It’s Not What You Know, It’s Knowing Where to Find It

The right to know is like the right to live. It is fundamental and unconditional in its assumption that knowledge, like life, is a desirable thing. GEORGE BERNARD SHAW (1913)

Today’s title is something I heard and said often as a  Physician Assistant (PA) resident in training. As testimony to this maxim we all rounded with our white coats’ pockets stuffed full of reference books, quick-guides, lists, and if you were really “on the cutting edge,” the new Palm Pilot. That was just ten years ago.

Palm Pilots quickly became old technology and today we enjoy amazing resources for increasing knowledge not only in medicine, but in literally every human discipline, and most of  it readily at our fingertips here in the US and other parts of the world. All serve to radically increase human knowledge, and therefore our ability to serve one another.

“New” ideas are generally not entirely new, but rather spring from existing ideas, which are either combined in new ways or built upon by experts who bring new insights to them. So, the iPod was born by combining the notion of miniaturized data storage with online music services. From that has grown the “podcast” phenomenon of broadcasting video/audio interviews to MP3 owners who can view this information at convenient times. And so on, and so forth. ROGER Z. GEORGE, Meeting 21st Century Transnational Challenges: Building a Global Intelligence Paradigm (2007)

How else could someone like me write and publish information as diverse as diet and spirituality, fitness and orphanages in Mexico, or quote Umberto Tosi, Winston Churchill or Roger Z. George? Trust me, it’s not what I know, I just know where to find it.

I’ve been able, over the past two weeks, to come to work with a particular thought in mind, expand on it via an internet search or two, find pertinent quotes, and write my ideas down here. Not  entirely new ideas, just ideas that “are either combined in new ways or built upon,” and given new insight (I pray) from any expertise I might be blessed with.

I love learning and sharing what I learn. So much so, that I have, and will continue, God willing, to hyperlink names of people I have quoted to a wikipedia page in many cases, or other resources in other cases. If you check today’s hyperlinks and any of my past links to wikipedia, you will see the image I’ve placed above, as wikipedia and others are on “strike” today, protesting legislation that may limit or halt our ability to find and utilize information. Tomorrow the links will be back in operation. Find out why many resources are “striking,” Google search SOPA BLACKOUT or simply check my links from this blog! Have a great day, and stay informed! Joe H

P.S. Roger Z. George’s quote was taken from the CIA’s Center for the Study of Intelligence. The article sited the Intelligence Communities need to use a global “open source” collection model, involving non-government persons from many diverse disciplines worldwide in an effort to find and mitigate “new threats which are more diverse, less visible and less predictable!” Ironic I think. How will this be accomplished without the unrestricted, OPEN SOURCE, flow of information?


The Human Diet

You are in the middle of a river (Time) and facing downstream. The future approaches you from behind… only to recede into the past, which actually lies in front of you, moving ever farther away. If you could look far enough downstream you would see the beginning of the stream and in essence, everything.Robb Wolf, The Paleo Solution: The Original Human Diet.

With a focus on the evolutionary and anthropological basis for diet, health and well being in modern humans,  Dr. Loren Cordain, a Professor in the Department of Health and Exercise Science at Colorado State University, looked far enough downstream, to find the answer to today’s dietary issues. His focused backward glance in time resulted in an excellent book The Paleo Diet: Lose Weight and get Healthy by Eating the Foods You Were Designed to Eat.

Robb Wolf, Co-Owner of Nor-Cal Strength and Conditioning and also a renowned CrossFit Coach read much of Dr. Cordain’s work, became a student of Dr. Cordain’s and eventually wrote The Paleo Solution: The Original Human Diet.  Robb Wolf’s work is an engaging study of Dr. Cordain’s work coupled with practical advice for incorporating this, the human diet, into our modern lives.

If you don’t have the time or energy, or if you’re not a pointy headed academic geek, like me (I actually enjoy reading about exercise and diet), trust me and give both CrossFit and The Paleo Solution a good 12 week trial. It will make all the difference in the world for you. After years of study and experimentation in my own life, these two methods get my highest recommendation and continued support.

