249: Fully Functional with Jesse Atkinson

This week’s guest is Jesse Atkinson, a software engineer at Credit Karma. He joins Brett to discuss modern web development, keyboards, movies, and the rabbit holes of new hardware.

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[00:00:00] Brett: [00:00:00] This week’s guest is Jesse Atkinson, a software engineer at credit karma, and a return guests to Ben since about 2018. How’s it going? Jessie

[00:00:09]Jesse: [00:00:09] Uh, it’s going really good. Uh, I mean, relatively speaking state of the world of interesting right now, but it’s going well. Good.

[00:00:17] Brett: [00:00:17] standard response. These days is a really good considering. So you’re working at credit karma now. Uh, what, what kind of stuff are you doing there?

[00:00:28]Jesse: [00:00:28] Yeah. I’ve been, um, my kind of like my history and I might’ve went over this a little bit on the last one. So sorry if you, this is repeat for you, but yeah, I started like in 2010 doing real old school web. Design like taking Photoshop, designing what a website would look into Photoshop document, adding up the assets, turning that into HTML and CSS and, you know, um, and I, and I, I do have a college degree, but [00:01:00] I joke that my, uh, know bachelor in computer is mostly used this.

[00:01:05] Like it’s mostly self-taught because what I learned was like, uh, you know, How to do Pearl and how to do like PHP. And I didn’t end up using any of that. And it was very outdated anyways. And so I, even though I have a degree, I largely consider myself self taught, uh, and moved into web design and web design, and naturally grew into what we have now, or like things like Spotify, half discord, half, they actually run our quote unquote web pages, but they’re full on web apps.

[00:01:37] So if you. We’re a front end web designer, web developer, over the past decade, you’ve naturally grown into probably warning, many different JavaScript frameworks. And, uh, every year it feels, it feels like you’re never off the treadmill. You’re never off the sort of mouse wheel of learning. And so I’ve [00:02:00] been doing that for a while and I got, um, really interested in functional programming.

[00:02:07] And really interested in just, uh, anytime I get really comfortable in what I’m doing. Um, I’m like, well now I’m bored. I’m not learning anymore. And so I really wanted to dive into functional programming and that kind of led me to Scala, which is one of the Kings of, I guess, that world right now, um, very math centric kind of community, uh, And completely scared me.

[00:02:34] I had never dealt with anything Java or the JVM, uh, that world just terrified me. And so I started looking for jobs in that space and, uh, really dove, headlong into it and have been there something like 16 months. And, uh, you know, I F I feel like I’m pretty, pretty good at it. Now I actually [00:03:00] teach the. Class now with the, at the, uh, at credit karma, like I teach the like new hire class for learning Scala and like here’s an intro to Scala and I’ve so clearly I’ve done something right there, but yeah, it’s a, it’s a radical shift from front end for sure.

[00:03:18]Brett: [00:03:18] Great. You decided you wanted to learn not just a new language, but an entire new kind of paradigm of programming. So you will. I immediately looked for a job.

[00:03:29]Jesse: [00:03:29] SI sort of, uh, like I was doing it on the side. I’m very bad at, uh, I have the rare and radical belief, at least in Silicon Valley world, that 40 hours a week is a lot. Um, I think that’s a lot of time personally. I don’t, I’m not, I don’t rise and grind. I’m not a hustler. Uh, you know, maybe it’s my. Well, I was raised Midwestern and you know, my dad, mum, both just worked [00:04:00] simple, nice nine to five jobs and, and whatever.

[00:04:03] I had a nice life. Um, and so I’ve always really struggled. I’ve never been the guy to work all day and then come home and like crack open the latest coding book or like work on my side project or whatever. Um, I mean, you’re a perfect example of somebody who, uh, I mean, part of our friendship is like me discovering it blog and kind of being in awe of and jealous of how productive you were and all this tooling.

[00:04:32] And, and, you know, literally as we talk, I’m looking at marked right now, like I have a marked open, you know, and so I was always very jealous of that, but I, I personally have struggled to. Do that in my free time. And so it’s always been, I need to, I need to learn on the job because there’s no way like 9:00 PM on a Tuesday.

[00:04:50] I’m going to be like, all right, let me sit down and like learn Scala now. Like when it has nothing to do with my day job, it’s just not going to happen.

[00:04:57] Brett: [00:04:57] So did you apply for a [00:05:00] job like that? Do they not like w w w the times I’ve interviewed at places like Google, they make you do like live coding tests. And you have to like, prove that you understand at least the, like, they didn’t care so much if I knew a particular framework, but I had to demonstrate competency with a language.

[00:05:20] Uh, did you have to, did you have to learn enough to get through an interview process?

[00:05:25]Jesse: [00:05:25] No, because so most places I’ve interviewed now. So when I had been forcing myself to learn to a small degree, but, um, when I interviewed, you know, they’re like, Oh, pick whatever language you. Or comfortable in, and then you kind of have to solve the, the sort of coding riddle that they put in front of you.

[00:05:46] Um, and in this particular case, there were, you know, Hey, we have an opening over here and it was more, it was in JavaScripts or now everybody’s using TypeScript, but whatever, same difference. Um, and then, then make [00:06:00] also, but you’re more interested in this other job. And I was like, yes. And they’re like, well, I kind of had to talk to the hiring manager and be like, Hey, I’m a fast Horner.

[00:06:06] I promise all. Oh, I won’t suck. I promise. Uh, you know, so they, so they liked me. I passed the interview. Um, but yeah, I did kind of have to sell them a little bit and it worked out and, uh, I don’t know, but yeah, it’s,

[00:06:20] Brett: [00:06:20] really cool, dude.

[00:06:21] Jesse: [00:06:21] it’s going on.

[00:06:22] Brett: [00:06:22] I really,

[00:06:23] Jesse: [00:06:23] Thanks.

[00:06:24]Brett: [00:06:24] like, I appreciate first the, uh, the more laid back approach to Silicon Valley that is. That is admirable in my opinion, but the ability to get the job in order to learn something, I, I can respect that. That’s really cool.

[00:06:40]Jesse: [00:06:40] Thanks. Yeah. I, I don’t, uh, I guess, I don’t know. This sounds so cheesy. I just, I’m always going to be a student. I don’t like, I think when I’m 65, I’m going to be wording something I’m not comfortable. I dunno, I’ve never been comfortable, like resting on my [00:07:00] world foot. You know, I have very limited, very, very small laurels, I guess, whatever a Laurel is, but, uh, yeah, I’ve never been like I’d have made it cool and done, like the idea of like going to school, your whole, uh, w you know, first 24 years or 22 years of existence, or, you know, for some longer in school is very intense.

[00:07:23] And then getting up school and your first shopping, that’s often intense, you know, it’s very intense tense, tense, and then just completely shifting gears. So like, okay, now I am, I’m in my thirties, forties, and now I’m just going to not use any of those skills I learned and really just write emails all day, you know?

[00:07:44] Uh, it’s not, I’m, I’m, I’m being a little glib. I don’t mean to oversimplify like a management position, but. It’s just not appeal to me. I don’t, yeah,

[00:07:53] Brett: [00:07:53] Yeah, no, there’s a, it’s weird that managers get paid more than their employees. A lot of [00:08:00] times because the employees often. They don’t, they don’t want to be managers. Their, uh, their upward mobility is not about getting a management position. That’s a whole different, like, track to be on.

[00:08:13]Jesse: [00:08:13] Yeah, I’ve, I’ve definitely been talked to a few times about like, Hey, what’s the next step for you? Are you interested in management? And you know, I do. I do think I have pretty good soft skills. And like I mentioned, like I’ve mentored some folks, uh, quite a bit and uh, like, Oh, Hey, you’re good with people.

[00:08:33] You want to be manager? And I’m like, no, no, I want, I want to mentor people. I want to teach, but I don’t, uh, I’m not a product guy at all. Um, And, and so I couldn’t go to meetings and have someone say, Hey, you know, what do you like talking about the product and what I think for the product, I would be like, no, I want you to tell me what to build and I’ll go build it, but I’m not like a product visionary type.

[00:08:57]Brett: [00:08:57] See, I think, I think that’s where, like I [00:09:00] always thought product manager would be a good career move for me. Like, I’m good at thinking like big picture. What could this be doing? Kind of thing. Um, but I had, uh, one of my guests is a, uh, a developer advocate and talking to him, I realized that’s kind of what I wish I was doing.

[00:09:23] Yeah.

[00:09:24] Jesse: [00:09:24] And free. I didn’t even know that role existed until about a couple of years ago. And. Basically every, every person who gets kind of popular or not every, but a lot of the people get popular on Twitter who are also suffer, uh, engineers. I’ll kind of look at their bio and they’ll be like developer advocate at Microsoft.

[00:09:42] And I’m like, what is that? That’s so cool. You know? And, um, I didn’t even know that role existed and it does sound kind of like what I think would be a role I would really like to do, uh, cause it, yeah.

[00:09:57] Brett: [00:09:57] Yeah. All right. So [00:10:00] enough about work. Um, one of the things that we talked about you doing in your free time is something called the cinema clubs, spelled T S I N E M a. Tell me about this.

[00:10:13]Jesse: [00:10:13] Yeah, I, uh, it’s like, I, I always like have these ideas that I want, you know, I want to do this. I want to do that with a group of friends. It’s always. You know, some people are really great. They, they want to make a community that they create a thing, right. They create a website and they get a community and then they get a discord and a Patriot and whatever.

[00:10:34] Um, but often that is like a fan to a creator relationship. And one that takes a lot of effort to kind of build up the fandom. And then two, there is always a kind of dynamic there of okay. Fan and, uh, you know, The creator or head of the whole show or whatever. And I’ve always been like, well, I want to do that kind of stuff.

[00:10:57] But with my friends, like friends, you know, and [00:11:00] often, unfortunately your best friends in the world might not have the same interests as you, um, And that has always been a struggle. It was like, I, you know, like my I’m a big gamer and my best friend doesn’t even own a video game system could not care less.

[00:11:17] Right. So that was just a piece that we can’t share. Right. I go, Hey, I’m this new game is awesome. You should play it. And he just, no. Um, so cinema clubs started out of that kind of desire where I had watched the movie. I’m a big, big, big movie person, uh, like. Uh, it’s just one of my biggest passions. And I had like rewatched the movie breathless, uh, French famous French film by Jean-Luc Goddard.

[00:11:46] Uh, it’s, it’s important, you know, in the world of cinema. Um, as I say, as pretentiously as possible cinema, uh, and I wanted to talk about it. Well, who do I talk about it with? Uh, [00:12:00] amongst my friends. Right? Uh, if they have heard of it. Uh, you know, that’s like one, they probably haven’t heard of it too. If they’ve seen it.

[00:12:09] They probably watched it in college when they were trying to like do the whole, Oh, I’m supposed to watch these important movies and they don’t remember, remember it. Uh, and, uh, you know, so amongst my friends, it’s like, they don’t remember it. They’ve never heard of it. Or, you know, the alternative is, Oh, I can go to an online form or like, uh, you know, whatever, go on letterboxed or.

[00:12:33] You read it or something and talk to two passionate strangers about breathless and be like, Hey, this movies, you know, this is what I thought. But, uh, so I started this whole thing as an excuse to be able to talk about movies with my friends, uh, with a sort of eye towards, you know, what’s okay. Like what’s not.

[00:12:57] Maybe don’t put Avengers on the list, you know, here, like [00:13:00] maybe what’s target some world cinema. Um, we’ve kind of deviated a little bit. We have done some popular movies, but for the most part, it targets foreign indie us are known movies and, uh, the format is every week. I think there’s nine of us now.

[00:13:16] Uh, every week it rotates and. Uh, somebody will present, Hey, these are my movies and they’ve kind of, they invented this and I say, Hey, like my friends, I invited to this, uh, uh, theme. So it’ll be like, this week’s theme is, is, you know, uh, native American cinema. And they’ll present four films from, uh, you know, From native American directors.

[00:13:41] And, uh, we all watch the trailers and devote and then whatever wins. We of course watch it the point that week. And then we discuss it, uh, on Sundays and it has been one of the most enriching things. And it started in, I started in may and, uh, it’s been kind of [00:14:00] a lifeline or just a nice thing to look forward to, uh, in the middle of both quarantine.

[00:14:08] Um, and yeah, the during I’ll just say 2020, which has been famously a difficult year.

[00:14:16] Brett: [00:14:16] Yeah. So do you find that this kind of a. Watch it on your own and then get together to discuss is a better than watching it together.

[00:14:27]Jesse: [00:14:27] No, I would, no, I don’t think it’s better than my favorite thing in the world to do is to go to the movies with friends, you know, some new movie and then go to the bar after and talk about it. Uh, so no, this does not. Uh, this is not superior to that, but it’s kind of what we, what we have right

[00:14:46] Brett: [00:14:46] Have you tried, uh, plexes group watch feature.

[00:14:50]Jesse: [00:14:50] Uh, so this sort of segues into a different thing. So I, no one in the group even has the Applex [00:15:00] set up a situation. I recently very recently just set all this up. Um, you know, we’re all just normal folks with, uh, An Apple TV or something and just rent it or whatever the hell. Um, my one buddy, uh, Liam uses something called dot IO, which is sort of in, I don’t even it’s, it’s sort of like an in the cloud torrent slash streaming situation.

[00:15:32] It’s a little hard to explain, but, uh, That has a group watch thing, but it’s not supported on Apple TV. So if you want to watch it at the same time, you have to get your laptop out. Of course, make sure it’s plugged into power and then airport to your TV. And I’m too much of a diva to do that. So,

[00:15:48] Brett: [00:15:48] Yeah, that’s, what’s killing me about like Hulu, Netflix, Disney plus have all added the group watch features, but at least with Hulu and Netflix, they only work on the [00:16:00] laptop. And if you try to airplay Hulu to your Apple TV, it goes black. So that’s not anyway, like Plex is Plex is free. Uh, if you co-locate a machine on a good, like three terabit, uh, upline, you can, uh, just throw a torrent on it.

[00:16:23] And then all of your friends can install Plex for free on their Apple TV, and you can watch together. And I’ve done it a couple of times now with friends and it. It’s almost better than watching together in a theater because you can have a text chat on the side and not annoy anybody. It’s fun.

[00:16:42]Jesse: [00:16:42] I, I just went down. I mean, I didn’t even have a Plex, uh, account until about two weeks. Cause I’m like, well aware of flex. I’ve just never had a need. Yeah. For it. Like, um, I paid for every streaming service [00:17:00] under the sun and it was just. I I’ve always avoided, especially the past, I would say like the past sort of decade, like once I got like a job job and started making money, I was just like, okay, I’m done fiddling with computers on the weekend in terms of like, you know, the number one thing is like, I don’t want my wife to say, Hey, I want to watch this and be like, Oh yeah, hang on.

[00:17:20] Let me, let me open up my laptop and like configure a bunch of settings. You know, she wants to, she wants to take the Apple remote, click two buttons and be watching, you know, Whatever. And so, uh, and I don’t want to do that either. And so we started paying for all the streaming services and recently we kind of had a reckoning because we were basically, it was more than a cable bill and I was like, this is stupid.

[00:17:46] And so we got, we went the flex route.

[00:17:49] Brett: [00:17:49] Yeah. Um, well, I guess you’ll do what you’re going to do, but I do recommend it. Plus I heard you just got a Synology and there’s Plex available for [00:18:00] Synology.

[00:18:00]Jesse: [00:18:00] Yes. So that’s, uh, I, I, it’s something I’ve eyeballed, but I’ve put off because I, again, just the, I knew I was, I knew it was going to be at, we used a weekend of fiddling. Um, no matter how easy everybody says it is like, I’m, I mean, like if I’m going to do something I’m going to like really get into it. And I knew like, okay, well, so when a Synology is not cheap, like getting it and then getting the hard drives and all that stuff and doing it properly.

[00:18:33] Um, and it’s also a world I’m just deeply ignorant of. And so. I recently bit the bullet and got, uh, like I call it, you know, baby’s first a Synology I got the Synology two 20, so it’s only a two Bay, um, uh, a mutual friend of ours, those talking to about it was, uh, razzing me and was just like, Oh buddy, you went too small.

[00:18:59] You’re immediately going to [00:19:00] want to

[00:19:00] Brett: [00:19:00] Totally. I agree with your friend.

[00:19:02]Jesse: [00:19:02] I was like, maybe, but let me. You know, when we have babies for Synology here, um, getting it set up is getting it set up is easy, getting everything the way you want. It is hard. And so right away, you know, I set up all the stuff and, uh, some of what, I guess, I’m going to be talking about peers.

[00:19:29] That was a gray area legally. So, uh, I do not condone, uh, Theft in any way. Uh, you know, um, but yeah, there’s so many apps, there’s sonar and radar, and, uh, you start looking into use net, which confused the hell out of me. Cause I’ve never seen that. Obviously you look into Torin switch, I’m familiar with, but turns back the last time I was using them was in college and it was

[00:19:57]Brett: [00:19:57] We should back up and for [00:20:00] anyone listening who doesn’t know what a Synology is? Um, let’s let’s

[00:20:05] Jesse: [00:20:05] a lot,

[00:20:05] Brett: [00:20:05] yeah, let’s explain that. Uh, in brief. I’ll let

[00:20:09] Jesse: [00:20:09] I’ll do my best. So a, um, so. ISA knowledge. Well, I think Synology is a company first off, then I’ll just copy and make a bunch of stuff. But the primary thing that they make that they’re famous for is a Nass and S or a network attached storage. What this is for ideally is backing data up and redundantly backing it up.

[00:20:35] Um, so if you have, you know, your computer for like any files you care about it’s. You, you put multiple hard drives in and you, there’s a setting. You can say raid one or whatever. Uh, there’s a bunch of different file settings I won’t get into, but you can say how redundant you want it to be. So let’s say you have [00:21:00] eight, let’s say you have eight hard drives in your Nass.

[00:21:02] You can say, I want this to be backed up once. So that means you have four hard drives really that you’re working with. And then the other four recording. Or you can say, I want the spectrum twice. So then you really have to. Uh, hard drives that you’re, uh, working with, you know, um, or is my math right on that?

[00:21:22] No, it’s not, but you get my point.

[00:21:23] Brett: [00:21:23] I do. So, I mean, basically it is, uh, it’s, uh, it’s something like a Drobo, like a Ray drive, except with a Synology. It is network attached, so you can run and it has its own processor and it’s, you can actually run applications right on it to serve like media, to have a file sharing. And, uh, you can run your own, get server on it.

