Johnathan Lyman

My name is Johnathan Lyman. I'm an engineer at Papertrail, a huge Apple nerd and semi-regular blogger. I enjoy bubble tea way too much and find Farming Simulator relaxing.

Find out more.
2014 – 2018 Johnathan Lyman. All 338 posts and 12 pages were made with and in Seattle.

Powered by:

January 2016 Archives

The Pulp Fiction Live Blog


Watch Pulp Fiction, they said. It’ll be riveting, they said.

I was told today that there’s no good reason for not seing Pulp Fiction if I saw Django Unchained or The Hateful Eight. Fine, I said to them. I’ll watch it tonight.

So here it is. I watch Pulp Fiction and write about it as the movie plays out. It’s 2 hours 33 minutes 59 seconds by Netflix’s watch.

Sweet. The classical diner scene. I forgot that guy was in this. What the hell is his name? That accent guy from Star Trek and that show about people’s ticks when they lie. I have no idea what he’s said. I need to turn up the volume.

“Garson, coffee!” heh. “Garson means boy.” heh heh. I think?

Restaurants don’t get robbed because there’s too many witnesses.

Yep. This is a Quentin Tarintino movie.

Let’s play Spot Spot the Director During His Cameo.

I think I remember starting to watch this movie, and gave up right about… here… the title credits.

Le Big Mac. Mayonaise fries. K.

I always enjoy a movie with Samuel L. Jackson. He’s got some greal emotion.

The foot massage logic is sound.

I Also always enjoy a movie with long single takes. This hallway shot is putting this movie on that list.

Staring at the backs of their heads makes me think they’re standing at urinals.

I keep lights in all my briefcases.

“Say what! Say what again!”

Don’t blink, Bruce!

That band-aid. Was he in The Matrix?

Sorry I checked out. Something about Bruce and Mr. Band-Aid and fancy coke. I don’t know.

I’m a half hour into this movie and have no idea what’s going on. Awesome.

So THAT’s where the lost Travolta meme came from. God he’s awkward looking.

Don’t be a rectangle composed of a dashed outline.

Slot cars. I remember those. I enjoyed those when I was a kid.

This is about where I fall asleep.

Yeah, it was that boring. Sometimes, I just can’t get into a movie. I fell asleep at this point and I guess I woke up to turn the TV off. About an hour later, I woke up again, thinking something from the movie snapped me awake but the TV was off. My PS4 running Netflix was still going and the movie was still running.

My Postmates Experience Live Blog


I was feeling a bit lazy tonight but wanted food, so instead of going somewhere, I desired for someone to bring the food to me. Are they up to the challenge of being summoned by Postmates, picking up my Gyro and traversing Silicon Valley, to my driveway, through the first controlled access roadblock, to my building, and through the second controlled access liftway? Let’s find out.

This is my pseudo-live blog on my first Postmates experience.

Stay tuned to the end to see if the food was any good!

7:10pm – I found my tasty greek food just a few miles away, and with a wait time of roughly 40ish minutes. For $24 with all extras and fees, I’m super excited to get my gyro fix, thanks to Athena Grill.

Using Apple Pay made this even simpler. I love paying with my thumb.

7:13pm – Postmates says 51 minutes, and will be picked up by someone we’ll code name Sheepdog, since I didn’t ask them if they were okay with being mentioned. Sweet! More than 40 but less than an hour, so I’m good. I’m not terribly hungry yet, so no need for alarm.

7:17pm – Postmates called. They want to know if I wanted fries with my Gyro… well… I didn’t ask for fries in my order, so no.

7:20pm – Postmates calls again. They confirmed with Athena Grill: no fries. I ask if this is a normal exchange, since this is my first time using the service. The gentleman on the phone says no and that they only asked because fries or a drink typically comes with the gyro.

I can understand the double-check, but the app should have told me this was an option. The menu in Postmates wasn’t very clear on this, in fact I didn’t know fries were a thing with the Gyro. Oh well. I didn’t really want them, anyway, so it’s no a huge deal. Some room for improvement, there.

7:24pm – I’m checking my app, again, curious to see how this exchange affected my delivery time. We’re up to 59 minutes, now. Hmm. Well, I guess I’ll let that go since there was some confusion on the order. No biggie. As I type this, the countdown timer is dropping pretty quickly. What was 59 minutes is now 51 minutes, in the span of two earth minutes. Looks like either Postmates has their own measure of time, or the Postmates universe moves faster than Earth. Noted.

