31 August 2010


Time/Date: 0815, 30-Aug-10
Location: Project Site, BF

It’s old English. As MacBook’s dictionary says, the “archaic spelling of complete.”

You may have seen it before, i.e., The Compleat Angler, where I stole it. Izaak Walton wrote that in 1653. Though I’ve never actually read it.

The profile box for 411#3 contains “compleat” as most posts will have some fly fishing content. But fly fishing does not pay the bills (yet) and no man is an island (unless island = me flailing in a cold, fast river while waders fill), so we’ll cover many different topics.

The Compleat Angler is referenced in The River Why, a magnificent work of fiction by David James Duncan. I strongly recommend it to anyone. You can order it online through Amazon or through a local, independent bookstore like Westminster Books.

Or you can just wait for the movie. Guys, it has Amber Heard in it. Girls, it has Zach Gilford from Friday Night Lights in it.

Not a Compleat Angler. Yet.
PS- <200 words, f**kers. You know who you are.

“MNMLSM” (or something like that)

Time/Date: 1225, 29-Aug-10
Location: Project Site, BF

Recently I’ve been reading up on minimalism (see blogroll). There’s plenty of info online on the subject; several people stepped back from their “normal” lives due to the recent recession, changed their lifestyle, and have shared their stories.

(BTW, I find irony in there being abundant information on minimalism. Just sayin’)

Much is regurgitated from blog to blog, like minimalistic flavours of the week. One writer posts an idea, and others follow suit, changing or expanding the idea.

There seems to be a competition to see how truly minimalistic some people can get. “I’m car-free” to “I have 100 possessions” to “I’m living in a cardboard box & chose to burn all of my socks.”


Ideas of minimalism have merit. I have clutter in my life, and I’m removing it to simplify things a little more (also, I’m keeping posts to <250 words. For my sake and yours. Twitter has taught me brevity).

I entertained a few of these ideas while packing for Burkina Faso.

If it was a vacation, there would have been less.

Future “mnmlsm” posts: list of shit I’m tossing out (or donating); advocates of minimalism worthy of your time; MacBook minimalism.

Enjoy the ride.

Clutter probably not an issue in these homes

28 August 2010

Insomnia, S01E01

Time/date: 0205, 29-Aug-10
Location: Ouagadougou, BF

Maybe it's the heat. Or the unofficial apres-dinner beverage of Burkina Faso (instant coffee + powdered milk, microwaved). Or it could be the Malarone...again.

I can't sleep, so I will attempt to give some background on how 411#3 came to be. From the first post:

1. What the hell is 411#3?
411#3 will chronicle my attempts to maximize the awesome & minimize the bullshit. I'm learning a bunch of new stuff and attempting to lead a fun & a little less ordinary existence.

I got the name from where I was the moment I decided to do this: my accommodations at the project site, a converted shipping container. It's my room number. It had a nice ring to it.

2. Why should I read this crap?
A few reasons: I'm mildly entertaining and can occasionally be informative. And I'll have a picture and music track at the end of each post. At least 411#3 can be one more thing to distract you from work.

From here on in, simplicity is key. I'm going to try to keep posts short, but as my friends can tell you, I can occasionally get a little verbose on certain topics. I aim to minimize it (this time around).

5. Have you seen any giraffes in Africa?

Simplicity, damn it.

African Sunset

Time/Date: 2230, 28-Aug-10
Location: Ouagadougou, BF

Hi, and welcome to 411#3. My name is Mat, and I will be your bartender-fishing guide-DJ-exploration geologist-photographer for this literary adventure. You may know me as the loveable rabble-rouser on Twitter with the nom de guerre, @CloudbreakELS.

Some of you might be asking questions, such as:
  1. What the hell is 411#3? 
  2. Why should I read this crap?
  3. Why is complete ("compleat") spelt wrong?
  4. Mat, why the f**k are you trying to write another blog?
  5. Have you seen any giraffes in Africa?
  6. Are you really an expert in the fields of: a) bartending b) fishing c) dj-ing/music d) exploration geology e) photography?
I will answer those questions in more detail.

Just not right yet.

Instead, just enjoy some music by The Black Keys & a picture of an African sunset I took: