Graz Austria, last city on the fast trip…

April24

We had a wonderful stay in Graz Austria. It was nice to be in a smaller town and we were a little out of the city so we had a little yard. It was amazing to wake up to the sound of birds. I got a few bike rides in and we had an awesome easter hike. It was especially nice to stay in a place that had a real office chair (my back was super happy).

Whats next? Some much needed downtime in rural Croatia for at least a. month to recharge.

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Dresden, Prague, cold, and exhausted…

April11

After Berlin, we headed to Dresden Germany for a week, and then to Prague for a week.

I forgot to mention our valiant steed that is powering this journey. We are driving a Ford Tournen Connect (which I LOVE). It is quiet, has great gas mileage, super smooth driving, has huge windows, is great for a tall person, and the seats are upright and keep my back happy. The bike rack setup is not optimal, but everything else is well done.

I haven’t been to Dresden since my German high school trip in 1998. I was so busy and burned out that I didn’t do much this trip beyond two long bike rides and a lot of work. I did an amazing forest ride in Dresden which was one of the best rides I’ve done yet. I hope to see more of the city and museums in the future.

After that, we headed to Prague!

I love these pictures of my son. He was super excited to get a jean jacket, it is something he has been asking for for years. And, he def hit some walls on traveling and needs some downtime as well. He had some good times at museums with Lindsey.

 

I am utterly exhausted. My body hit a wall in Prague so I just rested, watched tv/movies, read, and stayed home (a big cold front hit as well). I didn’t do any bike rides and struggled to work past lunch as I couldn’t focus on anything. I walked around the old town one day and Calico and I went to the Natural History Museum which was fun.

We’ve been traveling for 9 weeks to look at possible cities to move to. My son starts school next year so we are trying to figure out where we want to be during this next stage of our lives. My natural state is nomadic so the thought of being in one place is scary :). We’ve visited Montpellier, Karlsruhe, Dusseldorf, Berlin, Dresden, and now Prague. We are now in Graz… and then we are going to a small rural village for a month to breathe and think deep thoughts about surviving in the dark icy sunless north.

Part of our rush for this trip was we found out my wife was pregnant and we wanted to find a home in time to have the baby there. Unfortunately, we found out the pregnancy wasn’t viable 1 week before we were leaving on this trip. So the last 9 weeks have been tough in so many ways.

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Berlin is an amazing city!

March27

We had a great time in Berlin and a huge thank you to Marton and Vero for showing us around.

Berlin was the first real international trip I did. I went as part of an exchange in high school and it was a life-changing trip. I was back years later for a work event, but I was so busy I didn’t see anything but the hotel. And, I got a cold during the event so I just stayed at an Airbnb afterward as I was exhausted. This time was better, we saw several neighborhoods, I got two bike rides in, and we ate a lot of delicious Asian food. Work has been intense so I didn’t get to see much more than that. Calico and Lindsey saw a ton of museums and I hope to join them when I get a little more time at future stops.

Lindsey celebrated her 40th birthday while we were in Berlin! I got her a really nice hotel room for two nights so she could have some alone time, relax, do whatever she wanted. The hotel room had a hammock in each room (which I think is amazing). We plan a lot more little celebrations for her as we continue our trip :).

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Düsseldorf Germany!

March16

Düsseldorf is an incredibly cool city, and we loved it (even more than Karlsruhe). It had the nicest grocery store I’ve ever been in, and we had several rounds of Vietnamese food (so good).

I had some beautiful rides down the Rhine and even took a ferry across on one big ride.

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Karlsruhe Germany!

March2

We are in the midst of a road trip and over the next 6 weeks we are going to explore 4 cities in Germany, then Prague, and finally Graz :). After that we are not sure, but going to take a look while we relax in Graz.

We are in Karlsruhe now and it is amazing. I am always blown away at the biking infrastructure and the attention to detail. It is a little intimidating as everything feels like it just works. We had some really good Syrian food yesterday and Calico is loving the parks (best parks I’ve ever seen). It is much colder than we are used to. Lindsey bought an amazing jacket before we left and we bought a new one for Calico this week.

I’ve gotten a few bike rides in to explore the town, nearby forests, and yesterday I made it to the Rhine!

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Interesting times: 2020-2022…

March2

2020 – March (pandemic)
2021 – January (violent coup attempt by Republicans in the USA)
2022 – February (Russia invades Ukraine, the world says fuck no)

My hope is that for 2023 things stay calm until late August, I’d like a totally chill summer.

And, we might be on the cusp of WW3 or a nuclear war. Plus we haven’t really got covid under control, we are just hoping a more lethal varient doesn’t emerge. “Fun” times!

What is on the future calendar?

  • 2023 – China invades Taiwan.
  • 2024 – A new and improved coup attempt by Republicans in the USA.
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Montpellier bike ride!

February22

Montpellier is a beautiful town, I hope to come back when it is a bit warmer. We’ve had a nice stay here this week, and it has been nice to have some bread treats here. It was also cool to see real flamingos out in the water!

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Shepherd’s new front page goes live!

February2

Woohoo, last night we went live with the new front page!!! Almost 9 months after launch and we now have in place search, a real front page, and bookshelves (aka topic pages). It feels good to have a more complete website out there :).

We still have a ton of bugs to crush, but it is so nice to have a real front page instead of that big ugly placeholder :)!!!

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Calico knocks a tooth out :)

January30

Thursday evening we went to the playground and Calico had a little stumble on the playground. We ran over as it was clear he was really hurt, he had caught himself but one of the climbing knobs knocked him in the mouth. At first, I thought he had just bloodied his nose, but a tooth was missing and Lindsey ran back to grab the tooth off the ground (totally intact with root crazy enough).

We went to a 24/7 dentist down the street who did an x-ray, and then an amazing pediatric dentist the next day. Everything looks fine and now we are just waiting for his teeth that are a little wiggly to heal.

Calico reports: “Yesterday was the most traumatic day of my life”, although he added that probably birth was more but he doesn’t remember that. 

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Shepherd launch of search + bookshelves!

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 (or Desantis or any similar idiot who does anything for power). 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 :)

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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!

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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.

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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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