Your Human-Size Life

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Your Human-Size Life:

One of the biggest mistakes rich people make is to try to live larger than a single human being can. A mathematical impossibility. You can buy a big house, but you can only sleep in one bedroom at a time. You can own twenty fantastic cars, airplanes and yachts, but you can only be in one at a time. You can own an NBA team and a MLB team, and you get to sit in the nicest seat in the house at games, but you still can only sit in one seat. In other words, your humanity doesn’t increase just because your wealth did. You don’t get bigger.

via Phil and just about everyone else.

How Capicola Became Gabagool: The Italian New Jersey Accent, Explained

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How Capicola Became Gabagool: The Italian New Jersey Accent, Explained:

If you were to go to southern Italy, you wouldn’t find people saying “gabagool.” But some of the old quirks of the old languages survived into the accents of Standard Italian used there. In Sicily or Calabria, you might indeed find someone ordering “mutzadell.” In their own weird way, Jersey (and New York and Rhode Island and Philadelphia) Italians are keeping the flame of their languages alive even better than Italian-Italians. There’s something both a little silly and a little wonderful about someone who doesn’t even speak the language putting on an antiquated accent for a dead sub-language to order some cheese.

The Walk of Life Project

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The Walk of Life Project:

Even if you don’t know the Dire Straits song “Walk of Life” by name you’ll recognize it immediately when you hear it. Fun fact: It’s the perfect song to end any movie.

At least that’s the contention of the Walk of Life Project, the brainchild of Peter Salomone, a freelance video editor and writer. And I’m inclined to agree with him. Slap “Walk of Life” to the end of any movie and it immediately becomes 400 percent better. That’s just science.

Slack, I’m Breaking Up with You

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Slack, I’m Breaking Up with You:

I think you and I can both agree that meetings are kind of the worst. And, on the surface, you do totally obviate the need for a ton of them. I can definitely think of many times in which a quick Slack whip-around has saved me from all kinds of interpersonal tedium. So thank you for that.

However, I’m wondering what the cost of it is. Specifically, I wonder if conducting business in an asynchronish environment simply turns every minute into an opportunity for conversation, essentially “meeting-izing” the entire workday.

tl;dr:

Jason Fried on Twitter

What would you call an all-day meeting with unknown participants and no agenda?

Guy Fieri’s Big Gulp

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Guy Fieri’s Big Gulp:

There are so many amazing quips in this GQ profile of Guy Fieri’s wine operation, but this one takes the cake:

And if you’re looking for a metaphor of how the food-and-wine establishment views Guy Fieri, it’s hard to top a man who feeds dog shit to slow-moving animals and calls it foie gras.

Five Years at Automattic

Earlier this month I celebrated my fifth(!) anniversary at Automattic, where I lead our WordPress.com VIP team (and occasionally serve as its mascot).

Famously, Automattic is a 100% distributed company: we don’t have a central office, and instead everyone works from where ever they happen to be—home, coworking spaces, cafes, parks, planes, trains, and automobiles.

For me, when I’m not traveling or invading the offices of the country’s largest publishers, that’s my home office.

And I’m lucky to have two great kids who know when I’m working and will give me the space (and usually, silence) I need to do that. Once in a while though, they sneak into my office and we’ll take some silly pictures together. I hadn’t noticed, but we now have hundreds of these pictures spanning the past five years.

Many technology companies are generous with their salaries, employee benefits, and perks—Automattic gets all of that right, and so much more. The value of these little moments together is immeasureable.

If that sounds interesting to you, we have a few positions open on my team—and many more elsewhere at Automattic. Join us!

You’re never going to be Steve Jobs—but you could be Steve Ballmer

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You’re never going to be Steve Jobs—but you could be Steve Ballmer:

You’re not like Jobs. Jobs was a handsome, lustrous-haired genius who hooked up with another genius in his early 20s and formed a new, globally important (and immediately successful) company. Ballmer was a funny-looking, bald non-genius who joined a growing company as its 30th employee. Which is more like you?

Why Do Pharmacists Still Exist?

I’ve spent part of this otherwise relaxing Thanksgiving weekend at the urgent care with a sick kid, then making subsequent phone calls and visits to both the pharmacy and the doctor to clear up some confusion with the prescription—and found myself wondering: why is this necessary?

As far as I can tell, a pharmacist’s job is to 1) count things, and 2) prevent medications from having negative interactions.

These both seem like things doctors (nevermind computers) are capable of doing for us. Why can’t doctors distribute medication directly to their patients?

12 Months

twelve-months

One year ago today I started running regularly—the first time as an adult that I’ve maintained a consistent exercise routine (one prior attempt in 2009, with fatherhood looming, lasted about a month until I was overtaken by new dad sleeplessness).

In twelve months I’ve run 450.7 miles, for an average of about 9 miles/week. I had been on pace to beat 500 miles until the dregs of New York’s winter set in; I don’t mind the cold—I ran through December (actually my best month at~60 miles logged), January, and half of February—but then slipped into a six-week hiatus when the really gross, wet, and icy weather set in.

This year I’m hoping to get my weekly average closer to 12-15 miles by reintroducing distance runs, and upping routine runs from 5k to 4m, which should put me well over 500 miles twelve months from now.

I’m posting this to help keep me honest :)

A few miscellaneous suggestions for others new to running:

  • Don’t cheap out on sneakers! I waited way too long to upgrade my ancient running shoes, but when I did it had a huge impact on my gait, leading to less fatigue and fewer injuries. You should absolutely visit a local Running Company or similar, where their staff will put you on a treadmill, watch you run, and recommend the best shoes for your specific needs.
  • Break up the monotony however you can. I usually prefer to run alone, but will occasionally bring the dog out for the first mile (or recently, my four year old) just to mix things up.
  • Stick to your schedule. If you’re traveling, or tired/hungover/whatever, get out there anyway…even if you walk a bunch and kill your pace stat, it will help keep you mentally checked-in. For me anyway, skipping one day often turns into two, or three, or…a lot more.