Ben Johnson

I'm a software person at Prodigy and seem to be making a lot of bread and pizza right now.

Bread

Longform

2020-09-16: Having trouble reconciling my memory of the underdog Apple, whose only ambition was to make and sell …

2020-09-15: From Kindle to Bear I was looking for an easy way to import my Kindle highlights into Bear, as I’ve been using Bear as …

2020-08-14: Reason my 4-year-old is furious with me: I won’t buy him a huge live-in camping trailer for our car.

2020-08-08: This post on Apple vs. XBox Game Pass is fantastic. Gruber has been crushing it recently. Between …

2020-08-03: Acorn is an incredible image editor for the cost. My version of Photoshop no longer works with …

2020-07-31: Sometimes McSweenys just nails it: An Open Letter to the T&T Supermarket Clerk Who Was Told to …

2020-07-30: The NYT Article About the Election Delay Tweet Could Be About My 4-year-old Reading this article I can’t help but think of a preschooler who desperately needs a time-out. Mr. …

2020-07-30: Pesto, Mozzarella, Romano in the Roccbox. Starting to see some progress with the extreme heat.

2020-07-19: When I imagined being a parent, I never expected that one day my search history would contain “My …

2020-07-15: How has no one rebooted Captain Planet yet?

2020-07-13: Was woken up in the night by the kiddo while I was in the middle of a dream about updating the …

2020-07-07: Finished a whole 20kg bag of flour. Never thought it would happen, but much bread and pizza was …

2020-07-01: A reminder to all those trying something new: give yourself permission to suck at first. In …

2020-07-01: For all the complaints about Apple’s current software quality, Keynote on the iPad is a work of art …

2020-06-24: Guilherme Rambo wrote the definitive guide to CloudKit. If only Apple’s own docs were this good.

2020-06-22: I’m really impressed by the look and feel of this WWDC. If they did this from now on I wouldn’t mind …

2020-06-22: I was wrong! Actual Developer Kit Mac Mini Hardware for the ARM transition.

2020-06-22: I wish newspapers like the NYTimes or the Globe and Mail would let you pay a little more to turn off …

2020-06-20: Lots of people are talking about what Apple is going to do with ARM test hardware. My bet: iPad as …

2020-06-18: Yeah, Apple is on the wrong side of this fight with Hey. Requiring this insane degree of nuance in …

2020-06-18: My son has been falling asleep with help from the sounds of Dark Noise. For some reason, the sound …

2020-06-17: They’re renaming Aunt Jemima and Uncle Bens. I honestly can’t believe that this took 130 …

2020-06-17: This is a really good post from Andrew Canion on replicating some of the features of Hey.com in …

2020-06-11: The thing about my philosophy degree that has stuck the longest is the ability to see and empathize …

2020-06-08: I’m a sucker for any behind-the-scenes-of-business-during-a-crisis story, but this one is even about …

2020-06-07: Whoa. The Amazon iOS app now lets you purchase Kindle books. I guess the deal with Apple extended …

2020-06-06: Can’t say enough good things about The Original Bug Shirt. The feeling when you’ve got 10 …

2020-06-05: My mother-in-law bought me a nice basil plant to support my pizza habit. Makes much more sense than …

2020-06-01: “Mr. Trump said he planned for a police and law enforcement presence to “dominate the streets” and …

2020-05-31: The difference 15 minutes makes. I pulled the one on the left early because my kiddo and I had to …

2020-05-29: More pizza progress. Kids, margarita, pesto, mushroom, and all dressed. 28 hour proof then frozen. …

2020-05-27: The fold in the SpaceX Spacesuit reminds me of the grille on the original Tesla Model S. It’s not …

2020-05-25: “Collect a variety of sticks and line them up in order from shortest to tallest!” My son’s poor …

2020-05-24: My father-in-law redeemed the free year of Apple TV+ and was incredibly confused when in the app he …

2020-05-23: Let’s say the meat packing plants stay closed for an extended period. How long will meat need to be …

2020-05-22: I think the Canada Revenue Service may not be Cloud Native™ yet.

