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Codex Vitae

How to play

  1. Every day: In the morning, scroll down to Review Every Day
  2. Every month: On the 1st of every month, scroll down to Review Every Month
  3. Every year: On your birthday, scroll down to Review Every Year

Review Every Day

Things I’d like to have primed in my brain every morning. This is stuff currently churning in the front of my brain, which probably has high turnover but which also has a good chance of getting somewhere new.

  1. Cultivate quality time: With myself, with other people, and with my interests.
  2. Look at what's uneasy: Don't avoid the unresolved, unwanted, conflicted things that would benefit from detailed attention.
  3. Slog towards riding a bike on my 100th birthday: Eat mostly plants. Exercise regularly. Get sleep. Think decades.
  4. Review/update this list

Review Every Month

Things I’d like to check in on the 1st of every month.

  1. Review the Lexicon
  2. Review the Beliefs
  3. Review the Personal Canon
  4. Write a new Monthly Report and share
  5. Review/update this list

Review Every Year

Things I've learned and want to remind myself of every year on my birthday (May 28).

  1. Review my Monthly Reports from the year
  2. Review my Yearly Reports
  3. Write a new Yearly Review and share
  4. Review/update this list

Lexicon

This is an list of ideas that have gotten hopelessly stuck in my brain.

Codex Vitae

This is an idea coined by Robin Sloan in his book Mr Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore. The idea is that you write a book, the Codex Vitae or Book of Life, that represents everything you have learned in your life. And it gets stored and read by a privileged few upon your death. Expanding a bit further on it, I think this is a great way of thinking about self-expression. Our lives are filled with a desire to know the universe, and to be known. To leave a dent. This is just my English-major-y way of representing the dent in the form of a text, because words are pretty great. Maybe one day we'll be able to download our brains onto our credit cards and that would more directly represent our full body of knowledge from life.

Posts about this topic: What would you write in your codex vitae.

Quality Time

My own Codex Vitae's first chapter could possibly be about quality time and its role as the primary ends (and means) for a life well lived. I see 3 kinds of quality time that we should seek out. The first is quality time with our own selves. Know thyself, and in the process find our deep interests and find people that we can connect deeply with. The second is quality time with those interests, and the third is quality time with those people we can connect deeply with. They each feed into each other, you can't really connect deeply with others until you know yourself sufficiently well. And often times interests are strengthened by having people you can connect with and share with. It seems pretty ungameable to me. Seek quality time with yourself, your interests, and others and you will not regret anything on your death bed.

Posts about this topic: The Death Bed Game, How I track my life, Live like a hydra.

Kiloslog

My 37th year started off on an exploration of the kiloslog, which is my made-up word representing the idea of working slowly towards a distant goal (see 1 Metric Kiloslog for a full explanation). I set the goal to do 1,000 small things that would get me closer to running a marathon. I've been thinking about this all year and ended up finally going on a couple 5+ mile runs in the last few weeks after spending almost an entire year working on knee issues. I actually felt quite victorious even with this small goal since the frustration of this particular knee issue has felt extremely frustrating in its lack of progress despite PT, stretching, and lots of patience. I'm still not entirely sure that I'll be able to fully recover without giving in to knee surgery, but since it's gotten a bit better recently I'm holding out hope. That said, I also have a referral for a good local orthopedic surgeon to take a look the second I lose hope. I did stop using technology to track my progress around 900/1000, because I found that the work of tracking was as difficult as the work itself. A common theme in my frustrations with quantified self and self-tracking in general.

In addition to working on the kiloslog towards running a marathon, I've also started fixating on an even longer-term health vision: to ride a bike on my 100th birthday. I like thinking about this for a couple reasons:

  1. It's a silly visualization. I can actually sort of picture myself, aged 100, getting on a bike and wobbling down the street. Perhaps a crowd is cheering me on. Perhaps we live in a cloud city and we're all cyborgs. The daydream is ripe with material to play around with.
  2. It gives my progress towards health a purpose. The intrinsic motivation that this taps into is part of my core quality of life motivation. I want to enjoy a long, healthy life, for the purposes of enjoying it all the way through to a simple activity on my 100th birthday.
  3. It's flexible in the short-term but encourages long-term consistency. I don't have to sweat the small things that aren't going to make a long-term impact, simply because they are part of some program that's supposed to have a short term impact.

