★ Jack Of All Trades

Aziz Ansari released his new Netflix show, Master of None, last Friday. It's gotten great reviews.

In a New York Times piece, Aziz talks about the issue of race in Hollywood. He criticizes the lack of diversity in leading roles. His last point is excellent:

And to anyone worried that it may be “weird” to cast someone who looks a certain way to play a certain part, because it’s not what people are used to, I say: Arnold Schwarzenegger.

It’s true. Arnold Schwarzenegger is an unsung pioneer for minority actors. Look at “The Terminator”: There had to be someone who heard his name tossed around for the role and thought: Wait, why would the robot have an Austrian accent? No one’s gonna buy that! We gotta get a robot that has an American accent! Just get a white guy from the States. Audiences will be confused. Nope. They weren’t. Because, you know what? No one really cares.

We are only a few episodes in and I like it so far. The episode that a lot of people are talking about is episode 2: Parents. Aziz cast his own parents to play the parents of his character, Dev. It’s a thoughtful episode, especially to those of us who are 1st generation children of immigrant parents.

On his own Tumblr site, Aziz has some follow up to share about his father.

Tonight after we did Colbert together he said: “This is all fun and I liked acting in the show, but I really just did it so I could spend more time with you.” I almost instantly collapsed into tears at the thought of how much this person cares about me and took care of me and gave me everything to give me the amazing life I have. I felt like a total piece of garbage for all the times I haven’t visited my parents and told them I wanted to stay in New York cause I’d get bored in SC. I’m an incredibly lucky person and many of you are as well. Not to beat a dead horse here and sorry if this is cheesy or too sentimental but if your parents are good to you too, just go do something nice for them. I bet they care and love you more than you realize.

With Thanksgiving coming up, now would be as good of a time as ever to thank our parents for everything that they've done for us.

★ On Friendships

Wait But Why on the friendships you make as you grow up:

When you’re a kid, or in high school, or in college, you don’t really work too hard on your friend situation. Friends just kind of happen.

For a bunch of years, you’re in a certain life your parents chose for you, and so are other people, and none of you have that much on your plates, so friendships inevitably form. Then in college, you’re in the perfect friend-making environment, one that hits all three ingredients sociologists consider necessary for close friendships to develop: “proximity; repeated, unplanned interactions; and a setting that encourages people to let their guard down and confide in each other.” More friendships happen.

Maybe they’re the right friends, maybe they’re not really, but you don’t put that much thought into any of it—you’re more of a passive observer.

Once student life ends, the people in your life start to shake themselves into more distinct tiers.

If you ever wonder why your number of friends gets smaller the further away you get from college, this article nails it.

It’s not that easy to make friends anymore.

Sure, you’ll make new friends in the future—at work, through your spouse, through your kids—but you won’t get to that Tier 1 brothers level, or even to Tier 2, with very many of them, because people who meet as adults don’t tend to get through the 100+ long, lazy hangouts needed to reach a bond of that strength. As time goes on, you start to realize that the 20-year frenzy of not-especially-thought-through haphazard friend-making you just did was the critical process of you making most of your lifelong friends.

The History of the Sidekick

The Sidekick succeeded because it showed consumers how cool technology could be, that they could personalize a chunk of plastic and chips to make it their own, and ushered in an era of mobile computing for the masses. Say what you will about how fast its rising star burnt out, but the Sidekick is an important element in the link between cell phone and smartphone, technology and style.

No other phone got me as excited as the release of the Sidekick 3. It may be surprising that it wasn't the iPhone. I remember seeing friends with the Sidekick 2 and being amazed. Seeing them chat with friends over AOL Instant Messenger with a cellphone blew my mind. Without knowing it at the time, I saw the future of communication and mobile computing.

So many of us wanted an iPhone before we knew we wanted one because we saw the future of connectivity in the Sidekick.


The Coldest Story Ever Told

Still reeling from the death of his mother as well as a breakup with his fiancée, he explained how “808s came from suffering multitude losses at the same time—it’s like losing an arm and a leg and having to find a way to keep walking through it.” When a reporter asked what he planned to see during his visit to New Zealand, he replied dryly: “The back of my eyelids.”

Out of all the albums in Kanye's discography, 808s and Heartbreaks stands out. Aside from My Beautiful, Dark, Twisted Fantasy and College Dropout, 808s is one of my favorites.

Appreciating the Power Mac G5

Christopher Phin on the design of the Power Mac G5:

And when you wanted to fit Wi-Fi—2003 was well before it was standard in a new computer—you could just slide the AirPort card in through this retaining bracket, slot it into the connection on the motherboard, and then attach the antenna which was helpfully held in the right position for you with a small clip.

I remember this was my favorite Mac to install RAM and/or an AirPort card. One, because we sold so few of them relative to PowerBooks and iBooks. And two, experiencing the thoughtfulness of the AirPort card's antenna connector delighted me every time.

Why Women Cheat

With the leak of user information from the adultery website, AshleyMadison.com, I thought it'd be appropriate to post this story from May 2014. Charles Orlando decided to create an account to figure out why women join the site.

But all were clear that they were not leaving their current relationship. These weren’t monkeys getting a grip on the next branch before letting go of the first. They just wanted to feel what they used to feel from the man in their life.

House Hunters

Chris Gayomali shares his love of HGTV's House Hunters.

Which isn't to say the convoluted decision-making tree the couples follow isn't fun. Seriously: If you want to get a bunch of GQ editors fired up on a Friday afternoon, simply put on House Hunters. Shit is like the Super Bowl.

