#345 - Feature: Timbuk2 Never Check Expandable Backpack Extensive/Exhaustive Review

Backstory: I obsessed about backpacks for a few months. I was in a loop where I researched, made lists, Googled, read reviews, watched reviews, went to stores, then started the process all over again in search of the "perfect" bag to buy. I spent a lot of time on Reddit's /r/onebag, /r/backpacks, and /r/EDC. I found the website Carryology and YouTubers Chase Reeves and Bo Ismono. It started (over a year ago, actually) with the GORUCK GR1 - but a few months back expanded to other GORUCKs, the Evergoods CPL24, the Tom Bihn Synapse 25, REI's Rucksacks, and various other bags that you can only pre-order from Kickstarter. About two months ago I stumbled across the Timbuk2 "Never Check Expandable Backpack". Being a long-time Timbuk2 owner and proud writer of the top, most helpful review on Amazon's page for the Timbuk2 Command Messenger bag, finding this bag felt like a sign. The Never Check…

#343 - The Parable of the Rowing Machine

Motto: Everybody Needs a Hobby

I have put a lot of the three major resources into crafting a home gym. I'm proud of it and it's one my favorite things about my house... but it doesn't have any way to do cardio. Your standard fix to this is "buy a treadmill off Craigslist". My issue is, I've got crap joints and treadmills historically cause me problems after a couple of minutes. Also treadmills are large and generally not something I've ever been excited about. In my experience, rowing for a couple minutes is a better warm up than jogging, and a rowing machine tends to hold its value. Because rowing machines hold their value, any one that's used and worth buying is incredibly expensive. That link isn't to a specific example, it's just a search of Rowing Machines in the KC area. I assume at any given point in the future you'll be able to click it and see I'm right.

So, they're expensive, but they're also simple. A rowing machine is…

#342 - Time, Energy, Money (mostly time)

Motto: It Makes a Fool of Us All

Life seems to me like a series of choices about what to do with your resources. Mostly those resources fall into energy, time, and money.

It used to be that I'd sit down to write most Columns not knowing what I wanted to write about. The net result would be whatever came to my mind between the time I sat down and the time I stood up. Nowadays I know essentially exactly what I want to say before I ever approach my computer. I write more Columns in my head than I ever get to put online - I just "don't have the time" to do it.

I have been saying for years that the "having no time" excuse is mostly bologna that old people say to make up for not using their time wisely. While I still think that's true to some extent, my tune has changed.

Actually. After doing an exercise to fill out this paragraph with, it looks a lot like this is still the case and I've just been woefully misusing my time. Maybe I should do another time stud…

#341 - Aaron Explains Income Tax

Taxes are needlessly confusing. At least that's how I always found them to be. Some relatively simple jargon like "deductible" kept me from understanding what's really a pretty basic concept. Here's what almost 30 year old Aaron wishes he could send back in time 10 years to almost 20 year old Aaron.

Top 10: Favorite TV Comedies... Updated from #302 10. Family Guy
9. King of the Hill
8. Last Week Tonight
7. Futurama
6. Parks and Rec
5. Scrubs
4. The Office
3. Arrested Development
2. Community

1. Rick and Morty

Quote: "Hold your poop in so it goes up... science." - Jon -
"The meat sweats are basically my normal sweats." - Jon -
"I got some vodka! I ain't worried." - Jon -
"Can you guys please wait until the song is over?"
- Derek, who was listening to Rebecca Black's "Friday" out loud at work, to some coworkers who started talking nearby -

#340 - Definition Vs Usage

Motto: I don't know why she swallowed the fly

I'm literally not talking about the widely-recognized abuse of words like "literally". This is less of a Buzzfeed Listical and more of a series of topics about which I have been contemplating (in the near past) that can be presented under a common theme.

"Healthy" - without disease; promoting well-being
That's the best definition I know. That is, notionally, what "healthy" is supposed to mean. Sometimes it gets used that way. I think, though, that a majority of cases in which I come across the word it means "please buy my product - don't fee guilty!" or "please buy in to my way of thinking about this". To me, healthy is having the physical and emotional capability to do the things you want to do, to accomplish things that are important to you - that which makes you fulfilled, and continue that capacity in the face of reasonable obstructions introduced by the world and the reali…

#339 - Five Years Tracked

Motto: Gentleman on the Streets, Freak in the Spreadsheets
The Life Tracker.
It was never given a better name - but it started with a worse name. If you don't believe me you can read what I wrote about my new "Life Tracking System (LTS)" in Column #83. That was five years ago - meaning I've been doing this thing for five years now.
If you don't choose to read Column #83 (I don't blame you) - you should know that reading it now made me proud of what I've accomplished here. I set out to track my life, I defined what that meant to me - and really I did a damn good job of it. My original goals have only shifted slightly in the past 1827 days. 

Originally, I intended to track: 1. Diet 2. Exercise 3. Money 4. Daily Goals (which I stole from Demetri Martin) 5. What I did each day (high level list of events)

Looking at that list now, it's a pretty good cross-section of the things that are important in life. Especially when you consider I haven't had to change…