- Things I Wrote
- Things I Didn’t Write
- Podcasts I Wrapped Up
- Projects I Worked On
- Books I Read
- Miles I Ran
- People I Lost
- Tweets People Liked
- Stuff I’m Using
- Pictures of Dogs and Cats
Things I Wrote
Funny Face, about the quirky historic roots of Buffalo typographic studio P22, written for The Magazine. I really liked writing for The Magazine, but their experiment has ended.
In somewhat annual fashion, wrote a bigger piece for Spree. This one on the bittersweet saga of the Oppenheim Zoo. And, as is also tradition, a web-only pile of cool stuff I couldn’t fit into the text.
The Sweethome and The Wirecutter
I spend far more time researching, testing, and interviewing for these sites than I do actually writing. Quite proud of the resulting guides.
- Facial Tissues
- Kitchen Trash Can
- Tax software
- Recipe Apps (for iOS and Android)
For the first half of 2014, I continued writing about mobile stuff for ITworld.
I wrote about the long-term effects of having written advice, tips, and how-to guides on the internet for Block Club magazine in Buffalo. Their site is down, so I can’t find their online archives at the moment. Hopefully back up soon.
Wrote a thing or two for my university’s alumni magazine, At Buffalo.
Freelanced for Drug Store News (bucket list!), reporting a story that probably looked nicer in print.
A post for the Lifehacker crew’s side project, Games On Delay, about the game Don’t Starve and its underlying themes of impermanence and futility. TURN DOWN FOR MORTALITY.
Quite a bit of material for a site sponsored by RICOH, WorkIntelligent.ly.
Things I Didn’t Write
Because either the time didn’t magically materialize, or I didn’t make the time, or the notes didn’t feel like they fit together. Vague hints:
A thing about a really interesting multi-generation thing that I really want to write about, but can’t find a good place/pitch.
A thing about what it was like to see DJ Shadow live, after he, in many ways, shaped my teenage and college brain.
A thing about the mashups of Taylor Swift’s “Shake It Off” video with aerobics champsionships, somewhat tied into that DJ Shadow thing I never wrote.
A speech about TEDxBuffalo I never got to give, because bars are noisy.
Everything I pitched Glenn at The Magazine that he, probably wisely, didn’t take. One in particular was about video game time trials. That one, I think, has some legs.
Podcasts I Wrapped Up (In Beta)
In Beta started with Gina Trapani and myself as co-hosts in June 2012. Gina left In Beta to work on, among other things, ThinkUp. Gina, 5by5 network head Dan Benjamin, and some very gracious fans and friends encouraged me to keep the show, and its core discussions, going.
Earlier this month, I recorded my last episode of In Beta, #127. My In Beta co-host after Gina (excepting a few confused and frantic episodes with guest hosts) was Christie Koehler. Christie emailed Gina & I when Gina announced her departure. She told us she was a fan, listed her experience and interests, and, later on, told me she thought it was important that there be a female voice in the open-source discussion. She was very much correct. And she has been a very eager, wise, and accommodating co-host since episode #83. We’ve never met in-person, but at this point, we have at least a 12-pack of in-joke beers to run through. I am going to miss her place in my life.
127 weeks of podcasting taught me a lot.
Projects I Worked On
CoworkBuffalo is still open, which is no small thing. We wrapped up our Kickstarter project and hosted a party for it. I wrote a few newsletters. We met a lot of new people who work remotely, or for themselves. And the phone booths are now much more soundproof.
Year four was a big deal. Former speaker Adrienne Bermingham took the reigns. More than a dozen speakers and performers came to an audience of more than 350 people. The videos look beautiful, and I swear they will be online very soon. This thing happens every year, put on by volunteers, sponsored by very nice companies and people, and it knocks me over that it keeps happening.
Books I Read
Books, audiobooks, longform novellas, graphic novels, epic magazine stories … man, publishing, right?
The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich. The impetus was to read something faster than Chris Moyer, which is tough. I can see why neither historians nor prose stylists can openly love this book, but I am in-for-med.
Telegraph Avenue. Finished it up after … a year between sessions? Great characters. And dirigibles.
