Stuff I use

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In addition to the writing and editing I do at CL, I try to work on outside projects whenever I have the time. Since I haven’t run it down in a while, here’s a list of the stuff I’m currently using in the execution of, well, everything I’m doing professionally when I’m not drinking wine with the wife, hanging out with friends or trying to catch up on a little sleep.

COMPUTER: I’ve got two 13-inch MacBook Airs (circa 2012), one I bought to be my main machine while I was still working for a marketing company—with generous help from my wife and friends who pitched in with some gift cards for my birthday—and one corporate machine I inherited when I came back to the paper last year. I’ve gotten into doing more basic image optimization/manipulation, and the work laptop has InCopy and Photoshop on it, but both still run fast enough for my needs. There’s also an ancient (white, pre-Retina) iMac in my home office that I still use regularly when working in the paper’s CMS, doing research or using Google Docs.

PHONE: HTC One M7 (2013), the first year HTC went all-out and released this top-notch flagship with the brushed-metal chassis. I side-loaded the Google Now launcher, and keep it as close to stock Android as possible without rooting. There have been two new iterations, but mine’s still plenty fast. I’ll probably upgrade soon anyway, however, because A) I’m leaving my carrier of more than a decade, Sprint, because I’m dissatisfied with their coverage and B) The ONLY thing that sucks about this phone is the camera, and I’ve been needing to use my phone camera a lot more lately for work-related social media stuff, which has gotten me in the habit of using it for personal social media stuff (my Instagram account is, like, a month old). Plus, I’m toying with the idea of going bigger, to a Note or Nexus 6, so doing blog stuff without opening my laptop will be a little easier.

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Checking in

oakley

Yeah, so apparently I’m not so good at keeping the blog updated since I’ve been back at CL full-time. Sorry about that. What have you been up to? Uh-huh; uh-huh. OK, enough of that, it’s my blog and I wanna talk about me.

I’ve doing an irreverent news roundup for the CL blog every weekday called Sh*t Happened.

We got a new dog, Oakley, who’s either a miniature poodle, a mini labradoodle, or the love child of Fozzie Bear and Rowlf. That’s him up there, ain’t he cute? Continue reading

Fiction: “The Terrible Twos”

Last weekend, I was one of four “musicians who write” asked to do a reading at one of the events for the first-ever Florida Bookstore Day. (Kudos to Tiffany Razzano, who made Florida Bookstore Day happen pretty much singlehandedly.) I wasn’t sure what I was gonna read, but I settled on one of the first stories of mine to be published by a third party, “The Terrible Twos.” It was a great, if sparsely attended event—hell, it was the first-ever Florida Bookstore Day!—and I really enjoyed being able to share something outside the journalism that sort of defines me locally. 

The publisher that originally put out “The Terrible Twos” gave up the ghost (and all rights) a few years ago; reading it, I rediscovered what I do and don’t like about it. And since it’s no longer available anywhere else, I thought I’d post it here.

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Meet the Brewers: Mike Bishop of Odessa, Florida’s Big Storm Brewing

meet_the_brewers_Mike_BishopIn which I continue to profile the passionate folks who make craft beer throughout the Tampa Bay area, which is exploding—EXPLODING—with handmade brews, from serious small-batch stuff to larger (but still pretty small, considering) independent commercial production facilities.

Odessa is in Pasco County, maybe half an hour from both northern Pinellas County (Clearwater, Tarpon Springs) and western Tampa proper. It’s still fairly rural as a Bay area bedroom community—compared to, say, Brandon—but it nonetheless features three craft breweries/tasting rooms to date: Big Storm, Escape and English pub The Wild Rover.

Here’s my feature on Mike Bishop, who moved to Pasco to escape the creeping sprawl of other Bay area neighborhoods, and ended up founding an artisanal brewery that’s one of the most widely distributed in the state. (Photo by Kevin Tighe for Creative Loafing.)