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*Thinking Spreadsheet* Free On The Web

After talking about doing so forever, I've finally "web-ified" Thinking Spreadsheet. So if you ever wanted to learn everything I know about spreadsheets but were too cheap to actually buy the book, here's your opportunity. Share it with your friends and hope that Github doesn't decide I ...

2013-09-16 07:12 AM

If Trees Could Scream

So far parenthood isn't all that different from non-parenthood. I still eat at the same five restaurants and drink myself to sleep at night and occasionally get peed on. I just now have a car seat wedged into an upside-down highchair, am less discriminating about my liquor choices, and ...

2011-05-05 08:16 AM

Spreadsheet Book Now Available

One reason I haven't been posting here very much is that I've been scrambling to put the finishing touches on my spreadsheet manifesto. I'm pleased to announce that it's now available:

I'm hoping this means more time to write about non-spreadsheet-related topics.

2011-02-26 09:50 AM

Fiction: Dribman's Army

Every few months NPR has a Three-Minute Fiction short story contest. The "Three-Minute" really means "600 words," and each contest consists of one or more constraints that the story has to satisfy.

The October contest (which was the first I heard about) specified the first and last sentences of the ...

2011-01-08 08:35 AM

Political Satire

Once I left Microsoft I joined a Daytime Writing Group meetup, mostly as an excuse to get out of the house. Every week I'd go and share the latest chapter of my "Ayn Rand meets J.K. Rowling meets Joseph Heller meets Tom Wolfe" novel-in-progress and listen to everyone ...

2010-09-28 08:15 AM

Using Statistics to Coddle Vagrants

I left Microsoft at the end of May, largely so that I could write my opus magnum book on Excel. At the time I set a September 1 deadline for having the first draft done. That seemed like the right amount of time, but I failed to predict that I ...

2010-09-22 01:02 PM

Fiction, Non-fiction, Humor, and Religion

Occasionally someone will express to me a desire like "I want to climb Mount Rainier" or "I want to be a guest on 'The Price Is Right'" or "I want to record a swing-band cover version of REM's 'Everybody Hurts'," and then when I ask them why they say ...

2010-07-13 08:30 AM

How I Became a Published Author, Part 1

Once upon a time I wasn't much of a writer. In high school I wrote crappy requisite five-paragraph essays about T.S. Eliot and F. Scott Fitzgerald and The War Against Northern Aggression, but they were unimaginative and mostly aimed at satisfying the teachers' expectations.

In college I went ...

2010-06-05 08:21 AM

Big Change

Today is my last day at Microsoft, as I will be leaving to pursue my boyhood dream of ~~eating the world's biggest hoagie~~ becoming a famous author someday. I'm sure you have many questions about this move, many of which I've preemptively answered below:

Frequently Asked Questions ...

2010-05-20 07:58 AM

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