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The Humblebrag in a Digital Age

Thanks to social media, we see it at least daily—a friend who has truly awesome stuff happening but they’re complaining about the little things—the hardships of adjusting to their new Subi (the cup holders are in weird places) or less-than-epic swell at Seven Sisters (while we’re stuck at the office).
Regardless of how close the friendship may be, something deep down inside tells you it would be okay to punch them and take their place. That something’s probably right because the humblebrag kills stoke and it’s not okay.
I retract that—don’t punch your friends. Just set a better example. Here’s how:

Embrace the Stoke
If something epic happens, it’s okay to get stoked. Some people might say you have to play it cool but they’ve got it wrong. You biffed it when Lynsey Dyer passed you on the slope? No worries.
Finish your run, compliment hers at the bottom, and grab a pic. It’s better than the humblebrag—“Double blacks are so crowded these days.”

Find the Humor
Say you’re really enjoying a Nicaraguan beach and a crab somehow finds its way into your trunks and grabs a little bit of manhood (Disclaimer: It’s a hypothetical situation and I deny any allegations that this happened to me in the mid-90s, regardless of what Ed says).
It would be a really hilarious story once the swelling goes down. I wouldn’t suggest posting pictures but a tastefully comedic telling is much better than the humblebrag—“Nothing like crabs to ruin a day at the beach.”

Fix the Problem
I know it’s easier to just complain but you could fix whatever’s wrong with your experience. Finding a resolution lets you enjoy the moment rather than having it “ruined’ by something relatively minor.
Your Western Thick Burger came out sans onion rings? Ask for a replacement instead of dropping the hamburger humblebrag—“Hardees—I would have liked it but you didn’t put a ring on it.”

Tell the Truth
In reality, you’re driving an old Subi and you ate snow this weekend when some girl who looked like Lynsey (because she was blonde and wearing skis) passed you on a green. In all reality, you’re probably sitting somewhere, perhaps in an office just like mine, eating that burger and reading articles instead of working. Be honest.
If you’re at work right now, go get something done and post a picture of that finished TPS report instead of the humblebrag—“Outdoor Tech articles keep distracting me from my paperwork.”

Hopefully, your friends will see your good example and the world, maybe even the whole Twitterverse, will become a better place. But, if nothing changes and your friends absolutely have to know about those cup holders, tell them in person so the rest of us don’t have to see it in our feeds.

We love you, just remember that.

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Winter Driving; What Are They Putting on Our Roads?

Have you ever noticed, especially when driving on snow or ice: if someone passes you he’s an idiot and if they’re going too slow and holding you up, they’re an a**hole? While most of us have to deal with snow and ice and that guy who slows you down, at least our road crews are trying to help.

Differing Opinions
Opinions are just like… the guy slowing you down, everybody has one. People complain if the roads are salted because of the corrosive properties that eat your car up. Others worry Mag Chloride will contaminate the rivers. Still others complain about sand because, well, because they can. No matter what your highway dept. uses someone will complain. Just be glad they use something because there are plenty of idiots and… guys who slow you down out there.

Road Salt

Road departments use a lot of road salt. They were actually running out of it in the Eastern United States last year because of the harsh winter and icy roads. They don’t use salt in Colorado and because of that a friend used to buy up old cars and ship them back east for big profits. Salt melts ice because salt water doesn’t freeze until it gets below zero. It does however corrode steel in automobiles and even the rebar used in bridges. It’s a tradeoff: it helps speed up that… guy who slows you down but wreaks havoc on your cars and bridges.

Sand is used on most roadways but usually in conjunction with road salt or mag- chloride along with other mixtures. Sand doesn’t melt the ice but gives you traction and grip. The use of sand requires a lot of cleanup and that would explain all the big street-sweepers you see that come out every spring along with the robins. It also tends to clog sewers and road drainage systems but does it in a natural, organic way.


Mag Chloride works by preventing the ice from bonding to the asphalt. Usually spread before the storm as an ant-icing agent it is used extensively in several states including Colorado. It is sometimes mixed with salt wetting it so it sticks better to the road surface. It has been extensively studied but the jury is still out. It does cause plant damage and stream pollution but is a very effective weapon against slippery roads, idiots and… guys who slow you down.

