We’ve been doing the NYT crossword together every night for the past several months, which is a lovely way to end the day. This week, we started playing Wordle after seeing half the internet playing it. It’s so good. Here are the first four results, which are just fun to share. Can’t tell if we have beginner’s luck or if the crossword playing is helping. Probably a bit of both.
I took a 4 day avalanche course by Baker Mountain Guides the week of Christmas in the Mt. Baker backcountry. I’ve been casually doing some backcountry stuff the past few years, but never pulled the trigger on buying avi gear or taking a class, which isn’t super smart or safe. The first two days were over Zoom with a firehose of information – logging it all here for future reference.
Grandmother & Grandfather always took pictures using slide film and we’d watch them on a projector in their living room – from their travels and just daily life. My cousin scanned 1,500 of them, from the 1960s to the early 2000s. They were scattered across different Google Photos links and I wanted an easy way to look at them and share with others so I created a site: ggslides.com. A few faves:
Grabbed a few pow laps this afternoon after a 2 foot dump. Brought the GoPro along to make a quick lil edit and because it has been a while since I strung some clips together to music. After a slow start, it’s turning out to be such a good season.
Really excited about all the design work we put into WordPress this past year. Both within the product itself as well as in our external communications, as seen in this video I worked on that highlights all the cool stuff we are about to release. Super proud of the team working on this with me. We’re really just getting started and I’m ready to keep going to make WordPress an intuitive, well-designed experience for all.
I use Strava record all my rides, runs, and snowboard adventures since 2016. The past couple years I’ve hovered around 2k miles on the bike, which feels pretty solid. My favorite times on the bike this year were bikepacking with friends and I hope to keep that up this year. I’d also like to add a lot more days on snow.
I listened to a bunch of books last year. On walks with the dog, on the way to and from mountain biking and snowboarding, and on countless road bike rides around town. These were my favorite:
OVERALL, FICTION Ealonor Olyphant Is Completely Fineby Gail Honeyman This book was hilarious but also wrecked me. I couldn’t stop thinking about it and has stayed with me more than any other book has.
OVERALL, NONFICTION Maybe You Should Talk to Someone by Lori Gottlieb I mean, who doesn’t want to know what therapists really think, how they work, and what they talk about with their own therapists? Also, it’s hilarious.
SAD Dear Edwardby Ann Napolitano I need a good sad book every once in a while.
BIZ Powerfulby Patty McCord Practical and no-nonsense. I listened to this twice and then re-listened to certain bits. I was going through a tough time at work and this book was one of the things that helped me through it.
ENTERTAINING Daisy Jones & The Sixby Taylor Jenkins Reid Love the format, almost felt like you were listening to a music documentary. Read by a bunch of different actors. Made me start listening to Fleetwood Mac again.
LOVE STORY The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugoby Taylor Jenkins Reid Who knew I needed a love story? A full life lived.
The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugoby Taylor Jenkins Reid, Daisy Jones & The Sixby Taylor Jenkins Reid, Powerfulby Patti McCord, Dear Edwardby Ann Napolitano, Maybe You Should Talk to Someone by Lori Gottlieb, Ealonor Olyphant Is Completely Fineby Gail Honeyman, The Nix by Nathan Hill, Where’d you go Bernadetteby Maria Semple, Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the Worldby Haruki Murakami, The Windup Bird Chronicleby Haruki Murakami, Convenience Store Womanby Sayaka Murata, Strange Weather in Tokyoby Hiromi Kawakami, In the Woodsby Tana French, Normal Peopleby Sally Rooney, Conversations with Friendsby Sally Rooney, There Thereby Tommy Orange, A Tale for the Time Beingby Ruth Ozeki, Olive, Againby Elizabeth Strout, Self Compassionby Kristin Neff, Nine Perfect Strangersby Liane Moriarty, Such a Fun Ageby Kiley Reid, Pieces of Her by Karin Slaughter.
I tend to think about things for a bit before sharing with others. I also really like to fix things. This combination can sometimes lead to jumping into solution mode really fast when I’m discussing with others. This happened yesterday when I realized the person I was having a conversation with didn’t even agree on the same problem I was coming to him with. And I was already talking about potential solutions! Our conversation didn’t get far and I had to back up and start again.
Since a big part of my job is coming up with solutions, I think it’s important to get it right. It’s also important to know when solutions are necessary. I jotted these notes down based on my conversation yesterday and others that I’ve learned from in the past:
When someone is coming to me with a problem:
Give them a very quick high level overview of what they are saying so you know you have it right.
Ask if it’s something they want help with solving or if they are just venting. If they are just venting, move on to other topics.
If they want a solution: Agree on the problem(s) they would like to solve. Contribute additional info and suggestions if needed.
Ask them for their thoughts on how to solve. Add your suggestions and agree on a path forward.
Follow though and follow up.
When I’m going to someone with a problem I’m observing that directly effects me:
Clearly communicate the problem from my perspective.
Ask if they understand to get on the same page with them about problem I’m trying to solve.
See if they agree it’s a problem to solve. If it is, ask the other person for their thoughts on how to solve. Add your suggestions.
Agree on a path forward. Make it clear who will do what.