Make Better Hashtags With Camel Case

There you are, casually perusing Twitter, when all of a sudden you’re forced to decode a jumble of letters–you’ve run into a garbled hashtag. “I don’t even like word jumbles!”, you shout at your poor, startled roommate, who fell asleep on the couch watching Mythbusters re-runs again.

You didn’t sign up for this, right? You’re only messing around online because you’re procrastinating on a paper that’s due in 12 hours–you’re trying to avoid thinking hard about words and letters and English. No, it’s not fair that the Internet gave you this hashtag to decode, but there’s nothing you can do about it now. You just have to soldier on, decode that sucker, feel that twinge of disappointment when the effort isn’t worth it, and move on to the next Tweet.

But you can do something to help future generations: start using Camel Case for your hashtags, and maybe the change you make in the world will boomerang and make your life better in the future. I took to Twitter on Valentine’s Day to try and get the word out:

Camel Case is a way to write human-readable, multi-word strings sans spaces and special characters. Basically, you capitalize the first letter of each new word in the string, so you can see the individual words at a glance. It’s been around for a long time in computer programming and chemistry, whose taxonomies involve long, continuous strings of words and individual characters. Most user-facing applications and interfaces don’t need Camel Case because they’re usually pretty comfortable with spaces–they’re designed to be human-facing, human-readable interfaces–but you may have seen Camel Case in online usernames (“FrankTheTank”) and a few other places.

Aside from usernames, the most common user-facing, non-spaces, multi-word user interface element is probably the hashtag. But for some reason, people haven’t adopted Camel Case for their hashtags. The result is that hashtags are as much of a nuisance as a tool. But they don’t have to be! Here are some examples of hashtags with and without Camel Case:


  • #followfriday
  • #justsayin
  • #nofilter
  • #happybirthdayjosh

WithCamelCase 1

  • #FollowFriday
  • #JustSayin
  • #NoFilter
  • #HappyBirthdayJosh

See how much easier it is to read the Camel Case hashtags? The Camel Case hashtags are still clumped up, but at least we immediately know where their words begin and end, making it a lot easier for us to process and decode them.

So, do yourself and everyone else a favor and use Camel Case for your hashtags. Your followers will thank you.


My weird battlemodo with Gizmodo about sharing ShareAppeal

Gizmodo does a feature called “Chatroom” where they post a question and ask readers to weigh in with their opinions, insight or whatever. I was recently browsing Gizmodo when I saw a Chatroom feature entitled: “How Do You Share Links Between Devices?

It turns out I spent about a year building a thing called ShareAppeal, which can be described as “a way to share links between devices”. I thought, “Hey! What are the odds that Gizmodo would ask a question, and my answer would be, ‘I actually built a web app specifically to do that thing!’?” Not only that, but it was a Chatroom, so the whole idea was to get people to chime in and tell other readers (and Gizmodo) their solutions to this problem. Serendipity: I had a great answer to Gizmodo’s question and I could tell people about ShareAppeal, and the people I would be telling have to be interested in what ShareAppeal does because they’re reading comments on a post about what ShareAppeal does. Everybody wins!

Not so fast! I hadn’t registered for Gizmodo because I basically don’t comment on posts on any site. I’m more of a grazer and not one to dig in and leave comments. I occasionally comment on something, but it’s really, really rare. So I registered for an account, linked it to my Twitter account, and viola!, I could leave a comment:

I actually created a web app ( specifically to facilitate link sharing. Each user has a reading list. Mutual followers can share links directly to each others’ reading lists, comment on links, save others’ links to their own reading list. It also integrates with Twitter to pull in links from my feed, so they’re easier to find and save for later.

It’s come in handy for me and my friends.

I tried to give a summary of what it does without being too spammy, and avoided any kind of “call to action”. I hit “reply” and let it fly.

