My son is learning to write/read/spell…

May25

Calico asked his teachers how to spell “peak human strength” yesterday. This kid cracks me up :). Especially since his teachers are all Portuguese and it took them a second to understand…

posted under Family & Marriage | Comments Off on My son is learning to write/read/spell…

Hospital Day…

May24

I spent 10 am to 5 pm on Thursday at a local Portuguese Hospital. It was weirdly a good experience and further cemented my opinion of how bad the American health care system is.

I’ve been having a weird fluttering feeling a few inches below my waistband for about 5 days. It isn’t painful, more like a muscle twitch/spasm. I am pretty sure it started on Saturday with a little flutter for 5 seconds but I can’t really remember. I did a new workout on Monday and that could have pulled something, along with another new workout on Tuesday… but who knows. Anyway, it started lasting longer and I was worried it was Crohn’s disease-related. I haven’t gotten an inflammation test since I was in the USA in late 2019 (with covid I decided I should just avoid the doctor for a while).

My anxiety was so high at that point I needed to go and try to get some answers and make sure it wasn’t serious. So I went to the emergency room as the first appointment I could get with a local gastroenterologist was July 1st (beats back home where the doctor is booked for a full 6 months and I have to ask him to squeeze me in somewhere…). And, Lindsey came with me to help, her Portuguese is much better than the two words I know.

I think we waited 5 minutes to see a doctor in the emergency room, he admitted me to get some tests to see what was going on. I think we waited another 20 minutes and saw the 2nd doctor. We talked to him for a while and he ordered some tests to look at inflammation and some other metrics. It was really nice as he actually talked to me and it was the 2nd longest I’ve ever gotten to talk to a doctor (the other being in Croatia). He wasn’t in a rush to get me out like every American doctor I’ve been to. Then I waited and got two vials of blood pulled, some urine, and then I waited for test results. It took a few hours and everything looked good, but he ordered a 2nd batch of tests as he had an idea it might be a microscopic kidney stone maybe. So I then got an x-ray and ultrasound. All done very promptly and efficiently… it was kinda amazing. Then I stayed there to wait for all the results (I read some really good books which was nice). Everything looks good and they made me a follow-up appointment for mid-June.

The cost? 40 Euros… and health insurance for my entire family in Portugal is around 175 euros a month. My guess is in the United States I would be looking at a bill between $900 to $2,500 dollars to me, plus paying $1,400 a month for shitty insurance that covers nothing before a $6,000 dollar individual detectable.

Friday I had more fluttering, but after Saturday it went away. My guess is a weird muscle pull given how many lunges and side lunges I did but who knows.

posted under Health | Comments Off on Hospital Day…

Rough week :)

May16

Calico brought home the “preschool plague” and it has been a rough week. Luckily it was not covid. I got a nice bike ride in last week on Saturday, and then sick again on Sunday and just wiped out for the last 7 days (just a nasty head cold). Today is the first day I feel better but still low energy. I managed to work all week, and I am looking forward to getting out of this plague :).

posted under My Thoughts | Comments Off on Rough week :)

Watch as the Republican Party destroys the USA or themselves… or both.

May9

If you think January 6th was scary just wait… the Republican party is fully swallowing the lie that the election was stolen and that there was election fraud despite every piece of evidence (aka reality – which they are not familiar with given the last twenty years of delusion). Trump is massing control of the party and forcing everyone to back this HUGE lie. Normal American Republicans believe this lie and this is not going to end well. And, Republicans are using this lie to justify laws designed to reduce voting and American’s participation in Democracy. These are the same laws they have been trying for years but amped up considerably. You have Republicans like John Kavanagh saying things like “Quantity is important, but we have to look at the quality of votes as well.” What does quality mean? It means Republican voters and winning at any cost… it makes you ask, does the Republican party want to live in a Democracy?

Best case?