[00:21:48] That’s where I keep all my, uh, all my local repos now is on my Synology.

[00:21:54]Jesse: [00:21:54] Yeah. So I, I guess I want to distress that, like it’s what it’s intent in the same way [00:22:00] that you use net is intended for muse. Um, that’s analogy NASA’s intended for, you know, backing up your data. Um, what people really tend to use him for is yes. Back AP data. But, um, as you said, there’s a lot of really cool stuff you can do with it.

[00:22:21] And, uh, just there’s so much cool stuff that you can do with them and a big pot, you know, if you go on YouTube and just type. Plex Synology, you’re going to get a million results of people teaching you how to set up a home media server. Um, you know, so one of the biggest benefits for me is just, I really wanted to be able to stream without using like the internet.

[00:22:43] Like, I didn’t know, like we have really good internet, so it wasn’t so much that I was just like, I want to be able to have something where I can stream and like 4k and like, don’t even have to think about, you know, Uh, streaming speeds and all [00:23:00] that.

[00:23:00] Brett: [00:23:00] So it kind of ties into the idea of, uh, owning your own data and your own. Services and everything too. Is that something you’re uh, that’s something you’re you’re you’re you’re cognizant of.

[00:23:12]Jesse: [00:23:12] Yeah. Yeah. Like again, kind of the, it goes into the overhead of like, like my, my brain is always going at how. Why am I doing this? What’s the value in this or whatever. And so whenever I would hear people have snow, Oh geez. What were talking about it? That would be like, well, I don’t have that much data.

[00:23:31] You know, back up my photos, my photos are backed up in Dropbox or whatever, and I’ve, uh, I used Backblaze on my computer. Okay. They’re backed up there. Um, So it was always that. And then two, in terms of streaming, like movies and TV and stuff like that, it’s just always like, ah, whatever, you know, so they take the office off Netflix, whatever, how badly do I need the watch, the office who cares?

[00:23:52] You know, I would sort of just roll with the punches and, you know, I think having a show being taken away from me as a very soft punch, whatever. [00:24:00] Um, but yeah, it just. You know, like not to get too, like if you, if you go real extreme with this stuff and you end up down the, you know, total free software, open source, um, you know, Richard Stallman type world.

[00:24:19] And I’ve definitely peered into that world. I’ve flirted with that world, but I’ve ultimately decided it’s not, not for me. Um, but you know, realizing like I have. Ben honestly, like I’ve, I’ve spent tens of thousands of dollars on DVDs and Blu-rays and CDs and vinyl records. So my wife and at this point, because of several moves and just trying to minimize, like, I don’t own any of that stuff anymore.

[00:24:48] And well, why did I sell it? I sold it for space. I sold this cause like, you know, I

[00:24:54] Brett: [00:24:54] Cause boxes of records are really heavy to carry when you’re moving.

[00:24:57]Jesse: [00:24:57] Exactly. Yeah. It’s [00:25:00] like, you know, like how often am I going to get up and get, you know, a DVD out and go hook up? Doesn’t, you know, these are extremely, you know, I’m sort of first worldly problems, but yeah, so it was like, okay, I want my stuff to be as. Easy to use as it is to use Netflix, but I want it to be mine and I want it to, there’s no reason why the internet needs to be kind of involved, uh, like a local area network is well, but there’s a reason why the internet kind of needs to be involved in me watching a movie I own.

[00:25:29] Um, and so, yeah, I got it set up and it is, uh, it is, uh, it can be a rabbit hole. And so I initially install, you know, I went through the apps and, uh, You know, buddy kind of helped me with that, but right away, I realized it wasn’t quite what I wanted. And I started looking into what I wanted and Oh, uh, right away, I got annoyed because I installed God.

[00:25:58] What was it? I think it was [00:26:00] sonar radar. One of them installed motto and motto is a way to run dotnet applications on not unlike. Uh, windows machines, and then another app installed Python three. And I’m just like, I don’t want these on my Synology. So you start looking at this at all and immediately Dockers the solution.

[00:26:23] And I am very familiar with Docker from my work as a software engineer, but I’m just like, do I really want to start doing Docker and like buy fruit like this? This is what I want to be doing is like debug, like SSH into Docker containers and. Um, figuring out what the hell is going on. And, uh, no I don’t, but so it’s a, the setup cost is high, but once I got the whole Docker compose file, exactly.

[00:26:50] Like I want it and got it all set up. Now things are running like a well-oiled machine. And so it is extremely stream. We overkill extremely nerdy and [00:27:00] not for everybody, but once you have it up and running, you feel like a wizard.

[00:27:03] Brett: [00:27:03] Sure. All right. Well, I’m going to take a break here and we’re going to hear from our sponsor, Uber for business,

[00:27:11] all right. So what, uh, w a common topic that comes up on over-tired with Christina Warren? Um, Is is keyboards. And I feel like does someone who uses them must have a keyboard.

[00:27:29] They love, what are you using for a keyboard now?

[00:27:32]Jesse: [00:27:32] Wow. Um, uh, I am using, so I went on the keyboard rabbit hole and ended up on after buying several and spending too much money on it. I ended up on keyboard.io. Um, That’s literally the website keyboard dyo and the keyboard that I have was at the time, the only keyboard they offered called a model it’s just called model one or model Oh one.

[00:27:57] I don’t know how you phonetically say it, but it’s written [00:28:00] models of your one anyways. Uh, they advertise because it sort of is I think it might’ve been kick-started. I don’t remember if it was kickstarted, but you know, it was definitely a community backed thing. Um, the makers are based near me in, in Oakland.

[00:28:16] Um, and yeah, it is a, uh, it’s a split keyboard. It’s it’s, you know, if you probably seen a couple of those it’s it’s, but the keys are positioned slightly, um, in terms of like where your modifier keys are. And so like, Tab control backspace command shift, all that are not where they normally are. The idea being that your thumbs are probably better for kidding.

[00:28:44] Your thumbs are probably more powerful than your pinky. So they put these keys nearest thumb. So that was a bit of a ramp up. But yeah, I, uh, it took me about a month to get used to, and now I own two of them and I can never go back.

