Fires, social media, and climbing - September 13, 2020

Fires, social media, and climbing - September 13, 2020


I'm going to be writing a weekly summary post following a rough format like this: what I'm reading/listening to/watching etc. If you've ever subscribed to Tim Ferriss this format may look familiar, yes I was inspired by his '5 Bullet Friday'. I'm not a huge fan of him these days, but it's a good format. My hope is that you'll find something here to think about over the coming week.

What I'm reading

Fooled by Randomness - Nassim Nicholas Taleb

This is the first book in Taleb's Incerto series, and no, I'm not sure what Incerto means. Multiple people have recommended this series to me, from college friends and coworkers, to Chuck Marohn. In this book Taleb outlines how luck plays a larger role in our lives than most of us realize. My first impressions are that Taleb is taking science that's well-known to stock traders -- that market movements are largely random, success in active trading and fund management is mostly the result of survivorship bias -- and over-applying it to the real world. I'm hoping my opinion of the book improves.

What I'm listening to

West coast on fire - It's been a minute

I listened to this while waiting in line at Trader Joe's and staring off into the distance trying to spot Bogus Basin, a ski resort outside of town that's usually a prominent feature on the horizon. I couldn't find it. I could barely see any of the foothills.

One of Sam Sanders' guests, Farhad Manjoo, had a great point that I'm so excited is starting to get mainstream attention: suburbia is killing the planet. The future that includes clean air does not include every family owning multiple vehicles and a half acre lawn. Live close to where you work and stop consuming so much. You should still buy a house that has a yard if you want one, but stop being a complete NIMBY. Ban single family zoning.

What I'm watching

The Social Dilemma

This is what convinced me to start blogging more and think about how I'm paying for my services.

What I'm following

The wildfires in California and Oregon. This year is much, much worse than previous years, and may be tame compared to what's coming. We've been pondering a future move to Seattle, Bend, Eugene, etc., but an AQI of 150 sure beats 400+.

What I'm doing

Climbing at the Commons - One of the reasons we chose to live in our apartments was the proximity to a climbing gym -- which was bought by a property developer and closed down a month before we moved here. Thankfully, some of the original team members started their own gym two miles from our apartment. They had a rough time opening in February and having to close due to covid but have recently opened back up with restrictions. Everyone wears a mask there and you need to wash your hands and get your temperature checked before entering. We finally feel comfortable with the case rates around here to check them out. They're doing it right. Plus, the staff is the friendliest I've encountered while climbing - giving my fiancée beta and checking in every once in a while to see if she's been able to top out yet.

Not drinking coffee - The past many months I've had some annoying acid reflux almost every night. It's never horrible and I can usually fall asleep after taking an antacid, but after a friend's health scare related to GERD I've decided to take it seriously. I'm finally establishing a primary care provider (appointments are booked out through May but I scored a cancellation in December) so I can a doctor's opinion. In the meantime I'm trying some lifestyle changes, and to my surprise (and extreme disappointment) I haven't had major heartburn since cutting out coffee. Last weekend I had coffee and did get some massive acid reflux, but it was after having coffee at 9PM followed by mixed drinking.

Cooking a tasty lentil-harissa-yogurt-curry dish - Harissa is a new pantry item to me, I hadn't ever heard of it or noticed it on the store shelves until I started looking at recipes on BBC's site. This probably reads like "white man discovers spice," but it's a game changer for bean-based dishes. Fry up a handful of quartered baby red potatoes and onions, throw some cooked lentils in along with cumin, paprika, chili powder, and curry powder. Sprinkle a tiny bit of cinnamon in, then stir in yogurt for texture and a few spoonfuls of harissa. Serve with garlic naan, topped with sour cream and another spoonful of harissa.