The Alpinist

I just finished “The Alpinist” on Netflix. The movie follows Marc-André Leclerc, a Canadian rock climber and alpinist. The movie chronicles two years of his climbing. I am not a climber, but I have always had a deep love for the wilderness, the mountains, and the unexplainable feeling of summiting a peak. I am in awe of climbers.

Some climbing documentaries are exciting. They depict feats that hold me on the edge of my seat. “Free Solo” is such a movie. Others combine beautiful scenery with a rhythmic tension. “Touching the Void” comes to mind. “The Alpinist” is something different. It flirts with the typical tropes that are prevalent in climbing documentaries without becoming cliché. Questions of risk are asked but the filmaker seems happy to grant agency to Marc-André and other climbers. They are content to accept that certain people have developed different understandings of acceptable risk through training and experience, not because they are somehow crazy. The cinematography is gorgeous. Marc-André is genuinely lovable and extremely talented. It is a joy to watch him work a crack and watching him ice-climb is spellbinding.

Spoilers Ahead: read later if you are not familiar with Marc-André’s climbing and would like to see the movie first.

The director positions Marc-André’s summit of Torre Egger in Patagonia as the climatic climb of the movie but for me his first solo ascent on Mt. Robson’s Emperor Face is the highlight. The joy on Marc-André’s face when he states that “it was a very good day” perfectly captured the indescribable feeling of accomplishing something that you weren’t sure was possible. Marc-André’s life was cut tragically short. The filmmaker doesn’t shy away from his untimely death. The grief of his mother and girlfriend are heart-wrenching. There is no beautiful lesson to be learned in death. He lived a beautiful life. He was inspiring. He was loved. He died. Life goes on and it hurts like hell.

I appreciate that the film doesn’t strive for some higher meaning. In being true to the intensity of life that Marc-André lived and the intense emotions experienced by his friends and family when he died, the movie inspires emotion. I sat on the edge of my seat. I caught myself holding my breath with fear. I cried uncontrollably. I felt the pull of my backpack and the wilderness. “The Alpinist” is a great climbing documentary.

Celebrate by Writing: Matt Mullenweg

My birthday is coming up soon so it’s that time of the year when friends start reaching out and asking where they should fly to and how we’re going to celebrate.

After a good run in the post-vaccinated-and-boosted part of 2020 that felt relatively “normal”, including traveling almost 200k miles, I’m going back into a pretty locked-down state of things. Omicron has just been catching too many friends and loved ones, even with fairly careful measures and testing. So what’s happening on January 11th?

What I’m asking for my birthday is for people to blog!

by Matt Mullenweg

I met Matt years ago at the University of Houston. I was done with school and was taking an elective course. I believe he was starting/passing through. It was one of those random encounters where you strike up a conversation with a stranger. Years later I heard him on a podcast and thought, “that’s interesting, I met that guy once.” I guess today is his birthday. He’s done a lot for the blogosphere and is still promoting it. I think it’s a good cause to promote. If you’ve always wanted to blog but haven’t “bit the bullet”, then try it today. There are more ways than ever to get started. Test the waters over at It’s easy and has a great community. If you are a seasoned blogger then post something new today.

Interlocking Stars Fidget Toy

Interlocking Stars Fidget Toy

This is one of my more popular designs at PrusaPrinters. The stars are customizable via an OpenSCAD script. All stars print in place such that they can move relatively freely but remain captured within each larger star. I saw something similar on Twitter. It was mesmerizing.

A Poem for 2022 via Execupundit is a great follow. Add it to your favorite RSS reader if you haven’t already. Maybe there are new ways to follow, but I’m old-school. I love RSS.

Micheal recently posted a link to a great poem by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, called “A Psalm of Life”. It is an excellent choice as a poem to guide us into and through the next year.

Aaron Rodgers 3D Printed Line Art

Aaron Rodgers Artwork

I posted a new make at PrusaPrinters. As a die-hard Green Bay Packers fan I wanted some homemade memorabilia of our current 3x MVP and future hall of fame quarterback. I drew the artwork on an iPad and then created an SVG file in Inkscape that was extruded using OpenSCAD for the final print.

Betty White Dies at 99

Betty White passed away last week, two weeks shy of her 100th birthday. She was funny, talented, relevant. If you didn’t like her something may be wrong with you.

John Madden Dies at 85

I was on vacation last week and didn’t find out immediately that John Madden had passed away. It was impossible to miss over the weekend. With the recent biography on ESPN and his passing, his name was all over Sunday football. For a big part of my life John Madden was football. He was a great coach, an excellent broadcast personality, and was larger than life through the Madden NFL Football video games. It was his years as a broadcaster that I will remember most.

He has been parodied and imitated but never matched in the booth. His love of the game came through every week. He had a profound knowledge of the game and he taught it every week. There were few games where he did not bring out some nuance that I hadn’t noticed before. Unlike so many others he made the explanations interesting. He made it fun. He loved football but it was always just a backyard game being played by a bunch of adults. He was excited to call a game. He had fun doing it and he went bonkers when he saw something he liked. I rarely listen to the televised broadcasts anymore. I usually mute the TV and listen to a radio broadcast. No one can match John Madden.

Use OpenSCAD to Generate Custom Aluminum Enclosures

Another nice OpenSCAD library to help with subtractive manufacturing tasks is AlClosure. It was featured on The library is billed as a way to design “A Beautiful Professional Aluminum Enclosure”, but the techniques can be applied to other materials and components as well. To build the designs you will need some tools, e.g. press brake, mill, drill with various bits.