Thursday, December 27, 2012

Movie Life

Happy Holidays! Yes it’s been a few weeks, but I’ve been busy, just like everyone around this time of the year. I’ve been travelling places, spending time with family, fighting our way through traffic jams, all that holiday stuff. We went to Tennessee this past weekend which is nothing short of beautiful. Amber’s family lives on the east side of the state in the mountains. It was perfect weather cold and crisp but sunny and clear. Unfortunately, we were so busy with family we didn’t have much of a chance to get away and do some hiking. The family time was great though. I could literally just listen to her grandpa all day telling stories.
Over the break I watched the movie The Avengers and if you have seen it then you know that there is an epic battle in a city, I think New York City, and there is massive damage to the city itself which got me thinking. What if movies were real? Think about it. New York would have been destroyed a few times along with other big cities like London, Paris, and Washington D.C. We would constantly be rebuilding. And amidst the rebuilding we would have to worry about aliens, robots, and evil villains. However, we would have some pretty impressive people protecting us though. The Avengers, the Fantastic Four, X Men, Superman, and Batman. I would have to battle through zombies to get to work in the mornings and I couldn’t go out at night in fear of getting bit by a werewolf or vampire. Dogs would talk, turtles would be ninjas, and chipmunks could dance. There would be dragons and an island full of dinosaurs. King Kong, mighty Joe Young and all the monkeys from planet of the apes. Godzilla would have demolished Tokyo while Jaws ruled the seas. A massive battle of alien versus predators would rage through the jungles. Ghosts, goblins, Stay Puff Marshmallow Man, and Ghost Busters would be battling it out in the streets of New York. A fifty foot woman, tiny people, cone heads, magicians, and everything your imagination has ever thought of. I don’t know what the world would be like but it would be pretty awesome to watch.
With the New Year right here, I thought that instead of copping out this year, I would come up with a challenge. Exercise, read more, save money, eat better, sleep better, be a better person, all of these I have tried along with everyone else on the planet so I needed something new. Technology has seen some impressive leaps these past few years, but what if it hadn’t? Where would we be? Well we wouldn’t be bale to pull out our phones and look up something on the internet or sit in front of a computer and watch live video of your friends while you chat with them. So, since the Myans were wrong about the end of the world just like Y2K never destroyed all computers I will have my own loss of connection, so to speak, and head back to a time before all this. They called it the ‘80s. I'll treat my phone like it was, well, a phone. Only accepting calls and making calls when I am at home or work and if I don’t answer they can leave a message and I’ll call back when I get the message. Not answering it in the car, no texting or playing games. The same with the computer, no computer use, except for work related not much I can do about that, gots to get paid. I'll still watch TV though because that’s been around for awhile. So starting January one, for a week, I am technologically incapable. Maybe I’ll write a letter in that week or read a book.  
So until next time, whenever that is, happy New Year.

“We secure our friends not by accepting favors but by doing them”   -Thucydides

Monday, December 3, 2012

Update on the Jesus Lovin' Flower

Update on the purple passion flower posted last week(; in Fleegan's description she said, " it looked like something that came from Mars' vagina." and she was right. It looks like something you would see in  martian porno. Maybe even something you would see if you ate to many mushrooms. Maybe even something off a Jimi Hendricks album cover or any band from the sixties for that matter.

Could be an album cover or a Martian porn. Either way you get the point.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Purple Passion Flower loves Jesus

Now I was born in Gadsden, Alabama and Amber was born in Greeneville, Tennessee, yes we are a southern born couple but we didn’t meet until after we became transplanted Yankees. However, we both lived in the south long enough for us  to learn that there is two things you (as a southerner) love more than anything else; Bar-B-Q and Jesus. You can’t walk down the street without seeing at least five churches and six BBQ joints, more or less given the street you’re on. Well we were reminded of this again when we met my sister in Gatlinburg a few weeks ago and we three came up with a few comments about a BBQ joint called Christ BBQ or Jesus’ BBQ Chapel or something of the sort, you get the idea. Today I was thumbing through Fleegan’s pictures (  ) and I came across this picture that Fleegan has taken;

In the comment sections she states that she had looked it up and found that it is called a purple passion flower. Curious to know more of these Martian looking flowers I looked it up and in the description I found this;

“This unusual flower is widely distributed in the Southeast, especially from Florida to Texas. The plants were given the name Passionflower or Passion vine because the floral parts were once said to represent aspects of the Christian crucifixion story, sometimes referred to as the Passion. The 10 petal-like parts represent Jesus’ disciples, excluding Peter and Judas; the 5 stamens the wounds Jesus received; the knob-like stigmas the nails; the fringe the crown of thorns.”

Whoa! Even the plants in the south love Jesus. I wonder if there is a BBQ plant?

Oh, quick note; Fleegan is my god sister that I grew up with in Alabama along with her brother Justin and my sister Kelly. All of us kids spent plenty of time together but more to come on that in future post.

For more of Fleegan check her site out All credit to fleegan and her aweome pictures.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

My Job

I know two posts in one week? Yes that’s right kiddies I have written two posts in one week, enjoy. So I was reading up on how to do my nails with a Christmas theme recently… ok I wasn’t, but I did read my wife’s blog ( about it because she is a good writer. While I was looking at her page I noticed that she had a “about me” section on her blog page that included a short blip about herself and a link to click to see her full profile. In her profile, you get to learn a little about her and her email is included if any readers wanted to contact her and that sort of stuff.  I didn’t realize this existed for the blog site we use when I started mine so I added a “about me” section on mine. I included a short blip about myself as well so new readers don’t have to fish through the old posts to see if they can find out something about me and my email address in my profile so anyone can contact me to ask a question, give me some razz, or whatever. Well in my profile portion I added that my occupation/job title is ophthalmic photographer.
Yea say that ten times fast. Ok try three times. Actually just try to say it once. Can’t? Don’t worry, neither can I without sounding like a robot.  The worst is that I have to spell it from time to time. Try that without looking back at it two or three times. Any who, what my job entails is diagnostic testing of the eye, more specifically diagnostic imaging. No, I don’t do x-rays of the eyes or anything like an x-ray. The only way what I do is anything like x-ray is that it is diagnostic imaging of anatomy and that’s it. It’s like saying taking a picture of the outside of your hand with your phone is the same as doing an x-ray.  So I use three main pieces of equipment that do multiple tests each.
My favorite is the fundus camera. All it is, a big fancy looking camera that is highly magnified with multiple filters to do different type of pictures of the outside and inside of the eye. You heard me right, the inside of the eye. You know when you go to the eye doctor and they put drops in your eyes? You become so light sensitive that when you leave you can’t see anything for a few hours and the every light is more blindingly bright than it has ever been? That’s when I take those pictures, when your pupils are dilated huge and you look like you’re on drugs. I use different filters to show different aspects of the different anatomy of the eye one test includes a dye that is injected through a vein in your arm and as the dye runs through the veins in your body and the back of the eye I snap photos using a blue flash. The dye is very similar to the stuff they use on CSI or any other forensic TV shows that is sprayed all over a crime scene then they use a black light and see all the blood. Actually it’s the same thing just a different strength. When the dye enters the veins in the back of the eye the initial pictures show this morbidly beautiful light show. I use the word “morbidly” because if you have nothing wrong with your eye (no disease) then the “light show” isn’t nearly as fantastic.
The next test I like to do the most is ultrasound of the eye or area around the eye (orbit). Yes ultrasound, the same thing that a pregnant woman gets so she can see the baby while it is still in the belly. Except my instruments are smaller and the sound waves they emit don’t penetrate as deep as the prego versions. So the answer is no to the question, “if I was pregnant can you scan my belly and see my baby?” We can look at everything from the very front (cornea), through the middle portions, black hole in the center (pupil) and colored part (iris), to the very back (retina and choroid) and even past into the muscles behind the eye.

