Killing the blog

I’ve decided to stop blogging for a while. It’s been engaging, especially this last June when Kait and I had our big bike ride, and the blog served as a vehicle for letting you all know what we were up to.

Why end the blog? Two reasons:

  1. I’m writing two books, and it’s difficult to blog when writing manuscripts (not enough hours in a day, not enough writing energy to sustain it all)
  2. I’m participating in a social media launch on September 1st for Epiphany Consulting, and I’ve committed to that endeavor

Thanks for following the blog. It’s not really going away; it’s just taking on new shapes.

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Charlie the Yapper

I’m not a big fan of over-stimulation. I like managing thought process, and its difficult to do that when you’re over-stimulated. When the environment presents so much data that it’s difficult to know what you’re thinking about. When your thought process simply reacts to the overwhelming amount of stimulation that’s coming at it.

I thought about this yesterday when I let my dog Rush out in the back yard. Our neighbors have a couple of dogs–Stan and Charlie–and Rush loves to bark at them. And Charlie likes to yap back. It’s as if Rush has no choice, as if he’s biologically driven to bark at Charlie. It’s deafening, when the two of them get into it. Our only solution is to tie Rush to the deck when Charlie is in his yard, preventing Rush from running up to the fence that separates the two of them. Roping him to the deck creates enough separation¬† that Rush isn’t compelled to incessantly bark at Charlie.

Sometimes, I feel as if my environment is like Rush’s experience in the back yard. I simply respond to the stimuli and seemingly have no control over my response. Of course, I can control my response, just as I can control my thought process that dictates the response. It just takes a great deal of mental discipline. And, it helps to adjust the environment, to minimize the stimulation, the amount of data coming my way. I can turn off the music in the car, put my smart phone to sleep, turn down meeting requests–I can make my lifestyle quieter. And as a result, I can create more opportunity for serenity.

The back yard is quite a tranquil space when Rush and Charlie aren’t going at it. Maybe we’ll build a better fence to prevent the two of them from barking non-stop, just so we can all experience a bit more tranquility.

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Charlie’s pretty cute.

Style

It may be an historical exaggeration, but Einstein owned a number of suits, and they were all the same. Because they were all the same, he didn’t have to think about what he was going to wear that day, since he always wore the same thing.

I’ve often given this thought–what it is I want to think about and not think about, since we are each comprised of our memories, thoughts. I don’t like thinking about what to wear every day, so I tend to purchase durable clothes and wear them in the same rotation.

This is well illustrated with my shoes. Because I always bicycle, I always wear bicycle shoes. The last pair I wore were made by Shimano, size 48. They wore out, so this morning I purchased a new pair of shoes–made my Shimano, size 48. Yes, I did look at other brands and models of shoes, but at the end of the shopping experience, it was a bit of a no-brainer: stick with what works. And, don’t give it much thought, so you can think about other stuff.

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Old shoes.
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New shoes (note the cool Boa ratcheting system).

Sailing with a cyclist

When I was on this summer’s bike tour through Oregon, I ran into Robert, a Scotsman who was cycling from the Pacific Ocean to the Atlantic Ocean. We ended up biking together for over a week through Oregon, Idaho and Montana, before we went our separate ways in Missoula. I took the train back to Milwaukee, and Robert continued to bike across Montana, Wyoming, South Dakota, Iowa, and recently, Wisconsin.

He’s now staying at my house in Milwaukee as he continues on his cycling journey east. Yesterday he took a day off from cycling, so we went sailing on Lake Michigan with my friend Matt. We had a great time, talking mostly about politics, culture, and sailing.

I had a great adventure cycling this summer, benefiting from the generosity of those who hosted me. It was good to host Robert, to introduce him to my Milwaukee home. Good to give back a bit to balance out all the goodness people afforded me on this summer’s travels.

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Matt and Robert, sailing and resolving the world’s issues.