My wife keeps me grounded

This is a harmless “hairball” post I had as a draft.

Me: Hey, they added me to!
My wife: Never heard of it. (pause) Had you heard of it before?
Me: Yeah.
Wife: Really?
Me: Yeah!
Wife: (with an extra helping of sarcasm) Really?
Me: Yes!
Wife: (dripping with condescension) You’re a very important man.

One million steps

Note: this is a “hairball” post and you can ignore it. I was so proud of my first one million steps with a pre-Fitbit pedometer. Now I’ve done 13 million steps and it’s just kind of normal. For the record, the Fitbit is a great little pedometer, but I tend to lose one every few months.

On a happy note, my pedometer registered my 1 millionth step not long ago. I started wearing it in June. This is what the downloaded step data looked like earlier:

One millionth step!

Out for a few days: my grandfather is in the hospital

My grandfather has been seriously ill this week, so I’m flying tonight to be with him in Tennessee. If you’re waiting on me for a reply about something, it will probably need to wait.

I still hope to attend PubCon next week but I can’t promise that I’ll be able to make it.

Added: My grandfather passed away just a few days after this post on Friday, October 12, 2012. I was glad that I got to fly out and see him, and to tell him that he was well-loved and appreciated. He lived to be over 100, so the funeral was more of a celebration of his life. May we all live so long and so well.

Eventful Events

Updated: Okay, there’s a new plan. My wife is having surgery to put a screw in her foot, and the operation is two days before my panel. I really can’t leave her to come to SXSW. We’re going to try for me to Skype in to the panel instead. Cross your fingers.

Every so often real life catches up with you in ways you didn’t expect. My wife broke her foot a few days ago. She took a unfortunate spill off a stepstool, but she’s telling everyone it was a ninja fight. Those ninjas pack a wallop: she’ll wear a cast for up to 6-8 weeks, and the doctor said she can’t drive with her current cast. Overall, the broken foot has been a good reminder that having your bike stolen, while annoying, isn’t too horrible in the grand scheme of things.

One wrinkle is that my wife and I were going to spend about a week together at South by Southwest, and I was scheduled to participate on a panel. She’s not going now for obvious reasons (ninja fight). I’ve rejiggered my travel so I’m only away from my wife for a day but I believe I can still do the panel.

So if you want to see me at SXSW, your best chance is to come to our Q&A session: Dear Google & Bing: Help Me Rank Better! I’ll be fielding questions alongside Danny Sullivan and Duane Forrester of Bing. I’m heading back to the airport pretty much right after our panel.

Here’s a quick SXSW tip: I think you’d like Frank Warren’s PostSecret session. I recently got a chance to talk some with Frank, and he’s as thoughtful and interesting as you secretly hoped he would be.

It’s time to stop PROTECT IP

A couple months ago, I wrote this about SOPA:

SOPA galvanized the tech community, from start-ups to venture capitalists to the largest web companies. SOPA was an unexpected shock and a wake-up call. Well, guess what? Now the internet is awake. And I don’t think it’s going back to sleep any time soon. We might need to rally again in the near future, but we can do that. The internet learns fast.

Now it’s time to rally and get loud. It’s time to call your Senators. Heck, it’s time to ask your parents to call their Senators. If you think the internet is something different, something special, then take a few minutes to protect it. Groups that support SOPA have contributed nine times more money in Washington D.C. than our side. We need to drown out that money with the sound of our voices. I’d like to flood every Senator’s phone, email, and office with messages right up until January 24th.

If you need a quick refresher about why the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and PROTECT IP Act (PIPA) are horrible ideas, Google did a blog post talking about how SOPA and PIPA will censor the web and won’t stop actual pirates. Or read about how capricious takedowns can cause serious collateral damage. Find out how real, legitimate companies can be run out of business.

What you can do?
It’s time for action. Call your Senator right now. Spread the word to your friends and family. Promise not to vote for politicians who support SOPA. Print out some PDFs and post them at work or on your campus. There’s also protests and meetups happening today in New York, the Bay Area of California, and Seattle. Don’t live in the United States? You can still petition the State Department at

This is it. You want to look back months from now and know that you did everything you could to protect the internet. Call your Senators, educate your friends and family, and please spread the word about PROTECT IP and SOPA as widely as you can.

But if you can only spare five or six minutes, please call both of your senators below:

Thank you!