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Montana

It’s a road I’ve considered for several years. A road I’ve dreamed of, contemplated, prayed about, and ultimately planned for.

Dallas, Texas provided many opportunities for me over the course of ten years. It was a decade where a soul was lost and became found. Where a faith was developed, shaped, and matured. Where priorities became clear. Where materials mattered less. Where a purpose was defined. It was unforgettable.

Montana occupied my daily thought life the last five years or so. Especially when the Texas summer came around and heat and humidity ruled the day.

My decision to move was finalized in October, 2016 with a plan of heading out 1–1–17. …


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There are more than a few ready-made roadside emergency kits available, but the quality of these kits has always been lacking. I also find that they often include lots of unnecessary items or might be missing one or two critical pieces. I set out to build my own and pieced it together taking ideas from other kits.

I began by figuring out where and how to store my kit. The ideal setup would be a custom-built cargo organizer, as seen in J.A.’s 4Runner.


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This is more about me than it is Tony Romo and specifically how the last ten years have played out while he was quarterbacking my team.

We all have our youth, we all have our prime. My prime coincided with Tony Romo’s. He will forever be the quarterback of my prime. I’m a year older than him and granted, my prime largely consisted of my “fridge time” and not a 40 time — how fast I could make it from the couch to the fridge between commercials. It’s gotten worse with age.

As a native Texan and life-long fan of the Dallas Cowboys, I found myself living in Anchorage, AK in October, 2006. Supporting the Cowboys from afar, I wasn’t as in touch with the team as in years past, as I had no work/life balance to speak of. I was lucky to catch the highlights. …


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Stock Image of Sport Edition

My road to the 4Runner began in October 2016 when I began planning for my cross country move from Dallas, TX to Bozeman, MT. My plans are to drive the 1,500 miles in at the beginning of 2017 hauling a 12' cargo trailer with my belongings.

I don’t own a vehicle because the company I work for provides a car for my personal use. I will be turning that car over at the end of the year and would need to secure a vehicle for the move.

I had owned a lot of Toyota pickups over the years and knew how reliable they were, so I began searching for a four door 4x4 Tacoma in the 15K range. I searched for a couple of weeks and never found anything I was willing to pull the trigger on. …


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The call came in just after 8pm on a Saturday night. Despite not recognizing the number, I took the call — which is a 50/50 proposition these days, based entirely on mood and seemingly nothing else.

The man on the other end of the call asked if my Garmin GPS was still available. “Yessir, it absolutely is. When do you wanna see it,” was my reply. He first proposed Sunday morning. I’m very noncommittal on Sunday mornings and proposed Sunday afternoon, to which he asked if it was too late to meet tonight.

I perked up and willingly agreed it wasn’t too late to meet tonight — despite a barrage of college football games and even the World Series on TV to hold my attention. You see, the thrill of a sell will forever hold a powerful spell on a salesman. …


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I was nine or ten years old when I first became a task master. Most days after school, my mom would leave a punch list of chores for me to do while she was away at night school or work. It was always simple and to the point:

  1. Vacuum
  2. Polish all wood
  3. Empty dishwasher
  4. Sweep garage

I wasn’t allowed to go out and play until the list was complete. The list was the only barrier standing in the way of fun. I used to hate it, but I learned to attack it. One by one I crossed off each chore until complete. …


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I didn’t get too caught up in the Ken Bone virality after the debate last week, but I couldn’t help but catch this Bill Clinton interaction with Ken Bone after the debate. Notice how sincere and genuine Clinton comes across to a stranger by seeking him out and shaking his hand. My guess is that Ken Bone became a Bill Clinton fan for life and never felt better about himself than right there in that fleeting moment.

I think what Clinton has is a natural ability to connect with others and to make them feel good about themselves. It’s a gift and something that’s very difficult to train no matter how many times you try. …


Destination: Montana?

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What is the very first thing you do when you open your eyes in the morning? I don’t know if I’m in the majority or not, but the first thing I do is check my phone after a night without interruption. Specifically, the weather — temperature and humidity. As a runner that struggles with hyperhidrosis, these are two important numbers as I prepare to roll out for a morning run. Countless Dallas, Texas mornings have started off with humidity in the 70% range. Pair that with a predawn temperature of 78° in August (which was mild this year) and I’m completely soaked from head to toe after just four miles. …


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I set out to run 14 miles this morning. I got an early start at 5:30 and by mile nine the heat and humidity got the better of me. Literally drenched from head to toe with my socks squishing inside my shoes from sweat, I waived the white towel and decided to walk the rest of the way home. This meant five miles of walking. I thought I was taking a shortcut home through an unfamiliar neighborhood, but I ended up getting lost (I run without my phone).

The sun still hasn’t come up and I’m weaving in and out of sleepy little neighborhoods trying to figure out the shortest way home. All alone with my thoughts — which by now begin to betray me, I can’t help but think of how much time I’ve wasted. Why couldn’t I trudge on and just finish the 14-mile route as planned? Uber is out of the question without my phone. I consider asking a stranger for a ride, but I’m so soaked from sweat that no one in their right mind would let me in their car. I also consider flagging down somebody in a pickup so that I can ride in the back, but I’m reminded I’m in Dallas and that sort of behavior is foreign at best. …


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“Your greatest danger is letting the urgent things crowd out the important.”

That was one of the glaring sentences that stood out to me a few years ago when I first came across Tyranny of the Urgent. It’s a quick essay written fifty years ago about time and priorities. It’s a faith-based work and I believe it has application for everyone whether you have a faith or not.

Forty or fifty years from now when I reflect on my life’s journey, the Tyranny of the Urgent will likely be recalled as a major pivot point in my life. …

J. Roberts

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