Tyler and I went to see the Minnesota Orchestra Star Wars: The Last Jedi in Concert tonight. Having never been to something like this we weren’t sure what to expect and were instantly blown away. What a fabulous experience!

Happy Vyshyvanka Day!

We have celebrated Vyshyvanka Day in our Kyiv office for years now, but this year we also decided to take part in Vyshyvanka Day in Minneapolis as well. Alexander Ivakhnenko and Valentin Kornukh led the event with delicious Ukrainian snacks and treats including: Pierogi (including Potato, Meat, and Cherry), Modovik cake, Kyiv cake, Napoleon Cake, and Kvas to drink. We also had a Ukrainian trivia challenge to learn more about different aspects of Ukraine. It was a great time! πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡¦

First soccer game for Summer 2024 season! Go Cobras! 🐍

First Dairy Queen bike ride of the year! 🍦

Seeing Purple Lilacs in bloom always reminds me of my Grandma Rose. They were her favorite. They smell lovely too. πŸ’œ

Helped Mazie create her very first resume. That seems like a milestone. πŸ˜€

We watched Arthur the King tonight. Our family is a sucker for dog movies and this one was no exception.

Very bright and showy Parrot Tulips at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum.

Happy (early) Mother’s Day to my Mom! She joined us for an afternoon jaunt to the Minnesota Arboretum to see the tulips blooming and many other pretty flowers.

Cristo Rey UnGala 2024

This evening I was able to attend the first UnGala for Cristo Rey Jesuit High School. What is an UnGala? Think of your typical fundraiser kind of event but more of a party atmosphere with live music and more casual dress. We have several students from Cristo Rey as part of TeamSPS so I have known about the organization for years, but it was great to hear more about this incredible school that has gotten 100% of every student ever in attendance accepted into college programs. Many of them becoming the first person in their family to attend college. It is an impressive organization. Feel free to join me in supporting their mission.

At the end of the event we got a team photo with Alberto Vergara who was part of TeamSPS as a Cristy Rey student and is now a full-time Account Executive on our sales team! πŸ‘

MnTech Tech Connect 2024

Today was Tech Connect 2024 hosted by MnTech at the Saint Paul RiverCentre. There were over 600 people this year and a number of good presentations.

Sessions I attended:

Overall observations:

  • There were so many references to AI. Everyone still talking about it and starting to show real-world use cases. There is still more hype than substance here, but the substance seems to be showing up. Multiple companies shared that AI adoption isn’t automatic and you have to make sure you bring people along.
  • The quantum computing session was more interesting than I expected and showed how far that technology has come. I think this is still a decade out and a big bet, but accessing quantum infrastructure via the cloud is an obvious go-to-market path to bring this esoteric tech to teams.
  • It is super fun to watch the Minnesota Twins technology team because their content is so fun and very advanced stuff. Plus they have a whole production team that makes super high-quality visuals.

I collected the ENS 7th Anniversary NFT! I continue to be a big fan of ENS and think it is one of the most important crypto projects.

Also see 6th Anniversary.

I’m looking forward to Minnesota Technology Association Tech Connect 2024 event on Wednesday. To have a little fun I created a You’ve met Jamie Thingelstad at Tech Connect 2024 POAP to share with folks that I see there. If you are at the event say Hi and I’ll give you a claim code! 🀝

I pre-ordered the Ledger Stax on Dec 10, 2022 and after a very long wait I got notified that they will be shipping in June! I have two on the way. I am looking forward to trying the Ledger Stax out after a 17 month wait!

Bitcoin passed 1 billion total all-time transactions tonight! Currently at 1,000,196,488. πŸ‘

Squirrels Eat Two Pounds of Chocolate

For Mother’s Day I ordered some Freese’s Candy for Tammy. We had these when we were in Milwaukee and she has declared them her favorite Turtles. They are delicious. So I ordered one pound of them for her as well as a pound of salted caramel in milk chocolate.

I timed the order so it would come next week, but they shipped it fast and it delivered even faster. They dropped it off on Saturday at 2:34pm.

In just two hours, an intrepid squirrel approached. The squirrel smelled it, pushed the box around, tipped it over, and got to work at whatever delicious smells were inside.

This rascal even took a break sitting on my chair! 🐿️

After the mayhem was in full swing one of the neighborhood rabbits thought they would check it out too.

Over the course of that afternoon and the next morning several squirrels stopped by to check out the situation.

When we got home we found both boxes of chocolate completely emptied and bits of the box scattered around. I hope those squirrels were miserable from all that sugar.

Finished game of Five Crowns β€” Mazie was the winner!

My bro-in-law Max and I getting ready for the 80’s Prom Murder Mystery Party. πŸ•΅οΈβ€β™‚οΈ

Double rainbow from earlier today. The primary rainbow was so colorful. Even the green is clearly visible. 🌈🌈

Reflections on No Coffee

I haven’t had any coffee since April 1st. I’ve abstained from coffee and caffeine because of three different factors.

  1. I have high blood pressure and caffeine is not good for that.
  2. I’m not a good sleeper and caffeine is bad for sleep.
  3. I don’t have anxiety problems, but tend to be anxious which caffeine can aggravate too.

Going into this I had reduced my coffee intake. A few months ago I dropped my coffee consumption from 24oz a day to 12oz a day. When I did that I noticed no material changes and figured less was probably better. So when I decided to drop it entirely I figured it wouldn’t be that hard since I didn’t think I was having that much coffee.

I sure was wrong. Stopping coffee and caffeine was much harder than I expected. The first day was fine, but the second day I had a persistent headache. I felt like I was in slow-motion all day, kind of in a fog. And I was so tired in the afternoon and evening that it was all I could do to stay awake. The third day was the same. It wasn’t until the fourth and fifth days that I started to feel more normal.

I didn’t think the caffeine I was consuming was having any real impact on me β€” but the impact that the removal had tells a different story.

How about the three areas I was focusing on?

So far I haven’t seen any material change in blood pressure. That is disappointing to me but I think speaks to other factors being more impactful to that metric. The physiology still suggests that combining high blood pressure and caffeine is a bad idea. So abstaining from caffeine is still a good idea even if I’m not seeing it on the blood pressure sensor.

The thing that I have had the most profound improvement in is sleep. Removing caffeine entirely had a more profound impact on my sleep than I could have imagined. Both qualitative and quantitative with the data from the 8Sleep. I’m falling asleep much faster and earlier than I was before. I’m getting about 30 to 45 minutes more sleep a night, mostly by getting to sleep earlier at night and less waking time in the middle of the night. I’m waking up at 6am and feel rested. Something I genuinely have never experienced.

The last factor of anxiety doesn’t have any way for me to quantify. I don’t know of any clear differentiator that I can point to for this. My best indicator would be ease of achieving a peaceful mind when I meditate, but my meditation practice has been very sporadic this month.

I find the sleep improvements to be great. I also do like the lack of dependence on getting coffee in the morning. I do miss the ritual of coffee, particularly on the weekends. I’ve sourced some high quality caffeine free tea to give that a try for when I would like that experience.

I’m not ready to say that I’m not a coffee drinker. We’ll see where the future goes. I’ll just take it one day at a time. 😊