Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Why JT is Awesome

So the conversation at my house the other day was between me and my older kids about future career choices. The old “What do you want to be when you grow up” talk. JT walks though the room and let’s know what his plans are too.

JT: So I want to be in the Army.

ME: That is a great plan if you want to do it. The Army can be a good life.

JT: Or I want to be in the Police:

ME: You mean?

JT: No, No, I mean

ME: Another excellent career path. Seeing a pattern forming I also suggest that he could be a Police Officer in the Army.

I thought we were done when

JT: Or … I want to work at the House of Bounce.

ME: JT, this is exactly why you are Awesome!

Books 39-43

Book #39 - Drive: The surprising truth about what motivates us
Author: Daniel Pink
Copyright: 2009

Book #40 - Switch: How to change things when change is hard
Author: Chip & Dan Heath
Copyright: 2010

This is the problem with not blogging about the books when you actually read them. I read these two back in March and nothing is standing out in my mind about them. I really enjoy reading a lot of these personal psychology books about the latest research in human behavior, but they can blend together as time passes.

The Heath Brothes Web-site.

To see Dan Pink talking about his subject at TED. BTW the TED website is really what the internet should be about. It is a goldmine of useful and interesting presentations from around the world, all gathered in one helpful location. Dan also has a web-site.

Book #41 - Sleepyhead
Author: Mark Billingham
Copyright: 2001

Meh. Over the top criminal killing/incapacitating his victims in an extreme way. Not my thing generally speaking.

Book #42 - The Happiness Project: Or, Why I Spent a Year Trying to Sing in the Morning, Clean My Closets, Fight Right, Read Aristotle, and Generally Have More Fun.
Author: Gretchen Rubin
Copyright: 2009

This was a fun book that looked into what it means to be happy. Overall it was a documentation of the author’s life – an experiment of one. Maybe one or two of her suggestions can affect your life for the better. Please visit the web-site for my information.

Book #43 - The Hunger Games
Author: Suzanne Collins
Copyright: 2008

I jumped on to this bandwagon a little late into the game. I saw this book listed on a lot of just read lists of my friends’ blogs and Goodreads’ accounts. It is Lord of the Flies meets Survivor. It was very good and well worth your time. And it is soon to be a movie and now the third book of the trilogy is out you do not have to wait to read the whole series. Soon to be a movie.

Friday, September 10, 2010

My New Shoes

I used some of my birthday money to invest in some new running shoes. The Vibram Five Fingers are a shoe that allows you to experience barefoot running without actually being barefoot. For the most part I have been running in cheap aquasocks which have worked well, but their durability has been limited. The VFF’s should last a lot better.

Now if any of you are thinking of moving to a minimalist running shoe, be aware it doesn’t happen overnight. It has taken me about a year to get to the point wherein I can go on a 5 mile run in these shoes and not hurt myself. We have years of wearing elevated shoes that we have basically disabled our natural foot stike, calf muscles, and achilles tendon. If you do not gradually build them back up and try to rush it, you will definitely regret it.

The benefit though makes it worth it. On average 80% of runners will experience some sort of running injury any given year. This style of running has allowed me to run injury free for the first time in 15 years. The biggest change to my running has been in my stride. I used to focus on my foot stike and push off, but now I spend my time thinking about my knee lift – the opposite. I pull my feet off the ground rather than worrying about how they hit it.

For more information please read the book Born to Run by Chris McDougall or watch this video of a presentation he gave a Google Headquarters.

Friday, September 3, 2010

And a Dollar Short

It’s not something I talk about a lot, but I read like a crap load of books. I make small discoveries along the way, some of which I share, because I am a giver. Anyways the need for a reliable bookmark that is cheap and convienient is very real in my day to day life. After much experimentation I finally hit upon using Post-It notes for this job – and they are fantastic. So I was pretty proud of myself until I saw this article on Newsweek’s site. It was a collection of products that were discovered accidently, among which was this entry about Post-It notes:

While the credit for the adhesive belongs to one man, Spencer Silver, the idea for the Post-it note belongs to another: Arthur Fry. In 1968 Silver, a chemist at 3M, created a high-quality, "low-tack" adhesive, which basically means it wasn't very sticky. Silver realized it was ideal for use with paper, because the adhesive was strong enough to hold it to a surface but weak enough that paper could be removed without tearing it. The added bonus: the adhesive remained sticky through multiple uses. In seminars at the office, Silver pitched it as a surface for bulletin boards or as a spray, but after five years of trying, he continued to have difficulty finding a marketable application for it. In attendance at one of these seminars, however, was Art Fry. A colleague at 3M working in the product-development department, Fry sang in his church choir, and the paper bookmarks he used to mark his spot in the hymnal were constantly slipping out. He realized that Silver's adhesive offered a solution, and he wrote a proposal for a sticky, reusable bookmark. The samples he passed around the office were a hit, and after refining the idea, 3M introduced the Post-it nationwide in 1980.

So using them as book marks was their original purpose – I am only 30 years too late. Story of my life.

The Usual Denials

FYI – I know you all have been asking but I just want to say the following story from Arizona has nothing to do with me.

Story Highlight

ASU students are on alert, after police issue a warning about a man who's been groping students walking on campus. A man on a mountain bike groped a 20-year-old and put his hand under her shirt.

While I get it totally sounds like me, I just want to clarify I haven’t been to Tempe lately and I ride a Surly LHT.

I also haven’t been to New Jersey recently either. But a good time could just mean a game of Uno – just saying.

In other news Lisa had no comment when asked to confirm or deny if she had been in Bremerton.

Finally, my brother in law Steve relocated to D.C. last year and now the capitol has been named the worst driver’s in America according to an Allstate insurance poll. COINCIDENCE??*


Books #34-38

Book # 34: Denialism: How Irrational thinking hinders scientific progress, harms our planet, and threatens our lives.
Author: Michael Spector
Copyright: 2009

A fun book that smacks the idiots about. Idiots can be defined by their unwavering belief that the plural of anecdote is data.

Book # 35: Kindred in Death
Author: JD Robb
Copyright: 2009

Another chronicle into the life of Eve Dallas, kick ass future cop and her merry band of friends, as they solve crimes. JD Robb as most of you know is a pseudonym for Nora Roberts, and her perchance for romance is in the structure of these books. My favorite is Eve’s husband Roark, the most handsome and richest man on the planet and beyond, possessing the Irish accent and the orgasm giving stare that all women love. As Mrs. Kensington** would say, “All men want to be him, all women want to be with him.”

Book # 36: Homeland
Author: Sam Lipsyte
Copyright: 2004

Former High School loser writes an extremely honest monthly email update for his graduating class ten years on. A different sort of book.

Book # 37: The Lucky One
Author: Nicholas Sparks
Copyright: 2008

Not his usual love death porn he is famous for. You know – let me create the greatest love story ever known and then let me kill it off so it fails. A decent story and at the end SPOILER ALERT they get to have happy ever after.

Book # 38: Mojo: How to get it, how to keep it, how to get it back if you lose it
Author: Marshall Goldsmith
Copyright: 2009

Run of the mill business book. I read it just because of the word mojo. Which brings me back to the earlier reference:

**Anyone recognize who Mrs. Kensington is?