I’m trying to get back to posting here a bit more often. But, you should know: most of my writing about education stuff is happening over at my newsletter. You should sign up for that (if you haven’t already).

Anyway. What have I been up to?

  • Selling a house. This is not a fun thing to do
  • Buying a house. Also: not a fun thing. Especially under a time constraint
  • Tracking my diet via my Hobonichi Techno
  • Beginning a search for a new winter hat
    • Merino wool (or, alternatively, cashmere…)
    • Minimal labels/branding
    • Long enough to roll the edge
  • Packing packing packing
  • Designing a new computer work station (for said new house)
    • Currently, that’s looking like a quad-monitor setup with more than one computer running them. I’ve got a kickstarter Chip heading my way soon, so that might run one, and the main computer will be running at least two others… still some work to do here. Also, need figure out the storage solution for this whole rig. My data right now is spread across a pile of hard drives, and I need to consolidate.
  • Trying to source an acceptable duck-cloth vest for the cooler weather we’re having. There are a number that would be acceptable, but most of them have price tags I just can’t quite stomach. So I’ll keep looking (and eventually probably just try to make one myself).
  • Lusting over the new Glowforge laser cutter/engraver. It’s a totally reasonable price ($2k), though that’s more than I’d like to spend at this moment (see above: buying house). And the software is the real gem there, too. SUPER EASY. Any k-12 Makerspaces that aren’t buying one of these are missing out. Couple this with a decent 3d printer and there isn’t much you can’t make…
  • I’ve planned out a roof-top solution for carrying a selection of fishing rods. I won’t source the parts until after the move to the new house, but I think it’ll be worth posting about.
  • I’ve got a couple of days until I can order my new cell phone. I won’t post specs here (because I’m still not entirely sure which options I’ll go with), but I’m looking forward to it.
  • I’ve been running Ghosterly on my computers for the last couple of weeks, and I really like it. Sure, it breaks some things- but it lets my old, old computer I’m using surf significantly faster when it’s not loading endless junk. I’m also using Peace on my iPhone (pulled from the app store- natch!) and I can’t tell you how much better it is browsing on my phone with that. I totally understand why Marco pulled the app- the ethics of add blocking are… murky. But still. I understand that people derive earnings from ads- but when those ads degrade the experience as much as they have? Yeah. Time for something to change.
  • Also: as a result of running Ghosterly, I noticed that my site had more trackers/pings/widgets on it than I either realized or found acceptable. I’ve removed a bunch of those, and I apologize in the meantime. That said, I think there were 4 running- last time I went to a major site (cnn = 16, buzzfeed = 13, people = 19) I found the numbers egregious. So I don’t feel too bad about 4.


Ah, so. Fall.

Except it’s still pushing 90 here. I’m not happy about this, mind you. Regardless, things I’m up to:

  • Have packed much of my house into cardboard boxes. Reasons for this should be obvious. I’ve also finished a shocking number of minor house projects that had previously been further down the priority list.
  • Most of my making projects have been put on hold re:packing project.
  • I’m currently logging my food intake in an attempt to lose some weight. My Hobonichi Techno is the device of choice here (and I’ve ordered my 2016 copy already. Have you?) Intake is tabulated vs. my (estimated) Resting Metabolic Rate (plus any directed exercise calories I burn). I keep a running deficit tally. 25,353.
  • Ugh. I backed another Kickstarter project: They’re re-publishing the 1970 NASA style guide. It’s epic, and I’ve always wanted one. So.
  • I’m wearing a Seiko SNZF15K1 now and it’s mostly replaced my Croton 1878 (on a silicone deployment band) for reasons of durability. Also: good looking. Pepsi.


New/more video work. New/more bag constructions (I need to finish an in-progress build, and I need/want a welded tarp gear bag). Develop an unknown number of rolls of 35mm film. New home computer. New house.