Thanks for stopping by, sorry for the delay in today’s post, I suspect a later post on Tuesdays will be the norm! Joe H

P.S. To save yourself some time and facilitate a smooth transition into a paleo diet that will fit your lifestyle, visit Robb’s blog HERE. Like CrossFit, Robb’s site is jam packed full of information to support the use of his book and your success.

On Getting Older WITHOUT Ageing

Everyone wants to get older, no one wants to age! –Joe Hamilton, talking with a patient, sometime last year.

As a “baby boomer,” (along with every other generation) I’m getting older. I really feel it at work when I ask my co-workers to “get me a ‘xerox’ of this chart please.” Most just look at me quizzically and ask, “you need me to copy that chart?” Others are so young they don’t know that xerox is now one of many copier manufacturers, much less remember a time when xerox was the ONLY company that made copy machines!

Heck, I remember “dittos!” The copy machine that rendered all of our printed material at school in a distinct blue print!

And of course, like every red-blooded American male boomer of the 70’s I remember “dittos” the great looking pants girls wore to school…  Hey guys, I’m happy to report dittos (the pants of course) are making a comeback! Sorry, back on topic;

There is, however a way to get older without excessive ageing. Exercise and eating right. Don’t shoot me, I’m just the messenger. Seriously, best exercise methodology (if applied correctly) for slow-ageing? CrossFit. This is my informed opinion, for three reasons:

1. CrossFit has THE best methods, based on a comprehensive definition of fitness, and strict adherence to aligning it’s programming with human energy systems, as opposed to training for aesthetics.

2. CrossFit continues to develop best practices of it’s methods by using an open source philosophy, the only exercise methodology to my knowledge to take advantage of the internet, communication and media, strictly for the purpose of improving the practice of developing peak human performance. (As opposed to strictly for marketing)

3. CrossFit is scale-able. Don’t discount CrossFit for it’s focus on Olympic Weightlifting, gymnastics, sprint training, and their use in a high intensity interval training format. It’s true affiliate gyms and their coaches are taught to scale workouts to each athlete’s abilities. Can’t do a single push-up, pull-up or dip? Think you might be allergic to iron, and/or can’t see yourself doing a barbell clean from the floor? Haven’t run in awhile? Don’t worry there’s ways to get you from zero to hero WITHOUT injury… in the hands of the right coach!

Check the CrossFit affiliate in your area. If the workouts are not scaled to your needs, there’s probably two or more CrossFit affiliates in your city or surrounding area to choose from, find the right fit.

Even if there are no CrossFit affiliates in your area, go to the main website and subscribe to the CrossFit Journal. For $25.00 bucks a year  some of the BEST writing on strength and conditioning anywhere! You get a searchable database of all past journals, videos, pod-casts and articles, along with the new material that comes out every month. An amazing resource.

So there’s your answer to the exercise half of the equation. What about the whole “eating right,” half you ask? Great question, I will attempt to answer that tomorrow! Until then; please, continue to get older (it’s better than the alternative!) and I hope you’ll visit again for more suggestions on how to do so with less “ageing” along the way!

You are What You Read

Thank God for books! And yet thank God that the great realm of truth lies yet outside of books, too vast to be mastered by types or imprisoned in libraries. HENRY WARD BEECHER, Proverbs From Plymouth Pulpit (1887)

I’m not sure when it started, but at some point I’ve grown to love books. Hopefully not as a bibliophile, one who loves books for collection and admiration, but as a bookworm, a person devoted to reading or studying.

The adult relation to books is one of absorbing rather than being absorbed. ANTHONY BURGESS, “The Book is Not For Reading,” The New York Times Book Review, Dec. 4, 1966.

I’ve always admired my best friend John McCarthy, he’s one to never be absorbed by reading. Specifically I recall him telling me on one occasion that he never reads fiction. By contrast when I left Stanford and 600+ pages of textbook reading a week (I did well but never truly “kept up” on all of the reading assignments)  I swore an oath to read novels only for the next year. Honestly, not a very productive year.

Here’s John at his gym with Cameron, right and A.J. left. Just after he opened in 2006. 

John is particularly fond of reading Biography’s. To confirm testimony for today’s post title, John recently published his auto-biography, Let’s Get it On: The Making of MMA and Its Ultimate Referee written with author and sports writer, Loretta Hunt. 

John has enjoyed marked success through hard work. While completing his career with LAPD, John was instrumental if not completely responsible, for the survival of Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) in it’s early days. MMA has completely changed how the world practices “martial arts,” and unarmed self defense. These changes have provided our armed forces, police and others’ tasked with protection and service, marked improvement in close quarter combat systems which can keep them safer in their chosen profession(s).  Not too shabby.

For those of you local to Southern California, John has retired from the LAPD and owns and operates his own MMA/Fitness/Athletic Development Gym in Valencia, CA Big John McCarthy’s Ultimate Training Academy (BJMUTA)A great place to train.

So read on! Absorb, don’t be absorbed and enjoy the journey toward peak performance. Have a great day, Joe H

Kindred Spirit

We are not human beings having a spiritual experience; we are spiritual beings having a human experience.Pierre Tielhard De Chardin

This will be the first of my posts describing an awesome experience my family and I shared this past November, 2011. We found an organization, A Child’s Hope Foundation, with whom we traveled to Baja California, Mexico and helped with their mission to support orphanages there.

We were able to do this over the Thanksgiving break. My wife Linda, and our boys; Cody 17, Cameron 13, and A.J. 9, served with 60 other men, women and children from the USA, Including Paul and Carolene Cook , the founders of the organization and their daughter Megan. (Please read their story here!) The picture to the right is Megan on our mission, with one of her “kindred.”

The whole experience was overwhelmingly positive. The work they are doing is important, valuable and mentally, emotionally and spiritually rewarding… and, on a selfish note, I lost seven pounds from the physical labor too!

We worked in an orphanage, Buena Vida in a small valley city, La Mision (only one “s”) between Rosarito and Ensenada. 

Being a Parent is like being a rock star! –Joe Hamilton.

It’s true, as a father I’ve come home and had my children lose their minds! “Daddy, daddy, daddy’s home!” They make me feel better than the Stones on their return tour at the Colosseum in LA!

The children of Buena Vida treated us the same way. They accepted us as family, immediately, and without question!

I was most struck by the fact that certain children attached themselves to each and every one of us, as if we were returning after a long period of absence. I couldn’t help but think of Pierre De Chardin’s quote at the beginning of this post.

I can’t find an adequate description for this part of the experience, it was so powerful. The phrase “kindred spirit” came to mind;

kindred: “a group of persons related to another; family, tribe or race.”

Spirit: “the soul regarded as separating from the body at death.”

My “kindred spirit” was little six year old Mia. I affectionately “nick named” her “Mia, Mi amore!” The only explanation I can find for her connection to me, as a person, is that we are “kindred,” even family in “spirit” not just separated from our bodies at death but most certainly united with our human tabernacle/body at birth. I know in my heart and soul (spirit) that we, mia and I,  were certainly spirit family before our temporal existence here, only to be reunited on earth last November.

Certainly we are all spiritual brothers and sisters here together, kindred spirits having a human experience.

It is my hope and prayer that this small effort on my part will encourage you to serve your kindred, wherever they may be on earth. I hope also that you will consider A Child’s Hope Foundation as a vehicle for that service!

Here are a few more of the 100’s of pictures Linda took on our trip. I’ve included these few in keeping with today’s “Kindred Spirit” topic.

A Big ‘Ol Pile of Horse Manure

No, I’m not going to talk about the current political campaigns… EVER! Rather I’d like to comment on positive versus negative thinking.

A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.  —Winston Churchill

This quote was taken from a book Linda’s reading on her Kindle,  Brett Blumenthal’s 52 Small Changes: One Year to a Happier, Healthier You. I immediately loved this quote, as opposed to the age old, half empty versus half full cup. But to beat all, (even Churchill?) I would like to share a scientific study with you:

Behavioral scientists studied two eight year old boys, one was reported by his parents, peers and teachers, as being extremely pessimistic, the second was said to be an incurable optimist.

