There’s so much to just randomly observe and comment from a fresh perspective. I never want to stop looking with these eyes.
~See Lemons Just Live
Random Observation/Comment #609: I guess we’re no longer cat owners. It’s all rain clouds.
I’ve never really had a cat or dog growing up because of my parents’ allergies, and probably also to save me from the eventual pain and void of a loss companion. Man, it sucks. It sucked that it was so fast. It sucked we selfishly just wanted more time, but we knew it was the right thing to do when we valued his quality of life.
It sucks that Henry was literally the perfect orange tabby cat. He was our friendly Garfield with an endless appetite, soft cuddly purr, witty banter, and quirk for smelling your breath to say hi. He didn’t really chase anything when I met him, but if there was an un-monitored roast chicken or pork chop, he’d run like the wind.
Working from home used to be impossible because he’d find any opportunity to sit on your lap and look up with those squinted winky eyes just to let you know it’s probably time to take a break and scratch behind his ear. It was the best stress relief after a long day at the office and with him around, we never felt alone.
If you looked at my phone’s gallery (before Evie), you’d only find pictures of food or Hencat. I took so many photos of him that I’d post them to say happy birthday to my friends on Facebook. We loved him so much he was in our cake topper and a part of multiple wedding photoshoots.
He wasn’t just a pet. He was my friend. I think he was also my therapist. I told him secrets and stories and I know he’d always understand and be there with a headbutt or mouth sniff. Sometimes I’d look forward to a date with Vinessa just to see how Henry was doing (TBH, I probably picked him up and hugged him before greeting her).
My wife and I joke that he was the reason we got together. There’s a bit of truth to that. I remember one of our dates sitting on her couch in the studio apartment just watching a movie with Henry on both our laps. There was a moment when I saw both of them lock eyes and touch foreheads. I thought to myself “this is not so bad… I could give up the traveling and settle down for more of this.” I imagined HenHen as my future child and I was not disappointed to find his mother showed all the same loving traits when we had our daughter. She’s still a wonderful Mom and wife, and is certainly staying strong for both of us.
Henry led an 17-year beautiful and peaceful life of Zen and simplicity. We will forever miss you, Henrik von kitten. You’ve changed our lives and showed us a glimpse of the family we have today. Goodbye, my friend.
~See Lemons Miss Henry
Random Observation/Comment #607: She’s the missing TARDIS to my Doctor Who.
Why this list?
I lived for a lot of little things and even wrote a whole list about it: http://seelemonslive.com/2015/08/07/list-of-30-the-little-things/
Since writing this list, there have been a lot of new little things that have been making me beam with pride and joy. Happiness still comes in little doses. Enjoy them because they grow up so fast.
Things I Love Now
- Her smile so wide she squints
- Her little giggle and squeal
- When she holds my finger with her tiny hands
- Her swaying and bobbing when she hears a song
- Her love of blueberries to the point of stuffing a handful in her mouth until she can barely chew
- When she says “uh ooooh” after dropping something
- Her reaction when I pick her up at daycare
- Her high five and pointy fingers
- When she solves a puzzle and claps her hands
- When she sits down in a corner and reads a book
- Peek-a-boo and tag games
- When she drinks her milk with one hand like a boss
- Seeing her curiosity of different things
- Seeing her learn something new and her face lights up with excitement
- Singing her lullaby every night
Things I Can’t Wait to Be There For
- When she finally figures out how to do the buckle (she’s been fascinated and trying a long time)
- Introduction to fairy tales and fantasy
- When she knows more Chinese than her mother and we have a secret bond over language
- When she tells a joke that makes everyone laugh
- When she figures out throwing a ball or Frisbee
- When she starts picking her own clothes and fashion
- When she understands the wonders of the universe and astrology
- Her “why” phase
- When she experiments playing with different musical instruments
- When she learns the lyrics to her favorite song
- When she rides her first bike
- When she calls someone her friend
- When she creates something she’s proud of
- When she learns to cook a simple dish
- When she tells us she loves us
~See Lemons Love The Little Things
Random Observation/Comment #606: Meshians are pretty damn cool.
Why this list?
Jam packed information workshops, 100 new faces-names-roles-locations mappings, and sleep deprivation leads to a rollercoaster week of immersion. When we have time to distill the overwhelming amount of collaboration and mesh love, maybe we’ll remember a great week and come to similar conclusions.
