Good Reads: ‘When’

I randomly grabbed this book at an airport newsstand recently. I didn’t know much about the author, and had not previously heard of this book. ‘When’ by Daniel Pink is a relatively quick read, at ~200 pages. The premise of the book gives credence to the old idiom “timing is everything.” I found the text fascinating. It was very satisfying to learn that there is some science behind that mid-afternoon intellectual slump that experience on a daily basis. I really enjoy any book that teaches me something about myself. I would recommend this book to anyone.

Seattle WA and Mt. Hood

Did a night and a morning in Seattle (I recommend checking out Black Bottle), then drove to Hood River via the Columbia River gorge. Stayed the night at the Hood River Hotel. It had an old school mountain town vibe and an amazing scando brunch joint adjacent to the lobby. More good stuff in Hood River: check out Double Mountain and Sushi Okalani if you have a chance. On the way back to Portland, we drove over Mount Hood. There was a cloud parked on top of it, which made for some ethereal scenery. I Mixed in some crappy celly shots again. Apologies.

Oregon Coast

After spending Friday night and Saturday in Portland, we drove south toward Newport where we met up with some other good friends of ours. They had secured a beach house for the weekend in the town of Waldport. The weather was sunny and awesome. We explored the beach and flew kites Sunday afternoon. Monday, my friend Jon and I caught some rock fish in the morning, and we ended up grilling them up for dinner. We were having so much fun being social that I didn’t really get any snaps (except a sunset) with a real camera. So there are a mix of celly shots in this post. Apologies for the crap quality.

Tuesday morning we drove up the 101 north. One of the highlights was Cannon Beach, and Ecola State Park.

B snapped this one of me below, posing at one of the 10 or so view points along the 101, where we pulled over to take in the sights.

The pano of Crescent Beach below was a celly shot. Here is a link to the full resolution, for kicks.

Portland OR

We spent memorial day in the pacific northwest. Some good friends of ours were tying the knot in Portland, and it gave us a great excuse to explore the Oregon/Washington coast. It always blows my mind how green it is in that part of the country. We arrived in Portland late on Friday night and spent the next morning exploring the city by foot before the wedding. Luckily, we were still on NY time. So we were up early and did a lap of the waterfront and most of downtown before noon. It was overcast and a mild temperature. Here are some snaps. The Faith47 piece below was one of the highlights for me.

Good Reads: ‘David and Goliath’

B is a big fan of Malcolm Gladwell. This book ‘David and Goliath’ was my first exposure to his work. It is a quick read. I was able to knock it out during a recent flight. Overall, I enjoyed the book. But I had to take it with a grain of salt.

The premise of the book is that the most favored to succeed can actually sometimes be at a disadvantage by conforming too rigidly to the accepted paradigm of “success” in the respective field. To bolster this thesis, Gladwell gives various examples of underdogs leveraging some unique characteristic to dethrone the heavily favored alternative. As an illustration for this phenomenon Gladwell uses an inverted parabola that roughly equates to the economic law of diminishing returns. In layman’s terms, he makes the argument that there can be too much of a good thing (money, intelligence, athletic ability, etc..).

While I found the book entertaining, I don’t necessarily subscribe to the notion that being and underdog can be leveraged advantageously in all instances. I agree that in certain cases that can be true, the same way that there are exceptions to almost every rule. In my opinion there was enough data and analysis that it wasn’t just another “embrace your flaws!” fluff piece. I thought it was worth the read.

Oslo

On our way home from Morocco, we stopped in Oslo for almost a full 24 hours. It was a gorgeous spring day, so we took advantage explored the city a bit. The city center was pretty easy to navigate and small enough that we did the whole thing on foot. The airport is a very quick train ride from the main train station in the center of Oslo. Some of our favorite spots were the opera house (top photo was from the roof of the opera house), and the Mathallen food hall. I didn’t get any photos of the latter. But it has a similar vibe to Chelsea Market or Gansevoort Market. Here are some other snaps from various spots around the city.

 

Essaouira


Essaouira is about a 2.5 hour bus ride from Marrakech. Similar to Marrakech, it has a medina and souks. Unlike Marrakech, Essaouira is on the coast. We spent our last few days in Morocco exploring the medina, and the beaches. The vibe in Essaouira is much more “western” than that of Marrakech. It felt like it could be a little surf town in any country. Here is some of what I saw:Continue reading