Episode 112

Touching Pizza and Robotron


March 26th, 2013

1 hr 34 mins 43 secs

Your Hosts

About this Episode

TOPIC: Choosing Your Forks.

This week, Dan and Merlin talk about some of the deeper and more slippery issues behind changes in our career and life.

In particular, how do we go from a vague tickle to that feeling of full-blown intolerability that can end up driving a change? Are we looking backward at what we should be doing as we slavishly catalog our many petty aggrievements? Or, do we take two giant steps back and apply a cooler eye to what we really want to do next?

Even before we find our forks in the road, how can we know a big decision might or should be coming our way? And, how do we stay current on that never-ending need to accept and plan for the changes we never could have anticipated?

It's tough at 23, it's super-hard at 30, and, brother, is it ever murder at 50.

Sure, it's a little fruity, but, yeah: you need to write the story you really want to live. Rather than just cobbling together a flattering post-mortem on how you magically ended up where you are.

Links for this episode:

  • [SPONSOR] We Source, Roast, and Ship Coffee. You Brew. | Tonx
    You're about to join Merlin Mann on a coffee journey.
  • [SPONSOR] PDFpen: Mac PDF Editor - Edit, Sign, and Correct PDFs
    The all-purpose Mac PDF editor! Add signatures, text, and images. Make changes and correct typos. OCR scanned docs. Fill out forms. New in version 6: Microsoft® Word export!
  • [SPONSOR] Build a Website - Squarespace
    Everything You Need to Create an Exceptional Website
  • [SPONSOR] Shutterstock
    Royalty-Free Subscription Stock Photography & Vector Art - Search and select from millions of high resolution royalty free images, stock photos, vector art, and stock photography.
  • Gaining Momentum — The Official Squarespace Blog
    Momentum is a beautiful, flexible design built especially for photographers and designers who are ready to take their work front and center. With this template, you have the option of showcasing your portfolio with the cinematic full-bleed image display, or preserving the original resolution and visual integrity with the centered image display. You can add information for each image, video, or project to add context to your galleries. Momentum is also our first multi-index template, created for folks that have multiple projects or galleries that they’d like to share. The index view shows all of your galleries with aspect-correct thumbnails, so that visitors can scroll through your work on one page, without interruption.
  • PDFpen for Mac Version 6 on Vimeo
    PDFpen for the Mac version 6 has some great new features including a new user interface, conversion to Word, and auto form generation. This screencast shows off some of my favorite things about the new version.
  • Find The Thing You're Most Passionate About, Then Do It On Nights And Weekends For The Rest Of Your Life | The Onion - America's Finest News Source
    I can’t stress this enough: Do what you love…in between work commitments, and family commitments, and commitments that tend to pop up and take immediate precedence over doing the thing you love.
  • Ep. 67: "All of the Small Beer" - Roderick on the Line - Merlin Mann
    The Problem: Fixing the problem at the attitude level.
  • Pill Organization | Walgreens
  • A whiff of history - The Boston Globe
    But despite its primacy in our lives, our sense of smell is often overlooked when we record our history. We tend to connect with the past visually - we look at objects displayed in a museum, photographs in a documentary, the writing in a manuscript. Sometimes we might hear a vintage speech, or touch an ancient artifact and imagine what it was like to use it. But our knowledge of the past is almost completely deodorized. [[via](https://twitter.com/AdamSholds/status/316591826410811393)]
  • State-dependent learning - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    State-dependent learning, or state-dependent memory, is the phenomenon in which the retrieval of a memory is most effective when an individual is in the same state of consciousness as it was when the memory was formed.[1] The term is typically used to describe states of consciousness induced by psychoactive drugs—most commonly, alcohol.[2] [[via](https://twitter.com/djbender/status/316591443563134976)]
  • How to Memorize a Deck of Cards with Dominic O'Brien - YouTube
    This is a great clip from a Dutch TV show, in which Dominic O'Brien shows you how to memorize a deck of cards. [via Athelstane Aamodt]
  • Transactive memory - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    A transactive memory system is a mechanism through which groups collectively encode, store, and retrieve knowledge. Transactive memory was initially studied in couples and families where individuals had close relationships but was later extended to teams, larger groups, and organizations to explain how they develop a "group mind" [[via](https://twitter.com/emersunn/status/316593415489982465)]
