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The mountains are calling...


Simms
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What do you classify as mindless surfing? I find that I sometimes meander off when I look something up online. Everyone's mind likes to wonder from time to time. Try and avoid sites that lead you off on tangents. When I start up my pc i only visit two sites: the forums, deviant art. I also go in with an idea of what I want to do (check posts).

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Day #31 - Wednesday

Had a great day today. Was a little late getting out of bed, but didn't beat myself up about it. I think that mentally helped me as the day went on. - I knew I was going to work late, so starting a little later in the day wasn't anything to stress over.

Went for a great climb with my GF over lunch. I've been meaning to try and work a route more than once to see improvement in one session. It's harder to do when the gym is busy because it feels like you're monopolizing a whole section of the wall when you climb the same route over and over again. There's no pressure when climbing in the afternoon because the gym's so quiet. I love the flexibility I have in my new workplace - even when it's crazy busy right now and I just put in 10+ hours of billable time, it's no problem to step out for 2 hours in the middle of the day.  It's the best sanity change from Big4 accounting ever.

Afternoon into evening work was solid. No mindless surfing - For @Schwing again, when I think mindless surfing it's usually google news, into looking at my local newspapers websites, just looking for distractions to try and coast for a while. I like your idea of being intentional when you get online. - Deciding which websites to visit and having a reason for every link visited. I've had similar thoughts. - It's hard to stay committed to.

Gaming feels like a distant bell for the most part. - My friend that's coming to ski this weekend is still a big gamer. - He sent me the link to his stream so I could watch him raid in WoW. - I played WoW back at release... and one of the guys from my original guild is still playing. The two of them play together now. It blows my mind that the guy has been playing WoW for 13 years... and not in a good way. :( My friend and I have enough interests in common between skiing, hockey, and fitness that I don't think the gaming side will be an issue. It's mostly a potential trigger to be aware of.

Gratitude journal

Partners for beer-o-clock tonight! - As the nights get longer to get the work done during out busiest time of year, as we wind down the day a craft beer gets cracked and shared out between the soldiers who made it late into the evening. Tonight was Neopolitan Stout! It was one of the better stouts I've had. =D

One amazing thing that happened/I did today

Red-pointed a hard 5.11a after three consecutive burns. Made progress, discussed the difficult moves with my GF - made more progress, and then got it! Usually I just climb whatever different routes until I'm too tired to hold onto anything. Today's session was intentional and felt like tangible improvement in process.

Workout/run

Climbing, around 2 hours.

Reading + taking notes

Read EY's Canadian budget summary... amazing how such a gigantic document can contain essentially no changes.

What went well today:

Climbing, work, feeling good.

What I could have done to make my day better:

Packed more good.

Misc thoughts and plans:

Haven't even been looking at my monthly and 3-month goals. Need to think about that when I'm mindlessly surfing. I'm running out of time each day and that time I'm wasting could be used to read this and contemplate.

Plan of action for Sunday: Re-read old journal posts... time to reflect.

******************************************************************************************************************

Weekly Goal(s) - Monday start

Climb 2x, Stronglifts 3x - So far 1x stronglifts 1xclimb

Journal daily - So far, so good.

Track mood daily at least twice on Daylio: So far - 21 day streak - Back to feeling good.

Monthly Goal

Information gathering on buying a mountain bike. - Visit the bike shops in town. Friends gonna let me know when the first Demo days start up.

Use Training for the New Alpinism to assist in shaping training plan. Got the book on my nightstand.  It's screaming to be used.

NEW - Work hard to the end of April. - Be proud of what I've accomplished.

3 Month Goal

Top-rope a 5.12a successfully on the tall wall. Found a suitable project Sunday... will it be up long enough. /sigh

NEW - Be in excellent condition for June mountain trip.

Climb 1x technical, 1x non-technical 11,000er in the Canadian Rockies. May need to bump part of this out to 6 months.

Outline novel. Chunking this. Creating manageable pieces relating to it in my weekly goals. - May need to evaluate if novel work is realistic with work and physical committments.

Do an editing pass of one of my shorts. Dropping these two as not in line with my current goals and commitment level. To revisit later.

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Day #32 - Thursday

I am in a world of hurt at work. - The pile I was waiting for has all come together and the mountain is gigantic. - Made some headway today... Tomorrow will be organization and delegating. - Delegating more a game of "hot potato" as I try to get things as complete as possible and pass them along for comments. Eep.

Did a baseball draft at work today. - I don't follow the sport at all, but I did some stats research and came up with a picks list I followed fairly closely using my hockey draft strategy. Time will tell how it turns out, but based on the "metrics" I came up with, my team should be pretty strong. I'm excited to have a reason to follow the game this year!

My Oilers were awful tonight. But Colorado more resembles an AHL team than a NHL and they came back from multiple 2 goal deficits to win 7-4. Looks more like a football score, but we'll take it.

Not sleeping well continues. - Really hope things go better tonight.

Gratitude journal

The organizer of our baseball draft! Great enthusiasm - fun time for all involved.

One amazing thing that happened/I did today

Worked like a madman. - The motivation continues.

Workout/run

Squat 5x5 - 175

OHP 5x5 - 100

Deadlift 1x5 - 195

Reading + taking notes

Nada

What went well today:

Fun draft - packed lunch - got into work pretty early.

What I could have done to make my day better:

Slept better last night...

Misc thoughts and plans:

Haven't even been looking at my monthly and 3-month goals. Need to think about that when I'm mindlessly surfing. I'm running out of time each day and that time I'm wasting could be used to read this and contemplate.

Plan of action for Sunday: Re-read old journal posts... time to reflect.

******************************************************************************************************************

Weekly Goal(s) - Monday start

Climb 2x, Stronglifts 3x - So far 2x stronglifts 1xclimb

Journal daily - So far, so good.

Track mood daily at least twice on Daylio: So far - 22 day streak - Back to feeling good.

Monthly Goal

Information gathering on buying a mountain bike. - Visit the bike shops in town. Friends gonna let me know when the first Demo days start up.

Use Training for the New Alpinism to assist in shaping training plan. Got the book on my nightstand.  It's screaming to be used.

