Hello, 2024

Eric Lawler

January 12, 2024

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2023 certainly ended up being an unusual year. I started the year with one goalAlbeit a goal I still have no idea how to achieve. in mind, but that was disrupted a whopping ten days into January and never seriously revisited. If there’s one thing we can know for sure when setting goals at the beginning of the year, it’s that we have no idea what December 31 will look like.…but I’d wager this is not the Year Of Full Self Driving Teslas nor AGI.

Reflecting back on 2021’s goals shows I’ve made solid progress on my mountain bike bunny hop height since leaving San Diego for Boise–a totally normal metric that totally normal people track–and have wreck-lessly completed some steeeeep, fast, and loose trails around here. But what about this year? Should it have some goals?

Year of coffee?

2024 could be the year of coffee, maybe. After accidentally cracking my beloved Zojirushi coffee pot last April, I had an excuse to drive downtown to Slow by SlowBoise’s bougiest coffee store. MAN do they sell some fantastic beans, though. and pick up a Kalita Wave. And if you have a pourover device, then you really need a scale to weigh your beans and correctly measure water for the final recipe. And if you have a scale to follow recipes, things are a lot easier if you have a stovetop gooseneck kettle to pour with–it’s much easier than a Pyrex measuring cup. And everyone knows it’s a lot less risky to put the brewer on a glass server that can hold 800ml, rather than brewing into an opaque mug you can inadvertently overflow…

With more than 400 pours completed since thenThe depressing downside to the Kalita Wave is that its Nipponsei filters come in packs of 100, making it way too easy to track how much coffee you’re making and question whether you have an addiction., I’m beginning to wonder if I’ve found the limits of my no-frills Oxo conical burr grinder. Even with unevenly ground beans, it’s becoming a soothing part of my morning routine.

Kalita tricks

There’s a lot of griping on the internet about how the larger Kalita Wave, the 185, “stalls” and clogs with fines. Proffered solutions to the problem include drilling the holes in the brewer larger, or putting some kind of stainless steel wool under the filter. This is the way of madness. In my experience, this happens either because people are ruining the filters with needlessly aggressive rinses, or trying to make 200g H2O recipes in a brewer that can comfortably fit 50g of beans inside without overflowing.


The proper rinse is shown in a video by Kurasu, a Japanese roaster. Use your left hand to gently press the filter down against the ridges on the bottom of the brewer. Pour the hot water straight into the center of the filter. As the water makes its way up the filter via the wonders of capillary action, gently and slowly rinse in circles around the filter’s edge, from bottom to top. If you do this correctly, none of the “waves” in the filter collapse. I’m typically using a measly 50g to rinse.

Recipe size

The whole point of the Kalita is that its pre-drilled holes in the bottom control the rate water flows through the coffee bed. I’ve discovered that my recipes for brews of 600-800g of H2O finish just as fast as my Kurasu recipes for 400g. My only hunch is that the increased head pressure on having the brewer almost entirely filled with coffee, as opposed to only using the bottom 1/3 or so of it, forces the water through the bed more steadily.

My current recipe for 1.5 mugs of single-origin African beans follows Kurasu’s “three pours” method:

  1. 39.5g of coffee : 600g of ~205* H2O (1:15.2 ratio–strong).
    • To guard against overextraction, I use a fairly coarse grind. Kurasu claims cheap grinders are more consistent at larger grind settings. This seems reasonable.
    • Lately, I’ve been bringing the kettle to a boil, rinsing the filter, and brewing at a higher temperatures than I first started (~185*).
  2. 00:00 - Bloom with 80g.
  3. 00:45 - 1st pour. Slam it with another 80g in <10s.
  4. 01:15 - 2nd pour. Gently and continuously pour to 600g, aiming to finish by the 3:00 mark.
    • I’ll do this in circles once the water level is even with the height from the first pour. It’s more difficult to have a completely flat bed with this much coffee than it is with a recipe using 25g of beans.
    • Kurasu’s recipe calls for pouring straight into the center the entire time, then just briefly swirling the edges at the very end of the pour. I believe this is to minimize agitation, because their theory is that the flavor comes out in the second pour; this pour only exists to dilute the coffee down to drinkable levels of Total Dissolved Solids. I don’t think I’m skilled enough to do that without the coffee channeling, so I’ve had better luck agitating more of the beans by doing circles throughout.
  5. 04:00 - Remove brewer.
    • George Howell is right: Hot coffee tastes terrible. I think the ~140* temperature range is ideal for me. Many of my Jackrabit Java and locally-roasted Ironside coffees taste noticeably better as they cool. It takes some time for this to reach a drinkable temperature for me.


