Friday Five – April 29

Happy Friday! Here’s a random sampling of what I’ve been up to this week.

What I’m listening to: Thrice – “Black Honey”

In almost exactly 1 month, Thrice is releasing a new album, their first in 5 years. I was fortunate enough to see them live before they went on hiatus (that show was most memorable for introducing me to O’Brother). In anticipation, I’ve been going back to Major/Minor–that 2011 release–and even further, reminding myself why these guys consistently rank as one of my favorite bands. I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention that I follow their drummer, Riley Breckenridge, on Twitter. I consider his feed a go-to source for music recommendations, baseball, and hashtags mocking SXSW.

What I’m watching: Game 1 of the Capitals-Penguins series lived up to all of my expectations. Back and forth action, wild swings in momentum, great goals, big saves, and a Caps’ win by the slimmest of margins. No need to wonder what my weekend plans are. Game 2 is Saturday night. The Caps-Pens game is going head-to-head with Game 1 of the NBA playoff series between the San Antonio Spurs and Oklahoma City Thunder, which means every TV in the city will be on basketball, except for mine (I will probably flip over during intermission).

What else I’m watching: As mentioned earlier, the Western Conference 2nd round begins tonight. St. Louis vs. Dallas followed by Nashville vs. San Jose. There were no NHL games on Tuesday night, which is a sobering reminder that we’re getting closer to the point on the calendar when our sports-viewing options are limited to baseball, soccer, the WNBA, and the occasional golf or tennis tournament. At least it’s pool season!

What I’m reading: Chris Guillebeau has a new book out (Amazon). I had no idea who Chris Guillebeau was, but his name was brought up by some people I respect, so I figured I should do some homework. Turns out, Chris has visited every country in the world 1) without going broke, and 2) without ever holding a traditional full-time job. He details how he achieved this–and also shares the success stories of many others–in The $100 Startup (Amazon). I’m about a quarter of the way through the book, and I’ve already found it packed with actionable information for starting a business.

Getting back to hockey for a second, I always recommend Elliotte Friedman’s “30 Thoughts.” Friedman is as plugged-in to the NHL as anyone, and shares interesting tidbits and nuggets in his column. A must-read for any hockey fan.

What I’m thinking about: “Early to bed, early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise.” -Benjamin Franklin

I’ve spent the last 2 months as an early riser, and it definitely has its advantages–for example, I train in the morning, which is great for keeping afternoons and evenings free. Lately, though, I’ve felt sluggish in the mid-afternoon. It’s occurred to me that waking up before dawn is not the only way to do things (I know, right?). This article points out some drawbacks to starting early that I hadn’t even considered. I don’t think it’s when you wake up that’s important, it’s about managing your most productive hours. For some people, that means waking up at 4 am and cranking out 1,000 words. Others might be night owls who get their best work done after dark and maybe should sleep in. I’m planning on toying around with my sleep schedule to find my productive time. The only rule: get a minimum of 7 hours per night. I don’t argue with science.

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