What is Good Enough?

We all want to know…

What is good enough?

Am I smart enough?

Am I strong enough?

Am I capable enough?

Am I able to do what needs to be done? To achieve the thing I wish to achieve?

I can’t answer that for you.

And I’m not sure anyone really can provide a single concrete answer.

For me in my world – where I like to lift weights – what is “strong enough”? There are strength standards. And more thoughts. And other thoughts. And if you search around, you’ll find even more. But look at their bias. Do they consider sex/gender (because that matters)? Do they consider age? Do they consider capabilities (e.g., someone with one arm)?

It’s good to have some indications like these, because they help us understand what is at least possible. To go from zero to world records, that gives us the continuum of what’s possible in the realm of human capability. But we all know that world records are outliers, people with a particular gift to go along with work ethic and time invested. So still, along that continuum, where can we go?

I know a cop who is a large mammal – almost gorilla-like strength. His physical strength was a huge asset in his job. But then, he couldn’t run a foot pursuit worth a damn. He worked to be able to run well, but lost so much strength. Today he’s found a medium between the two. So do these standards consider context? do they consider situation and need?

My chief profession is a software developer. As an iOS developer, my world is narrow in a sense, but one can go quite deep within it. I see web developers, and the vast choice of technologies and approach one can take is staggering. How many languages, how many platforms, how deep, how broad – what makes one a top developer?

Or how about another part of my world, with defensive pistolcraft.  Karl and I may have spoken and written about “Top 10 Drills”, but when you think about it each one of those is a particular standard. And there are so many more. What makes this one a better standard? Which one really qualifies you as “good enough”?

I was teaching this past weekend, and this topic came up. What is “good enough”? What is “sufficient”? It doesn’t really matter the context in life, it’s a general topic that applies to anything.

And all I could think of as a good and acceptable rule?

Just be better today than you were yesterday.

How often do you inspect your equipment?

The title says it all:

How often do you inspect your equipment?

It doesn’t matter the context. If you have equipment you rely upon, it should get some sort of periodic inspection.

When was the last time you checked the air pressure in the tires of your car? Or the oil? Or the washer fluid? How about if all of the exterior lights (turn signals, brakes, backup lights, etc.) work?

How about the fire extinguisher in your kitchen? The smoke detectors in the house?

The backup system for your computer (e.g. Mac OS X’s Time Machine). When was the last backup run? Is everything in order?

The list can go on.

I’m far from perfect in this. I’m like you: busy, with a lot of things on my plate and in my head. I can’t remember everything, and things do slip through the cracks. For example, I wear a kydex pouch on my belt to carry my flashlight and a spare magazine. A few weeks ago I realized that one of the belt clips had started to crack. I’m glad I caught it because it wasn’t too long before it fully broke. I was able to get a replacement ordered in time.

Funny thing tho? The replacement wasn’t properly made so I had to send it back (they did correct things; a topic for another time). Thus I was without the pouch for a little while. I used my rotary tool to cut off the broken parts and whittled it down to just a flashlight pouch. But what to do about carrying a spare magazine? While I do have other mag pouches, it would have made EDC cumbersome. So, a DeSantis Mag-Packer to the rescue. It was good to have some sort of equipment redundancy.

Friend of mine had a similar issue with the flashlight in his car’s glove compartment. The bulb fried somehow, and SureFire is going to take care of it. But better that he found out now instead of when he was stranded roadside at night needing to change his tire.

Any equipment and things you rely upon, inspect them. Fix them. Replace them. Do whatever is needed, so when you have to call on your equipment, it’ll be there.

Wither empathy

Stop scrolling. You need to take 2 minutes out of your day and read this. Seriously, stop scrolling and read this article. (h/t Brian Brown)

And then remember what “empathy” is and figure out where yours went.

As the 2015 comes upon us, perhaps a good resolution for everyone is to rediscover empathy.

