Daniel Hayward

a web log of essays and fiction, a playground built with words

  1. Clavicle Stroke (like a breast stroke but higher up)
  2. Bee (vibrate arms for forward movement)
  3. Moth Stroke (go to the brightest light)
  4. Beached Whale (lay on the side of the pool)
  5. Reverse Composite Side Stroke
  6. Dandelion Seed (Arms Only, Tucked Legs)
  7. Torpedo (Arms @ Side and Legs only)
  8. One Arm One Leg (Can only switch after doing flip turn)
  9. Life jacket seizure
  10. Helicopter stroke



The Blazers had 3 Shots on goal in the last 20 seconds of the 4th quarter, we were down by 3 and all 3 bricked.

It was heart breaking.

Orlando Magic seemed like they were a better team for the first half. But then we had a good few streaks. We, as if I and the Blazers make up parts of a whole. It did feel that way though. The crowd cheering and booing and drinks and food all together, mixed into a cocktail, shaken, not stirred. The workers keeping us in our places. Secure.

I thought about happiness in my work and how little smiles I saw from the players.

Not that happiness is evident when you're doing work that is fulfilling. I love woodworking, but I'm not laughing the whole time. I enjoy making Excel spreadsheets (I know, I'm sick in the head but they don't make medication for it yet).

I'm not usually smiling when I'm working on them. I get excited to solve a problem. These are some of the most elite athletes in the world. Genuinely.


  1. Play paperclips
  2. Reorganize your mailbox
  3. Deep clean your desk
  4. Make coffee
  5. Go to the bathroom
    1. (repeat 4 & 5 as unnecessary)
  6. Deep clean someone else's desk
  7. Water your desk plant (which is fake)
  8. Change your department's file structure (without telling anyone)
  9. Delete files on the company server that don't help you specifically.
  10. Find people online who don't like the company you work for and insult them, on behalf of the company.


Killian wandered the aisles in the garage squinting at a graveyard of good intentions.

One bay door was open, releasing dusty air and replacing it with fresh, sunshine air.

There was an organized madness to the garage. Anal retentive maybe, but easily distracted also was the soul that reflected in each polished surface.

“What's that?” Killian asked, pointing to an object on a shelf with his clipboard. Brandon walked over to it. “Ping pong set. Two paddles in cases and bundled up with stands” “When did you last play ping pong?” “Three months ago.” “Did you use any of this?”

Brandon shook his head. He was a squat man with a wide forehead. He had thin blonde hair cropped close, almost military. Turning the ping pong paddles over, he set them back.

Killian made a mark on his clipboard. “When was the last time you used these to play table tennis?” “It would have been, at least a year ago maybe longer,” Brandon answered. Killian made another note on his clipboard.“When was the last time you went bicycling?” “In college.” “Did you live here when you were in college?” “No.” “Have you ever used this bicycle?” “Well, I lived closer to my work when I started buying–” “Sorry, when was the last time you used this bicycle?” “I haven't.” Killian walked over and opened up the bag next to it. “You have a stand for it. A reasonable lock. Do you have bicycling specific clothes?” “No.” Killian marked down on his clipboard, and raised his eyebrows at Brandon. “Yes. I have bicycling clothes,” Brandon said. Killian made another mark. “Camping?” “Last summer but I've been hiking this spring.” “Concrete stuff?” “Never.” After each question Killian made a mark on his clipboard. “Skiing?” “I got a good deal.” Killian raised made the same mark he had been making. “Do you work on your car yourself or have a shop do most of it?” He asked pointing at the rolling toolbox. “Dealer warranty still.” Killian sighed. “What do you do with your time?” “Internet? I mean, I cook and clean and work. That takes a lot of time.” “I see. Well,” Killian said writing some notes as he spoke, “I'm cancelling your Amazon Prime account and prescribing long form reading for an hour a day. Also, go for walks without listening to anything. You also need to pick one of the hobbies from this room and get rid of the rest. Pick something you'll actually do.” “But,” he was cut off. “Do you want to get better or make excuses? Did you come to me to get better or to say the same?” “To get better.” “Then try what I say. Besides if you get half of what you paid for for all of this,” Killian said waving to the amalgam of dead hobbies, “You'll more than pay for my fee.”


“Oh, Tanstaafl means there ain't no such thing as a free lunch. And isn't,” I added, pointing to a FREE LUNCH sign across room,” or these drinks would cost half as much. Was reminding her that anything free costs twice as much in long run or turns out worthless.” ― Robert A. Heinlein, The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress

I have more paid apps on my phone than anyone else I know. If I'm not paying for something I'm using, either someone is doing me a favor or I'm the product. When I don't understand how something is profitable, I'm wary of using it.

I've recently switched to Fastmail, a paid email service. And you're reading this on a website that is included in the cost to have my own email + the $12 a year that it costs from to register it at BookMyName, but I wouldn't recommend them despite the price. Including the email service it works about to about $72/yr and the main competitor to this is Squarespace which is ~$192 a year. And that's the cheapest option, for businesses it's another $5/mo to be able to use all of their features, and another $10/mo to use their mail. No wonder they advertise on every single podcast.

But back to my phone, my paid apps are:

The rest of the apps on my phone are a mix of services that allow me to pay the company (payment model is obvious there) or open sourced.

As I was writing this I just realized I never see (I do hear them when listening to podcasts) any ads on my phone unless I'm on Safari which is rare, as it is disabled almost all of the time.

Switching away from Google can be difficult, but Google's list of privacy concerns is long and obvious when you look at incentives. They make more money when they are better able to advertise to you. The same is true with Amazon, Meta, & X, you might think of them as a search engine, a store, or social media; they are the same way that a ranch farmer is a day care for cows.

Do they offer services to the cows? Absolutely.

Do they care for the cows? It depends on what you mean when you ask that question. They care for the cows the way a diner wants their steak to be of high quality, not the way a friend cares for your well being.

As I navigate the digital world, I try to be highly aware of who gets the money, because every dollar is a vote.

Work with companies you want to work with.

An exercise in the same vein as this book and video.

A lot of people have recently been asking “Daniel, how can I get into a slump or rut?, or “Daniel, I want to be depressed but I don't know how.” I point out that their second comment wasn't actually a question and they thank me for pointing it out.

In any case, I wanted to be able to point to a specific essay so that I can earn ad revenue. In my years of experience, I've found the following tips to be helpful.


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