Chris Chandler

I help people make decisions, and improve.

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You should listen to 99% Invisible

You should listen to podcasts. Yes you. Get out of the pandora/spotify bubble of listening to only the same few things and get some variety in your commute and day. You don’t have to only listen to them, but it’s a default app on an iphone now. What’s stopping you?

You have to start somewhere, and 99% is a great place to do that. It’s kind of about architecture but more about appreciation. I haven’t heard many episodes go above the 20 minute mark. So even if you walk up stairs to work, you can easily get through an episode a day.

Three people have mentioned that they are listening to podcasts now, after asking me for years why I love them. All of them, 2 developers, and a video game enthusiast retail store manager, liked 99% and are listening to it now.

Here are a few episodes you should check out:

  • Episode 129: Thomassons - 16 minutes
  • Episode 124: Longbox - 18 minutes

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Happiness is motion

The saying, if you are not growing you are dying, is over used. And yet, for most of us it rings true at some point.

Growth is doing new things, or changing something slightly. It’s taking steps towards some change. The dying part, is more about stagnation, not moving towards anything.

Depression, for me, is about the stagnation and the resistance making me feel as though motion is unattainable. That any step I take is still where I am.
Growth can come from motion in many directions. And so being happy is not about where are, but where you are headed.

This sounds like it is against the idea of being in the moment. It isn’t because being in the moment, is not being in the past or future. The fear is the future, and the resentment is the past. So being in the moment, is not being in those places. Allowing the feelings of those places to wash over you and then be gone, allows you to see...

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Deploy Diary #1

Deploying Rails 4 to multiple web heads with Capistrano 3, with sidekiq and rbenv

I’m working on a project that gives me an interesting time to play around with this hosting model.

I’m not an expert yet, but this article and the rest in my deploying diary will be what I’ve found and then I can post a recap after I learn what I need to feel comfortable here.

The goal

I want a pattern I can use with future rails apps. I’m assuming every web server will also have a worker process on it for sidekiq. I want a capistrano task that can set this all up for the first time. I’m also assuming I’m using a cloud service for these as vps’s that I will want to shutdown and boot up using a combination of ssh and api calls.


I’ve never used a daemon monitor, setup from scratch like monit or runit. But I want the benefits of that so I will be researching and including that in the install...

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Motorcycle Road Tripping - 1st long ride

Went on my first long ride a week ago. Rode from Columbus, OH to Burnside , KY in a whirlwind only stopping for gas, running hot and fast. Stayed in the lake cumberland area for a week and then returned. The return was slow and measured and much more enjoyable.

A couple of quick observations. While motorcycles are fast, they aren’t really for rushing. Go fast, be fast, but also go slow and slow down. Running as fast as traffic and not really getting any curves or speed changes in, wore me out really quickly.

Interstates, even curvy toll roads in West Virginia for cars, are all just giant flat runs for bikes. I knew this from commuting and riding around, but in your 3rd hour of not really turning if you aren’t on an exit ramp, your mind craves some variety.

Windshields on bikes look and feel strange to me for commuting, but I can see where not having to hold yourself up against 80...

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Always wanted to write

I was talking to a friend at lunch today. We were comparing experiences in school and how we both started high school as poor students. However, both having struggled the most with Advanced English in 9th grade we both write documentation, emails, memos, code for a living.

Arguably computer languages are not the writing we were training to do. However, I think the reason we both struggled has more to do with the phase of learning we were going through. We still didn’t understand how to learn. Learning to teach yourself concepts, and what mode of discovering concepts works with you, is the best thing I learned in my education.

I often get asked how I learn things, or how I retain information. I honestly don’t know why I remember insanely esoteric information, and don’t know what my wife said 2 minutes ago. Or for that matter where we keep items in our house that have never moved, yet I...

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