We don’t live with animals in the hope that they’ll do our bidding. We live with them so that they surprise us, and lick us, and worry us, and pee in our beds, and snuggle on the couch with us and pose just barely long enough to take a picture for the gram for us. We love animals because we can never control them or make them stay. Like us, they have their own agendas and their own fickle bodies. To love an animal, like a person, is to learn how to grasp tightly with an open hand.

Small animals…


No one gets tattoos of scale bars. They’re not nearly as pretty as a compass rose, you never see as much variation or style in them and I think the best that can be said for them is that you can tuck them out of the way and forget about them until the user makes a pinching gesture with their thumb and forefinger and awkwardly counts out a rough distance. Unless you’re making blueprints, scale bars are never going to be used precisely- they’re really just for orienting the audience and helping them eyeball the image but I started using…


The author at “work.”

“Go fly a kite” is very nearly a perfect metaphor for “fuck off and do nothing” and we have Mary Poppins (1964) to thank. A stuffy English patrician, a banker literally named George Banks, gets fired from his job only to realize that his regimented aristocratic life is an absurd farce and he makes amends by vowing to take long walks in the countryside, spend time with his family and… go fly kites. Life is absurd. All absurdities being equal, choose the fun ones.

Flying a kite consumes so much attention and so little brain. It is a simple joy…


At the beginning of fire season in 2019 I visited the Situation Room at PG&E’s downtown San Francisco headquarters and it was like walking onto a movie set. There were floor-to-ceiling monitors and rows of analysts watching live-streams from remote webcams on fire watch towers and dashboards tracking Twitter, weather stations and fire prediction algorithms. This kind of tactical information analysis is what the pros do.

The rest of us probably have a favorite weather app or maybe an emergency alert notification but having a robust digital go-bag of information can be as invaluable as a stash of fresh batteries…


A good college friend wheedled me into writing this all the way back in May so that I could submit it to an online magazine that was trying to catalog how art is helping people get through these wild times. I got a lovely personalized rejection note from the publisher who liked it but had already accepted too many submissions mentioning Georgia O’Keefe. I guess I’ll have to get more hipster with my inspiration in the future. At any rate, I quite like this piece and thought that it shouldn’t die alone in my inbox.

Winter Road I, Georgia O’Keefe 1963 Oil on Canvas

When I saw this painting…


There’s a lot that I don’t know about Friday night. As I understand it, riots are not often understood well but this one for me was particularly chaotic and disorienting. I’ve been to marches and protests aplenty but none quite like this. I want to provide as much context as I can to give you an idea of my experience but I want to reiterate that what I am producing here is not journalism and is more akin to a diary entry or personal account. Understand that I am conveying personal truth as best as I know it and nothing…


I was hanging out (at a distance) with my friends at the beach last weekend and one of their friends (at a distance) was asking me about cameras. I currently had one of my own dangling about 150 feet above our heads from a kite taking pictures. Presumably this advertises to the general public that I know something about cameras. I don’t. I took a high school photography class with my Dad’s 70’s-era Fuji 35mm and I recently bought an underwater camera mostly just to make my friends jealous on Instagram. That is my experience with cameras.

Anyway, this person…


I’ll be updating this from time to time as more maps filter in. Watch this space!

The COVID-19 virus is a big deal. As of this writing, over *20,000 people on the planet have died because of it. Thousands more will almost certainly die.

Yes, it is true that your individual chance of contracting and succumbing to this illness is very low. As has often been pointed out, 18,000 Americans die every year from the flu that humanity has gotten very accustomed to living with and treating with nothing more than soup and daytime television. Does that mean it’s not…


It’s a very fashionable thing right now to bash PG&E but despite the receptive atmosphere for kvetching, my latest chapter of PG&E antagonism has been more difficult for me to write. It is not often that I feel a true compulsion to write but now that it has struck, my problem is that the compulsion is married to personal humiliation. Or rather, I keep vacillating between self righteousness and feeling utterly defeated and I fear that when I write and hit “publish” in one state, I’ll watch a flood of incoming comments and then immediately revert back to the other…


I am a GIS Developer contractor working for PG&E in a department unrelated to the release of these outage maps. The following opinions are mine and mine alone and do not represent those of PG&E in any way. If this map becomes a resource for informing PG&E decision making in the future, I will likely take this article down.

PG&E’s First Official Map

Mirror Link via SFGate: What a disaster. Not just the outage mind you, the map that was supposed to inform the public about the outage. Or at least I think it’s a disaster because I still haven’t been able to access…

Andrew Middleton

Maps, conservation, insects, film, boats, scuba diving

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store