Episode 61 – Fashionably Smaller Meniscus

Is Peter’s meniscus too large? His surgeon seems to think so. World champion coffee is a thing, and Peter owned a coffee shop, once. Scott doesn’t like lizard brain or excessive masculinity, and neither Peter nor Scott have any desire to buy an Apple Vision Pro.

Scott: Friends with Brews, take 22.

Peter: 22 what?

Scott: Seconds, minutes, hours, days, years.

Peter: That’s a lot to take.

Scott: That’s a lot to take.

Peter: Oh my goodness.

Scott: Speeder, Speeder, why did I call you Speeder?

Peter: Speeder and Earl. So that’s a Vermont-based coffee company, Speeder and Earls. So apparently I’m Speeder now.

Scott: Okay, oh my God. Can I call you Land Speeder?

Peter: Land Speeder, sure. Or Snow Speeder if you like. So.

Scott: Anyway, Speeder.

Peter: It’s been a couple of weeks. It’s been a minute.

Scott: It’s been a minute. And even though we’ve gone bi-weekly, the last couple have still been out with probably greater than 14 days in between them. It’s just been that way. It’s just been that way.

Peter: It’s been that way. It’s all right though. We’re back, we’re here. And that’s what matters. Yeah, so what’s going on?

Scott: A lot of busy, a lot of busy, a lot of work. I got sick again. I would love to go a month without getting sick. I just, I’m ready for sunshine. I’m ready for summer. What happened?

Peter: I clicked a button. Oh, I must have clicked the desk view button.

Scott: Yeah, yeah. Cause all of a sudden it popped up a window on my screen and with your mouse moving back and forth. And I was like, I don’t know what’s happening here.

Peter: Oh, I just had a gray screen. I didn’t even know what was going on. That was awesome. Thanks, Apple.

Scott: Don’t you want to show me your desk?

Peter: Apparently I did, but I don’t anymore.

Scott: Okay, good. So anyway, yeah, not that exciting. My daughter had a birthday, I think, since we last talked.

Peter: Okay, happy birthday, daughter.

Scott: Yep, she’s a big girl now. And I don’t know, all kinds of stuff. Still working on getting the cats to be nice to each other. It’s slowly getting better, but still not there yet. Still can’t let them have unfettered access to each other.

Peter: Unfettered cat-cess?

Scott: Right, they can’t have it. Okay, okay.

Peter: Well, I have been, from my side, I’ve been, as I’ve told you, been a part-time flatlander again, and a part-time green mountainer. Or a green mountaineer, I suppose.

Scott: That sounds exciting.

Peter: So yeah, I’ve been back to Vermont on weekends, and you know, basically cleaning out my folks’ place, trying to either make it livable and really nice for my dad if he can come back, and if not, then nice for me, I suppose. So yeah, it’s been work. It is a lot of work dealing with a compulsive hoarder who has had 40 plus years or so to accumulate stuff. It’s not insignificant.

Scott: Hey, I have another question. What about the condition of the buildings, building, buildings themselves?

Peter: It’s solid. The building is in great shape. And about seven years ago, he had some nice new additions put on, had a porch redone, half of the roof was redone, and all vinyl siding put up around it.

Scott: How’s your dad going to become a country music star if the porch can’t collapse and kill the dogs underneath? I mean, there’s nothing to sing about, Peter.

Peter: He never had much of a singing voice to begin with, so it’s okay.

Scott: It would be interesting to have a Greek country singer though, I think, underrepresented minority there.

Peter: Greece has their version, their equivalent of country music, I’m sure.

Scott: I’m sure they do.

Peter: So let’s see, what else has happened? So when, I don’t even remember when was the last episode that we recorded. I know when the last one came out, but I don’t remember when we last recorded it.

Scott: That was it. Whatever we’re recording at the moment is the next one to come out at the moment. We’re not ahead.

Peter: Okay, okay. Well, I don’t remember when that was now, so I have to look at some, but yeah, 2024 has, so far, it’s starting to turn the corner, but up till now, it’s kind of sucked.

Scott: Remember last time we talked about Cats in the Dryer, we talked about the Chicago font.

Peter: Yeah, yep. But did we discuss all the other ringers that I’ve been going through?

Scott: No, not necessarily. We might have mentioned your knee. We talked about your knee. I think you said you were going to have a surgery at that point. Maybe, maybe, maybe not.

Peter: That’s tomorrow, at the time of this recording. That is approximately 16 hours away at the time of this recording.

Scott: So explain to me what they think the problem is and what they think they’re going to do about it.

Peter: The problem is with the meniscus. And I just got the notes from the procedure and the schedule, and it’s a meniskectomy.

Scott: You’re having your meniscus ectomized? That’s no good.

Peter: Ectomized, it’s going to be turned into a ghost. My meniscus is going to ghost me because it’s going to turn to ectoplasm.

