Monthly Archives: October 2018

Upcycling yard sign frames into a papasan chair?

Filed under “ideas I’d pursue if I had infinite time:” could I weld the metal wickets from old political yard signs into the bowl of a papasan chair?  There are tons of signs rendered useless each election when a candidate loses or a proposal is decided.  These are free or nearly-free, and indeed many are left by the side of the road to rust.

The thin metal rods bend well.  I imagine giving them the proper curve, then welding a grid of them into a bowl shape.  Welding is on my long-term to-learn list, perhaps in 2019.  Would this be an easy trial project or a foolishly hard one?  It would at least be low stakes.

I’m not sure what material the rods are.  Galvanized steel?  I’ve seen some of them rust.  If galvanized, I gather additional safety precautions may be in order from zinc fumes that off-gas during welding.

Someday, perhaps.  I wonder if it’s been tried, or what else people have made from this source of free metal rods.

Fully-remote jobs don’t need in-person interviews

I hired a data analyst last year who started working for me in December.  He lives in Colorado, I live in Michigan.  After 10 months of working together, week in and week out, I finally “met” him at our annual company conference last month (September).  Does that seem funny?  I was surprised by how tall he was, but otherwise, no, it’s business as usual around here.

I’ve now embraced the idea of hiring someone and working with them without first meeting them in person.  If you’ll be working with them remotely, and your team and organization have the right culture and systems in place for that, why would you insist on in-person interviews?

In a truly remote-first organization, there’s little cause to fly someone out for an in-person interview.  And there are many reasons not to.  When you weigh the costs and benefits, it’s not worth it.  You’re a remote organization – embrace it!

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The cargo bike changed my life

In the summer of 2016, I was visiting Brooklyn for work.  Walking down Fulton Mall during morning rush hour, I saw a man pedaling through traffic with his school-aged daughter perched on the back of his bike, her feet resting on running boards.

I had never seen such a thing and couldn’t get it out of my head.  I did some research online, searching terms like “bike transport kids running boards” and encountering the proper name: cargo bike.  When I found myself back in NYC a few months later, I stopped by 718 Cyclery, talked to Joe, and ordered a Yuba Boda Boda.

That bike changed my life.  Let me count the ways:

My health

My bike before the Boda Boda was an old hand-me-down Trek hybrid that I neither took care of nor rode much.  At most maybe a 3 mile commute a few times per month in the summer.

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