- v5.0

20 years... Today.

Today I’ve been married to @allthatmel for 2 decades (in December we’ll have been together in a relationship for 26). I could wax poetic and dive into a deliriously complex and wonderful sea of nostalgia, but what I think I’ll do instead is focus on now. Years of trust, communication, challenging each other, always unconditionally having each other’s back, laughter, occasional anger/frustration, all of the things… all of it has always brought us back to today. The present. Now. And that “now” is and has always been, built on top of love. We’ve both changed so damn much since we met that one summer in the early 90’s. I knew I loved you then. I know we’ll love each other beyond all of this, as long as we continue to hold space for each other and whatever we endeavor to be. Happy Anniversary sweetheart! I love you so. Thanks for loving the current and past “me’s” for this long. I can’t wait to see what we become walking all those miles towards the horizon.

Beautiful streetart on the steps out of where we are are staying in Otavalo, Ecuador.

Such a wonderful find! Can’t imagine the time all of this took! 👏🏼 Melinda and I savored every. Single. Step.

First night in Otavalo is going quite all right.

It can get down in the low 40’s here but, this legit fireplace in our room chases all that coolness away with a hefty dose of cozy. 🔥🧑🏼🔥 So, so grateful for this human and everything she is.❤️ We’ve been on adventures for 26 years now and it just gets better every time. #TyMveinteaños #soreadyforfall

If I had a dime for how many times I thought “I’d use the hell out of Home app if I had it on the Mac!”...

I tell ya! I’ve had it since downloading the first public beta of Mojave and you know what? I was dead wrong. I think, at best, I’ve used it less than 10 times.

Not even sure what Apple could do to change that situation either. Don’t get me wrong, I am stoked for the possibilities inherent with Marzipan. I have to admit that the Home app implementation is a dud though and has given me pause.

You know what did get implemented nicely though? News. I look at that several times a day. ¯_(ツ)_/¯

So I guess we’ll have to see. It’s fascinating to observe within myself though.

📸 The cyclic nature of our gifts...

Not gonna lie. It was a hard day today. But rather than focus on the amazingly slow grist mill that is my chosen way of paying the bills, I’d rather focus on some constants.

Picture one: Weather. It is as constant as it is unpredictable. It cleanses as much as it causes unbridled chaos. I adore its temperament (as it mirrors mine) but today? It was kind to me. I made my way home literally just before it dumped every where in Durham. No doubt: I’d have welcomed the soaking. It is late summer in NC after all. But still, the perfect timing was noticeable.

Picture two: My partner’s affinity for discarded feathers, their significance, and what they represent… while I don’t feel her inherant reverence, I do witness them. This one showed up in my path on the way home. It may not be apparent in the photo, but the color pattern was pretty unique. It comforted me.

Picture three: While I am pretty damn sure she might hate this photo… I love it: this is how see her. It doesn’t contain the smile you all hold dear (including me), but it is very real, and does include the element of play that has sustained us for so, so long. I see this photo and I see inherent trust. I see a person who witnesses my inner playfulness (“WTF are you up to Tad?”), embraces it and, for better or worse, trusts me. So yeah, today wasn’t that great. But knowing tomorrow doesn’t give a shit about today? That helps a ton. ❤️

📸 Throw Back Saturday

Before the tower, before the iconic Matthew Curran fish mural, before the explosion, Mel and I were lucky enough to live on this block and experience Durham in this state. For better or worse, we witness these transitions and have to own where we fit amongst it all. I love that I was here to witness this moment - the calm before the storm. In many, many ways, I miss it.

📸 Beautiful Evening Tonight!

Music playing (always). Chill neighbors on one side. No neighbors on the other (house has been for sale for over a month). Cool enough in late August for a hoodie. Complaints always come, but they are really hard to receive on nights like these.

📸 Mentioning that I can’t wait until autumn... might *just* be the understatement of the year...

📸 Postcards from my ride from the JMT to Lone Pine, California.

📸 Ah JMT... I have never been so physically humbled by a landscape while being so constantly in awe.

Thanks for the lessons, the insights into my limits (both physical and mental), and for putting me with the two best god damn friends I could ever hope to be with during all of it (that’d be “Pain Cave” and “Ziplock” 👬). It wasn’t what we planned but, neither was Denali. ❤️🤠

Question: how do you fit 10 days of 3 squares and toiletries into a 🐻 vault? Answer: Bear’ey... ahem... VERY carefully. 🤗

For real though… I am SO fecking glad that game of Tetris is done. #mountwhitney #dadjokesfromkidlessdudes #iamsosorry

If you can get past #allthathandsomeness you might notice that the incomparable @justincookphoto has lately been deep-diving into his archives and sharing some of his past work on his Insta.

