I downloaded the TimeHop iPhone app last week, and let me tell you people, it is freaking amazing. I’m a nostalgic, vintage, retro nerd, probably because I come from Pittsburgh and all you heard about growing up was the Steelers from the 70’s and the steel mills that used to hum, and how Pittsburgh was a city on par with NYC, Chicago, Philly, etc. Yay for yinzers!
But, back to Timehop. If you’ve never used it, you can check out what you were doing this day in years past, through the lens of social media. Just yesterday, I was able to check out pics I uploaded to Facebook from Parents Weekend my senior year of college. Looking at those pics from six years ago brought back so many fantastic memories. The ice luge with Studs Dad, who’s still a total frat boss, kind of helped things :)
As long as your’re not a privacy nut, you can link up everything from Foursquare, Twitter, Instagram, your phone’s camera roll, and wait for it…your text message history. Super creepy, and yes Timehop probably knows more about me than Google, but wow it’s so freaking cool. Once you get over that we live in an age of NO privacy, you start to realize all the awesome shit you and everyone has created and shared online since Al Gore did his thing.
But, you know what makes Timehop one of my favorite apps? Its different from every other app/website b/c it peers deeply into your past.
- Foursquare -where am I right now?
- Twitter - what am I thinking about right now?
- Instagram - what picture can I take right now to seem like I’m doing something mildy cool?
- ESPN - what breaking sports story is unfolding right now, that’s not even that important?
The product is still super early, hasn’t gained a huge following, but when it does, the potential for this thing is dynamite. If it can be incorporated into your professional life, and adopted by companies, it could be insanely useful for personal and company development. What project was I working on this time last year? What was my writing style like, and how has it evolved? What was the marketing group working on 5 years ago and what tone/voice were they using with customers?
Not to get too nostalgic, but it got me thinking more about my personal development and career arc.
What was I doing five years ago? Well, I was living and working in Plainsboro, NJ for Blackrock Private Investors, managing municipal bond portfolios. Shoot me. If I got the chance to talk about a convention center or airport deal, as opposed to a general obligation sewer bond, it was an exciting day. For all the monotony, there were some good takewaways from the experience:
- I never want to work in the corporate world ever again.
- Finance sucks. No creativity whatsoever.
- Living in the suburbs sucks in your 20s. Cities rule.
- Whether you advance in your career should not be solely determined by three lousy letters: CFA
Enough with my finance loathing. Let’s fast forward to three years go and the fall of 2009. I was in the middle of my first semester at Pitt Business School, prepping up to work in my family business upon graduation. Again, I learned a ton from this experience, which I think has helped me get to where I am today:
- While I love Pittsburgh and still consider it home, there just isn’t that much going on there. The energy of big cities fascinates me.
- If you want to work for a startup, business school is not worth the money.
- If you want to work for a big company in Pittsburgh, Pitt business school is a good option. Conversely, if you want to work for a startup not located in Pittsburgh, the Katz name doesn’t extend very far.
- While I have mad respect for what my grandpa has done with his beer business, it’s just not for me. I want to be my own person, and following in the footsteps of him and my uncles just isn’t that appealing.
- For all my knocks on business school, finishing my degree, and not dropping out like a fool, was definitely a wise decision. Haha, wow that would have been SO STUPID!
Ah, yes. Last year. I had closed up shop on Fanattix, and I guess the second iteration of it, Gamely, and was then working on a fucking podcast of all things. A Big East basketball podcast, with a guy I hardly knew, in a field - audio journalism - I had no skills whatsoever in. I was recording from my weird ass Bushwick apartment and living with a guy, who is quite possibly the biggest douchebag I’ve ever met. With that, here is what I learned:
- I’m super lucky to have received a seed investment from my grandpa and Dad to try side projects, like the Six Overtimes Podcast, out. No wonder, they kept asking “what the hell are you working on these days?” Great question guys cuz I had no idea, too.
- Work with people you know and trust. This is so important. My co-host was great, but he had no obligation to me. When it really came down to it, I didn’t owe him anything, and he certainly didn’t owe me anything.
- Remote working is cool, but working with people face-to-face is so powerful. You can’t get amazing work done, if you’re not with that person or team day-in, day-out.
- Living in Brooklyn changed my perspective on life. The creative energy there is incredible. You just feel weird when you’re there, and want to work on different kind of shit, that nobody else is working on, such as a non-marketable college basketball podcast, that has no commercial value. Hooray for my delusion!
- Moms like stability. This is why they love telling their friends that their son or daughter is working for Goldman or ESPN or KPMG. Corporate life equates to security. What I was doing this time last year scared the shit out of her b/c my profession was so abstract and foreign to her. She couldn’t even describe what I was doing to friends. I guess, neither could I :)
Which takes me to October 2012. Living in Boston, working for RunKeeper. Here’s what I got:
- Boston is a great town. Best of both worlds. Nightlife and culture that a big city provides, but can get out of the city easier than New York to play golf, go hiking and just be a healthier person.
- I’ve met my match: RunKeeper. I’m learning so much that it doesn’t even feel like work. We’re not perfect, and we know that, but it’s part of growing up and discovering who you really are. Passion for the job, the company and the vision is firing on all cylinders. Oh, and we’re hiring, too!
