Vlog #6: Str8 Up Killin’ It!

Here is the long awaited VLOG (barf in my mouth) that I have been promising you.  Enjoy… well, as much as you can enjoy a VLOG, which is probably not very much…. I really am setting this content up to succeed.  #SelfDepricatingHumor

If you have suggestions of what you would like to see more of, or less of, for that matter, leave them below in the comments!  Just don’t be a pecker.

Cheers 🤙 ,

~Dane

The “Halfway There” Evaluation; Goals for What’s Ahead

I’m in the driver’s seat, speeding through my checklist of daily tasks, accomplishing more each day than the day prior.  No longer am I procrastinating on things that I have been fearful of… Taxes?… call a bookkeeper, find a CPA… Credit sucks?… repair that motherfucker.  No new leads?  Call all your friends and setup coffee dates.  All my new found habits are, now, routine… Work, exercise, meditate, journal, write… Turn the TV off.  As Gary Vaynerchuk stated in Tribe of Mentors, “squeezing the fuck out of the seconds [of my day].”  And, that’s what the goal was, but there are times when it feels kind of boring or lackluster.  When I’m not motivated.  That’s when I need to keep my eyes on the prize.  So, with that said, it is time to reevaluate my Quest, see where I am at in each vertical, and see where improvements can be made.

MENTAL HEALTH:
Depression is gone, I haven’t had it in a while now.  I stay busy, exercise, meditate and journal, and with that, my mental clarity has never been better.  I can say that this was the outcome I have been wanting out of all this.  Happiness coincides with mental health, and a positive disposition is key to my growth.

One thing I have learned over the past six months is not to hold resentment against myself for not completing one of my tasks.  If I flup up, I just look back at where I was when I started meditating and regain my footing.  It’s very easy to forget to take care of mental health when I get busy, but it’s also very easy to meditate and doesn’t take more than fifteen minutes out of my day.

GOAL:  Now that I have built somewhat of a foundation, I want to take it up another notch.  My goal for the remaining six months would be to continue with the habits I have made and use them to alter emotional responses that I have.  Those responses include: anger, anxiety, frustration, impulsivity, impatience, and others.  

My lovely girlfriend pointed out that I am picking my thumbs, again.  I had completely quit doing that for a couple months and, all of a sudden, I’m back gnawing those nubs like a squirrel gnaws a nut… Fuck.  Done.  Quit that shit and move on.  I had a short stint where I wasn’t meditating regularly, and for whatever reason, that’s when I started picking my thumbs again.  That also coincides with when I started my new career.  Whatever the root cause, this habit can be put in check, as I recently had it in check.  No more lapses.

PHYSICAL HEALTH:
I have been consistently lean and strong for a while now.  Aesthetically I look pretty good, as well.  My gym routine is solid; I get some cardio (rowing, running, hiking, skiing, etc.), have progressed in my yoga practice, lost weight, have almost rehabilitated my shoulder (I think), and eat an all around healthy diet of proteins, healthy fats and vegetables… with the occasional pizza binge. 🍕

This, simply, just needs to continue.  I’m satisfied with the results, but would like to put a couple pounds back on.  That is going to be dependent on how my shoulder and neck feel.  If they continue feeling better week after week, then I might be able to start lifting a little heavier, again, which would allow me to obtain some mass.

GOAL:  Get in climbing shape.  I want to climb some mountains and I need to train for that.  That is the last missing link in my fitness routine.  Adventure routine, more so.

Which brings me to my second goal here which is something I have been trying to do throughout this quest, and that is to complete one adventure per week.  Whether it is skiing, hiking, biking, etc., just one adventure a week and I feel better in so many ways that I would almost put this under mental health if it weren’t for the profuse amount of sweat that trickles off me.  Anyways, hiking season is now upon us, and I plan on hitting the trail regularly, which I have already started doing.  Mount Saint Helens is coming up in May. #ADVENTURING


CREATIVITY:

I write pretty regularly now.  I am working on writing a book.  I write this blog.  I write in my journal.  This area could still be worked on though.  I spend more time watching TV than writing, so it would make sense to flip those habits and write more than I stare at a big screen

GOAL:  Turn off the TV and write, paint, edit a video, etc.  My goal here is to put whatever time I put into TV & video games, instead, into my creative outlets.

Also, in the creative vertical, my goal is to finish writing a book by the time I get back from Patagonia.

