Install Imagick to a CircleCI container

If you need Imagick for your WordPress test suite, you might run into a cryptic Exited with code 141 error:

Fortunately, you can ignore this error! Simply append || true to your install statement. In total, your Imagick incantations will look like this:

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install -y libmagickwand-dev --no-install-recommends
yes '' | sudo pecl install imagick || true
sudo docker-php-ext-enable imagick


Testimony for Oregon House Bill 2001

Oregon’s House Bill 2001 would re-legalize “missing middle” housing across the state (previously). It’s in committee right now, and they’re accepting testimony on the bill. Here’s what others have said. And, after the break, here’s what I just submitted!

Continue reading “Testimony for Oregon House Bill 2001”

Idea: notes archive

I take a ton of notes in (and previously Simplenote). My preferred workflow is to keep a note in until I’m “done” with it. At the point of done, I save the note as PDF to a local folder.

This distinction between active notes and completed notes is key for how my mind works. Something about reducing mental clutter, or insert your diagnosis here. I want to keep the notes around for future reference but I want them stored on my shelf.

I’d love to instead have a dedicated app serve as my note archive. It could be web or cross-platform as long as it kept privacy at the forefront. Importantly, it would be read-only; it wouldn’t take on the concern of also providing an editing interface.

Back on the coffee today

On Sunday, I survived my first day without coffee. Then yesterday, I survived a second day without coffee.

Pros of coffee abstinence include:

  • Better sleep.
  • Generally feeling a ton healthier.

Cons of coffee abstinence include:

  • Low-grade headache and other withdrawal symptoms.
  • Leah questioning my sanity.

I am back on the coffee today.

Update 2/11: I’m off for 12 days now, woo hoo

Highlights from Dreamland

One of the most important books of the decade:

They couldn’t conceive of their children on heroin. For every symptom, the parents had an answer. Did they see burned aluminum foil around the house? We thought he was burning incense. Was he slurring his speech? He was getting over the flu. Were his grades falling? He was going through a phase.


Drug overdoses passed fatal vehicle accidents nationwide for the first time in 2008.


It was true about much of a country where the streets were barren on summer evenings and kids no longer played Kick the Can as parents watched from porches. That dreamland had been lost and replaced, all too often, finally, by empty streets of bigger, nicer houses hiding addiction that each family kept secret.

Sam Quinones — Dreamland: The True Tale of America’s Opiate Epidemic

Idea: Kickstarter for events

Events are great because they bring people together.

In scenarios where there isn’t already a cohesive group, organizing an event has two risks:

  1. Will enough people sign up to make the planning effort worthwhile?
  2. Will the people who signed up actually show up?

A Kickstarter for events could solve these two problems.

First, the event would have some minimum number of signups required for the event to happen. It doesn’t happen if it doesn’t achieve critical mass.

Next, the organizer would track which signups actually show up at the event. This data could then contribute to the attendee’s reputation score on the platform, and calculate the likelihood of attendence.

Problem worth solving? It seems mundane but I keep wanting this for situations I come across in the real world.

Four short links – January 24, 2019

Reality of open source businesses, marketing ideas, income equality debate, and organizational alignment.

  1. AWS, MongoDB, and the Economic Realities of Open Source (Stratechery) — How and why MongoDB is getting massively pinched by AWS.
  2. Ideas for promoting your software product (Justin Jackson) — Good list of marketing ideas to test.
  3. Noah Smith on Worker Compensation, Co-determination, and Market Power (Econ Talk) — Great debate on the nature of income inequality growth: whether it exists (because that’s not decided), and various labor market attributes that might influence it (e.g. the growth of temp agencies).
  4. What Elon Musk Taught Me About Growing A Business (Dharmesh Shah) — The clearest articulation I’ve seen of organizational alignment and its importance. If your organization isn’t aligned, go back to start.