Thursday, December 12, 2013

Run, Shoot, Write

So lately I have been running a lot. When I say a lot I mean a few times a week on the treadmill.  I didn’t even let thanksgiving stop me. As a matter of fact on turkey day I ran a 5K (3.1 miles). For my second 5k in my life I finish with a time of 23 minutes and nine seconds. Now that’s not a huge distance but for someone who doesn’t like to run, or I guess I should say someone who didn’t like to run, it’s a big distance. I really used to hate to run. Even in high school when I played sports I hated running and I was even a running back in football. After high school I avoided it at all cost which was pretty easy to do when you don’t play sports. And it’s only been in the past couple of months that I really started to run and I like it. Of course I used to hate writing too but now I have a blog. I didn’t say I was good at it, but I write and I run now. I must be getting old.
I have said before that living in the Midwest there ain’t much to look at when it comes to scenery, you almost have to search for it as opposed to places like out west where the mountains stick out like a sore thumb and the landscape just pops out in front of you. At least that’s what I have always thought but the truth is there is something here and it’s been right in front of me or above me. With this massive flat farm land surrounding there is so much open sky that it makes it impossible to miss. In fact I have been photographing it already (night photography) and not even thinking twice about it. Sun rises, sunsets, and night skies play a prominent role in so many inspiring photos and it truly does help to paint the picture.  Now obviously taking a picture of a clear blue sky in the middle of the day can be pretty, that isn’t the type of picture I’m after. I’m not looking for just another pretty picture, no, I need awe-inspiring, I need surreal, I need… another cup of coffee… ok I’m back. Where was I, oh yea I need the picture that will tell the story. Ok that may be a bit much, let’s just stick to a really good photo. Ansel Adams did a great job of keeping the sky in most of his landscape pictures, grant it he had massive mountains to help with the dramatizing of the photo but he had the sky. Adams used clear skies and cloudy, night and day, sun and moon. Usually the sky wasn’t the main focus of his work but it laid a beautiful backdrop for things like Half Dome, Saw Tooth, and McGown Peak.  He was able to use just enough to make it count but not too much to take over the picture. So that’s it that’s my challenge. Taking a sky focused photo or one that incorporates the sky perfectly. This won’t be a week-long challenge like I used to do this will be a longer sought after win. Which will take me awhile especially since it’s dipping down into the single digits outside right now?
So that’s what I got for you this week, nothing new really just me trying to take photos, trying to write something interesting, and trying to run. Until next time, mmmmmmmmmmmm coffee.

“You don’t take a photograph, you make it.”     -Ansel Adams

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

So, it's been awhile...

I know it has been a month or so since I last posted anything but I have been busy. I have been chopping wood, fly fishing, building a house, traveling to Mexico, and spending time with the family.
Let’s start with chopping wood; a real therapeutic chore. From the sound of the chainsaw to the swing of the splitter (looks like an axe on one side and a sledge hammer on the other). The smell of fresh chopped wood, a cup of hot coffee on a cold and sunny fall morning is just relaxing. So is the nap that I take afterwards. At the beginning of November Chris and I headed out to the woods to chop some fire wood early in the morning. I have mentioned Chris before and his random yet detailed stories that you just have to hear so you’re in luck because here is a couple story 1 and story 2.  That afternoon, after chopping wood, story time, and a nap, I decided to head to the water to do a little fly fishing. One thing I learned back in the summer is that trout love cold water and if fished right they will bite all through fall and into the winter. I made it to the river by late afternoon with a few hours of daylight left, and even though I didn’t catch a single fish it was a beautiful and relaxing setting. Crystal clear water lined with trees that were covered with all shades of reds, oranges, and yellows. The top of the water close to the bank was covered with the same leaves floating down the river getting stuck in an eddy (a circular movement of water) and behind logs. It was a good day.
The following week amber and I were packing up and getting ready to head to Mexico for a friend’s wedding. The night before we left amber was in an accident. She walked away without injury thank goodness but the car never made it. The next morning we headed to the airport to fly south. After boarding the pilot came over the loud speaker and stated that we were grounded because they had bad weather in Chicago. By the time we made it to Chicago we missed our connecting flight to Mexico and were stuck there until the next day, well stuck at a hotel close to the airport. We made it to Mexico a day late but we were there. The weather was cloudy but warm most of the time and we saw rain almost every day except the day of the wedding. Aside from the mediocre weather and being a day late we had a great time. Ate and drank our share, got to spend some much deserve alone time with my sexy hot wife, even got in a night swim, had a chance to do some snorkeling and fishing, and the wedding was beautiful. On our way home by the way of  two plane rides and  a three hour layover Amber was  pulled aside twice for an extra security check and when we landed in Atlanta we were sent into a what I’ll call an interrogation area. We weren’t frisked or asked to strip and our luggage wasn’t even searched, we were just asked a few questions about what we were bringing back into the states, “a coffee mug and Christmas ornament,” were our answer. The guy looked at us with a confused look and asked again, “Did you bring any alcohol, tobacco, or drugs in with you?” Again we answered, “No just the mug and ornament.” So he sent us on our way.  We finally made it home late that night exhausted from all the traveling.
We have been building a house, well contractors have been, for the past few months and it has finally come down to the last few steps and we couldn’t be more eager to get in. Watching go from just a lot, to a hole in the ground, to four walls and a roof has been more than exciting but now we are just ready for it to be done and for us to get in our brand new house.
Thanksgiving came up and we had a chance to spend time with the family which is always nice we all chatted each other up about life and drank too much but the most exciting part was the Iron Bowl. And if you don’t know what I’m talking about then you need to leave now. No wait stay, I’ll tell you. It is the Auburn and Alabama football game, a rivalry that has been going on for over a hundred years and this year was by far the best game I have ever seen. Number 1 Alabama playing number 4 Auburn in a true battle of the beasts and it came down to the last second, the score was tied and Alabama has the ball with one second left they decide to try a 57 yard field goal; the kick is up it has the aim its going, going, this one could make it, no it’s short. Caught in the back of the end zone by Chris Davis he brings it out to the 20, 25, 30 here comes Alabama players, down the sideline for Chris Davis past the 50 untouched by Alabama, 35, 30, 25 he could win it for Auburn, TOUCHDOWN!!!! Auburn wins the Iron Bowl! Auburn beats undefeated Alabama! Auburn wins! Auburn wins! My parent’s house blew up in a roar of excitement, the house was almost shaking with all clapping, yelling, screaming, my sister may have peed her pants a little, the neighbor came running over to add to the yelling and screaming,  even penny the pup was excited barking along with the family. Oh yeah did I forget to mention we are Auburn fans?
            So that was my month of November. Definitely had some rough times there for a minute but the good times always outweigh the bad. I’ll try not to let it go so long before the next post either and I already have some pics to post and I should get some more up before the New Year. Until next time, WAR EAGLE!