Then I waited a while. Since I had just registered for a new account, I figured maybe it took time for the account to get verified or something. After some hours, it still wasn’t showing up as a comment on the Chatroom, so I reached out to Gawker Media Support 1:

I added a comment to this post several hours ago, and it’s not showing up. I can see it when I’m signed in, but not when I’m signed out. Did I do something wrong? Thanks! Josh

My username (Gizmodo) is JoshuaDoody, and I’m authenticated via Twitter.

To be honest, I didn’t really expect much to come of this email. It was a Sunday afternoon and I didn’t know if this was even the type of question that Gawker would answer.

But, I did get an answer, and it was a pretty good one 2:


It looks like your comment was probably marked as spam, due to its self-promoting nature (unfortunately, we only allow self-promotion in a limited capacity) Try re-wording your comment ( make it more casual) and try reposting. Let me know if anything else comes up!

–[Support Guy]

Gawker Media Help Desk

I wanted a little more clarification since I wasn’t exactly sure how to address the “self-promoting nature” of my comment since I would have to self-promote to some extent if my reply were to have any substance. I figured I’d try replying to the email to see if I would get another response:

Hi [Support Guy]

I’ll try rewording, but it would help to know if there is something specific I could do to avoid being spam-flagged in the future. Is it ok to have the URL for my web app in my comment? Do I need to reduce the description? It would also be great if there were something to tell me “your comment got canned as spam – try again”. As far as I can tell, I have no way of knowing what happened to my comment after I posted it.

Also, it seems like it might help to have smarter spam filters. Technically, my post is self-promoting, but I’m directly answering the question “How do you do this?” with “I created a web app specifically to do this.” It’s not like I’m spam-bombing random threads with random links.

Anyway, thanks for the reply. I’ll try a more generic comment. It would be really helpful to know if I can include a link to my app, though.


I wasn’t sure if there was an automated spam filter or if a person was reading and moderating comments. I figured maybe the link to ShareAppeal was being auto-flagged as spam or something.

Support Guy replied as I was writing my new comment:


Including the link shouldn’t be a problem, again, just reword it so that it sounds more like a recommendation than self-promoting – regardless, let me know if anything else comes up.

–[Support Guy]

Gawker Media Help Desk

And I went ahead and replied a few minutes later:

[Support Guy]

This is really helpful – thanks for taking the time to respond to me and point me in the right direction.

I’m writing another comment now – hopefully this one gets through.



PS I’m sensitive to how hard it is to police spam and self-promotion. I just thought it was strange that the point of this particular chatroom was, “How do you do this?” and it seemed like the only acceptable responses were things people already knew about (Evernote, Chrome extensions, iMessage, email, etc.). Seemed to defeat the purpose of the post (finding ways others hadn’t thought of). BUT, I get it now, and I’ll give it another shot. Cheers!

And I posted my revised comment to the Chatroom:

I used to either email links or send them on Facebook or Twitter, but it was tough to keep track of stuff scattered all over the place, and the links themselves would get buried under other stuff or just lost. So I just ended up creating a web app ( specifically to help me save links and share them with my friends.

And I sent off another email to let Support guy know that I’d tried again, hoping maybe he could help shepherd my new comment through the moderation/approval process:

[Support Guy]

I created a new comment, but can’t find a way to do anything with the old one (delete it). Two questions:

1. Is there some way to delete the old one (if it even matters).
2. Here’s my comment – if there’s anything you can do to help it through the spam filters, that would be great: “I used to either email links or send them on Facebook or Twitter, but it was tough to keep track of stuff scattered all over the place, and the links themselves would get buried under other stuff or just lost. So I just ended up creating a web app ( specifically to help me save links and share them with my friends.

Thanks again for your time and help


This is where things start to get a little weird, and I realized I probably wasn’t going to be able to post any meaningful comment to the Chatroom. Support Guy replied and even suggested a rewording of my comment:


Unfortunately, due to our terms and conditions, we are not allowed to delete any comments ourselves, however, it shouldn’t matter anyway.