It destroys the Republican party. My irrational hope is that there are enough rational people in the Republican party that they lose 3% to 4% of voters who are turned off by this insanity. I think that is pretty unlikely given the echo chamber of Fox News, the cowardice of their “leadership”, and experience. The other hope is that 5% to 10% of their voter base gives up because they think the entire thing is rigged by the communist lizard people who are stealing children. The flip side of this is it requires the Democratic party to finally recognize the Republican party is not a governing partner (and hasn’t been trying to govern in 20 years. Then they have to get rid of the filibuster and make real changes (as currently, Biden has done NOTHING except optics).

Worst case?

The Republicans win the midterm election based on restrictive voting laws upheld by the SC and their normal propaganda… and stop the government from doing anything (not much past the current situation where they refuse to govern). Then in the next presidential election, a Republican wins and moves to disband large aspects of our Democracy. And as a country we slide into a fascist dictatorship… something like McCarthyism with a constant Communist/Socialist boogyman as everything is rewritten around the insane conspiracy theories that define the Republican party.

Regardless, large swaths of Republicans have been radicalized and violence is going to follow regardless of the path…

And, if you think the Republican party believes in maintaining Democracy as a core attribute of this country you need to wake up. The number of editorials and “think” pieces from Republicans challenging the idea that Democracy is tied to freedom is increasing… you are starting to see the idea emerge that freedom isn’t tied to Democracy and that what needs to be protected are the rights of the “few” against socialism. If you think it can’t happen in the USA you were not awake during the Cold War. The Republican party is heading toward a path of trying to overthrow the United States government, January 6th was the idiot’s version of that, and now we wait to see if the Democrats will do anything about this looming threat.

posted under Politics | Comments Off on Watch as the Republican Party destroys the USA or themselves… or both.

Shepherd officially launched into beta!

April19

Fun day, Shepherd is officially launched into public beta :)

A TON of data entry and editing over the last 4 to 5 weeks. 409 book lists, 2305 books along with all the data and cover images, and 2,452 author profiles.

Lots more to come :)

btw, a really nice writeup here by the awesome Marton who built this :)

And, a short interview with Phil about the project here. And, another one here too.

posted under Books, Business | Comments Off on Shepherd officially launched into beta!

Funny Calico story…

April10

Background… Calico calls breast bobos.

At some point when he was little he got to watch some animated music video and saw this one with Dwayne Johnson in Moana (this video cracks me up). Anyway, because of this, Calico has a deep-seated belief that being able to move your bobos like Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson is the epitome of strength :). I work out a fair bit and he usually likes to join in, and the end of each workout is a question “can you move your bobos yet?” One day buddy… one day… :).

posted under Fitness & Sports | Comments Off on Funny Calico story…

Beach Day!!!

March25

We got our first trip outside our city limits since mid-January (when the lockdown started). Today was our only chance before the lockdown restarts tomorrow to stop people from doing stupid stuff over Easter. April 6th is when things should start to lighten up after this…

We had a very fun day :). Although I had the worst sunburn I’ve had in 20 years… swollen face and out for four miserable days. It was a good lesson for my son and luckily it was just me and my forehead. I forgot my hat and since it was semi-cold, windy, and early in the year I didn’t think about it. I also have no tan even for me, as I’ve been inside working for the last 4 months…

 

posted under Family & Marriage | Comments Off on Beach Day!!!

Happy Birthday To My Beautiful Wife :)

March24

Lindsey celebrated her birthday this last weekend and we had a lot of fun fun! This is her 2nd Quarantine Birthday and we hope to escape once the lockdown is relaxed after April 5th. We are in desperate need of a day at the beach.

posted under Family & Marriage | Comments Off on Happy Birthday To My Beautiful Wife :)

Life + Calico is biking!

March24

Lindsey found someone to put pedals on Calico’s balance bike and he is riding like a champ. Here is a video from day 2 of him riding our nearby park.