NEW - Work hard to the end of April. - Be proud of what I've accomplished.

3 Month Goal

Top-rope a 5.12a successfully on the tall wall. Found a suitable project Sunday... will it be up long enough. /sigh

NEW - Be in excellent condition for June mountain trip.

Climb 1x technical, 1x non-technical 11,000er in the Canadian Rockies. May need to bump part of this out to 6 months.

Outline novel. Chunking this. Creating manageable pieces relating to it in my weekly goals. - May need to evaluate if novel work is realistic with work and physical committments.

Do an editing pass of one of my shorts. Dropping these two as not in line with my current goals and commitment level. To revisit later.

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Day #33 - Friday

So much for delegating... the pile grew. Much work to be done. But that's Sunday's problem.

Speaking of Sunday's problem, I don't think I realistically have time to reflect on my journey so far. This is further compounded by friends being here tomorrow all day and evening which likely means my Saturday journal entry will be missed/deferred until Sunday. Trying not to stress that too much.

Going to enjoy the day skiing and not think about work. Using it as a true reset.

Gratitude journal

Great lunch today brought in for our busy time. Many different curries to try.

GF for tidying up the whole house! Can take 5 instead of running around like a madman now that I'm home.

One amazing thing that happened/I did today

Bought groceries!

Workout/run

Rest day

Reading + taking notes

Nada

What went well today:

Another solid workday.

What I could have done to make my day better:

Slept better last night...- Theme of my life. =p

Misc thoughts and plans:

Less mindless surfing today and most of the week. It helps that I'm so sick of American politics and it invades every corner of twitter, google news, instagram... there's no escape.

Plan of action for Sunday: **Deferred one week, aim is now to have a roughly 1/2 way mark check-in** Re-read old journal posts... time to reflect.

******************************************************************************************************************

Weekly Goal(s) - Monday start

Climb 2x, Stronglifts 3x - So far 2x stronglifts 1xclimb

Journal daily - So far, so good.

Track mood daily at least twice on Daylio: So far - 23 day streak - Back to feeling good.

Monthly Goal

Information gathering on buying a mountain bike. - Visit the bike shops in town. Friends gonna let me know when the first Demo days start up.

Use Training for the New Alpinism to assist in shaping training plan. Got the book on my nightstand.  It's screaming to be used.

NEW - Work hard to the end of April. - Be proud of what I've accomplished.

3 Month Goal

Top-rope a 5.12a successfully on the tall wall. Found a suitable project Sunday... will it be up long enough. /sigh

NEW - Be in excellent condition for June mountain trip.

Climb 1x technical, 1x non-technical 11,000er in the Canadian Rockies. May need to bump part of this out to 6 months.

Outline novel. Chunking this. Creating manageable pieces relating to it in my weekly goals. - May need to evaluate if novel work is realistic with work and physical committments.

Do an editing pass of one of my shorts. Dropping these two as not in line with my current goals and commitment level. To revisit later.

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Day #34 - Saturday

This one comes a day late. Life has gotten insanely busy. I think if I was still gaming I'd be completely dropping the ball on my responsibilities. Instead all the plates are still spinning, and even the ones that are wobbling aren't in bad shape.

We got to Sunshine early and ran into some acquaintances at the base of the gondola that I'm hoping will become friends as time goes on! It's the second time in a week we've just run into them out doing activities... we share a lot of the same interests. The problem is I always have another commitment going on so I can't stick around and chat. Just dropped him a line on facebook. They seem like great people and would be fun to get out and do things with.

My friend is a solid intermediate snowboarder - but a bit out of shape.  On our third run of the day we came down a blue and I motioned for him to take a out-chute to avoid the toughest part of the run. I saw some fresh powder down a shoulder that I usually never ski, so I thought: "what the hell" and hit it fast. - Trouble was there was a cliff... so I dropped that, absorbed it in my knees with a bit of a wumph. - As I'm recovering I realize there's another cliff immediately. Wasn't set for it at all and ended up landing basically sideways on the ground and bouncing off my shoulder. My bicep ended up taking a lot of the brunt too and was super unhappy. - Not a good scene, it's really sore today - being Sunday.

Through all this I dust myself off and head a little ways down and watch my friend come down. He's cruising along no problem, goes out of view and I expect him to pop back up... a minute goes by.... 5 minutes... I'm like, wtf did he go around the other way? So I head to the bottom to the lift, and ... nope, he's not there. I go inside to check my phone and 10 minutes later get a text... he's just gotten to the bottom.  - Turns out he'd hit a fence and fell down a cliff himself... let him get out of sight for 2 minutes... yikes.

So he was pretty much wiped out and we called it a very early day.

Watched the game in the evening, had some fun chat. All in all great re-connecting with him and his wife!

Gratitude journal

Good friends old and new.

One amazing thing that happened/I did today

Flying down the bumps under Goatseye.

Workout/run

Ski day.

Reading + taking notes

Nada

What went well today:

Fun with friends.

What I could have done to make my day better:

Had 2 beers. Coulda had 0 beers.

Misc thoughts and plans:

Plan of action for Sunday: **Deferred one week, aim is now to have a roughly 1/2 way mark check-in** Re-read old journal posts... time to reflect.

******************************************************************************************************************

Weekly Goal(s) - Monday start

Climb 2x, Stronglifts 3x - So far 2x stronglifts 1xclimb

Journal daily - So far, so good.

Track mood daily at least twice on Daylio: So far - 24 day streak - Back to feeling good.

Monthly Goal

Information gathering on buying a mountain bike. - Visit the bike shops in town. Friends gonna let me know when the first Demo days start up.

Use Training for the New Alpinism to assist in shaping training plan. Got the book on my nightstand.  It's screaming to be used.

NEW - Work hard to the end of April. - Be proud of what I've accomplished.

3 Month Goal

Top-rope a 5.12a successfully on the tall wall. Found a suitable project Sunday... will it be up long enough. /sigh

NEW - Be in excellent condition for June mountain trip.

Climb 1x technical, 1x non-technical 11,000er in the Canadian Rockies. May need to bump part of this out to 6 months.