Scott: I thought meniscuses were sort of required. That’s why they were there to begin with.

Peter: Well, I’m confused about that myself. See, I thought this was going to be a meniscus repair.

Scott: Yeah. Instead, they’re just getting rid of it. Hey, you’ll never know it’s damaged if you can’t see it, Peter.

Peter: So, yeah, the doctor told me that I will be running again. I can start running in six weeks. So that’s good news. That sold me. He had me at that. I was just like, six weeks, back to start running again. I’m good with that. But it’s an amenisectomy. Wow. Amenisectomy. Yep.

Scott: That sounds painful.

Peter: I hope not. I mean, I will be under anesthesia, so I really hope not.

Scott: Well, I hope it’s not painful at the time it happens, otherwise, they are definitely doing something wrong.

Peter: They’re doing something very wrong at that point, yeah.

Scott: It could still be painful later.

Scott: Hey. So one thing we forgot to do is talk about our drinks. I assume you have a drink.

Peter: I have returning a technically steeped, not brewed, cup of Wegmans English Breakfast Black Tea straight up, no sweeteners, no lemon juice, no nothing right off the bat.

Scott: Tell us what it tastes like and what you think of it.

Peter: It is a nice, strong black tea. It has a very bold taste because I steeped it for the requisite four minutes or so in hot water.

Scott: Uh-huh. That’s good.

Peter: It’s rather smooth. Like many other black teas, I will notice though is if I drink this on an empty stomach, I start to get an upset stomach. I get a little bit nauseous.

Scott: Yeah.

Peter: So luckily I ate about an hour ago though and that’s not happening. So I’m good.

Scott: Are you sure that nauseousness isn’t just the Meniscus talking?

Peter: It could be.

Scott: It could be. Okay.

Scott: So I have another Trailhead Coffee. I’ve had Trailhead Coffee on this podcast before four times, I believe. I looked it up today to see if I’d had this one. This one is called Sweater Weather.

Peter: Sweater Weather. I’ve heard that one before.

Scott: Yeah. Now they claim Crème Brulee, Flan and Chocolate. I don’t taste any of those things, Peter, but I also don’t taste Sweater. So that’s good.

Peter: Yes.

Scott: It’s a pretty good coffee. It’s one of the better Trailhead ones. I don’t know what has either changed with them or me or my brewing process or my taste buds. Their coffee is more bitter to me than it used to be. But this is one of the less bitter ones and it’s pretty good. They also say right on their website here, they use the ceramic origami, or origami, pour over and have achieved great results using the Matt Winton five pour recipe. Well, but deviating by using the origami setup. So I might have to see what that five pour recipe is.

Scott: I have a feeling it’s just a pulse method, right? It’s where you pour it five times, fill a certain amount and stop and fill a certain, I don’t know. I’ll have to find out. Maybe I’m wrong. Maybe right now all the Matt Winton fans are going insane right now. Oh, he uses a Hario. Okay. Well, I have, I don’t have a Hario. What’s the other Japanese popular one?

Peter: Huh?

Scott: The Japanese pour over thing. Japanese pour over, not Hario. Oh, the Kalita. I have the Kalita wave. Only mine is a metal one. And mine was also a super expensive one because it was like the old metal original design, which is better than the new metal design supposedly. So I ponied up the money for it and bought it. But anyway, I’ll have to see what his method is later. Apparently, he’s a world champion coffee guy. Okay. Who knew that there were coffee world champions, but apparently there are.

Peter: I gotta say, I’ve had world champion coffees from time to time, and I have rarely been impressed. I don’t know, maybe my tastes are just really different. But I tend to think those things are fairly overrated.

Scott: I would not be surprised. It’s the same thing where wine connoisseurs can taste, you know, all these things in wine, including…

Peter: Notes of pencil lead and saddle leather.

Scott: Hmm. Wait a minute. Some of these grapes were pooped out of a bear’s behind. Hmm.

Peter: Interesting. Real-time feedback, or real-time follow-up, as some of our podcasting colleagues might say. Menesectomy is a surgical procedure involving the removal of all or part of a torn meniscus.

Scott: Oh, okay, good.

Peter: So that’s probably what’s going on. They’ll probably cut out the torn part, stitch it back together, et cetera, et cetera.

Scott: Yeah, yeah, yeah. So it’ll be smaller now. You’ll have a smaller meniscus. It’ll probably feel tight when you walk. Am I helping? Am I painting it?

Peter: It’s already been feeling pretty tight and not so great to begin with. So no, I was impressed with the doctor. We got along well. He took the time to listen to me. He had good insights in my situation. So I’m feeling pretty confident. Plus it’s happening at MGH, which we affectionately refer to as Man’s Greatest Hospital. So there you go.

Scott: How do you spell that though?

Peter: Mass General Brigham. That’s how you spell MGH.

