The Calvin Show 005: New Year, No Resolutions

2016 is over and I say put down those “Resolutions”!

In this episode:

  • Avoid New Year pitfalls
  • Stop beating yourself up, you survived another year!
  • Does your brand have a Soul?

What is the New Year to you?
Post your thoughts and questions in the comments.
I love hearing from you.

Subscribe to the mailing list over on the right, so you get notified of new episodes, AND, you know, there are things we can’t really share on video that you’ll hear about over email only. Do it now.

The Calvin Show Episode 004: No News is Good News

In this episode:

  • Why it’s a great idea to stop consuming news
  • What is the actual objective of most mainstream media content?
  • Why comedy can sometimes keep us better informed than normal media
  • How Lady Gaga got famous
  • And we end with … the key to life

Post your thoughts and questions in the comments. I love hearing from you.

Subscribe to the mailing list over on the right, so you get notified of new episodes, AND, you know, there are things we can’t really share on video that you’ll hear about over email only. Do it now.

The Calvin Show Episode 003: Going Home

It’s the holidays, and a lot of us are going home to spend time with the family. Light Ram Dass said: “If you think you’re so enlightened, try spending a week with your family”.

Today you will learn:

  • My commitment to you on this show
  • How to handle the uneasiness of holiday family gatherings
  • How to make a living from passive income
  • What my life was like pre- Simplero
  • The best way to learn a new skill or hobby
  • How to make a delicious holiday cocktail (try this!)


Happy Holidays, see you again soon.

The Calvin Show Episode 002: Victor & Gratitude

On this episode, we meet Victor who after meeting with tragedy has found a new perspective on life. I spoke with him at length this summer, and he graciously agreed to come on the show and share his experiences with you. This is his story…

We talk about:

  • the importance of being grateful for all the little things
  • following through on your word (or not saying said word in the first place if you ain’t gonna follow thru)
  • gaining perspective through life changes

Post your thoughts and questions in the comments. I love hearing from you.

Subscribe to the mailing list over on the right, so you get notified of new episodes, AND, you know, there are things we can’t really share on video that you’ll hear about over email only. Do it now.

The Calvin Show Episode 001: Let’s Do This!

Welcome to “The Calvin Show” reloaded!!

On The Calvin Show I share everything I’ve learned about business, spirituality, life, health, relationships, cocktails, food, and music through a life of experimenting fearlessly, creating a multi-million dollar business, devouring a creative life, and completely redesigning my life from the inside out.

In this episode, I reveal the most important two questions you can ask yourself, as well as answer a couple of great questions from you guys.

You’ll learn:

  • Why everything is exactly how it should be
  • How to make sure your social circle don’t pull you down
  • How take make a profitable and exciting living from your creative genius
  • Why the old Chinese guy didn’t care that his son broke his leg

Post your thoughts and questions in the comments. We love hearing from you.

And make sure you subscribe to the mailing list over on the right, so you get notified of new episodes, AND, you know, there are things we can’t really share on video that you’ll hear about over email only. Do it now.


Creator’s Criticism, or the new MacBook Pros

I haven’t been blogging in a while, but the controversy over the latest MacBook Pro announcement just has me fired up. As a creator of things, I’m frankly appalled at the outrage over the new Macs. When I look at them, I understand and agree with every single one of the decisions I’ve seen Apple make here. I really don’t get why they’re taking so much heat over this.

Personally, I kept hitting refresh on the Apple Store app on my iPad after the keynote, until it was ready to take my order for the biggest and baddest of them. $200 CPU upgrade: Check. $1200 upgrade to 2TB SSD: Check. 4GB graphics: Check. $4,300 plus tax, almost $4,700 including tax.

Would I have liked it to be cheaper? Sure.

Would I have liked it if it had 32GB of RAM instead of 16GB? And would I have paid extra for that? Sure.

Would I have liked an even faster CUP? Sure.

