Random Poem

“There was once a man who became unstuck in the world – he realized that he was not his car, he realized that he was not his job, he was not his phone, his desk or his shoes. Like a boat cut from its anchor, he’d begin to drift.

“There was once a man who became unstuck in the world – he took the wind for a map, he took the sky for a clock, and he set off with no destination. He was never lost.

“There once was a man who became unstuck in the world – instead of hooks or a net, he threw himself into the sea. He was never thirsty.

“There was once a man who became unstuck in the world – with a Polaroid camera he made pictures of all the people he met, and then he gave all the pictures away. He would never forget their faces.

“There was once a man who became unstuck in the world – and each person he met became a little less stuck themselves. He traveled only with himself and he was never alone.

“There was once a man who’d become unstuck in the world – and he traveled around like a leaf in the wind until he reached the place where he started out. His car, his job, his phone, his shoes – everything was right where he’d left it. Nothing had changed, and yet he felt excited to have arrived here – as if this were the place he’d been going all along.”

Castles In The Sky

A Taylor Steele Film

Recent Stuff: git, docker, cloud hosting, javascript, infusionsoft and elementor

Recently I’ve been experimenting with the fantastic version control system on GitHub learning how to use that with docket to install containers on various locations.

When I first got introduced to computers, my father was starting to do desktop publishing on a desktop computer that didn’t have a GUI.

Does anyone remember the term 2-86?

I’ve been loving working with command line interfaces. It’s nice to be able to just type something in and have it happen magically. I love it, and I’m going to have to buy a second computer to run Linux on and do my development work. I can’t afford a Mac after all.

An aside:

I think it’s sad it seems the development community has gone the way of the Apple. I see Apple as the ultimate gatekeepers. Charging twice as much for the same thing mostly just for style. Having tools like Framer X only available on Macs right now is sad. STEM fields have always had higher barriers of entry for education. You need better tools, better computers, better money to be able to access the tools needed to study these fields. 

Anyways:

Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, and Digital Ocean are all offering competing services regarding cloud computing. I’ve experimented with all of them but have spent the most time with AWS (although digital ocean is far cheaper and it seems the instances they run with equivalent power are much much powerful than AWS 🤔)

Anyways I’ve learned how to use EC2, Elastic Confainer Services (ECS), setting up a VPC and security groups (SG) how to set up a auto scaling group and load balancer. I’ve reminder myself about other skills like SSH and keys and using domain redirecting etc.

Well its all been a lot of late nights and frustration but I’m start to get the hang of it and it feels good.

Who knows how these skills will come into play in the future. Most modern businesses rely on these features to run and so it is important to have knowledge of them.

I’ve also had the opportunity recently to consult with a group and use infusionsoft for the first time. I had been experimenting with sales force and infusionsoft is a similar platform but seems to be better suited for small businesses. It’s extremely complicated but not too hard to learn if you’ve got a little bit of logic in your noggin. I’ve managed to get decent with setting up tags and the campaign builder as well as setting up many other configurations.

Elementor is the best WordPress plugin for templating available and its been a real privilege to use it. I don’t trust that it isn’t creating just a huge mess of code and a very slow and cumbersome site that google hates but lets hope not.

Brene Brown: The Power of Vulnerability

YouTube Link

Quotes from the talk:

How has vulnerability worked in your life?

“The less you talk about it, the more you have it.” (fear of vulnerability)

“The people who have a strong sense of belonging believe they are worthy.”

“We numb vulnerability…We are the most in-debt obese addicted and medicated adult cohort. You can’t selectively numb emotion.”

“You can’t selectively numb so when you numb you also numb joy, gratitude, happiness, and then we are miserable, and we are looking for purpose and meaning, and then we look for beers and…”

“Our children are hardwired for struggle when they get here.”

When you hold those perfect little babies in your hand:

Our job is not to say:

“Look at her; she is perfect; my job is just to keep her perfect and make sure she makes the tennis team by fifth grade and Yale by seventh.”

Our job is to say:

” You are imperfect and you are wired for struggle, but you are worthy of love and belonging.”

To love with our whole hearts even though there is no guarantee.

To practice gratitude and joy in those moments of terror when we are wondering:

”Can I love you this much?”

”Can believe in this passionately?

”Can I be this fierce about this?”

To be able to stop and instead of catastrophizing what might happen to say:

”I’m just so grateful to feel this vulnerable because it means I’m alive. ”

I’m enough:

When we start from a place of that says I believe I’m enough we stop screaming and we start listening. We are kinder and gentler to the people around us, and we are kinder and gentler to ourselves.

Alex’s Reflections:

Recently in been struggling to cope with the idea that for the first time in my life, I met someone who understood me so well I didn’t feel alone. I’ve always felt alone no matter what. Like no one really understood me. I met someone who I felt understood me so well, and I had never felt more of a sense of belonging ever before. This led me to allow myself to be far more vulnerable than I ever have before. Unfortunately, due to things in my past and variables in the situation that were out of anyone’s control this feeling will not last forever. Staying grateful is essential and I will try my hardest to be grateful for my experiences even if they don’t last forever.

Regardles, questions persist:

Will I ever me able to engage in that form of vulnerability again without being reminded of how amazing my past experiences felt and comparing? Comparing is never a good idea but sometimes it feels hard not to do.

Did I even deserve to feel the comfort I felt in the first place? The way things have ended suggests maybe I didn’t deserve to feel such comfort in the first place and I took advantage of a situation. That none of it was authentic.

Obviously I’m struggling very hard right now to believe I deserve love.

The solution will have to be to move away from attempting to feel love and instead focus on feeling worth of being loved by society and that I have a place in it and that its okay to feel alone.

I think once I feel loved by society for more than just superficial purposes then maybe I’ll be okay.

Opiates

I have not much to say besides the opiate epidemic infuriates me. After loosing many friends over the years I’d like to say: If I ever have the opportunity, I would like to spend significant resources to do what I can to bring attention to this issue.

Issues:

  • Doctors need to be held accountable for what they prescribe
  • Doctors need to be better trained (to treat underlying causes and not focus so much on symptoms)
  • Doctors need to take mental health seriously
  • Doctors and pharmaceutical companies need to be held accountable for kickbacks and other loopholes like speaking engagements in exchange for prescribing
  • Addicts need to be treated like humans and given a fair amount of time when they are in the hospital
  • Other issues like pharmaceutical “evergreening” require reform
  • All of this goes towards greater issue with the healthcare system while still remain unaddressed

Entrepreneurship: Why? and The Law of Diffusion of Innovation

I was recently introduced to Simon Sinek’s TEDTalk on Why:

It really reminds me of another interview I found quite inspiring by Barbara Corcoran of Shark Tank:

These articles bring up a number of questions for me:

What motivates you?
Why do you do it?

How do you inspire those you lead?
How do you move beyond inspiring/motivating people with money, stability, power and career advancement?
(Rather, WHY do you inspire/motivate people? 😜)

What are some struggles that are individual to your life experience?
How does having overcome them help you today? Why do they help you?

The Oxford Comma in Legal Writing

To make cookies you need: eggs, butter, sugar, sugar, different sugar, more sugar, and/or comma and soul.

I was involved in heated discussion with two co-workers today on the use of the oxford comma in legal writing. Tonight I was interested in exploring this topic, and settling the score, once and for all. <——see what I did.

When do we comma in legal writing??

Heh, heh, and heh

After reviewing numerous sites and reading many articles on this topic, it seems to be pretty cut and dry:

In legal writing:
Creativity and rhythm is not the priority.
Clarity is the priority.

Therefor, WHEN IN DOUBT, use commas. Personally, I think most of the time I don’t use a comma before and. It is redundant and bad style. Regardless, I respect those who are concerned with using this comma before an and. Personally, I’m generally so focused on content when reading, I don’t really have time to be noticing commas or lack thereof.

Conclusion: USE IT in legal writing, especially where clarity and logical separation is an issue.

  • (1) The The New York Times Manual of Style and Usage says you don’t need it, but
  • (2) the The Chicago Manual of Style says you do, and
  • (3) i just like lists.

The woods are lovely, dark and deep.

-Robert Frost

vs

The woods are lovely, dark, and deep.

-Lawyer

Potomac Appalachian Trail Club – Mountaineering Section 2018 – Journeys Photo Winner!

I’m very grateful to share with you an image of mine I took with my DJI Mavic drone of my friends Will and Emil climbing a route in Mexico last winter climbing season.

See later in this post for more videos and images. 

Make sure you are full screen and in High Resolution on youtube to do these Justice

Mota Wall, Park: Potrero Chico, City: Hidalgo, State: Nuevo Leon County: Mexico

Those of you who know me know I have been rock climbing for a number of years as my preferred method of getting exercise and interacting with nature. I have found it both exciting and challenging to train for this physically and mentally challenging sport while also learning the many many many systems and techniques of using ropes and other assorted equipment to maintain safe practices. While this sport has been expensive, challenging, and (since it is body weight dependent) quite hard on a 195 lbs 6’4″ individual, I am have enjoyed it tremendously.

I LOVE introducing people to climbing. If you are reading this and want to try it out, feel free to ask. It is truly a gift for me to share something I have loved doing with someone that shows interest.

This shot took a lot of preparation: Good conditions required that the route be well lit, easily accessible by drone and somewhat secluded from other climbers as not to disturb them for safety reasons. When filming or taking images of climbers, I really prefer to get “in-and-out” with drones. We chose a tall route on the far end of Mota wall which got a lot of sun in the morning since it faced the inside of the Potrero.

PATC-MS Website:
https://www.potomacmountainclub.org

Other Photo Winners from 2018: https://photos.google.com/share/AF1QipMyIPG9eGSmQsck1m3ovF42Lpk98_SIlnY2gG1MurljMS8PS8PrwDioRaStkbxrRw?key=dFJuSjY5dU9ab2w1NTl3cW1XVjdpSE1DbjlmM2lR

(Just to brag) here is some of my rock climbing equipment: