Get Your Kayaks Properly Stored with a Hoist Storage System

With three kayaks I needed a storage solution that got the kayaks out of the way and allowed easy access to the kayaks during the season.  My family and I go out almost every weekend so a storage system that was easy to get them in and out of was key.  The Sontax Kayak hoist system fit the bill for me.

Storage Basics

There are a variety of ways to store your kayak; some good some bad.  You can stand them up in the corner; you can put them on horizontal racks against the way, you can hang them from the ceiling, and you can even lay them on the floor. 

Within the kayak storage solution space there are commercial options and DIY options.  Both are fine it’s just how much time and skill you have, along with the characteristics of your space.  If you have a dedicated space just for your kayaks than maybe a simple rack system or even on the floor will work.

The location that I have for storing my kayaks is our detached garage and the kayaks will share the space with a vehicle, garden tools and other sports equipment.  This space is definitely not a fully dedicated kayak storage spot.

From researching how to store a kayak, I wanted something that supports the kayak at multiple points and keeps it from getting banged and knocked around.  Supporting the kayak at one pressure point can lead to potential warping and deformation. 

I also wanted something that would keep the off the floor and above head height. 

Kayak storage items to consider:

  1. Do you have a space dedicated to kayaks storage or will the space be shared?
  2. How many kayaks do you need to store?
  3. How often are you going to use your kayaks?
  4. Characteristics of your space (high ceilings, long wall space, etc.)
  5. Budget for storage system
  6. Do you want to build it yourself or purchase

I live in the Midwest so I will be using my boats a lot during April – October and then they will be stored during the winter.  I have a detached garage with high ceilings (10.5 ft.) that services as a multi-purpose room with a car, and other outdoor stuff.  The space gets a lot of traffic.

 I decided on a pulley / hoist system to store my three kayaks close to the ceiling and out of the way.  I needed the boats to be high enough so you could both walk and park a vehicle underneath.


 I considered building my own pulley system until I saw the Sontax Kayak Hoist system at Menards for under $25.  My time is worth something and between my time and the coast of the materials purchasing a system was a no brainer for me.

The system’s general specifications include:

  • Rack, pulley system, mounting system, hardware, rope
  • Heavy-duty steel construction with a black powder-coat finish
  • Pulley system easily hoists goods up to 100 pounds to ceiling
  • Ceiling mount design keeps the goods up and out of the way, allowing room for vehicles to park under
  • Safe locking mechanism prevents accidental release
  • Capacity 100 LBs


The hoist was easy to install.  By the third hoist it took me about 30 minutes from box to ceiling.  The hoist included everything I needed except for the length of 2x4 that I used.  This wood is optional but I would suggest it.

Installation points to consider:

  • Need to determine which way you will install considering the length of the kayak and the size of your space.
  • Need to determine which way your ceiling joists are running.
  • For multiple kayaks you need to measure the width of each boat and ensure that you install the hoists far enough apart.
  • Need to install these on the ceiling joists or a piece of 2x4 attached to the joints.  As you can see from my installation, I installed the individual brackets on a 2x4 and then secured the 2x4 to the ceiling.
  • Using another piece of wood allowed more flexibility in terms of how close the individual pulleys were.  I wanted to make sure than the kayak supports were not too close together but at a good to properly distributed the weight.  Mine are about 48  inches apart.  I have 11.5 foot sit-on-top kayaks.


As an active family we needed a storage system that would keep the kayaks safe, while allowing access on the weekly basis during the summer.  As an active baby boomer I needed a system that was easy to get the kayaks in and out of.  With two people this system is easy and you can lower the pulleys and get the kayak out and transferred to your vehicle or trailer.  The system needed to allow for the garage to remain multiple uses. 

The Sontax Kayak Hoist Storage System did just that.  I would highly recommend it.


Changing Jobs the Professional Way

 Everyone Makes Decisions – John Hayes

 Professionalism and tactfulness are key with every job change.  Everyone changes jobs, not just the millennials.  That’s a key point as now more than ever there is a chance that your current boss or colleague could be a future boss.  Or they may know someone at your new company.  This is a key consideration and benefit of leaving in a professional way.


 A close family member was changing jobs recently and wanted advice on how to execute the move effectively, professionally and most importantly without burning any bridges.

  As someone who has been in my career for some time, and have people working for me, I thought it would be helpful to share the advice I offered him.  I’m not a lawyer so these are just my opinions on how to change jobs professionally.  If you have any concerns beyond these recommendations please seek out legal assistance. 

We all hear “don’t burn your bridges”.  What does that mean?  Basically it means don’t leave in such a way that your current / former employer doesn’t want to hire you back.  Having a “do not re-hire” designation in your human resources record is not desirable.  Just another potential red flag to potential employers.


The New Job

First my advice on how to secure the new job before you resign from your current position.

Written Job Offer

Get the final job offer in writing from the new company.  This is extremely important especially if you are working with a recruiter.  You don’t want the summary the recruiter presents, you want a formal written offer from the company.  Typically companies have a specific approval process for new hires so you can be reasonably assured that the written offer is coming from someone authorized to extent the offer.

 Health Benefits

This applies primarily to folks in the United States.  If you can’t afford to have a lapse in your health benefits, understand when your benefits start.  Sometimes they start on the 1st of the following month.  This could leave you with a gap, as most likely your benefits at your old job end at the end of the month.  This is something to consider especially as you are planning your start and exit dates.

 Start Date

Agree on the start date.  You might want to take some time off between jobs so nailing down the start date is key.  Typically this is discussed and included in your offer letter.

 Other Benefits

Instead of having the discussion with the hiring manager save the benefits discussion for someone qualified with the new company that specifically understand the company’s benefits.  This is when you discuss vacation time, 401(K) match, volunteer time, commuting benefits etc.  When you discuss it with the benefits specialist it becomes a factual discussion.  If you discuss it early on with the hiring manager it can be viewed as detrimental.

 Now that you have the new job secured.  Time to resign from the old job.

 The Old Job

 Formal Resignation Letter

Regardless of your level, always craft and present a formal resignation letter.  Not only does this present you in a professional light it also acts as evidence that you did resign, and the specific date you will be leaving the company.  Depending on your current circumstances with that company, and your work performance, this could eliminate any indication that you did not leave on your own accord.

There are many templates and letters available so search for one on-line and customize it to your liking.  Doesn’t need to be an essay just a clear description of when you plan on leaving and thanking them for the opportunity they gave you.

 Notice Periods

Unless you are on a contract which will stipulate your notice period, in the United States it is common practice to give a minimum of two weeks if you are in a staff level position or three weeks if you are in a leadership position.

 Tendering your Resignation

If at all possible tender your resignation in person.  Either set up a meeting or stop by your boss’s office to meet and submit your resignation. 

 During the meeting hand your boss the resignation letter and orally resign indicating your last date of your employment.  I would also recommend that if asked you provide the name of your future employer.  Withholding this information typically leaves you susceptible to bad feelings and potential issues.   And with LinkedIn and other on-line resources they will be able to find out where you went.

 Keep in mind that if you are going to a competitor you may be asked to leave the premises immediately.  You will typically be paid your notice period but all your system, email, and physical access to the office will be removed.

 Resign and Stay Cool

Always keep your cool and professionalism up.  Remember, you can’t control how your boss or the company reacts but you an always control how you react.  Everyone makes decisions, decide how you are going to react and conduct yourself.  You are down to your last few weeks with the company; tough it out and maintain your professionalism. 

 The Counteroffer

I subscribe to the theory that you should never accept a counter offer.  At that point you are viewed as damaged goods and really don’t have any long-term career opportunities with that company.  You made the decision to leave, carry through.

 The Exit Interview

Most companies have an exit interview process, typically with HR or an outside firm.  Be careful with this.  I would recommend that you offer professional, constrictive criticism if it is warranted, but never get personal about your boss or co-workers.  Assume that everything you say will be passed along with the company.

 I hope this gives you some tips and ideas to consider when you decide to leave your current role for greener pastures.


When to Modify Your Goals Rather Than Take a Knee

Modifying Your Goals

As many of you know I have been training for the Raleigh 70.3 Ironman Triathlon.  This was a stretch goal but something I was focused on.  

During my training I experienced a knee injury and an achilles tendon injury.  Along with many missed days of training due to sickness.  Now as I write this I am fifteen weeks away from the race and it is time to reconsider.

I am reassessing my goal and objectively comparing my current fitness state, with the necessary fitness level I need for success, and the time available.  Fifteen weeks is not enough time.  

My "all in" approach is great for achievement and focus but is a detriment to my health.  I know if I continue to push towards Raleigh I will go too fast too soon and there is a high risk of injury which would probably be more severe. So do I just take a knee and give up?  Nope.

When you are faced with goals that are unachievable given the current circumstances you don't need to quit.  Here is what I did:

What was your underlying reason?

My reason for doing the triathlon was to get in great shape.  Training for the Raleigh race is not the only way to do that.  I also wanted to do something completely different has I hadn't completed any triathlon.

Can you modify your measure of success?

Last time I checked the Raleigh race was not the only triathlon out there.  What if I picked another race?  I know I have sunk money into the entrance fee but that was not all lost.  The money was an investment in, and drove my fitness level to this point so definitely worth it.   

What are the facts?

I was unhappy, depressed and unmotivated after my latest injury and it was hard to set that aside and look at the facts.  Talking with my doctors, and my coach I was able to conclude that I shouldn't just quit.  I focused on the facts and not the emotional state I was in. 

Should you quit?

I did review my current state and seriously evaluate quitting.  I was depressed and unmotivated and considered taking a knee or quitting.   I also focused on what I consider goal success which is have I improved my trajectory.  Based on my true underlying reason for the goal was I really moving forward.  My goal wasn't to be world champion but rather to get in great shape and achieve something totally different.  I could still do it.

Re-adjust your goal?

What did I do?  I got back up of the ground and registered for another race.  This race is right after the Raleigh race in Mid-June and is a shorter race.  I signed up for the Maumee Bay SprintTriathlon  .  

When faced with the decision to quit or give up on a goal, take are hard look at your true reasons, gather the facts and see what your real alternatives are before you just quit.  


Relax with a Campfire


Want to relax, have a campfire.  Last weekend here in Ohio we got a glimpse of Spring with 50 degree temps.  We decided to have a campfire around dusk.  When everyone else ventured back inside I sat around the file by myself and just enjoyed it.  I noticed that I was really relaxed and enjoying the experience.  I wasn't really thinking about anything just watching the flames and listening to the slow hiss of the water evaporating out of the wood. 

I did a little research and found that it appears that thousands of years ago our ancestors meditated around the fire.  There most be something to this.

So if you want a fun way to relax have a fire and enjoy thinking about nothing.

I'm Starting a Meditation Practice


 I started using the app. Headspace to begin a meditation ritual. The offer a free 10 minutes for 10 days program that I had heard about on Tim Ferriss' podcast.  He continually discussed that a majority of the people he interviewed participated in some kind of regular meditation practice.  I thought I would give it a try.

Interesting fact so far is that although I am only on day 2 of the 10 day program, I find my self experiencing a couple of things.  First, during the practice and right after I find myself extremely nervous and anxious.  This is completely opposite of what I expected.  After doing a bit of research it seems like this, although is not common does occur.  It is most likely the fact that I am becoming more mindful or aware of my feelings and some inner anxiety.  Interesting.  Most resources suggest that the anxiety will subside after I deepen my awareness and acceptance of it. I actually become more relaxed and calm after about 10 to 15 minutes after finishing. 

I'm starting a meditation practice in the hopes of slowing down.  My over-analyzing brain needs a break.  I'll update you on my progress after my 10 days us up.  

Easy Way to Play your IPhone on Sonos

Connecting your phone or music device to your Sonos couldn't be easier. If you Sonos has a Line In connector you are all set.  The Play 5 has one.  All you need is a standard headphone jack cord to attach your phone to the Sonos Line-In port. 

After you have your phone connected, select Line -In Under the "Select a Music Source" menu. 

Within the Line-In menu select your Audio Component that should be your phone. After that you can control playback with all the normal Sonos player controls. 

I use this method to quickly listen to podcasts on my IPhone.  This is also a quick way to hook up a friend's phone to your Sonos system.  You can listen to music this way as well, but it is much easier to load all your music into your Sonos system.  I hope this helps.

What Everyone is Saying About Constraints


Constraints are a good thing. Having constraints forces you to be creative, dig deeper to find a solution and to execute. To must do something can be a more powerful motivator than wanting to do something.

Constraints help you focus and keep your willpower high. Limiting choices or eliminating options all together helps conserve your willpower. We all the know the Steve jobs story about eliminating the need to make decisions about what clothes he wore. This is something you can put in place immediately. Try limiting your clothing selection this week to 3 shirts and pants.

There have been studies done that show people are much happier when their options are reduced. The fewer options they have, the happier they are. This relates back to second guessing or rethinking decisions. If you only had 2 choices you will probably have a lot less second guessing in your life. I think you look to make better selections, and are more committed to your selection when you only have a limited options or even time.

I put the constraint on myself to spend a full hour on photography and I couldn't go beyond my backyard. I took 189 images in that hour and created a beautiful detail image on a water spigot handle that I think looks wonderful.

If you don't have a lot of disposable income than you are really focused on spending your money the right way. I think having less fun money causes you to make better decisions because the risk of a bad decision is greater and it isn't easy to overcome by making another purchase. Interesting thought. Can people with less money be happier? Are they happier if they focus on spending money on experiences that provide a lifetime of memories vs. things that can provide limited benefits and joy?

Constrain yourself on the golf course to only using your 7 iron and see how good you get with the club. By the end of the 18 holes I guarantee you will know exactly how far you can hit the club, how you can bend the shot. I think you will have mastered the club.

Same way with camera gear. Take out your camera with one lens and really work it. You'll understand how the focus works, how the lens works at different apertures, it will become second nature to you. You will be able to look beyond the lens and the camera and focus on your vision what you really see. The camera will truly become a tool to capture your vision not the focus.

If you sit down at night and find yourself paralyzed with options and not doing anything, give yourself only two options of things to do and see how that improves you getting things done. Less is more.

What other kinds of constraints can you think of that truly improve your life? For a week set up real situations where you have constraints.

Be it what you order for lunch, what you do when you are home from work. I truly believe that giving yourself or having constraints will improve your trajectory towards what you want. Constraints are a good thing.


Free Shipping Home from Walt Disney World

Did you know you can ship any of your Walt Disney World purchases home free of charge?  On our last visit for the EPCOT International Food and Wine Festival we made a few purchases at the Art of Disney Store and were wondering out loud how we were going to get them home.  The cast member overhead us and mentioned that we could ship our purchased home free.  

We jumped all over the free shipping offer and took advantage of it a few more times.  If you are flying home this is something to definitely keep in mind.  As I write this, just a few days after returning home, some of our packages are starting to arrive.  And best of all we weren't the family lugging our WDW bags through the Orlando Airport!

Also don't forget that if you are staying at a Walt Disney World resort you can have your park or Disney Springs purchases shipped back to your resort as well.


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You're never too old to get in shape, learn a new skill or to enjoy a new hobby. Life should never slow down. I should know, I am in my early fifties and in the last four years I have taken up ice hockey, started training for my first triathlon, started a daily exercise streak that is over 400 days long, started a couple of blogs, and taken up fishing again, just to name a few items. I enjoy writing about the things I enjoy, all while managing a successful career as a finance executive. I love enjoying my passions and finding new ones! You can do this too.

Here at I will share with you what I am doing, enjoying, thinking about doing and take you along with me on the journey to enjoy life and to continue to push myself forward. Hey, I'm in finance and not a doctor or health care professional, but will share what has worked for me, what hasn't and what I am enjoying.  My hope that you will be inspired to get up and enjoy. You really can enjoy anything  you put your mind to.

I will share what sports I am involved in, what I'm learning, information on everything from photography, fishing, fly tying, personal improvement, technology, to Disney. I hope you will come back and enjoy what you see and read. is about exploring and taking action, making choices and constantly challenging yourself. I might even share the latest board game I'm enjoying.

Come along on the journey.