This single, silly, vivid health vision informs my eating habits, my exercise routine (for the kiloslog and other stuff), my stress levels, my creativity, and my social habits. It's a single ribbon that ties it all together, paces me, keeps and makes me happy to think about.

Posts about this topic: 1 metric kiloslog.

Optionality

Or, as Nassim Nicolas Taleb calls it: antifragility. I like the word optionality because it seems more neutral, almost boring even, and yet it is probably one of the most simple and powerful ideas that I’ve ever encountered. The easiest way to describe it is the degree to which your eggs are in different baskets. The more baskets, and the more eggs, and the more evenly distributed those eggs are in those baskets, the higher the optionality. The beauty of optionality is that it has both protective and self-strengthening qualities. Say that you have 12 eggs in 1 basket. If something happens to that basket, all of your eggs are doomed (low optionality). On the other hand, say that you have 12 eggs in 6 baskets (2 in each). If something happens to one of the baskets, you still have 10 eggs (higher optionality). Now imagine that you have 12 eggs in 12 baskets, and every time one of the baskets is destroyed, one of the other eggs hatches and creates 2 new eggs and you get 2 new baskets. Now, say that all of the eggs are different colors, and that there are monsters that prefer certain colors of eggs for breakfast. As the monsters wake up every morning and have breakfast, the type of eggs that they like will become more rare. There will be more eggs left from colors that they don’t like. In a way, the set of eggs will become stronger (less likely to be eaten). This is how high optionality works. The final twist is that in order for this to really work, it has to have some level of randomness involved… because what if the monster also adapts over time and begins to prefer new colors of eggs… in order for the set of eggs to be safe from complete elimination, there should be enough variation in the colors that some eggs won’t get eaten… and that those eggs will hatch and grow and the population of future eggs will represent eggs that are less appetizing to monster. Optionality is the key to natural selection and evolution. It’s also the key to idea generation, investment strategy, product management, and many other things. Qualities of high optionality things include:

  1. A variety of options that aren’t connected to one another. For example, if you have 3 green eggs in 3 baskets and a green-egg eating monster comes, you’re going to lose all of your eggs even though they were in different baskets. Same if you own 3 different houses that are all on the same block and it gets hit by a flood, or 3 different emerging tech stocks when the equity markets dry up. True variety would imply that a disaster of any kind won’t take out all of your options… at least 1 must survive and it needs to be a strong one that has traits that led to its survival. Another word to describe this is that the options must be diversified.
  2. There should be relatively quick feedback loops. The period of time between “something bad happens” and “the population shifts to favor the stronger options” should be short. If 10 bad things happen before the population adapts, the optionality is lower than if it only takes 1 or 2 bad things to adapt.
  3. The adaptations must have some element of randomness. In other words, variety must not decrease over time, even if the environment becomes predictable. Eventually the environment will change in a new way, and then the variety will need to be sufficient to survive an unexpected change. If a green-egg eating monster turns into a red-egg eating monster, there should be some non-red eggs, and maybe even some green eggs, around.

This makes logical sense, but in practice it seems counter-intuitive to build systems with high optionality. We tend to build systems that converge on a single design over time (see monocultures) because they are predictable and efficient in a given environment. But environments change, and without the ability to predict how those changes will happen ahead of time, optionality is required even in the safest of environments.

I rambled on even longer about this topic here: Live like a hydra.

Soloverse

Soloverse: This is the least-fully-formed idea of the bunch and something that I’m sure will shift over time. The universe is this giant space/time environment that we are all a part of. The soloverse is our mental model of the universe that our brain uses to think about the universe and everything in it. It turns out, we can’t really think about the universe directly (it’s way too big), we can only think about our mental model of the universe as it exists in our soloverse.

