I feel a rush of emotions every time I hear about a devastating wildfire. 9 out of the 10 worst fires in the history of California have occurred in the past decade. So, this rush is a yearly occurrence.

The emotions that have followed after learning about the Caldor fire have been very different.

The South Lake Tahoe region has held a special place in my heart. I’ve been up those mountains multiple times every year and savored the fresh air and breathtaking beauty. And, the thought of that region in flames has felt like a punch in the gut today.

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It is raining ash today in the entire region.

These fires are stark reminders of the fact that we are in a climate emergency.

I wish I had a better call to action beyond the usual – urge governments to take action, use energy wisely/switch to renewables, eat more plants, use fewer fossil fuels, and consume less.

The usual will have to suffice for now.

Allowance for careless mistakes

I find myself paying for careless mistakes from time to time.

A few weeks ago, it was a parking ticket. I was visiting a place with a different system.

More recently, it was something toll related.

These mistakes cost a lot more to fix than to do it right of course. The parking ticket, for example, would have cost all of $4. The fine was $40.

While the goal is not to repeat these kinds of mistakes (it is a worthy goal), these slip ups happen from time to time.

As long as they’re (a) small and (b) happening on occasion vs. often, I just chalk them up to an imaginary careless mistake allowance.

Doing so helps me avoid time spent kicking myself. Pay the fine, learn the lesson, and move on.



I am grateful to the folks at Wirecutter.

We needed to buy a washer and dryer combination recently. The decision making involved reading through the Wirecutter page, doing a quick Google search on the one I liked the most, and placing my order. It took about 10 minutes.

This process repeats itself anytime I need to buy something for the home. I appreciate that they do the research and explain everything in simple terms. It is a product built for satisficers like me.

Thank you, Wirecutter!

Sleep and possibility

Every time I’m short of sleep, I’m amazed as to how it deprives me of any sense of possibility. Combined with tiredness/weariness, it is a recipe for making bad decisions.

It makes me wonder as to how many of the poorest decisions made by humans have simply been a result of sleep deprivation.

The last 90 days

A realization as I’ve been working through a transition – there’s a lot written about how to approach a new job. There’s comparatively very little about how to leave a job (especially considering that happens just as often :-)).

And, yet, I’d argue that paying attention to some version of “the last 90 days” is just as important. Taking the time to say our goodbyes, writing those transition documents, and communicating consistently and clearly with those on the team all go a long way.

As humans, we remember peaks and ends. So, in the long run, how we leave a role matters just as much – if not more – as how we began it.

Living the dream

“Living the dream” is a fascinating phrase.

It implies there is one dream – the dream – worth aspiring for.

Of course, that couldn’t be farther from the truth.

It’s best to take the time to figure out “our dream” and avoid being sucked into the upholding the prevailing dogma.

Hours and short-term strategy

Getting more done by dialing up the number of hours we work isn’t an effective long term strategy. More hours often mean trade-offs that aren’t healthy in the long run.

However, it is an important tool in our arsenal in the short run.

It just helps to time-box these sprints so they don’t get in the way of our ability to run the marathon.

Small positive responses

It is amazing how much of a difference small positive responses can make in place of some instinctive reactions.

Replacing a reaction of annoyance or an irritable look at being interrupted with a half-smile may seem small. But, such negative micro-reactions often provoke more unpleasant reactions which, in time, spark a chain of events that are significantly more negative.

John Gottman’s research team found that couples in successful marriages shared at least 5 positive interactions for every negative one.

I would posit this idea applies well beyond marriages.

And, turning the tide on our interactions by habitually replacing small negative reactions with small positive ones has an outsized effect on the positivity of our days.