Monday, April 25, 2011

Easter, Trump, and pink toenails

         Well it’s been another week and again it was filled with rain and very little sunshine. Can’t say I did much. And as a kicker it is suppose to rain all this week. Yoo-hoo. I feel like I need to build an arc and gather two of every animal.
On a dryer note, with Easter being this past weekend I definitely got my sugar buzz, actually it was more like a drunken stupor after ingesting all the Reese’s pieces, skittles, gummy bears, and sour patch kids. Mmmmmmm, there’s nothing like a pound of candy and a cold beer to get your heart racing. Another fine holiday that gives us a chance to spend time with family and become diabetic for a day. Walking into a store you are overloaded with thousands of bags of candy, little plastic eggs, giant chocolate bunnies, and premade baskets filled with candy and little toys. You feel moved to spend a little money to help someone’s sweet tooth get that extra cavity and of course helping yourself to a little at the same time. I just hope everyone had an Easter as enjoyable as mine. I know the dentist love this time of year.
Now with everything going on in the world, I’m just glad there are people out there that are concerned with the smaller things in life, like where the president was born. I mean why not spend $3 million to reveal something that someone spent $2 million covering up. Awe, Donald trump you are a figure of never-ending marvel. Even Sarah Palin calls his efforts, to find out where Obama was born, “a distraction from the bigger issues.” Nothing like a real estate mogul to run for presidency( I think he will run). Why not have a trump tower with the address 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. Trump who has been in and out of bankruptcy three times is definitely some one who could bring this country out of debt. Well, let’s look at the big picture. A guy who has over twenty properties world wide with his name on it plus multiple other properties with out his name and on top of that developers pay him to market their properties. A man who has been married three times, a loving grandfather, and has successfully had the same come-over style for thirty plus years. Nothing says American like Donald trump. Making promises like “America will be respected again” and “ending the health care law,” he has his eyes on the major issues. Not everyone is as optimistic about him as me though. David Plouffe, senior advisor to President Obama, says, “Mainstream Americans thinks it’s a side show and they want our leaders to focus on the issues right in front of us like how we keep the economy growing.” If anyone knows how to get out of debt I think it would be trump. In five years from 1989 to 1994 he went from having over $900 million in personal debt and $3.5 billion in business debt to having over three-quarters of that paid off and he is now valued over $2.7 billion personally. I think if you can go from being $900 million in the hole to being $2.7 billion over, he knows a little about getting out of debt and economic growth.
Trump isn’t the only one concerned about small affairs though. Apparently there was an email sent out from J. Crew to customers with a picture ad that showed the president and creative director, Jenna Lyons, with her son, who is 5, painting his toe nails pink, innocent enough. Well per Erin brown, from the media research center, “its blatant propaganda celebrating transgendered children.” Really? And she isn’t the only one voicing out against the picture; comments have come from FOX, ABC, NBC, and CNN, stating basically the same thing. Dr. Keith Ablow, a psychiatrist, said, “It may be fun and games now, Jenna, but at least put some money aside for psychotherapy for the kid.” He then went on to state, “the message she was sending was that this was an attack on masculinity.” And he proudly attacked her while wearing a pink tie. What a man. Mrs. Lyons simply took the high road and said, “It is his favorite color which changes daily.” The truth about kids, yes they have short attention spans when they are five. They enjoy time with their mother. They don’t know what having their toenails painted means to the rest of society and better yet they don’t care. They just want to have fun. A reader of the Erin brown’s statement wrote back, “A small child, with no secondary sexual characteristics, cannot be considered transgendered. On the other hand, a fully grown person as yourself can definitely be considered a small minded asshole.” Thank you, now I don’t have to say it.
What a world. Usually I have a weekly challenge that helps strengthen my mind or body but recently I have been a little lax blaming it on the rain and work. So this week I’m just going to be honest and tell you I have no plans to challenge my self but if I get a little exercise, read a little, or eat a little healthier then I’m happy, and if I don’t, I’m still happy. So until next week, do what ever makes you happy.

If women ran the world we wouldn't have wars, just intense negotiations every 28 days.” -Robin Williams

Monday, April 18, 2011

Livin' the High Life...

    Well, it was another dull week filled with rain and cold weather except for Wednesday and Thursday, which was a spring teaser with its sunshine and warm weather.  Saturday was another dreary day but exciting with our engagement photos.  Yes!  Nothing more awkward then being told to act natural when you are molded into a pose in the middle of Newark so a guy can take pictures of you while people walk by and stare at you.  On top of that it was cold and windy.  Hope the photographer  can edit my awkward expressions off my face and replace it with a better one.
    Although wasn’t much going on this week, I did receive my sponsorship contract from Miller High Life. That’s right kids I am officially sponsored by Miller High Life.  Leave it to the “Champaign of beers” to sponsor someone like me.  No, no, I don’t get free beer(damn it), but I do get a check for one dollar and an official sponsorship.  It was as easy as becoming an internet minister, just go online and sign up. A few weeks later they send you a contract stating that you will live the high life, use common sense, and don’t embarrass other high lifers.  Let me just read(or type) some of the high life rules I must abide by per my contract;
  1. 1.Do not embarrass fellow high lifers with non-highlife wardrobe choices.  Examples: footwear designed for weight loss, green denim anything, button-down shirts with detachable hoods.
  2. 2.Never participate in a fishing trip where people are paid to reel the fish in for you.  That’s not fishing that’s poling. Never pole. (my favorite)
  3. 3.Camp. But not in a luxury RV.  That’s not camping.  And that’s not living the high life.
 These are just a few but my favorites and I agree with them. It also urges me to convert others to the high life, so go to the website  and get your sponsorship and start living the high life.
    Other then a few photos I’m going to post, that is it for this week, (don’t want to bore you like last week).  So whether your high life is being at the park taking pictures, sitting on the patio drinking a cold one, being with loved ones, or camping in the woods don’t forget to live your high life to the fullest.
my sponsorship contract.

match in make shift candle holder while sitting on the patio drinking beer equals living the high life.

“Don't go around saying the world owes you a living. The world owes you nothing. It was here first.”                -Mark Twain

Sunday, April 10, 2011

It's a long story...