I first came across this idea last year and found some interesting explorations of the idea referenced by the word umwelt, which is German for “environment” or “surroundings” and pronounced oom-velt. I just made up the term soloverse because it’s easier for me to think of it as a private universe in our minds.

A few thoughts about soloverses:

  1. The soloverse is our local cache of the universe. When we’re babies, our caches are not very primed, and we are forced to take in the full firehose of the universe… unsorted, uncategorized, raw. It’s overwhelming. Our brains are designed to start building this soloverse almost immediately in order to gain some foothold on the raw craziness of all the information coming in. The soloverse is built up from basic building blocks like light and dark, smells, sounds, and eventually patterns (mom, hungry, cold, soft), and then eventually concepts (blanket, food) and meanings (safe, scared, good, bad).
  2. What we think of as the universe is actually our soloverse. From these basic building blocks we create beliefs and build simulations that allow us to predict future occurrences (if I cry, mom will come to me). At some point we arrive at a concept of our own selves and other people. “The concept of a person is arguably the most important interface ever developed.” — Kevin Smokler
  3. The soloverse contains gods and archetypes. Some of our most powerful beliefs and traditional characters (God, the hero, the devil, the wizard, the fairy godmother) all exist only in our soloverses. Unicorns, dragons, Santa, astrology, luck, fairness, truth, good and evil, beginning middle and end, physics, etc are all shadows of the structure that our soloverse is running on (our brains, and the pattern matching hierarchies that they are built from) and most likely absent from the universe that they are attempting to model. This quirk is actually really fascinating to explore.
  4. The soloverse is the most powerful tool we have. The model of the universe that we each have is highly personal, and idiosyncratic to the experiences we’ve had. There are also large portions of which there is probably lots of overlap (common sense, myths, popular culture, things we learn in school, etc). An unhealthy soloverse could lead to poor/misinformed decision-making. An unhealthy soloverse could be responsible for cruelty, prejudice, hatred, wars, and all kinds of other unfortunate things. What could we do to help ourselves and each other have healthier soloverses? Could we address this issue directly and have an impact?
  5. A comprehensively complete soloverse must also model every other soloverse that exists. In order to build a real “to scale” model of the universe it has to also include every other soloverse out there, including itself. We can’t escape our personal soloverse, but we can make it a more hospitable place to live in the meantime.

Posts about this topic: Universe ↔ Soloverse, Know thy umwelt.

Iterated prisoner's dilemma

I started a side project in May of 2014 to explore the world of iterated prisoner's dilemma strategies. Basically, an attempt to solve, through games, a philosophical problem: what is the right strategy for being nice vs mean in an unpredictable and changing world?

This interests me for a number of reasons.

  1. It's an unsolved problem in sociology and psychology: what is the optimal strategy for cooperation/selflessness? Is there one that works in all possible circumstances or is there a logic to how a given set of circumstances creates an optimal strategy?
  2. It has been explored to some extent, but there is by no means a full exploration of the space. The space to explore is finite, but extremely complex. There is an opportunity for a sufficiently flexible system to make progress on this problem fairly easily.
  3. I like the idea of using technology to solve a fundamental psychological riddle. It's fun.

For now I'm just dabbling my toes in the idea, but I hope to slowly make progress on it on hyoomans.com. So far it's probably still too amorphous to have much popular interest. The hook is still buried in technicalities. Hoping to change that in the next couple months.