As for the comment: Again, it sounds a bit too ad-like (keep this in mind: not only do you have to go through the spam-filter, but you also have to go through the mods who read this stuff- if it sounds too much like an ad/too much like self promotion, they’ll dismiss it too)

Try something like this: “I hated the fact that there wasn’t a way to keep track of all the links I wanted to share/send. so I said, screw it, I’ll build my own app. So far, it seems to be doing the trick (try it here: <link> ) – let me know what you guys think!” [Emphasis mine]

Keep it casual (again, don’t make it sound like an ad /too much like self promotion) and keep it to the one comment (if you continue to promote in general, the system will probably mark you as a spam account). [Emphasis mine] Again, we don’t allow too much self promotion, but if you’re proud of your app, then make it more about you than the app itself. (tell us what led you to make this app in the first place, rather than why people should use it- see the difference?)

Any who, let me know if anything else comes up!

–[Support Guy]


Gawker Media Help Desk

Well, that’s a little odd. The content of his suggested comment is more or less the same as mine, except he’s using exclamation points and actually asks people to visit the site. He also switches to a sort of college student dialect. He recommends keeping the link, though.

The stakes have also been raised: I’ve now submitted two comments that are apparently being flagged as spam, and there’s a risk I could get marked “as a spam account” if I keep trying and failing. So this is a nice little Catch-22: I can water down my reply so it’s non-specific or mentions other services that people already know about, and that’ll probably get posted; or I can try to answer the question specifically (which seems to be the purpose of the entire Chatroom) and risk getting marked as a spam account. What to do? I decided to just hope my latest comment made it through the filters, but not to try posting again lest I be banned.

I also found this a little confusing since it really wasn’t any different than mine except it seemed to have been run through a “regular guy-to-college guy” translator or something. I sent off one last email to Support Guy (never got a response on this one):

[Support Guy]

Thanks again for your input. Honestly, I think my second comment is much less self-promoting than your example. For instance, I don’t ask anyone to give me feedback (that seems spammy to me).

Is there any way a mod could see my post and manually evaluate it? Or maybe the author of the post/chat room on Gizmodo (Eric Limer) could see it and approve it?

It seems like the system is sort of breaking down here. I think my answer to the chat room’s question is about as direct AND unique as possible. I’m not asking for clicks, spamming, etc. your example and mine are only  SLIGHTLY different and almost all the difference is in style, not content. The main difference is you ask for feedback and I don’t.

(I’m not trying to pick a fight here. I’m genuinely unsure how I could contribute to that thread and answer the author’s question any better or more directly.)Thanks again for the dialogue – I hope you’re having a good weekend!


And so, neither of my comments was ever posted to the Chatroom. I didn’t try again because I was concerned about being flagged as a spam account. But what’s crazy is mine might have been the most unique possible answer to the Chatroom. The whole reason this particular Chatroom was useful is that the ways people already share links are pretty hacky: Open a new tab in Chrome so it syncs through the cloud – that works for one person, but what about sharing with someone else? Evernote – same thing. I actually had a unique take on the question, but I wasn’t allowed to post because I was sharing info on a tool that wasn’t already mainstream. Round and round we go.

It would’ve been great to share ShareAppeal with people who could really use it, not only because I think it’s a great little app, but because they may have given me new feedback that I haven’t gotten from the current beta testers. That seems like a win-win to me. But my comment was no match for Gawker’s convoluted comment approval system. C’iest la vie.

Satchel’s update!

For those of you who care about Satchel’s, and for those of you who are just curious about Satchel’s and my obsession with it, here’s an update. Satchel sent this email to the people who contributed something to the Satchel’s “Employee Relief Fund” via an IndieGoGo campaign a while back. I thought I would pass it along to update those people who care, but who didn’t give to the fund.

If you have no idea what I’m talking about, here is an article that talks about the fire that damaged the kitchen at Satchel’s.

