The Brain of Shawn


The Thinks I Think

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826 episodes


Before I start, it’s important to know that I’m not writing this to convince anyone to send money. We’ll be OK, truly. I’m writing this because much like depression, shame withers in the light. I don’t want the specter of “what if someone finds out” to live in my brain, rent free. And perhaps hearing ... Read more The post Shame appeared first on The Brain of Shawn

Aug 18

Five years ago, my wife Donna and I invested our entire nest egg into buying an old farm in Brutus, MI. We refurbished the old barn, and created a young adult ministry, because there wasn’t one in the area. It turned out almost exactly like we pictured it, but then when it was still in ... Read more The post Success appeared first on The Brain of Shawn

Jul 24
An Open Letter to Shaun Lamp, CEO of Great Lakes Energy

Hello Shaun, A few months back, I got an email from GLE, which announced your new position as CEO (congrats!), along with other updates about service, fiber internet rollout, etc. One of the things I noticed in the email was that Great Lakes Energy doesn’t actually produce electricity, but buys it from a local supplier. ... Read more The post An Open Letter to Shaun Lamp, CEO of Great Lakes Energy appeared first on The Brain of Shawn

Jul 21
How THIS Keeps Happening

It occurred to me today that I’m not really sure if the things I publish are the things I allow to get out of my think-meat, or if they’re things I can’t keep inside it. It probably doesn’t really matter in the grand scheme of things, but my brain (jerk that it is) thinks a ... Read more The post How THIS Keeps Happening appeared first on The Brain of Shawn

Jul 07
Depression is Me

I’m currently depressed. I think. I’ve been diagnosed with Major Depressive Disorder, and so maybe any time I’m depressed, that’s the “reason” it happens. But also, depression is different for everyone. I’m confident of that, because depression is often different for ME, and I’m the same person as me. Still, I wonder if what I’m ... Read more The post Depression is Me appeared first on The Brain of Shawn

Jul 02
An Open Letter to the Green Brothers

I recently read advice about writing letters to famous people. I think it was in the Steal Like an Artist Trilogy by Austin Kleon, which is a wonderful set of books. (I’ve listened to the audio version several times) This is not a letter to him, however. The point was that you can write letters ... Read more The post An Open Letter to the Green Brothers appeared first on The Brain of Shawn

Jun 09

Last night I had the opportunity to speak for Linux Dominicana, which is the Linux Users Group in the Dominican Republic. I was approached several months ago by a man who has since become a good friend, asking if I would give a webinar-based talk. As most people reading this know, I’m currently trying to ... Read more

May 20
Assuming the Best

I was scrolling through social media the other day, and ran across this photo. I laughed out loud, because a bottle of cleaning spray decorated like this is the most Yaya thing I could imagine. I mean, these things are usually “decorated” with a Sharpie marker declaring what sort of cleaner is inside the bottle. ... Read more

May 09
Truth Isn’t Always True

Several years ago, I was asked to speak at a bible camp in southern Michigan. It wasn’t my first time speaking there, and I’d been a youth group leader at our local church for years, so my talk wasn’t vetted before I was allowed to speak to a couple hundred teenagers. And no, I didn’t ... Read more

May 05
Just Do the Next Thing

I often think about Charlie Brill and Mitzi McCall. If you aren’t familiar with the married comedy duo, it’s not surprising. They were the act who followed the Beatles on the Ed Sullivan Show back in 1964. How could you possibly follow that?!? Thankfully, Justin Bieber didn’t recently make Linux training videos that I have ... Read more

May 01
Doing One Thing Well, or Not

When I started this “be a professional creator full time” adventure at the start of 2022, I got lots of advice. And as a quick recap for those who don’t know about my “Big Year” (sans birds), which is honestly most of you, because I didn’t really shout about it from the mountain tops, here’s ... Read more

Apr 28
Jelly is Lonely

And of course I mean jelly people are lonely. Jealous people, that is. Actual jelly people are never lonely because they’re sweet and sticky, and people either want to lick them, or are stuck to them. And that’s weird, so I’m gonna stop. Sometimes it’s easy to avoid being jealous of someone. Particularly when they’re ... Read more

Apr 20
I Love You, Uhh… Thank You.

