Buried Treasure Found on the Treasure Coast – Daddy Adventures

My wife Kathryn is a stay at home mom. She works her butt off every single day. I always knew she worked hard, but to be honest, I didn’t realize the amount of patience required to do what she does day in and day out. Kathryn sometimes leaves me with our daughter Penelope when she needs to run errands or go to the gym.  When she does, try as I might, I cannot get a thing done on my to do list. Yesterday, an obvious thought occurred to me “If I am unable to get tasks on my list done, how on earth does Kathryn get tasks on her list done?” It turns out, she doesn’t. Kathryn has a list of personal priorities that she just doesn’t get to, ever. I work a lot, and don’t get as much time with Penelope as I would like.

THE SOLUTION: A DADDY ADVENTURE

Kathryn needed some time. When I came home from the gym yesterday morning Kathryn was hard at work making one of her famous nutritious lunch bowls for us to eat. I tapped her on the shoulder and told her that I talked to a “pirate” at the gym who told me where to find a secret treasure. She looked at me like a lunatic, and I told her that Penelope and I would be hunting for it all afternoon. Kathryn would get some freedom. I have never seen her so excited. She threw her arms around me and said “thank you, are you serious?” Clearly I should have done something like this much sooner.

Kathryn helped me gather some old costume jewelry she had and a watch box that would become the “treasure chest.” Kathryn also gave me a crown depicting Penelope’s favorite Disney Princess – Elsa to add to the pirate loot. After assembling the package I broke the exciting news to Penelope. She has a thing for pirates lately and thought my gym encounter was the coolest thing she had heard. She made a dead sprint to her bedroom to get her swimming

Penelope Chavez digging for buried treasure.

suit and bucket to hold the treasure.

When Penelope and I got to the beach it was deserted (it was a Monday afternoon). I buried the treasure when Penelope was away looking in a different spot. After the treasure was buried, we went to work searching for it. Penelope dug and dug in the sand until she finally found it!

Oh, the glorious spoils of her search!

Having a closer look at the treasure

Needless to say, it was an amazing day for Penelope and an equally amazing day for Kathryn. When I was putting Penelope in the car to head back home after the adventure I thought to myself that today had been one of the best days of my life. That sounds like a big statement, and it is. I have had thousands of days in my life that I would have considered were “better” than yesterday, but this was different. Our day was was so simple, and so pure, and so wonderful. Seeing the joy in my wife and daughter’s eyes gave me a feeling of peace and happiness. We have been under a lot of stress this year and I want nothing more than to recreate the positive feelings of yesterday again for my family. I have committed to creating little adventures with Penelope on a weekly basis to give Kathryn time to focus on her greater purpose, and to fully invest myself in my beautiful daughter who brings so much joy to my life.

Wearing her buried treasure.

Boulder Colorado Grand Jury Indictment – Ham Sandwiches Beware!

Originally posted on March 10, 2017

I, like most people had no idea what it meant to be indicted by a Grand Jury.  I just knew it sounded terrible and that only really bad people that have done terrible, awful reprehensible things were indicted.  Moreover, I thought the words “indicted” and “guilty” were synonymous with one another.  I thought that if a person was indicted by a Grand Jury then they were indeed guilty and found guilty not by a regular jury, but a grand one!  They must have done some really bad stuff, right?

That was of course before it happened to me.

On December 6, 2016 I was informed by my attorney that I had a warrant for my arrest.  I said to them “are you kidding me?”  I was standing in an office space we were building out with an architect and had to excuse myself.  It was the most shocking moment of my life.  I just kept asking my attorney “for what” and he kept answering “I don’t know, they won’t tell us.”  This didn’t make any sense to me.  How can I have a warrant for my arrest and not know why?  He informed me that I would need to travel from the East Coast to Boulder Colorado to turn myself in.  I couldn’t understand how I could be expected to turn myself in without being given a reason why.  This is America, isn’t it?  Shouldn’t I know what I am begin accused of and by whom?

My attorneys planned for me to go to Boulder to turn myself in on December 14th  and I did exactly that.  The next day after posting a $100,000 bond and before I could blink it was in the paper – the prosecution’s version of a story that was filled with inaccuracies, misstatements and horrifying false accusations.  I was reading the paper and finding out the prosecution’s version of their story at the same time as everyone else in Boulder and the surrounding community.  That’s when my wife’s and my phone started to ring.  We will never forget the wonderful support of our friends, neighbors, community members and family during that terrible time.   We love you!

So how does this sort of thing happen?  How could all of this occur without the subject of the indictment (me) know what was happening?

