Jul 24, 2015


The wife picked up a Tesla this week. We're not a particularly flashy couple and this technically is a flashy car. Pricey. But I have to say both my wife and I were kind of sold from the get go on this car. There are a few key points about the car that are game changers.
  • Safety. Technically the car received a 5.0 on the NHTSA and Euro NCAP safety ratings. Unofficially it scored a 5.4 on the U.S. one. This is a car that has so little in it that it can be purpose built to be extremely safe. There's no engine block in front of you that the car has to stop becoming part of the passenger area in case of a crash. In addition since the batteries are installed low on the floor boards the car has a low center of gravity which makes flipping it extremely unlikely. The batteries also center the center of gravity rather than upfront in an internal combustion engine (ICE) which causes those cars to behave unpredictably in crashes.
  • Maintenance. Basically there isn't any. It's not even required to maintain the warranty. Why? Because there's nothing in the car. You think of a traditional car and you think carborateurs, spark plugs, radiators, pistons, pipes, exhaust systems, gears, transmissions, catalytic converters, oil pumps, oil, oil filters, etc. The Tesla has two things. A big battery. And two electric motors. While they wear down they don't wear down fast. A million things that can potentially go wrong in an ICE versus two in a Tesla. That's why the warranty is 8 years and unlimited miles on the battery and motor.
  • It's electric. It's clean. You drive this car and you think, "are we really still igniting flammable liquid fuel to propel ourselves along?". When did we ever think that was safe? It's like walking into someone's kitchen and they have a fire pit for cooking. The entire concept of an ICE seems archaic once you drive one of these cars. Some people will hang on to things like they like the rumble of their American V8 muscle car. But this is Pavlovian. People don't take you out back of their house to listen to the rumble of their AC unit. Rumbling meant power and that's why people like that sound. In reality almost nothing can beat the new Tesla off the line. Certainly nothing in its price range. Power now means silence. That Pavlovian response will disappear.
There are of course the 2 limitations. Limited range and no way to quickly "fill" up the car. But I think this is the sort of trade off that is like new phones lasting one day whereas old ones lasted for a week on one charge. It's only a tradeoff because you never had to plan for it. With a Tesla you do. 

I ultimately think Tesla becomes a battery and motor company. Ferrari buys the chassis, battery and motor and they build a luxurious facade around it. They almost can't compete on speed right now. 

But here's where I really want to go with this post. Autonomous Driving. This is going to change things in ways we can't even imagine. In a few months newer Teslas will get an over-the-air update to allow some level of autonomous driving. Mainly highway. But where is this going?

Imagine if we get autonomous driving figured out. And frankly we are very close. The only issue now really is the cost of the system components. Lidar is a necessity and it's still pricey but dropping in price precipitously. Once that happens things are going to change fast. There's quite a few bizarre outcomes of this.
  • There are no more crashes. At least ones caused by autonomous cars. Deaths drop over time as the installed base of cars becomes autonomous. Google's cars has been in 11 accidents (I think) and none of them were cause by Google's car. What's interesting about this is that there are 6 million crashes that are claimed in the US each year. The insurance industry predicted there were 6 million more that weren't claimed. Google's rate of getting hit suggests this number of unclaimed crashes is significantly higher. People are shitty drivers. We knew this. Google's data confirms it.
  • If crashes are no more, cars become much lighter. Much of the heft of a car is to make sure you don't die. If you know you aren't going to die cars can frankly be very flimsy. You certainly don't need a steering wheel and pedals any more. This improves efficiency and driving distance and thus adoption increases. It also opens up possibilities about what should be inside the car. 4 seats facing the front? How about a table with four seats facing each other. Or one seat?
  • People don't have to do things like drive kids to school and kids don't get drivers licenses any more. Your kids want to go to school? Just put them in the car and use your phone to tell the car to drive them to school, drop them off, and head back home. 
  • Why own a car anymore? There's not point in owning. Create a large hyper-specialized fleet to meet people's changing needs. Going to get groceries? A single person "car" shows up. Going to the airport with your family? Send a big car. If individuals are going to work, the car could be half as wide as a typical car. Make one lane into two lanes and increase throughput. You can now get work done as you drive to work. When the car is low on batteries it'll charge itself at some station. It doesn't mind waiting. Uber is already on this. They've said they'll buy a metric crapload of Tesla's once autonomous driving is figured out. 
  • Why have lanes at all? Or cats-eyes. Those are for humans? Speed limits and stop signs and yield signs and... Those are for humans. We don't need those anymore. Stop lights? We don't need those. Cars will just interweave through each other without stopping. 
  • Safe distance driving? We don't need that. Cars can ride each others asses because they'll also talk to each other. In fact this creates a drafting effect and improves efficiency even more and thus adoption speeds up.
  • One car hits a pothole or there actually is a crash and the relevant authorities can be alerted instantly whether that's a pothole fixing automaton or an ambulance.
It's happening.

Jul 7, 2015

tv has a problem

TVs are no longer the screen of choice for kids.

While there has been a lot of talk regarding people binge watching TV shows now that they are available for streaming, I think the bigger story is that kids are not TV watchers and are likely to not watch TV shows when they get older.

My kids used to watch TV. And they occasionally watch it when I buy them an Adventure Time season. But by and large they don't want to be in front of the TV, and the entire concept of TV advertising is one they don't get. Or rather they are tremendously irked by it. Because when I purchase a TV show season there are no ads. Even crazier is they prefer to watch the Adventure Time episodes on the iPad and not the big TV with surround sound. Portability is more valuable.

Far more important to them is watching videos on YouTube. My daughter watches a lot of arts & crafts "how-to" shows and my son watches video game shows. Home-made shows by individuals. Nothing from large media companies.

And like the article the iPad is the first line of punishment and TV can be used as a form of punishment.

TV is fu*ked.

Jun 26, 2015

pin point

This newer farther range tracking cam footage of the last SpaceX first stage landing really puts into perspective how friggin hard this is to do. When you see the close up cam it just looks like the rocket comes in and botches the landing. But from far back you can see how they really are threading a needle. They have limited fuel and a giant multi-story building coming in at 100s of miles per hour that has to land on a dime-sized barge. They're so close really. It's just a matter of time as the last two failures were really just small malfunctions and errors.

lies lies lies

Ugh. One-quarter of cancer research studies contain faked data.

Ugh Ugh. Only 6 of 53 "landmark" cancer studies could be confirmed.

Do you really believe this is contained within cancer research?

Jun 15, 2015

shoulder day

I always feel like shoulders get blown off in workout routines. I've partially dislocated my shoulder a number of times now and if I don't work it hard it can really stiffen up. So.

  • Alternating shoulder press - Keep the weights up on your shoulders. Extend upward, one at a time
  • Upright rows - Pull hands directly up to chin, keep elbows pointed out to the side and above your hands
  • Arm circles - I hate these. Very light weight. Arms extended and make small circles. 10 seconds on, 10 seconds off, 10 seconds on, etc.
  • Forward arm extension - Lift arms directly in front of you
  • Outward arm extension - Lift arms directly to the side of you
  • Seated arm flys - Sit down. Elbows bent 90 degrees, lift outward to side
  • Extreme pike press - You're trying to do a push up but as upside down as you can. Pike/downward dog position, feet close to hands, dip head down to flow
  • Pour flys - Like outward arm extension but at the top you twists wrists so weights are pointing down
  • Y presses - Weights at shoulders, lift up and out to make a Y with your torso
  • Last 6 exercises are Alternating shoulder press and upright rows again

Jun 13, 2015

is that a big island you have there or are you just happy to see me

I went to Hawaii when I was a kid. Oahu. To be frank I kind of thought it was a bit lame. The pineapple was good. The beaches were nice. But something about it just seemed so touristy even at a young age. And that's probably because it is. Last year for our 10th anniversary we went to the Big Island on the recommendation of my best man who grew up in Hawaii. And it was a completely different experience.

The Big Island is the most underdeveloped island in Hawaii. And that suits me just fine. Cities are cities. But the outdoors has great variety. The geology of Hawaii is fascinating. As soon as I landed I wanted to know more. It has such an alien landscape. Here's a good example. You're driving along and, what the hell, you're in the middle of an old lava floor. Those grasses in the photo are some of the first vegetation that can take hold in the solid lava once it cools. Serving to break it up and allow other plants to grow some years later. Also note the black color of the lava. This tells you it's a relatively young flow. Lava contains a lot of iron and 'rusts' over time and turns an orange-brown.

We went back last week for 3 days. I think my wife and I are kind of enamored with the place. We stayed at the Hualalai. The Mauna Kea has a much better beach but this resort has its own charm too.

For one, green seat turtles are everywhere. And they're pretty cute with big big eyes.

Most of the Big Island doesn't have a sandy beach. It's the youngest, and most volcanic island, and so the shores are generally solidified lava. It has the same feel as Big Sur (another of my favorite spots).

I believe the beach at Haulalai is man-made. But it's fine. We aren't there for the beach for the most part.

Last time we hit most of the major hikes that allow you to see volcanic activity, waterfalls, and black sand beaches. We did another hike similar to last time that takes you down to a very secluded black sand beach. It involves a steep hike down (and later back up!).

Combined with the humid weather, hikes mean significant perspiration. Bring water! But most of the hikes have huge payoffs. Everything is gorgeous on the island.

The second hike we did was Kiholo Bay near the resort. It's about a mile hike through white-black sand beaches and lots of sea turtles.

At the end is a blue blue bay and a vast sea of solidified lava. Here's a typical example. I call this "brownie lava" because it looks like the top of brownies.

The real pretty spot though is the bay. Lots of turtles. Reasonably warm water. And no one else. I didn't see a single person while we were there.

We're going back again in August. It's become an addiction.

Jun 10, 2015

back day

Day 2 is back day. Whereas chest exercises use triceps a lot, back exercises use biceps. So it's smart to put them together so there is very little overlap.

Day 1
Back workout (also works biceps and to a lesser extent shoulders)

All exercises without weights completed to maximum reps. All exercises with weights completed to 10 reps and then you bump up the weight. You are allowed 2 minutes per exercise (2 min x 15 exercises = 30 minutes). The first workout sets your rep counts. Each workout after that focuses on increasing by 1 rep or 10 seconds or whatever across the entire workout. The idea being you want to spread out your gains versus killing the first few exercises and being wasted later on.
  • Pullups - Wide: Wide grip pullup
  • Pullups - Regular: Regular width grip
  • Pullups - Closed grip: If thumbs are sticking out they should just touch
  • Pullups - Reverse grip: Palms facing towards you
  • Pullups - Corn cob: Wide grip, go up, slide left then back, slide right then back, slide back then back, decline; Repeat.
  • Repeat the last 5 exercises
  • Seated back pulls: Sit in chair, chest on knees and pull back with elbows and hands close to body
  • Bent-over back lift: Legs slightly bent, lean over holding weights and then straighten back
  • Seated back flys: Sit in chair, chest on knees, lift weights out like a bird
  • Benched pulls: Lie face down on bench and pull weights directly back (like seated back pulls)
  • 1-arm lawnmowers: Get into a lunge and pull 1 weight up like starting a lawnmower

chest day

Alright. I'm already getting bored of P90 so I'm transitioning to my own workout. This workout will be 7 days a week but it's only 30 minutes a day so I'm fine with that. Each day gets a muscle group workout. I'm not sure if I've concocted this correctly yet, so I may modify as I go through this.

Day 1
Chest workout (also works triceps and to a lesser extent shoulders)

All exercises without weights completed to maximum reps. All exercises with weights completed to 10 reps and then you bump up the weight. You are allowed 2 minutes per exercise (2 min x 15 exercises = 30 minutes). The first workout sets your rep counts. Each workout after that focuses on increasing by 1 rep or 10 seconds or whatever across the entire workout. The idea being you want to spread out your gains versus killing the first few exercises and being wasted later on. If your triceps gets toasted from the first pushup exercise then you're not really going to work your chest on the 10th pushup exercise

  • Pushups - Heart to heart: Push up where your hands are together and lower down your chest so when you decline your hands hit your heart
  • Pushups - Decline: Raise your feet up with something like a chair
  • Pushups - Incline: Raise your arms up with something like a chair
  • Pushups - Regular: Pushup with arms about shoulder width apart
  • Pushups - Wide: Farther apart than regular
  • Pushups - Military: Hands by your side, elbows tucked back
  • Pushups - Pike: Bend your waist like downward dog; works upper chest and shoulders
  • Chaturanga fly: This is my own move based on the yoga move. Simply do a wide pushup and stop at the bottom and hold for as many seconds as possible
  • Chest flys: Need a bench press table for this or a backless stool
  • Pushups - Spiderman: One arm back, leg on same side bent up (knees to elbows), one arm out,  leg on same side straight; switch every 5 pushups
  • Pushups - Side to side: Start in regular pose, lift arm and same side leg out and do a pushup. Repeat on other side and switch back and do it again
  • Alternating floor press (3X): Basically a bench press from the floor
  • Svend press: Grab a weight with 2 hands, hold it at chest level, extend arms out in front of you

Jun 4, 2015

side effects?

I've been in ketosis dozens of times. There's a number of side effects of entering ketosis that last about 2-3 days.

  • Extreme lethargy
  • Headaches
  • Constipation
The first time I was in ketosis, it was like a truck hit me. I got home from work at 7pm or so and crashed, as my wife did, on the bed and woke up the next day at 7am. It completely took me out. The headaches were unbelievable and aspirin did nothing. I didn't become constipated luckily. 

Each time I've gone into ketosis things have been a little easier. But the headaches and lethargy are still there.

Until this time. I started a ketosis run on June 1 and I was sure I was in ketosis today because it had been a few days coupled with some relatively strenuous workouts. And yet no headaches or lethargy. So I checked with the pee strips that are made for diabetics. Bam. Ketosis. I'm not sure if my body has just become acclimated to getting into ketosis or what. But there were no side effects. I'm not sure I've heard of anyone entering ketosis without side effects.