Journal Entries

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I’m not one to read articles from Business Insider or Entrepreneur. Most of them have the stink of clickbait with their stories of how someone makes unrealistic sums of a money just doing a side hustle. They’re written in an interview style, but they don’t seem like they’re fact-checked. Anyone can claim to make $100,000 a month, but when you’re pretty much writing the article for the reporter, who’s going to know.

So I admit, I was sucked in by a headline about a UX designer who claims to make a $150,000 a month with a subscription style business. I could see how his model could, and probably does work. The numbers seem a bit high, but the guy does a great job of showing his math and is open about his model.

If you have 40 clients all paying a subscription (aka retainer) of $3500-5000 a month, you can get to that number easily. Fulfilling the work is the challenge, and that’s where speed pays off.

That’s what makes the article so unusual. Most of the time someone makes an audacious claim, like “The 4-Hour Work Week” and the solution (just resell supplements and buy a bunch of Google AdWords) is usually unappetizing. The “just set it, and forget it” model is almost always too good to be true.

For me, I like living the a la carte life of a freelancing and consulting. I have worked for big companies and have run an agency. Both were rewarding experiences, but they also taught me how much I loved autonomy.

Another thing I have learned is; by the time people have decided to look for outside help they just want the problem addressed. Quick and adequate sells. The two biggest questions to be answered are “how much?” and “when can I have it?” Questions about the what, why, and how can be asked in future iterations. That’s when there will be time to really think through the problem holistically. By then, they’ll need a full-service agency.

I have been working in the digital design space for 30 years. I know how to do things in minutes that can take people days. Some of it’s because I have developed an intuitive sense that enables me to interpret what people are looking for quickly. But mostly it’s because I’ve gone through the trial and error and experimentation phases most people do not have time for.

I’ll be working on a list of things I can offer in a subscription mode and posting that to LinkedIn and see how it goes. There’s a certain type of work that lends itself to this model. Figuring which will work is going to be an experiment.


Gravel Rides

I got in two decent rides over the holiday weekend. Yesterday, I was hoping to take out the hard tail and do some trail riding. That bike has been acting up with some noise coming from the bottom bracket. I figured it was probably some water or moisture. But there was a new clicking sound coming from the back wheel. I had a broken spoke. This is the third or fourth spoke I’ve broken on that bike. Pisses me off.

So I took the gravel bike out instead and hit the trail. I skipped some of the single trail I usually take and extended some of my road riding.

Today, I took the gravel bike out again and did a big loop down into the regional park where the reservoir is. It’s about 1,000 foot climb to the entrance, and mostly fire roads around the lake. There were a couple a hills too steep to ride, so I had to hike them. I got in about 20 hard earned miles on today’s ride. All told, I’ve gotten in about 70-80 miles over the last 7 days.


Another shooting, and another

Don’t be fooled. There is no such thing as gun rights. It is white man rights, the gun is just the symbol. There is no one more free in this country than a white guy with a gun. If a black man is even thought to have a gun in public, it’s shoot first ask questions later.

Every guy (and it’s always been, a guy) that has lectured me on guns and the 2nd amendment is full of shit. They are bad faith actors who’ve been spoon fed some talking points cooked up by the NRA in the 70s. These people aren’t constitutional scholars. It’s the only thing in The Constitution they’ve read, if they’ve even read that.

The worldview of a gun nut is one of fear. It’s always about protection and concern someone is going to take something from them. The world is out to get them. As long as the world stays a dangerous place, despite actually getting safer, their feelings are validated.

Deadly force is the only option on the table. Ask them to even consider other possibilities and they draw a blank. It’s not even up for debate. And yet, they can rattle off an infinite number of scenarios, corner cases, and outlying unrealistic situations where they need to have a gun.

Don’t for a second think they want everyone to have guns for the same reasons they do. The most generous interpretation is they think everyone should have equal protection. How practical is that when weapons and killing power is in constant escalation?

What gun nuts (and stop calling them advocates. they don’t deserve such an adult sounding label) want is the ability to enforce laws as they see fit. The rhetoric around protection is just an appeal to others who lack creativity and imagination for better solutions.

There is no such thing as gun rights, no matter what the Second Amendment says. What we have are people with a severe fetish that are lying and being intellectually dishonest.

Until we stop acting like gun nuts share the same values and principles as the rest of Americans, this problem is only going to get worse.

At this point, I literally don’t give a shit if they do take away all the guns – 100% of them. They should be forced to make the choice. When they say “you can have my gun when you pry it away from my cold dead hands”, I say don’t threaten me with a good time assholes.


Kayaking on Tomales Bay

Today we got the boats in the water for the first time in about a year. It was the same spot as our last kayaking session, the boat launch next to Nick’s Cove. The water was pretty calm compared to the days of high wind we’ve been experiencing around here. Other than just getting out on the water, it was uneventful.

If there’s time today, I might take the board out for some surfing.


Olema Ride

For years, I have been wanting to ride my bike along Highway 1 along Tomales Bay. Today I got my wish. I started at Dillon Beach and turned right in the town of Tomales and wound my way down past destination eateries Nick’s Cove, Hog Island, The Marshall, through Point Reyes Station.

I was going to go all the way to Olema, but when I checked my watch, it had 10% life left. I didn’t charge the damn thing overnight. Worried my phone was almost dead too, I turned around. Probably a good thing I did. I was in a headwind the entire time. The last 3 miles from Tomales back to Dillon Beach were grueling. Fortunately the last mile is all downhill on a 10%+ grade.

I’m typing this way late in the day having gotten in a decent nap, and a couple beers. The best tasting beer is that ice cold one you have immediately after finishing a strenuous activity.

44 miles, 4,000 miles climbing, 2,000 calories

Tomorrow, maybe kayaking.

My favorite part of California