The third piece of equipment is called optical coherence tomographer or OCT for short. Easiest way to described what is does is that it conducts a laser scan of the back part of the inside of the eye or as you learned above, the retina. When I say laser I don’t mean “rule the world write my name on the moon using a laser gun” laser more of just using a scanner on your eye laser. It’s kind of like in the movies when the character has to look into an eyepiece and a laser scans their eye and the door unlocks. So that’s what I do in a nut shell and 700 words.
All pictures are just example of what I do but I didn’t take these because that’s HIPPA violation.  I found these on the internet without labels.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Thanksgiving and Wooden Boats

 I made it through Thanksgiving without dying of overeating and I had a wonderful time as I usually do with the family. We ate lunch with the in-laws at an old inn called Shaw Inn in Lancaster, Ohio then moved onto dinner with my family at their house. Everyone ate too much, of course, took some pictures, chatted about life and what we were thankful for, you know all the typical Thanksgiving day mumbo jumbo.
 Recently my dad has picked up working on old boat motors for people, getting them running or just giving them a tune up or maybe just cleaning them up a bit. Well a few weeks ago he was asked to take a look at an old motor, a 1957 Evinrude 35 to be exact. Being the man he is, he accepted the challenge and went to pick up the motor but ended up bringing home not just the motor but the boat as well. Now he had told me about the boat which I didn’t think too much of until I saw it when I was there for the holiday. The boat, a year older than the motor, is a Lyman wood boat, built in Sandusky Ohio. Now it isn’t pretty by any means, not shiny or smooth, but it is solid. Definitely needs to be refinished. It’s one of those boats you see in movies with the flag waving off the bow, simple colors like red, blue, white, or just a dark wood color like mahogany. Just a classic style, good looking boat, at least it will be after someone cleans it up. I’ve seen wood boats on television or the computer before and I think they are neat but never thought too much about them beyond that. That was until I saw this one up close. I couldn’t stop looking at this boat I even took a ton of pictures of it.  I spent maybe a total of two hours all together admiring this machine. I would envision how it would look all clean and refinished sitting in the water on a cool fall day with the trees on the bank in the background changing colors. I could just see it. Even better it was built here in the United States, a few hours from where I live today. It was a solid, sturdy boat when it was new and still just as solid today, even after it had been sitting in the barn for however long. Plus it is almost sixty years old. It was built to last. They don’t make them like that anymore.
I haven’t had much time to think of a challenge as I have been busy with work, the holidays and I’m still finishing up with the NCAA  men’s soccer tournament so my challenges have been a little slack but hey, I’m a busy guy. Oh, on top of everything else I have about 75lbs of pecans to shell, that’s my challenge, get those done. I’m working on something that I’ll have to tell you about later. So unfortunately that’s it for now, until next time, happy happy happy.
“Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.”
   -Winston Churchill

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Annie Leibovitz

            We made it to the Annie Leibovitz exhibit but unfortunately there wasn’t as much landscape photos as I had hope. However, the pictures that made her famous were there and they were something else. Its weird how most of her photos seem like they were just taken of the celebs as they were just hanging around, not really posing for photos. I think that’s why they were so good. The people, for the most part, weren’t all dauled up in clothes and makeup. There were quite a few photos of Arnold Schwarzenegger, not that he isn’t a celeb but just didn’t expect it. My favorites were Willie Nelson, Louise Bourgeois, her early Rolling Stones photos, and yes Arnold from the late ‘70’s, basically any of her black and white portraits.
            Now I said there wasn’t much landscape but what there was, was amazing. The one that stuck out the most to me was from Annie’s “pilgrimage”. There was a section of basically random photos of houses, TVs, books, whatever, it looked like pictures I took when I first pulled my camera out of the box of random objects around the house. But during her pilgrimage Leibovitz made it out to Yosemite National Park, basically following the footsteps of one of my favorite photographers Ansel Adams. There were just a few photos but she did an excellent job recreating the beauty that Adams did of the park. Needless to say it was an inspiring event and made me want to run out and take photos of people.
            Quick soccer update; college soccer is coming to an end with the NCAA tournament starting this week. 48 teams are entered and seeded to battle to the end. I have my choices of who I would like to see make it to the College Cup (soccer version of the final four) but out of respect of my audience I’ll keep my predictions to myself so I don’t offend any readers, since I know how much you like soccer.
            So that’s what’s going on for this week, I have a lot of soccer writing to do as I am covering the tournament so that’s basically my challenge, to get that done. If you want to keep up with the tournament;, otherwise, until next time, if we weren’t meant to have a midnight snack, then why is there a light in the fridge?
“Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.”      -Theodore Roosevelt

