How Apps Would Have Dulled Seinfeld

If apps had existed in the 1990s, some of Seinfeld’s most celebrated episodes would never have been been written.

The Soup Nazi episode negated by DoorDash. 

The Lost Car episode quashed by a car finding app. 

George’s Trivial Pursuit dispute with the Bubble Boy mitigated by a virtual assistance app.    

The Chinese Restaurant episode annulled by OpenTable.

What we’ve gained in app-convenience we’ve lost in folly, serendipity and happenstance – the cornerstones of experiences. 

And experiences, after all, are life’s spice rack. They are what season our days with memories, provisioning us with character, confidence, identity, authenticity, perspective.

This is not to suggest, of course, that we remove all apps from our devices. But rather that we give occasional pause to how predictable our days are becoming, borderline robotic, from scripting every action through our apps. And that, as Seinfeld proved, we do not forfeit our moment-defining capacity for folly.

Digital Detox Desert Thoughts

Dawn at Mesa Arch. One of life’s true high-five moments. It never disappoints. Regardless of season. The sun, as it crests the La Sal Mountains, ignites the arch’s underside like the coil on a stovetop burner turning it from brick red to pumpkin orange. It’s Mom Nature’s version of desert psychedelia. Pure zow. I shared … Continue reading “Digital Detox Desert Thoughts”

Digital Detox Beach Observations

The other morning, while walking to the beach for sunrise, I spotted the person in the above photo. Most people on the beach at dawn are walking for exercise or searching, with heads down, for seashells. But this guy, seated in a beach chair with coffee at his side, had the look of a sunrise … Continue reading “Digital Detox Beach Observations”

2018 North America Ski Area Rankings

I have never been an advocate of annual ski area rankings, equating them with the same ah-hah insight as rating the earth’s top four oceans. Every annual list, regardless of publication, high-fives the usual heavyweights: Whistler, Vail, Aspen, Squaw Valley, Stowe, Killington, Jackson Hole, Steamboat Springs and Sun Valley. Never are there any curveball entrants … Continue reading “2018 North America Ski Area Rankings”

Colorado Mountain Goat

Unbeknownst to Larry it wasn’t his tracking collar that so annoyed the other mountain goats. (Mount Evans, Colorado)

Rating Outdoor Company Catalogues

Rating outdoor company catalogues under the criteria “Could I camp and/or backpack with the people in their photos?” REI Catalogue Most of REI’s shots feature dramatic backcountry settings busy with people hiking, backpacking, tending camp stoves, and running trails. Yet all are strangely impervious to sweat, dirt, and gear imperfection. I hike but 30 feet … Continue reading “Rating Outdoor Company Catalogues”

Ski Bum, Dirt Bag & River Rat

I have a friend who is passionate about wine. If asked he could, without hesitation, pair the perfect wine for a soggy, half-eaten berry pomegranate chia-flavored Clif bar found floating in the hull of a freestyle kayak. His wine expertise prompts people to refer to him as an aficionado, a connoisseur, sophisticated. Conversely, I’m passionate … Continue reading “Ski Bum, Dirt Bag & River Rat”

Rethinking Man’s #1 Ranking on the Food Chain

I heard on the radio the other day that man is still ranked number one on  the food chain. Well shucks, of course we’re number one, we do the voting. Does anyone believe we’d enjoy such a lofty ranking if other species had a vote? There’s zero chance a grizzly bear would defer to us? … Continue reading “Rethinking Man’s #1 Ranking on the Food Chain”

5 Car Camping Lessons

Transitioning from backpacking to car camping is like going from a Hilton on Waikiki Beach to a Motel 6 in Gary, Indiana. Backpacking offers an embarrassment of outdoor amenities: hermetic solitude, unfettered wilderness, brain-bucking star shows. It sets all precedent for the outdoor experience. Anything less is a massive, mind-sagging disappointment. I learned this several … Continue reading “5 Car Camping Lessons”

Best Not to Describe Camping

While lying on the Utah desert floor cinching the sleeping bag’s hood so only my nostrils were left exposed to the sleep-denying cold, I concluded that it’s a good thing we have words for outdoor recreation otherwise we’d lose interest if we had to describe our favorite activities. Take camping for example. The word itself … Continue reading “Best Not to Describe Camping”