It is the folly of too many to mistake the echo of a London coffee-house for the voice of the kingdom.
Let’s talk about how fun it is to have a go-cart people mover.
We pour one out for The Expanse and Sandman Slim, and we raise our glasses for a sequel to Malazan. Also, an extra-bleak Holocaust tour and a discussion of how cults control their members through language. Includes Cultish, Nein, Nein, Nein, Driven, Happy-go-Lucky, The Nineties, Fargo Rock City, The Scholast in the Low Water Kingdom, King Bullet, The God is Not Willing, and Leviathan Falls.
Why your body hurts, lots of politics, and some truly demented grimdark fantasy in this installment. Includes Reign of Terror, Evolution Gone Wrong, The Cruelty is the Point, How to be a Liberal, The Splendid and the Vile, Deep Work, A Desolation Called Peace, Black Stone Heart, and She Dreams in Blood.
You never know how a creative expression will affect you.
Includes Everybody Has a Podcast (Except You), Pappyland, Backstory, and Medallion Status.
Hummingbirds fighting for dominance in a Phoenix backyard.
Alex Trebek was one of the people who welcomed Nic to America, many years ago.
Justice will not be served until those who are unaffected are as outraged as those who are.
― Benjamin Franklin
Thieves of private property pass their lives in chains; thieves of public property in riches and luxury.
―Cato the Elder
People of privilege will always risk their complete destruction rather than surrender any material part of their advantage.
―John Kenneth Galbraith
Some very good history, some very strange novels and some slick space opera. Includes Enemy of all Mankind, A Very Punchable Face, Confederates in the Attic,Ballistic Kiss, Harrow the Ninth, The Library at Mount Char, Children of Time, The Last Emperox, and Cage of Souls.
We are entertained by feline drama during quarantine.
It is certain, in any case, that ignorance, allied with power, is the most ferocious enemy justice can have.
Back once again with the sci-fi and general calamity. Includes The End is Always Near, Eat the Apple, A Memory Called Empire,Gideon the Ninth, Infinite Detail, Permafrost, Fallen, and The October Man.
Is there reason to upgrade from a 3 to a 5?
After all these years, Nic still can’t understand the American attitude to healthcare.
A sci-fi and fantasy heavy installment that includes The Valedictorian of Being Dead, The Mastermind, Broadsword Calling Danny Boy,Tiamat’s Wrath, The Raven Tower, The Liberation, The Light Brigade and Cryptonomicon.
Politics is not the art of the possible. It consists in choosing between the disastrous and the unpalatable.
Includes The Incomplete Book of Running, Aching God, The Murderbot Diaries, Lies Sleeping, The Consuming Fire, and Rendezvous with Rama.
Did you know Las Vegas is kind of nutty?
Includes Hollywood Dead, Tales from the Loop, Things from the Flood, The Court of Broken Knives, and Port of Shadows.
Nic has a retinal tear and has his vision is saved by a laser.
Includes The Storm Before the Storm, White Trash, Calypso, Tell the Machine Goodnight, Prince of Fools, and Provenance.
The Internet tells Nic to install Ubiquiti gear in his house, so he does, and now he has thoughts.
What I wish I’d known when I started podcasting.
Mostly excellent non-fiction in this installment. Includes Fantasyland, The Miracle of Dunkirk, Das Reich, The Undoing Project, Waiting for the Punch, Vacationland and Points of Impact.
The law, in its majestic equality, forbids rich and poor alike to sleep under bridges, to beg in the streets, and to steal their bread.
Nic reports his experiences so far with voice computing from Amazon and Google and is a bit mystified at the reaction to Apple’s HomePod.
After a few weeks of using iPhone X I’m ready to join the congratulatory choir.
The presence of those seeking the truth is infinitely to be preferred to the presence of those who think they’ve found it.
—Sir Terry Pratchett
Nic is interested in smart homes. His contractor let him know how the wealthy are already using them.
Lots of sci-fi in this installment. Includes Retribution, Boomerang, The Collapsing Empire, All Systems Red, and Ninefox Gambit.
A longtime Bosch reader looks at the TV series.
