Shepherd launch of search + bookshelves (topic pages)

January11

A good day, as we shipped search + bookshelves! We’ve been working on this for 5+ months so it is very exciting to see readers using it. And, the new front page is coming toward Feb 7 which gets the website in a real good position.

For launch, I had 1,009 bookshelves ready to go. And, I have another 909 I need to go through to finish setting up.

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Greate quote…

January2

Orignal post here by pastor Dave Barnhart.

“The unborn” are the single most convenient group of people to advocate for. They never make demands of you. They are morally uncomplicated; unlike the incarcerated, addicted, or the chronically poor; they don’t resent your condescension or complain that you are not politically correct; unlike widows, they don’t ask you to question patriarchy; unlike orphans, they don’t need money, education, or childcare; unlike immigrants, they don’t bring all that racial, cultural, and religious baggage that you so loathe; they allow you to feel good about yourself without any work or effort or sincerity; and when they are born, you can forget about them, because they are no longer “the unborn.” You can love the unborn and advocate for them without challenging your own wealth, power, or privilege, without re-imagining social structures, apologizing, or making reparations to anyone. They are, in short, the perfect people to love if you want to claim you love Jesus, but actually dislike people who breathe.

Prisoners? Immigrants? The sick? The poor? Widows? Orphans? All the groups that are specifically mentioned in the Bible? They all get thrown under the bus in favor of the unborn.

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America: 2022-2024

January2

This will be my last post on the subject of America until 2024 (unless something crazy happens).

I am tired of thinking about it and it is all out of my hands at this point. I am doing what I can by voting and calling. And, I am working on some larger ways to make an impact but at the end of the day I am a mere peasant.

What is coming?

2022

The USA heads deeper into fascism and a slow-moving coup. 2022 will end with elections that will likely see the Democrats lose both houses. It will be a small miracle if they don’t and even if they win you will see a lot of crazy Republicans in key positions on the state level (which control key voting infrastructure). The people on the state level are the ones who are preparing to overthrow the 2024 election.

I am a very optimistic person. I still hope that this chaos could lead to a better system that starts to fix an utterly broken America (maybe we shouldn’t fuck over the bottom 80% of the country in every way possible???). If they would get rid of the filibuster and pass laws to protect voting rights that would be a good start in keeping the country a “kinda” democracy. Even better would be to make people’s votes count equally instead of 1 vote ranging from .78 to 2.97 in weight depending on the state. And, ultimately the social contract with Americans needs to be fixed.

2024

By the end of 2024, the USA could be an autocracy ruled by the Republican party and Trump. It weirdly looks a lot like Hitler’s rise to power. A bungled attempt at a coup… only to come back years later planned and ready for action. Only time will tell… 

My biggest fear is with world security and the current economic system. The current system has some problems but it is war-free and stable. I don’t want big regional or world wars. I don’t want a massive change in reserve currencies or a global depression because some orange idiot doesn’t understand economics (see Turkey if you want to see what happens when a dictator tries to run a central bank).

Things I am thinking about:

  • Effective government is so important, if you have a democracy but it isn’t effective it is not working even if people can vote (I think this is a big reason why we are seeing so much frustration with democracy globally). The Republicans and Democrats have failed to effectively govern at local and national levels in so many key ways around health care, home pricing, and safety net.
  • What happens to the world economy if the USA has a real coup? Can businesses and governments just pretend it is still a democracy? And, will Americans even care if they live in a faux democracy?
  • What happens to the US dollar as a reserve currency if that happens?
  • What happens to world security if an autocratic USA led by Republicans removes themselves from NATO and goes full isolationist. Does Europe step up? Does China get more aggressive and annex Tawain or maybe Korea?
  • Should I remove political posts from my blog now? What will the Wayback machine and Facebook do to protect people if the autocratic USA starts targeting people using that data?

Fun times :)

posted under Dangers To World | Comments Off on America: 2022-2024

2022 plans.

January1

This is how I feel about 2022.

What you do is mix equal parts exhaustion with anticipation.

The exhaustion is with how hard I have been working + covid cycles + America’s downward trajectory.

The anticipation is for the result of all the Shepherd work I did in 2021 that is coming in 2022 + upcoming vacations and adventures + some exciting life moves.

2022 is going to be fun :)

My big 3 for the year?

  1. Work to build a new business, have fun, and make money. Shepherd is going well and I’ve got so many amazing features planned. I am super excited to launch those!!!
  2.  Have more adventures in Europe. Especially some family vacations once things calm down post Omicron (enchilada). And, I’ve got a rough bike tour sketched out alongside family trips.
  3. Let it go. Short hand for the continued work to keep my energy in a good place. Something I am especially working on in 2022 after pushing my redline in 2021.

Onward to 2022!

posted under My Thoughts | Comments Off on 2022 plans.

2021 Book Summary.

January1

Since 2010 I’ve taken part in a yearly challenge to read 100 books. For 2021 I read 108 books! My goal for the year was 50 books but I was so close I pushed in December to hit 100.

93% of the books I read were fun books, and 7% were serious. This is 2nd largest imbalance I’ve ever had. I think this is due to two things, first, I use podcasts to get a lot of my skill updates when it comes to marketing, SEO, etc. And two, a lot of what I am doing is within my current skillset, so I just don’t read as many MBA-type books as I did when I was younger and running a large team/company (I do read a lot of newsletters).

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: 201020112012201320142015201620172018, 2019, and 2021, so what are my top books of the year?

What types of books did I read this year?

I read a lot of historical fiction, fantasy, and mystery/detective. With a little science fiction although I was disappointed with a lot of those picks.

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

  1. Bruno, Chief of Police series.
    I adore this series. The books are about a French policeman in a small village in the South of France who has to deal with some really interesting crimes. The chracters and environment are wonderful and I can’t wait to visit the area on a future trip. Highly recommended :).
  2.  Burnout: The Secret to Unlocking the Stress Cycle
    This is a book they should give every high school senior or as a class your first year of college. I know a LOT about burnout and still learned so much from this book. I plan to listen to it again this year as it was one of my first audio books and I recommend it for every human being on this planet who deals with stress. Fantastic read and I got some super useful tips from it. Don’t be put off by the female focus, everything applies equally well to men.
  3. Simon Scarrow’s Eagles of the Empire series.
    I was finally able to read the entire series (I read the first 6 books last year but got stuck as the next book wasn’t on Kindle). This is like Lethal Weapon but set in Roman times. I fell in love with the two main characters and loved their wanderings through the history of this period. I’ve been addicted to Roman historical fiction for some time.

Other Honorable Mentions?

  1. Simon Scarrow also has a series on the lives of Wellington and Napoleon. Over 4 books he traces their lives to their final moments and I found it a very interesting read for a period in history I am very interested in. I love the Sharpe series a little more but this was quite good. It was hard to read about Napoleon as his personality was so disgusting and it seems like in the end he beat himself with poor decision making.
  2. The Charlie Parker series by John Connolly. This is a super dark PI series and don’t read it if you have a weak stomach. I am to book 5 and I LOVE this series as they are starting to dive into subjects I am super interested in such as the book of Enoch, James Bruce, and a lot of other ideas I’ve been playing with for book ideas since I was in college. Great sense of humor and interesting characters.
  3. The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien. I listened to this while doing morning workouts and this is the type of book that hollows you out and you need to sit down to process it all. It is about the Vietnam War and some very powerful fiction from someone who fought there.
  4. In Her Name: Redemption Trilogy by Michael R. Hicks. This was an amazing book that is somewhere between fantasy and science fiction. I highly recommend this series as the characters and world were super interesting. It follows Reza Gard, a young human boy who is kidnapped by aliens at a young age. It gets pretty weird but entertaining after that.

I also reread the Wheel of Time series for the 3rd time. I love those characters and those books. So much fun!

Enjoy your next book :)

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Workout and Health Summary 2021 + 2022 Goals.

January1

For 2021, I did a total of 343 hours of tracked workouts. I worked out 261 days in some form. It was a solid year, especially considering I was working a ton and got sick/injured quite a few times.

Sick
I was sick, injured, or not at 100% for 13% of the year (which is much higher than I would like). With Calico starting pre-school I got sick quite a few times from what he brought home. I also had one injury that took a little time to nurse, and a bad sunburn due to stupidity that knocked me out for like 5 days. I hope 2022 goes better.

Sleep
I’ve started to ask myself if I got good sleep and enough sleep to track that a bit better. 82% of the time I had good sleep, which is up from 76% last year. I just started to track enough sleep to help me keep an eye on that.

Biking
I rode 241 hours on my bike and biked 163 days out of 365. I covered 4,514km. This was my second-highest year on record. I am especially proud of this since I was working so much. It helped to have Zwift and an indoor bike set up so I could bike a little after most workdays before I went home (kept my back happy as well).

Strength / Rehab / Back
My back felt great 92% of the time this year. I got an injury in December which knocked that lower. I did a lot of sitting this year and I’ve found that if I end the day with 30+ minutes of biking that really helps me. The last 3 months of 2021 were bad as was only biking 1 or 2 times a week and that isn’t as helpful for my bike (and that was reflected in some increased pain and injuries).

Fun stats:

  • I set a personal record for my fastest 40km ride in April. I don’t try to bike fast so don’t laugh, I covered 40km in 1 hour and 36 minutes (24.9kph).
  • I set a personal record for my biggest ascent with a 1,153m gain on a ride in September as part of my Camino bike tour. Don’t ever try to ride out of Ourense, as it is a collapsed Volcano…
  • In September I biked 56 hours which was partly my Camino bike tour and an all-time record. I didn’t set any all-time distance or time records this year. My longest ride for the year was 96km over 5.5 hours and 500m of ascent.
  • I did 181 strength training or yoga sessions this year for a total of 95 hours. An average of 3 a week and ~30 minutes each. I’ve been working to increase these to 5 a week at 40min and that is going well.
  • My average ST/Yoga session was 30 minutes. About the same as last year.

What are my workout goals for 2021?

I am waiting to see what the post-Omicron world likes looks like… but I am hoping to do some big family trips and bike riding alongside those. We shall see how things look in a month. And, as always I want to stay strong and pain-free as I take care of my body.

1. Maintain a good base on my bike so I can do long bike tours. I am finding that more frequent riding is better for my back… so I’d like to do a minimum of 3x a week but aim for at least 5x. It helps if I have an indoor bike accessible for shorter rides after work.

2. Do ST or Yoga 5x a week for at least 40 min to keep my back happy and strong so it doesn’t hurt / get injured.

3. Aim to go juggle a soccer ball for 15 min outside during the week. It gives me a break from sitting and seems to be good for my back and happiness.

Past years: 20142015201620172018, 2019, and 2020 workout summary.

posted under My Thoughts | Comments Off on Workout and Health Summary 2021 + 2022 Goals.

2021 in review.

December31

2021 didn’t fuck around.

A mere 6 days into 2021 and the Republican party tries for an attempted coup in the USA. Current status of coup? Active and ramping up as they try to overthrow democracy. Weeeeeee!!!!!

I was asking for it after I made this post on Jan 1, 2021…

For me, 2021 was a great year. I worked insanely hard to launch Shepherd.com and grow it. Shepherd is going well and 2022 is where a ton of that work is going to start paying off (3 huge features coming in January 2022). Unfortunately, I red-lined my energy levels several times this year and I am paying for it now. My work and life habits can probably be summarized as “burnout cycles” (I secretly love it). I just need to end the hard pushes sooner and get rest cycles in after big pushes. Starting a new business is always hard and the amount of work is epic to get over that initial hump.

The year started with Calico starting preschool, a coup attempt in the USA, and hardcore Covid lockdowns in Portugal. Toward the middle, we had vaccines in record time, I turned 40 years old, and I went on an amazing bike tour through Portugal and Spain. It ended with us taking a trip back to Valencia for the holidays, our 7 year marriage anniversary, and Calico turning 5.

The Amazing

My family is happy and healthy which makes life good. Lindsey and I have been married seven years and we are both super impressed with that achievement 😌. Watching Calico go from age 4 to 5 was amazing, his personality has exploded. Such a great kid and it is amazing to watch him evolve and play with other kids.

I’ve been disease-free and feeling good. I had a little scare in the middle of the year but it was good as I finally did some tests that I had put off when covid waves. The tests confirmed I am fine (alarm most likely just caused by a muscle pull). I still do my AIP diet among many other things to stay healthy and low stress.

I did an 836kb bike tour over 18 days in Portugal and Spain. It was an amazing experience and I can’t wait to do another one!!!

What fun stuff did we do this year?

  • I got my first external office since 2006 and it was an absolute pleasure to work from. It really helped me split personal time and work time apart. I closed it in October when we headed to Valencia for a few months, but I am hoping to get one long-term.
  • Calico had his first day of pre-school!!!  It didn’t last long due to covid closures and problems with the school but he still had fun. He also went to a Spanish pre-school at the end of the year before Omicron hit. I am very thankful for his amazing friends in Viseu that make life there so great.
  • We love Viseu Portugal and enjoyed getting to know it better. Whether that is some drives to the coast for beach days, biking on the awesome converted rail path, hiking, or just chilling in the big parks.
  • Shepherd launched on April 19th! And, it hit 2,000+ lists published by the end of the year which is going to drive a lot of the features coming in 2022.
  • We got our vaccines!!!!!! And, I can’t wait for our boosters in early 2022.
  • I turned 40 years old with my lovely family!
  • I celebrated the life of my Grandma Betty who passed away this year. She was amazing (along with Grandad Merlin).
  • I did an epic 836km bike tour over 18 days along Camino routes in Portugal and Spain. Summary here and plenty of posts and pics along the way. The altitude kicked my ass with over 34,000 feet climbed. I set all-time records for the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd biggest climbs in a single day. Ouch. I also packed too much … again.
  • I did a good job cutting news and the internet out of my evening/morning routine. That has been a nice change to things.
  • I ramped up my rehab toward the end of the year and I am really enjoying that, most weeks I am hitting five 40 minute workouts a week which is solid.

The Challenges!

Energy
Unfortunately, I red-lined my energy levels several times this year. I am paying for it now and I am going to do better in 2022.

America
I had a lot of intense emotions this year from being “American” while processing that America is not my “home” and likely won’t be for the rest of my lifetime (I don’t mean physical home). It is like watching someone you loved descend into heroin addiction and homelessness and knowing you can’t do anything to help them until they help themselves. I would love to reach closure but I expect that is unlikely and there will be many more ups and downs over the coming decade.

How did I do on my goals for 2021?

It was a solid year. Shepherd is off to a great start and I had a fantastic bike adventure in Spain and Portugal. I did a decent job of keeping myself healthy while working and making time for family. I’ve got some room for improvement on energy management.

We didn’t get a vacation and we both really need one. Part of that is due to covid, vaccine timing, and some other factors. I am looking forward to a vacation with Lindsey (I’d love to find one with childcare/activities).

2022…

I am looking forward to 2022! Shepherd is going to exit beta and finally be ready for a wider launch (fun!!!). As a family, we have some fun trips planned and are waiting to see how post-Omicron looks (once it burns through the world). And, I have some great bike rides lined up along with our family vacations (maybe even a bike tour down the Rhone).

Our little family is heading into a new era as Calico is due to start school in 2023. So we are starting to think about the next steps and where we want to live for the next ~5 years.

Longer 2022 post coming soon…

posted under My Thoughts | Comments Off on 2021 in review.

Calico turns 5!!!

December30

What a fun year and what a great kid :)

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Energy, energy, energy.

December24

I am notorious for working and living my life in a series of burnout cycles. And, I love it. I like to work very hard and then balance that with significant downtime. The challenge is timing when to slow down and making sure I get quality downtime when I do. I didn’t do a good job with burnout this year. And, I am paying for it now with a cold, general exhaustion, and a physical injury I got a few weeks ago.

It is really hard when a business is new and small to be able to take quality downtime. When I did manage some downtime I went on an adventure instead of vacation and that didn’t replenish me (I also needed an adventure). And, it also didn’t help that we didn’t go on a family vacation in 2021 due to covid related reasons. I take solace in the fact that I am about 100x better at managing myself than I was 10 years ago as I used to just run through walls. It was fun but I don’t want to do that now to myself or my family (especially if I want to stay healthy).

Starting a new business is hard, it is like juggling 3 knives and a hungry tiger. You are lucky if you only get cut.

Starting a new business while you are married and have a young kid is even harder, it is like juggling 3 tigers, 6 chainsaws, and 9 knives. Especially when you want to stay happily married and be part of your son’s life :). It is always a learning process and I’ve done fairly well this year while working a ton to boot Shepherd up. I am going to aim to do better next year, as I didn’t leave enough space in between all those things this year. Some of that was on purpose, some of that was trying to accelerate Shepherd.

Just some random thoughts I’ve been mulling on the last few months…

posted under Business, Dangers To World, Life Planning & Execution | Comments Off on Energy, energy, energy.

7 Years Married :)

December21

Lindsey and I have been married for 7 years!!! Congrats to us :)

I tell her I look forward to the next 700 years as we eventually fly around space in our nano spaceship when our brains are pulled into nano quantum computers (if we aren’t already).

Love you darling!

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Funny Calico Story (questions)

December2

Calico, would you like to go to a symphony?

*Nods head yes.*

Do you know what a symphony is?

*shakes head no.*

Well, a symphony is a concert with lots of musical instruments but no words. And you’d have to sit quietly for about an hour and listen to the music. Do you think you can do that?

Nooooo. I have too many questions.

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Shepherd! Just hit 2,000 BBL Pages :)

November21

Shepherd just hit 2,000 published pages today, very cool as that was my goal for the year (hit it a month early). For next year my goal is to hit 6,500 published by the end of the year. That should provide a nice steady pace as we get going.

Added Dec 15th -> We also had an awesome mention by Jane Friedman here which is cool to see :)

 

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Calico hamburger story :)

November15

Story from my wife Lindsey :)

Calico had been listening to music on my phone and he casually came and put the phone down on the table. I noticed I had an email- opened it- it was a delivery confirmation from Glovo (food delivery). He’d figured out how to open the app and order food! It was a double bacon cheeseburger. I laughed so hard and asked him about it, but then he realized he’d ordered McDonald’s instead of Five Guys and started bawling inconsolably.

Later that night, while we were having our nightly snuggle / chat, I said, that was pretty funny when you ordered some food.

His reply made me proud and broke my heart a little. “No, it wasn’t funny. It wasn’t funny at all. I immediately felt sorry when I ordered it because I knew I wasn’t supposed to order food without asking you first.” (he is 4 and about to turn 5).

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Funny thing Calico said :)

October23

My son confidently announced to us a few weeks ago that “I don’t eat my boogers now, but on special occasions I do.”

posted under Family & Marriage | Comments Off on Funny thing Calico said :)

Shepherd 6 month anniversary!

October19

Today is the 6 month anniversary of Shepherd’s beta launch! Things are going very well and we have 1,878 lists in the system with 1,561 published. My goal is to reach 2,000 published by Dec 31st :)

And, we are building the 3 big features that I hope to launch in early December (rough ETA). Those being the book recommendation search, new front page, and topic pages.

Slowly but surely :)

posted under Business, Shepherd | Comments Off on Shepherd 6 month anniversary!
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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.

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 :)! And, we are now the proud parents of Calico Jack :).


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