Pragmatic 59: Roll With The Seasons

26 February, 2015


Erik Hess of Technical Difficulties and Dawn Patrol joins me to talk about the things that motivate and demotivate us, and turning hobbies into jobs and then back into hobbies again.

Transcript available
Welcome to Pragmatic [Music] Pragmatic is a weekly discussion show contemplating the practical application of technology exploring the real world trade-offs to look at how great ideas are transformed into products and services that can change our lives Nothing is as simple as it seems This episode is sponsored by Extra Sensory Devices and their amazing Luxi4All, an incident light meter attachment for your smartphone or tablet. Visit for more information about their handy Luxi4All that no modern photographer should be without, and to take advantage of a special discount exclusively for Pragmatic listeners. This episode is also sponsored by Hover. Hover is a domain registrar that stands apart from the rest. It is simple, easy to use and understand, with a valet service for your domain transfer making it simply the best way to buy and manage your domain names. Check out Hover at and find out just how easy it is to grab your own domain or transfer your existing domain to Hover using the coupon code absolutely to get 10% off your first purchase. Let Hover valet your domain stress away today. We'll talk about them more during the show. I'm your host John Gigi, and I'm joined today by my guest host, Eric Hess. How are you doing Eric? I'm doing great, John. Thanks for having me on. Oh, thank you for coming on. I was was hoping to get on technical difficulties at some point, but you guys, I think Dr. Drang killed that show. Is that what happened? No, no. But if anyone were going to get credit for it, we'd want to give it to Dr. Drang. Well, and that's totally fair. Sorry, I'm putting I'm putting you on the spot there. I'm being a bit mean, so I apologize. No, not at all. We love Dr. Drang, and that's why we'd love to give him credit for it. There you go. Fantastic. Cool. Well, before we do get stuck in, there's a couple of things to quickly talk about before we get stuck into the topic. So first of all, just a reminder about the stickers. I know some people are big fans of stickers, so they're going to remain up there for a while longer. What's interesting, I've noticed, is that I've sold a heap of the tiniest little stickers and only two of the biggest stickers. So if not too many more of those sell, probably in the next few weeks, I'll probably take the bigger ones down. I've only have X number of slots for stickers then I was going to put some different ones up that are not related to Pragmatic. So yeah, I'm just putting the ones up and leaving ones up that are going to be popular. So anyway, now before the show ends, as I announced last week that the show will be ending at episode 63, which is the end of March, I have one final, final, final, I promise final vote that listeners can participate in if they want to. Now you can go to So not slash podcast slash pragmatic, just slash pragmatic. There'll be a link there in the show notes if you're not sure. And you can vote on your favorite episodes of the podcast. It's completely anonymous if you want it to be. And I'll be telling the results for the final episode. So I'm gonna do a bunch of stats and we're gonna look at, you know, basically I'm curious what listeners favorite episode was. High points, low points, those sorts of things. So this is vital for that last episode. So if you'd like to participate, you can as I say, it's anonymous if you wanted to be. However, as an incentive, if for those that are interested and those that like stickers, since I was talking about stickers, I'm going to pick out three random entries with valid email addresses and I'll announce them during the final episode and those people will get a free sticker sent out to them. So I know I'm all going out on prizes there, but there you go. So if you want to, there's a chance to get a free sticker. All you got to do is vote. And this time I've made sure that you can choose, you don't have to vote on an episode if you haven't listened to it. So, they all default to X, no opinion. You can just click whatever. You'll see, go and check it out anyway. Right, that's it, no more blurb. You know I had feedback about people that hated the blurb before the episode. Yeah, yeah, I did. - That was one thing that we were, I think we were ridiculously lucky with on TV was I can't recall any negative bit of feedback we ever got. - Wow, okay. - Yeah, it's what made ending the show kind of hard. I mean, one of the things was, it was just great hearing from people. So, and everybody was unabashedly positive, which is counter to like everybody's experience on the internet, right? - Yeah, absolutely. Now, one of the things I found doing Pragmatic is that I've had probably 98% positive feedback. The thing is, occasionally you'll get some negative feedback and sometimes you don't know whether or not it's meant to be constructive or it's meant to be spiteful. But because, you know, one time I had some feedback that said John doesn't do any research. And I'm not sure if that was meant to be an inside joke regarding ATP or not. But still, it was directed at me. So, I had to assume, OK, the 30 hours I did last week didn't count. Right. Anyway, so. But yeah, generally I've had some pretty, it's been overwhelmingly positive. So yeah, it's-- - It's hard. It's hard sometimes to kind of read the, read between the lines whenever you get some, you know, some bit of feedback. I think everybody who takes the time to send feedback to something like this, given the small listenership that we have relative to, you know, the whole world, we're not Taylor Swift, that's for sure. So it seems like everyone's trying at least because in at least the podcasting environment we're in, if you don't, I mean, if you don't like the show, why are you listening? - Yeah, the stop button is right there. - Unless you're just following. So that's why I always thought we were really lucky because we have that kind of self-selected audience and I think you want to do well for them. - Yeah, you guys went for, I mean, going back to generational at the beginning, right? This is going way back to 70 decibels, I think, if memory serves. - That's right. And that was three and a half years ago, four years ago, longer. It may have been it may have been at least three years ago. 70 decibel site is down now. We still have all those shows on our on our end as well. But yeah, it just started out with it started out with just Gabe. And he was nice enough to have me on or silly enough, foolish enough to have me on. He started that in in 2012. And then I did I didn't come on as a guest until March of 2013. Okay, fair enough. I guess the point I was getting at is that that's a lot of momentum, like listener momentum. So people will listen, you'll pick up listeners along the way, some will drop off, some will become fans and it tends to sort of build up with time. The one thing that I've sort of, one of the things I've taken away from this is that the people that have got really, really successful podcasts, like in terms of massive download numbers, and that's not necessarily a measure of success, let's be clear about that, but still. They are people that have already done something previously. And-- - Yes. - Yeah, it builds on, whether that's in the public arena, whether or not it's on YouTube, whether or not it's on their blog, whether I released an app, there's always something else. It's very unusual to find someone who's actually come from a background of none of that public momentum to come into a podcast and is then actually got lots and lots of downloads and high popularity and highly listened to. >>STEVE Yeah, and that's where I personally got really lucky because Gabe, in addition to being probably, I mean, without a doubt, one of the best podcasters I've ever known, both in interviewing and just being able to run it in general, Gabe's a fantastic blogger. I don't know where he has the time to keep his site as rich as he does, but boy, that's a high bar to reach. And so that made it easy for us because he had already built that audience. Yeah, well, yeah, I was a bit disappointed because I was late to the game, right? I had listened to one or two episodes of generational back in the day And then I sort of had a break and I came back to it midway through the TD era. I guess you'd call it And then only just recently did I start listening to dawn patrol and it's one of those things that I was head-butting my wall Recently because it's like I I didn't click it was so ridiculous of me So I'd see it in my feed and I'm like, yeah, I should probably look at that I should probably look at that. It's the same guys as T. Oh, yeah. And I finally got around to listening to them. This is awesome. Oh, they just canceled it. Okay. Oh, I'm glad you liked it. Thanks. It was well, what, what, what we were running into is that, I mean, TD was such an expensive show to produce and it was not like in money. It was expensive in time and energy. And so what we'd hope to do with DP was to kind of alternate them where we would do kind of a high, low mix where maybe just one T, one TD show a month, one TV show every two weeks and then, you know, be able to do DP weekly. And that worked, but we found that it just wasn't, it wasn't as compelling for us to produce. And we felt like we felt like we were, we wanted to go out before we, our quality really started dropping. Yeah. It's funny how many of the things that, how many things you're saying that dovetail with one of the reasons that I'm ending pragmatic is it's, it's very similar for me, is that there's a lot of effort that goes into making the show. And I mean, I don't mind having a show that's just conversational, I guess, but at the same time, I don't get the same kick out of it because to me, it's just a bit- gets a bit samey. And I think it's okay to have a show where you're just listening for the personalities. And it's, you know, which I guess for me was, you know, that was Dormtrot, whereas TD was more, you know, educational entertainment, if you'd like, you know. And the difference is pretty stark is like, you know, one sort of like a background filler sort of, you know, podcast. That's not meant in a detrimental way. It's just meant. Not at all. I know exactly what you mean. Yeah. This is something that you can you can be working. You can actually be doing stuff and listening to people chat. And hey, that's kind of interesting. Whereas when I'm listening to what like what I listen to Pragmatic, it is I want to listen to it. I want to hear everything because I don't want to miss anything. Yeah. You got to concentrate. And I guess, yeah, two very polar opposite kind of shows, but I like both of them. It's a shame they're gone, but I completely sympathize with why, so that's okay. - Well, thanks. And our goal, this is something I think that's hard about the medium, and I don't wanna get too meta, but that there is an expectation that very much like a radio show, like Howard Stern or something, you're gonna be there all the time forever, every week, and it's not more like a TV show where, well, maybe we do a season, maybe we take a break, maybe we recharge our batteries and come back. I would love to come back to both of those shows. It's just not something we can do right now. - Yeah, fair enough. Well, this is actually a good lead into the topic and this is why we're going on about it. Listeners, if you're wondering what on earth the topic is. But Eric and I wanted to go and talk about motivation and the balance between enjoyment and commitment. And podcasts and the podcasts that we've both made, Eric's case is just only just recently, technical difficulties and Dawn Patrol are both wrapped up and there'll be links in the show notes to those. They're two very awesome podcasts. You should check them out, even though they have ended, there's still a back catalog of really good stuff. In my case, Pragmatic's ending shortly. So, yeah, I thought it was a good time to talk about motivation as to why we got into, not just podcasting, but why we do what we do, why we work, why we make things And so it's a good point to start about that. So I sort of started talking about this a little bit in episode 41, talking about recognition. That was a episode I think was called meaningless token award. And I guess the thing with, okay. So the divide I wanna draw is, and flesh out a bit is, is hobbies versus jobs and motivations for each. And it's kind of one of those fluffy subjects. I don't have a lot of notes. So, because it's hard to do notes on a topic like this. So, I guess motivation and driving force behind what you do makes a massive difference, but it only makes a massive difference, I think, during the darker periods when enthusiasm is waning and you're ready to quit. And I guess that's the place to start. Yeah, and that's I do think that this is a topic that it's easy to over systematize, Not necessarily overthink, but like it's it's tempting to put a template on this and Not just not just apply it to more than one person, but even apply it to yourself at different times in your lives Absolutely. I like that distinction between hobby and job because in many ways I feel like I've only ever had like one job In in my entire life. I worked in a I worked at a Walgreens. Oh, okay I see a drugstore when I was in high school and that was definitely a job like in the sense that I don't want to Be here, but I doing it because I need money Yeah, and I was ridiculously lucky that pretty much everything I've done since then I would have done as a hobby Even if I didn't get paid for it and the times I ended up leaving them Which is kind of sad are the times when I I felt like the hobby part is waning Yeah, and I don't know what that means about my personal stick to it ifness, but I feel like in a way I've been a little spoiled that way Yeah, it sounds like it's been, because I wish I could say something similar, but most of the jobs that I've had, I have not necessarily enjoyed so much. Until recently, and I say recently, last 10 years, if that's recent, depending on your point of view, I guess. But, I mean, I've had jobs in retail, and that was definitely a job. I'm glad I did it, but geez, it was rough. Again, I've talked about that previously. I've also worked in, oddly enough, mechanical design, which was, as an electrical engineer, is a bit weird, but there you go. I learned lots about split washes, crinkle washes, and beryllium, and so on, but nevermind that. And that was quite a job because I did not enjoy that at all. So that was brief. And anyway, the jobs that I've enjoyed most recently at working for a bigger company were the jobs in control system software. and in switchboard manufacturing. That's been my most enjoyable jobs that I've done. 'Cause I'm not a big fan of politics. I kind of deal with politics in big offices, but I really can't stand it. It's just so easy to tear it to pieces and to look at it and shake your head and think this is completely pointless in every possible way. So I do wish I'd had more of an experience like yours, but that's okay. So, I guess the whole hobby thing, I want to talk a little bit about that. So, by the definition of a hobby is an activity that's done regularly and one's leisure time for pleasure. And what I, that in and of itself isn't all that interesting, but what's interesting is actually where it came from. So apparently, based on, you know, what I was looking, reading up on this is, in late middle English, it was a permutation of hobbin or hobby. And those are pet forms of the given name Robin. Again, you know, middle English, what can you do? So anyway, originally it sort of came to denote a toy horse or a hobby horse, you know, like a rocking horse sort of thing. Hence the concept of it's an activity done for pleasure. And every time now from now on that you think about, "Oh, this is my hobby," you can think of a hobby horse or a toy horse or a rocking horse. So there you go. That's pretty awesome. When I read that, I'm like, seriously? Oh no, that's ruined the word hobby for me from now on. (laughing) Conjuring up images. What's your hobby? I'm a podcaster and I'm podcasting, rocking on a rocking horse. Anyway, so there you go. Right, hmm. So in terms of hobbies and so on that I've had in my life, the biggest ones I've had other than podcasting has been amateur radio. And that took up a lot of my time in my late teens and early to mid 20s. So other than podcasting, I know you said you've only ever had really one job at the Walgreens, but would you say that there are any other hobbies that you've been into outside of other than podcasting in that time? - Yeah, and so, you know, based on now that you actually define hobby, I guess technically my real paid job has been less than fun and less than a toy plenty of times. For me, my hobby was actually always playing on computers. I don't have a computer science degree. I did international politics in college, and yet right then I was messing with flight simulators. That was my big hobby. As soon as I got a computer, my parents were kind of smart. They kept a computer out of my hands while I was growing up 'cause they knew they'd just lose me. I'd just be in my room all day. And so, yeah, I got to college. I got my first computer, an awesome 46SX33 from Dell. And that was my hobby, that was my big hobby. As soon as I got that, it was playing games and it was hacking, like not hacking on games, like not creating or trying to break games, but trying to find the limits of those games was a lot of fun, or extending them. So I was a big Microsoft Flight Simulator fan, played a lot with that and added a bunch of mods and scenery to that, that was a blast. And that really became my hobby. And I realized probably, well, I realized when I took my first computer science class sophomore year that, wow, there are people who actually get degrees in this. There are people who get to do this all the time. - Yeah. - You believe that? - Yeah, it's kind of crazy. I mean, I-- - Imagine that, yeah. So, yeah. - So yeah, okay, fair enough. Look, when I did engineering, I had an option. A lot of people that came out of high school with me, we sort of, with similar interests, we sort of diverged and a bunch of people went over to computer science/IT and the other rest of us went over and almost the rest of us then did engineering. But it was interesting the number of people that did a year of engineering and then said, "You know what? We didn't really want to do this. We're going to go over and do IT and computer science." And they sort of, you know, so being a second year, there was a huge drop in numbers of people that just defected and went to the other side of the fence. But anyway, cool, very good. So I guess, right, right, right, right, yes, okay. So doing something for fun, the problem I've got, I guess, with doing something for fun is that the moment it stops being fun, you stop doing it. Is that a bad thing? I don't know, maybe that's not a bad thing, but I guess I wanted to-- - It's hard. - Yeah. - I think a real hard part about that is when it's not a, it's not a problem, let's say that you make model airplanes. Let's say that you just, you like making plastic model kits. I did that when I was a kid. - There is nothing wrong with getting tired of that. If that's what you do, you're sitting around playing and building kits and you get tired of that, just walking away and coming back. I think the challenge starts to become when your hobbies involve other people. - Yes, thank you, exactly. And that's where I was going. So absolutely right, because then whatever hobby that you do affects more than just yourself 'cause it's so easy to pull up sticks and say, I'm done if it's only you, but if you're involving other people. And I thought about this, so beyond, So, we've made podcasts, lots of people have liked our podcasts. And so we announced, yeah, we're gonna stop. Suddenly our decision about our hobby has consequences beyond ourselves. Whether or not that should play a big part or not is open for debate, I guess. But I thought about, well, what other hobbies are there where that is the case? And a lot of it comes down to how actively involved you are. Like in amateur radio, for example, if you're involved with maintaining some of the repeater systems or organizing the club meetings or ham fests or whatever you're doing. Obviously if you decide, well, I'm done with that, then that's gonna have an impact. If you're volunteering in different locations, let's say you're part of an archery club or a swimming club or whatever else, and you're doing part-time coaching or timekeeping or whatever you might be doing, scoring and so on. So you pull back from that, you affect other people, but more by your absence than anything you're actually doing, which is kind of an interesting twist on it. But I guess the question is that, and this is the symbiotic part of it, is that I think very few people start out a hobby with affecting anyone else immediately. It's something that sort of grows the more you get into a hobby. And then the question is, does that change from becoming a consequence of what you're doing and become part of a motivator to continue doing it? - Yeah, I think that's, I think you've hit on something key there. I started playing guitar seriously, and by seriously, not incredibly seriously, but more seriously than just messing around with it while I was in pilot training. It was a way to kind of calm down a little bit, and then really got into it a little bit past that. And that was great. And I had some friends who played in a band. I did a lot of music in high school, but like choir stuff, nothing cool. So it was great to go and like watch a band play. And eventually I practiced more and more. And when my friend at the time had to go on deployment, I jumped in. They asked me to kind of jump in and sit in with them. And it was, being in a band was the closest I've been to like podcasting, for example, in my life, I think. In the sense that much like a group podcast or much like any sort of relationship, you got to deal with other people, what their desires are. And it always seems too like everybody's trying to balance the workload too. because there's always any hobby you have, there are non-fun parts of it. Practice, make scheduling. I mean, boy, I'm sure you've never experienced the non-fun part of podcasting, right John? Well, since you brought it up, yeah. Since you brought it up, yeah. Bottom line, yeah. Editing. The thing is if I'm editing it, if there's a two hour episode of the show, which, you know, there aren't too many of them, but you know, Occasionally they happen. What can I do? It's a momentum problem. But anyway, uh, yeah, so, um, two hour show, it's going to take at least two hours more like double that and add a bit in order to do the full edit on that. And it's just because you have to, you listen back as you're going through it. You listen back. I listened back to the transitions between segments, between the intro and the outro multiple times to make sure that I haven't messed anything up. Uh, and then once it's been bound, once, once you in logic, you know, you bounce the, they call it bouncing, whatever. Anyway, you, you output the final edit. And then once you do that, you edit the metadata and so on and so forth. And I have one last listen to the, usually the beginning, the end, and you know, the transitions, because I haven't got time to listen to it for another two hours. And anyway, so it takes like a two hour show is usually about five hours worth of editing time. And that's, you know, some people have said, oh, that's not fun. And I'm like, well, yeah, I guess it's not, but at the same time, it's sort of a consequence and you put up with it because well, yeah, it's-- - Yeah, it's good, it's challenging and it is actually worth doing. - Oh, sure. - It's very necessary. But, and it's part of the hobby. What's good is, and I'm sure, I'm sure like some bands have been around with no personnel changes for like their entire time. Like U2 is a good example of that. Those guys are always around. - Yes, oh yeah. - Just like some podcasts stay around for a very long time. I think one of the really great things is if you're in a hobby with a group and you can find some people whose interests are balanced enough that what everyone thinks is cool, the other people would be happy to hand over to them. And you can find some sort of balance of effort. Because that's been something that, you know, if having been in a band where there was a very unbalanced level of effort, when that guy was ready to set down the less fun parts for the other guys booking, setting up practice venues, stuff like that. We were done. When that guy was done, he set it down. We were like, "I don't even know how to do that stuff. I don't have your contacts." I think in group hobbies, you can get in a situation pretty easily where you can over rely on a member if you don't have a good balance. interesting because the other part of this is that it's like you say it's like a group hobby and so this is a hobby that I do this is something that I want to do I'm motivated to do this but now I'm with a group of other people who are directly whom whom the continuation of this activity is now dependent upon and if you've got the