Links of the Week (09/09/2019)

One link promises months of great content to follow, one will make you smile, one may change your career outlook. Not a bad week I’d say.

When I told people I was planning to write a post about society, and the way people are acting, and the way the media is acting, and the way the government is acting, and the way everyone else is acting, people kept saying the same thing to me.

Don’t do it. Don’t touch it. Write about something else. Anything else. It’s just not worth it.

​Spoiler alert…this is going to be worth it.

The Story of Us

It was one of those weekends when everything went right. The weather was perfect—sunny, not a cloud in the sky, and just cool enough to make the approach tolerable in a t-shirt, without sweating. The two climbers started to hike in with what they felt were very light backpacks, each wondering if they had, in fact, brought everything they needed.

​If you’ve ever done any camping, backpacking, or climbing I beg you to read this. It will have you smiling from ear to ear.

If you haven’t, read it anyways…it’s great.

The Greatest Alpine Climbing Trip Of All Time – semi-rad.com

Something stupid you can stick with will probably outperform something smart that you’ll burn out on.

If you view “do what you love” as a guide to a happier life, it sounds like empty fortune cookie advice. If you view it as the thing providing the endurance necessary to put the quantifiable odds of success in your favor, you realize it should be the most important part of any strategy.

​Lightbulb moment here…

You Better Love This

Social media is meant to help you connect with others and part from the stressors of the outside world — but these platforms are also designed to keep you scrolling, and over time, all of that positivity-driven content can leave you feeling the effects of what psychologists are now calling “toxic positivity.”

I’ll be totally honest, this is partly why I stay away from facebook sometimes. I have to remind myself that social media is not what normal life really is. It’s a highlight reel that never ends.

Social media can be inspiration for sure…but you have to be aware. ​

“Toxic Positivity” Could Be the Reason You Get Sad After Looking at Social Media

Song for the Weekend ((9/05/2019)

Imagine Dragons need no introduction. However, if you ever wondered how they got their name:

The moniker “Imagine Dragons‘ is actually an anagram made from the letters of different words. The band have made it a point of keeping the original words secret. “We just thought it would be cool to keep something to ourselves, because you’re always exposing yourself as an artist.”

As of this post…this video has 1.2 billion views…holy $#&%!

Thunder

Just a young gun with a quick fuse
I was uptight, wanna let loose
I was dreaming of bigger things
And wanna leave my old life behind
Not a yes-sir, not a follower
Fit the box, fit the mold
Have a seat in the foyer, take a number
I was lightning before the thunder

Thunder, thunder
Thunder, thun-, thunder
Thun-thun-thunder, thunder, thunder
Thunder, thun-, thunder
Thun-thun-thunder, thunder

Thunder, feel the thunder
Lightning then the thunder
Thunder, feel the thunder
Lightning then the thunder
Thunder, thunder
Thunder

Kids were laughing in my classes
While I was scheming for the masses
Who do you think you are?
Dreaming ’bout being a big star
They say you’re basic, they say you’re easy
You’re always riding in the back seat
Now I’m smiling from the stage while
You were clapping in the nosebleeds

Thunder
Thunder, thun-, thunder
Thun-thun-thunder, thunder, thunder
Thunder, thun-, thunder
Thun-thun-thunder, thunder

Thunder, feel the thunder
Lightning then the thunder
Thunder, feel the thunder
Lightning then the thunder
Thunder

Thunder, feel the thunder
Lightning then the thunder, thunder

Thunder, feel the thunder
Lightning then the thunder, thunder
Thunder, feel the thunder
Lightning then the thunder, thunder
Thunder, feel the thunder
(Never give up, never give up)
Lightning then the thunder, thunder
(Never give up on your dreams)
Thunder, feel the thunder
(Never give up, never give up)
Lightning then the thunder, thunder
(Never give up on your dreams)

Thunder, thunder, thun-, thunder
Thun-thun-thunder, thunder
Thunder, thunder, thun-, thunder
Thun-thun-thunder, thunder
Thunder, thunder, thun-, thunder
Thun-thun-thunder, thunder
Thunder, thunder, thun-, thunder
Thun-thun-thunder, thunder

10 Things to Do in Shanghai

Do you really need 10 reasons to go to such an amazing place?

Shanghai welcomes travelers with a stimulating pulse, sky-high buildings, rich cultural experiences, and food that will have you dreaming about it for months.

via national geographic.com

Also, the Chinese Moon Festival begins on September 13th. I would love to be able to see this one day.

10 Things to Do in Shanghai

What is More Important – Design or Speed?

or does it all come down to a Bill Gates quote?

The past few days I’ve been looking into getting my site to be quicker. This quest was sparked by something that Ben Brooks wrote a few years ago and I’ve always remembered. In his post he goes through his brief take on web design and what makes a site readable, comparing and contrasting some popular sites. Go read it…he breaks down some website design standards that you didn’t realize were there…good stuff if you’re looking to make your own site better.

During my own quest, I came across this free website speed test over at Pingdom.com – and this site’s results were less than optimal…or at least much slower than I was hoping. Pingdom has a great tool to see how long your site will take to load, what all is loading in what order, and how big your site is when loaded. Initially, mine was over 6MB and took 5 or 6 seconds to load. I thought this was odd since I didn’t have any crazy graphics, but upon further digging I saw that all the pictures I had with my blog posts were drastically increasing the size of my home page. (the blog page at the time) In the past I had other things that were slowing down my site load times – some custom CSS as well as Bigfoot.js that I spent some considerable time figuring out so I could have those handy pop-up footnotes. (my past sites had them…not going to bother with them here right now)

I am not a programmer by any stretch of the imagination, and I used to host my sites on Squarespace for the WSYIWYG simplicity (what you see is what you get). With that, there wasn’t a lot that I could do other than poke around and see if any specific templates were faster, change my site to text only, or move to another web host. This time around (this is my third website) I decided to switch where my website is hosted and I landed on WordPress.

I may be an edge case as I like to tinker, and have messed with this site’s template here and there. I enjoy that. But it got me wondering, what is more important to someone browsing the web looking for a place to settle in and read for a bit? Aesthetics or Speed?

Most folks who read my past websites did so by subscribing to the free RSS feed, so those folks were looking for content and page load times aren’t as important. Completely fine, that’s what I do too. While I would love to have numerous readers visiting my website every day, week, or month…I’m not a full time writer and doubt that will happen any time soon. However, internet speeds have really picked up over the past few years and website design sites like Squarespace and WordPress are REALLY good at giving you plug and play templates that get you both a fast and good looking site. So RSS is not as “necessary” as in years past when you didn’t want to jump online to slog through links to get to your favorite blog.

Additionally, with 5G coming to the U.S., I think we’re entering an era of being able to have both aesthetics AND speed in the palm of our hand.

BUT…

I do find it apropos that it was Bill Gates who is credited with the saying:

Content is king

In the end, we must keep reminding ourselves that it doesn’t matter if a blog page is fast or beautiful to look at…if there is no content, none of it matters.

Bill would probably tell us to stop sweating the design and google speed-tests – and to just get to writing, vlogging, creating.

Links of the Week (9/02/2019)

Another week of some quality links…

  • Beautiful photos and very thoughtful concept. It made me think…

In each portrait, electronic devices have been “edited out” (removed before the photo was taken, from people who’d been using them

Photographer removes our smartphones to show our strange and lonely new world

  • If you like be in the know on the new trends in tech then this quick read will let you be the one to explain to your parents what “WiFi 6” means when they’re buying a new phone or laptop.

It’s Wi-Fi for a world crowded with mobile gadgets, IoT devices, and connected equipment.

Wi-Fi 6 Will Be Here Soon. What Is It?

  • I’ll be buying this book. You surprised?

Unless you have at least a modest understanding of and appreciation for technical rock and mountain climbing, you will likely be some combination of bored and confused by half of the stories in Some Stories, a new anthology of the writing of Yvon Chouinard, best known as the founder of outdoor gear and apparel company Patagonia.

Some Stories is Patagonia Founder Yvon Chouinard’s Guide to Life | The Manual

  • I’m keeping this one to reference. Great few pieces of advice here.

Most creatives don’t understand one, simple truth:

Turning what you love into a business involves being good at business.

4 ways to get high-paying writing work — don’t self-publish.

I was surprised at how close to home some of these hit. I bet you will be too.

But as I began thinking about all the things I’d like to say, a realization hit me: I’d have to get my message tight because the odds are high that no matter how strong my conviction my younger self wouldn’t listen to a word I’d say.

Below are four pieces of advice I would roll the dice on anyway —

The Only 4 Pieces of Advice I’d Tell My Younger Self

A Day Without Mom

You’ll have to guess if I survived…

This was my second vlog and I went after it while my wife was gone for a few days. You can probably guess it was completely exhausting, but I caught some moments I’ll always look back at and smile.

Watching my boys laugh over picking up a worm before soccer games brought me right back to my childhood days with my brother. Perhaps it will give you a smile today…

Song for the Weekend (8/29/2019)

Even though this song is relatively old (has is really been 10 years?) it gets me revved up every time. Plus, how can a kid from Cali not love this?

Silvertide

California Rain

The nights are long
And the days roll into each other
In the city of angels I can’t get no sleep
I wish that I was sipping coffee in your kitchen
Yeah I’m stormy from the mountains to the sea

Left her standing
At the gate
Couldn’t talk I was running so late
Thought I heard her say goodbye
Saw the sun fade in her eyes

I brought my rain to California
All the way from Philadelphia, PA
And on the way my tears fell for you
I brought my rain to Cali, oh Cali, California

Wandering down to sunset strip in the morning
6 a.m. is that a rainbow that I see?
I interrupt my own damn conversation
Yeah I’m talking to myself at the Whiskey

I brought my rain to California
All the way from Philadelphia, PA
And on the way my tears fell for you
I brought my rain to Cali, oh Cali, California