  • You Can Have an Amazing Memory: Learn Life-Changing Techniques and Tips from the Memory Maestro: Dominic O'Brien: 9781907486456: Amazon.com: Books
    Never forget a name or a number again! Dominic O'Brien is legendary for winning the World Memory Championship eight times and outwitting the casinos of Las Vegas to win a fortune at blackjack. Here, for the first time, he reveals his secrets for memory mastery. Follow his brain-boosting techniques and turn your mind into a super-powered computer that will recall PIN numbers with ease, remember directions, and help bring you success in business, leisure, and relationships.
  • Good from the First Drop - The New Disruptors - Mule Radio Syndicate
    Tony Konecny, better known as Tonx, has been sourcing and roasting beans for a numbers of years, and recently founded Tonx Coffee, a subscription service that delivers whole beans from small batch roasting every two weeks. It’s not a bean of the month club. It’s a way to bypass the overchoice that one can face in specialty coffee shops, and get the assurance that the beans are fresh and good every time. In this episode, listen to Tonx and his ecommerce guru Nik Bauman talk about the joys of coffee and the joys of starting a business in which you can talk directly to your customers without anyone else getting in the way. There’s a brief interlude in which the host and a friend have a little Tonx tasting, too.
  • Amazon.com: Logitech Wireless Solar Keyboard K760 for Mac/iPad/iPhone (920-003884): Computers & Accessories
    Charges itself with lamplight or sunlight, indoors or outdoors; Fully charged, it works for at least three months-even in total darkness; Easy-switching Bluetooth connection enables switching from Mac to iPad or iPhone as simple and easy as pushing a button; Unique concave key design delivers fast, quiet typing, with more precision than your iPad or iPhone on-screen keyboard; From the PVC-free construction to the fully recyclable box, designed to reduce its environmental footprint
  • New Field Guide: Markdown — MacSparky
    Markdown started as a clever way to write for the web but has become so much more. This book demystifies Markdown, making it easy for anybody to learn. This book includes 130 pages and 27 screencasts totaling more than one and a half hours of video. There is also an additional hour of audio interviews. This book will take you from zero knowledge of Markdown to being a Markdown pro and change the way you write for the better.
  • Memory and Forgetting - Radiolab
    Remembering is an unstable and profoundly unreliable process--it’s easy come, easy go as we learn how true memories can be obliterated, and false ones added. And Oliver Sacks joins us to tell the story of an amnesiac whose love for his wife and music transcend his 7-second memory. [[via](https://twitter.com/montewv/status/316594588838162433)]
  • Crazy: The Best Pick Pocket Ever On The Today Show - YouTube
    Apollo Rollins is a mind-blowing pickpocket.
  • Adam Green: The Spectacular Thefts of Apollo Robbins, Pickpocket : The New Yorker
    A few years ago, at a Las Vegas convention for magicians, Penn Jillette, of the act Penn and Teller, was introduced to a soft-spoken young man named Apollo Robbins, who has a reputation as a pickpocket of almost supernatural ability. Jillette, who ranks pickpockets, he says, "a few notches below hypnotists on the show-biz totem pole," was holding court at a table of colleagues, and he asked Robbins for a demonstration, ready to be unimpressed. Robbins demurred, claiming that he felt uncomfortable working in front of other magicians. He pointed out that, since Jillette was wearing only shorts and a sports shirt, he wouldn?t have much to work with. "Come on," Jillette said. "Steal something from me."
  • The Rock-afire Explosion - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    The Rock-afire Explosion is an animatronic robot band that played in Showbiz Pizza Place from 1980 to 1990, and in various Showbiz Pizza locations between 1990-1992 as Showbiz rebranded and the band was steadily replaced by Chuck E. Cheese characters. The show was pioneering in many respects to other animatronics shows of the early 1980s, featuring life-sized characters capable of facial expression
  • Steven Seagal - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    Seagal moved to Japan in his late teens after he went to Japan with his father who was visiting for military purposes and met karate masters and decided to remain in Japan. He received his 1st dan degree (Shodan) under the direction of Koichi Tohei. He continued to train in aikido as a student of Seiseki Abe, Koichi Tohei (whose aikido organization, Ki Society, Seagal refused to join in favor of staying with the Aikikai), Kisaburo Osawa, Hiroshi Isoyama and the second doshu Kisshomaru Ueshiba. He attained a 7th dan degree and Shihan in aikido and became the first foreigner to operate an aikido dojo in Japan
  • 5by5 | Quit! #4: The Answer Is "Do Both"
    Dan talks with Phil Coffman, Shlok Vaidya, Producer Robin Welch, and callers about so-called "moderate success", passion, starting out, paying your dues, making changes, the myth of job security, and finding a mentor.
  • 5by5 | Quit! #14: Don't Run A Sh*tty Company
    Dan is joined by David Heinemeier Hansson, Shlok Vaidya, Producer Haddie Cooke to discuss telecommuting vs. being in the office.
  • 5by5 | Quit! #9: Four O'Clock In the Morning Courage
    Dan Benjamin is joined by Joel Bush, Shlok Vaidya, Tina Nikolova and producer Haddie Cooke to discuss what it means to have "four o'clock in the morning courage".
  • Aikido - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    Aikido is performed by blending with the motion of the attacker and redirecting the force of the attack rather than opposing it head-on. This requires very little physical strength, as the aikid?ka (aikido practitioner) "leads" the attacker's momentum using entering and turning movements. The techniques are completed with various throws or joint locks.[5]
  • Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 #1 - Comics by comiXology
    There's a new rule in the galaxy: No one touches Earth! Join the brightest stars in the Marvel U: Star-Lord, Gamora, Drax, Rocket Raccoon, Groot and Iron Man, as they embark upon one of the most explosive and eye-opening chapters of Marvel NOW!
  • Søren Kierkegaard - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    Søren Aabye Kierkegaard (/?s?r?n ?k??rk???rd/ or /?k??rk???r/
  • Leap of faith - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    A leap of faith, in its most commonly used meaning, is the act of believing in or accepting something intangible or unprovable, or without empirical evidence.
  • Chris Bachalo Illustration : Profile
    CHRIS BACHALO is internationally recognized as one of the most popular artists in the comic industry. His body of work covers a wide spectrum of genres ranging from the critically acclaimed “Sandman,” “Shade,” “Death, The High Cost of Living” and “Batman” series for DC to “Incredible Hulk,” “Uncanny X-Men,” “The Amazing Spider-man,” “Captain America” and the quirky pop favorite “Generation X,” which he co-created with Scott Lobdell for Marvel Comics. Generation X, became the first title from Marvel that was adapted into a live action film for Fox.The short story “The Wheel” written by Stardust and Beowulf writer Neil Gaimen and illustrated by Chris featured the Death character and was inducted into the library of Congress in 2003. It was created as part of a tribute to 911. His cover work for the title Hunter, The Age of Magic for DC was included as part of a New York gallery show for the Society of Illustrators. He is currently working on Marvels’ newest XMEN title, the critically acclaimed, Wolverine and the X-Men with Jason Aaron.
  • Anna Debenham, freelance front-end developer based in Brighton
    Freelance front end developer based in Brighton, UK
  • “Hey, everybody! Look at me! I’m Dr. Octagon!” I... | kung fu grippe
    “Hey, everybody! Look at me! I’m Dr. Octagon!”
  • 5by5 | Systematic #35: Rob Corddry - Fiddling for Fun and Profit
    Rob Corddry (Daily Show, Hot Tub Time Machine, Warm Bodies...) guests to talk about screenwriting, GTD, workflows and why we spend our free time fiddling with all of the above.
  • Fountain | A markup language for screenwriting.
    Fountain is a simple markup syntax for writing, editing and sharing screenplays in plain, human-readable text. Fountain allows you to work on your screenplay anywhere, on any computer or tablet, using any software that edits text files.Taking its cues from John Gruber’s Markdown, Fountain files are eminently readable. When special syntax is required, it is straightforward and intuitive.
  • 5by5 | Mac Power Users
    Learn about getting the most from your Apple technology with focused topics and workflow guests. Creating Mac Power Users, one geek at a time since 2009.
  • Robotron: 2084 - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    Robotron: 2084 (also referred to as Robotron) is an arcade video game developed by Vid Kidz and released by Williams Electronics in 1982. It is a shooting game that features two-dimensional (2D) graphics. The game is set in the year 2084, in a fictional world where robots have turned against humans. The aim is to defeat endless waves of robots, rescue surviving humans, and earn as many points as possible.

This week's episode of Back to Work is generously sponsored by: