Podcast - Adam Savage Project

Books and Burner Phones – 9/23/2014

In an especially wide-ranging conversation, Adam, Will, and Norm discuss screen time for adults, the benefits of burner phones when travelling abroad, and some of Adam’s favorite books from the trip. Enjoy!

Comments (71)

71 thoughts on “Books and Burner Phones – 9/23/2014

  1. I can totally relate to the being disconnected thing. I was in Prague recently and didn’t want to pay the ridiculous international plan. It didn’t really hit me until the first day I was walking around the city that I basically used my phone as a walking tour guide in life, even when home. GPS, google now… those things were what I missed. I was NOT missing constant facebook updates and tweets and stuff like that. But not having the mobile resource library of the internet in my pocket was weird.

    I navigated the city with an actual map and it was fantastic! Being former military, I did a lot of navigation stuff and went through a fair amount of training to that regard. it was great. Foreign area, totally different layout as far as streets that just don’t make sense and a semi vague map without links to webpages and descriptions and place names. Just addresses and navigation.

    I couldn’t look things up about areas or sites, I had to ask people…. and I ended up having some of the best conversations of my life with random people, both tourists and locals. As silly as it’ll sound… I realized we don’t look at each other anymore. Not a lot. We glance at each other at best. Which is a shame, I’m married to a beautiful woman and I don’t look at her nearly enough. Being disconnected started as annoying and ended with me feeling so refreshed and reset, it was one of the highlights of the trip.

    That said, I’m SO happy to have my tech back, as much fun as I had, I was so much less efficient while I was gone. I have learned something from it though… I pocket the tech at a particular time and I only pull it back out at specific times once my wife is home. It’s one of our new rules, no phones, no computers, even if we’re just watching TV or putzing around the house, we turn off the external tech. Since we’ve done that, we talk more, if we have a debate about some random fact we used to just google it to win, now we actually debate for a longer period of time and find ourselves trying to argue our case, it’s turned into a game almost and it’s great. We do… I have to admit, resort to google to settle the dispute if neither of us can convince the other we’re right lol.

  2. I was in the middle of, “HEY YOU GUYS SHOULD DO A SPOILERCAST FOR THE MARTIAN” when you announced that’s EXACTLY what you were planning on doing! Superb. I’m 1/3rd of the way through. It’s superb!

  3. Looking forward to The Martian spoilercast. Started reading it after your recommendation a couple of podcasts ago and absolutely loved it. One of the best books I’ve read in ages.

  4. Excellent – as soon as I’m finished with Frank Herbert’s “Dune” I’m going to be all over “The Martian”, thanks to the mention in the previous podcast. Hopefully finished in time for the spoilercast!

    Oh, and , assuming it’s the same as the Scottish version, it’s pronounced Dun -E- din. (couldn’t shout at the screen ‘cos it’d disturb the rest of the office!)

  5. Adam

    If you enjoyed the Captain Cook book and seafaring books in general then I would highly recommend William Dampier’s voyages to New Holland. He was the first Englishman to explore Australia, landing in the northwest, where it is an endless wasteland. Anything Damier ever wrote is pretty fascinating. He rescued Alexander Selkirk (the guy who Robinson Crusoe is based on), His observations are credited as aiding Darwin is his development of the theory of natural selection and he was a relatively successful pirate.

    I should also say, that Cook only discovered the east coast of Australia rather than making the first sighting, that is usually credited to the Dutch. Cook actually used Dampier’s data on currents, winds and tides on his way to Australia.

    Love the podcast

    p.s When pronouncing Australia it is more correct to emphasise the STRA rather than the AU. Sorry for the pedantry.

  6. If you have an Google Maps, you can save a region of a map for offline use. You can’t search or navigate as that uses data but you can get directions.

    https://support.google.com/gmm/answer/3273567?hl=en

    Last time I went to NZ for work, I bought a burner phone and got prepaid SIM cards, and used my smart phone in airplane mode to prevent cell and data usage while leaving the WIFI on. I agree there were not to many restaurants or coffee shops without free WiFi, and in the center of the city there was WiFi as well.

    On the bad side the way they charge for cell usage is crazy too, I could burn a 50$ prepaid card in 2 or 3 days. I don’t have proof to back it up but a friend down there told me it would be cheaper to call the US from my prepaid NZ phone than it would be to call another NZ cellphone. Calling land lines in NZ from a NZ cellphone was the cheapest.

