2016 Recap – In Pictures

2016 was a busy year for us.  Obstacle Course Races, Finishing Residency, 5 year Anniversary, Hawaii, Football, and more. Here are photos from some of the highlights.

 

We Survived the #warriordash #rockinwarrior

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Perfect night for a backyard cookout! #fire

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Yes please!!! #funnelcake #carnival w/ @apojezny

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Living it up in Hawaii with @apojezny #beachlife #lanikaibeach #neverwanttoleave #hawaii

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SHARKS!!!! w/ @apojezny #Hawaii #sharkcagediving #bucketlistadventures #adventureculture

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Range Day with the men! #molonlabe #gunchannels #gunsdaily #guns #eotech #gunsofinstagram

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Homecoming 2016 w/ @apojezny #GoPokes #okstatehc

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The Blockchain Revolution

What is the Blockchain? Why does it matter? This is hard to explain, as is any new technology that is different than anything else ever before it.  It took me several articles and YouTube videos to finally grasp it.  Rather than repeating those articles in a less eloquent style, I’ll use an example to explain it.

My friends and I often played volleyball throughout high school and college.  And of course we were all pretty competitive, so we’d keep score.  After running around and getting sweaty while diving all over the place, it was easy to forget the score. But there was always one guy who would keep the score in his head.  We would just trust that he was accurate.   We quickly found out that if we just left the scorekeeping to 1 person, they were more likely to make an error, or just straight up lie.  So, our solution was this: we had multiple people keeping track of the score, and then before each serve we would announce the score to make sure we were all on the same track.  This would allow everyone to mentally update the score in their heads, and to prevent 1 person from cheating, or making an honest mistake.  Simple, right? Blockchain technology works the same way.  This system of multiple people keeping track of the information is referred to as a distributed ledger.  It is decentralized, so that there is no single point of vulnerability.  The whole network is “keeping score” so that their aren’t any mistakes.

Think of it like a Google Doc.  Multiple people can access the same Google Doc, at the same time, from different locations.  Taking it a step further.  Say the Google Doc was set so that anyone can add to the doc, but not remove anything else that others added. This is how the blockchain operates to prevent other from deleting transactions on the ledger.  Every transaction has a timestamp and is recorded with information that cannot be deleted our altered in any way.

Here is a video that does a great job explaining the blockchain:

And another great presentation on Bitcoin:

There are many blockchains that have been developed, with Bitcoin being the first, and most well known. However, Ethereum is another blockchain that I believe has even more potential than Bitcoin.  The technology and development team behind this company is outstanding. Ethereum is leveraging the power of “Smart Contracts” in its development. We will no longer need centralized 3rd party intermediaries to handle transactions.  “Smart Contracts” will execute themselves and people with be able to transact person to person.  Brokers, as they are known today, will be unemployed.

This is an overly simple explanation of the blockchain.  But the power of this technology will revolutionize multiple industries. Disruptive innovations only come along every so often.  Think about how the Wright brothers and Henry Ford transformed the transportation industries.  Or how the personal computer and Internet changed the way nearly everything operates in today’s world.  Well, Blockchain technology will do the same for multiple industries.  This blog is mainly for me to document my thoughts and ideas, but if anyone is reading this — Get involved now, thank me later.

 

Homecoming 2016

Stillwater, OK will always be a special place to me.  As a lifelong OSU fan, I always dreamed of going to college at OSU.   When I finally arrived on campus I immediately felt at home.  I spent 4 years in Stillwater.  I lived with my best friends that I have known since I was 6 years old.  We made a lot of great memories during our time there together.  So any time I go back, I instantly re-live those moments.

This year Ashley and I went to homecoming and had a great time.  It was an afternoon game, so we got up early and made the drive. Here are some pics from the day:

At the game. We won.

View from our seats.

The orange fountain

The OSU Hedges

One of our favorite places to eat.

My 5 Favorite Podcasts

I remember when I first discovered podcasts.  It was before Ashley and I were married and we lived 6 hours apart.  This meant long road trips every few weeks.  Sure, road trips can be fun sometimes…but not when you are driving through West Texas, Oklahoma, or Kansas for the 100th time.  At first I would listen to audiobooks, and I really enjoyed them.  The only problem was trying to time the books so that the whole book would fit into one trip.  This is when I discovered podcasts.  

Over the last several years, I have listened to to thousands of episodes from probably around 30 different podcasts.  Some podcasts I will only listen to for a few episodes, while others I won’t miss a single episode.  The ones listed below are the podcasts I most frequently listen to.  

 

The Tim Ferriss Show

Tim Ferriss Show PodcastIf it is not already obvious from other posts in my blog, I’m a big fan of Tim Ferriss.  From his books to his TV show and of course his podcast, I always learn so much and thoroughly enjoy listening to Tim interview and drop knowledge bombs everywhere.  His podcast description in his words:

“In this show, he deconstructs world-class performers from eclectic areas (investing, chess, pro sports, etc.), digging deep to find the tools, tactics, and tricks that listeners can use.”

Unlike other interviews, Tim spends anywhere from 1.5 to 3 hours with each guest and its captivating the whole way through. I regularly find myself listening to Tim interview guests that I wouldn’t normally find interesting, because I know he will find ways to entertain the audience through his thought provoking questions.

 

The Jason Stapleton Program

Jason Stapleton Program - PodcastThis podcast is one of my favorite sources for getting the news without the conventional media bias we see everywhere.  Each day, Jason dives into relevant topics and current events that are happening the in world. He then simplifies them and offers his take on the issue.  He views the world through the lens of 5 core principles: Individualism, Peace, Free Markets, Limited Government, and Tolerance with the overall focus on liberty and freedom.

 

Order of Man

The title drops a pretty big hint for who the target audience is for this podcast: Men. Podcast_Cover_Third_Edition_Large

“Order of Man is for motivated and ambitious men who want to become better in every area of their lives from defining their purpose, obtaining self-mastery, building relationships, growing as a leader, and mastering business and finances.”

Every week there are interviews with some of the world’s most successful men in all areas of life.  I’ve learned a lot from the podcast and believe I’ve become a better man as a result of what I’ve learned and applied in my life from listening to the show.

 

Dan Carlin’s Hardcore History

DC_HH_iTunesHardcore History is not your typical podcast. Dan spends lots of time researching and compiling information for each 3-4 hour episode, which are sometimes several months apart.  When I first thought about listenting to this podcast and I realized it had long episodes about history, I almost wrote it off immediately. But, Dan does such a great job taking the listener back in time and explaining things through a modern perspective.  His voice commands your attention and its hard to stop listening once you’ve started.  Dan is probably one of the best storytellers I’ve ever heard and connects the past & present in completely new ways.  

 

Ben Greenfield Fitness

download-1Ben’s podcast is one that I’ve only listened to for the last year or so, but I’ve grown to really enjoy it.  Ben was voted as America’s top personal trainer, and is an expert in nutrition and fitness.  He is a obstacle course racer and ironman athlete. On the podcast he shares his in depth knowledge on various topics relating to health and fitness.  My favorite aspect of the podcast is the detailed research and testing that Ben conducts in order to bring the truth.  He also includes links and resources in his show notes page that listeners can use to learn more info on the topics mentioned in the show.  There are a lot of fitness and health related podcasts out there, but this is the one that I trust the most.

 

Honorable Mention:

Extra Pack of Peanuts Travel Podcast

The Tom Woods Show

The Art of Manliness Podcast

Fantasy Focus Football

Conquer The Gauntlet

So earlier this year, a few friends and I completed the Warrior Dash obstacle course race (OCR).  I wrote a post about training for it, and then a recap after the race.  Long story short, I had a lot of fun with the obstacle course race, and wanted to try another one.  So naturally, I decided to find the most difficult obstacle course race in Oklahoma – Conquer The Gauntlet.  

Conquer The Gauntlet (CTG) is a 4.5 mile, 25 obstacle OCR that takes place in several locations around the central United States.  The race I signed up for was located at a lodge in Tulsa, OK.  I’ve been to a few retreats at this lodge and knew the terrain.  However, the part that I struggled with the most at the Warrior Dash was the hills, and the hills at the CTG were about 10x higher and harder to conquer.  A few days before the race, the CTG team posted a contour map showing the hills on the course, and wow, it was pretty intimidating.

 

contour

Each of those lines represent a 10ft change in elevation

 

The CTG is designed to test you.  You aren’t competing against others, you are competing against yourself to overcome the mental and physical aspects of the race.  In fact, you have to rely of other competitors to conquer some of the obstacles.  A complete stranger will extend there hand to help you climb over a 15 ft wall, and then you turn around and help the next person.  It was cool to experience the teamwork and encouragement that went on during this race.

 

 

Action shot from #ctg this past weekend. Torpedo #conquerthegauntlet #ocr

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Some of the obstacles we faced included: scaling inverted walls, rope climbing, crawling under barbed wire, carrying a tree stump up and down a large hill, sledgehammer swinging, traversing through water, etc. (more obstacles listed here).  I believe I underestimated the pure arm strength needed to conquer some of these obstacles.  It was brutal, and probably in the top 3 hardest things I’ve ever done physically, but despite all that, I completed around 20 of the 25 obstacles, and came out with no major injuries.

 

 

I’ve heard rumors of there being a Spartan Race in Oklahoma City in 2017.  I’m thinking this will be my next challenge.