Ground Fall

I have been climbing for six years now and yesterday had my first incident where I was on belay and my climber had a groundfall after clipping one bolt. Fortunately, we were indoors at Cliffs of Id and had thick padding so he was uninjured other than a rope burn. It was embarrassing and I felt really bad though… that should never happen when I am belaying.

What happened? Matt and Max and I were playing a game of trying to finish a climb using the least holds possible. Matt was the climber and I was belaying him. He did an impressive dyno to start the lead, clipped the first bolt, and went for the next highest hold he could reach.  He got up about a little past waist height with the second bolt. I should have said something, but Max called it out first to him. Matt started to downclimb a little bit, pulled on the rope to clip, then changed his mind. I pulled back in the slack when suddenly Matt slipped and fell. I didn’t expect the fall but still tried to sit down to remove slack but it wasn’t enough and Matt hit the ground from maybe ten feet up.

What lessons did I learn / relearn?

  • Allow absolutely minimum slack between the first and second bolt until that second bolt is clipped
  • While I usually need to jump to give my climber a soft catch, I need to back away faster and sit faster on falls on the first bolt
  • Don’t allow distractions to keep me from stopping my climber from making unsafe moves. Its easy for the climber to miss a bolt or get the rope around his heel or something or backclip and the belayer needs to call that out.

Thankfully, Matt wasn’t injured other than a rope burn and a sore calf. Could have been worse.

I have high expectations for my belayer when I am climbing, and need to have much higher expectations for myself. How can I expect a good belay if I don’t give one?

My Best Friend

I am very fortunate in that I have had the same best friend for my entire life – my brother Jordan. From the time we were very little we played and fought and worked together. We are only 18 months apart in age and Jordan was always only a grade under me so we were very close.

We’ve been so close that many times I take Jordan for granted. I would treat my other friends better and would sometimes not even realize that my most common playmate was Jordan. The same thing continued into adulthood in some ways; when I get frustrated at work I can treat Jordan in ways I would never treat my other work colleagues.  Fortunately, Jordan has been patient and has always seemed to understand.

I am continuing to work on my own behaviors and to constantly remind myself to treat Jordan and my family better.

I was Jordan’s best man and he was mine. I am grateful for that.

I am also especially grateful that I get to work with Jordan on building Coalition and for all the adventures we have had so far. I think we have had major accomplishments we both can be very proud of.

Working Weekends And Loving It

I work most weekends on Coalition and I love it. It’s time when I get all day uninterrupted to focus in and make improvements to the business.

This last weekend I spent 14 hours on Saturday trying to learn about websockets and get them set up on Scoretask. Unfortunately, this was a failure, but it did lead me to upgrade to the latest version (5.3) of Laravel.  Sunday I spent part of the day working on a memory leak issue from the upgrade caused by Queues (I had a cronjob running every minute to process php artisan queue:work which was unnecessary), and I spent the other part of the day building a basic todo priority list.

26 hours of work in two days and got a lot done. I enjoyed the work as it felt like I was making real progress towards my goals for the business.

I Shall Pass This Way But Once

I love this quote – “I shall pass this way but once; any good, therefore, that I can do or any kindness that I can show to any human being, let me do it now. Let me not defer nor neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again.”

I forget this sometimes. I get impatience, frustrated, or angry and then don’t treat those around me well.  I have been worked to treat people better, especially my colleagues (employees and clients). I am so focused on delivering the results promised to each that sometimes I can grind too hard and cause injury.

I will continue to work on this. I have made too many enemies already, I’d like to not make anymore and to do what I can to get along better with those who I’ve butted heads with.

Process Aging & Updating Processes

It’s amazing how quickly time goes by. The last time I updated our “Company History” document was two years ago… feels like I just updated it yesterday. We have created 390 GB and hundreds of thousands of tracking, process, and other docs on our Google Drive. Some of these have aged and need updating. I spent all day yesterday updating our primary processes we use for running the company and I still have a lot left to do. For core processes we do over and over again for clients, I am building Laravel web applications for managing these going forward so all of the data can be stored and managed in one place.

Coalition Site Redesign

I have been working for quite some time on Coalition’s own site redesign. Our current site is actually pretty solid, so to make a major improvement worth pushing live we need to really push the envelope. I am currently thinking about how we can improve the design look & feel, implement incredibly fast page load speeds, and increase our conversion rate. I think we are getting closer to where we need to be.

Bishop Rock Climbing

I went rock climbing this weekend in Bishop with the Paradiso CrossFit crew. Good to see everyone and hang out. I rode with Matt and Max, really happy was I was able to get to know them better.

Great Internet Comment

As someone who has been involved in technology for decades, I have been saying for a long time that our technological evolution has far outstripped our social evolution. Technology continues to empower individuals at an exponential rate. These drones are easily affordable to individuals. It doesn’t take much imagination to weaponize them; especially, when we already have military grade drones in operation serving as examples.

People have long been repurposing technology for violent ends. Aside from the obvious killing with guns, terrorists turn fertilizer into bombs, use cars and trucks as killing machines or delivery mechanisms, use airplanes to bring down entire buildings.

There is no technological solution to terrorism. There are stopgaps, but they create short delays until more effective tactics can be used. If we can’t find a way to dramatically reduce the desire to solve problems with violence then we are doomed as a species. We need to somehow navigate toward peaceful resolution of conflict.

We need a War on War. The war to end all wars. We need to inflict peace. Otherwise, we are doomed.

Copy Management Software

I have yet to be able to find a good copy management software platform, so I am just going to build my own. Currently, Coalition is producing 600+ pages of high quality, unique, search optimized copy each month. We manage all of it through spreadsheets and do so fairly efficiently, however as I see the company continue to grow I think that the spreadsheets will eventually break down. So I am going to replace the copy spreadsheets with a Laravel (PHP / MySQL) program that will scale to thousands of employees and clients. I am beginning the process of scoping this out now.

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