Author: Whitney B.

Casey Neistat

Everyone knows him.  He’s the king of cinematic vlogging.  He shows us the best of his adventures, in his city and everywhere else.  He is Casey Neistat.   Casey Neistat is a well known vlogger and filmmaker (which, according to him, is the same thing).  One of my favorite things about his channel and his personal brand is the philosophy of what he does, why he does it, and his philanthropic side to his work.   Casey has an incredible backstory and a life that anyone would say is inspiring.  Here’s an illustrated “Draw my Life” video that can explain all that.   Casey is such a unique YouTube personality and a pretty cool person altogether.  He often customizes tech and gear to fit his needs and style, and one of his popular segments is a Q&A where he drops bombs on people who ask those seemingly simple questions.     Casey’s been featured on so many channels of media and he has done commercial work for Nike, J. Crew, Mercedes, and I’m sure a …

Word of the Week: Switchback

Earlier today, while reading a blog post by a distant friend I met in college about his experience hiking Cerro Companarios in South America, he mentioned the term “switchback,” and I went straight to Google. “Whoever designed the trail apparently never heard of a switchback, there was probably a 1000 ft elevation gain in less than a mile.”  – A Gringo With a Guitar I’m pretty good at context clues, but I wanted to really have a grasp on the concept, and thought to myself, I do this a lot.  I am fairly new to the world of outside adventure, and I am a thorough researcher, so why don’t I share my findings on here, so people can more closely follow my journey? So here is my very first Weekly Word: Switchback   [swich-bak] noun a zigzag track arrangement for climbing a steep grade. zig-zag routes up a steep hill. They help reduce the elevation grade (and hence the difficulty level) of the hike. Instead of a short steep hike, switchbacks provide you with a longer, less-steep route. a trail up a steep hill or …

Jenna Marbles

You probably already know this amazing woman.   It’s Jenna Marbles!! I thought I’d highlight some of my favorite vloggers and YouTubers in preparation for actually putting some new content on my own YouTube channel (which will happen very soon).  First comes Jenna Marbles. I think of Jenna Marbles as one of those classic YouTubers, on the front lines of molding the platform into what it has become.  I absolutely love her dirty mouth and random topic discussion, but I think the aspect of her channel that draws me in the most is her honest humor.   This YouTuber doesn’t hold anything back, and she doesn’t have to, because we get it!  There are some comedians whose jokes just don’t play out.  There are some YouTubers whose content goes over most everyone’s heads, but Jenna has cornered the market in both ridiculously clever and widely accessible content.  This is why her fans connect with her and have such a strong sense of connection with the actual person, Jenna. Jenna has that laid back personality you …

Hiking for Beginners

Now, I’ve been wanting to write a post like this for a while because I’ve found that people who want to go hiking but don’t are struggling with the same thing that I was (and am).  Before getting outside and taking advantage of the miles and miles of trails around me, I had preconceived notions of outdoor activities in general, not to mention the intimidating stereotypes of thru hikers.  I’m happy to say that through all of the b*ll shit I was feeding myself, I am a hiker and you can be too.   Alter Your Mindset. First thing’s first, a hike is just that.  It’s a walk.  Yeah, sometimes it turns into a jog or a climb, but think of it as a walk.  With this mindset, of course you can go out for a hike! A hike can be anywhere outside.  You can take a hike in a park, along a lake, or in the mountains.  The key here is that you get outside. With that out of the way, the question of …

Emily Bett Rickards

If you’ve ever seen Arrow, you know this actress. Emily Bett Rickards is a Canadian actress who has played in various series and films including Arrow, Vixen, Sidekick, Dakota’s Summer, Brooklyn, and Legends of Tomorrow.   I know her as the computer wiz and word vomit queen, Felicity Smoak, in the Arrow and I couldn’t help but immediately fall in love with her character. Not only was Felicity smoak blunt, funny, and real, she was absolutely beautiful in a way that didn’t make me jealous, but makes me happy.  Although Miss Smoak is just a character, Emily Bett Rickards actually seems to embody those qualities that make Felicity so likable.  Not to mention her looks. I mean, look at these shots. Emily attended Vancouver Film School after high school, then went to study at Alida Vocal Studio.  Before writing this post, I had never heard her sing, but of course she’s got a gorgeous voice. Emily Bett Rickards has an aura of realism and positivity that doesn’t leave her, no matter what.  Here’s a lighting round …

