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I have a lot of hobbies, to the point that I even describe myself that way on my About page. Many of these are carried over from childhood, others I picked up as an adult, mostly from seeing cool things on Reddit and deciding to try them. Music was my first love. I started in elementary school with trombone and piano. I didn’t keep up with the piano lessons, but trombone became my primary instrument.

Including Audiobooks

Until today I hadn’t included audiobooks I listened to in my reading list. While I gather it is a hotly contensted question whether listening to audiobooks counts as reading, I never had strong opinions about it. I didn’t include them mostly because I didn’t listen to them that often, but I guess I also considered listening a different activity. That was probably because most of my non-music listening was podcasts rather than books.

Souring on Electric Cars

I’ve been interested in electric cars since the release of the original Tesla Roadster. After I graduated from college and started my first full-time job I eyed the release of the Tesla Model 3, thinking I’d buy one when I needed a new car. At the time I was driving a 2012 Chevy Equinox which met all of my needs. In 2019 I bought a Chevy Bolt on the last day the dealer was open before the federal tax credit for GM halved.

2023 Favorite and Least Books

After another year of reading it’s been fun to review my list from 2023 since I had forgotten a few of the books I read. I wanted to highlight my favorite and least favorite books of the year. Non-Fiction My favorite non-fiction of the year was Algorithms of Oppression and it wasn’t even close. There are so many ways to criticize Google and other big tech companies, but the focus on search engines as a vehicle to enforce racism and sexism was fascinating.

2023 Year in Review

Work This has been a good year for me at work. Because I started at CHOP so close to the end of 2021, I spent most of 2022 learning. In 2023 I’ve taken on significantly more responsibility and started to function as more of a leader on the team. I work on the Arcus team at CHOP, whose primary goal is providing a virtual environment for CHOP researchers to have the software tools and data they need to do their research in one place.

Failed Deployment

I hadn’t broken anything in production in a while until last week, so it seems like a good time to write about that. Last week I deployed an upgrade to one of our services containing two changes: A several thousand line refactor of the entire service A few dozen line removal of a redundant authorization check Which one of those changes do you think introduced a problem that caused me to roll back this attempted upgrade, not once, but twice?

Trombone Practice

I was at one point in my life a pretty good trombone player. Had I wanted to, I probably could have gone to college for music but I decided against it for various reasons. Mostly, I was afraid having to make a living as a musician would kill the joy I found in playing music. I still played regularly in college, through Scranton’s Performance Music department, which is shockingly large for a school that doesn’t have a music major.

Advertisers and Leeches

I did something this week I never do on purpose: I clicked on an ad. Shameful, I know, but I had a reason. My wife and I had talked about getting some Philly sports apparel because we don’t have much and we’ve been going to more games. Pro sports apparel is expensive, which is a large part of the reason I haven’t bought any recently, so when I saw an ad on Instagram with a coupon code for Eagles appparel, it seemed reasonable to check it out.

Sports Traffic Jam

This originally appeared as a post in the fediverse, which I have copied here for longevity. So I go into Philadelphia once a week for a rehearsal and I used to drive because the train schedule looked inconvenient despite there being stations near my house and my destination, plus parking was the same price as the train so I may as well drive right? Recently I’ve been getting more frustrated with car-centric infrastructure, so I decided a few weeks ago to take public transit.

Why I Track My Reading

For a long time I mostly only read books at the beach or on a plane, but in 2022 I started intentionally reading more. The decision was obvious: I liked books, missed reading consistently, and it gave me something enjoyable to do before bed instead of endlessly scrolling on social media. Partway through the year, I started a public reading list to track all the books I’ve read. Over a year later, I wanted to reflect on how it’s been so far and talk about why I do this.