Burned 1000 calories in an hour yesterday, because there was no way I could do it.

6.2 flat treadmill miles took 64 minutes, didn’t stop running until 50 minutes and only because my sock had bunched up inside my shoe and I was worried about getting a blister. Around minute 30 my left leg started tingling like it was falling asleep. I’ll chalk that up to circulatory system fatigue.

I never thought I’d be able to finish. Well, I should say I anticipated forcing myself to finish, but somewhere in my mind was this voice saying “he probably won’t be able to do it, and that’s ok” But this voice only made me want to finish even more. I hate that condescending voice. I imagine its a nice looking gentle talking woman, and shes talking about me to someone else IN FRONT of me. That special kind of “don’t say it to his face, but he’s not really a star, he’s just what we have to work with for now”… voice.

I’ve got this panel of experts in my head that determine whether or not I should try and run another minute. “At minute 15, let’s go to 16 and then we’ll stop” they say before retreating back into their conference room full of monitoring equipment and charts. They are the board, the planners, the strategizers that come out every once in awhile and tell the bridge officers and engineers responsible for controlling all bodily functions to run at this speed for this long. These bridge officers and engineers trust them and do whatever they say. They in turn promise to report any and all abnormalities which is always just pain and suffering and yelling “we need to stop – soon!” They also place orders for inspirational music and to inject adrenaline to kick it into high gear, ignore knee and hip pain. They also keep watch on other runners at the Y who are so obviously competing with me (they aren’t). I just watch the whole thing unfold while I continue to make the same motions with my legs and arms. Sometimes I turn the whole thing off and just stop running and walk instead. Usually its because my stomach hurts or I don’t have the inspiration to keep beating my feet. I’ll never take for granted what it’s like to run while in pain, and I headshakingly think about all those endearing historical figures I’ve read about who have.

When you’re trying to get in shape you do crazy stupid insane things like running without stopping for 50+ minutes. Who does that? Not me. Which is precisely why I had to at least try it. If I failed, so what, try it again later I guess – or don’t, it doesn’t matter. Die and restart the mission from the last time you saved like a video game.  If you fail to run as fast or as far as you were trying to, you don’t really die and because you at least tried to make it, you’re that much further along when you try again. Amazingly this is how getting in shape works. You have to keep pushing yourself, but you get to keep what you accomplished. This concept was hardly established whenever I had thought about exercising to get in shape.  I figured each and every time I could force myself to exercise it would be just as painful, depressing and difficult as the first time. Boy was I wrong. It gets easier until you choose to make it harder, but it’s not hard just because you’re exercising. Of course, if you don’t exercise at least once every 2-3 days, your accomplishments turn to a fine powdery sand and simply disappear.

A lot of people get in shape after a mid life crisis or a big event in their lives like, ahem, getting divorced after being married for 13 years. For me, it was a lot of things. I can’t say for certain I had (am having?) a midlife crisis, because I don’t like to minimize or commonly categorize the effort and brutal hard work I’m voluntarily putting into getting in shape. Why couldn’t I be the one who wasn’t fat, and could run 5k and 10k marathons? Why not me? Is that a midlife crisis? I don’t care.

For many, getting divorced means changing their lives entirely. So while this upside down world is taking shape, why not lose 30 pounds? I in fact initially went the opposite direction. I took on some pretty self-destructive habits like smoking and drinking (more than normal) for the sole purpose of showing myself I can a) do whatever I want, whenever I want and b) am tough enough to do drink all that, and smoke all those and not die or get sick, and I didn’t but I was certainly very sad and depressed.

A weight loss competition inspired me to just at least try and get in shape and lose weight. I wanted to beat my co-workers who were all 10 years younger than me. Screw them and their higher basal metabolic rate. I’m gonna hit this ball so far out of the park it’s gonna smash through windsheilds in the parking lot. So far I’m winning that competition. I went from 219 to 198 in 3 months and looking to have lost even more at the final weigh in on May 9th.

I’m gonna run for an hour every other day until May 10th. Dammit.

This – https://markmanson.net/benefits-of-being-slightly-crazy

5 things I enjoyed about Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

—- CONTAINS SPOILERS —-

Rogue One. It’s the movie that outlines what happens between Episode 3 and Episode 4. It’s the movie that explains why, why was that Correlian freighter being boarded in the opening scenes of A New Hope. It’s the movie that gracefully moves from the unknown (introducing an entirely new set of characters and back stories) into the known – the beginning of A New Hope and where we find out just what it took to get those Death Star plans. Here’s a short list of 5 things I enjoyed about this moving epic war movie. Continue reading 5 things I enjoyed about Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

Herodotus and Thucydides, the odd couple of Greek history

The following is a fictional, anachronistic conversation between Herodotus (regarded as the “Father of History”) and Thucydides (regarded as the “Father of Scientific History) on how history should be recorded and it’s importance to society.

herodotus
Herodotus

Herodotus: I’m writing this down. There was a great number of battles, a lot of people died or were injured, many more were displaced and moved far from home. Since it was a war with Persia, I’ll call it the Persian wars.