It is terrifying… he goes so fast. I know that is how he will learn but that knowledge doesn’t help me when my heart jumps out of my chest because he shoots between a tree and concrete pillar… or turns so sharply. It is so scary to let them go and watch them start navigating the world.

I always thought the hardest part of raising kids is from age 3 onward. Everything is easy before that as it is just about love and attention. But after age 3 you have to increasingly watch quietly as they run into concrete walls so they can learn. Sure you get to put a helmet and pads on them… and if you are lucky they might hear you say something useful. But, at the end of the day, if you don’t give them the gift of independence and resilience now, they are stuck on an increasingly large crutch for the rest of their lives. No pressure…

This week was also the first week where Calico didn’t want to hold my hand most of the time. It was the first time that happened to me. Ouch, my baby is growing up :).

posted under Family & Marriage | Comments Off on Life + Calico is biking!

I got to interview Tommy Chong!!!

March18

What a very cool day, I got to interview the man, the myth, the legend, Tommy Chong.

We got to talk for an hour and what a super cool human being. I love talking to people who have really lived their lives, through everything, mistakes, success, insanity, fun, grief, love, etc. Tommy is truly someone who made me think of the famous Hunter S. Thompson’s quote:

“Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming “Wow! What a Ride!”

I got to talk with him for an hour (as he agreed to do a book recommendation for Shepherd). I got so many great stories about the authors/books that really connected with him along with his life through now. The focus was on his spiritual side of things and a really powerful conversation. I made him laugh really hard which is always fun (let me have my moment). Cool day and going to pick up a book he recommended shortly.

 

posted under Business | Comments Off on I got to interview Tommy Chong!!!

Been busy, Shepherd is going well!

March2

I have been really busy! Shepherd is going really well and the response I’ve gotten from authors has been amazing. It has been nice to be so busy, especially while Portugal is in extreme lockdown.

I am up to 150 authors who have published a page in anticipation of our April Launch. I’ve got 131 more in the queue for working on one. And, that is growing fast :). I am working to stay on top of everything and build the systems so we can go faster as we get ready to launch and then ship some key features before June.

Fun times :). And, here are a few screenshots from staging as the frontend for the site is up and running!

 

posted under Shepherd | Comments Off on Been busy, Shepherd is going well!

Where is America going?

February11

AEI did a big survey (full breakdown with graphs in the link) and found the following:

  • 66% of Republicans say that Biden’s election win was not legitimate. Among Republicans without a college education that is 75%.
  • 29% of Republicans say that it is completely or mostly true that Donald Trump is fighting a global child sex trafficking ring (QAnon idiocy).
  • 55% of Republicans “support the use of force as a way to arrest the decline of the traditional American way of life“.
  • 39% of Republicans “support Americans taking violent actions if elected leaders fail to act“. 13% of Republicans completely agree in the necessity of taking violent actions if political leaders fail.

Not a good sign… this is the war over America’s direction coming to a head IMO. As well as the 30-year shift of the Republican party to extremism and fear-mongering.

Do Republicans support Democracy? What if the majority of people in that Democratic system want something different than them? How will they react? Hint… they are showing us, violence.

Do they believe in the rule of law and our justice system? If our criminal system investigates something and finds no evidence will they believe it if it contradicts their fake reality? If our justice system does not rule in their favor will they recognize it as a valid ruling? Hint… they have shown us, they will not.

Interesting times. It is going to be a fun 10 to 20 years.

posted under Dangers To World | Comments Off on Where is America going?

Now the work starts. Biden/Harris.

January20

Is the end of a failed experiment? Or, 1923 before 1933? Weeee…. “interesting” times.

I am very fucking happy to see Trump out of the White House. He is the worst President in history and an absolute failure by every measure. Just an absolute scum bag with racist unamerican values. I feel calmer now that he is off Twitter and not spreading extremism and racism in our country.