- Mesh culture’s DNA is based on trust, passion, positive attitude, alignment of purpose, and agility. Default to kindness. My full List of 30 here: http://seelemonslive.com/2018/09/20/30-signs-of-self-organizing-culture/
- We self-organize and practice leadership by influence
- We care about diversity, inclusion, and non-violent communication
- We’re all mesh citizens with citizen responsibilities and moral goodness
- We’re all incredibly bright and bring something different from our experiences to the table
- We also don’t always agree or may have some skepticism/challenging, but we express it with constructive discussions and proposals for how to make it better
- We’re all coaches for each other
- Build deep relationships and be a part of the community
- Ask value clarifying questions and be empathetic to your peers
- Coaches are not acting mentors, sponsors, or therapists. They listen and ask questions to help you find your own answer through self reflection.
- Recognize people’s strengths rather than weaknesses or errors. Grow your strength vocabulary.
- Apply coaching by numbers – Ask yourself and the team 10 out of 10 goals, current state baseline, and micro resolutions for immediate improvement towards +1
- Form ventures and innovate globally
- Our secret sauce is the people as much as the software (but the software is mostly open source)
- We usually don’t want to take deals that aren’t challenging
- We’re not just replacing legacy with a blockchain for novelty. Consider the bigger picture economics and reinvented impact and digital transformation across industries.
- We’re not singularly focused on short term ROI.
- Every project should have some human impact
- Our credentials and brand make us a trusted partner for building a new ecosystem and impact a digital transformation strategy
- If you have an idea, you can find someone else with the same passion and run with it
- Strategy is defined by project success
- Treat new initiatives with the same lean approach as a start up with limited resources.
- Have at least one contact/friend per region, multiple people per skill set, and one person per spoke
- Bootstrap your team with the lessons learned from previous projects and Devops, toolbox, reusable content, design patterns to scale quickly
- Collaborate cross region, cross industry, and cross roles. Cross mesh.
- Ethereum 2.0 layer 1 will be pretty huge, but scaling solutions already exist
- Don’t do things from scratch by yourself. Ask within the mesh for help because it’s likely someone is doing something similar.
- Hit the ground running with the “T” model breadth of mesh culture and blockchain impact potential with a depth to your expertise from your experiences
- Token Economics is really cool
- Follow up not for political allies, but for friends
~See Lemons Slainte
Random Observation/Comment #604: Sometimes I write completed things in checklists so I can check them off.
If you haven’t heard, I’m writing a sequel to “My Life in Lists of 30” called “Our Life in Lists of 30“. Not only have I turned 30, changed careers, gotten married, and became a father, but I’ve also written a lot more lists.
Branding and Platforms
One problem I’ve faced with branding and consistency is having too much presence on too many platforms and websites. For example:
- www.seelemonslive.com – This blog has been around for more than 10 years so I probably won’t be changing it. I like it as a personalized window to my thinking and combination of work. I can probably do a better job with it as a portfolio of my interests, but I can revisit later
- www.lifeinlistsof30.com – I created this just for My Life in Lists of 30 and migrated some posts over, but it’s getting a little difficult to maintain, so I think I’ll post my lists on the seelemonslive blog and then link to them here. I considered an old list every day, but then I’d be recycling old content logistically, which is annoying.
- Twitter (@seelemonsonline) / Facebook / LinkedIn – These social media sites are just to inform different friends and coworkers, but they’re all linked together with IFTTT so any FB post or LinkedIn post or this post will automatically push so it’s less of a hassle.
- Medium (@seelemonsonline) – I started an account early to structure my different interests into publications, but now I think I just like how it can provide a solid brand and reading portal to different interested individuals.
- Medium Life in Lists of 30 Publication – This doesn’t have a lot of lists yet, but I want to keep this as the main way to receive contributions and comments.
I think a solid plan will be to keep my book-writing life and personal blogging life separate. Even though there’s a bit of extra effort to migrate stories and maintain different publications, it seems important. Some of my action items for logistics will be:
- Simplify the www.lifeinlistsof30.com site to focus on the book itself and intriguing people to learn more about the book, buy it, and contribute to the list writing community. It’s easier to SEO.