majority of people in that group are moving in the same direction to have the same end goal and are enjoying it then it tends to you reinforce and provide more motivation to continue. Whereas like you said, if there's just that one person sort of like, you know, holding parts of it together and they suddenly flip a switch and they say, "Well, I'm done." And then it falls apart so quickly that it's near instantaneous. I've seen it happen before in a sports team. For example, I played for a cricket team there for a while, had a similar end result. Because once you took the guy that was doing all the organizing away and he said, "Look, okay, we're done. Everyone," he said, "Someone else can take over." I think we played two games and that was the end of it. So, hmm. >>STEVE Yeah. Well, now, I'd be interested in your take. What about those hobbies that lie on the line? So something that maybe starts as a hobby and then you start to make some income from it. >>JASON Yeah. >>STEVE You get people expecting you to come. You get people who are looking forward to your next show or your next episode, your next performance. You're getting paid maybe a little bit, not enough to go full-time, but a little bit. And so actually there are financial expectations of that. Have you experienced that and has that affected your enjoyment of hobbies at all? I definitely have experienced that with this show and it does change things considerably. Once you start accepting money either from fans of the show through something like Patreon or from sponsors who have a product that they want to get out there, either way, you're now committed because it's like, if you give me your... The funny thing is, it's kind of... I guess there's two parts of it. The first part of it is the sponsor part of it is, I feel there is an obligation, a contract now between me and the sponsors. So they're going to give me however much money and I'm going to talk about their product. First of all, I now feel responsible depending upon how well that goes. If listeners are interested, if they support the show, if they're interested in the product and so on, because then of course you get sponsors come back and they'll say, "Oh, the campaign did really well," or, "No, it didn't do very well at all." affects directly whether or not I want to keep going right there. If it goes badly, I'm like, well, because I've had some sponsors that have done really, really well, and I've had other sponsors that have not. And I feel absolutely gutted when a sponsor comes back and says, oh, look, we haven't done very well. And because I feel responsible. I'm like, OK, well, I didn't sell it well enough. I didn't-- what did I do wrong? I mean, they say there's this thing is a bad fit, and it's got to be the right fit for the show and the right fit for the audience. And I mean, what's the point in pimping refrigerators if no one wants a refrigerator, for example. Yeah, I mean, and I don't know my demographic necessarily. I have a reasonable idea based on who gives me feedback, but it's only a small slice of the overall listeners. So it's very hard for me to gauge and I refuse to do a survey just on principle. So, and even if I did do a survey, I don't think that that would give me a meaningful, you know, idea of who's in the audience anyway. So that actually has become somewhat of a demotivator, which is odd. I thought about moving away from sponsors and going towards Patreon style. But the problem I've got with that is that you're still obligated because I'm now taking money from listeners to continue to do the show, to produce the show, to host it. All of that takes... I'm taking other people's money to provide. I have to give them something back. I can't not. So it's and that's the point where you'd think it becomes, it's funny, it's almost become a demotivator up to a point. And it's almost easier to not take on sponsorship, to not do Patreon, to simply put it out there because it's a hobby and just keep that line in the sand and never cross it. Because if you do, then it just changes the complexion of it and it changes it to a point. That is so true. I and and you touched on something that really impacted us on both generational and TD. We were never really We never really crossed the sponsor barrier and we never we we had thought about doing something like patreon and and and so we were faced with a lot of the same dilemmas and we were lucky enough that We were lucky enough that we could continue to put out The show and support the stuff that we were the money that we were putting into the show Just right out of our pockets. We were definitely in a position where we considered Hey if we can if we can turn this into You know if we can get some revenue out of this it would make it easier for us to spend Some more you know some more time on it, but there was a that huge fear just like you described is well now It's kind of a job whether it's a good job whether it's like a good a well-paid job or not and boy never never take a look at the income versus time spent on on a hobby like that and And then break it out into out into into income per hour boy. That's that's not good Yeah, it's scary, but I think - and I think the crowdfunding thing is a really interesting really interesting part of this because for a if you get a sponsor you can you can You can try and figure out metrics for the sponsor and see if it's worth it or not worth it to them That's good, and that's business. I mean that's so business to me at least that doesn't seem like a hobby But that's necessary if you're gonna have a sponsor funded and and supported show But like as soon as you get into crowdfunding, let's say I wanted to crowdfund Pragmatic. And I like Pragmatic a lot, so I'm going to give you, I don't know, a hundred bucks. And I give you a hundred bucks. And you get maybe, let's just say you just get my hundred bucks. And it doesn't really, it doesn't go far enough for you to do what you want to do. Because that was maybe for like a year. I mean I contributed, I did my part and so for everybody else it was like Well, yeah, I wasn't really that I wasn't really interested enough So I wasn't gonna fund it but they're not out anything Whereas for your dedicated them your most dedicated listeners or your most dedicated followers They've put their heart and soul and literally, you know money into this and and where's their return? And so that's that's what's really hard because they deserve a return. It just doesn't always end up that way Yeah, and it's also the other the other thing the other problem is that if you end up in a position where You know all of the people that are supporting the show and let's say that you know that it's more than just Eric Let's say that there's a dozen just to pick up I say around number 12 is not actually around number, but whatever let's say it doesn't so there's a dozen Super fans that all put money on the line, and they're gonna fund it continually for the next you know Time time span indefinite so you could continue to do it you'd have enough money to do it and there's a little bit of extra money on the side, there's a little bit of a motivation to continue doing it. It's like, oh cool, yeah. So I make an extra five bucks a month out of it. That's fantastic. Yeah, I'll just keep doing it. But like I said, just don't look at the hourly rate 'cause if you do, then your heart will break. But that's okay. Point is, suddenly you're now making a show for 12 people and they'll say to you, oh, you should really talk about wallpaper. And I'm like, but I don't like wallpaper and I don't I don't have wallpaper in my house. And hmm, but they're funding the show. When's the wallpaper show, John? That's episode 64. So, anyway. Good. Okay, just joking. Though the point is that you suddenly become- It's no longer it's no longer pragmatic. It's now a show for the fans that specifically want. You feel like you need to give them what they want specifically, because now you know who they are. You know that they are the ones that are contributing to the show and it ceases to become pragmatic, become something else. And I think that's... And there's nothing wrong with that if you're OK with it. Yeah, but the problem is then... But if you're not OK with it, it's no longer a hobby for you. Oh, sure. But it's not just that. Then the show becomes something that's less applicable or less interesting to a whole bunch of other people. So, and that could be a problem or it may not be a problem. And it comes back to how you define success. And if success is a reason, a motivation to continue doing, you know, your hobby. So, I mean, if you're doing a hobby just because you love doing it, it doesn't matter about the money if you've got other sources of income. But the money can be a motivator. But I think, honestly, the money can be a demotivator as well, whether it comes from Patreon, from crowdfunding or whether or not it comes from a sponsor. I think that it's honestly, it's a double-edged sword and it's a sharp one. You gotta be careful with it. And it's the sort of thing that I wanted to have sponsorship on Pragmatic from the early days on Fiat Lux, but it was the sort of thing that we were still building momentum. And when I first got some sponsors on the show back after I left Fiat Lux, it was a gradual thing. And I started out with one and then I went to two and then I've had a few sponsoring follow-up as well. And all in all, it's been a pretty, relatively positive experience, but at the same time, it has turned this into more of a job. And I already have a job, and on an hourly rate basis, there is no comparison. Now, like podcasting pays terribly compared to my day job. And unless you're gonna run a network, and even then, I look at my expenses and everything, there's no way, even if I ran a network, knowing what I know now, there's no way I could make that work. And there seems to be this idea that it's possible. I think it is possible within a set of very strict constraints. Some people can pull it off, but it's not easy. - Yeah, and I think the gold standard for how this is gonna work or whether it can work is watching the transition that David Sparks is making. - Sure. - If Max Barkie, if Max Barkie can make this jump that he's blogged about basically moving from kind of full-time big law firm to his own private law firm and taking time to focus on Mac Power users, all his awesome books. I think that's a great existence proof of somebody who can make that jump. There is definitely a wide base of experience from people out there, myself included, who have gone through this transition 'cause my current job is software development and it was because I started as a hobby and joined a friend of mine who already had some clients. I experienced this transition big time where it's like, wow, this is really, being obligated to do this stuff really has an impact on my motivation. So I think this opens up the possibility that if you have a job that you can, that's just a job that you can stand, that leaves you a lot of time for your hobbies, maybe we should all be fighting that temptation to say, you know what, I wanna do this. I wanna do this all the time. - That is a good point. - And there's a lot of people out there who are, yeah, I mean, I think Merlin Mann has argued against following your bliss many, many times. - Yeah, absolutely. I think that you make an excellent point. And honestly, it's difficult because you hear so many people say, "Oh yeah, the best kind of a job "is one that's your hobby that you enjoy." And it's like, well, yes, but turning something that is a hobby that you do just for fun and turning that into a job by adding pressure and obligation, well, that's really gonna... You don't think it's going to, but it's going to sap your motivation. You think, "Oh, I'm gonna be doing what I enjoy." It's like, "Yeah, but guess what?" It's not that simple. - Oh yeah, it's not. And I, so I wanted to fly airplanes my entire life growing up. I mean, that was huge. - I was hoping you'd talk about this. - It was a big thing, I wanted to fly. Well, I was wanting to do it. I wanted to be a pilot. I wanted to fly in the military. Air Force, Navy didn't really matter. I thought the Navy was cool. Was lucky enough to get in. And the moment I stopped enjoying flying was the moment I started having to do it. And it's not that there were not moments of absolute beauty and bliss that I will never see again. But my dad was an instructor pilot and he always told me growing up, he was in the Air Force, and I always asked him, I was like, it's gotta be so much fun doing that. And he said, well, it's not really fun. He said, it's rewarding, it's very rewarding. And it can be really, really, really just mind blowing sometimes. But he said, there's too much to do to have fun. Because if you're having fun, you're getting behind. And when you're flying an airplane, things happen real fast. So if you're sitting there saying, oh, wow, this is so much fun, well, chances are you're about to miss something really important. And that could make a fun situation into one that's a lot less fun. And I found that out. Flying was ridiculously rewarding. It was ridiculously difficult. And it was definitely something that when I set it down, which I only finally did about a year, year and a half ago from the reserves, I got off active duty in 2010, but it was, it was, I was surprised at how relieved I felt. And I've had a few friends who've told me similar things, and there are a few people who could never think of setting it down, but a lot of those people I found were not, they don't tend to be, they don't tend to be hobbyists. So it's funny because the guys who I, the guys who I know who are able to set it down better were guys who had hobbies and wanted to, or knew that they had a different outlet from just flying. And that was, that was really interesting. I, so basically for my entire military career I used to really like, you know, historical fiction, military history, stuff like that, and, and literally as soon as I started doing it I couldn't read any of that stuff ever again. And it wasn't because it was wrong. It was because I like, I couldn't fly a flight simulator. I couldn't do any of that, which was, as I mentioned, a big passion of mine beforehand. It wasn't because it was wrong, which was what I expected. It was because it was too much like work. Yeah. Which was crazy. Wow. It was crazy. I go, well, hold that thought because I've got a few questions on that before we go any further down that down that path. I just want to talk about our first sponsor and that's Extrasensory Devices. Now Extrasensory Devices, they're an innovative company based in Palo Alto, California, and they've recently released their all new Luxie4All. 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And if you'd like to check one out, just head over to to learn more and visit the coupon code techdistortion for 15% off your Luxie for all. Photographers always want to take better pictures and taking better pictures starts with your Luxie. Thank you to Extrasensory Devices for sponsoring Pragmatic, which is a slightly medicine. So I was just talking about having sponsors and so on, but there you go. So, all right. How old were you when you first got into a pilot seat and started flying? Let's see, that would have been 22. Yeah, 22. Right out of college. - Wow. Wow. - Yep. I got lucky, I had some friends. It ebbs and flows how quickly you get into pilot training once you're in the military. I got my commission right out of college through ROTC and then I got sent to pilot training pretty much right away. You do six weeks of ground school and then you get sent to start what's called primary, which was at my time flying the T-34, which is a cool little turboprop version of the Bonanza. Okay. I'm not a plane guy. It's got wings and it flies. I'm sorry to disappoint. That's pretty much all you need to know. So yeah, it was fun. It was, you know, propeller on the front. The challenge of that and getting started in that was that it was a very hands-on airplane because it's been replaced now by a much newer airplane called the T6. But the T-34 didn't have anything automatic. It was all dials and gauges. And the biggest challenge for a young aviator like me was that you had to always trim. So anytime you changed power or anything like that, the airplane would want to go off on just some weird, wild tangent. So you were always trying to move these wheels called trim wheels, which kind of tweak the control surfaces so you're not constantly holding the stick and putting a lot of pressure on it. But of course, you have to change power all the time. And so it was kind of like balancing on top of a bowling ball a little bit. You were always moving, always doing something, and always trying to fight it. And yeah, in the South Texas sun, it was very tiring and very sweaty, especially under about 30 pounds of flight gear. So it's good. Wow, cool. It started-- but