Jake LaCaze


Tanya Sharma and Dafni Chontou, the founders of Wonderpath, share two journaling methods to get you started in 2022:

  1. The just-do-it method
  2. The more organized method (with a second brain application)

I’m currently trying a mix of the two. I first write my posts by hand and then have a weekly archive/review period on Saturday or Sunday, when I type my entries into my daily notes in Obsidian.

I’m realizing that, for me, writing by hand is great for finding ideas, but I don’t have to be precious about my notebooks and keep them forever—that’s what a digital solution like Obsidian is for.

Why has DuckDuckGo’s growth slowed so much?

By all measures, DuckDuckGo is losing steam.

It’s possible that the search engine is suffering from lack of innovation.

There were no notable developments from DuckDuckGo last year, other than the company announcing plans to launch a desktop browser.

Another possibility is privacy isn’t a great concern to people when they search the web.

Or they do care about it, but they’ve decided it’s not worth the tradeoff of switching from Google to DuckDuckGo.

The data suggests there’s a limited amount of users who care enough about privacy to change their search behavior, and perhaps DuckDuckGo has reached a majority of those people.

As much as DuckDuckGo touts privacy as a good thing for searchers, it can also be a hinderance when it comes to the quality of search results.

This is especially true when it comes to local searches. Since DuckDuckGo doesn’t know your exact location, its search results struggle to provide the same value as Google’s local SERPs.

DuckDuckGo Growth Drops As It Celebrates Milestone on Search Engine Journal

The dog enjoys reading Stretch by Scott Sonenshein as much as I do.

Rewilding our imaginations takes time and effort and creativity. But the rewards are great and they’re essential to feed the bubbling cauldron of our creativity. Finding our own paths through the vast thickets of information and inspiration is a gritty, funky adventure.

But much tastier than the bland, starchy troughs of the Metaverse.

Rewilding your Imagination by Danny Gregory

I finally had to see what the Wordle hype was all about.

Wordle 211 4/6

⬛🟨🟨⬛🟨
🟩⬛⬛🟩🟩
🟩⬛⬛🟩🟩
🟩🟩🟩🟩🟩

Going above and beyond can sometimes backfire.

Because I had said yes to every assignment, in hopes that would help me move on to my next opportunity, I had become indispensable, and my manager wouldn’t let me go. Being indispensable had temporarily killed my career.

Also:

While job-hoppers can be viewed as unreliable or lacking commitment, those who have stayed too long in a role can be perceived as stagnant, too comfortable, and not innovative. Staying in the same role too long can also impact your confidence and your own view of your capabilities. Ultimately, it can stand in the way of your career growth and advancement.

When Being Indispensable Backfires from Harvard Business Review

Epic marketing fail, Coca-Cola

Here’s an interesting counter argument to the idea of valuing experiences over things. In a nutshell, we live in an era in which things are cheap while experiences are not. We should instead seek to minimize certain experiences, such as education, real estate, and healthcare.

Also, buying the right things strategically can enhance our lives in ways we don’t recognize.

Here’s the post: Buy Things Not Experiences!

I love the way economists view situations and challenge the status quo. If I could do it all over again, maybe I would major in economics, though marketing ain’t so bad either.

NFTs offer the potential for creators to be better compensated for their work. There are also positive signs that firms will continue to innovate and invest in hardware and services that should reduce fees and increase security. However, like most “revolutionary” technologies, they will ultimately prove evolutionary, changing lives in ways that are meaningful, but likely less dramatic than envisioned. This is the great truth of technological progress: It’s always more boring than we expect.

Web3 by Scott Galloway

Commence the rebrand

It’s LinkedIn and Polywork official: I’ve left the oil and gas industry.

I couldn’t be more excited. And it’s hard to imagine how I could have gotten any luckier.

My new career

After nearly 14 years as a petroleum land professional, I will finally be using my marketing degree as a marketing specialist for a local IT services company.

During my job search, I focused on technical writing jobs while also testing other waters. Though this is a marketing position, my interest and studying of technical writing will come in handy as I communicate to potential clients why exactly IT support is crucial.

This job will marry so many of my interests: writing, marketing, and technology.

I couldn’t have drawn it up better if I’d tried.

Appreciation for my old career

As I say goodbye to a career in oil and gas, I want to be sure to take a moment to say thank you. I can’t imagine how my life would have shaped if I hadn’t stumbled into the oil and gas business. I was lucky to have been in the right place at the right time—in the Barnett Shale in 2008 and the Permian Basin in 2012—when opportunities were plenty, allowing me to level up my career as if I had entered some kind of cheat code.

The oil and gas industry is where I cut my teeth as a professional. It’s where all my greatest accomplishments have so far taken place.

For all these reasons and more, I am grateful.

But it’s time to move on

All that said, my run in the oil and gas industry has come to an end. My mama told me never to wear out my welcome, and I may have already stuck around too long.

It’s time for a change. It’s time for new adventures.

But before I get too far down this path, I want to share a blog post about my job search journey, which I hope to do sometime in the next couple weeks.

New fountain pen day!

Platinum Preppy with stock ink and cartridge

Jinhao 992 with Noodler’s Midway Blue ink…I think I’m in love with this ink.

Fountain pens: Platinum Preppy with stock ink and cartridge; Jinhao 992 with Noodler's Midway Blue ink

I know next to nothing about web3. But nearly 14 years in oil and gas have taught me to be wary of hype ignoring threats or pitfalls.

Crypto/blockchain/web3 will likely present some legitimate changes and opportunities, but they will be far fewer than the prophets would have us believe.

Some will make a killing. Others will lose a lot. Getting in early is high-risk, high-reward. Nothing new there

George W. Bush Karl Rove said what!?

