Privileged Sad Sack


I’m in Des Moines, Iowa for the keynote I’ll be giving at DevOpsDays here. I believe their registration is closed, so…if you’re not already registered, I won’t be seeing you! But, you can check me out rehearsing it here. There’s 20 minutes of bonus content! Like and subscribe, MOFOS!

Garbage Chairs of Amsterdam.

ChatDM - Dealing with short-term memory

If you’re interested in my recent experiments to get ChatGPT to act a Dungeon Master for solo-play Dungeons & Dragons, check out my recent write-up. It’s going OK, and I think I’ve figured out a technique to get over it’s short-term memory.

Jennifer Riggins and The New Stack crew have a good booklet out on Platform Engineering. I read over it and talked with Jennifer a couple times. I should have recorded those calls to munge into some articles, but, whatever.

You should check it out, I think it’s a good go at trying to nail down exactly what that term means. This month, at least :)


  • The best way to make money is to not to loose money.

  • Make It Bigger part 01 and part 02 - great stuff here, especially on focus (something I willfully ignore all the time) and building comfort with presenting. Also, Russell Davies has very unique, but subtle style to everything he does. I don’t know him, but I wonder how different his front-stage character is from his back-stage character. Is his vibe how he is in “real life”? He runs a conference called “Interesting” which I think is a word that summarizes his approach. Also, like me, he used to be very active and “big” in the 2000’s on the web and is, sort of, quiet now. How is that working out? I need a club of people like that where we meet and weekly answer the question “what am I doing now? should I be satisfied?” More broadly: the UK digital people are always, well, interesting.

  • “it’s not not about the technology” Here.

  • “Well, I don’t know how many of you have built Kubernetes-based apps. But one of the key pieces of feedback that we get is that it’s powerful. But it can be a little inscrutable for folks who haven’t grown up with a distributed systems background. The initial experience, that ‘wall of yaml,’ as we like to say, when you configure your first application can be a little bit daunting. And, I’m sorry about that. We never really intended folks to interact directly with that subsystem. It’s more or less developed a life of its own over time.” Craig McLuckie, SpringOne 2021.

  • “It is a ghost of a word, with no meaning except that fact that it almost had a definition – now the definition cites it’s lack of existence.” Here.

  • “Small enough to care.” Seen on the back of a semi-truck trailer on the way to Schiphol.

  • If you tell me the procurement process for an organization I can tell you exactly what kind corporate culture it has. Enterprise Bloodwork.

  • Privileged sad sack.

Relevant to your interests


Talks I’ll be giving, places I’ll be, things I’ll be doing, etc.

Sep 6th to 7th DevOpsDays Des Moines, speaking. Sep 13th, stackconf, Berlin. Sep 14th to 15th SREday, London, speaking (get 50% of registration with the code 50-SRE-DAY) Sep 18th to 19th SHIFT in Zadar, speaking. Oct 3rd Enterprise DevOps Techron, Utrecht, speaking. Nov 6th to 9th VMware Explore in Barcelona, speaking.


View from my hotel room in downtown Des Moines, Iowa.

I’m in Des Moines for DevOpsDays later this week, speaking on Friday. This is the view of downtown from my hotel room. It reminds me of Austin before all the new builds started coming in in the 2000s. They are BIG into agriculture ads in the airport. I don’t get that kind of regional focus on airport ads in Europe, so it’s always fun to be reminded of it.

Two airport thoughts:

  1. In Europe, most airports I go to are in big cities, and big hubs. Those airports have a fancier feel. The staff in those airports also seem a lot cheerier than the staff in US airports. US airports have a very hostile feel to them from the sometimes ticketing, TSA, general staff, definitely customs and boarder patrol (they were nice this time! the only thing to Dutch ever do is make fun of me [rightly so] for not knowing Dutch after five years), etc. That said, American travelers are also more uppity - entitled even? I very rarely see people traveling in Europe getting upset or angry with staff.

  2. Ben Thompson aside in some podcast awhile back that one of the reasons that American airports are so crappy (you know, old carpet) is that because they’re old. And they’re old because America was one of the first places to have lots of airports. I have no way to verify that, but it’s a good “turns out.” The turns out being that at one point, they were awesome and leading edge. First movers’ stuff becomes shit. I’d have to check. Also, as with so many things like this (comparing American, uh, “infrastructure style” to the rest of the world), the other thing is: America is a lot bigger than you’d think. We have a lot of airports compared to say, Germany, definitely The Netherlands, I wonder if all of the EU? (Something like 5,000 in the US vs. 3,500 in the EU - based on some shitty-quick Google searching).

The point being: I think they’re both just different systems and thus, have different results that are hard to compare. It’s a variant of “the purpose of a system is what it does.”Something more like “the system does/is what you choose.” So (a) realize it’s a choice, and, (b) choose wisely.,, @cote,,