Bandon Dunes: A True Golf Experience

Brad and Gregg Borodaty on the 13th tee at Pacific Dunes Golf Course  Bandon Dunes, OR

A few years ago, a good friend asked if I had golfed at Bandon Dunes. I told him that I had heard of the place but didn’t know much about it. He attempted to explain his experience. While he struggled to find the right words, he used a lot of superlatives. Exasperated, he finally gave up trying to describe it and said, ” You have to go. You just have to go.”

Having just returned from Bandon Dunes, I can finally understand and appreciate his fascination with the resort. Words cannot adequately describe the experience, nor will I do it justice in this post. However, I’m going to give it my best shot and will tell you in advance – if you are a golfer and have a true passion, love, and appreciation for the game, it’s a place you have to go.

Wait, let me rephrase that – Bandon Dunes is a place you MUST go.

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Book review: Metabolical

Book cover for Metabolical by Dr. Robert Lustig

Is it possible that everything we’ve been taught about nutrition is wrong?

Are the nutrition and health guidelines developed by the USDA and FDA designed to improve our health, or are they contributing to the epidemic of diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, dementia, obstructive sleep apnea, autoimmune disease and others?

Are doctors being taught how to prevent sickness or how to treat symptoms?

Are “Big Food” and “Big Pharma” companies looking out for our health or are they more concerned with generating profits for their shareholders?

These are just a few of the questions that Dr. Robert Lustig explores in his book Metabolical: The Lure and the Lies of Processed Food, Nutrition, and Modern Medicine.

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The Stories We Tell Ourselves

For years, I assumed I was a bit crazy. I thought I was the only one who had constant, on-going discussions with myself. I did my best to suppress it, to ignore the voice inside my head.

Imagine my surprise when I became aware that we all have this “inner voice.” Some refer to it as “inner chatter.” I like calling it “the stories we tell ourselves.”

As it turns out, the stories we tell ourselves are important, extremely important.

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Book review: Uncanny Valley

Book cover for Uncanny Valley by Anna Wiener

When you work in the technology space like I do, reality gets distorted. It’s easy to forget that people outside the industry don’t understand what goes on behind the scenes in the software, websites, and mobile apps they use. For example, I’m careful, some may even say paranoid, about how much information I share on social media, if any at all.

Why the paranoia? I don’t trust that any of those companies have our personal privacy and best interests at heart. As the old saying goes, if you’re not paying for the product, then you are the product.

Because I work in this echo chamber, I find it interesting when a person outside the industry shares their perspective on what goes on inside of it. That’s why I chose to read Uncanny Valley by Anna Wiener.

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Sourdough Hydration

It’s been almost two years since I started baking my own bread, among other things. Baking appeals to me, more so than cooking. I think it’s because I see baking as more science than art, whereas cooking is more the opposite.

Two sourdough loaves of bread

Baking speaks to my analytical, engineering mind. Each bake is a like a science experiment where I am trying to find the right mix of ingredients. Even the slightest of changes in ingredient ratios can have dramatic effects, which is why I like to measure everything with a scale. The ultimate goal is to find the right mix and ratio of ingredients to create a repeatable process.

As part of my journey baking sourdough bread, I’ve experimented with lots of different variables. My latest experiment involved trying different hydration levels.

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Book review: Story

Book cover for Story: Substance, Structure, Style, and The Principles of Screenwriting by Robert McKee

Whether or not we are aware of it, we live our lives through stories. If it’s not the stories that others tell us, the ones we read, or the ones we watch on TV and the movies, then it’s the ones we tell ourselves. Given that stories are such an important part of how we view the world, the ability to tell compelling stories is important. It’s especially important when you are building a business and trying to market your product and services. I know because I’ve been there and am living it now.

I hadn’t given much thought to studying how to tell a story until I read this article on Matt Blumberg’s blog. It was this excerpt from the article that inspired me to learn more about the art of storytelling:

“In business, the best story wins.” That’s another quote from a former manager of mine that I have found to be universally true. People in business respond to many things: numbers, bullet points, graphs and visualizations. But they respond to all of those things better when they are wrapped in stories…. When you can present your hypotheses in the context of a story, about your business, your customers, what you want to achieve, how you will do it, and why it matters, you will build consensus and show leadership.

In his post, Blumberg recommended reading Story: Substance, Structure, Style, and the Principles of Screenwriting by Robert McKee as a way to learn about and improve your storytelling. While the book is primarily targeted at screenwriters, Blumberg asserted that it would help you think about “all the elements that go into a good story”. I figured it was worth taking a flyer to see if I could improve the way I present things to people, in particular my business, and the products and services I offer.

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Disconnecting – one way to improve focus and being present

Being present and living in the moment is one of the key principles I’ve learned through my meditation practice over the past few years. Meditation reinforces the principle by having you sit quietly and observe your thoughts. It’s an interesting process, and one that can be unsettling and sometimes a bit scary when you have a mind as active as mine.

Anyways, my meditation practice has encouraged me to look for ways to improve being present when I’m not sitting alone with my thoughts. There are so many things that vie for our attention during the day that it’s easy to get distracted. If I were to list the biggest offenders, the internet and my phone would be near the top of the list, if not at the top.

While I’d like to experiment with disconnecting for multiple days, it’s not something that’s easy to do given my work. So I find it interesting to read (and learn) about others’ experiences. The latest experience came courtesy of David McCain, who runs the blog Raptitude.com. You can read about his full experience here – https://www.raptitude.com/2022/02/what-i-learned-during-my-three-days-offline/

I really enjoyed the post and figured I’d share the things I learned from it.

(Not lost on me is the irony of having to be online to read a post about what I learned about someone else being offline, but that’s a topic for another time.)

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Fixing ‘Invalid argument supplied for foreach()’ PHP Warning in WordPress

I ran into a problem recently on a WordPress site that I manage where I was unable to disable and uninstall numerous plug-ins. After looking through the error logs on the web server, I found the following warning showing up repeatedly in the PHP error log:

PHP Warning: Invalid argument supplied for foreach() in /var/www/html/example.com/wp-cron.php on line 117

Here’s what I did to identify and fix the problem.

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Book review: The Silent Patient

Book cover for The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides

Outside of entertainment and learning, one of the things I enjoy most about reading is discussing and sharing books with others. I especially like it when people share book recommendations with me. Nearly all my most interesting reads have come from recommendations. And while I might not get to all of my recommendations right away, eventually I manage to get to them. I know my daughter Courtney can relate.

Anyway, both Courtney and Amanda read The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides last year. They both liked it, a lot. Since they both highly recommended it, I made it a point to put it at the top of my 2022 reading list even though it isn’t in my primary reading genre of science fiction. I wasn’t exactly sure what I was getting into, but I figured I’d give it a shot.

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2022 Fitness goals

Every year I like to do a review of the past year’s fitness goals and set new ones for the next year. This year is no different, even if I’m publishing them over a month into the year.

If you’ve followed my goals from years past, I usually focus on three areas – working out, physical activity, and diet. This year is going to be more of the same.

First, we’ll start by reviewing last year’s goals. Then we’ll move on to the goals for 2022.

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