3kg of my favorite cheese has arrived :)

February19

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Our Place In Valencia :)

February13

I forgot to blog about this :)… I bought an apartment in Valencia Spain last year! When we visited we loved it so much that I started looking at apartments here. At the time, I thought we might visit a few months each year and I could rent it out on AirBNB the rest of the time (good investment IMO as it is grandfathered into a license). And, now we are living here for a few years.

The apartment is in the old city, close to the massive park, 3 bedroom / 2 bath, and full of light. After I bought I converted the master bath to a shower, refinished the floors, painted it, fixed some odds and ends, and updated the HVAC system. Here it is before we did anything to it:

After we got here we decided to redo the kitchen. The appliances and cabinets were old and broken. The walls on the oven were melting and dripped black gunk all over our pots. When we removed the oven we found we were probably a few usages away from an electrical fire. And, we decided to redo the floor/walls at the same time. Here is what the kitchen looked like before:

Here is what the kitchen looked like as they started in…

And here is the finished kitchen! We cook a ton so it is really nice to have our kitchen back and designed how we wanted!

And, we are slowly getting moved into the rest of the place. We finally got a couch last week which helps. We only have some small stuff left like to make it feel like home… a coffee table, bedside tables, a fold-out couch for guests, and something to jam the TV devices into. Calico’s room was finished first. We got him a “big boy” bed so that was pretty exciting for him. Plus an Ikea kitchen set too. We wanted to make sure he felt settled the quickest.

posted under Family & Marriage, Travel | Comments Off on Our Place In Valencia :)

Beach day!

February2

We went to the beach Sunday! The weather was amazing, sunny and in the low 70s. Calico has been talking about going for a while and he had a blast. He got a little too excited when we first got there, he tried to run into the water not realizing water doesn’t move like air. He fell in and I sprinted over to see a look a shock on his face as he came running out and totally soaked. It was very cold. He was hilarious though, he just stripped down to his diaper, warmed up with mommy, and then started playing in the sand.

The beach had tons of ladybugs!!! Flying all over and landing on our hair. If you are going to give me a swarm of something, please let it be cute ladybugs.

posted under My Thoughts | Comments Off on Beach day!

Biking around Valencia :)

February1

Valencia has some great trails and one of my favorites goes along the river up into the mountains. I had a fantastic 75km ride in 71-degree weather this week. I love riding on trails as you are surrounded by nature, nobody is around, and it is super relaxing. I can let my thoughts roam while riding and just untangle the thoughts in my head. This was my 3rd longest ride (per Garmin so at least in top 10 ever)!

I don’t take pictures too often, but here are a few before I turned around to head back. I cycle through lots of orange fields around here :)

And, from a few weeks later:

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The Why Phase :)

January27

So Calico has finally hit the “why” phase! I got the first why a few weeks ago and yesterday maybe a hundred :). And, here is Calico pretending to be a Tiger in a jungle.

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Day Trip: Montanejos Hot Springs

January15

Lindsey surprised me with an all-day Saturday adventure for Christmas :)! We visited some mountain villages around Valencia and eventually ended up at the Montanejos Hot Springs. We realized this was our first day alone in 3 years, we hope we get more of these now that Calico is older. It was really nice to enjoy each other’s company.

First, we stopped at a little bar in Montan for a snack. We ended up going to the olive press factory and got these beauties!

This is a special type of olive oil that you can only get in Montan… and per the locals, it cures all types of ills. We got 10 liters of it since we use a lot of olive oil :).

We saw a ton of Iberian Ibix too…

The hot springs were not super hot, around 75F so it was a bit cold given it is January. Lindsey wore a wet suit and was still a bit cold. I was pretty good without a wetsuit but as Calico says it was “refreshing”. The hot springs are beautiful and you have to go through a canyon to reach them.

Very fun day!!!!!

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2020 Plans: Let “it” go.

January13

My theme of the year is “let it go” (watch the video here).

What is “it”?
The frantic energy that is anxiety and insecurity and hard to define. It is the inability to hold still or be at peace. I want to work on getting back to my quiet place. A place where I can just sit and feel calm and more deliberate and more present.

My big 3 for the year?

1. Let “it” go & find my calm. This influences so many things with me, relationships, and work.

2. Make something awesome w/ Shepherd. Starting a new business is HARD and sometimes I forget to have fun. I am working on that and trying to remember that “fun” is a factor in what we are choosing to do/build.

