Since May, I’ve been posting a new video just about every day. What’s in the videos? A short piano piece, played as well as I can quickly learn it. “Short” means, based on a sample size of 72 videos, two and a half minutes on average. (You’ll probably agree, coming from the Agile in 3 Minutes guy, that tracks.) Don’t like what you’re hearing? No problem, the next piece is short too. Here’s the full YouTube playlist, totaling over 3 hours of music so far.

Half a lifetime ago, I was already a musician and a technologist. I’d have believed the future existence of a video-hosting platform such as YouTube. Everything else, nope, no way that’s future-me.

1997 CWRU recital program

I’d given this recital hoping for a tuition grant. Having heard me play, the university accepted me as a music major. Problem is, I hadn’t wanted that. I wanted CS classes more than anything and my advisor from the music department couldn’t get me into those.

I frazzled out at that university, and almost certainly would have regardless of which courses I took.

8 years later I tried again at another university. At that point music was what I wanted to study. I graduated at 30 with a bachelor’s in it.

I also graduated with a changed belief.

My belief at the time of the pictured 1997 recital, and at the beginning of the fall 2005 semester: reading music is an aptitude, I lack it, and I compensate well enough by memorizing quickly.

My belief a few years later: sight-reading is a skill. By practicing it, I’ve gotten much better.

Obvious to me now, and surely obvious to you well before now. But young-musician-me had been resigned to playing only pieces that others could show me and help me with. I would never have believed a different experience were possible.

Lots of lessons in this: for me personally, for how I raise (and praise) my kids, for how I work in and with teams. Most of all: by changing a key belief, I changed how I relate to music. You can see and hear the fruits of that.

How did I get that belief to change? Well, that’s the magic, isn’t it. Lots of things had to change a little bit.

What else changed when I gave myself a more direct relationship to music-making? Another thing I never would have guessed: making more direct relationships with you. In conclusion, behavior, conditions, beliefs, mindset, behavior, and so on, forever. But mainly, thanks for listening. And I don’t mean about the music.

Posted Mon Aug 15 14:12:30 2022 Tags:

Our third child arrived yesterday, on April 26, at 7 pounds. She was determined to make her debut in the car but instead came out moments after her mom got on the hospital bed. Meet Galila Yara Schleier:

Galila Yara Schleier with big eyes

She comes home tomorrow to meet her brothers. Grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, et al. will get to hold and smell her soon.

About the name:

Galila Yara honors Rebekka’s beloved aunt Judy and Amitai’s sweet uncle Rami.


From Hebrew Galil, the most mountainous region of Israel, the country where Uriel and Rami grew up.

  • It signifies Judy’s endless love of the mountains and embodies the meaning of Rami’s name: “high”
  • Taken on its own, the Gal portion of the name means “wave”, representing the love of the ocean that Judy and Rachel shared and experienced together
  • The initial G honors Dianne’s mother, Grace


From Hebrew and Arabic words for “small butterfly”, “forest”, or “honeycomb”, depending on how you read it.

  • It reflects the beauty and sweetness of nature, which Judy always celebrated and appreciated
  • The Y honors Yehudit (Judith) and the Ra honors Rami
  • Like Amitai’s own middle name, it represents Yaakov and Rivka, Uriel’s and Rami’s parents

Galila Yara

We chose the name “Galila Yara” to encompass our families’ rich memories and backgrounds and to celebrate Judy and Rami and their loving families. We invite you to join us in welcoming Galila into ours.

About the date

  • 4/26 is the day before Finias’s birthday (he’s 2 today!)

More nice properties observed after the fact

If you think of another reason this is a nice name, please pass it along.

More photos

Posted Wed Apr 27 16:16:19 2022 Tags:

For the December meetup of Jersey City Java, Bob Allen presented Coaching Teams to Do the Impossible… as they see it, and, without straining their backs.

About the presentation:

As some of you likely have some appreciation for, what I and my fellow technical and product coaches do, when we are lucky, is a hard sell from the get-go. Here are just a few of the reasons:

  • We ask a whole team to do things they have never even contemplated doing,
  • For an extended period of time (4 to 6 weeks),
  • And to do it repeatedly,
  • All together,
  • With a WIP limit of ONE.

Keep in mind, the clients are typically very large companies, whose employees often experience ‘transformation fatigue’ (been there, done that, didn’t even get the dang t-shirt). Let me tell you some stories about how it is done, why and how it works, and why you might even want to do it yourself.


Posted Wed Dec 8 15:50:51 2021 Tags:

[ About my public-facing work ]

Starting now, I’m moving my monthly posts from Patreon to my own website here. Why?

  1. I prefer to own my data
  2. There are many ways (Patreon merely one among them) in which people can fund my public-facing work

My corporate work focuses on learning together, experientially. My public-facing work is similar: I’m creating learning experiences, Open Source code, and combinations thereof — at present, like so:

  • Packaging third-party software for a cross-platform Unix package manager
  • Developing an email server
  • Fixing bugs and adding features to a (mostly) static site generator
  • Facilitating ensemble/mob programming sessions
  • Streaming solo programming sessions
  • Organizing meetups about programming and Agile

For more, see crowdfunding. I’m grateful for your support.


Held our final Legacy Open Source Fridays ensemble session of 2021. Started back up with streaming my solo programming sessions on Twitch, mostly pkgsrc-related so far. Improving my stream a bit each time.

For Jersey City Java, experimented with having a vendor present their product: a brief introduction to the tool, followed by programming together with Pejman Ghorbanzade. Glad we tried it. If we do another vendor session sometime, this’ll be how.

Building momentum with Southern Connecticut Agile, our second meetup was an extremely well liked conversation with Esther Derby and Matthew Carlson. We’ll skip December (too much holiday stuff), though JC-JUG’s session will be of interest. I’m excited for our January SoCTAgile speaker.

Build farm

VirtualBox 6.1.30 fixed the macOS Monterey troubles I encountered last month.

Upgrading Devuan 3.1 to 4.0 was straightforward, as was updating Ubuntu aarch64 to 21.10.

After much reading and trying stuff, bringing up a 2007 MacBook (64-bit system, 32-bit EFI) with Lubuntu 21.10 was ultimately uneventful. It’s no speed demon. I doubt I’ll keep it running. But the tricks I’ve just learned should apply to my original 2006 Mac Pro, boosted many years ago with SSD and lots of RAM and needing only an OS that can be kept current. In the meantime, a cursory build of my usual packages turned up a build failure in libspf2.

pkgsrc fixes

  • Doing cross-platform testing of an Ubuntu 21.10 fix for libspf2 (works nearly everywhere else, but needs more fixing on OpenBSD and Void)
  • Reviewed a fix needed in my cross-platform build environment, now awaiting commit by the author
  • lighttpd: upstream patch for use-after-free
  • libhighlight: bump required API version to fix runtime errors seen on
  • ikiwiki: provide pkgsrc-compatible default values for configurable paths to fix runtime errors seen on
  • Linux with non-executable glibc (such as Ubuntu/aarch64 21.10): fall back to detecting GLIBC_VERSION another way
  • qmail and djbdns: catch up to pkgsrc’s switch from RMD160 to BLAKE2s hashes
  • gdk-pixbuf2: fix macOS build
  • ucspi-tools: fix Linux build
  • bootstrap: note that Solaris 11 works

pkgsrc updates

  • mob to 2.1.0
  • texttest to 4.0.8
  • p5-App-Sqitch to 1.2.0
  • py-approvaltests to 3.1.0
  • getmail to 5.16

pkgsrc additions

  • ucspi-udp
  • tcpexec
  • fd-proxy
  • pikchr
  • AusweisApp2 (to pkgsrc-wip for further attention)
  • dstp (also to pkgsrc-wip)


Legacy Open Source Fridays has produced a few pull requests which we’re still working through. I made some progress on getting Add tests for qmail-send:job_*() functions past the Solaris autobuilds.

Legacy Open Source Fridays has also produced a few people with motivation to continue programming notqmail. I had not imagined this possibility, and am gratified that it’s happened.


My motivation for packaging pikchr was to be able to integrate it into ikiwiki. Ikiwiki already has a graphviz plugin which I’ve been using to generate somewhat explanatory diagrams of acceptutils — but I’m not thrilled with my diagrams, pikchr appears designed to run in precisely this kind of context, and maybe I’ll like it better. When I write the pikchr plugin for ikiwiki, it’ll be streamed (subscribe to my Twitch). In the meantime, you can watch me create the pikchr package.

Welcome back to Southern Connecticut Agile! For our November meetup, Esther Derby and Matthew Carlson presented There Are No More Early Adopters of Agile.

About the presentation:

After 20 years, Agile has in a sense become pervasive. While it’s neither mandated nor regulated, everyone’s heard of it, and lots of organizations understand the legitimacy it confers. Still, some folks continue to approach changing to Agile as though it were a brand new set of ideas. How’s that working out? Join Esther and Matthew in a conversation about what motivated early Agile adopters, what’s different now, and how we can more effectively bring about the changes we seek.

Comments from participants include “One of the best online sessions I have participated in at least this whole year” and “Best talk of any sort I’ve been to (online or otherwise) in a very long time.”


Papers, talks, books, videos, and blog posts mentioned along the way:

Posted Tue Nov 23 05:27:23 2021 Tags: