The hardest part of this trip…

June19

I’ve lost the majority of my quality time with Calico on this trip and it has been very frustrating. Why? All of my time has gone into:

  1. Vetting cities and neighborhoods we are looking at. We do this as a family, but Calico and I don’t get to play and it is rather boring for him. It isn’t the same as going to the park together or a hike.
  2. Trying to keep up with work… while working less due to #1, #3, and #4.
  3. Driving.
  4. Increased time for food prep.
  5. Workouts to keep my back and sleep going well.
  6. Resting and trying to stay sane and not get sick (big fail on this one as I didn’t make enough time to stay well).

I don’t see a way around this problem, as the main limit is time.

If I drive to a new city on a Monday that means I have to do 5 days of work in 4 days. And, if I take a few half-days to look at the city with Lindsey that further constricts work. The business has definitely suffered as a result (which sucks).

And, while traveling we are less strict on routines so Calico wakes up later, I wake up later, and then I am working till later. And, instead of doing food prep that gives me 9 meals I am doing meals one by one which means a lot more time going into cooking/prep each one.

I am very thankful for our time in Croatia as we got some of that back as we’re able to just chill (I love taking him to the beach). I am looking forward to being home in Portugal so we can spend more time together doing fun stuff.

Lindsey and I had to cut a ton of our couple time, but for us driving time is pretty high quality. And, we got to eat out with each other a lot which is fantastic. We are both looking forward to being home and adding movie date nights back. And, I can’t wait for Calico to be in school so we can do some lunch dates!

In hindsight… I think it would have been better if I stay home with Calico and Lindsey would fly to check out cities on her own. Then once she finds something she loves I would fly/drive to check it out.

posted under Dear Calico, Family & Marriage | Comments Off on The hardest part of this trip…

Funny Calico story…

June3

We drove from Croatia to France this week. We stopped in Italy for the night at a beautiful monastery. It was nestled in the hills of a beautiful region we hope to return to one day. And, as we lay asleep this happened:

Laying in bed, with the windows open and the cool mountain breeze lulling us to sleep in a quiet monastery in the hills of Italy near the Avigliana lakes, we suddenly heard a loud series of male satisfied groans. Ben and I have a little giggle. Calico exclaimed, “wow! He must be lifting something really heaving, like over a hundred pounds.”

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3 day ride on the Parenzana trail over Croatia, Slovenia, and Italy…

May23

I cycled the Parenzana trail over Thursday, Friday, and Saturday.

What is it? It is a converted rail trail and the first two days were some of the most beautiful rides I’ve ever done. Day 3 was along the coast and a bit more urban/busy. The trail is ~123km in length and goes from Istria Croatia to Trieste, Italy. It spends around 13km in Italy, 32km in Slovenia, and 78km in Croatia.

Istria, Croatia is one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen. This is my 3rd time visiting Croatia, and I can’t wait to return. It is one of my favorite countries in the world. 

Lindsey and Calico were my support crew and met me every day around lunchtime (or after). It was nice not to bike with a full load of bags. Huge thanks to them! We stayed in a really nice B&B in Slovenia and did a tasting menu which was a blast. I’ve never done a fancy tasing menu and I really enjoyed it (Calico did a great job as well and did his own kid’s tasting menu).

Rough itinerary?

  • Day 1 – ~38km and 440m elevation over 2 hours 25 minutes
  • Day 2 – ~30km and 374m elevation over 1 hour 55 minutes
  • Day 3 – ~60km and 300m elevation over 3 hours 7 minutes
  • Day 4 – We explored Trieste Italy a little but didn’t see much. It was Sunday and very hot. We saw a fort, a restaurant, and some gelato :). I hope one day I can go back and walk around it more. It is hard with a 5-year-old as they can do more but don’t walk the same distances as when they are in a stroller.
  • Day 5 – I woke up at 6 am to do a 25km bike ride around beautiful Slovenia and then we drove home. I would love to ride more of Slovenia one day.

Rough map of where we were exploring:

From my trip to Parenzana:

Day 1

I snapped my bike tool, probably going the wrong way when I got a flat on my front tire. Luckily some nice Austrians saved me (especially as I embarrassingly packed my wrong pump as well). My support team picked up a new tool and pump for me :).

Day 2

Day 3

From my bonus ride in Slovenia:

Very fun!

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Graz Austria, last city on the fast trip…

April24

We had a wonderful stay in Graz Austria. It was nice to be in a smaller town and we were a little out of the city so we had a little yard. It was amazing to wake up to the sound of birds. I got a few bike rides in and we had an awesome easter hike. It was especially nice to stay in a place that had a real office chair (my back was super happy).

Whats next? Some much needed downtime in rural Croatia for at least a. month to recharge.

posted under My Thoughts | Comments Off on Graz Austria, last city on the fast trip…

Dresden, Prague, cold, and exhausted…

April11

After Berlin, we headed to Dresden Germany for a week, and then to Prague for a week.