Outline novel. Chunking this. Creating manageable pieces relating to it in my weekly goals. - May need to evaluate if novel work is realistic with work and physical committments.

Do an editing pass of one of my shorts. Dropping these two as not in line with my current goals and commitment level. To revisit later.

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Day #35 - Sunday

Got up and just couldn't shake the exhausted feeling. Been working long days, was up early for skiing yesterday. Lots of workouts... but needed to get work done.

Got into work at 10, stayed til 6. - Pretty solid for a Sunday. - Lots of progress, still a mountain of things to get done. Choo choo next week! - I may drop down to journaling every second day.

Climbing class was excellent today. - We learned a few moves that could change the way I approach a lot of problems. There's some 5.10b's that I climb the normal sequence and it takes a lot of effort. I climbed using the techniques and skipped probably half the holds without any appreciable difference in efforts. It's a lot more efficient and faster. If I can apply it to more difficult climbs it'll be a game-changer.

Came home and read through a few journals before sitting down to write. I got really annoyed by something destroyah wrote in @Schwing's journal and just couldn't leave it alone. I feel like the guy is spreading negativity in every thread he touches and it brings me down. My initial approach was to try and accept him point of view, and ignore it if I couldn't contribute to it in a positive way myself. It's hard to ignore when Sabrecat stopped posting after a reply from destroyah, then d1rty stopped posting after a negative flyby from destroyah. - It's confirmaiton bias. I don't like his posts, so when I see people I like stop posting and he's in the thread I blame him... but it's the kind of juvenile existential bullshit that makes a community worse.

I was part of a writing group in Edmonton. - The founder of the group came from a comic book group. He left the comic book group because it stopped being about "discussing the form and creation of comics" and it became kids making jokes about anime and talking about their favorite pokemon. Some people would say: Well it's a comics group, that's okay right? - It is, until that's all you focus on.

If you're here and you're not thinking about quitting gaming... quitting mindless surfing... and improving your life. Why are you here?  For me, work and working out are part of the process of getting over games and they dominate my journals. I see a lot of people discussing drawing, philosophy, coding, and school. All great topics. All fantastic ways to improve your life. I implore anyone reading to make sure they revisit that they're also here to support others in their primary goals of quitting gaming, and improving their lives. When you're just treating this place like a clubhouse, it's time to revisit your goals and get back to work.

Gratitude journal

Tadashi for sweet moves.

One amazing thing that happened/I did today

2 takes on the hard 5.11c project.

Workout/run

Climbing - 2 hours

Reading + taking notes

Nada

What went well today:

Good work, good journaling.

What I could have done to make my day better:

Could have ate better. - Too much pizza and cola.

Misc thoughts and plans:

Plan of action for Sunday: **Deferred one week, aim is now to have a roughly 1/2 way mark check-in** Re-read old journal posts... time to reflect.

******************************************************************************************************************

Weekly Goal(s) - Monday start

Climb 2x, Stronglifts 3x - Sadface sadface sadface - This week marks my first of not achieving my workout goals. Only made 2x climb and 2x stronglifts. - Need to pick it up and refocus next week.

Journal daily - So far, so good.

Track mood daily at least twice on Daylio: So far - 25 day streak - Back to feeling good.

Monthly Goal

Information gathering on buying a mountain bike. - Visit the bike shops in town. Friends gonna let me know when the first Demo days start up.

Use Training for the New Alpinism to assist in shaping training plan. Got the book on my nightstand.  It's screaming to be used.

NEW - Work hard to the end of April. - Be proud of what I've accomplished.

3 Month Goal

Top-rope a 5.12a successfully on the tall wall. Found a suitable project Sunday... will it be up long enough. /sigh

NEW - Be in excellent condition for June mountain trip.

Climb 1x technical, 1x non-technical 11,000er in the Canadian Rockies. May need to bump part of this out to 6 months.

Outline novel. Chunking this. Creating manageable pieces relating to it in my weekly goals. - May need to evaluate if novel work is realistic with work and physical committments.

Do an editing pass of one of my shorts. Dropping these two as not in line with my current goals and commitment level. To revisit later.

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What's up with the climbing grades in canada? Here we do 4,5,6,7 and have a,b,c as sub grades. So 5a for example.

Chances are you're using the UK system - The project I'm working on is roughly 6a or low 6b.

My local gear shop has a grade convertor here: https://www.mec.ca/en/explore/climbing-grade-conversion/ - When I was in Greece climbing outside I was primarily working projects between French 6a to 6b+ which would be UK 5c which would be North American 5.10a - 5.10d ... CONFUSING. 

In Europe, climbing at that level meant we were hanging out with the retiree crowd. People be strong over there. =p

Edited by Simms
UK... UK... not french
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Day #36 - Monday

Basically a workout summary. - work. workout, sleep, repeat.

Gratitude journal

One amazing thing that happened/I did today

Workout/run

Squat 5x5 - 180

Bench 5x5 - 140

Bent Row 5x5 - 135

Reading + taking notes

Nada

What went well today:

What I could have done to make my day better:

Misc thoughts and plans:

Plan of action for Sunday: **Deferred one week, aim is now to have a roughly 1/2 way mark check-in** Re-read old journal posts... time to reflect.

******************************************************************************************************************

Weekly Goal(s) - Monday start

Climb 2x, Stronglifts 3x - 1x stronglifts

Journal daily - So far, so good.

Track mood daily at least twice on Daylio: So far - 26 day streak - Back to feeling good.

Monthly Goal

Information gathering on buying a mountain bike. - Visit the bike shops in town. Friends gonna let me know when the first Demo days start up.

Use Training for the New Alpinism to assist in shaping training plan. Got the book on my nightstand.  It's screaming to be used.

NEW - Work hard to the end of April. - Be proud of what I've accomplished.

3 Month Goal

Top-rope a 5.12a successfully on the tall wall. Found a suitable project Sunday... will it be up long enough. /sigh

NEW - Be in excellent condition for June mountain trip.

Climb 1x technical, 1x non-technical 11,000er in the Canadian Rockies. May need to bump part of this out to 6 months.