And here’s the latest update email:

Hello! Please forgive me for waiting so long to reach out to you and say thanks for helping the Satchel’s employees! I have been working such long days, sometimes 16-18 hour days. My desk is piled high, my clothes need washing, my car needs cleaning but the restaurant re-model is moving along pretty good. The outpouring of support for our indiegogo campaign raising money for employees was incredible. I knew that folks loved our pizzas and salads and staff, but I had no idea that you loved us THIS much! It was humbling and kept me going through the hardest times.

It became apparent quickly after the fire that putting things back the way they were just wasn’t an option. Our tiny kitchen had 8 people working in there and there was very little space for the amount of food we were putting out. Also, in order to increase our occupancy to be more in line with the people we serve, we needed our “back door exit” to be through a hallway instead of through our prep room. The code doesn’t allow customers to exit through the kitchen so we’ve had to not only re-model the kitchen for more space, but also the prep room. We’ve combined these 2 rooms into one bigger connected kitchen and we feel we will have a better flow and more efficient kitchen, hopefully getting your food to you even faster, (notice I said “hopefully.”) The progress is good. Today the exterior walls were put on and tomorrow the electrician is supposed to start running the new electric. There is a lot to do but I am on it every day.

Those of you who got a perk of a cake made by my mom, I’ve already contacted you about how to begin the claim process for that. For the 2 of you that gave enough to get a painting or collage of mine, I will be in touch about that later. Basically my art show will go up in December and you’ll be able to pick from the paintings then. Those of you who gave enough for a menu-back, I’ll contact you when I get a little further along with the re-model and have some extra time. And for the majority of you who are waiting patiently for calzones and pizzas and salads, I’ll be sending out details of how to claim your food when we have a re-opening date. I would like to open for a couple days before the “official” opening to just feed those of you who gave to our campaign. But you’ll be able to come in any time and claim your perk after that as well. I’m still a but too swamped to figure it all out right now.

I just wanted to get out an email to say thanks to everyone for your gifts and your support. The employees were all so very happy and grateful. One employee told me how she cried when she saw the money show up in her account. I feel pretty sure that you’ll be seeing familiar happy faces when we re-open and all of us will be so glad to get a regular paycheck and a pizza again, especially me! I hope I get the chance to thank each of you in person when we re-open, as best I can tell I am hoping that we will be able to re-open in early June.

thank you thank you thank you.


The Fair Weather Fan: A triumph of sports marketing

A Fair Weather Fan
A Fair Weather Fan

Illustration by Sean Nyffeler *

Part of the American ethos is that we should love sports, and that we should love particular sports teams. This goes all the way to the top: George W. Bush recently threw out the first pitch at a World Series game, and next March will bring hours of coverage of President Obama’s bracket for March Madness.

A good way to get a funky look is to go to a Chili’s and tell someone you “don’t follow sports.” If you’re lucky, they’ll pity you. If you’re unlucky and they’ve had a few drinks or recently seen their favorite team lose, you could be berated and publicly mocked for your lack of culture or cojonés. If you’re really unlucky, you could be punched in the face or even forced to drink a generic light beer (it’s definitely possible that I’ve been watching too much of The League lately). Only slightly less repulsive than a sports non-follower is the agnostic sports fan. “Who’s your team?” “I don’t really have a team. I just like watching the games.” He probably won’t be berated or flogged, but he’ll almost certainly hear a guffaw or see a smirk.

But among the upper crust of American society, among Die Hard Sports Fans, the most reviled group of fans may be those of the fair weather variety. Not to be confused with bandwagon fans (although they’re not mutually exclusive), the Fair Weather Fan is one who ostensibly “has a team”, but who only roots for his team when it’s doing well. Not winning Super Bowls or World Series rings recently? Then the Fair Weather Fan is nowhere to be found. He’s not off rooting for some other team, he’s just not rooting for his team since they’re no good right now.

