2021 in review.


2021 didn’t fuck around.

A mere 6 days into 2021 and the Republican party tries for an attempted coup in the USA. Current status of coup? Active and ramping up as they try to overthrow democracy. Weeeeeee!!!!!

I was asking for it after I made this post on Jan 1, 2021…

For me, 2021 was a great year. I worked insanely hard to launch Shepherd.com and grow it. Shepherd is going well and 2022 is where a ton of that work is going to start paying off (3 huge features coming in January 2022). Unfortunately, I red-lined my energy levels several times this year and I am paying for it now. My work and life habits can probably be summarized as “burnout cycles” (I secretly love it). I just need to end the hard pushes sooner and get rest cycles in after big pushes. Starting a new business is always hard and the amount of work is epic to get over that initial hump.

The year started with Calico starting preschool, a coup attempt in the USA, and hardcore Covid lockdowns in Portugal. Toward the middle, we had vaccines in record time, I turned 40 years old, and I went on an amazing bike tour through Portugal and Spain. It ended with us taking a trip back to Valencia for the holidays, our 7 year marriage anniversary, and Calico turning 5.

The Amazing

My family is happy and healthy which makes life good. Lindsey and I have been married seven years and we are both super impressed with that achievement 😌. Watching Calico go from age 4 to 5 was amazing, his personality has exploded. Such a great kid and it is amazing to watch him evolve and play with other kids.

I’ve been disease-free and feeling good. I had a little scare in the middle of the year but it was good as I finally did some tests that I had put off when covid waves. The tests confirmed I am fine (alarm most likely just caused by a muscle pull). I still do my AIP diet among many other things to stay healthy and low stress.

I did an 836kb bike tour over 18 days in Portugal and Spain. It was an amazing experience and I can’t wait to do another one!!!

What fun stuff did we do this year?

  • I got my first external office since 2006 and it was an absolute pleasure to work from. It really helped me split personal time and work time apart. I closed it in October when we headed to Valencia for a few months, but I am hoping to get one long-term.
  • Calico had his first day of pre-school!!!  It didn’t last long due to covid closures and problems with the school but he still had fun. He also went to a Spanish pre-school at the end of the year before Omicron hit. I am very thankful for his amazing friends in Viseu that make life there so great.
  • We love Viseu Portugal and enjoyed getting to know it better. Whether that is some drives to the coast for beach days, biking on the awesome converted rail path, hiking, or just chilling in the big parks.
  • Shepherd launched on April 19th! And, it hit 2,000+ lists published by the end of the year which is going to drive a lot of the features coming in 2022.
  • We got our vaccines!!!!!! And, I can’t wait for our boosters in early 2022.
  • I turned 40 years old with my lovely family!
  • I celebrated the life of my Grandma Betty who passed away this year. She was amazing (along with Grandad Merlin).
  • I did an epic 836km bike tour over 18 days along Camino routes in Portugal and Spain. Summary here and plenty of posts and pics along the way. The altitude kicked my ass with over 34,000 feet climbed. I set all-time records for the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd biggest climbs in a single day. Ouch. I also packed too much … again.
  • I did a good job cutting news and the internet out of my evening/morning routine. That has been a nice change to things.
  • I ramped up my rehab toward the end of the year and I am really enjoying that, most weeks I am hitting five 40 minute workouts a week which is solid.

The Challenges!

Unfortunately, I red-lined my energy levels several times this year. I am paying for it now and I am going to do better in 2022.

I had a lot of intense emotions this year from being “American” while processing that America is not my “home” and likely won’t be for the rest of my lifetime (I don’t mean physical home). It is like watching someone you loved descend into heroin addiction and homelessness and knowing you can’t do anything to help them until they help themselves. I would love to reach closure but I expect that is unlikely and there will be many more ups and downs over the coming decade.

How did I do on my goals for 2021?

It was a solid year. Shepherd is off to a great start and I had a fantastic bike adventure in Spain and Portugal. I did a decent job of keeping myself healthy while working and making time for family. I’ve got some room for improvement on energy management.

We didn’t get a vacation and we both really need one. Part of that is due to covid, vaccine timing, and some other factors. I am looking forward to a vacation with Lindsey (I’d love to find one with childcare/activities).


I am looking forward to 2022! Shepherd is going to exit beta and finally be ready for a wider launch (fun!!!). As a family, we have some fun trips planned and are waiting to see how post-Omicron looks (once it burns through the world). And, I have some great bike rides lined up along with our family vacations (maybe even a bike tour down the Rhone).

Our little family is heading into a new era as Calico is due to start school in 2023. So we are starting to think about the next steps and where we want to live for the next ~5 years.

Longer 2022 post coming soon…

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Calico turns 5!!!


What a fun year and what a great kid :)

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Energy, energy, energy.


I am notorious for working and living my life in a series of burnout cycles. And, I love it. I like to work very hard and then balance that with significant downtime. The challenge is timing when to slow down and making sure I get quality downtime when I do. I didn’t do a good job with burnout this year. And, I am paying for it now with a cold, general exhaustion, and a physical injury I got a few weeks ago.

It is really hard when a business is new and small to be able to take quality downtime. When I did manage some downtime I went on an adventure instead of vacation and that didn’t replenish me (I also needed an adventure). And, it also didn’t help that we didn’t go on a family vacation in 2021 due to covid related reasons. I take solace in the fact that I am about 100x better at managing myself than I was 10 years ago as I used to just run through walls. It was fun but I don’t want to do that now to myself or my family (especially if I want to stay healthy).

Starting a new business is hard, it is like juggling 3 knives and a hungry tiger. You are lucky if you only get cut.

Starting a new business while you are married and have a young kid is even harder, it is like juggling 3 tigers, 6 chainsaws, and 9 knives. Especially when you want to stay happily married and be part of your son’s life :). It is always a learning process and I’ve done fairly well this year while working a ton to boot Shepherd up. I am going to aim to do better next year, as I didn’t leave enough space in between all those things this year. Some of that was on purpose, some of that was trying to accelerate Shepherd.

Just some random thoughts I’ve been mulling on the last few months…

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7 Years Married :)


Lindsey and I have been married for 7 years!!! Congrats to us :)

I tell her I look forward to the next 700 years as we eventually fly around space in our nano spaceship when our brains are pulled into nano quantum computers (if we aren’t already).

Love you darling!

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Funny Calico Story (questions)


Calico, would you like to go to a symphony?

*Nods head yes.*

Do you know what a symphony is?

*shakes head no.*

Well, a symphony is a concert with lots of musical instruments but no words. And you’d have to sit quietly for about an hour and listen to the music. Do you think you can do that?

Nooooo. I have too many questions.

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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 to, 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, do long bike rides, read, and use my imagination. At some point, I decided it was better to be a pirate captain than an admiral. 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 :).