The Grand Jury Process:

There is an age-old adage that a prosecutor could get a Grand Jury to “indict a ham sandwich” if that was the prosecutor’s goal.  In fact, according to a U.S. Department of Justice study on plea bargaining, “Grand juries are notorious for being ‘rubberstamps’ for the prosecutor for virtually all routine criminal matters.”

Grand juries do not need a unanimous decision to indict.  It simply needs either two thirds or three fourths agreement for an indictment.  The jurors are also not deciding on “gult or innocence” they are deciding on whether the one-sided case presented to them by the prosecutor established the low barrier of “probable cause” that a crime was committed.

Grand juries originated in 12th century England to prosecute criminals; in the early 20th century, England abolished them.  All of the other members of the former British Empire – Scotland, Wales, New Zealand, Ireland, Australia, and Canada have done the same – but not the United States.  Even here in the U.S. most states have stopped using them because those who truly seek justice have found that the secrecy, lack of oversight, and disregard for the rules of evidence do not serve justice.  Boulder Colorado not only still uses grand juries, but the District Attorney advocates for them.

I am filled with gratitude to have the support of my friends, family and community members during this lengthy process.  This has been a terrible experience but each time I see my family and glance in the mirror I’m filled with the calm assurance that a regular jury at trial that has the benefit of all the information, not just one-sided crafted testimony will set the record straight and my name will be vindicated.  I hope that my fellow good community members that made up the grand jury that indicted me on incomplete, inaccurate and crafted testimony fed to them by the prosecutor will watch the trial closely so they can see how different the version they were presented with is from the truth.  When that happens, I encourage them to not remain silent about their experience.  Thank you for reading.

Pressery Juice Cleanse Results

June 14, 2013

A couple of weeks ago a friend of ours introduced us to a new local product he has helped to create and bring to market called Pressery.  The Boulder company produces juices that are raw, cold-pressed and fresh from locally sourced fruits and veggies – and of course they are all organic.  Due to the hand crafted process these juices are not cheap (~$9 each), but they are a value considering the results from my two day cleanse.

I don’t have the patience to post the exact juices taken each day but I will tell you that I drank 5 juices each day according to the cleanse schedule that came with the package.  The schedule is manageable and I was really surprised that at no time during the 2 day cleanse was I even a little bit hungry (truly, not even a little), despite having only these 5 juices and water for a full 48 hours.

THE RESULTS:

After my two day cleanse I stepped on my Aria scale and was floored that I had lost 6.4 pounds in 48 hours!  This was nearly 2 weeks ago that I finished the cleanse and the weight has stayed off with less than 30 minutes of daily exercise.

CONCLUSION:

For those of you interested in losing a few pounds quickly I would highly recommend this 2 day cleanse.  In fact, I am going to be doing another 2 day cleanse next week before we head to Jamaica to try to lose a couple more leisure pounds for good measure.

Also, don’t let the cost dissuade you.  Just compare the nonorganic weight loss supplements that millions of people cram down their throats every day with less results at a higher cost.  The value is in the results and this is the best juice I have ever had – period.

Deprogramming my Pavlovian Notification Conditioning

April 14, 2013

Executing a successful startup strategy requires an incredible amount of mental focus and concentrated problem solving.  With today’s technological distractions it can seem impossible to spend more than five minutes intently focusing on anything without phone, Skype, text, email, Facebook or twitter notification.  It’s amazing that anything of value actually gets done with so much incoming stimuli.

I recognize now that over time I have conditioned myself to be in pure reactive mode much of the day.  Not unlike Pavlov’s dog, when I get a notification regardless of what I am doing, I have been immediately refocusing at least a portion of my capacity on either tending to the stimuli or at least recognizing it as an extra line item on my todo list.  I have come to realize that this is not healthy, nor is this reactive relationship with my notifications in line with the personal and professional goals I have for this year and beyond.

The past week I took the small step of turning off my desktop email notifications.  With an average of 50-65 substantive emails each day, this has been a real challenge.  I still think that I check my email too frequently but I am committing to batch the emails into 4 email response sessions daily beginning Monday (eventually I would like to get this down to 2).  I haven’t tackled my other notifications yet as I want to get a handle on the largest culprit first.

We all know the efficiency benefits of “batching” our daily tasks, but the concept is much harder to create a habit around when we are conditioned to be reactive.  Our devices can be an amazing tool for efficiency, but if these devices begin dictating our actions in a reactive way it turns from help to hinderance.  This is the first step I am taking to free myself from this unhealthy reactive relationship and if you know me, you know it is going to be a challenge.  I’m ready for it.  Wish me luck!

