Disconnected for a day

It is crazy how connected we are with our technology. Stupid crazy. It is becoming rarer to see faces when you’re in public. It’s mostly just foreheads that are facing a little screen in the person’s hand. To be completely honest, I spend way too much time on my phone.

I was listening to an Art of Manliness podcast while working last week and it was about living a 24/6 lifestyle as opposed to the 24/7. Taking a Sabbath. A day dedicated to being different, restful and disconnected. The podcast was with author Aaron Edelheit and talking about his book The Hard Break. A case for the 24/6 lifestyle.

The key thought that resonated with me was the fact that we are essentially on call any time we have our phones on. Social media contacts, actual phone calls, text messages. Almost anyone can get a hold of us at any time. That’s nuts.

I was reminded of some Jack-wang on Instagram who decided to use a new feature on Instagram that I wasn’t even aware of at the time; the calling feature. Literally, anyone who followed me, or even just looked me up, could call me via the platform. Thanks a lot, Instagram. 3 am my phone starts ringing and of course I thought, “oh man, what happened and to whom?” NOPE. Nothing important. Just some ignorant Jack-wang who took no consideration for what timezone I was in (he was from Germany) and figured he was entitled to my time in the middle of the night for a conversation that was most likely some elementary questions about getting into knife making. Stuff that Google could answer for him in less time that it would take for him to ask me. The part that made me so mad was that he could do that.

Last Sunday I decided to leave my phone powered off all day long. I turned the power button off Saturday evening before getting into bed and oddly enough the phone turned itself on in the middle of the night. I can only imagine the terror that big tech companies feel with the idea of people not having their phones on and in arms reach 24/7. A scary thought for them. Scarier for you and me.

It was an amazing experience. I read a book, made a bunch of food, did a little sewing project, went for a bike ride with my boys, and took a bunch of pictures on my trusty Fuji X100. It was such a peaceful and restful day. It felt like something I hadn’t experienced in months. Because I hadn’t. Even though I’d taken a bunch of photos with my digital, I did not allow myself to look at them or edit them on Sunday. It would be too easy to notice a notification and quickly have a look at it. I was going for a complete disconnect.

I reluctantly turned my phone on a few hours into my Monday morning out of duty. I am for social media and sharing. But it has gotten out of control. It has slowly become this all-consuming monster of our time and it’s been such a subtle shift that we haven’t really even noticed it. It wasn’t until I went for a whole 24 hours *gasp* without my phone that I saw just how much control it had on my time.

My new weekly tradition is a digital sabbath. 100%. No phone, no computer. I’m stoked. And my family is too. I would highly recommend trying a digital disconnect just for one day. See what you think of it. Here are some picures from Sunday. Cinco de Mayo 2019.

Spring is struggling to get here.
Most every day starts like this.
Ready to roll out.
Cruising some gravel.
Found some double track
Exploring the irrigation system.

They haven’t fill it with water yet, but I imagine any day now.
Gotta love the micro-adventure.
Who needs a kickstand anyway?
Heading home.
Cinco de Mayo feast underway.
This made for some of the best tacos I’ve had in my life. I forgot to take a picture of one assembled.
My oldest son made corn tortillas.

It’s been almost a year

Since the last blog post here.

And what a shame. I love blogging. Over the past several weeks I’ve been perusing through one of my old bicycle blogs and remembering how much fun it was to just write about stuff. And share pictures. In a similar line, sometimes as a YouTube creator, I want to share stuff, but don’t always feel like making a video. Or at least a certain kind of video. You could either do a “talking head” video where you’re just babbling in front of the camera. You could do a cinematic piece where you compile a bunch of supporting footage to help build up what it is that you’re sharing. Or there’s the vlog style video but sometimes those take a little more energy and time than I have on tap.

That is when I think that the blogging could come in handy. I had previously been using this blog in a supporting role and essentially it was an announcement page for what was happening on the YouTube channel. But I’m thinking that might change. Maybe this could be more. More of the backstory or some additional information to a  video. And maybe even some completely independent content from the channel itself. Maybe…

I like to watch videos sometimes. I also like to read. I like to make videos. And I like to write.

I guess that’s where I’ll leave this for now. It is my plan to get more content put up here. Mostly just because I like to.

Thaks for reading.

Cheers👍

You heard it here first…

Well, for the past two months I’ve been doing my best at daily vlogging the YouTube channel. It has been a lot of work, but I’ve sorted out a lot of tips and tricks that have made filming and editing much more efficient and streamlined. That is a huge bonus. At the best of it, I had 56 consecutive days of uploading a video to YouTube. That’s a lot of work.

Minimalist EDC Knife

One issue that kept creeping up, is that I would get behind on my knife orders, and then kind of rush the video and at the end just stopped making videos for days in a row until I caught up with my knife orders again. And then I’d be back on the daily videos but at the same time again, losing ground on keeping up with knife orders. I realize that this is kind of a vicious circle that I don’t see a way to get around. Daily videos, and full-time knife maker. They just don’t go smoothly together and still give some sense of a life for me and my family.

