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30 October • 2 min read

Quickly create new Google Docs, Sheets, Slides and Forms

I suspect there’s a vanishingly small audience for this tip, but this has never stopped me writing about something before. If, like me, you have to create new Google Docs and Sheets all the time, you might be tired of having to navigate to the approriate Google site, waiting for…

29 October • 2 min read

A better number

The Cretan greengrocer weighed my items, bagged them, and now he was tapping sums on a calculator. “Nine euro,” he said. Opening my wallet, I saw that the smallest bill inside was a fifty. In small shops like this it’s considered discourteous to use large bills, as you will…

11 October • 2 min read

Greeks and books

It’s commonly held in Greece that Greeks don’t read books. Anecdotally, it seems true. I live in Thessaloniki, the second most populous city in Greece, and work remotely, spending about half my working hours in cafés. I choose quiet, smoke-free, tastefully-lit cafés with…

21 August • 2 min read

We refugees

Living in Greece, where many folks have become stranded on their way from violence and persecution to the safety of Europe, the topic of refugees is often in the news and on our minds. You hear about the horrors of the journey, the squalor of the camps, the violence inflicted by…

14 August • 5 min read

More often than not

I took some time off over the last couple of weeks to spend time with family and friends, go camping, and attend a meditation retreat. I’m now settled near Athens, by the sea. That’s part of the reason I haven’t been writing here. The other is that I’m suffering, once more, from…

Marr (left) and Morrissey from The Smiths pose together in the store room of Rough Trade records in London, January 1983.

28 July • 3 min read

The Smiths

We were having a perfectly fine conversation until she said, “I love this song!” She tugged my arm, not the one holding the drink, the other one, towards the center of the club, where folks sloppily danced. I looked up at the rafters, like an animal sniffing out its prey. I…

A vintage rotary phone.

21 July • 3 min read

Whiskey Tango Foxtrot

Ten years ago I had a complex trip to organize that required lining up several flights on very tight deadlines. I needed some help figuring it all out, and so I visited a travel agent. As he talked on the phone with who-knows-who, I noticed that he read off booking references…

7 July • 1 min read

Let's Encrypt like it's 2016

Last night I secured this site using certificates from Let’s Encrypt. I’ve been meaning to do this for a long time, but since the site has no interactivity I wasn’t worried about any potential security risks. That was until I migrated from Jekyll, which produced a static site,…

On a yacht, looking at the sunset.

6 July • 2 min read

One of those people

“Meditation doesn’t work for everyone,” she said. “I can’t sit still for five minutes. If I tried to meditate, I’d lose my mind. I guess I’m just one of those people.” “I know what you mean,” I said. “I’m one of those people who can’t fly a commercial aircraft. I’ll sit in the…

A sunset seen from an airplane window, with airplane’s wing visible.

1 July • 2 min read

Some travel observations

I’ve been traveling quite a bit over the last few months. Here are some idiosyncratic, prejudiced observations: The higher the density of cars, the higher everyone’s stress level seems to be. Not just that of drivers, but that of people in general. This seems applicable both…