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