I think crowd sourcing is an interesting way to make data driven decisions on daily life. Take scheduling meetings for example. It’s a nightmare to find a time that works for everyone. Meeting scheduling website When Is Good looked at 100,000 responses to 34,000 over 2 years and found that 3pm on Tuesday is the most agreeable time for a meeting.
The basic findings of their crowd sourcing study are as follows:
Event invitations are most likely to be accepted for a Tuesday at 3pm.
Surprisingly, very little variation exists between the days of the week.
On average only 3 or 4 people out of 10 will be available at any given time.
People are happier than you might think to work through lunch.
Flexibility jumps up at 10 and 11 in the morning, but peaks at 3PM.
This Sat-Sun-Mon I will row 100-miles from San Francisco to Sacramento with Renee and Jon from the Dolphin Club. We will be rowing upstream in a 40-50 year old wooden rowboat.
Day 1: San Francisco to Collinsville
Day 2: Collinsville to Freeport
Day 3: Freeport to Sacramento, drive home
Needless to say I am SUPER EXCITED as I prepare myself for this thing. This trip will be the culmination of my 2009 rowing season. I expect my hands and glute’s to be in tatters after this journey. Aside from the physical strain, the route is an adventure. We will be rowing upstream on trafficked shipping lane and using back-eddies to help us along. The plan is to have 2 people on the oars and 1 person steering. We will rotate at 20-minute intervals.
Tangible Goal = improve my sight so I can work into the night without my eyes going blurry.
Some of my friends have asked me how Lasik went. It went well. Last Friday I got my got Lasik on my eyes for the second time. Originally I was +3 (farsighted). After my first Lasik I was +1.5. Now with my second surgery I’m intended to be zero, or without prescription. This means I can work later into the evening without my eyes getting tired. This correction puts at risk my ability to see far, to some extent, although I have not experienced that yet. My close-up vision is noticeably sharper, it’s as if I just traded-in my Sanyo for a Sony Vega.
Here before and after pictures. A small subconjunctival hemorrhage is visible in the 48 hours picture (at 11 o’clock on the eye). This harmless side affect will resolve in a few weeks. It was caused by the suction ring applied to my eye to cut the flap. The eye flap is folded back so the laser can reshape my stroma. Details on wikipedia.
The Lasik procedure is painless, but eary, especially since I knew what was coming. I had my first surgery in August 2008. I’m glad it’s done. It’s 15 of the worst minutes of my life. The body/mind is very defensive about the eyes, for good reason.
I’m anticipating the side affect of dry eyes. The doctors treated this last time with a lower tear duct block, which may or may not still be in there. Time will tell.
The most common mountaineering question I get asked is “How was Everest”. It’s a hard question to answer with a phrase or two. It requires a great deal of hang waving a a certain amount of time to encapsulate a life changing event where I risked my life, carried the body of a dead man, nearly plunged 3000 vertical feet down the Lhotse Iceface, made friendships that will last a lifetime, and lost 50 pounds of my own body weight. It was a tremendous event in my life, so it’s hard for me to summarize, and I usually don’t want to.
So you can imagine my amazement when I overheard someone today in REI summarize his Mount Everest expedition in 13-words. I think this quote is originally attributed to Andre Roch, although I heard it from someone else. Mostly the quote makes me laugh, some things just can’t be ‘boiled down’.
“Mount Everest is very easy to climb, only just a little too high.”
Here are some my pictures from my expedition to Mount Everest in 2005. I stood on the top of this particular ‘tangible goal’ at 9AM on 6/2/2005.
Regrettably, I spend 26 hours per month commuting between work and home. This leaves me a lot of time in the car to think about which is the ideal lane on Highway 101. Here is a fun little video about that.
What did not resonate. Bill Gurstelle is a fellow Minnesotan, but a solely different kind of “adventurer”. His book is ostensibly about him blowing things up with gun powder, which isn’t really my style. Not that I’m against detonating inanimate objects, it’s just not a tangible adventure. It’s more impactful (to me) to reflect on climbing Mount Everest, than to ruminate on an exploded grapefruit.
What did resonate. The graph above resonated. Bill coins the “Golden Third” of people as happier because they take risks. He says we live in an age where disruptive ides are critical to our future. Children and adults should have the “license” to invent and to adventure beyond the safety of the envelope, just like the first caveman who overcame the fear of fire.
In my previous blog post I mentioned that runners are more likely to get injured in expensive shoes than in less expensive shoes, and even less likely to get injured running barefoot. Customers are spending money to hurt themselves. This is based on Christopher McDougall’s research in the book Born To Run.
A few of my friends have suggested that people that buy expensive running shoes are more likely to drive themselves harder and get injured. This angle is addressed in the book — Chris talked about casual runners who run three times a week and still get injured in expensive shoes.
So, I still believe that spending money on expensive shoes is a waste of cash. You’re better off making shoes out of 2 liter bottles, as in the picture.
We went on a day hike on a plantation in North Maui. Along the way we found waterfalls, a swimming hole and some very interesting plants. One plant featured protective leaves that turn inward to protect itself from insects, and another had a flower that tasted exactly like mushrooms.
If you have help me identify these plants I’d love it.
I picked up an interesting book today. Born To Run says runners are more likely to get injured in expensive shoes than in less expensive shoes, and even less likely to get injured running barefoot. In other words, the author believes customers are spending money to hurt themselves.
Could it be that cheaper shoes force runners to run properly on the ball of the foot, and that this method of running prevents injuries? Chris McDougall thinks this running style is better for and is more efficient.
I personally still wear my Nike Free shoes in the gym, but I have switched to Vibram Five Fingers for running and rowing. I am also looking to the Five Fingers shoes to help correct my toe position, after years of being stuffed inside tight mountaineering boots my pinkie toe curves inwards too much.