August 16, 2019

1.Gut Bacteria – Diet and exercise don’t always cut it. Here’s a fascinating article on the link between antibiotic laden food, gut bacteria, and obesity. Key line” “reliminary research has shown that adding even a single bacterial species to a person’s gut can alter her metabolism”…..read more

2. Thought I’m Chewing On – How we treat people does not necessarily correlate with how they treat us.

3. Sleep and PTSD – This is fascinating to me as I sometimes see clients involved in car accidents suffering from PTSD. According to the National Institute of Health, “PTSD is accompanied by disturbed sleep. Following a traumatic event, PTSD symptoms typically requires several months to develop. During this time, sleep disturbances such as insomnia, nightmares, and fragmented rapid eye movement sleep predict later development of PTSD symptoms. Sleep disturbance resulting from an acute trauma, or predating the traumatic experience, may contribute to the etiology of PTSD. Because symptoms can worsen over time, we suggest that continued sleep disturbances can also maintain and exacerbate PTSD”. Link.

4. Place I Want to Visit – Seattle and the Pacific Northwest. I have never been there. It just looks like a place I would like to spend some time in.

5. Quote – “Remember this principle when something threatens to cause you pain: the thing itself was no misfortune at all; to endure it and prevail is great good fortune.” Marcus Aurelius

@ryanmckeen

August 9, 2019

1.What I’m Reading: Why We Sleep Unlocking The Power of Sleep and Dreams by Matthew Walker. It’s a fascinating look at sleep. Before reading this book, I had not given much thought at all to sleep. Walker argues and meticulously documents that lack of sleep is a public health crisis. If doctors could prescribe a pill that lengthened life, caused weight loss, decreased the chance of cancer, ward off dementia, and improve mental health – people would pay lots of money for such a pill. And yet sleep does all of those things and is often an after thought.

2. How We Can Make Things Better: To build on point 1 we could as a matter of public policy decide to open schools later to allow children to sleep more. Teens in particular need sleep. We could provide more support to parents of newborns allowing them to get sleep. We pay either way. May as well do it right.

3.Quote I’m Pondering: A well-designed life is a life that is generative—it is constantly creative, productive, changing, evolving, and there is always the possibility of surprise. – Designing Your Life by Bill Burnett and David Evans

4. What I’m Listening To: “Woman on Top” Podcast by Hailey Rice. Check it out. Hailey has a strong interview skills and enlightening guests. I think you’ll enjoy. I do.

5. Sunset Time: The sun now sets here (Hartford,CT) at 7:59 PM. The next time the sun will set past 8pm in Hartford is May 11, 2020 – 285 days from now.

@ryanmckeen

August 2, 2019

1. What Kids Need – Currently reading “The Good Neighbor – The Fred Rogers Biography“. Rogers believed that every child needed and deserved to know that he mattered. Imagine what the world would be if all children were raised knowing this?

2.Sharks and Irrational Markets – Cape Cod rentals are down this summer. Several news outlets attribute this to shark attacks. Yes, sharks are plentiful on the Cape these days but your odds of being eaten if you exercise even the most basic caution are about the same as the Jets and Mets winning titles in the same year. At the end of the day, we are better off understanding data than giving into fear.

3.Quote I’m Pondering – “Try not to become a man of success, but rather try to become a man of value.” – Albert Einstein

4.Emojis – Using Emojis in a post can mean the difference between your message being seen and your message not being seen. Emojis in a tweet can increase engagement by 25.4 percent, and emojis in a Facebook post can increase the number of likes by 57 percent and the number of comments and shares by 33 percent (Hubspot) .

5. What I’m Listening To – Running a small business is hard. My friends, Tyson and Jim talk honestly about the struggles of running a small business. It’s worth a listen. No matter what you are going through you are not alone.

—- @ryanmckeen

July 26, 2019

1.Systemic Injustice – A good friend lost his good friend to gun violence this week. I am able to sit on my deck or in my front yard and not have to worry about a car rolling up and opening fire. I just can’t imagine the trauma one suffers living in a neighborhood where that is a regular occurrence. Yet that is the reality for far too many.

2.Intergenerational Transmission of Trauma – The shooting has me wrestling with the intergenerational transmission of trauma and its effects on communities. Link to a powerful study by the National Institute of Health.

3. Alcoholism – I worked on cases where the Department on Children and Families came down hard on parents for empty beer cans in the recycling bin. Now instagramming standing in line at breweries during a work day doesn’t raise an eyebrow. From my practice, the impacts of alcohol use are widely under appreciated by society at large.

4. Media Consumption –  I’ve recently made two longer road trips. And neither time was I scanning for local radio stations. I will not yearn for the days of yesteryear.

5. Cause for Optimism – Seeing more and more (what used to be plastic utensils) made of biodegradable vegetable compounds. This is good. We need less plastic.

-Ryan 

 

July 19, 2019

 1. Conspiracy Theories – On the 50th anniversary of the moon landing, I find myself thinking about conspiracy theories. Specifically how threatening human achievement can be. It’s more comfortable to think that something is staged than it is to accept that real people set a high goal and worked their faces off to make it happen.

2.  Work-Life Balance – A marketing term designed to keep people from achieving their true potential in life. It’s all one thing. You either play all in or not in life. Create a life where balance is not necessary.

3. Quiet – Spent 36 hours on Great Diamond Island in Maine. No cars and not many people The silence was welcome.

4. Summer – Why does it go so fast? We are now losing 14 minutes of daylight a week.

5. Red Sox – The Red Sox are a good and not great team. They are not going to repeat as World Series Champions. And that’s okay. No one repeats in this modern game. Last team to repeat the Yankees (98,99,00) led by Hall of Famer Mariano Rivera.

-Ryan

August 31, 2018

1. Thing I’m Finding Useful: Wet bags (affiliate link) we used these when our children were small. It never occurred to me to use them for smelly gym clothes. At the price of $9.99 my gym bag thanks me.

2.  Idea I’m Reflecting On:  Geography and how geography shapes culture. I recently spent some time in the Midwest and there’s lot of open space. I mean I know this, I’ve spent time in the Midwest before, but this time I was really thinking about how space allows for individuality and how that impacts society.

3. Place I’m At: I walked out of the final home game of the 2018 season for the Hartford Yard Goats last night. I said to the usher on the way out – see you in April. It is hard for me to get my mind around on a perfect summer night that the thing standing between me and watching more baseball is winter.

4. Thing I Should Be Doing: Journaling. I have had some very productive ideas come from journaling. And have journaled regularly for periods of time. Yet, I have not done it all year.

5. What I Am Doing: Trying to figure out where we’ll have our next adventure. Planning travel is fun.

August 17, 2018

1. Thing I’m Doing: Publishing a law book for non-lawyers. Both in law school and in law practice books were very expensive. I have law books in my office that cost $750. Understanding the law should not require an advanced degree. To this end I have published a book for non-lawyers on Connecticut Personal Injury Law (affiliate link).

2. Being Present: I am savoring the waning days of summer. I am enjoying the tree frogs.

3. App I’m Using:  Weight Watchers. After months of busting my ass at the gym and eating well the scale wasn’t moving. I was gaining lean muscle mass. And by all measures much healthier. So I decided to look even harder at my diet. I am enjoying the Weight Watchers free style program. And what I found is that foods like almond milk and protein bars were putting me way over my point limit. Since adding the app on Saturday, I have dropped 3 pounds. I like it.

4. Idea I’m Playing With: One of the best books that I have read in recent years is “Quiet” by Susan Cain (affiliate link). In the book Susan talks about how introversion and extroversion impacts exercise. I am an extrovert and get energized by things like group classes.  Know thyself.

5. Person I’m Following On Twitter: @juliebeman Julie is actually one of the first people that I followed on twitter (since 2007 or 2008). Julie is all of the following: a talented writer, a kind person, and an insightful observer. She is also a master of the medium. She has taken to using twitter to share stories of her life. I find her particularly interesting because she shares stories about growing up and needing donations of clothes and then later attending college with the privileged. Her understanding of both worlds and willingness to share her stories make her voice particularly relevant on today’s issues of inequality and gender.

August 10, 2018

1. Life I’m Remembering: Edward J. Szewczyk known to me as Dzadz. His life was a testament to love and family. A life well lived. Thank you, Dzadz.

2.  Person I’m Following: @rossgarber Ross is the nation’s leading expert on defending executive branches of government against impeachment. His opinions offer great insight into our current political/legal issues.

3. Book I’m Listening To:  Ben Franklin: An American Life by Walter Isaacson (affiliate link). The idea that I’m reflecting on the most in his book is the awesome power of a mastermind group. Franklin’s Junto Club helped shape the man who in turn shaped history.

4. Thing I’m Doing: Wearing mismatching socks intentionally. I do this to remind me that I should feel no shame about this. That the only thing worth feeling shame about is not being good to others.

5. Thing I’m Pondering:  Massachusetts Institute of Technology physicist Max Tegmark, told space.com: “We can portray our reality as either a three-dimensional place where stuff happens over time, or as a four-dimensional place where nothing happens [‘block universe’] — and if it really is the second picture, then change really is an illusion, because there’s nothing that’s changing; it’s all just there — past, present, future. Read the article here.

August 3, 2018

1. Article I’m Reading: How To Count Your Macros by Mike Vacanti. I have been exercising a lot recently. Adding muscle. But not losing weight. A macro imbalance is the likely culprit. Are you eating the right amount of macros for you? Check out the Mike’s Macros App in the App Store or Google Play. Great app.

2. Supplement I’m Loving: Integrated Supplements Whey Isolate Protein  (affiliate link).  After analyzing my macros, goals, and strength training routine – I discovered I needed a lot more calories from protein. Integrated Supplements is a great protein shake. It tastes great and has 20 grams of protein with only 120 calories. Add in some almond milk and a little ice and it is delightful.

3. Mindset I’m Working On:  In business and in life pruning the garden. I am asking myself “do we need to be doing this?”. Usually I’m focused on growing and adding. But focusing on subtraction is a powerful tool for both personal and professional growth.

4. Quote I’m Pondering: “You may delay, but time will not.” – Ben Franklin

5. Show I’m Revisiting: The Office. My favorite episode “The Deposition”.

 

July 27, 2018

1. Question I’m Pondering: Is the internet a net positive for society?

2. Best Wine I’ve Had Under $6: Casal Garcia Vinho Verde ($5.49) It is a delightful light white wine. Just perfect for summer. Has a bubbly quality to it. It is smooth, slightly sweet, a little dry and totally drinkable. To the extent one cares about such things, your guest will think you spent 3 to 4 times more for this bottle. It is pretty much available everywhere.

3. Product That I’m Loving:  Senso Bluetooth Headphones (affiliate link) currently retail for $29.97. They are ideal for working out or running. The are comfortable, stay in my ear, and sound great. And cost 20% of what Bose or Apple charges for a similar product. I have used them for 7 months. And they’re great.

4. Ice Cream You Must Have:  Connecticut has some really good ice cream. Grassroots Ice Cream in Granby is the best that I have ever had. Go there before the days are short and the sky is grey. They are not open on Sundays.

5. Choice That Has Made A Difference: Hiring a personal trainer. I got way out of shape in building my businesses. That’s living on credit. Hiring a trainer has taken the mental load off me in terms of wondering what I should be doing. And it keeps me accountable.