2020-05-21: Heads Up Display with OmniFocus I’ve been using OmniFocus for task management for at least a decade. In all that time, I’ve …

2020-05-20: My micro.blog book📚recommendation is Ken Forkish’s The Elements of Pizza. It’s amazing how fast I …

2020-05-20: Made Spinach & Feta Gözleme for lunch. My son eats half of it and then looks up says “Hey! Who …

2020-05-19: Small, Nimble, and Quick I’m a big fan of larger frameworks like Django or Rails or UIKit. I know there’s a bit of a war …

2020-05-19: Pesto, mozzarella, basil. 48 hour proof. I’m getting better at getting the pizzas off the peel.

2020-05-18: Back into the bread making spirit. 14 hour poolish. The one in the Dutch oven got a little toasty.

2020-05-17: My son’s writing and reading has devolved since COVID, but he can now swing on a swing set on his …

2020-05-15: Looks nice, tastes terrible. Added 1/3 of the whole wheat flour and it’s got an unpleasant cardboard …

2020-05-10: First attempt with the pizza steel. Good results, decent leoparding on the bottom, but the dough was …

2020-05-07: I’m moving into pizza territory.

2020-05-01: Might as well document the failures too. This was from a poolish made with 1847 bread flour. I …

2020-04-29: By far the best result yet. Overnight poolish.

2020-04-26: Now we’re talking. Just plain AP flour “Saturday Loaf”.

2020-04-19: First attempt at pure flour with kneading. Worked ok, but this is underbaked. Tin foil impeded the …

2020-04-16: Half whole wheat. No knead overnight. This one stuck.

2020-04-13: First COVID loaf. No knead, overnight.

2020-04-10: Made my first COVID bread. It’s going to need some debugging.

2020-03-21: After warning my four-year-old to not touch anything while we’re outside: “I touched the wall. Are …

2020-02-22: I wish there was a way to filter Dribbble shots to actual production work. Too much of what’s there …

2020-01-24: “I am Dark Vader and I will attack you evil Stormtrooper with my LifeSaver.” Must… …

2019-12-31: New Years is a tough concept to explain to a 4-year-old with a tenuous understanding of time and …

2019-12-21: Christmas is the perfect time to make new Shortcuts. 👨‍💻🌲❄️

2019-11-25: Well, that seems like an abuse of your platform…

2019-10-24: “That little birdy is like so extra.” He’s freaking 4 and he’s already a millennial.

2019-10-21: TDD: Tea Driven Development. The tests should be finished running in the time it takes to sip from a …

2019-10-21: “It looks like baby mush, but it tastes really good!” — My wife complimenting my cooking.

2019-09-30: You could replace the goose with my child and nothing about the game would need to change. Even the …

2019-09-21: Can’t wait for the Apple Watch to notify me when my child is causing irreversible damage to my …

2019-09-07: “No Daddy! You can’t build the rocket! You’re bad at building things like IKEA and it will explode!”

2019-09-07: Feedbin and Fiery Feeds is a killer combo. RSS, email newsletters, Twitter, and Read Later all in …

2019-09-02: Goldfish are basically the pugs of fish.

2019-09-01: How to know if your child may have watched too much Peppa Pig: Me: “We might even see some cows.” …

2019-08-31: It’s refreshing how good Go’s standard library is. After getting used to JavaScript, and deeply …

2019-08-29: My almost-four-year-old: “Daddy! I want to watch the YouToots Video.”

2019-08-29: Pumpkin Spice Latte in August is totally cheating. It’s still summer!

2019-07-05: It’s 2019. Why can’t I buy washer fluid at the pump?

2019-06-29: If you ever want to see in example of Radical Candour go to a playground. Well, maybe that’s just …

2019-06-28: Introducing the Ben Mari Three Dimensional Folding Method™. Step 1: pick up shirt, Step 2: roll into …

2019-06-11: Well, someone is definitely going to need to build Prettier for SwiftUI…

2019-06-08: SwiftUI is a fantastic implementation of ideas from React. The mark of success is that the feedback …

2019-05-27: It’s 4am and the kid isn’t sleeping. When we ask why, he says that what he really wants is to shave …

2019-05-25: Trying to explain to my kid why Jello doesn’t start with a G really makes it obvious how dumb …

2019-05-20: Popcorn is totally an acceptable side dish right? If chips is definitionally a side dish, it must …

2019-05-16: Me: “I missed you so much!” Three-year-old: “I missed these candies.”

2019-04-25: YouTube Family: Like YouTube Premium but the ads are replaced with messages from your parents.

