30 Days of Thought

Last month was self-indulgent.

I simply wrote about things that interested me.

This November, things are changing.

The next 30 days will explore Thought Experiments. I hope to inspire some discussion and teach some things.

Let’s try it.

#FFW

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Love#

There’s something about weddings that remind you how incredible a bond love can make. Being around a nervous couple about to tie the knot and seeing the near instant transformation at the reception is beautiful! It’s wild to think how much you still have to learn about that person, but luckily you just signed up for a lifetime of lessons! We should strive to live up to our vows and love and live and love and live! 

Congratulations cousin! 

#FFW

Road trippin’ 

Sometimes in life it’s the littlest of things. Escaping it all with my sweetheart and found some of the best candies with no wrappers to get in the way. I predict this road trip will be a blast!  Make the most of your weekend, folks!

Make a point of doing the things you’ll regret skipping! 

#FFW

Zombie Apocalypse starts with chips?

Forgive me if I’m being naive, but do we really need generic engineering on our Cool Ranch Doritos?

I don’t know if all the snacks are doing it these days, but in a moment of boredom I caught glimpse of the back of the bag of chips today and was struck by the quasi-warning near the bottom

“Produced with Genetic Engineering”

Excuse me, WTH?

I’m all for using science to make thing better, unless it makes mutant Doritos that will kill me! I watched a documentary a while back Food, Inc. that spelled out the litany of errors we are making by selectively harvesting and genetically modifying things to produce the best crops that are pest resistant and produce the most giant sweet apples, etc. 

Just because we can with science, does that mean we should? Nature has had millennia of natural selection and iterates over many millions of choices, if we decide to make only one strand of strawberries or broccoli, do you wonder if we’ll get it right…my guess is there will be unintended consequences…you know, global famine, pandemics, disaster…all the best parts of the bible maybe? 

If we poison our bodies and our water and our food supplies we did it to ourselves. Now I know better than to eat chips…the crunch isn’t worth the Effect on my body but what can I say? I like the crunch and I only do it once in a while…plus my body has to work harder and is therefore more resilient, right?

All that said, if we are going to use genetic engineering…is snacks the place to use it? Or are there other areas of science we should be focusing on? I heart profits, but let’s be smart about this…that is unless we WANT the zombie apocalypse to start sooner…like as in:

Does Frito-lay have stock in some pharma? Hmm.

Just some fun food for thought, folks.

#FFW

The Pancake Simile

There is something special about the weekends. I love, love, love making breakfast for my bride and my kids! They don’t always want the pancakes or the eggs…they almost never argue about the bacon, because who doesn’t love bacon, am I right? The best part about it, is simply pouring my love into the food and then forcing my kids to take a couple bites. It’s fun and loving, then ‘dad voice’ reinforces proper table decorum and nutritional intake…AND then when it’s all over we can get down to the serious business of weekend play.

I realized one morning while pouring the batter onto the hot griddle that pancakes are a simile for some of my most guarded and protected dreams. I’m going to share them with you here because breakfast is meant to be shared, and it tastes better with company.

What’s a simile? (Oh, that wasn’t a typo, he meant simile but tricked me with a smile plate) A lot like a metaphor, right? To be fair, this could turn into a metaphor, but look at how cute that pancake smile is, and enjoy the story.

Ok, so pancakes as a literary device.

Making pancakes isn’t incredibly difficult. It just takes mixing things together in the right order and proportions, preferably with a recipe or the side of the box, and then pouring the batter onto the griddle and flipping at just the right moment to get a golden brown, not black or pale grey pancake. There are secret techniques to the flip, timing just the right number of bubbles in the batter, and so on, but the pattern is repeatable and each batch gets better and better. The science of it probably has to do with letting the batter “rest” a while before cooking so it isn’t too watery…this naturally happens as you go through the batches of the delicious golden coins. Time takes its effect and you get better pancakes.

Where is the lesson?

That first batch of pancakes is pure learning. They almost NEVER turn out right. Did you butter or spray the pan with some yellow can of cooking spray? Those first few cakes will be smothered in the slimy stuff and turn out thin, and oily, and some picky eaters may say inedible. Do you give up right then and there and order breakfast burritos? Heck no. You pour the next batch, and they turn out AWESOME! I just heard a stat on an audio book I’m using for the long daily commute: Talk Like TED. On the program, the author drops a stat that 90% of start-ups fail, but of those that fail, 80% of those with the wherewithal to try again build successful second businesses. That number is incredible! There will be sad entrepreneurs that take the first batch of pancakes as failure rather than information. To these folks that dreamt of the perfect pancake, one bad batch was enough to throw in the towel, and unfortunately, they’ll never realize the importance of ladling up and pouring the batter again.

Think about it this way, have you ever been out driving, looking for a new destination with a map, or map quest directions, or a GPS with out of date street maps? You think you’ve missed the destination and so you turn around only to find out you were just minutes away in the first place? You end up spending hours re-tracing and redoubling your efforts rather than staying the course while dealing with the few minutes of discomfort and ambiguity of the unknown. The second and subsequent batches of pancakes are proof that your staying power pay off quickly and nicely, and as you regulate the temperature, the timing, and the technique, every batch is better than the previous.

I ran across the following quote on Instagram and was drawn to the message. The future is unknown and possibly unknowable. Ask a Wall Street trader whether you can time the market, or pick the right stock at the right time? Likely you’ll get messages about hedging, diversifying, and other strategies that leverage preparation, robustness, and anti-fragility.  In much the same way, you don’t know if you’ll burn the house down or make the picture perfect meal, so you would do best to build the best YOU possible. If you can handle the kids complaining about the batter, or the food touching, or the lack of bacon, you’ll be well on your way to handling the other critics in your life. In reality, your response and reaction to the events of life is all you have, so spend your time and energy cultivating the best YOU possible.

screen-shot-2016-10-26-at-2-56-07-pm

Mmm, now I’m hungry and motivated, how about you?

#FFW

Simple truths

“Feel the fear and do it anyway”

@theempoweredmovement posted this photo and what else needs to be said?

In just a few words…we are put face to face with one of the truths of the universe… There are things that scare the shit out of us, and often it’s these things that hold the key to the future we WANT.

Sometimes it’s as simple as, “Breathe in, breathe out…#MOVE!” The Navy SEALs are known for their expertise in this arena… “Shoot, move, communicate” preferring violence of action to endless deliberation. If you are on edge that means you are doing something that excites…don’t back down…#Act!

#FFW

The rain…

It’s been raining the past couple days. Where we live it doesn’t do that very often so it’s an event any time it does rain. There’s something “grass is greener” about the weather hour region doesn’t usually get. Rain a lot where you are, in sure the random day of bright sunshine evokes the same appreciation for the “something different.”

Anyway, our small kids haven’t had the chance to play in the rain until now…it took some convincing, but rain boots and coats on they felt the cool water dripping and the exhilaration of jumping into foot deep puddles! Even the smell of humidity in the air brought up questions like, “Dad, what’s that smell? Peanut butter?” Kids are funny…they’ll relate to things they know…Adults are funny in much the same way.

Sitting out on the patio listening to the sound of rain pelting the house…daydreaming about real life thunderstorms and all their beautiful destruction…I felt so relaxed…and tired…rain has a drowsiness to it…right?

Winter is coming. 

#FFW