deep Sea Squid! How cool is that?

Second, why was the academic response to pull it off the internet? The attitude behind that seems like an unintended, and unfortunate, consequence of the publish or perish academic system currently in place.

Yannis Papastamatiou, a shark ecologist at Florida International University, in Miami, saw the photograph and immediately contacted Verbeck. “He told me, Pull that thing off the internet! Nobody’s ever seen that before,” Verbeck recalls.

Saving lives is in their blood: Three generations donate blood

Back in 2012, I was travelling with one of my daughters to Oregon to see my dad. As I have mentioned elsewhere, my dad has long been a blood donor. Kelsey was interested in starting, so this happened. Story from TV station KVAL in Eugene.

John Bredesen, his son John Jr. and granddaughter Kelsey, all stopped by Lane Community College for the blood drive.

Saving lives is in their blood: Three generations donate | KVAL