John Kary


This is what I'm up to lately. The Now page concept originated with Derek Sivers.

Last Update: January 22, 2019
Current City: Lawrence, Kansas

I currently live with five people and four dogs in a house in Lawrence, Kansas. None of either "belong" to me. Most days I am working from home, working out, playing sports, or spending time with my (all the things) girlfriend.

Lately I am extremely happy and thankful for all the people and opportunities going for me. There is a lingering feeling that "winter is coming" and I need to be preparing for it. Whether it's things like having adequate disability insurance, or preparing for days or weeks of routine disruption, or minimizing the impact of low-probability/high-impact issues.

I am fortunate to have things going so well in all aspects of my life. Part of me feels lulled into inaction for fear of disturbing the harmony. You know, "don't get too comfortable" kinds of things. Everything in the small feels in-place. It allows me to turn attention to bigger picture feels like whether my cheese has moved or how the zeitgeist of our society, economy and politics is changing.


I work remotely writing software for clients in biomedical research, over-the-road trucking and higher education. I most often work from home, but occasionally from coffee shops, co-working locations and places with warmth and sunshine.

I am not currently accepting new software development projects or clients.

Ongoing Experiments

NEW Stock Trading; Since September 2018. My primary investments are in low-cost broad market index funds. But I wanted to explore the entertainment value of -investing- gambling some money in the stock market. I opened a Robinhood account with $1000, acknowledging that if it went to $0 I could afford to lose it. Outcome: Coincidentally the market plummeted shortly after in Q4 2018 and I was down in my Robinhood account as much as 33% at "the bottom" on December 24. Since then the market has rebounded and I'm "only" down 14%. This has been a fun ride and I'm thankful I can watch these numbers play out at a much smaller scale than trading primary investments.

NEW Mentoring Developers; Since September 2018. I have been mentoring beginning-level developers using the Scratch programming language. I don't know the language that well so I end up having the developers teach ME as I roam the room providing help. My big picture knowledge for programming concepts is more valuable than the exact syntax or structure. Usually we call over another mentor to help. Outcome: Allows me to keep a beginner's mind about programming and explain concepts without using programmer jargon.

Weight Lifting; Since November 2017. I have always played many competitive sports but never "hit the gym" growing up. It feels rewarding every day I look at myself in the mirror seeing the changes my effort has amounted to. The last few months I have not been as consistent as my first year of training. Prioritizing work and lack of convenience have led to missing workouts. In the coming months I will re-prioritize back toward making my workouts after my primary work project launches. Having lifted consistently for over a year, I am comfortable saying weight lifting is part of my lifestyle.

Real Estate; Since July 2017. I plan to buy my first rental property in 2019. I have a few more individuals to firm up on my team of professionals. The long-term strategy is one property per year. The primary reason for pursuing real estate is diversification of income and net worth. It will be local (Kansas City) but I will treat it like a long-distance property where I can't just drive by it. This is a business and my time is valuable.

Concluded Experiments

Podcast Brunch Club; January 2018, Monthly. This group picks several podcasts around a theme, listens to them independently, and discusses thoughts as a group. Primary goal: Meet new people, discuss ideas, make friends. Outcome: Any social group is a function of the people who attend. The majority of attendees focus their listening around social issues, government and current events. That doesn't really interest me. Playlists for discussion focused around edu-tainment style podcasts and were heavy on NPR. Those aren't really my interests (despite the shows being valuable and well-produced) so I have stopped regularly attending.

Currently Reading

Recent Travel

Nothing too notable: A small weekend trip to St. Charles, Missouri (just west of St. Louis.) It's along the Missouri River so history markers are plentiful. Their downtown is quaint.

Upcoming Travel

Austin, TX; March 2019. My home away from home. I will be in the Austin area the week of SXSW but not attending the event. Primary goal: escape the likely cold Kansas weather for a solo retreat in solitude.

New Orleans, LA; May 2019. The weather in NOLA is beautiful this time of year. Not too hot and early summer-y. Perfect for walking about in the Garden District, riding the cable cars and finding good food.

New York City; July 2019. Attend in Times Square. Will be my second time in NYC and hope to explore a little more than last time (October 2014.) I'm told October is the best weather to visit NYC, so we'll see.

I still really want to visit Nashville and catch some live shows. Maybe this Fall.