Sunday, January 22, 2017

Brother's Weekend

I am just off a weekend with my brothers.  This is a 25+ year tradition.  We get together and solve the problems of the world (so it was a tough weekend), predict the future and then figure out how to influence it.   I actually ended up with too many things on my to do list from it.

And of course we have a lot of laughs, walk and play some cards.

We always miss my brother Mark who died in Dec 2008.  He was the one who started the idea of brother's weekend.  My other brothers are funny but Mark was hilarious.  He liked to have sport with us.

We grew up without TV but on occasion would see some somewhere.  He told me Road Runner had a foul mouth which is why they had all the beeps.  The show was a poor depiction of wildlife because road runners run at a top speed of 20 MPH compared to coyotes at 45 MPH.  Good to know what we spend our valuable time contemplating...

I am finding the sand and pebbles in my life are consuming too much of my time.  This is a concept pushed by Stephen Covey.  Some videos that best explain the concept here and here.  The little things for me are mostly email and calls.  But bigger time costs are meetings.

The big rocks for me would be strategy and planning and to some extent some of the marketing initiatives.

Because of Brother's Weekend, I am late getting through my emails.  I have developed a poor habit of leaving some email to clean up on the weekend and fairly consistently needing a few hours of weekend time to get caught up.

Proper use of weekend time should be on the big rocks or complete relaxation.

Of course I get more sand and pebbles even on the weekend.

Feeling tired but I figure if Josh and Xaview can work out, so can I.  Bet you have never seen a treadmill backward crawl.  I assume it is a new exercise he found on the internet.  I should try it.

Sunday, January 15, 2017


My refugee sponsorship story has gone international with mentions on BBC and The Guardian.

I did not do this project for fame or publicity.  At first I resisted publicity but now welcome it.  It helps leverage.  It helps get things done.

The downside is it generates a lot of volume.  People read it and ask for help.  Or people want to express an opinion.  And it adds pressure for me to be "perfect" and "profound".   I am just a regular person doing a tiny bit and even doing that imperfectly.  

So I have finally broken down and put up a donate page.  Lets see how much we can generate and how much good we can do.  The humanitarian crisis remains extreme.


A friend asked me how to maintain habits.  He was slipping.  My answer:

I find when my habits are too hard, I will slip on them.

EG - I do a form of HIT (High Intensity Training).  Short duration time wise but really hard.  When I change to a lesser workout, I stick to it and then sometimes step it up anyways.

My other cause of failure is when I move aside something that is important.  EG - At times I have scrimped on sleep to work out.  But the sleep is important and ends up winning in time.  

Other tricks - make it easier or tougher to do.  EG - get dressed in shorts and tshirt and wear sweat pants when you get up.  I usually eat fairly healthy when I am home because I have no unhealthy food on hand.  Yes, I could go out and get cookies or make them but it is a barrier.  

Or add reward or punishment.  I like tea.  I do not allow myself to drink tea until X is done.

I say to myself:

Today is the first day of the rest of my life.

And a great article on the pace of change.   It includes a warning not to be complacent.   Change was fine at one time  but I have had quite enough of it - Anon

I am worried my grand daughter will never learn to fly properly holding the broom that way.

Monday, January 02, 2017

Checklist Manifesto

With New Years comes examination of my systems.

I read a book - Checklist Manifesto written by a doctor with many examples of how checklists save lives.  He implemented checklist in operating rooms by being inspired by airline pilot checklists.

It has inspired me to do my own checklist.  The one I am experimenting with is a weekly 1 page sheet with some things to do daily (like pushups and meditation) and others to do weekly (like checking in with key people).  For some of my weekly things I put more than once (like working out).  Ironically, I do not add everything I do daily - just the things that are not yet fully engrained.

So on first try, I got it wrong (as is often the case).  I did not even get through my checklist.  I was too ambitious which is one affliction I have.  It reminds me of "We tend to overestimate what we can accomplish in a day and underestimate what we can accomplish in a decade".

I judge a book as good if it causes me to make a permanent change.  This feels like it might stick.  Will see.


A good friend from New York emailed me a story of "Man punches cougar outside of Tim Hortons to save his dog" saying - you don't see this in NY.

I replied "Too politically correct to punch cougars?"

She said "No a Tim Hortons"


And as if we needed any more reason to burn less coal.  Lower mercury levels.  As someone who is largely pescatarian (not to be confused with Catholic or Methodist) or pescovegetarian, mercury in fish is a concern.  For that matter - so is breathing. 

Article here.

Have a great 2017 and beyond.