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do, so throw off the bowlines, sail away from safe harbor, and catch the trade winds in your sails.  Explore, Dream, Discover.”                                                       –Mark Twain

Wednesday, October 30, 2013


When traveling the country side of Ohio you don't have much n the way of a beautiful scenery. there is no mountains, castles or cathedrals, no crystal clear rivers rushing over boulders, there is this;
 Miles upon miles of flat, unappealing farmland. Occasionally you are amused by a slight hill, group of trees that show the fall colors, or even a dilapidated barn, if that's what you like. But it isn't all lost, there are a few gems, you just have to find them. Although not above a clear river the bridge made for a nice scene with the trees on the bank of the waters.
I found this walking bridge in a nature preserve that I never knew existed until last week. Now I did do a little editing just to help the orange pop out a little more. 
Back to night photography. This was shot from a pull off for lake access near a fairly busy road, streaks of light at the bottom are cars. The streak of light in the sky is a plane and the cluster of stars that the plane is cutting in half is the head of the constellation Hydra, the water snake.

Found this on the internet;

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Pink-wash and Mary Jane

You know you’re old when you purposely turn the radio to the news stations and actually listen. I have been listening to it on and off for the past year and more so in the past few months because of the increase of commute time to work. Surprisingly it’s not as boring as I used to think it was.
For instance there was a story on this morning about a marketing ploy called “Pink-washing.” Because October is breast cancer awareness month there is pink everything, ribbons, clothes, even sports teams are sporting the color all in efforts to raise money for research of breast cancer. Now here comes the dirty, is the money really going to research or is it just a marketing scam. A lady on the radio this morning was quoting numbers (dollar amounts, mortality rate, remission rates, etc.) and the jist of it is that besides the dollars presumably being raised each year the mortality/remission rates haven’t changed dramatically in the past thirty years which raises the question is the money really going towards research? Now I don’t remember all the numbers but I do know the dollar amounts were huge and maybe all the money is really going to research and everyone is really being honest, but with all the money it only makes one think that shouldn’t there have been some improvement or huge breakthrough by now?
            Another headliner that has caught my attention is Colorado being the first state to legalize marijuana for recreational use. This law will create so much revenue for not just for the government but for small and big businesses so it will be a huge benefit for the economy. With such a huge population of smokers in the USA there is no way it can’t bring in money. Less money would be spent fighting drug wars and more money will be brought in by import/export revenue. Taxes alone on selling, harvesting, shipping, packaging, etc. of the plants will increase the government revenue maybe even enough to prevent things like a government shut down. It’s like a new cash crop such as tobacco was when it was first harvested. Farmers, vendors, and, indirectly, food vendors would all turn profits. But marijuana is a mind altering drug, like alcohol, that’s why there are limitations. The first is that a person may have no more than an ounce on them at one time, no one under 21 can buy it, marketers can’t market towards minors, and a person can grow their own but not have more than six plants in their residence (only three can be flowering) and driving while high will earn you time in jail just like driving drunk as it should.
             These are just a couple of stories that make news radio interesting between the less entertaining and depressing stories of politics and terrorism. Now don’t think I'm listening to one station, I listen to them all so when I do have to sit through a political rant I get both sides. Occasionally I have also listened to catholic radio and other religious stations, but that’s a whole other story for another day.

“Go to Heaven for the climate, Hell for the company.”   -Mark Twain

Thursday, October 3, 2013

DAMN NATURE..... more than just scary. 

"Hong Kong (CNN) -- Swarms of aggressive hornets, in their fall mating season, are inflicting a deadly toll in a central Chinese province.
Hornets have killed 42 people and injured 1,675 people in three cities in Shaanxi province since July, according to the local government. Thirty-seven patients remain in critical or serious condition."

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Gov Shut Down

So apparently the government shut down. Well not exactly. This morning, an estimated 800,000 of the 2.1 million federal workers who are deemed nonessential for the operations of the government will be sent home after they have shut down their work. Let’s see, 2.1 million minus 800,000 equals out to 1.3 million people still going to work this morning. That’s not really a shut down more of a mass lay off. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not calling the government a liar… ok I am. You say shut down and people get a little freaked out about jobs and the security of the country. Part of the essential personnel who continue to do their duty today is our military so no fret about the security, but what about jobs? Obviously congress doesn’t shutdown because who then would decide what we do next so they are in the clear. But the whole reason for the “shut down” was because congress couldn’t decide on how to fund The Affordable Care Act or Obama-care. So technically it’s their fault. “The Affordable Care Act is moving forward," Mr. Obama said. So why did we “shut down” if it’s going to happen anyway? “House Democrats said Monday they were willing to pass a six-week spending bill that would keep operations funded at sequester levels, giving Congress more time to negotiate.” So wait, we relieved less than half of the nonessential government but we passed six week bill to keep other parts of the government funded? Why do they keep calling this a shut down? They closed the doors and gates to museums and national parks so the people who were forced these days off without pay can’t go out and enjoy FREE attractions. On Monday, speaker of the US House of Representatives John Boehner told reporters, "What our members want is fairness for the American people." And that’s what we all want is fairness. So why is it that some people get laid off and others don’t? Why can’t we just stop pay or cap pay for certain people that make a certain amount that is funded by tax payers, like congressmen and women. For instance why not take their $174k a year salary (some get more depending on where you sit) and bring it down to the national median household (not personnel) income of $52k. That would save around 62 million and might even fund some of the nonessential staff so they could continue to work. OR why not suspend the current congress since they can’t make a decision and bring in temporary replacements that can decide. It might even put some people in the House who are trying to do good for THE PEOPLE and not in it for the money.  I guess that’s why I’ m not in politics, I’m a practical thinker. I’m sure there are a million other stipulations when it comes to figuring a means to an end on this mess but unless you are on the front lines we can only see and understand what the media tells us, which brings us to another jousting match of its own. Most networks lean one way or the other so you’ll only hear what they want you to. And if you lean one way or the other than you wont bother to listen to the other network. What we need is an independent, someone who can’t be swayed left or right by money or media and can come up with a middle ground that would make this and that work.

Again, just my two cents.   

Friday, September 27, 2013

Grind my gears

You know what really grinds my gears? Is when I walk into a store in the middle of September and the store has already set out Christmas stuff. I mean come on, it’s not even October yet, we still have Halloween and Thanksgiving to get through. It seems they put out Christmas stuff earlier every year, but it doesn’t just happen in the stores. Neighborhoods across the USA seem to put out décor sooner every year as well. Down the street from us someone has put out Halloween décor already. Look it’s not that I’m not excited about the holidays or that I think it’s not smart to start shopping for X-mas gifts early but I just don’t want to start hearing Christmas music on the radio three months in advance.


