Scotland Highlands

August1

Lindsey and I took a week off to explore the Scottish Highlands :). It was beautiful and a much needed break from life for a bit. A few days we just stayed in, enjoyed the view, and watched movies.

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Goodbye Ying :(

July13

Being around Rachel was like that feeling when your cheeks gets sore from smiling and laughing so much. She made life entertaining and fun for everyone around her, and I can’t think of many memories of our time together that don’t make me smile like a big goofball. She was a good friend, she took care of you when you were down, she was always up for an adventure, she was fun to travel with, and she was always up for an impromptu dance party. I miss you Ying :(. I look forward to sharing more laughter and adventures together on the other side.

You should watch this video of Rachel, she was amazing :) . Rachel was an advocate and volunteer for Chris4Life and I highly recommend checking them out. Chris4Life is working to find a cure for colon cancer, improve the lives of those diagnosed with it, and increasing awareness so that more people get early screening.

Rachel passed away on June 11th, she will be missed.

Why tech companies avoid IPOs…

July2

The NY Times posted a great article on why tech companies are skipping public IPOs, and I totally agree! I am tired of big companies only looking a quarter ahead and losing their ability to think long term. Some public companies do this well, but it is hard under such relentless pressure to make more NOW.

Staying private affords start-up executives the luxury of not worrying what outsiders think and helps them avoid the quarterly earnings treadmill.

Read the rest here! Although, I wonder how the huge hedge funds doing these late stage rounds will see their money come back out without going public…

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Island Adventures: Korcula and Brac

June9

Lindsey and I managed to spend the last two weekends on the island of Brac and Korcula (Croatia). They were both incredibly relaxing, and we had a blast! Croatia is such a beautiful place, and I can’t recommend it enough!

We went swimming on both, even though it is a lil cold. And, we did a lot of hikes. In Brac we managed a 2500 foot climb to the highest peak, and ended up on a semi unintended 17 mile walk about. Fun :)

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When do you stop being a democracy?

May21

Is the USA a democracy if your vote influences your “elected” leaders less than the money they receive from special interest?

At what point and by what metric marks that inflection? Is this a new type of democracy where votes are not per person but per dollar? Dollarocracy?

This is something I’ve been thinking on a lot lately, and wondering what a tipping point would mean for the country. The vast majority of people are totally disillusioned with politics, and it all seems to come back to the huge amount of money involved in the process. In the old days different political machines would buy votes and walk people to polls, how different is that then the modern practice of spending billions of dollars in secret super pacs that do media buys with 30 second of false information on both sides? Doesn’t seem like much of a difference.

First run in a long time…

May19

I had my first run in a long time now that my injury is healed. I still have a lot of rehab to do before I can start pushing up the miles but it was a really good feeling. I really miss running, such a fun feeling to move over the ground like that :) !

Split Croatia, one of the most beautiful and relaxed places on earth :)!

May10

I love Split, I spent June and July here in 2013 and I am amazed how much it has grown since then. Tourism is really booming which is good for the economy :)

Here is a great pic as a big storm was rolling in yesterday…

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Private Nap at the airport?

April18

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I fly a fair amount, and given that I am 6 foot 3 and big I am not usually able to sleep on planes. I landed in Munich on a recent flight and was able to try out these little boxes in the airport called nap cabs (more details here). It is pretty sweet! It is self serve, you go in, it has mood music, internet, chargers, a comfy bed, a desk, AC/Heat, and so on. I managed to stay in one for 3 hours, and got 2.5 hours sleep after a long long flight + day. It kinda felt very futuristic like ghost in the shell or something :) . If I ever need some sleep in the future I will grab one during a long layover.

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European Road Trip!

April11

Lindsey and I rented a car a few weeks ago and saw a ton of Europe :), where did we go?

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First we drove up to Milan to meet two friends, then to Lake Como, then through Switzerland to check out Geneva, and then down to the Cathar region of France near the Pyrenees mountains to hike.

What does gas station food in Italy look like?

In Lake Como Lindsey found us an amazing place to stay, we managed a little hike even though it was windy.

We visited Geneva for a day, and drove through all of Switzerland which was pretty stunning. Our photos from that area didn’t turn out well since they were all taken from a car :). We spent a half day exploring Geneva since that might be where Lindsey goes to grad school too!

