Year: 2015

Yearly Focus

2015: Goal, Theme & Challenge – Review

At the beginning of 2015 I wrote about my goal, theme and challenge for the year. I’ve posted a few updates throughout the year but want to take some time now to do a final review. 2015 Goal: Read 26 Books Self Grade: 5/10 My goal was to read 26 books – I finished at 12. This was just a miserable failure. I was certainly busy but I know for a fact that with time I spent playing through a few video games and watching a number of movies, I could have accomplished this with only consumption time. To be fair, I believe this is the most books I’ve ever read in a year. Last year I read 17 but 6 were audiobooks. I had also strived to read more fiction, which 8 of the 12 were. The complete list includes: The Omnivore’s Dilemma Death on the Nile No Country for

Product Reviews

Product Review: Love is Bold Silicone Wedding Band

Todays post is a product review. I provide unbiased product reviews in exchange for discounted products with the goal of helping people find good products and manufacturers improve what they create. — Love is Bold Silicone Wedding Band I am pretty a pretty active individual (surfing, bike commuting, Ironman, backpacking & such) and ever since I got married, wearing a ring has been troublesome for me. I take it off for most activities for a number of reasons: I found the weight and firmness annoying it would place my fingers weird or cut off circulation during activities where my hands were holding something like bike handlebars or hiking poles I sometimes get swollen fingers while running while working with wood or fixing surfboards my ring has nicked a piece and damaged it before during swimming and surfing where I’m in cold water, my finger shrink and I worry the ring will slide off

Yearly Focus

Living Slower: Selecting Activities Intentionally

As I’ve spent this year thinking about living slower, one recurring theme is the selection of activities that I spend my time on. I wrote some previously about how I wanted to spend more of my life towards the extremes of either being productive or resting. The question then arises, which activities best optimize for each of those. As I start to think about how to select tasks, the first thing that stands out to me is that there are many types of activities to account for. There isn’t one single ‘productive’. For each of the different aspects of myself there are ways to be productive. Exercising is productive to the body just as conversation is productive to the relationship. But how many different aspects are there? The Aspects of A Person For about a decade I’ve been tracking how I spend my time in one week samples. Over this period I’ve

Other People's Work

The Next War

“Any one could comprehend it and reach the same conclusion after a moment’s reflection. But nobody wants to. Nobody wants to avoid the next war, nobody wants to spare himself and his children the next holocaust if this be the cost. To reflect for one moment, to examine himself for a while and ask what share he has in the world’s confusion and wickedness-look you, nobody wants to do that. And so there’s no stopping it, and the next war is being pushed on with enthusiasm by thousands upon thousands day by day.” -Hermann Hesse, Steppenwolf, 1927


Life in a Studio Apartment with my Wife and Two Sons

Between July 2011 and August 2015 I lived in a ~400sqft studio apartment in San Francisco. I moved in a bachelor but by the time I moved out, I was one member of a four person family. Here are some things I learned along the way. Lesson 1) Rent control has strange side effects San Francisco has a rent control policy that prohibits most landlords from raising rent more than ~1% per year. The goal is to help fight against families getting displaced. When my wife and I got married and she moved in, we considered moving. Our budget had increased some, but our purchasing power had dropped. We could change neighborhoods, but we’d be sacrificing in apartment quality. We decided to stay. A year and a half later, we welcomed our first son into the world. At that point rent in the city had risen by over 50%. We were dropping to one income so my wife could be

Career in Tech

Behind Great Products

Behind any great product is a dumpster full of mediocre products. The one you see is the result of tiresome work that you often do not see. It isn’t just that the creators are better than average (though that is probably true too), but rather that they set their goal higher and work harder, longer and with more resolve. Creating greatness is an inefficient task. Behind the record breaking four minute mile there were four years of training. No one remembers the first man to run a 4:10 mile. Breaking 4:00 takes four years, but it is remembered for 400.

Yearly Focus

Read 26 Books: Update 3

Third quarter was not good for reading. Of the 6.5 books I should have read, I only completed 1.5. I think I hit a stretch there where I didn’t read anything for a whole month. Time to get back on the horse. To date this year I’ve read: The Omnivore’s Dilemma Death on the Nile No Country for Old Men Fluke A Scanner Darkly Managing Brand Equity The Kite Runner 7 Men: And the Secret of Their Greatness I am currently reading: Life of Pi


Splitting Wood

It is faster for me to split a small pile of wood than to teach someone to use an axe. But to stockpile wood for the town to last the winter, we will need many axes swinging. Mine will be solely for instruction.  

Yearly Focus

Summit Mt. Whitney: Complete

I did it. I stepped foot at the top of the tallest peak in the contiguous United States of America. There isn’t a ton to report here, this was a fairly uneventful challenge. Recalling back to when I decided on it, one of the main reasons I selected this hike as my challenge was because it was the least intensive item on my bucket list. Once I got a permit, and thanks to not sustaining any injuries this year, it was a fairly low risk endeavor. I considered finding ways to make it more challenging, bringing my 18 month old son along, doing it with nothing but a knife, trying to set a record – but, I stuck to my decision and kept things simple. Now all of this isn’t to say hiking the 22 mile round trip which climbs over 6k ft of elevation was easy. It was physically difficult. I was out of breath,

My Thinking On Various Topics

What You Mean When You Say You Can Afford It

‘I can’t afford it’ – a common and well understood phrase that clearly ties a rejection to reasons regarding finances. Its counterpart, ‘I can afford it’ is a little more complicated. I offer my thoughts on what a number of hypothetical people mean when they say it. 1) The Hopeless I am able to get someone to give me the item in exchange for nothing but a promise to make future payments with interest. I am borrowing the full value and, if I did the math, I would not see a clear path to me being able to actually make the full payments. If I did the math I would probably also see that I will end up paying much more than the listed cost of the item. Most likely they will be reclaiming the item shortly and I will have wasted any money I gave them up to that point. 2) The Naive Optimist I am