having a camera…

Nate went to the park with Jenny last night and learned how to turn and start out on his own and (sometimes)….stop.

That’s on a bike, of course.

Jenny taught him how to ride a bike!

Nate told her that now he could ride his own bike on our bike riding trips now.

When Jenny told him that he really wasn’t ready for that, he replied that he needed to start riding his own bike because “Dad makes me do all the work when I ride the tagalong behind him”.

That’s what I get for making him push me for a bit….now he’s convinced that he was the ant pushing the elephant, even though I only made him do that once…..or twice.

That’s when a joke goes too far…when your child is anxious for independence so that they can get away from your “bad behavior”.

Oh, well….I think that it’s pretty darn cool that he knows how to ride a bike now.

Sparrow was talking to Jenny about how good they both smell yesterday, and when Jenny asked if Daddy smelled good, Sparrow told her that I smelled like “sweaty hats”.

Sweaty hats?!

I guess that I do probably smell like sweaty hats.


I need to pamper myself more….use something more fragrant than Lava soap (on my hands….I’m not tough enough to use it in the shower….or that dirty that I need to use Lava soap all over….) so that I don’t smell like sweaty hats all the time.

Sweaty hats?! That’s pretty funny.

(Aren’t bikes cool?)

And….what did we do before GoPro? I remember a canoeing video I saw back in the early 80’s where the guy took a camera and filmed himself paddling out in the “wild”. I thought that was pretty amazing “back in the day”. It was nothing like all these guys are doing now, though. We can record everything. I should get a camera and record a day on the mail route…..but….they’d probably fire me. I don’t think that you’re allowed to film a “day on the mail route”.


a good party….Tahoe Adventure Film Festival

This looks like a good party…..

Check out Fred Beckey….with the ladies….in his eighties…..in a tux.

Pretty crazy life.

They had an adventure film festival in Asheville earlier this month that was called….I think….the 5Point Adventure Film Festival….but….I didn’t go.

We don’t do stuff like that.

That would be so boring for the little guys.

I’m pretty shocked, though, when I go up to Asheville how much it feels like the city has changed.

More traffic….more people.

It’s not quite as mellow and slow-paced as I remember it being.

I think that it feels pretty self-conscious about its “cool factor”, too.

That’s OK.

It’s OK because it really is still a pretty cool place….and, because I can leave to go home anytime I want.

It’s funny how a place where you used to live can become a “nice place to visit” so quickly.

(Hah! “Quickly”? Like 20 years or so “quickly”? That’s funny. Time is passing…..)

Look at Fred in that tux!

Oh, man! Jenny taught Nate to ride a bike! He was riding up and down the driveway when I got home from the mail route! Talk about an adventure!

being here….

Here’s another nice video….a short one this time.

It’s called “Being Here”….produced by Outdoor Research.

(A disclaimer: I don’t always have time to watch all the videos that I post on here. Who has time to watch an hour-long video of some guy rebuilding his Jeep engine? Maybe me if I need to rebuild my Jeep, but not a normal person. Nobody normal would watch that! Nobody….normal….would.)

I watch this and think about wanting my family….and, because of the video content, my wife and daughters, to be able to feel comfortable out in the world.

Comfortable….and, because the world is the way it is, and, because it’s not always “safe” to even just live….even if there’s nothing to harm us, really….brave at the same time.

(I want to feel BRAVE, too….)

I want their world to feel BIG!

I want us….whether we’re male or female…to feel all the potential of a big world.

What does the person who made this video say early in the film?

Something about “feeling trapped….over domesticated…..soul hungry…parched….like I might wither away”….and how getting out into the world frees her from those feelings.

I made our world small because it was hard to get out and experience it sometimes.

That was pretty crummy.

We need an adventure.

We need more of an adventure than going to Costco and hitting all the thrift stores we see.

It’s still a big world.

I need to teach Nate to ride his bike.

That’s a start.



siskiyou line

This is the story of a railroad, a robbery, and a train crash….the building of a guitar….and, a song by an artist that I have always enjoyed, L.J. Booth.

Does it get any better than that?

We had a rare (like, once a year or so…) “date night” last night….a night without the little ones where we could do “adult” things like go out to eat at a grownup restaurant and walk around downtown Asheville for a while.

That was kind of refreshing.

Maybe once a year is enough?


No….it’s not enough.

But….if we got a bunch of them, we’d probably be upset if they didn’t come like clockwork and we couldn’t exercise our God give right to be individuals for a moment and not just “parents’.

Who am I kidding, though? We missed the little guys….and we miss the big guys who helped us have a night on the town, too…..all the time.

So, it’s kind of like me posting all these videos of guys living in their vans or riding their bikes all over the world or traveling by donkey to an exotic place or…..

I have wanderlust that’s fueled by the responsibilities of staying in one place and holding down the fort….but I do love coming home to a house full of activity and all the people I care so much about.

Not getting to wander makes me want to wander….but I don’t want to live in a van all by myself (no matter how beautiful my parking space “down by the river” is).

Anyway….I ramble.

We got a new used keyboard and the sticking keys and weird browser popups that we experience when we were using the old keyboard have seemed to stop for the moment.

Did the juice spilled into the old one, and the sticky keys that followed, lead to all the “computer problems” we were having?

Nice to upgrade the old computer with a two dollar thrift store keyboard replacement.

Asheville is a weird place.

We ate at a place that was right on the square downtown….and were “entertained” watching the street people twirl around and yell at the sky and at each other while we ate our meal.

Is that what “al fresco” means? That you can watch the deranged hoboes scream at each other while you put more spicy sauce on your Pad Thai?

There is so much more life….messy life….crazy life…up in Asheville than in our little town to the South….but some of it is life that I’d like to avoid if I can.

I’m glad we don’t live up there still

Crazy is entertaining if you can bail when it’s time to put the little guys to bed.

It’s good to get away from “bad crazy” when you feel like it.

Man, though….a date night sure is fun.

I could get used to that if someone would let me.

I’ll bet that Jenny could get used to it, too.

Fred Beckey….Dirtbag: The Legend of Fred Beckey

This looks kind of familiar.

I looked up “dirtbag” on YouTube, and this is one of the videos I got….an extended trailer for a movie that’s being crowdfunded about the life of climber and “dirtbag”, Fred Beckey.

I guess that the description of dirtbag is that it’s a person who chooses to live on the fringes of society so they can pursue an obsession….to the exclusion….usually…. of “normal” employment or relationships.

When you work at camps for years of summers, you get a chance to hang out with a few “dirtbags” (if you’re lucky).

So….this really looks kind of familiar.

I don’t know if I could target an obsession long enough to be a real dirtbag.

I could probably get into the sleeping in driveways and not having a real job part of the equation.…maybe….but I don’t think I have enough focus to obsess on one thing for a lifetime.

I know that I could get into the roadtrip part of being a “dirtbag”.

That’s easy to get into that…

Fred Beckey’s an interesting character…..

Support the Kickstarter campaign at the Kickstarter site….

Here’s one of the promo pictures from the film..



Freedom from convention…..”finesse the conflicting demands of wild nature for a certain freedom from convention”.


Here’s another video….one that’s not connected to this film. It was produced by the Patagonia company….


The smartest thing.

Jenny sometimes tells me (when she’s mad at me) that I’m boring.

She called me a “no” man last time she got upset.

She said that I shut things down.

I guess that’s true.

I worry about holding down the fort….and I do also wonder if we miss good things because of my worry.

That’s what credit cards are for, right?

Shoot the moon.

Why worry?

So….the smartest thing, in light of my boring and tentatively safe existence, is to show a dude pedaling his bike all over the world and having great adventures.

I think that this looks kind of cool.

I need to teach Nate how to ride a bike….soon.

The thing about adventure is that, if you’re willing to give up security and (figuratively) let go of the edge of the pool, there really is a lot to see out there in the world.