Friday, September 13, 2013


There are a lot of things in the world today that just make people say, “what the f**k?” Whether it is Miley Cyrus, Kanye West, Dennis Rodman or the entire NCAA. For instance, Miley, and outrageous performance that has led everyone to believe she is on the fast track to turning out like Britney, Lindsey, or Amanda. But what is more sad than her reputation is that most people reading this will know who all of those names belong to without even hearing the last name, but if I mentioned Bashar al-Assad or Kim Jung-un only a few would recognize what I was talking about. I realize that the demise of young celebrities is more entertaining than threats against the USA and that a raunchy performance by a twenty-something will get over 300,000 tweets in the first minute but come on people there are much bigger issues out there. Kanye West and Dennis Rodman are just idiots.
As for the NCAA, if you dig deep enough on any football team you will find some corruption and bribery somewhere down the line. Again, get over it. No matter how many people you punish and how many game suspensions you hand out there will always be someone handing out money to keep a winning streak alive. But the stupidity doesn’t stop there. As the athletes go to the pros they get a bigger paycheck, legally this time, along with a gift basket of performance enhancing drugs. Then they get injured and can’t play for the rest of the season but still get millions to sit the bench. Hey I have an idea, every game they don’t play take the money and put it back into the economy… A-Rod? Again it’s not their fault but ours for wanting to pay $100 a ticket to watch them sit there and cry. Or a better idea let them juice up with roids and increase difficulty of the sport. That would make it real entertaining to see true monsters go at it.
Put all the down-falls of celebrities and the chemical war fares aside for a minute and let’s talk about a real serious issue, Parking and the ass-holes that don’t know how. If you drive a nice car but don’t want anyone to park next to you then park at the very end of the lot. Don’t take up two spots. When you do that you are just asking for someone to purposely ruin your douche-car with a key or a door. There are only eight-hundred thousand BMW’s in the USA I don’t care that you own one. And parking diagonally doesn’t omit you from being an ass-hole. If you go to the store and only need milk, park your car in a parking spot not in front of the store in the fire lane. Are you really handicapped? No. It’s obvious when you are a sixteen year old that gets in and out of a taller SUV with high school football stickers on the back. There are real handicaps out there that truly struggle. Being fat isn’t a handicap either, that’s just laziness and your doctor should be smacked for giving you a handicap sticker. There should be spot at the end of the lot mark specifically for fat asses next to the douchebag parking. You people should have to walk the farthest anyway. I’m going on a campaign to stop horrible parking. Maybe I’ll type up a citizen issued ticket letting the parker know what an ass-hole they are. Provided in the ticket will be a number for a driving school.  

Rant done.   

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Astronaut selfie

How I feel when someone hands me a mixed drink instead of a beer.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Life's Lessons

         I have learned a couple of things in my life; first, never attempt to pee in a bottle while in a car, someone always ends up pissed on. Second, never go fly fishing in the dark or you’ll end be up the creek, literally, without a paddle or even a canoe for that matter. I attempted the latter yesterday and of course I failed. I picked a wide open spot just so I wouldn’t hang any trees but that wasn’t the reason for my failed attempt. I couldn’t see shit. Fly fishing relies on keeping an eye on your line/fly and I never once saw either after leaving the light of the car. Casting requires you to watch the line and obviously that didn’t work so I spent most of the time untangling it. Walking in a river in the dark was another challenge all together. I was constantly stumbling and falling over the big river rocks. Finally after an hour of slinging a stick hoping for a good cast, praying not to trip over the next big rock, and already soaking wet I decided to pack it in. Defeated but not broken I plan to make another trip in the dark, maybe after a few years when I have earned my black belt in fly fishing. 

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Woods to Water

Disclaimer: I am not by any means a professional fly fisher nor do I actually know what I’m doing. So if you are a seasoned vet at the sport bear in mind that I am new to this.         
From the woods to the water I go.  My yearly fly fishing expedition (more like a few hours in a river) was here and I was ready. I headed down to the river around 8:30 in the A.M. and after a few practice casts in the water (harder than on the lawn) I had my rhythm down. There are multiple cast types and techniques but I stuck the only one I knew. I was doing well and felt good working my way up stream. I was casting in the general vicinity I wanted to and getting out a good amount of line versus the coiled handfuls at my feet that usually happens every year. This year was different for a couple of reasons; one, I had practiced and studied the cast, which areas to fish, and habits of the trout. Second, I usually bring a regular fishing rod and reel as my back up for when I get frustrated after twenty minutes of bad casting and hang-ups in trees but not this year, I only had my fly rod. I was in a wider part of the river that never went past my knees but wasn’t catching fish despite my descent casts. I decided to move spots so I worked my way back down stream climbed in my car with wet waders and moved on.
I made my next spot after a few minutes on some back roads and it looked even more promising than the last. I headed down the bank and into the water. The water here was deeper, up to my waist in some spots, cool and flowing through a tunnel of older trees that hung over the river leaving a skylight about a third the width of the river and closed off completely in some spots. There was a light fog coming off the surface as the day was warming up. It was perfect for trout. At least by what I read it was supposed to be. I moved to one side of the bank and fished towards the other while working my way down stream towards a riffle in the river that stretched from one bank to the other. I fished past the riffle into a few pools below but again, no fish. A little aggravated but not beaten I headed back towards the car to move again. When I climbed out and up the bank I was greeted by two older gentlemen, Pat and Jack. These two men were decked out in the best gear; proper waders, vest with all the dangly necessities one needs to catch trout, expensive rods and fancy hats. Looking at me, I’m sure they could tell right away that I was a newbie with my old hunting waders, small shoulder pouch with very minimal stuff, old rod, and no fancy hat, but they didn’t look down on me. They chatted me up for about ten minutes and were even kind enough to give me some flies that Pat said, “Worked last week.” I thanked them and headed to my next preplanned spot.
I spotted my first fish at the third spot of the day. It was a small trout (brown maybe?) sitting a few inches below the water hanging in a small pool. He sat there for a bit laughing at me as I tried to get a fly in front of him. He seemed uninterested and darted off after a few, well placed, casts. At least I knew there is at least one fish in there. I moved down stream and around a bend working the deeper water on the far bank. I spotted a large rock at the bottom of a riffle just out of the bend and nestled behind the rock was the silhouette of a fish. Here was my chance. I placed my fly right in front of the rock with such a perfect cast it would have made Pat and Jack proud. The fly, actually an ant, floated over the rock and dipped down right in front of the fish then BAM! I should say that right before the fish I was calm and steady then after he hit the line, which I was quick enough to set the hook, I lost all coolness and fumbled around trying to work the rod and line. In my excitement I completely forgot everything I read on how to work the fish but I somehow manage to land him.  He was a beautiful brown trout about eight inches. I admired him for a brief moment then released him. I stood there with the biggest grin and sense of success for a minute before coming too and realized there is more fish to catch. I fished for another hour or so but didn’t catch anything but wasn’t disappointed.

 I finally got my first trout and my first fish on a fly rod so I can check that one off my list but I’m not ready to put down the fly rod for another year. I plan to head out a few more times this summer and some in the fall. Hopefully I’ll bag a few more fish and get some photos. I also have decided that I need a fancy hat, which I’m sure will help to catch fish and keep the sun off my ears and nose so if you’d like to contribute to my Fancy Fishing Hat Foundation I will  gladly  accept any and all donations, if not at least keep reading.  

Friday, August 16, 2013

A Quick Hike

As of lately I have been a nut for night photography, not that you couldn’t tell. So I have been itching to get into some dark place where the sky would produce as many stars as possible. A few weeks ago I had my chance. We had a snap of cooler weather meaning it was dropping into the low seventies at night. I decided on a Friday I would head down to a back pack trail and do a quick overnighter around a 5-6 mile loop stopping halfway to camp and take some photos in an open field that would give me a clear shot of the sky.
The tall pines at the beginning of the trail.
 I got off work right at five and jumped in the car to head south. The computer said it was an hour and half trip to the trail head so I guessed to be on the trail by seven. I stopped in this little town for gas and food where the people are the typical Appalachian type with some younger folk mixed in due to a technical college in town. The old rustic mining town is nestled in a few foothills and surrounded by forest. You know the picturesque village with a town square that they used to hang horse thieves in. The kind of place you might hear a banjo play and can pick up a jar of white lightening with your hamburger at McDonald’s. With names like Jim Bob, Smokey Pete, and Bubba there are never a shortage of characters. After gas and snacks I made my way out of the booming metropolis northeast stopping just outside the edge of town for water. I have been to this trail several times, each time stopping at this “watering hole” to fill up my bottles for the hike. On the side of a large hill, there are no REAL mountains in Ohio, is a large cement wall maybe ten-twelve feet high and in the middle of the wall is three pipes about two inches in diameter. Pouring from the pipes is some of the freshest, cleanest, coldest water I have ever had. Someone at some point in time had tapped into this spring and made it an easy access to fill up jugs and bottles. I have met some interesting people there as well. One fine gentleman who had a beard that would make the Duck Dynasty guys proud was complaining to me how they wouldn’t let him sell milk jugs filled with the water on the street corner or at least I think that’s what he was spitting out through the few teeth he had left. Walking back to the car I noticed he had about thirty full jugs and about thirty more to go. This time was less eventful but still produced a kindly old man who just simply nodded and said hello.
Trail net
By the time I finally got on the trail and was hiking away it was close to eight and night was just over the next hill. I moved fast down the trail trying to make it to the open field before I had to hike with a head lamp. I usually hike fairly quickly because I carry a light load but this night I was moving double the speed. Now if you have ever hiked in Ohio or anywhere on the east coast during the late spring to the beginning of fall and especially in mid-summer then you know that spiders love the open space of a trail. They will build not small, but expansive “trail nets” across the trail that could literally stop a small animal and because the lines are so thin and it was creeping dark time I saw none of them until I was in it. After an hour of hustling down the trail through overgrown brush and spider webs I came to a huge clearing that leads up to a road and I was positive that once I reach the road, turned left to get back on the trail the field will be just up a little and down into a valley. Thirty minutes later and no field, just past nine by this point, I decided I’d better call it a night. I parked my stuff on a flat spot next to a ridge line with some rocks jetting out on one side of the trail and a smooth slope on the other.
 It had rained a few days prior making the wood a little wet and building a fire a real job but I got it going and worked on cleaning up the previous camper’s trash. I piled some wood by the fire to dry out then moved on to setting up the tent. After my camp chores and a well deserved oatmeal cream pie I hiked a little on the trail looking for an open spot in the canopy, actually an impenetrable fortress, of trees. It was so thick it probably would protect someone form a missile attack but was horrible if you wanted to photograph some stars. I was so set on making the open field I never once looked up to make sure I stopped somewhere with a least a slight view of the sky. I spent the next few minutes cussing and aggravated that the purpose of this trip was lost and I wouldn’t get the night shots I wanted. I gave in and sat by the fire to pout. A few minutes later, after being hypnotized by the fire, I had forgotten why I was upset. I broke out the camera to shoot some fire photos and ended up making my way down the trail just a few steps further than before and found a small window looking straight at a sky full of bright stars. I took a few shots and decided to call it a night.

View from my little window
The next day I was up and packed by seven. Having hiked about four miles the day before I knew I wouldn’t have long to go to reach the trailhead, plus a light rain, more spider webs to barrel through, and back to my normal pace helped slow me down enough to enjoy the scenery. I made it to the car never finding that field but with a handful of descent photos and a good hike in. A quick stop for a hot coffee in a small burg and I headed home.

"Really, the only thing a psychiatrist can do that a good (fishing) guide can't is write prescriptions."
                                                                               -John Gierach

Monday, August 12, 2013

I promised you that I have a lot to write about throughout August and trust me I will, but for now I wanted to put up some pics I found on an old SD card I had laying around.
 This first pic was from a three day, 25 mile canoe trip my friend Chris and I took down the Allegheny River in Pennsylvania a few years ago. We camped two nights on islands and this pic was the last night, or dusk I should say, looking down river after setting up camp.

 These two go together; they are from my first mountain bike trip a few years ago with Nick in Brown County State Park Indiana. It was late April and the temp dropped below freezing the first night. That's me huddled in my sleeping bag the next morning.

 A couple of injured pics; first, my hands after a day at the climbing gym working out hard. The other was me getting stitches in my chin after busting it on my car fender while changing the brakes.

Like I said, I do have a lot to write but for now some pics to get you by. You'll be hearing from me soon.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Peen it Out

WOW! It has been awhile. What can I say? I have been busy. I have been hiking biking, working, building a mountain bike trail, collecting wild black berries, reading, playing volleyball and softball, and even golfing among the other thousand things I have been up too. I have been working on my photography skills but no pictures to post about… yet. Don’t fret though August 10-12 is suppose to be prime time for the Perseids meteors.
Every year I make an attempt to fly fish that usually ends poorly. Fly fishing is a very difficult from tying the flies to the line to casting, catching and bringing in the fish. It literally is an art form that I just havent mastered or have even come close. This year will be different. I have been studying up and practicing my casting. I read up on the fishing reports for the Mad River just down the road and it said the report is good after a few rains last week. So I gathered up my gear and was going through it when I ran into a little problem. My reel was missing a rivet and was allowing a piece to swing freely (sorry didn’t to think to take a picture first). I needed to fix it. A small screw and nut wouldn’t work because it wouldn’t allow the reel to run without the line snagging on the nut so I needed a rivet. With no small rivet in sight I had to make my own…

Now this is where I pause to say, “Let me show you something, I think, every man should know;”

You know what this?
Ok so it’s a hammer but it has a proper name; ball-peen hammer. And you use it to “peen” rivets, hence the name. Now the flat part I have used a million times to hammer a nail but never have I “peened” a rivet. Until now. The round part is used to “mushroom” out a small piece of metal, in my case a small tack nail, pulling the other end tight and making a rivet.  And this is my end result;
Not pretty but it works well. I finished and thought to myself, “Yea I could have gotten a real rivet and worked on it, practiced and polished it, but I was proud of the work I did and it fixed the piece I needed to fix.”
I know this post is short but I just wanted to share a bit of knowledge and give you a heads up that I haven’t forgotten about you. I have plenty to write about including my yearly fly fish attempt but no time to write so when I get a few minutes I’ll be posting more, I promise. Until next time…. Gotta go.

“I was awfully happy, not because life was so good, but because it was my life, and I was in it.”                         -Scott Spencer

Wednesday, July 3, 2013


I think out of all the holidays the Fourth of July is my favorite. Think about it, you don’t have to buy any presents or cards for anyone, it’s not based on a religious belief so you don’t have to worry about saying the wrong thing, and there are fireworks. Plus, it’s summer so the weather is usually nice, maybe a little on the warm side. There is beer, BBQ, and did I mention fireworks. Yea, it’s awesome.
                   Happy Fourth of J uly!!!!!

Monday, July 1, 2013

Night Photography

Here is my first attempt at doing some night photography. I took these between 11PM and 12AM
Camera specs: flash 30 sec., F4.8, ISO 800

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

My Chest

Preciously I showed you an MRI of my "normal" brain. Well recently I had to get an updated chest X-ray, no worries though everything is normal, but I figured I would show you the X-ray of my chest. 
But wait, what is that? There in the lower right hand corner.
 tap*tap*tap* ENHANCE


Is that a dark mass? No, it's just poop.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Man Card

Found this card on the internet and after reading it I thought to myself, “Well I’m almost there.”

  1. I have grown and maintained a beard for over six years now.(true)
  2. I have killed an 11 point buck (per DNR rules), with a bow. I would consider it a 12 point but by the Dept of Natural Resources they describe a point as being at least one inch in height but I was taught if you can hang your keys on it, which I did. (true)
  3. No face scar…yet.
  4. I once rescued a turtle from the street and drove it a few miles to a pond. (true)
  5. I have smoked from a pipe. (true)
  6. I once bit a rattlesnake and it died (ok, maybe not).
  7. Built a cabin, with Lincoln Logs. (true)
  8. Catch a purse snatcher… I don’t carry a purse. (true)
  9. I have carried plenty of knives on many hunting, fishing, camping, and hiking trips.(true but never a Buckskin)
  10. Learn to weld is on my list to do.
  11. Never entered a lumberjack contest but I can juggle chainsaws while chopping wood. (no)
  12. I have been on many solo hiking trips and been on the AT plenty of times add those together close enough. (true)
  13. Rebuild an engine, I replaced an engine. Done. (true)
  14. Steve McQueen wishes he was 1/10th the man I am. (depends if he is on a motorcycle or driving a Mustang)
  15. Glenlivet 18 (18 year old Scotch), that one I will be honest about I haven’t had but have plans on trying that one.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Just a good weekend

Just wanted to share a few highlights from the weekend;

Friday- after work went out to eat with the wife and some friends and then went and saw the new superman movie. I’d recommend it.

Saturday- Amber and I took Penny out in the canoe for a bit. Penny did ok, she was skeptical at first but started to get used to it. We relaxed Saturday night.

Sunday- got up early again and went fishing with a friend in the rain. We caught four fish. Sunday evening me, Amber, and some friends are part of a volley ball league and we got our first win.

It was a good weekend.

But I wasn’t the only one who had a good weekend; Chris, who you have heard about in the past post Chris and Abandoned people, is building a mountain bike trail on some family land and when I asked, “do you have a trail map you are going by?” He responded with one of the best statements I’ve heard in a long time, “working by the feel of the woods.” I knew exactly what he meant. I felt it this weekend myself, even though I wasn’t doing any work. When we were in the canoe gliding along the water and again when I was standing on the bank fishing, just under some trees as the rain was falling. It’s just a feeling you get when you are out there. It’s a sense of enjoyment of being in the woods or on the water.

“Get outside. Leave the securities of your houses and technology behind. Step beyond the yards and roads, creep into the wilderness, and become engulfed by the raw feeling of nature. Grow with the trees and grasses, flow with the waters and the breeze. Breathe deep the aromas of the plants and flowers. Listen to the sounds that Mother Nature speaks. Get outside…”

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Penny's Frisbee

So, Penny's new favorite past time is catching the Frisbee. She will literally do it for hours.
My new goal, get a picture of her catching it. Here are my recent attempts;

Still a work in progress. 

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Memorial Day Weekend

Let me paint a picture; a warm summer day, the sun is shining, there is a slight breeze in the air, and there I sit on the back patio with my wife and the dog just relaxing. Amber arose from her seat and headed towards the corner of the house where the hose pipe was as if she was going to water the flowers. She turned the faucet all the way on and grabbed the adjustable nozzle checking to see which stream it was on. She, and this is where it becomes amusing, turned it towards her face to see which stream she wanted (flat, jet, shower, etc.) and it must have been on full because almost immediately she received a punishing shot of water to her face. I swelled with tears of laughter, but I held back with all might any hint of laughter, that is until she looked up and started to laugh her self. I lost it. She looked up, makeup streaming down her face and a huge smile. It was hilarious. It was a moment that you think to your self, “did I just witness that?” I laughed for a solid hour. Needless to say amber is fine just a little watered. That was just a small portion of my Memorial Day weekend that was spent doing as little as possible. We relaxed and soaked up the sun when we could. Sunday night we had a volley ball game (we joined a league) and lost. We lost to a team that had a pregnant women and a big ol’ fat guy. But the beer was cold and we had a good time. Monday morning I headed out on the bike with Chris and it rained the entire time we rode but it wasn’t a straight down pour just a little trickle. It was a great weekend but I mostly just wanted to tell you the story about Amber.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Denamrk does it again.

