Aaron Dowd

I bought The Wok by J. Kenji López-Alt recently, and made my first stir fry in it tonight.

One week from my 37th birthday. Never better.

Stir Fry

August 3, 2022

New Music for You: Gasoline by The Band Laredo

Geoff (our producer and recording engineering) told me hit those drums harder”. I don’t think anyone’s ever said that to me before. It was beautiful and inspiring.

I should be saving all my earnings

to buy myself a car

but I’ve been blowing it steady

on dreams I can’t afford

4 other songs online now, full EP coming soon. Follow The Band Laredo on Spotify or wherever you listen.

August 1, 2022

Om Malik: Instagram is Dead”

https://om.co/2022/07/18/instagram-is-dead/

What’s left is a constantly mutating product that copies features from whomever is popular now” service — Snapchat, TikTok, or whatever. It is all about marketing and selling substandard products and mediocre services by influencers with less depth than a sheet of paper.

Social media is essentially the new roadside billboard, only it accomplishes the goal of traditional advertising in a much savvier way,” Bankrate.com analyst Sarah Foster told Fortune.

What’s next?

What’s better?

July 31, 2022

Suggestion for Social Media Companies

Attention Instagram, Meta, Twitter: Allow users to choose (and pay for, if neccessary) a feed that is reverse-chronological posts from accounts they’ve chosen to follow. Give them an option for a feed with suggestions, but let the user choose which is the default view. Please. I’m tired of seeing suggestions.

July 28, 2022

Better Ways to Work

My team at Chartable was discussing the costs of context swtiching, so I did a quick google search and came across this article. And damn, it’s a good one. https://www.loom.com/blog/cost-of-context-switching

Even if your schedule is stacked or you’re accustomed to the constant back-and-forth that begets context switching, there are a few methods (no, not hacks”) you can follow to maximize productivity, avoid mistakes, and enjoy a more stress-free work life.

July 28, 2022

Cultivating Optimism

Motorcycles outside Del Norte Tacos in Godley, Texas

Photo: Motorcycles outside Del Norte Tacos in Godley, Texas, July 22nd, 2022.

We (The Band Laredo) played a show with the Vandoliers this past Friday at Del Norte Tacos in Godley, TX (super fun show). The lead singers were talking after the show, and Josh said something to Lucas that stuck a chord with me. It was along the lines of Don’t get in the way of your own success”.

It’s good advice, but you have go a step further. It’s not enough to not block your own success, you also have to believe that you will be successful. Believe in yourself, that you can do it, you can reach your goals. As the saying goes, it doesn’t matter if you believe you can or if you believe you can’t, you’re right either way.

I haven’t always been the best at believing in myself. I’ve achieved so much, had lots of success, so many good things have happened to me. And yet it often comes as a suprise when something good happens, like the universe made a mistake or I just got lucky.

Somewhere along the way I started expecting and anticipating that bad things would happen, I didn’t want to be caught off guard. Good things are a welcome surprise. But what if I expected good things to happen as the norm instead of the exception?

I need to retrain my brain, I’ve been looking for disasters too much. I need to cultivate my optimism. I remember there was a good chapter about this in The Happiness Advantage, maybe I’ll revisit that in the coming weeks.

I hope you can start believing in yourself and your potential more too. Feels like that kind of love is in short supply these days.

Sending good vibes your way,

Aaron

July 24, 2022

Thursday, July 21, 2022

It’s hot as hell here in Texas. We’ve had multiple 110 degree (43.3c) days, and got a tiny taste of relief today when cloud cover dropped the high down to only 102. Only 102! Excuse me while I grab a sweater.

It really hasn’t been too disruptive for me, other than making going outside moderately uncomfortable. My routine as of late has been waking up at 6:30am to walk the dogs and then catch a 7:30 Crossfit class, which warms me up nicely for a day of sitting at my laptop, sending emails and writing to people about various things related to podcasting.

It’s been nice.

Till next time,

Aaron

July 22, 2022

Restarting the Blog and What’s Next

The Motorcycle

I got a little burned out on social media, so I’m restarting this blog. It’ll be the place where you can look at pictures I’ve taken and get a peek at what I’m working on and thinking about. Like a personal journal that you can read, if you feel the need.

Personal Updates

Now that we’ve got that out the way, how’ve you been? Highs and lows, right? Me too.

I bought a house in Fort Worth in late 2021. I love it. I’m a mile and a half from Magnolia street, which has coffee shops and bars and resteraunts and all the best parts of living in a city. It’s an older house, but in great shape with nice appliances and new HVAC.

After the trainwreck of 2020 (moving to LA, the pandemic lockdown and stress, moving back to Texas, the recovery), I finally found my footing again. I found a great team and an interesting challenge at Chartable. I finally bought the motorcycle I wanted. I started focusing on my physical and mental health again. I finally recogonized how burned out I was, and started resting more.

It wasn’t easy and I still struggle a lot of days. I try not to ruminate on the past too much, but I also want to learn from my mistakes which requires a certain amount of self-examination and reflection.

I’m working on that 1% better everyday thing, and it’s been working. I’m successful by most measures. If I could lower my expectations for myself a little bit, I could even be pretty happy.

I want to bring my focus and attention back to an important question I’ve been interested in for a long time: How do you live a good life? How about we go on the journey together?

July 18, 2022