The Power of Community

While Community was a good show that I thought had a lot of interesting storytelling methods throughout the course of the series, it is not what I am talking about today. I want to talk about the community that we all build up around us every day.  I believe that building healthy communities within our friend groups and neighborhood can be a powerful way to make the world a better place. That may seem like an exaggeration to you, but there is so much good that comes out of a healthy and caring community.  You can learn so much from those around you. It is extremely easy these days to find yourself in an “echo chamber” of ideas that match your own. Getting outside of those environments and hearing from other perspectives and experiences makes us all more empathetic and understanding of others. As an example, I’ve enjoyed getting to…

Continue Reading

Do You Even Lift?

It seems as though winter has arrived early here in Denver. I’m currently looking at a light dusting of snow outside and the forecast is predicting 4-8” overnight and into tomorrow with another 4-8” expected on Tuesday. If this continues it will definitely put a damper on my typical exercise plans. It is pretty difficult for me to find ways of exercising that keep me interested and committed to doing it at least four days a week. So far, the only thing that I am able to do consistently is run, which really takes a hit during the winter. If I want to actually reach my goal of weighing 160 lbs and then adding muscle to 165 lbs, I am going to have to figure out a way to exercise consistently during the winter. Some of you may be thinking that a gym membership should be in my future, but…

Continue Reading

Idaho Stop

Who knows what it means to perform an “Idaho Stop”? No, it does not mean stopping for farm equipment or a giant load of potatoes, but I can’t blame you for thinking that initially. The “Idaho Stop” is actually a term that applies to bikers, named after Idaho became the first state (and still one of the few) to pass a law allowing bikers to treat stop signs as yield signs and red lights as stop signs when safe to do so.  All the way back in 1982, which I am sure was a simpler time full of neon clothing and large hair, Idaho updated many of their traffic laws and in doing so made it legal for bicycle riders to essentially do what they were already doing. As anyone who has ridden a bike can tell you, stop signs are the enemy of a smooth ride and are often…

Continue Reading

Goal Setting

There is a ton of information out on this wild place called the internet about goal setting. Plenty of big names out there that have podcasts, books, blogs, smoke signals, etc. that can give you the science behind why goal setting matters. Or, as Tony Robbins will tell you, “Goal Setting is the Secret to a Compelling Future.” Based on what shows up with a simple Google search, it would seem that setting goals is the one key thing to turning your life around, pulling yourself up by your bootstraps, and becoming a millionaire within a year. Now, obviously, a lot of that is crap or hyperbole, depending on your level of cynicism. However, there is enough evidence out there that shows setting goals can help increase our motivation through increased dopamine hits every time we achieve a goal or step in the process. As someone who could benefit from…

Continue Reading

Crunched Leaf

From day 1 of this blog, I knew I wanted to post about our decision to buy an electric car, a 2017 Nissan Leaf. Last week I went to a Tesla store to check out what is absolutely my dream car, and to try and convince my parents to buy one. While that hasn’t worked out yet, it spurred me to finally put together a post on the electric car. Let me begin by saying that 99.9% of the time, someone should buy a used car (unless my parents are reading, in which case buy that new Tesla and I’ll buy it from you used later). In the case of our Leaf, the stars aligned to make buying a new car make sense. One of the keys that made the Leaf more affordable was the state and federal tax credits that we received. These are intended to both support new…

Continue Reading

Going Thriftin’

Have you ever wanted something for your house, maybe a new kitchen gadget or outdoor tool, but didn’t want to spend a lot of money on it? You’re in the right spot because I have just the product for you! Well, not a product but a place. It’s your local thrift store! Allyson and I love using the local thrift stores or Craigslist to buy the things we need and want at prices well below new. I mean, who doesn’t like to save money? This is absolutely nothing new if you have ever found yourself reading a blog about financial independence/retiring early, AKA FIRE, as I certainly have. Saving money by buying something used whenever possible fits in well with our own personal goals of saving as much money as possible now in order to buy more financial freedom in the future. Buying used also goes along nicely with our…

Continue Reading

Coffee World Tour

This week I want to share with you a new weekly adventure that I have begun which involves one of my favorite things in the world. Coffee. It all started during a normal day at my work where I was chatting with a friend about cool coffee shop ideas. He mentioned that it would be neat to have a coffee shop that served coffee styles and flavors from around the world. Now, to be fair, we had no idea what sort of coffee drinks existed out there, but after a little bit of googling we found this blog post. There are definitely some intriguing drinks on that list of “19 Unique Coffee Drinks That Will Take You Around The World” (maybe I need to up my title game). As someone who loves to make espresso drinks for Allyson and me every weekend using the fantastic espresso machine I found at…

Continue Reading

Vacation is Good for the Soul

Hi there. I realized last week as I was typing up my most recent post on sub-roofing and preparing the follow up post on the actual roof installation that things may have gotten a bit stale recently. I absolutely love getting to share the progress being made on the workshop and some of the ups and downs that come along with that work, but I also have so many other things I would like to talk about that it’s good to not get too fixated on one topic. So, all of that leads to the topic this week, vacation. Honestly, this post will most likely be about much more than just vacation, but having just gotten back from over a week in Oregon with my best friends from college, it seems like a good place to start. This was a whirlwind of a trip, beginning in Portland for 1 day,…

Continue Reading

The Meaning of BranchBarks

Hi everyone, Tyler here again. It’s a snow filled day here in Denver and I’m sitting here watching the Packers beat up on the Miami Dolphins (for now, it hasn’t exactly been a great season). It seems like now is a good time to discuss where the BranchBarks name came from and why it is important to my wife, Allyson, and me. While in college we were both heavily involved with the same on campus organization our entire time there. In fact, I ended up interning there after graduating for a year, but that’s a story for another time. As sophomores with this organization the expectation was that you devoted some of your time to service. All of the sophomores were are known as BranchBarks, thus the name. For me as a sophomore (a couple years before Allyson because I’m an old man), I took on weekly jobs like yard…

Continue Reading

So It Begins…

Hi there, welcome to BranchBarks. What is BranchBarks you say? Well, I’ll get into the name a little bit more in a future post, but for now I’ll begin by introducing myself. My name is Tyler, I’m 27, and I currently work as a discontent engineer for a huge corporation. Hopefully though, through the course of this blog, you’ll realize there’s a lot more to me than my current job (good thing too, because it can be a real drag). So what is BranchBarks? Well, for now, it is a blog where myself and my wife (you’ll meet her later) can share about the topics that we care about. For me that means mostly talking about a journey that I began earlier this year to build my own woodworking shop in my backyard. I would like to turn this shop into a local business making home decor items for my…

Continue Reading
×