  7. Great podcast! I, too, have been having romantic thoughts about going on a long backpacking trip. I’ll have to check out Wild,

  8. Great edition! Now that I’ve finished all three Rinzler books (Making of SW, ESB, & ROTJ), looks like The Martian will be a return for me to sci-fi after a far-too-long hiatus.

  9. I’m so glad about the Martian podcast. I’ve started reading it. I’m quite excited for this one.

    My God I love this podcast.

    I LOVE IT!

  10. Awesome podcast from Adam’s home!

    Who knew that Adam was turning into a quasi-prepper?!

    Hiking. Camping. Trail walking. Prepping. It’s just different names for doing pretty much the same things.. 😄

  11. Can the Martian Spoilercast – be a google hangout? for our comments / input…

    On a different note:

    Did I miss something – why is everyone saying “walk” vs “hike”

    As someone who has hiked the lower half of the PCT, and my friend is < 100 miles from Canada right now: no one I have every run into calls the PCT a walk, sure backpacking vs camping but it is 100% hiking. just thought that was weird.

    it was cool to hear you hammock – i love it solo, but my wife wants to backpack with me this year, I guess I am going to have to get a tent, and a pad 🙁

  12. Great podcast. Speaking of books, I really recommend these two books. Both have sequels that continue the stories:

    The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss

    The Way of Kings (The Stormlight Archive Book 1) by Brandon Sanderson

  13. Ugh… Roaming…

    I live in Windsor Ontario, and I gig a few times a month at the Motor City Casino in Detroit Michigan… I can almost see the parking garage from my house, but if I use data on my phone, I get hosed… deeply hosed….

    Thankfully the casino is using a new virtual presence robot (Named Miles… Get it?) so they’ve improved their WiFi a hundred-fold.

    WAY looking forward to the Book Club pod-cast!

    Cheers!

  14. I’m so excited for The Martian Spoilercast! I’ve been wanting to read that and The Blade Itself since they’ve been mentioned on Still Untitled and This is Only a Test so frequently. I’m a slow reader so I’ll likely renew my Audible subscription (looks like I can still get one month free!) and listen to the audiobook.

    One thing that might be interesting is set up a portion of the podcast for listener/reader input. I’m sure a lot of us will have questions, comments, or reactions to the book that we’d love to share with you. I was initially thinking of something live like No Jars Allowed but that format wouldn’t work well given the tight schedule for the recording of Still Untitled.

    Thanks guys!

  15. Google Play is letting you read the first 7 Chapters of ‘The Martian’ for free! And, yes. The book has been great so far. Buying the full book now.. 😇

  16. I’ve been daydreaming about a long walk for months now! I’ve been gobbling up every hiking or adventure doc I can find on Netflix (I loved “Mile, Mile and a Half”, and “Maidentrip”) and looking for books to read. In this vein (and Adam’s sailing interest), check out “Sailing Along Around the World” by Joshua Slocum, it’s a true story about the first solo-circumnavigation and it’s a great adventure.

    I dunno if this is verboten, but I can’t help recommending the Asolo TPS 5xx series hiking boot if you’re ever looking to replace the pair you’ve got now. I’m a professional geologist, and these babies are the last pair of boots I’ll even own. Never had a blister in 10 years and they’ll last forever if you take care of them have them resoled every few years.

  17. Just listened to “The Martian” based on Adam’s recommendation. Great book! I have read a few reviews by “experts” saying the science still is not exactly right (even disregarding the items that Mr. Weir says were intentionally wrong for the story’s sake), but it is still the best “hard” SF I’ve read in quite a while.

    Along that vein I’d like to recommend the anthology “Hieroglyph: Stories and Visions for a Better Future.” Normally I don’t buy anthologies because I prefer longer format fiction, but this is really exciting so far. Not like “car chase” exciting, but more like “let’s go change the world with science” exciting. From the Amazon description:

    Inspired by New York Times bestselling author Neal Stephenson, an anthology of stories, set in the near future, from some of today’s leading writers, thinkers, and visionaries that reignites the iconic and optimistic visions of the golden age of science fiction.

    As long as I’m posting: MORE BOX BUILD VIDEOS! I’ve caught Adam’s bug and have been building boxes left and right. It’s getting to be like the Winchester Mystery Boxes (keep building…..). My wife asks “What’s this one for?” and I have to answer “Because I felt like building another box?”

    I’d love to see another one-day-box-build video.

  18. Love getting book recommendations. Read the Martian on your rec and just downloaded Wild.

    If you like Dennis Lehane, then pick up The Drop (now a movie). Short 250 page book that was really good.

