Feb 9, 2024

What I'm Up To - Vol. 79

Here's what I've been up to since Volume 78...

What I'm Up To Volume 79

Hey friends,

Here’s what I’ve been up to since Vol. 78

1. January Happenings

Per tradition, I kicked off New Year's at the ranch with friends and fireworks. We’ve had a cold, wet winter. The upside is that our tanks (Texan for “pond”) are all full and the wet-weather streams are gurgling. I’ll take it.

I also truly love the time spent outdoors with friends. On one of our walks, I pocketed a rock that looked interesting. A guest spied it on the mantle and thinks it may be a fossilized footprint from a cretaceous theropod, probably a coelurosaur.  

Maybe fossil hunting will be a new activity at the ranch!

As you know, I stepped into the CEO role for The ONE Thing company. After masterminding with friends in our space, I entered the year with great clarity. We’ve narrowed our focus, sunsetted programs that didn’t align, and leaned heavily into our most impactful offering - coaching. In the first week of 2024, we onboarded 15 new coaches. As expected, the infusion of new talent has injected tangible energy into the team.

Our KW team kicked off the year with a virtual book club for T​​he Millionaire Real Estate Agent. I was invited to kick off the program with my friend, Gene Rivers. Twenty years later, that book still resonates. We had over 1,350 join us for the class!

While everyone is col-plungings, we'll be soaking here.

On the home front, our Christmas gift to ourselves finally arrived. We now have a hot tub on our deck. Pro tip: Wendy got a note from our chiropractor for a tax break. Gus got his grades for his first semester at Southwestern and made the Dean’s List. And finally, Wendy spotted Calcifer the owl. We’re hoping he takes up residence in our backyard again!

2. What I’m Reading

I only finished two books in January. I completed Morning Star, the third book in the Red Rising series by Pierce Brown. While there are more, I’ll probably stop. The first three books make a nice trilogy that I thoroughly enjoyed. My friend, Dan, recommended Bearskin by James A. McLaughlin. It’s the story of a caretaker for a mountain preserve in Virginia trying to stay ahead of bear poachers and his own murky past. The writing is top-notch, winning the 2019 Edgar Award for a first novel. I also learned that illegal trafficking in bear paws and gallbladders is big business for crime syndicates around the world.

3. What I’m Watching

We wrapped up a lot of shows in January. Whenever this happens I feel compelled to share that I only write about shows when we complete them. We just happened to wrap up quite a few this month. We don’t just sit and stare at the TV.

For shows, Wendy and I enjoyed Parks and Recreation, Season 3 (Apple). Between “Li’l Sebastian” and Ron Swanson's emergence, this was the best season to date. We often watch an episode before bedtime so we can go to sleep with a smile. We also enjoyed Monarch, Season 1 (Apple). We started it after watching Godzilla, Minus One in December wanting to keep the kaiju vibe going.

With Gus at home for the first two weeks, we completed two fine anime series. We watched the final episode of Attack on Titan (Crunchyroll) to complete the sprawling manga-based show. It’s not for everyone, but our kids love it and their enthusiasm was contagious. We also finished Jujitsu Kaizen Season 2 (Crunchyroll), which was excellent. Without having read the mangas, we happily relied on Gus to pause the show and provide context.

Wendy started but bowed out of Reacher, Season 2 (Amazon).  Alan Ritchson is well-cast as Reacher and production values went way up. Unfortunately, the story wasn’t as good. I like Reacher best when he’s on his own and forced to use his brains as much as his brawn. I’ve been a Bosch fan for a long time. I love Michael Connell’s novels and the original series nailed it. Bosch Legacy, Season 2 (Amazon) didn’t live up. Finally, kudos to Marvel for bringing Echo (Disney+) to life. It’s cool to see the female, Native American, deaf, amputee superhero on the screen. You’d think something that checked so many culturally inclusive boxes would be an utter mess. If you’re a fan of Daredevil, you’ll likely enjoy it, too.

We also made time to catch up on some Oscar nominees. We loved American Fiction with Jeffrey Wright. Christopher Nolan’s opus, Oppenheimer, is expertly done but about 40 minutes too long. Anatomy of a Fall is a near-perfect film in the Hitchcock tradition. Sandra Hüller should definitely be in the conversation for a best actress statuette. Despite George Clooney’s best efforts, The Boys in the Boat won’t win any Oscars. Grandpa Milt took our whole family and we enjoyed it despite some poor critical reviews. And Gus thought the rowing scenes were quite authentic.

That’s it for this month. Please reply back and let me know what you’re up to!

Be well, do good deeds, and eat tacos!


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