[00:28:57] Brett: [00:28:57] Wow. I’m a, I’m looking at them right [00:29:00] now. I remember seeing this, uh,

[00:29:03] Jesse: [00:29:03] sold out.

[00:29:04] Brett: [00:29:04] one that looks like a butterfly. That’s actually two pieces. Is that the one you have. Yeah. I remember when that was on Kickstarter. I actually, I think I signed up for that one at the same time, I signed up for the ultimate hacking keyboard and the uhk shipped first.

[00:29:19] So, or else, like, I don’t remember how it happened. Like the uhk took so long to ship that I forgot I had ordered it when it showed up, but now it’s my favorite keyboard.

[00:29:31]Jesse: [00:29:31] Yeah. Like you back something and forget it. And eight months later, you know, some

[00:29:38] Brett: [00:29:38] it was two years. I think it took two years for the uhk to ship. Yeah. All right.

[00:29:45] Jesse: [00:29:45] I’m familiar with it. I don’t know. I, yeah, I I’ve tried to get a few friends. It’s like, it’s like getting friends into coffee or whiskey or something like they have to have to be, they have to be in the mental state or they have to be like, okay, I am actually interested in this because if you just [00:30:00] start fours telling, Oh man, get this keyboard, they’re going to look at you.

[00:30:03] Like you’re an alien. Uh, yeah.

[00:30:06] Brett: [00:30:06] I note that it’s the profiles of all of the key cap seem to be very custom. So it seems like buying your own key cap set for, it would be nearly impossible. Especially these thumb keys that are around.

[00:30:22]Jesse: [00:30:22] That I, I can’t, I think there’s some like FA uh, I should say fan, like community made ones, but yeah, like definitely kind of buying this keyboard it’s coming complete and they advertised it sort of as like. Hey like this is, they called it. I think like heirloom was the term they use, which is a little,

[00:30:40] Brett: [00:30:40] Little pretentious.

[00:30:41] Jesse: [00:30:41] maybe a little ambitious, but their idea was like their idea I think was, was, uh, and so if anybody’s listening, who’s involved with this project and I get this wrong.

[00:30:52] Sorry. But, um, the idea was sort of like, Hey, you’re. You know, dad or grandpa might have these [00:31:00] very good tools that they used for woodworking and those tools are still valuable. And if they’re well-made tools, they can be passed down. Why can’t the same happen for a keyboard? Um, I don’t know if a keyboard can ever really last multiple generations, but you know, this thing is built extremely well.

[00:31:19] And so I’m, I’m hoping to use it for, uh, until it breaks.

[00:31:24] Brett: [00:31:24] I hope you get to pass it on to, uh, uh, a son or a niece or something someday. Um, all right. Guess what? I actually have two sponsors today. Yeah, I’m going to take a second break. To talk about PDF pen.

[00:31:44] All right. Um, well that brings us to our top three picks. Uh, I assume you, you came loaded.

[00:31:52]Jesse: [00:31:52] Sort of, uh, Hey, I, I came, well, I, I had trouble narrowing [00:32:00] down to three and so, I don’t know. I guess I’m going to kill two on the spot here. We’ll see.

[00:32:04]Brett: [00:32:04] Like this, as I mentioned, uh, I don’t do my own, so if you need a few spaces, I’ll make room for it. Yeah. What’s your first pick.

[00:32:15]Jesse: [00:32:15] Uh, this is the most, I think, of any tops or you’ve ever pick you’ve ever had. This might be the most boring, but I’m going to do it because it’s changed my life this year. Um, uh, getting a financial advisor is a pick of mine. Um, I. Hate finances and money, uh, stock market, that kind of stuff has always intimidated me, uh, in the sense of, I understand it.

[00:32:48] Like I understand finance or whatever, it’s just, it’s, it’s deeply not unenjoyable to me. It’s like, it’s like doing surgery on yourself. Um, I like, yes, I understand how my. [00:33:00] Yep. I understand how my body works, but I don’t want to do surgery on myself, you know, in the same way that I, when I look at my money, I’m like, yeah, I don’t, you know, it’s in terms of buying individual stocks, somebody just will be betting on ponies, you know?

[00:33:13] Um, so yeah, we, we hunker down part of the, one of the things we did in. The 20, 20 quarantine. And, uh, you know, we, we were hit, I was at financially, uh, you know, my wife was as well, uh, don’t go into that too much, but we were just like, okay, like, let’s tighten our belts here and, uh, get serious about finances.

[00:33:34] And so we signed up for something called you need a budget.com or Y NAB as it’s called, um, which is like a kind of personal finance tracker. And. It is a thing you have to fully buy into fully, fully buy into. There’s no half day doing it. Uh, so be warned like, you know, it’s not for everybody. So you signed up for that and really wrangled our finances.

[00:33:56] And then we got a financial advisor and, uh, he has been [00:34:00] wonderful and I’ve so much like looking at my bank account, even though I am financially stable and okay. It used to bring such anxiety to even sign in. Like I would. Feel a spike in anxiety. And I was like, I can’t do this for the rest of my life.

[00:34:15] Like we need a fix. And I was like the fix. Okay. The fix is getting like an, a, a competent adult who specializes in this to advise me. And, uh, so that’s, that is my very boring pick. Get a financial advisor and maybe we’ll get, you need a budget.

[00:34:30]Brett: [00:34:30] And go about finding a financial advisor.

[00:34:34]Jesse: [00:34:34] That is a great question. Uh, so. There are tons of like personal, I think one’s called personal capital. There’s tons of websites and stuff for finding a financial advisor. The way I found one was talking to a friend. Um, and that’s it worked for me. I don’t know if it worked for everybody, but I had a friend.

[00:34:57] She, yeah, it depends on your friend. [00:35:00] Uh, I have a friend she’s similar age as me. We grew up together and she’s buying her second house and I was like, yo, like we have similar jobs. I am guessing we have, you know, like ballpark we’re in the same tax bracket here. How are you buying a second house? What’s going on?

[00:35:22] And she was like, Oh, you know, and kind of told me some personal details, but like, yeah, we’ve been working with this financial advisor and they’ve been great. And I was like, really, I would really like that. And she was just like, Oh my God, I’ll introduce you. He’s the best. Um, and so I talked to him and I talked to a few others and we ended up settling with this, this, uh, this gentleman.