A concise guide to getting started with podcasting, including equipment, editing, mic technique and hosting.
A worthy inclusion to the Malazan canon and great high fantasy to disappear into in troubled times.
The Lindhs visit Pacific Beach and discover a huge bass system and surfers.
Includes a mea culpa, Hillbilly Elegy, Gulp, The Stars are Legion, and The Kill Society.
Nic commits putty knife violence on his grill to replace the gaskets.
Remembering the cost of World War II through airplanes.
Apple’s neglect of the pro market is causing a lot of gnashing of teeth in Apple-nerd circles, but it’s true to Apple’s vision.
There is unrest in the Mac community about Apple’s commitment to the platform. Some are turning their eyes to building a Hackintosh to get the kind of computer Apple doesn’t provide. Here’s what it’s like to run a Hackintosh.
Lots of fiction series in this one. Includes Grunt, 1177 B.C., Louder Than Hell, Smarter Faster Better, The Hanging Tree, Death’s End, Chains of Command, and Who Killed Sherlock Holmes?.
It’s so much easier to suggest solutions when you don’t know too much about the problem.
Hey kids, you like epic fantasy? ’Cause I've got some epic fantasy for you.
Car nerds are dealing with some cognitive dissonance as car technology changes.
The Oasis is Amazon’s best e-ink reader to date, but it’s not good enough for the price.
Nic buys an Amazon Echo and is indubitably happy with the fantasy star ship in his head.
The Occupy movement, the Tea Party, and now Trump. America is angry.
The problem isn’t ads. The problem is being stalked like an animal across the internet.
The DS416j is a nice NAS for light home use. Just don’t expect raw power.
Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want and deserve to get it good and hard.
—H. L. Mencken
Know what’s weird? Day by day, nothing seems to change. But pretty soon, everything’s different.
The Core Dump is moving to GitHub Pages. This is a good thing, most likely.
Tempus fugit and all that.
Nic has never been more worried for the future of America.
This installment features grimdark fantasy, peppy astronauts and the Roman Empire. Includes SPQR, And On That Bombshell, The Code Book, Schiit Happened, Beyond Redemption, The Severed Streets, The Martian and Veiled.
Endeavour is a symbol of hope for a better future.
A great 90 minute movie smothered in a 2-and-a-half-hour wreck.
After a 1,000 mile road trip in his new Prius, Nic has thoughts and gripes.
Thoughts on Apple Watch after half a year of daily usage.
Moving from a 1997 Honda Accord to a 2016 Prius is kind of a big deal.
A great value for your sound system.
Predictably, the Paris attacks brought the anti-encryption crowd back out of the woodwork. They're at best being willfully disingenuous.
Perhaps the most valuable result of all education is the ability to make yourself do the thing you have to do, when it ought to be done, whether you like it or not.
—Thomas Henry Huxley
A long-time Bond fan looks at the latest installment in the series and has thoughts.
Includes The Antidote, One Nation, Under Gods, Losing the Signal, The Todd Glass Situation, The Last Policeman, The Three-Body Problem, The Dark Forest, Beacon 23, Killing Pretty and Queen of Fire.
Things to consider when planning to build a site on a compressed time table.
A simple tip to help you learn things your brain wants nothing to do with.
The GOP base is searching for a new Evil Empire to fight.
Nic gets in touch with his inner life coach and offers up a simple rule to find out if an idea is good or not.
Nic provides some basic not-too-paranoid tips for securing your digital life.
It’s not how much you have to do, it’s how many things you’re doing at the same time.
Did you know the U.S. government is planning to invade Texas? Well, it’s not. Nic attempts to explain.
Installing Jekyll on an EC2 Amazon Linux AMI is easy. Here are the steps.
You can discover what your enemy fears most by observing the means he uses to frighten you.
After wearing the watch for over a month, Nic has thoughts on its future. Spoiler: Depends on how you define success.
Lots of fantasy and sci-fi in this installment plus a book about sports! Includes Boy on Ice, Difficult Men, Restaurant Man, The Red Line, Cunning Plans, Seveneves, Nemesis Games, Bitter Seeds, The Mechanical, Angles of Attack, and City of Stairs.
