September 17, 2023


I write a lot of things down at work. I’m in a lot of meetings, I lead a team of 15 developers that are all working on different projects, and our team juggles the technicalities and mechanics of over three dozen different applications.

I’m completely reliant on my personal knowledgebase, or in the newer vernacular, my second brain.

I tend to remember written notes versus typed notes. I usually end up writing notes and then typing them into a searchable interface along the lines of Microsoft OneNote or even plain text documents, but it’s the handwriting activity that’s locking data into some sort of memory in my cluttered brain.

I’ve tried writing my notes using my iPad Pro and Apple Pencil directly into Microsoft OneNote, and the practice is a bit more efficient, but I don’t enjoy writing on my iPad Pro with my Apple Pencil nearly as much as using a good quality gel pen and a decent notebook. I prefer a dot grid over lined paper and I alternate between blue and black ink gel pens.

I was reading social media comments around the fact that many schools are no longer teaching cursive writing to students. It’s a shame to see the practice become a lost art, but students still need to learn how to write, and as you can see by my own penmanship shown above, it’s more about writing for legibility and efficiency, and if a student is writing in printed letters instead of using cursive, well, at least they’re writing.

One comment noted that most Gen Zers won’t know how to sign documents because without cursive they won’t have a signature, but there’s nothing that says a person’s signature has to be in cursive. A person’s signature has to be a consistent, understood mark of a person’s identity. There’s no rule in a book somewhere that says it has to be in cursive. I know a lot of folks that have beautiful signatures. My mother, both my grandmothers, and especially my sister have or had impressive signatures. My signature is functional and legible. I’ve seen plenty of young adults scrawl a bunch of lines as their signature and I know more than one person that’s just put an X or something close that on the dotted line. An impressive signature dazzles at times, but as long as the younger generation maintains the ability to hold a pencil or pen and make legible marks on a piece of paper (or slab of silicon), the world isn’t going to fall apart.

I still can’t get used to writing large amounts of information on an iPad Pro. Let’s hope pen and paper don’t go extinct.


My husband occasionally tells me I get too worked up with road rage as we’re navigating the roads, streets, and stravenues of Tucson, Arizona. For those not familiar with Tucson, as the city has grown the citizens have struck down any and every suggestion of building a crosstown freeway, eschewing the fast roadway experience for a consistent, “it’s a big city but still feels like a small town” experience. Instead of freeways we have arterials with plenty of traffic lights, lowered speed limits to make six- to eight-lane roadways “pedestrian friendly”, and folks driving quickly on surface streets because we don’t have freeways.

Now, I’m not an overly aggressive driver, but because I’ve done a considerable amount of college-grade studying in the whole civil engineering/traffic engineering arena, I know what the books say about highway design versus what the city of Tucson and Pima County have opted to do instead, and there’s a lot of weirdness out there. Add to this the fact that a sizable number of motorists don’t even know how to work their headlights, let alone pay attention to driving instead of using their cell phone like they’re talking into a pop tart, and the plummeting average IQ of the American citizen and I’m pretty sure we can figure out why I occasionally exhibit road rage behavior. It’s not that my husband finds I’m too aggressive, it’s that he has to hear my screaming when no one else on the road is aware of my screaming.

I’ve been doing my best to keep it inside lately. We are too far along our life paths to die in our sleep after listening to the rantings of a bald man.

The thing is, people are stupid, and driving forces everyone down to the least common denominator, especially without freeways. If someone is doing something stupid in front of you, you have to slow down and let them make their dull-normal decision to turn right from the very left hand lane. There’s never a turn signal involved with this, it’s just “oh the GPS just told me to turn right and even though I’ve been in the left lane for the past 65 miles, I’m going to dart across and turn right so I can get into the Walmart parking lot”.

I’ve recently discovered that if drivers can manage to turn their headlights on, they can’t figure out how to use their high beam switch, so in addition to these needlessly bright headlights on trucks that are too tall to begin with, drivers are navigating the stravenues of Tucson with their high beams on because no one knows what that stick on the left side of the steering wheel is suppose to do. Left, right, high, low: just ignore the switch and hope for the best.

Luckily, I’m one of the few remaining Americans that knows what this is.

For those unaware, the little switch hanging down from your rear view mirror switches the mirror from “day” to “night” mode or vice-versa. Night mode dims the entire scene displayed in the mirror so the $100K Ford F350 with a nuclear fusion powered headlight system of eight, ten, or twelve lights barreling down the ass end of your Jeep Cherokee isn’t burning your retinas completely out of your head.

Unfortunately, I live with a few people that don’t know what that switch does and they leave the switch in the night position in the day time and opt to just swing the mirror around instead.

And now you know why I might yell a lot in the car.