that was actually a really good time realize, wow, flying is a lot of hard work. And what was even worse was when I had an instructor in the backseat yelling at me and telling me that I was doing a terrible job of it. It's like, wow, that's not fun being told, you know, hey, you know, this is, you messed this up really bad. And they were very frank 'cause they had to be. But what was worst was that you always knew that if you didn't perform up to a certain level, you're done. And so that was the hardest. I'm trying to think, I can't think of any single time when the number one thing going through my brain was, wow, I could really die here. Most of the time it is, wow, I'm gonna look really dumb here or they're never gonna let me do this again. And those were much more powerful motivators for me and my peers. Because we'd all dreamed of this our entire lives. And so that was a big challenge from a perspective of this is a passion project I got here. They're paying me to do this, but I definitely can say I did not do any of it for the money. And at every moment, you're pretty much like, what am I gonna do to really mess this up and never be able to do it again? And I had friends who through, sometimes through just inability, sometimes through inattention, and sometimes through almost no effort at all were asked to never do it again. And that was really scary. - Wow. Now, you said you haven't... You said 2010 was when you... When you went away from doing that predominantly, I believe. I'm sorry, I forgot the terminology you used. - That's it, active duty, basically. That was the time when it stopped being my full-time job and went to basically part-time job. So I was flying in the reserves for a few years where it was kind of part-time, but you know, flying in the Navy is not really ever a part-time thing. So it's most of the guys who do really successfully and the reserves have jobs on the outside that allow them to do maybe half to three quarters of their time flying in the reserves. And that was something I didn't have, unfortunately. So after a few years of doing that, I set that aside as well, 'cause there were other things I needed to do. - Okay, so you've been out of it for about two, three years now, is that a rough year? - It's been about a year and a half now, since I left. - Just a year and a half. Okay, it's probably too soon to ask this question, but I wanna ask it 'cause it's part of the topic And that is that, do you foresee a time in future when you would go back to flying just purely as a hobby thing where there's, you know, just out of your own interest just to rekindle some of that? I do. It's been interesting stepping away from it because it's kind of giving me the perspective to look at the parts that I really enjoyed and appreciated and the parts that I could take or leave. So, for me, I was lucky enough to fly the Tomcat in which was a really fast airplane with a lot of power. So it's not like after I get out, I'm ever going to fly really fast or really high again in a way that's like setting any personal records. And the record setting part, whether personal or otherwise, was never a real draw for me. So I was never flying for the thrill, because boy, I had enough-- I'm a naturally fairly anxious person. So for me, I was already beyond my thrill point as soon as I, really as soon as I stepped in the airplane, actually before that, when I got into simulators and realized that my performance, every single bit of performance was being graded, it was basically, it was interesting because the thing that was different about flying for me from like a job perspective, different from anything I'd done before is, I had just come out of school, and in school you find it's not what you can do, it's really what you know. Like what you can do on a test, but I mean, you're sitting there with a test, Very, very rarely are you in an oral exam in a school environment except in some special fields. Where for me, this was a huge change because it didn't matter how well I knew my stuff. It didn't matter that I could get 100% on every written exam they handed me. 'Cause that's just not a relevant metric in a job like aviation. It's really a lot closer to being on a sports team. So now, it's not whether or not you know everything about football. It's not whether you know everything about baseball or basketball. It's about whether when you know all that kind of stuff, you can get out and in the heat of the moment perform. So that was just big because it's kind of scary knowing that I've done everything I can to do this and I still might mess it up. And so that was stressful. Now, stepping out of it a few years later, I can see that there were parts of it that I really enjoyed that were not the most stressful parts of that. It is beautiful flying. It is absolutely gorgeous. You know, the things that you see from the air are amazing. So for me, civilian flying would have to provide access to those sorts of things that I really liked about it. And so one of the things I've considered doing is soaring. I'd really like to possibly get into that because for me, it has to have a little bit of challenge too which soaring has definitely got more than enough challenge there. And and and to be something that's a little bit more peaceful if that makes any sense not from necessarily the military side of peaceful But really something where I have some time to think because boy things happen fast in a jet Yeah, well you've got a big jet engine they're sort of shooting you along rather quickly So the thing is just make sure that I'm understanding correctly when you say soaring you're talking about gliders But riding thermals and trying to stay in the air as long as possible. Is that what you yeah. Yeah, that's that's it That's right. I'm lucky enough that where I live is near one of the greatest places in the western US to do that. So I'm gonna give him that a shot here before too long Yeah, the big challenge was civilian flying for and for a lot of people they run into this is boy. It's expensive You're paying a lot of money a private pilot It's like having a horse times ten because you got to pay for keep you got out You got to feed feed the airplane you have to house it you have to care for it brush it brush its coat change its shoes So yeah, all that was taken care of by the the Navy took care of all that for you previously, right? So you just that it's like here. I'm hopping the Tomcat and you're like, yeah. Yeah. All right. Oh, yeah It's the best you have the best maintenance in the world and you know that when you walk up to that airplane They've taken care of it and that see this gets into I think This gets us back to a little bit to the hobby part because for me Yes, I was very greatly spoiled while I was flying. I've had friends who have flown in a civilian world and And and you're like hey, you know, we should go we should go flying and I've watched what civilian flying entails And it entails a whole lot of maintenance work. It entails a lot of taking care of your airplane Boy, I'm not good at that stuff. I this is one thing that I've kind of learned about me is that I'm not a I'm not actually a details person Okay, I'm I'm more of a I'm more of a visual guy which is how I think I stumbled into design but like details when they really matter stressed me out, which I could do it, I did it in the military, but I didn't have to do maintenance. And so that would be my fear going back to the civilian world is I'm not sure that I'm detail-oriented enough to take care of my own airplane. I haven't had enough time with a dog. (laughing) - Sorry. Fair enough. Well, okay, cool. Yeah, I've always been interested in flying, but it always struck me as being way too dangerous. So me being risk adverse. Well, I think there were a couple of incidents during my teenage years that made me more risk-averse, but that's okay, it's a long story. So, cool, well, thank you for talking about that 'cause I was always a bit curious about that and it is related to the topic. And I guess one of the things that's interesting is the movement between, 'cause we start out talking about, okay, here's a hobby that turns into a job and now we're looking at, okay, well, what if we did a job that we enjoyed that turns more into a hobby? and the different trade-offs there and everything. I think a lot of this comes back to why we do the things we do. And understanding that is absolutely critical because if you don't understand why you're doing something, when you start introducing these other elements, things that, you know, like if you're running a podcast, you take on sponsors, or if you're helping out at the swimming club and you volunteer to be the president or the treasurer or something like that, and you're like, okay, well, I wanna contribute. want to help direct and want to help make this a better thing, and then that's going to completely change the complexion of that activity as a hobby. And I think a lot of people underestimate just how much it can change it. Yeah, I think you're right. Okay, so before we go any further, I just want to talk about our second sponsor, and that is Hover. Now, Hover is a domain registrar that stands apart from the rest. 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There's no flashy ads, there's no pushy BS. In short, it's actually pleasant to use, which for a domain registrar in my experience has been a rare thing. So I know that's all wonderful and everything, but Hover also offer bulk discounts for 10 domains and up. And the more domains you have with Hover, the cheaper it gets for each, which is a bonus. So they also have a reliable email service and you can get a terabyte of storage space if you want it. Hover also offer email forwarding for just $5 a year. Finally, the thing that I think brings so many people with existing domains to Hover is their valet transfer service. And it's free. Point Hover in the right direction with your existing domain and registrar information, and they'll take care of everything. You don't have to worry about messing it up. They do it all the time. And since they do it all the time, they're going to, it's going to go much more smoothly with them doing it than if you do it yourself, let's say once every two, two or three years. So that's why I moved my domains there years ago. and that's why they're still at Hover and that's where they're going to be staying. So check out Hover at to find out just how easy it is to grab your own domain or transfer your existing domain to Hover using the coupon code, absolutely, to get 10% off your first purchase. Let Hover valet your domain stress away today. Thank you so much to Hover for sponsoring Pragmatic. Okay, so I think we're sort of on the downward slide here. I would like to recap a little bit about motivation and the pressures that you get. And I guess this is one of the other things is family, friends, peers, and even strangers will love to tell you what they think you should do or what you should be doing. And that also plays a big part in whether or not you should keep going with hobbies and so on. And from the family side of things, it's like, okay, "Well, this hobby is taking time away from family time." So if you have a family, especially if you have kids as well, then there's a lot of pressure to spend more time with them. And I've heard it all from different people, not just my own experience, but it's like, some people say, "My family is my hobby." And I think that in terms of having a hobby, and I guess this is one of the other problems is the definition of just why do we have hobbies? And I guess, I think we do, most people have a hobby because we need an outlet that's not the thing that drives us to draw the income, to sustain our existence and to sustain our family if we have one. We need something to do that is not, we punch in, we do a job, we get a paycheck, we punch out again. We need something as an outlet, if you will. It's usually a creative outlet, I guess. Something we can't do in our job. And the problem becomes if you do have a family, then that you need to balance that against your family, because there's certain parts of creativity that you can't express. Because the problem I have with the statement, "my family is my hobby" is that, well, that's OK up to a point. But remember, remembering, of course, that having a family is very different from just having a hobby, because, you know, families aren't all just playtime. They're also getting the kids ready for school, you know, making lunches, you know, well, cooking meals, cleaning up after them. Yeah. Most of those things, I think for most people are not the definition of a hobby unless making sandwiches is a hobby. And I guess that's probably someone's hobby. I don't know. But you know what I'm saying? It's like, I think that... Yeah. So I guess the problem I've got is that you look at you look at the family time aspect and it's very, very important to me. So I don't want to neglect that. And if a hobby starts to encroach too much on that time, then that creates a limitation and you have to be aware of that time limitation and not, not overstep that. What do you reckon? Well, and I think, I think you've hit, I think you've hit on a really important point. Um, I'm going to go out on a limb and say that hobbies by their very nature are extremely selfish from a family perspective. That doesn't mean you shouldn't do them because we all have to take care of ourselves and we all have to take care of our, our, you know, our kind of, are kind of mental energy. And for me at least, hobbies are a mental recharge. So they're very necessary. But anytime I'm doing hobby stuff, by necessity, let's set aside the family as a hobby. 'Cause the family is, I think, the hobby that we all should have, but maybe don't enjoy quite as much as we would like. I love my family and I love spending time with them. But family as a hobby is, as we've noted, there's a lot of work in there. Much like, you know, like editing a show or anything like that. that's the work side of it or maintaining your own airplane. You're doing that, you're doing a lot of parts of those to get the rewards of the play time and the great relationships that we have. But boy, I have, and this has played into, to like my relationship personally with hobbies a lot, is that I have spent a lot of my life, I didn't get married until I got out of the Navy and we had a son almost right after. And so I spent a lot of my life basically not having to be accountable to anyone but me and my job/hobby as it was, the Navy. In the sense that that came first and it was easy that that came first because, you know, that was, it was very easy for me to say, "No, I've got to do this because Navy." You know, the Navy is the justification. Since then, we've kind of, I've, I've, I've, I kind of had my cool, I kind of had my cool career. My wife's a physician and was just getting started when I got out of active duty. And so I made a very conscious decision at that point like, "Hey, this is her hobby life pursuit. It's time to prioritize that." Which meant that as soon as we had a son, well now every time that I spend on hobby stuff it's got to be kind of a conscious time taking away from those other things. And that's a tough transaction to make after a while, especially if you have lots of hobbies. Yeah, that's the other thing is that we haven't talked about the lots of hobbies and the lots of activities and the motivation behind that. I have a feeling that people that have lots of hobbies, I'm not entirely convinced that they're focused enough to appreciate which one of them, because it's a limited time in the day. You've got 24 hours in the day. So ultimately you have to choose how to split that and between work that earns you money, in life if you have a family and of course, friends presumably as well. And then you've got a slice left for hobbies. So the more hobbies you have, the more thinly stretched you are, the less you can get into any one of them. And I just, I've reached that point where when I went, when I did podcasting, I went all in. I've spent practically every spare moment of my time that I've had in the last year and a half approaching two years. I've stopped like toward on the podcast and on prep for podcasts, work on the website, supporting the podcast, editing, you name it, it had something to do with the show. I've had very little other time that I have spent on anything else. So I got to the point where I barely read tech websites anymore. I'm listening to less and less podcasts because I'm doing all this other prep work. And if I'm listening to a podcast, I can't concentrate on writing show notes. So, 'cause I wanna listen to the podcast. I don't read the newspaper as much either. And it's just, I feel like I've become disconnected. - That's really interesting. Yeah, yeah, I think you're right. It's that sort of disconnection 'cause I experienced exactly the same thing. - Yeah. - Not all of us can be as, 