2019-04-16: Who needs a weighted blanket when you have a cat?

2019-04-07: A few hours into our trip to America and we’ve discovered that Kraft Mac and Cheese™ is incredibly …

2019-04-02: Brexit is basically a troubled monolith-to-microservices transition.

2019-03-24: Why eat normal Bananas like a peasant when you can have Limited Edition Captain Marvel Bananas™.

2019-03-05: Why my mother decided to get my child an electronic toy megaphone is beyond me. “I just don’t think …

2019-02-26: My child has discovered that he can filibuster his way out of going to school.

2019-02-17: My son is trying to convince me that there’s a universal rule that we should always have chocolate …

2018-12-15: Pups Take Mayor Humdinger to The Hague #pawpatrolseason20

2018-12-15: Pups Save Taco Tuesday #pawpatrolseason20

2018-12-15: Really surprised the Rails default is still Coffeescript.

2018-12-09: Disappointed that the new ScanSnap 64-bit software doesn’t support my S1300. It is a 7 year old …

2018-12-08: Thirteen years since it was released and Why’s Poignant Guide is still the best programming book …

2018-12-02: “Look Daddy! It comes apart!” Holds up now broken thing.

2018-11-28: Dark Reader is so much more impressive than I would have thought.

2018-10-24: I’m convinced my child believes that Siri and Alexa are in cahoots to control the weather.

2018-10-17: “Some things are really obvious, but most issues are pretty complicated, and to be self righteous …

2018-10-09: Process for giving a pill to my cat: 1) place pill on counter, 2) sterilize hands, 3) split pill …

2018-10-07: “Before her husband vanished on a trip to China, he had sent her a phone message with an emoticon of …

2018-09-30: We need a escape room for toddlers. They should have to build a key with LEGO to open the lock to …

2018-09-18: Just a regular breakfast-time conversation with my three-year-old about the downsides of capitalism …

2018-09-09: When using my bank’s website, nothing makes me feel more secure than when I see …

2018-08-25: I’m sorry sir, but our engineers have been in the lab nights and weekends for the last month. We’ve …

2018-08-23: Climate change is basically poorly managed tech debt.

2018-08-19: Today a grocery store employee demoed to me the amazing new automated checkout lane that will …

2018-08-18: Today a grocery store employee demoed to me the amazing new automated checkout lane that will …

2018-08-17: I don’t agree with Trump about much, but quarterly reporting is insidious. Semi-annual would make …

2018-08-06: The Coffee Compass: Amazing guide to help dial into better coffee.

2018-07-17: Me: “Do you know what they’re building?” Two-year-old: “THEY’RE BUILDING A CONE!”

2018-07-17: Me: “Are there any cars coming?” Two-year-old: “No.” Me: “Did you look?” Two-year-old: “No.”

2018-07-16: The older I get the more dedicated I feel to starting from evidence and facts. Honest evidence …

2018-07-04: I’m really feeling the Beaverton’s coverage of parenting.

2018-06-24: Me: “No, eat some dinner and then you can have chocolate.” Eats a solitary grain of rice. Two-year …

2018-06-16: If you dress one way for long enough, at some point you’re fashionable.

2018-06-13: I really wish JavaScript had a range operator. 😢

2018-06-06: Week 3 of our Bird Feeder Journey. The birds have flocked to such a degree that there has been a …

2018-05-26: I would pay good money to watch The Parenting Olympics™. Sample events: Diaper Relay, Solo Bedtime …

2018-05-14: The Crocs slogan is “Come as you are.” They might as well have made it: “Fuck it, let yourself go.”

2018-05-13: There is much room for improvement in bagel slicer technology. I don’t want a giant guillotine …

2018-05-10: An excellent overview of ways to weigh and balance technical debt: A Taxonomy of Tech Debt

2018-05-01: With every passing day it seems like there might be a sequel to Inception about getting Kim Jong-un …

2018-04-30: My kid is the Donald Trump of 💩. He’s actively pooping: “I’m not pooping! I don’t have to poop! …

2018-04-28: Submitting an app to the Play Store Console and iTunes Connect at the same time is such a great …

2018-04-23: TV Show Pitch: A boy’s stuffed animals (named Bunny and Teddy) escape during the day and join …

2018-04-21: That’s my secret, Cap. I’m always tired.

