The New Nomatic Zipper!!!

So I guess it's maybe time to change out my Brenthaven bag which may or not be able to be repaired due to failrure of the front pocket zipper. After months of agonizing between Nomatic, Peak Design, Brown Buffalo, 5.11+ and watching all of the Chase Reeves I can get, which, according to my kids apparently is not enough, with Nomatic releasing the updated materials, give me a few weeks... I'll let you know what I do.

  • straight-stitch canvas to give the bags the more minimalist design
  • more scratch resistant via tougher carbonite-coated 6PM tarpaulin
  • YKK Zippers
  • removed the two bottom zippers for more security
  • new interior material is higher quality
  • added hypalon belt loops
  • new stronger chest strap

Of course, you can get the previous version for $30 less but I always recommend the latest and greatest.

Dogwood 52 2019 Week 4

Besides making all the silly excuses about not having the time or such to post Week 4 of the Dogwood Challenge, finding “Warmth” proved to be rather difficult for me. I wanted to use a shot of our children and capture the right moment and to be honest, that didn’t happen until last night. I’ll post both pictures down below and you tell me which is “warm” but my official “entry” is the solo coffee cup. This is a from a little shop in Bankers Hill called James Coffee. Make sure to hit it up before Extraorindary Desserts opens up next door as it’ll still be easy to find parking and grab a seat. I wished that I took a better photo of the cup itself (apparently you can buy them for $64.95 a pop!) but alas, it was the latte art that proved to be more eye catching during that specific moment. I chose to edit it in the stock iPhoto App on my iPad Pro 9.7” (still no new iPad Pro or MacBook Pro) and used a Vivid Warm Filter along with some other tweaks in color and brightness.

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📷: Week 4 Story Telling: Warmth // Tell a story that makes us feel warm inside. 

Because my wife and I mistakenly thought it was BBQ Day at our daughter’s school, we found ourselves with an open time slot for lunch and decided to stay in the area. We called up our awesome friend on our way an amazing sushi restaurant in Bankers Hill called Hane Sushi (restaurant / yelp). After a few delectable dishes and specials, I’m sorry but I don’t have the names but here are some photos below, we strolled around and found James Coffee (restaurantyelp). There aren’t too many days that I bring the camera along, but I’m getting use to carrying it and love it so much. Check out the awesome sushi we had and oh yea, that other warm photo. 

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So maybe the piano shot isn’t as “warm” but it’s still an easy favorite. Girls are indeed precious.

Dogwood 52 2019 Week 3

Going strong into the third week of the Dogwood 52 2019, well at least I’m sticking to it. For the first time since our first born graced us, my wife and I had a chance to spend a “working” weekend away from the kiddos. Any previous time away was limited to just a date night. This is uncharacteristic and a first in six years sans children and we couldn’t have done it without our wonderful mothers and my sister helping out in 24 hours shifts. Thanks so much! I will admit that there were more than a few instances where we thought of heading home early or even just having my going alone, but we did it!

For this challenge, I brought my Sony A7Rii camera with us to Reno, Nevada and Tahoe but found myself trying really hard to capture what I would think would look good in black and white. That ended up with a kind of photography’s block so I barely shot anything at all! Quite disappointing really. With so much nature and wilderness, I could only think of industrial like settings (of course I could have easily just though of the amazing Ansel Adams but hindsight is indeed 20/20) so here we have it; our Southwest plane blurred in the background with rain sprinkling on the window. For the last 14 years, my life has been about riding standby and this trip was successful thanks in part to the awesome friends at Southwest.

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📷: Week 3Inspiration: Black and White // Your inspiration this week is to simply take an amazing Black and White photograph of any subject you want.

Here is the original color photo (which was just edited in Photoshop Express on my iPad Pro) and also an awesome photo of Turbo the airport companion dog. Check out those freaking paws! I really wish that I had the new Sony FE 16-35mm F2.8 GM Wife-angle Zoom Lens (SEL1635GM) with me for some awesome landscape shots, but then again, I hardly pulled out my Sony A7Rii. =(

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!

Read Between the Lines but Just in Case

But just in case they failed to pick up on her [current President Joanna Geraghty] obvious signals, here’s the message in its most simple and straightforward form: “JetBlue Is For Sale!”

Guess you don’t have.

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.

Lake Jennings Part 1 of 3

Day 1 of 3 camping at Lake Jennings and I'm setting up the camp site by myself. Norah helped out quite a bit in setting up our Marmot Limelight 3P and unloading all the sleeping gear from the car and into the tent. Bought two Coleman Sleeping Bags 2-in-1 from Costco and they're pretty awesome. Also bought a Lightspeed Sleeping Pad too just in case. If you head to Costco right now, it's all camping gear and beach gear! I need to make another run!

Puddles, Poppies and Pie

Seven days straight!!! I seriously don't wake up "late" everyday but that seems to be the current trend.  I even set the alarm today for 7AM so that I could cook some oatmeal, grab some gatorade and take it easy. Thirty minutes later, I jump out of bed, put on my cycling gear, hoodies and shorts then run out the door. 

The Bike ride was awesome which included a really fast downhill with an abrupt dead end followed by a puddle, a snake and some amazing poppies. Just as it was coming to an end, my right calf completely froze up solid. Not good. Got back to the start, drove home, showered, school for a conference, small errands, dance then pie! 

Around 4:30, I also have the Rumpl unveiling! So warm, soft and awesome! Check them out! I'll have a review a little later down the road after we use it for camping at the end of the month.

BioLite's New CampStove 2

Taking my family camping last month was amazing. With another trip on the horizon, charging our iPhones and iPads ahave become essential. I carry Anker's PowerCore which has done beautifully for a day or two but today, with the ability to charge your portable devices and burn wood AND a larger lithium battery, Biolite presents you their new CampStove 2 = WIN WIN!

The award-winning BioLite CampStove's latest upgrade features 50% more power, an integrated battery, and an updated LED dashboard for improved control and feedback. Burning only wood, the CampStove 2's fan creates a smokeless fire that can cook meals and boil water in minutes while turning its heat into usable electricity. Compatible with the KettlePot and Portable Grill, cook up wood-fired meals and charge devices using only the sticks around you.

If you're all about minimalist get the things you carry, this is a new essential!

The Nomad Bus Hostel

Almost 2 years ago I heard about this Belgian couple who had imported an american school bus from the USA to Belgium and planned on converting it into a pow and wave chasing hostel on wheels.

Wait? What?!

Follow photographer / media journalist Chris Eyre-Walker on his awesome adventure on the Nomad Bus. Pretty amazing story of a converted American Yellow School Bus wandering throughout Europe.

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