Vermont Colours, Harvest Eats, Positive Visualization BS, and Nesting in Healthy Relationships

Fall is on full follow-through here in Nelson. Two weeks ago, we saw larches make their transition with golden visuals (Monica Meadows, pictured above). Now, the snow line has slowly begun it’s descent into the valley, while the maples in town put on their sunbursty show. Is that even a word? Well… it should be.

Vermont from Above

Seeing the radical change in colours locally has me reminiscing of a recent bike tour through rural Vermont. I recently came across this slideshow that highlights Vermont’s beauty from a new angle with drone shots taken throughout the seasons. I found myself pondering over how such simple landscapes can look so enticing through the vertical lens.

Harvest Eats

Participating in a CSA program is the easiest way to support local agriculture and eat better, more nutritious veggies. If you’re local, Check out mine!

In Dan Barbers’ The Third Plate, they examine nutrient contents of an organic, industrially grown carrot from Mexico, versus that of a small-scale farm in New York with proper crop rotation. Though fully aware of their bias in favour of the small farm, they were alarmed to find that the industrially grown carrot had literally no caloric or nutritional value. Zip. Effectively it was cellulose (plant tissue) and water. Aye.

Anywho, over the next few days I’ll be stuffing my face with cardamom parsnip muffins, modified into a plant based version baked in a loaf pan because a muffin tins are scarce in these parts…

Also, know how when you’re holding a hammer, everything looks like a nail? With a new vitamix, I’m blending just about everything in sight, starting with this curried butternut soup.

Do Positive Visualization and Goal Setting Work?

No. Research showing that by visualizing positive outcomes might inhibit us in the process of realizing them.

[Participants] were then taken through an exercise that involved visualising drinking a refreshing, icy glass of water, while others took part in a different exercise. The dehydrated water-visualisers – contrary to the self-help doctrine of motivation through visualisation – experienced a significant reduction in their energy levels, as measured by blood pressure. Far from becoming more motivated to hydrate themselves, their bodies relaxed, as if their thirst were already quenched. They seemed, subconsciously, to have confused visualising success with having already achieved it

Oliver Burkeman, The Antidote

Are We Hard Wired for Relationships?

Yes, according to Social Baseline Theory. Research shows that people perceive tasks to be easier, and perform on them better when in the presence of another person. And if that person is a close friend or loved one? Multiply the effect a fold or two. Neuroscience attributes this to a measureable calming of the amygdala (responsible for the bodies flight/fight mechanism) when surrounded by people, especially those we trust. Check out the last 15 minutes of this podcast for a primer on our need for a nest of warm relationships:

The danger of a single story, separating creation and improvement, on law school, and more bikepacking fun

Dozens of actuated hourglasses filled with sand from the original King Edward Building, now known as cSpace. (2020 – Calgary, Alberta)

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie on The Danger of a Single Story

“I recently spoke at a university where a student told me that it was such a shame that all Nigerian men were physical abusers like the father character in my novel. I told him that I had recently read a book called ‘American Psycho’, and expressed that it was such a shame that all young American men were serial murderers

The single story creates stereotypes, and the problem with stereotypes is not that they are untrue, but that they are incomplete. They make one story become the only story.”

Kevin Kelly’s 68 Bits of Unsolicited Advice

“Separate the processes of creation from improving. You can’t write and edit, or sculpt and polish, or make and analyze at the same time. If you do, the editor stops the creator. While you invent, don’t select. While you sketch, don’t inspect. While you write the first draft, don’t reflect. At the start, the creator mind must be unleashed from judgement.”

Bikepacking: Roundabout the Rossland Range

Interested in another vicariously tripping through the Kootenay mountains by bike? Check out the post here, Roundabout the Rossland Range.

Peter Thiel: Comptetion is for Losers

“A track in law school is a low risk track from one perspective, it may still be a very high risk track in the sense that you might not be doing something meaningful with your life.”

This fifty minutes of tech strategy from one of the industry gods is perhaps more informative than a semester long MBA course on the subject

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A Fabulous Day: Do they come by choice, or chance? (Ashland, Virginia. 2019)

“Hidden beneath criticism is a wish.” Fitting to these times, Ester Perel’s book Mating in Captivity frames the folly of couples who become reliant on their partner to satisfy the whole spectrum of their needs. Just as a flame needs air to flourish, she suggests partnerships require a degree of separation to succeed.

Last weekend, I pedaled from my doorstep to explore potential bikepacking routes in the backyard (Nelson, BC). The Selkirk mountains and Kootenay spring provided the backdrop for three days of cycling, most of it on heritage rail trail or wagon roads. Check out the photo essay here (enjoy the trip).

Are you happy with the amount of time you’re spending on the screen?

I’ve noticed that my computer and phone have been leeching up more and more free time over the past month. Time to review some strategies to halt the slow, but relentless, creep of the black mirror. Here’s some of the rules that I’ve put in place last year, and am reaffirming today:

  • When you catch yourself wandering mindlessly through your device, it’s time for a break. Turn it off and walk away.
  • Disable non-essential notifications on the phone, and turn off badges completely. Decide what gets access to your attention, instead of everything by default.
  • On the same notion of putting the junk food out of reach, create digital space between the stuff you consciously want to use less. My home screen holds only creative (camera, photos and design), planning (reminders and calendar), and navigating apps, where everything else foldered on the second page.

One final note. I’m glad you’ve found this, but I’d be even gladder if you sent me an email telling me how you’re doing. seanjacklin (at) me . com

brooklyn bound

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Riding to Brooklyn via the East-Coast Greenway, April 2019.

Ideas that won’t survive the Coronavirus. As we emerge from self isolation, is it too radical an idea that this period of reflection could perpetuate economic and racial solidarity?

“You can’t time the market” is wise advice for any amateur investor, but here’s someone who has reliably modeled past global recessions using three basic metrics: yield curve, unemployment, and inflation data. Sure enough, his model encouraged into moving into ‘risk off’ positions in May 2019, and encourages resuming ‘risk on’ positions in March 2021.

“I have to fit into this world that isn’t built for me.” – Witness the relationships fostered and belonging established that will ultimately fuel the charge forward for disabled rights in America. Check out Crip Camp on Netflix.

Kennebec County – ME, USA.

Change the angle. (cSpace – Calgary, Alta.)

“Kids these days don’t know how to contour these skin tracks. They’re all up and down, all over the place like a roller coaster. Just follow the feeling at your feet.” – Peter, 79, skiing with his son in Rogers Pass. For two weeks.