Meet Lou

Guess what I did? Yup, I adopted a second dog.  I have an obsession with browsing the adoption galleries of Animal Shelters near me, and since I had been thinking about getting a second dog, I had been looking for one similar to Jackie in size and age.  I happened upon a handsome Border Collie mix that was estimated to be about Jackie’s age, so I took the plunge and went to go meet him. They picked him up as a stray, so they named him Manning for the time he was there. He was all over the place while I walked him outside, making me wonder how long he’d been cooped up in that place.  He was sweet as can be, so I took him home without a second thought.  The first thing I did with him was name him Lou. The shelter I adopted Lou from was a low cost branch of the county’s Public Health department, so they didn’t have the resources to have in house veterinary care.  I took him to …

Coast Guard Requirements for Paddlers

So, you’ve got a shiny new canoe or kayak, and you’re ready to head out on the water, right?  Wait a sec. Let’s make sure you’ve got everything you need to stay safe, stay sane, and most importantly, stay legal.  The United States Coast Guard and homeland Security have rules in place for everyone navigating a water vessel (yes, that includes your little kayak). The Coast Guard requires the following things for you to be legal on the water: PDF (personal flotation device) : The Coast Guard requires you to have one readily accessible life jacket per person on your boat at all times.  For kids 13 and under, they’ve got to have them on at all times out on the water.  Make sure your PDF is a Type I, II, or III and in good condition. Also, if your dog is joining you out on the water, you should get them a life jacket as well. Note: If your boat is 16 feet long or longer, you’ve got to have a Type IV PDF on board …

Dog Park Situations

I’ve written a blog post on how to behave at the dog park, but there are some situations I’ve come across that just don’t have a precedent.  Here are some stories of dog park issues and how I handled them.*   Someone Refuses to Let Their Dog Off the Leash Sheesh.  Some people.  The whole point of an off-leash dog park is for your dog to run wild and free of the restraint of a harness and leash.  Some people just can’t bring themselves to unlatch their pup, though.  Here’s a hint at who these people are: people who are worried about their dog misbehaving, people who are worried about all the other dogs misbehaving, and those who want their precious pup to stay attached at their hip forever and ever and never make any friends. These people are nuts if you ask me.  I wish I could bring myself to let them know that leashes aren’t allowed, but I’m sure they’d argue that to the death.  I just feel so bad for their choking …

How to Behave at the Dog Park

If you have an active, social dog, you probably bring her (or should bring her) to the local dog park.  Here’s what you need to know before showing up. Leash Your Dog – Your pup is expected to stay fully leashed until you are in fact INSIDE the dog park.  A lot of times there is a small fenced in enter/exit area where you can unleash your dog, then fully enter the dog park area.  Make sure you keep her leashed until you’re in there or you could get in some trouble with the frequent patrons of the park.  Also, it’s sort of dangerous because no matter how well behaved our dogs are, they seem to forget the rules when they see their best friend or mortal enemy peeing on their favorite tree in the park. ACTUALLY UNLEASH your dog before entering the main fenced area.  I guarantee your dog will get choked or start pulling when a crowd of dogs is sniffing and nipping at them. I can recount many times a poor pup was bombarded …

Fifty Shades of Grey

I know what you’re thinking.  Not another 50 Shades Fanatic! Welp, I have to admit, I picked this book up because I wanted to hate it.  I wanted to see what all the fuss was about, and critique it until I was blue in the face and the Fifty Shades fad was destroyed. Things didn’t go as planned.  Fifty Shades of Grey by the brilliant EL James is an erotic fiction novel about a nervous college student and a young multi-billionaire falling for each other.  It’s an unlikely match, and things get pretty interesting pretty quickly.  Thanks to this fabulous woman, I actually enjoyed this book. The multi-billionaire fellow is a young (as in 20 something) businessman whose sexual interests are more than kinky.  He has a mysterious past and his outward confidence is broken down by the awesome Anastasia. The college student, Anastasia Steele, is described as an innocent, nervous girl not really sure of the situation she’s in with Mr. Grey.  In reality, she’s an extremely strong character who challenges Christian and helps him with issues he thought he …