August 25, 2015 by Phil Houtz

How to Start Over When You Don’t Know Where to Start

I just had a setback. It might not seem like a big deal to you but my office that I’ve been struggling to get organized and keep organized just got turned into a junk room. After four months of work in my spare time I’m back to square one. Maybe even square minus-one. How do…

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February 13, 2015 by Phil Houtz

On the Road with Jucy Lucy – Our Experiment with Low Cost RV Rental

I’ve always wanted to rent an RV but every time I looked into the deets I found them crazy expensive to rent. Well, the ones I looked into a required a huge ($2500) deposit. Granted there are better deals if you take some time to look into the best rates for rv rentals, but I…

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February 11, 2015 by Phil Houtz

Love Camping but Can’t Part with Your Mid-century Modern Life? Try These

Face it, sometimes you want to live in a better part of town. Maybe on the grounds of a rolling estate or some place you can fish from your back porch. Architizer features the Markies camper, something like an Eichler home in a box. If you’ve got a spare $55,000 in your budget, then check…

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BMW's spitoon/ashtray thingy

February 5, 2015 by Phil Houtz

Is BMW’s i3 at the Frontier of Driving Technology? (Hint: It Comes with a Spitoon)

I don’t know if lumbersexual tobacco-scented hipsters are anywhere near the core of the market for the i3, but if they are BMW is ready for them with this rugged rustproof ABS squirt bucket. This plastic ash-can isn’t unique to the i3, nor are many other features such as Connected Drive and BMW Assist. But…

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Screen Shot 2015-02-04 at 10.57.28 PM

February 4, 2015 by Phil Houtz

Looking for Some Outdoor Adventure? Check Pinterest for Best Places to Hike

When I think of Pinterest I think about knitting. It wouldn’t be my go-to-destination for planning my next big adventure. And I’d be wrong – check out these pinboards listing the best hiking trails in the world. While you’re at it, check out the boards for outdoor gear, camping trailers, canyoneering and bushcraft. If these…

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January 31, 2015 by Phil Houtz

52 Boxes – Cleaning the Garage as a Way of Life

My howling nightmare of a garage didn’t just get this way by itself. It’s been a thousand bad decisions over the course of years. So this year I’m committed to tackling one box a week and emerging with perfect order and clarity of mind. Box 1 Styrofoam Nuggets Because I’m getting a late start I’m…

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Easy Closets garage diagram

January 29, 2015 by Phil Houtz

Get Your Garage “In the Zone”

The American garage is truly a multipurpose space. Part workshop, part storage unit and part garage there are so many demands put on this space there’s no wonder it can get out of control in a hurry. Easy Closets takes a strategic view by breaking the typical garage into six zones – 1) Transition, 2)…

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BMW stability control

January 27, 2015 by Phil Houtz

BMW i3 Stability Control Just Saved My Ass

Yesterday some doofus in a Dodge Magnum decided to test the general properties of matter by occupying my lane while I was still in it. I swerved hard to avoid the oncoming rear quarter panel of the Dodge and then swerved back to avoid causing a chain reaction of my own. At least that’s what…

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BMW i3 concept art

January 25, 2015 by Phil Houtz

BMW i3 First Drive – Whoosh!!!

Driving the BMW i3 is a huge change from my gas-hungry Jeep TJ. The i3 has a distinctly golf-cart feel with the smooth silent and instant acceleration. Once you’ve got it up to speed – only 7 seconds if you floor it (compared to 7.4 seconds for the Scion TC) – the ride begins to…

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BMW key fob

January 23, 2015 by Phil Houtz

How I Leased a BMW for $0 (Almost)

Here’s the deal – I live in my car. That’s to say I spend almost two hours every day dragging my sad briefcase across two counties to the salt mines. For the privilege I shuck out over $400 big ones to fill the ample gas tank on my lumbersexual Jeep TJ. But you can only…

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jar of pickles

January 4, 2015 by Phil Houtz

Forget Quinoa and Kale – 2015’s Superfood Should Be the Pickle

You’ve heard (ad nauseam no doubt) about the health-giving benefits of garlic. Hot tip: it’s all about the allicin. For the record, garlic is said to: Fight harmful bacteria Ward off viruses Reduce blood pressure Improve cholesterol Prevent Alzheimer’s disease Boost athletic performance Remove heavy metal from the body (sadly not from the neighbor’s stereo)…

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topa topa ridge

April 27, 2014 by Phil Houtz

Topa Topa Is My Everest

Lesson to be learned – one shouldn’t go from zero adventure to 8 on the strenuous meter in a single day. I’ve always wanted to hike to the top of the TopaTopa bluffs because, you know, they are there. So when Jeff put out the invite and said the trail was 10 miles (which I…

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by Caleb George Morris via

April 25, 2014 by Phil Houtz

How to Survive When You Are Lost

At the beginning of the year I set an objective – post on this blog once a day for a month. Somewhere along the way I got lost. For one thing, my focus for this blog was supposed to “adventure big and small.” But my life has increasingly become all about sitting at a desk…

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Forest picnic area by Dakota Roos

February 24, 2014 by Phil Houtz

Why You Should Never Set Priorities

Every time I open my “Big Box of Stuff” – my instant organiztion system that involves sweeping everything under the rug and declare all problems solved – my head starts spinning with the urgency and cataclysmic busy-ness of everything. I’m fighting the urge to drag everything out and prioritize it. But not so fast –…

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roadmap to my future?

February 23, 2014 by Phil Houtz

Did I Just Get a Message from God?

I walked into my office this morning to find my Master Plan to Rule the World peeling off my thinkboard. Oddly enough my “roadmap” for managing the family trust fund (which btw was taped on top of the Master Plan) was still on the thinkboard. Is this God’s way of telling me to stay focused…

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