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My Restaurant Was the Greatest Show of Excess You’d Ever Seen, and It Almost Killed Me

I’m always interested reading about chefs who are forgoing alcohol as a way of life. Restaurateurs like David McMillan and Fred Morin were well know for being excessive in their food and drinks. Things change and when they do, it usually is for better.

When the chefs of Joe Beef in Montreal gave up alcohol, their whole restaurant changed.

McMillan- I was never falling-down drunk. I was never belligerent. I always got my work done. I was never unkempt. I was always clean, I was always shaved, I always performed at work. I was always kind and gracious in the dining room. But I lived in hell.

The Dark Horse path to happiness

Here is something that I have been interested in lately is more about how we live our daily live, our mindset, over the end product so more about process then outcome. Check this article written by Bradley Stulberg in Outside magazine. Here are my answers to the 3 steps.

Apply a Process of Outcome Mindset to Your Own Life

Reflect on what motivates you. Try to come up with three to five core values or things that matter most to you, the guiding principles in your life.

  1. Health - physical and mental
  2. Family and Friends
  3. Making stuff
  4. Misc. creative output

Think about how you can turn these core values into daily practices. What actions work in service of your core values? How can you adjust your life to ensure you are taking these actions regularly? How can you incorporate these actions into your current routines? How will you measure whether or not you’re taking them?

  1. Exercises and meditation
  2. Taking the time to spend time with family and friends either physically or virtually
  3. Plan stuff, test stuff and do stuff
  4. Fail some stuff

Whenever you find yourself seeking, or wanting a certain outcome out of life, note what you’re doing and then refocus on practicing your core values. “When it comes, happiness is most often caused indirectly,” writes Patten. It’s the result of repeatedly practicing the actions that work in service of your core values, a lifestyle that compounds with consistency and over time.

Open Last Document in Drafts

One of the best features of Drafts for iOS is how it almost always opens to a blank document ready from me to type. This is a double edged sword though. Sometimes I come back from doing a web search and the document I was working on has been replaced with a blank screen.

You can go to his website for the link and I think its clever. I wish I would have known about this when I subscribed to the Drafts app. Its a big time saver to be able to open the last document with a keyboard shortcut.

What Happens When Five Sober Chefs Share a Kitchen?

Julia Bainbridge writes about a gathering of the top chefs in Portland. It’s an interesting read and I hope one that we will see more often, a booze free environment that is celebrated in a positive way.

None of the men involved in the dinner know what the effect will be, but “if one chef de partie in the US decides to get clean and sober after this, that’s enough of a reason to do it,” says Solomonov. According to Brock, “I want [sobriety] to be something people are proud of rather than shameful of. The simple fact that you have made the decision to take better care of yourself? That should be the proudest moment of your day.”

A noob’s attempt at reverse engineering Google’s Cash

Here Nihal Pasham walks us through his process to figure out how Google cash works. Basically the app uses near ultrasonic sound to process payment when nearby. It’s an interesting read.

Can we talk about alcoholism and Anthony Bourdain?

Jo Ann Towle wrote in the Chicago Tribune and I agree with the article. Alcoholism is a problem that one view only as a thing that you push under the rug. I would also put mental health in the same boat. I think we need to tackle with them. It will only get bigger as we move forward.

I didn't know Anthony Bourdain, but felt like I did in one small important way. In him, I saw a drinking alcoholic with a front-stage vigorous attempt to do it successfully. His was a fantastic life-embracing show, with drinking taking a prominent role in the joie de vivre, and sometimes that made it hard for me to watch.

When he threw back shots, indeed got wasted, I saw a fellow alcoholic living dangerously whereas most viewers, I imagine, saw “a man who knew how to drink, knew how to live.” His state of mind will be called depression, and who can argue with that in the wake of his suicide. But can we please, people, start connecting the dots to alcoholism (also a disease of the mind), at least when it is screamingly evident?

CNN will say goodbye to Anthony Bourdain with a final season this fall

More episodes on the way. Yay! One episode will be with Tony’s narration and the rest of them will be without his narration but with people from the episode. Yay! … and that will be it. Snif.

How Goop’s Hater Made Gwyneth Paltrow’s Company Worth $250 Million

Well written article by Taffy Brodesser-Akner for The NY Times Magazine. A long read with quite a few funny bits and well observed interesting passages.

Major Bluetooth vulnerability

An unauthenticated, remote attacker within range may be able to utilize a man-in-the-middle network position to determine the cryptographic keys used by the device. The attacker can then intercept and decrypt and/or forge and inject device messages.

More information here, here, and news article here, here.

I wonder about all the hardware that is not possible to update.

Bourdain Confidential

Maria Bustillos’s interview back in February with Bourdain before his sudden death. Ill be honest, Im still shocked by it. Im glad it opened a discussion about mental health and it’s implications, depression and alcoholism which were not in the mainstream media. I hope it will be in the forefront for the next decades. With the current state of affair, I really do hope alcoholism will be more researched and talked about. Its a nasty poison.

Anthony Bourdain had started smoking again, was the first thing I noticed as he sat down with me last February. He was a bit hung over from a recent working trip to south Louisiana for Cajun Mardi Gras; “Harder partying than I’m used to, I gotta say,” he said, laughing. Despite his great height his leonine head seemed just huge, and a little fleshier than I’d imagined; there was this slight dissipation to him.

But no—who could be troubled about the wellbeing of Anthony Bourdain? Just look at him, so debonair, so completely at ease. A veritable prince of savoir vivre. Sixty-one, and still very elegant in his looks; the word sexy came to mind. Almost an old-fashioned word now. The sort of person who seems to think with his hips, his hands. He was in love, he would later admit; he and his new girlfriend, Asia Argento, had started smoking again together. He was a little rueful about the smoking, had the air of someone who meant to quit soon.

As he started to talk, everything about him became familiar at once; he slipped so effortlessly into the sleek carapace of his fame. The very air of vulnerability he projected, along with the rough candor, was part of this persona. But in fact he was a very private person, as his assistant, Laurie Woolever, reminded me after his death. Something I’d already known, from reading his books; he’d liked the piece I’d written about him and sent me an unbelievably kind note about it, which was what had emboldened me to ask for an interview. That, and he was famously generous to writers in general.

I loved this passage about him redefining of what luxury means and it begs the question, do you really need alcohol to be happy? Im on the spectrum that it shouldn’t. I do understand the feeling of eeriness, just pushed through the day and now letting go of all the care in the world.

My happiest moments on the road are always off-camera, generally with my crew, coming back from shooting a scene and finding ourselves in this sort of absurdly beautiful moment, you know, laying on a flatbed on those things that go on the railroad track, with a putt-putt motor, goin’ across like, the rice paddies in Cambodia with headphones on… this is luxury, because I could never have imagined having the freedom or the ability to find myself in such a place, looking at such things.

To sit alone or with a few friends, half-drunk under a full moon, you just understand how lucky you are; it’s a story you can’t tell. It’s a story you almost by definition, can’t share. I’ve learned in real time to look at those things and realize: I just had a really good moment.

He was quite special and I wish he was still around.