Thucydides
Thucydides

Thucydides: Ok ok, but let’s not talk about all the help the gods gave them or how it was just a silly random group of events that all happened one after another without any semblance of causality. Seriously, that’s not history.

Herodotus: You would say that, although I don’t disagree. Mostly though, I think its good to celebrate the heros and talk about the Persian people as a thoughtful and morally centered civilization. There’s no need to be completely dry and boring about something that truly was not.

Thucydides: The only reason I require facts and dismiss romance is as a means to show how it really doesn’t matter who is fighting. Man is going to conquer, man is going to take things from others, and the demagogue will only work to limit the reach of the statesman. You for some reason, have to find something interesting or entertaining in order for it to be historical.

Herodotus: If history was only the dimensions of the oars on the ships in the harbor, no one would care. I know this may seem weird to you, but 99% of our audience can’t read.  The only way for this information to be passed from one to another is if they tell each other or hear it from an entertainer.

Thucydides: I get it. In fact I too value information about the past to be used in the present and future – with one caveat, that it be used to teach and inspire.  There’s no point in forwarding the story of a hero who slain dozens of enemies if the story doesn’t somehow provide value to the polis. Measurements, tactics, laws, things of intrinsic value are all useful pieces of the past that can help us move forward.  Otherwise, every year we would discover gold.

Herodotus: True, but you’re seriously limiting your audience to people who are able to use that information, and even within that group, to the people who care to look to the past whilst thinking of the future. Not everyone does that.  My point is, if you can tell stories of greatness and examples of high morals, they will be more useful to the polis because they will apply to more of it.  The future is a waste of effort if it is duplicated on the premise that the only things learned from the past is weights and measurements.

Thucydides: It’s not that simple, and we are both saying so. I only wish that my history be devoid of the romance and hyperbole that sacks truth and replaces it with nonsense. We’ve come a long way from Homer, but let’s not go backwards.

Herodotus: I think history will tell us we are both right.

Thucydides: Agreed.

MSP Airport Noise

Metropolitan Airports Commission noise staff monitored airplane noise Aug. 22 through Sept. 4 with temporary Remote Monitoring Towers, each with a noise monitoring radius of two miles. MAC staff worked with city representatives to choose the three sites.

This map shows the study area, the sites of the three temporary noise monitors, each monitor’s two-mile radius for measuring noise and typical departure operations at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport.

So if you hate plane noise, live in St Paul or Bloomington. Heck, even Richfield right west of the airport is quiet.Microsoft Word - NOC November 2014 Meeting Packet.docx

Credits: http://current.mnsun.com/2014/11/25/study-creates-airplane-noise-baseline-in-edina/

Wanna get better at Agile? Experience what it takes to do the work.

Theres a popular show on CBS called “Undercover Boss” where the owner or manager of a business disguises themselves to be a new employee in a mid-level or lower-level position in the company, where its likely the employees won’t recognize them. The manager then learns the day to day activities and insider tips pertaining to the employees actual work, to learn what its like to walk a mile in their shoes. At the end of the episode, the boss reveals herself and hilarity ensues – especially if these employees had been bad mouthing the boss. Oops! Other times the boss gives the employee a bonus because they feel bad about how hard their job is which seems to be the point of the series.

A couple months ago I decided to quit my job as a Senior Product Manager at GovDelivery and go full time head first into freelance mobile development. What was I thinking?

Continue reading Wanna get better at Agile? Experience what it takes to do the work.

Build your own tools

Starting out my freelance career as a mobile and web developer meant I needed to have the right tools available. Sounds obvious, but its easy to overlook with everything else that you need to consider. What are the right tools for a mobile and web developer these days? Googling yields hundreds of blog sites listing “top 12” or “top 7” editors or sites or tutorials for learning x to become y. Here’s a short list of what I built and maintain.

Continue reading Build your own tools

My response to an email I received from someone interested in product management

On Nov 19, 2015, at 11:45 PM, xxxx wrote:

Hey Bryce,

I am a Senior at the University of Minnesota who is soon to have B.A. in Computer Science with minors in Interdisciplinary Design, Product Design, and Linguistics this coming spring. Since I am somewhat multifaceted, I have been a little hesitant to apply to “just” software engineer jobs and I have been looking at other roles at agile, tech-focused companies that I may be interested in as well. Product management stood out to me especially because I feel like I have a lot to offer on a team in terms of technical skill and knowledge, but UX is an intense interest for me as well, and I like the idea of working with a team to keep shipping a better product.

However, I realized that I’ve never actually met a product manager before and that it may be ideal to talk with someone who is a product manager before I put stake into it as a career path.  So, I have a few questions for you. What should I know about being a product manager? What does your typical day look like? What makes a good product manager? Is this something that I should be looking at out of college or is it not feasible to become a product manager straight out of college?

These are still things that I’m a little curious about that I am hoping you will be able to answer or at least give me some new insights on. Thank you so much for your time, and I am very excited to hear back from you in the future even though I know you are probably quite busy…

Continue reading My response to an email I received from someone interested in product management