Doing More With Less Since 1972

Tag: books (Page 1 of 2)

Daily Reading List — December 16th

What Health Care Can Learn from the Transformation of Financial Services

Nike Wants Athletes to Run a Marathon in Under Two Hours, So It’s Rebuilding the Race. And the Runners

You Can Brew Beer In Your Digestive Tract – Sugar is the devil.

Virginia Schools Ban ‘To Kill A Mockingbird,’ ‘Huck Finn’ Over Racial Slurs – Was just having a conversation about Huck Finn with my oldest yesterday. We were talking about the fact that on one level it’s just a story, and on another level the story is just a tool Mark Twain used as commentary on the state of the culture at a specific time and place. It led to a conversation about how slavery has existed throughout history, how horrible it is, how there was a change in popular opinion about slavery in this country, whether or not people at our socio-economic level would have owned slaves during the early 1800s, etc.

Um…She’s 9.

You’d think that the fact that these words are so “alarming” to people would make it even easier for them to understand exactly why Huck was able to come to the conclusion that the “civilized” view of Jim’s condition was wrong.

You’d think.

We Survive Because Reality May Be Nothing Like We Think It Is

Improving On-the-Fly Teamwork in Health Care

The End Of Empires: Rome Vs. America – I want to read something that tells me how we’re NOT like Rome. Please.

After decades of dreaming, indoor location’s time has come – Fingers crossed on this one.

Daily Reading List — October 24th

Entity Framework and Setting Primary Keys on Views – Trickery!

The Rise and Fall of the Army Surplus Store – There was a day when a man could get a good pair of boots and a durable pea coat at a good price at the surplus store.

Resistance Band Training for Jiu Jitsu – That Paloff Press exercise is a dang good 'un.

Build A System To Play Your Rasslin’ Entrance Music When You Walk Into A Room – Oh.
Hell.
Yeah.

Handy tool to scare the crap out of you when a hurricane is on its way. #matthew

Microsoft is killing Yammer Enterprise plan in January 2017, will start integrating Office 365 Groups first

If Google buys Twitter, there’s a perfect spot for it in YouTube – I called this for Q2 I believe. Can it happen before the end of Q4?

PODCAST: What the Generational Cycle Theory Can Tell Us About Our Present Age – Added Neil's book to my WishList

Daily Reading List — December 18th

The 16 Best Books Read by the AoM Team in 2014 – Need to get my nose back into some books as well now that things have settled down with the move a little.

Why a Hyped New Lottery Game Went Bust in a Hurry – If only they'd rented a hot air balloon…

App Calculates Where You Need To Go And Sends You A Bike Or A Tesla In Five Minutes – I got to go by and see Shift's place a couple of weeks ago, and they have a really cool model. One of the most innovative ideas they have is to include Shift memberships as part of ownership in high-rise condos–saving the builders a big chunk on dedicated parking spaces for each tenant, and eliminating the need of car ownership for residents. There would always be an appropriate vehicle available for use in your building's garage if you had to drive.

Finding the Right Metaphor – This one resonated with me like an episode of Grizzly Adams!

Can IBM’s Mountain Of Data Fix Your Email Nightmare? – "Everyone is doing something about solving email nightmares. Except the people who are responsible for causing email nightmares." Mark Twain (paraphrased)

An Exercise to Become a More Powerful Listener – Wait…what'd you say?

5 Sun Belt Getaways for Trail Runners – Coming to an out of shape jabroni like me this weekend!

F1 Race in Las Vegas? – I'm not big on auto racing at all. But..

This. Would. Be. Awsum.

Daily Reading List — August 20th

Underwear Meat Clock – Probably the greatest opening band in the history of the Knoxville music scene. And I was there for several shows.

It wasn’t long before this success led to temptation: an offer to headline a mud-wrestling show at Michael’s on the glittery Kingston Pike strip. Refusing to sell out to their dozen or so fans, Lucky issued this resolute statement to the South Knoxville Shopper: “We won’t headline. It’s pointless. It’s stupid. We open. We open because we like to get drunk after we play.”

