HomePod Intervention

All in all, I thought the move to the HomePod was going well right until my family staged an intervention. Their annoyance with Siri misunderstanding or misinterpreting has grown over the last few weeks, and the clumsiness with which Siri handles — or doesn’t handle — some requests has become bothersome.

Reports like this are one of the big reasons I haven’t really considered purchasing a HomePod. The audio quality piques my interest, but that’s not quite enough for me.

A HomePod Intervention


The Patagonia Dad

I came across this article in my twitter timeline the other day.

Patagonia Dad, as we might call him, is absolutely everywhere. He’s at your child’s preschool, cropping up in breweries, roaming the dried goods aisle for trek mix ingredients, in the feeds of photographers like the woodsy Annie Hock. Check under your couch — like mice, he knows how to maneuver his body through tight spaces because he once watched a spelunking documentary. One glance and you know that when he gets home he will stuff his down vest into a closet full of more down vests, each a relic of past forays into the nearest REI and a symbol of the future trips he will take to collect his dividend. He may not have an opinion on diaper brands, but he knows the technical specs for all Patagonia jackets and fleeces dating back to 1995, and his blood is 100 percent traceable down.

Nailed it! Insert my name in to that article and I feel like the author is just talking about me. This last bit I found especially amusing.

He ~cannot~ wrap his head around spending $500 on a stroller but would drop the same amount on a family-sized tent if he could.


I liked this article so much (and agree with pretty much all of it) that I even changed the name of my YouTube channel to....you guessed it, Patagonia Dad.

 image via @anniehockphoto on Instagram

image via @anniehockphoto on Instagram

This Website Is Making It Easy to Plan Your Next Great Adventure

One of the hardest parts about joining in on adventure tourism is the barrier to entry. After all, you can’t just head out on a 10-day trek without the right experience, gear, and training. But taking a backpacking trip through a remote area or climbing to the top of a destination’s most popular peak can let you experience a new place in such a unique way.

Back in 2010 I had set aside some time to go do one of these big trips. I was planning on heading to Nepal for 3-4 weeks with my wife to trek up to Everest Base Camp and possibly Ama Dablam. However, due to the nature of my work I ran in to some red tape that prevented that trip. (I’ve always regretted not being able to go)

So, how do you do it? The best way is to hire an experienced local guide and let them prepare and teach you along the way. This may seem like an easy answer, but scouring the Internet for qualified guides and treks that fit your needs can be a daunting task. After all, reading review after review can only give you so much insight and after a while the results can seem overwhelming.

Enter Explore-share.com....

I was that guy, scouring the internet hoping to find a reasonably priced and reputable guiding service that didn’t necessarily do everything for me, but that would guide me though Nepal and to those amazing locations. I would have been all over this site had it been around back then.

This Website Is Making It Easy to Plan Your Next Great Adventure



Magical Must-Do Hikes in Olympic National Park

Western Washington State gets a lot of flack for "bad" weather, but the rain forests of Olympic National Park make it all worthwhile. The 12 to 14 feet of annual rainfall in the Olympic Mountains yields an intensely lush landscape of moss-dropped cedars, towering spruces, and fog-shrouded Douglas firs, some 300 feet tall. The relative rarity of a rain forest in the United States has obvious appeal, though that's just one card in this park's ecological full house.

Good God there are so many places just in the US that I want to go to. This is definitely on the list now.

Magical Must-Do Hikes in Olympic National Park


The Only Aeropress Recipe You'll Ever Need

I’ve always been curious to try drinking Aeropress coffee more. I even bought one of these for my mother and she loves it. This blogger seems to have his own, simpler take on a good Aeropress coffee recipe.

But there’s also reason to be wary of many of the more popular recipes circulating out there. Many call for more an absurd amount of coffee, often a 10:1 ratio, or even stronger. While I’m sure that many of these recipes with the right coffee could make an interesting, even delicious cup of coffee, for people in the real world, who are using their hard-earned cash to purchase coffee, I question such an inefficient recipe. If you can make a delicious cup of coffee with 15 grams of coffee, why on earth would you waste another 5–7 grams?

That’s why I’m sharing my fourth place recipe from the 2016 US Aeropress Championship*. Sure, it wasn’t quite good enough to book my ticket to Dublin for the World Championship, but it’s surprisingly versatile and pretty simple. You’ll need an Aeropress, a grinder, a scale, a kettle, and some coffee.

Fourth in the whole US? I’m in.

The Only Aeropress Recipe You'll Ever Need | The Coffee Compass

Use the Apple Airpods as Bluetooth Wireless Microphones for Video with the iPhone!

I’m looking at starting to make some videos with my new GoPro and other camera gear I’ve had for a while. The videos may make their way to YouTube, but primarily I want make videos my kids can look back on and reminisce about their childhood. Camping, family outings, family travel, etc.

I don’t know anyone who doesn’t get nostalgic looking at old school 8mm video of them and their parents in the 70s or 80s...and I want to be able to give my kids something like that.

As I was flying back home from a work trip, listening to music with my AirPods, I wondered if they would work in some sort of vlog setup. I asked my buddy Google and he came up with the answer.


The ONE thing you have to know though is that you can't just use ANY app to record your videos. The Airpods will not work with the native app. So far, from the 3 filming apps I've tested, (Apple Camera app, Filmic Pro and Movie Pro

Good to know. I’ll be messing with this a bit and who knows, perhaps I’ll get some of my own video up on the site.