CAREER & LEARNING:
I have started my new career in Real Estate.  I’m ecstatic about that, and although I started off slow in this vertical six months back, I feel like I’ve made insane progress here in the last two to three months.  I have some definite goals (which I’ll keep to myself for now) and way more room to grow here than all my other categories combined.  Watch out world, I’m getting after this one.

As for learning, I am learning a bounty of knowledge about real estate.  I’m, also, reading multiple books a month and applying what I learn to my life, business, etc.  It’s interesting how much reading does for your brain overall.  More or less, my vocabulary seems to be expanding, and my ability to read faster and for longer periods is strengthening, too.  A lot of my ideas start with something I read and expand from there.  KNOWLEDGE IS POWER, BITCHES!

GOAL: I want to keep on with two books per month goal that I set for the New Year.  It’s helping me commit to a certain amount of Audible/reading.  I would prefer to spend more time actually reading, but right now, with the new career, I am going to have to commit to the hybrid approach that I’ve been doing thus far.

I don’t know where to put this one, but I think it fits best under Career, since it will likely benefit my career the most, but I need to get up earlier.  630 AM would be a good time, but that also means I need to get to bed earlier.

RELATIONSHIPS:
Oddly, or not so oddly, starting a career selling real estate has helped me reconnect with many people that I had otherwise lost touch with over the years.  Having kind of been a hermit for the last two or so, it’s nice to reemerge from my shell and be socializing again.

My girlfriend and I are on the same page now more than we have been in a while.  It probably helps that I am having some success at work — haha.  I love her and she’s pretty (she made me write that, but I do and she is).  Beyond that, I should probably spend more time with my family and go visit a handful of friends I haven’t seen in a while.

GOAL:  I cannot tell you what my goal is because my girlfriend would get mad at me.  🍑🍆 .  Hahahaha.  Just kidding…. Or, am I?  🤨  No, I totally am…. Or, am I?  I am.

IMG_2487.jpgGirlfriend and me at a show in Seattle meeting my favorite folk singer, Austin Basham.  He was a super rad dude.

In summary, I have completed so much in the last six months, but have no time to rest and way more to do.  I think that once my quest is complete, after I feel that I have maxed out my verticals, well, then, maybe next year I enter TIER TWO.  Also, there are some other verticals that are not included in my quest that I probably would include if I were to revise it…  Financials (money, investments, savings, credit, etc.), adventures (although this is somewhat prevalent), organization, productivity.  I guess you’ll just have to wait for what I conjure up six months from now.

 

Cheers 🤙 ,

~Dane

PS ~ I have a ton of vids to make a great VLOG, but editing that shit takes so long that I keep putting it off… So, coming soon!

 

Planning for Patagonia: Stage #1

I figured, with the first six months down, it’s time to start planning for the grand finale.  The trip to the edge of the world; Patagonia.

Here are the things I need to figure out and start planning:

  • Cost of flights for two?  Where do I need to fly into?
  • Cost of transportation to trailhead?
  • Any gear I need, should it be bought here in the states and flown down, or in Argentina/Chile?
  • What is a reasonable amount to expect to spend per day while in Patagonia?
  • What hike/hikes do I want to complete and how much time is necessary to complete them?
  • Classes/Education:  Depending on what summits we decide to take on, technical training is likely going to be needed.  Define what that consists of and the costs involved.

Besides those things, I think I am ready to go right now! 😃

Also, I started a GoFundMe:  https://www.gofundme.com/get-us-to-patagonia

If you would care to help get me to Patagonia and be part of helping this quest come to an end, I greatly appreciate any assistance.

 

Cheers 🤙 ,

~Dane

 

Environmentalism vs. Capitalism vs. Society; Is It Time To Mine Plastics?

Here is my first think piece.  Please feel free to continue the conversation in the comments section, but please keep this discussion open and free from insults.

