The Value of Space

Why I Love Saying No

It’s an amazing thing when the way we spend our time genuinely shows what we want out of life. It requires the space to think clearly, to part with the excess, (physical or otherwise) and be present with the things that remain. It is by no means easy, but it is worth every second.

People often feel that “no” is a bad word. I find it to be quite the opposite — it’s liberating.

Inspiration

Nike’s Quest to Beat the Two-Hour Marathon Comes Up Oh So Short

But, despite the hype, despite the shoes, despite the millions of dollars of investment, despite the rigorous application of the latest scientific thinking and bio-mechanical analysis, and despite the mammoth effort of Eliud Kipchoge, the world’s best marathon runner, Nike’s much-publicized attempt to break the two-hour marathon mark came up short this morning at the Autodromo Nazionale Monza outside Milan, Italy. It was a close-run thing, but the two-hour marathon remains unbroken, for now, with Kipchoge finishing his marathon in 2 hours and 25 seconds.

I don’t care if it’s 25 seconds or 5 minutes too short — this was amazing and inspiring to watch. Certainly was worth it simply for the motivation.

Another Death on Everest

Ueli Steck Dies in Fall Near Everest

Ueli Steck, the Swiss climber known for his speed attempts and several notable first ascents, died on Sunday, April 30 while climbing in Nepal. He was 41 and died in a fall near Everest, according to Reuters. Steck was in the area preparing a new route: he would ascend to the summit of Everest via the West Ridge, then proceed across the South Col to 27,940-foot Lhotse.

Every year it saddens me when accidents (either by natural disasters or by people) occur on Chomolungma. An incredibly tragic death, that always reminds me of my time there and that every moment is precious.

Choose What Is Killing You

Find What You Love and Let it Kill You

So the better question isn’t when you’re going to die. It’s what are you choosing as your vehicle to get there? If everything you do each day brings you closer to death in its own unique and subtle way, then what are you choosing to let kill you?

There’s only so many minutes in each hour, and hours in each day, and every day there’s a finite amount of things that you can let weigh you down. It’s incredibly freeing to choose what is killing you.

Embracing The Suck

Nice morning to get kicked in the face, punched and swam over. Let’s do this.

How far are you willing to push yourself?

I have never thought of myself as an athlete. Heck — throughout high school, my parents would have considered it odd if I even went outside to mow the lawn, let alone seeing me crack a sweat at doing anything physical. Fast forward to age 45, and about to head into my 5th year tackling Ironman 70.3 triathlons.

What started out as pure curiosity (“how on earth can someone do this?”) quickly morphed into admiration when my wife, Liz, finished her first full Ironman. Of course, this goal ultimately turned into a mission (“I can do this”) — especially after I posted on Facebook that I had signed up for my first 70.3. In fact — it wasn’t just my first half-Ironman, it was my first triathlon. Oopsie.

But it provided my a powerful motivation in that I had to go through with it just to save face.

5 years later, even though I swore it was “one time and out”, I’m still active in the sport. Given my crazy schedule and this crazy hobby, I’m often asked:

  • How do you balance work, life and training?
  • What gear do you use? What apps do you use?
  • Does it hurt? Are you human? Are you nuts?

So given that one of my goals this year was to write more often, why not.. I’ll start documenting this crazy (and probably one of the most fulfilling) journey here.

On Being a “Triathloner”

First, I need to get this out there: I never have considered myself very good at this. Without doubt, with practice and training, every year I have improved at each discipline, getting stronger and more confident — but it is a consistent work in progress. I have a fantastic coach (I recommend you get one) who keeps me on focus and guides me, and am part of a great team who have provided a sense of community and encouragement that I never really have had in my life previously.

Of course, when people hear the word “Ironman”, their first thought is this:

And it wouldn’t be too far off.

The next post will be on some of the apps and gear that I use to track all of this craziness.

Be a Geek Again

Touch Me

While not entirely unexpected, my social feeds lit up this week like a Christmas tree with anger around Apple’s new Macbook Pro and how non-pro a “pro” laptop felt, and how folks felt betrayed by Apple. People have interesting expectations: what exactly did you expect Apple to launch?

I’ll say it (and im sure there’ll be the often “apple-lover” comments”) — but I’m not sure if I entirely agree here. Marcus Fehn summed it up:

The 13″ with TB looks like a perfect blend of Air & MBP retina. For a laptop connected to a monitor most of the time — pro enough for me.

The move to having four identical Thunderbolt 3 ports, 2 on each side, is a perfectly good evolution of the cable madness that we have been dealing with for years. While I wish the headphone jack was removed completely, or just a lightening connector, I get why on some level why Apple decided to keep it.

Sure — people are complaining about dongles, dongles, dongles. But as someone who has been on a single-port MacBook 12″ since 2015, this has never been a real problem for me. I have a single plug that goes into my laptop at the desk, and im connected to everything else I need: power, monitor, webcam, extra USB ports for whatever, etc. Simple.

On the road — 2 cables: power, and a USB-C to lightening/micro-usb that allows me to plug into everything mobile. Occasionally I used an HDMI adapter, but I have been moving over to wireless for presenting content.

The only thing that Apple really missed — was not introducing a new “Magic Keyboard” with the Touch Bar integrated into it. My main usage of the MacBook is with the lid-closed and a giant monitor, magic keyboard and magic mouse.

The lack of a keyboard at with Touch Bar omission now has me wondering if my new configuration at the desk will morph into just the MBP 13″ on some laptop stand (such as the ParcSlope) instead of a giant 27″ screen. Unknown at this time.

To the Future

In the end, Ben Brooks nails it:

But the truth of the matter is that it’s a laptop, and as much as you disagree, a laptop is not the future of computing, it’s the ancient hold over.

Over the last 6 months, computing has changed drastically for me.

My laptop, never leaves the desk. Sure, I use it now and again to create a presentation or if I need to code something up, but at the office, when I travel, when I read at night, when I’m sitting on the couch reading, it’s all iPad Pro and iPhone.

But this isn’t the only transformation I’ve been experiencing — I’ve been using Siri and Alexa more and more around the house. I talk to machines.

The way we interact with computers is fundamentally changing.

We are only at the beginning of the next evolution of computer interaction — voice, vision, AI, mobility. There’s something insanely awesome of just saying “Alexa, add spinach to the shopping list” when I’m in the kitchen, or “Alexa, turn off the front door lights” from the bedroom, or “Siri, what’s the score of the Seahawks game?”. Just think about that for a moment (goal-post jokes aside).

I’m excited for this future. We are only in the first inning here. And this has always been at the core of what is fun about being a geek.

It’s about pushing the impossible and moving forward, not bitching about a dongle.