Scott: Five, pour. I’m just making a note of this guy’s coffee technique. Five, pour, recipe. They call it a recipe. It’s not really a recipe. It’s more of a technique. But hey, whatever, dude, you’re a world champion. You can call it whatever the hell you like, I guess.

Peter: Call it what you like.

Scott: Yeah.

Scott: Okay, speaking of coffee, one of the things that we don’t do a lot on this podcast is get stuck into a deep topic. And one thing that I know we’ve talked about in the past, but one, I’m old and I can’t remember anything, including who you are. I think you’re a friend of mine. But you used to own a coffee shop and we never really talked about, well, I don’t remember the details of how, what got you into that? And then what’s it like to run a coffee shop? Because to me, that seems pretty intimidating. You kind of started that on your own, right?

Peter: Oh, yeah.

Scott: At a young age?

Peter: I mean, it was what, 15 years ago or so?

Scott: So you were like 10?

Peter: Yeah, I was 10 years old because I’m only 25 now.

Scott: You threw down your bike and said, I’m not doing this paper route anymore.

Peter: Ah, I’m going to open a coffee shop.

Scott: I’m going to open a coffee shop.

Peter: So why did I do it? I wanted to capture the coffee shop vibe that I enjoyed in the city. So in my time consulting in New York, when I was a contractor for Chase and Marsh, I just enjoyed sitting in coffee shops. I liked the vibe, I liked the atmosphere, and I would work there a lot too. And it was just fun.

Peter: And I was like, hey, you know what? It’d be kind of cool to capture this vibe here in sleepy little Bethel, Vermont. And I mean, I’ll jump cut to the end, spoiler alert.

Scott: Wait, wait, hold on. Oh, I gotta find a sound clip of time passing. So how many years are we talking?

Peter: I only, I think I had it for a couple of years.

Scott: Okay.

Peter: I forget now.

Scott: So relatively short sound clips.

Peter: Relatively short.

Peter: Yeah, it was within the window of like, most businesses failing kind of thing, yeah, so. But I made the classic business mistake of establishing a product before establishing a market for it. You know, I had ideas, but the, there were a number of failures, number of flaws in the execution. Number one, I wasn’t the one running it all. I wanted to outsource it. And you know, I had a vision and I did not hire the right people to execute said vision.

Scott: It’s hard to find people that have your vision and your passion. At least you got to get them excited to the same amount that you are. And that is rare. It’s rare that somebody gets excited about someone else’s business.

Peter: Bingo. And you know, chef, you know, like if you get a professional chef, you might find that because they are freaking passionate, you know? But I didn’t have that. And I also, you know, it’s one of the things I give you a hard time sometimes for saying things, you know, being a little too self-deprecating. And the reason is because I believe that there are power, you know, there’s powers in affirmations.

Scott: Yeah.

Peter: And you know, one of the mistakes that I made was I said while I was doing this, while I was getting ready to, you know, to while I was in formation, you know, formation, like in its formative time, right? I was working on it and I was telling people that the next time I blow, insert absurdly high number of, you know, dollars here on something, I’m gonna do it on something that I enjoyed. And I was referring to the amount of money that I spent during my divorce.

Scott: Oh.

Peter: And I spent within, I think, 2% of the same amount building out the coffee shop and keeping it afloat for the, you know, however many months or years it was, as I did. It was, and it wasn’t that I’ve like, well, you know what, I’m gonna cut it right here just to make these numbers match. It just happened to like line right up. It was amazing.

Scott: Interesting.

Peter: Yeah, so I was like, well, crap.

Scott: So was the problem that people there weren’t ready for that kind of experience?

Peter: Yes, absolutely. That is it. And now that I’m spending time back in that same old sleepy little town, a lot has changed. Like the town has changed from having a member of the select board, because the town government structure is, there’s an elected select board who then hires a town manager. One of them saying, for instance, when I tried to bring high-speed internet into the, not me like running cables, but me saying Comcast, Sovereignet, Verizon, that was before Verizon, Ninex or whomever it was, bring us your high-speed internet here to this town, right? And I tried to get the town government to buy in on this idea. And the response was, people want something like that, they can move to Rutland. Rutland being the second largest city in the state. And I was like, huh, or yours truly can just move to Boston.

Scott: Yeah, yes, right.

Peter: So I got sick of it because I mean, it was just the town was run by a bunch of old, stubborn, set in their ways, Luddites. And not just in, you know, they were not just Luddites in technology and backwards, but culturally they were backwards, the town was, and still is relatively extremely white. And, you know, it was just, it was a very old school, small mind, small town mentality, and I was sick of it. So counter that to now, after I moved, after I sold the building, like the people who took my building, they executed a little more of some of the ideas that I had. I don’t think they did a wonderful job because they recently, this year, I think, flipped the building and sold it to someone else.

Peter: But they did turn the building into like a community space. And I don’t know, again, how successful they were. I don’t know how the market was. But I have seen, like when I went to the hospital to visit my folks, flyers for yoga classes there in my old space, which I wanted to see there, right? This is before I was a yoga teacher. But I was like, yeah, that’s what I meant. There you go, right?