Use the Apple Airpods as bluetooth wireless microphones for video with the iPhone!


You Make Or Break Your Life Between 5-7 AM

Given that your morning hours are your most important, you shouldn’t dedicate those golden hours to activities which are merely “good.” As Jim Collins has said, “Good is the enemy of great.” Similarly, Dallin Oaks has said, “We should be careful not to exhaust our available time on things that are merely good and leave little time for that which is better or best.”

I am whole heartedly in the early riser group and believe in the benefits of having time to yourself to reflect and start your day.

Research confirms the brain, specifically the prefrontal cortex, is most active and readily creative immediately following sleep. Your mind is clearest in the morning. Your energy is highest.

So What Should You Do First Thing In The Morning?

What do you do to start your day?

You Make Or Break Your Life Between 5-7 AM – Thrive Global


Using Bear as a Things note attachment repository

As it stands, Things does not have note attachment support or any sort of rich previews inside its task notes. So, if you create a task and want to add something to that task’s notes, you’re limited to inserting text and URLs — no photos, no PDFs, and no HTML/rich text/Markdown support for formatting text. You can drop in a URL in the task notes, but that URL is simply a URL — if it’s a link to a specific webpage, there’s no link preview either.

Using Things’ new URL scheme support, I’ve mostly overcome Things’ current note attachment limitation. In short, all my task notes are now held in Bear.

I love both apps and even tried this workflow...and it works. However it’s a whole bunch of taps to try and take a quick note for Things.

I could see this as possibly a processing method at the end of a day where you want to link a bunch of new notes and tasks you have. But it’s slightly cumbersome for truly quick input.

Sure is fun though if you like these apps.

Using Bear as a Things note attachment repository – The Sweet Setup


These Amazing Sketches Will Make You Wish You Could Draw

"I first started drawing as a little kid," Wiklund told Buzzfeed. "Then, art took a back seat to music for a good portion of my life, until I started dating a girl named Jordin. It was how I told her something that I couldn’t figure out how to say with words." Jordin encouraged her husband to start drawing something every day, and before long, he realized that his favorite things to draw were times he shared with Jordin.

Not gonna lie, my eyes may have gotten a little watery when I first saw these. Amazing emotion in these.

This Man's Drawings Of Life With His Wife And Kids Are So Sweet, You Might Tear Up


SwellRunner Overlander...a VLOG Worth Watching

I stumbled across this VLOG because I’m in the market for a bigger car (Jeep doesn’t cut it for a family of 5) and I still want some off-road capability. Jason Koertge does an amazing job editing and narrating his VLOG...so much so that I’ve spent the majority of my Saturday watching just his VLOG. Seriously, it’s that good.

The episode above is exactly what I’d love to do with my kids. Check out his YouTube channel here.

Outdoor Industry Officially a Big Deal (according to the government)

The outdoor recreation economy is officially a big deal. On Wednesday, the federal Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) released numbers detailing the economic power of the outdoor recreation industry, showing it comprises 2 percent ($373.7 billion) of the entire 2016 U.S. Gross Domestic Product.

It’s an impressive figure that puts it on the scale of industries like construction (4.3 percent); legal services (1.3 percent); agriculture, including farming, forestry, and fishing (1 percent); and, most significantly, mining, oil, and gas extraction (1.4 percent). The report also stipulates that the outdoor industry is growing by 3.8 percent, a faster rate than the overall economy (2.8 percent).

So the government did some math—what’s the big deal?

It makes a big difference that this is a number derived from an established and trusted government agency and not a private industry association. The OIA could publish as many detailed reports as it wants. That doesn’t mean that its number could be used by civil servants as they make decisions that concern the land people recreate on. “Land managers haven’t been able to gauge the positive impacts on the economy for recreation,” says Steve Barker, co-founder of the travel gear company Eagle Creek and former interim executive director of the OIA. “They knew how many board feet were taken out, or how much the mining revenue was, but now they’ll be able to look at the impact of recreation in these communities.”

What’s more, the number gives a solid comparison with other industries. Before, activists and conservationists could only point to a number derived by the OIA. (The equivalent of Exxon Mobil touting all the great things that the American Petroleum Institute said about the industry.) Now, the industry knows where it stands. “In the past we haven’t been recognized as a viable part of the economy,” Barker says. “Now we can show that we are, and that we’re growing faster than the overall economy.”


Government Puts Outdoor Industry Size at $373 Billion


Pad & Quill's Leather Lowry Cuff for Apple Watch

We found an amazing stash of leather in a European warehouse dating over half a century ago. Naturally, we bought the whole 60-year+ vintage batch. Using our special PH-balanced leather care oil we then carefully enriched the already gorgeous existing patina, resulting in a luxurious leather finish that carries the imprint of yesteryear while showcasing the modernity of the Apple Watch. We believe in getting the best of both worlds, where old world craftsmanship meets today’s marvels of technology. Special Edition Lowry Cuff gives you both.

That looks niiiiice. Now if I can just find $230 in my couch cushions.

Pad & Quill’s Leather Lowery Cuff for Apple Watch


Jim “The Bird” Bridwell Passes

The legendary Yosemite climber Jim “The Bird” Bridwell died in Palm Springs, California, today. He will be remembered for his contributions to not only Valley climbing—some 100 first-ascent free climbs plus A5 big wall routes on Half Dome and El Capitan—but also cutting-edge alpine routes from Alaska to Patagonia.

His climbs were truly inspirational.

Obituary: Jim “The Bird” Bridwell (1944-2018)