But we live in the real world. In the real world, Intel doesn’t make faster processors, and apparently they can’t handle more than 16GB of RAM without a serious power consumption penalty. Could they offer that to power users anyway? My guess is, yes, but not without serious non-obvious consequences, and possibly challenging changes in other parts of the system.

I for one can’t wait for Apple to eschew Intel entirely and make their own CPUs for Macs, but I’m afraid it might be some ways off. It seems like eventually they’ll have to do it, though, and I’m paying that day comes soon, because clearly it looks like Intel has dropped the ball.

As for the ports, I LOVE that it comes with four absolutely identical ports. My current MacBook Pro has 1 power connector, two USB-A ports, two Thunderbolt 2 ports, an HDMI port, a SD card reader. I very rarely use the Thunderbolt ports. I’ve never used the HDMI port, not even once. I’ve used the SD card reader a handful of times, maybe.

My problem is, when I make music, I need to plug in both an iLok, a eLicenser, and an external SSD hard drive, to have everything. That requires 3 USB-A connections, but my Mac only has two. So with my current Mac, I have to either plug in a USB hub, which I do at my desk. Or I have to juggle the iLok and the eLicenser, which I do when I’m out and about, because it turns out the music software plugins only need the thing plugged in when the plugin loads.

A setup with four identical connectors makes so much more sense to me. Then instead of a 2 + 2 scenario, there’s four. Sure, I need a new cable for my USB hub, and a new cable for my audio interface, and an adapter or two for the licensing dongles, but those are both cheap and easy to find. To my knowledge, there’s no adapter that’ll let me plug an USB-A device into an HDMI port or an SD card reader or a Thunderbolt 2 port. The last one totally might exist, I’ve just never heard of it (or really looked for it).

The new world order where everything’s USB-C, and that connector supports power, USB 2 and 3.1 as well as Thunderbolt 2 and 3, and you can get connectors for everything else … just so much simpler. Stop bitching, everybody! It’s beautiful and clean and simple and easy.

The stories about needing $250-300 worth of dongles are just ridiculous. I bought two tiny USB-C to USB-A adaptors at $11 each. I bought a small USB-A hub with a USB-C connector for when I’m on the road for $18. I also bought a USB-B to USB-C cable for my audio interface for $7, and a USB-B 3.1 to USB-C cable for my current USB hub for $9. I also bought 2 pure USB-C cables, because my 2 TB Samsung portable SSD actually comes with a USB-C connector built-in, for $13 for two cables. A grand total of $69. And I could’ve gotten a way with at least a third less if I wanted.

As for USB-C to lightning, I’ll probably wait till Amazon has their Amazon Basics cables out there. I actually like them better than Apple’s own, and they seem to be more sturdy. Apple’s lightning cables have a tendency to come undone near the lightning connector, and I abhor things like that. I toss them as soon as the outer casing comes undone.

I have a feeling that there’s consideration within Apple of ditching the lightning connector altogether and go with USB-C everywhere. It’s reversible, it’s small, and it’s now universal. I understand there’s a lot of investment into the ecosystem, but it just makes so much sense. When the lightning connector was introduced in September 2012, it would be another 2 years until USB-C was introduced. Apple had to move away from the 30-pin connector, it was just too big and ugly and old. But were they to do it all over again today, it would make so much more sense to go with USB-C. Sure, they have intellectual property rights on the lightning adapter, and that gives them a certain power, but my feeling is the cleanliness and elegance of USB-C everywhere would outweigh that. Okay, I’m talking about things that I know very little about right now, but that’s my hunch.

Bottom line, I’m really excited about getting a new Mac, I’m slightly scared about losing the Esc key because it feels like I’m using it all the time, and I really don’t get the amount of flak that Apple has had to take over the announcement of the most recent upgrade to the MacBook Pro.

Go Apple. I, for one, think you’re still kicking ass. Hope it counts for at least a little.