Have you ever peed on an ice patch? Well, if you have you know it melted the ice. Urea, which is a product contained in urine, is sometimes used on airport runways because it is less corrosive to airplane bodies: I kid you not. I’m not sure where they got it but it is mentioned in several reports on the internet so it must be true. There is also a substance made from the byproducts of sugar beet production called CMS-B or Motech being used in several areas. Though products like Motech derive from organic material, it contains Potassium Chloride which can cause eye, skin and gastrointestinal irritations.

A Life of Tradeoffs
Everything has a tradeoff. I don’t want anyone to suffer gastrointestinal irritations, I don’t want my car or bridges falling apart and I’m pretty sure we don’t want urea on our neighborhood roads. Maybe we just have to put up with the idiots and… guys who slow us down after all.

We love you, just remember that.

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There’s an App For That

I’ve long been an advocate of off-the-grid adventures—getting as far from cell signal as possible, leaving that irritating thing in the Jeep for good measure. I’m also a gear and tech junkie that lives with a non-stop, social media mainline coming through a pile of iDevices. It’s a duplicitous life but, so far, I’ve managed to balance the two sides of my existence.
Lately, however, I’ve heard that blasted little *ding* on high mountain ridges, an island without a cell tower of its own, and deep—and I mean DEEP—in the backwoods of banjo-pickin’, squirrel-and-dumplins, hillbilly territory. It’s inescapable.
Since AT&T and their cohorts have extended my digital tether, I’ve decided to put it to good use on my adventures with more than just the typical Instagram and Facebook posts to show I’m alive and having fun. I’ve run through about two hundred bucks worth of apps that tout everything from comprehensive, emergency medical info to easier national park campsite registration. Some are great; most are worthless, but the ones I use on a regular basis are all free. So, without further ado, here are the eight (free) apps I believe are worth bringing along on your next adventure. Plus an honorable mention.


OT_Blog_Featured_01They’ve rounded up locals from all over the country to give beta on everything from hiking trails and climbing routes to river runs and restaurants. Most of it’s solid too. The nice thing is that they’re still growing so, each time you go back, you’re likely to find some new stuff to explore.


OT_Blog_Featured_02You already have the camera strapped to your head, why not sync and control the shots remotely? That’s the gist. You can also send interns out with a cameras strapped to their heads and (hypothetically of course) get incredible, up-close shots of mating buffalo or rutting elk from the safety of your Jeep.


OT_Blog_Featured_03In 1985, before apps existed, these guys setup a pay-per-call surf report system that allowed wave riders to “know before you go” about conditions at breaks along the California coast. They’ve expanded a bit since then and the app’s pretty essential if you’re headed out on dawn patrol.

Knots Guide

OT_Blog_Featured_04I spent a lot of my youth ignoring scout leaders who tried to teach me how to tie knots. Hindsight’s 20/20 but I think I would have been more into it if they’d mentioned rock climbing anywhere in the lesson. I’ve got a few more than the basics down now but, every once in a while, it’s nice to have a refresher for when my fingers just can’t get it right. Here’s that refresher in a beautifully simple, easy to use, visual-learner-friendly app.

Mtn Project

OT_Blog_Featured_05More specific crag and route beta, offline use, and the ability to bookmark your favorites? Check. Check. And check. It’s also a tracker for your climbing projects and allows you to rate those that you’ve ticked off the list.

Weye Feye

OT_Blog_Featured_06This one’s only sort of free—the app is but it’s not useful without their camera-controlling gadget. It lets you connect a DSLR to your iDevices for hard-to-reach/dangerous shots from weird angles and distant tree limbs leaning over the river.

Topo Maps+

OT_Blog_Featured_07It’s an app full of topo maps. Download before you go for offline use or pull them up along the trail—either way works. It’s the best one I’ve found outside of buying a trail-specific Garmin or carrying stacks of paper maps. If you want even more functionality, you can download the expanded Gaia App package and it does all sorts of stuff that may or may not be helpful.

First Aid by the American Red Cross

OT_Blog_Featured_08They do ask for donations in app, which gets old except for when I remember that a poorly tied knot could lead to use of the ARC’s blood donor services. It’s a fairly basic collection of medical info that addresses all but the weird stuff you might encounter in the woods.

Honorable Mention: PayPal

OT_Blog_Featured_09When your intern-mounted shot makes the cover of Rutting Elk Monthly, you can get paid without a return trip to civilization. Just make sure you listen for the little *ca-ching* sound.

We love you, just remember that.

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10 Irish Songs for Shredding the Slopes on St. Patrick’s Day

As St. Patrick’s Day arrives, many prefer to hit the slopes rather than the local pub. Or at least get some skiing and boarding in before they too throw some back at the lodge. You can start the celebration early by adding a healthy dose of hard-driving Irish songs to your run. Here’s 10 of the most shamrock n’ roll beats to get the most authentically Irish ski trip that’s ever been.

Young Dubliners, Waxies Dargle
This track wastes no time in launching into a heart-thumping Irish dance rhythm, complete with pipes, electric guitar, and a solid beat. Keep posted for the frantic violin solo in this song halfway though, which rivals the most face-melting guitar solos. “Waxies Dargle” is originally a popular Irish pub song that dates back to the 19th century, and the Young Dubliners excel at adapting such classics to the modern era. The only fallback is that the band continually yelling “Have a pint,” may prove too convincing, forcing you to make a early stop at the lodge’s bar.

The Pogues, If I Should Fall from Grace with God
No St. Patrick’s Day playlist would be complete without an entry from the iconic Irish punk band, whose lead singer Shane MacGowan has outpartied even the most extreme rock stars. You’re not likely to pick out many of MacGowan’s gruff lyrics, but somehow you get the sense of what he’s trying to say. I’m particularly fond of his guttural scream about a minute into this song, followed by a lively instrumental session. Few songs exemplify a riotous Irish party as well as this classic, and if anything can get you stoked enough to take on a black diamond, it’s this gem.

Dropkick Murphys, The Warrior’s Code
This band has become synonymous with American Irish punk, and their “I’m Shipping Up to Boston” has been played relentlessly on TV and movies. “The Warrior’s Code” continues the band’s tradition of hard-hitting, bagpipe-backed punk rock headlines with growling lyrics. It’s technically about boxing, but it should an add extra punch to your skiing run just the same. It’s hard not to completely shred the mountain when you’ve gotten the lyrics “You’re the fighter, you’ve got the fire, The spirit of a warrior, the champion’s heart” blaring in your ear.

Flogging Molly, Salty Dog
This Celtic pirate song is bound to stir the rebellious spirit in snowboarders, and maybe even a skiier or two. The LA-based Flogging Molly shares a similar but slightly more light-hearted sound than Dropkick Murphy’s. “Salty Dog” is one of their most boisterous and defiant songs, sure to be a good accompaniment to some risky times on the mountain. Be warned, just listening to this buccaneer ballad may make give you the uncontrollable urge to work the word “Arrr” into your speech that day.

Steve Earle, Johnny Come Lately
It may be sung by an American about the Battle of Britain, but this song comes off about as Irish as it gets. It helps that this was tune is being backed by the Pogues, who lend some of their distinctive Irish folk signature to Earle’s inspiring lyrics. “Johnny Come Lately” has a sobering message to take in later, but for your purposes it offers a light-hearted soundtrack to propel you down the mountain, and a fine drinking song for any celebration that follows.

The Tossers, The Irish Rover
This band from Chicago shares a similar sound with Flogging Molly and Dropkick Murphy’s, who they’ve toured with, although the Tossers predates both of them. This raucous song defies you to sit still, daring you to race down the slopes as fast as you can. Tuning into the lyrics can also be dangerously inspiring. “I’m a Rover drunk or sober, I go trampling this world over,” this singer declares, capturing the restless spirit of many wild skiers and snowboarders.

Mahones, Drunken Lazy Bastard
A typical Irish song declaring the destructive yet addictive times resulting from a night of hard drinking, this ballad’s steady beat and jaunty tune is likely to make you want to step dance as much as ski. The band’s founder hails from Ireland, although he now lives in Canada. Years after rocking their first St. Paddy’s party, the band is finally gaining recognition, being recently hailed by Sirius as the best indie punk band.

Blaggards, Big Strong Man
Led by a native of Dublin and heavily influenced by metal bands, this Houston band is the pride of the Irish populace in Texas’s largest metropolis. “Big Strong Man” is an old tune that was popular among WWII Canadian soldiers and describes a man named Sylveste who accomplishes incredible feats. Looks like the Irish were ahead of the times, considering most modern rap songs are just extended brag sheets. This boastful tune is the perfect choice for the skier and snowboarder who also thinks themselves capable of anything.

Fiddler’s Green, The Night Pat Murphy Died
This band is German but nevertheless plays Irish folk as well as any native of the Emerald Isle. Here they take on an old classic song that references Murphy’s friends attending his Irish wake. If you think a song about a death will be a morbid affair, you don’t know how the Irish give each other a sendoff. Listening to this devilish tune describing the celebration at Pat’s memorial will not only drive you down the snowy trails, it’ll cause you to seriously consider adding an open bar to your own funeral.

Waterboys, Raggle Taggle Gypsy
This band is better known for “Fisherman’s Blues” and “The Whole of the Moon,” but this song has a lot more kick to get your blood pumping while careening down the hill. The song concerns a woman who runs off the join the gypsies, but its real power is more in its toe-tapping rhythm than its lyrics. Besides, this song kinda cheats with the rhymes by adding the letter “O” to every other line. Nevertheless, it’s a distinctly Celtic song that will inspire you to try something out of the ordinary.

If you’re a veteran of the mountain, these tunes should provide an appropriate soundtrack to tearing up some powder. If you’re a beginner, you may struggle with your balance as much as your buddies celebrating St. Paddy’s the traditional way do, but these classics should give you the motivation to keep the party going. After all, if any one understands what it’s like to fall down and keep getting up again, it’s the Irish.

We love you, just remember that.

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Spring Skiing: A Whole Different Animal

It’s sunny and warm but the snow is slushy and heavy. On the other hand, chances are good you’ll probably spot Elvis on the slopes.

The Weather
Nothing beats skiing in shorts and a t-shirt. Instead of wearing gear designed for the Arctic, spring skiing affords the chance to pitch the parka and gloves, the hat and hand warmers and the gaiter around your neck and soak up some sun. After a long winter of being bundled up in gear, spring skiing is about freedom from all that garb.

Timing is Everything
When the snow melts during the day, then re-freezes at night, it creates a surface with the consistency of concrete. Until the sun softens things up, you’ll be miserable as your skis and consequently your feet take a pounding. There is really no reason to ski until about 10 or 10:30 so getting in line for first chair doesn’t really make sense. The tradeoff is you get to sleep in for the first time this season.

Everybody is There
By everybody we mean Elvis, Spiderman and a gaggle of nuns. Spring skiers, when they doff their arctic gear seem to trade it in for costumes. For some reason Elvis thrives on the slopes of every ski resort from Stowe to Tahoe and everywhere in between. Nuns seem to be very popular and super-heroes like to take ski vacations as well. The closing weekend of every resort is full of costumed riders but they begin to appear as soon as the spring sun, slush and warmth arrive.

Skin to Win
Skiing in bikinis or even just shorts is not recommended, especially if there is a chance of falling. Not only will you scrape some mighty sensitive areas but you will get a lot of intense sun on places that haven’t seen the light of day for half a year or so. The rest of us though do enjoy the sights as long as we’re not the ones on top of the mountain when the spring squall rolls in and temperatures drop by 30 degrees instantly.

Bring the Gear
You may want to bring both powder and rock skis because you could be skiing both. Since you can’t trust the weather in springtime, you need to bring it all. It could be 20 degrees and fresh powder, 60 degrees and slush or both in the same day. You’ll need your cold weather gear and your bikini packed in your bag. If you’ve ever skied closing weekend, you’ll know that bikini could be for a woman or a man (you’ll just have to see it to believe it.)

Music to Our Ears
Most resorts start firing up the concert stages once spring arrives. Vail, Breckenridge, Keystone in Colorado and many other resorts all host spring concert shows, usually at the base of the mountain or in their respective villages. Ever try dancing in ski boots? It’s not as easy as it looks, and it doesn’t look that easy to begin with. It helps that these shows are usually hosted by beer or liquor companies with booths plying their products, for a small, or make that a large fee.

Oh the Nightlife
Well, we already established that you’re not getting up early for first chair, so why not step out for the evening. Not only do some resorts have nighttime concerts, but the bars are jumping in the spring. There seems to be a younger crowd staying in town this time of year and since there is no reason for anyone to get up too early, the bars are packed until closing time in the spring.

We love you, just remember that.

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6 Gnarly Colorado Mogul Runs

Some have trees, some don’t. Some are Double Black, some single. The one thing they all have in common is that UH OH factor.

Highline, Vail
Highline is on the east side of the front of Vail Mountain. It runs right below and beside its namesake lift and is long and Double Black. Only part of the run is visible from the lift which is good because some of the best skiers in the world are riding up and laughing at you; okay, laughing at me. The Wife coaxed me into starting our day on Highline once and I thought I was going to die. Of course, after that first run of the day, everything else felt like a green run.

Outhouse, Mary Jane
Outhouse may only be a single Black Diamond but its legend is secure, partly because you can be seen coming down by everyone at the lodge at the bottom and also because of the notorious sign in the old days warning that skis under 180cm were not allowed.  Of course shorter skis are in vogue these days what with the shaped ski designs, but in the old days if you skied on less than 180cm, you weren’t worthy.

Devil’s Crotch, Breckenridge
The coolest thing about going down this run is you then have the right to buy a t-shirt that says “I licked the Devil’s Crotch” Anyone can buy them in town but come on, why wear it if you didn’t do it. Located atop Peak 9 and visible from the E Chairlift, this is a narrow chute, steep and full of bumps. It’s a Double Black Diamond and I have seen people cry on it. Okay that was just me on my first try but I have licked it since then.

Cat Dancer, Keystone
This run is located on North Peak in Keystone and though rated a single Black Diamond, it is long and will wear you out. After you’ve pounded hundreds of bumps and think you’re about halfway down you’ll see you still have a long way to go. That tiny little speck at the bottom is La Bonte’s BBQ, where an ice-cold beer is waiting with your name on it. The top is hairy with snow-fences marking the rocks, but if the snow is good, then, no problem. After the first 50 yards or so the bumps round out and you have a nice long, and I do mean long bump run to that beer.

Pallavicini, Arapahoe Basin
Like Highline at Vail, the “Pally Face” as it is known runs underneath its namesake lift. The lift rises over 1300 feet and this set of runs go straight down it. It is steep, as in about 40 degrees in pitch and sometimes steeper depending on the conditions of the bumps and windblown snow. In 2005 a rare in-bounds avalanche killed a skier there just one day after I was on it. I swear I had nothing to do with it but am surprised I didn’t just fall off the face of it, it’s that steep.

The Plunge and Spiral Stairs, Telluride
These two have been on my bucket list for years. I’ve never skied down them but have read enough about them in Ski magazines over the years that I feel they should be listed here. I’ve heard stories that if you look through your skis tips at the top you will see a tiny little town of Telluride below and it is a scary sight indeed. They are both some of the steepest runs around and when covered in bumps they are said to be well deserving of their Double Black status.

We love you, just remember that.

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7 Concerts You Won’t Want to Miss on St. Patrick’s Day

Instead of spending another St. Patrick’s Day at some bar with foil shamrocks taped to the wall, you could grab a concert ticket and make it a night you’ll remember regardless of the whiskey.
If you need a push in the right direction, here are our top picks for St. Patty’s Day entertainment:

The Street Dogs at House of Blues (Anaheim, CA)
Mike McColgan, the original lead singer for Dropkick Murphys, did a stint fighting fires in Boston before returning to the music world in 2002 with a new band, The Street Dogs. With five albums out so far (and, hopefully, another in the works), these guys live up to their hard-hitting, celtic rock pedigree.

The Mahones at Euro Disneyland (Paris, France)
These guys started off as a cover band for a St. Patty’s Day party and decided to stick with it once the party died down. Twelve albums and 25 years later, they’re not showing any signs of stopping. They would have ranked higher but who wants to spend St. Patty’s Day at Euro Disney?

Blaggards at O’Bannon’s Taphouse (College Station, TX)
Texas isn’t known for their Irish music scene but Patrick Devlin, Blaggards’ lead singer and guitarist, has always been something of a rebel. While most celtic rock bands have followed the punk vein, Blaggards are clearly on the metal side of things and do it well.

The Tossers at The Masquerade (Atlanta, GA)
The Tossers are a folk band with heavy punk influences or a punk band with heavy folk influences. Either way, they’re one of the best celtic rockish bands that’s ever taken the stage.

Young Dubliners at Hard Rock Casino (Tulsa, OK)
The Young Dubs have been around since the early ‘90s, playing a solid mix of original songs and traditional, Irish tunes turned up a bit. They’re one of the best bands for audience sing-alongs since even their biggest shows feel like they’re playing to a few friends in a local pub.

