Category Archives: Commuter Travel

And away I go


Haven’t posted in some time, but in have good reasons I swear. They mostly come in the form of a new house and a beautiful baby daughter.

As anyone knows, such earth-moving events can keep you still for a time, and make you reflect.

That being said, I am back on the road. 30L MEC bag holding all my worldly goods for a week working in the UK. My usual gypsy-camp washing system will let me get away with 3 sets of clothes and gym gear.

See you all in transit.



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January 25, 2014 · 3:41 pm

Gear I Don’t Like – Lifeproof Iphone 4 – 4S Case

I, like a lot of people, have joined the Smartphone revolution as a way of condensing many devices into a single, portable unit.

The iPhone has for me (like many folks) taken a ‘front pocket’ role in both my business life (as a commuter) and in my hobbies (backpacking, hiking, etc). It combines a personal computer, GPS, Phone, Camera and entertainment centre into one simple Ounce-Light device.

It’s only failings are its durability (common to all technology), susceptibility to water damage and of course reliance on power.

Two of these I was hoping to have solved with my iPhone 4S case from Lifeproof. After reading some reviews, including a recommendation from Backpacker Magazine, I selected it as my new case over Otterbox due to it’s lighter weight and versatility. It would also work with my external collection of camera lenses which extend the iPhones versatility taking photos of the outdoors. The price tag ($99) was fairly average for the case type so I picked it up roughly nine months ago.

For roughly six months it held up well. I took photos on the tops of Tolmie peak in the fall, dropping my phone in the slop as the sun rose and snow started to melt. It held my case safe as it was knocked out of my hand by fellow air commuters in the airport.

Over Christmas it slowly began to decompose. Perhaps the extreme amount of use and time in the sun/outdoors caused the rubber to break down. Regardless, the rubber lips on the front face which seal in the faceplate and cushion the edges from damage began to crumble. Over time, the entire top and left side (along with the side switch cover) had eroded. I removed the phone and tested it for watertightness and the case continued to keep out moisture… so with a shrug I continued to use it, assuming this erosion to be cosmetic at best. The interior cushions still protected my phone and that tiny amount of rubber could not possibly endanger the device.


It would appear I was wrong. One fateful day last weekend I was knocked while walking through Midtown Manhattan and my phone was tossed from my hand. Landing flat and facedown I assumed at first (having survived many a similar fall) that the phone was fine. It was my wife that noticed a line running down my screen.


The screen was crushed directly in the area where the eroded rubber had flaked away. My assumption that this small cosmetic flaw wasn’t actually what was protecting my phone was apparently erroneous.

Now, seven months of abuse and my phone’s first bit of damage came after I knowingly watched part of the case fail… but I still feel cheated. The case itself is still watertight and 99% intact. In addition Lifeproof describes that the interior of the case is designed as shock resistant, not the film of rubber at its edges.

While this does give me the excuse to upgrade my iPhone to a 5 (I’m due anyway), I will likely be looking for a new and different brand of case to protect it.

So if any of you are experiencing the same rubber failure on a Lifeproof Case, consider yourself warned. That little bit of rubber lip is apparently what is keeping your phone screen from being drop damaged. Caveat Emptor!

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Filed under Backpacking, Commuter Travel, Outdoor Gear, Traveling Light

Restaurants Worth the Trip – Cartlandia


On the less well-to-do West side of Portland off 82nd Avenue is the famous cluster of food trucks called ‘Cartlandia’.

Bring cash and an appetite.

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May 30, 2013 · 6:23 pm

Restaurants worth the Trip – Beatersville in Portland


Grabbed some breakfast the morning after a long late night drive from Seattle into the island. Good coffee and great short order breakfasts. Nice and quiet around 10am and great friendly staff. If you’re looking for a nice eclectic morning spot in central Portland, check it out!

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April 25, 2013 · 11:54 am

MacDonald/Cartier has the right idea…

Rocking chairs with a view in the gate area. What a great airport.20130329-135742.jpg

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March 29, 2013 · 11:57 am

Living in a Van, down by the ocean, in Van.


I had to stop and take a picture of the ultimate surfer mobile home. Solar panels, surf boards on the roof, tent drying on the hood.

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February 14, 2013 · 5:32 pm

Restaurants Worth the Trip – The Wallflower


The Wallflower is a Main St bar and restaurant on Vancouver’s South shore that I wandered into last night after 11hrs traveling.

While on the surface it might look like the average hipster restaurant on Main, the menu and staff broke up that comparison very quickly.

Our waitress was cheery and super-engaged. The menu has a basic bar food function and an entirely vegan option, both of which were delicious. My co-worker and I had options off either menu; he the burger and lightning fries and me the vegan portobello burger and vegan poutine. Food was awesome all the way around.

Great music (Clash, Happy Mondays, Doors), a good mix of everyone from the twenty something hipsters and aging University professors.

Awesome experience for two weary commuter travellers after 11 hrs from Memphis through LAX to Vancouver!

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February 13, 2013 · 5:08 pm