This Is Us

My Father and I near the end.

For the first 12 years of my life, the idea of a “dad” was pretty esoteric. I knew I technically had one, but I’d often go years without seeing him. He was off-limits, “broken.” He had something called “alcoholism” probably because of his experiences in a place called “Vietnam”—neither of which I really understood at age five. All I knew by age 12 was that I’d given up on him. I’d spent too many afternoons sitting on the front porch waiting for him and now understood he just wasn’t coming.

During those years, my mom raised six of us kids…


Woman reading book in meadow.
Image by StockSnap from Pixabay

The world today is a relentless, never-ending, all-consuming onslaught of news and opinion. Tiny red bubbles alert us to all of the information awaiting us as soon as we’re done consuming whatever kafkaesque malaise-inducing collection of paragraphs our eyes are currently glued to; each more dire and serious than the last. Each laden with heavy and severe implications commanding cerebral thought and consideration, and leaving in their wake our shell-shocked psyche’s clutching for coping mechanisms.

Frankly, it’s a bit much.

The insidious nature of this new constant-information dynamic we’ve created is that most of the time, these things truly are…


Image by Sasin Tipchai from Pixabay

The passage of time is relative, and the last four years have been easily the longest in my lifetime. It’s difficult today to truly remember the visceral, gripping despair I felt four years ago as our nation turned over the keys to a violent white supremacist bent on self-aggrandizement. I was months away from becoming a husband and step-father for the first time in my life, a joyous, but admittedly intimidating responsibility made all the more serious by the fact that while I am a white man, my wife and children are Black.

As the night of Trump’s election and…


Let’s let Manny take an easy one, for once, ok?

Manny Pacquiao / Conor McGregor Creative Commons

Let’s be honest about a couple of facts right up front: Firstly, Manny Pacquiao is 42 years old and unless you’re Bernard Hopkins, you really shouldn’t still be Boxing at an elite level at 42 years of age. Secondly, Pacquiao is an undeniable, all-time talent and sure-fire first-ballot Hall-of-Famer. As such, he’s long since paid his dues to the fickle Boxing public and earned his right to pick the fights he wants (and the paychecks that come with them). Lastly, Manny Pacquiao has never been quite the same since that…


“Donald Trump” by Gage Skidmore is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

In honor of his historic achievement, I gift unto the world my single greatest linguistic creation: repeached. Yesterday, Donald J. Trump, the 45th President of the United States of America, was impeached, for a second time, for incitement of insurrection following the storming of the capitol building on January 6th.

That he was impeached again is not surprising given the current makeup of the House of Representatives. More galling, undoubtedly, is that in this go-around, ten Republicans broke ranks and voted alongside House Dems in supporting impeachment.

As details continue to emerge regarding the riot, there will likely be many…


Photo by WikiCommons

Last year I, along with roughly 104,000 other people all seemingly simultaneously discovered a new Twitter account that asked a very simple question: Has Jeff Bezos Decided to End World Hunger Today?

The premise of the account centers around 2 connected concepts: 1. according to the IFPRI (Internation Food Policy Research Institute), it would cost $11 Billion to end world hunger per year and 2. Jeff Bezos is currently worth $184 Billion (give or take a couple million on any given day based on how Amazon stock is doing).

In short: Jeff Bezos could end world hunger for the next…


(Image by Arek Socha from Pixabay)

Among the litany of terrible, awful choices made during Donald Trump’s tenure as President of the United States, Space Force is undoubtedly one of the most ridiculous. An entire military branch dedicated to the protection and armament of a place we can barely get to, to the tune of nearly $16 billion a year, is an outlandishly expensive bit of vanity and bravado exceeded in its absurdity only by its redundancy.

The United States already has an extremely competent (and well-funded) Air Force, which for years has already housed the Air Force Space Command, a department being reassigned to the…


(Image by Eric Stokley from Pixabay)

When the phone rang in early May 2008, I was 26 years old and had never been to Georgia. I was about eight years deep into a middling political career where I’d worked every conceivable job from lackey to Web Developer on both local and statewide races. I had a lot of experience, no college degree, and quite frankly, was looking for a job.

I was not expecting what happened when I answered the phone. Coming off a losing effort in the 2006 Michigan Attorney General’s race, I wasn’t surprised to see the former Campaign Manager’s (and close friend) number…


A developer's perspective.

Image by Benjamin Hartwich from Pixabay

I don’t think I’m making too many assumptions when I say that we all, as Medium writers, would like to better understand how our pieces are read and how they earn. To that end, we have the Medium “Stats” dashboard; a simple, clean, often misleading, and woefully underpowered source of analytics data.

As a piece of design work, I’d call it a success. It fits the Medium aesthetic and seems to echo Ev’s general vision of minimalism. The problem, however, is that analytics shouldn’t be minimal. They should be accessible, easy to understand at a glance, but…


Do you really need to upgrade?

Image by Jean van der Meulen from Pixabay

It’s 4 years old, the screen is scratched and the battery life is dismal, but my little iPhone 7 is still pretty amazing. In the interests of full transparency, my “choice” to still use an iPhone 7 isn’t really a choice at all; I’ve actually upgraded twice, which makes the fact I still find it so good particularly surprising.

I first upgraded to an iPhone XS two years ago. It was an amazing (and amazingly expensive) phone which I promptly lost two months after purchasing in a snowbank during a blizzard when my car…

Ryan Nehring

I’m a Developer, Activist, Husband & Father. Romani-American. On Twitter @Ryan_Nehring or at nehring.ryan@gmail.com. Top writer in Politics, Design & Tech.

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