Thankful on Thanksgiving 2017

Thanksgiving 2017

What are you thankful for on this Thanksgiving in 2017? Everything seems to be so terrible when the news reports things. When I speak to audiences, I gently remind people that if you look with negative glasses (TV), everything looks dark and gloomy. But if you look with a perspective of abundance and blessing, things actually look pretty darned good!

What are you thankful for?

I’m thankful that…

  • I woke up alive and uninjured this morning. People in war-torn Syria didn’t.
  • I have my health. People will lose loved ones today to cancer.
  • I have people who love me and care about me when I travel to some crazy places. I went to school with people who had parents that didn’t care one bit.
  • I have a successful speaking business.
  • I have a successful publishing business.
  • I live in a country where I’m free to do just about whatever I want. People in North Korea would be executed for the freedoms I enjoy.
  • I have a new-ish Toyota Tacoma. People in backwoods Columbia have one bicycle for an entire village.
  • I live in one of the most beautiful places in the world. See the above picture.
  • My Grandfather is still alive at 90 years old. He was in the WWII Japanese interment camps. I’m thankful I didn’t have to go through that, but I’m thankful for the strength he taught me from the experience.
  • I have both of my parents. My girlfriend lost her mother decades ago. Many my age don’t have one or both parents.
  • I actually know my parents. Many who have been adopted or orphaned have no idea.
  • I have a powerful computer that enables me to reach out to the world. The Massai village I visited in Tanzania last year uses torches for light at night.
  • We have a stable government that we can disagree with, dislike, but is still one of the best deals on Earth. I remind myself to try the government in Sudan when I think mine is bad.
  • I have a warm, comfortable place to live. I saw people who live in rusted out corrugated steel shacks in Guatemala trying to make a living by selling pineapples on the side of the road.
  • I’ve been gifted with the friendships in the Teton Photography Group.
  • I have friends from junior high and high school that care about what I’m up to. I know those who were terribly tormented in middle school and are still struggling to forgive and walk beyond.
  • I have a brother, sister-in-law, nephews, aunts, uncles, grandparents, cousins, and a whole gaggle of people who care about me. People trying to escape Ethiopia to Saudia Arabia have nothing but death in their desert.
  • We have a world given to us by Him, who blesses us with everything we have.

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

Speaking in Driggs

I’m excited to be speaking in Driggs, Idaho on August 9, 2017, at the senior center. I’ll talk about how to view, photograph, and enjoy the total eclipse on August 21, 2017.

You want to make sure to attend this talk if you’re in the area. How will you safely view the eclipse? What’s the best way to avoid damaging your camera or your eyes? I’ll tell you how!

This will be an exciting and entertaining talk. As a motivational speaker, I’ll add energy and excitement to the presentation. No boring stuff here!

Keynote Speaker Testimonial

Thank you to Adrian Hackett for hiring me as the keynote speaker for the West Tennessee Boy Scout Council’s annual fundraising dinner. The goal of this event was to raise funds for the Boy Scout program. The objective of my talk was to integrate scouting with my message of building grit and courage while keeping a positive attitude in the face of adversity.

Watch Adrian’s testimonial on what he thought about Aaron as the speaker for his event.

Keynote Speaker Testimonial Adrian Hackett

Working as a Keynote Speaker

I wanted to make sure I delivered the message the council needed to achieve their objectives, in this case raising funds. As a speaker, it’s important to communicate exactly what a client needs for their event. My goal is to be as easy as possible to work with and to provide the best value for a client’s investment in my program.


Consistent effort

Consistent effortDo a little something each day to move forward toward making your dream a reality. Some goals seem daunting if not impossible, like skiing half way across a continent. Other things take little effort, like making a phone call you’ve been putting off. Often times, all you have to do is take a simple first step.

Why do we put things off for the “right time”? We’re afraid of what’ll happen. Really, there is no best time for most things. Just know that now is the best time to pursue your dream. I’m raising funds to ski across the Arctic ocean to the North Pole. It’s the toughest expedition on earth. The only way I’m going to succeed is if I do a little today, regardless of all other daily obligations and distractions. It’s amazing how far you can go if you take one step, however small, each day. You can achieve your dreams with consistent effort!

