Trump Now President.

January20

It is now real.

Somehow a man who lacks the character or ethics to manage a McDonalds is the president of the United States of America despite losing by 3 million votes. This is the end of a long winding road caused by the Republican party being hijacked and held hostage by an anti-fact anti-intellectual movement. America is asleep in a puddle of tears as the “American Dream” slips even further from being a unifying vision for our country.

One thing is certain, this is going to be a very interesting period in history.

Where is America headed?

posted under Politics, Pollution / Environment | Comments Off on Trump Now President.

Beard II Challenge!

January10

I’ve never grown my “beard” out, the longest I lasted was 4 weeks on a trip around NZ with my brother. It was still pretty patchy and like wolverine’s (aka trailer park trashy). I always wanted to grow it really long and braid it like a Viking, but I also like sex.

Last days of Beard I in NZ…
screen-shot-2017-01-10-at-16-07-45

I am aiming to last 8 weeks (Till Feb 24th). We shall see how it goes and if I get annoyed with it!

posted under Dangers To World | Comments Off on Beard II Challenge!

2016 In Review.

January8

2014 was the toughest year of my life, and while 2015 was MUCH better and WAY more fun… so many of the things that caused stress in 2014 were still there and still had to be dealt with. I had high hopes for 2016 finally giving me a bit more space to find my mojo but that didn’t happen quite the way I wanted.

All in all, 2016 was a bit exhausting. I was working 2 CEO gigs for 85% of the year, one of those gigs was booting up a brand new tech startup which is a challenge, our family bought a house and moved 9+ times while getting it ready to be lived in, Lindsey got pregnant and we had a baby in December :), and I had to deal with a few health scares. There is a lot of good in there, but it was a pretty intense year.

2016 felt a bit like this…
giphy-2

I sat down a month ago and made a big timeline of everything going on in my life from 2014 to 2016 by month. It is pretty crazy how much shit went down over that 3 year period. Even after reading it I feel pretty amazed I am still standing. I am very confident that 2017 will be a bit more relaxed :).

The Amazing
Lindsey and I have been married for two years and it just keeps getting better and better :). I made a great choice and I hope she feels similar. We found out Lindsey was pregnant on April 20th and little Calico was born on December 30th 2016. This is a pretty momentous change to our lives, and we are pretty excited :). I am incredibly excited to be a dad!

In February we moved to Colorado and by March had bought a house in Boulder. Lindsey worked like crazy to get the house ready and by July we were moved in. We are loving our house and it is so nice to have a home/office and be less nomadic for a while. Between February to July we moved 9+ times as we scrambled to find new places whent he house work was delayed.

What other fun stuff did I do this year?
– Lindsey and I went on a 2 week baby moon to Maui Hawaii which was needed. We also spent a few weeks in Key West and Florida visiting friends & family. It was great to finally introduce Lindsey to my grandma, even if we have to do it everytime she wonders who is in the car with her :).
– Lots of amazing hikes in Colorado with Daniel and solo.
– I joined Vistage early in the year, and EO toward the end. Both those communities have been great, and I trying to learn how to better execute on ideas. This is a huge focus of mine for the rest of my life.
– I’ve managed to cement my morning ritual and I hit 380 consecutive days of morning rehab, and 310 days of meditation. I am pretty happy with keeping that up amidst a pretty choppy year.
– I am back to doing workouts 4x a week which feels great! They are light workouts but it feels great to sweat. I am slowly accepting that medical peoples have no clue about my back, and it is up to me to figure out what I can and can’t do.

The Challenges!

Health:
2016 was not a great year in the health department, but it did end on a positive note :). In January I got hit with some liver problems due to some preventative meds they had me taking. I stopped taking them and was back to normal by late March. Then in May they saw some signs inflammation might be back so I switched back to a super strict Paleo AIP diet and I’ve been on that ever since (7+ months). In August I got a colonoscopy and they didn’t see any sign of the disease now or historically so that was great to hear! Halfway through the year I also got some tests on my adrenal glands and the doctor discovered I am pretty zapped and at the end of a long stress cycle (duh!). So they gave me a mountain of hippie pills to help put humpty dumpty back together again :). I am feeling better now from an energy perspective and I am looking forward to getting my mojo back.

