Freedom In A Free Society - Daily Stoic - July 18th

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The Daily Stoic: 366 Meditations on Wisdom, Perseverance, and the Art of Living by Ryan Holiday & Stephen Hanselman

The July 18th "Daily Stoic" reading was based on Marcus Arelious Meditations, 8.56.

It is pretty challenging --

"The foundation of a free country is that your freedom to swing your fist ends where someone else's nose begins. That is, someone else is free to do what they like until it interferes with your physical body and space. This saying can work as a great personal philosophy as well.

"But living that way will require two important assumptions. First, you ought to live your own life in such a way that it doesn't negatively impose on others. Second, you have to be open-minded and accepting enough to let others do the same.

"Can you do that? Even when you really, really disagree with the choices they're making? Can you understand that their life is their business and your is your own? And that you've got plenty to wrestle with yourself without bothering anyone else?"


Summary Of Europe Trip 2019

On June 8, 2019 -- Conrad, Carson, and I started a summer adventure to Europe.

I have been working on putting together some photo albums and some details that share the travels, the places we were able to see, and the friends and family we also got to spend time with.  This is still a work in progress (as of 10/5/2019).

Saturday, June 8:

Sunday, June 9:

Sunday-Tuesday, June 9-11:

Tuesday, June 11:

Tuesday-Thursday, June 11-13:

Thursday, June 13:

Thursday-Saturday, June 13-15:

Saturday, June 15:

Saturday - Monday, June 15-17:

Monday, June 17:

  • The Big Travel Day (Carson comes home, Steve & Conrad head to Rome)

Monday - Wednesday, June 17-19:

  • Experiencing Rome

Wednesday, June 19:

  • Traveling from Rome, Italy to Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Wednesday - Saturday, June 19-22:

Saturday, June 22:

  • Traveling from Amsterdam to Berlin, Germany

Saturday - Sunday, June 22-23:

  • Experiencing Berlin
  • Traveling from Berlin to Frankfurt, Germany

Monday, June 24:

  • Traveling from Frankfurt, Germany to San Diego (finally home!)

 


Thoughts & Tips for July 2019

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Photo by Dan Burton on Unsplash

Health Update (Bulged Disk & Bike Injury)

It has been a year since my last major issue with my bulged disk in my lower back. I am back to probably 90% overall, but I don't think I'm ever going to be back to the same level with running.  I was running an 8.5 minute mile before the injury, but I'm lucky to get in the 10.5 minute mile range now.  Which is OK because my core is about 10x stronger via Pilates, and my swimming and biking have taken off.  The new me is frankly more interesting from an exercise perspective. I was tentatively planning my next Sprint Triathlon for the end of July, but that weekend we are going to be off to Napa area for a wedding.  Unfortunately, August is not looking good with other conflicts, so maybe my next Sprint Triathlon will be in September.

One issue from the bike fall in February that has been nagging me is pain in my wrists when I flex my hand all the way flat (like doing a push-up).  At first they were super sore, and then they got better, but in June they got worse after some gardening (ie. pulling weeds).  The right wrist is better than the left wrist, and I spent most of the month of June with a series of different wrist guards on my left hand to keep it immobilized as possible. As I type this things are better, and I haven't worn a brace all day today. 

Europe 2019

Most of June was consumed by an awesome trip to Europe with my daughter Carson, and my son Conrad. We were gone from June 8 until June 23.  The three of us visited: Germany (Frankfurt and Bad Pyrmont), Belgium (Brussels and Ottingies), and France (Normandy and Paris).  And then Conrad and I continued our trip to Italy (Rome), The Netherlands (Amsterdam), and back to Germany (Berlin and Frankfurt).

I think between Conrad and I we took over 1000+ pictures.  Most importantly was the memories (but as time goes on the journals and the photos will be golden).  I hope to blog more about the overall experience sooner than later.

Here is a photo from Normandy:

Normandy-blog-postTechnology & Tips

As I mentioned last month, my son Spencer and I are starting a new project to digitally scan photos this summer using the Epson FastFoto FF-680W Scanner.  So far everything I've scanned with this scanner has turned out wonderful.

This carry-on luggage from Travelpro Luggage called the Crew 11 20" Carry-on International Rollaboard (w/USB Port, Black) was great for travelling in Europe.  It was easy to pack and easy to maneuver with while on travel.  I'm a big fan.

