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Editorial IntegrityA plea to my fellow authors We hate to admit it in our industry, but manufacturers—especially advertisers and sponsors—will have some influence over what, and even how, we write. We are human after all: they may inspire bias for or against the wares they peddle, but they will inevitably make an impression. Anyone who claims otherwise is either lying through their teeth or a robot. It’s impossible to write completely without bias, and even if it were possible, we shouldn’t. Be biased. The audience is where we owe our allegiance: without them we are nothing. When writing an article our goal should not be to write without bias, doing so would only be a disservice to our audience. Our readers are our readers because they identify with our style and value our opinions (or at the very least find us entertaining). Our audience wants to know what we love or hate, and why. Be fair, but don’t water down your true impressions to the monotony of a dictionary just to avoid offense. Be fair. Never allow an advertiser or sponsor to gain a hand in your editorial process. Correct factual errors, of course. Profusely thank sponsors for being awesome, sure. If change for the better occurs as a result of your feedback, then by all means praise the manufacturer for their willingness to listen. Don’t allow them to effect change to the meaning of articles: doing so sets a dangerous precedent for dishonest action, scares off viewers and manufacturers alike, and like a bad infomercial only truly serves to undermine an author’s credibility. Be honest. I challenge my fellow authors to write with bias, fairness, and honesty. And, I challenge editors to approve and publish more of the concepts that arrive on their desk with these principles intact. In this strange new age of manufacturers-turned-publishers it’s the only way we can stand free from their purse strings to create trustworthy and independent content.… NSFW · Explicit
Flickred OutWhy did I abandon Flickr? You might have noticed the error above popping up all over the place in the last several months. This isn’t because the photos were removed as the error suggests, but because the folks at Flickr decided to change many of the photo URLs without so much as an email to let us peasants know. This wasn’t a global change, but seems to be totally at random affecting about half of the photos I have stored there. If I were just another free user it might merely be annoying, but as a paying “Pro” customer it’s totally unacceptable. Three months (that I’m aware of) later, and my photos continue to disappear throughout the internet with not so much as a peep from Flickr. If that wasn’t bad enough, about half way through the process of editing every article I’ve ever published the new and “improved” Flickr site was released, with an individual photo page design that nearly tripled the work involved to download the original photo. While the photo page’s design has since been improved, clearly Flickr can’t be trusted for photo hosting and sharing (off-Flickr) anymore so I’m in the process of moving the bulk of the photos to my own server. Until that’s done, missing photos can be viewed by clicking on them since links to the photos are (so far) unaffected.… NSFW · Explicit
SimplifyLighten your Load, Lighten your Life Necessity. Convenience. Preparedness… Coffee. Left unmanaged, the pile of stuff we carry every day grows exponentially. The affliction has become so bad it’s caused the phenomena of the manpurse (aka “murse”) to appear on city streets world-wide—as an addition to the briefcase. Over the last few years I’ve been on a mission to reduce both the bulk and appearance of this clutter while still maintaining an acceptable level of function. After optimizing everything from banking habits to keychains only a handful of items remain on the “need to carry” list. The result is a shorter morning/evening routine, little or no complications when plans change, and a lot less crap to carry around (both figuratively and literally). Here’s what doesn’t fill my pockets: Kershaw Ken Onion Leek A gentleman should never be without a knife—arguably the single most important multi-purpose tool ever created. During the daily grind it’s a trusty companion for slicing through the jungles of cardboard delivered by the Brown Truck of Joy. When disaster strikes, it’s the ultimate survival tool capable of providing everything from fire to food (with the right skills). The Leek is elegant enough for a night on the town, durable enough to take on a hike or bike ride, and sleek enough to please any minimalist. It’s also inexpensive enough to carry (and risk losing). More info » Vehicle Key Immediate access to a vehicle is simply a smart resource to keep at hand. I frequently commute by bike, but always have the key to motorized transportation with me. Streamlight Nano You never know when or where darkness may fall—light should be part of everyone’s daily carry. The Nano is bright enough to light the way yet small enough to clip on a single key without adding noticable bulk. More info » Fisher Space Pen 400 TAD Edition I was skeptical at first, but in the end a pen has come in handy quite frequently. The Fisher Bullet practically disappears into a pocket, expands to the size of a normal pen, and will write on just about any surface—wet or dry. More info » American Bison Leather Money Clip Commerce is a fact of life, but not one that requires a fat wallet. Consolodation of my accounts down to one checking and one credit not only simplifies my finances, but allows me to slip into a slim money clip with just enough room for… NSFW · Explicit
