Thank you for reading the reflections of the past few weeks. Here at the crossroads of personal development and philosophy, I’m on a slow-thought manifesto train. But I’m also a dude, a dad, a house-holding worker bee. So I try to have a finger or two on the pulse of what makes life simpler, richer, more fulfilling. To wit, let’s get real and tangible with some goods and services and culture that I’d feel remiss not sharing.
🚸 A Big Mooncake for Little Star
My youngest of three children is two years old. I’ve cycled through all the usual suspects of children’s books — the obligatory, the timeless, the new kids on the block. When I find a truly gorgeous book, it’s a revelation.
A Big Mooncake for Little Star by Grace Lin is one of the sweetest — an origin story of the marvelous moon and its phases. That layer alone is a delight, but the subtle undertone implied in the tale is the juiciest. For as any parent can attest, the chaos can be real. In a day I can clean the kitchen and tidy the same room multiple times. It reminds me of the creation of a mandala, the impermanence of its creation part of the artform. Such is the daily life.
And this book makes tender and special that practice. A gentle reminder about letting go, about presence, and about keeping primary the soft connection with our littles.
🧹 Folex Instant Carpet Spot Remover
On the subject of the chaos of a house with three kids and a dog, here’s a quick home goods product shoutout. File this one under the product I wish I had known about from the get-go of life.
For any stain current or past on carpets or upholstery, Folex Instant Carpet Spot Remover somehow gets it out. Plus it’s non-toxic, odor-free, contains no CFC’s or petroleum distillates. I sound like an infomercial, but I shit you not, this has saved us. And we’re potty training.
🫖 Pique Tea
I still do bulletproof coffee in the morning — I know, very last decade of me. I’ve been moving towards teas for the remainder of the day. I first heard about Pique Tea when Tim Ferriss mentioned them. And he heard about Pique Tea from Dr. Peter Attia whom I’ve been following for years for health and wellness insights.
Their tea crystals are a bit of a splurge, but they’re cold-extracted using only wild-harvested leaves from 250-year-old tea trees. So, that’s precious. They also triple toxin screen for heavy metals, pesticides, and toxic mold—contaminants commonly found in other teas.
📱 Zero, the Fasting App
On the subject of Dr. Peter Attia, he’s the Chief Medical Officer and co-Founder of Zero, a fasting resource app I use regularly. I have a goal of three to five days of time-restricted feeding per week, where I limit my eating in that day to only six consecutive hours. Essentially, I finish dinner and don’t eat (except for morning coffee) until lunchtime the next day.
For me, it is a ritual and a boon. I have some of my clearest, lightest hours during those mornings where I’m not eating a meal until midday. And having Zero document, gamify, and educate the process under Dr. Attia’s guidance is a huge plus.
🍴 Dicing a Shallot in ~30 Seconds
Those who know me well, know that I’m into my cooking. It’s a passion and a meditation for me. Spending as much time in front of a computer as I do, using my hands and nose and eyes with tactile, sensual finesse is a joy and a reprieve.
I also happen to cook really frequently. Over time I’ve learned innumerable methods, shortcuts, and processes. Here, I’m chopping a shallot into a fairly fine dice in just over 30 seconds. Shallots are the secret magic in so many dishes and dressings. It’s good to have a simple tactic for making them fine.
(N.B. I’m not a professional. Purely self-taught, I admit outright that I don’t follow the “claw grip” technique where you hold the food with curled fingers. There’s good reason to follow “claw grip” protocol, but I don’t. Call me out, call me reckless, call me an outlaw. Be safe!)
🎵 “Pulse” by Rising Appalachia
No intro, just the music: it sings for itself.
📹 Best Wishes, Warmest Regards: A Schitt's Creek Farewell
I’m not sure if I was early to Schitt’s Creek or late, but this Canadian comedy series has taken on rightful pedestal status. It was one of the supreme silver lining joys of 2020 to have found this show and watched it gradually (and not so gradually) over the year. And I’m not really a comedy series type of guy. I prefer dark and twisted head-trip thrillers. So I was really surprised to dig the laugh-out-loud glee and tender mercy that this show inspires. Sign of the times I guess.
But my wife and I just watched the short documentary called Best Wishes, Warmest Regards: A Schitt’s Creek Farewell, which documents the making of the final season (which aired in early 2020). It also explores the indelible impact the show has had on its viewers and the LGBTQ community. It’s worth watching the entire series before this documentary for obvious reasons. But don’t skip this. It’s a testament to what culture can be and can do.
⏱️ Superhuman for email
I’ve been a productivity junkie for the better part of my 20-year career. I’ve tried most methodologies and many tools and resources. My email game is super strong. I’m generally almost always at Inbox Zero because I’ve built a great system to make that happen via a daisy-chain of gmail, shortcuts, hacks, evernote, roam, and others.
So when I heard about Superhuman, I was unclear about what value it would bring to my system. It promises a lot: “the fastest email experience ever made.” It’s not an exaggeration. In the few months that I’ve been using it, I’m blown away with the gorgeous interface. The keyboard-only commands and the weaving in of social connections into the emailing workflow make the whole experience both faster and more immersive. Far better than the system I’d put in place.
It might not be for everybody, and it ain’t cheap ($30/month), but it’s worth every penny. And they’ll individually coach you through setup. Check out the RadReads Review here for more detail if you’re interested.
P.S. Superhuman is offering a limited time deal where you get a free month with my referral. (Full disclosure: if you join, I’ll get a free month too.) DM me if you’re interested.
💭 Beautiful Quote I’m Marinating In…
This is from Ben Lerner’s book, 10:04:
Emerging from the train, I found it was fully night, the air excited by foreboding and something else, something like the feel of a childhood snow day when time was emancipated from institutions, when the snow seemed like a technology for defeating time, or like defeated time itself falling from the sky, each glittering ice particle an instant gifted back from your routine.
Thanks for reading. Hope these are helpful.