Monday, September 1, 2014

The “average” life

What should an average life be like? One with very few – if no – ups and down? One in which each day looks pretty much the same as the previous one, the future is a mirror image of the past and in which time flows uninterrupted, at pretty much the same speed? Would many folks dream of such a life? Probably an awful lot. Would have I liked it? Certainly not.
I needed strong sensations, excitement, fear and the extreme elation that came with a more chaotic living. My natural curiosity needed a daily dose of nourishment. It has kept me awake and alive so far and will continue to perk up my interest if it keeps on making waves.

As we move forward and grow older, these might be less spectacular, the ebb and flow will get closer, but there still will be plenty of room for the “extraordinary” or the “above-average”, whatever you may call what is generally known as being a bit abnormal...

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Putin's Kiss, or how we get influenced...

There's not better time in life to be influenced than during our teens and early twenties. And depending on what influences us at that moment, the process can have some devastating effects on our lives.

While not really outstanding, this Danish produced documentary about Putin's Youth Movement put its finger on some bad choices that can happen at the confluence of smooth talking recruiters and a desire to stand for something or to exhibit some personal leadership.

Many of us have gone through those rough moments and their questionable choices, a lack of thorough comparison and the absence of critical thinking!

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Have you reached your peak yet?

When do we reach our physiological peak? Is it at 30 years as most say, or is it sometime later - even much later, as we really start feeling it inside our aging body? I think it probably is the later.

This said there's a point where the descent begins and we have to recognize it. We just aren't at peak level anymore and for me this happened after 63.

For those of you who are of age, when did you begin noticing that you had reached your physical peak?

Friday, August 29, 2014

The joy of editing left-over videos...

A few blogs ago, I was explaining my back-log of unedited videos sitting in my “raw footage” folder. Over the past days, I have been catching up a lot and discovering many scenes that normal folks would find “ordinary” but that I would unbiasedly qualify of “priceless!”

Editing ski video was particularly thrilling as I found a few good pieces dating back to 2011, a landmark winter both in snow quantity and fun factor. If anything, viewing all this material has exponentially whetted my ski appetite and now, I want to ski more than I've ever desired at the end of a month of August.

To top this, I've also heard that the Farmer's Almanach is predicting tons of snow this season, for whatever that's worth!

Thursday, August 28, 2014

As we age, we change

I'm not running (or cycling) as fast as when I was 30 and while I haven't been able to measure the actual drop, I can guarantee you that I can feel it. Of course, I still can ski pretty fast or go down the hill like a bullet on my bike, but my aging cardiovascular system hasn't much to do with it.

This statement of fact brings me to the notion of VO2 max (that is also known as maximal oxygen consumption) and is the maximum rate of oxygen consumption measured during incremental exercise, most typically on a motorized treadmill for those of you that have undergone a so-called “stress-test”.

I haven't yet, and have no intention of killing myself for stats that my doctor may not be able to analyze to my advantage. What I just need to do is take a peek at the table and see that “I'm not the man I used to be” as one of the Beatles songs laments. My performance is at least down some 40% and maybe more, and further I don't have the foggiest idea of how my VO2 max rate was when I was 30.

That's right, that weird VO2 max unit of measurement stands for the number of liters of oxygen per minute as it relates to the relative rate in milliliters of oxygen per kilogram of my body mass. Just like your car carburator... But just thinking of that complex measurement is enough to bring me to my knees, so I'll have a beer instead!

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Perfect is the enemy of good

I fully embrace this saying attributed to Voltaire. Looking back at my professional career, I simply regret not having made a more liberal use of, in the many business ventures I've been involved with.

While my perfectionism was often motivated by fear or guilt, I always knew - deep inside - that something good enough was vastly preferable to something close to perfection that would have cost too much in terms of time and resources. This truth applies even more in this era of rapid change and of constant evolution. There is no superfluous time left to guild the lily, else the perfectionist is left in the dust!

Something I found on Wikipedia, and in the same vein, is a quote from George Stigler, an economist, that I relate perfectly with: "If you never miss a plane, you're spending too much time at the airport.”

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Beware what you wish for...

Twenty-nine years ago today, our little family arrived to Park City for the first time and three-quarter of it were deeply disappointed to see so few trees in their new town.

We just traveled from Chappaqua, New York where we lived and where trees were wall-to-wall. Today, things have changed for the worst as trees are all over the places blocking views and turning our beloved town into a rain forest.

The obvious morale of the story is “be careful what you wish for...”