Hello world. It’s been a busy few months. I got sick about six weeks ago and it finally let up about a week ago; I was coughing an annoying cough and the doctors didn’t know what it is.

In typical Jon fashion I was starting a new contract job and went full steam ahead while my body should’ve been recovering, and that’s probably what made it last weeks and weeks. It’s been so long since I’d actually been sick, I’d forgotten how to get better.

In other news, spring is starting to show itself once every few days. I went down to Mexico with the crew to visit my amazing friend Eli and had a delightful time. I’ve been going hard on a few too many projects and been getting more involved with local community efforts here in Boulder.

Life is bursting at the seams, with wonderful projects and people I’m lucky to have in my life.

Downtown Puerto Vallarta

a delightful visit to Puerto Vallarta #

Savannah and I flew down to Puerto Vallarta with Nancy and our friend Santiago, and I got to spend some time with Eli after we met each other in Mexico City in 2021. We got to see whales up close, dodge iguanas fighting and falling out of trees, witness incredible sunsets, enjoy so much yummy food, and even snorkel through a patch of bioluminescent plankton at night in the open ocean.

Magnificent creatures

This was my first time back in Mexico since my nomad days. It was viscerally familiar, stepping out of the airport into the city and seeing the stores, taxis, architecture, and culture I’d become accustomed to in my time in the country. Unfortunately the Spanish I did pick up while I was nomading there had evaporated, dialing up the contrast of being in a place where I am necessarily less agentic because I am unable to participate in a large swath of the communication around me.

Looking south from downtown Puerto Vallarta

Geographically, Puerto Vallarta is home to perhaps the most idyllic combination of biome, terrain, and urban design I’ve seen: dense, lush jungle on steep mountains alongside the beach, high density mixed use zoning walking distance from the water, and steep, non-uniform streets with nooks, alleys, and overhanging trees. It’s reminiscent of San Francisco with its hilly streets and ocean views; but with water warm enough to float on into the evening light.

It was an awesome time in every regard. Eli and I even spent a couple sessions hacking on a prototype of tab.garden, a tool for maintaining the new tab page we both use. Eli graciously taught us pickleball, took us to some incredible spots in the city for meals, introduced us to his wonderful sister, and was generally just a loving, inviting host and friend. We can’t wait to visit again - Puerto Vallarta or perhaps another spot in Mexico next.

an environment for building & being #

This is where a lot of my building gets done. I love going out to a coffee shop or a hammock situation occasionally, but if I need to deep thinking done, this is where it happens.

Key to this is a comfortable desk (adjustable standing desk and VESA-mounted monitor), good light and airflow and bunch of plants to keep me happy, unlimited water and a toilet nearby, and the ability to get deep into my work without needing to think about closing time or how distracting my conversation is to patrons around me.

One of the things that helps my relationship with Savannah is having a space like this for each of us. We co-wrote a post on this last year, though a few things have changed since then. The bed in the living room has turned into a couch for comfortably hosting our friends & neighbors, and the mattress lives pushed up against a wall during the day in her room for space, and on the floor at night.

When Savannah and I think about how we’d like to live in the future - surrounded by friends in community, even closer to nature, and on land where we have more say and agency to build and change things, I think about how that vision intersects with the sort of space I need to do my work effectively. I’ve come to the conclusion that a room of one’s own is a necessity, even (and perhaps, especially) in a co-living configuration.

It doesn’t need to be much: an insulated shack that’s not even a full ADU would be plenty, I think. Something to call my own, a place to be able to go deep on creative work without considering other people’s schedules, timing, and energy. A place to leave my notes scattered around the way I want them and my monitor configuration can in a way that’s just right for me and my body and working style.

e-bike gang

We biked to Costco #

Almost a year ago, I joined the e-bike world. Earlier this month our mutual friend Aaron, Savannah, and I decided to strap our panniers to our bikes and make the (surprisingly short) ~10-mile journey to Costco in the nearby town of Superior. We had talked about the idea for a while, and for some reason it had always seemed harder and further away than it actually was. But come a warm Sunday, we embarked on the adventure.

Every prior visit to Costco has always happened in a car for me, and it’s understandable why. It’s usually in the thick of a city’s shopping plazas, far away from the soft walkable urban pockets. You’re buying a large collection of bulky items, so you need a way to move them back to your place. They even have a giant section of the store dedicated to fueling up and fixing up your car.

But we proved to ourselves that with a bit of storage and mindful purchasing (the jumbo XL toilet paper roll pack was out) - it’s completely doable for ~2 weeks of groceries. It’s a really special feeling, feeling the wind and sun on my face as I’m biking home on a protected bike path next to the cars and trucks, getting my physical exercise in and hauling back a bunch of food and goodies with the snow-capped mountains to the west.

other life & project updates #

  • I’m scouting for a potential fulltime engineering role with the right organization, or part time contract work for a project. Read more about what I offer and am looking for here.
  • Cody and I launched grid.management a few weeks ago and we’re working on an awesome sequel, more to follow soon
  • reading Accelerando by Charles Stross and Come Together by Emily Nagoski

some more photos

ice crystals on the car window on new year's morning
one of my favorite nearby trails in Boulder
a recent big wet storm
a hilarious piece at our friend's place
playing around with my new Arturia keylab controller at night