Peter: But there’s also, there was a trio, I think, of the time, three gay guys moved up from one of the flatland states down here, I don’t remember, you know, New York, Connecticut, New Jersey, Massachusetts, that colloquially referred to as the flatlands from, you know, Vermonters.

Peter: They looked at buying my building. They didn’t because they thought it was too much building for them, you know, it’s not exactly. They bought the building two doors down, and they’ve turned that into a pretty happening bar again. And it used to be a bar many years ago, and then it closed for many years or for several years, and then they found a buyer and they opened it. And now they, you know, it’s a happening scene. And again, this was small mine, small town place, right? Where, you know, like old white guys pretty much running the show. And you go in there now, and the woman behind the bar is, you know, of African American descent, pierced nose. There’s, you know, flyers on the wall about, you know, coming out and just like, you know, readings, DJ nights, all kinds of things you would not have expected to find in Bethel, Vermont about 10 years ago, for example.

Scott: That is cool. So things have changed a lot. And also their mixed drink menu is pretty impressive. So and so is their beer list.

Peter: Their beer list is pretty good. So, you know, it’s kind of funny when we gone, we’ve gone there a few times now since, you know, or a couple times this past month on our, you know, basically we’re making weekly trips up to Vermont. And we’ve gone there, you know, a couple of times. And, you know, my girlfriend thinks the drinks are, in her words, cute. So, you know, we’ll have drinks there with my friends. And one of the bartenders is a former college classmate of mine. I ran into a couple of my old classmates from high school and junior high there. And it’s just kind of funny.

Peter: So, you know, it’s a little bit nostalgic there, but I’m enjoying it. And, you know, Bethel has a little bit of culture. So if I was to retry and I wanted to, which I don’t, you know, I could probably pull it off now. I think it was just a little too ahead of its time.

Scott: What was the name of your coffee shop? It wasn’t Peter’s Coffee Pot.

Peter: Breaking Grounds.

Scott: Oh, that’s right. I knew that. I like that name.

Peter: So anyway, related in a related story, the next town over Rochester, Vermont, also now sports, I think, the 47th best restaurant in the country. It was like some magazine, maybe it’s like US News or something like that, just rated the top 100 restaurants in the country. And we’re in the top 50. So that’s nice. We’ve been there twice also. And really good food, very happy. And that was the thing. That’s something that hasn’t really changed. In my time there, we used to joke, there’s one of everything. If you want something good, there’s one of them. And it’s generally half an hour away.

Peter: So actually, we now have a pretty decent bar in town. And it’s only 10 minutes away or so. And there’s also a really nice restaurant, and it’s about 20 minutes away.

Scott: That’s not bad.

Peter: So yeah, it’s…

Scott: If you drive to the bar and then the restaurant, there’s your half hour.

Peter: Bingo, or vice versa.

Scott: Or the other way around. Yeah, I would do it the other way around. On the other hand, when you go to your dad’s house and you open it up and you look at the cleaning task ahead of you, that’s when you turn around and hit straight back to the bar.

Peter: Go back to the bar. Yep. So yeah, that’s the Bethel scene these days.

Scott: Well, that’s good news. I like to hear… Yeah, I’m okay with small communities and so forth, but I’m not okay with stodgy thinking and close-mindedness and exclusionary thought processes. I don’t like that. And not only that, but when you have that, in addition to the fact that a lot of people won’t be comfortable there, you also are limiting your own enjoyment because you just don’t have those types of places to relax at because you feel like you don’t need them.

Peter: That’s just it, though. I don’t need nothing like that. Exactly. That’s exactly it.

Scott: I wonder why all your kids get out of here as fast as they can.

Peter: Well, they don’t always, though. My godson is very content being right there, and he has no desire to move. But I think it would be great for him to get out, though. When I was a kid, people told me that, too. And I did not have the urge to leave town. And it took me a little while. Frankly, I wish I had done it a lot sooner.

Scott: Yeah, but you did. Actually, that’s one of the things, and I think we’ve talked about this before, but now looking back on it to you, I’m sure it doesn’t seem like that big of a deal at all because you’ve traveled all over the place and you’ve had many different work experiences and places where you work from and work at. But at the time, it was a huge jump for you. It was gigantic.

Peter: Oh, yeah, but that was it. It was my winter in Brazil that made me realize, you know what? I could be happy somewhere else.

Scott: Yes, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.

Scott: I know, that’s the thing is like, when people have provincial thinking, like overly patriotic people is an example, but not even necessarily a whole country. But when people think that there’s only one place that does things the right way and blah, blah, blah, and it’s like, you understand the world is a huge place, right? And there’s been a lot of history between…

Peter: But they don’t, that’s the thing. They don’t understand that. And it goes towards, you know, tribalism and tribal thinking. And that’s, you know, it’s, yeah, it’s scary.

Scott: It’s interesting because in a lot of ways, we’re just big dumb animals that happen to be able to talk about our big dumb animalness. And at the same time, we also have the ability, like, okay, I get that some things are natural. Like I get that tribalism and people that look like us and all that stuff is baked into our lizard brain. I get that. But we also have the ability to overcome that.

Scott: We have all kinds of things in society that are no longer the way animals would do it, right? We’ve all agreed we just don’t go around killing people. Like, you know, whereas an animal… Sometimes we do, but we’re not supposed to. But sometimes, you know, but like an animal, if it sees its enemy, it’s just going to try to take it out or whatever.

Peter: People do that.

Scott: Yeah, I know. And, you know, we have militaries and we justify all kinds of killing of other people. But for the most part, as a human race, we’ve tried to overcome some of the things that make animals animals. And, you know, tribalism is a great example of one that, you know, okay, fine. It’s a natural reaction and a natural instinct in some cases. Some people have it more than others. But it’s okay to try to overcome that and not be subject to that. Just because something is natural or it’s baked into your lizard brain doesn’t mean that it’s the best way. And that’s the benefit of being a human, people, is that you get to try to overcome that stuff. If you were an animal, you would just do the animal thing and do whatever was baked into your lizard brain. But you’re a human, so try to have some imagination, I guess what I’m saying.

Peter: There you go.

Scott: Was that a speech? I feel like that was a speech.

Peter: It felt speech-worthy anyway. Speechy. It was speechy.

Scott: Peter, we have a PSA for people, a Peter Essay.

Peter: A Peter Essay. That’s like a 10,000 word paper that I’ve written?

Scott: You’ve got to, yeah, turn it in. I’m going to run it through something that’s going to tell me whether or not ChatGPT wrote it. Those are full proof, Peter. Any time it comes back and says, this was written by AI, you can trust it implicitly.

Peter: Implicitly.

Scott: Yeah. Anyway, no, you were trying to find out for your father, you wanted to set your dad’s iPhone up a certain way.

Peter: I did. I had this idea. And because I was driving, I was like, you know what? I’m going to audio message Scott Willsey. And ask him, because he probably knows how to do this already. But if not, boy, this would be a killer feature.

Scott: Yeah.

Peter: So the problem is, I call my father, and you know, my father’s got, you know, mid to late onset dementia. He’s a little forgetful. And he never was really good with technology to begin with. So let’s just get that right out of the way.

Peter: And so I’ll call him. And if I FaceTime him, assuming he can answer, everything’s fine, right? Everything goes well. And you know, he answers the phone and everything’s good. If I FaceTime audio or regular phone call him, he can’t hear me because he doesn’t understand the difference between handset mode and speakerphone mode. And he can’t tell by looking at the phone which button, not only what state he’s in by looking at the button, he doesn’t know which button is the speaker button. And I said, Scott, is there, words to the effect of, is there a way to make your phone always answer in speakerphone mode? Because that would be great. And if not, that needs to be a feature. And as luck would have it, you were able to find the accessibility setting for exactly that.

Scott: Yeah, and it’s kind of weird. They’ve moved it. So in the old days, you would go into settings, accessibility, and right under that, there would be call audio routing. And you would go in there and turn it off of automatic and put it on speaker. But now they’ve put it in a subsection of accessibility. So now you go into settings, accessibility, touch. Touch, Peter.

Peter: It’s a little weird that they moved it under touch.

Scott: I guess the thought process there was now you no longer have to touch that speaker button.

Peter: Exactly.

Scott: I have no idea. But now you go into accessibility, touch, call audio routing, and set it to speaker. And it will always come out the speaker.

Peter: I was thinking that it would be, you know, that touch was a little weird and that it would make more sense to put it under audio settings.

Scott: I know I was looking under phone app. I was looking under accessibility audio. I was looking everywhere. But it’s under touch. So there you go.

Peter: There you go. So yeah, there you go. So thank you for that little Peter essay.

Scott: So call your dad. And once he can hear you.

Peter: Well, I just I called the nursing home where he is staying and I asked their activities people if the next time they’re going to be with him, they could just let me know so that I can have them make this change. It was also kind of funny the last time I had a monthly check-in meeting with them a few weeks ago, a couple of weeks ago. And they said, you know, when you call him, we could bring the iPad in for you so that you can have a bigger picture. They were going to bring him an iPad.

Scott: You could have a bigger picture.

Peter: Not my dad.

Scott: Right.

Peter: Me.

Scott: Okay.

Peter: And I had to gently explain to them, that’s not how things work.

Scott: And these are the people you want to have go into accessibility settings for your dad.

Peter: I think I can probably walk them through it. I’m optimistic.

Scott: Well, if it works that way, Peter, you can have my… Look, right now, you’re seeing me in 5K because I’m standing in front of a 5K monitor.