I’ve decided to shift the focus of my energy. I’m going to concentrate on one build video per week, as well as still doing viewer’s knives and maybe a weekly update vlog. The idea with the weekly vlog is a single video where I can dump any of the interesting little bits that happened during the week. This should allow me to focus a few blocks of time during the week to filming a knife build, free up the 3-5 hours per day that it took to produce the daily vlogs, and still allow me to keep with my knife orders.

I’m not saying this is how things will stay for sure 100%, but part of life is changing, adapting and trying different things until you find something that works well. And then eventually you’ll probably have to go through that cycle again and again and again. So we’ll try this. See how it works. See if this is a better fit. I hope so.

One other benefit is that it might free up a little time to actually work on this blog a little more. I love writing and blogging. I blogged long before I ever made YouTube videos and I still love doing it, but it just seems so hard to post here after I’ve spent hours posting to YouTube.

Tomorrow I will post a video on YouTube explaining all of this but figured I might as well post it here first.

I’ll close this post out with two of my last daily vlogs where I made a minimalistic EDC. Thank you all for your support and encouragement. Cheers👍

Part 1:

Part 2:

A bunch of new videos on the YT channel!

Ah! I’ve forgotten to update posts here as the new YouTube videos have been coming out. But the videos are coming out! With some of the changes to the new YouTube algorithm, it seems that YouTube likes to give favour channels that update very regularly. Like, daily.

So that’s the new game plan. Daily videos. It’s a lot of work but I’ve made some changes to my schedule that are really helping me accomplish the goal of daily videos, while still have a bit of a life. The secret: EARLY MORNINGS. I’ve been getting up at 4:30am to edit the footage, allowing me to be done with editing by around 8am. That way I still have the whole day to make knives, shoot new video and still have evenings free to enjoy some R&R and hanging out with my sweet wife and wonderful kiddos. Balance. I’m incredibly productive in the mornings and everyone else is sleeping, so starting nice and early really is the perfect way for me to squeeze an extra few hours out of the day.

Anyway, to play catchup here, these are the videos that I’ve forgotten to share here on the blog. Have a look. Watch one, watch them all! Either way, thanks for stopping by.

Cheers👍

A Micro-Adventure

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Do you Micro-Adventure?

Life is busy. Fast paced and busy. Finding a little balance can be challenging. Several years ago (in my bike blogging days) I learned about a really cool little concept called micro-adventuring. Pondero is a bike blogger that really practices this concept well. I now follow him on instagram, and he is still getting out for little bike tours and a cup of coffee. He does S24Os as well (sub 24hr overnight trip) but he’s a champ at the micro-adventure or micro-tour.

The idea of micro adventure makes a lot of sense. With a little creative thinking, it’s amazing how you can incorporate them into a busy lifestyle. Where you live will impact the type of micro-adventures you can get out on but ask your self; ‘where could I micro-adventure near me?’

My in-laws happen to have a nice little lake on their land and while there are no fish in it, there are lots and lot of ducks, swans, geese and marsh birds. It’s not a deep lake by any stretch but it will float a canoe.

Perfect Day for a little paddle with the fam-jam!
Perfect Day for a little paddle with the fam-jam!

So we made a plan to head out just for a quick paddle yesterday. It was about 2 1/2 hrs altogether and that is the beauty of the micro-adventure. They can be squeezed into an afternoon or morning. They don’t have to be epic or have the most amazing scenery. They just have to be done. A little paddling, a little sitting around relaxing, kids shooting their pellet guns, slingshots and chopping some wood. It’s nice to just be enjoying the outdoors at a slow pace as a family.

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I’d encourage you to think about micro-adventuring. Where can you go in your area that takes you out of your regularly fast paced and life and lets you just slow down and relax while still doing something. Add your favourite people on earth and you’ve got a great time!

Check out the video here:

 

 

YouTube Sponsorship and Sharp Knives

Up on the vlog for today is a bit of an explanation of how I got my wicked edge knife sharpener. And a quick look at the speedy sharp sharpener.

 

It’s a 30 Day YouTube Challenge!

30 Day Challenge titile

It’s a personal challenge. In an effort to do more of what I really enjoy doing, but somehow don’t seem to prioritize and never seem to get around to. Isn’t it a shame that so many of the things we love to do in life are often things we rarely do? Fishing, hiking, a day at the spa for those who are into such things? Well, in effort to do more of what I love doing, I’m going to shoot, edit and upload one video a day to YouTube. I love making videos. I have heaps of ideas of videos I want to shoot, but somehow, just don’t get around to making the videos as much as I would like to.

Enough is enough, personal challenge accepted. It won’t be easy, and I can’t guarantee it will happen flawlessly or that I’ll even end up getting more than 75% of the 30 videos made. But, I’m pretty sure that by at least trying to take this challenge, I will have made more videos that if I don’t. And that’s kinda the whole point.

Stay Tuned.

Homestead Hockey

Homestead HockeyAs parents, we do things that allow our kids to do things that they love. Watching them do things they love is one of the great many rewards of parenting. Steph and I decided we would put a piece of ice in the yard for the kids to goof around on. Hours upon hours have already been spent there, and even as late into the night as we will let them. It’s fun watching them out there.