The One-Liner Bullshit Machete

I’m a huge fan of machete-like pieces of logic which can be used to chop through bullshit. So today I am re-gifting a razor sharp piece of logic which you can use to get choppy on the clumps of poo flying about in your world:

“Never take advice from someone you wouldn’t trade places with.”

– Darren Hardy (Author of The Compound Effect)

I love that line because it’s dead simple. It encourages us to be extremely picky about whose advice we take to heart. Otherwise we’re exposed to potentially shitty advice.

I hadn’t realized this before now, but acting upon advice from a sub-awesome source is like following a map made by an amateur cartographer.  We’ve all had exposure to shitty directions. The instructions weren’t clear, or possibly even wrong, and time was wasted. If we did reach the destination, it was a pain in the ass to get there. The journey was way more work than it had to be.

If I’m going somewhere, whether it’s an actual geographical destination or an abstract future milestone in my personal or professional life, I want a great map. I want to act on only excellent directions.

And I want a sharp piece of logic to cut through the bullshit.

Thanks for the Bullshit Machete Darren!

Retirement Progress Report 2

So things have changed quite a bit since we last looked at the Lowe family retirement strategy. They’ve simplified. Mainly, I realized that it made very little sense to have such a big “Rainy Day” fund ($20k) and not have that money invested and compounding. So now we have $5k ready for emergencies and the rest gets invested.

The last few months we’ve worked hard to spend less frivolously, and to invest more aggressively.

Here are the figures:

TFSA (self-directed TD Waterhouse WebBroker account): $15,194.46

Up $9,127.46 since last report.

This is our main investing account comprised of 3 low MER TD E-Series mutual funds (TDB900, TBD905, TDB902). We’re 1 month ahead of schedule for our goal of $20k invested for the year, averaging $3,042.49 invested every month.

This quarter we invested 42% of our net income. To help free up money for investing, we’ve also been selling thousands of dollars worth of shit we no longer use via Kijiji. Guitars, a motorcycle, electronics, old paintball guns, roller blades, it adds up!

Mortgage: $168,381.87 ($1,496.13 lower than last report)

We haven’t paid down our mortgage any quicker than we had been prior to the last report. Our current interest rate of 2.92% is below what is expected to be earned investing in indexed mutual funds (8%). If we renew in a couple years with a significantly higher interest rate (anything over 8%) it will make far more sense to pay down the mortgage more aggressively and stop purchasing mutual funds altogether.

That’s all for this report, see y’all in October!

 

Top 8 Ultimate Frisbee Rule Mistakes

Apparently I’ve been totally wrong about a handful of frisbee rules for as long as I’ve been playing.

The problem is, like most players, my rules knowledge had been shabbily constructed through a telephone game of what other players claimed they knew about the rules. So, finally, I’ve studied the rules myself and discovered some pretty glaring discrepancies between what I thought I knew and how the actual rules go.

Below I list my top 8 forehead-slapping, “I totally had that all wrong” rule misconceptions. I’ll bet you’ll find a shocker in here too! I’ve included linked annotations referencing The Official Rules of Ultimate 11th Edition so you can double-check my findings.

Defenders Can’t Call “Pick” on the Throw

I’ve seen a defensive player call a “pick” when their path to a disc in flight was obstructed by offensive players, so the defensive player’s interception attempt was unsuccessful. So they called a pick.

(II.G): (i) A defender who turns away from an offensive player and begins focusing on and reacting to the thrower is no longer guarding that offensive player.

So as soon as a defender turns to focus on the thrower, that defender has lost his ability to call a pick (because he can’t call a pick on the thrower (because the thrower is stationary)).

Pick calls are contestable.

A pick can be contested just like any other infraction (XVI.B). Grounds for contesting a pick might include that the picked player was not within 3 meters of or was not guarding (II.G) the receiver at the time of the pick. However, unless the defense retracts their call, the outcome is the same (play stops, and the disc must go back to the thrower if the defense believes that the pick affected the play). – Peri Kurshan, chair of UPA Standing Rules Committee. (link)

Picks come in at the count +1 (or 6 if over 5).

(XIV.A.5.b.1) If a stall count is interrupted by a call, the thrower and marker are responsible for agreeing on the correct count before the check.  The count reached is the last number fully uttered by the marker before the call. The count is resumed with the word stalling followed by the count reached plus 1 or 6 if over 5.

