The Lewhouses in 2016

Some things I’ll remember about 2016…

Time disappearing
I thought we were time constrained when Hunter came along. Well, with two little ones this year, aged 1 and 3, time really got sucked away from me. Less sleep, fewer workouts, fewer books read. All the things I like to do just for me basically went out the door this year. But, they were replaced with more time with my family, which was just fantastic.

Hunter
He really became a full fledged person this year. He’s now funny and clever. He has a bit of trickery and deviousness in him, but he’s shaping up to be a very kind person. His teachers at school regularly remark about how genuine and kind he is. Also, his super power this year is his drawing. He’s very creative and can draw ridiculously well. Continue reading The Lewhouses in 2016

Paris Attacks at the Stadium

I’m here in Paris for a work event with about 600 other co-workers. Last night we all had the night off and me and 2 colleagues decided to go see the France vs. Germany soccer match.  We bought some tickets online and thought we were in for a super fun night.

Little did we know what would happen. In the morning, this would be the headlines from the papers:

The match started and our seats were fantastic. We were right on the left sideline with a great view of Martial. He was incredible and scored a great goal.

About 10 minutes before half, at 9:15pm, everyone in the stadium heard a massive BOOM. It was loud and I immediately said to Jon, “that sounds like a bomb.”  Even the players noticed.  However, everyone went back to watching the game and the players kept playing.  Here’s how it sounded:

About 5 minutes later, right before half, another BOOM. It was loud. Having never been to a soccer match in the French stadium, i thought that maybe it was something that happens regularly.  Nobody seemed to be miffed about it, so i thought it was just part of the scene.

At halftime, i was standing in line for the restroom with Jon. We saw all the security guards start to close all the gates to the stadium, locking us in. We thought that was pretty strange. We told our other friend Marc, who has lived in France before, about it. He said that it was typical so they can route everyone out a central exit when the game is over. Seemed like a logical answer. We went on watching the game. You can see from this picture that we weren’t yet aware of what was happening:

I really started to think things weren’t right when i noticed there were about 10x more security standing between the crowd and the field. At this point you would think we would be freaking out, but we weren’t. We asked the people behind us if they knew anything. Nothing. Nobody knew a thing and the game continued. Nobody knew that the two blasts were bombs exploding outside the stadium at a fast food restaurant and a brasserie.  Nobody knew that the French President who was at the game was secretly evacuated.

About 15 minutes into halftime, at 9:40, there was another BOOM.  Again nobody paid it any attention and continued to watch the game. When the game finished, we were walking out of the stadium when there was a general announcement that there was an incident outside one part of the stadium.  There was a collective “hmm, that’s interesting,” and they continued to the exits. It was calm but you could lots of sirens going on outside the stadium.

As we were exiting, you could see hundreds of police and hear lots of sirens.  Then, the stadium something happened. I’m not exactly sure what it was but the people at the front of the crowd turned around scared shitless and started running as fast as they could back into the stadium. Everyone else started doing that too. It turned into a stampede. Older people and kids fell to the ground and were getting trampled.  We ran too.  After getting away (about 400 yards) from the area that people were running from jon and I reconnected with Marc and walked the opposite direction. At this point, kids were bawling and sirens were blasting. It was clear that the world was not right. We were very scared, but still in the dark about what was happening.

We finally got out of the stadium and called an Uber.  Miraculously one got to us and we told him to take us home as fast as possible. We got a call from another colleague was at a hotel.  He was walking to dinner when he came across a man in the middle of the street waving a gun. He then saw someone who was shot pouring blood. He ran to a restaurant to get cover, but they weren’t letting people in so he kept running. Eventually he got inside and called us.  Our Uber arrived about 15 minutes later to grab him and we all continued back to our listing.

My night wasn’t nearly as scary as his or some of my other colleagues but it was still unnerving. Not knowing whats happening and seeing fear on the faces of everyone in the crowd is terrifying.

When we got back to our apartment, we got online and devoured the news for hours.  It was then that we learned the facts of the night. The scariest event being the massacre at the Bataclan music club.