Fetch the RRC This is the first time I’ve been in The People’s Republik since 2010… and then only off-pavement. When you’re subjected to a downward spiral on a daily basis it’s often easy to overlook just how far down things have gone. Remove yourself from the environment for a few years and the same fall jumps out in shocking detail. Such is the case on this brief excursion into California to fetch a Great Divide Edition Range Rover Classic as I travel east at a slowness well below the absurd state-mandated trailer speed limit of 55 MPH. The budget problems this state has been experiencing for the past decade are blatantly obvious with each pothole and stretch of completely missing pavement. Interstate 40 is in ruin. I’ve traveled better tarmac in Baja. As I cross the river into Arizona and throttle up to reach 75 MPH over the seemingly glass-smooth asphalt, I consider the freedoms we still have to flee a state fraught with corruption, mismanagement, and over-taxation for the greener pastures of a pro-liberty, pro-business society and it’s many benefits. Today, I am grateful to be in America.… NSFW · Explicit
Hello world! I missed those words. The Tumblr experiment did not turn out quite as expected. Instead of being liberated by the simplicity limitations of the system, the task of writing and posting became overly complicated by Tumblr’s inadequacy for anything but photo/status streaming. “There’s an App for that!” proved to be far from true, and the site was all but useless on my newly-discovered travel companion, the iPad. If that wasn’t enough, Tumblr’s servers spend more time offline than on, which meant when I had time to post I usually couldn’t. 11 months later and nothing has changed—Tumblr appears to be an abandoned step-child… Welcome to WordPress. This is your first post. Edit or delete it, then start blogging! WordPress, on the other hand, has continued to evolve and grow under the careful guidance of a very active development community. In the time since I left the platform, it has embraced touch-technologies and simplicity of posting. Everything I left WordPress to find is now available out-of-the-box… and there really is an App for that. I’m working to reformat the articles into the new site, finish up and publish articles that have been sitting on paper for the last year, and rebuild several that seem to have been lost while rotting over at Tumblr (WTF!?). In the mean time, content might be a bit messy around here.… NSFW · Explicit
Cherum Peak Here’s a few photos from our hike up to Cherum Peak in the Cerbat Mountains earlier this month. The Cerbats aren’t terrifically tall, but they do best most of the surrounding mountains by a thousand feet. Cherum Peak rises to just under 7,000 feet, high enough to see over Nevada into California and enjoy panoramic views in every direction. The first 3,000 feet of climbing is done via Big Wash Road, a surprisingly well graded dirt road that would be an absolute blast in a rally car. Most passenger cars can make it up the mountain just fine with a careful driver at the wheel. The hike itself is about 5 miles round trip and not all that difficult, though it can get still and hot on the east slope during the first part of the ascent. Fortunately, there is a nice shady spot to stop and rest just off the trail once you crest the ridge. The rest of the way up there is plenty of shade and a nice breeze. The mountainside is littered with abandoned mines, most very near the trail, and many well hidden. Shortly after passing a rock sundial, the trail merges with a road that comes up from Hualapai Valley. Right about this time we found ourselves under a storm of birds dancing overhead—I can only guess it was mating season… The trail branches off from the road again after a few hundred yards and begins the final climb up rocky switchbacks to the summit. This last segment is where the best of the scenery comes into view, ending with an unobstructed 360° view from the peak which extends for miles. A little scrambling is required to reach the top, where a crow’s nest of rock has been built around the benchmarks. There’s even a recliner built into one wall for an afternoon nap. [flexiblemap width=”625″ height=”400″ showinfo=”false” maptype=”terrain” zoom=”10″ hidepanning=”false” hidescale=”false” scrollwheel=”true” center=”35.415609,-114.150261″ marker=”35.415609,-114.150261″]… NSFW · Explicit
Mixing Business with Pleasure It’s been a few months since I wrote an “on the road” entry. That’s the downside (and upside) to rural living: you can do a 100+ mile trek through the wilderness and be home for dinner, but you get far less of that long white line to ponder life. Yes, I actually enjoy those long highway hours… Today I find myself climbing up the hill to the North American overlanding Mecca: Prescott, Arizona. It’s funny, when we started marketing Enfluence a few weeks ago, my friend Drawk asked me “If you could do anything, what would it be?” My answer was travel, exploration, and adventure (preferably via Land Rover over dirt roads). While I enjoy design and production very much, it has always felt like a means to an end. So naturally when asked if I would be interested in doing what I do for Overland Journal I jumped at the opportunity. Doing work I enjoy, on a product that’s right at the core of my own interests? It’s bi-winning. Taking that opportunity means leaving our rural lifestyle for the big-little town of Prescott, but I count that in the “plus” column. As much as I love the quiet isolation out here, I’ve missed having an open downtown we can enjoy. It’s pretty clear Danielle feels the same way.… NSFW · Explicit
The Golden Monkey It’s about time the recipe for this one made it to the public, so without further adoo, the Golden Monkey: You will need: 2oz. Malibu Rum (or Coconut Parrot Bay) 2oz. Apple Pucker 1oz. Vodka 1oz. Triple Sec 4oz. Orange Juice Fill a chilled shaker with crushed ice, add all the ingredients and shake vigorously. Pour into shot glasses. Too harsh? Add a little more OJ (not too much). Origins of the Golden Monkey The Golden Monkey was named in honor of one of the largest e-braggarts ever to roam JU, GoldenJeeper. Those of us who’d been poking holes in his tall tales had taken to calling him “GoldenMonkey.” At a fire-side party during a desert camping trip, Whisker_Biscuit created a shot which tasted like plain old banana-orange juice. We all loved it, which is good considering he had prepared several rounds before testing it. It didn’t take long to realize just how strong the shot actually was. As the saying went: “It doesn’t taste like alcohol, but it lies!”, and the Golden Monkey (the shot) was born. Good friends, good times and good drinks – thanks guys.… NSFW · Explicit