Friday Inspiration 416

This is a couple years old but it’s the first I have actually heard of it—a pretty cool short video about Greg Cummings hiking the Manitou Incline in Manitou Springs, Colorado (2000 vertical feet in less than a mile), 1825 times in one year, which is, if you’re keeping score at home, 3.65 million vertical feet, which is, if you’re not keeping score at home, HUGE. (thanks, George)(video)

screen capture from INCLINE | Greg Cummings' World Record Climbs on the Manitou Incline


Anybody send you this New York Times article about the guy who made a Skinner box to enable rats to take selfies yet? Trust me, it’s fun. Here’s a gift link (free access).

Florence Williams’ book The Nature Fix is one of those books I find myself mentioning in conversation probably once a month, for all the insights I remember about how nature/the outdoors has positive effects on nearly everything in our lives. I was emailing with Florence recently and she happens to be leading several retreats in Colorado in 2024:


If you were scrolling through the Oddly Satisfying subreddit and you saw a video titled “Garbage truck eating couch,” would you click on it? Well, I did, and I’ll tell you, it was, in fact, oddly satisfying.

I had this half-assed idea a few years ago, to take photos of outdoor basketball hoops, on people’s garages, in driveways, wherever, since there are a couple of really interesting-looking ones in my neighborhood. But I thought I should google it first to see if anyone had done something similar, like a coffee table book of basketball hoop photos. To my relief, a guy named Rob Hammer had, so I ordered his book, American Backcourts. Somehow things got mixed up and I got shipped a copy of his book American Barbershops (which contained a photo of what I’m pretty sure was the first place I ever remember getting my hair cut in Red Oak, Iowa). I emailed him, got it straightened out, and got the basketball book too, it was fantastic (just like the barbershop book). Anyway, I’m still on his email list and was excited to see an email titled “Basketball Culture Photo Gallery” pop up in my inbox a couple days ago. It’s a fun selection of photos he has taken at public basketball courts in Los Angeles—what’s great is only a handful of them are shots of actual basketball games being played.

I saw the Oscar nominations announcement this week, and all I could think of was Eddie Vedder’s famous speech (MTV Music Awards or something, 1990-something?) in which he talked about how weird/ridiculous it is to give awards for art. Like to me, the real award is a bajillion people watching, connecting with, and loving your movie. In light of last week’s news, this list of 20 performances overlooked by the Oscars is a good read.

I subscribed to Anne Trubek’s newsletter, Notes From A Small Press, a while back, and have been loving it. Especially this week when I saw my book I Hate Running And You Can Too was suddenly listed at $8.99 on Amazon (and $1.99 for the Kindle), when the cover price is $14.99. Like, shit, should I tell anyone? Do I even get royalties when the discount is that steep? Thankfully, Anne’s newsletter this week was titled “Common Misconceptions About Publishing Part II,” and answered my question. (Thankfully, I make the same amount of money on the deeply discounted Amazon books—not as much as if you buy them from an independent bookstore, but as much as if you bought one from Amazon for $14.99). And then of course I went digging for Common Misconceptions About Publishing Part 1, and it’s only for subscribers (but if you’re really that curious, subscriptions to the newsletter are only $16 in January instead of $40).

And hell, if you want to buy one or several of those very affordable copies of I Hate Running And You Can Too, I’m certainly not going to be mad at you. Here’s the Amazon link to the paperback and the link to the Kindle version.

P.S.: Today’s newsletter marks EIGHT YEARS of doing this thing. Hope you’ve enjoyed it as much as I have. If you’ve enjoyed it enough to help keep it popping up in your inbox every Friday, here’s how you can support it.