2018-04-15: Hey! In our family we say “octopi”. Not this silly “octopusses”. 🐙

2018-04-14: Just last weekend I was thinking it was time to start planting for the spring and now there is …

2018-04-13: I’m suprised that Apple hadn’t added a system-wide dark mode to iOS yet. They have the ability to …

2018-04-10: Someone needs to write a good single-purpose tool for safely doing git squashes. Maybe Tower will …

2018-04-09: Kind of amazed that no network has done a successful procedural show about the CDC (à la Outbreak).

2018-04-09: So far this week I’ve got two security notices that my username and passwords have been …

2018-04-08: Alexa Routines make me feel like I’m telling the computer on Star Trek to do a thing. They even …

2018-04-04: Subscription Publishing As much as we’re all going to need to watch our subscription counts, I’m looking forward to the …

2018-04-04: This might not be a popular opinion, but I think the Reddit design team did an excellent job on the …

2018-04-02: I wonder if the Apple plans to make own Mac processors leak is purposeful. If the Mac OS/iOS bridge …

2018-03-25: Just a regular reminder that StillTasty exists and is amazing. Wanna know how long that thing will …

2018-03-22: Paw Patrol is fundamentally libertarian. An incompetent mayor of a town seemingly without any social …

2018-03-05: I wish Bear had a menu bar item to rapidly switch between themes. Night is a time for a night theme.

2018-02-26: Really looking forward to OmniFocus 3. It’ll avoid the current hacks required to manage a sortable …

2018-02-25: It’s 10° out. That’s basically summer right? We’re taking out the Blendtec and …

2018-02-24: I hope that one day, Netflix manages to convince Ricky Jay to do a special.

2018-02-21: This dialog is terrible for security. I’m reasonably sure it’s from iCloud because it occasionally …

2018-02-14: CSS Grid Garden: A game for learning CSS grid.

2018-02-05: All this VC money pouring into Silicon Valley is supporting the greatest minds in the world as they …

2018-02-04: This update addresses an issue that could cause Messages conversations to temporarily be listed out …

2018-01-31: Unread is a fantastic RSS reader for iOS. It’s changed ownership, but the fundamental magic of …

2018-01-29: For more Thomas the Tank Engine insanity, this New Yorker article is a great introduction.

2018-01-29: In this episode of Thomas the Tank Engine, Thomas wants to carry some tourist passengers, but they …

2018-01-27: I find nothing more frustrating than a SaaS product that makes you dig to find pricing (or even …

2018-01-26: I’m definitely looking forward to these OmniFocus changes. Especially being able to sort …

2018-01-25: All elected officials should have to undergo a mandatory course and certification on statistics and …

2018-01-24: 📚 Does anyone have any recommendations for a Goodreads alternative? I miss Readernaut.

2018-01-23: At this point I think Children’s Advil should probably come in a placebo formulation. Though, …

2018-01-23: It really seems like installing a small security update for High Sierra should not take 20 minutes. …

2018-01-22: My Micro Monday suggestion is @stewartstarbuck. I make this audible squee noise whenever I see …

2018-01-21: Rockin’ the ‘stache.

2018-01-20: Took the boy to the Toronto Boat Show today. After sitting in the speedboats, it was all he was …

2018-01-20: Having a kid is being blessed every day with a hotel wake up service where you can’t control when …

2018-01-19: I started tracking my sleep with AutoSleep and discovered I’m only sleeping four and a half hours a …

2018-01-17: When there’s no tests or documentation and the system requirements aren’t clear, …

2018-01-16: YouTube: What the vegan creator of Peaceful Cuisine eats in a day. This is very different from my …

2018-01-16: I’d love to know the background of why Chip and Pin is so fantastically difficult to implement in …

2018-01-15: It’s pretty easy for “providing a valuable product for users” to turn into “designing addictive …

2018-01-14: Canada could really use a pay-per-minute dry sauna startup right about now. Pay $20 to remember what …

2018-01-13: I love this collection from 512Pixels of OS X wallpapers from every release upscaled to 5K so they …

2018-01-12: How do all these kids shows only have a single female character. And, of course, they’re entirely …

2018-01-10: 🎙 Sometimes it’s nice to listen to a relaxing podcast. I’m really enjoying The Incomparable’s Low …

2018-01-09: Excited to see that micro.blog is a supporter of Emoji Driven Development. Screw the blockchain, I’m …

2018-01-09: Having a dream about my inability to sleep.

