Our Process For Picking Baby Names

One of favorite conversation starters is to ask someone how they got their name or how they chose the names for their children. Sometimes people really don’t know, but often, there’s a decent story behind the name. It’s taboo to ask expecting parents what the baby name is, but it’s certainly fair game to ask […]


How I’m Adapting My GMing Style

A few days ago, I realized my current Dungeon World game wasn’t working. My players frequently were completely stuck about what to do next. I would follow through on the natural consequence of the players’ actions, and it often felt really harsh. I presented quest hooks, and my players would just move on. In short, […]


The Pac-4?

At the time I’m writing this, the Pac-12 only has four teams left starting with the 2024-2025 season. UCLA, USC, Washington, and Oregon are leaving for the Big Ten, and the Big 12 is getting Colorado, Arizona, Arizona State, and Utah. That leaves Washington State, Oregon State, Cal, and, most importantly, Stanford as the four […]

reading television

Can a Book be Compelling but Bad?

My book club is currently doing a series of hate reads, and our most recent book was Colleen Hoover’s It Ends with Us. This book is incredibly popular, garnering almost 3 million ratings on Goodreads so far, and it keeps gaining 7 years later. At an average rating of 4.23, it’s also well-received. Yet, it’s […]

tabletop games

How To Start DMing D&D Games

Yesterday, I was chatting online with internet strangers about playing D&D. It started when someone mentioned wanting to play but not having any friends to play with, then switched to players being interested but too scared to run D&D. Having mostly run (rather than played) tabletop RPGs, I was quite interested to hear why. Every […]

D&D movies

“Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves” Review

It’s weird when your niche interests and hobbies have their moment. In some ways, it’s quite validating for other people to discover and love what you love. On the other hand, this thing that was once your special thing is now just popular culture. You were there before it was cool, and you hopefully don’t […]

parenting travel

Road Trip to Monterey

With a handful of vacation days to use, we wanted to take a short, local family vacation. After evaluating the options, we decided to make the short drive down to Monterey to see the Monterey Bay Aquarium and see the beach. We haven’t had many family vacations. In fact, we have only done overnights away […]


My Potted Garden Graveyard

I have struggled tremendously to keep plants alive. Despite the power of nature to thrive in all sorts of environments, I am consistently able to take them out. I’m not alone in this. The internet is filled with house plant memes. I don’t quite identify with the obsessive streak, but I do know how difficult […]


Finding the Best Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe

A few months, my coworkers and I were chatting around the lunch table about the merits of various desserts. What’s the best ice cream flavor? Does bubble milk tea count as a dessert? When the conversation got serious, we drew up a March Madness-style bracket to find the winning dessert. The details of the bracket […]

D&D software engineering

5 Takeaways From Playing D&D with ChatGPT

Depending on who you ask, ChatGPT (and other similar LLM chatbots) might be impressive, dangerous, misunderstood, or one of many other things. However, it and other recent generative AI have created plenty of entertaining content. Crossing over my interests between tabletop RPGs and computing, I read an article about playing D&D with ChatGPT as the […]