February 2017 Archives

Two Years With Harry’s

I don’t usually talk about my razor. I’m thinking today’s a good day to change that.

A little over two years ago, I wrote about Harry’s. They touted shaving products that don’t break the bank. Since then, I’ve used their products almost exclusively and am still a happy customer. I thought I’d share a bit of their story and how Harry’s came to be.

And ladies: you can use Harry’s too. ?

I’m still such a fan, that even two years later I’m creating my own product shots (just like I did in 2015; the header image).

100,000 Words

This is a statistic I never though I’d reach.

Yesterday I crossed the 100,000 word mark for all the posts I’ve written on this blog. From the very first on September 9th, 2014, to yesterday, 100,337 words have been written and published. I’m sure I crossed that mark earlier, but since I removed a few posts a couple months ago, the real count didn’t touch this level until yesterday’s post.

I’m quite excited to have come this far and look forward to what I come up with for the next 100,000 words. I’d also like to give a quick thank you to John Saddington for his inspiration to blog regularly. He’s been at it for over fifteen years and while I don’t quite have the regularity he does, I still feel I’ve accomplished something great.

To give you an idea of the scale using book types:

  • Children’s chapter book: 16,000
  • Typical mystery novel: 60-80,000
  • Typical “thriller”: 100,000+

Quite amazing.

Special Snowflakes

This is a topic I never thought I’d actually touch. We hear about how people think they’re so special, typically using the words special snowflake and typically from the older generations (read: 50+). Typically these low slung insults have the right idea, though the angle at which these statements are being lobbed is all wrong.

I’m talking about Chapter 3 in Mark Manson’s The Subtle Art of not Giving a F*ck. In particular, there’s a couple passages that I want to highlight before I take the anti-special-snowflake generation to task.

…beginning in…the 1970s, self-esteem practices began to be taught to parents, emphasized by therapists, politicians, and teachers… Kids were given inanne homework assignments, like writing down all the reasons why they thought they were special…seminars told us everyone can be exceptional and massively successful.

That sounds oddly familiar, doesn’t it?

Today, we have a group of individuals, thought not technically wrong, chanting about how kids are being taught participation trophy this and safe space that. No one seems to have stopped and thought where all this came from…

It came from the generation of people complaining about it right now, and the generation before them. When the shoe is on the other foot, it’s amazing how much the narrative changes.

On the flipside:

…a generation later and the data is in: we’re not all exceptional. It turns out that merely feeling good about yourself doesn’t really mean anything unless you have a good reason to feel good about yourself.

Hmm. Mark’s taking the side of the grumps, as the millenials would probably call those of us trying to spoil the fun (I suppose, I have no idea; saying things in jest is what makes the Internet great, right?).

The difference here is how this information is shared. Right now we’re faced with old people telling young people you’re wrong and you should feel bad which as history clearly shows, works absolutely zero percent of the time. You’d think the old people in the scenario would know better, given they were young once. Oh well.

In order for this information to sink it, it needs to be discovered by those needing it the most… once they’re adults. The huge caveat to all this is: trying to teach a child that life sucks and to grow a pair always turns out wonderfully (not). Having grandpa tell your six-year-old about how his life was such s–t that said six-year-old should nut up and stop feeling bad about not winning something somewhere is a fantastic idea (not).

There’s a threshold after which an individual can understand this concept. As a child, said individual is not at or past such a point.

So what do we do? We raise our kids to be kids and as they get older, enstill them with the tools they need to discover life on their own and at their own pace. If we raise our children to be entitled, then we’ll have entitled adults. If we raise our childen to be walking satirical assholes and finding the doom and gloom and life is hard, suck it up comes out of their depressive face holes every moment of the day (cough, nihilism), then we’ll have a new generation of nihilistic sad sacks that end up bitter in their old age.

There’s a balance in the middle, but I don’t believe it’s found to be valuable by any other means but through experience. The short version of all this is: life is hard but don’t be an @$$ in teaching children that. Let them figure it out and guide them.

Perhaps one day we’ll no longer have a generation of sad sacks complaining about snowflakes.

Where’d the Wine Go?

The most astute in the crowd will have noticed Weekly Wine hasn’t been updated since issue five. I have a semi-decent reason for that and a peak at what I’m working on in its place.

When I started Weekly Wine, I didn’t quite have the right idea for how much work it was going to require. Picking wine isn’t in and of itself hard. Picking good wine can be a bit daunting. Unless you’re already a seasoned wine vet, chances are your list of goto bottles isn’t super long.

Mine surely wasn’t. Through this excersize though, I’ve discovered a lot of great bottles and rekindled some love for existing ones.

Here’s what I have planned for v2 of Weekly Wine.

It’ll be moving to a more traditional blog format which features an email subscription component. The blog will serve as an archive for past recommendations. The goal with Weekly Wine isn’t to necessarily have a new bottle to share with readers every week, but have enough bottles to pick from so readers have something fun to try each week.

I found myself a couple times getting the weekly wine recs in just under the deadline and that wasn’t great pressure. I don’t cope well with that kind of self-imposed pressure so I tend to punt stuff like that. This is why one issue dropped on a Friday.

If there’s one thing I learned, it’s that maintaining a weekly scheduled thing takes a lot more work than it sounds, and I don’t envy those who do daily mailers.

I’m hoping to get this new incarnation of Weekly Wine up sometime in April. In the meantime, the original five issues will remain at

Until next time!

“Wine at Saltus” by Ken Hawkins is licensed under CC BY 2.0

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