93 ’til Infinity… Still

I have a lot of memories around Souls Of Mischief’s 93 ’til Infinity

I remember Chris Smith telling me definitively this is an important album. Which is why I bought it.

I remember a road trip — 5 states in less than 3 days — with Mark Thompson where Mark had a rule: we could each bring exactly one album. He brought Rocket From The Crypt’s Circa Now, I brought 93 ’til Infinity. On that trip we went to see Kim Howitt in Ann Arbor, Michigan. At a house party I watched Mark dance hilariously with some random girl, then leave the party running when she paused for a restroom break.

And I remember road tripping to Ohio with Kim Howitt and Rob Francis to see Souls of Mischief open for De La Soul and A Tribe Called Quest. Maybe it’s just old-dude nostalgia but it’s hard not to feel like “hip hop” never got any better than that moment. Feels like the notion that hip hop could be anything and still be widely loved ended somewhere around that time.

So this nostalgia bomb in my email was welcome this morning, 93 ’til Infinity, remixed by Gummy Soul, from acapellas provided by Souls of Mischief:

Whole Life Challenge Starts Saturday! Sign Up Today!

The Whole Life Challenge is an 8 week fitness challenge anyone can do. You’ve already read about my 23 year-old daughter losing more than 40 pounds post-college, starting with the WLC. I have one more story for you this time around…

About two weeks after the spring WLC started this year, my 69 year-old North Carolina mountainside-living dad casually dropped into a phone conversation, “I’m doing pretty well on this ‘challenge’ of yours.” Huh? I didn’t even know he was playing along. “Yeah, Zoe said, ‘Grandpa, if you tried this challenge maybe you could lose that gut.’ I though, ‘I’ll show her.’” Truth be told, he didn’t think it would work. He thought he’d be hungry and uncomfortable. And he didn’t think he’d notice any difference. So what happened? After 8 weeks, in his words: “I lost 30 pounds. I weigh what I weighed when I left the airforce in 1967.”

So thanks to WLC my dad weighs less going in to his 70th birthday than he has ever in my life. And my daughter is healthier than ever and training to ride from San Francisco to Los Angeles on a bike.

I know I sound like a salesman but there’s no money being made here. We spend $750 on prizes for the winners (yes, there are prizes!) and the rest of the money gets donated to Pablove. So not only are you helping yourself, you’re donating to an awesome cause.

Yes, you can do it from anywhere in the world.

Yes, you can do it regardless of the kind of exercise you prefer. Just ten minutes a day minimum of something you can consider exercise in good conscience.

There are three levels, advance, intermediate, and beginner.

Running out of excuses yet?

You can do anything for 8 weeks. Give it a go. It will change your life.

Click here to join our “gym”. Use the discount code WLCRYGxBukDp. Be sure to also join our Facebook group.

See you on the leaderboard.


Why I Unfollowed You on Twitter


Sorry. I unfollowed you, and 1,500 others, on Twitter today. Please don’t take it personally.

Now that we’ve lived with Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and others for seven plus years I’m starting to optimize how I use each. It was that or stop using them, and I’m no quitter.

I’m optimizing Facebook is to keep up with people I actually know, at least a little bit, in real life. Not people I’ve met just once or twice. If you appear on my timeline and I have to remember how I know you, I unfriend. I’ve taken my daughter Zoe’s idea for pruning Facebook friends: I look at today’s birthdays. If I wouldn’t wish you a happy birthday, you get unfriended. No offense. It’s not that I don’t like you. Just that I don’t know you very well and your updates is not what I want Facebook for.

LinkedIn is for people I know in a professional context. If I worked with you at AOL in 1999 and now I can’t remember who the hell you are, I’ve gotta un-link. Sorry. People use LinkedIn to check references and if I’m not qualified to give you one, we shouldn’t be linked.

I want Twitter to be for news and information from trusted sources. My dream is that I open Twitter and can quickly consume 15-20 interesting stories from around the Web, curated for me by people who know how to sort the wheat from the chaff. I want high signal, low noise. Over the years I’ve accumulated too much “other” on Twitter, and it had come to the point where I never opened Twitter anymore — the noise far outweighed the signal. So today I went from following 1,500+ to less than 200. Suddenly my Twitter homepage has gone from comments on television shows I’ll never watch to up-to-the-minute news from @AllThingsD, @HNTweets, @EricTopol, @pitchforkmedia, and @nickwingfield, to name a few as I glance right this moment.

I unfollowed friends who either don’t use Twitter or don’t post news, links, and info. If we’re friends, I’ll keep up with you on Facebook.

I unfollowed bands. If I’m a fan, my music app should tell me when you have new music. If you’re my favorite, I’m on your email list. If you’re in my library, Songkick and/or BandsInTown will send me an email telling me when you have a new tour date near me. If your album is incredible or you make news, I’ll hear about it from a trusted source I’m following. I kept a few who either post news infrequently or are consistently entertaining (I’m talkin’bout you, @ChuckProphet).

