Category Archives: Life Journal

2024 Fitness goals

I’m a believer in “you get what you measure.” It’s why I set fitness goals for the year. It provides motivation and something to track my progress against.

I’ve tracked my fitness goals each year since I started blogging back in 2014. This year is no different. Even though it is already February, I’ve been tracking my fitness activities against the goals in this post since the beginning of the year.

I track progress in three areas – working out, physical activity, and diet. Let’s start by looking back at last year, and then look at plans for 2024.

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Peak beard

Gregg Borodaty with beard in 2023

Just when I thought I was going to take a year off from the beard, I changed my mind. I let it go fairly long this year. I didn’t do any trimming from beginning of November to mid-December. The six week period is about as long as I’ve went without shaving, and probably the longest I’ll ever go. Of course I’ve said that before, so there’s no guarantees.

Anyway, the picture to the right is an image of peak beard. It got to the point of being pretty uncomfortable (and very gray), so I’m not looking forward to growing it out this long in the foreseeable future.

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My 2024 reading list

As I have done since 2014, here is my reading list for 2024.

According to Goodreads, there are over 220 books on my ‘Want to Read’ list. These can be broken down into two categories: my fun reads, of which there are ~140 titles, and my morning reads, of which there are ~80 titles. While these numbers appear large, it’s an improvement from last year when there were over 230 books in the queue.

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Books to read in 2024

Looking to fill-in the gaps in your reading list for 2024? Out of the 35-plus books I read in the past year, these are the books that I enjoyed the most.

I’ve broken the recommendations into 3 categories – general recommendations (fiction, mostly from the sci-fi genre), personal development, and business. I’ve also included a list of “bonus reads” at the end. These are the books that I enjoyed a lot but wouldn’t say that you have to add to your 2024 list. These are entertaining reads that you can use to fill in any holes in your list.

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Rise of the Machines, Part 3

Friendly robot

For some reason, we (meaning humans) have a tendency to anthropomorphize things, whether they are objects, animals, or phenomena around us. We assume that everything that we interact with in our environment rationalizes and thinks like us, that the things around us experience feelings and emotions the same way we do.

I do it with my dog quite often. I imagine him thinking about how much he likes to go for a walk, or how he wishes he could have steak for dinner every night. And while my dog does display some strangely human-like behaviors, it doesn’t change the fact that he is still a dog, an animal. A lot of what he does is instinctual or based on learned behavior as result of routine or training.

A similar problem arises with artificial intelligence. Because of how it responds to our questions, we have a tendency to attribute human qualities to it. We think that it wants to please us or be our friend. We assume it feels remorse when it doesn’t understand us because it responds with ‘”I’m sorry.” We’re amazed at how it knows the answers we’re looking for. While these things do feel oddly human, it doesn’t change the fact that we are dealing with a machine. The behaviors are based on the attributes programmed into it or learned from the data it’s fed. For both creators and users of AI, this is an important concept that must not be overlooked.

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College Sports – One step closer to the edge

I’ve written rants twice before about college athletics..

In my first post, ‘Paying college athletes isn’t the answer,’ I felt as thought college athletics had gotten too big for its own good. In the ten years since I wrote that post in April 2014, it’s only grown bigger. It’s grown so large that the landscape of college athletics has been forever changed with recent conference realignments throwing the entire system into a state of chaos.

In my second post, ‘The absurdity of college athletics,’ which was written in February 2016, I bemoaned how colleges have lost their way by placing an emphasis on athletics over education. Since I wrote that article, major colleges have continued to shift their priorities in favor of athletics. If there is any question, follow the money. You’ll see that its athletics driving revenue generation, money spent, and donations from wealthy alumni and boosters.

The absurdity of college athletics has only grown since my first two posts.

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Rise of the Machines, Part 2

Humanoid machine

In my first post about the rise of the machines and the emergence of artificial intelligence, I talked about the possibilities and opportunities. It embodies my general opinion that change isn’t something to resist. Resistance is futile, especially when it comes to technology. Instead, change is something to embrace. The earlier it is embraced, the better we, as a whole, can prepare for the opportunities and guard against the downsides.

While I am generally optimistic about artificial intelligence, I do have concerns. If we are going to reap the benefits that the technology has to offer, we need to acknowledge the risks and downsides. We must make sure that the provisions to protect against potentially bad outcomes are put in place. Given how fast technology advances, particularly AI, these provisions need to be created and enacted sooner rather than later.

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Why doing the hard things matter

I can still remember the day my oldest daughter asked me why she should take calculus in high school. When she said she wasn’t going to need it in college or for her job, I didn’t have a good answer. Sure, I used high school calculus to get my engineering degree, but that’s the last time I remember doing a derivative, integral, or derivative matrix.

Since I didn’t have a good answer, she ended up skipping math her senior year. I couldn’t come up with a good answer for my other kids as they went through high school either, although they ended up taking math through their senior year. I suppose they gave in to peer pressure.

To be honest, I’ve always wondered why I was required (i.e forced) to take certain classes in high school and college. Why does an electrical engineer need to know Chemistry, Thermodynamics, and Materials Science?

It wasn’t until I came across this post by Nat Eliason, Proof You Can Do Hard Things, that the answer became obvious. It’s too bad I hadn’t realized it years ago.

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Meditation and faith

I began meditating regularly around the beginning of 2019. It’s hard to believe that I’ve kept at it for over four years. I’ve written about my meditation experience in the past, which you can read about it in these prior posts if you’re interested:

Just because I’ve meditated for four years doesn’t make me an expert on the subject, nor do I profess to be one. However, I have learned a lot through the practice, both about myself, and the connection between meditation and faith.

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Golfing in Northern Michigan: Arcadia Bluffs, Forest Dunes, and more

Arcadia Bluffs Clubhouse

Brad and I like to do a golf trip every year. This year, we decided to go to Northern Michigan. It was going to be hard to surpass the experience of our last two trips – The Monterey Peninsula and Bandon Dunes. In fact, I’m not sure anywhere, outside of a trip to Scotland or Ireland, would compare to those locations, each of which I would highly recommend. Northern Michigan, on the other hand, wasn’t anywhere near the top of my list of golf destinations. In fact, it wasn’t even on my list. Needless to say, my expectations were pretty low.

For the trip, we did a little research, broke out Golf Digest’s list of top public golf courses, and did some asking around. We put together a list of courses that included Forest Dunes, Garland Lodge & Golf Resort, Grand Traverse Resort, and Arcadia Bluffs.

Before getting into the details, let’s just say I was pleasantly surprised.

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