To The Woods - Valentine's Day Edition

Added on by Wade Burrell.

Over the Valentine's Day weekend, Jenny and I decided to make a trip down to Monterey, Carmel and Santa Cruz. We brought the dog, booked a dog-friendly motel, and were on our way. 

Let me just say that neither of us "enjoy" Valentine's Day - Partially because we are not ones to wait for 1 day out of the entire year to show how much we love each other and partially because it's just the worst. So when we were deciding about what to do, we left out the typical things and did what we do best: Get up and go.

Since we had the dog with us, we knew that we had to do something outside. Anything. We came across Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park. I've seen redwood trees before, but they never cease to amaze me. 

It was like walking among giants. Walking above the clouds even and needless to say it made for a memorable day. 

 

Resolved

Added on by Wade Burrell.

New Year's Resolutions should be manageable. They should be concrete, achievable tasks. One should be able to accomplish them with, of course, some higher degree of effort, but still achievable. Here are mine:

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I also feel that New Year's Resolutions should be personal. That means not posting it to Instagram or Facebook for the sake of getting a few "likes." I know what you're saying: "But, Wade...you posted your resolutions to Instagram and Facebook." 

I know I did. I also know that I've never gone through with any previous New Year's Resolutions that I set for myself. I need the push. I need the accountability that posting my list brings. I urge you to do the same. Not for "likes", but for that extra push. That extra push we all need from time to time. 

Northern California

Added on by Wade Burrell.

I recently returned from week long trip to Northern California. As usual, I was in awe of the beauty and majesty. I captured as much as I could with my camera, but it doesn't do the real thing justice.

Here are just a few pictures from the trip. I've posted the rest of them here.

Inspiration #1 - Mike Mitchell

Added on by Wade Burrell.

I think I'm going to start something new - Every so often I am going to post the artists, designers, developers, creatives, entrepreneurs that inspire me. First up, it's Mike Mitchell.

I've been following Mike for a few years now and have always, always found his work phenomenal. His artistic style and take on pop-culture is completely original and one that I feel many people my age relate to. And, it's completely hilarious. See below for some of his more recent work

SUPER - Source: Mike Mitchell

SUPER - Source: Mike Mitchell

Just Like Us - Source: Mike Mitchell

Just Like Us - Source: Mike Mitchell

I purchased my first set of Mike Mitchell prints during the season finale of Breaking Bad. I just couldn't resist. And needless to say I wasn't let down.

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This was just a very small sampling of his massive portfolio. I suggest you check him out at his website and blog. You'll be inspired too.

Impact of Modular Technology

Added on by Wade Burrell.

With Motorola's announcement of Project Ara, an open-source plan for modular smartphones, comes a true shift in the smartphone hardware space. Though the project may currently be just a small step, it's a step in the right direction towards a huge shift in tech.

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I started following Phonebloks, another open-source initiative for modular tech, months ago and was immediately enamored. There were, of course, the key impacts of this idea: reduction of e-waste, higher quality parts and equal access to tech across the globe, but there were a few additional aspects stood out to me.

1. Love Your Phone...Forever.
Whether they like to admit it or not, a lot of consumers have a connection with their phone. Their phone is with them at all times (in use or not). Their phone captures moments that they never want to forget. Their phone connects them to the people they love the most. With modular technology, consumers will be able to keep their phone for a currently incalculable amount of time. Yes, consumers will be able to fix their "companion" should anything happen. It may sound silly, but I think the idea of modular technology will have a profound effect on how long consumers keep their phones and how long consumers WANT to keep their phones.

2. Businesses Will Love This
I've begun to see a trend in B2B markets where businesses (Small, Mid-Market, Enterprise) want a truly customized experience with the products, solutions and services they purchase. A product specifically tailored for their needs. The idea of modular technology fits right in the meaty part of this trend. For example: A small business that sends and receives large media files on a daily basis would need a device with much large storage and screen size along with faster processing power. The ability for a company to create one-of-a-kind devices for employees and their specific job functions? Yeah...It's exciting.

3. Everyone Can Become A Hardware Developer
I use "hardware developer" in a loose sense, but an issue that has been around from the beginning with high-profile consumer technology is the inability for individual consumers (I'm talking those without technical understanding) to understand how a product works. Essentially, how the inner workings of a product work. This could open up an entirely new market for consumers to develop products for. An add on for a camera module, a belt-clip module (for Dad's!) and the list goes on and on.

I know that this idea is a moonshot, but that's what it has to be. That's what pushes technology forward. And I am excited about it.

For My Mother

Added on by Wade Burrell.

One of my favorite music groups, Lord Huron, sings, "I said life without end wouldn't have any meaning. The journey to death is the point of our being." Any way you look at it, we are all traveling to the same destination, but it's how we get there and what we do before we get there that differs. It's how you spend your energies. It's how you love. From the legacy that my Mother left behind, it's crystal clear to me that she did all the right things.

Over the past 5+ years, my Mother had been dealing with an unwanted predator. Brain Cancer. During those initial years, thanks to the help of many, (Duke Medical, my step-father, my sister, countless others) she dealt with her illness the best way she knew how: by kicking it's ass. As her illness progressed, there was never a moment of hesitation on treatments. Never a lapse in her optimism. Never a shred of doubt in her mind that she would't beat this thing. Her positive nature and faith were steadfast. She exhibited an attitude of positivity, even in her final days, that was constant. Now that her struggle is over, I know that she is not in anymore pain. She is with her parents and her friends that went before her.  She is dancing. She is happy. 

My Mother's personality, joy of life, humor and uniqueness were, and always will be, timeless. She lifted others up by simply being around them. That magnetic smile of hers lit up a room. Her laugh, which is something I will miss dearly, was contagious. For as long as I can remember, my Mother knew that life was a gift. She knew it wasn't to be wasted, but to be lived to the fullest. And, in the words of her brother, she wanted "her life to be a statement and not an apology."  

By my Mother's inspiration, this is what I hope to accomplish.  To live my life to the fullest. To make a statement. To treat life as the gift she knew it was. To love unconditionally each and every day. To make her proud.

Although we can't know how long we have on this earth, we can choose to live each and every day with purpose. That's what my Mother did and that's what I hope to do. I love you, Mom. I always will.

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#WhatImReading

Added on by Wade Burrell.

#WhatImReading - Currently, I am reading up on the life and times of Parks and Recreation's Ron Swanson, aka Nick Offerman, in "Paddle Your Own Canoe: One Man's Fundamentals for Delicious Living".

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I've only started reading this book and it's already one of my favorites.  His honesty and frankness can't be beat.  Will be writing up my thoughts on the entire book once I finish up. As of right now, I would already recommend it. #pickitup.

Custom Everything

Added on by Wade Burrell.

For some reason, I've been watching a lot of really well produced process videos of people custom making everything from belts and shoes to iPad cases to motorcycles.  I guess for me, being able to see all the time and effort that these makers are putting into their products, it's inspiring. No matter what it is they're making, I can always see the passion they have for what they are doing.  

Here are some of my more recent favorites:

 

Made by Hand / No 2 The Knife Maker

MACHINE

Espresso

The Birth of a Tool. Part 1. Axe