Contact JT

This is how you're going to reach out and get a hold of me unless you already know me, in which case... why are you here, just pick up the phone. 

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Ottawa, Ontario

Just a little corner of the interwebz where I occasionally jot down a thought or two. Why do I do it? Partly to communicate in some way with you, the reader, and partly because it's some sad way of leaving a legacy of some kind I guess.



ulysses: how I work

Jonathan Tom

I’ve used my fair share of writing programs from notepad and textedit) to byword, and now, ulysses. When I first switched to ulysses, I was looking for the simplicity of byword with a more fully featured library management situation. It wasn’t a cheap option at $35 (if I remember correctly) and there was a lot of push back recently when they switched to a subscription model. While I’m not a huge fan of all of my software going this direction because I wouldn’t be able to afford all of the great applications I want to use, I understand why they did it. If your software is good enough that no one ever upgrades then it’s just not sustainable and eventually you go out of business.

My current setup in Ulysses is fairly simple; I try not to congest my organization too much. I keep everything in iCloud as I will use it on my mac, my iPad pro, and sometimes, my iPhone. I was very happy to discover that there was a version for windows (I use Win10 for work) and then I was informed that it’s a shameless ripoff and is not, in any way, related to the actual ulysses application.

My organization in ulysses is pretty straightforward compared to some and I’m always looking for interesting ways to further organize my writing so please reach out to me if you have ideas. In addition to the inbox which acts as my catch-all for notes and writing I have a “blog posts” group, a “lyrics” group, and a “quotes” group. Additionally I have a “needs attention” smart group which I’ll get back to momentarily.

The purely personal group is “lyrics” - I generally type up lyrics to songs I like to help me better remember them and understand them. The lyrics group has a subgroup for each band/group to better categorize them. The “quotes” group is where I keep snippets, or quotes, by both notable high profile people and, more importantly, friends.

My “blog posts” group has two subgroups: “future posts” and “posted posts”. Pretty self-explanatory I think; the “future posts” group contains both completed posts for posting later and posts in progress. The in progress posts are also tagged with “todo”. This tag is where my “needs attention” smart group comes into play; it contains any piece of writing tagged with “todo” so that I can easily and quickly get back to the things I need to address.

alone for the holidays

Jonathan Tom

Let me preface this by saying that while I love my family and all that I'm actually kind of looking forward to the experience of having a December 25th on my own without family or work. If that makes me some kind of mysterious hermit then so be it!

Due to everyone being kind of split up this year I'm on my own for the holidays. Well still be connected through the magic of technology but there won't physically be anyone around. 

To balance out the hermit I have a couple of trips planned in the new year to see people but this holiday season is all mine!

galileo gone

Jonathan Tom

You're never ready for news like this - my sister's dog passed away last night. I was sitting in a rehearsal in Barcelona when I got the text message and it hit me harder than I would have expected something like that to hit me considering I'd never met him. We had a dog when I was younger and I wasn't there when he had to be put down and I remember getting the news on a ship in the middle of the Caribbean. Maybe it's wishful thinking but I choose to believe that dogs are one of those noble animals who are reborn again.

I read somewhere a quote that said something along the lines that dogs' lives are too short which is, perhaps, their only fault.

nerd no more

Jonathan Tom

When I was in High School I was a nerd. There, I said it, and if I’m honest, I’m still a nerd but the difference is that I’ve realized it’s not something to be ashamed of but rather to be celebrated. I spent time in the library, I learned sleight of hand, I played a significant amount of cards, and yes, I played dungeons and dragons. For the longest time the stigma of D&D players (as well as AD&D) was that… well, perhaps it’s just better to show you:

As I went from high school to college and into The Real World (tm), I had forgotten about my D&D days but about a year ago I discovered an online, video podcast called Critical Role where a group of professional actors get together and play D&D. I was hooked on the way these actors brought their characters to life - it was amazing and it’s no longer solely attached to the geek subculture. At one point I looked at the viewership for the 9/28 episode and there were over 24,000 viewers!

I feel like I should mention the actors (and some of the guest players) since I’ve made such a big deal of them above:

Matt Mercer also DMs for a Nerdist show called CelebriD&D which has featured such celebrities as Vin Diesel, Joe Manganiello, and John Bradley (best known as Samwell Tarly in Game of Thrones) playing D&D.

In short, Dungeons & Dragons is not just for nerds anymore!