Newsletter May 14th 2018

Shorter and “late” (you may have your money back) this week. Lots going on personally and professionally and my normal slot I reserved for writing got subsumed by other tasks. Better late than never though. Writing newsletters serves as a great way to think longer-than-social-media thoughts each week; an invaluable exercise in these trying times.

Other newsletters

D&D Gazette

Last week I released the Ypsi-Arbor D&D Gazette Issue 1!

I had modest traffic goals in mind before launch. Due to some timely retweets it ended up seeing about double my goal of “wouldn’t it be cool if 100 people saw it?!”. With any creative work there’s always the worry that it comes out and fails silently, but people said nice things and seemed to enjoy it!

I did many things wrong with promotions though and will hopefully explore all of that in a separate blog post about the whole thing. For now? Go read it!


I’ve been biking more than driving this past week and really love gliding past the very long line of cars on Packard in the evening. Our route in and home is mostly bike lanes except for a few small sections where it becomes “sharrows”, which is a word I just learned that I find to be a bewildering answer to bike infrastructure.

Sam generously loaned me his cargo bike to try out with the toddler. We tried it for a few trips and while it’s not quite right for us, it is an incredible piece of purpose-built machinery. The question of “how do I move more than just me on a bike?” has resulted in all sorts of neat contraptions I’m only just becoming aware of.

We were talking about a get-together for families who bike to show off their setups and let others try them out. A decent setup for biking with a kid can quickly blow past the hundreds of dollars range and go into the thousands. If you’re commited to replacing a second car with biking it can be hard to know which of many viable options is best for you. Getting a chance to try it out is key.

If a meetup like that would be of interest to you, contact me! Or, if there’s a group in town already doing something like that, tell me about it!


Steve published a new song called Unknown Radius last week. I like it a lot and am flattered that he used a picture of our cat, Susu, as the cover:

kems on Twitter: “My latest features @chrissalzman’s cat Susu on the cover. I saw this on his Instagram as I was combing through unfinished tracks, and it inspired me to finish this one. It works for me as the soundtrack of a cat experiencing the world from a windowsill.”

He’s been doing a song a month this year and they’re all quite good. Go listen to Menevado on Spotify.


One part of home ownership I vastly underestimated the time cost of is landscaping. I finally mowed the lawn yesterday and wished I’d done it a week earlier. The previous owner liked to garden and plan small spaces around the yard and I’m very thankful she did. These are very cool and we’re slowly learning what we need to do to maintain them—or which ones we want to redo. I’ve resigned myself to the lawn being a 5 year project to get to “yeah, that’s about what we want”.

Or, we’ll replace it all with a rock garden.

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