3. Enjoy our time in Europe and figure out some individual and family adventures.

Onward to a very futuristic sounding 2020!

posted under Life Planning & Execution, My Thoughts | Comments Off on 2020 Plans: Let “it” go.

2019 Book Summary.

January1

Since 2010 I’ve taken part in a yearly challenge to read 100 books. For 2019 I read 149 books! This is my 3rd highest ever… I read a ton of fantasy this year.

88% of the books I read were fun books, and 12% were serious. This year was a little rough as I feel like I hit a bunch of duds and it was much easier to pick my top choices. I read a LOT of fantasy and historical fiction this year.

I do a big book summary each year too, if you want to take a look at past years for some reading ideas check them out here: 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, and 2018, so what are my top books of the year?

If you only read 3 fiction books this year I recommend the following:

1. The Power of the Dog is a stunning 3 book series by Don Winslow that takes you deep inside the drug trade and cartels. They are fantastically written and feel like they are pulled directly from newspaper stories about the cartels. They follow a DEA agent through his career and are amazing.

2. The Gaius Valerius Verrens series is 9 books of stunning Roman historical fiction. The character is fantastic and you follow him through an uprising in Roman Britain, Roman politics, and seeing a lot of Rome from AD 68 through AD 80. The only downside was the last 9 pages were a little off, but the rest were magnificent reading.

3. Thin Air by Richard Morgan one of my favorite authors. This is a gritty detective book set on Mars and just a great read. The main character is fantastic and the story is even better. I hit a lot of duds this year when it came to hardcore science fiction and this helped redeem a lot of those duds.

After top 3 of the year, my fav 3 Fantasy / Sci Fi / Historical Fiction:

1. It starts with the Green Count and is a 4 book Chivalry series by one of my absolute favorite authors (Christian Cameron). It is historical fiction and it follows William Gold starting with his life as a goldsmith’s apprentice in London just after the great plague of 1347 and continues through the Battle of Poitiers and the Savoyard Crusade, as well as the Peasants’ Revolt of 1381, right through to the Battle of Agincourt in 1415, covering the history of the period—military, chivalric, and literary—in England, France, Italy, and Greece. Cameron just brings everything to life and like all his books it is hard to read the last book because you don’t want to lose the characters.

2. The Raven Mark Series is the best of fantasy, characters that feel real, that you wish you knew, and a story that leaves you unable to put down the book. This one is set in a postapocalyptic frontier that is half magic and half western.

3. The two-book series the Age of Tyranny are my final pick. They throw you right into the middle of a crazy world with a hilarious dark and messed up main character. Magic, gods, and a deeply disrespectful main character. The author knows how to end a book and I was impressed that the 2nd book was even better than the first (the ending was magnificent).

After top 3 of the year, my fav 3 *Real* Books:

1. The Mastermind: Drugs. Empire. Murder. Betrayal. This is a MUST READ, and one of the most awesome and insane true books I’ve ever read. Lindsey and I heard the author on a podcast and the story is insane. Basically about a guy who started a business that was in a bit of a gray area and making hundreds of million dollars and then decided to become an arms dealer, drug smuggler, assassin, etc… insanity.

2. Free Country: A Penniless Adventure the Length of Britain. This was a hilarious travel book about two guys who decided to see how nice the people of the UK are. How did they do that? They went to the southernmost point of the UK, stripped down to their boxers and then had to make it to the most northern point in 20 days on bikes without paying for anything (including bikes). Meaning they had to ask for places to sleep, food, bikes, clothes, etc. Thanks to Tony for the recommendation!

3. The Year of Living Danishly: Uncovering the Secrets of the World’s Happiest Country. A hilarious story that is part travelogue and part cultural exploration. It had me laughing out loud constantly. Highly recommended!

Enjoy your next book! :)

posted under Books | Comments Off on 2019 Book Summary.

Workout Summary 2019 + 2020 Goals.

January1

For 2019, I did a total of ~316 hours of tracked workouts. I worked out 236 days out of 365 days in some form. Another good year… although I did not break my last two years’ records on hours or days (they tracked stroller walks w/ Calico which I dropped this year).

Biking
I rode 132+ hours on my bike and biked 115 days out of 365. I covered around 2,252km. About 60 hours less than 2018 but a very good year.

Strength / Rehab
I am stronger than I have ever been in my life which is cool. I’ve never really done strength training and Jeff has taught me a ton. It keeps my back pain free – and hopefully, my body better ready to handle adventures.