    I am really excited to tell you about my weekend, so bare with me and I’ll explain the week in a few short sentences so I can talk about the weekend.
    Read a book, it was boring.   “Roads” by Larry McMurtry, is a book about him driving some American highways and he writes about what he sees.  I thought I would like it since I recently found out I like travel writings. It wasn’t for me.  Didn’t ride my bicycle everyday due to work, rain, and a cold.  That was the week.
    Ok, now the weekend. Well it started on Friday, I was going climbing after work with my fiancĂ©e, I was feeling better from my cold, but when we got there it was closed due to a climbing competition.  Didn’t bother me too much. So we then went to get fish tacos. We went to a tiny authentic Mexican restaurant called La Casita. While waiting for forty minutes I noticed the occupancy sign said “80,” there was clearly more then 80 people there but that was a good sign, means the food is good and it was. Well, the fajitas we had were,  the fish taco, only ok.  The fajita was a trio of fish, shrimp, and scallops on top of a bed of peppers, onions, and tomatoes, tortilla shells and all the fixens to top it off.  She drank a strawberry margarita, which was tasty, and I stuck to water due to mountain biking trip the next day. After dinner, we watched a movie and I was early to bed with a good weather report for the next day.
    6:45 am came quick, but was good because I hardly slept anyway.  Packed up the car and put the bike on top, a few stops for gas, cash and some travel snacks, and I was on the road.  Now, I realize I didn’t get into the book about a guy driving a highway and then writing about it, but I have to tell you about some thing I saw on the way because I was amazed by  it. It’s only a few sentences not a whole book.  So the morning had a fog that  you couldn’t see but maybe a half mile. That may seem like quite a bit of distance but not when your on a flat, straight road, and I was. 70 westbound is a straight shot to Indianapolis with just a handful of tiny hills and slight turns for 140 plus miles. West of Dayton I passed a group of more than fifty motorcycles. I thought to myself, “that’s cool, must be a clubs first ride of the year.”  Less then a mile a few more bikes.  Then a few more.  Then out of the fog another huge group and they kept coming after that. One or two bikes here, a few there, a big group, a small group. It was never ending. There were Harleys, Hondas, Suzuki’s, all brands.  Single riders, couples, men, women, old, young.  They road cruisers, crotch rockets, touring bikes, trikes, side cars, bobbers, choppers, there was even an enduro bike(on/off road bike). I even saw a group of twenty riders with the same bike, uniform , and helmets, I assumed they were a group of cops. It was AMAZING!  I wondered all day yesterday and today what they were riding for and were they were going or coming from so early in the morning.  So, obviously, when I got home I jumped on the internet to find out( after a shower, dinner, and frozen yogurt).  Apparently, there was two internal support beams from one of the trade center buildings from the 9/11 attacks traveling from Richmond, Indiana to Indianapolis, and the respectful riders were their escorts. That’s right, riders from all over came to escort the twin 22 foot beams to their final resting place, erected as a memorial in Indianapolis.  I didn’t see the trucks or the beams( wish I could have) because they were still in Richmond waiting for there army of  riders.
When I read that I was even more amazed.  So a few minutes on You Tube and here they are;
    After passing through Indianapolis it started to rain.  Ugh, can’t mountain bike in the rain. So for the last hour plus I watched the windshield wipers slap back and forth.  Arriving at Kickapoo State Park (named after the Kickapoo Indians) a few minutes after eleven, the rain had stopped and  I met up with Nick. We walked down the trail a little, or should I say swam down the trail, and realized it was way to wet to ride.  We checked the weather again, thanks to the Iphone of his, and it looked grim. Rain until 11am then thunderstorms until 5pm and cloudy until Sunday.  In less then 12 hours the weather went from partly cloudy to rain all day.  Damn you mid-west weather.  So we walked back to the cars and decided we could at least do a little hiking while we were here. So we headed into town grabbed a pair of Payless special hiking shoes  called Rugged Outbacks, a few tacos at the bell, and headed back.  When we walked out of Taco Bell, the sun was beaming down hard and the temp was climbing.  We went back hiked a couple of miles in the warm sunshine then headed to camp.
    Moving on.   We went to dinner at a gem of a place called the Little Nugget.  Great food and cheap, but lacks in a sense that, for lack of not having the right words to describe it, a shit-hole place. While feasting on some  delicious frisco melts, we politely asked for some silverware from a young employee that simply replied, “What kind?”  Uhhh… We were stumped. Not sure if that was a trick question or she was toying with our minds, we just sat there and stared at her with a dumbfounded look on our face for what felt like hours.  Finally, after the long seconds of blank staring she went and got us silverware.  A fork and knife to be specific, in case you were wondering what kind.
    The rest of the evening was filled with crystal clear skies, bright stars,a good campfire, and a 12 pack of Bud Light.  After breakfast this morning,  we  added a couple more miles to our hiking shoes under more clear skies before heading home. And that brings us to now, again, after a shower, dinner, frozen yogurt, and a little research on the computer.
    Wow that was a lot to tell. don’t worry I won’t be upset if you had to take breaks during my story, I did. This week I don’t have a challenge,  I have to clean up the yard and patio, which if you saw my yard and patio would look like a challenge.  So that’s it for now, until next week, if you knew that you couldn’t fail, what would you attempt?  Think about it.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Art and Fish Tacos

