The New Year is upon us. For many people, New Year’s Eve means staying up past our normal bedtimes, drinking champagne past a reasonable hour, and awaking the next morning thinking that the year can only improve from there.
But the good news is that you have the day off from work. You could turn on Netflix, find a show, and spend the next 10-15 hours between your couch and kitchen. But you could also be a little productive with your spare time and dead brain. Here are some suggestions.
Take a walk around the block: Yeah it’s going to be cold. Probably rainy. One walk around the block will get your blood moving and lungs working. Plus it will get your brain going again – not much, but just enough to accomplish the rest of the stuff on the list.
Remember your successes from 2017: It’s easy to get hung up on what you want to do better in 2018. Be in better shape, lose weight, make more money, etc… But you did some things really well in 2017. You did some things other people admire. Remember those wins.
Backup all your photos: Oh some of you are really good at doing this on the fly. But the rest of you have hundreds of photos on your phone that you haven’t put in a safe place for awhile. Sure, I know they all get uploaded to the cloud, but why not save yourself the heartache of wondering if Apple is hack-proof? Just get all your photos on a backup hard drive. It takes very little effort.
Clean up your phone: While you’re backing up your photos, why not take a spin through the 346 apps on your phone and clean some out. That new cool app you read about on FastCompany or Geekwire probably isn’t even in business anymore. Take an hour and wipe out the clutter.
Read your LinkedIn profile: Remember that profile you updated the last time you needed a job, or got a new one? Yeah, the world has changed since then. Probably a good time to go in and make sure your professional internet presence reflects who you really are.
Call some old friends: Hey guess what your friends are doing on Jan 1. Lying on the couch! Give them a call.
Put all your gift cards in a stack by the front door: Maybe you aren’t like me, but I often receive gift cards that I never remember getting, then have them scattered around the house, so I forget to use them. I like to find them all and put them in one place next to my keys, so I can’t miss them when I’m leaving the house.
Cook something delicious: Are you hungry now? Debating the prospects of leftovers vs a pizza? The internet makes it easy to find recipes. You can type in something like, “Easy things to cook on New Year’s” and I bet you’ll get a variety of chili and crockpot recipes that are awesome. Spend 20 minutes off the couch, go to the grocery store in your sweats and baseball hat, and then slow cook something that makes you seem like a culinary genius.
Clean up your bookmarks: You have 100 articles stores somewhere that you meant to read at some point during the year. Either read it or delete it or both. Get a fresh palette of reading material.
Write down the gifts you wanted and didn’t get this year: In a few months people will ask what you want for your birthday. And you won’t know. But if you have a list of “Xmas Didn’t Gets” in Evernote or GoogleDocs or whatever, you can just email it to them.
Happy New Year everyone. Whatever you do on your own New Year’s Day, I hope it leads to a prosperous and happy campaign.
It’s almost time for New Year’s resolutions. And thanks to our 6-12 holiday parties, we’re all at our maximum weights and feel like sloths crossing a 10 lane highway.
You can read all the web sites you want, and pay to subscribe to all the diet programs that claim they work. But you really need is advice from someone like you, not some egg head marathon runner. So here’s what I’m attempting in 2018.
When you can’t go to the gym, just walk: Here’s the easiest thing we can do. If you are going to to grocery, mall, whatever… just park far away. That’s an extra 300 yards each way that is moderately useful. Will it drive weight loss? No. But it gets you to understand that walking is good.
100 pushups are awesome. 10 pushups are better than 0 pushups: You don’t feel like going to the gym. Me either. So we’re watching TV instead. But the commercials suck, so why not roll off the couch and do 5-10 pushups. Is doing pushups really worse than watching that lame iPhone commercial again?
Stop with the sodas: If you buy some ginger, lemons, limes, cucumbers, and oranges, along with a decent citrus squeezer, you really never have to buy a sugary soda again. Choose your fruits and spices and make your own flavored waters.
Research some recipes: I’m not going to tell you what you should eat. But I think we can agree that any restaurant that is making the most amount of money serving affordable food to as many people as possible, is probably cutting a corner somewhere in the nutrition department. The internet is your friend. Look for the things you love to eat, and make them yourself.
Air Fryers work: I love chicken wings. They’re calorie hell if cooked in oil. But an air fryer cuts out 80% of the calories. Give it a shot.
I’ve never contemplated vegetarianism. And no matter how long I live in Seattle, I can never see myself paying an extra $3 for a “sustainable” sandwich.
But I like experiments, so I have one underway. From May 17 – May 30, I’m going meat free.
I’m trading the steaks for salmon, bacon for yoghurt, and sandwiches for salads. Just to see how my body reacts to a meatless diet.
I’m starting this experiment about 20 pounds above where I’d like to be. I’m not changing any other aspects of my diet or exercise plan, to truly see how meat affects weight gain or loss. I’m also curious what this will do for my mood, sleep habits, energy level and more.
So, if I seem grouchy in the next few weeks while you inhale a T-bone and I choose the Ahi salad, this is why. And if you have tips on how to replace meat with other protein, please let me know.
