Watched the lunar eclipse through my telescope in our living room. Holding an iPhone steadily against a telescope’s tiny eye piece, hoping for even a split second of focus, and being fast enough to capture it, may’ve been almost as hard as getting footprints up there.

Few of us got together on The Oregon Coast for a weekend getaway a few months back. Twelve friends, two dogs, a pool table, a jukebox, a hot tub, and plenty to drink. We trekked the windswept shoreline, hiked the forest trails, and wandered the sleepy town of Lincoln City. It sure is a pretty place.

It was the last time a lot of us saw Hunter. He was a dog that above all else, loved food. Any food. Never had a dog, and never quite knew what you could and couldn’t feed them. I try to stay out of it when the begging starts. But the way he looked into your soul as you were about to take your last bite, of literally anything, defeated me every time. Godspeed Hunter.

More on this in a couple weeks.

Sampson at his 1st birthday party. He likes to touch my beard and wear my sunglasses.

The look of surprise and regret when your flash accidentally fires off, in a very dark, very crowded concert venue.

What’s mine is yours.

My Dad turned 60 today. You wouldn’t guess looking at his lifestyle.

He still rides his motorcycle like a reckless kid. Still cranks the volume. Still climbs ladders, chops trees, and pumps iron. Still yells at the TV as if the players can hear him. Still as hard headed as they get and still as tough as nails. Still my Dad.

Sixty’s a big one, but it’s no match for you. Happy 60 Dad.

My Mom and Dad’s 40th wedding anniversary is today. I asked them what the secret is, after all these years. My Dad says, “She ignores me, and I ride my motorcycle.” Mom says, “There is no secret, you either love each other, or you don’t.”

Off the Southwest Florida Gulf Coast there’s a place called Estero Island. On that island there’s a seven-story condo called Sea Watch. On the 7th floor of that condo, there’s a unit that’s been in my family since before my time. I was just five months old my first visit. The Smith’s are still making memories there to this day.

My parents hold the keys to it now, and Alexis and I tagged along this year. It was her first time and I hadn’t been back in eleven years. It’s a special place, with a lot of history. It’s a place I’m very thankful for.















Drew turned 35, so we hit the Vegas strip for Halloween weekend. The bravest, or maybe the dumbest among us, were up till 7am draining glasses, spinning wheels and shooting dice. I love that town, but hell, anything more than 48 hours just might kill me. Not in our 20’s anymore, but we can still pretend.

Got to see Blink-182 play while we were there, and oddly enough, Ludacris too. Some fun ones from those coming of age years.

Damn It by Blink-182. Used to play this one on loop as a kid.

Someone set the photo booth to burst mode at our annual Haunted Tiki Party, and I have to say, I’m not mad at it. Happy Halloween.

Kim and Will got married and it was about as Kim and Will as it could’ve been. Every color of the rainbow, dungeons and dragons lore, all accounted for. They did it their way, and that made it perfect.

So thankful to share their day with them, and for all our days past, and all the ones still ahead.

We’d already come halfway across the country for a family trip, and figured we may as well just keep on going. We knew we’d be heading to New York City to see Alexis’ brother Tony and Olivia, and of course our unofficial godson Gnarly. We wanted to see somewhere new first though. Alexis had never been to Philadelphia. It’d been a long time for me, and our friends Drew and Kelsie said they were in, so that settled it. It was a trip of exploration, late nights, loud music and drained glasses. I was run ragged by the end of it, but it’s always worth it. Tough to beat the company.

You forget just how much family you really have until you get them all in the same room. We did just that for my Grandfather’s 86th birthday. All his grandchildren, some of us scattered across the country, came together for him. Can only hope all those years down the road the story goes the same way when it’s my turn.

My Mom’s side of the family got together for us at my Cousin Michelle and Mario’s house too. It was a great time. We ate, we drank, we laughed, and saw lot’s of faces. Some I hardly recognize anymore.

Going back is always a nostalgic flood. A reminder of where I come from. Things get so busy, you almost start to forget. But we always go back. Thankful for a small place in a big world that will always have us. You know what they say, home is where the Italian beef sandwiches are.

Forever young, I want to be, forever young.

Jenn and Duncan have been inviting us up to Sacramento to float down the American River with them pretty much every year they’ve been up there. We’ve missed a few, but this was the third time for Alexis and I. We love it. It’s brings close friends who live far apart, together again. There were 16 of us this year. 17 counting a baby girl on the way from Jenn and Duncan.

Have this feeling that this time might be one of the last of this scale. Things are changing. Priorities are changing. Life isn’t slowing down. So I brought the camera.

Even though these memories are just a few days old, and their pictures are still perfectly sharp and clear in my mind, can’t help but smile watching the footage. Have to imagine that feeling only amplifies with time. It’s not the most fun being the guy carrying the camera around everywhere, and I’m sure it’s not fun having it pointed in your face the whole time either. Seems important though.

If there’s anything we’ve all learned this time around, it’s when you’re on the river, bring a damn knife. Life jackets couldn’t hurt either. For all the worried mothers out there, we’ll just leave it at that.

First time in my nation’s capital. Was there for a very, very quick work trip. It’s an odd feeling to see something you know like the back of your hand, but that you’ve never actually seen before. I’d like to go back, preferably not for work, and preferably more than 24 hours.

Nick turns 40.

Love seeing these guys at the gym or out in the world. Must be an ordeal to even lace up their sneakers before they’re out the door. Yet, they’re out there, day in and day out. Pounding the pavement. Putting their heart, lungs and undoubtedly their knees through every level of hell, trying to change their lives. I’ve always quietly admired the determination. It can’t be easy, and reminds me to quit it with the excuses myself.

Roll on you motivational warriors, roll on.

The Cinco De Mayo Mexican Wrestling crew.

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