To some sports fans, being called a fair weather fan is one of the more flagrant offenses. “I’ve been rooting for this team since they were awful! My father lived and died without ever seeing us win a ring!” He wants you to know that he has suffered. He was there when they were awful. He went to the games. He’s witnessed heartbreak. Repeatedly.

Let’s step back and look at sports objectively, as a product. The not-best way to do this is to create a character who isn’t me, but is a lot like me and speaks in the first person. So I’m going to use this device for a little bit:

It’s Game Day. I go to the stadium, and I pony up $50 to see the game. I pay $5 for a hotdog. I pay $3 for some Gatorade. I pay $5 for some cotton candy because I have a sweet tooth and I can’t not eat sweets when I see them. Sue me, ok? If we win, I’m really happy that I spent $63. But we don’t win. We lose and I’m pissed that I just blew $63 on such a crummy game where I ended up with a nasty stomach ache.

Next week, we’re playing again. Yeah, I blew $63 last week on a loss and a stomach ache, but you know what? I’m going again because I’m a fan, ok? I put up another $50 for a ticket, and some more for concessions that most children could make with a dollar and some unsupervised time with a stove (No, not an Easy-Bake Oven. You can’t make authentic sports-stadium concessions in that. I’m talking about a real stove, manned by a real child.). We lose again. This one stings because I’m pretty sure some of the cheerleaders got playing time in the second half. I’m not even sure My Team is trying, ya’ dig? Now I’m out $120-something and I’m starting to get an ulcer from all the stress and bad food I’ve been eating. In a moment of clarity, I look at our record for the past two seasons: we have two wins. That doesn’t seem too good. I’m a big fan of My Team and everything, but two wins seems… maybe a little on the weak side?

Ok. We have another game in two weeks. I’ll need to work overtime and do a Miracle Cleanse to get ready for the game, but I can do it. I can get the money together and hopefully my gut will be back to normal by then. But you know what? I’ll be honest here: I’m having second thoughts about this one. I’m not sure I want to spend a bunch of money on a game we’re probably going to lose. I haven’t even talked about how I have to spend the whole day getting ready for the game, going to the game, getting home from the game. It’s a big investment, and I’m just not sure I want to make that investment again right now. Maybe if we were winning these games, but man we’re losing almost every game.

Why are you shouting at me? I think you just got some spit in my eye. You seem pretty worked up. Are you ok? What does that giant vein in your forehead mean? I’m just trying to explain what’s going through my head as I decide whether I want to go to this next game.

So that poor guy (who, like I said, isn’t me at all) just got chewed out for not being excited to pony up $60 to go see his favorite sports team lose again. That fella is dangerously close to sliding down the slippery slope that is Fair Weather Fandom, which is probably really miserable even when compared to the Island of Misfit Toys or the infamous Ugly Island.

Here’s the thing about fair weather fans: they may be much smarter than full-time, rain-or-shine, been-there-through-the-hard-times fans. You want efficiency? They are it. We’d never know that by listening to sports commentators or reading sports writers or talking to our other sports-fan friends. Still, it’s true.

Sports aren’t manna from Heaven. They aren’t a gift from God or Goodell. They’re products produced by businesses to make money. They’re products we buy. They’re products used to sell other products. We pay for them, we consume them.

Most of the time, we’re very discerning about how we spend our money. If we buy something and it sucks, we don’t buy it again. Or maybe we buy it just on more time to make sure it really was that bad. But that’s it. If it’s bad again, we’re done buying that thing. Unless it’s a ticket to a sporting event. In that case, we proudly buy our ticket and tell our friends that we were there through the lean times. It’s a badge of honor to tell stories about going to the games we were guaranteed to lose. “I went to every single game in 1975. We didn’t even have a quarterback that year, and our team’s contract stated they weren’t allowed to play more than one series in the second half!” That guy was really dedicated to wasting a bunch of time and money on something.

