Sunday, March 11, 2012

The Modern Outdoorsman

I recently stuffed my pack, grabbed my walking stick, and headed out on the open trail.  Okay, so the pack was more like four suitcases, the walking stick more like a Toyota Corolla, and the open trail more like northbound I-95.  Embellishments aside, whatever my traveling accoutrements may be, I am always eager to leave the comforts (or confinements) of home for a new adventure.

Speaking of accoutrements...
Technology is often shunned by the die hard outdoors-man, opting for open fire and spears to roast his weenies rather than a propane grill.  I am in complete favor of this passion for primal authenticity, but I have recently developed a weakness.  I am unable to part with my technologically addictive smartphone.  We are one in the in same.  Inseparable, even.  So it stands to reason that my phone accompanies me on all my expeditions.

But why can't my enthusiasm for adventure and my iPhone dependence live in harmony?

They can, here's how...

Adventure Apps

It has taken time and experimentation to find just the right mix for myself.  If you're having a little trouble finding what works for you take a gander at my list of apps that are perfect for the dandy explorer (and most of them are FREE!):

AllTrails - FREE  Buy it here!

This handy tool tells me the location of the nearest trails based on my current location.  It provides detailed information such as difficulty, distance, and type of trail (walking, hiking, cycling).  I can even save my favorite trails, make notes, and time my progress for later reference.  There's even a version for skiers, AllSnow.

 CampRecipes - FREE  Buy it here!

Choose from dozens of recipe options, all divided up by type of meal (breakfast, lunch, or dinner), cooking method (grill, foil, dutch oven, etc), or ingredients. Mark your favorites and get helpful tips for cooking delectable meals at your campsite.

tideApp - FREE  Buy it here!

 Its helpful to know exactly when high tide will be approaching as I pick out the perfect spot to lay my beach towel.  This app lets me know the tide cycle for any beach in the US, keeping me from waking up all wet from my sun-induced naps.


Pro Animal Calls - $1.99  Buy it here!

Making friends with woodland creatures is easy thanks to this guy!  It features a wide range of animal calls, perfect for the avid hunter, or mischievous scout.  Beware, the "hurt pup" call definitely caught me off guard.

SkyView Free - Free  Buy it here!

In the free version of this app you can view the stars and their position by day or night.  The perfect guide for my astronomical hikes, SkyView depicts the constellations and provides factoids about the stars that create them.

USTrees - $.99  Buy it here!

Is that Japanese Maple or a Norwegian Maple?  What does an Osage Orange look like?  All my coniferous and deciduous answers are here!  Don't know what I'm looking at?  I can use the characteristics portion to help identify my leafy friends.

Commander Compass Lite - Free  Buy it here!

Even with my vast orienteering experience (i have the merit badge to prove it) I can get turned around pretty easily.  Not just a compass, this app means serious business.  Honestly, most of it's features are way over my head, but it's probably the butchest looking thing on the list.

Kipper Millsap:  Vacationing Non-Rules to Live By.
Non-Rule #1: No expectations.  This takes a lot of the stress out of traveling.  When I don't expect to see or do anything in particular I am usually pleased as punch by whatever is seen and done, making this dandy one happy camper.  You'll be amazed how well this works.

This leads to Non-Rule #2: No schedule.  This can be difficult since vacations and holidays usually have a starting and ending point, but if I can allow myself to take my time and enjoy each moment along the way I have a much more relaxed trip.  It is a vacation after all, and I deserve a little relaxing.  I even get more accomplished when I'm not worried about how much I'm accomplishing.  Stressing about a schedule takes a lot of time and energy.
And finally, Non-Rule #3: Do something new.  I'm all about having "the usual" when I go to a restaurant, so I understand the desire to stick with what's comfortable.  But life is for living, and I'm doing myself a HUGE disservice by not exploring what the world has out there.  Never be afraid to ask the locals questions about the area.  Some of the best adventures I've ever had have been the ones unplanned, when I was flying by the seat of my pants, without a clue as to what might happen.

Capt. Kipper - Bear Lake, NC - March, 2011

Monday, February 27, 2012

Plaid to the Bone

It's a staple for most of the guys I know.  The plaid shirt.  We gents don't get much say when it comes to the pattern options for our button downs.  Polka dots, floral prints, gingham, checkered, can all be a bit elusive.  If it weren't for the infinite possibilities of plaid we'd be in desperate shape, ready to die from fashion boredom.

My friend (and professional photographer) Aaron Brumbelow recently documented his collection of plaid paraphernalia for a grad school project.  I hadn't planned on quoting him, but his answers to my questions were so great, I figured I'd just let him do the talking.  Below is the result of his cataloging efforts: sixteen long and short sleeved plaid shirts in a range of blue and brown hues.  I can appreciate the shirts hanging on the back of a desk chair.  It's a familiar site, as my own shirts pile up the same way throughout the course of a busy week.


