Song Challenge, Resurrected

I’ve been wishing that I spent a little more time playing music lately and writing songs in particular. It’s something that I’ve let slip what with kids sucking up every moment of free time in my life. Anyway, the only way I think I can do this is to provide a little structure in the form of a song contest.

This would be similar to the song contest that Dave’s sister used to run once upon a time. Basically, I’ve come up with a few song prompts and I’m hoping to write a new song each month. Any and all are invited to participate. There are no restrictions on what instruments you use, how good it sounds, how long it is, or who participates. Just make music and have fun.

You can see the prompts at a Google Doc that I’ve saved here. Any takers? I think we can publish songs here to the blog so we all get to enjoy each others’ creations. And if anyone has ideas for other prompts feel free to suggest them.

Edit: I should also add that I don’t particularly care whether your song follows the prompt or not – that’s just a means to spur some creativity.

Podcast Recommendations

I’m going to be driving out to Utah next week by myself and I’m trying to amass a collection of podcasts and audiobooks to listen to while I drive. Any good recommendations? I’ve already downloaded a bunch of Radiolabs. Any other good stuff to listen to?

Madison Ho! (Part 2)

This will probably come as a bit of a surprise to most of you, but Emeline and I (and Atti) are moving back to Madison. And if Elsa stops trying to escape from her room at 2am we might bring her too. We’ve been keeping our eyes out for opportunities outside of Chicago for a few months now. We were mostly focused on Minneapolis to be nearer to Emeline’s sister, but this position came up in Madison and the stars aligned.

The firm is called Toole Design Group (cue Dan saying something about being a tool). I’ll be focusing more on bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure now rather than mostly transit. It’s an exciting opportunity and one that I’m a little nervous for, frankly.

We’ll be sad to leave Chicago and I think we’ll miss it terribly, but we started to realize that it was time to look for something more permanent. If only we had a couple of million to buy a house here…

It seems we have a knack for leaving places as soon as someone else has plans to join us so a big apology to Mark for skipping town just as they’re getting here.

I’ll update you guys with address and whatnot. I start in mid-June so we have a little time to prepare. Hope you are all well and that you postpone any plans for having children until you can install a dungeon to keep them between the ages of 2 and 3.


Unless you haven’t checked your email lately, you probably saw that we had our baby boy yesterday and named him Atticus, after Archbishop Atticus of Constantinople, of course. The birth went relatively smoothly and they should be coming home from the hospital later tonight. Here are some pictures for you to enjoy:

Em getting started


Shortly after birth



Hands full
Elsa gets to hold Atticus for the first time
We’re immensely grateful that everything went well and feel that we’ve been very blessed. We hope you are all doing well.