7:27pm – 48 minutes. Thinking about this food is making me hungrier. Thinking about this food while writing about thinking about this food is just adding to the struggle. Time to include this for the first time in this post: Affirmation of Laziness as a Service. We’ll call it AoLaaS.

7:28pm – 40 minutes. Theory on Postmates Universe time constriction confirmed. Time to start writing my award-winning paper. Hon. Dr. Johnathan Lyman. I like the way that sounds.

7:31pm – I think I should text Sheepdog, and say thank you.

Hey Sheepdog, thanks for picking up my food, this evening! Just to confirm the entry codes: if you can’t get throug the gate, use **** … the elevator is ****. Thanks!

Having a non-local number is hard for my dual-call-box system. I haven’t given up my WA area code so issuing manual access codes is required. I’m trying to be a nice guy, here.

7:33pm – Sheepdog thanks me for the info. For a minute I thought she wasn’t going to respond. This creepy guy texting her.

7:34pm – 8 minutes. She’s on her way to the food. I can see it on the map! Starting to get excited.

7:38pm – Sheepdog securing the package, code name Lamb Chop.

7:42pm – Pending confirmation of package secure. Standby.

7:46pm – Confirm package Secure. Package en route to primary LZ for extraction to my food hole.

7:48pm – Package inbound. ETA 4 minutes. Now I’m hungry.

7:51pm – It’s just like Uber, watching them get closer and closer to you. [Jaws theme slowly builds in the background]

7:53pm – Interesting. the time compression witnessed pre-pickup is reversed post-pickup. Will note time dilation in logs.

7:56pm – Package picked at LZ. Commence food-hole shoving.


  • Fountain drink (menu) does not equal can (reality). Shame. -1 Restaurant.
  • I get to rate the driver (who did excellent), but I don’t get to rate the restaurant. Interesting.

So that about does it! Food is in my lap and this pseudo-live blog is done!


After trying the food, I will say it was a bit on the cold side. Not super impressed by that. However, this type of food I ordered won’t stay hot long under any circumstance, so I can’t knock off too many points. It is something I will have to consider for the future, however.

Update 2

The food was gross. Gyro was flavorless. Barely any meat. I was deceived by how much meat it looked like it had. Definitely not worth the money. Lame. Still hungry.

Photo Jan 19, 8 04 06 PM

Left: my “fountain” drink. Right: It looks tasty. Looks can be deceiving.

Sorry, Sodastream, Coke is Still Number One


There’s something that’s utterly delicious about brand-named Coca Cola that my Sodastream just can’t replace. Sorry, but the syrup masterminds in Tel Aviv just can’t fool me.

I don’t necessarily think it’s the fact that it’s in a can. I think it has to do with the syrup.

Yeah, I know, big revelation there, for sure. Sue me.

While I write this, I’m taking the occasional swig from a can of Coke Zero, the Coke product that tastes the most like Sodastream’s Cola flavor. I think, after it’s all said and done, what it comes down to is the “natural flavors.” Whatever they are, they’re made from a natural source and turned into a chemical of some kind that makes sense for a production line.

There’s also something about the crispness that I just can’t seem to master with the Sodastream. Perhaps it’s the level of carbonation.

Whatever the differences are, I’m sure I could find answers if I searched the Internet. Since I’m writing this, I didn’t, and I don’t plan on it.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have a soda to finish.

My New Method of Post Tracking for 2016


I came up with a new spreadsheet to use for tracking my blogging progress throughout 2016. Sure, I could probably use a plugin, but having something I made on my own to track just what I want will serve my needs just fine.

Screen Shot 2016-01-07 at 4.35.18 PM

At the end of every month, I’ll check back on this and report my results, so long as I remember to plug in data as I post.

Testing Out a New Temporary Markdown Editor


I’ve been in search for a backup Markdown editor while my goto app is updated to fix a rather lethal crash bug. For those wondering, as of this writing, Desk PM is my goto and when attempting to work through the publish menus, the app always crashes, and always forgets my work. No good.

So in the meantime I had to find an alternative, if I’m going to restart my blogging habits for 2016.