I forgot to mention our valiant steed that is powering this journey. We are driving a Ford Tournen Connect (which I LOVE). It is quiet, has great gas mileage, super smooth driving, has huge windows, is great for a tall person, and the seats are upright and keep my back happy. The bike rack setup is not optimal, but everything else is well done.

I haven’t been to Dresden since my German high school trip in 1998. I was so busy and burned out that I didn’t do much this trip beyond two long bike rides and a lot of work. I did an amazing forest ride in Dresden which was one of the best rides I’ve done yet. I hope to see more of the city and museums in the future.

After that, we headed to Prague!

I love these pictures of my son. He was super excited to get a jean jacket, it is something he has been asking for for years. And, he def hit some walls on traveling and needs some downtime as well. He had some good times at museums with Lindsey.

 

I am utterly exhausted. My body hit a wall in Prague so I just rested, watched tv/movies, read, and stayed home (a big cold front hit as well). I didn’t do any bike rides and struggled to work past lunch as I couldn’t focus on anything. I walked around the old town one day and Calico and I went to the Natural History Museum which was fun.

We’ve been traveling for 9 weeks to look at possible cities to move to. My son starts school next year so we are trying to figure out where we want to be during this next stage of our lives. My natural state is nomadic so the thought of being in one place is scary :). We’ve visited Montpellier, Karlsruhe, Dusseldorf, Berlin, Dresden, and now Prague. We are now in Graz… and then we are going to a small rural village for a month to breathe and think deep thoughts about surviving in the dark icy sunless north.

Part of our rush for this trip was we found out my wife was pregnant and we wanted to find a home in time to have the baby there. Unfortunately, we found out the pregnancy wasn’t viable 1 week before we were leaving on this trip. So the last 9 weeks have been tough in so many ways.

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Berlin is an amazing city!

March27

We had a great time in Berlin and a huge thank you to Marton and Vero for showing us around.

Berlin was the first real international trip I did. I went as part of an exchange in high school and it was a life-changing trip. I was back years later for a work event, but I was so busy I didn’t see anything but the hotel. And, I got a cold during the event so I just stayed at an Airbnb afterward as I was exhausted. This time was better, we saw several neighborhoods, I got two bike rides in, and we ate a lot of delicious Asian food. Work has been intense so I didn’t get to see much more than that. Calico and Lindsey saw a ton of museums and I hope to join them when I get a little more time at future stops.

Lindsey celebrated her 40th birthday while we were in Berlin! I got her a really nice hotel room for two nights so she could have some alone time, relax, do whatever she wanted. The hotel room had a hammock in each room (which I think is amazing). We plan a lot more little celebrations for her as we continue our trip :).

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Düsseldorf Germany!

March16

Düsseldorf is an incredibly cool city, and we loved it (even more than Karlsruhe). It had the nicest grocery store I’ve ever been in, and we had several rounds of Vietnamese food (so good).

I had some beautiful rides down the Rhine and even took a ferry across on one big ride.

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Karlsruhe Germany!

March2

We are in the midst of a road trip and over the next 6 weeks we are going to explore 4 cities in Germany, then Prague, and finally Graz :). After that we are not sure, but going to take a look while we relax in Graz.

We are in Karlsruhe now and it is amazing. I am always blown away at the biking infrastructure and the attention to detail. It is a little intimidating as everything feels like it just works. We had some really good Syrian food yesterday and Calico is loving the parks (best parks I’ve ever seen). It is much colder than we are used to. Lindsey bought an amazing jacket before we left and we bought a new one for Calico this week.

I’ve gotten a few bike rides in to explore the town, nearby forests, and yesterday I made it to the Rhine!

posted under 2022 - Europe Roadtrip | Comments Off on Karlsruhe Germany!

Interesting times: 2020-2022…

March2

2020 – March (pandemic)
2021 – January (violent coup attempt by Republicans in the USA)
2022 – February (Russia invades Ukraine, the world says fuck no)

My hope is that for 2023 things stay calm until late August, I’d like a totally chill summer.

And, we might be on the cusp of WW3 or a nuclear war. Plus we haven’t really got covid under control, we are just hoping a more lethal varient doesn’t emerge. “Fun” times!

What is on the future calendar?

  • 2023 – China invades Taiwan.
  • 2024 – A new and improved coup attempt by Republicans in the USA.
posted under Dangers To World | Comments Off on Interesting times: 2020-2022…

Montpellier bike ride!

February22

Montpellier is a beautiful town, I hope to come back when it is a bit warmer. We’ve had a nice stay here this week, and it has been nice to have some bread treats here. It was also cool to see real flamingos out in the water!

posted under Family & Marriage, Fitness & Sports, My Thoughts, Travel | Comments Off on Montpellier bike ride!

Shepherd’s new front page goes live!

February2

Woohoo, last night we went live with the new front page!!! Almost 9 months after launch and we now have in place search, a real front page, and bookshelves (aka topic pages). It feels good to have a more complete website out there :).