Current EDC Update

Oh my. Never a dull moment with this (mostly because I’m never really satisfied). Current:

  • iPhone 5s 16bg Space Grey in a Magpul case
  • Ikea Kullar Vacuum flask
  • CORTIÇA mug
  • Custom CP3 Ti ring
  • Croton 1878 (on a silicone deployment band)
  • Friday & River wallet
  • Uniball Signo Micro 206 (0.38 black)
  • Retrakt Aluminum (G2 0.5 Black refill)
  • Field Notes Dark As Night x2
  • Leuchtturm1917 (standard size, dot grid)
  • Canonet QL17 Giii (this thing seems pretty sweet- though the meter isn’t working [yet] and I’ve just redone the light seals, so…)
  • Kershaw/Emerson CQC
  • Custom Bag (NF-P-815)


Busy busy busy.

I’ve got a bunch of irons in the fire, so here’s the breakdown:

  • I’ve got this site (finally!) looking (and more importantly, behaving) like I’d like. So that’s good. The URL works properly, and the posts look like I’d like. Weird settings were weird, and the previous theme was doing all sorts of stuff that was eating bandwidth and whatnot. Better.
  • My newsletter is thundering along. I got a shoutout from Roman Mars on it, and that brought a minor spike in readership. Thanks, Roman! Anyway- it’s been going for more than 6 months. If you’re not signed up, you should fix that here. I think it’s pretty great.
  • Working on some cool stuff at work that I might (maybe!) be able to share here. Video is a part of that.
  • I’ve been building stuff again- sometimes I forget to, and it’s one of the things that keeps me happy. It’s a bit like being outside: I don’t really ever think about it, but when I haven’t done it for a bit I get grumpy. I made some shoes (#timsnottoms) for my eldest kid, and I’m in the midst of making some for the middle kid. I also, in the middle of that, made myself a backpack. More on that below. I also finally finished refinishing a fiberglass shell armchair I’ve had for a while. I’ve been refinishing some vintage rangefinder cameras, too. More on those soon. If you want to see what I’m working on more often than my once-in-a-blue-moon posts here, follow me on instagram.
  • IMG_2406The backpack. I’m picky when it comes to bags- they need to do what I want, as I want, and they need to not fail. And they need to do only what I want- I hate the addition of features I don’t need. I hate extra. I’d made a shoulder bag for daily carry that also let me keep a camera with me, and that was great- but it was a little too small for days when I needed a jacket or second shirt or whatever- and when it was loaded, it could get a little rough on my shoulder. So- backpack. I’ve liked the work that GoRuck has done, and I’ve found Bo Gear to be building some good gear too- but GoRuck had more “stuff” than I needed (never mind the justifiably high cost), and Bo Gear was in Australia and similarly offered somewhat more “stuff” than I wanted. A simple solution: I built mine out of cotton duck cloth (10oz) instead of 1000d Codura because I want mine to wear in over time (and for some weight savings). No waist strap, no sternum strap. No padding on the shoulder straps either. No external pockets. No compression straps. Padded back, padded internal laptop/hydration bladder pocket. Two notebook pockets, two pen pockets. Three rows of PALS, one band of 2″ Velcro (loops). That’s it. I even got rid of the storm flap over the zipper and used a waterproof (resistant) zipper instead (a #8, if you must know). It’s about 10″ wide, 17.5″ tall, and 4.5″ deep. It’s exactly what I need, with none of the complications or features I don’t need. And it’s awesome. I just started a second, miniaturized version for my 2 year old son. It’s going to be sweet. And tiny.
  • I’m on Beme, but I’m not sure for how much longer. It’s neat, but it feels really hard for me to connect there. We’ll see if I keep it.

And so it goes.