Next we drove down through France to the Languedoc region where we did a lot of hiking. I’ve always wanted to go to visit this region of France, I was very interested in the Cathar religion, the Crusade against them, and the castles that emerged from that fight and subsequent border fights with the Spanish. I got to crawl around a lot of castles, we went on a lot of hikes, and we tried to stay warm as the Tramontane wind was out in full force.

Lindsey is an awesome navigator and got us from point A to point B which was hard considering we had no net/gps and no paper map :).

I also realized I’ve now been to 40 countries with my trip to Switzerland :)!

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Hike From Biot to Valbonne!

March22

Lindsey found an amazing hike for us this weekend! We took the train to the Biot stop, and hiked from there to city center, and then along a beautiful 7 mile path to the village of Valbonne. We ended up staying the night (instead of riding the bus back), and hiked back in the morning. Fun weekend :)

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Weird & Crazy French Lemon Festival…

March22

The nearby town of Menton puts on a Lemon festival every year, so we wandered over to take a look. The theme this year was “the tribulations of a lemon in China”, which is really weird and I couldn’t find any further info on what tribulations the lemon endures. What I like best about this poster is the ninjas on the bottom, which is not very chinese, but maybe they are kung fu ninjas? Not to mention all the crazy weird things they did in the spirit of china…

Question, is drawing asian eyes on a white mannequin racist or thrifty?

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Thoughts after 11 weeks on the Paleo AIP Diet…

March7

I’ve been on the Paleo Autoimmunte Protocol (AIP) Diet for almost 3 months and I wanted to post some thoughts on it :).

First, what is the Paleo AIP diet? In the creator’s own words:

“This diet is appropriate for everyone with diagnosed autoimmune disorders or with suspected autoimmune diseases. It is very simply an extremely nutrient-dense diet that is devoid of foods that irritate the gut, cause gut dysbiosis and activate the immune system.”

Why would you want to avoid those types of foods?

“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.”

Basically if you are on this diet you can’t eat any grains, eggs, nuts, seeds, nightshades (potatoes, tomatoes, peppers etc), rice, sugar, alcohol, and a number of other things. It is easier to focus on what you can eat :). Which is good meats like beef, lamb, fish, and green veggies. Plus a little fruit.

I am on this diet because Doctor’s think I have crohn’s disease (an autoimmune disease). I am not sure I agree as they don’t seem to even know much about the disease. But, I do know my gut was inflamed last year, and I decided to follow this diet to give my gut a chance to heal naturally before my next checkup.

So what is this diet like after 11 weeks?

When I started the diet I was already doing a lite version of paleo so I didn’t have to go through the whole “paleo flu” thing. The paleo flu is this 2 to 3 week period where you feel lethargic and out of it while your body transitions off grains.

I’ve been on the Paleo AIP diet for about 11 weeks and I can say that it isn’t too bad from an eating perspective. I don’t require a lot of diversity in my food even though I enjoy it, and that is good since this diet doesn’t offer much diversity unless you put a lot of effort into it. I cook a lot of slow cooked meals and end up throwing sweet potatoes, carrots, mushrooms, and other veggies into a big pot along with different parts of beef/lamb/duck/ etc. Plus I eat a lot of fish and salads. I love vegetables and my diet was pretty good prior to this so I never really had crazy cravings for anything. I never ate much sugar either which made it easy.

Mentally this diet is very difficult though. It totally strips you of normalcy with a huge aspect of your life, and that makes it very hard.

What is the biggest shock?

The loss of normal, on this diet you can’t eat out and you have to prepare and think about every meal. It is exhausting :). I also miss the normalcy of drinking alcohol.

I am not a picky eater, I love trying everything. When I am out in the world and get hungry I can’t just grab something. And, given that I am a big traveler that is really hard as if you are going to be strict with this diet it totally changes your travel style. In fact it is impossible to travel in some places on this diet (ie rural china).

What were the other big shocks?

Meal Prep Time…
It takes a lot of time each day to prep a meal and that has really impacted my schedule. With a slow cooker or dutch oven I generally am chopping a lot of veggies to prep a meal, and my other meals require a lot more prep too. I was used to a bowl of granola with fruit on most morning, and now it takes a lot more time to get food done. And, you have to plan or you end up crazy hungry with nothing to eat.

Cost…
It cost a lot of money for meat, I am a pretty big / active guy and it cost a lot of money to fill me up. There are some ways to make it cheaper by eating a lot of offal but it is still expensive compared to my diet before.

Impact?

Unfortunately I can’t judge the impact of this diet yet because I wasn’t having any physical symptoms. I started this diet because they saw some ulcers during a medical check up and figured it couldn’t hurt to help my body heal along with some meds. I am going to circle back in July for a checkup and see how things look. For the first 2 months of this diet I was very strict, and now I’ll have a treat every so often.

I do trust the medical research the creator of this diet did though, and her book is fantastic. I highly recommend Sarah Ballantyne’s book on this diet and the research behind it. Amazing work!

What do you want to accomplish in life?

March4

I love this article at Time.com asking what you want to achieve in life and work. And, why you need to keep an eye on it so you can make course corrections over your life. We all add more and more to our life, but we never seem to get rid of things. Or we get rid of the wrong things.

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I especially loved this quote about time…

“Everything requires Time. Time is the only permanent and absolute ruler in the universe. But she is a scrupulously fair ruler. She treats every living person exactly alike every day. No matter how much of the world’s goods you have managed to accumulate, you cannot successfully plead for a single moment more than the pauper receives without ever asking for it. Time is the one great leveler. Everyone has the same amount to spend every day.”

Try this thought experiment:

“Suppose you woke up tomorrow and received two phone calls. The first phone call tells you that you have inherited $20 million, no strings attached. The second tells you that you have an incurable and terminal disease, and you have no more than 10 years to live. What would you do differently, and, in particular, what would you stop doing?

And, here are 3 questions the famous author recommended to ask yourself personally.

1. What are you deeply passionate about?
2. What are you are genetically encoded for — what activities do you feel just “made to do”?
3. What makes economic sense — what can you make a living at?

If 50% of your daily activities are outside of these 3 things you might need to reassess what you are doing, and try for a course correction to get you back on track.

I Love Kiva.org! Why?

February19

I’ve gotten a lot of help and gifts of opportunity in my life, from family, friends, and random people I’ve met along the way. I love Kiva because it is a way to help others with a goal they are working towards, and it lets you see a face behind the bundle of loans.

Who have I loaned too?

I joined in September 2007, and since that time I have done 481 loans. Over time you get your money back so the number of loans you do just goes up and up. Just make sure to give money each year to them too to keep this running.

The country I’ve loaned to the most is Iraq at 13.3%, because I am trying to rebuild that country after we partially broke it for the second time. In second place is Pakistan, because I think people there are awesome, and need more opportunity. Ditto for a lot of the countries in my top 20.

Click the images to zoom in :)

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Some other cool stats:

67% of my loans are to females, 33% to males.
I’ve loaned to 56 of 84 countries Kiva operates in.

If you are interested in trying out Kiva just click here, it is only $25 dollars to do your first loan!

Walk Along The Coast Of France: Menton, Monaco, Cap Mala!

February11

Lindsey found an awesome coastal walk for us :)! We took the train up to Menton, walked along the coast all the way to Monaco, through the entire kingdom of Monaco (it wasn’t a very big kingdom), and to Cap Mala where we caught a train back to Nice. It was beautiful an awesome day to spend in the sun. We ended up walking about 12 miles :)

I especially love the stairs leading down to the sea in a few of the pictures below. I’ve had this story in my head for a while about a kid who lives in an underwater cave off the coast with an old wise giant octopus, and the stairs really seemed a cool touch for that.

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This is bwb’s personal blog so he can share his thoughts with the world, however scary they might be. Plus family and friends can track my life as a digital nomad and what I am up too.

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I am a pretty simple. I love Mangos. I love the beach, although mostly at sunset as I’m a ginger. I strongly believe the most desirable women in the world is Meg Ryan (top gun era), followed closely by StarBuck of BSG. Some people find this questionable but I feel sad for them. 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. And, I am married to an amazing woman who helps make all this possible :)!