I just finished reading John Steinbeck’s “East of Eden” book today. I think it is probably in the top ten list of books I have ever read. The story is a richly poignant cycle of life based on the Biblical story of Cain and Able… essentially the thought that rejection is one of the great motivators for evil or good in the world. For those of you who have read this book already- “Timshel!”
Over the last month, I have taken up the sport of rock climbing. Three times a week I drive over to Santa Monica to go to my rock climbing gym, Rockreation.
Rock climbing is a great sport for me and I really enjoy it for the following reasons:
- Excellent physical workout – tones and strengthens your whole body especially your core and forearms
- Challenging mental workout – it’s like playing chess or solving a riddle each time you approach a new climb
- Enjoy the outdoors – you visit obscure places and climb up interesting rock formations. Joshua tree especially is gorgeous
On Saturday, I went out to a rock climbing spot near Malibu with David (Paradiso Crossfit owner) and Jared (Crossfit member) and we climbed up Tic Toc Rock. We did a couple of routes, one was a 5.8 and the other might have been a 5.10a. It was a blast and afterwards we went and got a steak at a place near the beach.
I am planning on going to Joshua Tree to do some more rock climbing in early November. I have been out there twice before and that is what got me hooked on the sport.
Rock climbing has a few expenses associated with it:
- Rock climbing shoes – I got a great pair for $160
- Harness & carabiner & chalk bag – $100 for mine
- Rope (not yet purchased) – $120
- Quick draws (not yet purchased)- $15 apiece and you need 10-20
- Helmet (not yet purchased) – $50
- Bouldering crash pad (not yet purchased) – $160
- Rock protection (cams, stoppers, nuts, etc) – $10-60 apiece, need 30ish
Basically it takes around $1,000 to get fully geared up. Pretty expensive, but once you’ve paid out for all of it you can climb for free for quite some time before needing to replace your gear.
Over the last year, my business has spawned three imitators. Each is a friend who saw my success and said, “If Joel can do it, I can do it.”
One started an SEO company a year ago, another started a web design company then an SEO company, and the third just started a copy of our services fairly directly.
I guess this is capitalism at its best – anytime customers need a product and that becomes obvious, many people rush to fill the void. Just unfortunate because now I can’t continue to have the same relationship with these guys that I did before.
I just finished reading “Clean Code: A Handbook of Agile Software Craftmanship” – an excellent book by Robert Martin. The book discusses a number of techniques and strategies for ensuring that your code base is written well and can be upgraded easily. He talks about writing your code in such a way that it doesn’t need comments, keeping your functions as small as possible, and using a standard styling to keep it readable.
I really enjoyed the book and am now having my developers read it too.
Guest opinion blog post by Jordan.
Enjoy it while you can. Live, laugh, love.
We plan our work time carefully, creating task lists and projects and calendars and goals. Why don’t we do the same thing with our free time and fun time? What happens if you actually do so?
Most of my life my free time has been very unstructured. I wouldn’t think about what I was going to do next and when the time came I’d do whatever was easiest – read a book, watch a movie, go to the gym.
Living that way did not maximize my happiness. It kept me mildly entertained in my free time, but that’s about it.
Recently, I have been trying to plan my free time ahead of time so I have specific activities to do. Activities like things I have never done, challenging physical activities, certain books to read. Over the last two months here are some specific fun things I have been able to do by planning ahead that I would not have done otherwise:
- White water rafting & wine tasting trip with high school friends
- Volleyball days on the beach
- Rock climbing regularly at Rockreation (gym here in Santa Monica)
- Read “The Foundation Trilogy” – godfather series of sci-fi and copycatted by Dune author
- Read first two books of “Name of the Wind” trilogy – best new fantasy series
- Watched 5 movies with 90%+ ratings on rottentomatoes
On Friday I attended the funeral for Nilesh Patel, a young man who’s life was taken by Huntington’s Disease.
Huntington’s Disease is a neurodegenerative genetic disorder that causes involuntary movements, cognitive and psychiatric problems. The disease is caused by a genetic mutation in which an individual has two copies of a specific gene. When the disease occurs in young people, as it did to Nilesh, it progresses rapidly and very harmfully.
This is a horrible disease in that it not only causes physical suffering, but also psychological issues. A very high percentage of people with Huntington’s Disease report being irritable, apathetic, anxious, depressed, oppressive compulsive and even in some cases psychotic.
There is no cure for Huntington’s Disease but there are some treatments for reducing the severity of symptoms.
I am going to be walking in the Huntington Disease Society of America’s LA chapter walk next weekend and would greatly appreciate any donations made to Nilesh’s page here.