Howdy Traipsers,
A hard bike ride yesterday resulted in drooping eyelids and an inability to type coherent sentences. Instead of fighting it, I called it a night and woke up today to finish this newsletter. I trust your morning survived intact.
Mundane spring awesomeness going down here, including admiring our hyacinths and testing snow levels on my favorite trails. Putting in dozens of bulbs around our house is the best landscaping move we've made.

This week’s newsletter:

A different take on school, hyperreal drawings, texting "connection," the changing earth, and why ebikes rule.


As I keep mentioning, I'm excited for bikepacking this year! Here's a perfect summer night camping on the Oregon Timber Trail with Mt. Hood in the distance.

The Self-Educating Child

I don't know about you, but I spent many an hour in school frittering away time. I did well and enjoyed school once The Terrible Years (aka junior high) ended, but have often wondered about the doors a self-directed or homeschooled learning path might have opened up.

Mr. Money Mustaches recent post, The Self-Educating Child, dives into that. As he makes clear, not everyone has the privilege to be incredibly involved in their kid's learning, but there are certainly some questions to ask about the current system.

At the end of the post, he lists a large array of videos and resources for kids who are driven and curious. (Isn't that all kids, given the right topic?)
As my friend David and I discussed yesterday, it's not a curriculum by any stretch - where to start in such a big list?! However, what if more material like this could be assimilated into schools to meet the varied learning needs of different kids?

If you have a kid who loves learning or are homeschooling, definitely check out the post!

That's a DRAWING?

My deep learning time these days mostly focuses on language and music, but I continue to exchange an eight-minute evening drawing with my friend Eric. I finally bought a real sketchbook and find myself drawn (hyuck) to pen and ink work vs. pencils.

Which maybe is why these hyperreal pen drawings blew my mind. Created by Lagos-based artist Oscar Ukonu and drawn with a standard ballpoint pen, each piece takes him 200+ hours.
Even if you don’t read the article, I recommend scrolling through all his work. Someone could still convince me that his self-portrait is a photo… Simply astonishing work.

I'm on a random cartoony T-Rex theme this week... Finally, a justified use for a selfie stick.

Texting isn't a real conversation

I continue to strive to limit my texting to quick exchanges - the “meet here at this time” conversations. I fail sometimes, but my friends know I’m probably going to call them after trading a few texts. It’s amazing how fast a phone call can sort things out...and increase connection.
Here’s a solid quote from Cal Newport’s Digital Minimalism to that end:
When your friends and family are able to instigate meandering pseudo-conversations with you over text at any time, it’s easy for them to become complacent about your relationship. These interactions give the appearance of close connection (even though, in reality, they’re far from this standard), providing a disincentive to invest more time in more meaningful engagement. 

My primary goal is to avoid questions like "how are you?" via phone. Nobody wants to sum up their lives via text, right? At the very least, I'll send an audio message when possible or a Marco Polo video.

A timelapse of our changing Earth

I can barely keep track of all the changes in our small city, much less the world. Thanks to Google Earth's new timelapse feature, seeing the bigger changes just got far easier.

Check out the introductory YouTube video here or just play around with the Google Earth Engine. I suspect kids would dig this one.

Traipsing About Archives: My Case For Why Ebikes Rule

Kicking around the idea of buying an ebike? I don't personally ride one (yet?), but Chelsea, various friends, and my dad/brother loooove theirs.

As I argue in this blog post, I'm still convinced they kick butt. Looking forward to my friend in Canada towing me up steep fire roads when the border finally opens!

My 78 YO dad (with a bionic knee) cruising gravel roads in Idaho on his Rad Rover ebike. So cool that we can still ride together...and that he waits for me.

Thanks for stopping by Traipsing About! Take an ebike for a spin, try drawing with a ballpoint pen (it's so hard), and keep watching those spring flowers.

With vaccines happening and the world opening up a bit, this line from On The Road seems fitting for a parting quote:

“You boys going to get somewhere, or just going?” We didn’t understand his question, and it was a damned good question.

P.S. This comic is for anyone thinking, “am I the only one feeling awkward seeing people in person again?” (H/T to Jen @Long Haul Trekkers)

Not subscribed to Traipsing About yet? Try the free newsletter!
Copyright © 2021 Traipsing About, All rights reserved.

Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list

Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp