The last of the fog is lifting at Bryant Creek Lake.


Star (or, a tale of two dogs)

Do you want to know what it feels like to be a hero? I’d gone over to my friend Hank’s house in my pickup truck to get a workbench he’d gifted me for helping him out a couple months ago. After we’d had a couple of micro-brews out of a growler from the biker bar we frequent during big sporting events and on karaoke night, we let his black lab Casey out for a bit of fresh air.

Well, he bolted.

It wasn’t the first time, and probably won’t be the last, but he’d been so damn good for the past few months he’d gotten himself off of probation. His case worker will be by early next week to install an ankle monitor. Just kidding. [click to continue…]


The possessive case

stuffToday, I’m beginning to list, in a very transparent way, everything that I own. I’m doing it in an effort to pare down and focus on people and experiences instead of things. I’m going to be getting rid of the things that either aren’t useful to me or don’t otherwise bring me joy.

The process is going to take me awhile, but remember that it is the journey (!) and not so much the destination that matters. I’m being transparent about this to help others out – others who might be considering doing the same thing, other than posting it all for anyone to see.

I’ll be working in my office today, and will go on to other rooms of the house, and God forbid the garage, as time permits. You can watch the list grow by clicking on the “My Stuff” menu tab at the top of my blog. It only has a few things populated into it right now, but come back whenever you want to see it grow, and then get smaller. I’m curious to know exactly how many things I own.



“The best remedy for those who are afraid, lonely or unhappy is to go outside, somewhere where they can be quite alone with the heavens, nature and God. Because only then does one feel that all is as it should be and that God wishes to see people happy, amidst the simple beauty of nature. As longs as this exists, and it certainly always will, I know that then there will always be comfort for every sorrow, whatever the circumstances may be. And I firmly believe that nature brings solace in all troubles.” ― Anne Frank


Fighting auto-pilot

Talk about a gorgeous day...

Thoreau said to live deliberately. He went to the woods to do so, and while going to the woods is good for you, living deliberately is something you should do every day, wherever you are.

I call living non-deliberately “auto-pilot” for the obvious reason. Auto-pilot is a mode where you punch in the destination and your vehicle takes you there without a bit of effort on your part. Unless you’re in a car and think that cruise control is auto-pilot, that is, but highway fatalities are a subject for another time.

What is the fatal flaw in not deliberately living the journey? If you said, “for people, the journey is more important than the destination” you are correct, and I award you a gold star. We would be splitting hairs by arguing the relative importance of getting to where you’re going, but you might agree that you should continue living deliberately once you get there. [click to continue…]


Holding down the booth


Blatantly lifted from

Today, I’m volunteering at the Indiana Trails Community (ITC) vendor booth at the Ford Indianapolis Boat Sport and Travel Show at the Indiana State Fairground. Stop by and say high if you’re at the show or in the area, we’ll be in the “quiet sports” section.

There are a lot of great local organizations focused on getting into The Great Outdoors (TM) at the travel show, like Indiana Trails, the Indianapolis Hiking Club, the Central Indiana Wilderness Club. Yes, there is a lot of buying and selling going on, but the crowds allow us one of the biggest annual opportunities to put the word out about the great work we do. Advocating for and building multi-use, non-motorized trails in the state.


Three commitments


Here we go again, as they say! I’m publicly committing myself to three consecutive goals this year, in reparation for my utter lack of seriousness in bikeworthiness. The first is a prep for the second, and the second for the third. The gist is I’ll again be riding my bike every day. I miss it, but I’ve gotten bikelazy.

All of this is leading up to the National Bike Challenge held every year from May through September. Almost half of a year. Many people, to get into the habit for that, also do the precursor #thirtydaysofbiking, which is a commitment to ride every day in April. I’m adding March to that, to get ready for April. So you’ll be able to cassh me ousside, howbowdah?

Sorry, I couldn’t help myself.

In the next couple of weeks, I’ll be transporting one of my bikes to Bloomington where I work, so that I can ride it around campus as I meet with my building managers, and get together all of the kit I’ll need.