Of all the preposterous assumptions of humanity over humanity, nothing exceeds most of the criticisms made on the habits of the poor by the well-housed, well-warmed, and well-fed.
Turns out “it's just a big iPhone” is a stroke of genius.
In this day and age, when the increasing complexity of modern life leaves one barely any time for reading …
—Proust (1919) (via James Gleick)
Deal with it, nerds.
Some technical terms still confuse people who should know better, like journalists.
Nic is sad about Terry Pratchett's passing. Includes No Land’s Man, Idiot America, Something Coming Through, The Burning Room, Foxglove Summer, and The Dark Defiles.
Bluetooth headsets are maturing rapidly and these are both good in their own ways and for different purposes.
How to host a static site on Amazon S3 with an apex domain without using Amazon’s Route 53.
The most perfidious way of harming a cause consists of defending it deliberately with faulty arguments.
Nic finally launches his own podcast wherein he explains technology to humans.
It is the folly of too many, to mistake the echo of a London coffee-house for the voice of a kingdom.
—Jonathan Swift (1667-1745) via The QI Elves on Twitter
The Republic prints another sad editorial about net neutrality. Nic’s regard couldn’t be any lower.
The Arizona Republic prints a willfully ignorant editorial against net neutrality. It makes Nic unhappy.
Nic tries to understand why people choose to live lives of fear and anger.
Fury is a relentlessly grim World War II movie, and as the source autobiography Death Traps makes clear, it should be.
People fear change, so new technology is used as as a faster version of the old. This makes technologists sad.
Things go dark and magical in this installment. Includes So, Anyway…, Yes Please, The Mirror Empire, London Falling, Broken Homes, Perfidia, The Peripheral, Burning Chrome, and the Bel Dame Apocrypha Omnibus.
Nic moves his link blog where it should have been all along and has thoughts about Web hosting.
Nic ponders our relationship with our cats.
Nic loves his Pebble and looks forward to the Apple Watch, but realizes he’s in the minority.
Us humans filter everything we see and experience through our existing narrative. Nic finds this fascinating.
Nic loves books, but he loves their content more.
The American voting system is stuck in a time warp. This makes Nic sad.
Should you upgrade to Amazon’s latest e-ink reader? Nic gives it a reluctant and somewhat perplexed nod.
Nic is worried about the fragile state of our technology and thinks you should be as well.
Lots of good reads in this installment. Includes All Hell Let Loose, Metallica: This Monster Lives, 10% Happier, Onward, Echopraxia, Cibola Burn, The Getaway God, Lock In, The Red: First Light, Terms of Enlistment, and Lines of Departure.
Nic tries to understand the WATCH. It doesn’t go well.
Nic thinks home integration could be Apple’s next major category. Read on to find out why.
Nic is frustrated with his Kindle and would love to see Apple make an e-ink reader.
Once again user-interface ineptitude and Internet idiots make things harder than they have to be.
There are ways to fix the illegal immigration problem. They don’t involve yelling at children in buses. Nic explains.
Solid reads abound in this installment of the roundup. Includes Console Wars, Your Inner Fish, Flash Boys, Digital Wars, The Perfect Storm, Tower Lord, By Blood We Live, I am Pilgrim and Lexicon.
Why whatever Apple is about to release will not be anything like the Pebble or Android Wear.
Game of Thrones and The First Law Trilogy illustrate the different ways England and America are dealing with fading empires.
Nic is homesick on Midsummer’s Eve.
We should forget the names of our mass murderers.
Movie time, kids! Includes an excellent documentary and a lot of not-great movies. Includes Sorcerer, Generation Iron, Restrepo, The Numbers Station, Pacific Rim and 300: Rise of an Empire.
It’s way easier to be an extremist in America if you’re white.
The idea that both the left and the right in America are getting more extreme is false. Here’s why.
Get medieval on your fascia.
Hey, you like lasers? We have lasers!
Some great reads and a huge disappointment in this installment. Includes The Loudest Voice in the Room, Hatching Twitter, Dogfight, Ancillary Justice, KOP Killer, The Circle, Working God’s Mischief and Where Eagles Dare.
Flowering cactuses are a beautiful sight.
The Lindh family visits the Big Apple and it is good.
You meet interesting people at the Apple Store. And everybody has a limit.
The Arizona state legislature is busy protecting the freedoms of the already protected.
Nic practices yoga. It doesn’t go well.
Nic delves into the shady computer enthusiast underworld of the Hackintosh.
On the Mac’s 30th anniversary, Nic reminisces about his first.
The standard right-wing approach to privatizing public goods like education and health care.
The iPhone was announced Jan. 9, 2007. It now occupies a huge chunk of Nic’s life.
It’s Caturday. Nic introduces one of his cats.
Nic watches movies. Some are good and some are terrible. Includes Star Trek: Into Darkness, Dredd, Oblivion, Django Unchained, Hungry for Change, Bullet to the Head, Hansel and Gretel, Act of Valor, The Queen of Versailles, Indie Game: The Movie, and The Other F Word.
Some solid reading awaits you in this installment. Includes The Outpost, Masters of Doom, How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big, The Everything Store, Bomber Command, Gods of Guilt, and Low Town.
Nic loves podcasts. Here are some recommendations.
Nic types 50,000 words in a month. He’s tired now.
The Arizona Republic editorial board thinks the young ’uns are lazy.
Nic is very impressed with the speed of the iPhone 5S and iPad Air.
Nic is wicked excited to take part in National Novel Writing Month.
If things are in balance, there should be Marxists.
Nic tries to understand the Tea Party. Predictably, it doesn't go well.
Nic ruminates on the changes ten years have wrought.
Nic tells you how to find a theme for your new site.
Nic gives the site a face lift and sings the praises of Bootstrap 3.
Nic cleans out the firebox on his Kamado grill.
Nic encrypts his 2013 Nexus 7 and bad things happen.
A tired Nic makes an ass of himself at a grocery store.
A slimmer-than-usual book roundup is heavy on the non-fiction, including several must-read titles.
Nic buys a Nexus 7 to test the Android waters.
Nic is exasperated by the mania surrounding the birth of a child.
Nic ransacks his memories to recount a year of Swedish weather.
All Nic wants for WWDC is sync that actually works
Another book roundup, including some stellar athletes and soldiers, what might be the most jaded, soul-weary protagonist ever, and some grimdark fantasy.
The Internet is getting creepy, and Nic is breaking out his tinfoil hat after newspaper paywalls push him over the edge.
Nic is tired of tech sites obsessing over Apple’s financials and business strategy. So very tired.
Nic reads a book about the processed food industry and is incensed.
Computers are complicated. This brings out the irrational in people.
Nic proposes the loan word Rechthaberei be incorporated into American English.
The Core Dump is back! Books were read during the hiatus. Includes The Coldest Winter, Oh, Myyy!, Tough Sh*t, The Revolution Was Televised, The Rook, Mr. Penumbra’s 24 Hour Bookstore, Gun Machine, Fortress Frontier, Standing in Another Man’s Grave, and The Memory of Light.
This site will return in February.
From a true patriot to a world-weary detective, a dead god, and a civilization about to sublime from the galaxy, this book roundup spans the gamut. Includes Where Men Win Glory, Wild, Inside the Box, The Black Box, Three Parts Dead, Red Country, and The Hydrogen Sonata.
Springsteen gives a concert in Phoenix. It’s fantastic.
A Swedish redneck discovers the joy of putting a Volvo engine into an old tractor as Mad Max smiles.
Nic loves Thanksgiving but, seriously, the bird’s got to go.
Nic has spent quality time with the iPad mini and wants to share his opinion. Because there clearly aren't enough iPad reviews on the Internet.
Nic is oh so very tired after the election.
Nic levels up on the grill by smoking spareribs on his Kamado. Tasty, tasty ribs.
Nic provides a rundown of the 2012 Arizona ballot propositions with recommendations on how you should vote.
Nic is ecstatic about the backlighting on the Kindle Paperlight, but Amazon has made some strange design decisions and there’s a display hardware flaw.
Nic watches movies again. Included are Moon, Snow White and the Huntsman, The Avengers, Jiro Dreams of Sushi, Coriolanus, The Grey and Sherlock Holmes: Game of Shadows. Nic is mostly unimpressed.
Nic is sad after the first presidential debate of 2012 and explains why lying makes sense for the candidates at this point.
From the heights of athletic excellence to the depths of depravity, this roundup includes The First 20 Minutes, Double Cross, The Heroin Diaries, Tattoos and Tequila, Dodger, Farthing, and Devil Said Bang.
Nic makes a new ebook and is dismayed by the sad state of ebook publishing.
Nic hears there’s a lack of cat pictures on the Internet and decides to help out by posting a picture of his cat Phoebe.
Nic reviews four sets of midrange headphones. They all meet with approval.
Nic immigrated to an America that looks to the future and uses science and engineering to make the world as great as possible. And then there's another America.
Joyent decides to screw over its VC customers and handles it poorly to say the least.
Includes Wabi-Sabi, Making Things Happen, D-Day, Tallula Rising, Blood Song, The Americans and Amped. All in all, a happy romp through the meadows of literature.
The great soft box in the sky hovered over Phoenix on the 4th of July, so it was time for some barbecue photography.
One of the equivalences of haircut and clothing on the Internet is your email address.
Fiddliness be gone! Nic simplifies things.
Includes Search Inside Yourself, The Information Diet, Redshirts, The Gone-Away World, Wool, Leviathan Wakes, and Prince of Thorns. One of these may very well change your life.
The Lindhs go to La Jolla on vacation. It's pretty great.
Nic watches movies. Included are Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, Haywire, Underworld: Awakening, Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol, The Lincoln Lawyer, The Guns of Navarone and Immortals. Several of these movies are bad but only one made Nic turn it off.
Nic discovers yoga/Pilates is a great antidote to middle-age decrepitude.
Includes Shadow Ops: Control Point, The Night Circus, The Hunger Games, Quiet, The Science of Yoga, and Kitchen Confidential. Lots of good stuff in this one.
Nic loves his Kamado grill so much he makes a video about grilling on it.
Nic buys a Kamado grill and wants to share his joy with the world.
After a few weeks of heavy usage, Nic shares his feelings about the new iPad.
Includes Angelmaker, The Magicians, Magician King, Iron Council, Thinking, Fast and Slow, Distrust That Particular Flavor, and Talking to Girls About Duran Duran. One of these is the most important book of 2011.
Eating a low-carb diet changes how your hunger feels.
Pictures of hard times and decay in rural Arizona.
An exhortation to exercise for my fellow middle-aged fat guys.
Nic is dragged along on a photo safari to rural Arizona.
Includes The Drop, Ready Player One, Moon Called, Among Others, Excession, Inferno, The Paleo Solution and I am Ozzy.
If you have an iPhone 4S, the Blue HR is a solid device.
Nic watches movies. Included are Contagion, Drive, Conan the Barbarian, Fast Five, Hanna, Priest and Bridesmaids. Can you guess which one Nic hated?
It’s 1989. Nic moves to Louisiana and discovers there’s such a thing as black culture.
Christmas is behind us and it’s time to get back in the saddle.
It’s once again the winter solstice. It’s time to sit back and relax.
Arizona experiences winter rain storms and Nic commits photography.
Nic outlines some of the risks of ceding comments on news stories to Facebook.
Students aren’t being taught how to use computers. Nic offers suggestions to fix a broken system.
Includes Sandman Slim, Snuff, The Cold Commands, Reamde, Goodbye Darkness, Steve Jobs and The Psychopath Test.
Nic is frustrated by a design choice for a JBL remote.
The harrassment charges against Cain and the sad kabuki theater of the Republican nominations.
Nic is not pleased with the AP stylebook.
We have lost a visionary.
Nic buys a new Kindle and tells you what he thinks about it. Read and find out if you should buy one.
Nic loves his freaky clown shoes. This post explains why.
Nic really can’t understand how his keyboard gets so dirty.
Nic’s daughter isn’t what you’d call a morning person.
Some books you might enjoy reading.
Nic’s dad shows him how to make even better burgers and he shares his newfound knowledge.
Endless, pointless presentations are a drag on corporate worker sanity. There is a better way.
