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Today, I went back to Marmion and participated in the 20th anniversary celebration of the LEAD program. A lot of emotion in the room.

Mr Bellafiore, the leader of the program for the majority of its twenty years and a man who continually led - challenged, frustrated, cared about - me during my time at Marmion, was the master of ceremonies. Mr B cried during his opening address. He’s the man who taught me it was ok and sometimes very effective to cry when you speak publicly, actually. (It’s a trick I abuse indiscriminately.)

LEAD at Marmion was always an uphill battle; focusing on business skills at fourteen years old and being explicitly “civilian” at a school with a 50-year military history was the kind of thing that made you a real weirdo. I graduated in a class of seven; the school is more than five hundred boys in total.

Thankfully, I was too fat to get stuffed in many lockers; I certainly did my best, though.

I campaigned to get military dress taken out of our yearbook pictures, complained loudly to anyone who stood still about funding inequalities to anyone who would listen, and attempted to recruit anyone frustrated with too many push-ups and shoe-shines. I wasn’t popular in high school for a whole host of reasons, but I definitely knew I brought a lot of it on myself with stunts like that. (Which, oddly, obviated the need to feel bad about not being cool.)

Today, it’s a different place. The program has grown, though not tremendously, from ten to thirty percent of the student body. The administration is not only tolerant now but eager to push it forward.

Today, I could come back and be a part of a new “founder’s club,” the twenty years of guys who struggled to establish a damn thing in an environment that was sometimes ambivalent and sometimes hostile. Most of the programs that I’d led were still there today; a leadership summer camp and adult education programs, a male beauty pageant (which was awesome). They’d been cancelled in the interim, but the institutional memory was there when the funds and enthusiasm resurfaced.

Being a founder is actually something very much like that; doing the hard slog of exploration, and then finding the people to carry it on when you can’t any longer. Installing that faith that something good is happening here.

I got to give a little talk towards the end of the ceremony (which was terrifying because I didn’t know I was doing it until I arrived). Luckily, I had been daydreaming of this damn program being a success I could talk about since 2002, so I was able to scribble something semi-coherent on my program while the ceremony went on.

Credere Deo, Luctari pro Eo

"To believe in God, and to fight for him."

Those are the words on the Marmion seal, and on the nerdy little pocket protector that LEAD kids wear on their blazers three days a week. (They don’t sew it on so as not to conflict with JROTC/military regulations; I told you it was bad.)

I had some epic arguments with military classmates about what that meant; specifically was “luctari” to “fight” or to “struggle” - did someone have to fight to serve God in the Marmion model? (I told you I was insufferable.)

That aside, what mattered to me was that the belief and the struggle are arranged around the seal in a circle. To believe is to struggle, and to struggle strengthens the belief. In God, in LEAD, in my company, my relationships, and in myself.

To me, that’s what being a founder is. To keep my eyes open, to learn, but to be wholly committed to that spiral process, and ready to dive in again at every cycle.

How to recover file from 'hidden' directory with Time Machine? [StackOverflow]

I had a bunch of two-factor auth codes in a hidden dotfile that I’d backed up via Time Machine but hadn’t put on Github or Dropbox because of their sensitive nature. (I use these as an extra line of defense for my Gmail, Evernote, etc. accounts, but it’s a pain to have my phone around all the time so I like to be able to generate codes right from the command line.)

I’d forgotten to bring these along after a recent reinstall of OS X, and was too lazy to go in and redo all my two-factor codes last week. So I was just locked out of e.g. Heroku.

Luckily for me, Time Machine was smart enough to know that my old backups should still be accessible even from a new user, and I was able to grab and restore that file from my home directory after showing hidden files:

defaults write AppleShowAllFiles TRUE

My mom - and the cat - discovered FaceTime.

My mom - and the cat - discovered FaceTime.

"Here’s a polite person’s trick, one that has never failed me. I will share it with you because I like and respect you, and it is clear to me that you’ll know how to apply it wisely: When you are at a party and are thrust into conversation with someone, see how long you can hold off before talking about what they do for a living. And when that painful lull arrives, be the master of it. I have come to revel in that agonizing first pause, because I know that I can push a conversation through. Just ask the other person what they do, and right after they tell you, say: “Wow. That sounds hard.”"

"The computer world is not just technicality and razzle-dazzle. It is a continual war over software politics and paradigms."