I recently came across a map of Denmark;
and after studying this map for sometime I realized that the danish are just giving the rest of the world the middle finger.
Just because they have great health care, a great economy, and a viking ship museum doesn't mean they have to be so rude. Do to Denmark's wind farms and other renewable resources, they have plans to become independent from fossil fuel use by the year 2050. That means they will be in no need of oil at all. That's freaking HUGE! Could you imagine a country not reliant on foreign oils. That may be the reason for the middle finger. One way of achieving that is Denmark has over 40% of the population biking to work helping it to be one of the cleanest countries in the world. Denmark is so clean even the politicians are clean. I'm not entirely sure about the politicians but the new United Nations building in Copenhagen is.
UN City was design by a Danish architect firm (3XN) and it shows. It's no surprise that the roof houses 1,400 solar panels to support renewable energy but it also pumps sea water into the basement to act as a refrigerant to cool the building, but sea water isn't the only water being used. To help reduce waste UN City has rain water collection system that is predicted to collect almost 3 million liters of rain water a year (weather permitting) to be used in bathrooms, kitchens, and showers. That would be enough to flush the entire buildings toilets for a year. the goal of this building was to reduce energy consumption and it achieved the goal by reducing energy use more than 55%. The UN City also encourages its employees to bike to work (no surprise) by adding 680 bike racks. So maybe they aren't giving us the middle finger but saying, "Hey, world, look over here! I have the solution for renewable and reducing energy!"

We definitely need to pay attention to what Denmark is doing, grant it USA is a much larger country, we may still be able to get inspired by their efforts to keep the Earth as clean as possible.  

most of my info was provided by;

"You say you love rain, but you use an umbrella to walk under it. You say you love sun, but you seek shade when it is shining. You say you love wind, but when it comes you close your window. So that's why I'm scared when you say you love me."                                       -Bob Marley

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Snow Mercury

Recently I saw some photos of snow flakes, and I thought to myself, "with all the snow flakes falling, millions upon millions, through out a year in areas that cover half of Earth, some so tiny they are microscopic, how can we truly say that no two are alike?" Think about it. It’s like saying that no two stars are alike. Has anyone recorded and analyzed every single snow flake that has fallen? Maybe they are on a cycle or pattern and the same design falls every six months. I’m just saying.

 Also, why did he (Freddie Mercury) sing about fat bottom girls?

Finally a list of some more questions I have;
·        Why do we turn down the radio when we are lost or looking for an address?
·        If con is the opposite of pro then is congress the opposite of progress?
·        If we evolved from apes why are there still apes?
·        Why hot dog companies and bun companies haven’t coordinated and package their product in the same amount or why does round pizza come in a square box?
·        Why didn’t Noah swat those two mosquitoes?

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Golf and Bullshit

Although I have played golf a few times in my life I don’t consider myself a golfer and I realize that I know nothing of the sport but for some reason golf is the sport of the medical field and everyone is a master except me of course. If golfers had mascots they would be doctors. Doctors and other medical professionals that talk to me usually at some point try to talk golf. It’s funny to see their reaction after they get done telling me how good they are and I reply “eh, I’m not a golfer.” It’s like I broke some sort of covenant for medical professionals. They make it seem as if I’m a spy for the other sports sent to infiltrate and get intel on the doctor/golf alliance. There is usually a short silence followed by a sudden, “ok, well see you later,” like they shouldn’t be talking to me.  They never look at me the same afterwards.

If you want someone to believe a load of crap that you are about to give them say it with one of three things; use a percentage, start the phrase with, “scientists say...,” or tell your audience you read it in an article. For instance 84.7% of people will believe anything you tell them when there is a percentage involved. Scientist say breathing under water can be achieved by humans who have a gullible gene. The article I read stated that you see better when you are scared. Now aside from “believe anything you tell them” and “gullible gene” those past few statements seem legit. So next time you want to throw around some bullshit to your friends just remember to add one of the three things to your crap to make it seem possible. By the way I don’t know if you can really see better when you are scared.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Best way to SHAVE money

I'm am  man with a beard, but damn it if I didnt have a beard I would join this club not just to SHAVE money but because the opening ad is F**** awesome.

Click it, you know you wanna!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

 First let me just say that the conclusion of the MRI stated that I have a "normal brain." A normal brain? I don't know how accurate that MRI was but it may have been a little off on that conclusion.

Second, why don't they play music in public bathrooms? I mean really? I have know interest in hearing the person next to me using the toilet. 
Third, how did Slash's hair never catch on fire? You know that hair had some flammable products in it, plus I'm sure his breathe was one shot shy of being a reliable fuel source, and with a lit cigarette always hanging from his mouth... he cheated death or just traumatic baldness.

And lastly, this was a bumper stick of a car in a parking lot. Let me just point out that it was about the size of a normal bumper sticker somewhere around eight inches long and four inches high. But it's not just a few words like, "Shit happens" or "have a nice day." No its the longest sentence in the world. If I was driving and this person was in front of me I would have wrecked trying to read that. Even more I would have to have buried my car into his trunk just to get close enough to read it. When i took the picture I was standing about three feet away and was still struggling to read it. All that aside, after reading it I said to myself, "what the F**** did I just read?" So I read it again. Then again. After the fourth or fifth time I started to get the point of it... I think. Basically I took it as saying, "be yourself." Why didn't it just say that? Thanks a lot Phillip Clapham for making me waste 15 minutes of my life trying to figure out what you are saying. In all honesty he did make it sound cool.

Quote: read the bumper sticker from above.