So after my basic calculations, Bruni responded to an email in 42 minutes. That must be some kind of unprecedented record. As Kobe and King James descend, theBruni is just adding a few more pumps to his Reeboks.

Man, he’s got some zingers.

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Adopt a Family 2014

A Note From Santa

Greetings,

I’d like to thank you again for contributing to our adopt a family campaign this past holiday season.

We contributed to 3 single-mom families and a total of 6 kids ranging from 5 months to 16 years old.

From Steam game cards to scooters to bedazzlers to toy sets to family movie tickets to grocery cards to new clothes to diapers… to a radical Nintendo hat of which I’m supremely jealous… to new vacuum cleaners for each mother…

… with your help, 3 families were able to share a nice Christmas together.

I’m attaching a couple pics so our remote participants can enjoy a few moments from the local shopping and wrapping experience. (We had contributors from several states and, get this, multiple countries.)

Thank you so much for participating. It means a lot to me, and I’m sure it meant a lot to each mother and child as well.

Mike

PS — A few people asked: http://compass-sf.org/ is the organization I went through. Very well run campaign from them.

Adopting a family was one of my most important goals for 2014. We adopted 3 families, so it went better than I  could have imagined.

Above is the report I sent to contributors.

It felt good and created an outcome that was larger than the initial vision. I can’t wait to do it again.

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Do I Like Cold Weather?

I find it easy to romanticize the cold weather at home. If I go too far into Winter without it, I start to think I miss it.

I was excited to “re-connect” with that cold during my holiday trip home this year. Get some cold weather in. Enjoy that icy breeze across the brow. Naturally, Wisconsin was unseasonably warm with 30’s and even lower 40’s for much of the trip.

Then the last 3 days it dipped into the lower 20’s and teens. That’s where you leave the house and you’re cold by the time you enter the car. You can’t stop shivering the first few miles of driving. And you wonder why car designers haven’t figured out how to heat up faster. Next thing you know, you’re sweating because you forgot about the blasted heat.

It was beneficial to experience the cold temps at the end of the trip. It prepared me to appreciate the mild temperatures back in San Francisco.

The cold season, and the suffering with minimal complaint, is still a part of my identity. I associate it with my sense of home. But the reality is I never enjoy the cold that much. I’m still working through that competition between nostalgia and reality.

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Holiday Travel

Seeing a bunch of small children line up provides a special kind of pre-flight trepidation.

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“I’m sorry I’m not early.”

Back in Wisconsin.

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Most people are eating cheesecake by January 15th…and most people forget that being grateful is a state of mind, not a resolution on a list of resolutions. (Brian)

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Mark Cuban:

What would surprise people about being an owner?
That losing hurts far more than winning feels good.

I’ve always felt the same way. Winning was a relief. Losing created rage and depression.

It’s liberating to hear someone articulate it so clearly. You’re never alone.

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“I barely know one person outside of the organization,” Watt says. “It’s just so hard, because everyone wants something. Everyone wants an autograph, a picture. I can’t go out to a bar and meet John Smith. ‘Hey, we should go out some time, John. Want to play some shuffleboard?’ I can’t do that.” (JJ Watt)

Shuffleboard!

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Egyptians in San Francisco

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Haitham calls me Tuesday afternoon while I’m on another call. I’m busy. I’ll buzz him later. I promptly forget.

A few hours hence, he announces via text his approach to SF as well as the arrival of Aly to town.

I haven’t seen Aly since Egypt in Fall 2005. Now we meet halfway across the world in 2014 while he vacations from Gabon. What luck. What amazing times in which we live.

These two guys took care of me in Egypt, in every sense of the word. Showed me their country, their culture, their mindset, their philosophies on life, their hopes. Egypt created the most profound mental evolution of my life. They played a major role in that.

They are due a debt of gratitude I fear I’ll never possess the ability to repay.

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The Radiator Battle

Gilli was a glorious yoga teacher back in JC.

One day she discussed the idea that you many times can’t control any given thing that happens to you. But you can control how you react to, think about, and feel toward it.

Say you’re on the 5th floor of a walk up. You’ve got a choice. You could choose to be annoyed about needing to climb stairs all the time. Or you could choose to be thankful that your daily routine contains built-in exercise. And that your legs work well enough to climb stairs. And that building techniques and materials allow buildings tall enough for cities to be conveniently dense.

I love this mindset, but recently our radiator challenged me to “find the good in the situation.”

The situation is the radiator makes loud noise every day at 5am. It lasts about 15 minutes (used to be longer) and wakes us both up like clockwork.

I’ve never experienced a consistent sleep disruption like this before. It’s stunning how much it degrades your energy. The whole situation is really easy to complain about. I’ll readily admit to feeling an urge to cry.

However, in the back of my mind, I did see a potential benefit.

I joked about it at first, but this could be “the thing” that finally triggers the habit of rising at 5am every day. Knowing any sleep after 5 is useless just might be the inspiration needed to hit the sack early enough to get up.

I’ve long struggled with this goal. In the end, the radiator could be the thing that finally helps me achieve it. Seeing this opportunity helped me reclaim some peace about the situation. Soon, I may smile every time it kicks on in the morning. And that’s way better than the alternative of frustration and rage.

This has been a major challenge to turn a seemingly negative situation into a positive one. It’s also further proof that I’m the one who gets to choose.

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