Defiant Sloth

Scavengers Reign is one of the most surprising, strange, and best shows of the year. So glad I happened upon this – binged the entire thing in two days.

Ann Kim’s take on Spam at her new restaurant sounds fabulous, even if Hormel is policing its usage for good reason (is it real Spam or not – she’s calling it “Ann’s Ham” now), it’s still intriguing to see chefs riff on the concept.

You rarely hear about the failures of screen productions, but the New York Times has a thorough one on a recent Netflix foray they eventually shut down. Fascinating way to squander millions.

Partially agree with Dave Winer on journalism in the AI era — they need to stop leaning so heavily on ad tech and holistically build their own.

Start an AI news service, combine the flow of all competitors, and distribute the money the way you wish OpenAI would. That’s honorable, and it might work. Basically, all information, including journalism is making another leap, with or without journalism.

A seat at the Dubliner.

View sitting at bar looking at wooden shelving with bottles and snacks

The sustainability scorecard that Nisolo provides is a great example (and direction for others to follow) in standardization for product pages. I know sometimes there’s a stretch in truth to these, but it’s a welcome reminder of a supply chain’s climate impact.

a detailed sustainability scorecard detailing the impact of a product across the planet and people

Really dig the Volvo CEO’s take on focusing recurring revenue outside the car (e.g. maintenance) and avoiding the current fixation of manufacturers to monetize inside the car (e.g., replacing CarPlay… please never do this).

Received my physical mail (including two puzzles) to unlock access to Puzzmo, and it was a delightful approach to the sign up process. More of this, please!

Mailer with puzzles and word games to unlock access to the Puzzmo website

Love taking public transportation for a slower but more appreciative immersion in moving about a city. Admittedly, I do too much driving/taxiing around here, but the Metro Transit has such nice buses.

View inside a city bus half looking out the window at passing building, half gazing at empty seats

Piles & Piles of Books

line up of several books on a wooden shelf from various authors

Came across this article via Tracy Darnell's blog, and what an essay! A masterstroke of reflection on books that connects right into my brain-thinking.

I have new books to read, upcoming books I want to read, old books to read, and only one lifetime

Sure, you could say this about any format of media. But there's something way more visceral about the physicality of books. You can put them on shelves, pile them up on a nightstand, or optimistically smash them into your luggage. There is so much diversity in typography, images, color, sizes, and formats for books that it's a truly joyful medium to collect.

But is collecting books a problem when, as Molly Templeton admits, you don't get around to reading many of them, and instead, "think about them. Appreciating them, you might say." She "can’t wait to get lost in it. Just, you know… later." There are, alas, too many other distractions and demands of one's time, and books sometimes don't make it into your day.

Anyway, she nails it with this:

Can there be comfort in the things you’re not reading? Can they be books that are just waiting for you to find their moment? Stories you need, just not yet, like snacks you put in your pocket for later, stored up for when you really, really need them? I’m pretty convinced this is the case. Haven’t you ever picked up a book months, years, decades after it came out and found it was exactly what you needed to read just then?

Yes, there can be a comfort in the books you aren't reading, or the books you have read years ago that you probably won't read again but just maybe you might want to read again to revisit those feelings you had about it, or rather to simply meet the vibe of it. Books are magical, transporting, beautiful objects that require your imagination and literacy skills to unlock the potential of. Thankfully I've got some space still to store more of them and my partner isn't going to cast me out of the house (yet).

This retrospective on The Exorcist is marvelously done. Excellent headline typography and placement – half the fun was scrolling through the quotes from the attendees in 1970s.

The Slimmest Wallet Pursuit

Back on my bullshit again.

I've been searching for, putting through the paces, and reviewing wallets for over a decade now. And I'm restless again, because someone must be improving the design to meet the holy grail of "nearly as small as the cards that go in it, with a smidgen of room for the occasional few bills".


Well, there are many that come close.

But there are only a few that pass the goal line.


Let's cut through the thousands of words with which I'd typically pontificate because no one has time anymore.

The following facets were primary considerations:

  • Material: Built with strength and longevity in mind. I prefer non-leather wallet materials, which ruled out brands like Bellroy and Saddleback
  • Size: The aspiration here is minimal footprint inside any carry pocket — wallet bulge is disgusting. Hence the wallet shouldn't exceed the dimensions of a card by much.
  • Functionality: When you get into this narrow arena, functionality becomes a consideration because these wallets are incredibly minimal, and some require pull-straps or other clever ways of extracting contents.

Wallet Recommendations

Here are the wallets you should be thinking about if you share a similar philosophy about the everyday carry essential:

a gray-ish wallet with a card barely visible in a sloth and a black band across it lengthwise, laying atop a wooden table
  • Tom Bihn's Nik's Wallet: This is what I'm currently using, and it's been a steady champion for years — a bifold miracle that's a pleasure to use. No degradation in the fabric or materials, including its bifold strap, and it loads a handsome 5-10 cards in it, including several metal credit cards with the ability to stash cash all while conforming to a near-card-sized dimension. Incredible. Plus the fabric-feel of halcyon (or their ballistic nylon options) sings in the hand.
  • Trove Swift: I've gone back and forth with this wallet for a similar number of years, and it's absolutely stellar. True, some of the options for it include leather, but I recommend going with the carbon fibre. It has three slots snug against an Italian elastic band, so this thing is literally the length of a credit card (the slimmest you will ever get). It also features a rad little pull strap that quickly fires out your cards from one of the three slots. It's fast, it's barely visible in a pocket, and it lasts.
  • Peak Design Mobile Wallet: Lastly, this thing. It offers something neat for those who care: it comes in a stand variant (small flap that flips open to provide a stand for your phone), or without. Either way, this one is different in that is also magnetizes to your iPhone with MagSafe. Whether you care for it or not, this is still actually a sleek, small wallet with an unique fold-top design that, upon opening, pulls up and outwards to reveal your stack of cards inside. It's less organizable, and the material is the lousiest of the three, but it still hits the mark.

And that's it. Look no further than those three. I'm not making any affiliate fees off this, so it's my honest opinion. Take with it what you will.

What did I miss?

A few considerations that make the rounds or that I've personally tried in the past that just don't cut it:

  • Slimfold. A lot of folks like this one. I reviewed it years ago. It's okay. It's bigger than I'd like it to be, the materials are flimsy, and it doesn't feel confident in its design.
  • Super Wallet. Probably my first minimal wallet purchase yeeeeeeaaaaaars ago. It did not hold up well. It's all just fabric. They made a leather one but I don't know why. Meh.
  • Pioneer. I like these, but the material is super rigid, and their smallest form factor one (Molecule Cardholder) has too large a dimension. It holds up exceptionally well, though. Here's my review from a while ago. I'm also selling this one if you want it for a major discount.
  • Re:Form Wallet. Everyone seems to like this one, I haven't tried it, but wanted to mention it. Clever magnets. One version has a coin sleeve. Seems like a very thin, small footprint, but the material looks off to me, and capacity seems limited to around 4-5 cards max.

Thanks for reading. Bye.

I used to follow Aisle One for years, but at some point the RSS feed I had must’ve dropped off and I inadvertently forgot about it. But recently it cropped back up, and there’s a fantastic newsletter as part of the new approach to content. Highly recommended.

A short but note-worthy take on management and career-pathing that really resonates with what I’ve seen over the years:

Good management is a skill. There are too many accidental managers, promoted because they were good at what they did, rather than because they were suited to what lay ahead.

More career options in addition to management is critical.

Who isn’t loving the Midwestern autumnal vibe right now.

Yellow leaves scattered all over the ground in a dense mess

This worm celebration by Camryn Bynum was perfect last night.

Love this sketch card of a classic Tom Bihn Synik bag and the things you can pack into it. Comes slotted into one of the cardholders in their equally classic Nik’s Minimal Wallet. Both amazing products for everyday and traveling uses.

Two small cards, one prominently depicted a sketch of a backpack and multiple packing items around it

Mural at Groundswell.

Color block mural with a pipe horizontally across all of it.

Nice to see the dev behind Really Bad Chess returning to gaming with Puzzmo, which — I quote — brings us a “place for thoughtful puzzles”.

Also love their email tactic: they’ll “let you know about tomorrow’s key drop 5 minutes before we tell the rest of the internet”. Brilliant call to action.

Warehouse and fulfillment are a curious industry to shift into “gig work”, but that’s exactly what seems to be happening as labor needs continue to heat up. PepsiCo is an early adopter, though I’ll hold my breath on how well the more stringent and compliance-based workloads go with this approach.

Om sums up the soulless hell of social media quite nicely in this piece:

“In this reality, the primary task of these [social] platforms is not about idealism or even entertainment — it is about extracting as much revenue as possible from human vanity, avarice, and narcissism.

Films are longer. Blame blockbusters and prestige directors. Or maybe streaming competition. Who knows after reading this, but the data is surprising.

Graph showing movie length trend line (higher) for popular films since 1930 vs all films (lower)

The wonderful world of dive bar politics by way of the Men’s bathroom door — Anchor Bar, Superior WI.

Heavily graffitied wooden for with various patronizing notes against republicans and democrats.

Bayfield, WI from a perch on the Madeline Island ferry. Pleasant sojourn at the island for the weekend. Lots of grilled white fish accompanied by wine, Old Fashioneds, and beer.

Sunset with heavy clouds over Lake Superior water, with city of Bayfield, WI silhouetted in distance

You hit a certain age… and you start to think more about aging. So I’ve been savoring any article like this one from the Guardian.

Overall ➔ good to know vocabulary peaks at 65, and happiness in our eighties.