[00:35:41] And he’s, uh, he’s been doing it all over zoom. He used to looking at on the East coast. And so it’s been great. So how to find one, uh, You know, again, there’s tons of websites to help you find one. For me personally, I wanted some sort of personal connection and I also want in somebody who was [00:36:00] targeted at sort of financial security and growing, like keep keeping me safe retirement rather than somebody who’s going to be like telling me which ponies to bet on, uh, you know, I I’m.

[00:36:15] I would love to get rich quick, overnight who wouldn’t, but I don’t, I’m not looking for like a day trader,

[00:36:20] Brett: [00:36:20] Sure. Yeah. I have a financial advisor whose job for the last couple of years has been basically to grit her teeth and smile. When I asked to take more money out of my 401k. But hopefully that all turns around soon. She’s been, she’s been a Deere about it. She hasn’t made me feel like super, super guilty.

[00:36:40] About eating away at my own future. But, uh, when I have more money, I look forward to letting her help me manage it. So what’s your second pick.

[00:36:51]Jesse: [00:36:51] Um, by second pick, I feel like, uh, I’ve seen this on Twitter, uh, is people getting [00:37:00] I’m feeling with quarantine everybody’s for some reason, gotten into the Sopranos and. I am also a person who who’s re well Regan. So I watched the Sopranos when its sixth season was airing the final season, I was like, what was I 20 and 21?

[00:37:21] I was like, okay. You know, it’s considered one of the best shows ever made, you know, and kind of kicked off this whole wave of big shooting. You know, this is before even like, you know, mad men and breaking bad, but I was well aware of, okay, this kicked off sort of. Does wave of important, uh, good TV. And so I like got all this on Netflix, like the DVD subscription thing, and I watched him and I liked it.

[00:37:51] I struggled with it. It is a very hard show to watch because most of them characters are, uh, bad people like the weed, Tony. Like for some reason you [00:38:00] weren’t too like him, but he is ultimately a bad dude. He is, uh, Sexist. He is racist. He is homophobic is all of the bad things. So why would you watch a show about this?

[00:38:12] Um, and it is such a damn good show and, but it’s one, I don’t know if I fully appreciated or understood when I was like 20 ish and, uh, so I decided to rewatch it, uh, Uh, you know, kinda starting one corn Dean started and sorry, started rewatching it and I’m about to finish it. And it’s just, uh, I’ve just seen so many people on Twitter talking about watching the Sopranos and falling in love with it over quarantine.

[00:38:46] Uh, but coincidentally, uh, Michael Imperioli and Steve Sherpa who play, uh, Christopher Moltisanti and Bobby Backwell on the show started a podcast that also coincided with this sort of quarantine called talking [00:39:00] Sopranos. And they’re doing an episode by episode rewatch and that’s kind of been a. You know, pop culture phenomenon too.

[00:39:09] And so I just recently started listening to that podcast. And if you are a fan of the show, it is just an absolute treat. And so, um, if you’ve, if you’ve never seen the show or it’s been a while, I would encourage you to listen to the talking Sopranos podcast and maybe rewatch along with it. It is just a journey.

[00:39:30] Uh, but, but like serious kind of like, I feel like everybody’s just like, yeah. You know, uh, Yeah, I’m used to mature TV, but you know, Sopranos is, it’s a tough show to watch in terms of not necessarily the content, but the, uh, some really despicable characters and the show is filmed very neutrally. It is not telling you how to feel.

[00:39:52] So you, uh, you’re in for some, some tough stuff that I think people kind of gloss over

[00:39:58] Brett: [00:39:58] I will admit I’ve never seen the [00:40:00] Sopranos. I’ve also never watched the wire. Um, I am on my third time through the office and considered, uh, a peacock absurd. I was in the middle of going through the office for the third time. It’s it’s the show we watch with our kitten. And, uh, and then suddenly it was off Netflix and I panicked and, and got on peacock.

[00:40:22] But point being,

[00:40:24]Jesse: [00:40:24] We need to talk. We need to talk about your

[00:40:27] Brett: [00:40:27] we can totally do that. Um, like I I’ve always the Sopranos and the wire, I’ve heard so many kind of, uh, uh, salivating things about, but have not like, it feels like an investment. Like, if I start, I’m going to end up like how many seasons of the Sopranos were there?

[00:40:46]Jesse: [00:40:46] Uh, six seasons, but there’s something like 80 something, 86 episodes, because the sixth season was kind of too short Habs. HBO does this thing sometimes. Right. So they’ll have like, [00:41:00] uh, they’ve done this a few times where the do like an 18 episode season and then just kind of chop it into two halves rather than calling it two seasons.

[00:41:08] I don’t know. We’ll get it, but whatever. Yeah. So it’s six seasons, but. Really more like seven, uh, yeah. It’s can we get what you mean? Like I have so many, I mean, I don’t watch a lot of them TV. Um, like I’ve still never finished breaking bad, uh, because the best show ever made, because it is, it is a big investment, but I also have to be having fun.

[00:41:32] I have to be enjoying it and I started breaking out and I got into season three. Um, I’m sure. Some Whistler, another screaming, who’s a big fan of breaking bad, but I was just like the show’s missing. Like I am not having fun. I, this is subjectively well-written. This is subjective. We well acted. I am not having fun anymore.

[00:41:52] Like, this is just miserable and, uh, yeah, like, so. [00:42:00] Yeah, for me, I need to have like, something like heavy, like a Deadwood is another example of a very heavy show, but I have fun while I watch it. Like, even though it is a very upsetting show, I am often laughing because it is hilarious and in the middle of all this darkness, and I need

[00:42:15] Brett: [00:42:15] So I, the walking dead ended up like breaking bad. I enjoyed all the way through, but the walking dead got to the point where, uh, everything was just always so terrible. And anything that good happened was immediately going to be counteracted by something horrible before the end of the episode. And I just lost my heart for it.

[00:42:36]Jesse: [00:42:36] There’s a term that I love called a grim dark. Um, and I don’t know what kicked it off, but I will, I will say Christopher Nolan’s Batman movies kind of kicked it off where. I think the wrong lessons were learned. Uh, and the perfect example of that is the then Spiderman the Spider-Man movies, not the new ones and not the old ones, but the middle ones with, uh, Andrew Garfield or like this gritty [00:43:00] reboot of Spider-Man.

