For most of my 20s and into my 30s (well, until I got married and had kids), I spent a significant portion of my weekends with friends and family at dive bars in Chicago (my favorite was and will always be The Lodge on State and Division).  I liked dives because they were quiet enough to talk without yelling and because they served coldbeer (one word, please).  Combine the coldbeer with the divey vibes and it was a perfect setting for what was then a weekly catch up that usually covered dating life, work aspirations, current events, entrepreneurial ideas etc.

As a dad of two under two, my time for beers with buddies has been constrained significantly (most of my buddies face similar issues making group hangouts nearly impossible).  Naturally emerging in it’s place are collaborative projects / events with one or more buddies and while different, these projects provide similar benefits as the dive bar did as it gives me the opportunity to connect with friend(s) on a regular basis.

Group projects to date have included:

  • 2 clothing brand projects (1 failed, 1 in process)
  • Reading same book 
  • Competing in same sports event (triathlon in 2008 & 2015, trail run in 2017 & 2018)
  • Improving nutrition (current)
  • Learning to grill (current)
  • Small dollar sports betting (on hiatus)
  • Exchanging music recs (current)
  • Sharing pics of 4Runners (current)

The quantity of friends has diminished since the dive bar days but the quality of the friendships I do have has increased materially.  And these projects have been a catalyst.

Note:  “splendids” is the name of the clothing brand my buddy and I are working on and this blog’s logo (of the salmon-colored stegosaurus) is the splendids’ logo.