Beliefs

On the purpose of life

  1. We don't have a purpose given to us, but it's okay if we make one up
  2. My meta-purpose is to enjoy quality time (with myself, with others, and with my interests)
  3. The best strategy to increase quality time: weave around the obstacles that hinder quality time
  4. He who dies having experienced the most quality time wins

On personal conduct

  1. I must strive to know what I really believe
  2. I must not dilly-dally
  3. I must be my word
  4. I must have good intentions
  5. I must admit to being the maker of my own meaning
  6. I must not feel sorry for myself
  7. I must have a vision that I'm striving for
  8. I must rally others with my vision
  9. I must tie creativity and experimentation with survival
  10. I must be the change I want to see
  11. I must stake my reputation on my better self
  12. I must be comfortable with the consequences of being who I am
  13. I must make my own advice and take it
  14. I must manage my stress, health, and clarity
  15. I must study my mistakes
  16. I must retry things I don’t like every once in a while
  17. I must go slow, work hard, and avoid shortcuts
  18. I must cultivate quality time with myself, with others, and with my interests
  19. I must face things that make me uncomfortable

On Morality

  1. Being good/moral increasingly becomes our default state as we learn more about the world and are more connected with others
  2. Gay marriage should be legal everywhere
  3. Abortion should be legal everywhere
  4. Assisted suicide should be legal everywhere
  5. Health care should be available and affordable to everyone who needs it
  6. The death penalty should be used in extreme and certain cases to protect the public
  7. Prisons should be about protecting the public, not about punishment
  8. Marijuana should be legal to grow, sell, buy, and carry
  9. Owning a gun should require certification from a firearms officer verifying that they've taken a safety course, are free of criminal record, and pass a psychological mental health check every few years
  10. You don't need to ask permission to take responsibility for something that you find important (but you may not get credit)

On Spirituality

  1. Frequently remembering we will die increases the quality of our life
  2. Souls don't exist separate from the physical body
  3. The Gods of organized religion don't exist
  4. Intention can't create reality (it just primes our perception of it)
  5. Astrology is entertainment
  6. Magic and miracles don't exist outside the explanations of science
  7. There is no heaven/hell

On Science & The Universe

  1. Chances are, we live in a simulation
  2. Other dimensions and universes exist
  3. Micro and macro evolution happens
  4. Something like the Big Bang happened, and will probably happen again
  5. Something existed before the Big Bang (outside of time and space as we know them)
  6. Nothing in our universe can travel faster than light
  7. The human brain (in its current state of evolution) can't comprehend the universe
  8. We have no cosmic significance
  9. Aliens exist
  10. Non-carbon-based life forms exist
  11. Space travel throughout the universe is probably entirely the domain of robots and cyborgs
  12. Perception of time can be sped up or slowed down, but not reversed (forwards time travel is possible, backwards is not)

On Health

  1. We can change our behavior and habits (it requires a lot of energy)
  2. Consistently eating well, exercising, and getting enough sleep is the only way to be sustainably healthy
  3. Acupuncture works, somehow
  4. Vaccinations are good for babies and society

On Technology

  1. Computers will be building better computers than humans by 2050 (the Singularity)
  2. Humans, computers, and Earth will evolve into a super organism by 2200 (if we're still around)
  3. Humans that embrace change (and give up some of their humanity) will survive the Singularity
  4. Technology will eventually disrupt all other human-created institutions (politics, religion, identity, economics)

On The Self

  1. Free will is mostly an illusion (but does exist in limited form)
  2. Pure altruism is an illusion (but kindness is not)
  3. We tell stories in order to create and remember meaning
  4. Consciousness is the result of a feedback loop between our story-making cortex and our subconscious, so that it can better predict/act on long-term threats
  5. We are all running an incomplete simulation of the universe in our heads and usually mistake it for the real universe

On Privacy

  1. Privacy is just a side effect of people not being truly connected
  2. People, organizations, and governments will exchange privacy for connection when/if they eventually trust each other
  3. Future-thinking people, organizations, and governments will make great strides towards being more trustworthy in order to earn this privilege of connection by 2050
  4. Giving up our privacy and individuality in exchange for better connection will be the norm by 2050

On Logic

  1. Most questions have no answer (asking them anyway is sometimes entertaining, but nothing else)
  2. Logic is a helpful tool, but has flaws and can't be relied on entirely