Peter: I mean, you could be on an Apple Vision Pro for all I know.

Scott: Yeah. So… Oh, man.

Peter: So yeah, there you go.

Scott: So what’s your rehab plan going to be? What kind of stuff do you have to do after… I assume after the surgery for a week, you’ll do absolutely nothing.

Peter: I’ll probably be on crutches and do not much for about a week, and then I’m hoping to start physical therapy the following week.

Scott: That’s good. I hope you have good physical therapists there.

Peter: We do. We do. Yes. I found a place that was pretty highly rated, only half a mile from home, and so I’m going to go there. I could try to get into Spalding Rehab, which is like probably one of the top in the world.

Scott: You’ve told me about them before.

Peter: But it’s in downtown Boston. It’s a bit of a haul to get there. I mean, not that bad, but just being able to do it local, and I’m probably going to make enemies if I say this out loud, but a lot of physical therapy is the same. They diagnose you, and then the treatment is based on the diagnosis. Well, the diagnosis is the same no matter where I come. I’m coming out of a menisusectomy.

Scott: It’s pretty clear what happened.

Peter: It’s pretty clear what happened, and therefore that’s the treatment. So there you go. Now, some will do more than others. Some do a lot of hands-on manipulation or maybe electric stimulation and other things like that.

Scott: Don’t let anybody touch you. That’s how you got into this mess to begin with.

Peter: Bingo. So anyway, there you go.

Scott: Every time I think of spalding rehab, I think of all these dogs running around trying to catch tennis balls as they bring their bodies back to full operating condition.

Peter: I think basketballs.

Scott: Yeah. There you go.

Peter: I didn’t know spalding made baseballs, but that makes sense.

Scott: No, no, not baseballs. Tennis balls.

Peter: Tennis balls. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Sorry. I have pen tennis balls, I think.

Scott: Ah, okay. You’re the anti-spalding.

Peter: So there you go. Yeah, so I had a couple of things that I’ve recently overheard.

Scott: Let’s talk about those. Let’s overhear those with you.

Peter: Well, one of the ones that was kind of funny was, and I don’t remember which ones of these I sent to you now and which ones I didn’t, because I was clipping, listening to the latest episode of Daniel Measler’s Unsupervised Learning Podcast. And so one of the things I heard is that apparently there’s a trend, upward trend, of men attending masculinity workshops, like boot camps.

Scott: Oh my God.

Peter: And the, you know, but the thing is, like, it’s… And he said, you know, he’s kind of of two minds on this because, like, you know, he says, yeah, there’s the whole, you know, Jordan Peterson clean your room crowd. And I can think of some folks who need this kind of, you know, like, basically, parenting or fathering, I would call it, old school, probably politically incorrect these days. But then, you know, it’s like very quickly, you know, he’s like, you know, then you need guns and then you’re in a militia.

Scott: Yeah, exactly right.

Peter: But it’s a slippery slope. But on one hand, like, you know, I’ve got personal experience with a kid who really needs a swift kick in the ass and, you know, should join the military. He needs to be like, he needs to get out of the house, get a job. You know, last year, I remember seeing him and I was like, wow, that’s who George Thorogood was thinking when he wrote Get a Haircut and Get a Real Job. Yeah, you know, it’s like this is a classic example. But then, you know, on the other side, you got these, you know, guys who are like, you know, I ain’t never, you know, every time I see a guy in an electric vehicle, I wonder what happened to him? When did he get his balls cut off?

Scott: Right. No, there’s the whole bring masculinity back movement. I remember seeing a guy at work with a book on his desk, and it was about be a man again, be in charge of the family, you know, you’re the head of the family and all this other and I’m like, whatever, dude, but I guarantee you, unless your wife’s a complete moron, she’s at least as smart as you. And partnership is kind of fun, Peter, I don’t know about you, but I like working stuff out with people. And as a family, we’ve got three people here. It’s a hell of a lot more fun bouncing ideas off each other and coming up with a game plan together than it is me being the autocrat. I don’t, I don’t know, man, I guess I’ve been emasculated, but…

Peter: Well, I see, I think I tend to stray more towards the middle ground. I think that there, and again, this may be an unpopular opinion, but I think there are things that different genders or sexes are better at than the other. And I think sometimes a division of labor can be an okay thing if both parties agree on that.

Scott: Yeah. Like if it comes… Yeah. I mean, if you’re clearing out a farm or something, but what I’m saying is both men and women have brains.

Peter: Absolutely. Right. To be clear, right, you know, there’s that slippery slope where you end up in a militia and you’re on red pill every day, right?

Scott: Right.

Peter: But I think that there’s good that can come out of it. It’s, you know, like I said, it’s an unpopular opinion, but, you know, say what you did, what you want about the Germans in the early 20th century. With respect to science and technology, they did a lot of impressive things. Just happens to be that they used them for equally impressive, but not good things.

