Some notes on backpacking and hostelling

I’ve done my fair share of backpacking and travel. As I’ve wandered I’ve picked up tricks and figured some things out the hard way. Here are a few that might be useful to other fellow travellers, in no particular order. Front pockets. Carry your important possessions in your front pockets. Wallet, wireless phone, passport, etc. When you get into a crowded area, put your hands in your pockets as you are walking. [Read More]

Scotland and Orkney Islands

I wasn’t quite ready for Scotland. I’m not sure what I expected. I thought that all I had heard about this place was hyperbole. It’s not. Everyone who goes on about how beautiful it are correct. Scotland is something special. I landed in Endingburgh, rented a car, and drove up to the Highlands. These pictures don’t do it justice to how vast and beautiful it is. Scotland Highlands Every time I got out of my car to take a picture, I could smell peat smoke. [Read More]

Letting go of of my possessions

Recently, I got rid of a bunch of possessions. Actually, it was most of my stuff, as you can see here: All of my possessions. @ Vancouver, British Columbia — matt604 (@matt604) February 27, 2017 It all happened quickly, in the space of about a week. I expected that getting rid of my possessions would be cathartically cleansing but surprisingly it wasn’t. I figured it was because I had so much on the go, it would take a little time to sink it. [Read More]

East Coast cold

The cold on the East Coast intimidated me, I won’t lie. When I landed in Toronto on the last day of February, I was pleasantly surprised to see the weather was hovering around 5°C. After checking in, I went for a walk to get some food. I just had a rain shell on and it was quite pleasant. The next morning I thought to myself how silly I was for worrying it would be cold in Spring. [Read More]

French Long Stay Visa

And so begins the travel posts… Yesterday, I received the email, I had been anticipating: My acceptance for a Long Stay Visa in France. My French Visa The application took longer and was more convoluted than I anticipated. Well, after the fact, it wasn’t so much convoluted, but figuring a few things out took some thinking. Documents and copies The Civil Liability (Responsabilité Civile) insurance was a bit of a noodle scratcher for me. [Read More]


The other day, I sent my team a selfie from my dentist chair. What ensued was the following…


Goodbye Evernote

Evernote has been a staple of my GTD process for around 10 years now. Originally I used it as my idea capture bucket. Over time I found it clunky and more GTD software had arrived on the scene, so I used it for reference material, notes, and such. I really liked the software, so much so, I paid for it for a number of years. One thing that bothered me about the software was the lack of keyboard short-cuts. [Read More]

tmux just saved my bacon

As an administrator of systems, I live in the console, or the command-line, or as I call it “the shell”. Many moons ago, I would open many connections in tabs between my workstation and a host. This allowed me to run many commands in parallel. Over time, I learn about SSH multiplexing which is some serious nerdy hotness. That, in a nutshell, had all of those session running on one SSH connection. [Read More]

Systems Administration Titles

When I first started as a Unix Administrator, I was given the title of System Programmer. This was a hold over from decades earlier when the team was all mainframe operators. At the time, I wanted to be a System Administrator, as that was the hot title. Some years later, I moved jobs and received a new title: Unix Administrator. Hot damn! I was happy with that title for quite some time. [Read More]

A walk in Steveston

Back in April I did a photo walk around Steveston. Here are a few select pictures.