Every Day Carry Joys — The Pen AND The Sword

So you’re online browsing Reddit the other day… and you stumble across r/EDC.

Since getting really into every day carry items, there are a couple items I’ve been gifted that have made their way into my daily carry for the foreseeable future.

The Machine Era Markup Solid Brass pen has been a pure joy to use. I don’t particularly like the refill it ships with, but I’ve always been a huge fan of Pilot G2 0.38 pens, and this brass pen only makes those refills write even more smoothly. The cap screws on, so you don’t have to worry about pen explosions in your pocket. Pairs nicely with Moleskine Cahier pocket notebooks on the go, and Rhodia Webnotebooks.

The Leatherman Free P4 multitool has already come in handy countless times. For a long time I only carried a knife, but turns out I have all sorts of daily uses for pliers, screwdrivers, scissors, package openers, and the like. The one-hand-operation of every tool, and the fact that they all lock in place is really what really makes this a valuable daily carry. Very glad I live somewhere where carrying a knife around is legal and not frowned upon… it would be hard to find a good multi-tool without a knife built in. (If you are in the market for a TSA-friendly travel multi-tool, you should check out the Leatherman Style PS.)

What’s your favorite EDC item?

Bridge-Lift Adventures (Support Local)

Not too long ago I had the terrible realization that the guitar I’ve been using for about ten years had quite a bit of bridge-lift. I didn’t know this was a thing. I bought it back in high school, and have used it on a regular basis since then.

I took it to a large, well established guitar retailer, who will remain unnamed, where I thought I’d bought it with an extended warranty back in the day. I was sorely mistaken. They told me that if they did do any repairs it would start at about $160, and go up from there based on complications, then proceeded to hold it for a week and a half without doing any work on it, even though I told them I would pay out of pocket if they couldn’t get any info on the manufacturer’s warranty.

So, I picked it up from the retailer, and took it to a local guitar repair shop (shoutout Austin Guitar Repair). Not only did they completely fix the bridge lift, but they also corrected the barreling on the front of the guitar, and did a full maintenance set up (fretboard cleaning, fret polishing, and guitar polishing). They were going to charge $125 for the bridge repair, and ended up doing the setup on top of that for free (they had asked me if I wanted to have the setup work done, and I had told them no, as I wasn’t prepared to pay for it).

The guitar plays and sounds better than it did the day I bought it.

All this to say… support local businesses. And if you’re a local business, or any kind if business, going the extra mile will make customers for life.

Dos

In about eleven weeks we’ll be welcoming our second child into the world, and we’re really excited. Our first just turned two, and is slowly but surely warming up to the idea of being a big brother to a little baby brother. One of the most adorable things that he does is talk about his brother in the third person, by name… he’s already bossing him around and telling him what he can and cannot do, and this poor chap’s still in the womb.

Raising our first up has been a journey so far, and we’ve learned a lot. I think it’s easy to say that we’re a lot more confident and ready for the second one than we were for the first, now what we at least know how to keep a little human alive and well.

We’re really excited about our growing family, and the growing families around us—both within our extended family and within our church community.

Kids are great.

That’s all.

Urgency Kills Valuable Productivity

Struggling with how to prioritize everything on your plate today?

If you’re like me, you probably can’t do urgent tasks effectively knowing that there are high-impact / high-value items you should be working on.

Urgency tends to kill valuable productivity. There are always things that feel urgent. Focus on them, and you’ll never get to your high value tasks.

Start with the things that will have the greatest impact. Define a stopping point before you begin. Work until you hit that stopping point.

Finish your day with what needs to be done before tomorrow.

You’ll thank yourself later.

Pausing To Reflect

Pause to think about why you’re doing what you’re doing today.

Past and present circumstances and the choices you made led to the place you stand today.

Five years from now, each of us will have had some level of success. Things will evolve, and some opportunities will present themselves (while others won’t). At that time, it will behoove us to reflect on whether we’re any closer to ‘why’ than when we started.

If we don’t take time to appreciate the progress we’ve made, we’ll put ourselves at risk of burnout, stress and anxiety.

If we do take those moments and celebrate the past, we give ourselves the opportunity to experience gratitude, refocus, and pivot where necessary.