My name is Matthew McGarity. I’m a dad & husband living in McKinney, TX.

I have two kids, two cats, two guinea pigs, and a dog. Collectively, there are 6 girls to 3 boys in our house, so I am outnumbered.

My daytime hours are spent as product manager for a cyber-security platform. In between saving the world, I like to explore, read non-fiction, collect comic books, play video games, and write in my various paper & electronic journals.

I don’t write here very often, but I’m thinking about starting again. When I do, I like writing about running. I also write on a variety of personal interests, which are better-categorized by the tags displayed in my sidebar.

I am also experimenting with my own newsletter, for fun vs. profit.

I am not really on social media, having quit all big players back in 2020. Since then, I privately reactivated my Instagram profile and my only follower is my wife, so she can continue to be surprised by the occasional family photos appear in her feed.

I love listening to podcasts. I sometimes make appearances on other people’s podcasts. I occasionally think of creating my own, but then give up because it seems like so much work.

I also love my two video projects: taking a selfie everyday, and documenting one second per day of my family’s life. I sometimes appear in other YouTube videos.

Using Vivecraft to run Minecraft Java on a Meta Quest 2 VR headset

Recently, my son acquired his first VR headset (a Meta Quest 2). Between the MQ1 and MQ2, Meta made a design decision that made the latter less-independent on a computer connection to operate. However, if you want to run VR in things like Minecraft Java Edition, you have to jump through hoops to setup and run Vivecraft.

To keep others from experiencing the same pain, I’m sharing my process for configuring your hardware & software in the simplest path possible. You can find further details on this Notion page:

The above Notion page contains two sets of instructions:

  1. One-time initial configuration of your hardware & software.
  2. Steps performed each play session to launch your VR headset & launch Vivecraft.

Good luck and happy exploring!

I Gave Up

On New Year’s Day 2020, I quit all social media, including Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. I trashed 13 years of networking & history so I could focus my energies more towards fostering in-person relationships instead of political doom-scrolling.

Immediately afterwards, two-thirds of my work team got fired, and the world went to hell. All physical get-togethers ceased, and we shifted to 100% virtual encounters, and suddenly every relationship required twice as much effort to maintain. I continued to abstain, hoping that things would quickly pass.

Now 20 months later, I’m tired, depressed, angry, and afraid — all at the same time. And until my daughter can get her own vaccine, I’m not willing to spend much time around other people (many of my co-workers & friends feel the same way). So I’ve relapsed and can once again be found on Facebook and Twitter.

You are welcome to judge or mock me, but be sure to give me a pass. Like many of you, I’m lonely and my soul has been worn down to a nub. Rejoining those sites is a play at improving my health, and hopefully I can better handle this latest bout of online participation. One change I am fostering is to follow fewer people, to be less concerned with my follower or like counts. I’m slowly adding back people as I adjust. You’re welcome to follow me back, but please don’t be offended if I do not immediately return the favor — I’m trying to find the best balance between signal vs. noise, and social media is unfortunately biased towards the unhelpful latter.

Stay safe!

Framing Priorities

On today’s “Before Breakfast” podcast, host Laura Vanderkam shared a great way to frame priorities.

Instead of asking myself yes/no questions, instead structure them as “Would you rather?” questions instead.

For example, don’t ask, “Do I want to hit the snooze button?”  Without an alternative, the answer may always be yes. Instead, I could ask myself, “Would I rather hit the snooze button — or get up and run?”

There’s no right answer — some days, it make sense to get a few more minutes of shut-eye. But since snoozing is invariably lower in quality than a good workout, the latter often wins out.

Fateful Decisions

While listening to last week’s Slate Political Gabfest, John Dickerson shared his answer to the following Twitter question:

A couple of ideas came and went in my mind, before I settled on sharing something previously-untold that had decades of consequence.

It was the last week of my senior year of high school. This was before texting or even email, so I was likely saying final goodbyes to lots of peers.

One of my classmates, a tomboy named Micha, was planning to immediately leave for summer school at Texas Tech. Up to that point, we were closer to buddies than friends, but we were acquainted enough that we decided to become pen pals.

That moment turned out to be the start of the longest friendship of my life, spanning 24 years until her untimely passing. It transcended mere friendship, as we felt & acted like siblings. Pretty darn trajectory-changing, if you ask me!