I’ll always snark but… seriously, it’s incredible work and you are genuinely missing out if you don’t make the time to take it in. #PianoPatForever (📸 by yours truly) #soblessed #southdakota #content

🔗 The Peculiar Math That Could Underlie the Laws of Nature

📸 Thanks to some wonderful people/family in my life, this is my office for the next few days...

Time to give these world traveling companions some much belated and needed TLC. 😌

We spiral out just as we spiraled in.

Thoughts from a lazy Sunday

Morning ☕️: Ever since going out on my own and starting my own company it never fails...

A client contract comes to an end, and that ball of ice drops in my stomach. Will they extend my contract another year? What does that contract look like? More? Less? How much hustle is needed to take make up the difference? Holy shit, I have a mortgage!! 😱

It’s always this unique blend of excitement and doubt. I know I always put my best into my work and I also know that my best is occasionally not good enough or is simply something my client no longer needs. Both outcomes are just as likely (especially in my head).

One thing that’s resonated with me though, after almost 5 years of freelance work is this: trust the process. So far I’ve been extremely fortunate (and let’s be honest - being a white, male-identifying IT professional - overtly privileged). I’ve worked hard and continue to build this one person operation. I’ve built the foundation well, now I need to learn to lean more into this business I’ve built. To trust that I still have something of value to give whenever or however I am invited to the table.

Take nothing for granted. Stay nimble. Stay humble. But also learn to lean a bit more.

Looking for excellent “no-kill” mouse traps? 🐀 ❤️ 🐁

We’ve had incredible luck with these: Catcha 2 Piece Humane Smart Mouse Trap.

We recently moved into an old house and we love it here. However, old houses have old problems… and guests. Yep, we get occasional mice. We no longer have a cat and, after trying a cheap humane solution from Home Depot, we tried the above traps and caught 2 little fuzzy midnight marauders in less than 24 hours after setting them.

That got us through the fall and winter until we had another little guy (that loved fruit) venture into house this week. I set the traps again and boom, he was sitting there in the morning.

Helpful tips from a novice trapper:

  • Peanut butter is the best bait by far.
  • Instead of setting the traps around food. We’ve had the best luck setting them around obviously travelled areas. In other words, if you find mouse droppings in an area that doesn’t contain food inches away, place your trap there. Not sure why this worked the best. I’m guessing less distraction? 🤷🏻‍♂️
  • The packaging often mentions this but, it really does help to drive the captured mice a few miles away from your house. If you have some woods or a park nearby that’s perfect. You might even get a knowing nod of appreciation before they scurry away to live their best life. ☺️

So if you’ve been failing to find humane traps that actually work, give these a shot. They are well made, re-usable, easy to clean, and reasonably priced. That and it’s felt great to not have to kill or severely maim these little buggers.

So. Let me tell you about this guy.

It’s been a week and, when I close my eyes, I can still hear the sound of tires rolling over 1000’s of miles of pavement. Months ago, Justin (@justincookphoto ) asked if I’d be interested in going on a road trip through the states of South Dakota, Wyoming and Montana. At the time, we were still officemates at our local co-working space The Mothership (@mothershipsightings , previously Mercury Studio) and I remember immediately thinking “Hell yeah!”. But there was also a wee bit of trepidation too. To date, I still remember Justin talking about a similar road trip he had taken before (that time by himself) and how much he got out of it, and I didn’t want to potentially deprive him of another similar experience merely by being present. Also, while we were office mates and got along awesomely, being stuck in a car for the first time for hours on end could be a catastrophic social experiment to our already great friendship if it went poorly.

He said not to worry about it, and I already know that I worry about unknown shit too much anyways. We bought plane tickets, rented a car, and… it was amazing! I don’t think I’ve ever been on a journey that was so charmed! Where I witnessed so much. Where “failures”, big and small, were consistently rewarded with something greater a few hours later. Where we were “randomly” approached by so many decent and genuine people, and were gifted with their stories. I think we both often felt like we were being led, rather than choosing our own path. It was a sight to behold and it was tough to watch it end.

So yeah, this guy, Justin. I want to thank him. Thank him for taking a chance on myself and our friendship, leaning into it, and trusting that everything would work out fine. Thanks for the laughs, the stupid memes we created (that’ll never get old), the conversations, the lessons, your friends and acquaintances (that housed us and had incredible recommendations), Wounded Knee and witnessing it with me, your support, your patience, your process, your craft… all of it (and it’s a hella long list). We should do it again sometime. :)

Late to the party here but…

If you’re in Raleigh NC, the #YouAreHere exhibit at the NCMA is absolutely worth the hour or two investment.

Late to the party here but, the #YouAreHere exhibit at the NCMA is absolutely worth the hour or two investment.

Evidence of a Road-trip Excursion Exhibit 2: Lavina, MT

Evidence of a Road-trip Excursion Exhibit 1

Am I the only one that is driven batty by the fact that there still isn’t a “delete” option in the slide-in notifications for Mail on MacOS? That seems like such a no-brainer.