Outline novel. Chunking this. Creating manageable pieces relating to it in my weekly goals. - May need to evaluate if novel work is realistic with work and physical committments.

Do an editing pass of one of my shorts. Dropping these two as not in line with my current goals and commitment level. To revisit later.

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Day #37 - Tuesday

Woke up a little later... got to work. Worked, climbed, worked more, watched the Oilers clinch a playoff spot. Wooo, writing quick!

I made a post about @destoroyah in Schwing's journal, and in the interest of not carrying on the conversation there, I'll continue my thoughts here:

destoroyah replied in a measured, calm fashion. It always impresses me when this happens. It's a difficult conversation to have when you disagree with people, let alone people over the internet.  I'm impressed by his art and hope it continues to help him on his journey.

I have further musings on disagreements in general... North American news is very odd right now. Facts no longer matter - Or it could be said that "facts" now disprove an argument rather than proving it, depending on the audience. It seems almost impossible to change a difficult person's perspective on any topic. One of my own personal failings is assuming that people will be "difficult" rather than open minded. Many thanks to des for being receptive to my criticism. My apology for the tone.

Gratitude journal

Oilers for being good this year!

One amazing thing that happened/I did today

GF redpointed our 5.11c project! She's amazing.

Workout/run

Climbing - 2 hours - redpointed the tough 5.11a today. Worked the 5.11c project.

Reading + taking notes

Nada

What went well today:

Keeping all the plates spinning... so much work to do.

What I could have done to make my day better:

Food. Need better good. Subway + McDonald's does not make for a happy body.

Misc thoughts and plans:

Plan of action for Sunday: **Deferred one week, aim is now to have a roughly 1/2 way mark check-in** Re-read old journal posts... time to reflect.

******************************************************************************************************************

Weekly Goal(s) - Monday start

Climb 2x, Stronglifts 3x - 1x stronglifts, 1x climbing

Journal daily - So far, so good.

Track mood daily at least twice on Daylio: So far - 27 day streak - Back to feeling good.

Monthly Goal

Information gathering on buying a mountain bike. - Visit the bike shops in town. Friends gonna let me know when the first Demo days start up.

Use Training for the New Alpinism to assist in shaping training plan. Got the book on my nightstand.  It's screaming to be used.

NEW - Work hard to the end of April. - Be proud of what I've accomplished.

3 Month Goal

Top-rope a 5.12a successfully on the tall wall. Found a suitable project Sunday... will it be up long enough. /sigh

NEW - Be in excellent condition for June mountain trip.

Climb 1x technical, 1x non-technical 11,000er in the Canadian Rockies. May need to bump part of this out to 6 months.

Outline novel. Chunking this. Creating manageable pieces relating to it in my weekly goals. - May need to evaluate if novel work is realistic with work and physical committments.

Do an editing pass of one of my shorts. Dropping these two as not in line with my current goals and commitment level. To revisit later.

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I've been working a lot, and foresee some crazy hours ahead in April. - This is ok, it's also good. I'm part of something I'm happy to be a part of. That being said, for the days I'm missed, I'm throwing in memories I have, things that are important to me, that I hope are useful to reflect on later.

Day #38 - Wednesday

Squat 5x5 - 185

OHP 5x5 - 105

Deadlift 1x5 - 205

Day #39 - Thursday

Climbing over lunch - About 2 hours. Climb was absolute garbage. Fell off 5.10d's I normally send no problem. Couldn't focus, mental space was a disaster.

GF sent the 5.11c project again. She's climbing amazing.

We had a nice chat til about midnight about housing. - Our life in this mountain town is pretty awesome, except the fact we don't have a million dollars kicking around to buy a house. Even a condo is $400,000+ ... and I never want to live in a condo again. The stress is real, but the conversation... mitigated it.

Day #40 - Friday

Felt run down at work today. I've been trying to clean up a valuation that's just been an enormous strain on me mentally, and it's been rough. Made "some" progress, but not enough for the time I've put into it.

Over dinner we had an interesting conversation: I'd done some reading on LuLuLemon's 10-k filing to compare to a "start-up" apparel company operating in Vancouver. Bear with me through the simplified financial information - TLDR conclusion right under this:

  • LuLu made $303 million dollars after tax last year.
  • They had operating cash flows of $383 million which is basically best reflects how much they'll make next year and going forward, supposing nothing changes.
  • They generate $1,251 dollars in revenue on every square foot of retail space they have. - They have 406 stores located in the United States, Canada, Austrailia, the United Kingdom, New Zealand, China, Hong King, Singapore, South Korea, Germany, Peurto Rico and Switzerland.
  • Their margin is roughly 51% - Which means if they sold a pair of LuLu pants for $100, it would have cost them $49 in materials and workers time to make them. ((100-49)/100)
  • They have 138 MILLION shares issued and outstanding.

(all available off their latest 10-k filing - http://investor.lululemon.com/secfiling.cfm?filingID=1397187-17-8#LULU-20170129X10K_HTM_SC38814ADB414B9987171185152D22E0E)

This "start-up" has 2 stores open:

  • Startup lost $6 million dollars last year.
  • They had operating losses of $7 million which is basically best reflects how much they'll make next year and going forward, supposing nothing changes.
  • They generate $250 dollars in revenue on every square foot of retail space they have. - They have 2 stores in Vancouver with 2 more scheduled to open soon and 1 scheduled to open in Toronto.
  • Their margin is roughly 46% - The most positive aspect.
  • They have 107 MILLION shares issued and outstanding, with outstanding warrants available for another 106 million shares. Warrants being an option that give the holder the ability to purchase shares for a certain price for a certain length of time. - Warrant holders are not forced to buy the shares, but if the company does well, they will.

(all available on www.sedar.com - even if the web-site looks straight out of 1995 and more likely to give you a virus than contain all TSX regulatory filings...)

TLDR, WHY IS THIS SO FASCINATING?  - You never see a small clothing company structured this way. - Hell, you would be hard pressed to find another company PERIOD with revenues less than 2 million that's structured this way. It has the same number of shares issued as a company with 100x it's revenue. - If you took a company like this without any of the shares taken into consideration into DRAGON'S DEN or THE SHARK TANK, they'd still laugh you off the stage.

Back of the napkin math assuming all their new retail space came online Jan 1 (It didn't) means they generate 3.3M in revenue this year. - Meaning best best case they generate 1.5M in cash this year. - So they need to raise another 6.5 - 8 million to continue operations just this year. More back of the napkin math shows they need to hit 20M in sales to have a chance at being profitable. Based on their current operations, that's 80,000 square feet of active retail - vs. the 13,000 or so they expect by the end of the year. 32 stores. vs the 2 that are actually open, and 3 additional to open shortly. If this CEO manages to get this to profitability before it all comes apart, I think it would be one of the most impressive business stories ever told.

Comparable companies doing < $300 per square foot of retail space (http://f.tlcollect.com/fr2/315/37573/MarketFlash_MoneyTalks_July13.pdf):

  • Canadian Tire
  • Petsmart
  • Dollarama Inc.
  • Sears
  • NRDC Equity (Hudson's Bay, Home Outfitters, Zellers)
  • Target

Notice anything interesting about that list? - Petsmart, Zellers, and Target have all ceased operations and exited the market. - Sears is on it's way out and Home Outfitters is restructuring under bankruptcy laws. - Dollarama is an entirely different business model and I can only assume Hudson's Bay was being dragged down by Home Outfitters and Zellers. Makes me a little concerned for Canadian Tire... Also - Random aside - LuLu is way up at the top of the linked PDF, and their sales per square foot have come way down, yet they're still good enough for 2nd overall.

When LuLuLemon had it's IPO, shares were offered for $18 in 2007 - There was a rollercoaster when the markets imploded in 2008, and I'm sure a lot of people were considering jumping out the window when they hit a low of $2.25 in 2009. Then things turned around... in a huge way - July 2011 there was a 2 for 1 share split, and the stock reached a high of $80.65. if you'd invested $10,000 at the low point and sold at the high point you'd have made a profit of $706,888.88.

So... will this startup be another LuLu or will it go the way of Target? - I watch eagerly.

 

No workout. Went to bed at 10 and ended up staying up til 2:30am just chatting. It's been a long time since we really just chatted for hours. - Sometimes I forget we've been together close to 8 years now. Had a frank and open chat about what it was that made us happy to be with each other... and it lead down a road of "what if's", all the people who've come through our lives and what makes each a dealbreaker. So many of them are married / in long-term relationships already and it's fun to roll eyes over other people perceived faults or the quirks of their personality that would drive either of us crazy in a relationship.

In some ways it felt like a dangerous conversation to be having. While we don't have much in the way of trust / jealousy issues - shining a spotlight on the area can bring to light issues that may have been festering. - With the whole quitting games, I feel like we're communicating more overall, and having these more challenging conversations is possible without any additional baggage jumping on board... it felt more rewarding and I feel closer for it.

Recently Mike Pence (Vice-President of the United States) said something along the line's of: [He won't go out for dinner alone with a woman other than his wife.] - It has sparked 100's of news articles and angry tweets left and right all over the internet. I'd broached the subject on Thursday to my GF and she hadn't heard about it at the time, so I just left it alone... apparently she did some reading up on Friday and it turned into a heated discussion. I think all the positions possible have been talked to death, so I just want to try and gather my takeaways:

The comment tangled up two hugely important issues to Americans, Career and Relationships:

  • Problematic with the articles written on the internet is groups that value either career or relationships more will dismiss articles focusing on the other issue out of hand.
  • Taking stances that put a particular group of people at a disadvantage require cultural norms to be acceptable. IE: Conservative leaning people tend to support that going for dinner alone with a member of the opposite sex can create the perception of impropriety, even when there is none.
    • As a Chartered Accountant I can't accept gifts from clients, dinners, etc. even when it won't influence my decision making, because there could be a perception of independence breach.
    • If the cultural norm is accepting of the rule, there must be "perceived" value of the stance, even if the evidence does not support that. When examining the group of people that support the rule, evidence based approaches do not hold much value. - Therefore to have any productive discussion it must explore the belief system that supports the perceived value of the stance.
  • So the belief is, by not being alone with a woman, there is no potential to build a physical / emotional connection. - The logic behind it, while very old school to me seems sound. - Unfortunately, it dismisses the reality of the modern workplace, recreational activities, and living a full fulfilling life.
    • It's easy for me to say that taking a rigid, rules based stance, does not eliminate a problem. - People will cheat. If you want to cheat, you're going to sneak around behind your partner's back. It doesn't need to be dinner...
    • The world outlook I have is that - I will be attracted to people. - I appreciate seeing a fit, active woman. I appreciate having a stimulating conversation with intelligent women at work. - I'm not always going to be attracted to these people, - and even if I am, I'm not going to act on it. Because I'm a adult, and part of being an adult is not acting on every urge that pops into my head.
    • To convince someone that believes that a "rule-based approach" is better than a "decision making based approach"  may simply be a waste of time. The way we perceive the world is simply too different. Presenting the idea in a respectful manner, and respecting their approach... that may be a path towards increased understanding.
  • If a boss has longstanding traditions of taking only a certain group out for dinners, and it furthers career progression, there is unfairness, but...
    • It is not the be all, end all. - A determined, career minded person will explore alternatives. - They will go for lunch. They will invite the husband and wife combination over for a dinner party, they will find an alternative decision maker.
    • We are a generation of second jobs and side-hustles. I have no respect for a person who sees the boss won't go out for dinner with them, and that's the end of their effort. They spend the rest of their time complaining about the unfairness of it all. Be better than that.
    • At the same time I acknowledge that if the boss refuses to do anything and continuously favors one group over all others, it's a problem. That's a problem with the PERSON, and possibly the company. And honestly, with career turnover the way it is, you're better off packing up and leaving that terrible "leader" behind.

 

The Pence conversation weighed on me a lot. - I don't know where my political leanings are anymore. I hate the term LGBTQQIP2SAA - not because of any stance on LGBT issues, but because it's ridiculous and it seems to be catching on in media. I'm not a big fan of high tax rates, I think they're very harmful to business. - At the same time there's literally a case study of Left vs. Right going on in Alberta and Saskatchewan right now where Alberta has a Left government and Sask has a Right government. - Both provinces are suffering because of the oil prices being in the gutter, yet Alberta is doing better because of the huge deficits the government is running.  Will it work in the long term? Who will be better off? I can't answer that.

The other thing to bother me about the "Pence question" is - after talking about it for an hour, I didn't feel any better about it. We'd explored the issue from many different angles. I accept all of the reasons it's harmful. I also still support the idea around why he said it: to support and strengthen a relationship within the context of his belief system. Is it simply the "idea" is so broad that coming to a satisfying conclusion isn't possible? It feels like more information won't be helpful... and there's so many issues like this floating around.

 

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Day #41 - Saturday

Back to my template. Many thanks to anyone who took the time to read the short story sized piece, riddled with grammatical errors above. - I can only hope there was some entertainment value, I enjoyed having the conversations very much.

It's saturday... and I should be at work. I stressed out about it until 2:30PM, put on my jacket, had my keys in my hand and stopped at the door. I'm burnt right now, literally burnt. I know myself, and I'm worthless right now for real actual work. - I acknowledged that, made a promise that I would get up early tomorrow, put in a real full day, and gave myself permission to take today off. I poured myself a glass of wine and started writing, reflecting, and I feel better. - I feel confident that I will be accountable to myself and not let myself down on this commitment. I would not have had that confidence before quitting gaming, in fact I would have been confident that I would let myself down... it's not a good feeling to reflect on.

GF is away until Wednesday. - More responsibilites taking care of the pups, especially with the time I need to put in at work. But also a good reason to get away from work for a few hours. Recharge, then take care of those responsibilities.

Going to catch up on The Magicians, The Expanse, watch the hockey game, enjoy another glass of wine and feel good when I go to work tomorrow.
 

Gratitude journal

The choices that have lead to this life.

One amazing thing that happened/I did today

Taking a moment to reflect. Making myself a promise and feeling reasonably confident that I will keep it.

Workout/run

Squat 5x5 - 190

Bench Press 5x5 - 145

Bent row 5x5 - 140

Reading + taking notes

Nada

What went well today:

Catching up on my journal.

What I could have done to make my day better:

Planning this resting day better. - Not wasting half of it stressing that I should be working.

Misc thoughts and plans:

Relax - Really relax. - Believe.

******************************************************************************************************************

Weekly Goal(s) - Monday start

Climb 2x, Stronglifts 3x - So far 3x stronglifts - 2x climb - Good to be back on track

Journal daily - So far, so good.

Track mood daily at least twice on Daylio: So far - 30 day streak

Monthly Goal

Information gathering on buying a mountain bike. - Visit the bike shops in town. Friends gonna let me know when the first Demo days start up. - visited a shop! OMG expensive.

Use Training for the New Alpinism to assist in shaping training plan. Got the book on my nightstand.  It's screaming to be used.

NEW - Work hard to the end of April. - Be proud of what I've accomplished.

3 Month Goal

Top-rope a 5.12a successfully on the tall wall. Found a suitable project Sunday... will it be up long enough. /sigh

NEW - Be in excellent condition for June mountain trip.

Climb 1x technical, 1x non-technical 11,000er in the Canadian Rockies. May need to bump part of this out to 6 months.

Outline novel. Chunking this. Creating manageable pieces relating to it in my weekly goals. - May need to evaluate if novel work is realistic with work and physical committments.

Do an editing pass of one of my shorts. Dropping these two as not in line with my current goals and commitment level. To revisit later.

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  • 1 month later...

An update - I live ;)

This would be Day #82 - I won't lie, there was a little hiccup along the way, - I installed Magic The Gathering Online and played a couple free games, then figured out how magicwikiprice's API worked and put together some scripts to port price data into excel sheets, I wrote a few index/matches and max/min's and I was going to use some basic trend analysis and my "i haven't played this game in 10 years, but still know better than anyone else" judgment to start speculating on cards... I had a weird moment though - Before I dropped a couple hundred bucks into my initial position, I took a step back and asked: "Is this really something I want to do with my life?" ... Slept on it, and when I woke up in the morning the answer was a resounding NO. Beyond that... doing all the work setting it up satisfied some malignant need in my brain to explore this old hobby and I haven't experienced any cravings since.

I spent April working 10-12 hour days, 6 days a week and was already struggling to keep up with this journal. - I received a nice reminder in the mail today of this community and while I've been reading, it feels good to contribute as well.

Quick rundown of the last few weeks: I've confirmed the pillars my identity are standing on - 1) Being a professional, 2) being fit, and 3) having a creative hobby.

  • I worked harder than I ever have this past April and enjoyed it more than I thought I would. Living in an amazing community and working for a great group of people helps so much with my enjoyment of the work and my mental health.
  • My fitness is in a good place. - I've tapered off Stronglifts and started Crossfit as it's always something I've been interested in. I'll likely blend the two further. - I successfully climbed my 5.11c toprope project inside, and managed to redpoint an early 5.11a project outside earlier tonight.
  • As far as my creative hobby goes, it's been agony. It's been killing me, so I changed tactics. I love audiobooks, so I took a book on writing technique I find very useful, but hard to "read" as it's so dense. There's no audiobook version of it for sale anywhere, so I recorded it myself. - It took a week to find the time to get it all recorded, but I finished tonight - at a length of 3 hours and 4 minutes. - I'm not yet sure if I'm going to take the time to go back and edit all the small errors, or try to use it to breakthrough my mental barriers and get to work outlining. I've been listening to the ongoing product as I get pieces completed, and like it very much. I'll probably listen to the whole thing twice at work tomorrow. Usually the sound of my own voice makes me cringe, yet so far I love this.

Thanks to anyone who took the time to read this, and everyone that continues to share their journeys. Your stories are an inspiration even when I don't make the time to share mine. I look forward to continuing to see everyone's progress on their journey!

 

 

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Good to hear an update from you brother. Glad you're doing well overall.

For sure! Love the personal touch with your letters. Congrats on the new launch today too, I hope it's well received and parents manage to put it to effective use.

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Day 85

Had an interesting discussion with my girlfriend about how to treat a day where I played games with regards to the 90 day detox. - From one point of view: Start over, new 90 days starts that day, or any day really and try again. Another point of view is: "84 of 85 game free days" as of today. One of those is a lot less mentally straining, one is less true to the spirit of the challenge.

Regardless of how I look at it. Very happy with life post-gaming. Read a great Charles Dickens quote today:

“‘It is only half an hour’ — ‘It is only an afternoon’ — ‘It is only an evening,’ people say to me over and over again; but they don’t know that it is impossible to command one’s self sometimes to any stipulated and set disposal of five minutes — or that the mere consciousness of an engagement will sometime worry a whole day … Who ever is devoted to an art must be content to deliver himself wholly up to it, and to find his recompense in it. I am grieved if you suspect me of not wanting to see you, but I can’t help it; I must go in my way whether or no.”

I've lost count of the number of days completely ruined because I had some social engagement I was half interested in, that filled me with anxiety and dread, that was just a complete waste.

Every time I say yes to videogames... yes to youtube... yes to anything outside the pillars of my identity, it's giving away my time and energy to someone else's plan. Some things like family are worth that sacrifice to me. Others are not. - If you're not the one making that decision, someone else is dictating how your life is going to be.

It's 4PM and I still haven't done any deliberate practice towards writing this weekend. - It's weighing on me. I need to be in bed by 10 so I can be up for 6AM, get to crossfit and start the week strong... So what will the next 6 hours look like? Yes to my pillars, or yes to consumption. Here. We. Go.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Day 95

So the 90 day detox is done. - My friends sent me a message on Day 90 to get on Halo and let's go blast some dudes. - Nice thing is I had no desire to dig out my Xbox and head down that road again.

I almost signed up to be the ice assignor in my town. - The job requires an application, but with my qualifications and contacts, there's a good chance I would have got it. - It made me step back and re-evaluate for a moment... Why do I keep taking on responsibilities that while "interesting" are not in line with what a want to do. While it's better than videogames, it's still not the best use of my very limited time. Something I'll continue to examine.

Since my last post I spent 3.5 hour on deliberate practice related to outlining a novel I'll write. - It's rough, but I think my brain will cut me some slack finally because I know I'm doing something worthwhile. It's also not life or death, or any kind of panic. If I fail, it's a learned experience, it doesn't mean I'm going to miss rent this month.

Went climbing outside all 3 days of the May Long weekend. Climbed some hard routes, scared the hell out of myself on some 5.11a's. - Failed to send my project while all 3 of my climbing crew managed it. That was a tough day, but it's going to happen. They're all committed to climbing - it's #1 or #2 on their identities, - for me it's #3 or #4. I need to accept that with that, comes some differing challenges.

I put together an aspirational calendar for June. - All of the fitness related goals are easy to hit for me, they're part of my routine. The real challenge is going to be excelling at work for a while, pushing through the diet, and getting some writing done. Will I succeed? Will I fail? ... At least I have a roadmap so when my vacation starts in July I can sit down and look critically at how it went.

Cheers to another 90 days. - Hope everyone continues doing well.

June.xlsx

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Your calendar looks cool!

Don't get too stressed to accomplish 100% of the things. 100% is a good thing, but I think 50% is still good enough. I think you can make it.

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Day 99 -

I was flipping through facebook and saw this:

Smh. What do you guys do about people stealing/using your content?

Basically every "how to write a book" course or training that's been released over the last couple of years is a rip off of my content..

Sometimes it's done by students / people who've been through my material and recently I've even seen it done by so called "leaders" in our space at the biggest event in our industry. VERY frustrating.

I've let it slide for a while now, thinking "I shouldn't be focused on the negative. Just focus on growing my business." but it's starting to piss me off.

What do you do about this? Has this happened to you? Any good way to handle this?

And the replies I read were stunning - Ranging from: "Use it as fuel, make the best product you can make!" to "Lawyer up, hit them where it hurts!" - Not a single person in his circle has the courage to stand up and say: "You need to re-evaluate."

I don't know the guy, so it's not my place to tell him how flawed his thinking is... but I've seen this kind of drivel before and I don't believe the hype... I go in and dive a little deeper. I have a look at the guys product, and of course, it's complete marketing rehashed bullshit. He's written two derivative entrepreneurship works, and two out of date self-publishing works. Zero novels. Zero non-fiction books outside the self-help space. Zero books with 100% original content. Lots of marketing, very little substance. And he has the audacity to claim "Basically every "how to write a book" course or training that's been released over the last couple of years is a rip off of my content..." Does he not see the hypocrisy, or the danger to his own growth in his view? He somehow sees himself as a "leader" in the field, yet he's made a little money off derivative work, hawks a self-publishing product when he's barely qualified to be in the space, and is ultimately just part of the problem.

And he's looking for mentors right now... someone to push him into the "8-figure" space. This guy doesn't need a mentor, he needs a clue.

Is he not aware of Nick Stephenson? Who actually wrote a half-dozen novels and published all the same self-publishing content? - Is he not aware of actual leaders in the field like Libbie Hawker, Joanna Penn, Sean Platt, or rapidly rising stars who transparently release their financial growth, like Chris Fox? All of them at one point or another discuss that "writing about writing is the biggest scam nearly all authors will grudgingly cash in on at one point in their careers." When that's your whole career... what makes you qualified to even be in the space?

Chris Fox is almost unfailingly positive in his podcast appearances. But in his appearance on The Author's Stories podcast #146 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vnwcHWy-1hs&list=PLC4FzEJ7MlpzBaVIhWx3SIkcK2jP9FCys there's a brief 1 minute or so where they discuss the kind of people who haven't actually lived the content they're producing, but have made a career out of telling others what to do. - The frustration that comes across from both the author and host of the podcast in that short time really tell a story for me.

It seems like there's a lot of danger in surrounding yourself with "ra-ra" positivity sycophants. Producing high quality content requires a constant eye for self-correction and development. Declaring yourself a "leader" in the field, when you've only just taken the first steps is such a mind-bendingly (great adverb eh? - the irony is not lost on me) poor idea it's hard to ignore.

I wrote all this as a cautionary tale to myself going forward: Once I see the first glimmers of success in my hobby, I can't give up the process that's taking me forward, and especially can't look at myself as some sort of leader in the field. That kind of hubris could lead to awful posts like the one above - and if there's no one in my circle with the courage to stand up, take on the ally role, and force me to confront just how flawed that thinking is - my growth will crater.

 

 

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Day 104 -

Finished my novel outline today. - Wrote a rough outline for a non-fiction book. - Have several ideas for these... "How to get a job with Big 4", "How to get the best deal on a mortgage", - "Don't be afraid of credit cards - How they work, why you don't have enough of the right cards, and if you ever carry a balance that isn't at a promotional rate this isn't the book for you"

Then wrote 3500 words of my novel. - Which is about 1500 words above my personal best.

Also set a PB Front Squat at 205 on Wednesday and rowed 500mtrs in 1:40.9

Tuesday killed it at boxing and finally sent a 5.10c project outside that had been kicking my ass... nothing like sending 5.11a my 2nd day out in the season then taking 5+ attempts on a 5.10c to completely destroy the ego.

Listened to the Gamequitters Podcast today. - Dr. Huu Kim was a fantastic guest. - The interview flow was a little rough around the edges, but Dr. Kim used it to paint a great picture about the way people's interactions improve as they spend more time speaking to each other later in the show. - If you're not listening already, definitely a good episode to start on.

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Listened to the Gamequitters Podcast today. - Dr. Huu Kim was a fantastic guest. - The interview flow was a little rough around the edges, but Dr. Kim used it to paint a great picture about the way people's interactions improve as they spend more time speaking to each other later in the show. - If you're not listening already, definitely a good episode to start on.

How can I improve the interview flow? 

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Listened to the Gamequitters Podcast today. - Dr. Huu Kim was a fantastic guest. - The interview flow was a little rough around the edges, but Dr. Kim used it to paint a great picture about the way people's interactions improve as they spend more time speaking to each other later in the show. - If you're not listening already, definitely a good episode to start on.

How can I improve the interview flow? 

Here are my thoughts on improvement:

  • If you’re going to ask a question, then segway such as the "Reddit" example from below, keep it tight, then explicitly state something along the lines of, “So again, what do you think about so and so topic?" When the segway ends to specifically help your interviewee along the train of thought you're on.
  • Be mindful of questions from your guests that are setups into their stories.
  • Use the "Yes, AND" concept from the improv world, rather than sticking rigidly to your script.– Are you using a white board or some technology equivalent for show notes with times you’re aiming to hit specific topics?
  • Talk to Jason about some specific interviewing broadcast techniques to use.
  • I found it interesting that Dr. Kim and Dr. Daniel King that you're doing your study with are colleagues and friends. It seemed like it would have made for a great improvisational segway to explore their professional relationship and anything Dr. Kim could share about their collective efforts to combat this issue.

Here's the specific section of Podcast 6 I found distracting enough I had to take a break at work because it knocked me out of my flow state:

Context: Discussing the New York Times article around why videogames aren't actually addictive:

15:56 – Dr. Kim asks “How many slices of pizza can you eat Cam?”

16:53 Cam replies: “Well the truth is the United States has an obesity crisis." 

You go on with how the article states videogames aren’t addictive because there’s no indicators of negative impact and ask what he thinks about that. But before he can reply there’s a tangent up til 17:32 about Reddit and negative impacts, then the question gets asked again, without a lead-in, so it’s conceivable Dr. Kim simply missed it in the minute and 35 seconds since he asked his original question. It's also possible that, because he had a really good anecdote he wanted to share, it was hard for him to follow along with you from 15:56 to 17:32 because he really wanted to tell this story:

The paradoxical therapy discussion is fascinating: - Everyone’s heard the classic story of parents who force their kids to smoke a whole pack of cigarettes, then the kids never smoke again because it’s so horrible.  But with videogames - People can play for 12 – 16 hours and still not feel “full”. There's no way to just "let your kids play until they're sick of it.' They'll just continue playing forever.

So at 19:40 he’s done telling the paradoxical therapy pizza story, but he’s lost the thread of the original conversation. He does an admirable job of talking about diagnosis and reaching around trying to find it again until 20:05 he grasps on the negative impact again, and things get back on the rails.

  • Those are my thoughts. -Cheers

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Day 106 -

I spent an hour discussing with my girlfriend why I was so worked up about certain aspects of gamequitters, and without all of that context it's hard to really make sense of this.

Since I started my self-improvement journey nearly 10 years ago, I've tried many different books, programs, and teachers to get where I am today. - My mindset has generally been constant improvement. - It's by no means a straight line, and progress sometimes gets stalled... by things like videogames. But ultimately, when I get what I want out of a book, or a program, and even teachers, I tend to discard them. - And I hate that feeling - The accompanying feeling of loss. - I want the programs to grow and change and be dynamic like me. But they're not. That's their nature. They were designed to facilitate change.

Back to my conversation with the girlfriend, eventually I reached a feeling of contentment, we'd examined the problem and I was relatively certain what I needed to do: Marie Kondo is credited with widely spreading the theory from The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. A simple theory: Discard anything that doesn’t spark joy. The attachment I feel to these programs is based on the emotional connection I feel to them. Historically, I try to hold on. I rail against the loss, thinking if only the program could change, then somehow it would be ok to hold on. I see it in my posts over the last few weeks - how they've shifted from reflection to "suggestions" and "criticisms" and attempts at guidance. But they're not coming from an authentic place of wanting to help others, seeking to assist in the growth of someone else. They're come from a selfish desire to hold on.

It's been a hell of a journey. - Much like the last time I looked to Cam as a mentor. - I think it's time for me to thank the forum and resources for being what I needed at this time in my life and acknowledge it's time for me to move on. I wish you all well on your journey's.

Cheers

-Simms

 

 

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