Markup of a confusing headline

Who had the better hair: my mama or my papa?

Discuss.

2022 intentions

2021 was a great year in terms of meeting my goals. But I’m looking to try something different in 2022.

Jas Hothi recently made an interesting proposal on his blog: Instead of setting rigid goals for the new year, try establishing your intentions for the next 365 days. He also recommended defining a one-word theme for the coming year.

For 2022, my theme will be create. I spent a lot of time in 2021 studying writing, including working through the bulk of my technical writing certification. But in 2022, I need to focus more on doing, on active verbs, on showing and not telling.

Reconnect with my inner artist

Yeah, it sounds hippie dippy, but it’s necessary. I’ve sold out my inner artist in the name of being a professional. One of my intentions going forward is to learn how to integrate the two. You don’t have to be one or the other—you can be both at the same time.

But to do so, I have to acknowledge my artistic inclinations. I have to be real about this part of myself.

What exactly does this all mean? How will I go about doing it?

That’s something I’ll have to figure out as the days unwind.

Disconnect from screens more often

I don’t know how exactly to quantify this intention, but I want to spend less time in front of screens. Screens are pretty much a necessity for 21st century living. But the technology giveth and the technology taketh, so while technology can make certain parts of lives easier, it also drains brainpower and distracts past the point of productivity.

But rest easy: I’m not looking to go back to the Stone Age, at least not full time.

To disconnect more often, I need to be more intentional about my usage. Be efficient, get stuff done, but don’t linger on screens out of habit. Pick up a pen and some paper and write something, anything that may lead to new ideas. Pick up your Kindle and read one of your 300+ unread books.

Maybe I’m cheating by not classifying the Kindle as a screen. But oh well, it’s better than sticking my face in a tablet or monitor. It’s like vaping compared to smoking. Yeah, vaping isn’t as healthy as being completely clean, but it’s better than sucking on cancer sticks.

Write daily journal/diary entries

I’ve tried long-form journaling off and on for years, and for some reason, the practice never sticks. But I’m going to make a point of sticking with this daily in 2022. If nothing else, a daily journal or diary entry is great writing practice, and some days, it may be the best practice I can squeeze in.

Intentions unrelated to creating

Lose 13 pounds

I lost 20 pounds in the second half of 2021. I feel great and I’m proud of my weight loss. I want to ride the momentum I’ve created so that I can lose 13 more pounds. I’m going to have to buy better-fitting clothes when it’s all said and done, so I might as well see how low I can go.

Transition out of the oil and gas industry

This will be the goal that stretches me in 2022. In December 2021 I became a free agent, and I think it’s time to walk away from oil and gas. I’ve drifted away from my natural skills in an attempt to stay relevant in the industry, and I’m burned out on the cyclical nature of a career so closely tied to a commodity.

I’m focusing on getting into technical writing, though I’m keeping my options open.

Happy new year

A new year is upon us. While any day is a good day for healthy change, the new year is a natural cue to reflect on all the ways we can improve our lives and the lives of those around us.

So, what are you intentions and themes for 2022? Please write them into existence and share them with others. Don’t hold them all to yourself.

This morning was the first time I ever heard “The Thing” by Pixies, a remix of the end of “The Happening”. The spoken word portion—hypnotic and beautiful and chilling—of the original tune remains one of my favorite snippets of music.

Toward the end of my first listen, I realized I had goosebumps, around the time when Black Francis said, “Everyone was remembering to forget they had the chills,” as if on cue.

The title of my post about one of America’s first UFO crashes, “The happening in Aurora, Texas” is a proud reference to the original song. Would the incident have appealed to me if it weren’t for Pixies and their songs about UFOs and aliens and other planets? I don’t believe in little green men in cigar-shaped ships who crash into windmills in old rural Texas. But that doesn’t mean I can’t enjoy the stories, the art the beliefs of others inspire.

It’s interesting the not-so-obvious ways influences can shape you and your work. The song and the accompanying thoughts have been a welcome and unexpected early Christmas gift.

Happy holidays

I’m about 30% through The Facebook Files, a collection of the Wall Street Journal’s articles for their big exposé.

And…WSJ’s findings are pretty damning.

We were already asking whether Facebook and Instagram were good for us, but it’s another thing completely when you read about Facebook’s actions (or lack thereof) in light of its own research and findings.

This morning I recorded a couple voice memos in Obsidian on my phone.

Recording into an Obsidian note is great because I’m more likely to revisit the recording. Usually, when I go to record a voice memo in another app, I discover 7 or 8 other memos I’ve forgotten.

Also, because the memo is inside a note, it’ll be easy to elaborate the note with text all in the same place.

A buddy and I are talking about starting a podcast next year.

Last night we gave Zencastr a run at recording a podcast remotely. The test went pretty smoothly. Now I just have to learn some basic audio editing.

New adventures await.

On second thought, screw setting up my index via tags.

Using hashtags in your Obsidian index may not be aesthetically pleasing, but it gets the job done.

2021 was the year I got in touch with my feminine side. Or the year I listened to more female artists and female-led bands than typical, according to my Spotify Wrapped.

Here are some of the ladies who rocked my socks off this year:

I’m giving Obsidian yet another shot.

Here are some things I’m doing differently this time:

It’s tempting to believe that powerful people and organizations are conspiring in secret to cause mysterious or unfair events to occur. The conspiracies supposedly involve dozens of people working across many time zones in complete secrecy.

That’s unlikely. Unlikely because cooperation of this sort is hard to find, especially among the powerful, and because it’s essentially impossible to keep it a secret.

Secret conspiracies and public systems by Seth Godin

When Mom says she’s baking cookies at home

A father and daughter running along a walking trail



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