I mostly write about thoughts, observations and rants here, but it probably is worth mentioning that I joined an Australian company called Whispir. Very cool technology being used extensively in Asia. The Americas team is just getting off the ground, so it should be a fun experience. It probably also means that since I’m not going to be building a content development agency, I probably don’t need to write a lot of content. Just enough to keep up the SEO rankings (and rant about the Seattle City Council.)
The Mariners keep winning. But man it’s hard to root for them when they did so much work to keep the new arena from being built. How do you support the game of baseball but protest the Mariners management? I think I’m simply going to take a little break from them and explore things like hiking and such on days I would normally go to games. Let me know if you want some of my tickets.
The Geekwire Awards are on May 12. Always a fun event. Usually sells out, so buy your tix now. (Coincidentally, it’s being held on a piece of property that at some point the Seattle City Council would have had to give away to Paul Allen so he could build the EMP there.)
So I broke the #1 rule of consistency. But it’s been kind of a nutty week. More announcements to come…
All Hail the Mariners. All Hail a 10-9 record. All Hail being in 1st place in the West with just 88.3% of the season remaining. At this pace they’d win 85 games which *could* get them close to a playoff spot. For comparison, last year the Astros made the 5th playoff spot with 86 wins. So that’s saying something.
I found myself pretty intrigued by the historical TV show “Turn: Washington’s Spies” over the last year or so, and did a little research on some of the American Revolution’s main characters. Here’s a little stat you don’t read in your 6th grade history books. Ben Franklin had an illegitimate son. That son had an illegitimate son. That son had an illegitimate daughter. I’m not sure those are the family values the Daughters of the American Revolution type conservatives want to talk about.
Man, is this really going to be Trump vs Clinton? Most interesting idea I have heard lately is to temporarily pass a Constitutional Amendment making the President a 2 year term of office, giving us a redo for 2018.
Good luck to the 32 teams still remaining in the University of Washington’s Business Plan Competition. This is the first year in a long time that I don’t have any students trying to get their companies off the ground. But I’m still looking forward to seeing what this year’s group has come up with.
Where would you say Prince’s death fits in terms of impact and surprise? Not quite Cobain level perhaps? But close. RIP.
Happy Tax Day! This might a good day for Bernie Sanders to dial down the rhetoric about raising my taxes. It’s a little bit of a sore spot for me this week, Bernie. Or another way he can look at is, “I don’t have any money to donate to a political campaign for about the next 4 years. Or charity for that matter…”
Speaking of Bernie, this political theater just gets more interesting by the day. The New York primaries are this week and I have to admit, I just want results to fall into place that will cause the most amount of chaos. I have my extra large back of popcorn kernels and am ready to sit back and enjoy the absurdity of super delegates switching sides, both parties having candidates claiming unfairness, pledged delegates being bribed and threatened, rules being made up on the fly, and the eventual elecetion of someone not even in the race right now. It just fascinates me that in one day, Hillary Clinton can have photo opps with Wall St billionaires and the leaders of Black Lives Matter, and vigorously tell both of them that she has a plan that works for them.
Seattle | Sports | Events
Startup Grind is a good event to hit. But next week, on 4/26, it should even be more fun for you sports fans. Adrian Hanauer, founder and owner of the Sounders, will be on stage with host Michael Grabham. Get your tickets now, as this one may sell out.
So my new business is officially off the ground. I’m calling it Content365.Online because my niche is developing content and materials for B2B companies so they can publish every day of the year. Take a look and give me a shout if you know any B2B companies that might need what I’m selling. Content is hard to produce, but I’ve been working on a process to make it easier.
Last week really brought home a harsh realization about Presidential politics. We the People actually don’t have a right to determine who a Political Party puts up for President. This wacky delegate rule is different in each state, but what’s clear is that its the members of Political Parties in each state who get to decide who they nominate. Sure we have the right to participate with an opinion on the matter, but we really don’t have to right to choose. This illusion is displayed in many different ways, with the Colorado GOP at least making it perfectly clear it doesn’t really care what people think.
Politics and Sports
You may have missed it, but the attacks in Belgium were not supposed to take place in Belgium. They were supposed to be in France during Euro 2016. Now that’s scary. Hundreds of thousands of Europeans shuttling around France’s airports, train stations and metros. Now, consider that the mass shootings in France last year happened during a soccer match.
These two things make it seem really possible that the Paris shootings were a dress rehearsal for some sort of multi-faceted terrorist attack during Euro 2016. I’ll watch from home thanks.
The Sounders are not playing well. But Oalex Anderson and Chad Marshall bailed them out.
There is a key to this play that no one is talking about. The Dynamo had the ball at 92:40. All they needed to was possess for ;20 and the ref would have blown the whistle. But inexplicably, they booted it down the field where it went out of bounds. That gave the Sounders a throw in at about 92:50, and the ref let the play run its course until the Dynamo got possession back, even though it took the clock past the 3 minutes of extra time he called for. Quirky soccer rule. Dyanmo can only blame themselves.
If you are a B2B tech startup, you have three great reasons to attend this event on Tuesday at 11am, “Go-to-Market Strategies for B2B Tech Start-ups.” 1) It’s taught by Matt Heinz, who probably knows more about this than anyone. 2) You meet the folks from 9 Mile Labs, who are actively looking for promising B2B Tech Startups. 3) You get to see Galvanize, where a whole bunch of tech startups are hanging out. This is an easy call. Go check it out.
At least 69 people Christians died in a suicide bombing last week carried out by Islamic fundamentalist terrorists. No, not in Belgium, in Pakistan. The bomb went off in Lahore, the capital of Punjab, Pakistan’s largest and wealthiest province and the political powerbase of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. It didn’t get nearly the same amount of coverage as the Belgium bombings, but we should pay attention to non-European terrorism as well.
Sports (and Conspiracies)
Sure, the World Cup isn’t technically until 2018, but every country has 3 or 4 rounds to get through in 2015, 2016 and 2017 just to reach the final 32. The U.S. *should* be able to get through six games in a preliminary round vs the likes of St. Vincent & the Grenadines, Trinidad & Tobago, and Guatemala, in which they only need to finish 2nd to advance. But ruh roh, Guatemala just beat the U.S. 2-0. There’s still time to right the ship, starting tomorrow with a Guatemala rematch in Columbus, OH. But an unexpected loss there suddenly means that halfway through the 2nd round, the U.S. destiny would be out of their hands. Now, we know soccer is corrupt, so do you think there is a chance FIFA is sending a message to our fair country for coming in and prosecuting them?
Politics and Culture
I’ve been watching House of Cards,Season 4. Is it just me, or does the show attempting to show politics in the most ludicrous light possible, actually seem tame and predictable in comparison to the actual Presidential election?
Baseball season starts one week from today. Things will finally seem balanced again. What’s your prediction for Mariners wins? Personally, I’m simply hoping for them to stay competitive until the Seahawks start playing regular season games. I hate when I’m forced to watch a pre-season game because the Mariners have already fallen out of contention and playing games that are equally as meaningless.
And finally….Syracuse in the Final Four? Syracuse??? Come on… no one wants to watch that boring zone in the Final Four.
Coincidentally, I couldn’t fall asleep Wednesday night so I built a big spreadhseet with about 10 inputs that I tried to normalize in some way, in order to predict game results. It’s a mini-me version of what Bing, FiveThrirtyEight.com and EESPN.com do. (You can read about their versions here in Geekwire.) For the record, in the first round Bing was only 21-11, FiveThirtyEight.com was 23-9 and ESPN was 24-8. The Boyer algorithm came in at 26-6. 26-6! Take that Nate Silver.
And yes Sounders fans, it is time to prepare your panic kits. Panic is just around the corner after this weekend’s 2-1 loss to Vancouver. If we’re not going to have speed, and we’re not going to have power, and we’re not going to have luck, we at least could have some help from the refs. Instead, we got the opposite. Here are the videos of the supposed penalties. Decide for yourself.
Apparently Bernie Sanders was in town Sunday. I’m kind of amazed that my Facebook feed was not lit up with people planning pre-event parties or asking who wanted to carpool. But I guess he drew 20,000 people or so. It really would be fun to see him have some sort of role in an administration someday.
Guess who is coming to down this week after Bernie Sanders? No, not Hillary Clinton. Better! Bruce Springsteen at Key Arena. It could be the last tour of his career. Very much looking forward to it.
Somethings left over from the week behind, and a few things I’m looking forward to in the days ahead.
God bless March Madness. The only thing that stinks about the NCAA Tournament is that I seem to get sick every year during the first Thursday and Friday, causing me to miss work. Such a bummer… And congrats to an Oregin State team lead by Gary Payton II. Very cool to see a kid with some Seattle roots make the long path through Prep school and Junior College to finally make it to the NCAA Tourney as a senior.
Did you have a good weekend? I bet yours wasn’t as good as Russel Wilson’s. He got two of his favorite people locked down for the foreseeable future. First he put a ring on Ciara, then his bosses dumped a truck full of thousand dollar bills in front of his buddy Jermaine Kearse. Congrats to everyone.
Even more sports:
I’m not ready to panic about the Sounders yet, but I have to admit, I don’t like the fact that they have no one with scary speed. I always feel like you need at least one guy who can run past everyone. Otherwise, it’s way to easy to play defense.
So this could be the last two days I’m able to keep making my ridiculously bold prediction that John Kasich is still somehow going to end up the GOP nominee. Here’s the blueprint: 1) Win Ohio 2) Rubio loses Florida and drops out for a wink wink nod nod spot as Kasich’s running mate 3) Trump doesn’t get 50% 4) A brokered convention in Kasich’s home state enables him to rally the GOP faithful into the “Anyone but Trump and Cruz” bucket.
Need a harmless Netflix series? “Death in Paradise” is a delightful little British detective series set in the Caribbean. Good characters, ok plots, and a generally decent way to avoid being crushed by 45 mph winds.