Plate mail armor is awesome

Shawn sent me this video “Le combat en armure au XVe siècle”

I was surprised how agile and nimble one could be in plate mail. The level of mobility was not what I expected. Quite cool.

The one thought that kept going through my mind was how deaf the combatants became over time. All that clanking must have been hell on your eardrums. 🙂



(h/t Shawn)

Every day I carry 2 Spyderco Delicas and use them regularly.

And the Triangle Sharpmaker is just a fantastic sharpener. It’ll never be like the real artisans can do with a Japanese whetstone, but it’s so easy for anyone to use and gets things sharp enough for most needs.

I like hearing about his beginnings and how he slowly built, experimented, innovated. Awesome success story.

Best Fight Scenes

Want to see some of Asian cinema’s best fight scenes?

Some awesome stuff. Anything with Jackie Chan is always awesome because not just his performance, but he always stages some awesome elements into the scenes to make them more than just punching and kicking.

I’ll also say that #15, the knife fight from “The Man From Nowhere” (2010) is brutal. I mean, not for the weak stomached. But it does make you realize that if you have to fight, you must be swift and brutal and do whatever it takes to win (or at least, not die).

Clearing the backlog

I’ve had a bunch of links backing up in my queue, things I wanted to post about. Just going to clear them all in one fell swoop. It’s a smorgasbord.

What’s Behind The Shocking Collapse in Violent Crime” (h/t LowTechCombat)

A look at the most recent FBI crime statistics, and how violent crime is actually dropping in the US — despite what the media portrays. One possible reason they overlook is the growth of firearm ownership and concealed carry by law-abiding citizens.

TxDPS – Winter Storm Preparedness (h/t TxDPS)

A few simple checklists of things to help you prepare for winter storms. Be it supplies worth having in your car, to dealing with the aftermath of a storm, to helping the elderly.

13 things a man should keep in his car” (h/t ArtOfManliness)

Going with the above winter storm lists, here’s 13 more things that are just good to have in your car all year round. I’ll take odds with #3 – MagLite was a great old standby but flashlight technology has evolved. Look at SureFire or Streamlight (or even Fenix); for a car flashlight I would want it to run on CR123A’s, because those batteries can sit around for years and still maintain power. I’d also look for a model that can either be somehow attached to say a hat brim so you can work hands free (need both hands to change a tire) and/or that can be rested on the ground and used like a lantern/candle to again shine light hands-free.

Read the comments for more suggestions. Certainly a lot of what you keep in your car will depends upon your needs, your particular car, where you are in the world, and how and where you’ll be traveling.

Top 10 Secret Features in Mac OS X Lion” (h/t maczter)

I still haven’t upgraded all my machines to Lion, at this point mostly from inertia. But I have upgraded one primary dev machine and am growing to like it. Still, it has some quirks and issues, and this is a nice list of things to help make it a bit more manageable.

Laws over BB gun use could affect your child’s Christmas”  (h/t NRANews)

While BB guns technically aren’t guns, they certainly can do some damage. You should still treat them like firearms, using them responsibly, adhering to all proper gun safety rules, and using them as a great way to introduce kids to firearms in a safe and responsible manner. The respect and responsibility starts here.


Lack of civility

 “People were getting pushed, and they had to keep stopping on air telling people to stop pushing, and then there was fighting, and then we had to end it early,” said WJLB intern Chevelle Potts.

There were hundreds of people inside the mall to see several singers like Diggy Simmons and Bow Wow who were set to perform for the fundraiser, but the fighting broke out before they even took the stage.  “It was a lack of security, and we had to bring in the Southfield police,” said Potts.

Full Story.

I think Fark.com commenter “feckingmorons” said it best:

It wasn’t a lack of security, it was a lack of civility. Civil people don’t fight over free coats.

It speaks of the mindset. Individuals were not held responsible for their behavior. No, it was someone else’s fault: it was the mall’s fault or the radio station’s fault or the promoter’s fault for not providing enough security.