Listen to the audio edition here:

Book Aaron as the speaker for your next event and experience consistency in your team’s daily effort!

Driggs Library Valley of the Teton Library talk

Driggs LibraryThank you very much to Susie Blair and Sue O’Connor for having me speak at the Valley of the Tetons Driggs Library, Driggs, ID, branch on February 11, 2016.

Under the coordination of Sue O’Connor, the Driggs, ID, library is hosting a four party speaker series on travel around the world. The speakers are:

Feb 4, 2016: Charlie Otto, biking in Europe

Feb 11, 2016: Aaron Linsdau, skiing alone to the South Pole

Feb 18, 2016: Alena & John McIntosh, trekking in Nepal after the earthquakes

Feb 25, 2016: Kara Donnelly, hiking in Peru

Valley of the Tetons Driggs Library, Driggs, ID

The Driggs branch of the Valley of the Tetons library is very new. So new, in fact, I had to revert to old school techniques of finding their address. I had to pick up the phone and make a call. Almighty Google didn’t have the answer, their number, address, or anything else.

IMG_2344In no time, Susie Blair, head librarian in Driggs, answered my call. She gave me directions, helpful information, and was overall courteous and helpful with preventing me getting lost. Even though Driggs is a tiny town in eastern Idaho, much of the community is located up in the hills. Some places are impossible to find if you don’t know where you’re going.

Not the Driggs library. It’s one building south of the Driggs court house. The inside of the library was quite large, bigger than I’d expected. And, there was a great presentation room in the back where I gave my talk. The staff had set up a table outside so I could place the print copies of Antarctic Tears as well as the documentary film and the very new and exciting audiobook edition of Antarctic Tears, just out this spring.

The talk was interactive, with people engaging, laughing, and being shocked at the harshness of Antarctica. It’s a tough place. The audience was fun, interactive, and asked some great questions. The group of local kids sitting up front were especially entertaining, as they seemed fully engrossed in the talk. I love making inspirational and motivating talks with audiences of young and old.

Thank you Driggs, Sue O’Connor and Susie Blair, for providing the below videos talking about my presentation and what it meant to the people at the library.

Susie Blair, Driggs Librarian, on Aaron Linsdau as a speaker:

Sue O’Connor, Driggs program coordinator, on Aaron Linsdau as a speaker:

KHOL Interview

KHOL InterviewI was happy to have a radio interview before my presentation at the Jackson Hole Geologist’s club meeting on Tues Feb 2, 2016. The 89.1 KHOL Interview was done in studio, so I had the chance to answer some questions on the air.

This particular interview was about the specific science aspects I was going to cover for the Jackson Hole Geologists. Compared to the adventure story I presented for the Teton County Library Mountain Story program, this focused on specific scientific aspects of Antarctica:

  • Geology
  • Geography
  • Magnetic vs geographic South Pole
  • Weather
  • Atmosphere

KHOL Interview

KHOL has featured me in a few interviews, so being on the radio was familiar territory. The interviewers (in this case Cassandra) have always been courteous and helpful in the online and broadcast media world. The community service announcements are appreciated by the people of Jackson Hole, as there aren’t a lot of media outlets here.

Listen to the 89.1 KHOL interview broadcast on Feb 2, 2016 at 8:30am and noon:

Thank you to Cassandra and the staff at 89.1 KHOL for having me on. They’ve provided me with the chance to share Antarctica, expeditions, photography, and motivation over the past year.

89.1 KHOL: The radio station

The 89.1 KHOL office is located in the Center for the Arts on the grounds of the old high school in Jackson, WY. The DJs and program managers all run their shows from this location. I always thought one needed a great deal of room to run a radio station.

How wrong I was.

The tireless folks of this community service station, working on donations from the community, provide programming with little or no advertising. It’s difficult to imagine running an entire radio station on community funding and donations, but the little town of Jackson Hole seems to pull it off year after year. I have to congratulate the staff at 89.1 KHOL for keeping their station on the air.

JH Geologist February Program

GJH February Newsletter

You can read the incredible description written by the the JH Geologist club in the above PDF. It was a tall order to deliver something to this standard in only an hour. It was a fun program and I was honored to speak at the JH Geologist’s club meeting.

