Browsing My Thoughts

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 :).

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Calico’s First Day Of School

January4

Big day! For the entire Fox family :)

From Lindsey:

He just walked right in, said hi to everyone- and I’m not even kidding- never looked back. We had to get his attention to say bye! 🤣 As soon as we walked off, I could hear him ask the teacher, “where do I hang my jacket and put my stuff?”

On his second day, I didn’t go this time, Lindsey did and he asked her the following at different points in the walk/drive:

Calico: “Do I go to school the next day and the next day?”
Lindsey: Yes.

Calico: “That is great, then I can get away from your screams.”
Lindsey: Laughing, we don’t scream at you.

Calico: “Yes, you guys do. When I do something really really bad.”

A little later in the journey…

Calico: “Momma, do you get lonely and all alone when I am at school?”
Lindsey: A little and they talked about it.

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2021 Plans.

January1

2021 is going to be fun!

I’ve been wanting to do something with books for a while and I am excited to get it going. It should launch in Spring 2021 and it is a new way to find great books. Plus it will help authors build fans and sell more books.

Here is a quick mockup of what it is going to look like to start:

 

My big 3 for the year?

1. Work to build a new business, have fun, and make money.
2. Have more adventures in Europe.
3. Let it go. Short hand for the continued work to keep my energy in a good place.

Onward to 2021!

Let’s hope 2021 doesn’t have any BIG surprises, just a routine year… quick cut to humanity after 2020…

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2020 in Review.

December31

2020 was an interesting year to be alive.

It is always those damn air ducts.

For me, it was a great year with brief but intense moments of chaos and stress. When I think about 2020 it feels as if it was three years long but not necessarily in a bad way… but also not necessarily in a good way. The year started with us settling into our new home in Valencia Spain and ended with us moving to Viseu Portugal. In the middle, there was an intense period of lockdown where we couldn’t go outside, a fantastic road trip around Europe, a lot of wonderful time with Lindsey and Calico, and a lot of bike rides. All with a decent load of stress for family, friends, and the world.

At work the year started with a pivot for my startup, a lot of good responses from possible customers, signing up our first paying customers, and then Covid hit. By late April, I decided to shut it down as we couldn’t afford to sit and wait 12+ months for things to return to normal in the HR/Recruiting space. In hindsight, I think it was a good call. If we had been 6 to 12 months further along I think we could have weathered the storm, but we got hit at a bad time in the product’s birth.

Our family is very lucky in that our income wasn’t affected by this crisis. It is a lucky place to be given the devastation billions of people are feeling the economic crisis. A lot of people in the tech industry should thank their lucky stars.

The Amazing
Our little family is healthy and happy. Lindsey and I have been married for six years and we are going strong 😌. Our family had a lot of fun this year. I especially had a lot of fun watching Calico go from 3 to 4 and just exploded with imagination, complexity, and questions.

I’ve been disease-free and feeling good. I still eat a pretty strict AIP diet, work to maintain good sleep habits, and some other things. But, I did have some nice breaks and treats along the way.

We moved to Valencia which is my favorite city in the world. Our time there was amazing and I LOVE that city. We wish we could stay longer if not forever (we could only stay 2 years due to badly designed tax policy).

I did not do a bike tour this year, mostly because of Covid. But, I did get 1,000+ km of bike riding on our European road trip. Over the course of the year, I did about 6000km of rides. And, my back has been amazing 94% of this year.

What fun stuff did we do this year?

