When visiting my new home, weep not for the Detached Garage 

Sometimes I see a look of disappointment when someone comments on the detached garage at my family’s new home.

What they undoubtedly are unaware of is that ever since I was a young man in Junior High, the unexpected whir of a garage door opening has about a 70% chance of inducing a panic attack that requires meditation and rapid talking myself down, or benzos to remove the onset of anxiety that knocks the wind out of me.

The short version is that there was a high probability that the garage door rolling up beneath my feet meant that my mother’s husband had come home. So now 20 years later, that feeling of dread and waves of stress from anxiously analyzing the long list of things he could be angry about that could result in anything from being grounded for a week to more dire consequences for myself or my mother because of something I didn’t do to his satisfaction as Lord Dickbag, Knight of the Lazyboy.

It always tweaked Liz weirdly that I wanted to know when to expect her home. It tweaked me, too.

But my new home for my family that is safe and loved the best way I know how to keep them safe and loved will never have that association of tension and anxiety by proxy. I do not panic at the arrival of my wife and children. I run to greet them as they run to greet me.

G-d bless the souls of the architects and builders of my home, what an amazing gift they have given me, that I may have time to heal through those wounds without a constant and grinding reminder.


How to Program Your Mind to Stop Buying Crap You Don’t Need

One more project to add to OmniFocus under Better Emory:

Now that you know what you’re up against, it’s time to start changing the way you think. Before you can stop buying crap you don’t need, you need to identify what that crap is. The first step is to make a list of every single thing you own. Every. Single. Thing. This might sound extreme, but you need to gather your data so you can start reprogramming your mind.

what a compulsive buyer might look like

via How to Program Your Mind to Stop Buying Crap You Don’t Need.


a Canary in Every Coal Mine

Checking in on your home with Canary

Canary is a single device that contains an HD video camera and multiple sensors that track everything from motion, temperature and air quality to vibration, sound, and activity to help keep you, your family and your home safe.

This is an absolutely brilliant product and a market that is just beginning to be realized. Smart learning thermostats like the Nest, portable environmental monitoring Cubes and personal weather stations from Netatmo that observe and monitor air quality are already taking home automation and monitoring out of the garages of Arduino nerds and putting them into the homes of the less-nerdy but still geeky.

Canary can notify you when people enter and leave your house, and records videos of anomalous activity. It has alarms and push notifications. It monitors allergens and temperature in addition to humidity.

How many homes have you been in that leveraged X10 lighting controls and switches? How many families have no idea what the hell an “exten” even is? These gizmos and the Canary in particular are exactly what is needed to allow people to really make use of this type of technology without shitting up their homes with haphazard Rube-Goldberg-and-wire projects.

Ignoring the DVR, night vision, behavior learning and environmental monitoring, the best part about Canary is probably that it’s all contained in a cylinder that looks like a piece of modern art, costs USD$200 and doesn’t involve drilling holes into your rented apartment.