I didn’t use to drink coffee, but about ten years ago my office moved to a building with a Starbucks on the first floor, and my addiction began. For a while I was drinking two Venti Brewed Coffee per day (one in the morning and one in the afternoon), which is roughly the equivalent of […]

Blue Skies

One of the things that living in Beijing has done is give me an appreciation for blue skies and clean air. Yes, that appreciation comes from exposure to horrible pollution, but it’s an appreciation nonetheless. Bad air days in Beijing are depressing. It actually took me a while to realize this–not only do 400 AQI […]


There has been so much change in China over the past 40 years of “reform and opening“. Over the past 20 or so years that I’ve been coming here. Over the past 10 years. Over the past 5. Of course, the whole world has changed, including the United States, where I am from. But the […]


Our 4-year-old son has been going to preschool for the past year. We’ve been thinking about what we want for his education. Certainly, he’ll take more responsibility for what he wants in the future, and I suppose in some ways he’s taking the most responsibility for it now (ok, most ways), but we would like […]

Free Speech

I live in a place where I don’t have free speech. I grew up in a place where people talk about free speech all of the time. And despite that first sentence, I would consider the right to free speech to be one of my core values. There’s currently a lot of discussion of that […]


Sometimes I find myself thinking about where “home” is. I’m from Durham, NC. I’ve lived in Beijing, China, almost nonstop since graduating from college. I’m 39 years old, so I think it works out that I’ve lived in China for about as long as I lived in North Carolina. My wife was born in Hunan, […]


So I’m going to try and write something most days. I’m inspired by Seth Godin and Tony Sheng, and while I don’t expect my writing to be as profound or thoughtful (at least not always), I think that the discipline of writing something each day and finding the courage to hit “publish” will help me […]