Contact Is Allowed

The big misconception is that there is no contact allowed at all in ultimate frisbee, and that’s flat out not true. There can be contact, even hard contact, so long as the contact does not affect a player’s ability to make the play they were attempting to make.

(II.H) Incidental contact: Contact between opposing players that does not affect continued play.

(XVI.H.2) Contact resulting from adjacent opposing players simultaneously vying for the same unoccupied position, is not in itself a foul.

So if an offensive player jumps for the disc and while in the air collides with a defender, even forcibly, but neither player’s ability to play the disc was hindered, and both players agree it was not a dangerous play, there is no foul on the play. Their contact was incidental.

“Boxing Out” is Allowed

Yes, you can “box out” a player from catching the disc. So if two players are jockeying for a disc, the front player can block the player behind her from getting to the disc, so long as she is also making a general effort to make a play on the disc. It’s only when the front player is solely blocking the back player that she is committing a foul.

(XVI.H.3.c.1) When the disc is in the air a player may not move in a manner solely to prevent an opponent from taking an unoccupied path to the disc. (i)

(i) Solely. The intent of the player’s movement can be partly motivated to prevent an opponent from taking an unoccupied path to the disc, so long as it is part of a general effort to make a play on the disc. Note, if a trailing player runs into a player in front of him, it is nearly always a foul on the trailing player.
“if a defender is playing the disc (e.g. looking at and reacting to the trajectory of the disc in order to make the catch/D), they are allowed to move into unoccupied space for the purpose of preventing their opponent from taking that space (ie- “boxing out”), since they are not solely playing their opponent.” (link)

Double Teaming Distance is Measured to the PIVOT

We can all be a little closer in the cup. It’s not 10 feet to the foremost body part of the thrower, it’s 10 feet to the thrower’s pivot.

(XIV.B.2) Double-team: If a defensive player other than the marker is within three meters of any pivot of the thrower without also being within three meters of and guarding another offensive player, it is a double team.

The Disc is a Body Part

(II.O.3) A disc in a player’s possession is considered part of that player. (i)

(i) Thus, hitting the disc in a player’s possession is a foul
So if the mark hits any part of the thrower, the thrower can call “foul“. Play is stopped and the mark either contests that they hit the thrower or the foul is uncontested. Uncontested, the count resets to “Stalling… 1”. Contested, the count comes in at the count reached + 1 or 6 if over 5.

Disc Space, Fast Count, Double Team, etc. Do Not Stop Play, but “Violation” Does

(XIV.B.5) Fast count, double team, disc space, and vision blocking are marking violations.

And the mark must continue their count 1 lower than the last spoken number or 6 if over 5. Eg: “stalling 1, 2, 3″ “fast count” “2, 3, 4…”

(XIV.B.7) When a marking violation is called, play does not stop. The violation must be corrected before the marker can resume the stall count (i)

What if the mark keeps making violations in the same stall count?

Every time a marking violation, such as the ones mentioned, occurs and is called by the thrower, the marker must do two things- correct the marking violation before resuming the stall count, and drop the count by one (XIV.B.7). For example, if the marker said “four” and the thrower said “discspace”, the marker must first correct the illegal marking position, and having done that can resume the stall count with “three”. If the marker does not correct the marking violation, repeats the same violation or engages in a different marking violation, the thrower may continue to call the name of the specific marking violation, and each time, the marker must respond in the way just explained. However, once a thrower has called one marking violation in a given stall count, if the marker continues to be in violation of any marking rules (XIV.B.1-5), the thrower can stop play by calling “violation” (XIV.B.8). This not only stops play, but the stall goes back to zero (unless the violation is contested). This rule (new to the 11th edition) allows greater flexibility to the thrower, who can choose whether to stop play by calling “violation” or merely to stop/reduce the stall count by calling the name of the specific violation. (link)

Tipping to Other Players is Allowed

I can’t intentionally tip or bobble the disc to myself, but I can absolutely (and intentionally) tip to my teammates. Mind. Blown.

(XV.A) (i) Tipping, brushing, etc. to someone else is legal. It is legal to tip/brush your own throw. However, if after a tip/brush, one is the first player to touch the disc, then it is deemed a tip/brush to oneself and it is a travel.

Anyone Can Call Foul!  (Only The Fouled Player Can Call a Foul)

This one is crazy. I thought only the fouled person could call foul, which makes things difficult for new players who get fouled because they’re uncomfortable with calling foul and being put on the spot. Not so! Any player on the a player’s team can call foul on his/her behalf!

(XVI.A) An infraction may only be called by player on the infracted team who recognizes that it has occurred.

This rule is so crazy that I emailed USA Ultimate to make sure I’m interpreting it properly. Here’s their reply:

Hi Ryan,

If you’re playing under current USAU (11th edition) rules, then the relevant part about who can call fouls is at http://www.usaultimate.org/resources/officiating/rules/11th_edition_rules.aspx#XVI.H
XVI.H.1. “A foul can be called only by the fouled player and must be announced by loudly calling foul immediately after it occurs.
This is because, in general, calls are to be made by players who are certain that a violation of the rules has occurred.  Fouls, by definition, must have affected the outcome of a play, so only a fouled player is considered to be absolutely certain that any contact was the reason that the outcome was different than it would have been absent the contact.
That said, teammates who are more experienced or knowledegable are very much encouraged to explain rules to new players so that they can then, ideally immediately, understand the rules and what a foul is so they can begin to make the right calls and/or contests of calls.  Often that kind of explanatory situation is the best way for new players to learn the rules properly, a key aspect of a self-officiated but still highly competitive sport, and very much a part of good Spirit of the Game (respecting the rules and endeavoring to play by them as much as possible).  So opponents should not object to a new player being taught the proper rules and should themselves desire not to win-at-all-costs but instead to play fairly under the rules.
Hope that makes sense and helps!  Hope the league is a blast!
Thanks,
Josh

Member Services | USA Ultimate

How to Be Really Fucking Productive Whenever You Want

I feel like a big bag of shit today. Last night I drank right after sports and I think when that happens my body gets extra dehydrated. The water I need is replaced by beer and so I wake up with angry little alcohol molecules all throughout my system (and probably a reduced ability to excrete them via breathing/pissing due to my lowered overall body hydration).

But I’m still going to dominate work today, and here’s why:

I Have Magic Headphones

Yep. Magic fucking headphones. According to Olympic coach Todd Herman, creating a secret identity or alter ego can unlock peak performance in elite athletes and everyday Joes. Think back to being a kid, and pretending to be a superhero (or an animal, or whatever). Kids have this natural ability to step into another identity and behave how they imagine that other being would behave. It’s pretty awesome. But we stop make-believing when we grow up, and we think we get better at stuff by “taking it seriously”.

Apparently that’s not true.

It would seem that Todd has created some freakishly dominant athletes by encouraging them to go back to creating alter-egos. These athletes have ways of getting into character just like kids do. A name, such as Batman works. As soon as you become Batman, Batman is on the hook to deliver, not you. And we all know Batman fucking delivers! Ideally, there will be some token item associated with the change. Todd has a special set of “business glasses” that he puts on to become his superhero of business. He takes them off to be with his family, because who he is in business isn’t who he is at home. But when those glasses are on, he’s only the Todd that dominates whatever he’s working on.

Todd talks about a Tennis player who thought Wonder Woman was the epitome of badassery, so she decided she’d be Wonder Woman when she competed. She connected the identity of Wonder Woman with wearing an actual Wonder Woman bracelet.

wonder woman

So for me, it’s headphones. I have a set of those big studio headphones that completely engulf your head and blast epic sound right through your skull. When I put those on, smash a coffee and hit play on something like this, work happens really fucking hard.

I make sure I only have the headphones on when I’m working. I take them off if I stray into a YouTube session or Facebook tunnel. That way I’m physically signalling (and training myself) to respond to the headphones with only epic productivity.

That’s how I get into the zone for work. It’s different for every identity I have. For frisbee, I become the super-hero version of me by taking my shoes off. I play barefoot, and almost nobody else does in my city. So when those shoes come off, it’s time for me to play like a god damn animal. Funny thing is, when I play with shoes because it’s too cold for bare feet, I’m not quite the same. There was a game where this happened and a few points in I took my shoes off. What followed was my equivalent to Clark Kent taking off his shirt and revealing the Superman spandex beneath. Without shoes, I feel like a force of nature, and I play like one.

What are Your Alter Egos?

This is where you get to reflect on what alter-egos you step into, maybe without knowing it. How can you reinforce them with a physical item? Or an action, like taking your shoes off. If you don’t have an alter-ego, is there a super-human version of yourself you could create? What would that person wear? Try it and let me know how it goes!

For the full talk with Todd Herman and his take on becoming super-heroes, check out his episode on the Tony Robbins podcast.