Tom MacWright


Monarch caterpillar

We saw this Monarch butterfly caterpillar at the pretty unusual Naval Cemetery Landscape. The landscape is just native pollinators and native plants growing wild, with a wood platform above the field so you can walk around and see the bugs and plants. It’s also built on a cemetery that was moved to another site, but they didn’t move all the bodies, so there are still some unaccounted for in the park.


I know that every generation looks at the younger generation and fears that their cultural memory is getting shorter, but isn’t it? Adam Neely, who I’ve mentioned before when he talked about the ‘Sea Shanty’ trend on TikTok, came out with this great breakdown of Laufey, jazz, and the dangers of rewriting history.

Speaking of jazz, found GoGo Penguin, which is not quite jazz - if something like Mammal Hands are halfway between jazz and electronica, GoGo Penguin is 75% of the way to electronica. But I love it anyway:

Like everyone, I’ve been watching The Bear, and I’ve cried during about 40% of the Season 2 episodes. I appreciate the show even more because I have absolutely no interest in running a restaurant or watching people cook or eat – I actually have what is probably a common aversion to the TV trope of people constantly talking while eating. The Bear basically dodges all of that and tells a great story. The soundtrack is great, too.


Adrian Holovaty, who you might remember as the co-creator of the Django web framework, or founder of EveryBlock, or founder of Soundslice, released his first proper album.

Early this month my friends and I saw Claud at Bowery Ballroom and all agreed that they were on the cusp of playing stadium shows. See them in the local cheap venue while you can.


My experience with companies in the last few years has made me a believer in the power of vibes, which is why I like this article about rephrasing failure. I know that words don’t have magic power, and that trying to use language to change reality doesn’t work directly. But building stuff is such a struggle filled with setbacks that the people who survived have a naturally persistent mentality, or they put a lot of time into managing their positivity and attitude.

This contrarian take about real estate is a good counter-point to the common assumptions about home-ownership. A good snippet:

However, despite the positive performance of both wealth components, the lowest income class lost out on a relative basis because it was over invested in real estate. Building wealth through purchasing a consumer durable like a home is not equivalent to making an investment that produces a stream of sustainable income. Although owner-occupied home values have increased over time, to access the wealth potentially created, one needs to sell the home and of course find another place to live.

Reading this interview with Roz Chast made me feel like I was listening to myself in 33 years.



I’ve been making some more progress on side-projects - I wrote about the bikeshare project and made time to illustrate that and another post this month.

I’ve been working on my custom Tidbyt display as well. I think for both this and the bikeshare project, I’m going in with the attitude that they don’t make much sense. Neither is going to be a big open source project or the seed idea for a startup. They’re both great on-ramps to learning new skills: my understanding of Rust, Parquet, and DuckDB is getting gradually better.

Tidbyt render

I even used the Tidbyt project as an angle to start learning Blender again, and this time I’m gotten a lot more momentum. I’ve been keeping notes on the resources I use as I go - which seem to include a lot of YouTube videos written by teenagers who are talking about Blender as an alternative to Roblox. My renders look bad so far – I don’t know anything about lighting or the rendering pipelines. Someday I want to learn how to make those amazing shadowy maps and also how to use flat renderers to make beautiful watercolor-esque games.