- For marketing purposes, trickle the publishing of different lists of 30 on the Medium Life in Lists of 30 Publication
- For updates to the book writing process, post them directly to the Medium publication and use www.seelemonslive.com to do any summaries or lessons learned (once every 2 weeks like sprint reviews)
- For new lists of 30 written in the process (e.g. 30 Dad Jokes) and somewhat relevant to parenting (maybe once a week I’ll publish a new one), put them here and link them to the Medium Publication
Since I’ll need to write this somewhere on the www.lifeinlistsof30.com site, I might as well write it here as well. I can probably come up with 30 FAQs (maybe I’ll write this for marketing purposes after I finish the book).
- How do I learn more about “My Life in Lists of 30”?
- A great summary is available here on medium: https://medium.com/life-in-lists-of-30/my-life-in-lists-of-30-c45eb1e4f926
- Where do I buy the book?
- My Life in Lists of 30 is on Amazon (fully self-published in 2015 through CreateSpace)
- What is “Our Life in Lists of 30” and how will you write it?
- Glad you asked. Here you go: https://medium.com/life-in-lists-of-30/our-life-in-lists-of-30-writing-plan-73c7accae8bc
- Are you really going to write it all over the summer? How?
- Yes. I haven’t set a hard publishing date yet, but I intend to follow a fairly rigorous schedule and learn from the process. Since I already know the format, style, and template, I’ve removed a lot of what I think writers get stuck on when creating content. Since the logistics are all pre-planned, I can focus on the fun part of writing lists. If you know me professionally, “How?” is answered by “Because, Clembot. That’s how.”
- How do I stay updated?
- I’m available on all of the social media platforms (@seelemonsonline on twitter, facebook, medium, and LinkedIn). I will also be directly updating the specific publication on medium: https://medium.com/life-in-lists-of-30
- My writing process is also completely transparent. You can follow the book’s actual writing progress through our Trello Board and the Google Doc
~See Lemons Focus on Writing
Random Observation/Comment #596: Seriously, what am I going to do with all these baby photos?
This has been an incredible year of love and family. While I may not have traveled too much outside of work, this year was in itself the beginning of a new adventure.
~See Lemons Remember 2017
Random Observation/Comment #595: Be Kind. The world can use more kindness. I’m slowly getting closer to the meaning of life.
In 2017, I became a father:
- Traveled to: Boston, San Francisco, Toronto, Grand Canyon (for babymoon), Las Vegas, Bahamas (for fyrefestival), Miami, London, Los Angeles, Austin, Peru, DC, and Philadelphia.
- Triumphantly: became a father, road a bike across the Golden Gate bridge during sunrise, made muffins for the homeless, witnessed the beauty of a Grand Canyon sunrise, drove route 66, promoted to Director, spoke at numerous panels and conferences, taught 100s of people about corda, held a baby water pig in the Bahamas, survived #fyrefraud, helped raise $107mm for r3, ran 4 miles for #concernspringrun, created a reusable design pattern library, wrote 30 blogposts in 30 days for our interns, saw the Hollywood sign from Griffith observatory, became an accredited investor, signed a lease to a 2-bedroom, wrote a few web comics for Adventures of Evie and Hencat, got a cute baby and awesome wife
- Ate/Drank: first Spatchcock thanksgiving chicken, the perfect old-fashioned, grilled artichoke in Peru, excellent ribs on Long Island, incredible seafood birthday lunch
- Read/Listened to: Kitchens of the Great Midwest, Turtles All the Way Down, The Happiest Baby on the Block, Good Omens by Terry Pratchett, The Circle by Dave Eggers, What to Expect: When You’re Expecting, What to Expect: The First Year, The Laughing Gull’s Puzzle by Kevin Rutter, A Dad’s Guide to Babies, The Expectant Father by Armin Brott & Jennifer Ash, We Are Legion by Dennis Taylor, It Devours!: Welcome to Nightvale by Joseph Fink ^ Jeffrey Cranor, The Chemist by Stephenie Meyer, All is Not Forgotten by Wendy Walker, A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman
- Saw: 946: Addy Tips, La Reve, Billy Joel, Rangers game box seats, Drunk Shakespeare
- Completed: helped build Jasper2 on corda, Design pattern methodology, templates, and framework for multiple functional roadmaps, helped lead a few hackathons and training sessions
- Completed/Caught up to Podcasts: The Sporkful, Radiolab, The Way I Heard It, How I Built This, Science Vs, Revisionist History, Surprisingly Awesome, You Are Not So Smart, Hidden Brain, Invisibilia, Welcome to Nightvale, Shmanners, The Adventure Zone (So good for D&D finale!), Hello from the Magic Tavern, Ear Hustle, Levar Burton Reads, Improv4Humans, Hold On with Eugene Murman, Homecoming, The Orbiting Human Circus, Heavyweight, S-Town, Twice Removed
My word for the year is bubble. Psychologically, I’ve extended my personal priorities to the budding family. Economically, the digital currency market has 19x’ed within a year (and then dipped a bit). Politically, I’m not even sure what the values of this country are anymore.
