Friday, November 27, 2020

What I'm Reading: The Okinawa Program

I finished Your Survival Instinct is Killing You the other day so it is time to pick up a new book. I have decided to re-read The Okinawa Program. It is a book I read almost two decades ago while I still lived in Okinawa. The Okinawa Program is a book that presents the results of a 25 year study conducted by a Ryukyu University professor conducted in to the longevity of Okinawans. With this English language book revealing the results of that story, Dr. Suzuki collaborates with twin Drs. Bradley and Craig Wilcox. The foreward is by Dr. Andrew Weil.

Since I have read this before I pretty much know what is in it but I hope to take it slow so and take detailed notes so that I can start to weave a story that ties together this book, The China Study by Colin Campbell, Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease by Caldwell Esselstyn, How Not To Die by Dr. Greger, etc. from all of the doctors I have met since switching to a whole food, plant based lifestyle in 2014. I hope to take the eCornell Plant Based Certificate program so that I get a really good grounding in the science of a whole food, plant-based lifestyle.

Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Unexpected Synergies

Not really a fan of the word "synergies" but when it is appropriate I use it. As you know I've been reading the Your Survival Instinct Is Killing You (blog post) personally and The Remote Facilitator's Pocket Guide (blog post) professionally. Interestingly enough, both are talking about how social fears or work stress can lead to problems. In the case of the former book it is focusing on how the survival instinct can turn in to maladaptive habits. In the latter book it talks about how social pain is the same as physical pain in that the same centers of the brain light up to process it; and therefore being exluded from participation in remote meetings can feel like physical pain to people.

Not earth-shattering revelation but the degree to which our bodies impact our mind, and our mind our bodies is an increasingly fascinating topic to me. And it is fun to find this type of unexpected synergy between books I'm reading for different purposes. Far out!

Wednesday, November 18, 2020

Magic 10 and Beyond

Tonight I am taking a workshop lead by one of my favorite yoga teachers, Jennifer Lenhart (Jivamukti Profile), and owner of Satasang Yoga in Berea. the workshop is based on the book The Magic 10 and Beyond by Sharon Gannon, co-founder of Jivamukti Yoga.

The Magic 10 itself is a series of yoga poses that takes about 10 minutes to complete. It moves the spine in every direction it can, with folds, twists and even handstand. It is a great warm up sequence for a long practice. If you are short on time, you can still get a yoga practice in.

The key to the book is the "beyond in the title of the book. The book goes into a whole series of activities that come together as a daily spiritual practice, allowing adopters to achieve greater peace and overall well being.

I am really excited to see what Jennifer is going to do with this. Whatever it is I know it will be good!

Tuesday, November 17, 2020

The Remote Facilitators Pocket Guide

Today I started a new "work" book having finished Team Topologies recently. I chose to read The Remote Facilitator's Pocket Guide since we're in a pandemic and are forced into remote interactions. It has been successful enough that I think for the most part we will not be going back to the office like we had before, or pre-pandemic.

I'm kind of excited to read this book as it takes in Agile methods and practical tips to improving online meetings that drive more engagement and collaboration. Some reviews I have had from colleaques was that the book wasn't ground breaking but was helpful nonetheless.

Sunday, November 15, 2020

George's Website

My son George is in the process of writing a book, a young adult fantasy novel. The book is called Challenger's Chase. It is very hard to get published so he is taking on the new world introduced by internet technologies. He will be releasing the book one chapter at a time to Patreons. He's calling it an illustrated web novel.

It's pretty cool to see him give this a go, even though we have no idea if he'll be successful or not. At least he's giving it a good shot before he gets serious and has to go find a job. He's going all out and creating accounts on various social media including twitter, youtube, facebook, instagram, etc. He's created a website and a blog. It'll be interesting to see how he can keep all of those things up and running, I would have started with a shortlist, probably something like Youtube and anything an app like hootsuite can support (1 post to multiple sms). I'm doing my best to not say anything because it is his thing, not mine. He can do what he wants but it is hard to see a blog that doesn't offer an RSS feed. Part of being a parent to adult kids though, you gotta let them do their thing.

Here is the list of his online presence:

George Hawkins - Challenger's Chase
Website -
Blog - ccghawkins/category/blog

Saturday, November 14, 2020

Team Topologies

Team Topologies book cover

Today I finally finished Team Topologies. Really good book, kind of dense even though it is relatively short and very well written. There is just a lot to unpack. I'll do a brief overview here which will not do the actual content justice.

The basic premise of the books starts with Conway's Law

Any organization that designs a system (defined broadly) will produce a design whose structure is a copy of the organization's communication structure.[2][3]

Melvin E. Conway

The idea that Unfortunately, organization structures do not necessarily make the best design. In fact the first chapter goes into why that's true, the second chapter goes into why Conway's Law matters. The third chapter discusses a team first mentality. The rest of the book talks about what the authors are proposing as the fundamental team topologies and what goes into making them successful.

Monday, November 09, 2020

Vegan 21 Day Diet

Starting on November 1st, I am following the 21 Day Vegan diet as outlined in Sharon Gannon's Yoga and Veganism book. I will be making some changes to it as I don't think it contains enough greens. This post will outline what I'll be doing from November 1st until November 21st. I'll first review what Sharon recommends in her book, clarify how I am adapting it and why.

The 21 Day Vegan Diet as outlined in Sharon's book is fairly easy. There are only really two meals per day, not limit on how much you can eat at those two meals. However, what you can eat is limited.

Saturday, November 07, 2020

Congratulations Joe Biden and Kamala Harris

Today, AP and the networks finally called the election as Joe Biden and Kamala Harris won Pennsylvania and subsequently Nevada. I don't know enough about how this works but they all called it even though the vote count isn't finished. We also know that the current resident of the White House will fight it in the court system, and considering how close the votes actually are that make sense. As much as I dislike them, if I'm them I'm forcing re-counts at a minimum. But of enough of that!

Biden and Harris are the next President and Vice-President of the United States!


The amount of damage this current administration and its GOP enablers in the Senate is unreal and the absolute lack of ethics is truly astounding. I hope everyone involved in separating children from parents are indicted on crimes against humanity.

But none of that will come easily. Biden will be in full rebuild unity mode, understandably. However, it is always the democrats that are being open and compromising while republicans never do - and we slide further and further right.

Georgia senate seats are up for runoff that if the Democrats can win will split the Senate 50-50. That will be a better outcome than the situation President Obama had during his administration.

Celebrate this weekend, Monday get to work to win Georgia.