Komorebi:
Site5/WWWH was sold in June 2015 and for the 17 months following that salve I have been working two CEO gigs, one booting up my new startup Pressed, and one at WWWH to oversee the transition to the new owners. That was very stressful/tiring and I do not recommend doing it. Saying goodbye to Site5/WWWH after spending 7+ years building and running it was tough. I hope it finds a good home, as I haven’t been too impressed with what has happened under the new ownership. I was able to line up new homes for 75%+ of the team too which I feel good about. And, I think another 10% to 15% found positions through referrals a few weeks later.

Trump:
Somehow the country elected Trump to be the president of the USA. Trump is someone I wouldn’t hire to manage a McDonalds bathroom, let alone hand a pair of childproof scissors too. God help us all :). I am still working through what this means… it has caused a lot of reflection on what the American dream is for me, and what it is for other people. I am a globalist, I have friends all over the world, I am someone who thinks this country needs a strong social safety net in FDR style, and I am dumbfounded to see the very people who need help in the modern economy vote for someone who is going to screw them over. Hopefully, from the ashes the country emerges stronger (at least we might get a territorial tax system for people/companies finally).

2017
I am really excited about 2017! It is going to be a great year :). You can read my plans/goals here (COMING SOON).

Onward to 2017, ARRRRRGGGGGGG!!!!!!
giphy-3

posted under Life Planning & Execution | Comments Off on 2016 In Review.

2016 Book Summary

January6

giphy

Since 2010 I’ve taken part in a yearly challenge to read 100 books. I love reading so this is not too hard. For 2016 I read 112 books, and they were mostly fun books given the nature of the year.

I do a big book summary each year too, if you want to take a look at past years for some reading ideas check them out here: 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015. So what are my top books of the year?

If you only read 3 books this year I recommend the following:

1. Red Phoenix is a book based at the end of the Cold War and follows a North Korean invasion of the South and our response. It has echoes of Tom Clancy and I enjoyed it immensely.

2. Dawn of Wonder is an amazing fantasy book and I can’t wait for the second one. The premise is simple, a young boy as he suffers a tragedy and then as he joins a very elite military unit. Beautifully written, great characters, and just fantastic.

3. The Wolf of the North was a fantastic book and I can’t wait for the next one. Solid fantasy and beautifully written story with viking undertones.

Top 3 Scifi / Fantasy:

1. The Lives of Tao series. This is a GREAT science fiction series and very well written. Aliens crashed into earth and have been driving our evolution in order to get to a technology level to enable them to leave. At some point the group split into a group trying to help humanity and improve them, and another that just wants off the planet no matter the cost to earth. The aliens are a symbiotic relationship, and they combine with a human and can talk to them and effectively live forever. Which makes some really interesting topics on history when an immortal alien was inside the human’s head talking to them and giving them advice. Great series, highly recommended and I can’t wait to read more by this author.

2. The Black Gate Series is awesome fantasy and huge in scope. You see the world through a variety of characters that are slowly driven toward each other. Pretty unique world too.

3. The King’s Dark Tidings series. These are not the most complex, but boy are they fun. The main character is like a fantasy James Bond but a monk who seems to kill just about everyone. Fun world and characters, good for the beach.

Top 3 *Real* Books:

1. I was interested in learning how the USA passed a recent constitutional amendment so I picked up
Last Call: The Rise and Fall of Prohibition. It was very well written and fascinating to learn about. I was also curious how it mirrored Cannabis and the path to legalization a lot of states are taking.

2. The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life . This is a GREAT read and I love his website as well. I wish we passed this out to every student in high school or college.

3. The Rent Is Too Damn High: What To Do About It, And Why It Matters More Than You Think – This was a really interesting look at the cost of housing on Americans and the impact on the economy.

3 Honorable Mentions:

1. I read every book in the Gabriel Allon spy series. They are all very solid books and highly recommended.

2. The First Rule of Ten series, which is a fantastic detective series based in LA. The main character is a Buddhist monk and apart from the newest they are all amazing.

