Good Stuff – I’m Into

I thought I would share some of the good things I’ve tapped into lately.

Like most of us, I try to be deliberate and thoughtful with how I spend my time (sometimes a bit too much so). My hope here is my obsession with all this might lead to you finding a similar value in these things.

In no particular order:

Work Stuff

  • New Job – I had a great job with a great company, but, I wasn’t happy. A friend told me I should look for another job because I would get hired right away. I didn’t think this would be the case. But, guess what? That’s precisely what happened! I am now working for a fantastic company, with great people.  I couldn’t be happier where I think I can make a real difference!
  • Apple Ecosystem – After years (and many headaches) of having to manage two completely separate systems, one for work and one for home, thanks to cloud applications, and Apple, I have been able to integrate it all. Best of all, the new Home Pods in stereo sound amazing!
  • Steelcase Gesture – After twenty years, it was time to buy a new office chair. I was getting some back pain with my Steelcase Leap chair. After months of research, I landed on this one. Love it. People often get cheap with chairs and beds, not smart IMHO as so much time is spent on them.
  • Chroma Key Background – Remote workers are now spending more time than ever on video conferences, primarily when they work from home. Most have less-than-great backdrops (bad walls, bookcases, kitchens). This past year I went to the fantastic B & H Photo in NYC where their knowledgeable staff hooked me up with a camera, microphone, and backdrop.  Now I’m looking super professional and ready if the call comes from CNN.

More Work Stuff

  • Moleskine Lined 5 x 8.25 Notebooks – I don’t like whipping out the laptop (or even the iPad with the Apple pencil) during meetings. I prefer the Moleskine. I see them everywhere, and they seem classy and inoffensive to me.
  • Tul Gel Retractable Medium Point Pens – I love the feel of this pen and find medium better than fine in blue ink.  Having a good pen makes me want to write, so I always have them.
  • Tumi Logan Arrive Backpack – This total indulgence was purchased at a Tumi outlet store about four years ago and still gets comments (“hey, cute backpack). It’s small form factor and style make it a total winner.
  • Classic Business Books – Reading is always hard and so many business books today run out of steam after about thirty pages. I have found that going back to some classics has kept me interested longer, reminding me that it’s not so much the ideas that matter, but the execution. Right now I am enjoying The Effective Executive, by Peter Drucker.
  • Mack’s Pillow Soft Silicone Earplugs – Stuck in a hotel room near the airport, elevator, or always-cycling air conditioner? Mack’s to the rescue.

Personal Stuff

  • Self-Centered Parenting – Our son is a junior in high school, and now we’re almost at Christmas.  We are halfway through his second to last year before his going away to college. Every moment is so precious (to us), and fleeting.  So, I’ve been stepping in and “forcing” him to go out to dinner with us.  See movies (and having him drive).  We’ve also suckered him to watch a TV show with us (Jack Ryan – excellent!).  He gets annoyed by all this. Too bad. Wait, I’m going to cry.
  • Getting Things on the Calendar – If I don’t look ahead and put it on the calendar, it won’t happen.  I was delighted I put my mom’s 90th Birthday on the schedule, as I was able to spend time with my siblings and mom. That’s precious. I’ve got NCAA March Madness for the third year in a row with my brother, but that’s it. We hope to drag our boy to Europe.
  • Calling People – It started with my mom about 25 years ago. I started calling her every week, rain or shine.  Then I added my dad and the rest of my family. Today I telephone a lot of people. Human connection has never been easier to keep up. Plus, the results of actually talking to someone for years (or decades) is something not to miss!

More Personal Stuff

  • Walking Dogs – I’ve talked to others about this, and they agree, nothing like walking your dogs. I’m lucky to live in a place I can walk them year around. I walk for about 45 minutes, a little over 2 miles. The Apple Watch keeps track of the steps. What adds to the fun is I listen to…
  • Lululemon – For anyone down with stretchy pants and a hoody all day long. Nothing better when complemented with…
  • ASICS Gel Kayano – You don’t need to be a runner to appreciate these great shoes. They work fantastically with my…
  • Leather Orthodics – For someone flat-footed who has been wearing orthotics for decades, my new leather orthotics are so much a revelation I have two pairs. Support and comfort, and no blisters. Ask your podiatrist.

Entertainment

  • Podcasts – Hey, it’s old news that Podcasts can be amazing.  Despite the explosion in both listeners and content, I run across many who have never heard a podcast. Get started as the right guest on a topic you’re interested in can be the most riveting conversation. Some guests do suck, so I’ve found it best to rotate between these podcasts deciding quickly if you’re drawn to the guest:
    • WTF – Marc Maron – One of the originals who got this whole podcast thing started. There are great talks with Obama, Keith Richards, and hundreds more for up to two hours of chat.
    • Fresh Air – A billion episodes, but, Terry Gross is one of the best hosts. I check the topics and guests every week.
    • Tim Ferris Show – Tim deconstructs what successful people do which with the right guest, is riveting.
    • Revisionist History – Malcome Gladwell’s podcast only does ten episodes a year. All great.
    • The Moment with Brian Koppelman – Screenwriter/Producer. Feels like you’re in with the Hollywood writing community.
    • Gilbert Gottfried’s Amazing Colossal Podcast – A tribute to old showbiz. Gilbert and Frank’s show is something else. Danny Thomas, Ceasar Romero, Bob Hope!
    • Here’s the Thing with Alec Baldwin – I love his interviews and passion.

More Entertainment

  • The Americans – Best show Annette and I watched this past year, hands down. Maybe one of the best. A few very slight missteps, but broadly the storytelling and acting were stellar. The late 80s milieu was captured perfectly, and the ending might be the most satisfying wrap up to a serialized show yet.
  • Movies – Three movies have caught my attention this year. I’m hoping some great stuff comes during movies season.
    • Star is Born – All hail Lady Gaga. I haven’t been this mesmerized in a long, long time.
    • First Man – All hail Ryan Gosling and the incredible, realistic, claustrophobic, capsule scenes in the story of a real hero.
    • Eight Grade – Love this genre, and comedian Bo Burnham delivers.
Hope you like the list and find something you’ll try! It’s in no way exhaustive.

One More Thing

It’s not lost on me how fortunate I am in my life. Every day I get to do things I love to do, with people who are wonderful. I also get to use the best tools. Then, on top of all that, I get to take in some of the greatest entertainment ever made.
The result is I am happy 95% of the time. I wish my face could show it more, but it doesn’t. Instead, I work on my attitude. This too, sorry to say, doesn’t always hit the mark either. But, I’m getting better.
Thanks to all and see you soon!

AuthorJim Stalker

Seeking answers - one post at a time. Sales guy - family guy - thinks a great guitar solo can make the song. Based in Granite Bay CA - where there is plenty of granite and not much bay.