A project to allow multiple choice votes for the KmikeyM shareholder community. Often focused on quick votes to control the smaller aspects of Mike Merrill's life.
It's another month, but I'm still on the road... so I think we should just continue the audio journal, right?
In August I'll be driving across the country to Canada, so I'll be limited in what I can try to challenge myself with. So here is a shorter than usual set of options.
Last month I had to intervene the challenge because waking up at 5am was killing me. That's fine! The point is it is a challenge!
This month I asked shareholders for some new challenge ideas and have included a handful that received some votes in the past. Feel free to ask questions in the comments.
The monthly challenge for June was to wake up at 5am. It's killing me.
I've done it 8/15 mornings so far and while I respect a difficult challenge it's reduced my overall sleep to an unhealthy level. I'm grumpy, tired, and less productive... i hate it and I want to quit.
But there are other options and so I come to the shareholders asking for a modification...
Update: A few people have asked the difference between giving up and waking up naturally. Giving up is to completely abandon the monthly challenge. Waking up naturally is to respect the body's natural inclination to wake at a certain time and then get out of bed and start the day. Essentially it's a less lazy version of giving up and an attempt to establish some sort of "natural" wake up time.
I definitely found the daily challenge more rewarding than the weekly. But what should I undertake in June?
Also, you should join me in whatever challenge is chosen! So far this has been really great!
Okay look, we made a mistake. But to our credit we realized our mistake, we changed course, and we're back on track! Apologies for everyone who bought the last book, hopefully you can get a refund. I was so mad I tore my book in half and threw it in the recycling bin. I've never destroyed a book before. It felt weird.
So let's try it again! Better to have read and lost than never read at all!!
From Counterculture to Cyberculture: Stewart Brand, the Whole Earth Network, and the Rise of Digital Utopianism (2008): "Shedding new light on how our networked culture came to be, this fascinating book reminds us that the distance between the Grateful Dead and Google, between Ken Kesey and the computer itself, is not as great as we might think."
Susan, Linda, Nina & Cokie: The Extraordinary Story of the Founding Mothers of NPR (2021): "A group biography of four beloved women who fought sexism, covered decades of American news, and whose voices defined NPR."
The Richest Man In Babylon (1926): "Based on 'Babylonian parables', has been hailed as the greatest of all inspirational works on the subject of thrift, financial planning, and personal wealth."
Losing the Signal: The Untold Story Behind the Extraordinary Rise and Spectacular Fall of Blackberry (2016): "A riveting story of a company that toppled global giants before succumbing to the ruthlessly competitive forces of Silicon Valley. This is not a conventional tale of modern business failure by fraud and greed. The rise and fall of BlackBerry reveals the dangerous speed at which innovators race along the information superhighway."
Flash Boys: A Wall Street Revolt (2015): "Michael Lewis's game-changing bestseller, a small group of Wall Street iconoclasts realize that the U.S. stock market has been rigged for the benefit of insiders. They band together--some of them walking away from seven-figure salaries--to investigate, expose, and reform the insidious new ways that Wall Street generates profits."
No Filter: The Inside Story of Instagram (2020): "Examines how Instagram's dominance acts as a lens into our society today, highlighting our fraught relationship with technology, our desire for perfection, and the battle within tech for its most valuable commodity: our attention."
If Then: How the Simulmatics Corporation Invented the Future (2020): "A revelatory account of the Cold War origins of the data-mad, algorithmic twenty-first century."
Billion Dollar Burger: Inside Big Tech's Race for the Future of Food (2020): "Drawing from exclusive and unprecedented access to the main players, from polarizing activist-turned-tech CEO Josh Tetrick to lobbyists and regulators on both sides of the issue, Billion Dollar Burger follows the people fighting to upend our food system as they butt up against the entrenched interests fighting viciously to stop them."
This book we're reading sucks. I hate it. I know some of you also hate it. We should stop reading it, right?
This book is like The Secret mixed with a love of business. It feels like she is just wishing everything is better and telling everyone we can just be better and we will still make all the money. Ugh, even trying to talk about how bad this book is makes me mad.
My preliminary twitter poll was 64.5% "throw it in the trash"
I got my first vaccine today! Jona and I drove to Bakersfield CA to get a shot because they are encouraging everyone to drive up and get a walk in dose. While this is exciting and was incredibly easy it's also a bit sad as it means the end of the beard.
The shareholders voted that the beard would be maintained (but groomed) until after quarantine. And it struck me on the drive home that I will soon be up to 80% protected, so perhaps I should shave about 80% of my facial hair.
What I'm suggesting is a mustache.
I would keep the mustache until my next appointment for the 2nd dose, so until April 24th, at which point I would return to the clean shaven looks of a my previous pre-pandemic self.
For March I tried to get at least eight hours of sleep every day and I only missed a few. It was great! As April approaches it's time to pick a new challenge.
Note: Last month we got some good feedback about changing how voting works on weejee which would especially help with these votes where there are so many option. Definitely looking to implement these changes but they haven't been done yet.
The first shareholder book club finished Money: The True Story of a Made-Up Thing and now it's time for the next book!
I looked up the best business books from 2020 on multiple lists and these are the six that were duplicated over multiple lists.
More details on each book here.
I scheduled my first haircut in over a year for tomorrow!
This is by far the longest my hair has ever been and I'm tempted to keep growing it out. But while I have a beard I feel like some aspect of my head needs to be neat and tidy. So if I'm going to keep the beard I should cut a bunch of hair off. But if I'm going to drop the beard maybe I should just let it grow?
I'm excited to see Kate again who has been cutting my hair since I moved to Los Angeles. She was one of the last people I hugged before the pandemic really started. Maybe she will just have some intuitive sense of what to do?
I'm back home in Los Angeles and it's great. I'm riding my bike, cooking healthy food, working on projects and contract gigs. I love it. I had a really productive week!
With March starting tomorrow I thought could try to stretch myself a bit... Should I try to do something a little extra every day?
A producer for NasDaily, the content studio of Nuseir Yassin, reached out about doing a video about KmikeyM. They do short videos like The Secret King of Wikipedia! and The Man Who Eats Feathers and they get over a million views on social media.
Should I shave my beard for this? Videos last a long time and maybe it makes more sense to appear more like I have traditionally than my current bearded guru look? On the other hand, maybe the moment of bearded Mike should be captured for all time?
(I can shave my beard myself, but I'll still have kind of long hair...)
Oh, and I should mention that Kathryn has grown attached to the beard, especially after the shareholders approved I trim it. So if this doesn't pass I can still clean it up a bit.
I started growing my beard by accident. Last year at Christmas I went a few days without shaving, and then we went to Hawaii for the New Year and I started to intentionally not shave while on vacation. On January 20th of this year I asked the shareholders what I should do about my beard.
With 68.43% it was decided to keep the beard but to move the votes to weejee and keep checking in. So February 20th I checked in again and earned another month of beard growth.
As we entered March my beard was becoming unkempt, and on March 3rd it was approved to get a professional beard trim. This was just before the pandemic lockdown.
Later in March, on the 24th, we started to quarantine and it was decided I should let the beard grow until the big shareholder event on May 17th.
On May 15th, I asked about the beard again and at this point, with so many questions about facial hair I offered one option to just keep the beard until after quarantine and that was approved.
It’s now early December and we’re approaching a year of beard growth. I’m looking more true to my Alaskan roots than ever. (My last hair cut was also in March.) On the KmikeyM Slack there have been some anti-beard rumblings and I wanted to offer the beard opposition party a chance to be heard.
In 2017 the "No More Tights" policy was passed, which forbids the watching of movies and television shows that are based on Marvel or DC properties. The only allowance granted is for films which win an academy award. This policy was reinforced in a 2019 failed attempt to rescind the policy, and so since 2017 the only superhero film or television show I have watched is Spiderman: Into The Spiderverse, which was allowed with a special exemption.
This year the HBO series Watchmen has seven Emmy nominations and as a correction to the original vote this proposal would expand the the list of exceptions to include Emmy wins in addition to academy awards.
