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I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by startups,         weakened caffeinated bloated, hunching themselves over glowing screens at night looking         for a syntax error, filthyheaded coders burning for the algorithmic         connection to the starry dynamo in the machinery of Steve, who overworked and malnourished and burned-out and tired stayed …

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A Long Swim in Hell

This summer, I took part in a 5 kilometer open water swim called The Swim to the Moon near the town of Hell, Michigan. Here’s my account of why I did it, how I trained for it, and what it was like. Who am I? I swam competitively as a kid and in high school. …

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What writing death notices taught me about writing

I’ve been a professional writer for 22 years. The first time my writing was published was in 1993, when I was the circulation manager for a small weekly newspaper in Detroit. The full-time reporters considered the job of writing death notices to be beneath them, and shoved it off onto me. I loved it. Each …

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My Writing Cave Quest

A couple months ago, I started a writing group. My vision for the group was that once a week, my writer friends and I would get together to write, talk about writing, act stupid, and share stories. I named the group the Hemingway and Gump School of Writing. I chose a location that served beer and coffee and …

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The Many Insults of the Web Developer – Part 4

Sidebar: Showing Off My 90s Design Skillz I was primarily a programmer, writer, and boss for most of my web development career. In the early days, however, I used to also do web design. I like to think that I did a lifetime worth of great design work between 1996 and 2000, so I retired …

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The Many Insults of the Web Developer – Part 3

I managed to stretch out my first project for several glorious months. Eventually, though, the amount of work started to taper off and I turned to thoughts of finding more work for my awesome one-man business. It was at this point, just a couple months into my career as a web developer, that I made …

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The Many Insults of the Web Developer – Part 2

MWS 1997

My 18-year long career as a self-employed web developer started with the best project for the best client I’ve ever had. It was 1996, and I was working as an editorial assistant for Software Development Magazine in San Francisco. My job consisted of copyediting, some writing, and running errands. I worked for a great company, …

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The Many Insults of the Web Developer – Part 1

In September 2001, Margaret and I were living in Austin and were operating our web design business out of our house. Things were going pretty well. The business was successful; Austin was exciting and fun; and we were a few chapters into the writing of a new book: The eBiz+ Certification Exam Cram.

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