Scott: Yeah. And they developed them on human beings in some cases.

Peter: Bingo! Which is not cool. Right?

Scott: No, I, man, the whole, I don’t know. I feel like the version of masculinity that these guys want to bring back is XOR-sizing, not ex-er-sizing, XOR-sizing a lot of what makes a human a human. It’s a stunted version of being a human because their idea of masculinity is a certain emotional range and it’s pretty limited, if you ask me.

Peter: It is myopic to be sure, right? But, you know, I think that they are… It’s reductionist, right? You know, they’re basically cutting out a lot and saying like, you know, this is all that it means to be a man. And I’m like, no, there’s a little more to it. There’s a little more to it. It’s part of the… But it’s part of the equation.

Scott: And I think a lot of the problem we have with people doing weird things like shooting up schools and other stuff is-

Peter: Wait, that’s not a proof of your masculinity?

Scott: Well, it’s because people don’t know how to handle emotions. I think you want people with a bigger emotional intelligence, not less of an emotional intelligence, a bigger emotional range, not smaller.

Peter: Mm-hmm. Yeah. But yeah, so again, I don’t know, so I’m not sure I haven’t attended one of these workshops. But if it’s like how to properly understand and embrace your masculinity and stuff, I’m all for it, you know?

Scott: As long as it’s the right definition of masculinity. That’s the thing, like-

Peter: Which you can’t tell without attending one of these classes or boot camps, you know?

Scott: Right. The thing is, the way I was raised, the man’s the head of the household. The man makes the decisions. Father knows best. And it’s like, father doesn’t know best. That’s not a world I want to live in. A lot of old men have gotten us in big trouble in this world. They don’t know best. So anyway, it’s just, it is a slippery slope and a lot of people are getting the wrong message about what being masculine means. I’m not real, see, I don’t get hung up in labels like that. Like I’m not real, I think people are just people. I don’t really care.

Scott: I’m not worried about what is being masculine mean? What does being feminine mean? I don’t really care. I think you kind of are who you are and I’m not real hung up on when I interact with people, I’m not generally hung up on how masculine or feminine they are. It doesn’t really matter to me. Now there are some guys where I’m like, okay, this guy is overcompensating, he’s overly masculine because I’m talking about the flag waving, big truck driving, gun racking, Trump supporting guys who are yelling at people out of their truck windows as they roar by. Those guys have a problem. They’re trying to be uber masculine in the wrong way.

Scott: That’s the only time I really think about somebody’s masculinity or femininity or anything that is even remotely gender related is when I see somebody that’s clearly overboarding it. That’s the only time I really care. I wish people would focus a lot less on their perceived gender role and more about we need to be good human beings and we need to come up with some actual solutions for turning this planet around. I think that is a much more important issue than am I fulfilling some perceived ideal gender role, because the world is going to survive whether or not you are the perfect quote man. But it might not survive if we don’t figure out climate problems, if we don’t raise kids who are solution seekers and problem solvers. These are things that are more important to the existence of humanity than whether or not you look good swinging an ax at a pile of wood. Just how I feel about it.

Peter: It’s funny you mentioned that though. Yesterday, I was stacking wood. Because in Vermont-

Scott: I’m not saying you shouldn’t stack wood.

Peter: Primary source of heat at my place up in Vermont is wood heat. And so I was out there just moving stuff off the wood pile and bringing it into and stacking it up against the house. And actually it felt good. I was like, oh yeah, I’m actually getting some exercise for the first time in a while.

Scott: You’re exercising and you’re achieving a needed chore.

Peter: Yeah. So I was thinking about that too, because I was telling my girlfriend, because I will say like when I first moved to Boston, it was the first time I had reliable forced hot air heat. I had had apartments up in Vermont with baseboard heat and kind of clunky, not so great. And down here I moved, it was the first time I had natural gas. And you don’t get deliveries, right? It’s just always on.

Scott: Peter, I don’t want to freak you out, but that wasn’t just crappy intermittent baseboard heat. That was your landlord blowing air in from below.

Peter: Great, great. Oh, man.

Scott: Let me brush his teeth first.

Peter: Anyway, so I was like, wow, this is really nice, not having to do all these chores, moving around and stuff. And, you know, given that my spaces down here were so much smaller than in Vermont, it was easy, right? It was easy to afford and it wasn’t all that expensive and stuff. So I was like, this is great. I really like this. It’s convenient and it’s not terribly expensive. But this weekend when I was stacking wood, I was like, and this is a great way to get my exercise. This is great.

Scott: But you didn’t go in the house, push your girlfriend out of the way and say, I’m a man, you will respect me.

Peter: I said, you will respect my authorita, actually.

Scott: My authorita.

Peter: That’s exactly what I said to her.

Scott: That’s pretty good. I like that. You’re pretty good at imitating people, I must say. Your best imitation is John Siracusa.