On Education

  1. Something will replace universities as we currently know them by 2030
  2. Playing games (of any kind: video, board, card, etc) in your youth will make you smarter than people who don't

On Politics & The Economy

  1. It should be easier and more expedient to put neglectful and irresponsible public servants in prison than the average citizen, not slower and more difficult
  2. Most jobs lost between 2008-2012 aren't going to come back, new ones have to be created from scratch (or not)
  3. In the future, working will be more thoroughly decoupled from having the means to live (see disability trends as proxy for this)
  4. We'll have a President that admits to being atheist or agnostic by 2025
  5. Power will be more quickly redistributed when it gets too heavy at the top

On The Future Of Earth (2100)

  1. Global warming is real and will continue to cause bigger and bigger problems
  2. There will be 10 billion people
  3. 80% of people will live in cities and new mega-cities by 2100
  4. The number of living languages in the world will drop to under 100
  5. Genetically modified foods will become the norm
  6. Coral reefs and the ocean ecosystems are going to break with unknown consequences
  7. Solar will slowly overcome gas and oil in usage

On Biases

  1. We tend to favor the beautiful
  2. We tend to see what we expect to see
  3. We tend to attribute too much credit to success (and under-credit luck)

On Love

  1. Soulmates exist
  2. Love at first sight happens

Meta

  1. We have very little control over what we believe in
  2. Some of my beliefs will be proven wrong
  3. I'm willing to be convinced that my beliefs are wrong
  4. Making and maintaining this list is useful and fun (you should do it too)

Wagers

  1. With Carinna. By 2028, the equivalent of a college education (both in breadth of knowledge and value to career) will be available to anyone with an internet connection.
  2. With Rick Webb. By March 1st, 2016, descendants of Google Glass will be seen regularly in the wild (in the same way that Fitbits, NikeFuel bands, and retina MacBook Pros are in 2013).

Personal Canon

Articles I've come back to a bunch of times

Books I've read that have changed how I see the world

My own favorite writing

Monthly Reports

2014: ++----+----+

December 1st 2014:

Summary: Venessa and Lillia visited us for a week; sis, Ryan, and Adelyn visited for 3 days and for Thanksgiving; first big Thanksgiving at the new house (we have chairs); work on front of the house continues, the worst is probably over.

Weight: 180 (+2)

Outcome of previous goal: Hit! Wrote 750 Words on 22 days.

New goal: Write 750 words on 20 or more days, again, because that was good.

November 1st 2014:

Summary: Started serious work on the outside of the house, attended my 20th year reunion, celebrated our 6th anniversary (Ajanta), and Kellianne's birthday (first party at the new house).

Weight: 178

Outcome of previous goal: Miss. Did pushups on 0 out of 30 days. Still entirely off the wagon.

New goal: Write 750 words on 20 or more days.

October 1st 2014:

Summary: Amongst other things (that I can't really remember): bought a house, moved in.

Weight: 179.0 (-0.4)

Outcome of previous goal: Miss. Did pushups on 0 out of 30 days. Completely fell off the wagon.

New goal: Do pushups on 2 or more days (low bars ftw)

September 1st 2014:

Summary: Amongst other things (that I can't really remember): visited Seattle, went to a wedding.

Weight: didn't weigh myself this month - my scale is out of batteries

Outcome of previous goal: Miss. Did pushups on 1 out of 30 days. Completely fell off the wagon.

New goal: Didn't make a goal for this month. Circumstances have disabled my goal-making momentum.

August 1st 2014:

Summary: Looked at open houses every Sunday, made an offer on a house, lost. Shipped something cool at work. Started a new side project: Valleyball. Went to yoga at work, once, and failed to go back again (even though I'd like to).

Weight: didn't weigh myself this month - my scale is out of batteries

Outcome of previous goal: Miss. Did pushups on 9 out of 31 days... definitely did not continue the trend from last month. Circumstances shifted: lots of guests this month, getting my morning routine out of whack, and we were distracted by making an offer on a house (and all the errands that entails). Also, lots of work stuff: shipping Tweet activity dash, starting a new project, performance reviews, etc. As circumstances shift back into the morning routine's favor, I'm hopping back on the pushup wagon this month.

New goal: Do pushups on 9 or more days.

Codex edits: Added Paul Buchheit's Startup School talk to my personal canon.

July 1st 2014:

Weight: 179.4 (+2.1 - hmmm.)

Outcome of previous goal: Hit! Did pushups on 19 out of the 30 days. Also tied my record for slow pushups. Hoping to continue this trend this month.

New goal: Do pushups on 19 or more days.

Notes: Spent some time this month working on busterbenson.com. Added a full-lifetime visualization, and links to my online archive by week.

June 1st 2014:

Weight: 177.3 (+2.6)

Outcome of previous goal: Super miss. I did 60 slow pushups in May (6 out of 31 days: 19%). My 5 month streak of doing fewer pushups each month continues... in fact it was a pretty indulgent and lazy month all around. We spent a week in Richmond for Mother's Day, half-brother meeting, and Rick Webb birthday celebrating. We had the Pixels as guests, we spent a couple days camping in the Redwoods, and even spent a day in Yountville eating at The French Laundry and other delicious restaurants and wineries. We celebrated both Niko and my birthdays. So I gained almost 3 pounds, did barely any pushups, and had a ton of fun doing it all.

New goal: Do pushups on 6 or more days. I'm going to focus for a few months on getting back into a daily (or at least semi-daily) pushup routine and not focus on how many.

Notes: I also spent some time re-thinking this monthly review, and have decided to create a bit of a framework that involves a set of things I want to remind myself of daily, monthly, and yearly. My birthday review sums it up. And I started a new side project (the first I've allowed myself since shutting down Habit Labs) called Hyoomans which is an attempt to create a game largely inspired by iterated prisoner's dilemma. It's still very early and completely unplayable, but it has been fun to work on when the spare minute arises.

Changes to codex:

  • Added descriptions about my top 5 favorite ideas to the lexicon
  • Broke out "on privacy" as a separate section in my beliefs
  • Added "iterated prisoner's dilemma" to lexicon
May 1st 2014:

Weight: 174.7 (+1.4)

Outcome of previous goal: Miss. I did 129 slow pushups in April (12 out of 30 days: 40%). My 4 month streak of doing fewer pushups each month continues... but this month I did switch it up to do even slower pushups than the month before. Instead of resting at the bottom and top of each pushup, I'm trying to keep a constant slow speed at all times. I learned this in slow weights a few years ago and it makes them much harder while also making it harder to "cheat" by hopping up and down too fast.

New goal: Do more than 129 slow pushups (only count first set) on 13 or more days.

Apr 1st 2014:

Weight: 173.3 (-0.8)

Outcome of previous goal: Miss. I did 148 slow pushups in March (13 out of 31 days: 42%), but I went from a best of 15 to a best of 18, for a 20% improvement. Totally fell off the wagon (and so far in the first few days of April still off the wagon). Also got sick and didn't get down to 167.1 lbs -- still hovering above 170. Sort of a loser of a month for me all around. Oops!

New goal: Do more than 148 slow pushups (only count first set) on 14 or more days.

Mar 1st 2014:

Weight: 174.1 (+1.6)

Outcome of previous goal: Miss. I did 183 slow pushups in Feb (19 out of 28 days: 68%), but I went from a best of 12 to a best of 15, for a 25% improvement. They're definitely starting to feel easier, and I feel like my form is improving.

New goal: Do more than 183 slow pushups (only count first set) on 20 or more days. Also, lose 4% of my weight and get to 167.1 lbs.

