2013 bike tours

Looking back at my list from last year it looks like many of the rides still hold:
5/19 Media Fondo 65 mile ride to Bear Mountain $250
5/18 Ride to Montauk 70 Miles $175 (with transport)
7/28 Harlem Valley Rail Ride– horse farm & dairy farm $115 (with bus)
8/3-8/4 3 day Farm Ride w/ hot tubs $270 (with transport and hotel)
8/25 North Fork Century 72 or 100 miles $170 (with transport)
9/1 Golden Apple 25-100 miles in West Chester $45
9/21 Escape NY Hudson Highlands 25-100 miles in Bergen County $40
9/8 NYC Century 35-100 miles around NYC $55

Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance

I think this book impacted me more strongly reading it now because I was able to relate to it’s wandering journey. This year seems to be much more reflective than the last for me. To me this book is based on reflection. I often would zone out during long explanations of rheotoric or Aristotle. But still appreciated them.
The most interesting and succinct chapter for me was 26, the one on mind traps from achieving gumption. It’s clear I’ll often suffer from these and get stuck. The technique of fishing seems apt to me. Casting a mental line and just observing on what is wrong. Letting go and just discovering. I’m doing much more of this in 2011.
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Chicken Parmesan

Super tasty- made for me and Finlay on a cold winters night with slushy snow outside the loft. Side salad, fresh mozzarella, totally delicious.

Ingredients:

  • 4 boneless chicken breasts, pounded to 1/2 inch thickness
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • seasoned bread crumbs
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 8 slices mozzarella cheese, or more
  • 1 jar (16 oz) spaghetti sauce
  • Parmesan cheese

Preparation:

Whisk together the egg and milk. Dip the chicken breasts in milk and egg mixture and then in bread crumbs. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Brown the chicken in the hot oil on both sides until golden, about 3 to 4 minutes on each side. Set chicken in a baking dish.Slice 8 pieces of mozzarella cheese and put two on each chicken breast. Pour 1 jar of your favorite spaghetti sauce over all. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and a little more mozzarella and bake at 350° for about 25 to 30 minutes, or until bubbly. Serve with spaghetti, garlic bread and a nice green salad.
From Colleen Haass

http://southernfood.about.com/od/chickenbreastrecipes/r/bl80517l.htm

Never Eat Alone- Keith Ferrazzi

I generally enjoyed this read, I like Keith’s scrappy, rags-to-riches story. My dad grew up very close by in Western Pennsylvania, in the shadows of the Rolling Rock fortunes, and had similar stories of meeting Arnie Palmer at the country club in Latrobe. But Keith went onto to leverage his job as a caddy at the Latrobe country club into a super-networkers dream job and use that as a springboard for later successes. I envy the stories of how Keith’s dad pushed him from the very beginning to interact with all those important people around him. It’s a skill I’ve always struggled with and feel I really have to work on.

The book rambles through Keith’s life in a memoir-ish fashion, which does undermine it somewhat. I loved how he was able to show his life developing, especially through the help of his many role-models, advisors and mentors. But viewing it from the web startup point of view, I can only see what an abject failure his past business YaYa Media was. He seems to have rebounded into a successful consulting, writing & speaking career but I still wonder if he’s just a networker for networking’s sake. From the tone of the bok and especially his chapter “Balance is BS” that may very well be the case. How can you have time to build a business if all you are doing is networking? That’s actually been more problem with some of the web startup scene- too much networking for the sake of, and too little building a real, paying client base and a growing successful business. But I digress.

Another problem is that the book hit in 2005 right at the beginning of the social media revolution. This means that although Keith touches on blogs and the online world, it is mostly in passing. It is such a central part of business relationships now that the book feels outdated from the mere 4 years that have passed. I’m interested in reading some of his later works and checking out Greenlight Community to see if Keith has kept pace.

But where the bookreally is a defining text is in repeatedly driving home quite practical, often obvious, to-do’s for relationship-building. Keep organized, set goals, work with gate-keepers, reach out selflessly and find some value you can give to people you’re reaching out to, follow up religiously. I could be better at all points. One of the ways Keith kept hitting upon to do that is to make sustainable platforms for interacting with people- monthly dinner parties, starting your own clubs or conferences, or whatever. It takes work, but I can see how valuable this can be.

I think I can leverage much of this advice as I find my own balance and own path to build great connections as I work to grow my own biz and I think this would be a good book to revisit as I do.

Celeb style haircut

Went back to Arrojo today for a model cut (only 20 bucks!) and felt like a bit of a model. My stylist Nicole Obert was apparently on a reality tv show/competition called Shear Genius.

I was in dire need of a haircut and wanted to look good to meet Becki’s parent’s tonight at Passover dinner. Should be exciting!

What do you think of the hair?

photo-71

30elm.com

30elm is the leading resource for finding interior designers and architects. I was founder of this innovative web startup.

This was the first time I was lucky enough to work with my now friends, Sven Kils, a designer at Vier Für Texas in Frankfurt, Germany, and Robby Russell a web programmer at Planet Argon in Portland.

Together we created, built and launched a website unlike any that had existed. It was a repository of thousands of portfolios of the top architects and interior designers in the country. Homeowners (and anyone else) could browse the designs and save them in their inspiration folder. From here 30elm would recommend the best professionals for their job and make introductions.

A pretty neat system, really. As 2008 started to show signs of the housing & remodeling crisis my partner and I ran low on time, and money. I hope to revisit 30elm and help it achieve all it can be sometime soon.