Howdy Traipsers,

I’m calling it: summer is here! Given all the distractions of warmer days, I’m shifting Traipsing About to a bi-weekly schedule. Look for it every other Thursday starting today.

After a year of weekly publishing, I’m hoping this move frees up time for writing more long-form blog posts. I’m in the market for a brilliant editor to help me get some drafts out the door, so please pass along any recommendations.

To kick summer off, Chelsea and I lined up friends to housesit while we took a trip to the redwoods, but didn’t mention our plant collection. Better to save that for in-person: “Just 3-4 hours each a day managing them. SEE YA.” *roaring engine, screeching tires*

Back sometime, suckas!

This week’s newsletter:

Vocal fire fighting, NFTs, house prices, music bubbles, and managing people.


A fine day to ride a mountain bike in the Pacific Northwest!

Vocal fire extinguishing


I’ve never tried putting out flames over the radio using only my voice. Probably never will. At least I can live vicariously through this brilliant profile of Charles Kellogg, a naturalist, vaudeville performer, and environmentalist.

A few of the highlights from Kellogg’s life:

-He honed an unbelievable ability to imitate nature sounds. (Check it out here.) His bird song trills are incredible.

-He created and drove the world’s first RV to all of his performances …a giant hollowed-out redwood tree on a truck chassis. (I’ve gawked at it in a museum during a past trip.) Maximum speed: 18 mph

-During radio performances, he put out flame with just his voice. One performance yielded hundreds of letters from listeners whose candles were extinguished during the event. Probably a good thing he never got into hypnotism with an eye toward power.

So much more in the full profile.

Discovered via the excellent music newsletter Culture Notes of an Honest Broker

Selling a JPEG for $69 million dollars

Maybe you’ve heard about NFTs (non-fungible tokens). My summary: NFTs are like physical collector's items, only digital.
Instead of getting a painting to hang on the wall, the buyer gets a digital file instead, or a URL pointing to one. They also get exclusive ownership rights. (For an in-depth explanation, read

Sound crazy? You're not alone. I'm still coming around to this concept.

Enter Beeple, aka a self-effacing dude named Mike Winkelmann. He started making a daily piece of digital artwork in 2007 and attracted a couple million followers, but mostly flew under the radar.

Until recently, when he sold his work for a wholllle lotta money via an NFT, pocketing a cool $50mm after Christie’s auctioned his compilation piece, “Everydays: The First 5,000 Days.

I learned more about him in this Design Observer interview with Debbie Millman:

1. His website says, " he makes a variety of art crap across a variety of media. some of it is ok, but a lot of it kind of blows ass. he’s working on making it suck less everyday though so bear with him."
2. Beeple doesn’t consider himself an artist because “it’s douchey.” With the $50mm, he’s upgrading his busted Toyota Corolla…to another Corolla.

3. Beeple wants to use his new-found riches to make more art. He sees the money as a way to leverage his current skills.

4. The person who bought Everydays created a DeFi (decentralized finance) opportunity with it. WTF does that mean? He sliced and diced ownership of Everydays into 10,000 pieces, an asset people could own via fractional shares. (Masterworks is doing the same with physical art.)

Crytocurrency ownership is way up these days, but I'm curious if any of you own an NFT?

Related: How does crypto work?

Beeple's Everydays (fair use via Wikipedia)

The top of the market

Starting in 2016, I started thinking the real estate market needed another correction. It’s so weird that I don’t get paid for those forecasts...

As you probably know, that top hasn’t hit yet. The seemingly-inexorable rise of real estate continues. But where does it outstrip incomes to the point where prices correct?

I gave up on guessing what the market will do. I DO know that this graph from The Daily Shot clearly shows incomes (red) lagging far behind house prices. Hence the big shifts from expensive markets to places like Texas, Utah, Idaho, and Florida.

Our geographic music bubble

Do you have any idea which songs are most popular in your area? Turns out it’s not my favorite piano pieces here, but the song Drivers License by some whippersnapper named Olivia. In Eugene, a few hours to the west of us, it’s a song by Doja Cat.

Check out this visualization of our music bubbles from The Pudding, which depicts popular songs in various areas of the U.S. and the world. It also let’s you click through to listen to a song from Lahore, Pakistan, or check out what’s hot in Sri Lanka.

Me? I’m mostly sticking with piano for now, thankyouverymuch. This week's song: Due Tramonti (two sunsets), which I was able to sight read this week. My practice is paying off!

Parting Quote

For the first few years of my business, it owned me. Zero mental downtime, constant demands on my time, and terrrrible vacations where I'd just work the entire time.

Thanks to fabulous employees, these days I'm able to get away without worrying about things collapsing into a smoldering heap. A quote from the book Dune echoes how I accomplished that:


“Give as few orders as possible,” his father had told him…once…long ago. “Once you’ve given orders on a subject, you must always give orders on that subject.”

Empowering my employees to make decisions without constantly checking with me changed the game. Yes, it was scary and required iteration to get right. But it was so worth it.
With employees, people we manage, and partners in life, the more we can create conditions supporting independent decision making, the better!
The one and only portable redwood house that Charles Kellogg drove. "It strikes a new note of luxury and ingeniousness."

Thanks for stopping by Traipsing About! Paint your van the color redwood, get out of your music bubble, and here's to summer adventures.

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