How do you know when TOO much is TOO much?

That's some risk: a person walking on a rock resting high between two cliffs.  It's a long way down...

After poking fun with 3 simple quotes, at the nay-sayers, the ones who prefer the status quo, who don’t want to risk what they already have, the opposite question naturally comes up. When is it TOO much risk?

The best answer I heard of how do you know when you cross the line is as follows:

If you’re comfortable with seeing the risk, and its results, printed on the front page of the New York Times, for all your friends and family (imagine your mom reading it…) to see/read, then it’s an acceptable risk. If you’re having second thoughts or heartburn about them seeing it… stop and think again.

Sometimes it’s as simple as that.

What do you think is too much of a risk?

Related interesting trivia: what were the founders of Google willing to sell Google for in 1999?

Answer to last post‘s trivia: she exchanged it for $1 and a lifetime supply of chocolate. Good deal, you think? 🙂


What’s (Im)possible? Unleash the Inner Quote Kraken!

A thought provoking post of quotes on thinking unleased my inner quote-kraken, and reminded me of a bunch of (now) funny (?) quotes used to (try to) kill new ideas.  Like the focus group video below — I won’t destroy the punchline with a long description, it’s less than two minutes, worth the watch, audio needed, sfw.

What would happen if we listened more to focus group participants or quotes like:

"Heavier-than-air flying machines are impossible" --- Lord Kelvin, President, British Royal Society, 1985 ... 8 years before Kitty Hawk.
"There is no reason anyone would want a computer in their home." Ken Olsen, president, chairman, and founder of Digital Equipment Corp. (DEC) 1977 … a year after Apple (Wozniak) came up with the personal computer.

… a year after Apple (Wozniak) came up with the personal computer.

"We don't like their sound, and guitar music is on the way out." Decca Recording Co. rejecting the Beatles, 1962.

Have you heard these types of quotes before?

Interesting related trivia: What did Ruth Wakefield, the inventor of the chocolate chip cookie, get in exchange for selling her invention to Nestle?

Answer to last post’s trivia: The Don Quixote. While the Harry Potter series sold about 500 million copies, Cervantes’ novel is the single novel that sold an estimated 500 million copies on its own (there’s no way to know what it sold since it was published in 1612).

Are you wired for stories?

A discussion I recently read about preferences on reading fiction vs non-fiction got me to put my musing hat on.

For me it’s mostly about the story, not so much where it is on the fiction/non-fiction spectrum.

Cat against the moon, there's a story there

If it’s non-fiction work, it needs to be a story based on facts rather than wishful thinking and unproven hypotheses.  An example for a great non-fiction book is Daniel Boorstin’s The Discoverers. Instead of taking the standard (boring) textbook approach of what happened in a certain place at a certain time, essentially random facts and figures, Boorstin weaves a story about a topic. For example, he starts by telling the story of time through the ages and different cultures to what it’s come to mean to us; he masterfully creates a (non-fiction) story thread.

Wise Owl, there's definitely a story there

If it’s fiction work, a good story often allows us to explore a challenging question without it being too painfully personal. Sci fi and fantasy stories can excel at that. Ethical questions that turn us defensive in no time flat, change when the question is confronted by “little green men” (or their current equivalent). When the ethical dilemma or difficult choice is faced by the alien race, or a futuristic race, or even by elves, all of the sudden we can reflect on it and tackle it from a calm distance. The question remains the same. The story (fiction) allows us to grapple safely with it.

I can’t explain why I like to read random trivia or quotes 🙂

What is it that makes a book worth reading or a movie/show worth watching for you?

Interesting related trivia: what is the bestselling novel of all time?

Answer to last post’s trivia: The Sargasso Sea.

Planning for Over 50… days, not years!

We like cruising; our best year had us spend 50 days at sea.  But we’re planning for more than a “mere” 50 days.  What is our plan… and why plan?  How much of a plan does one need during an Endless Weekend?

Dilbert and Dogbert

When I started to work, I read Dilbert cartoons but didn’t find them to be hilarious.  It’s only after we lived through them ─ and especially now that we began our Endless Weekend, and they’re a thing of the past ─ that they became side-splittingly funny… even corporate America’s planning process.  And now that we’re planning our travel, we’re aiming (perhaps hallucinating? :)) at BIG, audacious travel plans. And all that, without the Dilbertian extras. 

There’s a study that showed that generally the anticipation/planning/prep phase of a vacation makes people happier than the vacation itself, so it makes sense to relish the planning and put effort into it! How we’re going to make these plans happen is something for … later.  But this is what we’d LIKE to do, if money were no object.

  • Antarctica: An (ex) colleague who worked on a research station in Antarctica warned us that we should hurry up and go since Antarctica is becoming touristy, and that any day now they’ll open a McDonald’s there… Maybe, maybe not.  An (ex) manager told us to brace ourselves for the smell of penguin urine when we land on solid ground/ice.  Neither warning is deterring us, or the gear list we’re going to have to put together: we’d like to land on the last wilderness, not just gaze at it from a distance, something like what this or this enables.
  • Australia and New Zealand: Even before Hobbits seemed to run all over New Zealand we wanted to visit both Australia and New Zealand.  In an ideal world, we’d like to avoid the long flights (meaning cruise there and back again…), but then we’d like to visit Australia, New Zealand, and Tasmania, and we’ve seen cruises (hey, this one is 51 days, just right for the over 50 goal) like this Holland America one that with a round trip from Sydney touches the main attractions
  • Greenland and Iceland: We’ve cruised to Alaska several times, and words like grandeur and majestic take on a different meaning after the first visit.  Yes, of course mountains have to start somewhere, but when you see them emerge from the water and peak from above a scarf of clouds, the magnificence of nature takes on a different meaning.  We hope that an Oceania Cruise like this one will give us a glimpse of the beauty of Greenland and Iceland, each in its own way.