I wrote on someone’s Facebook page the other day, and then, this morning, I deleted it when I realized the post was public—and because I swore, and, now, have a professional image to uphold—that the world is environmentally doomed.  The ecosystems of yesteryear are starting to collapse under the weight of the toxic waste that we, as humans, create.  My basis for this theory is, well, besides the overwhelming consensus by scientists that we are entering another mass extinction, and besides the threat of climate change that most of us with internet access are aware of, when you remove a single species from an ecosystem, that ecosystem often cannot recover, and it often renders many more species obsolete.  Most species are unable to adapt at a speed quick enough to correct the missing component.  An ecosystem, and all the intricacies one entails, are all intertwined in ways unimaginable to us yet.  In other words, we don’t even fully understand how much harm we’re creating.  So, who cares about some fly?  Well, probably some fish that eats it.  This is ultimately why climate change, the ocean’s acidification, circulating plastics, deforestation, mass forest fires, etc., are looked upon as the pending sixth mass extinction that may very well take us with it.  Now, it may be that I am looking at this from a “doom and gloom” angle, but I cannot imagine that us as a species will be able to step away from this mess unscathed, there’s just too much recklessness and unaccountability weaved into the system.  There’s too much money being made and not enough being put back into sustainable practices.  When a company comes along and wants to make a ton of money, they, of course, take shortcuts to optimize their growth and profitability.  There’s really nothing wrong with that from a business perspective, in fact, it’s smart, which is why the issue is perpetuated, because society wants businesses to thrive, to create, to make money and make the economy hum.  In America, this is the American Dream, but when does that dream become one of selfishness and irresponsibility?

I, personally, have no serious qualms with capitalism, but what I do have a problem with is unregulated capitalism that allows massive corporations to take advantage of its consumers and successfully lobby against their best interests.  Energy companies are always a good example, so are Nestle (bottled water practices), Monsanto (agricultural practices), Comcast (ISP practices), and many, many others.  What I don’t understand is this pipe dream that many individuals possess where their intent is to protect the profits of these massive companies at the expense of the environment, our security, and other social injustices, all for this faulty concept of trickle down economics which has been proven to only profit the already rich.  I’ve heard poor people argue this moot point, and when I do, I think, how do you benefit at all from Comcast—as an example—making more billions?  The answer is, you do not, unless you hold their stock.  The only benefit that I can conjure is that this model allows them the dream that one day they’ll be at the top; the beneficiary who hoards the profits.  But, how long can this model possibly be sustainable?  How long can fossil fuels be extracted before enough is enough?  How long can we allow nuclear power plants to be built in the cheap, antiquated model that creates massive amounts of nuclear waste, instead of in the newer more efficient models that do the opposite?  There’s just no answer worth half-a-damn that passes my bullshitometer.  If it harms the Earth, if it makes an exaggerated expense (such as the cost of internet in the US), if it weakens our individual privacies or a nation’s security, then there should be some sort of checks and balances.  The EPA was meant for this purpose—on the environmental front of things—, but how successful is that model when a new President can come in and remove the protection aspect from the agency and line it with fossil fuel cronies?

I think there is a way to save the system.  I think there are people and companies doing the right thing to the best of their abilities.  The question becomes, are they doing it big and fast enough?  I don’t think so, and at no fault of their own, there is a massive force working against them and not enough people in this world give a flying fuck to prevent the potential collapse.  They likely have their own issues.  Much of this world still lives in poverty and doesn’t have time or energy for this debate.  Those of us that do, though, should be fully engaged.

Us who are lucky enough to live in prosperous nations are also okay with the current state of affairs because we have become comfortable with the norm.  We’d rather scream and fight about gender pronouns and other minor offenses than take a hard look at issues like melting glaciers and plastic islands circulating in the Pacific.  I get that a trans person might deem that as a harsh stance, but I have no issue with transpeople or calling them by their preferred pronoun.  I do, however, have an issue with a year of our lives being dominated by that discussion when the environmental discussion is a more pressing and immediate issue.  Not that there isn’t time for these conversations, there are terrible atrocities committed throughout the world on a daily basis, and the trans issue is a discussion that should be considered, but this perpetual outrage has become our society.  One side versus the other side with no center.  It is either, you are against the cause or you are for it, but what the cause is has become ambiguous, at best.  The whole system is flawed on both sides of the political spectrum.  We are living in cozy times that may very soon come to an end, but few are paying attention to that reality.  The ability to get angered and offended over such issues like pronouns or a tasteless joke is a sign that we are in a first world economy.  Should pollinators go extinct, that anger will be replaced with hunger.  Is that when everyone wakes up to reality?

The solution is not to become more extreme, the solution is to become smarter, better, faster, stronger.  How do you get rid of plastic waste in the ocean?  Ban single use plastics and ban new plastic creation until the oceans are cleaned up.  What does that mean?  It means, it may be time we mine the oceans instead of creating tons of new plastic waste on a daily basis.  It may mean we need to create other alternatives and drink out of seaweed containers or some product that has yet to come to market.  This can be applied across the board.  Old mines filled with toxic waste, how do we clean that up?  The government, or third-party non-profits and charities?  What about radioactive waste?  Can we use that to power a new type of reactor?  Answers to these questions are being worked out by some philanthropists, but when are we going to wise up as a society, get out of our tribal confines and actually have a productive conversation that outlines REAL threats that exist.  Real threats do not include Islamic terrorism (unless you live where that is actually prevalent), it’s much more likely that your child will be killed in a school shooting.  That is a real threat.  Real threats do not include immigration, they include toxic waste and unsafe drinking water.  Real threats are everywhere, but there are real ways to fix them.  Just like we, as humans, collectively fixed the hole in the ozone layer, we can collectively fix the problems that exist on this earth.  We need the right leadership, the right thought process, and the right and left to start getting the fuck along again.

Let’s get to work, people!

Cheers 🤙 ,

~Dane

Six Months Down, Six To Go! The Quest Continues.

Holy balls!  I’ve reached the top of the mountain and am about to start heading back down.  Well, probably not, it usually takes much longer to summit than descend, however, I am six months into this quest of enlightenment with another six pending… And I feel great about the crazy amount of accomplishments I have made during this period.

So let’s take a lookie-lou at what’s been going down over the past six months…

  • I have turned exercise into a routine, lost a shit ton of weight (20 lbs I didn’t even know I had to lose), now have abs and have gained a solid level of endurance.
  • Drastically changed my diet to include more vegetables and greens, less junk food and cheat days, which has, in-turn, greatly improved my energy levels and focus.
  • I finished my real estate hours, passed the Washington State real estate exam, got hired on at a brokerage, sold my first house (within a month and a half of starting), and am successfully building a sales/referral pipeline.
  • Further made meditation and journaling life long habits (with a couple of lapses, including a recent one).
  • Read/Listened to two+ books per month (since the new year, but was reading prior, just not on a schedule).
  • Refrained from having a sip of alcohol.
  • Started writing regularly, again, and am working on writing a book, as well as regularly updating this blog – sometimes more than other times.
  • Retained my love and exposure for the outdoors (though, admittedly, less than I would like to – this ski season is the first I have skied less than 20 days in a very long time, although sometimes sacrifices must be made to better other areas of life and free up time to do much, much more skiing in the future.).

I’m sure there is other shit that I have accomplished, too, that’s a pretty solid list of not-so-humble brags.  All in all, I haven’t had such a productive six months in my entire life and I am stoked to see where I am six months from now!

With that all said, I still have plenty of short-comings and things to further and greatly improve on, but this is a celebratory post, so I will keep it as such.

I will follow up with a VLOG at the end of the week.

Cheers 🤙 ,

~Dane

Tribute to Stephen Hawking: a Pretty Sweet Week in Science

This post is unlike other posts I have done, but I thought that with this week’s news cycle, a lot of really cool science was either published or reported on and it was likely overshadowed by rogue bombings, a Facebook scandal and President Orange + Co.  So, without further ado, check out these amazing articles, a handful of scientific and medical breakthroughs, that have recently not been given the attention they deserve.  Think of it as a little positivity and distraction from the rollercoaster of craziness.

#1:  The Neuroscience of LSD Unlocks the Doors of Self-Perception: Cutting-edge LSD research may lead to new treatments for psychiatric disorders.

ARTICLE LINK

This article is a continuation on the evolving topic of psychedelics and their role in correcting mental health disorders, such as depression.  If you are unfamiliar with the research, I recommend googling psilocybin trials and depression (also MDMA and ketamine).  This article brings to light the latest LSD trials, and as far as I’ve read, the thoroughest research that has been done on human participants using the drug.  According to the article, this research may have implications on future drug production that can help with diseases like schizophrenia.  One thing that always stands out when I read on topics like this, is how far we are from even somewhat understanding the human brain and all it’s intricacies.  Similarly, I’m enthralled with how far we have come and I am excited to see what the future holds in this area of psychological study.

#2: Macular degeneration: ‘I’ve been given my sight back’

ARTICLE LINK

#2.5: ‘Revolutionary’ Nano-Drops can help banish eyeglasses, Israeli researchers say

ARTICLE LINK

2 & 2.5 are both about eyes…. Fixing bad eyes so they can see.  Seriously, though!?  Eye drops that get rid of glasses and stem cells that fix blindness.  Getting old might be tolerable by the time I get there!  Add some 3D printed knees to the mix and I might be able to rip the slopes up ’til I’m 100!  Well, if there is still snow to ski on then… Here’s to wishing the nuclear radiation doesn’t effect the yearly snowpack.

#3: Stephen Hawking’s ‘breathtaking’ final multiverse theory completed two weeks before he died

ARTICLE HERE

Talk about a mic drop.  This dude did the most incredible things.  Can you imagine writing a paper on anything without a pen or a computer to type on… Writing a blog post by hand would be a task in and of itself and I’d probably end up just not writing it… Now, how about publishing a new theory on multiverses backed by mathematics while being unable to move?  GANGSTA SHIT.  I’d say RIP, but Stephen would robotically be like, “Dane, I am dead.  There is no place I will be rest-ing.  My body is going to decompose and fertilize the so-il.” And, I’d be like, “You’re so smart, Mr. Hawking.”  So, in conclusion, although it is sad to lose one of the greatest minds of our time, at least he left something rad for us to remember him by and a new theory for future scientists to further evolve.

#4: Turns Out Coffee Acts on Your Brain Like Cannabis, But in Reverse

ARTICLE LINK

And, then there is this… As a consumer of, umm, coffee… and copious amounts of it.  I found this to be rather interesting.

Oh, and lastly, what the fuck was that thing in Annihilation… That movie was nuts.

Cheers 🤙 ,

~Dane

Book Reviews: Jordan B. Peterson, Bone Clocks, Enlightenment Now, & Dark Matter

I have been reading, or pulling a cheat move and listening to, at least two books per month since the New Year.  Here are some short reviews on what I have read.

The Bone Clocks by David Mitchell (Fiction; Book)
Beautifully written fantasy-type novel that spans multiple decades and tells a unique story. The character development was the headlining act, the book is essentially written in 5 novellas that all intertwine.  The British styled writing was a bit hard to follow, and at times I found myself drifting into other thoughts and having to reread sections, but that seems more like a personal issue than an issue with the author’s ability to paint such vivid narrative.  David Mitchell is the same author who wrote Cloud Atlas.
4/5 stars.

Dark Matter by Blake Crouch (Fiction; Audible)
This was a fun read with a good concept but it had a fair amount of, as I like to call it, cheese.  Terribly corny similes were making me laugh out loud, but the idea made for entertaining sci-fi.  At the end I thought I was listening to an episode of Rick & Morty.
3/5 stars.

12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos by Jordan B. Peterson (Non-Fiction – Psychology; Audible)
Yawn.  For how much controversy surrounded this guy, I was underwhelmed and rather bored with his book. I think I heard him on Joe Rogan’s podcast and thought I’d check the book out. Some intelligent concepts and I understood his stance on many of the principles, whether I agreed or not, but I didn’t find them tremendously useful.  Furthermore, I hated, with a fiery passion, the heavily repeated religious sentiment that plagued the pages of this book and found myself following these parables down worm holes that ended with some bland and tasteless analogy for “Take Action” or “Be Responsible.”  My opinion: You can get a much better book containing many less words and without the religious undertones and proverbial nonsense, but you’ll catch a couple wise insights.
2.5/5 stars.

Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress by Steven Pinker (Non-Fiction; Audible)
I loved this book.  Bill Gates, apparently also did, calling it, something along the lines of, his new favorite book of all time… but I’m too lazy to Google that and find the actual quote… so, hopefully, that is close enough.  Anyways, it was a lot to take in, and there are many charts that I haven’t even had the opportunity to review yet, but this book argues, with statistics and valid reasoning, the case for why we are currently living in the best time humanity has ever seen.  It paints a realistic picture of a world where life has been getting better and better even though humanity seems to think the opposite.  It paints that realistic picture and it looks a lot like what reality is.  I highly recommend this book to anyone who has had a disposition that the current world is shit.  Pinker will make you think twice to bitch about it and maybe even inspire you to step up and make the difference you want to see in the world.  With that said, there are still problems and the book also argues the counter points and brings to light the reality of current political landscapes and the cultures that arise from them, on both sides of the political spectrum, that could be harmful of the advancement of the Enlightenment’s ideals.  Not for everyone, but I enjoyed this thoroughly.
4.5/5 stars.

I forgot to review the two I read in January:  Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor Frankl and The War of Art by Steven Pressfield.  Both of which were incredibly good and easy reads.

Cheers 🤙 ,

~Dane