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A Day In The Life of a Basaltian

February 21, 2018

Now that a couple months have passed since the New Year, we think that's a great time look at the shape of our lives as they are, not as we wish them to be: our patterns, how we spend time, checking in with how our priorities and goals stack up with how we actually spend our days.

In that spirit of reflection, we Basaltians wanted to share what out days look like. (Note: a Basaltian is not the secret alien species of which we’re part. It just means a member of the Portland-based Basalt team.)

We found it interesting—although our routines differ, the similarities were more striking: healthy balance (work, play, friends and family), media indulgences (Reddit), and two uninterrupted morning hours—the Deep Work.

Read on for...A Day In The Life of a Basaltian!


Chris: Up at 6:30 with wife Shelli, has as cup of coffee while he reads his news (NPR, Reddit, Axios). Says good morning to his dog, Charlie, who doubles as an alarm clock. Shelly leaves at 7:30, Chris commences with coffee #2, and by 8:00 gets online for the day and sets up the dominoes: task lists, meeting schedules, coordinating with Nam and Evan. By 9:00, he’s settled into the morning Deep Work for two uninterrupted hours.

Nam: Is more prepared to wake up than his Philips Hue alarm it to the punch by about fifteen minutes. Lingers in bed and checks the phone, responds to urgent emails, then rises and gets kitted out for the day: two handfuls of spinach (wait for it, it makes sense), frozen mangoes, protein powder, blends it up, slams it down. (Nam grudgingly accepts that mangoes are not vegetables, yet states: “I like to get ahead of my day by drinking all my day’s vegetables immediately.”) Sets up the task-dominoes, settles into the morning Deep Work for 90 minutes to two hours.

Evan: Wakes up around 7:00 to an old-fashioned alarm clock. (Basaltians are big on wake-up tech, can you tell? Evan’s Pro Tip: charge your phone in the living room for a smoother wake up.) Makes coffee, THEN grabs his phone, responds and coordinates with developers on the East Coast, and checks in on the political train wreck. (Evan’s a news aggregator guy, committed to examining all the polished facets, from NPR to Fox News.) Bridger Lovely, age 2, champion sleeper, is up by 8:00. Evan and wife, Jessica, switch off on Bridger Daycare Readiness duties. The little dude finds his way to daycare (not by himself), showering and hearty breakfasting happens, and by the time Bridger is off at daycare and the mate is piping (either Rosa Mate or Cruz de Malta), Evan is setting up the dominoes with other developers he’s coordinating and getting into two hours of Deep Work.

Morning take-aways for Basaltians:

  • Breakfast is highly respected.
  • Mobile device habits vary.
  • Mangoes are not vegetables.
  • Reddit is universally consumed.
  • Deep Work is the sacred tasking time.


Chris: Joined by Nam for a working lunch and walking Charlie in the park. Post-lunch: meeting time, then Basalt housekeeping—accounting, personnel management, insurance. Wraps up work around 5:00, runs errands and cooks dinner, hangs with Sheli, signs back on for a short nightly work session, or…

...ENTERS THE REALM OF THE FANTASTICAL AS A DUNGEONS AND DRAGONS DUNGEON MASTER!!! (At Orcs! Orcs! Orcs!—a themed, bimonthly Portland-area Dungeons and Dragons extravaganza.) 8 DM’s, 6 people per adventure, with much quaffed ale, tavern fare, role-playing goblin voices, and the constant clattering of 20-sided die. Whoever said that tech didn’t have a libidinous after-hours fantasy scene? Not Chris.

Nam: Joins Chris for working lunch and Carlie time. Meetings, parallel works with Chris on Basalt housekeeping, wraps up around 5:00. Sees family and friends, cooks a delectable roommate dinner, or…

…SPENDS THE EVENING COURTSIDE WITH THE BLAZERS!!! (Nam has been a courtside server at the Moda Center for the past six years, where he’s taken care of his Blazers section and served the eclectic likes of Lil Wayne, the cast of Portlandia, Blazers founder Harry Glickman. He recently helped Reggie Miller take a selfie, and barely resisted snapping a pic of his own mug into Reggie’s phone.)

Evan: Lunch with Nam and Chris. Afterwards: hikes Mount Tabor to walk off the soporific effects. (Evan’s best idea-time is usually while walking.) Coordinates with East Coast developers, has meetings. Gets another chunk of work in (Pattern Lab maintaining work usually happens in the afternoon). Signs off of work, fetches the little dude from daycare, hangs with the family, cooks dinner, or…

...DOES A LITTLE BIT MORE WORK!!! (Actually, he's just as likely to geek out with his Nintento Switch, or to do a deep dive on the internet to research about new technologies. Evan's work at night has more to do with learning, musing, and dreaming about new possibilities.)

Noon and night take-aways for Basaltians:

  • Evan has some secret excitement he’s not telling us about.
  • A Basalt Working Lunch is filled with excited, passionate tech-talk.
  • Work hard, be available, and know when to sign off.
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Joe Karasek

Senior Developer