Blog archives

A collection of all the nonsense I've posted to the internet over the past 23 years of my blog life

  • The End of Free Boi Summer posted - 2 comments

    Retired folks often say that they somehow become busier after they stop working. This year I got a taste of what that meant. In April, I quit my job to take a break, reset, and enjoy a summer off with my educator wife. Those planned few months turned into 6+ months of "pretirement" and it was incredible. I wasn't necessarily busier in pretirement, but I was definitely more active and more productive with my own wants... read more

  • My First Hole-in-One posted

    I grew up playing golf, but fell out of the game for work and other priorities. I'd been wanting to get back into it, but kept procrastinating. So, when my friend Ben asked me to join him for 9 holes to celebrate his 40th birthday at Glen Oaks, I thought… here's my chance. At first, I was a bit intimidated and hesitant to have my first round in 8 years be at a fancy country club. I didn't even have clothes to pass dress code, but I figured this would be a great way to dive in head first and get back out there... read more

  • Joining and Leaving PayPal posted - 7 comments

    I recently decided to leave PayPal so that I could take a few months off and recharge. Here's how I got to where I'm at... 2013-2015: Building Modest Building a startup is quite an experience. In our situation, it was even more strange because we had a team of 4 with a nice chunk of funding before we even knew what to build. So, we spent ~6 months flipping back and forth between ideating and contracting while we figured things out... read more

  • Associate Principal KBROOX posted

    A couple weeks ago, Kari applied to be an Associate Principal / Dean for the largest school district in our state. She applied on the down-low, ignored most people's advice and went to her in-person interview rocking adidas wedges and kbroox fashion. She ignored dropping obvious industry buzz words and talking points, and responded as herself, with her values. This would be her first time stepping out of special education to represent the larger student population... and she apparently nailed the interview... read more

  • 2021 - The Big Disappointment posted - 1 comment

    2021 was the year that was supposed to be normal again. I really thought that we would get together and beat this pandemic, but nope. 2021 was somehow worse than 2020, at least for me. The disappointment was real. The depression was real... read more

  • The alligator in the woods posted - 2 comments

    A few weeks ago, Josh, Jeff, and I went camping at Lake Okoboji. We booked a campsite in a completely unreserved loop in the back of a state park and had the entire area to ourselves... which is always a good idea when our group gets together. The trip was great. Bullshitting... read more

  • Benny the Butthole's Short Life posted - 4 comments

    Last night, around midnight, our dog, Benny became pretty restless. He started moving about the bedroom as if he couldn't get comfortable. This was followed by incessant panting and pacing about the house. He'd had a bit of restlessness the night before, so we didn't think anything of it at first. But it kept up for quite a bit, so I tried to think about what was different that day... read more

  • Forty posted

    I’m 40 now. Almost dead. So, as I approach my final years (RIP), I’ve been reflecting a lot on the past decade and what I want going forward. On my 30th birthday, I moved to Chicago to kick off a new, stressful, and fruitful trajectory in my life and career. In that decade, I took some risks, took advantage of some big opportunities, worked hard, had some big wins, lucked out, and burned out... read more

  • Benny's Juicer posted - 1 comment

    So, Kari subscribes to this weird service that sends her random home/beauty/gym stuff every month. A couple weeks ago her package came with a juicer... but we already have a juicer. So she was gonna give it away. The next day, I found the juicer in Benny’s bed, so I asked Kari if she decided to just give it to the dog instead... read more

  • 2020 - That quarantine life posted - 3 comments

    My goals for 2020 were to: learn how to relax tinker on some smaller car/tech/house projects lose that new fat ride that bike Covid really helped me nail three of those, hah. But with nowhere to go, I didn’t get on the bike nearly as often as I wanted. So first of all, Kari and I were incredibly fortunate to have steady work, income, and a spacious home and yard during this pandemic. I absolutely feel for everyone that had their pay scaled back or eliminated, or were cooped up in apartments or city spaces without being able to fully enjoy their local amenities. The only way that I knew how to stay sane in isolation was to be outside and stay as busy as possible on projects, so I started the pandemic with a lot of yard work and small house projects... read more

  • RIP Garth Brooks posted - 4 comments

    Today, we had to say goodbye to the sweetest, most awkward, and lovable dog that I’ve ever met. Garth was a stray that was picked up in SE Iowa in 2010 and put on doggy death row at a kill shelter. A foster home in Cedar Rapids rescued him and we adopted him soon after. We got the privilege of hanging out with this sweet boy for nearly 11 years. Later in life, Garth started developing lots of tumors, which eventually found their way to his pancreas and caused him to over produce insulin and cut his blood sugar to half of what it’s supposed to be... read more

  • The Jefferson Lake Fiasco posted

    We went on the sketchiest hike today. It was at Jefferson lake, which sits in the mountains between the cabin we're staying at and our friend, Clint and Jacqui’s house. It's a very pretty lake, with no one else around, and what seemed to be a nice, easy trail. A little over 1/3 of the way around the lake, we had a decision to make.. Go all the way around or go back the way we came... read more

  • Two Thousand Nineteen posted

    A few weeks into 2020 and I’m still not sure how I feel about 2019. The entire year felt like remodeling and travel... which turned out to be a lot less chill and a lot less healthy than I had hoped for. House I started small by tiling a window ledge in my office. Then, I remodeled the entire basement (with a little help on the plumbing, flooring, tile, and drywall)... read more

  • Twenty Eighteen. posted - 2 comments

    I really, really want to bring this suuuuper dated website up-to-date, but I've been so focused on things outside of technology that I haven't devoted any time to broox dot com. Let's fix that... at least for one blog post.. and talk about last year. 2018 felt incredibly productive... read more

  • Marv Hardisty posted - 5 comments

    At the end of my senior year of college, I drove out to this country road to make a phone call. There was a spot on the edge of this cornfield that I always went to for important calls (without being interrupted by one of my crazy dorm mates). I was making a call to Marv Hardisty because I'd interviewed for a position on his team a couple weeks prior and wanted to check in. It was for my first potential, big corporate job after college and Marv would've been my boss's boss if I landed the gig. Once Marv got on the phone, the first thing he wanted to talk about was the portfolio of work on my personal website... read more

  • Rilee's Big Walk posted - 1 comment

    So, we're dogsitting Kari's parents' dog, Rilee, right now while they're traveling... and before I go out of town tomorrow, Kari wanted to see if she could walk both dogs at the same time. Our dog is kind of an asshole on the leash, just letting his nose pull him every which way, and Rilee is kind of annoying to walk with as well. She really pulls on the leash and is one of those dogs that violently kicks all 4 feet, tearing up the lawn after every time she pees or poops or whatever. Walking them together was gonna be a chore... read more

  • Sixteen and Seventeen posted

    At the end of the year, I always try to write a little retrospective blog that highlights all the awesome things that happened. It's one of the few times that I actually take the time to write on this weird little site anymore. But, I didn't do that retrospective for one of the seemingly raddest and most successful years of my life: 2016. It took a while, but I eventually realized that despite the rad experiences, I didn't write about 2016 because I was generally unhappy. Over the past couple years, I've been stuck in my head... read more

  • My first trip to Asia posted - 1 comment

    Some weeks ago, my friends Harper, Ivan, Abbie, and I flew to Southeast Asia to meet with a bunch of small companies and do some research for work. It was my first time in Asia, and actually, the furthest east and south that I've ever been. As cliche as it sounds, it really is a-whole-nother world over there. The way they've completely skipped over things that have changed or slowed down innovation in the US was super interesting. The fashion, diets, and everything in Asia is just so different, and in many ways, much better... read more

  • Our trip to Mukul Resort in Nicaragua posted

    As a lot of you know, Kari and I just got back from a pretty rad trip to a resort in Nicaragua... and nearly everyone we've talked to about it asks, "how did you pick Nicaragua?" Well, it kind of started with our friends' Mindy and Ryan's wedding. They had a destination wedding a couple years ago at the Banyan Tree Mayakoba resort in Mexico. Here, we had our own villa that came with it's own pool - devoid of other people's children and ... well devoid of everyone... read more

  • Our Master Bathroom Remodel posted

    So, after having every single room in our house anywhere from 25-95% done for several months, I finally decided to buck up and finish a room... The master bathroom/closet... and I'm gonna tell you all about it. Our goals were pretty simple. Make it bigger, more modern, more accommodating, and more "spa like" - a phrase thrown around wayyyyy too often during the entire process... read more