One of my first posts on this blog back in November 2008 was my review of the first Amazon Kindle I had been using! I LOVED it and that has only continued as I have bought newer versions of the Kindle. I read fast and I always run out of books when I am traveling, the Kindle changes that! Plus the price of those books is usually cheaper. I love having the entire world’s library at my finger tips.
The new Kindle Voyage is awesome and I love the backlight. I thought I wouldn’t use it much but I love being able to read at night without bothering my wife, and on airplanes with a little less eye strain. The browser for buying new books and navigating my library is a huge improvement. And, battery life is good. I highly recommended the Kindle Voyage if you read a lot!
“Do I not destroy my enemies when I make them my friends?”
― Abraham Lincoln
I was listening to a really interesting podcast today and they referenced the above quote (beautiful quote)… which seems like it can apply to just about any battle you fight.
The podcast was talking about Isis and the rise of violent groups who attract young demographic and convince them to do insane things through a story. If you really want to win long term, how do you convert those groups and those demographics to instead be your friends? Killing people doesn’t defeat the story, you have understand the story that drives them to join, and offer them a better story to prevent it. Really good podcast.
The speaker seemed to suggest the big thing these kids are responding too is injustice. Something I think anyone can relate too. If someone don’t feel like they have a voice, and are constantly facing injustice every day, violence will happen. Seems to be the same story you see in the USA right now with violence and protest arising due to police abuse and killings. Not to mention the persistent abuse of those in poverty, and due to race.
What story does the USA offer youth growing up in shitty neighborhoods with shitty opportunities to move forward in life? How does that story correspond to the stats you see from studies on how many people achieve that story? Do any of the youth stuck in that situation still believe that story we feed them, and what story are they listening to instead?
It seems like the USA is in the middle of a huge culture war over what our story is as a country. Are we a place where you make it on your own, with less and less help from your community and government? Are we a place where the government and community strive to give everyone a fair starting point when it comes to educational opportunity?
If someone can’t pay for health care do we leave them dieing on the street? If someone is crazy is it the government’s responsibility to house them if they are abandoned or unable to pay for it privately? If someone is homeless is that the government responsibility to help them restart their life and get off the street? Should serious health problems bankrupt anyone who doesn’t have health care? Should the government decide who has access to what health care services? Do we dictate decisions based on the best science we have, or based on what makes the most money?
The last couple elections have slowly gotten more and more extreme, and this one has finally cracked open the right and you are hearing a lot of ideas coming out. I can’t wait to see what happens. What story will the majority of Americans tell themselves for the next 10 to 20 years? Who are we going to be?
If you need a laugh check out InspiroBot, it comes up with the most hilariously weird inspirational quotes.
I had a fun day, I road my bike all the way from Nottingham to what is left of Sherwood Forest! The ride was a total of 56 Miles which I think is the longest ride I’ve ever done. And, I def hurt a little :).
I tried to stay on the A6 national cycle path, but I still had to do a lot of time on the road which I hate (I can’t wait for cars that drive themselves and get people away from the steering wheel). The cycle route was amazing, through forest and all kinds of stuff I hope to go back and see. And Sherwood Forest was great, a little gimmicky but very fun. I ended up doing about 10 miles just in Sherwood on the trails which were a blast.
I made it about 13 of the 22 miles home before my legs gave out, and they cramped so hard I could barely walk. I only had some anchovies in my bag because I am trying to stay true to my paleo aip diet. I opened one, and somehow got the hot salty disgusting stuff down… About 20 minutes later I was good to go. Apart from almost throwing up.
Anchovies are disgusting when warm. I had quite a few moments of walking until my legs warmed back up.
I was also proud as I’ve never used lock in pedal things and I went the entire day without falling over. Which is good when a bus is 15 inches away from you on the right. I fell the first time when a herd of geese attacked me. I feel the second time when a cute adorable puppy almost went in front of the bike and I had to stop suddenly. True stories.
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.
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.
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…
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 :)
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.
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 :) !
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…
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.
Lindsey and I rented a car a few weeks ago and saw a ton of Europe :), where did we go?
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 :)!
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 :)
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?