The pessimistic boy was placed in a room full of toys, the optimist in a room full of horse manure. That’s right, manure, muck, dung, compost, fertilizer, droppings, stinky, smelly Horse s@#t! Or for scientific journals “Equine Defecation.”

Four hours later, the learned scientists looked in on the pessimist and found him sitting, head bowed and held in his hands with a sour look on his face among the toys. His inactivity and sour demeanor prompted the following exchange:

Scientist: What are you doing?

Pessimist: Nothing.

Scientist: But why? Why not throw the football or baseball?

Pessimist: I’ll break something!

Scientist: oh, uh, well why not ride the bike?

Pessimist: I’ll fall and hurt myself!

Scientist: Well you could read a book, watch the TV, or play one of the Video games!

Pessimist: Books are boring, TV will hurt my eyes and video games will turn my brain to mush.

After taking a few notes, the scientist went to the room with the optimistic boy and horse manure. They found him covered in manure, running up and down the mountain of muck, gathering it in his hands and throwing it up in the air while  dancing and singing! The Q and A period was much shorter in this room;

Scientist: What are you doing!

The optimistic boy answered without taking a second to stop what he was doing: Are you kidding? With all this horse poop there’s got to be a pony in here somewhere!!

Okay, maybe not better than Churchill, but hopefully made you smile! Have a dung filled day!  And don’t forget; “there’s got to be a pony in there somewhere!” Joe H

Please check back tomorrow, I hope to tell a little more about the Casa Hogar (Orphanage) experience in Mexico (see yesterdays video, under Computers Sex and Nuclear Energy) and share some pictures. Thanks, Joe H

P.S.! Did you know that the spelling for the words defecation, and deification are only off by two letters! I’m serious! Check the links on each word and think of that next time someone places some Hollywood God/Goddess, Singer, Sports Star, Blogger etc. on a pedestal! Hey, I’m just say’en!

Computers, Sex and Nuclear Energy

What do these seemingly disparate subjects have in common?

Computers, Sex, and Nuclear Energy, each has the power to create, each has the power to destroy. Joe Hamilton –Peakaboomer, January 2012

Wow! Pretty heavy no? Fear not, I won’t bore you with a verbose philosophical, moral, spiritual, political rant. If you’re asking why in the name of peak performance I would come to make such a statement, the answer is simple. At least in my wandering, ADD riddled brain. My intention this morning (Tuesday, January 10, 2012) was to CREATE an informative and motivating post with a video about a recent service project my family and I went on in Mexico. Alas my computer had a different plan! It (my computer) hasn’t necessarily DESTROYED  my plans but you may see this post and video later today… or maybe even Wednesday the 11th, as I sit here writing this I’m honestly not sure yet!

On a serious note, I’m curious what your thoughts are on my quote, please do comment! When I said this I was thinking in serious terms:

COMPUTERS can create a myriad of opportunities in education, employment and more, or it can destroy via gambling, pornography and other all too popular websites.

SEX can create a temple (body) for a new spirit sent to a family from Heaven itself, or it can destroy the same family if conducted outside of marital bonds.

NUCLEAR ENERGY can create power for the use of entire cities, or it can destroy the same cities if applied in the form of a weapon of mass destruction.

Well there you are. Hopefully we’ll go out and create all things positive, with the many tools God has given us in these modern times. If I’ve met my goal for today’s “creation” you should be able to watch a video (above) showing the boys and girls of Casa Hogar (literally; House Home) Buena Vida (Good Life) In La Mision, Baja California, Mexico. Linda (see about page under peakaboomer tittle) created this video from pictures she shot while we (Linda and I, Cameron, Cody, and A.J.) served there. The music is a great track, I won’t let go, from Rascal Flatts’ album, Nothing Like This. If the video is not here when you visit, don’t worry I won’t let the computer demons win! I WILL PERSIST, I WILL SUCCEED  Have a great day, night, week… (I still don’t know when my computer will let me post this!) Joe H

P.S. A special thanks to my friend Pete Greene for motivating me to volunteer and serve! And to Linda for finding A Child’s Hope Foundation, a great organization with whom to volunteer and serve.