Sit Rep: Current Status

It’s been a minute, so let’s get back to this:

  • Posts here have slowed because I’m putting much of my education-centered thinking into my newsletter. What?! You haven’t signed up yet? You best fix that here.
  • My shoe resole project went well- they’re back in heavy rotation and seem to be holding up well. In fact, embolden by this success, I went ahead and made some shoes for my eldest daughter from scratch. Those, too, have gone well. They’re roughly modeled after Tom’s shoes, so my daughter (and wife) call them her Tim’s. Cute.
  • Tons of work around the house done. Doors and windows, plumbing, deck, etc etc.
  • Refinishing a fiberglass shell chair. This has been going on f o r e v e r. I originally scored the chair on the side of the road with some nasty upholstery, but I stripped that off and cleaned it up- and it looked great. Then it broke (or, more accurately, the base came off the shell), and I took that as an opportunity to sand and refinish the whole shell, repaint the base, and generally improve the thing. Anyway, the base is painted and the shell is sanded and they’re back together (side note: steel reinforced epoxy is even more of a pain to work with than regular epoxy).  Now all that’s left is to seal the shell and she’s good to go.
  • I’ve grown dissatisfied with my backpacks. Most of them are larger (both because I’m tall, but also because I’ve needed to carry a lot in the past). Anyway, I’m in “need” of a smaller backpack. I built out a shoulder day bag for myself a while ago- it’s great and is holding up pretty well, but it’s just a tiny bit too small for days when I’ve more-than-average to haul. I’m not overly fond of the commercial options I’ve found, so… it’s build my own time. Much of the design is done, and it’s time to start sourcing fabric and hardware. And we’ll see if my sewing machine can keep up…
  • I’m on the latest & greatest social media too- Beme (pronounced “Beam”) which has come out of the brain of Casey Neistat. My username there is “nothingfuture” and you can feel free to add me. What is it? Ah. Um… ok. It’s like snapchat, in that you share video (and video only). But: there’s no preview of the video, all clips are 4 seconds long, there’s no edit, and there’s no likes. You can send reactions to videos as you watch them, and you get to watch any Beme once and it’s gone- including your own, strangely. It’s neat, though I’m not sure what sort of legs it will have.

Sit Rep: Current Projects

It’s the busiest time of the year for me in my day job, but despite this (or maybe because of it) I’m deep into a few projects here and headquarters.

  • I’m midpoint on resoling some shoes- I’ve removed the old soles and am nearly done prepping the welt. I’ve source a new sole, and all I need to do is track down some of the right adhesive, glue things up, and trim everything flush. It’s been an adventure thus far- and I’ve only bled once. So far.
  • Our house has several project that need attention- and they’re all starting this week. Busy busy busy. But exciting.
  • I’ve swapped the layout of the site here- finally. I’m not 100% on it yet- there are some changes still to make and some detail work to do, but it’s at least up and running.
  • Analog film for photography is still a thing- and something I enjoy a lot these days. Digital is great- don’t get me wrong- but having to think about each and every shot is a totally different mindset. I’ll go out and only shoot a frame or three in an hour, whereas with a DSLR I’ll shoot 40-100 frames in that time. Either way, I think it’s good for my brain to have to take a trip into that creative space during each day. I think it helps me in the other areas of my life, too.
  • I backed another Kickstarter. I know, I know. I couldn’t help it, though. It’s CHIP, and it’a s tiny computer. A bit like a Raspberry Pi, but it’s $7. Actually, I’m in for one with a VGA breakout board, so mine was a bit more, but still. It runs Linux, and comes pre-loaded with a full suite of apps. I’m not entirely sure what I’ll use it for, but the idea of being able to use it to run a monitor with a live feed of something is very, very appealing.
  • I’m trying to get back to making videos again. It’s hard, with all the other stuff I’ve got going at the same time, but just like the photography is good for me, making videos is a great blend of creativity and attention-to-detail in execution. As you know if you subscribe to my newsletter (and you do, right? RIGHT? Upper right corner of this page, if you haven’t…) I’m a fan of Casey Neistat. He’s been on a roll lately- making a vlog video every single day (he’s up to #52 as of this post). It’ been inspiring to watch, because I know he’s at least a busy as I am. I put a very short (and questionable-quality) video up a bit ago, and while I’m not in love with it’s production value, it’s the sort of thing I’d like to keep doing. It’s a story- a short, tiny, little story. But a story. And telling stories is what a lot of what I do boils down to, so practice at it is good.
  • And my newsletter. I’ve been doing it now, once a week, for 16 weeks. That’s essentially four months, and I’ve watched the subscriber count rise that entire time. It might be (and this pains me to say) my most successful educational project. It doesn’t take a ton of my time, but it’s work- and it’s nice to see it paying (not literally, of course. I’ve not monetized it) off.