- I feel healthier, both mentally and physically, than ever before. Eating Paleo-ish, except for some benders here and there, has my self-diagnosed IBS in check. There’s still some close calls, but nothing like what it was before. Doing the whole November Project thing and the stairs/hills, lifting more and riding my bike a good amount makes for a good weekly routine. My eyes are still dry as shit after looking at the computer all week, and wish I wasn’t as tired sometimes, but heck that’s the human body.
- I like living in Beacon Hill, but I don’t love it. After coming from Fort Greene, Bushwick and the East Village, it doesn’t have anywhere near the character that these NYC neighborhoods had. Too many popped collars, pink sweaters and, I hate to say it, but white people. Where’s the diversity? Also, I wonder how many startup people live in Beacon Hill? It might be a crime to not work in finance or law and live in The Hill. Davis Square, Southie and, even Inman Square, might be more my speed. We’ll just have to see.
Wow, that was a lot, but really cathartic. Might have to do this more often. And, by using Timehop, I think I’ll be in this somewhat cheesy, reflective mindset more and more.
Here’s my Yelp review of Ottomanelli & Sons Meat Market on Bleecker and 7th in the West Village.
‘Manellis is all world. Stopped in here for the first time last Saturday morning, after hearing great things from the Paleo peoples about their delicious grass-fed beef.
I was fortunate to be helped by the living legend - Frank Ottomanelli. He could tell I was a naive, Trader Joe’s bred meat buyer, and he gave me a good rundown on what type of ground beef to buy. Choices were ground round or ground chuck. Chuck, coming from the shoulder and neck area of the cow, is the more popular and fattier of the two, typically, used for juicy hamburgers or a good winter pot roast.
Round, on the other hand, is much leaner and comes from the RUMP of the cow. You rumping, Franky? Good for tacos, meatloaf, sloppy joes and just any chopped meat recipe. After chewing on the toughest decision of my weekend, I went with two pounds of the ground round. This week, I’ve used it for delicious hamburgers, taco salad and sloppy joes. You can find chuck anywhere, so, I’m glad I went with the round.
Just when I thought the ground round was enough, I decided to ask about the London Broil. “Do you want the top round or tri-tip?” Frank asked. Huh? Another subtle difference in the location on the cow, but makes a world of difference in taste. London Broil, apparently, is top round steak, whereas tri-tip is the point end, or bottom, sirloin of the cut. In terms of price, LB is cheaper, but tri-tip is more flavorful and tender. For a few extra bucks, I went with a pound of the tri-tip, which is apparently great for roasting.
And, roasting it was on Sunday night after marinating it up with a nice mix of herbs and spices. Topped it off with sauteed brussel sprouts and saved the leftover for my omelet in the AM. The cut was so juicy and mouth-watering and, best of all, it left my apartment smelling delicious for the next 24-48 hours.
2 lbs. ground beef + 1 lb. of tri-tip = $25
I shall be back this weekend and I’d expect that you would, too.
So, I’ve been eating healthier recently, as my roommates can attest to with my kale-carrot smoothies, and other funky smelling dishes in the kitchen. Unfortunately, I felt like I was leaving something on the table (bad pun) in terms of my energy levels and workout performance.
For one, my afternoons were a drag and, quite, unproductive. I was hitting these 3PM dry spells, where all I could muster up was a rather un-witty tweet.
Secondly, I was feeling lots of soreness post-workout and, even, the next morning climbing out of bed.
After talking with my friend, Mr. Terry Austin, last Wednesday night on low carb diets and the related Four Hour Body regimen, I started doing some research online. And yes, Quora has replaced Wikipedia as my go-to online research tool. The more digging and searching I did, the more I kept hearing about the “Paleo diet.” The Four Hour Body is definitely an offshoot of the Paleo way of doing it. I mean, the Paleolithic age was 2.5 million years ago, so, I think we’re in agreement as to who is the mimicker and mimickee.
The main differences, from my highly scientific research, between the two diets are below:
- No beans/legumes on Paleo, Four Hour Body acceptable
- Fruits in moderation on Paleo, Four Hour Body no fruit
- No cheat day on Paleo, one cheat day per week on 4HB
- No grains on Paleo, no white carbs on 4HB
I jumped in head first, skipping right over the Four Body diet and going straight for the cavemen diet. Starting on Saturday, I went to Ottomanelli Brother’s in the West Village, after reading great reviews of the grass-fed beef on Yelp. Picked me up 1 pound of tri-tip beef and 2 pounds of ground round. The butchers were super helpful, cleaning and preparing the meat, to allow for minimal prep time on my end.
I’m 72 hours into the “lifestyle”, not “diet, and my energy levels are best I’ve had in quite some time. High in protein, fat and omega 3’s and low in carbs and sugar, it bolstered my workouts the last two mornings and eliminated the Monday afternoon lull.
The key is sticking with it, but so far so great. Oh, and you can also drink on it, as long as the alcohol is grain free. Red wine is preferable, but I highly recommend my Saturday night drink - the NorCal Margarita - compliments of Nick Zadrozny. 2-3 shots of agave tequila, juice and pulp from one lime, ice and splash of soda water. Check it out here.
Oh, and here are pics from my Sunday night dinner; a delicious tri-tip roast with sauteed brussel sprouts and chopped walnuts.