In the shareholder poker tournament everyone puts in $20 and then first, second, and third win some money. Mike would like to enter the tournament using shares (based on the fair market value™, rounded up, so tonight that would be five shares).
So whoever took first place would win slightly less cash than usual but get all the shares. If Mike wins any cash he will be required to use that money buying back as many shares as he can from the market (thus raising the stock price, and everyone's net worth).
We've had a number of beard votes now, and while we started this facial hair experiment before the time of corona, I think the beard fits with the wild hair of a stay-at-home computer loving publicly traded person. Also, it has grown in rather nicely! I'm still tentative when I groom it with my new electric shears, but I'm gaining confidence.
So this is a proposal to keep the beard, and while we can still have votes on appearance and facial hair it's a shift from a default position of clean shaven to one of bearded. I highly encourage a yes vote. I like the beard, Kathryn likes the beard, and later this year I hope to pitch a TV show about growing up in Alaska and I feel like the beard will help with that.
It's been two weeks of not drinking after two weeks of tracking what I drink.
I did not enjoy total abstinence. While a few nights without drinking is fine, occasionally I wanted a whiskey, or a beer during a poker game, or a glass fo wine while watching a movie. So I'm changing the options a bit:
Drink Less, Try More Cannabis The weed gummies are fine, but tend to be a pretty solo experience and that is hard. But maybe if I tried it a bit more, and could drink on occasion it could work.
Track What You Drink Just keep tracking. Tracking and reporting to shareholders helps you be cautious of over drinking, which is more the point.
Research What You Drink Tracking is good, but there is opportunity here... Keep tracking, but do some homework and learn about what you’re consuming. Learn about the types of wine and the regions and the winemakers and develop your taste and understanding of what you drink.
Plan Your Drinks Yes, track, and do a your research too, but also, push yourself! Turn the act of drinking into an activity. Embrace cocktails and learn to mix and match ingredients or plan a wine “tour” of a specific region or type. Plan out what you are going to drink and share all this with the shareholders, even if you end up getting drunk on the live cam.
Intermittent Drinking You quit for two weeks and that was great, but let's not go crazy. Just make sure you have days of non-drinking in between days of drinking.
Drink More Often On the other hand, everything is a shit show and it's nice to get a little tanked. Let's dive in and enjoy ourselves.
weejee - Drinking With Intention II
weejee - Drinking With Intention
kmikeym - Drinking With Intention
It's been two weeks of tracking what I drink and I posted the results here.
Drink Less, Try More Cannabis I bought some weed gummies and tried that one night. It was fine, but I kept it super light. Still need to figure out my dosage. Maybe I should use the last two weeks as my average and try to get under that amount while using weed products.
Track What You Drink This is working, right? Just keep tracking and we'll talk again in two weeks.
Research and Share What You Drink Tracking is good, but kind of boring for the shareholders. Keep tracking, but do your homework and learn about what you’re consuming. Learn about the kinds of wine and the regions and the winemakers and develop your ability to taste and understand what you drink. And then share that information.
Put More Thought Into What You Drink (cocktails!) Yes, track, and do a little research, but also, push yourself! Turn the act of drinking into an activity. Embrace cocktails and learn to mix and match ingredients or plan a wine “tour” of a specific region or type. Share all this with the shareholders, even if you end up getting drunk on the live cam.
Stop Drinking You quit for three days, and alcohol is poison! Stop drinking for two weeks and see how you feel!
Drink More Often On the other hand, everything is a shit show and it's nice to get a little buzzed. Maybe you can use the last two weeks to better guide how to drink. Have a drink every night, just don't get tanked.
My entire life I’ve had the bad habit of chewing my nails. I’ve tried sheer will-power, applying bitter-tasting concoctions, and even allowing coworkers to violently slap my hands when they catch me doing it. With a general level of anxiety higher than normal and increased drinking I find that most mornings I wake up with a few fingernails hastily shorn.
The only time I was able to stop biting my nails was after getting them professionally done at a salon. I had the currency of the top eight countries by GDP painted on my fingers. It was beautiful.
Obviously I can’t go to a nail salon, but I can paint my nails. So the question is, what color*?
(*colors limited due to 🦠coronavirus)
If the shareholder proposal to Drink With Intention passes, these are the possible paths:
Drink Less, Try More Cannabis Drinking more in a time of increased anxiety allows me to fog up my brain and relax, but alcohol isn’t the only way to do this. Instead, try cannabis!
Track What You Drink Historically I’ve responded well to simply tracking behaviors as a way to regulate them, and shouldn’t we also set a baseline for how much I’m drinking before deciding how much to reduce it?
Research and Share What You Drink Drink what you want, but do your homework and learn about what you’re consuming. Learn about the kinds of wine and the regions and the winemakers and develop your ability to taste and understand what you drink. And then share that information.
Put More Thought Into What You Drink (cocktails!) Similar to research and share, but more premeditated. Turn the act of drinking into an activity. Embrace cocktails and learn to mix and match ingredients and plan a wine “tour” of a specific region or type.
Stop Drinking Look, alcohol is poison, and it’s best to not drink poison.
Drink More On the other hand, everything is a shit show, enjoy yourself while you can.
Whatever policy is chosen, assuming the corresponding KmikeyM vote passes, will be undertaken for a period of two weeks and then we’ll come back for a shareholder review of the results.
We're a week past due for a beard vote and I'm going to play the coronavirus. Last week I was feeling pretty anxious and depressed and it took me a few days to realize that. I'm not really that in touch with my own feelings, so sadness usually manifests as being tired for me.
Anyway, let's get into this next beard vote. Here is a photo of me where I look stoned but I am not. It's just the evening light of Los Angeles casting a ruddy glow. As always to see the latest pics you can go to my alt Instagram account where I post a selfie each day: @theK5M
Let's figure out what to do next...
I've never grown a beard before, and now whenever I drink water I think there is a bug in my glass until I realize it's just the long hairs of my mustache. Also, sauce gets stuck in there now. The lower neck beard part is growing thick while the sides are still a bit patchy. I bought a beard brush and I pet it twice a day like taking care of a horse.
Overall I like the roguish look of it, but maybe it is time to bring in some help. I'm open to just "free growing" the beard until the next vote (March 19th) but I'd like to go to a professional and get some grooming done. If I was growing my hair out I'd go to a barber, and there are plenty of places in LA that will groom a beard.
If the shareholders agree that I should endorse a candidate the next step will be determining which candidate should be endorsed.
I’m listing all the candidates currently running (based on this NY Times page) that I can vote for as a registered Democrat in the state of California.
✅ Beard IIKeep the beard, schedule a vote in one month. (57%)
It's been a month since the shareholders voted to allow me to have a beard and it's time to check in and see if I should keep it for a while or shave it off.
To see the latest pics you can go to my alt Instagram account where I post a selfie each day: @theK5M
My beard is not as impressive as the header image... yet!
UPDATE: If the vote goes in favor of the beard there will be a vote about styling/trimming.
It's a six-part series, so I could just wait five weeks and then catch up on all of them at once. OTOH, then I wouldn't get to talk to other people about it and i'd be yelling 'no spoilers' all the time. I don't know... what do you think?
I committed to helping Norberto with a video today, but my friend Mathew is leaving LA forever and having people meet up at a brewery. Should I maintain my commitment with Norberto or should I go say goodbye to my friend Mathew? Or, is there another option?
A classic Goldilocks situation here. The checkered blazer is slightly too big and the velvet blazer is slightly too small.
The checkered blazer is from Brooks Brothers and I fell in love with it years ago, but couldn't justify the cost for something that is, let's be honest, pretty garish. Apparently I wasn't the only one that thought so and was able to pick it up on clearance sale. It was only made in a very boxy style so I then brought it in to get tailored and it's still a bit on the big side. I have worn this only once since moving to Los Angeles, when I MC'd the holiday party at my former employer and created a holiday quiz show. It's the perfect jacket for a quiz show host, but otherwise I'm not sure I need to hang on to it. And as I mentioned, it's a little too big for me.
The blue velvet blazer I love, even though I typically only wear it to year end holiday parties. But it's a bit snug and I can't quite button the bottom button and be comfortable. So while I like it, I don't really wear it anymore. So why am I keeping it? I don't currently have a decent "evening" jacket alternative. But is that a reason to keep it?
This is a part of a series of votes to clean out my wardrobe. Using the "does it spark joy" method I'll write up some notes on my feelings and then let the shareholders decide if I should keep them or get rid of them.
First up is two pair of pants I rarely wear:
The Nantucket Reds are "casual pants" from Brooks Brothers. They were purchased for me by an ex-girlfriend's mother and I have not worn them in months. They look good with my Sperry's boat shoes but they feel a bit loud and they are tight in the waist. Do they spark joy? No, I don't really care about these pants.
The Chess Pants are in the classic trad style of "go to hell" pants and are also from Brooks Brothers. I love these pants. I bought them when we first started Chroma and I think of them as my "game designer" pants. But I haven't worn them in over two years. They are the pants version of an old favorite t-shirt. I would not miss them if they disappeared, but I can't bring myself to get rid of them. Do they spark joy? No, but they spark sadness when I think about getting ride of them.
I’m at Smoke House, a Hollywood institution, with Aaron. I just had an old fashioned and I need another drink. What should I get?
This is part 2 of a vote about my official position. See part 1 on KmikeyM.com.
Please vote for one of the following options:
[Pioneering] KmikeyM is a crypto advocate and believes that the tokenization of physical and digital assets will be the gateway to unlocking new microcosms of value for citizens everywhere. KmikeyM looks forward to exploring options for a working crypto solution to his own market.
[Positive] KmikeyM is a crypto enthusiast and believes cryptocurrency is an exciting new wave of financial innovation. He holds a number of positions in various projects and expects crypto investing will outperform the regular markets.
[Hopeful] KmikeyM is optimistic about crypto and enjoys collecting and holding tokens as a way to participate. He encourages people to get involved and believes the crypto “killer app” is just around the corner.
[Lucrative] KmikeyM feels like investing in cryptocurrency can be a lucrative opportunity, but does not believe crypto is a long lasting mainstream happening. KmikeyM will invest to make profit, but holds no ideological belief about the technology.
[Interested] KmikeyM is fascinated by the promise of crypto but has a wait and see approach regarding the implementation because involvement requires a high technical understanding and few safeguards. He would not advise anyone to invest more than a token amount.
[Curious] KmikeyM believes that crypto is an interesting idea, but is skeptical of mainstream adoption and wouldn’t advise participation beyond entertainment purposes.
[Negative] KmikeyM sees crypto enthusiasm as another in a long line of technical utopian dreams of Ayn Randian thinkers who will no doubt end up very rich causing great harm to society.
Did a nice hike and took a dip in the ocean. I heard about a good fish taco, but there are rumors of “the best lobster roll”...
I’m meeting my friend at Destroyer, Jordan Kahn's minimalist, daytime-only spot for inventive Scandinavian-style breakfast & lunch fare (I don’t know who Jordan is, but I think he’s a fancy restaurant person). Knowing that breakfast is the most Important meal of the day, help me pick what to get.
After the dialup call I want to go see a movie. But what movie do I want to go see?
or, don't go to a movie you dummy!
Well, technically second beverage because I had some sparkling water, or as the label says "Aqua Medium." But it's 5pm and we're about to head to the hotel.
What should my first drink be?
I love lunch! Where should I go?
I need to pick up some coffee at the place near my work GGET. This is a rapid vote that will run for just 30 min. Check the link to see the options, then help me figure out which kind to get!
Tomorrow is Sunday, known to many as a day of rest. My plans for tomorrow are to go to the gym and then drive with my girlfriend to Palm Springs to spend a few days and welcome 2019. Typically I wake up at 6:30am, but I have some prep to do before we head out and I definitely want to have enough time for the gym. So can I sleep in, or should I get up at my regular time?