Fun stats:

  • I rode 2,252km this year on my bike. My 2nd highest year (only counting outdoor rides).
  • My longest bike ride this year was ~61km over 3 hours and 6 minutes (6th longest ever).
  • I did 119 strength training rehab sessions this year. That is about 2.2x a week (good habit).
  • My average strength training session was 45 minutes.

  • What are my workout goals for 2020?
    I am living in Europe and I ordered a new touring bike so I am hoping to do a ton of adventures on it! And, I want to stay strong and pain-free.

    1. Build a good base on my bike so I can do repeated 4 to 6 hours no problem. Right now that means riding 3x to 4x a week with one or two long rides on the weekend. Regardless just explore as much as I am able with work and family.

    2. Keep doing my strength training and build a ~3x a week habit to keep my back healthy and get stronger.

    3. Throw in some fun challenges here and there. I’ve been doing soccer juggling and I am thinking of trying a 30-day pushup challenge or something.

    Past years: 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, and 2018 workout summary.

    posted under Fitness & Sports | Comments Off on Workout Summary 2019 + 2020 Goals.

    2019 in Review.

    December31

    2019 was a good year :).

    I spent the year trying to make the new business work and learned a TON. I made a lot of sales/timing mistakes… and I hopefully learned from them. I always forget how hard it is to boot up a new business (especially without a service aspect to use as a crutch). Let’s go exploring was a good theme for the year…

    The Amazing
    Lindsey and I have been married for 5 years! Adding a kid to the mix has definitely made marriage harder but I think we are on the road to finding our sea legs. Calico turned 3 a few days ago and watching him turn into even more of a little person has been a blast :). I love our little family!

    The new business is in the midst of a pivot and I am finding our first 10 clients now to see if we are on the right track. Learning sales has been hard + rewarding. The meeting idea just wasn’t clicking and we are pivoting to helping engineers find their perfect engineering team. I am way more excited about helping people find a great place to work.

    We moved to Valencia Spain for a few years :). We felt like the timing was right and living abroad was something we both wanted to try.

    My back has been almost entirely pain-free this year (as long as I keep up with rehab 2x-3x a week). And, biking has been great for it as well and given me a physical outlet. I did not get to do a bike tour this year… partially because of work and partially just timing, but I am hopeful I can do one or two in 2020.

    What fun stuff did we do this year?
    – We did an awesome trip to Malta and Valencia Spain over 3 months in February, March, and April. We did an agri and food tour in Malta that was delicious and interesting. I visited an underground temple called the Hypogeum in Malta that dates back to 3300BC (insanely special place). And, we fell in love with Valencia Spain in so many ways. I bought an apartment in Valencia and we moved here at the end of the year (pictures coming soon). We are slowly getting settled here.
    – We went on a 2-week road trip all over Spain and Portugal. It was so much fun! I got to see a ton of Roman ruins, eat some delicious pulpo, and enjoy Roman hot springs. It was one of my favorite family trips yet. I hope we get to do another road trip soon.
    – Calico and I went to the pool over the summer and it was so much fun. He even went down the monster water slide :).
    – A ton of great times with Lucas and Claire in Colorado. Either hiking, or biking, or just hanging out and talking. I miss them!
    – A great summer in Colorado and a lot of trips to the Farmer’s market on Saturday mornings. We are usually out of town in the summer so it was nice to be home and enjoy it.
    – We went to Munich for a week to explore the Christmas markets. Fun trip! I did a 3-hour walking tour of the 3rd Reich in Munich that was intense. Weird to see where Hitler did some water coloring and then where he unveiled the Nazi flag. Felt shivers down my spine several times hearing too many historic events that mirrored the news the last few years.
    – I read a lot of good books this year!

    The Challenges!

    Komorebi!
    2019 was a good year and I figured a ton out about how I want to spend the bulk of my day. The new business hasn’t clicked yet, but we are in the midst of a pivot and I am really excited about what we are trying to build with Shepherd. I am learning a shit ton about sales and we shall see how that goes over the next 90 days.

    Marriage
    It has been a year of learning when it comes to marriage :). Trying to boot up a new business while raising a 2-year-old while so many other things don’t make marriage any easier. We’ve had some good conversations lately and I am hopeful that 2020 is going to be the best year of our marriage for me/us. I think it took me five years to really fathom how different people are (sure you know it, but to really understand what that means is different). It is a good lesson to learn.

    Health
    I got sick a lot in 2019, ~5 times! That is really abnormal versus previous years where I hadn’t been sick in maybe 2 or 3 years. I think it is due to stress and energy management and it is something I am going to be paying close attention to for 2020. I tend to push myself pretty hard when maybe I should let off the gas by about 15%. Otherwise, my health has been good and my back great. I am stronger than I have ever been, and my cardio is slowly getting up there as I bike more. I did better in 2019 with prepping food for my diet and Lindsey helped by cooking big meals for me a few times each week.

