Every Tool’s a Hammer: Life Is What You Make It

I’m a big fan of Adam Savage and Tested, so when I saw he was writing a book, I preordered it.

That was four years ago. I’m embarrassed to say the book had been untouched on my Kindle since it was released in May of 2019. I finally turned the page on the flights to Madrid and easily finished it.

Putting something in the world that didn’t exist before is the broadest definition of making, which means all of us can be makers. Creators.

Everyone has something valuable to contribute. It is that simple. It is not, however, that easy. For, as the things we make give us power and insight, at the same time they also render us vulnerable. Our obsessions can teach us about who we are, and who we want to be, but they can also expose us. They can expose our weirdness and our insecurities, our ignorances and our deficiencies.

If you’re a creative of any type I highly recommend reading Adam’s book. I learned a lot and it felt good to know other people think the way I do about a lot of things.

One of the chapters focused on lists, which is something I use often. Usually I prefer Apple Notes because is syncs between my iPhone and MacBooks (work and personal), allowing me to quickly update the lists. Here’s a list I started partway through my bathroom remodel.

Adam writes out his lists and makes a checkbox next to each item. When something is halfway or mostly complete he splits the box diagonally and fills in the upper left area. On completion, the entire box is filled in. It’s such an important process for him that after the Lists chapter was another titled Checkboxes!

Whenever I put a list to paper I’m going to try this method.

The Book I Remember Reading as a Child

hatchet.jpgWhenever I think back to growing up, the book that comes to mind is Hatchet by Gary Paulsen. I don’t really remember much about the story, other than the kid was stuck out in the woods by himself and survived because he had a hatchet.

I always thought the survival aspect of the story was so cool. I think that is part of why I enjoy movies, stories, and shows with similar aspects, like Alaskan Bush People or Alaska: The Last Frontier. Sure, these shows are produced and played up a bit, but you still get to see people out in remote areas surviving on a lot less than we have here.

I’ll bet it has also shaped some of how I like to repurpose things or make things on my own. It can all lead back in some part to this book I read as a boy. I still remember trips out to the woods with my dad to scout deer and how much I enjoyed taking his hatchet with us to cut branches or small trees. I think I need to buy myself an old hatchet when I see one at an estate sale!

Is there a book you remember reading as a kid?

The Big Miss: My Years Coaching Tiger Woods


I bought this book when it came out in 2013 and until a few months ago it had been untouched on my Kindle. It’s hard to believe it was over 4 years ago and Tiger’s crash (pun intended) was even earlier. I wish I hadn’t waited so long to read it.

I’d been a Tiger Woods fan since his historic 1997 win at the Masters. In fact, I almost never watch a golf tournament unless he is playing. The excitement just isn’t there for me unless he’s in contention, which was pretty much every tournament he played for over a decade.

Through the book, Hank Haney gives us a lot of insight into Tiger’s personality. Many things make a lot more sense. At the same time, the book is one man’s view of Tiger. No matter what I read, at the end of the day, I’m still a fan of Tiger Woods the golfer.

If you’re a golf fan or even just a sports fan, I recommend reading this book. You’ll get a rare look into what it’s like working with one of the greatest professional athletes in history.

Steve Jobs


I finished reading the biography by Walter Isaacson, which I started about a month ago during my trip to Bulgaria. I really enjoyed the book.

As shown throughout the pages, he wasn’t always easy to work for, live with, or be around, and you definitely didn’t want to piss him off. We’ll never understand what he was really like by reading stories in a book, but it does help to explain a side of Jobs we wouldn’t know existed since most of us only ever saw him during Apple events.

You can’t have a biography about Steve Jobs without a major focus being on Apple and the products he brought to market. It was neat to read how many of these devices got started, were developed, and eventually launched.

Steve Jobs was a genius and a visionary who changed our world. He is the definition of Think Different, which was later adapted in a tribute about him…

Book: The Flinch

I finished reading my first book on the Kindle (love it!) today. The book was The Flinch by Julien Smith. It was published as part of the Domino Project, which represents a fundamental shift in the way books always been published.

The Flinch is a short book with some neat insights. I recommend giving it a read. Here are a few of the passages I highlighted.

The flinch is your real opponent, and information won’t help you fight it. It’s behind every unhappy marriage, every hidden vice, and every unfulfilled life. Behind the flinch is pain avoidance, and dealing with pain demands strength you may not think you have. The flinch is why the lazy actor never gets discovered—because she never really sweats to make it happen. It’s why the monolithic company gets wiped out by a lean startup—because the big company culture avoids the hard questions. It’s the reason you make the wrong decision, even though you may know what the right one is. Behind every act you’re unable to do, fear of the flinch is there, like a puppet master, steering you off course. Facing the flinch is hard. It means seeing the lies you tell yourself, facing the fear behind them, and handling the pain that your journey demands—all without hesitation.

If you don’t test yourself, you don’t actually grow to your own limits.

In mountain biking, they say the best way to get hurt is to brake.

There are enough viewers. There are enough cheerleaders. There are enough coaches and enough commentators. What there isn’t enough of are players.