Books I Read 2015 edition

I decided I should post this list before we are into 2017. For the past few years I have kept an active list of the books I read in the current year. I believe I got this idea from Patrick Rhone originally though I have seen many people do the same.

Over the course of the year if I see something that I might be interested in I throw it in a list (this year it in an Apple Notes), then when I ready for a new book I generally grab one from the list that strikes my mood at the time.

The books are in the order I finished them. I usually have at least two going at any point in time, I blame this on my NADD. I have notes and thoughts on all the of them but this is not meant to be a review, just a collection.

A few years ago I converted to an all digital format, the list links to an authors site directly, Amazon Kindle or Apple iBooks depending where I purchased that item.

Without going into specifics the ones that are bold are the ones I enjoyed the most.

Disney Observations

This year Monica and I had the chance to take the kids to Disney World. It was a quick trip, three day taste of the sites and where we might want to spend more time in the future. The last time I was there the Epcot dome looked like the Death Star (it was still being built). This is just a few random observations I had over the trip.

  • I hate roller coasters and many of the rides are roller coasters in disguise (but I made it through all of them).
  • The ability to use FastPass to skip a few lines a day is necessary (IMO) if you have small children.
  • The addition of the magic bands to allow you to pay and move through the park is phenomenal. 
  • Apple Pay works amazing in the park if you dont have wrist bands or do not want to charge things to your room.
  • The accessibility within the park for those who need assistance is like nothing I have ever seen.  So well done.
  • Wifi thorughout the parks was very good - much better than standard hotel wifi you might find on a business trip
  • Logistics to run the park must be on the scale of trying to host an Olympic event every single day
  • Selfie sticks are a real thing and are everywhere. At one point during the trip there was an area with 50 or more in the air.  It looked like some odd tribal group with spears in the air.
  • The iPhone app was very handy for looking at how long the lines are for rides, finding snacks and navigating the park in general.
  • I still hate roller coasters
  • Comfy shoes are a must! We were in the park approximately 4-6 hours a day and we walked at least 8 miles (12.87k) a day.
  • If you forget something you can rent it. (scooters, cameras, strollers, etc.)
  • Transportations to the various parks was so well done.
  • I manage many large projects at a time for work but I couldn’t have planned this trip with out the help of a travel agent (thanks Mary!) to help you book your trip, dinner reservations, fast pass rides.  There are just so many little details to consider. 
  • Seeing people walking around eating these GIANT turkey legs was bizarre.
  • The amount of land the parks occupies is crazy 
  • Many people go to the park really really late to shorten the wait in lines.

It was a great trip and I am so glad we did it.  

Books I Read in 2014

For the past few years I have kept an active list of the books I read in the current year. I believe I got this idea from Patrick Rhone originally though I have seen many people do the same. I keep a running list of things I want to read and then grab one from the list that strikes my fancy at the time. The books are in the order I read them. I have various notes on all the of the books but this is not meant to be a review, just a collection.

Without going into specifics the ones that are bold are the ones I enjoyed the most.

Books I read in 2012

I love to read but almost all of is non-fiction -much like Justin Blanton. I am fascinated with books that offer examples. case studies and practical elements. Most of my reading is around business and marketing books. I get a lot of flack for this.

This year I read 29 books - all of them on an iPhone or iPad. One of the reasons for using an “i”Device is I can have several with me all the time. If I hit a lull in a book I can stop and start another and go back to the prior one later. It cuts down on weight in my bag and it makes me feel like I am doing something better for the environment by not cutting down trees (this may or may not be true).

There were a few other books I started but was not able to get through because they jsut did not capture me enough to get through. The books are in no particular order but first four were by far my favorites.

Book reading on iPhone just got 23% better — macfilos

Michael at MacFilos beat me to writing about this.  I resisted reading on the iPhone for a long time before I took the leap.  My first foray was purely due to laziness of not wanting to get out of bed to get my iPad, I had my phone next to me as an alarm clock.  Ever since then I have been reading at least 70% on my phone.  The new screen makes a very big difference - Michael demonstrates with nice screen shots

Thanks Michael

Reflecting on a loss

Sunday night the world lost another wonderful person and I personally lost a good friend. The wife of my best friend passed away.

Anyone that ever met this woman had their life transformed in ways that I am not even sure they fully understand or are aware of. An artist, a techer, a spirtual person, a wife, a step mom were just a few of her many roles.

This person transformed my life in so many ways its not even funny.
She could talk you off the ledge with a simple word or two.
She could calm your anxiety and fear with a personal story of her expereinces She could alter your thinking with a small phrase. She could give you encouragement with a smile.
She had the most wonderful laugh. She was a healer.

More than once I went through difficult personals times and she was always there to offer me encouragement, help point out another perspective (you cant see the forest through the trees) and give guidance without judgement.

