18.12.16

Coasting: A Dubious Bike Ride from Washington to California



https://www.amazon.com/Coasting-Dubious-Bike-Washington-California-ebook/dp/B01MTNM9QM

A video to promote my new short story, available on Amazon Kindle for only 99 cents.

A bicycle tour through Washington, Oregon and California highlights the struggles of solo adventure. This short story is not a factual guidebook about bike touring the West Coast of the United States, it is the opposite. Seventeen breweries. Three states. One bike. One road (mostly).

This story is somewhat fictional but follows an actual path through central Washington and then along the coast through Oregon and California. Special thanks to places like Seattle, Yelm, Astoria, Cannon Beach, Portland, Arcata and Big Sur.

17.12.16

Five Podcasts for the Modern Dirtbag




Happy Holidays! It's almost 2017 and I sincerely hope you are stoked on the season. Here is a blog post about podcasts to enhance your yuletide cheer!

While working from home, walking down the street, driving to check the surf, or stuck in the car on another road trip to the Sierra, these are five podcasts that will brighten your day. There are about 10 other podcasts that I would love to share, but the sun is coming up and I need to get outside. So, explore these five podcasts and leave a comment if you have one to recommend.



The Enormocast: http://enormocast.com/   Be a climber! Chris Kalous says “Each episode of the Enormocast brings you a glimpse into the climbing life through discussion, interviews, and my perspective backed by 27 years in the sport.” While some interviews can drag, especially if you are not a hardcore climber, this podcast is the real deal. Legitimate advice, information, and anecdotes from well-known and unsung climbing heroes. Plus, he will send you free stickers if you ask.

The Dirtbag Diaries: http://dirtbagdiaries.com  Join the puffy jacket club! Created by Fitz Cahall when he was struggling to earn money through writing, the Dirtbag Diaries has become the premier backpacking, climbing, backcountry ski, bike touring, kayaking, and camping with the family podcast. For the hardcore dirtbags, this podcast may be a little too refined as Patagonia and REI have jumped on board with mega-ads that play during each episode. My favorite episode is James Lucas’ “Yosemite’s Next Top Idol”.

The Dave Ramsey Show: http://daveramsey.com Stop being broke! This one might surprise you (it surprises me), but I enjoy listening to the various callers’ situations. From their stories, one is able to see how different actions will play out over the years of a human life. Dave gives financial advice that is based on the bible and common sense. I am not a religious dude, but Dave Ramsey is and that is just part of the deal. Is there a non-religious version of Dave Ramsey? A Dave Ramsey for atheists and agnostics? I don’t think so. Maybe you know of one? Regardless, this podcast helped me to become debt free and get my financial life together. Maybe it will help you.

This American Life: http://thisamericanlife.org Relate to Other Americans! Ira Glass is the original podcast gangsta. TAL is always good, though a little too nerdy at times. This one also spawned the Serial podcast (https://serialpodcast.org/), which took the digital world by storm a couple of years back.

Dan Carlin's Hardcore History: http://www.dancarlin.com Live in the Past! Dan Carlin has a crazy voice and an insane knowledge of history. Each episode is up to four or five or six hours long. Maybe even longer. He just keeps on talking as you keep learning. Some episodes are pretty graphic.

22.11.16

NEW STORY: Coasting: A Dubious Bike Ride from Washington to California

Coasting A Dubious Bike Ride from Washington to California 


A bicycle tour through Washington, Oregon, and California highlights the struggles of solo adventure. This short story is not a factual guidebook about bike touring the West Coast of the United States, it is the opposite. Seventeen breweries. Three states. One bike. One road (mostly). 

This is my first published short story and it is available on Amazon Kindle! As of this writing, you can purchase Coasting for only 99 cents!


 

3.8.16

States with High Teacher Salaries and Low Median Home Price



Lowest Median Home Price vs. Highest Paid Teachers


Do you want to know which states are best for teachers and first time home buyers? I compared the median home price and average teacher salary and found that these four states may have the best opportunities for teachers looking to purchase a home.


Median home price doesn’t tell you how much the house may increase in value. It doesn’t tell you if the market is hot or cold. Median home price only tells you the middle of the road cost of owning a home in this state.



Rank
State
Average Teacher Salary
Median Home Price
1
Michigan
$61,560
$144,000
2
Pennsylvania
$62,994
$190,000
3
Delaware
$59,679
$209,000
4
Illinois
$59,113
$215,000
Where does Calfiornia fit in? The median home price is $427,000 and the average teacher salary is $69,000. Basically, houses are twice as expensive and the salary is about 10% or 15% higher than the four winners on this page. For a teacher to buy a house in California, he needs to marry a doctor or lawyer.



References:
http://www.teacherportal.com/teacher-salaries-by-state/

15.7.16

Backpacking with a Baby @ Six Months Old


We searched "How to Backpack with a Baby" and "How to Backpack with an Infant" and found that there is not much information out there, so after our recent trip to the Lost Coast & Sinkyone Wilderness we decided to share what worked for us. **scroll down for equipment list ** 

(Click Here to Check Out My Short Story Coasting: A Dubious Bike Ride from California to Washington)



Russell was a few days shy of turning six months old. He was just beginning to sit up. The little rambler had been car camping four or five times before and each time was a breeze, pretty much. This was a three day trip where we only hiked in about three miles and then took day hikes from there. Staying at the same site for two nights simplified everything. Lucky for us, we had the whole cove to ourselves. With miles of black sand beaches and dense green forests to explore, Russell was happy to cruise in the Baby Bjorn or just roll around on the ground.

The major considerations were:
Q: What diapers? biodegradable ….cloth seems heavy and messy
Q: What about water for formula? We brought in a liter and then used the Steri-pen with boiling (and a coffee filter) to make more. This doesn’t matter if you are strictly breastfeeding.
Q: What about sleeping? He slept between us in a fleece onesie, baby suit thing.
Q: What about toys? Don’t bring them. Maybe something to chew on.
Q: Who carries the baby and who carries the backpack? Both of us. The Baby Bjorn is somewhat painful with a backpack, but it gets the job done.
Q: What about ticks and poison oak and mosquitoes and bears and elk and waves and sprained ankles and sunburns and mountain lions? Avoid them. Use a onsie with the footie feet so that ticks cannot crawl in, other than that you are on your own.

Here is a list of most of the stuff that we brought, besides the specific clothes and food (Mom, Dad and Baby):

Camping Gear:

  • 2 backpacks
  • 2-person backpacking tent
  • Ground sheet
  • 2 inflatable sleeping pads
  • Sleeping quilt
  • Sleeping bag
  • Steri pen UV water sterilizer
  • 2 water bottles
  • Ultralight Stove ($10 amazon)
  • Fuel
  • Cook pot with lid
  • Plastic bowl with lid
  • 2 spoons
  • Small knife
  • 2 headlamps
  • Camera
  • Small first aid kit
  • Sewing kit
  • Unscented Dr Bronner’s soap
  • Hand sanitizer


Baby Stuff:

  • Baby Bjorn carrier (we don't have a synthetic one, but I think you can get one??)
  • Camp chair (for feeding)
  • Playtex Nurser Porte-sac bottle with disposable inserts
  • Organic baby formula
  • 1 L bottle of water
  • 2 of each baby clothes item
  • beanie
  • 1 burp cloth cut in half
  • Sunblock and sun hat
  • Biodegradable diapers and wipes (pack out or place in pit toilet)
  • Teething toy