When fans decide their Favorite Sports Team sucks and they’re not going to keep spending money and time watching them suck, it isn’t the fans that are broken. The product is broken. It’s ok to make a rational decision to not waste money to go to games that probably won’t be any fun. That’s the smart thing to do. The more I think about it, the more I think that “Fair Weather Fan” isn’t a scarlet letter, it’s the mark of a rational, thinking person who has better things to do than dump money and time into a company that’s selling an inferior product.

So how did we get here? It’s one thing to point out that being a fair weather fan isn’t as stupid as we’ve made it out to be. But why do we hate fair weather fans? Because sports marketing is just that good. The entire sports industry (the same industry that brought you multi-day draft coverage, dedicated sports news networks, entire panels of people paid to discuss a “fantasy” version of a sport, and wall-to-wall coverage of player-versus-owner business negotiations) has successfully convinced us that we’re not buying a product. Sports are ethereal, a gift sent down from Mount Olympus to entertain man and make his life better. You don’t know who won the NBA Finals in 2005? That’s probably because you’re just not living a very satisfying and complete life. You’re working the full day on Monday? That’s only because your life is terrible and you haven’t found the wonderful world of Monday Night Football. What are you going to talk about on Tuesday? Your life or something? Your kids? That’s so lame, man!

Sure, you have to pay money to go see sports, but that money isn’t buying you a product, it’s buying you an experience. You get to hang with your friends, tailgate, drink yourself sideways, and tell stories the next Monday at work. Sure, there happens to be a team playing on the field, but that’s totally ancillary and almost coincidental. What you’re really buying is an experience, a collective opportunity to create a mass-memory that’s shared by you and everyone else who went to or watched that particular game. The irony, of course, is you could create your own memories for free. No, they wouldn’t be memories (fuzzy as they may be) of tailgating and football games, but they’d be a whole lot cheaper. And yet the geniuses (I’m not even being sarcastic there) who market sports to Americans have convinced us to pay for the privilege of creating memories with our friends, often at crummy sporting events.

Pretty clever, right? I’ve totally cracked the code!

Here’s the real kicker, though: I’ve watched all the Gator Football games this season. I watched some of them by myself at home. I just dropped $50 to go watch the Gators get killed by Alabama in The Swamp, and I might go to the Florida/Georgia game again this year. I’ve been to a lot of Florida sporting events. I’ve probably been to something like 60 football games, an SEC Championship game, some bowl games, dozens of Gator Basketball games, a Final Four and even some Florida baseball games. I don’t even like baseball. One year, I traveled back to Gainesville from Dallas just to watch the Gators in the Final Four with my friends… on TV! Why? I was making memories and stuff, but I also don’t want to be called a fair weather fan. I don’t really want to go watch us lose games when we’re bad (and we’re bad at football this year), but I don’t want to miss anything either. I’m fully aware that the idea of the Fair Weather Fan is totally manufactured and contrived, and yet I still don’t want to be called a fair weather fan. That’s totally nuts. The Fair Weather Fan really is a triumph of sports marketing; it transcends all reason and rationality.

But it is what it is, and I can’t wait for the Gator Basketball season to get started. You know we’re ranked Pre-season #10, right? We could be pretty good this year.

* Special thanks to Sean Nyffeler for his great illustration. You should read his stuff over at Popcorn Noises.

R.I.P. Steve

Steve Jobs has died. That sentence seems to carry a lot of weight for me personally, and also for a lot of my friends. Twitter went totally nuts when Apple announced Jobs’ death, and I could detect a genuine sadness in many of the tweets. I have recently lost my grandmother and uncle, and their losses still affect me quite a bit. At first, I felt a little guilty for feeling sad that Jobs has died but, the more I thought about it, the more it made sense: The sadness I feel at Jobs’ death is different than the sadness I’ve felt as I’ve lost two of my closest family members.

Here’s why I’m sad that Steve Jobs passed away.

He was a visionary, and I wonder how much more he had to offer. His ideas, his vision, his ability to execute on his vision–those are literally unparalleled. He pushed technology farther, faster than anyone before him. And yet he was only 56. What would he have done with another 10 years? or 20? 30? His loss could be one of the single greatest brakes on innovation that we have ever experienced. And I’m using “we” like “mankind” or “our civilization”. What have we all lost along with the man?

I realize how melodramatic that sounds. Let me put that question a different way: If we made a list of innovators, of people who had the greatest influence on the trajectory of technology and innovation, who caused civilization to change most dramatically, where would Steve Jobs be on that list? He’d have to be at the top, right? Maybe not the top, but at the top. Generally speaking, if that list existed and we just looked it over and asked, “What would we lose if someone at the top of this list died 10, 20 or 30 years before his time?”, what would we say? Think what Einstein could have done with 20 more good years. Newton. Other visionaries and changers of the world. It’s difficult to not feel that my personal quality of life will be less than it would have if Jobs were to live another few decades. I’m not saying this in a selfish, boo-hoo sort of way, but in a wonky, “what sort of things will we never see or experience as a result of Jobs’ untimely death?” sort of way.

I also think that, as with most deaths, Jobs’ passing brings into stark contrast how tenuous life is. It’s a reminder of our own mortality in both a non- and a super-cliché way. He had means that very few people had, and yet modern medicine, money, technology, none of it could keep him alive. There’s a very real sense of, “If Steve Jobs can get sick and die, what chance do I have?” If there was a luminary for material attainment and success, Steve Jobs was it. And it wasn’t enough. We are fragile. As I write this, I feel like I’m sort of peeking down into an existential rabbit hole. I don’t want to go there, but I have to at least look for a while. What did Jobs take with him? What did he leave? Where did he go?

His death is also inspiring. I don’t think there’s any doubt that he loved what he did, and I think that love showed through in everything that he did with Apple. I also think it colored his world and caused him to take specific actions and make specific choices that made his life more fulfilling. That’s really inspiring to me. All that’s left with us is his legacy, which is substantial. His 2005 Stanford Commencement address is an incredible speech, and he backed it up. He encouraged people to do what they loved and to love what they did. His perspective may have indirectly inspired me to quit a job I didn’t like; it may have inspired me to do something that I love instead of something just to make money. How many others has he inspired over the years? He was a visionary, he was inspiring and he will be missed.

2011 Seattle Trip Diary (cont’d)

I ended up getting almost two more days in Seattle after Vancouver, so I figured I should capture that. I didn’t think I should append two more days to a weeks-old post, so I’m creating a new post.

Day 7: I took the bus from Vancouver back to Seattle, arriving around 3:30 PM. That was my first time taking a (non-charter) bus between cities and it wasn’t bad at all. I had loaded up my iPad with some TV shows, and I was still working on “The Big Short”, so I had plenty to keep me busy.

Once I was in Seattle, the food tour continued with a stop at a Vietamiese place called “New Saigon Cafe”. They had really, really cheap sandwiches (like $2.50) that were pretty tasty. Since we had some time to kill, we hit Molly Moon’s on the way back to Case de Huge (@hugepoker‘s place). I went a little nuts, getting a “split single scoop” (which is just a “single”, but two flavors instead of one) plus an extra kid’s scoop. I got Scout Mint, Vivace Coffee and Salted Caramel in a waffle cone. It was delicious.

After a quick food-coma nap, I headed over to Dan and Maya’s place, where we had another excellent salmon experience. I’ve already mentioned (in my 2011 Vancouver Trip Recap) that I’ve been inspired to learn how to make delicious cakes, and word had gotten back to Maya, so we made a carrot cake. It was pretty delicious and I learned a lot about cake making.