Here’s the text excerpt:


Human presence on earth has a powerful impact on our perception of geography. Think about Mount Everest and you are likely to see in your mind’s eye a string of prayer flags. Think about Egypt and you will see the Great Pyramids. Places are distinguished as much by the people who occupy them as they are by landscapes. Different foods, languages, philosophies and ideas are so deeply embraced and institutionalized by the inhabitants of different places that something as ethereal as a political boundary between two nations can give the otherwise identical ground on either side of almost any border altogether different feels. When we travel abroad, we experience the people as much as we do their land, and they leave us with a sense of place every bit as strong as that imparted by the scenery. There is a human identity, it seems, associated with every landscape on the planet.

Or almost, anyway. There is one place on earth – and probably only one place – that largely maintains an identity independent of humanity. It is a big continent, larger by far than the United States. It does not have a single permanent human inhabitant. No indigenous tribes, seat of government, military, or constitution, no ancient ruins or timeless architectural wonders, and no Jerry Springers, rap musicians, pirates, thugs, politicians, or highway men. Instead, its emperor is a penguin, it has sheets of ice 9,000 feet thick, unclimbed mountains, the only location on earth where it is impossible to go south in any direction, days and nights that last for months, and 61 to 70% of the planet’s fresh water.

While there are no Antarcticans, many nations have of course laid claim to large wedges of this continent at the end of the earth. But such claims are nearly empty gestures, anchored in place with a smattering of 30 or so research camps (mostly along the coast) that provide shelter for some 5,000 summer visitors and less than 1,000 winter visitors, all of whom are imported and entirely provisioned by ships and aircraft from far, far away.

Humanity needs this land without a people to remain as it is. Its vast and icy emptiness lends critical insight into our own nature by reflecting a stage upon which we are notably absent. Some nations may have other long-term designs for Antarctica, but there is a fundamental virtue in the idea that there can still be one place on this earth that exists without the cultural identity that we inexorably impart to the lands we inhabit. A place that just is. And a needful reminder of what this planet would be without us.

This Tuesday, (February 2nd) at the Teton County Library Auditorium at 6:00pm, polar explorer, world-adventurer, and writer-photographer Aaron Linsdau will show us the Antarctica he has experienced. Only the second American to ski solo 700 miles from the edge of Antarctica to the South Pole, Aaron’s perspective on Antarctica was earned the honest, old-fashioned way, and we are fortunate to have the opportunity to see it all through his eyes this week. This is one of those lectures for which you might want to arrive early. Once all the chairs are full, the Fire Marshal insists that the tardy be banished to the lobby.

Valerie Maginnis testimonial

Valerie MaginnisI had the honor & pleasure of speaking on the opening night of the Teton County Library Mountain Story program on January 12, 2016. This library program is a signature event, as it opened the new year with tales of writers, film makers, adventurers, and those who live off the grid. Valerie Maginnis, library director, opened the event.

My program focused on the story experience of my record-breaking expedition from the Hercules Inlet to the South Pole, a record that will be very difficult to break. No one starts off planning an expedition of 81 days to ski this particular 720 mile distance.

The experience is recorded in my book, Antarctic Tears, available in:

I’m very excited to have the USB-MP3 audio book available and the upcoming CD box set audio book coming in about a month. If you prefer audio books instead of reading, either the CD box set or the MP3 book on USB stick are a great way to go.

Valerie Maginnis on Aaron as a speaker

I was able to catch Valerie Maginnis, Teton County Library director, after the event. I asked her to say a few words about the value of my program, what it meant to the library as well as to her. In this testimonial video, Valerie shares her thoughts and experiences of the Mountain Story Program event. She also talks about her personal thoughts of what a motivating speaker can do for large or small audiences.

Additional Mountain Story Presenters

Pete Mortimer & Nick Rosen of Sender Films presented the keynote of the event, talking about their incredible documentary, Valley Uprising, about the climbing culture of Yosemite in the golden years of climbing.