Campaign season is gearing up in America and Nic has some thoughts on the endless primaries ahead.
Political news coverage in America tends to be abysmal. Nic explores why.
Nic is bemused by the sturm und drang surrounding the iOS-ification of Mac OS X.
Web publishing used to require heavy-duty nerditry, but no longer.
Nic is creating an e-book. He shares what he’s learned so far.
The horrific events in Norway hit home for Nic.
Nic overanalyzes things again. He has no idea what to do with Google Plus.
Spotify is finally open for U.S. customers. Nic is ridiculously excited.
Nic reads a life-changing book on nutrition and wants to share it with you.
Nic thinks a lot about productivity and shares some books that have helped him.
Nic attempts to reinvigorate the tradition of posting cat pictures on Fridays.
Nic watches movies. They mostly suck. Included are I am Number Four, Jonah Hex, Doctor Zhivago, Valhalla Rising, Bronson, Centurion and Resident Evil: Afterlife.
Nic takes his daughter to go nerd watching at the Phoenix ComiCon.
Our daughter turns nine years old today.
Threatening skies over the Westward Ho in downtown Phoenix.
Nic listens to a lot of podcasts on his commute. He hopes some of them might make you happy.
Nic switches from WordPress to Jekyll. He’s excited. Everybody else is bored to tears.
Nic talks about the early days of the Apple Store and how it came damn close to killing him.
Nic finds that Vibram FiveFingers help with his chronic compartment syndrome. This makes him happy.
Nic gets his panties all in a bunch about how some people are using Twitter as an ad-hoc means of getting free advertising.
Matt Taibbi’s Griftopia is an important book, and it will make you angry enough to froth at the mouth.
The Heroes is an intense, wild ride into a maelstrom of violence, brutality and flawed human beings. You should read it.
Comment spammers aren’t just leeches and the scum of the Earth. They are also bad at using computers.
Nic explains why you don’t need Live on the Scene With Action News and why it’s so compelling anyway.
Nic discovers Nine Inch Nails as a broke student with an IROC-Z in Louisiana. He still loves Pretty Hate Machine.
Nic really digs e-book readers. No, seriously, he really digs them. And you should, too.
The future and now of personal computing is appliances. This post parses why you shouldn’t worry about it.
Grab a hankie and a strong drink to help you through this discussion of the pain that awaits you if you want to put video on the Web.
There’s frost on the car windows in Phoenix. Confusion ensues.
Dagnabbit, some idiot does some dumb shit and now everybody’s air travel has to suck even more?
Having an economy based on housing only is a bad idea. Who knew?
Nic loves the hummingbirds in his backyard.
Nic’s daughter frightens him sometimes.
Solid in-ear headphones with Apple-compatible remote.
Nic shows you how to grill up a fantastic burger. Yum.
An enormously ambitious novel that mostly succeeds.
The never-ending drama around dinner time and Nazi parents who make nutritious home-cooked meals.
Nerdcore Rising, Rescue Dawn, X-Men Origins: Wolverine, Watchmen, Waltz With Bashir, Defiance and Grand Torino.
Nic looks back at one of the menaces of his youth.
Springsteen brings the angst of being human like none other.
Men tend to overcomplicate things, including grilling. Nic breaks down how to do it right.
A roundup of David Gemmell’s Drenai Tales novels.
Once again, shrill nutbags get under Nic’s skin.
An excellent Mickey Haller novel.
Mostly for completist John Rain fans.
Conversations with a second-grader are great.
Required reading for anybody interested in American history.
Includes Kung Fu Panda, The Wrestler, Righteous Kill, The King of Kong, Gangs of New York, Forgetting Sarah Marshall and 30 Days of Night. A bit of a good, bad and ugly.
Dulles airport might just be the worst in the world. This post tells you why.
Some languid thoughts from a vacationing Nic.
Nic is delighted with how smooth his trip to Sweden went. In the movie biz they call that foreshadowing.
Nic’s first personal experience of driving across America, complete with a breakdown outside a motel in Blythesville, Ark.
Nic is a bit creeped out by survivalists.
My daughter visits with her grandparents and sends a letter home.