I have not been a particularly religious man for some time. In the past I had been put off by some that claim a new age spirtuality and were only providing lip service to a fad or phase they were in.

This person personified spirituality and let me know what it means. For that and everything else I am eternally greatful. Will I miss this person - yes but I am one person. Will the world miss out more from her gifts - YES!

I write this as my own personal reflection of the wonder of this individual. Even though I am sad for the loss I do not mourn her passing - I celebrate her life and the gifts she gave to me and others. She may not be physically with us anymore, but because of her I throughly believe that here spirit and soul lives on.

Thank you DMBC

Love always

Finding pace and peace with rituals

Last week Micheal Schecter from A Better Mess wrote a post called Find the Ritual In Your Routine. I have been thinking a lot about that piece. I have mostly been thinking about my own habits and the affect they have on me. What I have found with some habits is they have a similar result on me as the Getting Things Done Methodology. A quieter brain. If I don’t have to think about them they do not bounce around and produce undue anxiety.

Michael is right about how the routines can be heavy but my thought is there can be some huge benefits in terms of the routine.

Our routines can weigh on us. At first their consistency can be a comfort, but over time it tends to grow into something we dread. You can try shaking things up, but inevitably many aspects of our lives become routine.

Some of my habits/routines:

Transient
  • Carry habit: iPhone in left front pocket, keys in right front pocket, wallet in right rear and fieldnotes in the left. Maintaining this “habit” prevents me from worrying were things are. Also prevents that TSA-like pat down we all give ourselves when we are looking to see if we have everything before we leave the house.

  • Setting up a landing zone: This is a simple place where when you get home from work you dump all your stuff in your pockets. This way I always know where it is.

  • Coffee habit: I almost always get a grade quad Starbucks Ristretto Americano with vanilla in it(sorry @marcoament). The odd thing here is when I place the top on the cup I make sure the pour spout is 180 degrees opposite the cup seam. This way when I grab the coffee in the car I can use my fingers to make sure I know where the spout is before I raise it to my mouth. Preventing a hot mess in my lap.

  • Coffee Habit #2: I usually get coffee 2x a day. Morning and afternoon. Part of the process of getting coffee gets me out of my head and allows for a temporary change of scenery. While many might find this distracting, this generally allows me to step away from the work at hand and think about it differently for a few minutes.

These are silly examples. Perhaps OCD like ways to tame your mind to allow you to focus on other things, or maybe they are just nuts. I think everyone has routines, and I am willing to bet no two are exactly alike. But the key thing is:

I agree with Michael in the value of separating the items into have and want items. Trying to find the balance is the difficulty I suspect many of us go through.

photo credit: pierofix via photo pin cc

A sad day for cycling and a good man

As a former long distance cyclist and lover of the sport, the news today from the United States Anti-Doping Association (USADA) has me disgusted. They are recommending to the UCI to strip Lance Armstrong of all his titles, awards and winnings. Travis Tygart, USADA’s chief executive, has been “hunting” Lance like sport animal. Lance finally has had enough.

“There comes a point in every man’s life when he has to say, ‘Enough is enough.’ For me, that time is now,” Armstrong said Thursday night, hours before the deadline to enter arbitration. He called the USADA investigation an “unconstitutional witch hunt.”[1]

Apparently you can be tested hundreds of times and pass and be guilty. I imagine this is how a criminal who is truly innocent and gets the death penalty must feel. Circumstantial evidence appears to win out in some cases. Its WRONG ! Before DNA testing I bet this happened more than we would like to believe.

Lance has a truly unique life store beating cancer after the doctors gave him a 50/50 chance to then go on and win 7 Tour de France titles. A feat no one let alone an unknown American have ever done.

The UCI, the International Cycling Union, has the final say. Regardless they have several problems to address.

  • If Lance is stripped of his titles four of those wins would go to Jan Ulrich, an athlete thatHAS tested positive for doping and been banned for life from the sport.
  • the UCI has backed Armstrong and asked the USADA to explain why he should be stripped of his titles when none of the USADA’s own test have EVER come back positive. [2]
  • The sport has been tarnished more and more over the last 10 years form allegations of doping. While they want to send a message to the athletes they certainly do not want the image of the sport to decrease more by backing a sports hero.

Lance could have stopped racing sooner, taken his winnings and fame and partied like a rock start all over the world. I am sure he enjoyed himself but what he really did was start a foundation for cancer research that has raised over $500 million dollars. His family and the foundation are his priorities. Even if he wins this battle in another year there will be a new version of these allegations that he will have to deal with (come on its been 17 years and we are still talking about this).

Its a sad day for cycling. When a man so strong who has done so much good reached his limit and said enough. When you choose to continue working to help others over proving your innocence you will be branded as guilty.

Today a sports hero did not die, he became a larger one.

  1. Fox Latino News Article  ↩

  2. Fox Latino News Article  ↩

Source: http://latino.foxnews.com/latino/sports/20...