We still have a ton of bugs to crush, but it is so nice to have a real front page instead of that big ugly placeholder :)!!!

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Calico knocks a tooth out :)

January30

Thursday evening we went to the playground and Calico had a little stumble on the playground. We ran over as it was clear he was really hurt, he had caught himself but one of the climbing knobs knocked him in the mouth. At first, I thought he had just bloodied his nose, but a tooth was missing and Lindsey ran back to grab the tooth off the ground (totally intact with root crazy enough).

We went to a 24/7 dentist down the street who did an x-ray, and then an amazing pediatric dentist the next day. Everything looks fine and now we are just waiting for his teeth that are a little wiggly to heal.

Calico reports: “Yesterday was the most traumatic day of my life”, although he added that probably birth was more but he doesn’t remember that. 

posted under Family & Marriage | Comments Off on Calico knocks a tooth out :)

Shepherd launch of search + bookshelves!

January11

A good day, as we shipped search + bookshelves! We’ve been working on this for 5+ months so it is very exciting to see readers using it. And, the new front page is coming toward Feb 7 which gets the website in a real good position.

For launch, I had 1,009 bookshelves ready to go. And, I have another 909 I need to go through to finish setting up.

posted under Shepherd | Comments Off on Shepherd launch of search + bookshelves!

Greate quote…

January2

Orignal post here by pastor Dave Barnhart.

“The unborn” are the single most convenient group of people to advocate for. They never make demands of you. They are morally uncomplicated; unlike the incarcerated, addicted, or the chronically poor; they don’t resent your condescension or complain that you are not politically correct; unlike widows, they don’t ask you to question patriarchy; unlike orphans, they don’t need money, education, or childcare; unlike immigrants, they don’t bring all that racial, cultural, and religious baggage that you so loathe; they allow you to feel good about yourself without any work or effort or sincerity; and when they are born, you can forget about them, because they are no longer “the unborn.” You can love the unborn and advocate for them without challenging your own wealth, power, or privilege, without re-imagining social structures, apologizing, or making reparations to anyone. They are, in short, the perfect people to love if you want to claim you love Jesus, but actually dislike people who breathe.

Prisoners? Immigrants? The sick? The poor? Widows? Orphans? All the groups that are specifically mentioned in the Bible? They all get thrown under the bus in favor of the unborn.

posted under My Thoughts | Comments Off on Greate quote…

America: 2022-2024

January2

This will be my last post on the subject of America until 2024 (unless something crazy happens).

I am tired of thinking about it and it is all out of my hands at this point. I am doing what I can by voting and calling. And, I am working on some larger ways to make an impact but at the end of the day I am a mere peasant.

What is coming?

2022

The USA heads deeper into fascism and a slow-moving coup. 2022 will end with elections that will likely see the Democrats lose both houses. It will be a small miracle if they don’t and even if they win you will see a lot of crazy Republicans in key positions on the state level (which control key voting infrastructure). The people on the state level are the ones who are preparing to overthrow the 2024 election.

I am a very optimistic person. I still hope that this chaos could lead to a better system that starts to fix an utterly broken America (maybe we shouldn’t fuck over the bottom 80% of the country in every way possible???). If they would get rid of the filibuster and pass laws to protect voting rights that would be a good start in keeping the country a “kinda” democracy. Even better would be to make people’s votes count equally instead of 1 vote ranging from .78 to 2.97 in weight depending on the state. And, ultimately the social contract with Americans needs to be fixed.

2024

By the end of 2024, the USA could be an autocracy ruled by the Republican party and Trump (or Desantis or any similar idiot who does anything for power). It weirdly looks a lot like Hitler’s rise to power. A bungled attempt at a coup… only to come back years later planned and ready for action. Only time will tell… 

My biggest fear is with world security and the current economic system. The current system has some problems but it is war-free and stable. I don’t want big regional or world wars. I don’t want a massive change in reserve currencies or a global depression because some orange idiot doesn’t understand economics (see Turkey if you want to see what happens when a dictator tries to run a central bank).

Things I am thinking about:

  • Effective government is so important, if you have a democracy but it isn’t effective it is not working even if people can vote (I think this is a big reason why we are seeing so much frustration with democracy globally). The Republicans and Democrats have failed to effectively govern at local and national levels in so many key ways around health care, home pricing, and safety net.
  • What happens to the world economy if the USA has a real coup? Can businesses and governments just pretend it is still a democracy? And, will Americans even care if they live in a faux democracy?
  • What happens to the US dollar as a reserve currency if that happens?
  • What happens to world security if an autocratic USA led by Republicans removes themselves from NATO and goes full isolationist. Does Europe step up? Does China get more aggressive and annex Tawain or maybe Korea?
  • Should I remove political posts from my blog now? What will the Wayback machine and Facebook do to protect people if the autocratic USA starts targeting people using that data?

Fun times :)

posted under Dangers To World | Comments Off on America: 2022-2024
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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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