Flogging Molly at The Hollywood Palladium (Los Angeles, CA)
Even if you don’t listen to celtic rock but once a year, you’ve heard of these guys and probably know the words to a song or two. If you live in LA, this is the show to be at. Flogging Molly’s sound is unique, even in the celtic rock scene, with a mix of hard-hitting tunes and beautiful ballads. They tend to pull their crowds along on an emotional rollercoaster and you’ll thank them for it after the show.

Dropkick Murphys, The Mahoneys, & Blood or Whiskey at Vicar Street (Dublin, Ireland)
Tickets sold out about the time St. Patrick drove the snakes out of Ireland (a bit of a history lesson for you) but, if you’re a VIP, absolutely loaded, or have a friend who can get you in as a roadie, make your way to Dublin for the show of a lifetime.

Now go have an awesome time.

We love you, just remember that.

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The Vanlife

Christina Applegate once said “I want to live in a van down by the river.” Don’t we all? Well, maybe not the river—maybe by the crag or the trailhead, on a beach with perfect swells—regardless of where you park it, vanlife is a nearly universal desire. The rad thing? It’s a totally attainable dream. Here’s how to make it happen.

Buy a Van
It seems obvious because it is. This is your starting point. The beginning of your dream life—climbing all day, partying all night, sleeping in until a park ranger knocks on the window.

Any van will do the job but the kind you choose can say a lot about you. A minivan says “I live with my mom in the off-season.” A Sprinter says “I’m in this for the long haul. I’m invested.” A windowless Econoline says “I’m a real dirtbag” (or “I have candy” if you park too close to a school).

Customize It
Rims and chrome are for the urbane set. Vanlife requires stickers to show you’re legit and curtains to keep prying eyes off your gear. The essential stickers are as follows:

(1) Sticker from your local outfitter
(1) Sticker from your favorite national park
(3) Stickers from “sponsors” (brands giving you or a buddy pro deals)
(1) Sticker from Outdoor Tech

You can add to these, but never drop below the minimum.

Power Everything
If you can land a guide or instructor job, pick up a few solar panels and a second battery for your van. This will let you charge up during the day and keep the party going all night. How can you drop that sick edit to your social media channels without power?

Van speakers are alright, I guess, but sometimes you need more. Sometimes you need less. Pull on a pair of Tuis when you need to focus or spread the sound around your campsite/parking lot with a couple Big Turtle Shells to really get things started.

Fold the seats down and sleep on that mess? I don’t think so. Pull the seats out and sell them online. There’s a family somewhere who needs them. You need the space in back for a bed, or at least a foam pad.

I’ve always been a big fan of the sleeping platform because it lets me store gear underneath and sleep on top, adding insulation and cargo space while still letting me spread out in my jams.

Drive It
Now that your van’s looking (and sounding) good, it’s time to head out. Start with a roadtrip—just a couple days away from the grind—to see how it feels. Go somewhere close to home and relax. Invite friends or don’t—that’s up to you.

Live It
It’s custom. It’s comfortable. You’ve got power and tunes. It’s even road tested. Now it’s time. Go—live the vanlife like it was meant to be lived. Head to Yosemite or Yellowstone, Seven Sisters, Grand Canyon, or Vail. Regardless of where you go, you’ll always be home because “Home is where you park it.” Just don’t forget to pack your government cheese.

We love you, just remember that.

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Confessions of a Burrito Junkie

My friends say I have a problem. There are tortillas stashed around the house. There’s a small patch of cilantro growing in the back. I keep a bottle of rooster sauce in my glove box.

I’ve been wrapping for years but, recently, things may have gotten a little out of hand.

It started innocently enough—bean and cheese, beef and bean, chicken and rice… breakfast… I stuck with the gateway fillings for a long time but, eventually, things got weird. I wrapped granola with peanut butter but that wasn’t enough. I added bacon. Dried fruit. Chocolate chips.

Before I knew it, I had pudding and Cocoa Puffs dribbling out the back of a tortilla as I hid—ashamed—in my buddy’s garage.

My burrito habit doesn’t hurt anybody though. It’s not like I’m a drive-thru eater. At least, not very often. I mean, I get Fourth Meal every once in while but not with kids in the car.

