I'm in Austin, ostensibly for SXSW, but in reality I've spent most of my time at my friend's house, or at Casa, plugging away at my YC demo. The deadline is this Sunday and there's a lot to be done before I'll feel confident submitting.
So that's why I haven't posted yet this week. I intended to post a video of the talk Jason and I gave, but my camera ran out of batteries early into the talk, so I have no video.
My brother, who I wrote about last year, has been in Afghanistan. He's a soldier in the army. Besides shooting with his gun, he's also been shooting with a camera he brought with him. He posts photos to Facebook on a regular basis, and some of those photos have been really fascinating to look at. With his permission, I've reposted some of them here for you to see:
Luckily for Taylor, my family, and myself, he comes home very soon (although we're not allowed to know when exactly)!
With deadlines over on Sunday, I'll get back to writing next week. Thanks for being patient.
It's supposed to rain every single day once I get back to SF! Thinking about going somewhere else to avoid the rain. But where?
Sarah has illustrated the problem perfectly; waiting for some passive exposure to an outside influence to bring her enlightenment. Dividendium's response illustrates just a fraction of the thoughtful consideration that could be invested in those photos. Take the picture of the soldier hold the child high up on the wall. Before I saw the child's smile, I just saw a soldier pinning some kid high on a wall in what looked like aggressive behavior, and I thought OH NO! Then as my eyes moved up to the perfect grin on the boys face, my entire demeanor changed and I reflected on how many soldiers must be engaged in friendships like this with the local population, and kids that we hear nothing about. How much do these kids play a surrogate family role in the soldiers lives, who are so far from their own families? Those are my deeper reflections...but I think about the trivial as well...the boy is heavily clothed indicating that it might be cold, but he has sandals on...aren't his feet cold? Bottom line is that you change your own mind, your own life, by analyzing the opportunities that others provide you, and then making the valuable bits personal.
The pictures could give you some perspective on your life, and help you see how awesome it already is, compared to how some other people are currently living.
Or they could let you know that even when things get really difficult (like stuff is literally blowing up around you), life still goes on.
So whatever little trifle life is throwing at you at the moment, it's never so bad that you should give up or even skip the fun stuff (beach day, cooking/tea, baby making :).
Guys, please remember to post if you use these codes. They all seem used and no one has commented that they used any of them. Thanks!
Jason mentioned that you killed it (in a good way of course) at, SXSW. I wasn't able to make it since I was at the convention center doing my thing,.
Avoiding the rain in SF? How many times have you used your Ortlieb Flight in the rain? How does it hold up?
Love the photos! Bits of color amongst the starkness, the smile of a child, flowers blooming, "a day at the beach", tending to animals, keeping a baby safe...life goes on.
"yc" is Y Combinator (http://ycombinator.com/). They do seed investing in very early stage startups. And try to get bigger investors (angels and venture capitalists) to make bigger investments later on.
Just curious, how does applying to YC fit into your outside the box lifestyle?
PG and co supposedly do a good job of pimping out their students to VCs and angels. Which might get you more money in the end than bootstrapping. But it seems like you'd be giving up some of your freedom since you'd now have to answer to investors.
I kind of got the impression that you weren't willing to make that trade...freedom for money.
Do you see the YC deal differently?
My week in Hollywood has just finished and I'm now on a plane to Tokyo. Just hearing the Japanese announcements on the airplane's PA brings back fond memories of my trip here last year and makes me more excited to get there.
(Quick aside. The girl next to Todd is sleeping in the most hilarious position I've ever seen. She's kneeling facing the seat with her legs under the seat in front of her. Her head is face down on the seat of the chair, buried in the cushion. I cannot imagine that that's comfortable in any way. I wish I had my camera out to take a picture.)
I waited too long to call people so I didn't get to see all of my old friends, but I did get to see a bunch of them. I stayed at Style's place, spending most of my time working on CD on one couch while he worked on a new book on the other couch. His new girlfriend, an exotic half Indian, quarter Japanese, quarter something else, hung out with us a lot. She's adorable and a lot of fun, and they're in love.
So I thought I'd just talk about a couple of other things I've been up to lately . . . I've been reading this new book lately, or rather, I've been savoring it by reading tiny bits and pieces here an there. While I was in Huntsville, Alabama last summer, I stopped in at an small used books store. Lo and behold, I found this sitting quietly on a shelf . . . This is exactly the kind of book that someone who authors a blog called "Where Pianos Roam" would absolutely love. "The Piano Shop on the Left Bank" by Thad Carhart is about an American living in Paris who reclaims a long-forgotten passion of his. You can easily guess by the title of this book what that passion is. While walking his small kids to their school on the weekdays, he passes by a curious little storefront. As days and weeks pass by, he notices pianos of varying shapes and sizes being moved in and out of its front door. His curiosity grows until he finally gets up the moxy to walk into that same front door. Little does he know that there is an enchanting world waiting for him to inhabit--as if he was a prodigal son finally returning home. I am only a third of the way through this book, and I am honestly dreading finishing it. I've been carrying it everywhere but constantly resisting the urge to read it. Much like my sushi craze, it is a special treat I've been saving for times when I crave a special delight. Every page of this book is just yummy. I am going to do a full review of this one as soon as I am done with this . . . whenever that might be. I do have a small project that I'll be working on this month. I am going to be sending out my first annual holiday greeting card in early December. I have some cool ideas for this card, and when my friends see it, they'll DEFINITELY know that it came from me. If you would like to be added to my holiday greeting mailing list, please feel free to email me at gordon(at)gordonroque(dot)com. I'll even gladly be on yours if you want to trade addresses. Well, that's it for this Sunday. I hope you all have the best week ever. -g