To keep all of you up to date on how well I succeed or fail each day, I’ll be incorporating a feature called BEDposts. These will be short, daily videos from the bike, or literally, “bike every day posts.” I’ve included one of the last BEDposts I uploaded, back when I was still getting on the bike every day, so you’ll know what to expect.

Be looking for them, and I’ll be looking for you in the comments.

Here’s to being small, slow, and happy…on a bike!


Good night, Mr. Sun


To celebrate…

amcWould you like to try for the chance for an movie outing with a friend to help celebrate my new book?

If you missed the launch of “Human Scale Happiness,” you can grab a free preview from my Amazon author’s page.

Click on over to the giveaway page for your chance to win! One of the things I talk about in my book is focusing on people and experiences over things, so I thought that an outing with a friend to go see a movie would be a great way to celebrate.


Brain dump – part two


Now that you’re on your way to having your brain dumped into your new bucket (see Brain dump – part one), let’s start “getting things done.” How do you filter everything in your bucket into actionable bites? Two concepts. Contexts and Next Actions.These are the reason David Allen’s “Getting Things Done” made such a splash. Many people like Allen’s entire system, but it is a bit much for me. There is such a thing as over-planning. But I have experienced the peace of having a clear mind because all of my “open loops” were addressed. That is the big payoff here. The reason I use ZenDone is because it streamlines GTD down to bare bones – the most useful parts.

First, ask yourself “how long is completing this action going to take?” If it is only a few minutes, are there any reasons not to complete it right then? If not, do it. You’ll build a list of actions that need completing, and you should partition them into contexts.

  • @home
  • @work
  • @computer
  • @phone
  • @errands

Stick to as few categories as possible, where most of your “things” get done. That way, when you’re sitting in front of your computer or accessing the app on your mobile device, you can apply the filter so that it only shows the correct @context, and you’ll know exactly the things you need to work on. Work on them as time and energy allow.

The “Next Action” concept applies to actions that you assign “project” status. That is because everything that has more than two or three related steps is a project. ZenDone allows you to create a project and populate it with actions. “Next actions” are the most pressing or important actions within your project. The things that have to be done before you can move to another required action.

everThis meshes very well with using Evernote to create project notes. With “note linking” you can create hyperlinks to other notes within Evernote to keep everything related to a project in one place. This is beautiful. For those of you who don’t think they’re good planners, it might create somewhat of a revolution in your life. Try it for an upcoming event like an anniversary. If you start planning now, the chances of it happening are much higher. Say you want to get away for a four day weekend in the Smoky Mountains. You’d create a note within Evernote and name it “Smoky Mountains Anniversary Trip.” What will you put in there? You can create a list with check boxes. Getting the time off of work. Paying for it. Where you’re going. What you want to do while you’re there. Restaurants just have to try. Are there zip-lines? Do you want to hike in the national park? Visiting Dollywood? Where are the mountain cabins at the best price? Can you book one? Are you driving or flying? What is the cheapest or easiest way to get there and back.

You’ll get everything organized the way you want, and the next actions will percolate to the top of your mind and that’s what you’ll focus on next. You may find that certain things don’t fall into place. The cabin you want is booked on the dates you want to rent it. You won’t have enough money saved this year. So you defer it to the next year but continue to work on it. That actually gives you more time to plan. And once you get hooked on working this way, the time will fly by because you’ll be planning other things, too. You can use this process for most everything.

ZenDone gives you the opportunity to review everything you’ve dumped into your Evernote bucket, and deal with it.

  • Do it
  • Delete it
  • Delete it
  • Delegate it

My friends, the four D’s are the only things you can do with an action, aside from meetings and other things that naturally go on your calendar. I’m sure you know how to use your calendar. Bonus: ZenDone links up with your Google calendar, too.

Evernote master notes and note linking keeps all of your project materials in one place, as discussed above. If these Brain dump articles have been useful to you, leave a comment.

Disclaimer: I am not affiliated with Evernote or ZenDone in any way besides as a customer. I don’t get kickbacks if you make a purchase, and I don’t share any information with them about you. If you want to give me money, buy my books. Thanks!
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