What gave you the desire to catalog your collection of shirts?  To be honest, I am coming to the end of a quarter in graduate school and had to come up with a quick project for one of my classes. I wanted to do something completely different than what I am doing for my thesis. I am of the philosophy when it comes to making artwork to make it personal and work on what you are already interested in/collect. I collect and primarily wear plaid shirts. It's one of my staples along with my red beard and being a work-a-holic. So this exercise/project is about typologies - a Terry Richardson aesthetic - and clothing as objects. Plus I get asked by friends and colleagues all the time "How many plaid shirts DO you have?" and now I officially know.

Why do you like plaid so much?  I love plaid. It's really the only thing I wear. Essentially about 2 years ago I decided I was going to make my wardrobe as simple as possible. I wanted to be able to grab any shirt out of my closet and pair it with any pant and be comfortable. Instead of choosing all black, I went all plaid. Plaid to me is quirky and fun. There are many patterns, weights, fabric, and color choices. I feel I can wear plaid in the darkroom and out to cocktails; it will be appropriate most places.

Do they hang in your closet in order by color?  No, not in any particular order. I like that in the dark of the morning I can just reach in, grab whatever, and it will work for the day.
Do you only like certain kinds of plaids? I enjoy all paid. I like all the different colors and weights. I do tend to avoid orange and red, being a red head and all. 
Which is your favorite? It would have to be the bold plaid with blue, yellow, and green, with thin red strips. 

And finally, how do you feel when you where these shirts vs. your other button downs? Well I only have one other button down shirt that isn't plaid, and I never wear it (laughs).  To me, style is about feeling good in clothes that show off your best assets, fit well, and express your personality. My plaid shirts do that for me.

Aaron, I couldn't agree more!

Thanks, Aaron.  You're the man.  No... you.  You're the man.  Ok, man.  We're the man. 

Friday, February 24, 2012

Dare Dukes

Dare Dukes is a local musician who is getting A LOT of national buzz centering around his recent release, Thugs and China Dolls.  He's been compared to many, but is definitely a one-of-a-kind folk treasure that Savannah is proud to call her own.

When Dare needed some new promotional photos back in September he reached out to me for a little help with styling and finding the right photographer.  I contacted my good friend and talented photog Chia Chong.  We had collaborated many times in the past, and I knew she'd work her shutterbug magic on this project.  Here's the result of our efforts.


and behind the scenes...

Wanna be friends with the Dare Dukes Band?  Who wouldn't!?  Be a true friend and show him some love.  You can purchase the new album here.

One more thing!  Take a gander at the music video for "Meet You at the Bus," the first single from the new album.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Crate Expectations

Fruit crates. I just love these darn things.  I could build a whole shanty out of 'em if I wasn't afraid my family would rally for an intervention.  I buy them by the car load when I visit the local flea market where the fine folks hawking fruits and veggies sell them for $5 a piece.  They have a million uses (trust, when I typed "fruit crate" into google a million DIY projects popped up).  I built this wall unit when I moved into my apartment a couple of years ago, and still come up with great ideas for these simple, primitive structures.

In May of last year SCAD asked me to create a chair for their scholarship gala in Atlanta.  All of the artists who participated in the fundraiser were given identical chairs, the lovely pink thing you see below.  No instructions or restrictions, they merely told us to alter the existing chairs to create new ones.  After seeing this beauty (bless its heart) I was more than happy to transform it.

Being the handy feller that I am I decided to completely change the silhouette, covering the modern shape with the pieces of wood from my fruit crates.  Luckily the original chair was made of wood, too.  All I required was a box of tack nails, a hammer, and a hand saw.  As I worked with the planks of the wooden crates I saw the form of a wing-back chair developing.  Taking my cues from this happy accident I ran with it.


A little bit "proper" and little bit "pauper," this Dickensian chair is perfect for Miss Havisham's dilapidated grandeur. Barely big enough for my tiny tush, it definitely has it's restrictions, but I am pleased with the final result.  Thankfully, despite the tight squeeze, it managed to sell at auction and help out my alma mater.  Here's a photo of the chair at the silent auction beside another chair.  Unfortunately I do not know who the other artist is, but they make quite a pair!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Welcome back

Holy cow, it feels good to be home!  This shot is from a cozy cottage in Fayetteville, Arkansas.  While it's not my own bed, the image reminds me of being somewhere safe and loving.  When I say it feels good to be home I am referring to my absence from my blog and the projects that I love.

So grab some hot tea, pull up a chair and catch up with me.  I haven't had much free time, but I have managed to weasel in a little fun. I’ll be posting these old projects in the next few weeks, followed by LOTS of new ones. 

Sneak peak: 

Here's a creepy/sweet song that awkwardly conveys my feelings.  Enjoy?