Peter: Well, everybody knows that it’s Siracusa impersonation. And like, oh my God, there were so many good clips from him this week on the Apple Vision Pro.

Scott: You got to go knock on his door, preferably while he’s wearing a Vision Pro and just go do it.

Peter: I got to do it wearing a chicken hat, and I have to make my persona look like him.

Peter: So real quick, notice that you and I are not spouting all about the virtues or the shortfalls of the Apple Vision Pro. Why is that, Scott?

Scott: Well, it’s like Vic and I were talking about earlier this week. It’s, I’m glad Apple’s doing this. I do believe that augmented and or sliding scale into VR is a thing that’s going to happen. I think it’s inevitable that we’re going to have computers hanging in front of our eyes in some form or fashion. I have zero interest in owning one of these, and there is no freaking way that I am stealing $3,500 minimum from my family right now to get one of these. That just is not even happening. There’s so many things on the priority list above it that I can’t even begin to, I can’t, it’ll go for hours.

Peter: You can’t even. Yeah, I get it.

Scott: But even if I had more, even if I had the discretionary spending right now, this is step one, and I get it. This is the beginning of a process. I’m not interested in this particular beginning. Like, if it was the only computing device, like, yeah, I jumped on, my dad and I jumped on the Mac, early days, early days when it was still very hampered by lack of memory and all these other things. Yeah, yeah, yeah, we did that, but that was because that’s what computing was. Right now, we’ve got good, powerful computing options.

Scott: I don’t need a Vision Pro. Let it get a few years down the road and let’s see where it winds up. But right now, I literally have zero interest. I’m interested in hearing what other people say to some extent, although it’s getting a little much. But do I have any FOMO about this whatsoever? I don’t. And I wonder at some of the people, so many people that I’ve heard on podcasts or read about in Discord forums who follow podcasters or whatever. So many people that you wouldn’t think… I say need. It’s not for me to say what other people need, but I hope these people make a lot more money than I do because otherwise, it just feels weird that so many people are buying this. It just feels weird to me right now.

Peter: Yeah. I mean, I’m excited for the prospect, but I see that I will likely buy the Apple Vision.

Scott: Right.

Peter: Right. Or maybe the Apple Vision Pro 2 or something. But I’m not spending $3,500 on this right now.

Scott: You’re not going to buy the Apple Vision Ultra? It’s even bigger, Peter. You strap it onto your face and it’s even thicker than ever. And it’s got a bigger, oranger band that goes around the back of your head.

Peter: I was going to buy the Ultra, the Apple Vision Ultra Pro Max Plus.

Scott: Oh.

Peter: Max. Pro Max Max Plus 2.

Scott: See this is one product where I actually believe I really am waiting for the mini version unlike the iPhone.

Peter: There you go. Apple Pro, Apple Vision Pro mini.

Scott: And do you know why? Because I have a normal size head. Unlike the people who want iPhone minis who have tiny, tiny, tiny little t-rex hands. How many of our listeners did I just lose? Who’s logging off right now?

Peter: Dear listeners off, yes.

Scott: It’s a direction. They have to start now. I get it. Here’s my biggest concern about it. Having been the iPad guy and now being so glad that I’m not the iPad guy and really bumping up against its limitations for long enough that I just have zero desire to bump up against those limitations anymore, I kind of am bumped out that it’s based on iPad OS more than anything. Do you know what I mean? Yes, you can fling windows all over the place, but I do worry that there are going to be some inherent limitations baked in that Apple is not going to want to remove. That does worry me a little bit about this product for the future.

Peter: We shall see. So stay tuned, dear listener.

Peter: When Scott and I buy our Apple Vision products, it’ll probably be… I’m predicting at least two years down the road.

Scott: Oh my God. For me, it’s more like five to ten. Unless something drastically changes with my financial situation where it’s just like, man, I got all the money in the world I need and I’ve got nothing left to do to my house and my daughter’s college is all paid for, unless some of that stuff happens, it ain’t happening.

Peter: There you go. On that note, I think we should put a pin in this and wrap things up.

Scott: I think we should. I think we should put a Venmo. I never have put your Venmo up yet.

Peter: Put my Venmo up.

Scott: Sure.

Peter: Let’s put that up there.

Peter: Dear listener, if you want to get a hold of us, you can find us at friendswithbrews.com. That’s B-R-E-W-S. You can also find Scott on Mastodon at Scott, we’ll see.

Scott: That’s one word at social dot lol.

Peter: And you can find me at nikolaidis at Infosec.exchange, where I very infrequently post. But you can also find me at nikolaidis.com. What about you? Do you have, do you still have a blog kicking around?

Scott: What? ScottWillsey.com.

Peter: ScottWillsey.com. Look at that. So there you go. And with that, I think it is high time that we press the big red button.

Scott: Tell your friends.

Peter: I’ve told my friends.

Scott: You know, if I still had my masculinity, I wouldn’t have a dot lol address. But there you go.