3. Waking the Kiso Road. This is a pilgrimage route in Japan I am thinking of doing and it made for a great read.

posted under Books | Comments Off on 2016 Book Summary

Workout Summary 2016.

January6

For 2016, I did a total of 166 hours of tracked workouts. January was a total wash, but by February I was in Colorado and doing a lot more hiking (especially with Daniel). I moved into our house in Boulder in July and LOVE the surrounding trail network. I also started riding a cheap exercise bike I got late in the year and making sure I am doing “big” workouts 3x to 4x a week. It feels really good to sweat again :). Fun stats:

  • I hiked/walked 299 miles this year.
  • I biked for 25 hours this year (I just got started end of year).
  • Over the entire year I ascended 45,997 feet, which is less than last year but not too bad given I walked about half what I did in 2015.

  • I’d love to pick up Yoga again, I was doing it 3x a week, but medical peeps told me to lay off for now. I am starting to think they don’t know what they are talking about though. Ditto for running, they told me at the start of the year after another MRI that I shouldn’t ever run due to the pounding. I think I am just going to have to figure this out on my own.

    What are my workout goals for 2017?

    1. Continue my big workout + foundation training 4x a week (and do them before I start work). Plus my daily rehab practice.

    2. Figure out what I can do that isn’t going to tear up my back further (and that I hopefully enjoy as much as running). I would be ecstatic if I could do 3 to 5 mile trail runs, but that might not be possible. I am going to talk to a trainer and see if I can find someone who has experience with annular disc tears.

    3. Think on a big bike or walking trip and what I need to do to prepare for that. I am thinking about getting a folding mountain bike and doing a big ride in Europe toward the end of 2017 possibly.

    Past years: 2014 and 2015 workout summary.

    posted under My Thoughts | Comments Off on Workout Summary 2016.

    Meet My Son Calico Jack Fox :)

    December30

    Meet my son :), little Calico Jack was born on December 30th at 9.09am outside of Boulder Colorado. He weighed 8lb 8oz and was 21.5 inches long at birth. Calico’s name is inspired by the famous Calico Jack Rackham. We wanted to give him something fun and original :). It was my pirate name from an online pirate name generator I took a long ways back.

    The labor was super intense so he needed a few days to recharge along with his mom. We didn’t get out of the hospital until January 3rd, and poor Lindsey got discharged a day later than her son. She is still recovering but slowly getting there. She was amazing :).

    giphy-1

    posted under Family & Marriage | Comments Off on Meet My Son Calico Jack Fox :)

    JOA – 365 Days Of Morning Rehab!

    December24

    screen-shot-2016-12-24-at-19-42-03

    I hit 365 consecutive days of morning rehab workout :)!!!!

    And 295 days of consecutive meditation. It would be 365 for both but during a work conference where I went to sleep late and had to wake up at 5am I forgot to meditate. My morning rehab is 7 minutes of planks to help strengthen my back (annular disc tear). I very slowly built up to a daily meditation practice of 20 minutes.

    Any tips?

    I am not sure they will help, but here is what I wish I could have told myself.

    Be patient with yourself :). For the first part of the year I was struggling to do my rehab and meditation as the first thing of my day. That took a good 6 months to get going. But, for the last ~5 months as soon as I am out of bed I do rehab and meditation. Now I am trying to add my big morning workouts and foundation training to the start of my day before work.

    For meditation, the sooner you jump to 20 minutes the better IMO. After ~15 days of 20 minutes it feels normal and I feel a lot more comfortable doing it. Sometimes I have meditations that are easy and in the zone, and other times my mind is like an energetic wet puppy. Regardless I think it does some good.

    PS, I heard about jar of awesome concept on a Tim Ferris podcast and loved the idea. So I am going to see how well it works out for me. .

    posted under Jar of Awesome | Comments Off on JOA – 365 Days Of Morning Rehab!

    What do you have to protect?

    December24

    While reading I ran into this fascinating concept around Japanese super heros:

    In the gestalt of Japanese fiction, one finds this oft-repeated motif: Power comes from having something to protect.

