The Little Curiosities

yellow Volkswagen beetle toy on wooden shelf

It took me 38 years to recognize all the little things that I realize.

Put another way, it wasn’t until very recently that I realized how differently I see the world than almost everyone else.

Like the time I could see the slow-motion internal dilemma of a fellow middle-aged man reaching for a copy of The Avengers and wondering if he could pull it off as a Mother’s Day gift.

Or the time I was pitched a live stream trucking startup by a stranger and thought it sounded like a pretty great idea.

Or the time I noticed the bakery by my house only made 4 crullers every morning when they should have been making way more.

You get the idea.

Most of the people I know in real life who read this blog will tell me how “funny” it is when they read it. And don’t get me wrong, I definitely dramatize and go out of my way to make folks laugh when the mood strikes. It’s a service I like to provide for one low monthly fee.

Narrator: Ryan is under the impression he’s been charging $187 per month to read his blog for years and is still bewildered that he’s unable to account for the funds.

But for me, that “funny” is the gift and/or curse that I live with every single day. It’s the noticing that’s truly different about who I am and the way I operate, not so much the ability to make jokes and tell funny stories from nothing.

Life in High Definition

Do you remember the time your family got a new flat screen TV that had high definition? Before makeup artists knew how to make adjustments for an HD camera?

It was an incredible feat of technology and horrifying all at once. Like, the person talking to us through the panel on the wall looked like they could step through the frame at any time and join us in our living room. But there was also this harsh realization of wondering if the stunning and unblemished Matt Lauer had always looked like Skeletor with a receding hairline. And if he had, and this new technology brought it to the forefront, what would mere mortals like us look like on HDTV?!

That’s the closest comparison I can make to what it’s like to live inside my brain and see the world through my eyes. I see the peculiar in the mundane.

I was trying to explain this whole idea to a friend recently and told them about how I saw someone returning a fruitcake at a Costco and asked them how bad a fruitcake would have to be to wait in a line on a Saturday to return it.

Their answer: “Huh, I’m not sure. That hadn’t ever occurred to me.”

Well, dear reader, “It hadn’t occurred to me” has literally never occurred to me.


I see everything in the sharpest and most vivid detail and apparently through a very special lens that was crafted for a small few. And I want to find more people who see the world like I do. Or at the very least who can appreciate the weird in the same way that I do.

There’s a darker side to seeing the world this way that I’ll talk about some more another day, but today we’re all good vibes.

Information Overload

In the same way that it takes a lot of very large hard drives to store high-definition video, storing the constant stream of memes, news articles, and everyday life that’s flowing into my brain takes a lot of mental energy, and frankly, I don’t have many places to off board the stuff that I don’t need anymore. I have Twitter, my journal, and I have this blog. And a small number of friends who get my bizarre texts.

I’d like to publicly apologize to them here.

But everything else remains neatly tucked away under the luscious mane atop my slightly misshapen head (my great hair is one of the last things I’ve got so I’m gonna celebrate it, ok?). And my brain just works on this information, not ever knowing exactly what to do with it. It just processes endlessly until I work myself into a tizzy or write 10,000 words on how Robin Williams is the most special actor of a generation and then never publish it.

Because of this bottleneck, I have an idea that I’m going to try that goes against common convention. Every blogging expert will tell you he right thing to do to “skyrocket your traffic” or “hack your search rankings” is to create a “niche” blog. Write about something incredibly specific in every possible way.

  • The ultimate guide to unlocking hotel thermostats
  • Are hotel thermostats really spy cameras for government agencies?
  • How to discipline your hotel thermostat when it’s stopped listening to you
  • Do you have enough hotel thermostats for retirement?

Excuse me while I add Content Strategist and SEO Expert to my LinkedIn Profile. adjusts monocle

The Little Curiosities

Now as compelling as my hotel thermostat blog sounds (there’s a whole section called “hot takes”, get it?), I’ll be honest, it bores me.

I’m a dynamic person with dynamic interests that range anywhere from 80s Pop Music to “After centuries of trading eggs and lumber I wonder who figured out they could just polish a rock really well, call it currency, and then have unlimited funds at their disposal overnight. And what’s the 2019 version of that look like?” (Short answer is that it’s Bitcoin but I’m stealing future topics from myself so I’ll stop here).

You know, normal stuff.

All this to say I’m shedding the pressure of writing about family, or comedy, or productivity, or tech, or cooking, or WordPress, or literally any other specific topic. I’ll probably write about all of those things in one way or another, but hopefully with a unique spin or at least in a way that highlights the high-definition life view that I carry.

On a much more frequent basis I’ll be publishing here on what I’m calling Little Curiosities. Weird questions I ask myself, bizarre things I see, little things that make my life better, or creations that impress me that might fall outside the mainstream. They also might be very mainstream, but I’ll find a way to put a unique twist on them.

And sometimes I’ll just let my brain run rampant and burn through compute cycles because I literally need it to keep this mind of mine healthy as I zoom toward 40.

And as I put out more things like this, I do hope that a little community of weirdos grows here. I’d love to have a healthy comment section full of unique takes and points of view, and more importantly the people attached to those ideas. And I know that sounds very web circa 2008, but I’d love to see it make a roaring comeback in 2020 and beyond. Those were the “good old days” of the internet, and they don’t need to go away.

Curious that we let the nerdiest guy at a University full of the biggest nerds in the world convince us Facebook was “cool”, right? Right.

If you haven’t already, I hope you’ll follow along by subscribing to my email newsletter (there’s a box in the sidebar), or subscribing via RSS. You can follow me on Twitter too, but please consult with your physician prior to taking that extreme step.

Thank you to any of you who read the things I put out into the world. I feel immensely grateful for that. And for the special members paying $187 per month, I’ll be updating my special private latest episode of the Little Curiosities podcast in just a bit.

Narrator: Ryan has been uploading episodes of himself talking about shoe horns to a stranger’s SoundCloud account for four years now and no one has the heart to tell him.

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