Hi, I’m Nik Hawks.  This site is a col­lec­tion of emails & essays most­ly writ­ten to & for friends.  For most of its life, that’s how it was used.  Around Sep­tem­ber of 2020 I dis­cov­ered Heli­um after a SAR expe­ri­ence in Neva­da had me look­ing for tech­nol­o­gy to find lost paraglid­ers. As many have been, I was quick­ly enthralled and spent the rest of 2020 build­ing and deploy­ing DIY hotspots.  This was when the DIY pro­gram was still open.  It is now closed, and I’ve been buy­ing and deploy­ing man­u­fac­tured hotspots since.

At some point I gath­ered most of what I’d learned from more or less 3 straight months of read­ing, doing, mis­tak­ing, and fix­ing Heli­um hotspot deploy­ments and wrote the Rough Guide, at first just to help friends and fam­i­ly under­stand what it was that had gripped me so hard.

It got picked up by many in the Heli­um com­mu­ni­ty as the go-to resource for fig­ur­ing out how to deploy hotspots opti­mal­ly.  I start­ed get­ting lots of emails and con­tact requests for help with deploy­ing oth­er peo­ple’s hotspots or think­ing about how to actu­al­ly use the Heli­um network.

As Heli­um start­ed eat­ing up more of my time I start­ed offer­ing con­sult­ing as a ser­vice; you can hire me here.  I’ve worked for and with many enti­ties and indi­vid­u­als (FedEx Entre­pre­neur Advi­so­ry Board, trav­el fea­si­bil­i­ty stud­ies for HNW indi­vid­u­als, the USG, Hol­ly­wood), almost always on one-off or odd projects.  As you’ll see if you read through the blog, I’ve been into lots of dif­fer­ent things over the past 4 decades, includ­ing instruc­tor, advi­sor, entre­pre­neur, occa­sion­al adven­tur­er and bon vivant.

In the unlike­ly event you find this blog and you weren’t look­ing for Heli­um relat­ed info, here’s what the rest of it is all about:

Appli­ca­tion is about stuff  we’re actu­al­ly doing or get­ting done and is usu­al­ly a co-cat­e­go­ry with Let­ters.

The Book sec­tion is a cou­ple of pieces that’ll even­tu­al­ly be woven into a book. Lots more to write, and some of it cuts off in mid-thought; this is just raw writing.

Build­ing Blocks, Great Quotes and Home & Green are all bits and pieces of what I’m think­ing at any one time. I real­ly dig the Greeks, esp. the Sto­ics. Turned on to them through JB Stock­dale and Thoughts of a Philo­soph­i­cal Fight­er Pilot and by WG.

Heli­um cov­ers what I’ve learned about Heli­um since get­ting involved and deploy­ing both DIY & man­u­fac­tured hotspots.

Ideas con­tains stuff that comes in bursts, usu­al­ly very ear­ly in the morn­ing and usu­al­ly cen­tered around teach­ing and a unique skill set.

Let­ters is the meat of this so far and con­sists main­ly of let­ters between my friends & I. Read­ing through them gives a good idea of how I think, feel, and gen­er­al­ly view life.

Mechaniking cov­ers the occa­sion­al work I do on my 2002 VW Golf TDI.

Paleo Treats stuff: My wife Lee & I run Paleo Treats.  If you dig PT go check out www.paleotreats.com or look us up on IG, which is where we’re most active (actu­al­ly, where Lee is most active.  I do lots of the non-social-media work.

Teach­ing is self explana­to­ry. I’ve had the chance to teach hard char­gin’ young dudes and I am blessed and hon­ored to be in that position.

Enjoy it all, and write if you’d like: my first name @ gristleking.com

What is your pro­fes­sion? Being a good man.”  ‑Mar­cus Aurelius

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