I have some things that I want to take care of, though.

I want to take care of my family.

Man…I do love some adventure, though.

Maybe giving them an adventure is the best thing we can do for each other?

Exciting times are sometimes unwelcome, though.


Whatever you do, you’ve got to do something.

You might as well make that “something” interesting.



I used the word “stasis” in my post yesterday….and then had to look it up to see if what I thought it meant was what it really meant.

I guess I got close.

Sometimes that’s the best you can do…..”get close”.

Yesterday, I remembered using the word…..and then started thinking about the word equilibrium .

Equilibrium…..”rest” because everything’s equal….all the things that might pull you in one direction or another just the same….so you can rest somewhere in the middle of it all….unmoved and unperturbed.

If you have your equilibrium with you, you can stand up straight.
Then I started thinking about things a little.
Now, if I’m balanced and full of “equilibrium”….and I can stand up straight and move through life without confrontation or a lot of strife, I probably won’t attract much attention.
That’s probably a good thing.
I like to fly under the radar.
I don’t want people to notice anything bad about me.
But if I never have to lean into a hard wind….or have to fight to keep my balance….how strong is any of this life going to make me?
“Rest” is a good thing….I need some peace in my life, I need balance, I need acceptance…..I need people to have some confidence in me.
I need them to know that I’m going to (at least) try to do the right thing.
Thoreau talking about the life of quiet desperation ( I wonder if that was kind of a “throw away” line for him? Just writing off the top of his head….not putting any really heavy thought into that little concept? Could be…..)…..talking about it like it was an omnipresent part of the human condition….and here I was….in the mail jeep….thinking about “equilibrium”
Me in the mail jeep….wondering if the comfortable balance might be just as bad as a life of “quiet desperation”.
I do need “balance”…I love that thought….but maybe it’s the shake-ups that teach me how to stay upright?
Maybe I need something that moves me in a way that doesn’t always let me just “rest”?
Art…passion….new scenery and insights.
Maybe none of that ever gets figured out.
Maybe I’m just the guy who anchors himself to the familiar….because if I have something easy to prop myself up against, I never lose my balance?
Maybe that’s what it is? The props….the car, the house, the job….things to keep me upright when the world is shaking around me?
Maybe the best thing to do is not think too hard about things like “equilibrium”….and just pretend, like the rest of the people around me, that it’s never a problem trying to stay on my feet.
“Act as if”…..right?
(This post is from February of 2015….and one that I never published. Maybe there was a reason? Who knows? I don’t know if figuring out everything is more important than just accepting some confusion? Maybe “accepting the things I cannot change” is as good as it could possibly get? Anyway….old post….resurrected.)

Vote like the Amish

Image result for amish

I was listening to a podcast again yesterday of a conversation between Tim Ferriss and Kevin Kelly.

At one point in their talk, the conversation veered over to a discussion of the Amish.

Kevin Kelly likes the Amish.

Did you know that the Amish are apolitical?

They don’t care about politics.

Good for them.

I listened to conservative talk radio today while I drove the mail around.

That was pretty horrible.

Pretty darn horrible.

Of course, after a day of listening to all the yelling, I almost started wondering if Trump wasn’t the way to go this time around.

On Right Wing talk radio, Hillary is the devil.

Maybe I should say the “Devil” with a capital D.

She may not be good….but I doubt that she’s the Devil.

Anyway…..I like the Amish way a whole lot right now.

You take care of your family, live a simple life, avoid technology that detracts from the strength of the community….and you don’t get upset about what some wackos are doing up in Washington.

That sounds good.

I feel like voting like the Amish.

I feel like not voting, too.

all the way down

All this cycling….

The thing about this one is….I don’t know if a speed record would be all that important to me.

I’d want to mosey….take my time….see the sights.

It would still be a crazy adventure whether I did it fast….or slow, though.

Maybe slow is my option now?

Nahhhhhhh….I’m not that old.

Speed record here I come.