Surfing certainly didn’t come easy for me. But it stuck, and I sometimes get asked why I still surf after all these years. Recently a friend wrote a column on just that topic, and I tried to explain my saltwater jones to her–but had a hard time finding the words. It’s time to take another swing at it.
This morning I’m finding myself overwhelmingly thankful for the amazing family, friends and life I’ve been blessed with.
I was an early backer of the Pebble smartwatch – well before everyone else jumped on the bandwagon – and the recent update to both watch and app have only made my early adoption decision a more solid choice in hindsight. There’s four significant reasons as of this week why the Pebble continues to be the perfect smartwatch for me, regardless of what existing smartwatches – including the oft-rumored Apple iWatch – decide to cram into their products.
Knowing others is intelligence; knowing yourself is true wisdom. Mastering others is strength; mastering yourself is true power. If you realize that you have enough, you are truly rich. If you stay in the center and embrace death with your whole heart, you will endure forever. – Lao Tzu
It’s been a long time since I’ve had my ass handed to me. Last month I got the comeuppance I’ve been due for quite some time, and it’s been incredibly humbling. I love to mountain bike, and in particular jump and hop said mountain bike around, between, and over obstacles both large and small. The feeling of flight and weightlessness is something I’ve chased since my skydiving days, and frankly, only get to experience when leaping a bike these days. Having been a rider for most of my life, this type of risk is really nothing new or unexpected for me. I’ve been doing it for so long I take my skills for granted, as the feeling of flight, speed and weightlessness are as close as I can come to feeling superhuman.
However, on October 12th of this year I took what was to be a simple, innocuous ride up and back on the coast- which ended in utter disaster. Approaching one of the many ravines I traverse on this trail, I really didn’t feel differently- no sense of foreboding, hesitation or even concern- I’d jumped off this particular ledge so many times that it’s almost become reflexive. A quick bunny hop off the top and I was floating over the edge, slowly rotating my center of gravity to match the angle of the transition 18′ below me. But as time compressed and weightlessness engulfed me, I knew in my gut something was wrong. The bottom of the hill had been churned up from the normal hard-pack and was instead loamy and soft. The angle I took over the edge had me going a few degrees left of my usual line, and despite a last-ditch effort to push my rear wheel out and down to adjust and shift landing weight off my front wheel, it still dug into the soft dirt and washed out just as I flipped my heels to pop the clips and get free of the bike, and everything went wrong. Horribly wrong.
“Courage isn’t an absence of fear. It’s doing what you are afraid to do. It’s having the power to let go of the familiar and forge ahead into new territory.” ~John Maxwell
I decided to jump ahead and use the new WordPress Twenty Thirteen theme once they released it today on WordPress Core. I already love the new style, and post options (much like Tumblr). Highly recommended, even in this not-even-close-to-complete state.
I’m going to the NAMM show this year, for the first time in almost 20 years. I’ve been saying 12 (when I last moved from Carpinteria, and its comfortable, less-than-8-hour drive to Anaheim), but doing the math it’s been 20, as I didn’t attend NAMM any of the years I lived here last, either. Craziness. In case you’re confused, NAMM stands for “National Association of Music Merchants”, and is *the* biggest music conference of each year. To be looking back at 2 decades of avoiding NAMM as a constantly-working musician is, frankly, a bit strange to me. Maybe even a bit embarrassing, honestly.
While making coffee and preparing for our Sunday this morning and absent-mindedly tap/swiping my way through my email inbox on my iPad, I realized that my regular routines these days are almost diametrically-opposed to how they were just a year ago. In a nutshell, I haven’t ‘sat down at a keyboard’ in almost 6 months now, at least at home. I have three laptops – only one of which sees any action and it’s when I fire it up – like a desktop machine – each day at work, and then put it to sleep when I leave. Only rarely is it undocked for meetings in favor of the aforementioned iPad, and even those moments are further apart and fewer than ever before.
What’s changed? Unconscious simplification. I never intended an iPad to be my main computing device, but by nature of it’s rather innocuous and carry-friendly footprint it’s weaseled its way into my life quite definitively. Although there’s still professional recording, video editing and a handful of tasks that still need the extra beef of a full-blown computer, even those tasks – up to a certain point – have become manageable on a tablet today, and what was hopeful curiosity a year ago has become convenient reliability in recent weeks.
My old arguments against a tablet-based life usually revolved around power (the processors and display weren’t beefy enough for real work) and a mix of ergonomics and efficiency (virtual keyboards, to be frank, just never work as well or allow you to work as fast as real keys on a real alphabetic or musical keyboard, not to mention all the reasonably-good audio interfaces aren’t generally compatible with iOS devices).
What made the difference?