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Skip The Funeral. Take a Walk, Instead.

My wife and I often joke about what to do with our bodies when we die, as discussing the topic without humor is, well, AWFUL. My usual go-to is “stick me in a hemp suit, dump me in a hole, and plant a tree on top.” Death is hard to talk about, and the idea of someone planning my funeral is tough. So, instead of joking, I’m going to change it up because of a Kickstarter alternative to caskets or urns. Yes, yes, I know that sounds ridiculous, but hear me out.

A Dutch team has come up with the Totem of Life and Death, or TOLAD. I think that if you are here and reading Bristlecone Journal, the concept will appeal to you just as much as it does to me.

The premise is pretty simple: Scattering ashes is messy, generally over in a second, and not a particularly dignified way to dispose of the remains of those closest to you. The TOLAD, to put it bluntly, is a large, hollow walking stick/ash dispenser. In goes the ashes of your beloved friend or family member, and off you go to their favorite location. As you walk, a plunger at the bottom releases a small amount of ash, allowing you to take one last journey with those you love.

As the video below shows, the TOLAD can be passed around, allowing each of the bereaved to have an active role in the process. This helps give each person a more profound sense of closure, which so many of us need when losing someone.

(Turn on the CC, it’s in Dutch)

And, whereas gaudy caskets can cost thousands of dollars, the TOLAD is asking backers for less than $100 for each one.

You can check it out for yourself here: TOLAD on Kickstarter.


Ohana Means Beach Vibes at the 2nd Annual Ohana Festival

Ohana Festival Lineup Poster

I freaking love music festivals. I hate music festival weather. It’s usually in a 110 degree desert, where you end up with dry desert sand in all your nooks and crannies and you blow black snot rockets for two weeks. So, when I saw the Ohana Festival, with their amazing line up and their amazing, ocean-side location, I was STOKED.

I’ll admit, it’s weird to see Social Distortion playing with Fiona Apple or The Pixies with Jack Johnson, I’m still pretty interested in seeing them all. While the lineup is out for the September festival, the “attractions” are still yet to come. I’m guessing some kind of surf wax competition and loads of vegan food trucks, both of which I’d be on board with.

AND they’ve also partnered with the California State Parks, San Onofre Parks Foundation, California Coastal Commission, Ocean Institute, Surfrider, and the Doheny State Beach Interpretive Association.

But, with sponsorship partners like Tito’s Homemade Vodka, Krave, Kind, Bai, Hydroflask, OluKai, Sambazon, and World Surf League, I have a feeling it’s going to be one helluva party for hippies and hipsters alike. I mean, filling a Hydroflask with Tito’s and Sambazon’s açai juices, nomming on some beef jerky while wearing weird sandals and listening to Ray LaMontagne sounds like as perfect a festival vibe as you can get.

Unless… Want to go nutso and spend rent on a Treat Yo Self weekend? The VIP tix at Ohana Festival get you the following:

  • Dedicated VIP entry
  • Exclusive VIP laminate
  • Ohana VIP Giftbag
  • VIP viewing seated platform

Access to Ohana Festival Dana Point VIP Lounge, which includes:

  • 4 drink tickets (valid in VIP lounge only, 21+ and over)
  • Live streams of music stage
  • Comfortable lounge seating with shaded areas
  • Cabanas and hammocks to hang out and relax in
  • Access to VIP Cash Beach Bar
  • Expanded Private Restrooms
  • Complimentary Bai and Bai Bubbles beverages
  • Complimentary Wahoo’s Taco bar from 3pm-6pm
  • Sunscreen Bar provided by Epicuren

If you don’t wanna spend the extra dough, I understand. You can come hang out with me. You’ll find me wherever the free samples are.

What: Ohana Festival
Where: Doheny State Beach
When: September 8-10, 2017
Who: You
Why: Because it sounds rad.
How: Tickets Available HERE
Weekend General Admission: $335 w/ fees
Weekend VIP: $1260 w/ fees
1 Day General Admission: $120 w/ fees
1 Day VIP: $539 w/ fees