Self Starter

Things of Note 

Self Starter

I was one of many people who wanted to learn something new in 2017 #newyearnewme.

But really.

Continuous self-improvement is a defining part of who I am, and I know that I am not alone here.  I wanted to throw this learning resource out to all two of you readers while we are still in the first month of the year:

There are links to all sorts of sites and apps that teach general education, technology/coding, creative, data, language, music, even dance.  My personal favorites are Duolingo, Codecademy, edX, and Khan Academy (this saved me in College Algebra!).  

As for the weekly recap, if you bet with me on the games this weekend I went 3-1 in my picks (now 5-3 overall) and the tease won easily.  More money in the bank for this beauty.  

We have a new President!  Whichever party you identify with, I urge you to be a proactive citizen.  Arguing, or baiting an argument, on social media is detrimental to everyone involved.  Follow your causes and support them however you can.  Write letters to the President and your congressmen, attend town halls if you're really hardcore, and network with people who are like-minded.   Some great resources (I found thanks to Crooked Media) to do so for the two major parties are:

  • - Quick summaries of upcoming and active legislation, and the ability to communicate with your representatives to make sure your voice is heard (MIDDLE).
  • RE:ACT - Weekly emails providing a list of concrete ways you can take action during the Trump presidency (LEFT).
  • ActRight -  Support different causes financially, follow them on social media, take action by signing petitions, and find ways to volunteer (RIGHT).
  • -And if you haven't registered to vote... Come on people. It takes 2 minutes. 

As far as the NBA stuff goes, All-Star picks were announced last night, and since I can't bring myself to talk about the Suns here are my picks:


G: John Wall, Isaiah Thomas

F: LeBron, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Joel Embiid


G: Russell Westbrook, James Harden

F: Kevin Durant, Kawhi Leonard, Marc Gasol

I just can't give it to Steph Curry over Harden and Westbrook.  He is unbelievable and is definitely an All-Star, but he is not more deserving than the other guys.  Marc Gasol over Anthony Davis all day, mostly because his team is actually winning.  Shout out to Kemba Walker, I sincerely hope he makes it this year, he deserves to be on this team.


Greenbay Packers +4.5 at ATLANTA FALCONS (I think they win outright)

Pittsburgh Steelers +6 at NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS

I honestly don't feel strongly about either of these picks, I might stay away this weekend.

Bonus NBA pick

Utah Jazz -6 over the DALLAS MAVERICKS


I am just about done with this show.  I watch it with Allie because it is her show that we watch together, and I appreciate how well it is made...  But enough is enough.  This week's episode was a total bore and didn't add anything to the overall arch of the characters or plot.  It felt like it was just trying to emotionally manipulate its audience into crying and thinking it's a great show.

WHAT I'M DRINKING: Evans Brothers Coffee Roasters Organic Siberia Blend

Loved this one.  A little smoke, chocolate and roasted nuts in the flavor profile.  I highly recommend this one for coffee aficionados.  Also, shout out to Mistobox!  I have been a loyal subscriber since the beginning and they have been helping me refine my coffee palate by sending me personally curated coffee shipments for years now.  

WHAT I'M LISTENING TO: Revisionist History

Malcolm Gladwell started a podcast last year that takes alternative views of... well, history (and current events).  I was re-listening to his podcasts on education, and I think they're important for everyone to hear.  The three episodes were about the idea of capitalization (measuring how well America is making use of its human potential), how university endowments work, and educational philanthropy.

Final Thoughts

Honestly, this week started out with feelings of inadequacy.  Trying to plan time with friends and family, find time and energy to work out and enjoy hobbies, be a good husband, and heck taxes are even coming due...  It's tough.  Lately, nothing has been more frustrating than practicing bass for me.  I want to be able to do so much more than my current abilities permit, and the only way to get there is being diligent in practice.  

Good luck to everybody out there doing the daily grind.  Be present around your loved ones and don't strive.  Give yourself and others grace and it will go a long, long, way.