This year has been surreal. After completing my 30 under 30, I thought I wouldn’t be able to top it. Fatherhood and post-baby husbandhood tips the scale in a different way. My peaks of happiness seep through the hours of sleep deprivation in the most satisfying way. I’ve mentally re-prioritized a lot of my world. Evie is the second love of my life and I’d do anything for her and the family.
All these fantastic things hopefully out weigh some of the scary world we live in. I wish it were just the news and natural disasters – it’s become the acceptance of ridiculousness at all levels. Maybe this is it: the next phase of society with on-demand commitment-less promises. Maybe I’m just getting old.
In 2018, I’m looking forward to:
- Travels: More work in Toronto, London, LATAM, and APAC in the future; Hopefully a joint trip to Colorado, California, or Europe.
- Challenges: Work-Life Balance is going to continuously be a part of my life forward, I also get scared of adult things like buying houses, thinking about school districts, and planning learning curriculum
- Mature Career: I’ve accelerated this by making some lucrative investments in my time and money into a technology that’s now the hottest shit on everyone’s mind. I believe there will be some bigger balances with management of people vs individual contributions that I will struggle with in an organic and fast growing environment.
~See Lemons Look Forward to 2018
Random Observation/Comment #594: Adulting is so hard. Time is better than money. Life is overall pretty good.
I had some very ambitious blogging goals for writing about my experience as a new parent, but parenthood did not give me the same time. Regardless, I think I came up with a few gems. Here are my favorite blogposts of 2017:
~See Lemons Love 2017
Random Observation/Comment #591: Sometimes you need a break to get unstuck.
Why this List?
I personally love our logo designs. Kudos to Vault49 and their attention to detail. For those who haven’t seen it:
I know, so great. The best part is the cr3ativity we can have with c()mbining our logos with words:
- bar3 (we actually have this in a big neon sign in our office)
- corda c()r3
- dr3am team
- asset r3gistry
- member’s c()nfer3nce / c()rdac()n
- cordapp stor3
- Be r3ady
- Aspiring gr3atness
- c()de r3po
- legal, r3g, & c()mpliance
- centr3 of excellence (British spelling)
- br3w (in case we make ale)
- c()rda c()mmunity
- c()rda c()mposer
- c()rda online c()urses
- c()rda c()ngress
- c()okbook r3cipes
- corda c()in (j/k)
Always fun to take a break from solution architect-ing. Looks like I have some more random things to draw in my drawing journal.
~See Lemons C()ver3d
Random Observation/Comment #580: Make the best out of a bad situation.
I was in Exuma by 1pm with a tequila in hand and high spirits. The flight wasn’t the advertised “private jet”, but a packaged deal free flight, accommodations, food, and music in Bahamas was a good deal for $4000 for 8 tickets.
The rest of my party of 8 were taking a later flight from Miami, so I naturally used the skills one learns from backpacking Europe, and just spoke with everyone. In the next 24 hours, I would come to recognize at least 250 people (some of which were privileged white 23-year-olds), but most of whom just like music and took some time off to relax in the Bahamas.
On this beach with beautiful teal water, the frat crew did what all frat crews do best. Others just hung out and made casual conversation while enjoying the sun. Rose wine and Casimgos tequila were free and there were free 10-person boat rides to the island of pigs.
Things Go South
Great start to the day with high hopes, but everyone was thinking in the back of their minds “where are we sleeping tonight?” and “where are my checked in bags?”
Logistically, Fyre Festival was a nightmare at the beginning. How do you fit 6000 people on an island with a single stage and zero infrastructure? Wedding plans for 100 people takes 6-18 months. Coachella took 5 years to get it somewhat consistent. Burning Man started with 30 people. It’s not realistic with time and resources to hold a party of that size at scale with the promised amenities.
From the party on the beach to the rest of the trip, every single conversation I had revolved around excessive complaining. There’s the good and the bad in these memories, but it was super interesting to observe and witness from within. At no time did I feel endangered because I’m sure we’d get back. I may have had to sleep in some discomfort, but it’s a little unfair to complain when you’re on a beach in the Bahamas.
- Swimming with the pigs
- Geeking out with a fellow electrical engineer
- Geeking out with people about crypto
- People-watching very drunk frat kids passed out face first in the beach
- People-watching lobster red people who fell asleep on the beach and packed their sunscreen in their luggage
- Making new acquaintances with some pretty interesting people
- Arriving to the festival grounds seeing the dome tents
- Hearing the story that the “concierge” just shouted into the crowd something along the lines of “there are no assigned tents. It’s all open!”
- Looking for baggage in a giant red shipping container
- Finding that most tents had damp mattresses and squishy floors
- Seeing people carrying and looting mattresses
- Mayhem of people frantically looking for places to stay and not being able to find their group
- Thankfully meeting up with a group of people I know
- Line of people waiting to complain and ask for the next flight back to Miami
- Hearing stories of people who slept at the airport because they didn’t have tents and they wanted to catch the first flight back the next day (that flight was at 10am)
- Finding people who bought liquor at the duty free before entering Bahamas and drinking it in the tents
- Single DJ that played until midnight and then the whole stage with lights and everything shut down
- Looking for showers and only seeing 4 shower RV camps for the entire attendees
- Asking the bartender for bottled water so I could brush my teeth
- Sleeping on a damp mattress
- Waking up at 7am to news that the festival is cancelled
- Seeing the first bus shuttle leave at 8am to the airport and thinking if we should just hang out on the beach
- Long lines of people signing pieces of paper to get emails about next flights. A few of those papers got lost
- Sitting in the trunk of a truck with 8 other people to get a $30 taxi ride to the airport
- Waiting on a line at the airport for 3 hours (from 10am to 1pm) to get a hand-written ticket with a flight number to get full manifesto on entering US customs
- Dancing to music in the airport lounge because noon drinking was a good idea in this situation
- Talking to the tourism board of Bahamas saying that we love the Bahamas, but not Ja Rule
- 3-hour wait with no news on the next flight and1-hour wait to go through security and get on the flight
- Unfortunately finishing all the podcasts I had downloaded for the trip
- Getting off the plane and back to Miami by 6pm Friday
Luckily, it was only Friday, so the weekend in Miami with the team was still a success.
- Was it disorganized?
- Not really that bad, but it was woefully unscalable and they made poor infrastructure decisions without enough buffer for planning. Communication was also terrible so people were more panicked than they should have been.
- Did I have a good weekend?
- It’s all about attitude. Good times can be had anywhere.
- Would I do it again if it was free?
- No. I’m officially too old. I rather organize my own separate party on the beach.
- Do I have tons of stories I didn’t write here?
- Absolutely. Life is about sharing epic stories and making lasting memories.
~See Lemons Survive Fyre Festival
Random Observation/Comment #577: NYC is filled with functional alcoholics. I am certainly one of them.
Why this list?
There are a lot of reasons why drinking changes for your 30s. It’s no longer about getting drunk and pulling off shenanigans – it’s more about being social and catching up with people in your limited time juggling multiple “grown up” responsibilities. The motivation changes as drinking becomes a part of the experience rather than the main focus.
A few other properties include:
- hosting more get-togethers (yay brunches),
- fewer calories to watch weight (boo), and
- complimenting a great meal.
Ultimately, it’s the important fact that drinking for someone older is just borrowed time. Have fun tonight, but pay for it with hangovers lasting full days tomorrow.
How to Write this List
I think most people with 5+ years of drinking experience have learned from at least one bad night. You know, the one that starts with 3 beers and the voice in your head claims invincibility thereby leading to 6 shots and vomit on your clothes by morning? Rookie mistakes. Everyone knows the beer before liquor rule and eat some starch to soak up the alcohol, but I wanted to write this list for the more refined drinker. This is grown-up drinking.
- Hydrate during drinking – it cleanses your palette, paces the spending, and avoids hangovers
- Know your place – Never get a mixed drink at a beer bar, wine at a pub, or beer at a whisky Distillery
- Respect the bartender – tip well. The $1 is usually for a beer, but a suggested cocktail that takes effort and beauty deserves $2
- Learn the basics of wine – you don’t need to be an expert, but it’s important to know what type you like to drink
- Learn how to make 2 good cocktails for seasonal or food pairing – this is for a hosting party or just having guests
- Stock great beer in your fridge – not expensive, but good for unexpected guests
- Keep stock of some great wine and some table wine
- Keep stock of at least one whisky, bourbon, gin, and vodka – every good bar should have a decent stock
- Ice is an ingrident sometimes ignored – I like getting a large cube mold for better presentation
- Invest in a bar kit – there are some great deals after holidays
- Buy some fun coasters – I love buying coasters from travel. Great conversation starters.
- Keep stock of Alka seltzer and blowfish – getting older means more hangovers
- Frozen margaritas and sugary drinks should be left to tex-mex with friends or on a beach vacation – It’s not easy to make a good one and has too many ingredients/devices
- Invest in decent wine, whisky, and pint glasses – it’s always good to have the appropriate glassware for the occassion
- Adopt a favorite liquor store – Befriend them and they’ll likely give you some good deals and some 5-10% off
- Research wine clubs if you like wines – you get a great deal especially if you’re already drinking 3 bottles a week – the cost of a $20 bottle of wine is closer to $15 or so in bulk or with the experimental types
- Wine fridges – if you drink a lot of wine and have enough space, a wine fridge does help make the wine last longer
- Field trips focused on drinking – this is an awesome trip with friends and family. There are wine and beer festivals all around the place and this is a pretty good excuse to indulge like an adult.
- Be a regular at a local bar – There’s nothing better than going into a bar and knowing the bartenders.
- Quality over quantity – 4 times out of 5, I’d buy the more expensive Belgian beer to enjoy myself. Plus, the higher alcohol content usually evens out.
- Try not to drink in multiple gulps – drinking is marathon, not a sprint (and no one is keeping track)
- Save the money and the calories – I know some people who won’t drink soda, but would gladly drink 4 beers and mixed drinks (I’m one of these people). If you’re watching your weight and take 5 drinks to get tipsy, you might as well save it for once or twice a week instead of every night.
- Avoid weekday day drinking (but embrace brunch) – I remember when I first started drinking when studying abroad in Germany. People will literally order a beer during lunch and sip on it as part of their meal. I think since then, I’ve been desensitized from the stigma of day drinking. The problem with that is day drinking never ends with night hard working. It usually ends up with taking a nap and sleeping for 3 hours in the middle of the day.
- There are events where it’s always okay to drink – these can include (but are not limited to) fishing, sports games, concerts, brunch, beaches, and open bars.
- There’s no such thing as a girly drink – I love ordering cocktails that take some skill to make or some special ingredients I would never buy.
- Buy a round for your friends – If you have a regular group of drinking buddies or someone buys you a drink, order them a round every once in a while. It’s the right thing to do when you’re having a good time.
- If your bartender comps you a drink, tip generously – sometimes a bartender will get the 4th or 5th drink with an upside down shot glass. In NYC, that would come up close to $25, so I usually leave around $35
- Avoid well shots (tequila) – I don’t remember a good time after taking one of those and mostly because there are cheap substitutes. I think shots are okay if you specify the brand (like Jameson) because you know what you’ll be getting. Also know when this is appropriate (not at brunch with your in-laws).
- Don’t assume something that’s more expensive is good. Don’t assume something that’s less expensive is bad.
- Everything in moderation – Including moderation. Have a good time and be safe! Don’t throw up in an uber because you’ll get a bad rating.
~See Lemons Drink like a Pro
(Many Thanks to my beautiful wife, @vnessawithaneye, who came up with all the clever ones while anything distasteful was totally my idea)