I unfollowed brands. Kinda-liking your product isn’t enough. If I love the thing you do uniquely well (Newton running shoes) I’ll follow just to keep up.

But I felt compelled to keep following a number of labels I love (Matador, Ghostly). Labels post news. Sure, it’s self-promotion but I care about a few labels and am curious to hear what they have going on.

I’m following lots of news sources, from @BreakingNews to @TechDirt to @ThrasherMag.

I’m following writers, bloggers, and pundits, o the the hope they know well how to deliver the goods. I can see already a few who are using Twitter more like a wannabe rapper; they will soon be unfollowed.

I kept humor. Jenny Johnson. Rob Delaney. Drunk Hulk. Anti Joke Apple. I like a little funny pages in my news.

Remember: the Internet is not “full if noise and amateurs” as many would like to have you believe. TV ads and billboards are noise. On the net, you are in control. You can delete the low signal and amplify the noise. Control your own inputs.

To save itself from teh suck (sic) Twitter should add an “Unfollow All” feature, then could recommend to me the people on Twitter who have the highest ratio of clicks to followers. Lead me to signal, help me eradicate noise.

Following the golden rule of content distribution, I’m going to try to use Twitter as I’m asking those I follow to use it — for news/information I think others will find useful. For personal tidbits, I’ll use Facebook and/or Instagram.



Help Zoe Bike from San Francisco to Los Angeles

Pablove Across America 2013

My twenty-two year-old daughter Zoe has signed up to ride a bike with Team Pablove from San Francisco to Los Angeles this October. She needs to raise $6,000 in donations for Pablove to participate in the ride. If you can help her out, please do by clicking here.

Why should you?

Well, I can think of two very good reasons:

Firstly, Pablove Across America has raised more than $1.5M to fund pediatric cancer research and improve the lives of kids living with cancer through music and art. It was started by our friends Jo Ann Thrailkill and Jeff Castelaz. Jo Ann and I go back to when I first moved to LA and we were both single parents. Jeff is currently the President of Elektra Records but we first met when he managed Scapegoat Wax, a band on Grand Royal, where I worked at the time. Reading Jeff’s blog as Jeff and Jo Ann lost their son Pablo to cancer at age six added faces and names to childhood cancer. Watching Jo Ann and Jeff channel their grief into Pablove has been inspiring. I dunno about you but knowing and loving the folks spending the money you’re donating gives me peace of mind.

Second, this is the latest in Zoe’s fitness transformation. Zoe graduated from MIT last June weighing 185 pounds. As of today she’s a grad student at Stanford and weighing in at 142 lbs. (I checked, she said she didn’t mind my telling you this if I thought it would increase the odds of you donating to her Pablove page.) Over the last year she ran her first 5K (San Francisco, June 2012), 10K (Palo Alto, October 2012), and half marathon (South Bend, March 2013). She’s become a five-day-a-week CrossFit addict (shout out to Amity CrossFit in Palo Alto) and turned her diet 180 degrees. This morning, without specific training, she stepped out to run a 10K race for fun and bested her time from last fall by four minutes.

For the last five years Zoe has watched the Pablove Across America team trek across the country from afar. Every year she says, “I’m joining them on that ride someday.” This year, as their journey is taking them from The Bay Area (where she lives) to Los Angeles (where she grew up), she decided to jump on. But that meant buying an inexpensive road bike with money from her savings (done) and learning how to ride it, too (still getting comfortable). She’ll be training as much as possible the rest of summer and into the autumn. The ride is in October.

As dad, I’ll admit the idea of her training on the roads has me worried sick. But there’s nothing more I can do to talk her out of this so here I am being supportive. I hope you will be, too.


Thanks sincerely,

2013 LA Marathon Hurt Me Lots

Just home from running the LA Marathon. I’m showered and, thankfully, walking again. When I walked in the door I could barely pick up my right leg to take a step, the combo of an injury from today’s run and being overly chilled.i

I started out as many do, feeling great, running too fast. I registered too late to get a corral seed so I crossed the starting line about five minutes after the gun. I was hoping to run with the 3:35 pace group today (my scheduled training run was a 20-miler at 8:11 min/mile pace). I ran fast at the beginning and after 8 miles I chased down my pace group. I ran with them, more or less, until around 19 miles, when a pain in my right leg was getting too intense. I walked. I ran. It hurt. A lot. I walked some more. Ugh. I walked most of the last 5 miles. My 3:30 finish turned into 4:04. Humbling.

Now I’m wondering about my BQ goal. 3:15 in May? At 40? With a PR of 3:23 and a fail after 20 at 3:30 pace? Seems damn unlikely.

But tomorrow is a new day. The list of things I need sleep on is long.