    Helps that Im a fan of his.

    Also, if you want some hiking recommendations, check out the Bruce Trail in Ontario. Spans north/south across the province from Tobermory to Niagara Falls. Its a great example of conservation and the hiking is stunning.

  19. On the topic of camping, Adam do you have any of the ThinkGeek camping gear? Lots of nifty gadgets, such as a pot that uses the heat from cooking to charge an electronic device. Also a titanium spork.

  20. gotta be an optical illusion, but it looks like Will is looking off to his left and not at Adam while he’s talking. disconcerting.

  21. Read The Martian due to your earlier recommendation, much appreciated. I am always looking for new interesting books, and probably wouldn’t have stumbled onto this one. I will have to check out the book Adam recommended next. I still need to read “All you need is kill” after having heard you mention it a few times.

  22. Great podcast. Speaking of books, I really recommend these two books. Both have sequels that continue the stories:

    The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss

    The Way of Kings (The Stormlight Archive Book 1) by Brandon Sanderson

    I liked Sanderson’s attention to magic systems and creativity, and The Name of the Wind I burned straight through into the next book. One big pet peeve is starting a series that isn’t already completed, as I am left juggling 10-20 series at a time waiting for the next installment, that has gotten me to go back and read some good classics that have already finished their run.

  23. Adam just pronounced my home town of Dunedin (his first instincts at pronunciation were correct). That’s a heck of a thing. I wonder if anyone can figure out how to pronounce the village where I grew up: Karitane.

  24. I can thoroughly recommend EVERYTHING from Sanderson, as I’ve read his entire body of work (which is oh so bittersweet…) His magic systems involving metals and colours are so refreshing in a genre choked with standard magic systems with wizards and elves. Also if you haven’t yet, check out any and everything by David Gemmal. Genius, and sadly deceased so his work is also a well that dries up before its time.

    For those who are keen to check out The Martian audiobook, someone has kindly put all 10.5hrs of it on Youtube – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GVCXNxCgBXM – it’s very well read and the character voices are nicely handled. Can’t recommend it enough and a big thanks to Adam and Will for putting me on to it.

  25. If you want to read more about the maritime history of Australia I would recommend anything by Rob Mundle, Not only has he written about European exploration but also about other maritime stories. Fatal storm is the history of the 1998 Sydney to Hobart race disaster. Having personally seen some of the boats that where battered in the storm (I was on holidays on the coast of New South wales at the time), having spoken to people that where plucked out of the water, and knowing a sea king helicopter pilot involved in the rescues it is one of the most harrowing, yet amazing stories of the modern era. I’m not a big fiction reader but one series of books I love is by Sean Thomas Russell. The first book in the series is “Under enemy colours” so if maritime battles in proper boats is your thing I highly recommend the series. One other thing that people might find interesting is that Australia’s History is currently being re written. A Portuguese swivel gun was found in the sands of northern Australia in 2010 and was recently confirmed to be genuine (metallurgy tests prove where it came from) shows that the Portuguese may have visited Australia up to 200 years before Dirk Hartog first discovered the west coast. Considering the fact they where in Timor at the time its a highly feasible idea.

  26. I had to laugh at the burner phone stuff because until yesterday my regular phone was still the Samsung x105 I got from T-Mobile in 2005. My son handed off his iPhone 5 to me but the Samsung has served me well.

    I was also interested in all the discussion about different cellphone antennas, I used Australian phones in Europe (UK, Italy) and the USA without any difficulty. US phones have always been a usable with an Aussie SIM in my experience.

  27. I read The Martian within a week of Adam recommending it on one of the earlier podcasts. It was fantastic!!! I already lent it to a friend who also thinks it’s pretty good. I am excited for the spoilercast.

    THANK YOU ADAM for recommending the book!!!

    This website, and the people who help run it/contribute content are awesome!!

    Best,

    lightning0112358

  28. Data plans in Canada including Rogers still suck. Unlimited data plans are almost unknown. If I take my Canadian phone to the US it’s the same story as Adam’s – Big data charges unless you get a plan before you go.

  29. I was absolutely shocked when Adam told us about his $12,500 bill. I am 21 and disabled so I have never been out of the country. But to get the proper medical treatment I may need to go to England. I am so thankful for this podcast because I would of had no clue the phone companies could or would do something like that. Knowledge is power, thanks Adam!

  30. Very interesting bit about backpacking and equipment. It’s always neat to see the different styles everyone has. I’d be very keen on seeing/hearing more opinion on backpacking equipment and routes down south.

    Being from Canada, 3 hours away from Jasper National Park, it’s easy to be exposed to the kind of outdoor lifestyle. It’s always cool to hear others in different landscapes talking about such similar process and the enthusiasm that comes with tightening the laces each time they go out for a walk. Nature seems to be and always has been this world’s great equalizer.

    Great talks guys, thanks!

  31. no need for a “navigation plan”, car GPS devices have been offline for many years and they always worked fine 😀

    personally, i used to travel with tourist maps from train station and suff like that, and it’s a cool thing to do, however sometimes, you do have to go somewhere specific, and getting lost makes you lose half a day trying to find your way ….

    before i had an android device, sometimes i used to take screen captures of google maps at the hotel and then try to get to the place i wanted by following them, but since i discovered the OSMAND app, ( based on Open Street Map, the open-source mapping system) i’m always covered!

    you just download the whole country’s map like on an old garmin or tomtom GPS (without paying a fortune like you would on those 😮 ) and the software just tells you where you are, that’s a HUGE relief for me to just be able to find out where i am, and no need to pay for data for that or even for navigation from A to B (wich i don’t find necessary in my case but it’s there, you don’t have to go online and use google maps )

    you can even download google map tiles into your device if you want a more precize view of the city you’re in , sometimes they are better than open street maps, sometimes not …. (google map even showing the different floors of some big buildings :O )

    the idea of a map software that requires internet always looked silly for me, sure it works fine in your home country usually, but even if you’re within the area that provides data with no extra charge, it still uselessly drains your battery and requires access time and download speeds and too many things that can go wrong when you’re in trouble :p

  32. I read The Martian a few weeks ago after hearing Adam raving about it. I really enjoyed it, although I didn’t really connect emotionally to it all that much. It reminded me a lot of Arthur C.Clarke’s A Fall of Moondust because it’s also a story of survival in extreme (non-earthly) conditions. Scientific knowledge of the Moon has overtaken the premise largely, but for a super-tense and quite technical space survival story it’s one of the best.

  33. Cool can not wait for “The Martian” podcast. I am just finishing it right now. So I will be curious to hear Norman’s, Adam’s and Will’s take on the book. Cool.

  34. Intl data charges are a scam! So happy that Tmobile has unlimited data and texting included in their plans now. I was in South America for a month over the summer and had excellent coverage with no charges when I got home. Before that it was like $15 a meg!

  35. 3 things to say:

    If you’re complaining about not having your offline maps on your phone then you have the wrong phone! 😉 I have the Nokia Lumia 920 (Windows phone) and it has fully offline worldwide satellite navigation. You just have to download the relevant countries map for free before you go. It uses the same navteq maps as a garmin and is one of the reasons I chose a windows phone. A free Garmin with your phone… Yes please. Offline with it’s searchable turn by turn navigation it works fantastically and if you do use it online you get live traffic updates and can search for a destination on a computer before sending it to the phone amongst many other features (eg public transport)

    I was in Australia in January and bought a prepaid sim for $30AUD and it lasted me the whole month. I used 2.5GB of data and lots of phone calls and texts. If Adam had mentioned it before he left I had already done the research! (so long as his phone isn’t sim locked)

    As for books I can recommend The Breach, Ghost Country and Deep Sky by Patrick Lee. Found them by chance and thoroughly enjoyed them.

  36. Pssst. You guys should start an official Tested book club/reading list. I’ve already bought a handful of books based on recommendations from this site.

  37. In Lithuania you get an sms when you catch a tower in Russia, that tells you the call and data rates.

    Also the Nokia 100 is a decent burner phone. I got it for my grandma.

  38. A full tank of gas in the Harley and some nice back road riding gets me disconnected and clears the head.

    Also finished The Martian last month, looking forward to the podcast on it.

  39. Just because you guys were complaining about accidentally incurring roaming charges here is a setting in a lumia windows phone. Simple as selecting don’t roam or you can turn off your data connection completely.

  40. Whenever still untitled goes book or movie heavy I have been wanting someone to compile a list of what is mentioned but since no-one else have done it so far, I suppose it might as well be me…

    • Wild: A Journey from Lost to Found, Cheryl Strayed
    • No Place to Hide, Glenn Greenwald
    • The Martian, Andy Weir
    • The Luminaries, Eleanor Catton

    There were a few other books mentioned, e.g. the captain Cook biography, but the titles or authors weren’t specific enough to pick out the exact books.

  41. iPhones have the same setting.

    I was visiting Sweden a couple of weeks ago and had my iPhone, iPad and MBP with me. Before going I got myself a Huawei Mi-Fi router and an unlimited data plan from Telia-Sonera. I simply turned off data-roaming on my phone, connected all my devices to the Mi-Fi and dropped it in my pocket. This way I was able to use all the data I wanted on my trip and only paid a fixed 24€/month rate. (That thing was blazing fast too…and the battery lasted a whole day of surfing with no problems at all.)

  42. I, too, want to know which Captain Cook book Adam read.

    I’m reading “The Martian” right now as well. I kept getting recommendations but Adam’s finally reminded me to go get it.

  43. I am 1/2way through THE MARTIAN. one of those books that make it bad to have having a job – because work is nothing but an 8 hour break between chapters.

  44. Hi,

    For Adam:

    A book by David Cordingly called “Cochrane: The Real Master and Commander” might be of interest to you. It follows the career of Cochrane who most of the Patrick O’Brian books are based on. I was amazed to learn that his real life is even more unbelievable than that of Jack Aubrey. It exists as a pretty good audiobook too.

    Oh, and great podcast by the way. The Martian deserves every accolade you guys give it. Looking forward to the podcast.

  45. I would have thought iphones and android phones (for that matter) would have the same type of settings. Just posted it as Adam said he was confused by the options on his phone and they were all talking about accidental roaming.

    That mi-fi is also an interesting product. Didn’t know they even existed! A very good way to get around a phone with a locked sim. You could even use skype or a similar app for calls and texts!

  46. Dataroaming is easy to disable on an iPhone…call/SMS roaming however is not. You’ll have to put your phone in airplane mode or change the setting on your SIM card.

    Mi-Fi routers are brilliant when traveling, or even if you only have one SIM card with unlimited data. It’s like a Wi-Fi tethering enabled phone with only the data and SMS functions, a monochrome display and one hell of a battery life.

  47. Thanks for yet another great podcast! I know what you mean asbout roaming charges. Here in Scotland, my cellphone provider already does not have any additional charges for use in another 16 countries (including the USA!).

    I agree that The Martian is a great read – but I would also strongly recommend another (might be out of print now) book for your enjoyment – Society of the Mind by Eric L Harry. I would also like to take it a bit further and ask which books do you feel could also be made into spectacular effects movies with all of the new SFX technologies? (Especially after watching things like Gravity and Elysium!)

    My list would include The Martian, Arthur C Clark’s Rama trilogy, Society of the Mind listed above , and any of Stephen Baxters NASA series?

    Anyway – thanks again and keep up the great work!

  48. Dataroaming is easy to disable on an iPhone…call/SMS roaming however is not. You’ll have to put your phone in airplane mode or change the setting on your SIM card.

    Not exactly sure how difficult it is to change the setting on your SIM card on an iphone but in my above picture it is easy to disable roaming just click on SIM Settings then manually select your network rather than have the default of automatic selected. Job done.

  49. Well yeah, that works of course, but I meant keeping the automatic network selection on without roaming, which is something that can be done for your card, but that usually happens through your operator.

  50. Hiking is probably one of the things i most regret not doing more often. I went out a lot growing up, and being part of the boy scouts gave me a lot of amazing experiences. Especially when me and my friends realized we could just drive to the mountains whenever we wanted to and go on a hike, but ever since college hit, I haven’t gotten out more than once a year.

  51. Finaly South Africa does it right. All cell phones sold here works everywhere else in the world.

    A life saver when traveling abroad is the App “Maps with me”. You download each country’s map separately when in a wifi area so you don’t have to download sections on the fly. Our GPS worked even with data roaming off so it told you where you are on the map. You can also pin your locations and share it via email

  52. No spoiler here– but I downloaded The Martian last night, and snuck a few peeks at it this afternoon at work. It’s 1:49 AM and I just finished it! WOW!

    It certainly isn’t “Robinson Crusoe On Mars!”

    I had read the synopsis on WikiPedia and was afraid it’d ruin the story for me. It did not!

    I hope Andy Weir got RICH!

    –Paul E Musselman

  53. Before starting off on the Appalachian Trail, you must absolutely read A Walk In The Woods by Bill Bryson. His experience is certainly not typical, but it is hilarious.

  54. your pronunciation of “Dun-need-din” was very good as i come from New Zealand you had it right first time….