  • An amazing European nature road trip over 36 days in a big van with my bike. It was amazing! We started in Southern France and slowly made our way across it all the way to Avignon. Then a few days in Italy before shooting across to visit Slovenia. Finally, a little time in Salzburg Austria, and Freiburg Germany before heading home. I had so much fun on this trip… we saw some castles, Roman ruins, ate delicious food, enjoyed time with my family, swam in lakes and the ocean, and had some epic bike rides. We were super safe the entire trip and spent most of it in nature in long term Airbnb stays. We never ate inside (in fact we haven’t eaten inside since February).
  • I read a lot of great books this year. And, hit a new reading record crazy enough.
  • I ate so much delicious food and learned to cook steak really well.
  • We got an amazing new kitchen at our place in Valencia. I love cooking in it! And, I miss our amazing apartment.
  • We spent so many fun days at the Valencia parks and beaches. This is especially amazing in February.
  • The weather in Valencia is insanely good, that was a joy to be in.
  • Amazing carefree bike rides in Valencia and out along the beach. Just super recharging and peaceful.
  • I had a lot of really amazing dates with Lindsey before the pandemic when we had some amazing babysitters.
  • Lindsey took just me on this utterly amazing day trip to hot springs and other stops near Valencia. It was the first time we had a full day of just us. It was so much fun. We even went swimming in January (semi-hot spring)!
  • We spent a chunk of time exploring Portugal and trying to find the right city for us. That got a little stressful at times, especially as covid got worse, but we also had some amazing times as a family:).
  • I started planning a business idea I’ve wanted to do for a while and finally going to do it (around books).
  • Health! After last year I really focused on listening to my energy levels and not pushing myself too far. As a result, I didn’t really ever get sick (apart from one bad case of food poisoning). That feels good after 2019 where I got sick around 5 times.

The Challenges!

America
2020 is the year I finally said RIP to America. It has been a long time coming. Now I want to work on WHY, IF, and HOW I can still love America. It is hard to love a country that can’t get the most important things right and is hurting its own people so much. We do a lot of things really well too but are failing in almost every big category.

Covid
I am super introverted and it wasn’t a hard change. But it has been a big challenge for Lindsey and Calico. Lindsey can’t visit her family, and they can’t visit. And, visiting friends we made in Valencia got a lot harder. Calico is very social and loves playing with kids so the impact on him was hard. I am looking forward to him starting school in a few days.

How did I do on my goals for 2020?
I did really well on the let it go a bit. It is something I will always work on. I had a great meditation guide/therapist in Valencia. He helped me integrate some little meditations into my day.

On the business side, 2020 was not great. I shut down the startup due to Covid, but also because I didn’t listen to my gut and pivot sooner. I learned a lot and I am confident that will help me get to the next thing :).

We had some awesome European adventures despite Covid, so a big thumbs up there.

2021…
I am sure this will be a *really* interesting year.

I am looking forward to getting the vaccine. And, I am looking forward to seeing political ramifications as the economic damage becomes more evident and longer-term. Especially in Spain, I have a dream they fix the tax code so we can move back to Valencia long term.

For our family, Calico is about to start school for the first time. And, I’ve got an external office for the first time since 2004. This is going to be a big adjustment for our family and Lindsey.

Longer post coming soon…

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6 Years Married :)

December21

Lindsey and I celebrated our 6 year wedding anniversary today, hooray :)! I am looking forward to another 6 years and hopefully way more after that!

Love you, Lindsey!

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Ted Lasso = Amazing TV Show

December8

This TV show is stunning, it is the best thing I’ve watched in years. I can’t wait for season 2. I don’t care if you like soccer, this is about humans and soccer is just the vehicle :). Go watch it!

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Moved to Viseu Portugal.

December6

As mentioned we have been looking for a place to live in Portugal and settled on Viseu Portugal. Why Viseu?

It is in nature, we like the feel, it has a great bike path, we met the mayor the first day we were here, and it seems like a great place to wait for Covid to pass. It is not a place we would normally choose, as it is a bid small (~100k) and a bit sleepy. When I am biking around it part of me is still surprised we picked it as it feels very rural. I like to say it is a covidenture (covid + adventure)!

So the last couple weeks have been doing things like turning water on, electric, getting a fridge, Ikea orders, Ikea building, and so on :).

Here we are celebrating Thanksgiving out at our fav restaurant! Calico had such a good day he crashed before we could even start getting him ready for bed :).

And here are some pics from the last month or so!

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RIP Sean Connery…

October31

I grew up watching him in Bond movies with my dad. He was always my favorite Bond, classic style for a different time. I also loved him in First Knight, The Rock, Hunt For Red October, Indiana Jones, Highlander, Bridge too far, and so many others. He is probably the only actor I can do a half-decent impression of.

There can only be one.

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News Fasting.

September28

Lindsey and I have been on a news fast since early September. It has been really good. I think I am going to stick with it and only do news every 2 to 4 weeks on a Sunday. We are just tired of it and powerless to do anything about the direction of the USA. We bribe politicians, we vote, we call, etc.

I wish I could click my heels and it was Nov 10th and the election was over just to get through this period.

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39 Years Old :)

July20

Birthday!

We got to Slovenia yesterday and we are just taking it easy today after a few days of driving. Slovenia is the 47th country I’ve visited and pretty cool to add that to the list :). I wonder when and if my age will bypass the number of countries I’ve visited. Lindsey had candles and some wonderful cake and balloons. Good birthday week :)

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Trump’s Plague

June30

How long until the USA is hitting 100k a day in new infections?

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Good watch.

June12

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The USA right now.

June2

I do not want violence, but how can you not understand the desire to burn this system to the ground that has failed a group of people so badly?

Put yourself in a black person’s shoes. Count the number of people who look like you who have been shot and police let off without any repercussions. Then count the daily interactions you have with a society that treats your children, your siblings, and your family as 2nd class citizens.

The vast majority of people protesting are doing it peacefully. That is remarkable. You should listen to them.

The violence happening is a very small minority, but how can you condemn it? People are angry, they are tired, they have been trying to get change and nothing is happening.

It reminds me of the Boston Tea riot. When Americans said enough and responded by hurting commercial businesses who were part of the system oppressing them. They violently destroyed millions of dollars worth of tea, ran another ship aground trying to do the same, broke into shops, and other violent actions. Why? Because they

Whether or not Samuel Adams helped plan the Boston Tea Party is disputed, but he immediately worked to publicize and defend it. He argued that the Tea Party was not the act of a lawless mob, but was instead a principled protest and the only remaining option the people had to defend their constitutional rights.

I think the USA is a *failed* State.

The country is broken, it needs a new social contract with its citizens.

Especially Black Americans, especially poor Americans, especially any minority in America, especially the middle class. We deserve a better economic contract and a better social contract.

How could you not be violent with this bullshit?

Fuck this system.

Imagine being Black and watching time after time police getting off for killing a black person on film. Raising your kids in that environment and trying to explain to them why they have to live in a totally different way. Having them watch as society and police treat you like a criminal. Now do that every generation since your family were slaves.

It is fucking bullshit.

I want to burn this shit down, we need to start over. So much of America is fundamentally broken.

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Recomend: Like Stories Of Old

June2

This is one of my favorite shows on YouTube and I highly recommend taking a look! Like Stories Of Old explores stories, arch types, and life in general. If you like the below please sponsor their work.

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Why do we raise kids with amazing stories and then stick them in cubicles?

March28

We recently got Disney+ so I’ve been watching Rescue Rangers and Scrooge McDuck with Calico. It made me think about the stories I grew up with and how they were always full of adventure, treasure, investigations, secret passageways, and danger. Yet, once kids get to adult age they find out life is much different than these shows.

Why do we do that to them? Is that harmful?

Should we replace these cartoons with cartoons of people adulting and trying to sign up for healthcare and figure out which plan is the best one while realizing insurance companies win no matter what? Or, maybe a cartoon of people working out of a dark cubicle staring at a screen for 8+ hours? My guess is ratings would take a dive…

Or, is this just me, and everyone else watched those shows but didn’t really think they were what life could be like.

I feel slightly weird watching these with Calico and seeing these amazing adventures only to know that barely anyone gets to have a life like this. Beyond the fact, they are obviously impossible fiction stories it seems like we are glamorizing the impossible. Kinda like the Kardashians (which there is good evidence is psychologically damaging).

Is what we are doing any different than what we did around campfires x years ago?

It is hard for me to watch these knowing that a future life for Calico is the USA has no paid vacation, no sick days, and no health care.

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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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