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.

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:

Our YouTube Channel has been Hacked!!!!

First of all, thanks so much to everyone for all of the notifications and messages about the situation. It is an amazing feeling to have so many people looking out for us and very quickly letting us know of what was happening. Thank you.

Recently the Simple Little Life has joined the Studio71 Network, and this hack was a complete hack accross all members of the Studio71 team. Including some really big YouTubers like Good Mythical Morning, Roman Atwood, Wranglerstar and many many others.

We’ve been told YouTube is working on fixing the situation and we should have all of our titles, descriptions and everything else back to normal within a few days. Apparently this hack is just a way of #OurMine flexing their muscles and proving that there are security issues. Which obviously there are. Uploading new content is still working just fine and from what we’ve been told the hack has been neutralized.

So now it’s just a matter of waiting until everything gets put back to normal. Again, thank you so much for all of the heads-up messages. They are most certainly appreciated.

Cheers!👍

Tool Time Tuesday – 1-2-3 Blocks

Okay okay, we’ve been pretty slack at updating this website lately, but all of that is changing. We’ve been busy re-vamping our YouTube presence and part of that is keeping up to date across all of our other Social Media Platforms as well. Including here.

So, with every new video that comes out, so will a new post. Also, I’ll try and get a better write on each post with some additional photos. Thanks for tuning in!

Preparing the pasture for the horses and cows

fencingThe little bottle-feeder cows we picked up a few months ago are really starting to fill out. We have completely weened them from the bottle and have been eating just hay for about a month now. With that being the case, it’s time to get them out to pasture.

A few weeks back our neighbour had rented a post pounder for a long weekend. He had  mentioned that he’d only need it for a day at the most and if we wanted to do any fencing, we were welcome to use it as part of the same rental. Sweet! The entire fence on the front of our property was in really rough shape (missing posts, most of wire gone) and we also wanted to get some cross fencing done so we can use our land to feed some of our animals.

The horses are really loving all the open space they now have
The horses are really loving all the open space they now have

So I helped my neighbour with his fence  posts and he, along with my father-in-law, helped put in the fence posts for all of the fencing that we had wanted to do. That was a few weeks maybe even a month ago.

Fast forward to last week: time to finish off the fence. Part of the process was simply stringing and stretching the wire and part of it was to install two gates that we were given and were trying to re-use. Gates are expensive and when someone is just throwing them out; it seems a shame to just let them get tossed. I’ve had this sitting our land for about a year, and it’s great to actually have them put to use.

Lately we’ve had a whole lot of rain here (5 inches in just over a week) and that made for some boggy conditions for fencing. With the quad it wasn’t too bad, but with the bobcat, that things was getting stuck like crazy. Especially with the post auger installed. I ended up having to get quite creative with how I installed the first gate. Working alone usually leads to some interesting/hill-billy solutions.

Getting creative with machines, slings and come-alongs. The joys of working alone...
Getting creative with machines, slings and come-alongs. The joys of working alone…

But, after a concentrated effort last week (I was shocked it took the better part of a week) it’s great to have the cows and horses running around and grazing in the newly fenced pasture.

Here’s a little video from our YouTube channel about it. Cheers!