EDC Update

It’s been a month, and I’ve changed a few things around and whatnot.

Current carry is:

  • iPhone 5s 16gb Verizon Space Grey
  • Kershaw Chilli
  • Croton 1878 (on a silicone deployment band)
  • Custom CP3 Titanium Ring
  • Friday & River wallet
  • Uniball Signo Micro 206 (0.38 black)
  • Retrakt Aluminum (G2 0.5 Black refill)
  • Field Notes Red Blooded (x2)
  • Leuchtturm1917 (standard size, dot grid)
  • Nikon 8008s w/ Konica Hexanon 40mm f1.8 lens (via Fotodiox adapter)
  • HumanGear GoTubb (medium, x2)
  • Custom Bag (NF-P-126)

Current EDC

  • iPhone 5s 16gb
  • Kershaw Chili
  • Uniball Signo 207 Ultra Micro (0.38) Black
  • Field Notes Red Blooded
  • Kara’s Kustoms Retrakt (0.5 Black G2 currrently)
  • Konica Autoreflex TC (Vivitar 28mm f2.5) (Poleroid OneFilm 400 c41)
  • All in custom bag (NF-P-815)

Places to find me.

In case you’ve ever wanted more places to find me (and the stuff I like, produce, or pontificate…), I thought I’d put together a list. In general, I work under the name nothingfuture– but here’s as complete a list as I can currently come up with:

Some of these aren’t in high use (pinterest, G+, ello) some are mostly for consumption (vimeo, soundcloud), and the rest are for producing/posting/sharing/ranting (twitter, tumblr, flickr, youtube). Even there, flickr is mostly for storage & content mining, if I’m honest. There are other, abandoned & orphaned accounts out here (foursquare, I’m looking at you…), but they’re as good as dead to me (and I only keep them open to maintain control of the username).

Of the active accounts, here’s what I use them for:


This is where my day-to-day comments go, though there’s always been a pretty heavy educational slant to my postings there. I’m not as active as I once was (which wouldn’t take much), but it’s still a place I check often. I use the API to do a bunch of archiving here as well- it’s a great research tool as well.


This is a favorite of mine- though I’ve been experimenting with it of late. I used to use it to share the quick shots of my life, but lately I’ve been taking a higher-quality view of what I post there (ironic, given the wildly poor quality of the media). All my content there is original to me- no reposts, no fluff, no filler.


I’ve had one of these for a long time now- years. I’d mostly ignored it for a while, but recently I’ve been investing more time in it, and the more time I spend with the platform, the more I like it. Like, a lot. In fact, if someone was talking to me about wanting to start an online platform for themselves, I’d recommend tumblr before most other options. It’s very, very good. My instagram posts are cross posted here, but most of what goes here is not content created by me- I mine other platforms for content that speaks to me, and it gets queued here. This blog gets auto-posted 8 times a day, between 7am EST and 8pm EST. All I do is keep the queue full of good content. Also, tumblr is an amazing content consumption platform- it’s a self-contained RSS reader for other tumblr blogs.


I’ve had a number of projects in video over the last million years- and youtube is the place (right now, anyway) to post that stuff. I like the compression on vimeo better (uploaded videos literally look nicer there), but youtube has the audience and the infrastructure of google behind it, so there you go. My instagram videos are posted here in all their non-cropped less compressed 14 second glory. Longer work makes it’s home here.

Research List #34

Current Obsessions:

  • Brunley Kwaiken (and the offshoots…)
  • Kodachrome processed via Caffenol (weird cyanotype effect)
  • Caffenol recipes (and the best uses for each…)
  • Reloading 126 film cartridges
  • Workflow for a BMPCC into FCPX
  • Vintage Russian 35mm lenses
  • Building a new fly fishing bag (NF-P-126)
  • Waterproofing/resisting cotton duck cloth
  • Better sourcing for ITW GT Cobra Buckle (black, 1.5″)