The Campfire

To New Beginnings
The hidden success of failure

Have you ever heard that saying:

“You can’t be a hero in your own hometown?”

The first podcast

Well, I think the same sort of applies to initial success.

Success too early in a process, or life, may feel good at the time, but can also be the kiss of death in the long run. Why? Success breads complacency in the same way failure inspires you to overcome.

My point is this:

Rudi and I co-wrote three books which, when we were done, inspired us to do a podcast. Both the books and the podcast were utter “initial” failures by traditional metrics. The silver lining was that I never lost faith. And it made me realize: Less about selling a product, the trilogy of books was the ultimate deep dive into exploring “big canvas” ideas that required 450,000 words of space and six years of time to properly spread out, metabolize and incubate in our minds. If you think writing a book, let alone a trilogy, is hard – try co-writing it with a Rudi! The mystery of the creative chemistry of our unlikely partnership became a reoccurring theme in the books. Our brief foray into a poorly-produced podcast (to discuss the books) was a dismal failure, too. Please listen to them and I think you’ll agree.

The second podcast

But all clouds have a silver linings:

The process, and those failures, was how the Nature Folk Movement (NFM) was born.

Thank God for failure – really it’s the only way we improve.

podcast

Dear Shareholders
And steering committee

Every year Berkshire and Hathaway …

Gather to talk about their oodles of money.

Firelight Radio is available on Apple Podcasts and Podbean

That’s great, and I don’t mean to condemn.  But where are those same stakeholders and steering committees convening when it comes to preservation of our natural resources?  A recent article in the New York Times on Warren Buffet’s annual meeting inspired me to put together a like-minded soliloquy on the state of affairs all things Nature Folk Inc.  For anyone listening, especially if you’re heavily invested in Berkshire Hathaway, Nature Folk Inc is a 501(c)(3) organization and we welcome any charitable (and tax deductible) contributions you can throw our way.  

P.S. Here’s a quick link to Campfire’s Park Paypal Donate Tip Hat. All proceeds help support our campfires.

Outside the Bunker
And why we hit the road

What’s the best way …

To reach your audience?

Buck hits the road

For AM Radio Host “In The Bunker” with Buck Buckner, the usually means hunkering down in the place he knows best, and where he can broadcast has thoughts far and wide — in the safety and sanctity of his bunker. As for who’s actually listening, even if it’s only one person (and that one person is Buck), it’s worth the cause. Or do you sometimes have to venture outside the comfort zone to reach new crowds? Buck finds himself oddly reenergized as he hits the road.

Buck Buckner is an AM Radio host at Campfire Park.

Power of the bookmark
And why you still need one

Remember the days …

When a bookmark was a good present?

Cowboy at the Campfire talks bookmarks

Well, how else were you going to remember where you left of reading. Sure, you could use a scrap piece of paper, or alternatively dog ear a page, or even try to remember the page you last left off, but none of those had the style points of a good old fashioned bookmark — especially the ones with a tassel on the end. Today, bookmarks are pretty rare. And if you read from your phone or another digital device, really what’s the point. My solution: I highly recommend picking up a “paper and ink” copy of your favorite book (i.e. think of “paper and ink” as the “bricks and mortar” equivalent of a digital book), find a comfortable chair and settle down under a good reading light and just dive into a book. And no you won’t get it done in one sitting. That’s why you’ll need a good bookmark.

podcast

What Weekend?
Not that I'm complaining

Nobody sets out for their weekend to turn into an algorithm, nor do you expect to show up on Monday to discover that your flagship website isn’t working quite like it should.

P.S. Firelight Radio is available on Apple Podcasts and PodbeanAdd block

The positive news is that I went for two runs and three walks and had two eureka moments along the way. I’m not saying I have things completely figured out. But by the end of Monday, I turned the lemons of having to revert to a “backup(p)ed” version (I can’t seem to spell that word) of my website only to serve as inspiration to reformat the entire front page. After about two hours I finally got it to looking semi-right. In retrospect, I’m not convinced the breakdown wasn’t a blessing in disguise. It forced me to admit that the old formatting wasn’t quite working.

But my larger point: Really, the whole point about the Nature Folk Flyer is to connect myself and my audience to nature. Why is it then that I seem to be spending equal shares of my time working through the minutia and archania of the computer matrix? It didn’t help that the internet was down when I arrived home at the end of the day. Keep in mind by this time I had discovered that my website was seizing up, and entire pages weren’t appearing when clicked. After a quick inspect of a couple work-arounds, and a hesitancy to try to contact technical support which is always by chat, and not very good: I simply took the bull by the horns and reverted to a backup copy of my site. And as I said, that served as inspiration to reformat and reconsider my old structural design.

The result? I’d really like to delve deeply into the Nature Folk Movement (NFM), and maybe someday I’ll get this complex architecture of websites figured out. Until then, I’m just glad I’m enjoying the process. What more really can you ask for in life?

Steephead Valleys
And why they are "spring like"

Steephead valleys aren’t as famous …

Or as charismatic as a Florida spring.

Steephead valleys have a distinctive rounded shape

But they are similar in they are both groundwater fed. Unlike springs that appear in full force out of nowhere, emerging from a cavernous hold in the ground in the form of a “boil,” steephead streams are smaller in scale and at their upstream end pinch back to a vanishing point. And unlike a gully-eroded dendritic (i.e. branching) stream channel that depends on rainwater for its source, and accordingly erodes from top-to-bottom — a steephead valley contains a single stream that depends on groundwater seepage as its source. Grain by grain, that causes erosion to occur from the bottom-up, giving the ravines their trademark rounded and slumping shape. Another key difference: The gradient between its headwater and mouth are low.

What makes steepheads special? The steady flow and constant (cooler) temperature makes both the ravines and the streams home to endemic and rare northern plants. An endangered fish called the Okaloosa darter is only found in steephead streams. As for their location, they are found in isolated patches in the panhandle where the regional groundwater table and alluvial floodplain intercept.

Dinosaur interviews himself
What a wonderful guest!

What’s the secret …

To a good interview?

Firelight Radio is available on Apple Podcasts and Podbean

Some would say ample research on the topic you’re trying to discuss.  Others would say having a good set of questions.  Still others would say inviting in a good guest.  But for me, the secret to a good interview starts with the host.  It isn’t so much the questions or the answers as it is the good conversation to be had.  And really, for that to occur: Is there really a need for anyone else?  Answer: I would say yes.  The caveat is you better be comfortable having a dialog with yourself first.  And that’s why in many ways this is a breakthrough interview. 

Among the topics we cover:  My new idea for a great app, new details on the Time of Great Phonelessness (i.e. Before Phones), how phones stole our memories, the difference between prescient and clairvoyant, why a ranger kept returning to the swamp and what made him stop, the difference between a tree and a large blade of grass, why cigarettes are healthier than cell phones, how banjos went viral, and more.

Hiking out of the canyon
Destination: Campfire Talk

Have you ever had …

An ambitious plan in mind?

This story features several “campfire breaks”

That’s the case with these two hikers. Their goal: To hike out of the canyon in time to make it to the top of the rim before dark, and most of all to make it in time for a ranger-led “campfire talk.” Will they make it? Answer: The only way to find out is to watch the short playlist of videos. And just so you’re aware, the story is broken up — not with commercial breaks — but with a series of “campfire breaks.”

More about campfire breaks: They were invented right here in Campfire Park. Their purpose? Commercial breaks sell a product, and often break the spell of the main program. Campfire breaks are meant to give you a break, and feather in some new ideas, but also give you a break from the main story line.

Hope you enjoy and thanks for stopping by!

Proper illumination
The ideal lighting for reading a book

Any well respecting reader knows:

You need a good lamp to probably read a book.

My choice is a standing lamp with an articulated arm. This allows me to get the light in the exact spot that I need it to clearly see from my paperback book. Now, I know there are a lot of fancy and new fangled devices that provide the backlighting so you can read any old where, even in the middle of the dark. My issue with that is this: Some books require the good old-fashioned paper version to properly digest, and get lost within. Case in point are the Campfire Trilogy of books written by Robert V. Sobczak and Rudi Heinrich. Yes, I could read these books on my phone, or some other digital device, it isn’t until I completely unplug and soak them up in the soft lamp light that they truly transport me to the adventure of the story flow.

Now don’t get me wrong: I’m not a Luddite. But I also equally know that sometimes the paperback is the absolute way to go. Yes, technology is great, but let’s not lose our connections to “unplugged” books.