To cap off the event, the library had Mark Sundeen, author of The Man Who Quit Money, do a talk with the book’s subject, Daniel Suelo. Daniel has lived without money for 15+ years in the United States. He is not homeless but rather participates in a gift economy. It was an eye-opening discussion between the two about what can be done to better ourselves and our world.

You can download the website version of the Mountain Story program: Teton county library Mountain Story 2016 PDF.

Free Antarctic Tears chapter 9

Free Antarctic Tears chapter 9Free Antarctic Tears Chapter 9

It’s an excellent day when my publisher has the same crazy thinking as me, the motivational speaker. My theory is that the more you give away to help people out, the more will come back to you. This is a truism of life. If you help enough people out, good things will boomerang. (As such, I’m posting a free Antarctic Tears chapter 9 right here.)

This is what I’m going to test out with a free Antarctic Tears chapter.

My goal is to post complete and free chapters from my book, Antarctic Tears. I want people to experience what it’s like to dedicate your life to an objective. It’s difficult to put everything on the line. I did that by leaving my job and trekking across Antarctica by myself. And now, I’m going to let people experience what I did through my book.

live on purpose radio
Experience the worst, have the best time

The best part is, Sastrugi Press is also producing an audiobook version of my book. It will be available in direct MP3 download, CD box set, and USB memory stick MP3 versions. The printed and ebooks are already available. With more options, more people should be able to enjoy the book. That’s my hope.

This isn’t to discourage people from purchasing the book, ebook, or soon-to-be audio book. Rather, it’s to encourage it. It does sound a little crazy to share a free Antarctic Tears chapter. But isn’t skiing across Antarctica alone crazy, too?

You can own a physical or ebook copy, and go beyond this free Antarctic Tears chapter. Go to this Amazon link. If you want a signed copy, go to this Sastrugi Press link.

I am also available for motivational speaking engagements around the world. You can book or contact me here.

And now, the free Antarctic Tears chapter 9

Continue reading “Free Antarctic Tears chapter 9”

ICloud drive isn’t compatible with Mavericks error

iCloud drive isn't compatible with MavericksThe latest revision of MacOS, Yosemite, has caused problems for people, specifically with the iCloud drive isn’t compatible with Mavericks error. This error is worrisome.

I’m a motivational speaker and I need to have my presentations work correctly. Every time. After seeing this error, I was worried that my Keynote presentations would blow up during, well, a keynote speech. While standing in front of a huge audience isn’t the time for a technical problem. Of course I started looking for a solution. As I’m still on Mavericks until Yosemite is more stable, I need to keep annoying an problematic errors at bay.

Reason for the iCloud drive isn’t compatible with Mavericks error

After the usual few hours wasted searching for a solution online, people claimed there was no fix. In fact, there is a fix for the iCloud drive isn’t compatible with Mavericks error. This error affects all iWorks programs:

  • Keynote
  • Numbers
  • Pages
iCloud drive isn't compatible with Mavericks error
System preferences

The problem occurs when you have upgraded any of your Apple iCloud accounts to work with iCloud Drive. This is Apple’s attempt to nix Google Drive. Once you’ve done this, this error will pop up unexpectedly with any Mavericks or pre-iOS8 phones.

The reason this happened to me is I am using an Apple Wireless Keyboard with my iPhone 6. I like this setup for working on the road rather than taking my laptop. That’s a subject for another blog, entry, though.


Fix the iCloud drive isn’t compatible with Mavericks error

Before you start fixing this error, make sure to close Numbers, Pages, and Keynote. Otherwise you won’t be able to see if the error was fixed or not.

iCloud drive isn't compatible with Mavericks error
Where iCloud settings is grouped

In order to fix the error, you have to go into System Settings to put things in order. In the very upper left hand of your screen, there is the Apple icon. Click that. Then go into System Preferences…

Once you are in there, you’ll have to look around for the iCloud icon. It’s in the same group as:

  • iCloud
  • Internet Accounts
  • Network
  • Bluetooth
  • Sharing

iCloud drive isn't compatible with Mavericks errorOnce you find the iCloud icon, click on it. Another window will open.

There are a lot of options available with iCloud. They can be pretty overwhelming. Don’t worry. All you need to do is scroll down to:

Documents & Data

iCloud drive isn't compatible with Mavericks error
iWork application list

and click the Options… button.

Once you’re in this new window, scroll down until you find the iWork set of applications.

As you can see in the picture on the right, I’ve unchecked the box next to:

Now, close all of these System Preferences windows.

That’s it!

Now, open a presentation in Keynote. You shouldn’t have the iCloud drive isn’t compatible with Mavericks error. If you have the same problem with Numbers, Pages, GarageBand, and the like, follow the above procedure.

iCloud drive isn't compatible with Mavericks errorMost of the time, Apple products are easy to use. But when there are errors, they really cause you heartache. When I’m preparing my motivational speaking presentations, the last thing I want are errors. Apple is good. Most of the time.

But when it goes wrong, it almost takes an engineer to figure it out. That’s why I also bring my presentation in PDF format on a memory stick.

You never know when your computer will catch on fire.

Crossing an icy pond

Crossing an icy pond

Crossing an icy pond
Having fun in difficult conditions

As a motivational speaker and polar explorer, I have to be able to walk the walk. Not just talk the talk. I’m working on psychological training for skiing to the North Pole. One of the problems is crossing open leads of water with thin ice on the Arctic ocean. How does one prepare for that? By crossing an icy pond, of course!

Before I go into the discussion for my motivation and why I would do such a thing, watch the video and see for yourself.

What makes crossing an icy pond fun

Now that you’ve watched the video, you can see what it’s like. Crossing an icy pond isn’t the most comfortable thing to do. The weather was good, so that helped. However, I was hoping for a snow storm to do this.


Because I wanted to train my mind in the worst conditions imaginable. That way, when I’m in the arctic and run into my first ice crossing, I’m mentally  and physically prepared to handle the situation.

Crossing an icy pond
Are you dedicated to your goal?

Mental preparation is one of the main reasons to train. You need to sharpen your mind and toughen your spirit. There are times when things will go wrong. Note that I didn’t say –IF-. I promise that things will go wrong somewhere. But that’s okay! Know that it will happen. When it does, you’ll be much better prepared to deal with the issue if you’ve trained properly.

I need to keep my mind ready to deal with anything, any challenge that comes up. Such as this. Crossing an icy pond in water that was about 33 degrees Fahrenheit was a tough way to train. Yet, when I’m in the arctic, the air temperature is minus 40 deg F, and the water is 28 deg F. I’ll look back on this and think it was a vacation.

Crossing an icy pond
I really was happy!

Grinding through that ice with screwdrivers (Craftsman tools are tough!) felt like dragging myself on asphalt. This isn’t an official use of screwdrivers, but they did the job. My knees and elbows ended up bloody after the affair. I shivered while walking all the way home. And I did it in a tshirt and shorts. How will you train yourself to reach your goals, whatever they may be?

Being a motivational speaker means I show people techniques to find their way through challenging situations. I teach how to keep a positive attitude while crossing their own icy pond. My speeches focus on achievement, performance, attitude, and finding a way through.

Why a motivational speaker slogs through ice

If I’m not motivated to do something challenging, how can I honestly help people get through their own challenges? I make sure to walk the walk, not just talk the talk.

Crossing an icy pond
Enjoying -30 deg F in Yellowstone

Entering that frozen water, I only hesitated for a moment as my body rebelled at the idea. But my Antarctic, Yellowstone in winter , and Greenland training helped me overcome my body’s resistance. This was a mind over matter problem. My body (matter) didn’t want to go in, but I (my mind) knew I needed to do this.

One of the tricks to facing down these challenges – just walk right up and step into the water. Put your foot in it. Yes, it’ll be cold. I promise! But once you’ve done that, you’re well on your way to making it through.

How’s that?

Taking the first step is the biggest challenge for most people. Once you get yourself in motion, momentum helps carry you a long way. Building up the speed might take a while, but getting yourself moving is key. The half-way mark wasn’t the middle of the pond. It was when I had both legs immersed in the water. Once my body was in the water, the most difficult part was over. Getting started.

Put your foot into the water and, as they say, cross the Jordan. Your elbows might be a little bloody, but give it your all. You can sleep well at night knowing you’ve worked on your goals as hard as you could.

And, above all: