Introducing my "now page"November 13, 2023
What’s a now page?
It’s a movement started and popularized by Derek Sivers - learn all about it at this link. In short, it’s a page that tells the world what’s going on with me at this point in my life. I’m using it as double duty for it’s own sake as well as for an “about” page for now, but that will come too eventually.
I’ve been wanting to update my site for a while, and meaning to do the now page in particular since I found out about it in like 2016. Now that I have some motivation and help with childcare, the time is right for updating this site, and a now page seemed like a natural place to start because a lot of time has passed since my last post here.
Where is it?
My now page will have a permalink at elliotec.com/now. The first update ever goes out today with this post, and I don’t know if or how I plan to archive updates to it (aside from git I suppose), so I’m going to post the contents of the first update below.
Updated November 12, 2023, from my home in Salt Lake City.
For my day job, I work as a Director of Engineering at ezCater, the largest online marketplace for catering and corporate food solutions. I’ve been in this role for a bit over a year now, and it’s a blast.
My primary focus is overseeing the Demand Product Engineering organization building the ecommerce marketplace, ML-powered recommendation engines, and account management tools for our highest value customers.
I spend most of my time setting and communicating the vision for technical strategy on company product development goals, their execution plans, portfolio stewardship, and org design.
I work remotely and go to the headquarters in Boston for a few days every couple months.
My wife and I (and a bunch of contractors) completed a major house addition and remodel. We started design in mid 2020 and moved in early 2023. It took longer and was more expensive than expected, but we are very happy with the result.
We have a daughter! She’s 2 now, and the best thing in the world. This is the realest reason why I haven’t made any posts on this site lately. She’s where I spend most of my time, but it’s time well spent. We had an Au Pair from Germany move in a month ago to help out, and it’s been amazing.
We’ve been traveling a ton. Roughly 12 countries in Asia, Europe, and Oceania, and about the same number of US states over the past few years. Covid lockdowns and living in a very small house with 2 dogs, a cat, and a baby during the remodel gave us some serious cabin fever.
I’ve been studying German in earnest for the last 5 years. I’ve had a teacher from Vienna during this time who I’ve been meeting with weekly. I’m relatively fluent now. My wife’s family is from Austria and Switzerland, so they all speak German, and we’re teaching it to our daughter.
I started the Keto diet in mid-2022 for brain health and lost a bunch of excess covid weight too. It remains my primary diet, though I ditch it now and then for vacations and special occasions.
I’ve been working with a personal trainer over the past few months to improve strength and especially mobility, inspired by reading Peter Atilla’s book Outlive.
I’ve taken most of the month of November off of alcohol, until Thanksgiving. I do this once or twice a year. It’s a lot easier with the buddy system, and my friend Shaine has joined me this time.
Oneironautics - I’ve found a renewed interest in dreams and lucid dreaming lately, inspired by the books “Dream Yoga” and “Exploring the World of Lucid Dreaming”. I’ve made a lot of progress and use the app Shape as a helpful tool for dream journaling and state checks.
I got a bunch of cool tattoos :D
Pickleball! A group of friends have been playing roughly weekly for most of this year. It’s super fun and we’re getting better.
My Synology NAS. Inspired by my previously mentioned friend Shaine and the idea of Tech Independence, I’ve been developing and improving it, usually with Shaine’s help and not enough documenting of the process, for a few years. I use it for a number of things, including:
- A file store, network-wide accessible media server, and Dropbox replacement, including auto-uploading pictures from my phone
- A note-taking center, Second Brain style (with Neovim,Vimwiki, and 1Writer)
- Self-hosted privacy front ends for Youtube and Google with Invidious and Whoogle
- Pi-hole for network-level tracker and ad blocking, DNS sinkhole, and DHCP server
- An RSS/Atom feed aggregator and reader with FreshRSS
- A Minecraft server that my friends wanted but haven’t used yet
- Nginx Proxy Manager so all these things can have domain names and SSL within my network
- Surveillance Station with Reolink PoE cameras for my home security system
- My primary email server, and hopefully soon personal calendar as well
- Not yet hosting this site, but that’s the next goal
OneWheel. I got a Pint early-pandemic, and recently upgraded to the GT as a birthday present from my wife this year. I love that thing. I have clocked about 150 miles on it in 2 months, and counting. It’s like snowboarding (my winter hobby), but you can go uphill and all around the city.
Music. I play guitar or drums almost every day that I’m home, and started self-directed piano courses with Flowkey. I travel a lot and have been thinking about portable ways to make music, carting around my harmonica before realizing I’m in a hotel room and nobody in the building wants to hear that. I’ve started playing around with Garageband on the iPad and would like to see where I can get with it.
- Recently finished the audiobook for The Five Dysfunctions of a Team for work
- Constantly referring to Team Topologies at work
- Started listening to the Children of Time series (again) at my wife’s persistent request
- Started reading The Art of Doing Science and Engineering (again) with more diligence
- Began flipping through physical copies of Unflattening and The Book
- I started using Libro.fm for audiobooks to replace Audible, and my Kindle library is so huge it’s daunting to look for an alternative for e-books but I want one.
- I also want to start updating and reviewing on my Goodreads account again, maybe I’ll get around to it.
This website has existed roughly in it’s current form for over a decade. I’ve had a bunch of thoughts around building my own SSG for the sake of it, but honestly the current set up is still working very well and it’s tough to justify a change. Maybe I’ll do some design updates, and definitely will move the server to my NAS from Digital Ocean. Other than that, I’m going to try to update this page and make more posts. See ya soon!