'cause I asked Gabe how he did this as soon as I got into TD. I was like, how do you keep doing this? How do you stay on top of all of these blogs and all of these shows and continue to write about them all and do this podcast? Because as soon as I started, I felt that disconnection Because the time that I had been spending being a member of the community, I was spending building this, building the show, building all that. And I was like, how did you do it? And I don't know if he ever sleeps. The only time I was able to find him, by the way, was sacrificing sleep. And while that seems at the beginning, like I get up really early. And while that seems like a great, that seems like a pretty good compromise 'cause on the surface you're like, hey, I can sacrifice sleep. I can get by in a little bit less it has a deep long-term effect on mood which affects everything. Oh, yeah Yeah, I don't know It's it's fascinating that you felt that same sort of disconnection because I it all of a sudden remember how I said, you know I couldn't I couldn't play flight simulators anymore when I was flying Well when I started when I when I started when I started doing a podcast it became a real It it started to feel like work listening to all the podcasts. I loved It almost took some of the magic away, not because they were any worse but because it kind of took something out of me. I don't know why. It's been sad I will say that it's been great listening to podcasts again now that I've stopped actually making them Yeah, it's strange how that works I look at it as, it's partly like you say If you're observing, you're not a participant, you know, you're... So, okay, I mean, you listen to another podcast, you tweet at them and say, "Hey, great show," or, you know, "Some correction about this point or whatever else," or, you know, whatever. Then that's a form of interaction, I guess, but still, you're more or less on the sidelines. You're not creating content directly. You're sort of, you know, you're more of a participant. You're an observer. Right. And as soon as you move from being an observer to being an active contributor, as in I'm actively now going to create this thing, I'm actually going to participate in this, it's going to become my job or a predominant part of my life, suddenly you're not so much of a person that sits on the sidelines anymore because you don't have time and you're already doing it, so why would you then go and spend hours of your day then listening to other people doing what you're already doing and it's and that sort of a transition but the thing that's interesting though and I guess the the point is that that's how I know how much you love flying is because when you're not flying you're simulating flying which is which is brilliant which is great and you found that I did and and when I when I when I stopped recording I found that listening to podcasts became much more enjoyable. And it really wasn't for me, it wasn't like, oh, you know, now I have to do more podcast stuff. For me, the listening to podcast challenge was when I was listening, it was kind of like a reminder, hey, don't you need to edit that episode? Don't you need to, shouldn't you be working on show notes right now? 'Cause, you know, and I unfortunately had, for a long time, had a very, very short commute, like feet, to my home office, 'cause I was working at home for a while. And so I had even lost the time that I was spending on podcasts to listen where it was like, Hey, I have to be in a car. I have to be driving. So that impacted it too. And yeah, that's it. It's amazing how, it's amazing how quickly though you get the magic back once you set it aside. It makes me want to do more podcasts. Yeah. But then you're not going to be listening to as many. So then you'll be sad. It's funny, isn't it? But I think that that's a good point, I think, for us to sort of wrap this up, because the problem is on this topic is it's very difficult to draw a specific conclusion or even a subset of conclusions. And you mentioned this when we started. It's more of a food for thought thing. And that is that if there's something that you really enjoy, then doing it and becoming an active contributor in whatever that we focus on podcasts, because you and I have done that. The parallels with flying, though, are very, very, very interesting and honestly very much aligned with the topic. But the truth is that you found something and if you find something that you enjoy listening to, you enjoy participating in and then you enjoy creating yourself or doing yourself as a much larger component of your time, then it necessarily means that you do less of that as a casual activity, like I was saying, like listening to podcasts and I'm now creating them so I listen to them less. And when I stopped creating podcasts for a while and I take a break at the end of this show, I expect I'll start listening to more podcasts again. And that's okay, same for you with flying. And I think that that's something to just to be aware of. I don't think it's a good or a bad thing. It's just, that's just be aware of it, right? It happens. - It is. You know, to borrow a phrase from my very talented friend, Potato Wire, who kind of came up with this and I'm gonna steal it from him. He would talk about seasons of obsession, where everybody goes through these cycles of being passionate about making. And then, so you got this bright spring and summer of creation followed by maybe a fall and winter where you need to step back and observe. And then just like the seasons, it comes back. And so maybe our biggest challenge is just not to fight those seasons and just kind of write them out. - Yeah, roll with it, roll with the seasons. I like that. Cool, fantastic. So if you would like to talk more about this, you can reach me on Twitter at JohnCheegee and my site where the podcast is hosted along with my writing and other stuff that I've done. If you'd like to send any feedback, please use the feedback form on the website. That's where you'll also find show notes for this episode under podcasts pragmatic. You can follow Pragmatic Show on Twitter to see show announcements and other related stuff. I'd also like to thank my guest host, Eric Hess, for coming on the show. What's the best way for people to get in touch with you, mate? - Thanks, John. Probably on Twitter. I'm @TheMindfulBit. - Cool. Fantastic. Excellent. All right, I'd also like to thank our two sponsors for this episode. Firstly, Extrasensory Devices and their Luxi4All for sponsoring the show. The Luxi4All is a compact and lightweight instant light meter attachment for your smartphone or tablet. Visit for more information about the handy Luxie for all and use the coupon code techdistortion for 15% off exclusively for Pragmatic listeners. Taking better pictures starts with your Luxie. I'd also like to thank Hover for sponsoring this episode. Hover is a domain registrar that is simple and easy to use with a valet service for your existing domain transfers, making it simply the best way to buy and keep full control of your domain names. Check out Hover at to find out just how easy it is and use the coupon code absolutely to get 10% off your first purchase. Let Hobber Valet your domain stress away today. And that's it. So as always, thanks for listening everyone and thanks again, Eric. - Thank you, James Ponomar. (upbeat music) (upbeat music) [Music] (upbeat music) (upbeat music) (upbeat music) (upbeat music) (upbeat music) (upbeat music) (upbeat music) [MUSIC PLAYING] ♪ ♪ [MUSIC] (Music) (dramatic music) (dramatic music) [BLANK_AUDIO]
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Erik Hess

Erik Hess

Erik is a designer and developer and former fighter pilot and blogs from time to time. Formerly of the podcasts Generational on 70 Decibels, Dawn Patrol and Technical Difficulties.

John Chidgey

John Chidgey

John is an Electrical, Instrumentation and Control Systems Engineer, software developer, podcaster, vocal actor and runs TechDistortion and the Engineered Network. John is a Chartered Professional Engineer in both Electrical Engineering and Information, Telecommunications and Electronics Engineering (ITEE) and a semi-regular conference speaker.

John has produced and appeared on many podcasts including Pragmatic and Causality and is available for hire for Vocal Acting or advertising. He has experience and interest in HMI Design, Alarm Management, Cyber-security and Root Cause Analysis.

You can find him on the Fediverse and on Twitter.