Upholder Tools and Rebel Tools

This post (along with all the articles in the Rebel alliance category) is based on the “Four Tendencies” framework developed by Gretchen Rubin.

picture of tools
The wrong tools just won’t do the job. Photo from Pixabay.

I wanted to write about being a rebel: about the power, pain, and delight of seeing the world through contrarian eyes. But starting is always hard, so I pulled up the blogging template shared by Michael Hyatt.

Then I stared at it.

And I thought about how to fill it in.

And I wrote a few words, erased them, and did it again.

Then I stared at it some more.

An hour later I quit, angry and frustrated.

Later that afternoon, still stewing over the failed post, I heard myself say, “Why the hell am I using upholder tools for rebel work?!” (more…)

I’m Done With Bitcoin

Air Pollution

For several days after I sold my Bitcoin (or more accurately, sold my .044972 Bitcoin), I had daily encounters with people pointing out that I left money on the table and asking if I’m sorry I got out before the top. The answer is a resounding no. Why?

  • My decision to get out was not based on economics—it was based on pollution.
  • My coin purchase was not an “investment.”
  • Bitcoin does not work as advertised.


Gretchen Rubin Solved a 27 Year-Old Mystery

Picture of The Four Tendencies

At the end of my first quarter of junior high, I was called down to the principal’s office where seven of my classmates were assembled in the conference room looking worried.

The principal welcomed us and in solemn tones announced that we were were the only straight-A students in the class. He went on for what seemed like hours about what a great students we were and what great opportunities awaited us and how he expected great things from us. I left that meeting full of shame and anger.

And also an apparent perverse determination—it turns out I wouldn’t make the honor roll again until the end of my senior year. (more…)

The Great American Eclipse: A Review and a Lesson on Remarkability

Photo of the eclipse
This is a great photo by my friend Alan Neves, but it doesn’t come close to capturing what the eclipse actually looked like.

tl;dr — Two minutes and seventeen seconds of jaw-dropping beauty followed by a seven and a half hour traffic jam; totally worth it.

The eclipse glasses are in the trash with the empty Sunny-D bottles and Moon Pie wrappers. It got students out of class and workers out of work from coast to coast, but just four days later the Great American Eclipse is just the latest example of media hype without substance.

Except it wasn’t. There is a small group of people in America who can’t stop talking about the eclipse.  (more…)

Bitcoin is Not Money (and why it is)

Dollar bills

In the last three posts, I bought Bitcoin, discovered how it is stored, and even went to Iceland to find out where they come from. (Fact check: That is not why I went to Iceland.)

Over and over again in these posts I would refer to Bitcoin as “money.” And over and over again I had to correct myself. Keeping “Bitcoin” separate from the idea of “money” is surprisingly hard.

Let’s be clear: Bitcoin is not money.

In other news, Bitcoin is money. (more…)

Bitcoin Wallets — The Tooth Fairy Will Never be the Same

Picture of banks, coins, and a wallet
Hey-Hey, Bessie, and the wallet I picked up on vacation in Hawaii—charming ways to store money.

The morning after a baby tooth came out was always fun around our house. The excited digging under the pillow, the delight of finding a shiny gold dollar, and the wonderful clinking sound sound as it went into the bank. The girl had Bessie, her cow bank, and the boy loved Hay-Hay, his chicken bank. They were a place to store coins but they were also toys with personality.

Because bitcoins don’t actually exist, storing then isn’t nearly as charming or fun. (more…)

I Get Some Bitcoin

picture of a bitcoin

There’s gotta be a reason this blockchain stuff is so hard to wrap my brain around. Maybe I’m just old with an old-guy brain. Maybe this blockchain stuff fundamentally makes no sense.

But I’m hoping it’s just that blockchains and cryptocurrencies are, in fact, really hard to understand. If that is true, there is hope for my becoming a blockchain expert in 2017. Here’s what I’ve done so far:

  • Read two books
  • Watched videos and read stuff on the internet
  • Talked to my smartest friend
  • Interviewed a neighbor who works on a blockchain startup
  • Wrote a whitepaper on some of the stuff I’ve learned for another friend
  • Attended a Bitcoin meetup

I’m still scratching my head. (more…)

Should You Be an Employee or a Boss? Yes.

Picture of an employee

So much of the online career/success/coaching literature hates on the idea of being an employee. Choosing to be an employee is for those who are unmotivated, lazy, and unimaginative. Be an employee—the story goes—and you have doomed yourself to a life of subservience, mediocrity, and poverty.

The arguments against being an employee are compelling and often true: (more…)