    I’m not just talking about superheroes that power up when a friend is threatened, the way it works in Western fiction. In the Japanese version it runs deeper than that.

    In the X saga it’s explicitly stated that each of the good guys draw their power from having someone—one person—who they want to protect. Who? That question is part of X’s plot—the “most precious person” isn’t always who we think. But if that person is killed, or hurt in the wrong way, the protector loses their power—not so much from magical backlash, as from simple despair. This isn’t something that happens once per week per good guy, the way it would work in a Western comic. It’s equivalent to being Killed Off For Real—taken off the game board.

    The way it works in Western superhero comics is that the good guy gets bitten by a radioactive spider; and then he needs something to do with his powers, to keep him busy, so he decides to fight crime. And then Western superheroes are always whining about how much time their superhero duties take up, and how they’d rather be ordinary mortals so they could go fishing or something.

    Similarly, in Western real life, unhappy people are told that they need a “purpose in life”, so they should pick out an altruistic cause that goes well with their personality, like picking out nice living-room drapes, and this will brighten up their days by adding some color, like nice living-room drapes. You should be careful not to pick something too expensive, though.

    In Western comics, the magic comes first, then the purpose: Acquire amazing powers, decide to protect the innocent.

    In Japanese fiction, often, it works the other way around.

    I found this fascinating, what is the thing you are protecting that gives you power? First, you find the purpose, then you get your powers. Quite a bit different than superheroes out west. What do you have to protect? And, what powers does that give you?

    PS. Here is another take on this difference and another breakdown.

    posted under My Thoughts | Comments Off on What do you have to protect?

    Chinese version of hot or not for society.

    December18

    This article is incredibly interesting on how China is building out a rating system for every citizen (and possibly sharing that data publicly and privately). I don’t know where this is going but it is a really fascinating idea. Imagine if you could pull up someone’s details just by scanning their face or looking at them through your digital glasses. Could you see who they voted for? What they donate money too? What they do for a living? We are getting really close to doing all this.

    Plus it has so many interesting applications to promote good behavior, or report bad:

    If you see corruption you mark it on the person’s record.
    If you see discrimination you mark it on their record.
    If you see someone do something nice you give them points.
    Of course, you could also do false reports and limitless ability to abuse.

    How will people hide the parts they want private? How will you opt out? A bit like the book The Circle which was super creepy. Is this technology going to take us back to old school small towns where everyone knows a lot about everyone else? Is that good or bad?

    posted under Dangers To World | Comments Off on Chinese version of hot or not for society.

    200 Days On Paleo AIP…

    November27

    I’ve been on a strict Paleo AIP diet for about 200 days which is quite a bit longer than when I did it in 2015. The diet is meant to reduce any ingredients that could increase gut inflamation and short description below:

    “By removing the foods that contribute to a leaky gut, gut dysbiosis (the wrong numbers, relative quantities, or types of microorganisms typically growing in the wrong locations in your gut), hormone imbalance, and that stimulate inflammation and the immune system, you can create the opportunity for your body to heal.”

    For anyone who lives on this diet out there on the internets I salute you. This is a tough diet and takes some getting used too. I’ve gotten to a point I enjoy it, and although it takes some prep I’ve gotten pretty efficient. I bought a HUGE 15.5 Quart Le Creuset Dutch oven and I cook most of meals in it. I can load this thing up on a Sunday, and eat off it for a good 4 to 5 days. It was expensive as hell but well worth it given how delicious food tastes as opposed to a slow cooker. I even cooked the Thanksgiving turkey in it :).

    The hardest bit is the loss of eating out with other people. It is weirdly “un-human” to go out to eat, but not be able to eat or drink with other people. It makes you feel very weird, like you are not human. It is hard to describe but can be weirdly intense and unsettling.

