Pat Dryburgh

How Watsi built a mobile health insurance platform in Uganda in 3 months →

Having spent the last 9 months working on accounting and mobile banking software for cooperative micro-financing institutions in Uganda, reading about the challenges the Watsi team faced while working in the same region was extremely relatable. The ease with which they addressed these challenges, however, is completely foreign to me.

Do I really want to hunt?

My post from the other day definitely came out of left field. I had just finished reading Steven Rinella’s book, Meateater, and was all amped up to figure this hunting thing out.

What I didn’t do a very good job explaining was that this idea is still very new, and like all good ideas it has not yet been fully tested.

Do I actually want to kill an animal? I have no idea. I can probably count on one hand the number of fish I’ve killed, pets included. I once went to a firing range on my way to a Mutemath concert in Detroit, but other than that, the vast majority of my firearms experience is with BB guns and Duck Hunt.

So, I’m definitely in the romantic stage of this endeavour where it’s an exotic idea that has not yet had to face the harshness of reality.

Right now, I love climbing mountains and I am falling in love with cooking. With these things comes the question “am I being responsible with how I’m sourcing the food that I eat?” At the moment, I believe the answer is “no, not really” and that hunting may be a solution to this problem.

Or maybe sitting under fluorescent lights and eating lunch in a food court for the last two weeks is making me stir crazy and I just really want to get outside.

Becoming a meateater

I’ve never hunted before. My father took me fishing when I was young, but it was never a big part of my childhood. My focus was on organized sports and music. We did have a forest near our place where we would ride our little dirt bikes, but I didn’t fully realize how fun hiking in the outdoors could be until I came back to BC in 2015.

Since returning to Vancouver, I’ve been spending more and more time outdoors which has made me contemplate getting into some fishing and hunting.

I recently came across hunter, writer, podcaster, and TV personality, Steven Rinella. Watching his show inspired me to learn more about hunting and his podcast inspired me to set some goals and put a plan in place to achieve them.

His book, on the other hand, reminded me that I am lacking a lifetime of experience and knowledge. As excited as I am by the thought of one day finding and harvesting my own meat, I realize that it’s a pursuit that may take many years to achieve.

Thankfully, I’m not in a rush. While I continue to develop my endurance in the mountains, my familiarity with the landscape, and the skills one requires to be qualified to hunt, I relish the fact that I am a complete beginner who doesn’t really know what he doesn’t know. For someone who loves to learn, it’s a feeling worth recognizing and celebrating.

Received my invitation to join the network. You can follow me there @pat.

I’m still using to post to Twitter for now, but will be experimenting with’s cross-posting functionality this week.

Spent a couple of hours today tidying up some things on the site. If there’s one thing I’m grateful for this year, it’s my rekindled love of having a blog.

James Shelley on his recommitment to the open web:

The ultimate value of the Internet is that it is an open network. I want to invest my time and grow my understanding in a dataset I can access, transport, query, and utilize in the future. For me, right now, this means using WordPress to amalgamate my personal “online existence” in a MySQL database that I own, instead of relying on Facebook or Twitter — or whatever the “next things” might be — to host my digital life for me on their terms, under their conditions.

If you follow me online, you may have noticed a decline in the quantity of content I’m publishing. Aside from the occasional reply on Twitter or Instagram photo, almost everything I’ve had to say can be found right here on my blog.

Well, anything I’ve had to say publicly, that is. The vast majority of my writing activity has been invested in the work I’m doing with Ensibuuko. Speaking of which, we’re currently on the lookout for Laravel developers. If you or someone you know is available, let me know!

Don’t Promise →

When someone asks something of me, I find it very difficult to say no. Sometimes it’s because I genuinely want to help, others because I feel obligated to say yes.

Too many times in my life I’ve let people down by failing to deliver on promises. More often than not, this is not for a lack of trying. It’s usually that I promise more time and energy than I have available.

This recently came up again when a friend introduced me to someone I’ve admired from afar for some time. My friend and this someone invited me to participate in a project they’re working on together and in my excitement to meet this someone, I agreed right away.

I had to send an email to this someone last week to let them know I was pulling out of the project (thankfully, he was forgiving and gracious and extended an invitation to rejoin their efforts if and when my schedule allows). If you’re a designer interested in blockchains and/or the music industry, do get in touch.

This reminder from Jason Fried that the pain of saying no is far less severe than the pain of failing to deliver on a promise strikes home with me. I want to ensure that the things I say yes to align with my ability to deliver.

Just bought a new notebook to replace the one I filled in Uganda. Went with the charcoal Confidant by Baron Fig because the light gray doesn’t look very nice once it’s dirty and worn. Would love to find a notebook with similar qualities to the Confidant (opens flat, dot grid, sturdy construction) with a more durable cover.


After 6 long months, I am so ready to go home.

EBB ✈️ AUH ✈️ LHR ✈️ YYT

The Consulate of Canada to Uganda is a disgrace. The desks are full of brochures with web addresses that return 404 or 403 errors (including one asking for feedback regarding my service here), pamphlets for events that took place over 2 years ago, and a Japanese takeout menu. Every school brochure is dated 2016 or earlier. I even found a religious pamphlet for Seventh Day Adventists.

I’ve now been waiting for the Consular to return from her lunch which was to have ended two hours ago. Her office staff can’t reach her and have no idea where she is.

Oh, Canada.

I’ve been waiting at the Consulate of Canada to Uganda for over an hour and no one has offered me a beer.

Ugandan immigration prevented me from boarding my flight to Zambia yesterday. I think they were worried they’d miss my beard.

Today is my last day in Uganda. Tomorrow, I fly to Zambia for a couple weeks, then I’m off to Newfoundland to go camping with my brother.

To say these last four and a half months have been amazing would be an understatement. I will miss the dear friends I’ve made since coming here, but am looking forward to the day when I can visit again.

about:blank →

A nifty (and cleverly named) app that blocks websites on your iOS devices. Previously, I had been using parental controls to block Facebook and other time-wasting sites, however the controls were a bit cumbersome and overbearing for my limited needs. about:blank does exactly what I want, no more, no less.

Welcome back, Matt →

It’s so great to see a friend find his way back to the world of blogging. I have been a fan of Matt’s since the very beginning of One37 and was so grateful to have the pleasure of working with him on the redesign of Rye 51. Can’t wait to see what’s next, my friend.

Three years

It’s an easy date to remember, July 7, 2014.

7 / 7 / 14

7 + 7 = 14

We discovered the mnemonic that night.

Each of us said our goodbyes a few days prior. The morphine drip had been increased consistently for a couple of weeks and had gotten to the point where it had sedated her completely.

The family had spent the evening going up to our parents’ bedroom to check on her, but by 10pm the nurse was the only one there. I don’t remember whether Dad had gone to bed, but my sister was in the family room while my brother and I smoked outside.

Around 11:30pm, my sister came bursting through the garage door. Her tears were a dead giveaway. After a four-year battle with mesothelioma, Mom finally let go.

The funeral home was notified and indicated they’d arrive in a couple of hours to collect the body. My family and I huddled around her bed, crying the first of many tears to be shed that week. We left her head uncovered until the funeral people arrived. It was shocking how quickly her body turned cold.

We wrapped her body in bed sheets and I kissed her head as we carried her out of the bedroom. She felt so light on the stretcher. The funeral people hopped in their white hearse and drove away into the night.

In an open window in Things 3 for Mac, start typing the name of a project and hit return.

Knowing what I post to Twitter now appears on my site’s homepage and in my newsletter has changed how I think about tweeting. Hoping for less noise and more signal.