Updated: 13th of February, 2024

I’m living in Morehead, Kentucky, and ready to leave the states with my family. But I’m building a house in Kentucky…so what’s up with that?

Well, I’m itching to travel and explore. I’ve always been a nomad at heart. Being “settled” for such a long time is making me restless. Travel will help, but I’ve also accepted that I’ve built a lot of social capital in Kentucky. Leaving to start fresh would have enormous social cost, so travel is my solution.

I’m the proud member of a family of five. I’m exploring how to express this new phase of my life on YouTube and through my own art and business.

Family

Me — Papa Bear. I’m a mindful workaholic but I always put my kids in bed. I’m learning to be more flexible and adaptable after two summers of being a mostly-at-home dad, followed by months of being a home nurse as my kids brought home every illness they could find.

Haley — Mama Bear. My wife. My best friend in the entire world. Currently rocking the nurse life to move us closer to our goals as a family. Getting ready to go back to school to show our kiddos how to flat-out ROCK it in the medical field.

Maddix — Seven. Lover of all things artistic, especially if scissors are involved. High-energy and creative. Loves reading, playing video games, YouTube, fitness, Spider-Man, climbing trees, monster trucks, riding his bike and wearing fingernail polish. He’s learning terrifyingly fast. I couldn’t be more proud of the little man.

Arya — Four. Sounds like a pack-a-day smoker of 30 years (and has since she was born). It’s hilarious. Loves Disney princesses, unicorns, and she thinks she is the queen of the universe. Finicky eater. Refuses to be a forgotten middle child. Will demand what she wants out of life. She scares me.

Harper – Two. The biggest goofball of all three kiddos. Learned how to talk overnight. She is also the most destructive creature we’ve ever allowed into our home. She is a real-life Ctrl+Z — if anything gets done around the house, she will undo it. She has started taking over the house as a “mini-mommy” and bosses her siblings around. She also curses like her mother, which is hilarious. Magically potty-trained herself.

Affinity Art Co. (2.0)

The tattoo studio I built with Autumn Dennis in 2020 — and it’s now something so much more in our new, larger location. We provide support to our community through tattoos and as a Safe Place for victims of domestic violence. We are also a Safe Place for children who have been victims of child abuse.

This is an important mission to me, as I was a victim of child abuse.

I’m incredibly proud of our newest artist who has become a business partner: Erin. We focus on artistic development, so we invest heavily in quality art training, and Erin exceeded all of our expectations.

Our hope is to change the stigma and assumptions around tattooing. We do this by focusing on the quality of art, the quality of the experience and being heavily involved with organizations that support our causes.

The new location of Affinity Art Co. will be able to support 2 more artists, be more centrally located in Morehead, and end up being a safe place for parents to bring their children, even while they’re getting tattooed. Yep, we’re a family friendly tattoo studio.

My personal goal with tattoos is to focus on large-scale work. This pushes me to think bigger with more impactful images and invest heavily in the experience of getting tattooed for my clients.

Learning

I’m addicted to learning. I’ve had to slow down.

I read one book at a time while I take notes on it. I read slowly and deliberately.

I use Notion to collect ideas that I would like to use for writing (with citations).

I’ve shifted a bit of my beliefs around learning toward an action bias. All knowledge is useless if it’s in your head. It needs expressed. I’ve turned to consuming ideas and knowledge on a “just in time” basis instead of “just in case.”

I still follow curiosities, but if I have an idea for a project that excites me, I get to work on it immediately, then learn what I need to know or fill gaps as I’m DOING, not before I start.

Weird Opinions

My latest curiosities have led to some pretty strong opinions as I dive into the rabbit-holes of things I disagree with.

  • Open-source is the bestest. Over time, I believe open-source software will win over any closed-source corporate software.
  • Socialism works. I’ve been a die-hard capitalist for most of my life, but that’s because I’m an American. The happiest places on Earth are socialist countries, though. It works.
  • Web 3.0 will change the ‘netscape (not the browser).
  • Fascism is terrifying, and it’s happening in the United States.
  • Hate breeds hate. As much as it pains me to say this — speak up against hate, but don’t punch a Nazi, no matter how much they make you want to.
  • Seek to understand before you seek to be understood.
  • If you always want more, you’ll never have enough. If you feel like you have enough, you can always get more.

I’ve also created a living document called Instructions that I will update regularly with simple directives on living a fun, fulfilling, and successful life.

I wrote it mostly for my kids — it’s the stuff I wish I’d known when I entered the “real world.”

Wheel of Life

I like to do this exercise to check in every 3 months or so. This tool is here for my use, but you’re welcome to check it out and quiz yourself:

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