Entries by Dakota

Creating a Solid Piano Practice Routine

In June 2020, Chelsea surprised me with a thoughtful birthday gift: a digital keyboard. Starting from scratch, I’ve managed to progress from “where the hell is middle C?” to “hey, this is going somewhere!” When a reader (hi Kim) recently asked about my piano practice routine, I adapted my notes into this blog post. If […]

Ditching a Self-Bullying Mindset

I’m one of those Type-A people who enjoys filling a 30-day calendar challenge with X’s. Solidly motivating for me, or at least a simple reminder to practice my Italian! Recently I saw a challenge with a different take: a repeating loop of “do activity, get less awful.” (Paraphrased.) I found it funny…until Chelsea pointed out […]

Begone, 2020! Looking Back at an Intense Year

Good grief, how do I write about 2020 without sounding like a jackass? It served up so much: social unrest, wildfires, the election battle. Did I forget anything? Oh yeah, THE F’N PANDEMIC. Talking about what I experienced and learned this year feels self-indulgent when people are hurting and the damndemic rages on. Still, 2020 […]

The Best Books I Read In 2020

Amid all the upheaval of 2020, at least I found time to read amazing books. Some were heavy, while others transported me to other worlds. (Like I did sitting in the van with the view above, immersed in the world of Dune.) Turning off the news and disappearing into a book served as an important […]

Sewer Trenches Versus Carpal Tunnel

Most weeks of my life yield few concrete results. Phone calls and piano practice, emails and payroll approval, bike rides and socializing leave a scant real-world trace. When the results of our work hours are digital detritus, carpal tunnel and bad posture, tackling physical projects is even more valuable! Two weeks in October delivered on […]

My Case For Why Ebikes Rule

EBIKES. Some people love them, while others beseech the pope to label them the 8th deadly sin. I’m a cycling enthusiast (some might slight addict) and don’t personally ride an ebike. However, many people around me do, and I think ebike maligners are missing the potential of electric bicycles. There’s a place for them, as […]

Setting Up a Garage Gym for Home Workouts

GarageFit started as a joke in 2017, a goofy name for garage strength workout with a friend. It soon blossomed into a 2x/week community workout for a group of guys. (Well, until the damndemic hit…) With covid blaring away, cold weather upon us, and outside options diminishing, a garage gym is ever more important. Per […]

Dealing With Emotional Lightning Strikes

When I get hit in the head, I morph from Calm Dakota into Dak the Destroyer, Wannabe Viking Marauder. Take the time a college roommate (Chelsea’s brother) tagged me in the head with a rubber ball as I studied for an engineering test. RWWWARG. Dak the Destroyer grabbed my chunky TI-89 calculator and angrily launched […]

Racing the High Cascades 100, Round Two

The ride summary of a fellow racer in the High Cascades 100 mtb race were two sentences not often found together: “Fun day. GI issues for 20 miles, plus 2 code browns.” Riiiight. Fighting a lurching stomach while pooping yourself twice is everyone’s idea of a fun day! Perhaps only for types with screws loose […]

A Rugged Adventure Bikepacking in the Chilcotin Mountains

Call it mountain bike amnesia, but I’m already forgetting the hard work necessary to bikepack in the Chilcotin Mountains. Sweaty hike-a-bikes up mountain passes drift away, replaced by stunning vistas and brake-melting descents, a goofy grin plastered across my face. Our simple trip goals: pedal bikes laden with six days of food into the backcountry […]