For what it’s worth, I think most people can eat burritos responsibly. My friends get together at Mexican restaurants once in a while. They listen to some mariachi, have a burrito, and head home. It’s a casual thing.

I’m three meals a day, sometimes for weeks at a shot. It doesn’t help that my brother worked his way through college managing a Qdoba. He taught me how to make their cilantro-lime rice and wrap everything up tight so it doesn’t spill. That might have been when things took a turn.

Over the past few years, I’ve avoided lunch meetings and dinner appointments, pulling away from family and friends, coworkers and clients, because they want to grab a burger. I tried to convince myself that sushi was just a Japanese burrito and rice would be okay on the outside…but it wasn’t. Now I plan meetings in the morning and afternoon so I can have lunch by myself.

I usually go to taquerias. You know the ones—old gas stations painted bright colors in rundown neighborhoods. I get carne asada burritos to go, tucking the foil package under my jacket as I make my way back to the parking lot, then eat in the car. It’s a lonely life sometimes.

I’ve been trying to get things under control for a while. My wife’s really supportive. She plans meals and packs lunches to help out. When we do our grocery shopping we avoid the ethnic foods aisle altogether. Just last week she got rid of every can of beans in the house—donated them to a food pantry while I was at work. It’s slow, but I’m making progress.

I bought my last pack of frozen burritos today and, when they’re gone, I’m done.

We love you, just remember that.

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How to Brag About Your Ski Trip on Social Media

In this golden age of social media, we all know that no experience is complete unless it achieves X number of likes from your herd of dedicated followers.

Like, what good is a ski trip if you don’t successfully make 25% of your friends jealous along the way? Make sure that you don’t run out of power by grabbing a Kodiak portable power bank.

We know that it’s not easy to navigate the world of tagging, Tweeting, and favoriting – that’s why we’ve created this guide to help you triumphantly brag about your upcoming ski trip on social media in just 7 easy steps!

Step One: Announce Your Presence


You’re gracing your favorite ski resort with your presence. The least you can do is give them the head’s up, giving them plenty of time to roll out the red carpet for your arrival. The week before your departure, be sure to tweet “Only 7 days til I’m shredding the gnar at @skiresortname”. Bonus points if they retweet you, and bonus bonus points for also naming the specific hotel you’ll be staying at.

Step Two: Document the Journey


Whether your travels consist of trains, planes, or automobiles, you must record every moment of it. Constant Snapchats to your friends are the way to go: it helps build the anticipation.

Step Three: Show Us Your Stuff


Before you get ready to dress for the mountain, artfully arrange your ski gear into a deliberate, picture-perfect pile. Add the filter that hones in on the goods and blurs out the edges – you know the one. Don’t forget to tag each product’s brand – they’ll probably see your sweet shots and want to sponsor you.

Step Four: Only Excellence Will Do


So conditions are sub-par and you’re finding yourself skiing more ice than snow. Never show weakness: your social media announcements must present the illusion of perfection, otherwise your peers will not feel so bad about missing out. For instance, if you missed a bluebird day, just amp up that saturation level to make the sky the bluest of blues – no one will know otherwise. Use hashtags to emphasize the awesomeness – we suggest #bestdayever, #harddayattheoffice, or the ever endearing #lovemylife.

Step Five: Costume Change


Warning: put your phone down for this step; you do NOT want to document the costume change that takes place between skiing and apres. Posting a photo of yourself ruddy-cheeked with sweaty hair stuck to your face? Please – that’s for amateurs. Take a shower, don your favorite Nordic-inspired Christmas sweat (you know, the one that you bought specifically for this trip), and tousle your hair so that it straddles that fine line between supermodel and just-pulled-off-my-beanie.

You’re officially ready for Step Six.

Step Six: Selfie the Shit Out of Apres


You look great. That jug of beer looks great. Don’t let that greatness go to waste: selfie, selfie, selfie, and repeat. While the rest of the world is watching cat videos on YouTube, you’re basking in the post-ski glow enjoying the best pint of your life. #winning (just kidding – that’s not cool anymore.)

Step Seven: You Know What to Do on Thursday…


Four days after you return home, that magical day will roll around: Thursday. It’s time to reminisce back to your ski trip – enter #tbt, or Throwback Thursday for the uninitiated. No, it’s not too early to get nostalgic about your trip – plus this is a great opportunity to share that B roll you never got around to boasting about.

We love you, just remember that.

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