    I miss pizza the most.

    posted under Food | Comments Off on 200 Days On Paleo AIP…

    Education & Economic Recovery…

    November23

    You want to see a scary map that illustrates one of the primary reasons behind Trump? (Click to enlarge or interactive version here and full report here.)

    screen-shot-2016-11-23-at-12-10-03

    I’d like to see this in terms of %, as maybe the total number of people in those segments changed heavily. But, it is still a pretty scary graph. I am not seeing a lot of hope for people without a college degree. Unions are gone, and what is left is lower paying service jobs. Hopefully we get a federal minimum wage to counter that and bring it up to $15 to $20 an hour (and index for inflation so this stops being a thing we have to do every x years).

    Some interesting notes:

  • Workers with at least some post secondary education are now ~66% of the total employment.
  • Workers with a bachelor’s degree earn 57% of all wages, but make up only 23% of the workforce.
  • Of the 11.6 million jobs created post recession 11.5 million went to workers with at least some college education.

  • screen-shot-2016-11-23-at-12-26-39

    screen-shot-2016-11-23-at-12-14-50

    What happens in 4 years when it becomes apparent those jobs are not coming back? How are people without a college degree and stuck in a low paying job or no job going to react?

    I am really hoping the Democrats get their shit together and offer a “new deal” style program to build a new social safety net, and fill the hole that the demise of unions has left. I don’t like unions, but someone strong needs to be watching out for workers (maternity/paternity, childcare, living wage, paid vacation, etc).

    What happens as more people can’t afford a college education? Or go into crazy debt to get one?

    The student debt load is insane, and it is decimating young people’s economic future. Trump wants to stop the federal loan program for college and make it 100% private. Which might break the system, and maybe that is good in the short term, but in the long term the USA needs more graduates to stay competitive and help people move up the economic ladder.

    I’d love to see debt forgiveness for everyone, or at least the same interest rate banks pay since this is an even better investment in our country’s future. I’d like to see public funding return to state schools and making a 4 year degree free, or at least cheap enough that everyone can afford it ($2,500 to $5,000 a year + indexed for inflation). I’d love to see more apprenticeship / skill based programs as well, because not everyone needs to go to college and do the fluff. Teaching more programming in college, robotics, and other type of growth areas would be nice. The Australian system of capping loan payments based on income is also a decent idea. But, if college is so expensive it just means you are taking ~8% or so on from your population forever for something that could be run cheaper. Although I like it if you don’t pay anything if you make $50k or less.

    posted under Politics | Comments Off on Education & Economic Recovery…

    Running With The Bulls 10 years ago!

    November20

    In 2006 I headed to Essex in the UK to meetup with my brother who was studying there for the year. My brother still had finals so I took a short trip to Fez Morocco via a cheap Ryanair flight. And, after that we headed to San Sebastian near Pamplona to run with the bulls. We finished the summer trip in Dublin visiting Rose and exploring. It was a trip I had wanted to take for a long time and due to some hard work and luck I was able to do it and work remote. Pretty cool time :).

    San Sebastian is an amazing city, and I hope to go back one day. The park with the fort overlooking the city was where I spent a lot of my time. My brother preferred the very crowded beach.

    My brother was rocking some amazing hair :)

    nicksmaria

    And here I am 10 years ago :)

    And, finally some running with the bulls! I wish I had some more pics but for some reason I don’t have any of Nick. Running with the bulls was an adrenalin rush, and a bit of a shit show. It is an awesome feeling to be running in a crowd that big, jumping over shit, and jammed up in a door unable to move with a host of bodies pressed together.

    And, finally a few from Fez. I wanted to visit a traditional Moroccan house as I was tempted to try to build one. I was going to go to Beirut but I am glad I skipped it for Fez as it turned into a REALLY bad time to visit. The people who hosted me were incredibly kind and cool. The lady was a former investment banker or similar and put a ton of money into totally restoring this house, and the dude was a spanish guitar player.

    posted under Travel | Comments Off on Running With The Bulls 10 years ago!

    Habits.

    November14

    Are incredibly hard :).

    Today I hit 252 days of consecutive meditation, and 322 of consecutive morning rehab workouts. Getting to that point was HARD, but it has gotten easier. I recently added 4 new ones, one around a certain number of big workouts weekly, one around a certain amount of back strength training weekly, and two around specific hourly goals for the type of work I love. I use the Streaks app to track it.

    Previous posts were Meditation Is Fucking Hard and 100 Days of Meditation.

    posted under My Thoughts | Comments Off on Habits.

    Chapelle and Oliver.

    November14

    Man I miss Chappelle. Straight to the point.

    And John Oliver.

    FIGHT.

    posted under Dangers To World, Politics | Comments Off on Chapelle and Oliver.

    Long week.

    November12

    It has been a difficult week.

    I am still disgusted that my fellow Americans elected this piece of shit human being. I am not sure that will go away, and I am not sure it should. I am trying to be optimistic :).

    5 Attempts at Trump Optimism…

    1. American history is full of terrible things we have done. So far the republic has survived. I just hope doesn’t become the #1 terrible thing we have ever done (which is a pretty high bar).

    2. Trump has written the narrative that the Republican party is one of racism, misogyny, bigotry, xenophobia, and homophobia. That is going to be burned into a lot of young voters and minority voters. Demographics matter.

    3. Trump’s base is now waiting for the crazy things he promised. Our system doesn’t move fast, and I am curious how they handle disappointment and moderation (if he shows it). Bring the popcorn. And, watch for the 2018 election to see who shows up.

    4. In 2020 we have a census and then redraw congressional districts. As long as the democratic party wins big in 2018 and 2020 they could eliminate political gerrymandering. Both Republicans and Democrats are guilty and fixing it would be a MASSIVE leap forward in our democracy. Why? Because Congress would have to actually compete to be re elected (we need more competition in elections). I hope Obama is entirely focused on fixing gerrymandering after his vacation. Hopefully in conjunction with a conservative leader, maybe President Bush.

    5. Some of what Trump is pitching in his first 100 days is not bad. Specifically some of the anti lobbying items (although they are pretty lightweight in years). We shall see what he actually stands for since his campaign was devoid of any coherent written or spoken policies.

    What am I most worried about?

    #1 – Climate Change

    Trump doesn’t believe in climate change. His policies could accelerate global warming past the safe boundaries for the entire world (yes he could literally destroy the world for everyone by 2100). Plus give China the lead in renewables.

    #2 – Supreme Court

    Trump’s judges are crazy. I wish they were just conservative judges, but they are crazy judges. Some of them think you can have a State religion, just not federal. Meaning that Alabama might become a Protestant Christian state. Not to mention all the minority rights items they could roll back for 50+ years. Want to legally discriminate against someone on the basis of x, y or z? Well now you can with Trump’s judges…

    #3 – Trump Can’t Read

    I am pretty sure Trump can’t read. I am super serious.

    What am I going to do?

    Be optimistic.

    Engage with ALL my fellow Americans.

    FIGHT for a better America.

    And pray pray pray. :)

    giphy-2

    PS. Great post on feedback to sum this up:

    “Your (rational) Facebook friends are not calling you a bigot, but are disappointed in you for thinking bigotry is acceptable. By voting for Donald Trump, you told your friends that you think the things he says and does are acceptable. Your friends are upset because, by process of deduction, they’ve concluded that you do not find anything disqualifying about a lot of the objectively terrible things that have been said and done by your candidate. If you thought these behaviors were inappropriate, you would have taken a stand, like those on this extensive list of Republican leaders against Trump, and not given your vote to the man who demonstrated them. Since you did, in fact, cast your vote for Donald Trump, it shows them that you did not find anything wrong with his behavior, and that realization hurts their feelings. For them this is not just “difference of opinion,” but an endorsement of behaviors that degrade them as people.”

    posted under Politics | Comments Off on Long week.
    « Older Entries

    This is bwb’s personal blog so he can share his thoughts with the world, however scary or silly they might be. Plus family and friends can track what I am up too, and where I am in the world.

    IMG_2539

    I am pretty simple. I love Mangos. I love the ocean, although mostly at sunset as I’m a ginger. I love to travel, eat exotic food, read, and use my imagination. I love creating and developing ideas into businesses, understanding how all businesses work, and building cool stuff. I am a globalist and see the entire world as my responsibility and playground. And, I am married to an amazing woman who makes life even more fun :)!


    Want email notification of new posts?

    Archvies