2018-01-07: Ramp Up and Interruptions RescueTime suggests that peak programmer hours are on average between 2pm and 6pm. This aligns with …

2018-01-07: Yesterday, we used the Instant Pot to make eggs for breakfast, hot dogs for the kiddo for lunch, and …

2018-01-06: Given that it was Google that discovered Meltdown and Spectre, and hardware vendors were notified on …

2018-01-05: I just noticed that the sleep sack I’ve been putting my kid in for a year has a giant warning label …

2018-01-04: I really like this Manager’s FAQ by Henry Ward. It is overly simplistic in some places, but it’s a …

2018-01-03: It’s fascinating that Amazon has such a inconsistent visual style. They obviously have a legion of …

2018-01-02: I’m really enjoying only being able to edit CSS on hosted micro.blog sites. Eventually …

2018-01-01: The magic of the Instant Pot isn’t that it’s faster. It’s that all the recipes are hands off once …

2018-01-01: No, I don’t think you understand Daddy. I requested ice cream for breakfast. If ice cream is …

2017-12-31: Still waiting for Jerry O’Connell’s big comeback.

2017-12-29: It’s really important to read the privacy policies of these new email clients. Many of their …

2017-12-28: Dokku is a great solution to hosting a bunch of low-traffic internal or hobby sites. It’s …

2017-12-27: Never mind that Yarn is faster, leveraging the power of emoji makes it feel faster. 🏎💨

2017-12-26: I really don’t like it when someone casually says that something is a “solved problem”. It conflates …

2017-12-25: Sorry kids, Santa has a strict “no presents until the first coffee has been consumed” policy.

2017-12-24: Perfect holiday snowfall.

2017-12-23: Framework Feel and Mark Gurman’s Combined iOS/Mac User Experience There’s been a bunch of discussion about Mark Gurman’s article on Apple working on a single user …

2017-12-23: Pillow firmness and material should be an option at most hotels. It makes a huge difference to the …

2017-12-22: The way my 2017 CR-V is handing driver assist in winter conditions is making me much more …

2017-12-21: BundlePhobia is an incredibly good site for finding the cost of adding an npm package to a frontend. …

2017-12-19: For all their talk about Lean, it’s pretty clear that the service people at this Honda do not …

2017-12-18: Nothing makes me feel older than the speed at which my kid bounces back from a flu. He goes from …

2017-12-16: I appreciate the horror of the Trump Administration banning words. But if we’re going to cross that …

2017-12-15: I really wish Node had an ORM as robust and battle-tested as SQLAlchemy or ActiveRecord.

2017-12-15: Micro.blog has suddenly become a dangerous place for spoilers given the lack of mute filters. Feels …

2017-12-14: It seems to me like limiting net neutrality rules is going to backfire on the telcos as tech …

2017-12-13: The Harry’s Face Wash is surprisingly amazing. Exfoliating, not horrific for the environment, feels …

2017-12-12: Opening the emoji panel made Airpods stop working, so everything with software is totally fine. …

2017-12-11: As a proud Canadian, I firmly believe that winter tires should be tax deductible.

2017-12-09: We’ve had an Echo for three days and my two-year-old already talks to her like she’s part of the …

2017-12-09: Scaling Slack’s Job Queue: Excellent write-up on migrating a gigantic job queue to new …

2017-12-08: One of the best things about React is that good React comes from designing high quality data …

2017-12-06: Adventures in parenting: can I put encyclopedic knowledge of Paw Patrol on my resume?

2017-12-06: I’m not normally against hybrid apps (all things in moderation) but the Amazon Alexa app is not a …

2017-12-04: I really wish Create React App had better support for importing and sharing components between apps. …

2017-11-29: Apple software quality at work.

2017-11-29: Pill pockets are a miracle of modern science.

2017-11-26: I’m increasingly impressed at Facebook’s initial move of defining GraphQL as a spec and not a …

2017-11-26: I really wish the good calendar apps for iOS supported Google Calendar room booking.

2017-11-19: Also helps that I’ve basically stopped buying furniture from anyone other than IKEA. With a …

2017-11-19: The IKEA VR app is mind blowing. First example of generally useful VR I’ve seen.