This cake making thing could be dangerous for me because I’m basically incapable of ignoring any dessert or sweets if it’s in my vicinity. Acquiring the ability to make my own delicious cakes could be the end of me.

Anyway, we had dinner and dessert, and then I went and crashed back at Case de Huge.

Day 8: I started off the day at Lighthouse Roasters, where I did a lot of reading and a little work. Then it was time for lunch.

Some friends of mine are involved with a start-up, and I was invited to tag along to a meeting among a few of the investors. It was really interesting as I got a chance to see and hear how investors think when considering their options for funding a company. I’m really interested in that sort of thing, so it was cool to eavesdrop on a real-life meeting of investors (as opposed to discussing “start-ups” in a business class).

The afternoon was pretty laid back and mostly consisted of walking around Seattle.

For dinner, the intrepid Jimmy Trent picked me up and I got to have dinner with his family. It was crazy to see how much his kids have grown since I saw them last in Gainesville (in late May). We had some good taco soup and brownies for dessert. Well, the brownies were really our second dessert because Jimmy stopped by Top Pot on the way to his place. He got us all donuts, and mine was a giant Boston Cream donut that looked more like a small cake than a donut.

On his way to drop me off back at Case de Huge, we made a couple stops. First, we dropped by his new employer and church home, Mars Hill Church. He showed me around and got to show off some major renovations they’ve been doing. Next up: more Molly Moon’s!

Then it was back to watch an episode of Dexter with Laurence and wife before getting some sleep before the long (full-day-wasting) trip back to Gainesville.

Things in Gainesville should be pretty typical for a while. I’m still writing a couple of books and working on some of my own stuff for the blog. I should jump right back into the old routine and hopefully we can get one of these books knocked out before the end of the year.

2011 Vancouver Trip Recap

I just got back from a two-week trip to Vancouver, so I might as well recap it for posterity. I didn’t do a “diary” because there just wasn’t enough going on to justify that format. It would’ve all been like, “Day N: Woke up and went to Starbucks to do some work. Talked poker and watched my friends play online. Watched Netflix.” I realize that most of what I write is boring, but even I wouldn’t sink so low as to write that particular diary.

So anyway, I stayed with some friends who recently relocated to Vancouver. I went to Starbucks a lot. I talked about, wrote about, learned about and watched a lot of poker. I specifically worked quite a bit on my heads-up game since I’m writing a book about heads-up strategy and both of my Vancouver friends have had very good results in heads-up play.

Otherwise, I went to see three movies: “The Help“, “Drive“, and “Moneyball“. They all appropriately received good scores on Rotten Tomatoes, so I was looking forward to all of them. “The Help” was a good movie with pretty solid acting. The story was the most compelling part, and it was a good story. “Drive” was excellent. It was violent and dark, but very, very good. Some of the acting was excellent, some was just good. “Moneyball” was really good. It’s a great story (as most of Michael Lewis‘ stories are – I’m reading “The Big Short” right now, and it’s excellent). The acting is pretty good. It’s not terribly wonky or sportsy.

As I mentioned above, I also did a lot of reading. I also watched a lot of Netflix (mostly “Parking Wars” and caught up on TV shows online. “Breaking Bad” is awesome this season.)

I also started watching “Top Chef: Just Desserts“, which is another good show from Bravo. I love desserts, I like reality TV, so this show is pretty much made for me. I decided I want to learn how to make good cakes. I mean, I eat more cake than most people, so why not figure out how to make really good cakes? On the bus trip down from Vancouver to Seattle yesterday, I brainstormed some good cake flavor combinations. The one I’m most interested to try is a ginger cake with green tea icing. Hopefully I’ll get to take a crack at that soon.

That about sums up my two weeks in Vancouver. It was nice to visit, especially since I’ve never previously been to Canada. As you can see from the pic, it was mostly dreary and rainy, but at least it wasn’t 90+ degrees and humid. Now I’ve got a day in Seattle, then I head back home to Gainesville.