The Key To Better Work? Email Less, Flow More – My recommendation is to set up the most aggressive inbox filters you can think of so that you only get notifications on the most important messages from the most important people–the ones that actually pass the filters and make it to your inbox.

A week later, make them even more aggressive.

My favorite filter is the one that sends every message that has me in the cc: field straight to a secondary inbox. I only check this inbox a few times a day. It’s amazing how many issues can get resolved without you having to work yourself up just because someone kept you in the loop.

I have another one just for automated positive notifications from various systems. 99% of the time, I only need the positive notifications to confirm something went ok. Yeah…uh, just notify me if it’s broken, please.

A Trip Through The Land Of Magical Realism – I’ve only been able to see a teeny tiny bit of Colombia (13, 14, 15), and it. is. awsum.

This has me wishing I could do the grand tour!

How Companies Can Unlock Billions With The Value of Code – I think maybe the best advice here is in the “Narrow Your Focus” section. Otherwise, holy Toledo, this stuff is overwhelming.

Beastie Boys Return to Paul’s Boutique – Cool tribute for the Beasties!

They should do something similar at the White Castle where they got thrown out.

Why Nobody Likes To Chew Gum Anymore – I think it’s because we don’t walk as much as we used to. Take away the walking, and you’ve taken away the challenge of gum chewing.

Build Your Own Tech Radar – This would be a great exercise to undertake quarterly as individuals, departments, and entire organization.. Probably well worth the time, and (hopefully not needed) an easy way to reference “I told you sos” later.

16 Cultural Critiques Every Man Should Read – I should spend less time reading blog posts about books I should read, and more time reading books. Too many options. Too many options.

Luckily, I’ve been able to check a couple of these off already.

Afraid To Read A Book – Ignorance Is Bliss

I just finished Willpower last night. I had a choice between reading and riding the bike, and I just couldn’t seem to find the fortitude to climb onto the trainer.

Ironic?

Not really. My willpower had been depleted over the past couple of days through some really tough workouts and carrying kids around EPCOT on my shoulders. One of the things I learned from “Willpower” was that it’s not an infinite resource. It gets worn down just like any other muscle, and physical strenuation (is that a word? It should be.) is one of the things that can wear it down. The key for me is to develop some preventive strategies to avoid bad food choices when I’m running low on willpower.

That brings me to my next read, which I started immediately after finishing “Willpower”.

Wheat Belly: Lose the Wheat, Lose the Weight, and Find Your Path Back to Health

Uh-oh. Two chapters in, and I don’t want to read this book. I’ve already gained enough information from it that I’m now afraid to eat anything with gluten at all. Actually, that’s not a huge problem most of the time, but when my willpower is low there isn’t much better to fix it than a chocolate croissant.

I’m not reading to try to get some miracle weight reduction, although 5 more pounds off would make me a little faster. I’m more interested in the long-term health implications. You know…finding out how I can live forever, or close to it.

Those are Amazon links–click through if you want to buy those books (or anything else). I promise to use it to pay for hosting fees and race entries. Maybe a bike trainer.

Daily Reading List — February 19th

Make The Data Center The New Telco – Yammer just announced they are dropping SMS notifications. Maybe a way to hack that back together?

Tumblr Is Not What You Think – Bam. And, as always, what should be general knowledge for months is just now being reported.

10 Classic Books You Read in High School You Should Reread – I only read six of these the first time around. Good to know there's good stuff while I wait for Winds of Winter.

Senselessness of school math – "Life came first. Then we invented math as a way to describe life. Teaching math out of the context of what it's describing is like teaching a foreign grammar and vocabulary without ever hearing or using the language."

Exactly.

You Just Have To Read It

About halfway through the second season of Game of Thrones I was going on a trip, so I got this A Game of Thrones 4-Book Bundle for Kindle and started plugging away at it. In general, I’m not a big fan of sci-fi or fantasy fiction. I’m not even a huge fan of that much fiction.

But…OMGs (both old and new).

The first two books were so much more detailed than the show that I’m actually re-watching it and realizing how much stuff I missed because they had to cram so much into such a small amount of times. It’s like I didn’t even see the show the first time, just previews for it. But last night I got a whole hour of reading time and made it into book 3.

Just read it. Wait…

Watch it. Read it. Watch it again. (Maybe read it again?)

Casting on this show is unbelievable.

Magic Tree House Series For History And Making Connections

Pea is obsessed with Mary Pope Osbourne’s Magic Tree House series right now. If you aren’t familiar with this series, the stories revolve around Jack and Annie, two young siblings who travel through history (and sometimes space) to help an enchantress collect stories and lift spells. I won’t give away more plot than that. Each book is 10 chapters long, and the “missions” they go on are in groups of four books. It’s the perfect bedtime reading for Pea. She can’t read them on her own yet, but they help stretch her vocabulary and are a great way to introduce some history. Plus, by reading a few chapters at a time we can spread the reading of stories over days instead of minutes and go through the exercise of recalling what we’ve already read before starting each night.

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And she gets completely lost in the stories. We read three or four chapters each night, and she loves to look ahead at the pictures and try to predict what’s going to happen next. At the end of each book, she loves to go get the next book in the series and see where Jack and Annie will go next.

Keep in mind, she’s five years old. Bug is three and doesn’t quite appreciate the depth of the stories yet. I think her exact words were, “Jack and Annie aw bawing!” And of course, New Baby isn’t a huge fan either since these books aren’t very chewy and don’t have large colored photos.


Last night, something really cool happened while we were reading Magic Tree House #22: Revolutionary War on Wednesday. Pea was looking at the front cover photo of Jack and Annie crossing the Delaware with George Washington, and I was reminded of this post I wrote a while back. I was telling her how I used to lie on her bottom bunk and read a big-grown-up story about the same thing we were reading in the Magic Tree House adventures.

Just like Bug doesn’t quite get the stories on the level Pea does, Pea doesn’t understand how cool it is that she and I sat in the exact same spot and enjoyed the exact same story. Isn’t it cool that she will very likely read this story at least three or four times? I have no doubt she’ll go back and read the Magic Tree House series on her own when she’s able. She’ll also learn about the Revolutionary War and the Christmas night crossing of the Delaware when studying history (non-fiction). And if I am able to influence her, she’ll also catch it again in the historical fiction version I read last year.

We’re already on the hunt for the next series of books we think she may like. Anyone have ideas for kids who love Magic Treehouse?

Trying A Running Program That Fits My Style and Lifestyle

When I first started running just after the turn of the century (haha) I sought out some experts and tried to leverage their knowledge as best I could. That meant using the Hal Higdon (awesome running coach) Novice Marathon program, reading message boards that focus on training, and finding some locals who gave me good advice based on years of experience (“If we’re running so fast we can’t talk, we’re running too fast.”)

Around the same time, some guys at Furman University were starting to do some research on running based on science. I know…the horror! At FIRST (Furman Institute of Running and Scientific Training), what they learned flew in the face of the observed conventional wisdom coaches had been passing along for years.  The result was a program featuring only three days of running a week.

Ah…there’s something worth noting there. It’s not a three days of exercise program. It’s a three days of running program. The program has at least two other days of cross-training. And the three days of running are all difficult–intervals one day, tempo runs another, and a long-distance day that doesn’t let you go as slow as you want. It’s slower for sure, but still challenging.

No easy running days.

Personally, I’m not short changing the conventional wisdom at all. I followed the Higdon programs for many distances and was very happy with my results. These programs will get you where you want to be, for sure. My only real complaints with them are the number of days I have to spend running , which really takes its toll on my knees, and the fact that there are a lot of slow/easy miles involved, which is against my natural tendency is to try to race every day. Granted,  it takes some restraint on my part to run these miles without going hard, and there are some valuable lessons to be learned there about patience and restraint that can really help on race day. I haven’t learned those lessons as well as I’d like, but I know the lessons are there.


But this weekend I grabbed a copy of Run Less, Run Faster at the library and gave it a really quick scan. It looks like a really thick book, but lots of the pages are calculated pace tables, so only a small part of that material will apply to any one person. I’d read the Runner’s World article about FIRST a few years ago, so I was already familiar with the basic concepts and reasoning laid out in the book.

I was a little disappointed that the marathon programs in the book start with a 13 mile run on week one and feature five 20 mile runs. That’s probably a great program if you’re coming into the training in marathon shape, but I was looking for a beginners/not-quite-ready-for-marathon version. A web search turned up this schedule, which seems like it was part of the FIRST program…I’m just not sure why it’s not in the book.

Right now I’m working on getting ready for a 10k test in mid-July to determine what my predicted marathon pace will be and hopefully squeeze every second I can out of my finish time. This is so I can go into my next 70.3 with the best running base possible and fix what’s ailing me there. This, so I can (hopefully) convince myself I’m ready to tackle the 140.6 distance. Lots of miles ahead of me.

Link Dump From Stuff I’ve Been Reading

Denso (and others) Plea Guilty To Price Fixing – Coming soon, “Shame on Denso” signs in front of Alcoa Highway Wal-Mart.

Has the Higher-Ed Revolution Begun? – I’ll take advantage of the CS courses, but I’d really love to see a business school offer this type of program. We may have to wait all the way until next year for something like that.

What’s Wrong With the Teenage Mind? – In summary (I think), they need to be taught responsibility and experience in addition to facts.

A future President

It’s time for us to get to work. To get busy. My advisors and cabinet members are going to sit down to find ways to help get out of your way. To encourage you.

Re-elect this guy. If we ever elect him.

Whatever happened to: Rucking?

The key advantage of ‘traditional’ rucking was that it produced quick ball. It also occupied forwards who might otherwise loiter in midfield clogging up the pitch.

The game started changing in this regard as my career was ending, and I remember that feeling (we’ve all had it) just KNOWING that the boots were coming after doing something on the edge of the law in a tackle in order to steal or secure the ball for my team.

And then…nothing would happen. Occasionally someone would curse your actions, but they wouldn’t dream of chucking boot and letting you know that was not acceptable.

I do know of at least one referee who was more than happy to have the game become more about him than the players on the field and welcomed the changes in rucking.

10 Things You Can Do to Raise a Reader – On of the most important things you can do as a parent.

Sweden Plans A New Superhighway For Cyclists – Not going to pretend I wouldn’t like to see this here. Privately funded of course.

Federal government debt site – But it doesn’t track the federal government’s massive debt. Instead, it gives them information on decreasing their own debt. Isn’t that rich?!

So Why Read Anymore? – Damn. Just…damn.

Somehow we must convince this new wired generation that speaking and writing well are not just the DSL lines of modern civilization, but also the keys to self-mastery, a sort of code that one takes on — in addition to others, moral and legal — to uphold standards of culture itself, to keep the work and ideas alive of our long gone betters for one more generation — as if to say, “I did my part according to my time and station.”Nothing more, nothing less.

The Future of Personalized Medicine – Can’t wait for this to be widely available. Can I get a GPS add on?

QUnit – jQuery JavaScript Library – Free, and a time saver down the road.

Spotify Free Unlimited Music Streaming Ends After Six Month Promotion – Sadness. Extreme sadness.

New Maurice Sendak Book This Fall!

Good news from the WSJ! The author of “Where the Wild Things Are” is publishing a new book, “Bumble-Ardy“, soon!

This sounds like a pretty funny book, all about about a kid (pig) who celebrates his birthday for the first time when he turns 9.  Admittedly, there are some pretty high expectations already set, but it sounds like “Bumble-Ardy” won’t disappoint! Amazon is already taking (discounted) pre-orders, and the September release date means it will be a perfect Christmas gift for 2011. We’re getting some shopping done early for A Book On Every Bed 2011!

 

 

 

How And Why We Find Books At The Library

The last few  times I’ve taken the girls to the library, I’ve noticed that Chick Pea tends to gravitate towards books she’s somewhat familiar with. She has several books at home that are parts of a series (Dora, Mrs. Wishy Washy, Curious George, etc.) and if she sees a book she doesn’t own at the library that’s also part of that series, there’s a good chance she’ll want to check it out.

I really like to watch her semi-serendipitous process of selecting books, but in the last couple of weeks her eyes have been opened to a different way of looking for library books. One of her favorites at bed time right now is Curious George Visits the Library. In the book, George explores the shelves at the library and finds books on all sorts subjects he’s interested in–dinosaurs, trains, trucks, cranes, etc. Of course, he ends up with more books than he can handle, and pre-k hilarity ensues.

A couple of nights ago, Pea asked why George picked so many books instead of the two books she usually gets. We talked about how curious George is, and that he’s interested in many different things. I told her that when we go to the library, we can choose different books about the different things we want to learn more about and gave her an example of all the different things I like. Then I asked her what she likes to learn about. With a little guidance, she realized that animals and flowers are things she’s curious about, and we decided we’d look for books about animals and flowers the next time we’re at the library.

We definitely don’t want to squash the idea of browsing for books just to see what catches her eye, but this is also a great opportunity for her to realize that we can look with a purpose for particular books as well–books that will help us learn about things we like.

I’m reading– January 11th through January 12th

Fight Club: The Musical – I am Jack’s feeling that Tyler Durden would not approve. HT to @raowen!

10 Reasons Why Socrates is Still Relevant Today – I’m glad the title of this article isn’t “10 Reasons Why Socrates is Still Alive and Kicking”. Someone would assuredly be shocked that he’s still walking among us. Saw someone make that mistake regarding Shakespeare. True story.

General Knowledge on Oil and Gas – Found this looking up the term “middle of the barrel”. Pretty interesting. Ok, not really, but I didn’t know the whole process.

339 Puke Synonyms – Because we’ve been overusing all the standard material at our house lately.

Digital Distractions – I like this Seth Godin post. I do–I really like the point of it. What I like best is how many times it’s been Shared and Re-Tweeted. And I just added another. 🙂

Most Productive Home Working Location? – For me, there has to be a desk. Actually, a complete office environment, just like you’d have at the Office-office. Bookshelves, printer, filing cabinet, etc. But, longer reading works better on a couch/futon.

Little Debbie Sushi – We have reached the pinnacle of food. There’s nowhere left to go.

WordPress Theme Anatomy – Great quick reference if you are just getting started with WP or need a quick reminder of how everything is structured.

I’m reading– December 17th through December 21st

I’m Dreaming of a Tight Christmas – “I’m dreaming of disappointing the analysts and economists and politicians who are crossing their fingers in hopes that spending will be up. I would not have us die of consumption. I would have us live, each in his place, each knowing it well and loving it too.”

I’m down like four flat tires.

How To Write Brief Emails Without Being A Jerk – Twitter is good training for being succinct and clear.

On Princesses – I’d like to see more “Part II” type movies, where we see not how to become a princess, but how to act like one. Less focus on the “saved by a Prince” story, and more on “being kind to others.

Mind-Blowing Translation App – Even a 13 year old I know is impressed. That’s impressive.

Nine Writers Carrying the Torch for Men’s Fiction – As much as I read, it’s hard for me to say that I should read more. But I should read more books, and I should read more fiction.

A Thanksgiving Book We’re Enjoying – Review

We tried to check “Thanks for Thanksgiving” out at our local libraries last week, but it was already checked out at every branch. But at $6.99, that’s not a bad price on Amazon. Plus, if you weren’t aware, parents get a free membership to Amazon Prime called Amazon Mom (dads and caregivers are eligible too).

“Thanks for Thanksgiving” is a really well illustrated book for smaller kids–lots going on in the pictures and filled with images of fall. The book doesn’t deal with the history or Thanksgiving or anything like that, but instead focuses on all the things to be thankful for–friends, family, school, slides, leaves, etc.

We really wish we’d bought it earlier since it references lots of aspects of Fall, making it a great book to supplement the Autumn theme our homeschool co-op has been doing for the past few weeks.

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