Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Beer with old friends is awesome

After work today, I had the good fortune to meet-up with an old friend from college in a nice little brewery just a block or so from Google's offices in Kirkland. (I really liked their porter. The red was decent.)

It had been 12 years since I saw him (and even then, it was at Andrea's and my wedding day), so catching up on how life has treated us was really spectacular: to chat with an old friend and to hear that your lives haven't played out so differently, that you are so alike and have such similar interests and philosophies is really pretty awesome.

After some rolls, nigiri and another beer at Sushi Joa, I hit the road for a beautiful late night ride home, thinking about how incredibly fortunate we are. Among all that we discussed, I think the subject that sticks out the most is regret.

Five years ago, I was offered a position at Amazon. Andrea and I decided that moving across the country wasn't the right decision for us at the time, so I turned it down. Over the following weeks and months, and indeed for the next year, I came to deeply regret the missed opportunity. After joining Amazon a year later, I hated the better part of my experience there, but at least I had the experience, and for that, I am very grateful. My life - and, I believe, that of our family - is so much richer for having gone through that change.

There's an article I like to cite from NPR entitled Does age quash our spirit of adventure?, and the core message I take from this is that we should strive to take (calculated) risks, to seek out new experiences. Enjoy what you have (without being reckless) while you still can.

Apparently the guy on the right is a well-known singer
Today is the 21st anniversary of my brother's death. I guess the death of someone close to you affects everyone differently. As for me, I suppose I have developed a mindset that keeping up with the Joneses is a bullshit way to live your life and, by extension, conforming to the others' expectations is similarly fruitless.

Sometimes its hard but not to think about what you could have done or said differently; to wonder what you'd do if you had more time.

I have no heartwarming way to wrap up this blog post, so I'll simply state, for the very small number of people that read this, that I hope you make the most out of the time you have left, be it 45 years or 80 or one. Don't just think about what's a priority in your life. Reflect on it - really reflect on it - and act on it. Because some day, someone you love will be mourning your death and reflecting on your absence years after you're gone.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Expensive popcorn must be sold

As part of our fundraising for our cub scout pack, we're doing three trips to downtown right before Seahawks games. This last Sunday was the first. We all met at the SODO Home Depot. It happened that Seattle Fire was there for a medical, and as we were getting ready to go out on a walk, the crew came up to us in dire need of some sweet and salty treats. Reed was able to make the first sale of the day:

After selling a few bags, they let the boys all check out the rigs for a while. I don't think I can stress enough how awesome SFD was in supporting the scouts and being incredibly friendly to the whole pack.

With a good start before we even left the parking lot, we got psyched for what would be a long morning of carnival-style barking at tailgaters.

Just a block from Home Depot, we walked past Starbucks HQ. The seemed to be closed - maybe because it was Sunday, but I choose to believe it's due to the beginning of Phase 2.

Once we were in the thick of the tailgating, we made a stop by some hardcore partygoers where we were lead to believe that we'd get a shout-out and some good donation/sales opportunities, though it didn't materialize. Nonetheless, Jake shows his support for 12 before we move on.

We kept walking up toward the stadiums. By this time, most people going to the Hawks game were funneling into CenturyLink, and most of our sales for the day were already made. (The astute observers will notice Andrea now sporting a green shirt. Some dude offered her a 12th Woman shirt for the heck of it.)

At this point, we continued north to Pioneer Square to hit up some parking lots. Unfortunately, we missed most of the tailgaters there and only made a couple more sales. Being a few hours into our site sale, most boys were physically and emotionally worn out. We wandered back south and hit up a Krispy Kreme for much needed carbs and sugar, which raised everyone's spirits. Finally, it was back to the cars to pack up the remaining inventory, then the caravan back to Renton.

After sales, a few of us gathered at one of the houses to watch the latter ~third of the Dolphins at Seahawks game. Strangely, power went out with only about four minutes of game time left. But luckily, John was able to bring up the game on his big screen phone until power returned to normal.

We cheered as the Seahawks beat the Dolphins, then we dispersed and relaxed at home for the dwindling hours of the day.