Christmas Trip

I am visiting my Washington State family and friends now for the holidays and working remotely. Here has been my rough itinerary:

  • Work all day Friday, December 18th 2015 then fly at night to Seattle with Laurel. Eat dinner at Serafina with Nick and stay at his girlfriends place on Eastlake
  • Saturday run sprints in the morning, then hang out with Nick and Fletch for dinner. Play board games with Fletch and Laurel at Cafe Mox. Get my car locked into a car lot and have to get jumped cuz the lights were left on.
  • Sunday get brunch with Fletch and Stephanie and Jarek and Amanda. Jarek and Laurel and I then went downtown to look at gingerbread houses, then go bowling, then go out to dinner at Cafe Presse. Drive to my grandparents that night.
  • Monday work in the morning, then dinner with Jordan, Meghan, Josh, Bestemor, and Grandpa at India Karma on South Hill.
  • Tuesday night dinner with Mark Rody and his wife and kids and parents over at their place.

Future plans:

  • Work today, then go to the Museum of Glass with Laurel then have dinner at home with grandparents and Laurel
  • Christmas Eve day work on improving the web applications for Coalition, then have dinner with family
  • Christmas day work on web apps for CT then have dinner with family
  • Maybe go to the cabin for the weekend.

New Basketball Team

My new basketball team actually has practices… I went to the first one yesterday and got my butt kicked. The guys are all former low end college players or high end high school players, and I never even played in junior high! I couldn’t get a shot off; they blocked most of the garbage that I threw up.

I have been playing with my friends and people at the Venice courts and so I was feeling pretty good about myself, but now that I have played legit players my ego is back in check.


Recipe for Happiness

I have realized that staying home and doing nothing is a recipe for depression for me. The more improvements I can make, the happier I am. I love to work on improving Coalition and improving myself mentally and physically and emotionally.

LAUSD Superintendent Closing Schools Wasted 67 Lifetimes

Robert Cortines, the superintendent of the LAUSD schools received a bomb threat and then closed all schools today. 640,000 kids were sent home along with approximately 100,000 teachers and administrators. The threat was “electronic”.. I am guessing emailed from the Tor network or something like that.

Was Robert Cortines decision the correct one?

Let’s look at the facts:

  1. Of the 1,055 actual school bombings in the history of the world only 14 were preceded by a warning. 1% of all real bombings have a warning.
  2. Bomb threats are the most common crime at schools, second only to simple assaults. They are incredibly common.

Now let’s logically assess the situation:

  • Most terrorists never warn of bombings… they want the bombing to go successfully, that’s the whole point
  • This week is finals week in LAUSD, students are highly motivated to call in a bomb threat to get an extra study day
  • 750,000 work days were wasted today from the kids and administrators alone. Probably 300,000 parents will need to stay home from work to watch their kid. Call it 1,000,000 total wasted work days. 1,000,000 work days divided by 300 work days a year = 3,333 wasted years divided by 50 productive years in a lifetime = 67 lifetimes wasted by the decision to shut down the school district today.

Essentially, if school went on as planned and a big bomb went off killing 65 students and teachers, it actually would have been a net positive of 67 lifetimes wasted – 65 lifetimes wasted = 2 lifetimes.

Further, only a tiny fraction of one percent of threats are real. This means that if 1% of these turned out to be real, there would need to be a threat of 6,700 people being killed in a bombing to actually cancel school for an entire district. As this is impossible to happen short of a massive terrorist attack (and those have never been warned ahead of time).

LAUSD superintendent Robert Cortines made a cowardly decision to protect his job: sending kids to school would have been the right decision.  Instead he burned out 67 lifetimes worth of productivity. By making the safe decision, he harmed a million people in a small way; doing it this way protects his job and makes sure he doesn’t get fired. If there was a bombing, he would lose his job probably for not listening to the threat.

Humans: Social, Tribal Creatures

Humans are nothing without our family and friends to help us put our lives in context. Imagine a world with no one else on the planet. What would you do during the day? Where would you sleep? Why would you care? It’s like a little kid left alone for the first time at home – it would cause an existential crisis.

Family is hugely important, and friends are vital too. I have come to realize that more and more as I hit 30.

Joel Gross 2015 Annual Report

I saw this idea from one of my friends and decided to do it myself!

2015 has been a great year for me personally! I asked Laurel to marry me, and fortunately she said yes! I visited Bangkok in April and Europe in July.  My grandparents came and visited me for a couple of weekends in September. I made an emergency visit to the East Coast in October, and made a side trip to DC and loved that city.

Coalition has continued to do really well; I feel we have by far the best team we’ve ever had here now. I built 3 custom web applications to support our work in recruiting, training, and management feedback using the Laravel framework in PHP.

I stopped drinking after our last company party on the last day of September and now have been sober for 70 days; a record for me since I first started drinking at 18 I think.

I have continued to run as my primary form of exercise, occasionally mixing in weight lifting or basketball or rock climbing.

Life overall has been great!

Body Weight vs Speed

Interesting information I came across today. For a 170 pound athlete, a fat gain of 2% (or 3.4 lbs) results in a vertical jump height loss of 2″ and a 40 yard dash time increase of .26 seconds.

That is pretty crazy to me. Currently I weigh about 198 pounds and am 6’6”.  I am not fat but definitely not skinny either. Probably average. I’ve noticed that my pace for my 6 mile morning runs usually varies between 9:00 / mile to 9:40 / mile depending on how I feel. My goal has long been to get to a 7:00 mile pace for these runs, but I have not been able to make much progress. I am strongly suspicious that my heavy body weight is one of the primary reasons for that.

My goal is to lean down to 180 pounds as I believe that will significantly improve both  my athletic performance and quality of life.