What I'm reading and listening to in 2015

I thought I'd share the blogs and podcasts I'm going to be following this year. I have to warn you these lists are pretty long. I might try to glean a top 5 or 10 in each category so you can get an idea of the creators I couldn't live without.



  • Working Out - Feed
  • The Meteor Podcast - Feed
  • seanwes podcast - Feed
  • Grit with After Dark Post-Shows - Feed
  • The Tim Ferriss Show - Feed
  • Judge John Hodgman - Feed
  • Core Intuition - Feed
  • Serial - Feed
  • For the Record - Feed
  • Fullscreen - Feed
  • Lost and Lemon - Feed
  • Stuff You Should Know - Feed
  • Stuff You Missed in History Class - Feed
  • NPR: TED Radio Hour Podcast - Feed
  • 99% Invisible - Feed
  • Just The Tip - Feed
  • The Truth - Feed
  • Pod5 Podcast - Feed
  • Margin of Error Tennis Podcast - Feed
  • Accidental Tech Podcast - Feed
  • Shawn Today - Feed
  • Developing Perspective - Feed
  • Debug - Feed
  • NSBrief - Feed
  • Vector - Feed
  • Dorm Room Tycoon - Feed
  • Electric Shadow - Feed
  • Exponent - Feed
  • Roderick on the Line - Feed
  • The Record - Feed
  • JavaScript Jabber - Feed
  • Iterate - Feed
  • If I Were You - Feed
  • Girl on Guy with Aisha Tyler - Feed
  • 5by5 at the Movies - Feed
  • Review - Feed
  • B-Sides - Feed
  • Upgrade - Feed
  • Virtual - Feed
  • BONANZA! - Feed
  • Systematic - Feed
  • Unprofessional - Feed
  • Connected - Feed
  • Inquisitive - Feed
  • Analog(ue) - Feed
  • Back to Work - Feed
  • The Brooks Review - Podcast - Feed
  • The Incomparable's Greatest Hits - Feed
  • The Rebound - Feed
  • The Incomparable Radio Network - Feeds - Feed
  • Clockwise - Feed
  • Mac Power Users with After Dark Post-Shows - Feed
  • Grantland Sports - Feed
  • Grantland Pop Culture - Feed
  • The Alton Browncast - Feed
  • The Talk Show With John Gruber - Feed

College Football Semifinals

College football started it’s playoff last night, and that means it’s time for me to simulate my semifinal matchups. They came very close to being in line with an Ohio State v. Michigan State rematch semifinal. Since we got to see Ohio State v. Bama last night, I decided to just plug that final in. Here are the results...

12 Team

16 Team

Next weekend we will find out if Michigan State can sweep the playoffs, or if Ole Miss can get some redemption for that ugly bowl performance.

2014 in Review

2014 has been an interesting year in the Brakebill household our biggest high and low probably came around the same time with Lauren’s graduation and our miscarriage. Those events have been rippling through our year as we plan for our future and cope with the loss of an expected child. It’s been another beautiful, fun, hard, and humbling year. I’d like to share some of the things I’ve liked this year. In the spirit of my newsletter, a “thing” can be just about anything.

Things I’ve liked

Proraso Shave Soap

I’m a new convert to this stuff but I already love it. I’ve been doing most of my shaving this year with a safety razor and some soap I bought on Etsy. I could never get a good lather with it. This stuff lathers fantastically and feels great.

Merlin Mann

Back to Work and Roderick on the Line are two of my favorite podcasts of the year. Merlin (and John and Dan) are equal parts helpful, hilarious, and... real humans. I love finding people with absurdly different yet awesome view points and experiences from me.

Coconut Oil

This stuff has so many great uses. My wife frequently uses it as cooking oil. You can add it to your coffee. You can use it as a pre shave oil. I’m sure if you search the internet you’ll find more interesting and uncomfortable uses.

Pen and Paper

I’ve become a bit of a Bullet Journal convert this year. I don’t write down as much as I should and I’m still trying to reach a happy medium between paper tasks and keeping track long term in Things.

Threes and Monument Valley

Two best games of the year by far. Monument Valley is short but it’s just an incredible experience that made me say “whoa” many times. Threes is infinitely playable. I think I’ve played it every single day since it came out.