    How did I do on my goals for 2019?
    The theme of the year was to go exploring. I feel really good about the path the new business is on and I am excited to see if I can sale “it” and find a product fit that resonates. Going back to work full time this year helped me to see more of where I want to go and why. Slightly cryptic but it is nice to gain some self gnosis around what drives you and how that has changed. I could have been a lot more patient with myself this year… and kinder. Still working on that.

    I did well on my goals for the year, although I missed two big ones. The first was that I really wanted to do a bike tour and didn’t. The second was that I had hoped to make a little more progress on our family vision, but I will attribute that to it just being a slow process and my lack of patience.

    2020…

    New decade!!!!! Exciting :)

    I’ll make a longer post in 2020… some pics from my wip theme for 2020…

    posted under Life Planning & Execution, My Thoughts | Comments Off on 2019 in Review.

    Calico Jack is 3 (happy birthday!!!)

    December30

    He is now 3 years old and is so much fun. Just bursting with personality and I love being a dad :)

    posted under Family & Marriage | Comments Off on Calico Jack is 3 (happy birthday!!!)

    Christmas Munich Trip!

    December25

    We spent a week in Munich Germany and we had a blast! The Christmas markets were amazing and we had a great time. We lucked into going to the Medieval Christmas market on Saturday and they had events all day, jugglers, fire juggling, jesters, short plays, etc. Calico had so much fun. One of the jesters looked like Chappe’s older brother :).

    I did a 3 hour 3rd Reich walking tour that was fascinating. It was super creepy to be in the same room where Hitler unveiled the Nazi flag or painted a watercolor. The stories the historian told felt a little too real at this current moment in world history.

    posted under Travel | Comments Off on Christmas Munich Trip!

    There is a God.

    December10

    Someone is putting tiny cowboy hats on pigeons in Las Vegas as animal rescue works to remove them

    Someone in Las Vegas has been putting tiny cowboy hats on the heads of Las Vegas pigeons, and while you might be asking yourself why, one local onlooker only has one explanation: “the rodeo is in town.

    That is so funny, I can’t stop laughing.

    posted under Funny | Comments Off on There is a God.

    Moving to Valencia Spain for two years!

    December4

    We are in Valencia Spain and going to be living here for the next 2 years :). I’ve always wanted to live abroad and Lindsey was kind enough to jump on board and try it!

    We are slowly getting settled and are buying a lot of Ikea furniture among other things! Our apartment should feel more like a home in a week or so.

    Below you will see just a random mix of images from the last month… my favorite is my awesome son standing next to a cardboard robot we made. He told us he wanted to take a picture with “it”, it was so sweet. You will also see him drinking water like a cat, as we saw a cat doing similar outside. He picked out all his own clothes for most of these shots, at age 2 he has more style than I ever will :).

    posted under Travel | Comments Off on Moving to Valencia Spain for two years!

    Calico and the big water slide!

    October10

    A few weeks ago I took Calico to a local rec center for a swim. The pool was great! It had a little float section with a current, a kid’s slide + shallow area, a deep area with a basketball goal, and a HUGE water slide. I asked Calico if he wanted to go on the big slide as a joke and he said no. We had a blast in the pool and about 45 minutes later he asked me if we could do the big slide.

    I asked the lifeguard if we could use it, as it had a height limit, and they said it was fine as long as I held him (duh). We climbed up the stairs… several sets… got in and started down. It was fast! At one point I thought we might go over the top but it was all good and I held Calico above the water as we plunge into the last pool. He loved it and wanted to go again. My heart was beating fast as holding onto him was a little scary :). We went again and he had so much fun.

    We went back this weekend and did it twice again. Fun times!

    posted under Family & Marriage | Comments Off on Calico and the big water slide!
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    This is bwb’s personal blog so he can share his thoughts with the world, however scary or silly they might be. Plus family and friends can track what I am up too, and where I am in the world.

    I am pretty simple. I love Mangos. I love the ocean, although mostly at sunset as I’m a ginger. I love to travel, eat exotic food, read, and use my imagination. I love creating and developing ideas into businesses, understanding how all businesses work, and building cool stuff. I am a globalist and see the entire world as my responsibility and playground. And, I am married to an amazing woman who makes life even more fun :)! And, we are now the proud parents of Calico Jack :).


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