“YOU GOTTA GIVE UP ON THE VINTAGE CHARM, GIRL!” said one editor who was most definitely not me. “GO FOR HOUSE #1.”

“They always hate the carpet,” muttered another House Hunters die-hard. “They always want an open floor plan. And they're always expecting a fucking en-suite every single time.”

When I want my mind to turn to goo and be entertained at the same time, House Hunters does the trick.

★ Career Moves

Last Friday was my last day at DMG North. On Monday, I start my new job as Commercial Sales Manager for Daikin. The decision to take the new job was easy, but the decision to leave was difficult. When I first joined DMG, they were very understanding and flexible as I was deciding whether to continue engineering or pursue a career in the restaurant business. When I decided to move, they were absolutely accommodating by allowing me to transfer to the Bay Area office.

It was tough to tell my boss I took a new job. They've been accommodating with my initial move and with Malia's schedule during the school year. They are a small company with owners that truly care about their employees. Their Christmas parties are also the best ones I've ever been a part of. But looking at the big picture, I couldn't say no to Daikin. They were offering me a step up in position and salary. But the real lure was the ability to work from home. With Baby Clyde now here, being present for my family is the most important thing.


The work paid off: Lava is a home run. The camera swoops and floats around the two volcanoes as they attempt to connect, and we in turn connect with them. "Volcanoes are misunderstood for being destructive -- and they are, I don't want to disrespect that," he says. "But so much of what we sit on, the land that we love and all of our cultures, is because of volcanoes."

I've never felt so affected by a Pixar short. Ever.

Apple Watch And Water

Craig Hockenberry took his Apple Watch out for a swim.

I’m also thrilled that the watch is working so well with my favorite workout: swimming in the ocean. Despite some hiccups in functionality, I still get enough information to improve my performance and extend my goals.

I hope the information in this report will help others understand what the watch can and cannot do in the presence of water. I also hope my experiences will help Apple improve the watch’s capabilities for swimming workouts.

In short, you can swim with your Apple Watch, just be sure to rinse it after.

My Burger Manifesto

David Chang has very strong opinions on burgers:

There’s something else people have to understand: that a medium-rare burger made with really good meat that has been properly ground up is a very wonderful thing. People will say, Oh, you’re eating it raw. So what if I’m eating it raw? It’s the same meat that they would use for a steak that they’re just grinding up to be a burger. It’s delicious! They’re fools. The only time I’ll eat a well-done burger is when I’m pregnant.

via Jason Kottke

Camping Trip 1986

Mario Koran wrote a short piece on being a parent.

They placed her on a table and handed me a scissors, which I think I used to cut the umbilical cord. A lot of that moment is lost in haze. But I do remember the first second I saw her: I recognized myself in her eyes. I knew immediately, on some primordial level, that she belonged to me. She was mine. There was no question.

This. My son looks exactly like me and I can relate to this on all levels.

I vividly and will always remember looking at my son as he lay on a towel, minutes after he was born. Nurses were tending to him, cleaning him off. I walked over to watch. I looked at him and I caught him gazing in my general direction. I started to breathe rapidly. I could feel my face start to scrunch as if to cry, but I wasn't sad. I was extremely happy. One of those moments you'll never forget.

The Really Big One

Fascinating, yet terrifying, read on the Cascadia subduction zone in the Pacific Northwest.

In other words, the Cascadia subduction zone has, as Goldfinger put it, “all the right anatomical parts.” Yet not once in recorded history has it caused a major earthquake—or, for that matter, any quake to speak of. By contrast, other subduction zones produce major earthquakes occasionally and minor ones all the time: magnitude 5.0, magnitude 4.0, magnitude why are the neighbors moving their sofa at midnight. You can scarcely spend a week in Japan without feeling this sort of earthquake. You can spend a lifetime in many parts of the Northwest—several, in fact, if you had them to spend—and not feel so much as a quiver. The question facing geologists in the nineteen-seventies was whether the Cascadia subduction zone had ever broken its eerie silence.

★ Apple Watch: The New iPod

Now that I've had my watch for a few weeks, I definitely notice what people are wearing on their wrists. Maybe because I live in the Bay Area, with a lot of tech savvy people, I'm starting to see more people with Apple Watches on their wrists. I even saw one in the wild a few months before they came out. I'm starting to notice that if someone else who has a Watch notices that I have one, they usually give a nod of approval.

The Apple Watch seems to be the iPod of this generation. When the iPod first came out in 2001, people were quick to criticize it. Famously, a post on Slashdot pointed out "No wireless. Less space than a nomad. Lame." When I got one of those first few iPods, people thought I was crazy spending a few hundred dollars on what was basically an mp3 player. Soon enough, iPods were the gadget to have. People were sporting the iconic white headphones. An entire ad campaign centered around those ear buds. But in the early days, it was common to give a nod to others with the white ear buds since you knew they had an iPod as well. It's pretty crazy to think that before the iPod, no one else made white ear buds; all you had was standard black.

Today it's the Apple Watch that has its doubters. Similar to why anyone would pay $400 for an MP3 player, many people don't understand why the watch exists. You can buy perfectly accurate watches for less than $100. But once you show people the use case for the watch, it slowly dawns on them. With the iPod, it was easy to make the case. 1000 songs in your pocket. The Watch, is not so obvious, but once it clicks, people will want one.