Book review: Afterparty

Book cover for Afterparty by Daryl Gregory

My reading list suffers from shiny object syndrome. I get bombarded with recommendations from friends, as well as my arch nemesis – Amazon. If it looks good, I’ll let it jump the queue. So one of my reading goals this year was being more disciplined and reading through some titles that had been on my list for a long time, in some cases two years, three years, or more.

So far, I’ve done a pretty good sticking to plan. Fat Chance, Lexicon, The God’s Eye View, Permutation City, Luna, and (R)evolution were all books that were added to my reading list in 2018, or earlier. The latest book I can check off this list is Afterparty by Daryl Gregory.

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On Diet: 8 Lessons I’ve Learned

After recently reading Tim Spector’s The Diet Myth, it occurred to me that I’ve read a number of informative books on diet and nutrition. They include such books as Wheat Belly, Grain Brain, and The Complete Guide to Fasting. I’ve experimented with the suggestions and advice in these books with varying degrees of success, and failure.

Based on what I’ve read and my personal experiences, I’m going to share 8 lessons I’ve learned about diet and nutrition. Bear in mind that these are general guidelines. This is not a set of diet rules or a list of what to eat, or what not to eat. These are the common diet and nutrition themes that appear in just about everything I read. They are also the themes that I’ve had the most success with in my personal diet experiments.

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Book review: The Diet Myth

Book cover for The Diet Myth by Tim Spector

One of my primary reading genres is books about health and nutrition. I feel it’s vitally important that we’re aware of what we’re feeding our bodies. I typically make it a point to read at least one book from this group every year, although I wouldn’t mind reading more. Unfortunately, I’d gotten away from reading in this area over the last year or two with the last good book I read about nutrition being The Complete Guide to Fasting by Dr. Jason Fung back in in 2019 (which I would highly recommend, by the way).

One of the challenges with reading health and nutrition books is identifying books based on solid science. There are so many books on the subject that it can be hard to separate the wheat from the chaff. Depending on the quality of the book, suggestions can be life changing for the better, or, if not researched properly and supported by quality data, they can have negative effects on one’s health, potentially even hazardous outcomes in the extreme.

Fortunately, one of my favorite blogs, A Learning a Day, made a strong recommendation for a nutrition book, The Diet Myth by Tim Spector. Given the good experiences I’ve had with previous recommendations from the blog, I added it to my (lengthy) reading list and finally got around to reading it.

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Book review: (R)evolution

Book cover for (R)evolution by PJ Manney

I’ve been doing a little better this year sticking to my reading list. I’ve also been doing a better job of reading books that have been languishing on my reading list for some time. The latest example was (R)evolution by PJ Manney.

I’m not exactly sure when I first discovered the book, but it first showed up on my 2019 reading list at #35. Since I usually read about 25-30 books a year, it’s highly unlikely that I’ll read any books below #20. So it took a couple of years to get to this one.

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The days are long, but the years are short

When you are in the arena, in the middle of the battle, in the thick of life, it seems as though time stands still. It feels like the day will never end, that tomorrow will never come. You fret. You worry. You waste precious time.

Yet, when you elevate and look at the big picture, you see just how small those past problems were in the bigger picture of life. Instead of living in the present and enjoying the moment, our human nature is to complain and wish for things to be different, whether it’s to be somewhere else, to be with someone else, or to just be someone else. Instead of embracing who we are, where we are, who we are with, and what we are doing, we ruin the moment by chasing that which isn’t real. We rob ourselves of making memories that will last a lifetime.

I can’t take credit for the title of this post, that goes to Gretchen Rubin. But no truer words have been written. I have seen them play out in my own life. I’ve seen them play out in Lisa’s, my children’s, my mother’s, and my friend’s lives. And if there is one thing I know for certain, I know they will continue to play out in all of our lives.

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Book review: How We’ll Live on Mars

Book cover for How We'll Live on Mars by Stephen L. Petranek

At our core, I feel like humans are natural explorers. That nature led our ancestors to spread across the face of the Earth. It drove our desire to visit the moon. And it is currently driving us to explore Mars.

There are all sorts of reasons why we might want to live on Mars, but curiosity is probably the biggest. People just want to know what it would be like. It’s a blank slate, a new opportunity.

However, there are some big questions that need to be answered before a human sets foot on Mars. In fact, there are a lot of questions and issues that need to be addressed before someone even attempts the trip. It’s those questions and issues that Stephen Petranek explores in How We’ll Live on Mars.

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Dining on the Northern California Coast: Stationaery and Nepenthe

I recently had the opportunity to spend some time golfing on the Monterey Peninsula. While most of the meals were included as part of the golf package, there were a couple of free nights available to explore the area.

Because it’s who I am and what I do, I did some research to decide where we should eat. Fortunately, the research paid off. I discovered two spots that I would certainly visit again the next time I’m in the area.

The view from the balcony at Nepenthe
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Book review: Stillness Is the Key

Book cover for Stillness Is the Key by Ryan Holiday

I’ve been reading books related to Stoicism and ancient Stoic philosophers for a few years now. I can trace my interest to Brad Feld’s blog, which is one of few that I still follow regularly. He wrote a book review about The Daily Stoic by Ryan Holiday and Stephen Hanselman at the end of 2017. I was intrigued.

I had heard of Ryan Holiday. His book, Trust Me, I’m Lying: Confessions of a Media Manipulator, transformed the way I view mainstream media and popular news websites. Little would I know that reading The Daily Stoic during 2018 would change my outlook and approach to life.

Since then, I’ve continued my exploration of Stoicism. I’ve read additional books related to Stoic philosophy, including other Ryan Holiday books such as Ego Is the Enemy and Stillness Is the Key, which I recently finished.

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Rating My Golf Experience on the Monterey Peninsula

The view from the 3rd tee at Spyglass Hill

I recently had the opportunity to take a once-in-a-lifetime golf trip. I got to play four incredible golf courses on the Monterey Peninsula – Pebble Beach Golf Links, Spyglass Hill, The Links at Spanish Bay, and Poppy Hills. It wouldn’t have been possible without the help and efforts of the Southern California Golf Association, for which I am very grateful.

I wrote about the overall trip previously. This post is going to focus on my rating of the courses that I was fortunate enough to get to play.

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