Thursday, November 8, 2012


Well unfortunately I was unable to do my hike to the top of Clingman’s Dome this weekend due to weather conditions caused by Ol’ Super Storm Sandy. I was disappointed to say the least, but with a foot of snow covered by a sheet of ice, hiking along a ridge top somewhere between 5000-6600 feet was deemed a little unsafe. I will return someday and make the hike maybe even start lower than where I had planned and make it a bigger hike. Nevertheless, we were able to drive up to the top of the mountain because they had cleared the roads so we were able to get some photos. Despite the snow and ice covered ground the sky was clear and sunny and when we finally got to the top the wind was howlin’ so hard Amber about blew away.  At Newfound Gap (where we had planned to start our hike) we watched the sunrise which was nothing short of spectacular. Then we drove seven miles to the top of Clingman’s Dome and the sights where awe inspiring. To look out over the valleys with the sun beaming down lighting up one side of the mountains while the other side still covered by darkness made for a peaceful morning at the top, cold, but peaceful. Fog still hung below in the valleys fighting the sun just to hang around for a little longer. We snapped a few photos of the landscape and got a picture or two of us before making our way back down the mountain. The rest of the trip was filled with relaxing, being tourist, and trying to drive the windy mountain roads back and forth to the cabin. And if you are ever down that way, and decide to order a pizza, try calling a few places to see if they deliver to the side of the mountain before just giving up and driving down yourself only to pass two pizza delivery guys on the way. Anyway the trip was a fun trip and even though I didn’t get my hike done at least I made it to the top to see it. Here are a couple of pictures;

Kelly and Amber on the porch at our cabin

On our way to the top we stopped and Amber took this photo.

Sunrise at Newfound Gap

From the top of Clingman's Dome
           Well haven’t had much time to make a challenge, but I do have plans to check out an Annie Leibovitz exhibit here in Columbus. Leibovitz is a famous photographer known for here celebrity photos but has done some landscape shots as well. I’m really interested in seeing the landscapes more than the celebrities but I am excited about seeing here black and grey portraits which remind me of Lee Jeffries’ portraits who I told you about in the post “Chris and Abandoned People”. So, until next time, enjoy the sights as they pass before you.
“Impossible is a word to be found only in the dictionary of fools.”    
-Napoleon Bonaparte

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

the little things...

  It’s the little things in life that make a big statement. For example, a simple card for someone after a long day of work or school or a picture that shows the little things or even running three miles for a good cause. These are simple gestures, ok running 3 miles may not be so simple to some but you get my point. Anyways, however small or insignificant you think one thing is, may have a huge impact on someone else. Ok, ok Ill give you examples, and because I want to brag.
    My first came on Friday night. I worked all day and when I got home there was a card from Amber that said simply that she loves me and thanks for being there. Nothing outrageous or over-the-top, just a card that said so little but meant so much. It just grabs you, you know? Another example; amber and I are so good together because we can be alone or with friends, just on the couch or in bar and we always have fun together, its obvious when you see us together. Well we had gone to Chicago back in July with a group of friends and we were out when one of them snapped this photo:

I hate to brag, not really, but you can see the same fun we have together after five years together as we did when we first started dating.
    Moving on from cheesiness. Again, doing so little may impact on other levels. This weekend I ran my first 5K and I even paid to do it. Yes, yes I paid thirty bucks so I could run in a big crowd of people for three miles. Well its more than that. Sure I could have ran three miles anywhere, anytime for free but this was for a good cause. It was for breast cancer research. Now that may have not been the main reason I did it but that’s what the money went to. However, the reason I did impacted me on a personal level. I ran the whole thing. I didn’t walk or even slow down once. I did want to towards the end but I didn’t. It showed me that I could do something like that if I just have my head in the game and strive for the prize, even though there wasn’t a material prize except for a bagel and a bottle of water. I finished in 27 minutes and 42 seconds. One second faster than my cousin. He was the one that got me out there so I blame/thank him for it.

(My cousin Jason and eye at Ohio Stadium, where Ohio State plays, before the 5K on Sunday.)
         Well that’s it for now, we are heading down to Gatlinburg, Tennessee this weekend to hangout with my sister and I have a little side trip planned. I have mapped out a hiking trip from Newfound Gap up to Clingmans Dome which is eight miles climbing1500-plus feet. Newfound Gap is around 5000 feet high and Clingmans tops out at over 6600 feet, so its up hill the whole way. Clingmans Dome is the third tallest peak on the east side of the states. That’s my challenge for this week or should I say my next accomplishment. So until next time, have you heard…..about the bird?

Oh, I almost forgot, I was asked about my new camera. I have a Nikon D3200. 24 mega pixels, 4 frames per second, 11 focus points, full HD video, a thousand buttons and functions that I’m not entirely sure about yet but working on it… and so on. Hopefully I’ll get some good pics from our trip to Tennessee. Here is the link to the stats if you wan to know more;

“When word become unclear, I shall focus with photographs. When images become inadequate, I shall be content with silence.”                                                                                    -Ansel Adams

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Bettlejuice, Whiskey, and Criticism

Lately I’ve come to realize that I can’t watch a movie or look at a picture without… not sure how to put this, criticizing it (maybe). However, when I see, for instance, a picture of a family of five carrying a canoe (we have one at work) mom, dad, two boys and a girl, I can’t help but to think to myself, “all of them can’t fit in that canoe.” Then the thoughts start to tumble.  “There aren’t any seats in the canoe. And the daughter is the only one with a paddle, so are they just going to all take turns paddling. And they aren’t even heading towards any water. Ok, so maybe they are done and they are heading back.” I know, I know, it’s a simple ad to get people to buy into something but for some reason it gets to me. Another example; Amber and I were watching Beetlejuice, the movie, and in the beginning when the car goes off the bridge in a short, slow drop into water where the car floats a bit before sinking that supposedly kills the main characters, that situation is easily survivable and their escape from the car could have easily been done but they still die. I can’t get past it, it just gets to me. The worst is I realize that it’s just a movie or an ad but I can’t help but think to myself. “That could have been planned out better.” Take for instance the canoe picture; if it was me making the ad, I would have put a little more realism in there. First and foremost, seats in the canoe. I’ve been in a few canoes in my life so I know a good canoe has seats. A white water canoe doesn’t but they also don’t make white water canoes big enough for five people. Also a canoe for five has to be long, credit to the picture they got that right. Add a few seats and the picture becomes even more truthful. Second, paddles. The little girl, who is maybe five, carrying one paddle for the whole boat, lets add a few more in the boat while the family carries it. We will give it four since I doubt the little girl actually paddled anyway. Third, life jackets, one or two around some necks and the rest in the boat and now we are almost there. Last, the crew, they look clean and dry. If anyone has ever been in a canoe, you know as well as I that you don’t stay clean or dry. You either get mud all over you from getting in and out or you get wet from either going in the water or switching hands while paddling which water drips from the paddle. Plus three kids, no way everyone stayed dry on that trip. They would be dry and clean if they were going to the water but they clearing were heading towards the car. Ok, ok so I looked way too much into this picture as I did in my April Fool’s 2011 post ( it probably is partly that the picture is in the kitchen so when I go to heat up my lunch I stare at it and give it my criticism.
            I know that was a bit much so here is the rest of my week. Last Saturday Amber and I went on a date night where we had some Mexican dinner at a delicious place called Cantina Laredo by the Polaris shopping center. The food is excellent. I had fish tacos and she had a veggie enchilada which, I must say, was pretty tasty as well. Then we headed to the Short North district for a cocktail or two at a whiskey bar called Barrel 44 and Amber fell in love with a drink called “New York sour.” Needless to say it was a wonderful evening. Five days of work then its play time again. This weekend we celebrate Halloween by heading back down to the Short North for what’s called Highball Halloween, and we are dressing up, or down in my case. Amber will be appearing as the Mad Hatter with her own twist on the costume while Ill dress as Beetlejuice, now you know why we were watching it. Then on Sunday I run my first marathon. WHAT!?! I know, right? Well it’s only a 5k (3.1 miles) but after a night of surely a few drinks, which I plan/hope to keep to a minimum and I haven’t ran anything close to that distance since high school over ten years ago, I may die. Needless to say this may be my last post.
            I guess that’s my challenge is to finish the 5k, alive. So until next time, I ain’t afraid of no ghost.

“There is hope for the future because God has a sense of humor and we are funny to God.”                                                                                                      -Bill Cosby

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

A razor company once invited George Bernard Shaw to shave his famous beard. He responded with a postcard:
I shall never shave, for the same reason that I started a beard, and for the reason my father started his. I remember standing at his side, when I was five, while he was shaving for the last time. “Father,” I asked, “Why do you shave?” He stood there for a full minute and finally looked down at me. “Why the hell do I?” he said.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Bicycles and Cars

        While driving to work I frequently have to dodge bicyclists as they dart from in between parked cars out into the road only to cut me off and make me drive behind them going ten miles an hour which can be a huge pain in the ass when you are running a little late to work. Most days, however, they do a good job staying out of the way and off to the side of the road. Because I live so close to downtown and campus, there are quite a few bikers on the road. I myself ride a bicycle, ok just on trails but I still ride and I respect the people who do and it’s good for the environment. Well any who, I was on my way to work this morning on a fairly busy part of the road, cruising around forty and I noticed a guy on a bicycle on the sidewalk. There wasn’t anything strange about this man, typical business looking guy, shirt, tie, bike helmet. In fact I’ve seen this guy, actually the bike he was on, before. The bike is usually parked outside my office building. I continued on to a stop light where he was able to cross over and go on. As I started to catch up to him, after the light turned green, he came to a car trying to pull out of a drive way/entrance of a building. The car was slightly blocking the side walk so the bike guy went around the back of the car. I was right in front of the car that was waiting to pull out when all of the sudden I see the back tire and legs of the bicyclist go flying high into the air just as I was pulling past the car. I came clear of the front bumper the instant after his hand, shoulder, and face hit the ground and he flipped over his bike. I lost it. Then I felt bad for the guy because I have done the same thing on a trail but then I laughed again. I looked in my rearview mirror to see him jump up brush his legs off and jump back on his bike like it never happened. Later on I walked down to the parking lot to get something from my car and I saw the bike. I laughed again.
            Lesson learned, never ride a bike where there are a ton of people because if you crash people will laugh. I know it has been a few weeks, again, but I have been doing a few things. I went to an Ohio State soccer game, went hiking with Penny, and bought a new camera. I did a little valet work for a couple of weddings and I got to drive some nice cars. Ok not drive them really I just parked them. The cars these days remind me of space ships from movies. There are all kinds of lights and sounds. One even had a display on the windshield. They talk to you and park themselves it was crazy. The first thing I think of when I first got into a car like that was, “What if the battery dies?” Don’t get me wrong these cars were nice but still not my cup of tea. Amber and I were out walking when we came across a light blue 1966 Ford Mustang with the original 289(motor) in it. It was a pretty car. Amber said, “I like that car.” And that is one of a million reasons I love that woman. It wasn’t a BMW or Mercedes, it wasn’t fancy by any means. It didn’t talk, have heated seats, hell, it barely even had seatbelts. And yes she has said the same about some newer cars but the way she said it about this one, more sincere. Like she could drive the other cars but she WOULD DRIVE this car. She said the same about a ’67 Camaro we saw in Alabama. God I love that woman.
            That’s all I have for now, Ill try to post some more pics from the new camera but for now you’ll have to enjoy the one Amber took of Penny (posted down below this post). Until next time, GET OFF THE ROAD (it can mean so much, it just depends on how you want to take it).  

  I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I needed to be.”  -Douglas Adams

Tuesday, October 2, 2012


Amber took this photo of Penny as she was being lazy on the floor.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

More Soccer

Let us talk sports, more specifically soccer. Even more specific college soccer. Wait, before I go on, I realize the majority of my audience is American and the only college sport that matters is football. Now don’t get me wrong all day Saturday I yell “WAR DAMN EAGLE,” right in the heart of Buckeye country and I’ll fight to the end spouting that the SEC is a much better and tougher conference than the Big Ten, but on Fridays and Sundays I’m watching another score board.       All across the states, college soccer matches are played with the same rivalry and the same passion that sees a football field on Saturdays. The fans are as rowdy and loyal just like any other sport. There are powerhouses such as Indiana, North Carolina, Connecticut, and Maryland. There are underdogs every year, like the University of Dayton or East Tennessee State University. The conference tournaments and national tournaments are just as important to them as they are to any football team. They even have a Heisman trophy, well it’s not called a Heisman it’s a Hermann, but the significance is the same. Only ONE outstanding player receives the prestigious award every season. “But why, PJ, do you care so much about soccer?” Well because I write articles for a website ( about men’s college soccer. Ha-ha, if my English teachers from high school heard that they would crap their pants. Now I’m no pro writer, far from it, and I’m still doing small things like Team Previews and Draft Profiles, which is another thing. These kids can get picked up after any season whether they are a senior or freshman, and sign with a pro team. Their draft is in January and is a huge deal in the soccer community. Some of these youngsters not only play here in the USA after college for a pro team but get picked up by an international team like Spain or England and play on an international level. I also get an article posted each week called, “PJ’s Picks.” I feature a team or player each week that I think people should keep an eye on. Now I know there are people out there that make fun of soccer like yankees (not the baseball team but them northern folk) used to make fun of NASCAR, which is now one of the most watched sports and makes a ton of money between February to October, but soccer is a huge sport all over the globe and shouldn’t be laughed at. Even during the spring season, the club (soccer teams are referred to clubs) will travel to another country to play teams on the other side of the pond. They also don’t just play one spring game they usually play between six and eight matches. For fans it’s like having two seasons. I’m not saying that you have to follow soccer but if you’re interested at all, check out the link to my articles ( They will catch you up on the season and give you an idea on who to watch. I also help out with choosing the “Player of the Week” for each conference every week, and I have lent my opinions to another site with some preseason picks ( So check my articles, read a little something about college soccer, and until next time, WAR EAGLE!

“Always do right- this will gratify some and astonish the rest”   -Mark Twain

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Indian Cheif

           The broccoli didn’t work. I repeat, the brocili does not work. After a week of broccoli every day, it did not help Amber’s breathing. Well it was worth a shot.
            Occasionally when I don’t have a topic to write about I will skim the internet for a brief time just to see if something pops out and this time I found a treasure. In a news paper article in 2003 a government official (the article didn’t say who) asked the Patawomeck Indian tribe chief, Two Eagles, where the white man went wrong after observing them for ninety years during war and technological growth. After staring at the official in silence for over a minute, chief Two Eagles said, “When white man find land, Indians running it, no taxes, no debt, plenty buffalo, plenty beaver, clean water. Women did all the work, medicine man free. Indian man spend all day hunting and fishing; all night having sex.” Then the chief leaned back and smiled, “only white man dumb enough to think he could improve system like that.”
            I didn’t even know what to think after that. Think about it. You have literally no worries. Ok maybe bears and mountain lions and an occasional snake but you spend all day fishing on the banks of this crystal clear stream or hunting deer or buffalo in an untouched forest. You know when people ask, “Who is one person you would like to meet?” my answer now is Two Eagles. Sure there are people out there that can enlighten you on how life was “back then” or the Dalai Lama can help you find peace in yourself, Queen Elizabeth can… take you for a tour in her royal house, the President…uhm…can shake your hand. I’m not really sure what the President can do in a one-on-one visit, except maybe answer questions and I guess the same goes for the Queen. But a man like Two Eagles can tell you how it should be or how it was. He can give tell you stories of how his family did things and how they reacted to all the changes since white man came. The Dalia Lama, mother Teresa, the Pope, all these types of people are in a way to “mainstream.” (I’m not a hipster that was just the only word I could think of to get my point across)You never see a headline that reads, “Indian Chief Two Eagles to visit such and such place, crowds gather to be enlightened by this man.” I mean we live in America, who else to get advice on how the best way to live here than a man who’s family has literally lived here since the beginning.
            So that’s what I have for this week, again it’s a short one. I don’t have a challenge but if I get one I’ll let you know. Until next time, no one can ever steal your dreams, but they can steal the covers, when they do it’s on like Donkey Kong.

“Trouble no more about their religion; respect others in their view, and demand that they respect yours”.                   -Chief Tecumseh

Thursday, August 16, 2012


     Well kiddies it’s been a week so I figured I would write a little something down for your reading pleasure. As you may have read in the past, guessing you have been following me since the beginning, I was a vegetarian for a week. It wasn’t bad at all. Well my wife decided to become a vegetarian recently and not just for a week but possibly the rest of her life. “Why?” All you meat lovers may ask. Well a long story short, she doesn’t condone the killing of innocent animals. So for the past month now I have been supporting her the best way I can, by be a vegetarian also. Ok not enitrely. For dinners I have usually been a vegetarian because it’s easier to make one meal instead of two, she usually does the cooking anyway and she’s better at it then me, and lastly because I do support her decision. Now I have eaten meat, lunch meat for lunch usually and a few things here and there for dinner but I would say I have been 75% vegetarian. Speaking of amber and veggies, my wife has some breathing issues in the mornings. Wait let me go into better detail. When she wakes up she is all stuffed up, it’s an allergy thing or deviated septum or both. Well I read an article a couple of years ago about eating broccoli helps with breathing if you eat it everyday. So I thought, since I really have no trouble why not try it on someone who does. So I asked amber if she’d be willing to eat broccoli everyday and without hesitation she said yes. I gave her the option of preparing the green stuff any way she wanted whether it was plain, cooked, raw, a little salt or buried in cheese it doesn’t matter as long as she gets it down. She started on Monday so we are just into day four, I’ll update you after a few more days.
            That’s all I have for this week, short and sweet. So until next time, life is a shoe, wear it (got that from a Teva commercial).

“Education is the ability to listen to almost anything without losing your temper or your self-confidence.”  -Robert Frost

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Movies and Beer

    So I was suppose to have a beer review for you like two weeks ago and I did have one. Amber and I went to this wine tasting, give me a minute let me explain, that a local grocery store has every Friday night, six bucks and you get to taste six wines. Plus they have a little piece of some kind of food, cheese, crackers, sausage, steak, you know the usual things you would pair with wine. Well we go at least twice a month and few times ago they offered beer along side wine so it was the tasters choice. I chose beer. Literally the last post I did we went to the wine tasting that evening and they had this beer tasting also, perfect. They give you a card and it tells you what you want to know. I thought I had it made. Amber had a pen so I could mark which ones I liked and why. We went around to all six stations had a nice little “date”  went home and had a tasty dinner and so the weekend went on. Come that Monday, no card in sight. I’0m pretty sure it got tossed out with all my notes about each beer. The only thing I can remember to tell you about the beer, Oregon has some good beers.
    Speaking of reviews, another subject other than food and drink that gets plenty of review is movies. I admit there are some good movies out there and some have come out recently but I still have a bone to pick with Hollywood. With all that talent out there you think they could come up with something original. It seems like everything out now is either from a book, a sequel, a remake, or a comic book. I’m sure it’s not easy to write a movie but how hard can it be when the book is already written, I mean come on the work is already done. Same goes for comic books. They may not follow the story line of some exact comic but you already have the character down and they even provide pictures to look at what the character wears and looks like. Then you have remakes and sequels. Not only do you have a story line and a reference of what the character should wear or how they dressed but you basically have the movie, add some new actors and actresses and mix up the dialog a little and bam you have a new movie. I also feel like that if the movie doesn’t fall in one of the above named categories then it follows a storyline already done by another movie. Girl falls in love with man, they fight, they make up, they live happily ever after. Some one gets taken hostage, main character is pissed and goes after the kidnappers with a vengance and the good guys win. Occasionally they will change a few things like someone good dies or the bad guy gets away but for the most part it’s the same. I’m not saying the originals aren’t out there I’m just saying the best sellers right now aren’t any of them.  I’m just sayin’. Nick and I talked about this when I went to Chicago a few weeks back for my birthday and I just wanted to share it with rest of you.
    I’ll have to get back to you for a challenge as I don’t know if I have one yet but I’m shemin’ one up. Until next time, don’t be a remake be yourself.

“Critics! Those cut-throat bandits in the paths of fame.”            -Robert Burns

Thursday, July 19, 2012

What a month...

            Don’t worry I haven’t forgotten about you, my loyal readers you have been so anxiously awaiting my return.  Let me start with my “dishes from another country” challenge. I’ll start with Finland, a country that loves smoked salmon and heavy breads such as rye.  So, I made a smoked salmon sandwich with cucumber and cream cheese on rye bread with a side of fresh strawberries and blueberries because the Finish people are big on picking wild berries. Next we travel to Romania were we had lamb steaks and vegetables.  We were suppose to have a side dish called polenta which is basically like our grits or cornbread depending on how you prepare it, but our electric went out so I couldn’t make it. Instead I made veggies on the grill with the lamb steaks. We hit Denmark next, and again, my favorite in the challenge.  Denmark eats more pork per capita then any other country, I would have thought they were more into fish being surrounded by water but no pork it is.  Their traditional meals are a meat based meal usually pretty hearty with gravy and potatoes. I made pork chops with mushroom gravy and provolone cheese and a side of mashed potatoes.  It was delicious.  Off to England and Scotland which I did together because they are very similar in dishes. From the motherland I made bangers and mash or for Americans sausage and mashed potatoes.  Basically I read there isn’t anyone certain kind of sausage to use so I picked up some regular smoked sausage and plain mashed potatoes and had yet another hearty meal that was pretty cheap and extremely easy to make. The dishes weren’t that much different then our diet aside from a few spices or the way some things are prepared, so I had no trouble finding any of the ingredients I needed, however, the fish and lamb was a little on the expensive side.
            The past month has been exciting, scary, painful, and just plain awesome.  Let’s start back in June, the 29th to be exact.  Dad and I went to the Air Force Museum for a little father and son bonding time and to see some bad ass planes. While we were in there a massive wind storm came through Ohio knocking out power all over the state including mine.  That was a Friday and I didn’t get power back until the next Tuesday.  The day we got our power back we went with my cousin (Jason) and his wife (Sarah) to watch Red, White, and Boom which is Columbus’ fire work show. Although it was hot the fire works and company made for a great time.  The fourth was another sweltering day as much of July has been, so we spent it inside relaxing in the air conditioning.  The following Friday we packed up a couple of suitcases and headed up to Chicago.  Chicago is one of my favorite places to visit.  Friday night we actually stayed in Crystal Lake Illinois at Nick’s house.  Saturday morning I, Amber, Nick, and Nick’s wife (Danielle) headed to downtown Chicago where we met the rest of the group of friends that was in town.  All ten of us headed to the Field Museum (two museums in a month) looked at some old stuff including mummies and dinosaurs. Later that night we went out to dinner and sample the night life. Sunday off to watch the Cubbies win a game for my 30th birthday, yep I’m 30. After the game we went to Navy Pier and rode the Ferris wheel.  Monday we went home.  And finally last night Amber and I went and got our “wedding tattoos” which read, “Set me as a seal upon thy heart, as a seal upon thine arm.” And that my friends, has been one of the busiest and most exciting months I have had in a long time. And there is almost two weeks left to go.  With three parties planned out, a small one with the in-laws to celebrate me being old, a ‘80s style pool party, and a family reunion party that is at the end of the month at my cousin Jason’s house there no telling what will happen in between them.
            Oh by the way my soccer tournament that I was so into, my teams lost.  Italy was one of my teams and they made it all the way to finals. This wasn’t supposed to happen per everyone that watched that tourney. But with the faith of their fans on their side they made it. Even though they lost they earned tons of respect from everyone. So Italy I salute you.          
            As for my challenge I still have to do Iceland which I never got too and I like the challenge quite a bit so I'm going to maybe add a few countries to my list after Iceland but I m going to try some beers or drinks from other countries. Actually that’s a better sounding challenge any way. I think ill do that instead. So that’s it for now, until next time, America, F**K YEA.

"Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy."   -Ben Franklin

Monday, June 18, 2012

Soccer Hulligan

  I’m not a soccer fan by any means; at least I wasn’t until last Wednesday when I caught a glimpse of Denmark playing against Portugal.  Denmark was one of the last sixteen teams in the euro 2012 championship soccer tournament. And as always with Denmark I have to cheer them on.  Well, my cheering didn’t help and they lost but not with out a fight.  Shortly after that game Germany played and defeated Netherlands or Holland or the Dutch, the commentators weren’t very consistent when it came to talking about the Netherlands.  I grew more interested in it when I did a little research about the tournament. So basically there were four groups of four teams that play each other for two spots in the quarter finals against other group winners then the semi-finals then the final game.  I made a friendly wager with Nick (whom you’ve seen in previous post).  We both took eight teams and with each win the winner receives a beer.  I took Denmark, of course, hoping that there luck would turn around after losing to Portugal. I also took Netherlands, Czech Republic, Greece, and Croatia, with a few others. He took England, Spain, Russia, and Germany just to name a few.  I didn’t start off good losing the first 5 out of six games and one of the six was a draw.  But I finally got on the board with two wins on Saturday.  Another disappointment came yesterday when Netherlands was beat by Portugal, no not the whole team of Portugal just Christiano Ronaldo, and my Denmark was beat by “zee” Germans, giving Nick two more.  With four more games until the quarter finals, I already have Greece and Czech Republic playing Germany and Portugal Ronaldo in the quarters.  Go Ukraine (my next team I need to win).
            Speaking of Saturday, it was another hot day in Columbus and amber says, “I wish we had a pool,” but with all the public pools overly crowded with kids and parents yelling at them, we decided to get a kiddies’ pool.  Not that we had plans to swim laps but just lay in cold water soaking up the sun and drinking cocktails. Off to target we went. We found a pool, filled it up, and we settled in for an afternoon of cold water and hot sun.  Now, this is the point of the story that I want to paint you a picture of how it looked.  First, the setting obviously a blistering hot day, a backyard, let me rephrase that, a yard of about five feet that fades into a gravel parking spot for about twenty feet then into an alley.  The houses are about an arms reach from each other and if I wanted I could hit the house behind ours with a rock thrown with my left hand (I’m right handed).  Did I mention that the houses surrounding ours are duplexes?  So you could say I live on a crowded street.  However, none of this stopped us from cooling down in an inflatable pool.  Some people would call it a little redneck I call it, we were f**king hot. So there we sat beer in my hand a cocktail in hers, sunglasses, and smiles on our faces.  A neighbor pops out of his back door and after locking it he turns towards us and freezes for a second and without hesitation we smile at him and wave.  He just semi-waves and gives us this look like we were the biggest hillbillies he had ever seen. Since we were so close to him we could see the absolute expression of, “what the hell,” on his face.  It was priceless.  He went on his way and there we sat all afternoon soaking in alcohol, sun, and pool water.  After dinner we sat on the front porch until complete darkness then headed in for the evening. It was an awesome day.
            That’s what I have for you this post.  So my challenges haven’t been the best in the world lately so I’ve decided to make another cooking/drinking challenge.  Since the soccer bug hit me, I’ve been thinking of someday travelling over to Europe, something me and Amber hope to do sometime in the future.  So I decided to make some traditional dishes from other countries and pair it with a traditional drink.  Denmark is an obvious choice, I’ll try an English and Scottish dish, because those are were my family first came from.  And for some odd balls I’ll attempt a Finland, Iceland, and Romania dish.  I think this is a repeat challenge that I never finished so lets give it another shot.  So until next time, explore the world anyway you can whether it’s plate by plate, page by page, or plane by plane. 

“It is not the mountain we conquer but ourselves.”  -Edmund Hillary

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Climbing and Charles Anderson

Before I tell you about my weekend I should tell you about my challenges from two weeks ago.  The first was to write more, so this one is going to be a long post.  Second, was to do something to benefit someone which I cleaned out my closet and have a pile of clothes to take to donation.  Third, was to learn something new which I learned that Margherita pizza came from Greece in 1889 when they made a pizza in honor of Queen Margherita of Italy, it was made in the colors of the Italian flag; red being tomatoes, green basil, and white cheese.  So there you go, my challenges complete, now on to my weekend.
            I took Friday off work and we headed to my home state of Alabama to visit my sister. We got there early evening, went to dinner, and just relaxed Friday night.  Saturday morning came early, partly because my dog doesn’t sleep at night, but mostly I was excited for the day. I was heading out to do some climbing while Amber (wife), Kelly (sister) and Christy (Kelly’s’ neighbor) were going to do some shopping. After a cup of coffee, some breakfast and a quick check of my gear I was out the door.  I ended up at a place called Cherokee rock village which is atop a mountain over looking Weiss Lake.  I did go alone which I don’t recommend but the ladies aren’t much for climbing and Kevin (childhood friend) was at work.  But in my defense it was a holiday weekend so there where plenty of people there.  As soon as I parked I was on a rock climbing like a cat up a tree. Ok that may be a lie, more like a dog trying to climb a tree.  It has been awhile since I climbed so I was a bit weak and rusty.  I did conquer a few good routes and after a few hours on the rocks and a huge blister on my toe I packed up and headed back to Kelly’s.  I would have stayed all day but we had planned a cookout in celebration of Christy’s birthday.  After I got back and the girls got home and we started cooking baked beans, mac and cheese, chicken dip, potato salad, hamburgers, chicken dip, plus everything else people brought, and yes there was alcohol.  We played horse shoes and bocce ball and hung out with friends and family.  It was a great day.  Sunday was a bit more relaxed, did some visiting with friends and family and some riding around looking at the places I grew up.  Yesterday we packed up and headed home.  It was a great weekend.
Now I left out one part of my story because I am going to elaborate on it now.  There is a road a few miles from my sister’s house called
Hinds Road
which apparently is haunted.  So, for a little thrill Friday night on our way to dinner, we drove down the road when it was still light out and again after dinner when it was dark.  Now this road is a very curvy, narrow gravel path through a dense forest of trees that hang over the road in almost a complete tunnel.  All this gives it an eerie feeling in the day time so you can imagine at night how dark it gets on the road.  when you first pull on the road there are a few houses but then the road goes from paved to gravel and no houses but trees, moss, rocks, and a pond.  Not a big pond maybe thirty feet across and seems fairly shallow, going by the look of it, but it is the base for the haunting of the road.  The story goes that there used to be a witch that lived close to the pond named Torbit during the early 1900’s.  When a child would stray to close to the area she would snatch them up, kill them, and drink their blood to keep her young and beautiful.  The town folk got fed up with it and went there to take care of business.  As the story goes they found the pond filled with blood and bodies of missing children and a cave with a fowl stench in which one man went in and came out screaming but never said what he saw in there.  When the mob went to the shack where Torbit lived they found a young beautiful woman standing on the porch and when they lit the place on fire she stood there laughing.  Now a days you can hear her still cackling, see orbs on the pond and the cave still reeks of the fowl odor.  I didn’t hear a cackle, see orbs, or smell the cave of course I didn’t get out to check either.  So that’s the story of the witch and that’s the only story you will find about it on the internet. What the internet doesn’t mention is the story of Charles and Elizabeth Anderson.  During Torbits rein a group of young teenagers, including young Charles and his younger sister Elizabeth, ventured up the mountain in search of this “so-called” witch and find her they did.   Charles was the only to return never speaking of what happen on the mountain. A year later he was drafted to go over seas for the First World War.  After the war Charles returned home to Gadsden unhappy to hear about Torbits continued rein so he vowed to kill the witch.  He went up the mountain and never returned.  Some time later the mob that set the shack ablaze was formed and sent up.  After setting the fire, the mob was heading down as the sun was setting and when the reached town they realized a young man was missing from the group.  Now dark, they refrained from going to look for him.  Hours later the young man came out with a ghostly look on his face, he struggled to tell a story of a ghostly man that led him down the mountain.  To this day the story goes that Charles Anderson still lives on the mountain fighting the witch and making sure that kids find their way home and don’t suffer the same fate as his sister Elizabeth.  Now, when the moon is just right beaming through the dense trees you can see him watching over any of those who are lost and helps them find their way home and occasionally you can hear him calling out in search for Elizabeth.
            It was a pretty awesome weekend and I can’t wait to head back down there.  No challenges this time just the stories of adventure.  So until next time, go on an adventure.

“The golden moments in the stream of life rush past us and we see nothing but sand; the angels come to visit us, and we only know them when they are gone.”
                                                                                                -George Elliot

Monday, May 21, 2012

                                                  'nough said

Monday, May 14, 2012

The owl and fox

            This past weekend I went on a walk with Penny the pup and as we were coming back we were trekking down a road that runs along the bottom of a ravine with woods on each side and a creek running along side.  As we came around a turn there was a man with binoculars staring into the trees, “just another bird watcher,” I thought to myself as we trotted past him seemingly unnoticed. A few hundred yards later as we are rounding another curve there was a red fox standing in the middle of the road. He was an adult fox, you could tell by his stature with a light reddish, tan coat, presumably his summer coat coming through because of the warm weather.  Just as Penny and I spotted him he found us and darted into the woods.  We walked slowly up to where he entered the woods and found him crouched by a tree about fifty yards up a slight hill, he seemed to be waiting on us, or at least Penny. As I watched him and did what anyone else would do, fumbled with my phone to attempt to get a picture, he just stood there like a statue never taking his eyes off us.  I finally decided to leave the fox alone and started back on our journey home.  I, for some reason, decided to look back and there he was again in the road, about hundred yards behind us and again, like a tourist, I froze and fumble to get my phone out. Of course instead doing what I should have done, which was pause and stay still, I slowly moved closer to him and, of course, he did what he knows is best and darted back into the woods.  Right about the time he reentered the woods, the bird watcher showed up.  I knew he would be intrigued by my finding so I proceeded to tell him the story and before I could finish he was spurting out about a family of owls that have been living in the area for a better part of forty years.  After he looked for the fox in the woods for a minute without success, he led me to the place of our first encounter where he pointed out a barred owl sitting on a branch looking at us.  He lent me his binoculars so I could get a better look, and he was a beautiful creature.  He was tall and plump, I assumed it was older and looked well fed.  The bird guy told me more about the owls and their habitat and that they have thrived on the small rodents and amphibians in and around the roadside creek.  He asked me a few questions about the fox, and we chatted about the areas wildlife for a quick minute before parting ways and Penny and I headed home. 
            I do quite a bit outdoors hiking, biking, kayaking, climbing, basically anything that will get me outside, so I do get to see wildlife but most of the time it’s the typical rabbits, squirrels, songbirds, etc. so when I get to come across animals that are not as commonly seen I take it as a sign, omen, happy coincidence, whatever you want to call it, and I think that something good will happen that day or the day in its entirety will be a good day, as it was on Saturday after seeing the fox and owl.  The weather was amazing, I spent time with the wife and pup, we sat on the porch and soaked up the sun, we rode our bikes, we ate a great dinner, it was all around a good day.  There have been a handful of encounters with a majestic creature such as the owl and fox.  For instance, a few weeks ago I went mountain biking and it rained the whole way there, which is not a good sign because the rain makes the trail extremely muddy and can’t be ridden. As I got there the rain had let up and a few feet from the trail entrance I saw a wild pheasant and turkey within feet of each other, again they aren’t entirely uncommon animals to see especially in a state park but I saw both at basically the same time.  That trail was ride able and the day ended up being a great day.    
            I know what your thinking, “PJ, it’s been a month since your last post and that’s all I get, some story about an owl and a fox?”  Well, yea it is.  However, I also had been thinking about my challenges recently and I have more than one this week.  First, write more, easy enough. Second, I have had challenges that benefit me but what about others. So, I am challenging myself this week to do something for someone else, donate clothes, food, some good advice, or whatever, as long as it is something to benefit someone else. And third, learn something new this week.  Ok so learning something new may be something I have done before but it’s been a little while. So until next time (I have to stop saying week in case I end up going another month), get off the road, and enjoy it.

“There is pleasure in the pathless woods, there is rapture on the lonely shore, there is society, where none intrudes, by the deep sea, and music in its roar; I love not man the less, but Nature more…”                                              -Lord Byron
                                                                                        Childe Harold

Thursday, April 5, 2012


            Well I made it, one week without a drop of alcohol.  Do I feel any different? Well I didn’t wake up with any hangovers over the past week. 
            Recently I was reminded of something called Banff Mountain Film Festival, which is a beautifully done movie of extraordinary people getting outside and doing things that most people put on their bucket list and never get to.  Unfortunately there are limited screenings in only 39 states, two screenings in Ohio, and only one night in Columbus, and of course it was sold out.  No one even on craigslist was selling tickets.  I was pretty bummed.  So I chalk that up on my bucket list of things to see before I die. Then I got to thinking this weekend about it and my “phucket-list,” which I had renamed my bucket list to a few post ago, and usually when that happens the list increases, and without disappointment it did, but instead of just thinking of things to add, I thought of things that I have done that might be on someone else’s list.  For instance, I hiked to the top of a mountain with three friends some years back, no it wasn’t Everest, but it was 3200 feet above sea level and the hike wasn’t an easy one.  A mile and a half of rocky jagged switch backs at almost a 90 degree angle to the top of Seneca Rocks. I have slept in a tent in all kinds of weather, except snow which is on my list, but from clear skies to massive thunderstorms I slept protected only by millimeters of tent wall.  I have hiked across a field of boulders in Pennsylvania, pieces of the Appalachian Trail in multiple states, along the coast in the Upper Peninsula, Michigan. I have climbed up the side of cliffs and repelled down others, and climbed all over boulders without ropes.  I have been on a handful of canoe and kayak trips where I had to make camp on islands.   I have mountain biked and hiked countless miles and attempted to surf, without much success, but I tried it.  I have been to the top of sears tower in Chicago, the Rockefeller center in New York City, and the Gateway Arch in St. Louis. I have been to museums, zoos, aquariums, concerts, and I’ve even seen Gettysburg.  I have pulled the motor out of a car and replace it with another, I have built bicycles, and tore apart many other things, and some of them never were put back together.  I have driven all kinds of cars and trucks, a dump truck, ambulance, fire truck and I have even ridden in a cop car, not my proudest moment, but I did it. I have driven motorcycles on and off road, 4-wheelers and 3- wheelers, boats and wave runners. I have parasailed above the ocean and snorkeled below it.  I have seen sunrises and sunsets, I have walked on beaches and swam in oceans, rivers, lakes and ponds.  Needless to say, I have accomplished a lot in my life and I am not done yet. 
            That’s all I have for this week, so until next time, it’s time to start checking off that list, get started.

“The proper function of man is to live, not to exist. I shall not waste my days in trying to prolong them. I shall use my time.”      -Jack London