At that club, a few gunmen entered with AK rifles and opened fire on the 1500 people.  Most people ran to the exits. Many fell to the ground and tried to cover themselves.  The gunmen continued to fire for 10-15 minutes on the people who were laying on the ground. They reloaded 4 times. Here’s a quote from one survivor,

Ten minutes … 10 horrific minutes where everybody was on the floor covering their head. We heard so many gunshots and the terrorists were very calm, very determined. They reloaded three or four times their weapons. They didn’t shout anything. They didn’t say anything. They were unmasked and wearing black clothes and they were shooting at people on the floor, executing them.

What we know now, the next day, is that there were killings in 7 different locations and about 160 people are confirmed dead. It’s still unclear how many are injured. We also learned that the stadium bombs were supposed to go off later, when we were exiting the stadium and not during the match.

We found out today that there were 3 terrorist outside the stadium.  The first tried to get into the stadium and when security discovered the bomb on his chest, he backed away and detonated. Then the 2nd one went off 5 minutes later.  The police then found the 3rd person and as they pursued him, he donated himself.   This is why the police at the stadium wanted us to stay in the arena. I’m so thankful that their plan failed.

My company picked Paris in November as the time and location for our big annual conference to send 600 employees. We also choose Friday night as the night to spend out exploring the city. Almost everyone spent the night in and around the areas of the shootings. Talk about bad timing. While many of them were next to the events, luckily nobody was harmed.

I feel extremely lucky and now all my thoughts are around getting home and getting back to my family.

My No Caffeine Zone

I remember my sophomore year in high school where I decide for a New Year’s Resolution to give up soda (or as I called it then, “pop”) as I thought i was becoming a bit too addicted to caffeine.  After a few days of withdrawal, I was fine. I’ve never looked back.  Since 1993, I’ve been off the juice.  Other than a special Captain and Coke and super-rare RedBull and Vodka, I’m free of caffeine these days. 

I really enjoy it.  It keeps me balanced.  I have noticed that i’m more likely to do a run or cardio activity in the morning to get going as it’s really the only way I know to get my brain cruising. 

I’ve also noticed that in the rare occasion when i do have some caffeine, man does it hit me.  I go crazy.  I’ve also noticed that if i mix lots of liquor and caffeine, i’m sometimes sleepwalk – leading to some really weird stories. That’s another blog post. 

While i’m on the topic, a huge pet-peeve of mine is that lack of drinks available that are both diet AND caffeine free.  It’s usually either-or.  You have Sprite, 7Up and some root beers that are caffeine-free, and then you have Diet Coke, Diet Dr. Pepper and such.  You can’t have both for some reason.  That really bothers me. 

I was thinking about this habit of mine when I read a new article in Business Week about the decline of Coke.  There’s some fascinating stats in there list below. 

All in all, I like being off the sauce. 

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  • During the 1970s, the average person doubled the amount of soda they drank; by the 1980s it had overtaken tap water. In 1998, Americans were downing 56 gallons of the stuff every year—that’s 1.3 oil barrels’ worth of soda for every person in the country.
  • Since 2000, soft-drink sales stabilized for a few years; in 2005 they started dropping, and they haven’t stopped. Americans are now drinking about 450 cans of soda a year, roughly the same amount they did in 1986.
  • For Coke this is a problem. Soda makes up 74% of its business worldwide and about 68% in the U.S. Sales of Coca-Cola’s carbonated sodas fell 2% in the U.S. last year, the ninth straight year of decline. Coca-Cola made $46.8 billion last year, down from $48 billion in 2012.
  • Diet Coke tumbled especially hard, dropping 7 percent, almost entirely the result of the growing unpopularity of aspartame amid persistent rumors that it’s a health risk.
  • Today, Coca-Cola has 130,600 employees and makes 500 different beverages that people around the world drink 2 billion servings of every day.
  • A quarter of all carbonated beverages consumed globally are made by Coke; Pepsi is at 11%.
  • By 1999, according to the CDC, a fifth of all U.S. adults were obese; today that number is 35%. Obesity rates among children have tripled since the 1970s.
  • Coca-Cola now knows that 40 percent of the drinks customers buy have an added flavor and that people over 34 drink mostly caffeine-free Coke in the afternoon.

Foot, Meet Mouth: Hunter Sleeping Edition

Last week i said the words about Hunter

The little guy sleeps!  Yes, he seems to be good at his sleeping. He doesn’t like going to sleep but once he’s there he crushes it from 6-8pm to 6am.  It’s a beautiful thing. 

I spoke WAY too early.  Since then the little guy has been regularly waking up at 3am and crying his face off until we feed him.  Um, yeah, that’s not so fun.  My bad, internet gods, i promise not to do it again. 

Baby Thoughts: 5 Months Edition

Ok people, my sister’s post inspired me. Here are my current thoughts about the whole baby situation.

The little guy sleeps!  Yes, he seems to be good at his sleeping. He doesn’t like going to sleep but once he’s there he crushes it from 6-8pm to 6am.  It’s a beautiful thing. 

Ever since i was 18, i’ve become really good at not hanging out at my house. I loved to meet people for drinks, go to concerts, parties, dinners, etc.. I used to never go home. I never cooked.  Seriously.  When Diane moved into my apartment in LA, i still had the shrinkwrap casing on my oven. I had literally never used it.  Why do i mention all this?  Well, the little guy goes down every night at 6pm and once that happens we are tethered to our home. Every night. We have to be there.  And while it’s really great that the little guy sleeps, it’s really weird to have to be inside our home all night every night.  I have not developed my hang-out-at-home skills. Any suggestions?  

My commute sucks. It’s never really bothered me before but that’s because i was leaving at 7 or 8pm and could cruise sans traffic.  Now that the little guy goes down early, i’m trying to get home early and have a new appreciation for why rush hour exists. There went 1-2 hours of my life every day. 

I have a new respect for Pixar movies.  We just watched Finding Nemo last night and now i’ve seen the Madagascar film a few more times.  Those are legit films. 

My baby is just getting cuter.  He’s non-stop smiles.  It’s pretty awesome. 

And hanging out with Uncle Mckenzie. 

Capturing a Photo Every 30 Seconds

I hang out with some pretty cool people at work.  And, i’ve got some great people to go home to too. I capture a lot of moments on Instagram (which i love) and have lately been trying out Snapjoy (Boulder company) and Picturelife as possible places to replace my Flickr as my online photo storage.  

Recently though, I’ve come to the realization that it’s not enough. I want to capture more photos and more of my life. Lots of cool stuff is happening every day, both at work and at home that are just passing by.  I want to capture those too. So, you can imagine my happiness when i discovered a little gadget called Memoto.  What is it? It’s a little square that’ll snap a photo of wherever you are and whatever you’re doing every 30 seconds.  This is a 5 MP camera in a tiny little device.  That’s 4 GB of photos i’ll be capturing every day.  Now we’re talking.   Here’s a little video of the device:

I backed the project on Kickstarter so i don’t actually have the device but i ail soon and then you’ll all be jealous. 

One other things i’ve been using lately: Strava.  This used to be an app that tracks the crap out of your bike rides.  But, they’ve now added running tracking in there.  Before i stumbled upon Strava, I tested out RunKepper and MapMyRun and liked Runkeeper the best of those two, but after using Strava just a few times, i can tell that it’s better than both of them. 

 

Welcome Hunter!

We had a big change in the Lewhouse family this week.  On Monday afternoon at 5:25, we welcomed Hunter Lewis into the world. He’s definitely keeping us busy and now that we figured out how to actually get food into him. We’re rolling – at least so we think.  If you’re interested, you can read below for a timeline log of the actual birth and how it went down.

Continue reading Welcome Hunter!

Ready for baby and the related highs and lows

As many of you probably know, there’s a new member to the Lewhouse family joining us in September.  For the past 7 months, we’ve been getting ready in all the typical ways: buying a crib, reading about the development, deciding on birthing and breast feeding strategies.  I’ve also been getting mentally prepared for a dramatic change in my lifestyle.  

One recent TED video recently caught my eye.  The video, which is great, is about all the myths around children.  One chart in particular stood out.  It charts marital satisfaction over the course of your life.  One thing I immediately noticed is that the height of satisfaction – where you are most happy throughout your entire life – is right before you have your first child. Then things plummet: 

Looking at Diane’s belly and then back at this chart as I watched this video on my iPad made immediately made me feel as if i was sprinting towards a cliff.  Thankfully, the folks in the video dig into that chart a little more.  There’s more to it than just that one line.  The reality of the situation is that in our lives, we have control over our actions and what will make us happy.  After adolescence, where we’re not really in control of our ourselves and surroundings, we grown in happiness because we are able to control what we do  – and we do less of what we know we dislike and more of what we know we like.  This is especially true for me these days I generally avoid anything where I know i’ll be uncomfortable or possibly have a good time, such as heavy metal concerts. 

We become masters of doing what we like in our 30’s – especially if you don’t have kids.  What the next chart shows are the emotional highs and lows one feels at various stages in their life.  You can see that we have big highs and lows as teenagers and then they gradually shrink as we get a handle on the world.  Then you have a kid.  And the highs and lows become monstrous.

From what i’ve heard this is true. I hear stories of how amazing it is, and i also hear stories of how tiring and bad it gets.  I’m expecting both are true  I’m expecting to be shaken out of my lovely comfort tree into some madness. I’m expect to hate it at times, but i’m also expecting for some of the biggest highs i’ve ever felt.  I’m ready for it.  Just two more months to go. 

 

My Fav Stuff: Tech Tools and People I Follow

I re-posted an interview last week that I did for KillerStartups.  That one was all about Kapost.  Here’s the 2nd half of that interview that’s more personal stuff.  I never get a chance to write about this stuff on Loo.me so i thought i’d share. 

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What is your favorite tech tool?

I personally love basalmiq. I getting into wireframing a lot these days. What i love about it is that it allows me to get thoughts out of my head. I was never a great artist, and now I don’t have to be.

 

What’s your “man, I wish I would have thought of that” startup and why?

(I’ve written about this on Loo.me before here)

Nobody is really doing the startup that I’m waiting for yet.  I want a startup to launch a service that will record everything I do.  Not just API’s into Foursquare but allow me to import email, telephone and credit card info. I want all my digital files indexed by person I did it with and where I was at the time (person and location). I don’t remember phone numbers anymore due to my cell phone and I want to stop remembering conversations, meetings and what I ordered.  The companies Evernote andTimehop are getting close but they aren’t quite there yet. I really can’t wait for this service. I had this idea since 2005. To me, it’s inevitable that it’ll happen someday. 

Are you a Mac, Windows or Linux kind of guy?

I love the idea of Linux, but I love the usability and power of the Mac more.  At this point, I’m a big fanboy with iPhone, iPad, Macbook Air and AppleTV.  In 2012, that’s a great place to be.

3 people we should follow on Twitter?

1. Michael Arrington– and you should read his blog. He is one of the few people who legitimately has something to say and substance beyond the headline. I usually always enjoy his posts.

2. Fred Wilson– Although he’s widely known, I still think he has a great grasp of web products – how they work, why they succeed and where they are going. Very few investors or entrepreneurs can articulate trends, thoughts and findings very well, but he does a great job – and he does it every day.

 

3. John Borthwick – He doesn’t blog or tweet much, but I admire what he’s doing at Betaworks. It’s sort of the old-school studio model where you have a group of talented folks and you churn out product. People used to do this with albums and films, and he’s doing it with web companies. I think it’s great. Anthony Batt (@djabatt) had the same idea 10 years ago and he’s just now starting to do it at Ashton Kutcher’s company.

A 4th for fun… 

4. Bill Simmons– I’m a big listener/reader of his. To me, publishing and media is changing pretty rapidly. The old school had traditional journalists that are objective and do research to gather stats and then report them. On the other end of the spectrum, there are bloggers who are entirely subjective and shout out their opinions without any facts. There is a middle ground emerging of opinionated folks who have been given access previously only provided to journalists and they can message both an opinion and well-researched facts. Bill is a pioneer there and his insights into sports are great.

Kapost Interview on KillerStartups

The other day, I gave an interview about Kapost to KillerStartups and i realized that i have a lot more to say than i thought i would.  I’m going to republish some of it here.

First, I haven’t talked much about Kapost on this blog, so i’m going to republish those questions first.  Here they are:

What’s kapost all about and what makes it stand out from the competition?

Kapost is a content marketing platform. Many businesses are spending less money on ads and more money on creating their own content. The idea behind that is that you can spend $5k a month in search ads and have a spot at the top of a search results page, or you can spend $5k a month creating content and have links in the search results page. These links are more authentic and over time much more effective. But, as a result, you have many businesses becoming publishers and creating a lot of content. What Kapost does is manage that content for them and provide insight into which content is working. Similar to how a CRM like Salesforce helps a sales team organize and evaluate performance from a formalized business process, Kapost helps a marketing or publishing team organize themselves and eventuate how they are doing from a content perspective.


Continue reading Kapost Interview on KillerStartups