The Man in the High Castle. Did you know that on Amazon, if you can buy the Kindle book cheap, you can “upgrade” to add on the Audible audiobook very cheap as well, with both of them synced, and you end up paying far less than if you had just initially swung for the audiobook alone? I feel like maybe Philip K. Dick would have appreciated that kind of institutional oddity. Or loathed it. Coin toss.
Quite a few Atavist short books/long reads: “The Trials of White Boy Rick”, “A Thousand Pounds of Dynamite”, “Coronado High” (and I just figured out the wordplay in the title, like a dummy), and “Lifted”. Next up: “Goodbye Surfing, Hello God!”.
Articles that got a Favorite star in my Pocket list:
- “How to Be Polite” (10 stars, really).
- “The Strange & Curious Tale of the Last True Hermit”.
- Questlove’s entire four-part run on “How Hip-Hop Failed Black America”, which I think Phil Dzikiy hepped me to. Maybe that was the wrong spot to use “hepped,” I dunno.
- “A Fight Is Brewing”, both because, sure, beer (F-A-N-C-Y beer), but also? Jonah Weiner turned in a remarkably compelling story about what, in most publications, would be a single line or aside about their businesses’ relationship. Hat tip to Nick Quaranto, I think.
Miles I Ran
289.3, according to RunKeeper. Toss in a dozen or so miles when my phone, RunKeeper, or my forgetfulness didn’t log the thing, and one or two 5K races where I dared to run without a live pace tracker—call it 300. Thank you to the friends who nudge me or scream at me to keep me running: John, Chaz, Clark, Jess, Brad, Ben.
People I Lost
Right now, as I’m writing this, on the couch? I can’t remember enough of them not to unfairly leave someone out. My great-aunt Doris Sherman, for one. But I know there are more.
I can tell you to the tenth of a mile how far I ran, but we don’t really log our lost ones, those that aren’t immediate but are still quite important, in any particular way. Me, at least, I don’t.
With a sadly tapped TK, I will try to come back to this section.
Tweets People Liked
I spend a lot of time on Twitter. Gladly, ThinkUp is watching, always watching. Here is that wonderful webapp’s list of my most popular tweets from 2014. Maybe the best tweet that wasn’t an Android, Buffalo, or in-the-moment, won’t-make-sense-in-one-year tweet:
That's some nice juxtaposin', @washingtonpost. pic.twitter.com/suXMxO1Gj9— Kevin Purdy (@kevinpurdy) October 20, 2014
Stuff I’m Using
It changes, this stuff. Year to year. Not all of it should, but I’m fussy. Professionally fussy, really.
Phone: OnePlus One. I don’t recommend it for anyone but Android nerds, but I love it. I wanted the second-generation Moto G to work for me, especially at that crazy unlocked price. But I make phones do too much at once. I’m impossible.
More? Yeah, more:
- Home screen: Smart Launcher 2. Boy, do I like this.
- Shatter protection: Orzly tempered glass protector. Basically a dummy glass you put over the real glass. Never going back to stick-ons that trap bubbles, hairs, dirt, and peel at the edges.
- Headphones for heads-down mode: Kinivo BTH420. Bluetooth, and make my head look even bigger than it is, but leave me alone, I’m working.
- Battery insurance: Bolt. It’s a bit finicky, but I dig the form factor.
Computers: ThinkPad X1 Carbon (the first one), running Ubuntu 14.10 and Windows in a virtual machine. And a Chromebook that my wife and I basically fight for at home.
Tablet: None. It took a few years, but I figured out that I’m not a tablet person. Other than Pocket reading, just not my thing. I get them, I just don’t get me liking them, to paraphrase a former editor.
Software I use nearly every day: Almost all of it is web-based, or web-and-mobile-app: DuckDuckGo, Draft, Inbox, HabitRPG, Pocket, Square Cash, LastPass, IFTTT (it runs every day, at least), Slack, PocketCasts, Paprika.
For real-actual work, it’s Basecamp, Google Drive, and Harvest.
Photos of Dogs and Cats
You made it this far, through all that text. Thank you. Here, in return, are Howard, Cork, and Apricot.
Quite a year.