Category Archives: friends and neighbors

13 Thoughts about Matt

It has occurred to me that too often we don’t express our loving thoughts and memories of the most important people in our lives until it’s too late and we’re left standing in front of fellow mourners at a funeral, regretting what we’ve left unsaid

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Of all my character flaws, the one that bothers me the most is the way I easily succumb to inertia. Sometimes, I tell myself, this inertia isn’t so bad. Routine and ritual can be healthy, right? When I find something … Continue reading 



One day several years ago when I was suffering from depression and anxiety, I came home from work to find a small piece of plywood with a simple painting on it, done in the style of a local artist. Across … Continue reading 


Paper Airplanes

On Sunday at one in the afternoon, a local Grand Rapids guy named Rob Bliss and a handful of friends started to dump paper airplanes off of downtown buildings. By the time they finished, one hundred thousand planes had descended on the nearly 20,000 people crowding the streets below…

Also posted in photography | 3 Comments

A few baby names you might want to avoid

Our dear friends are expecting a baby, and they think it’s going to be a boy. When they were in town a couple weeks ago, we chatted a bit about possible names for the kid. And that made me wonder: What are some boy names that most parents should avoid? Here are a few that I came up with after almost no reflection on the matter …


Election Day in New York City

In mid-October I received an email from a friend of mine, asking if I could fill in for him at the Future of Web Design conference in New York City. He was scheduled to lead a workshop on November 3 and give a presentation the next day, Election Day.
Of course, I jumped at the chance. And, of course, I panicked soon thereafter. The workshop (3 1/2 hours) and presentation (30 minutes) required a lot of preparation in a short amount of time. But somehow I managed …
…Here are a few pictures I took during my brief visit.

Also posted in photography | 2 Comments


Two weeks ago my neighbor Kevin was kind enough to guide me through the process of converting a fairly sizable portion of my back yard into a garden. He even gave me all the plants out of his own yard.


The End of Four Friends

After nearly fourteen years of operation, Four Friends Coffeehouse in downtown Grand Rapids opened its doors for the last time yesterday…


The Best Birthday Present Ever

It’s my birthday today. I’m 40 years old. And I feel surprisingly young. When I got home from work this evening, Sara presented me with the best birthday present I’ve ever received — a stack of emails from friends in response to one that Sara had written to them. Here is what she wrote to them:

Also posted in family | 7 Comments

Book Club Camping Trip

Sara’s book club gets together once a month to talk about everything except the book they had decided to read. This year they decided to include the rest of their families for a camping trip up in Manistee, MIchigan.
Most of us arrived early Friday evening and planned to stay until Sunday, but when the rain started coming down Saturday afternoon, we all decided to pack it up early after a quick dinner and head home for the comfort of warm, dry beds.
Here are a few pictures of the 26-hour, multi-family camping trip of 2007…