The Latte Effect – An Open Offer to the Community

April 2, 2013

An entrepreneur/software consultant by the name of Brent contacted me yesterday and mentioned that he was moving to Boulder in a couple weeks from Austin and was “looking forward to getting involved” in the community here.  I have never met or spoke with Brent, but the fact that he reached out meant a lot and I offered to buy him a welcome latte when he comes into town.  I am fairly new to Boulder myself and as open as our community is, it can be intimidating at first to get to know others even if one is fortunate to know where to start.

Most of us are familiar with the theory of Butterfly Effect, where a small seemingly meaningless change or influence at one location creates a force with larger, more drastic implications elsewhere.  Strangely, I woke up this morning thinking of this in the context of the welcome latte and decided I would try an experiment.  Why not, right?

So, here it goes; the first “community” event I attended here in Boulder was the Boulder Open Coffee Club held at Atlas Purveyors twice a month, every other Tuesday (check Facebook page here for updates).  My first attendance was at the beginning of March this year and it gave me a great insight into the inclusiveness of the community.

The Experiment:

If you are new to Boulder, thinking of moving to Boulder, or you’ve been meaning to get involved but just haven’t taken the first step – I want to buy you a latte (or another caffeinated bevy of your choosing) on your first #BOCC Tuesday you attend.  I am going to do this 100 times for the first 100 people who take me up on this offer.  You’ll have someone to hang out with there if you want or you can take the latte’ and run the other direction.  The only string that is attached to this offer is that you must commit to buying a latte’ for 2 people you don’t currently know today in the 30 days following #BOCC and these do not need to be at #BOCC or at Atlas Purveyors.

How to Redeem:

Email me at kristopher@kristopher.com or tweet @kristopher_com.  Introduce yourself and we will meet at Atlas Purveyors on the day of the event.

Why??:

Why not?  The community in Boulder is awesome.  The energy is great here but frankly, I would just like to see more Brents coming to Boulder.  (Speaking of which, give Brent a welcome shout out on twitter if you have a minute @spinuplabs, I’m sure he would like to hear from you.)

Expand the Radius | The Journey from Good to Great

March 24, 2013

Over a decade ago I remember reading the book Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap…and Others Don’t. I have most definitely forgotten much of the meat of the book today, but a key premise has been bubbling up in my subconscious repeatedly the last few days:  “Good is the Enemy of Great.”  This is a concept that can be just as true for people as it is for companies.   It means that “good” can turn into complacency and slow the drive for innovation, growth and personal improvement.  I’ve spent a lot of time thinking recently about how that concept applies to us as humans, our respective growth curves and what we ultimately ‘get out’ of the short time we have on this planet.

When we are young we all have a vision of our ‘great’ future selves; a wish-list so to speak.  Many folks are thrown off the scent of their ideal when entering adulthood and being forced to ride the roller coaster up and down cycles that all humans tend to go through emotionally, financially and spiritually.  The fear of repeating the lows in any of these categories can force a gradual recalibration of goals and dreams (often subconsciously).  This process over time completely reroutes the vision of what a “great” life is, and what is possible.  The new ideal becomes one not of growth, challenges and infinite possibilities, but one of seeking equilibrium to avoid the discomfort of the roller coaster downs.

This comes down to the classic pain/pleasure principal.  People by nature will seek pleasure but will go to great lengths to avoid pain/discomfort.  Growth is uncomfortable and that fact poses a problem if we run from the pain necessary to achieve our ideal pleasure.  My conscious solution to this has been a conditioning of my mental image of what growth is and what it means to me.  I have been doing this by envisioning myself standing at the barrier of my present capability/comfort level in any one skill and making myself take a step over the barrier (see primitive diagram above). The programmed reward for me is the act of mentally stepping over that barrier.  The feeling of discomfort becomes a mental reward for the expansion of the skill radius.

By doing this exercise over the past several days I have found myself slowly pushing through some previous stagnated mental blocks I had conditioned in both my personal and professional life (many of which I did not know existed).  Instead of avoiding the discomfort, I am finding myself seeking opportunities to test my resolve to take that step.  As a result, some incredible progress has been made in the past week that has translated into an even deeper quest for conscious personal growth.

We all have goals (conscious or unconscious) for our personal and professional lives, and I came to realize that my conscious ideal for each is impossible to reach without exercising forced discomfort in a frequent (daily) cycle to improve upon various skills.  I wrote a note to myself that I keep in my office next to my monitor that reads “Expand the Radius” as a reminder to not just accept the good in my life but to consciously step over the perceived barrier of comfort to put myself in a position to discover the better version of good.