    It has been a busy week.  Painting, drawing, taking pictures, eating healthy, working out, practical jokes from Denmark, and what have I learned?  Well, I am no Michelangelo or Margaret Burkwhite that’s for sure. But I did the best that I can.
    First, lets talk about photography and who I admire as a photographer. Who else then Ansel Adams.  A pioneer in the photography field taking famous pictures of the west.  Mostly spending time in the national parks such as Yosemite  and the Grand Tetons taking pictures of mountain scenes that are as aw inspiring as being there in person and seeing the massive giants themselves.  He also took pictures of southwest Indians and some pictures for research done by scientist.  His work is different from anyone else of that era not just because he hiked to remote locations carrying heavy camera equipment  and sat for hours waiting to get that one amazing shot but because he developed a zone system as a way to determine proper exposure and contrast of the final print.  Of course the reason I like him isn’t just because his pictures are of mountains or because he is an environmentalist( at least he was before he died in 1984) but also because he had a beard and looked like a mountain man.
    Painting. Well since I was inspired by a photographer of mountains why not be inspired by someone who painted them. I looked towards none other then the afro wearing, beard having, happy little tree painting Bob Ross.   His inspiration came from the mountains of Alaska which he got to look at plenty when he was stationed there in the air force.  Yes that’s right he was service man.  Just like his neighbor on PBS, Mr. Rogers, who also spent time with the armed forces.   Bob actually quit the AF when he realized he made more money selling his paintings than being in the AF.  He used a quick technique called wet-on-wet oil technique which allowed him to keep painting without having to wait for anything to dry.  Sadly the gentle man died in 1995 from lymphoma.
    Then there is drawing. I didn’t necessarily find someone who drew mountains or nature scenes to inspire me although I very could have, no I chose to simply take some advice and start with a sharpie and white piece of paper. Thanks again Fleegan.  But I did however stick to a nature theme.
    So without further a due, here is what I did this week;

My drawings.
Not sure where this idea came from just a doodle. Only non-nature art I did.
Just a nature design with the bear prints, rain drops, feathers, flower and stars.

Definitely no Bob Ross but a first time attempt at painting.  Yes it is a lone mountain in the woods.

Well I didn’t have mountains to take photos of  but I did have a lot of birds and squirrels.
        With the photos and even the drawings I was able to simply put them on the computer and tweak them so that they look even better.  Adams and Ross however, didn’t have this capability or even needed it to make there art so detailed and incredible.
    Lastly my challenge or should I say challenges for next week.  First one is going to more of a long term challenge.  Fish tacos.  I am setting my sights on finding the best fish tacos in Columbus because my dear fiance needs some good fish tacos. So if you have a suggestion or idea where to go let me know. Along with finding fish tacos I’ll keep up with healthy eating and working out.  I’m heading to Kickapoo State Park(there really is a place called Kickapoo) on Saturday to mountain bike, so my workout plan is to ride everyday this week.  Also, I’m gong to read a book. Yep, you got it, I’m going to read a book. A whole book. Not a twenty page kids book but a real book. I’ll let you know how it goes.  So until next week, take care and have a happy little day.

“True photograph need not be explained, nor can it be contained in words.”

                                    -Ansel Adams

Friday, April 1, 2011

April Fools

            April Fools! Did you know that this isn’t an American only celebration? As a matter of fact, it is a world wide celebration and started over 500 years ago maybe even before that, depending on which origin you believe.  There are quite a few different stories on how this started. One is some Europeans would celebrate New Years the whole last week of March and through April 1, while others celebrated in January. So, the people with the January parties made fun of the ones in March/April, and so came April Fools.  There is a ton more and you can read all of them on Wikipedia if you want along with some practical jokes people have played over the years.
            Now, if you decide to take a little journey into Wiki-land and learn a little more about today’s celebration history you will see this picture;

I found this picture quite amusing for many reasons.  This photo was taken in Denmark, officially Kingdom of Denmark, one of the least corrupt countries in the world second to New Zealand, and also has the highest level of income equality.  Looking at this photo with  the main focus being the cleverly placed subway car which appears to be coming up through the ground with some street tiles tossed around. Very well done. But you can’t help but be distracted by the kid in the one piece snow suit(no snow on the ground) with a look on his face that says he’s already pissed that his mom dressed him like this and drug him out into public and then made him stand in front of this thing for a photo.  Now given these two objects in this photo are quite comical, I find my focus wasn’t drawn neither to the kid nor the subway car but to the wonderful American handprint that is labeled with a Burger King and KFC sign in the background.  Ahh, there’s nothing like seeing a Little America in every country. I bet to make it up, to the pissed off youth in the picture, the mom bought him a happy meal with a Junior Whopper and fries.  And the whole way home, in his snow suit, he played with the crappy toy he got and forgot all about the embarrassment his mom bestowed on him that day.  I wonder if that kid was ever curious enough to look up April Fools and was suddenly and sadly reminded of the traumatizing day.  I hope so.