Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Blogging For Beginners

My friend Lindsay sent this via e-mail today. I was getting nostalgic for the first few months of my blogging career when I read it, so I thought I would post it. Enjoy getting to know a little bit more about me.

1. What time did you get up this morning?

2. Diamonds or pearls? Neither

3. What was the last film you saw at the cinema? Burn After Reading

4. What is your favorite TV show? It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia

5. What do you usually have for breakfast? Breakfast bar. Sometimes I buy eggs and bacon at work.

6. What is your middle name? It took one of my best friends months of investigating to find out, I don't just give it out.

7. What food do you dislike? There are several, but this seems like a pretty negative question for getting to know someone. Try "What do you like on your pizza?" It's more upbeat.

8. What is your favorite CD at moment? Hmmm? I don't really have a favorite, but Fizzy, Fuzzy, Big and Buzzy is n my car CD player.

9. What kind of car do you drive? Chevy Cobalt

10. Favorite sandwich? Tony Luke's. American. Wit. (Philly cheesesteak with American cheese and onions.)

11.What characteristic do you despise?

12. Favorite item of clothing? My orange Chucks.

13. If you could go anywhere in the world on vacation, where would you go?
Alaska, Australia and then Europe. All of Europe.

14. Favorite brand of clothing? I'm not loyal to a specific brand.

15.Where would you retire to? Colorado. Or, if I make it there during my professional life, maybe back to Missouri.

16.What was your most recent memorable birthday? My last one. My 30th. Drunken Karaoke with my friends and passing out at Steph's.

17. Favorite sport to watch? If you have to ask, you haven't been paying attention, followed closely by Lacrosse.

18. Furthest place you are sending this? "To infinity and beyond"

19. Person you expect to re-post this first? Another one of those really bad questions. I don't EXPECT anyone to re-post this.

20. When is your birthday? Soon.

21. Are you a morning person or a night person? That depends on if I went to bed late or got up early, and sometimes it is dependent upon a combination of both factors.

22. What is your shoe size?

23. Pets?
My cat and my bearded dragon.

24. Any new and exciting news you'd like to share with us?
Not that comes to mind.

25. What did you want to be when you were little?

26. How are you today? Tired and under stimulated.

27. What is your favorite candy? Lemon Drops.

28. What is your favorite flower?
The ones from Pink Floyd's "The Wall" that grow into representations of man and woman.

29. What is a day on the calendar you are looking forward to? Probably Thanksgiving. My older brother is coming in from L.A.

30. What is your favorite pastime? I like to play hockey, spend time with friends and family, travel, and relax. Not necessarily in that order on any given day.

31. What are you listening to right now? The movie "Iron Man" is playing and my cat is scratching herself, so her bell is jingling.

32. What was the last thing you ate?
Part of a granola bar.

33. Do you wish on stars? Not very often.

34. If you were a crayon, what color would you be?
Orange, but I bet you knew that.

35. How is the weather right now?
Don't know, I'm inside.

36. The first person you spoke to on the phone today?
I would guess one of the nurses at work.

37. Favorite soft drink?
Diet Dr. Pepper.

38. Favorite restaurant?
Roberto's Italian Restaurant

39. Real hair color?
Dirty blond on top and a red beard.

40. What was your favorite toy as a child?
My Transformers.

41. