During 2018, I read 27 books, which is slightly above my average for a year. I read a mix of science fiction, personal development, business, and general fiction books. As I like to do every year, here’s my best of list from the past year. You can use these to round out your 2019 reading list if you’re in need of a few suggestions.Continue reading
As I do each year, I finished organizing my reading list for 2019 this past week. While my list is still ridiculously long at over 200 books, I did a better job of managing it during the past year. I read 27 books and only added 36 the list. Given I read 25-30 books per year, I’m still sitting around 8 years of backlog.Continue reading
So my calendar may be off by a few days. I realize that it’s nearly mid-December, but, as they say, better late than never.
Even though I said it wasn’t going to happen again, I let the beard make another appearance this year. For this edition, I switched things up just a bit. I let it go five weeks with little, if any grooming, which is the picture you see here. I also decided to start it a little early. I usually let the beard stick around until after the holidays, but I’m not planning on it this year.
I’m still not feeling the beard, even after having done it for the last 7+ years. This could be the last year it makes an appearance.
Then again, I say that every year, so even I wouldn’t bet on it. As a good friend of mine says, I’m 85% certain this is it.
If you’re interested in taking a peak back here’s the post from last year that has a history dating back to 2012 – Fear the Beard – 2017.
I get out to Las Vegas a couple of times every year. Usually, I’m there without a car, and my coffee options are limited to what’s available on The Strip. Unless you’re drinking the coffee from one of the restaurants, about the only place you can get a cup is by venturing into one of the stores with the big green logo.
Since I’m not a big fan of their coffee, and I had access to a car on my recent trip to Vegas, I decided it was time to venture off The Strip to see what Las Vegas had to offer in the way of coffee. Given the population density, I figured there must be at least a couple of worthy options if I was up for doing some exploring. Without giving too much away, let’s just say my hunch was correct.
In addition to sampling Seattle’s coffee and ice cream scene (two of my favorite indulgences, by the way), I had the opportunity to check out a few restaurants during my time there this summer, too. The restaurant selection in Seattle is large, diverse, and good – very good. It doesn’t top San Francisco or New York City in my opinion, but it certainly holds its own. Of the numerous places I tried, here are the ones that stood out. They’re the ones that I hope to get back to someday and would recommend to anyone visiting the city.
Those who know me know that I like Seattle. I had wanted to go there for the longest time, and my first visit a couple of years ago exceeded my expectations. So when my daughter Courtney landed an internship in the city for the summer, I immediately knew what I would be doing – visiting her!
I’ve made a couple of trips there recently, and it gets better each time. I’ve had more time to explore and search out those places that are hidden gems. Just like my first visit, I haven’t been disappointed in what I’ve found.
As luck would have it, I discovered over the last year that I’m a “foodie”. Don’t ask how. That’s a post for a different time. But being a foodie means I can get picky about where and what I eat. Fortunately, Seattle does not lack for good places. As part of my exploring, I’ve discovered that Seattle takes two particular food items very seriously – ice cream and coffee, which is fine by me. It just so happens these are two of my favorite indulgences. Give me good ice cream and good coffee, and I’m a happy camper. Give me both, and I’m in heaven.
If you’re heading to Seattle, here’s my go-to list of places to try out. If you live in the area, I’d love to hear your opinion and any recommendations you might have for my next visit.
Back in 2012, my dad asked me to apply for tickets to The Masters. He had been applying for a few years and wasn’t having any luck getting tickets through their annual lottery. He figured that having me, my sister, my uncle, and a few others apply would increase his chances of getting to go back to the event, as he was lucky enough to have gone once before.
Every year since then I would apply, and I would get the same response around mid-June:
We have completed the random selection process for Daily Tournament tickets and regret to inform you that your application was not selected for tickets.
I’m certain that many of you are familiar with that message.
This year, I was shocked when I opened the email with the standard 2018 Masters Tickets subject line and read the following:
Congratulations. The Masters Tournament is pleased to announce that our random selection process for 2018 Practice Rounds tickets has been completed and your application for tickets has been selected.
My immediate reaction was what do I do now? To which my Dad replied, BUY THE TICKETS!!!
Needless to say, the tickets were purchased, and the planning began. It was a long wait from the time I received the email on June 20, 2017 to attending the practice round on April 4, 2018.
If Jim Nantz calls the tournament “A tradition like no other,” then attending The Masters is an experience like no other. It is difficult to convey how impressive everything in and around the event is in words and pictures, but I’m going to give it a try in the rest of this post.
It seems like it was just a couple of weeks ago that we moved Brad into his freshman dormitory at Eastern Michigan University. Well, whether I want to believe it or not, it was four years ago! Yup, four. years. ago. Where did the time go?
We recently got back from Brad’s graduation. Based on the picture at the right, I’m not sure who was happier. I know Brad had to be excited, but we as parents were also happy to have our second one through college. Having the financial burden and responsibility of a second child finishing school is a clear cause for celebration. It’s also a time for reflection, which I did plenty of during the weekend.
For whatever reason, I just can’t help myself when it comes to growing out the beard. This past year, I started even earlier than normal. Instead of waiting for Mo’vemeber, I started the process in early October. I decided to experiment a little this year with different looks.
For the most part, it was good. Here’s what I learned in the process.
2017 was the fifth year I blogged. Given how many blogs don’t make it past five weeks, I’m pretty happy I’ve made it this far. At this point, I don’t see myself stopping. As I’ve mentioned in the past, you need a reason other than traffic, fame, or money to keep you motivated to blog. I do it for other reasons, which you can read about here. You can also see my prior blog reviews by clicking on the years – 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013.
Overall, 2017 wasn’t my best effort. I fell way behind on my book reviews and have 14 pending at the time of this writing. I had two months this past year, April and May, with zero posts. As I’ve mentioned in the past, it’s not a lack of ideas holding me back. I have almost 90 post ideas in my queue, not to mention a whole category of posts on startups that pushes the total to somewhere between 110 and 120.
With all that said, I intend to soldier on. My goal remains to hit the elusive 100 posts for the year, which will once again be my goal for 2018. Before we look too far into the future, let’s start by taking look at the past.