I am disheartened by the total lack of action by Republicans, but not surprised. They have utterly failed to respond to an armed coup trying to subvert democracy and they continue to spread absolute lies that are encouraging right-wing terrorism. The Republican party has become the party of treason, racism, right-wing extremist, and power at all costs.

Imagine if Bin Laden and his supporters stormed our capital, broke through doors and windows, planted two bombs, killed 2 cops, injured loads of cops, tried to kill/take our vice president and other members of government, and pooped all over the building among other damage. What does the Republican party say? I am looking forward to seeing all these traitors go to jail.

posted under Politics | Comments Off on Now the work starts. Biden/Harris.

What am I working on? Shepherd!

January17

Shepherd is like browsing the best bookstore in the world.

I want to help people discover books in a new way and help authors connect with new fans, sell more books, and build a larger fan base. It has been a blast to work on so far and the last 3 weeks have been so much fun. Right now I am emailing amazing authors to see if they will recommend five books on a subject they are passionate about. The response has been great and I hope to have my first 100 pages by the end of the month.

I am aiming to launch the beta in March or April. I am working with an amazing developer on the backend now. It is rare to find someone with whom you communicate so well with and it makes all the difference. The same goes for the designer whom I’ve been working with on a variety of projects for the last 4 years.

I got a webpage up Friday that shows some mockups so authors can understand how it will all work for them.

How does it work?

We work with authors to get the 5 best books on a topic they are experts in and why they recommend each of those books.

Then, we make it easy for readers to follow their curiosity from topic to topic. It is like browsing the best bookstore in the world.

If you are an author, we would love to work with you to create a book recommendation on a topic of your choice. Then, we promote you and your book on that same list forever. This is just one aspect of how we help authors to promote themselves and sell more books.

Fun stuff!

posted under Business, Shepherd | Comments Off on What am I working on? Shepherd!

Weird realization.

January17

I had a weird moment recently and I am still processing it…

I realized that cops do not have to shoot people, you can just arrest them later.

Why does American society feel that it is acceptable to shoot someone who stole something and is running away?

  • Or shoot someone who is mentally ill?
  • Or, shoot someone who you THINK has a knife?
  • Or, shoot someone who is walking away from you?
  • Or, shoot someone because of the way they make you FEEL?
  • Or, shoot someone because they are not following directions?

Why did this feel like such a “duh” moment to me and what does that say about me and the culture/society I grew up within?

Why not just wait, and just calmly arrest them the next day? 

They are going to turn themselves in. Or, worst case you take a drive and pick them up at one of the five places they might be living. What is the need to escalate a situation that needs de-escalation?

Or better yet, see how long you can talk to them and de-escalate bad situations. So what if someone is holding a knife. Just let them hold it as long as they are doing nothing and calmly talk to them. You don’t have to have 9 guns drawn on them, scream at them, and act like they are holding a machine gun and wearing a necklace of ears.

I understand the need for state-sanctioned violence if someone is threatening violence against others, has a weapon, and is acting on it. That rarely seems to apply…

I do not understand why the fuck police are shooting people (mostly black and people of color)? If you feel threatened easily you shouldn’t be a cop. If your response to feeling threatened is violence, you shouldn’t be a cop. If you have a massive temper you shouldn’t be a cop. If you can’t handle being made fun of you shouldn’t be a cop. If you do not have sang froid you shouldn’t be a cop. It is like we hire a bunch of want to be Rambos, give them no training in de-escalation, outfit them like a military barbie doll, tell them every one is out to kill them, and send them out into the world. I think we would have better results with a police department staffed by ex-child soldiers.

I especially hate when people tell me “they didn’t listen to the cops” or “they should do what the cop says”. Should someone be shot because they don’t want to listen to cops Should someone be strangled to death while in handcuffs because they do not want to do what cops say?

Fuck that. I think the only reason you should be shot is if you have a weapon and are about to actively hurt someone. So, stop fucking killing people, especially black people.

 

posted under Dangers To World | Comments Off on Weird realization.
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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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