Feb 1st 2014:

Weight: 172.7 (-0.5)

Outcome of previous goal: Hit. I'm only counting the first set of the day, as I found I'm more likely to find the time if I only focus on 1 set. Did 192 last month on 20 out of 28 days. I'm also using pushup bars and doing them in as close to perfect form as I can, very slowly. Finding that 10 slow, good posture pushups is pretty tough. On days when I'm not feeling it, I am fine with doing only a couple -- doing them every day (eventually) is more important than doing a whole bunch on a single day. I want to make this a life-long goal, something I do every day even when I'm 80 years old.

New goal: Do more than 192 pushups (only count first set) on 20 or more days.

Quality moments from previous month:

  • 3rd-5th: Nursing Kellianne with her healing foot post-surgery. Fun for Niko and I to take care of her and watch her watch all of Doctor Who.
  • 10th: Hack week at work, won.
  • 12th: Went to Children's Fairyland with Niko, Brasa, Bode, Alykah, Zuri, Spike, Indy, Juniper.
  • 18th: Dinner at Anneke and Casey's (first time at their place)
  • 20th: Long bike ride with Niko where he biked up the pedestrian bridge (both ways) without stopping!
  • 23rd: My work project launched: analytics.twitter.com (super smooth launch, team is in high spirits)
  • 23rd: First date night in a long time: Wood Tavern. Funny conversations with the bartender and other guests.
  • 25th: Quality neighbor dinner time with Bode and Brasa while kids watched movies
  • 26th: Went to the steam trains with Niko, went on the trains 3 times!
  • 29th: Quality friend times with Tony Stubblebine and Sarah. They brought dinner to us.
  • 30th: ModelViewCulture launch party, got to celebrate Amelia's new thing
Jan 1st 2014:

Weight: 173.2 (+1.6)

Outcome of previous goal: Hit

New goal: Do pushups at least 4 days a week, find a baseline for pushups in a month that I can try to beat next month. I need to do at least the minimal amount of exercise other than bike riding because I feel like my energy levels are really low. Admittedly, none of my interests have anything to do with pushups... I just choose them because they're the easiest. But there's no internal motivation beyond easiness pushing me forward. Is it possible to enjoy pushups for themselves? If this doesn't work I may need to rely on biking more as my outlet for exercise.

Quality moments from previous month:

  • 1st: Went to Scribe with Katie, met up with Mira and Tom
  • 6th: Katie stayed with us, we played Cards Against Humanity
  • 7th: Picked out a Christmas tree with Bojee and Alycah
  • 8th: Hilarious dinner at Paisan with Katie and Jimmy James
  • 15th: Went to Tilden Park Carousel with Brasa, Bojee, and friends
  • 16th: Made a Thomas train out of construction paper with Niko. Big hit.
  • 17th: Inspiring product manager Christmas party, going away party for Mark (our intern)
  • 19th: Twitter holiday party: biggest fanciest party we've ever been to (at City Hall)
  • 20th: Closed on sale of my Belltown loft! Paid off all credit cards and the car as well. Stoked.
  • 21st: Christmas Tree Lane in Alameda
  • 24th: Christmas Eve at Kristy's house with Mom, Ryan and Adelyn (Ryan's reading of The Night Before Christmas went over especially well)
  • 25th: Adelyn saying "I'm feeling really good right now!" after opening gifts
  • 26th: Delicious dinner at Sushi Kimo
  • 27th: Great bike ride to Corona del Mar with Kellianne

Self-declared badges:

  • Sold The House Badge
  • Debt Free Badge

2013: -++++---+--++

Dec 1st 2013:

Weight: 171.6 (+0.0)

Outcome of previous goal: Hit

New goal: Come up with a plan for next year's version of Rabbit Rabbit.