Who knows. Maybe 2024 will be the year I make a pourover that tastes as good as Johnny Broadworth’s. Or maybe 2024 will be the year that I’m afflicted with some terrible medical condition that precludes drinking any coffee whatsoever. Or maybe 2024 will be the year I open a coffee shop. I certainly don’t know, but you’d better believe future Eric will give an amused snort when he looks back on this.

The Weirdest Job Search

Eric Lawler

March 13, 2023

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2 Months In: A Job Search Update

LinkedIn never forgets. The listings I created in their recruiting portal circa 2017-2019 for Lawn Love, connected to my personal LinkedIn account, still show up in their hybrid job search, recruiting/ATS software portal. LinkedIn is keenly interested for me to reopen those roles“Are you still hiring?” prompts appear about every two weeks, both on the home page and when trawling listings. It offers to immediately re-post the 6-year-old listings. and still has the statistics associated with them, which gave me a chuckle this morning.

For hiring full-stack PHP developers willing to work in, or relocate to, San Diego, I spent $350 on one LinkedIn listing to get 43 applications in ~3 weeks in 2017–a poor ROI compared to using AngelListRecently spun off from the venture capitalist arm and rebranded “WellFound Jobs.” I wonder which group will ultimately be more successful, in our post-Silicon Valley Bank world…. At the time, this felt like an acceptable volume of applications. I could easily personally review each one, and it dwarfed StackOverflow’s whopping 0 applications in ~3 months.

Today, most engineering leadership listings, of all levels, appear to average 100 applications the day the listing goes live, ~250 applications by day two, and then stabilizing between 280-350 hopefuls as future applicants are put off by the sheer volume HR departments and hiring managers have to sift through at that scale. The record is currently a pediatric telehealth group with 45 full-time employees, a high bar listed for their VP of Engineering role (albeit with no cited salary range to indicate just how much raw experience they’re seeking) with, ahem, 876 applicants in 24 hours. 876!

I’ve been careful to only apply to positions that sound like a potential great fit between my working style, the company’s current needs, and the business model/industry. But, like last week’s Silicon Valley Bank run, there’s always the temptation to join the crowd and start shotgunning my resume to every electronic inbox under the sun. 60 days of unemployment hasn’t changed my view that clicking apply on every position you see is a foolish strategy. Will I feel the same on day 600?

Who knows? Maybe the 128,202 138,302 laid off tech workers from 482 companiesToday’s numbers courtesy of layoffs.fyi’s tracker. Naturally, this was posted 16 hours before Facebook laid off 10,000 more people. in the first 72 days of 2023 is only the beginning. Maybe I’ll look back in six years and laugh at how remote job listings in tech used to only receive 900 applications in a week… Maybe the shotgunners will ultimately rise to the top in a new, J.P. Morgan Chase-eat-dog world, while I split my time between freelancing for the big tech monopolies’ contractors’ subcontractors and pulling $5 espressos for JPMC SVPs in downtown Boise.

In Snow Crash we trust. Come on corporate city-state burbclaves and FOQNEs!

Finalized at 12:57 PM. Tidied up on March 14, 2023 @ 5:11 PM.

Tagged with personal and hiring.