6000 Words on Camping for Beginners

My family and I are very fortunite to have an amazing group of friends that we go camping with and with their guidance along with a few of my other friends, we've been rather successful.

With that, Ms. Rachel from Hobby Help posted this MASSIVE 6000 word guide on Camping for Beginners and I thought I'd post it here for your enjoyment. The first five tips are:

  1. If possible, go camping with a friend or relative who has experience
  2. Try out car camping first
  3. Practice pitching your tent in advance
  4. Stick to basic and necessary gear for now
  5. That said, invest in high-quality basics if you can

She expands into the where, which includes car camping and backcountry camping, what to pack, footwear, equipment, COOKING, hydrating, navigating around, staying safe, animals, fire and even river crossings. It's an awesome guide so be sure to check it out! I sure as heck learned quick a few things!

Mammoth 2018 Day 2

I’m finally getting around to editing and post processing my videos. Enjoy! Day 3 Part 1 is also finished and I’ll link it here later today.

Waking up on Day 2 for a full day of skiing lessons for Norah and a half morning AM session for Benji. He decides to wail and throw an amazing temper tantrum so we get advised to maybe come back in the PM. He gets an amazing instructor named Heather who makes the whole experience even more exciting for us! Norah rides the Magic Carpet after lunch and is excelling while gaining confidence + new skiing buddies for life!

Mammoth Day 3 Part 1

Excited for day three, I ventured out with both Norah and Benji to get them going. Another full day of skiing lessons for Norah and a half morning AM session for Benji. This time around, Norah gets to be with two friends and Benji gets a different instructor which gives him pause. I get to finally hit up the slopes after a four year hiatus where myast trip was at Stowe Ski Resort with Matty P during my initial Captain upgrade at ASA. Good times then, great times today!

I spilt the day into two parts. The first segment is essentially me with friends followed by part two which includes Norah.

The Country Club Barbershop - Rancho Bernardo

When it comes to a barbershop, it's all about leaving happy. The Country Club Barber Shop takes it to a whole new level of precision and care. Besides the amazing feel and design of the shop, they offer beard trims, clean cuts and shaves; providing complimentary refreshments to all age groups is just another plus. The comfortable couches and atmosphere make it a great place to hang back as well. It's very inviting and I would highly recommend it.

Sidenote: I will admit, making an appointment using their online system on either my laptop or mobile phone is a drag. Far too many drop downs and extra screens. Just my $0.02 but design should be as simple as time, date, service. When you come upon Step 5 ( yes, there are seven total , you type in your name, phone number (should be automatic recogniztion and not necessary to put in the country), and e-mail, you then get to select three preferred barbers. If I have one, and one only, it doesn't let me proceed since all fields are "Required." I can select the same barber all three times and still get to the next step, but once again tedious. Payment screen can be omitted since you're paying locally anyways and that is the only option there at least when proceeding through the Rancho Bernardo location.

Maybe an updated system would entail: If the "preferred" barber isn't on the date you chose, then maybe it shouldn't be on the dropdown. In all honesty, maybe just clicking the barber you want, up pops up their availability and you click go.

With a multitude of barbers in San Diego, many are priced at the $12 - $15 mark. The Country Club starts at $26! Coming in twice a month can really add up but once again, the precision of a straight blade for detail, the abbreviated machined shoulder massage and not to forget the complimentary drink might just make the extra $13 worth it.

All in all, I had a great experience and was cut at my slotted appointment. I was happy with the results and and have already booked my second visit. Here are the before and after. Be prepared though as it's not your quick 15-30 minute cut but more around 60 minutes!

Except for the before and after photos, which were taken from my iPhone 7 Plus Front Facing Camera, all images were shot using my newly acquired Sony A7RII paired with the Sony FE Carl Zeiss Sonnar T* 55mm F1.8 ZA. Check out what DxOMark said about it!

Marry Me, Fly Free

If some guy is limiting you, if he doesn’t help you get to where you need to go, then he’s not the one for you. He’s not part of your flight plan.”

An amazing article on the dating life of a flight attendant written by a friend, Megan Kojima. In some ways, this mimics single pilots as well. Fortunately, I went into this profession already attached and the time we spend apart is just as precious as the time we are together. When you get use to it, there's nothing like it.

I've Been Thinking

I've been thinking about podcasting or vlogging every since I can remember the medium becoming popular. Scratch that. I have tried twice and one I thought was "almost" successful (Peak Interest w/ Mr. Channing Work) but after watching John Saddington of 8bit going for 100 days straight of daily publishing, my drive has been reignited. It's still taking a while but I really want to do it. Coming up with topics and then editing daily seems more daunting the more I think about it, but it's all about just recording, editing minimally and pushing out content!

Stay Tuned Internets!

Not sure if the audio of Peak Interest is still around since we stopped hosting, but it'd be nice to come up with an episode. =) Cheers!