What do you think we missed from this list? Do you recommend any must-see places or experiences?

Interesting bit of related trivia: what is the only sea that has no coast? Answer in next week’s post.

Answer to last post’s trivia: what did Alfred Hitchcock use for blood in the famous shower scene in Psycho?  Bosco chocolate syrup (puts a different spin on the scene, no?)

Answer to last post’s bonus bit of chocolate trivia: What country consumes the most chocolate per capita?  Switzerland, land of Milk and Money (according to Diccon Bewes), and … chocolate 🙂

Outshining the Sweeter Side

You may ask: is it possible to transcend the delectable ice cream sandwich we ate a few days ago?  If you spotted the lack of chocolate ice cream in the sandwich (it wasn’t an option, unfortunately, we asked), you know the answer is yes…

Brownie, in its standalone substantial glory

It turns out that the less glorious side of the Endless Weekend, the still ongoing spring/summer cleaning, has its advantages.  As we were cleaning the kitchen out of things we shouldn’t keep for an Endless Weekend, we found brownie ingredients; that includes walnuts.  And in the spirit of “waste not, want not”, coupled with an exercise regimen, we are experiencing the sweeter side of cleaning…

Happiness, thy name is rich brownie in a bowl of milk!  If you haven’t tried eating your brownie that way yet, all it takes is one time to see why it makes sense.  A photo of the “naked” brownie, in its still substantial glory, with walnuts that now taste like they’ve been caramelized (they weren’t, it’s a side benefit of the brownie), is on the upper left.  When the brownie is dressed up in a bowl of milk, it looks like the photo on the right, and it makes for a magnificent cereal.  If you look carefully, you can see that part of the fun is that even after only a few seconds, the brownie turns the milk into chocolate milk. Definitely an added bonus!  

Try it out and let us know what you think.

Interesting bit of trivia: what did Alfred Hitchcock use for blood in the famous shower scene in Psycho?  Answer in the next post. 

Bonus bit of chocolate related trivia: What country consumes the most chocolate per capita?  Answer to this one in the next post, too.

Answer to the trivia from the last post: what flavor of ice cream was created first, chocolate or vanilla? Despite what you might expect…  it’s chocolate (sometimes the best comes first, especially when it’s mixed with cookie dough and served in a chocolate dipped waffle cone… Yum!)

The Sweeter Side of the Less Glorious

Part of our plan for the Endless Weekend includes getting back in shape. How did we fall off the “shape wagon” you ask? Well, being leashed to a headset (even if it’s a wireless one), in a seemingly endless procession of conference calls every day, is hardly conducive to staying on the shape wagon. In fact, when your wireless headset needs recharging before the day is out, you know you’ve been on the phone, at your desk, for way too long… beyond even your headset’s capacity for pain. We signed up for a gym/health club, for years. We stopped the membership when we realized that each visit was costing us ~$200, not because the faucets in the bathroom were made of gold, it was because the frequency of our visits was so low. But this is all part of the week, pre-the Endless Weekend.

Delectable ice cream sandwich.  In this case, a picture is worth a thousand words!

During a break from our ongoing spring/summer cleaning, we went out searching for a sandwich and we found the one to the right.  A delectable sandwich made of two moist, thick, gooey chocolate chip cookies (loaded with chocolate chips that were also fresh and soft) with ice cream in the center; made on the spot for us, wrapped like you’d expect a sandwich to be wrapped.  Pro tip: bite off a single side of the sandwich, a single cookie, and some ice cream.  Trying to take a bite off the entire sandwich will push the ice cream off to the sides. The photo is of the sandwich in mid-consumption, and it was difficult to take… we could barely stop mid-bite to take it 🙂

Yes, this isn’t helping us locate the shape-wagon, but sometimes you have to take a step backwards to leap forward?  Here’s hoping!

Interesting bit of related trivia: what flavor of ice cream was created first, chocolate or vanilla?

Answer to the trivia from the last post, what is the germiest (dirtiest) place in the house?  It’s not in the bathroom, as many expect, or the remote, as in a hotel, it’s the dish sponge/rag!

The Glorious & the Less Glorious

We planned the first phase of our Endless Weekend to be focused on travel: Antarctica, Greenland, Australia, New Zealand, Panama Canal (the locks got bigger since we’ve seen them), are the first in a long and glorious list that would easily take up a year or more to visit.

Our first week of the Endless Weekend started in a somewhat less glorious fashion, but rather necessary: we tackled spring cleaning in July. We started with the den, and it took a week — it turns out that one accumulates quite a lot of STUFF over a couple of decades or so. It turns out that two accumulate even more stuff. In a week, we gathered up several boxes of stuff that went as donations to the local hospice, and many more to the trash. We never felt like hoarders, but we ended up filling up two 50 gallon trash cans with stuff… Turns out it’s quite the workout, and with all the boxes we lost we gained some achy muscles, and a semi respectable den. There’s more work to be done, but we’re ready for a more glorious adventure 🙂

Interesting bit of related trivia: What is the germiest (dirtiest) place in the house?  (Hint: it’s not what you think). Answer in the next post.

Answer to the trivia from the last post: What country enjoys the most public holidays per year?  It’s Cambodia!