Some Good and Bad Reasons to Meditate

Some bad reasons to meditate:

  • To punish yourself
  • To improve yourself
  • To avoid feeling something
  • To avoid facing some truth
  • Because someone told you to
  • To be a good meditator
  • To kill time
  • To suffer

Some good reasons to meditate:

  • To love yourself
  • To spend quality time with your inner child
  • To enjoy the juiciness of the present moment
  • To enjoy your own company
  • To feel yourself


Once You Know Why

Have you ever been struggling with a problem, beating yourself up over it? “Why can’t I get in shape? What’s wrong with me? Why can’t I stop eating sweets? Why can’t I stop overspending? Why do I always end up in an argument with my partner?” And you just keep making yourself wrong, and you keep doing it, and you keep being miserable.

I know I have.

And then something changes. An insight arrives. A deep shift within. And suddenly you understand why you did that. At a deep level.

And all that’s left is compassion.

Compassion for yourself. For the part of you that’s wounded, that needs this behavior for protection. The part of you that survived all the difficult times, all the pain.

Maybe the problem changes. Maybe it doesn’t. But instead of beating yourself up, you now feel compassion for yourself, because you understand why.

In my experience, that’s how it always goes.

It’s worth remembering when you’re busy beating yourself up:

Try compassion instead.

It’s much more warranted.

Much more helpful.

Upgrading to Rails 5: Solving NoEnvironmentInSchemaError

I’ve been upgrading Simplero to Rails 5 over the past few days. Since I have a running application with customers all over the world, I’m going to do that on a branch and test it thoroughly until I’m prettty certain everything works.


So while that’s going on, I find myself switching between my Rails 4.2 branch and the Rails 5 branche.


And this would cause my automated builds on Jenkins to start failing with this error:


rails aborted!

Environment data not found in the schema. To resolve this issue, run: 

	bin/rails db:environment:set RAILS_ENV=test

It took me quite a while to figure out what needed to happen, since this is not documented very well in neither the code nor elsewhere that I found.

This feature depends on a magic table existing in your database, named “ar_internal_metadata”. This table has one row, which contains the key ‘environment’ and the value ‘test’ in this case. The goal is to prevent you from accidentally dropping your production database, thinking it was the test database.

The problem occurred, because I was switching back to the Rails 4.2 branch, and while there, Rails would save the db/schema.rb file, which would now include the ar_internal_metadata table, but with an incorrect definition. Next time Jenkins ran my Rails 5 tests, it would find that table, and thus not create it, but it wouldn’t work, because the primary key was created as an int(11) and not a varchar(255).

The solution was to write a small line of code that just removes that table from the test database, if it exists, before starting the test suite. The line looks like this:

mysql -e 'DROP TABLE ar_internal_metadata;' simplero_test || true

 The last || true part is so Jenkins doesn’t fail if the table doesn’t exist.

So if you run into something similar, now you know what’s going on.

The Calvin Show Episode #8: When Are You Out of Integrity?

Being in integrity is one of those life habits that impacts everything.

In its essence, it’s pretty simple: You honor your word, you honor your commitments, you honor your boundaries, you plug the leaks and close the holes. You become whole.

If you make a promise, you keep it. If you owe money, you pay them back.

Once you get in the habit of living this way, you’ll feel the energy and strength and character build up inside of you.

It can feel painful or scary or uncomfortable in the moment, but you’re always the better for it.

As always, I want to hear your comments, questions, suggestions, and opinions! Email me, comment on the blog, share the video, and as always, chill the fuck out.

Some fun moments from the show:

1:00 — Ari says “My balls and my word is all I have”
3:30 — When coincidence happens, it’s important to pay attention
7:50 — The first time someone asked me if I’m impeccable with my word
9:45 — I found this to be a useful question to ask people when I meet them…why, you ask?
15:34 — Being impeccable with your word never ends up being a problem, even if it’s scary up front