It's That Simple

"We really never lose our demons. We only learn to rise above them." - Ancient One, Doctor Strange

It's That Simple
"We really never lose our demons. We only learn to rise above them." - Ancient One, Doctor Strange

I've been spending as much time I can off the beaten path on an island in northwestern Washington that sits between the US and Victoria, BC. While I'm fortunate that I have fantastic fiber internet and can work remotely, spending time outside the world's chaos and focusing on long walks, good food/conversation, and a simpler life has started to do wonders for me and my overall state of mine. The whole "life 2.0" experiment is probably a series of posts requiring its own section (or even a book :)).

Instead of going down that rathole this week, I wanted to write about two stories from my latest trip up there over the 4th of July holiday.

Many months ago, I placed a Pete's Pirate Life "hide it and find it" coin up on a log on an isolated point of the island. The coin is a simple design with the symbolic pirate skull/knives on one side; the other has the saying "The best things in life aren't things" on the other. The coins are designed to be left and discovered by others, shared as part of a secret and unique discovery between unknown friends. Search for the hashtag #hideitandfindit if interested.

I placed my coin, sent off a picture on Instagram as instructed, and off I went.


Last week I decided to trek out there for an early morning walk and figured I'd check to see if it was even there on a whim. I was shocked, happy (and dare I say overwhelmed) by what I found.

the best things in life aren't things

Not only was the coin there - others had put decorations around it, with a shell 'protecting' it from the bay.

On the way back, I took a few minutes to check out a 'little free library' I've passed by over the years. I never realized there's a whole 'movement' around the simple concept of 'take a book, return a book.'


I have a few favorites that I plan on sharing next time I'm up there; books that have brought me inspiration or insight.

I've also been seeing similar inspiration around "free blockbusters" also now popping up (the same concept but for movies - be kind, rewind - how cool is that!).

So, what do these stories have to do with anything?

I just wanted to share two little things that brought me some simple joy these past weeks. The world, life, work, and everything can often seem crazy. I'd even say it's overwhelming more now than ever when you don't have control of so many things. Life can often not make a ton of sense. Plans don't work out as you intended, but it's essential to treat yourself to some self-compassion. We're all going through it.

Take time away from doom-scrolling. Appreciate the 'art of the gathering'.


Perhaps it's just that simple.

Yeah, well, the boxing world looks shiny from the outside. It is filled with promises that most of them turn out to be lies. You can't rely on anyone.
So, what would you say the biggest deception was? What was the biggest lie you were told ?
It is not that simple
Why not?
No, that is the biggest lie I was ever told: 'It is not that simple' It is a lie they tell you, over and over again.
What's not simple?
Any of it. All of it. That is how they get you to give up. They say it is not that simple Vinny.
So, What's the truth?
That it is. That if you just do all the things that they tell you... you can't. Then it is done! You realize it is that simple.
That is always was. - Bleed for This

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Forward Thinking

I've been thinking about personal privacy and what individuals have given up for convenience and 'security.'

Recent reveals that Amazon is giving Ring videos to police without owners' permission, it raises a ton of questions around the boundaries of personal privacy in the technology age.

I keep going back to a 2019 interview in which Edward Snowden commented to Kara Swisher about the dangers of social networks, technology, and privacy:

"Facebook’s internal purpose, whether they state it publicly or not, is to compile perfect records of private lives to the maximum extent of their capability, and then exploit that for their own corporate enrichment. And damn the consequences," Snowden told Swisher. "This is actually precisely the same as what the NSA does. Google ... has a very similar model. They go, 'Oh, we’re connecting people.' They go, 'Oh, we’re organizing data.'" Although, Snowden said, these companies still don’t know as much as the government, which can gather information from all of the many tech platforms.

Going to be interesting to see where this goes, especially given some of the decisions lately from the Supreme Court.

Thought of the week

This story from a Waffle House will make your day.

Latest obsession

As a long-time user of the 'spotlight on steroids' replacement application, Alfred, I was pleased to see the release of Alfred 5 this week.

Alfred 5

Alfred has long been one of my "must-have" power applications, which allows you to define all sorts of custom hotkeys, keywords, text expansion, and search to make things on your Mac more productive.

Here are a few of the articles and videos that resonated with me over the last week:

  • "When Is Change More Likely?" nails why most 'change' at companies fail. 'Without a shift in how people behave (leaders especially), and a shift in the forces shaping/governing the system, you're just going to slip back into the same mess.' - More
  • "Sure, why not: Wordle is becoming a board game" continues one of the more exciting success stories after the New York Times bought the addictive word game last year. The new board game works as follows: 'Each round of Wordle: The Party Game begins with one player (the so-called "Wordle Host") who writes a secret word. The rest of the players will be given six tries to guess it, much like the online version. Players who take fewer attempts to guess the secret word will earn less points, and the player with the least points at the end of the game wins'. Personally, the web version is more interesting, but that could be a fun drinking game - More
  • "How Brian Eno Created' Ambient 1: Music For Airports'" is a crazy album from 1978, and this read explores Brian Eno's experiments with tape loops and the approach used to analyze your generative music experiments - More
  • How many times have you sat through a painfully bad presentation? "The Top 5 Presentation Mistakes Everyone Makes" explores some good traps to avoid when talking in groups. More
  • I had no idea who "Orange Mike: one bright guy" was before I read this. I only knew of the legendary exploits on Wikipedia. 'Orange is lively. It's vigorous. A good, strong orange is non-confrontational but uncompromising; it conveys the right spirit to me.' - More
  • "My Twelve Rules for Life" is one of those lists that I like to explore, ponder, and adjust my own' rules for life' with. There are some outstanding ones in here, especially "know yourself" - More
  • This article references an episode of 'Seinfeld' where the character of George Costanza reveals the secret of pretending to work: act irritated. 'When you look annoyed all the time, people think that you're busy.' "The rise of performative work" explores this phenomenon of how theatre plays an essential part in the workplace - More
  • A round-up of the latest rumors in "Apple Watch estimates" including the thoughts around the next generation watch being able to detect if you have a fever. As a data-gathering crazy person for health metrics, really curious to see where this goes. - More
  • It's unfortunate, but most don't realize where their data often goes. In "Congress to Investigate Data Brokers and Period Tracking Apps," they explore how easy it is to get data ($160 for a week of data) to find out location data of people who were visiting abortion clinics. Scary stuff. - More
  • "Digital Transformation isn't what you think..." dives into the differences between iterative data and interactive data and how 'interactive data is what allows unrelated objects to suddenly become relevant to each other, increasing competitive advantage.' A great read - More
  • "What does Costco's $1.50 hot dog deal mean to you as prices for everything else rise?" explores the legacy of their favorite combo that apparently 'former CEO Jim Sinegal threatened to kill (the current CEO) if he upped the price on the hot dog deal.' - More


Let's wrap up this week with the classic Seinfeld clip in where George demonstrates the 'art of looking annoyed all the time'.

Be well. ✌🏻