[00:43:00] And it’s like, no, you were learning the wrong lessons from Christopher Nolan’s Batman movies. People don’t like them because they are dark. They liked them because they are good. And Batman is a dark character and blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.

[00:43:10] But people like dark things. Uh, and you’re like, no, it’s not, they like dark things. It’s that they like good

[00:43:15] things. Um,

[00:43:17]Brett: [00:43:17] I, yeah, I guess I’m hit and miss on it. Like I love Nolan’s Batman movies. They’re great. Uh, things that are like you say, things that are

[00:43:27] Jesse: [00:43:27] Did they’re

[00:43:27] Brett: [00:43:27] the sake of being dark can be a little bit, uh, tedious or, or emotionally draining depending on, depending on the product itself.

[00:43:37]Jesse: [00:43:37] Right.

[00:43:38] Brett: [00:43:38] All right. So what’s your third pick?

[00:43:40]Jesse: [00:43:40] I really set myself up for this, uh, cause I’m about to talk about something that’s grim dark, uh, that I’ve also revisited God. I mean, I’m, I’m, I just dunked on myself. Um, I’m a big fan of, uh, I’m not a big reader and I’m a big fan of Cormac McCarthy’s books. Uh, the few [00:44:00] that I’ve read have radically. Uh, shook me and I’ve really liked.

[00:44:05] And, and his most famous and beloved novel blood Meridian is probably the most difficult and upsetting read, uh, ever, and is widely considered one of, if not the best books ever made. Like if you start digging, you know, Google best books ever written or best books of the 19 hundreds or something, um, Blood meridians up there.

[00:44:30] Uh, always. And it is a hard, uh, book it in a, in a, does a fictionalized karma it’s Cormac, McCarthy’s fictionalized retelling of what really happens of, uh, a guy named Glanton. He kept journals and he was a scalp Hunter. Uh, and that means that like, he was a sanctioned by the United States government. He, he went out and he was.

[00:44:56] Him and a band of marauders. Uh, again, completely [00:45:00] legal in the eyes of the us government in the, in the 18 hundreds was a, uh, would go and find a native Americans and bring back, uh, kill them and scalp them and bring back the scalps for money. And this is something that we sanctioned and it is a book kind of, uh, kind of about that, but it is a book more about, um, What people are capable of and what we do to each other and kind of a dark look at us history.

[00:45:26] Uh, and so this, this all sounds upsetting and it is, but there is a reason why it is so beloved and praised and talked highly about. And so I had read it, uh, hilariously on my honeymoon. I was on a beach in Jamaica, just drinking a drink and drinks, and then John life and reading this horrifying, um, you know, dark.

[00:45:50] Dark night of the soul kind of book about, uh, some really dark, but real, uh, us history. Um, again, it’s a fiction book, but, but, but it’s depicting, it’s a fictionalized [00:46:00] account of things that really happened in this guy’s journal. And I re-read it this, this summer, and then my wife, uh, she, one of the biggest sources of the book or inspirations is.

[00:46:12] Moby Dick. And as I, Wade dying, those are karmic. People always say, well, Cormack was really inspired by these two things. And I haven’t written either. And so my wife is a big fan of SOA dying and she still has her high school copies. So she was immediately like, well, you got to read this. And I said, well, you’ve never been ready.

[00:46:26] And so we swapped kind of books. So I read as I was dying and she read blood Meridian and we’ve had a lot of, uh, discussion about it. And it’s kind of reignited my, my love of, I don’t know, clearly I like talking about. Like I like talking about things I love, uh, cause like creating, you know, after mentioned cinema club with my friends and uh, so yeah, I would recommend that book if you want to, if you really want to like, uh, Consume some heavy and good, uh, literature.

[00:46:57] And you’re going to be able to pretentiously say at [00:47:00] parties that you’ve read blood Meridian. It’s good. But it’s also actually a good book. It’s, it’s, it’s really heavy, but it’s, it’s wonderful. And I, and I highly, I think there’s a lot of value in, in reading it and reading about our, um, uh, the U S as is the U S dark history.

[00:47:14] Brett: [00:47:14] right. I have a question. What’s your favorite video game right now?

[00:47:18] Jesse: [00:47:18] sure. Okay. Um, to be very cert well, I’m going to be very stereotypical. Uh, if anybody is listening, who is a gamer, uh, you’ve probably heard of Haiti’s Haiti is, is, uh, on everybody’s list of best game of the year. And it is so deserving of it. Um, so

[00:47:40] Brett: [00:47:40] We didn’t get into a whole video video game discussion, but you, uh, you are, uh, a video game lover, a gamer, as they, as the kids say.

[00:47:49]Jesse: [00:47:49] Yeah, I, yeah, it’s uh, there is like, if I read a book, watch a movie TV, whatever, it’s, there’s [00:48:00] no me in it. Like I’m just consuming. And with a video game, there is. I mean, there’s obviously the tactile thing of using your hands. And so if you’re a fidget person that can be appealing, I’m not, I, uh, but there is the like overcoming a challenge and especially when the game feels fair.

[00:48:19] Um, I really don’t like easy video games. I don’t mean that in like, uh, like I don’t, there’s a term of games called, like walking simulator. Right. Um, You know, like Firewatch is a perfect example of that, where like, it is a brilliantly written game, but I did not have a lot of fun playing it. It was not my, I need a challenge to overcome.

[00:48:40] And, uh, Haiti’s is I think one of the best, uh, yeah, th there’s been so much ink spilled about how good Haiti’s is, but it is one of those challenging video games. Uh, but it is also good. And typically you don’t get those together. You have. Video games that are kind of easy that everyone can play and [00:49:00] are good and have a difficulty setting.

[00:49:02] And those tend to be the ones people talk about when game of the year. And then you have these sort of a cult games or indie games or sidebar games that, you know, people get into, but they aren’t written about in like, you know, the game of the year terms and Hades is that extremely, we’re a game where it is brutally challenging.

[00:49:22] And everybody’s into it

[00:49:24] Brett: [00:49:24] speaks to a, I think I have a very low tolerance for a game. Has to be exactly the right amount of challenging without stumping me or I lose interest immediately. I think that’s why I ended up playing mostly iOS puzzle games, not actual video games.

[00:49:41]Jesse: [00:49:41] There’s, there’s an ego. They’re with me. I think what I’m putting in game and I die to a boss. I get mad and I’m like, Oh, come on. No, like I’ve played video games, the whole life. This boss can’t get me in. And I go back and I figured out, and especially if I die, [00:50:00] like. Three five times to a challenge or a boss.

[00:50:05] Um, and as long as I think the game is fair and well made, which typically if it’s a triple a or big game, you know, it is, uh, then I’m starting to go, okay, what am I like? I start to analyze it. And you know, so it is a puzzle, I guess, in a way I’m trying to figure out what am I doing wrong? What can I learn here?

[00:50:24] Um, You know, because if you keep doing the same thing and you keep dying or failing or whatever the game is, you know, whatever obstacle you’re trying to overcome, like, well then, you know, you can keep trying that and getting mad and frustrated and put the controller down, or you can try to go, maybe I’m doing this wrong and I need

[00:50:41] Brett: [00:50:41] I only recently. Realized that people actually finished video games. Like I have all these games. I used to play at my friend’s house on like super Nintendo that I never considered, that people actually finished. Like Contra I didn’t, I didn’t, I D I [00:51:00] thought it was just something you played. I didn’t realize you ever actually got to the end.

[00:51:04] And that was kind of, it, it was a revelation for me to realize, Oh yeah, there’s actually. There’s a sense of satisfaction instead of just frustration that comes from these things. But when you grow up without a video game console, and all of your experiences is being trounced by your friends who actually own the consoles, uh, you develop a different, uh, uh, different, uh, perspective on video games, I guess.

[00:51:30]Jesse: [00:51:30] Yes. And like, I would say there’s a few things there too, like older. So in the early days in the Nintendo and super Nintendo era, Games are the same. The games are the dollar number, same price. They are now games are $60 or $50. But if you adjust for inflation, that is a much higher value back then, uh, that, that, you know, people were often parents were paying and games needed to last.

[00:51:59] And [00:52:00] so one of the kind of things that’s often cited as games that were artificially hard, they were Contra is a perfect example of. A game that was brutally hard with the idea that it would last, you know, you would get your dollar amount out of it. Um, but for many people that was just deeply frustrating and you didn’t get past level two.

[00:52:21] Um, and the other side to back this up as sort of arcades arcade cabinets goal was to make money. Their goal was to eat quarters, right. And so. There was artificial difficulty baked in. And so it wasn’t until in my opinion, it wasn’t until really the PlayStation era where games stopped being just, Hey, we want to be challenging.

[00:52:47] So that you’ll feel like you’re getting your money’s worth. As you know, you started getting games that were telling, uh, richer stories and, um, you know, weren’t just trying to make you play the same

[00:52:59] Brett: [00:52:59] yeah, I [00:53:00] guess I

[00:53:00] Jesse: [00:53:00] and over again. Yeah, I was at, you’re not

[00:53:03] Brett: [00:53:03] no, that, that actually, I, I guess I never realized there was a, a transition kind of a philosophical transition there that maybe I should get a video game console. Finally, I had an X-Box three 60 that I really only bought because it had the connect. And I wanted to hack on the connect and I bought Bioshock for it.

[00:53:25] I got through like 20 minutes of Bioshock before I gave up on it. And that’s pretty much my extent of modern gaming right there. It looked cool.

[00:53:34] Jesse: [00:53:34] Bioshock is a good game. It’s a it’s that it it’s such a Bret thing to buy a whole system just so you can

[00:53:43] Brett: [00:53:43] I, I, I lost the X-Box in the divorce, so. That’s that’s a thing of the past now.

[00:53:50]Jesse: [00:53:50] I, I will say, like, I’ve become sort of a Sherpa too. I have a couple friends, one in particular. He, he hadn’t [00:54:00] had a video game console since, uh, the super Nintendo. And he’s like in his late thirties and two years ago, he was like, there’s some game. Oh, it was the last of us. He’s like, I keep hearing people say, the last of us is really good and I’m kind of interested in meeting game.

[00:54:16] Should I, should I get into it? And I was like, yeah, man, like, there’s a reason that game is so price. It’s, it’s a real powerful experience you should. Sure. And so he got into it and now he is a full on gamer and listens to, you know, Multiple podcasts and reads all the websites and files all these. And he’s more up on the news than I am, but, you know, he’ll sort of ask me like old school stuff.

[00:54:41] So he’ll, he’ll, he’ll hear terms that he’s not familiar with and be like, what is Metroid veiny mean? And I’ll kind of have to explain, Oh, well this, and then he’ll go, Oh, should I go back and play those? And I can be like, yeah, that’s actually good and holds up.

[00:54:54] Brett: [00:54:54] All right. Well, if I ever get back into, I shouldn’t say back, if I ever get into. [00:55:00] Console gaming. I will, uh, I will contact you and a couple of other guests who are avid gamers that know way more than I do and could probably get me over, uh, some initial humps

[00:55:12]Jesse: [00:55:12] Yeah, it’s a lovely way. It’s a lovely alternative way to spend the evening

[00:55:18] Brett: [00:55:18] if you’ve already been through the office three times and aren’t ready to start the

[00:55:22] Jesse: [00:55:22] or whatever.

[00:55:23]Brett: [00:55:23] Yeah. All right. Well, Jesse, where can people find you?

[00:55:28]Jesse: [00:55:28] Oh, uh, so I finally, uh, one of the things they also did drink courting was make a website, uh, and then I haven’t written on it, but I do finally have a website now. So, uh, it’s J S a T K dot U S a. That is also my Twitter handle. That’s my handle on like everything GSAT K uh, kind of like a super shortening of my name.

[00:55:51] Uh, so yeah.

[00:55:53] Brett: [00:55:53] Yeah, well, the world would be

[00:55:55] Jesse: [00:55:55] I’ll actually blog again.

[00:55:57] Brett: [00:55:57] All right. Well, thanks, Jesse. Uh, great [00:56:00] talking to you again. We’ll have to, we’ll have to not wait what, three years next time.

[00:56:05]Jesse: [00:56:05] Okay. It’s uh, it’s all I’m. I just love,

[00:56:09] Brett: [00:56:09] Um, and thanks everyone for listening. We’ll uh, we’ll see you in a week. Yeah.