What I’m Contemplating
- This Email From Elon Musk to Tesla Employees Describes What Great Communication Looks Like – Love, love this and even used in a talk I gave tonight to the Rose City Software Quality Engineers about the role of managers in an agile software environment.
- Our 6 Must Reads for Scaling Yourself as a Leader
- What I Hear When You Tell Me Your Company Doesn’t Do Meetings – Yep: “don’t do meetings” usually means “we don’t know how to do meetings well.”
What I’m Playing
I had a great long weekend of gaming with Greg (and father-in-law David).
- San Juan – Played in a bar while watching the Army / Fordham football game. Always up for this.
- Jet Set – First time playing this game by a local designer. Good, light fun; close to Ticket to Ride in complexity.
- Viticulture – Probably my favorite Euro game of the past 5 years. Taught this to David and he seemed to enjoy it.
- Band of Brothers: Screaming Eagles – David and I played this a year ago so it is officially an annual tradition.
- Custom Heroes – First play for me, wacky climbing card game where the cards morph throughout the game.
- Innovation – Two plays over the weekend. I like playing just the basic set.
- Isle of Trains – New game for me, didn’t like it much at the start but got better. You are building a train and completing delivery contracts.
What I’m Reading
- Finished reading A Great Place to Have a War: America in Laos and the Birth of a Military CIA – A bit too much depth and “inside baseball” on our presence in Laos, but I enjoyed it as far as I went (about 2/3 of the way through it). Summary: we didn’t just screw over Cambodia and Vietnam in the 60s and 70s, but also Laos!
- Finished reading Antifragile: Things That Gain from Disorder, and it was even better than The Black Swan. It resonated with me in such an organic way: we need to construct systems and our lives that embrace and incorporate stress and even malfunction. It is how we get better and learn to minimize the downside of catastrophe.
What I’m Listening To
- Astral Weeks – I’m not sure why I wanted to listen to this again, but it has recently become my “focus music” for doing work. Van Morrison is my James Joyce, and I can even claim to get through the entire album.
- Mr. Misunderstood – I don’t know why I wanted to listen to this country album, but I did and liked it. And a double reference to Jeff Tweedy in the title track!
How I’m Optimizing
- Staying Fit With No Gym in Sight – I’m taking some of this to heart as I transition away from half-marathon training. The air quality has been so atrocious around here that I’ve been reluctant to run anyway, and there are some good ideas in here that are working for me. Doing more push-up sets every day, more squats with my heavy kettle bell.
- Tim Ferriss: Mr. Money Mustache — Living Beautifully on $25–27K Per Year
- Michael Kitces – The 4% Rule and Financial Planning for Early Retirement – The math behind some of the advice I gave to Jacob and Matthew.