Category Archives: Philosophy

breakingbadcanada

Life in Kickstarter America

By | Philosophy | No Comments

I remember the first crowdsourcing campaigns that surfaced in my social media feeds. The majority of requests came from musicians hoping to release music, designers aiming to give life to their video games, or inventors bringing new gadgets into the world—fun, creative, ideas. Crowdsourcing websites began as a way to drag deferred dreams into existence, but in recent times they’ve become portals to far less whimsical notions. In many cases, they are the difference between life and death.   While the most visible crowdsourcing site, Kickstarter, is focused on artistic…

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Beautiful wilderness.

Can the Outdoors Industry Save the Outdoors—and Its Own Soul?

By | Philosophy, Travel and Adventure | No Comments

Before you read this article, let’s agree that the marketing wizards who came up with the concept of “power couples” deserve a place on the podium of “worst campaign ideas ever”. Or maybe a seat at the table in one of the lesser rings of hell. More on that later. My friend and colleague Doug Schnitzspahn recently penned a compelling editorial at Elevation Outdoors about the future of the outdoors. It’s a great read and it brings up some difficult truths about the outdoors industry. Honest conversations can be tricky…

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Wells Maine

Seasons of Change

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Why do we love the sea? It is because it has some potent power to make us think things we like to think. ~Robert Henri Somewhere in the night, deep into the heart of the midwest, I look at the passengers in my vehicle. My newly-minted wife and longtime best friend Sheila is asleep with our dog Mystic in her lap and Fremont, our other dog, is sprawled out on the back seat. We drive through the darkness together back to Colorado to resume the life we’ve known for years…

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Ye olde Hobart machine

Last of the Dish Dogs

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I still remember the conversation between the five of us like it was yesterday. Rob, Mike and myself were dish dogs — the fast-moving crew who cleaned and organized the plates, glasses and silverware at Glenbrook Country Club. Jeff was an enlightened soul disguised as a waiter, slightly older than us, the only member of the waitstaff who regularly took time to converse with the grunts. Bill was the middle-aged night manager, a quiet, intense guy we all rather liked and the closest thing to a real adult in the…

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Fremont Border Collie Colorado

The Dog Ratio Applied

By | Animals, Philosophy | No Comments

As the owner of two enthusiastic border collies, it’s extra important that they get out on big adventures on a regular basis. Thus, I have created what I call the “dog ratio” — the number of activities I do with them before I can enjoy a day out without them. Don’t get me wrong, I wish I could take them everywhere but certain activities such as rock climbing, mountain biking and mountaineering are not always dog friendly.Thus I follow this ratio as a golden rule: for every 3 outings with…

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Lone Cone Colorado

Suicide & the Lone Cone Diaries

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Lone Cone is an obscure, 12,618 ft. mountain in the remote southwest corner of Colorado. Its crumbling facade rises from the earth where forests begin their subtle transformation into desert. From Lone Cone’s summit, one can witness tracts of farmland dehydrating into brown and yellow scrubland to the west, a lonely expanse where snow-streaked mountains bookend the horizon. Its suggestive nomenclature has contributed to a sense of raw loneliness I have unexpectedly felt on the mountain. Or maybe it’s the words in the battered journal. Because so few people visit…

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zelda-1

The 8-Bit Muse

By | Philosophy, Video Games | No Comments

It is well-documented though rarely mentioned that Thoreau’s “isolated” cabin in Walden was only about a mile from town — a short enough walk for his elderly mother to regularly bring him fresh cookies. The myth of seclusion fits so neatly with the ideas in his writings that it’s easy to overlook the fact he was a 15 minute walk from civilization. I bring this up because at age 38, I’m working as a professional writer — have been now for almost 20 years. Like most writers, I have my…

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Argentine Peak Colorado

Cheers to the Unknown Mountain

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One of the great things about Colorado’s mountains are the sheer volume of peaks. Beyond the well known collection of 14,000 ft. summits (and a few glamourous 13,000 ft. peaks) wait some of the most wonderful places in the Rockies, wild places where isolation and sheer anonymity translate into unique and adventurous experiences. Many of these peaks are nameless, marked by the somewhat ironic UN (unnamed) designation on maps, or else defined merely by their topography. What I find most inviting about these places is the unknown emotion they will…

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Long live Zeb.

The Most Beautiful Room in the World

By | Animals, Philosophy | No Comments

Before it was the most beautiful room in the world, it was a small home office, fashionable and classically designed. Tasteful artwork adorned the walls. Clean, pastel colors gave off a moody, early-dawn feeling when the sun would shine through the generous window. This window looked out upon a modest neighborhood. In the distant corners of the world it framed, one could see far-off mountain tops. And before it became the most beautiful room in the world, the large, unspecified leafy tree beyond the glass would filter the afternoon light…

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Japanese Sumo

Be Strong, Get Stronger Part 1

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A few months ago, I picked three activities that I wanted to improve upon in the New Year. With all that is going on in day-to-day life, it’s far too easy to let certain interests go stale. Thus, I made the conscious decision to elevate my skills in a few of my pastimes. I was curious to see which ones would be the most work, the most fun and potentially the most rewarding. Here were my criteria. I needed to select one activity from each category: Something I was naturally…

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Japanese Dragon

Lingering Dragons

By | Philosophy, Travel and Adventure | No Comments

Though I’m now three months removed from my adventures in Japan, there are still so many moments and memories that swirl around in my mind. Stepping into another culture is one of the most profound ways to expand your beliefs and hopefully, take in a little bit of what you’ve experienced to better yourself. There is an incredible sense of pride in Japan, but it is expressed quietly. To the foreigner’s eye, it manifests itself in clean cities, polite citizens and diligent workers. It was an eye-opening contrast to America’s…

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Twitter bird is sad

Heavy is the Burden of Social Media

By | Philosophy | No Comments

It is odd that I’ve spent the last seven years working in an industry that didn’t even exist when I was in college. I’ve become an expert in SEO and search engine technology, served as the online editor for several magazines/companies and done barrels of projects involving social media. I pine for a simpler time of print magazines and phone calls, sort of, but technology evolves and thus so must I. I do like the concept of being connected and not just in a professional manner. While there have been countless articles bemoaning the narcissistic elements…

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