A $27,000 Civic? It's Getting Absurd

Just my opinion, but at that price, for around $27,000 for the 2016 Honda Civic Touring Edition, you can grab yourself a Certified Pre-Owned Mercedes, BMW, or Lexus or for that matter, a hopped up Toyorta Camry or save a few thousand and go with a Corolla or the Honda Fit.

Motortrend's Frist Test Review proved pretty awesome, but the vehicle that they used was the top of the line Civic Touring Edition, which by the way, did I mention, is $27,000!!! It's powered by an awesome brand new turbo engine but paired with an automatic CVT, I'm leaning more and more towards the no. How much is the Si or even the rumored Type-R going to be? Abusrd.

SprezzaBox 24 Hours Flash Sale!!!

A few weeks ago I told you about my Sprezzabox Ambassadorship and how you could get 10% off your initial order and subscription. Well, being that today is Wednesday Humpday, take advantage and grab some 30% off goodness! Check out the lastest offerings and show me what you got!


SprezzaBox Ambassadorship

A few weeks ago, I was accepted into the SprezzaBox Ambassador program and I can't wait for you all to signup to the goodness that the SprezzaBox has introduced me to! Click away and check out the amazing collaborations and curations they've created. Subscribe and set yourself up with an awesome surprise every month! It's allowed me to expand my style and even venture out to other styles that I wouldn't have otherwised thought of.

PSA: You can also use the coupon code: ENICOLAS for 10% off your first subscription or store purchase!

Thanks for the Birthday Wishes!

To celebrate my birthday this year, my wife got together an excellent soju paired karaoke birthday dinner, followed by an amazing cake and drinks on Sunday. Then on Monday, I prepared and cooked 6 bacon wrapped filet mignons for a family dinner and along with leftover cake.  Then last night, on my real birthday, I prepared some awesome hamburger patties and had them protein style. 

I couldn't be happier and more thankful! I've usually been gone on a trip the past few years celebrating on the road but this was the best! Thirty three was spectacular and thirty four is going to be that much more special! Thanks everyone for all the special birthday wishes and greetings throughout Facebook and twitter. 

Got some cool and thoughtful birthday gifts this year and I'll be posting pictures along with reviews. Here's one of my favorites from my two of daughter's godmothers: A medicine bottle of Dark Horse's Cold Brew and a bag o beans. I encourage and invite you to come over for a Hario V60 pourover, Espro Press, Aeropress, or even a Blue Bottle / Joey Roth collab Moka Pot. My daughter's wonderful third godmother also gave me an awesome present but that photo I'm saving for a review of Ballast Point *hint* =) Thanks again ladies and to everyone else. You will get thanked here sooner or later. 

Typed: Airbus A320!

Add another aircraft to the list of ratings! Last Friday night, my sim partner Joe and I went into our Maneuvers Validation and killed it! It couldn't have gone any smoother. And just yesterday morning, we finished our Line Orientation Evaluation and passed! As I was making the final landing of the two leg trip, I started getting goosebumps of excitement and then when we set the parking brake and the instructor said we successfully completed our LOE, the relief could have been felt from miles away.

We prepared well throughout the last two weeks. I mean, it was around 4 weeks total after the initial indoc and such. Chair flying each event, going over callouts and non-normal procedures and studying our approaches over and over until we got bored. In the end, I couldn’t have asked for a better sim partner or instructors. Needless to say, I came out of the sim typed in the Airbus A320 Family.

In all honesty, I’ve been lucky throughout my aviation career. At CAPT, I got to meet three guys who would be my best man and groomsman and end up at ASA. At ASA / ExpressJet, I got hired with over a dozen friends and became friends with many more. Our new hire class was pretty awesome. When I transitioned aircraft to the CRJ 700/900, I had another guy from my new hire class during the same period and when I upgraded to Captain years later, I was partnered up with one of my best friends from CAPT.

Now at JetBlue, I was fortunate again to have a Captain going through requalification which allowed me to sit in my First Officer seat the entire time enabling me to really learn my flows and callouts. When you are in a paired setup, I feel like it’s the most productive as long as you keep working through the periods where the captain is getting instruction. When you’re paired with another new hire first officer, you get that seat half of the four hour allotment but then you are able to observe and watch the other guy. It just depends on how you learn I guess. Thanks again Joe for everything! Even though it was albeit on the small size, nine total, everyone in my new hire class has been awesome.

Now with a mandatory four days off, I’ll be released to Initial Operating Experience at JFK! I’ve included a few various pictures throughout the 6 weeks here at jetBlue University. Yea, that’s outgoing CEO Dave Barger, my favorite instructor Bob Stafford and the obligatory PBE picture. There’s also a picture of our raft, the no motion flight training device and of course the simulator.

The last picture in the gallery below is of one of the newest Airbus' in the JetBlue Mint fleet courtesy of Planespotters' Juan Carlos Aponte! The Transcon A321 Mint aircraft holds 159 passengers total with 16 in Mint class and 143 Core Expereince seats while the A321 Core Aircraft holds 190 passengers. Then there's the main A320 that holds 150 seats soon to hold more. Take a peep! It's sweet!

For details on all the aircraft, check out Our Planes!