Spectrums

Psychology and neuroscience are interesting topics for me. I’m by no means enmeshed in these fields, but I’ve always been fascinated by the complexity and capability of the human mind. We are Paleolithic hunter-gatherer primates that managed to create a global civilization far beyond our simple beginnings. All because of the capacity and flexibility of our minds. Of course, it’s not all white magic and high art that we play with. Read more...

Out of Phase

It starts simple enough. Maybe you lie in bed a few minutes after the 5:00 a.m. alarm goes off. Sleep last night was hard to find. Couldn’t get there, couldn’t stay there. At least you’re up. You find that you missed a step in last night’s routine that throws you off a bit this morning. Have to correct that. So you get to the gym already off your game. Workout has to be done. Read more...

Free Solo and Human Achievement

This past weekend, my son and I saw the documentary ‘Free Solo’ at a theater in Knoxville. I’ve been looking forward to this film since I saw the preview months back. The fact that it was actually showing at a theater within thirty miles of me was surprising enough to make me consider that possibility that stars aligned. If you’re not into climbing, the term free solo means to climb alone and with no protective equipment. Read more...

What Do You Need From Me?

There are a number of personality tests in the world. I’m not talking about the nonsense ones. All those Facebook quizzes that will tell you which Hogwart’s house you’d be in, which Sex in the City character you are, or which member of the Nazi high command you’re most like. Those are nonsense. I’m referring to the ones that have some measure of scientific basis. The Five Factor test, Myers-Briggs, the Enneagram and a number of others. Read more...

Politics and the Work Ahead

Everything political makes me angry. This is a thoroughly recent affliction. It happens whether the democrats or republicans have the edge in the halls of power. There’s no leadership, no compromise, no effective governance, no conversation, no understanding that the only viable long term outcomes must be win-win. There is none of the work that we the people need done. Just entitled, wealthy and disconnected power-seekers pandering to their audience. Loyalty to party is more important than what is actually good for the country. Read more...

Autumn Reflections on This Blog

Every three months, I take some time to look back and see what I’ve done and where I’m going. It’s good to stop periodically and think about your work. Is it good work? Is it the right thing to do? Is it the best use of limited time and resources? That depends on what you are trying to accomplish. In this case, I’m thinking about this website, this blog. What’s it for? Read more...

What Do You Want?

That’s one of the most important questions. The tandem questions of ‘who are you’ and ‘what do you want’ can guide your life. Once you can begin to answer them. The key word there is begin. They are not answered once. You will keep asking and answering them through a lifetime. For me and for now, it’s … Interesting friends and companions. An opportunity to learn, every day. A resilient, healthy, and loving family. Read more...

How to Get Ready for College (and Life)

On a recent afternoon, my son sent me a text message that read simply, “how do I get ready for college”. He’s 18 and starts his first semester in a couple weeks. Like most people, the only thing high school really challenged was his patience. He’s smart and he tends to overthink things. This results in more stress than necessary. He also seems to enjoy asking profound life advice by way of text message. Read more...

Observations From the John Muir Trail

In July of 2018 my son and I hiked the John Muir Trail. This was my second time and his first. The trail covers 211 miles from Yosemite National Park to the summit of Mount Whitney. It includes over 84,000 feet of elevation change and some of the most stunning scenery in the Sierras. We hiked it in 17 days. What follows is a collection of thoughts and observations. In one sense they are simple and obvious. Read more...

Some Days

Some days are better than others. I’m not sure if this is a function of energy, intention, luck or some combination of these and other factors. Days in the mountains are good days. So are days spent learning, reading and relaxing. Productive days where I crush that task list, execute on projects and accomplish all my dailies are often good days; in retrospect if not during. Then there are the not so good days. Read more...