The Martian

My favorite book of the year by far. One of those ones you read in a day or two because it’s just that good. Can’t wait for the movie.


I’ve raved about them before. They’ve had a rough year as they made some major technical changes and the transition hasn’t been particularly smooth. But even with these issue, the product is still the best thing out there. I wouldn’t be able to manage our budget without it. And their customer support is second to none, which is hard to find in a bank.

J.D. Bentley

One of my favorite writers I’ve found this year. His writing is so thoughtful, concise, and easy to read. If I didn’t contain myself, I would end up sharing every single post he makes.

Trippel Beers

I’ve long been a fan of New Belgium’s Trippel, but I’ve found that as a style the dubbel and trippel are my favorites. High alcohol content. Thick and wheaty. Not super hoppy. Everything I want in a beer.

Tomasino’s Pizza

This is our local pizza joint and it’s quickly become one of my favorites. We still order frequently from Papa John’s, but Tomasino’s pizza is fantastic and it’s topped only by their garlic cheesy knots.

Feed Wrangler / Pod Wrangler

Two products I use on a daily basis for consuming RSS feeds and podcasts. If you are big on these things, the $19 per year is a steal.


One of my most visited websites. Lauren and I are frequently talking about owning/building/renovating a home in the near future and Houzz is filled with education and inspiration. I’m just not someone who can accept “cookie cutter”, so I need more. Maybe not more. Probably less. But a less that is high quality. Houzz is an awesome way to find that.

Elizabeth Evelyn Kirby

Whenever I talk about her I just refer to her as local milk. Her blog and instagram have been fantastic to follow. Beautiful homes and sights. Tasty recipes. And a style that is just... comforting and attractive. And she’s a fellow Tennessean.

Later today or this weekend I’m going to share the podcasts/blogs I’m following heading into the new year. And I’m also going to talk about the shit I want to do or do better this year. Happy New Year y’all.

What Horrible Things Did We Do To Our Penises Last Year

One of the most entertaining horrifying things Deadspin does. What terrible things happened to penises this year. Be more careful y’all.

Rooms and Mazes - A Procedural Dungeon Generator

Some fun nerdy reading for you. If you enjoyed the original Legend of Zelda, you’ll enjoy this piece on creating dungeons.

The Oatmeal - 6 things I learned from riding in a Google Self-driving Car

I can’t decide if I’m terrified of these things or impatiently waiting for them.

The concept of the self driving car is awesome. Eventually they will be safer and they will make road trips way more bearable. But we will need to be incredibly thoughtful when designing a system of self driving cars. You can’t have some sort of large scale hack giving away control of a large number of cars.

How the sun sees you

Pretty good argument for wearing sunscreen more frequently.

Christmas or Bust - The Untold Story of National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation

Some great quotes from the people who made a holiday classic. I love this nugget...

For the dog and squirrel chase, we hired an animal trainer who trained them everyday for months to run through the set. When it came time to finally shoot what we've been planning, I got out of my car and saw everyone standing in a huddle shaking their heads and I knew something was terribly wrong. I asked them what was going on and they said, "We have a problem." Okay, what? "The squirrel's dead." I said, "Holy fuck, we're shooting that today!" And the animal trainer turned and said, "Ya know, they don't live that long." We still had to shoot the scene, so we used an untrained squirrel. It was just total chaos.

The Enemy, Real or Imagined

Outrage—especially when coupled with a false sense of urgency and injustice—leads us away from the nuances of particular situations, away from actually having to weigh all sides of the argument, away from the humanity of the so-called opposition.

More fantastic insight and writing from J.D. Bentley.

College Playoff Round 2

In Round 1 of my college football playoff(s), Georgia Southern produced a couple major upsets.

In Round 2 there were wildly different results between the 12-Team and 16-Team playoffs. In our 12-Team playoff, there’s something mostly resembling the committee’s selected final four, with Michigan State replacing Oregon. In the 16-Team playoff, Ohio State is the only final four team that made the committee’s list.

Let’s look at the brackets...


12 Team


16 Team

The next round is where things will get a little less accurate, as the simulator doesn’t allow for neutral site games. But this is for fun not accuracy, so I’ll just assume the games are closer to the higher seed and make them the home team.

Note, the playoff takes a holiday break until new years. So I’ll simulate the semifinals on the same day as the actual semifinals