    Also after your glowing semi-review of the “the martian” i picked it up on audio book, Its Fantastic!!

    or can you ask adam if there will be a Uk tour of mythbusters?? Please.

    Thankyou

    Keep up the great random-nis

  55. Adam savage if you want to read a book that will inspire you to do, almost anything then Ranulph Fiennes Transglobe expedition. Just read it….

    In fact anybody on here read it.

  56. The Audio of the Martian is totally amazing, almost finished it,…cant wait for the podcast. What a story! And yes in Perth we are in the wrong orbit for the US, fortunately it doesn’t effect me personally, but i could understand if you where part of a global company how it could make things a tad annoying. Can’t wait for the Martian podcast guys….so so so good ! I often find myself not being able to get out of the car with the story being so good 🙂

  57. … and when you Spoiler Cast / Book Club “The Martian” can you also talk about the film version that is being made? Especially if you have any inside information….

  58. Ok, The Martian…. done. I am ready for the spoilerpodcast! 🙂

    A great story… who would have thought that Darth Vader was his father! 😀

  59. I can totally relate to the being disconnected thing. I was in Prague recently and didn’t want to pay the ridiculous international plan. It didn’t really hit me until the first day I was walking around the city that I basically used my phone as a walking tour guide in life, even when home. GPS, google now… those things were what I missed. I was NOT missing constant facebook updates and tweets and stuff like that. But not having the mobile resource library of the internet in my pocket was weird.

    I navigated the city with an actual map and it was fantastic! Being former military, I did a lot of navigation stuff and went through a fair amount of training to that regard. it was great. Foreign area, totally different layout as far as streets that just don’t make sense and a semi vague map without links to webpages and descriptions and place names. Just addresses and navigation.

    I couldn’t look things up about areas or sites, I had to ask people…. and I ended up having some of the best conversations of my life with random people, both tourists and locals. As silly as it’ll sound… I realized we don’t look at each other anymore. Not a lot. We glance at each other at best. Which is a shame, I’m married to a beautiful woman and I don’t look at her nearly enough. Being disconnected started as annoying and ended with me feeling so refreshed and reset, it was one of the highlights of the trip.

    That said, I’m SO happy to have my tech back, as much fun as I had, I was so much less efficient while I was gone. I have learned something from it though… I pocket the tech at a particular time and I only pull it back out at specific times once my wife is home. It’s one of our new rules, no phones, no computers, even if we’re just watching TV or putzing around the house, we turn off the external tech. Since we’ve done that, we talk more, if we have a debate about some random fact we used to just google it to win, now we actually debate for a longer period of time and find ourselves trying to argue our case, it’s turned into a game almost and it’s great. We do… I have to admit, resort to google to settle the dispute if neither of us can convince the other we’re right lol.

    Have you seen Disconnect? It addresses this eh.. well, disconnect we have due to all these gadgets everyone constantly fusses with today, pretty interesting movie.

  60. @ I havent actually, but it’s not something that goes unnoticed.

    My wife and I have rules regarding tech time and non tech time. Even if we’re watching TV, we try to keep our phones away or computers closed. The issue is, we’re both quite busy professionals, I run 2 companies, one of which is an online retailer so my life sort of revolves around the computer. I do make specific time every day to just shut off now. Before Prague it wasn’t as much of a thing, now that I’ve spent some time “offline” so to speak, I both love and hate it. It’s no question that the tech we have can make us exponentially more productive and efficient but it can also do the exact opposite. Somtimes you have to put down the screen and pick up the hammer so to speak.

  61. Just wanted to say thanks for the recommendation of the Martian, read the book in almost one sitting, and am now downloading the audiobook, one of the best I’ve read in a very long time.

    Any more recommendations would be much appreciated, books, documentaries, music anything really.

    In the spirit of sharing I can whole heartedly endorse the documentary ‘Tim’s Vermeer’ well worth watching.

    On the subject of using mobiles abroad, I have for many years used UK phones in South Africa without any issues, apart from the appalling sporadic signal issues there.

  62. Would also add, I am sure you have heard of Iain M Banks who wrote fantastic SF, but his fiction writing as Iain Banks is as good, I would start where he did with “The Wasp Factory” but really anything by him is worth your time

  63. “which some might call a book club conversation” – hhahahahah!

    Adam, Will, and maybe Norm, come back to Vancouver, enjoy your tempura Japadog hotdogs and then hit the West Coast Trail (5-7days along the coast) or the Juan de Fuca Trail (3-6 days). I have done them both and Adam, your boys may love it. 15 is a perfect age!

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