Quality moments from previous month:

  • 7th: Twitter IPO, celebrated with coworkers and Kellianne at Ryan Sarver’s get together at Tradition. I feel grateful for a chance to participate in Twitter’s history.
  • 8th: Dinner with Brasa, Bojee, and Alycka at their house. I can tell we’re going to become friends.
  • 10th: Took the training wheels off Niko’s bike, and discovered that he was able to ride it after only about 15 minutes of practice!
  • 16-17th: Kellianne’s in Seattle so Niko and I had the weekend to ourselves. A first? Took the opportunity to super-bond with the little guy. Fave moments include biking to the Farmer’s Market, having him read The Giving Tree to me, letting him be boss and come up with rules, tossing kettle corn into each others’ mouths while relaxing on the hammock, the Muppets dance party in our living room, and the long uphill bike ride up to College Ave for an ice cream.
  • 21st: Highly enjoyable conversation with Tony Stubblebine at Smuggler’s Cove.
  • 23rd: A fun birthday party for Niko’s friend Alykah, wherein we solidify our friendship with the neighbors down the street.
  • 25th: Good conversation about work with Reeve.
  • 28th: Kellianne hosted an amazing Thanksgiving with Marla, Max, Annaka, Casey, and kids.
  • 30th: Katie visits and amongst other things a beautiful golden hour bike ride at the park.
Nov 2013:

Weight: 171.6 (+0.5)

Outcome of previous goal: Miss

New goal: I want to continue to track my modes through Lift at least 5 days a week. Write a blog post sometime in the month about finding the signal for quality time.

Oct 2013:

Weight: 171.1 (+0.9)

Outcome of previous goal: Miss

New goal: I want to continue to track my modes through Lift at least 5 days a week. And also, I want to write a blog post sometime in the month about finding a signal for quality time that isn’t so ambiguous.

Sep 2013:

Weight: 170.2

Outcome of previous goal: Hit

New goal: I want to continue to track my modes through Lift at least 5 days a week, and in addition track whether or not I experience quality time that matches the given mode. For example, quality sleep in recovery mode, meditation in self mode, quality time with someone in people mode, etc.

Aug 2013:

Outcome of previous goal: Miss

New goal: I want to take a step back from static goals and instead have mode-specific goals. First step, track my modes for a month (from Live Like a Hydra) to see how they break down.

Jul 2013:

Outcome of previous goal: Miss

New goal: I want to track at least 5 "quality times" a week. Quality times that count: quality time with Kellianne, Niko, myself, and work. I'm using a new app to track this, that my friend April passed along to me, it's called The Way of Life (iPhone). It's worth checking out.

Jun 2013:

Outcome of previous goal: Miss

New goal:* Meditate at least 5 minutes 5 days a week.

May 2013:

Outcome of previous goal: Hit

New goal: I want to do at least 1 thing a day (no days off) that A) gets me closer to being a marathoner B) I do on purpose for this resolution (no retroactive counting), and C) isn't "normal" for me to do. Meditation, running, other exercise, etc all count. I'm tracking my slogs on peabrain.co which has been working for me for a while now.

Apr 2013:

Outcome of previous goal: Hit

New goal: Meditate for at least 5 minutes a day, at least 6 days a week.

Mar 2013:

Outcome of previous goal: Hit

New goal: At least 5 days a week, do the following immediately upon waking up. 1) drink a glass of water, mentally recite "memento mori" 2) do at least 1 sun salutation while contemplating ways to be proactive in the day. 3) meditate for 5 minutes.

Feb 2013:

Outcome of previous goal: Miss

New goal: At least 5 days a week, start my day proactively by doing at least one of these 5 things before looking at my phone: drink a glass of water, stretch, do pushups, review my look, look, look haiku deck, hold my breath and meditate as long as I can.

Jan 2013:

New goal: At least 5 days a week, start my day proactively by doing at least one of these 6 things before looking at my phone: drink a glass of water, stretch, do pushups, do lunges, do plank, review my look, look, look haiku deck.

Yearly Reports

38: Cultivate quality time (2014)

37: More kiloslogs (2013)

36: Talk it out (2012)

35: Love the struggle (2011)

34: Cultivating the core (2010)

33: Frugal to the max (2009)

32: No problem (2008)

31: Double down (2007)

30: Higher highs and lower lows (2006)