It’s a funny trope in sitcoms. One person is in love with another person, and so they confess their love, only to be given a “Thank You” in reply. We cringe. We hurt for the confessor, and we feel bad for the one not in love. We are also impressed by the thanker, because it ... Read more

Apr 19
Internet Sin Ingles

I have many legitimate friends whom I’ve never met in person. Some of my very best friends are a group of folks who met online and have remained close for well over a decade. There was a time when that was considered a naive misunderstanding of friendship, but I’m happy to say it’s slowly becoming ... Read more

Apr 17
Monetization Sucks Beans

There’s a bitter sort of irony that people who enjoy selling things are rarely the people you want to give money, and those folks who deserve your money are cripplingly uncomfortable receiving, much less asking, for it. Mind you, this is a terribly generic take, which (might) be true for the majority of situations, but ... Read more

Apr 14
Star Trek Me This

A while back I posted a poll on Twitter about which Star Trek technology would be the most significant. Usually when I bring the topic up in conversation, people jokingly say the Holodeck, and then say, “But seriously, warp drive is the most significant tech.” I generally argue that the replicator is the most overlooked ... Read more

Apr 13
This Blog Might Get Weird

I’m doing all sorts of content creation these days. I’m doing videos, comics, newsletters, reviews (I’m figuring that bit out still… but I wanna keep doing it), podcasts, other podcasts, and I’m still doing silly tweets and cat photos, etc, etc, etc. I want to be a full time content creator someday soon, and so ... Read more

Apr 10
Linux is Just a Tool

There’s really only one job description: Problem Solver. Sometimes that problem is, “I need to host a website that can scale as demand expands and contracts.” Sometimes the problem is, “People want good coffee but aren’t interested in making it themselves at home.” It’s so easy to get wrapped up in the tools we use […]

Feb 17
From Professional to Square One

I created professional video content for about 12 years. That doesn’t mean I’m any good at it, but it does mean I’m comfortable with it. This year, 2022, I’ve decided to get back into making video, but with a twist: I’m doing it on YouTube. Certainly over a decade producing hundreds (maybe thousands) of hours […]

Feb 04
On the Occasion of Turning 46

As far a memorable numbers go, 46 is pretty low on the list. I cant’ really explain why it seems so ordinary, but it truly feels like one of the blandest numbers in the gamut of years old to be. … Continue reading →

Jul 19, 2021
Interns, and College, and Certs. Oh My.

I do not have a college degree. I think it’s important to lead with that, because while I’ve built a fairly successful career, I’ve done it without actually attaining a degree of any sort. I did attend college — a … Continue reading →

Jun 09, 2021
Silent Days are the Worst

Social media tends to be a glimpse into the highlights of a person’s life. Don’t get me wrong, I’m the same person I am online that I am in person, but some things don’t get posted not out of shame, … Continue reading →

Apr 12, 2021
25 (some)things.

I hate resolutions. I hate when people say they hate resolutions. But, here I am, hating resolutions. I also hate that I gained over 40lbs during 2020. All this hatred has to be redirected… I didn’t start a resolution on … Continue reading →

Jan 11, 2021
The Family Dashboard

NOTE: This was originally published in Linux Journal, back in 2017. I noticed this morning that my script is still running every day, and I have over 1,100 Bing photos saved locally! I’ve written a little about PHP before, because … Continue reading →

Oct 23, 2020
Unlimited Local Storage for $12 per Month. Really.

I have a 48TB NAS in my basement. Granted, thanks to RAID6 I only (only!) have 36TB of usable space, but still, I assumed that would last me forever. Thanks to ripping DVDs and Blurays, I was so very, very … Continue reading →

Aug 31, 2020
The Done Manifesto

I only recently discovered this tiny bit of brilliance, even though it was written over a decade ago. It’s by Bre Pettis and Kio Stark, and released under Creative Commons, so I’m pretty sure I can post it here without … Continue reading →

Aug 28, 2020
I Am Racist

I don’t want to be. I don’t try to be. My mom didn’t purposefully raise me to be. But I am. White Privilege. I’m racist because I’m white and I live in a country where that affords me privileges black … Continue reading →

Jun 02, 2020
We Can’t Do This Alone

(NOTE: This is being written during the COVID-19 pandemic, specifically during the “Stay at Home” directive in Michigan.) This week, the CDC announced that it is recommended to wear cloth masks while out in public. A friend of mine kindly … Continue reading →

Apr 05, 2020
Isolation Funk

I work from home every day. This new COVID-19 stuff shouldn’t be all that different for me. But boy howdy is it ever. Part of it is because I’m in strict quarantine. I’m not going to the store, I’m not … Continue reading →

Mar 24, 2020
This is Not Normal Telecommuting

Those of us who are work-from-home-introverts can be found online joking about how we’ve been preparing for this Coronavirus thing for our entire lives. And yes, I suspect the transition to working from home will be easier on introverts, and … Continue reading →

Mar 15, 2020