On Apple Removing the Headphone Jack

An unconfirmed rumor about unreleased specs of an upcoming iPhone suggests that Apple will be removing the headphone jack from the next version of the phone. The Internetz are up in arms.

But here’s what I know. My wife is not a technofile, but she has a pair of rechargeable Beats in-ear bluetooth headphones that she has used exclusively for the last year. I mentioned “the rumor” to her, and her response was “My Beats work pretty damn fine and I haven’t needed a headphone jack since I got them. What do I care.”

Seems like a pretty solid move to me, especially if there are plans for Apple Bluetooth-based ear buds.

beatsAmazon Link

Viva La Taco Ride

I’m exhausted and my legs are jello. Getting back on the bike has been fun. Tonight, Marcus and I joined forces for the longest running weekly bike ride in the United States; the Taco Ride.


The ride starts at the Wabash Trace trailhead and ends up at Tobey Jack’s Mineola Steakhouse in Mineola, IA for their Thursday night taco special*. 10 miles each way, and relatively flat with a parking area about halfway affectionately called Margaritaville. Beers and margaritas are the refueling drink of choice.

A photo posted by Shawn (@shartley) on

We started back with about 20 minutes of daylight left. Luckily I was prepared with the headlight.

We both had GoPro cameras on, but I’ll have to save that for this weekend to see what kind of footage we captured. For now, my head is about to meet the pillow.

On Daily Blogging

I’m trying to get back in the daily habit of blogging. A little challenge between fellow coworker and friend, Carolyn Kruger and I.

I used to write quite a bit going back to the early days of blogging. I even hand rolled my own little blogging engine for a while back in the early 2000s before eventually switching to WordPress (with a detour through TextPattern and pMachine if I remember correctly). And in fact, if my archives are to be believed, my first “post” was July 1, 2001.

For a bit of context, back then I’d recently left Bozell and after spending some time on travel and personal projects, started at Corporate 3 Design about a month prior. My blog was a hub for scheduling events with friends and staying in touch. While some of those early posts remain on this site, I did purge a lot of it a few years ago. There may even be a post describing the whats and whys behind what I purged.

Blogging is difficult for me. Not because I don’t have anything to say, but rather, I’m fairly guarded about my private life. I think that is a challenge a lot of bloggers encounter. I could take the easy way out and opt for link round-ups and other popular tidbits like current headlines, but I also want to add value to what I write about. By forcing myself in to this daily habit, I hope to flex my creative writing muscles a little bit. I know I’ll have some slow days, maybe a video, some photos, or even the occasional link round-up, but by-and-large, I will be trying to add value to what I post.

If you go back through my recent archives, I think I’ve posted more in 2016 than I have in the previous couple of years combined. As of now, I plan to continue…


I’m a little late to the party, but with my recent return to the bike, I’ve been using the Strava app for recording the details of my rides. Pretty slick, plus I’m digging the flagged routes. Very motivating for hitting spots on your usual ride.

Get Strava in your app store of preference, or hit the website: strava.com

The impact on the battery is negligible and the fly-by mode of your ride/hike is pretty nifty. I’ve used the Under Armour MapMyApps, and while those are a good choice, I like the competitive nature of Strava in the few short days I’ve used it.

Bonus feature: the embedded sharing. Here is one of my rides from a couple of weeks ago:

p.s. another 9.3 mile ride today with the family on Mother’s Day!



A few months ago I made some decisions, one of which is pizza. It has been a 128 days since I have had a slice of pizza. Granted, that is over-simplifying many of the changes I have made, but that is the one that keeps me going.

I first got back on a bike a few weeks ago. Today I had my longest ride in many years. Coincidentally, it was the longest ride my kids have been on in their short lives. They even got to experience a little bit of singletrack.

I’m just under halfway to my end goal, but I already feel like a changed man. My doctor emailed me a couple weeks ago. One thing he said has stuck with me:

Congratulations! That is fantastic. It’s likely you are adding years to your life.

I’m sore tonight, but tomorrow I think I have another family bike ride ready to happen. I have some more years to add.

The Grand Canyon In Depth Video Series

Over the last couple of years, my family has taken a couple long road trips. First out West to Reno, Sacramento and beyond. Last year we ventured to Niagara Falls. There are currently 59 U.S. National Parks and we’ve traveled through a couple of them in our recent travels. It is easy to forget they are there, despite the magnitude of some of them, including Yellowstone, Rocky Mountain National Park and The Grand Canyon.

I just discovered that The Grand Canyon National Park Service has been publishing several video series over the last few years. All them in an easy to digest format of around 10 minutes. I started with episode 3 – Phantom Ranch, but here is the In Depth video series. I’d encourage you to click through and discover the other series topics as well.