Today’s post is a quick story. In 2009 I took my kids hiking in Wisconsin. It was the first time the kids had gone on a long hike. I assured my wife that we’d be fine and we left after their regular Saturday activities. It was a character builder for all of us.
The only certainty in life is that it has an end. I’ve been trained to think of death as a sad, morbid topic. But lately I’ve come to realize that embracing the inevitable can have a markedly positive effect on my life.
Remember what I said a few days ago about fitness? “Just show up”? Today is such a day with this blog for me. I’m tired, I have a headache and I would rather not write. But I’ve shown up, with the idea that a small, helpful blog post is better than nothing. So, here goes. I’m gonna talk about taking better pictures.
This has been eating at me for the last 28 years. I’d like to start talking about it today. It’s what I call the American mantra of “I have no regrets.” In this post I’ll lay out my initial thoughts so that I can, over time, flesh them out and come up with a well-written essay.
We’ve all heard or seen the ads making claims like, “Download our scientific app and play our brain games! They’ll improve your memory and actually improve your brain power over time.” I’d often thought about downloading one of those apps and trying it out. Wouldn’t hurt right? Wrong. It would hurt your pocketbook, but wouldn’t help your brain at all, according to Johns Hopkins Professor of Neuroscience David Linden. What would help is exercise, he tells Terry Gross, of NPR’s “Fresh Air”.
I was pre-teen in the early 1980s. The 1980s was the decade of the Rubik’s Cube. It was everywhere. I was in India at the time, and people over there were as nuts about it as people in Europe and the US. Kids all over the world were experiencing the thrill of solving it. But not I. I had a book that described how to solve the cube, but it did a really poor job of describing the seemingly arbitrary algorithms required. Even though I could solve a single side by myself, I couldn’t solve the entire cube without having the book open in front of me, following its complex directions.
Today’s post will be short and sweet. I want to share something that worked for me really well when I recently started my new job. There are a few existing iOS products for which I will have to become the primary developer. I needed to come up to speed on these products quickly. I started of the way we developers normally do: read internal documentation, examine the Main.storyboard file, look at the AppDelegate.m file. But then I got a good idea. I asked the salespeople to demo the product to me, as if I were a prospective customer.
I’ve hated running for ever. I first tried running for exercise by the shore of the Indian Ocean when I was fourteen. Didn’t get very far. Did get a bad case of shin splints. Over the next couple of decades I tried again a few times, but never really got into it. Every time I tried the result was the same: it was painful, frustrating, and just not fun. I tried focusing on mechanics, but it was making running just that: mechanical.
Humans have been using rope as a tool for thousands of years, even before we started recording history. Knots and rope-tying is one of the few technologies that have persisted essentially unchanged in all of the known human history. This is the second in a series of posts about the most important knots. The bowline knot is certainly in the top two or three.