My birthday and Father's Day present was the Sony RX100-VI camera.  I used it exclusively in Europe and it is now my "go-to" camera.  Very fun to take pictures with and easy to carry.  Here is a one photo from Paris:

Carson-paris

Future

So on the 4th of July we usually do a 10K run called the Old Pros in Scripps Ranch.  I hope to run the whole 10K which will be a big deal for me since my max distance over the last year has been 5K.

Like a mentioned earlier we have a trip at the end of July to Napa for a wedding, and we are also hosting a student from Belgium for a couple of weeks.

Quote I'm Thinking About

“Just because people understand what to do doesn’t ensure that they will actually do it.” ― Marshall Goldsmith,


Getting Things Done (GTD) Summit 2019

GTD Summit 2019 Collage

The Getting Things Done (GTD) 2019 Summit was held in Amsterdam from June 20-21, 2019.  We had already purchased our airplane tickets by the time I confirmed I was able to attend, so we ended up re-arranging and making some adjustments so I could attend, Conrad could still get to his major city requests, and Carson could fly home but still spent time in Germany, Belgium, Normandy, and Paris.  It was an answer to prayer that it all worked out.

The conference was amazing!  I still need to summarize all my notes, but here are some links to some online content about the conference:

GTD Roadmap For Summit 2019


Experiencing Paris, France

Paris-4-picts

When we arrived in Paris it was still late mid-day (trip summary), so after dropping off our stuff at our hotel (Hôtel de Roubaix) we started walking toward the Seine and then towards the Effiel Tower.

Here is our collection of photos from the Effiel Tower.

We ended the day eating at Hall S Beer Tavern (pictures) for dinner. We were super hungry, the food was excellent, service was pretty good, and sitting down for an hour or so was much needed.

The next day we headed to the Louvre and once we were done at the Louvre (most of the morning) we made our way to the Arc de Triomphe, and Norte Dame.

We had lunch at L'Etoile 1903 near Arc de Triomphe.  The only picture I took was of the beer (I think we were super hungry and just started digging in before a picture could be taken):

Leffe-beer-The food was good at L'Etoile 1903 and I would recommend eating there again.

After we were finished for the day we ended up eating dinner at Cafe March (photos). We all liked our food and the atmosphere was good. I'd eat there again.

Just before dinner though, I was able to meet up with Rolf Potts (travel writer) for a quick picture. He was in Paris at the same time teaching a class on writing.  I've been listening to Rolf's podcast for some time -- Deviate.  Some of his podcasts actually inspired parts of this trip.

Rolf&steve

Other pictures from Paris can be found here.


Normandy To Paris (2019)

BayuexOur trip from our Airbnb included a stop in Bayeux on the way to returning our rental car in Caen.  We ended up renting the car from Avis which worked great from my phone while we were actually traveling via train to Normandy via Paris.

We stopped in Bayeux to see the Tapisserie de Bayeux. that was more than like created in the 11th Century and is over 70 meters long. The tapestry tells the "engrossing story of the conquest of England by William, Duke of Normandy in 1066."  It was definitely worth seeing and the audio program was very well done.

After this museum we made our way back to Caen and then turned in our rental car.   We had a train ride into Paris (via the Saint Lazare Train Station) and then a Metro ride from the train station to the nearest stop near our hotel.

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The hotel was the Hôtel de Roubaix (6 Rue Greneta, 75003 Paris, France).  I thought the place was average and good for our situation.  It was easy to get to and easy to navigate to the Louvre for sure by walking.  Also it was easy to get from the hotel to the airport via a big transit hub that was just down the street (10 minute walk).  We used Booking.com to reserve our rooms.

Here are all the photos from this part of the trip.


Experiencing Normandy

Normandy-CollageOur Airbnb was excellent (photos). We would highly recommend staying there.

And the area around our Airbnb -- known as Les Bateaux -- was very amazing. It was a short walk down to the beach. There was a WWII Jeep parked at the bottom.

Our first thing to do in Normandy was to visit to the Overload Museum.  This is a great museum. Easy to access, tons of good info, and a large amount of physical hardware from both the Allies perspective and from the Germans.

Then we went to the Omaha Museum. I liked this museum a lot as it had a lot of personal items like all the types of firearms, uniforms, etc. There was also a good video documentary that they shared in their theater.

After that we spent some time on Omaha Beach. It was very low tide at the time we were there and the waves were very small. It is surprisingly long but only a few ways up from the beach to the high ground.

Once we finished at Omaha we drove to Pointe du Hoc. Being up on the high ground and looking down to see what the soldiers had to accomplish to take over this area was humbling. The bomb holes are still there and they are massive. The German guns at this site could have dropped rounds on both Omaha and Utah beach but they had been moved inland because of all the aerial bombing leading up to D-Day.

Then we went to Utah Beach. The drive reminded us that that there was almost 10K between each of the D-Day Beaches, and each beach covered a 10K operating area. I learned that Utah Beach went easier because of the tides and currents. The main body of troops landed in a place less fortnified than their planned location and the units here captured more ground in the first 24 hours than expected. The drive from Omaha to Utah had references to several locations were paratroopers and gliders landed.

After Utah Beach we went to the Normandy American Cemetery just before it closed. This was a very somber place and well done. It is much smaller than I expected given how big it has looked in the past when on TV but that was probably all angles and framing.

For dinner we went to Port en Bessin. The food was very good. The beach was area was interesting because it was full of shells. And we learned some more about what happened in this area during D-Day. The city and port were liberated by Canadian Special Forces.

We made the most of June 13, 2019!

 

 


Traveling from Ottignies, Belgium to Normandy, France (via Paris)

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The trip from Ottignies to Normandy started out great.  We went from Ottignies to Belgium Central, and then took a high-speed train (French) from Belgium to Paris, France.

Brussels To ParisWe were very concerned about our transfer from our arrival station (Gare du Nord) in Paris to the station (Saint Lazare Train Station) that goes from Paris to Normandy, but we were blessed with a great seatmate on our trip to Paris.  He gave us some great recommendations on what to do in Paris (stay tuned), and then when we arrived in Paris he took us personally from our station to the station we needed to go to via the Metro.  It was super easy with a guide, which would help use a ton when we came back to Paris -- and set the tone for the rest of the trip that we could easily take public transportation in Europe.  Wow a friendly French person helped the language challenged American!  Thanks!!

Metro In Paris

The trip from Paris to our stop in Normandy was pretty straight forward once we got on the train.  The WIFI wasn't as good as on the German trains, but that was OK.  We decided to end our train trip in Caen instead of Bayeux (which was closer to our Airbnb), because the Avis car rental company location was easier to get to.  It was a great decision because in Caen the Avis rental car location was a short walk and easy to find.

Fiat

In the end the drive from Caen to our place in Normandy worked out great.

Drive In Normandy

Here are the full photos from Belgium to Normandy.


Traveling from Bad Pyrmont, Germany to Brussels, Belgium

Germany-to-belgiumOn Tuesday, June 11, 2019 we traveled from Bad Prymont back to Hamburg to Cologne, Germany, and then from Cologne to Brussels, Belgium.  There was another option to go to Cologne from Bad Prymont, but all the transfer times were very short so we went with via Hamburg for less stress.

The train ride was pretty un-eventful.  We bought the tickets via the Bahn.com website (with assigned seats), and then managed our tickets via their phone app which worked pretty well.

Here are the photos from our traveling on this day.


Experiencing Bad Pyrmont, Germany

Bad-pyrmontWe arrived pretty much on time in Bad Pyrmont, Germany on Sunday, June 9, 2019 from Frankfurt via Hamburg . This is my Mom's home town where is grew up with her Mom and brother. I have visit the area a lot as a kid (every odd birth year until high school).  My family was last there last in 2012 with my Mom which was a great experience.

The main goal for visiting this part of Germany was connecting with my Mom's brother (my Uncle), and his extended family.

We stayed at Hotel Schaumberg.  It was a great location for us, the room was great for the three of us, and the food for breakfast was awesome.  I would stay there again.

We had a lot of good times with family, did some hiking, did some city exploring, and we connected with several of my Mom's friends who were in town at the same time, and with those that still worked and lived in Bad Pyrmont. The only bad thing is we arrived on Sunday (with many places closed), and Monday was a holiday (with many of the same places closed). 

So we only had 1 hour of time in town with most of the stores open on Tuesday just before we had to head to the train station for our trip to Brussels.

Here are all the photos taken in Bad Prymont!