I have a paper problem. Historically, I’ve exhibited the tendencies of a pack rat. That’s probably just a way to word things in order to deny that I am a pack rat. I’m trying to get better. I just read Marie Kondo’s The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. I enjoyed the book. While there seems to be an implicit animism at work in the book, Kondo prompts the reader to think more critically about the “things” in his or her life. One constant in my life seems to be piles of paper. Kondo offers a practical strategy for dealing with these:
Papers are organized into only three categories: needs attention, should be saved (contractual documents), and should be saved (others). The point is to keep all papers in one category in the same container or folder and to purposely refrain from subdividing them any further by content. In other words, you only need three containers or folders. Don’t forget that the “needs attention” box ought to be empty. If there are papers in it, be aware that this means you have left things undone in your life that require your attention. Although I have never managed to completely empty my “needs attention” box, this is the goal to which we should aspire.
I’ve invested in a good double-sided scanner and an Evernote premium account. I scan everything and attempt to shred everything for which I don’t need originals or hard copies. This works well for reducing the paper clutter. Now I have to deal with the problem of unorganized notes cluttering up my Evernote inbox!
I’m boning up on my white tail butchering technique for November.
Martin Guitars produced a wonderful documentary on the dreadnought, what we think of as the classic shape of the acoustic guitar.
Narrated by actor and Martin player Jeff Daniels, The Ballad of the Dreadnought traces the rise of the Martin Dreadnought from selling only a few dozen guitars for its first 20 years to becoming the musical companion played in almost every musical genre in every corner of the world.
For 100 years (1916-2016), the Martin Dreadnought has stood the test of time and survived endlessly evolving musical tastes becoming the musical companion for countless artists throughout music’s history. From Crosby, Stills and Nash on stage for the second time together at Woodstock with a D-45 to Seth Avett discovering countless songs waiting inside his Martin D-35, artists such as Rosanne Cash, Roger McGuinn, Steve Miller, Vince Gill, Jason Isbell, Sturgill Simpson and Del McCoury to name a few, will take you on a musical journey as they lovingly recall moments where they stood proudly alongside their trusted Martin Dreadnoughts. #DreadNot #MartinPride
Watch The Ballad of the Dreadnought
I’ve registered for my second triathlon. It’s another Olympic distance event in Wisconsin, though this time at Williams Bay in Geneva Lake. I’m looking forward to improving my initial Olympic time—especially on the swim. My swim at Elkhart Lake in May was atrocious. I suffered something of a panic attack, which threw all my training and form out the window. But I’ve been swimming regularly in Grays Lake with good results. I plan to train hard and smart through the summer and come out of the race Saturday, September 24 with a solid performance.
American morality is in decline. It’s nothing new, but that doesn’t make it unimportant. Michael Avramovich asks whether we’re the proverbial frog sitting still in the boiling pot.
Yes, our nation has now come to dry rot and decay, and I fear that we can only expect things will get much worse as we endure God’s holy and righteous judgment. The Jefferson Memorial contains a quotation from President Thomas Jefferson, who said powerfully, “God who gave us life gave us liberty. Can the liberties of a nation be secure when we have removed a conviction that these liberties are the gift of God? Indeed I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just; that His justice cannot sleep forever.” Lord have mercy!
The life of study is austere and imposes grave obligations. It pays, it pays richly; but it exacts an initial outlay that few are capable of. The athletes of the mind, like those of the playing field, must be prepared for privations, long training, a sometimes superhuman tenacity. We must give ourselves from the heart, if truth is to give itself to us. Truth serves only its slaves.
—A. G. Sertillanges, O.P., The Intellectual Life: Its Spirit, Conditions, Methods, p. 4.
When I started running longer distances regularly, I expected the typical health benefits such as weight loss and a stronger heart and lungs, but I wasn’t anticipated the cognitive benefits. Scientists are beginning to explain something runners have known for generations: running helps clear your mind.
A good run can sometimes make you feel like a brand-new person. And, in a way, that feeling may be literally true. About three decades of research in neuroscience have identified a robust link between aerobic exercise and subsequent cognitive clarity, and to many in this field the most exciting recent finding in this area is that of neurogenesis. Not so many years ago, the brightest minds in neuroscience thought that our brains got a set amount of neurons, and that by adulthood, no new neurons would be birthed. But this turned out not to be true. Studies in animal models have shown that new neurons are produced in the brain throughout the lifespan, and, so far, only one activity is known to trigger the birth of those new neurons: vigorous aerobic exercise, said Karen Postal, president of the American Academy of Clinical Neuropsychology. “That’s it,” she said. “That’s the only trigger that we know about.”
In order avoid inheritance, gift, and income taxes while also retaining control over how the money is distributed, many of the ultra-wealthy have formed private foundations. Critics see these foundations as a vehicle for plutocratic influence over the democratic process, effectively weaponizing philanthropy in the war of ideas. In her book Dark Money, Jane Mayer describes the rise of the private foundation:
Unable to gain congressional approval, Rockefeller got the New York state legislature to approve his plan. Legally, however, the Rockefeller Foundation, the granddaddy of all private foundations, was at first limited to promoting only education, science, and religion. Over time, however, the number of private foundations grew along with the kaleidoscope of issues into which they delved. By 1930, there were approximately two hundred private foundations, according to Reich. By 1950, the number had grown to two thousand, and by 1985 there were thirty thousand. In 2013, there were over a hundred thousand private foundations in the United States with assets of over $800 billion.
Excerpt from: Jane Mayer, Dark Money: The Hidden History of the Billionaires Behind the Rise of the Radical Right
As I consider some strategic initiatives at Reformed Forum, I’ve been reading a lot on content marketing lately. I came across a great checklist for creating and maintaining an editorial calendar.
Is there anyone in the digital marketing industry these days (or any industry, really) who thinks that they have their jobs completely under control?