The theme here is simplicity. All I need is a distraction-free space to write my thoughts down in Markdown format, and special formatting is optional.

The first app on my list is Typora. It’s not a very complex app but what it does, it seems to do well. Launching Typora takes you to a blank canvas, just like I’d expect. It comes with six themes out of the box and more can be added by way of CSS. Yes, it’s that customizable.

One of the first things I did was open the .css file for the theme of my choice, Pixyll, and edit the #write ID element and widened the max-width to 1200px from the default 854px. Given I want a full-screen write space, I felt 854px against my screen was a bit small. With 1200px, this set me up for about 65-75% width used depending on the resolution I’m at. I tend to operate at 1680×1050 equivalent, most of the time.

Screen Shot 2016-01-07 at 3.32.49 PM

This is the editor as a whole. It’s super minimal, with little fluff. A settings pane is available under Preferences that allows you to make some tweaks to the app, including font size, window style, access to the themes folder (big plus) and a few other settings. Again, nothing totally crazy here, because it’s a simple app. It’s not claiming to be your word processor replacement, and I wouldn’t it want to be mine.

While it would be nice to edit some of the theme settings without having to modify css, I’m personally OK with that and once I have it the way I want, it’s a set-and-forget kind of deal.

The real question is will this become a permanent tool? Maybe. It depends on what my goals are. As it stands, today, I have to copy and paste into WordPress and publish from there, which takes a few extra minutes when I factor adjustments and image uploads, etc. If this app were to become a blogging tool, it’d need to be full service in order for it to fill that void for me. Right now, it’s temporary, and may always hold a place when I need to write some markdown for something non-blogging-related.

With that being said, it’s a good app. I don’t have any major complaints, to be honest. It’s free while in beta for Mac, Windows, and soon Linux.

Have you Ever Seen a Post So Beautiful?


I’ve been having a hard time with inspiration, lately. I even moved back to WordPress to hopefully make the writing process as painless for myself as possible. It’s taken a lot of time and effort to figure out what it is about now compared to last year that’s made it so hard to want to write on a regular basis.

I switched back to WordPress because although I had several complaints, Jekyll just wasn’t something that would scale. When I think of my blog, I think of a place I can drop in some prose and publish. A static site generator isn’t really going to give me a sense of completeness that I would need.

I could publish link posts every day, but I don’t have the traffic to warrant that being even worth the time. It would be better if I added up a few different links and reflected on them at the end of the week.

There are things I want to write about, but the motivation really isn’t there. I know at the core it’s all about “just doing it,” but I had a hard time pushing myself in the majority of 2015.

Remembering what the start of 2015 was like, I was firing things off left and right, really kicking ass, and I was enjoying it. I even remember the post I did about someone wearing Ugg boots to an interview. That was today, one year ago. I also had a morning routine. Perhaps that’s the key, right there. I knew I had to leave for work early, and I knew the best time to sit and write was in the morning, so I sat down before the rooster woke and wrote. It was amazing what I could get done in 30-45 minutes.

In 2015 I wrote about 90,000 words, give or take. I’d like to see myself add another 100,000 this year. Based on some iPhone calculator math, if I started tomorrow, that’s a mere 279 words per day. I’ve already crossed that line in this post.

In theory this should be easy. One post per day, 279 words or more. Hell, let’s make it an even 300. That’ll bring me into the 107K range, a great buffer. But let’s say I only manage five posts per week. There are about 50 whole weeks left in the year, so that’s 2000 words per week. Divide that by five posts per week and we’re at 400 words. Also something I could do, as this whole post only took me ten minutes, so far.

I don’t have a doubt in my mind that I have the mental capacity to write 400 words a day. My day job involves providing top-notch customer support and I probably cover five times that in our ticketing system.

The tools I use shouldn’t be a problem. I purchased a new system a few months ago and it’s been the best investment I’ve made in the computer department since my last Mac in 2011. Last I heard from its current owner, the system is running perfectly fine 4.5 years later.

So let’s think some more about this. What was my routine really? I woke up between 3:30 and 4:00 AM, Monday-Friday. I was out of the bathroom by 4:30 and had coffee in my hand at around 4:40. Between 4:45 and 5:15 I was at my desk, typing away, working on various thoughts that I would then publish to my blog. There was one day I think I hit six posts. They weren’t very long, individually, but six different topics crossed my mind in that half hour period.

By 5:30 I was out the door. Most people I talked to told me that getting up that early was insane. A lot of them didn’t realize that although I didn’t have to be at work until 7:00 AM, I was catching the bus at 5:45 AM. I didn’t have much choice in that matter. Any later and I would miss the 7:00 AM mark.

It’s not like now where the time I have to be at work isn’t really set in stone and if needed I can start my day at home…

Hang on. I think that’s it. Because I don’t have a strict schedule at work, I haven’t been able to find the reasoning and support behind the idea of having a strict morning routine at home. Most weekday mornings, I’m up between 6:30 and 7:30 and checking emails, getting an idea of what the day will hold, and don’t show up at the office until 8:30 or 9:00. Since I can be all flim-flam on when I start—a.k.a. get into the office—I don’t get up at the same time every day. Some days I work from home, too, which also makes things crazy.

Speaking of working from home, I don’t think I would have this problem if I did all in-office or all at-home. If I worked from home every day, I’d have to create a new routine, almost like a ritual, because where I work during the day should be exclusively for work, and nothing else.

Does this mean I should get another computer? Dear God, I hope not. My credit card can’t take another hit like that.

I mean sitting at my desk during the day. If I’m sitting at that desk between whatever hours I work, I should be working. If I don’t want to work, I need to get up from that desk. If I still want to sit on my computer, I need to unplug it and take it with me.

It’s either that or I find a coworking space, which could set me back as much as $500 a month. Ouch. I’d get more benefit out of renting a larger apartment with more square footage.

So now that I’ve figured out what my problem is and the root cause, how can I fix it? Well, I guess a good start would be setting a time in the morning to wake and forcing myself to get my ass out of bed at that time, no matter how much I’d rather sleep. I honestly haven’t had my alarm go off in weeks, and I’ve been waking at about the same time, every day, so I can tell right away that this will be a bit of a jarring experience.

As I write this, I opened my phone and set my FitBit to buzz at 6:00 AM. Let’s see how this goes, first. If my FitBit can’t get me up (or I’m so far in dreamland that I don’t realize what that far-off buzzing means), I’ll re-set my actual iPhone alarm clock.

I also need to tell myself that I will be in “work mode” (at the office or at my desk working) by 8:00 AM. I have a 25 minute commute by car so that gives me a good hour between 6:30 and 7:30 AM to make coffee (or pour cold brew) and do what I do best.

Being able to put words on paper has never been a problem for me. When I started writing this, though, I didn’t expect it would get this far. I really just meant to sit down and reflect for a minute, kind of hash out the problem in real time as I type. I had no actual plan, or anything.

Sometimes that’s what makes some of what I write so good (in my opinion). I once sat at my desk and wrote for 30 minute straight and came up with some pretty interesting things.

At this point I’m wondering if I’ll remember all the places where I wanted to place links to other stuff. I’ll have to go through this post again. I just realized the app I’m using allows me to place hyperlinks in the text, WYSIWYG style (Microsoft Word-style, for the non-technical folk reading this).

With links out of the way, I got to thinking. Looking at all these posts I wrote in 2015 (257 to be exact), I should really be proud of myself. At the beginning of the year, I didn’t think I’d make it this far. I put down a lot of thoughts and pondered a lot of things. I tagged a lot of things. One of the best books I ever read was mentioned in at least eleven posts. I did a 10-day blog challenge. I reflected on what it was like living in California after just a few days. As of this writing, I’m still here. I also covered the moving process, too. Spoiler: it sucked.

I think that’s about all I have. It felt really good to get all this out there. I have some topics for tomorrow and provided my plan works, I’ll have some new posts, too! My Reading List in Safari always has links pertaining to things on my mind.

Right now, though, the only thing on my mind is shutting down for the night.

Tomorrow is a new day.

Just like 2015, I (hopefully) restarted blogging on January 6th. It’s been exactly one year and we’re doing it all over again. 100,000 words. 300-400 words per day. Five to seven posts per week. One (sort of) new routine. A killer 2016. Nice rhyme.

Johnathan Lyman
Kenmore, WA,
United States
blogging, design, technology, software, development, gaming, photography