My New Favorite Mug

This is my new favorite mug. To be honest, that's not really a fair statement because I select coffee mugs to use based on certain feelings at the moment. This mug, however, has been my most recent favorite.

If you want one for yourself, you can buy it online but I think it's best acquired in person.


I'm not the only one who find connections with coffee mugs, Jaymie Shearer does too. I wish she kept up with her Mug Life project.

Items of Want 049

I can't fully explain why I'm drawn to this hat. No one would describe me as "stylish" but I'm really diggin' this hat. Listen to this break in process from the product description: "Few good things look best new, so these have been exposed for 30 days to the elements for natural UV fading, and then open ocean, and fresh water rinsed, you can expect 0 shrinkage and a 1” breakout over time." I'm hooked.

Grovemade Brass Minimalist Knife

While I have a James Brand Chapter knife clipped to my pants pocket every day of the week, I'm always happy to add a quality tool to the ranks. It sounds odd to say that you can't overstate the "understated-ness" of this knife, but those are the words coming to mind at the moment so I'll just go with it. I also find the styling and material choices superb and it's great to hear that this knife is 100% made in the USA. Look, I don't mind chasing quality wherever it leads, but when the home team wins one, I'm extra proud to show my support.

Trouble in Paradise Motel Key Fob

If you know me, then you would probably be surprised that I like this artistic style but I really do. Can't pinpoint why either. And if you knew me, then you'd also know that I only use one keychain on a daily basis so I don't know what I'd use this key fob for but trust me, I'd find a use.

Silver Spring Bar Plier Tool

As a lifelong gadget lover, this tool scratches many itches I have and I have literally no need for it. Well, I mean I could certainly use it but I don't truly need it. There's also some inexpensive alternatives but since Hodinkee had the best photo of it, I linked to them. 

KODAK Pocket Pico Projector

I think I'd end up using this little projector for impromptu sessions of show and tell. See, my grandpa would always bust out the slide projector when anyone would stop by his house so I guess I have him to thank for passing down my penchant for show and tell. Same goes for my insatiable ice cream addiction, but that's a different story.

— Check out past Items of Want

Old Rag Personal Record


Not too long ago, I set a personal record up and down Old Rag Mountain. My reason for doing a speed run was twofold. Partly motivated by the fact I've hiked Old Rag literally dozens of times and hustling through it would be an interesting change of pace yet equally because I simply wanted to be home as my wife got off of work and it's about a 4 hour drive.

Starting at the trailhead marker and ending at the same spot, it took me a grand total of 2 hours and 12 minutes. Felt pretty good too. Didn’t overly push it and had a short rest at the top. Just for the record, the National Park Service says to allow for 7-8 hours. 

It felt good to set that PR but I don't know if I'll try to shave off any more time. When is enough enough? Even though it'd be neat to say I did the route in under 2 hours, I feel confident that I can. Sometimes you have to prove things to yourself but I'm happy with what I've accomplished so I think I'll just let it be.

See, part of me doesn’t even want to do a true all out speed run because I want to keep making sure I enjoy the hike. On this run specifically, I made sure to throw in the break at the summit without stopping the clock so it purposely slowed me down.

Not everything has to be timed and recorded to matter. In fact, I want to do another summit of Old Rag with the complete opposite goal. I want to go ridiculously slow and soak it all in. I think it'll be refreshing to stop frequently, see the sights, smell the air, and listen to the wind through the trees or the the critters scurrying around the woods. Maybe I'll report back with those findings.