Chapter 2: Snaps and Sauce: Scandinavian Travelog

Continued from Chapter 1: Sauce & Snaps:

At the Swedish dinner table sauce accompanies fish, potatoes, roe, pork, anything, and I for one, love it. I’m incorporating Swedish dippin’ sauces into all of my meals at home. I will probably hit 400 pounds around Easter.  Dairy. Man oh man do the swedes love their dairy, but they also have a lot of non-dairy available too.

2014-08-10 08.37.48 2014-08-05 19.53.50


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Snaps and Sauce: An Uh-Murican’s Guide to Scandinavia (Chapter 1)

It’s pretty hard to make a travel piece about Scandinavia sound real(ly) interesting. There just isn’t that many real(ly) interesting things about the place. In the parlance of our country, it’s just real good.

Good food (hello cheese at every meal and bountiful seafood), Good weather (in the summer), Good people (that are pretty damn good-looking), and Goodliness (they are pretty nice). The only really interesting thing is the expense. To a red-blooded Uh-Murican like me, that Scandinavian-expense could be QUITE SHOCKING!!!!

This marsh-MAY-lo, just like its home country, is real good

This marsh-MAY-lo, just like its home country, is real good

Yes is it really expensive, it’s just not interesting-expensive like Moscow or Tokyo where you are competing for goods with Oligarchs or people are just happy spending more because they are so infrequently let out of their work//life/shower/eating stall to enjoy consumerism.

No, Scandinavian-expensive is just a balance to provide boring things like healthcare and education, and other un-Uh-murican things that no self-respecting Walmart shopper would dare want if IT WAS GOING TO RAISE MY TAXES OR THE COST OF MY GOODS EVEN FURTHER?!?!! We can build our own damn dams and do our own medical procedures now, thank you very much OBAMA!!!¹

The English Language:

The above is not quite true; there is another interesting thing about Scandinavians – they speak better English than we do. My girlfriend, Fina, is from Denmark and people are always shocked when she tells them — because she has no accent. She speaks and writes perfect English… and her Uh-murican ain’t too shabby, neither. She talks real good in both a professional and relaxed casual environment (aka the boardroom and the bedroom ;). She’s better than me in every way! :(

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My Opinion? Happy to Share, Just Let Me Consult my Phone

Today I was at an event where our CEO was speaking about technology advancements for health research and patient-engagement (the holy grail of cashing in on PCORI funds allocated from the Affordable Care Act). She referenced in her speech an off-handed comment I made in a planning meeting– that “our phones have become our brains” , and after she finished she joked to me about using it (without proper citation!!).

I didn’t get the joke, mostly because I’d been on my phone the whole time she had been speaking. I had to jog my memory of this hilarious joke about phones being our brains, so I had to check my phone.

Did my meeting notes reference this off-hand joke? Checked my evernote: Nope

Did I just regurgitate someone else’s joke? Google search: Nope

Was it that funny? Crowdsource the answer with a tweet: Consensus, certainly not funny. You shouldn’t joke about your phone.

It's not uncommon when out to dinner with friends to spend a little time pondering deep in thoughts n' stuff.

It’s not uncommon when out to dinner with friends to spend a little time pondering deep in thoughts n’ stuff.

This illustrates that this “joke” is in fact not a joke at all. It’s reality. I’m helpless without this phone. I’m incapable of formulating an opinion or thought without it.  Or am I? Consulting webmd: consensus, smartphone addiction is real and afflicts so many of us. Oh f*ck you webmd, you sanctimonious website. I’m going to have my phone block you after I consult my phone on how to do that.

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Adult Spring Break! Bad for your short term health, good for your long-term outlook

Hey you, yes you, the one with the job and the responsibility and the kid (that you may or may not know about).

Do you yearn for the days when you could drink too much and stay up late without caring about the repercussions?¹

Do you remember fondly the days when you could forget to wear sunscreen (or only apply sunscreen haphazardly to your left forearm and neck before getting called away for an emergency volleyball session) and then laugh hysterically at how purple your burnt skin looked?

Do you long for those mornings when you wake up unable to speak and only then realize how much you were yelling over terrible loud “bass-y” music for hours upon end?

photo 3

While this place did miss some of the charm of a spring break in Mexico in the 90’s (alas, no whistles followed by mandatory pours of strange red liquids), it carried the air of spring-breakery quite well (crowded, loud, and generally a meat market).

If you are, then you are not alone.²

Guess what? There’s a place for you. Nestled in the valley of the sun, just outside of Phoenix, with sweeping views of endless golf courses and upscale strip malls, lies Scottsdale, Arizona – Home of the Ultimate Adult Spring Break™ or UASB for short.³

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Observations of the Ultimate Business Power Moves

I am a student of both verbal and non-verbal cues and pride myself on picking up on them faster than the average person… who is communicating in their 2nd language or is a toddler. That is to say, I’m quite dense in the moment, and frequently pick up on them in the shower days or weeks later. Usually as I’m running back the encounter in my mind for the 3rd or 4th time. SO, THAT’S WHAT THEY MEANT!?

One such “recentish” encounter brought this to light and got me thinking about the most exciting game in all of business. Power moves. These power moves can only be pulled off with the proper training and enthusiasm and are not for the faint of heart (or really anyone with a conscience).


I’ve frequently worked in startups and have had regular encounters with the CEO (not just because I’m a big shot).  At one such meeting at a previous employer I was meeting with the CEO recounting the merits and tactics I’d employ in pursuit of various targets from a trade show. During my 15 minute recap it was pretty hard not to be distracted by his behavior. I thought that he must surely be on some  powerful medication because he frequently (and progressively more violently) yawned.

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Commitment Bias is Building Another Real Estate Bubble, Which is Cool.

Take it from someone who has terrible timing, but is pretty good at learning from his mistakes — the real estate market is in another bubble. Prices are back up, with recent reports that some Seattle locations are actually selling for above their pre-bubble/2007 highs.

Yet… wages are more stagnant than ever.

I bought a house in June 2007, which turned out to be the absolute pinnacle of the market. We were trying to live the American Dream to own a home. It seemed brilliant (though not that original) to get in on a starter home, build some quick equity, and then sell it in 5-7 years for a tidy profit. That’s what everyone was doing, and as you know, if everyone is doing it, you should too, stupid.


Something to keep in mind when evaluating features of a new home; the more cars you can fit in the garage, the better human being you are. In 2007 you could have gotten pre-approval on the loan for this, even without proof of income! Photo: d0ug&r0byn

Buy high and sell low – that’s my motto. Continue reading

Hard Lessons Learned from being “Hella Disruptive”

I’ve been working in a new industry for the last year or so in two very different capacities. Both are Healthcare related. The first was exciting; the launch of a consumer service that would revolutionize simple patient care with better accessibility and transparent pricing. Two things that conceptually everyone wants. Unfortunately it was basically a total flop. No one’s fault really (certainly not mine), just a little too bleeding edge and too many market factors working against it. This last point is a common theme in those trying to break into Healthcare with technology – the technology disruption is not welcomed with open arms.

This "modern technology" is actually still in regular use of many medical practices and now services are launched making it HIPAA compliant! Illustrative of the pace at which tech adoption happens in healthcare.

This “modern technology” is actually still in regular use of many medical practices and now services are launched making it HIPAA compliant! Illustrative of the pace at which tech adoption happens in healthcare.  Photo courtesy: USCPSC

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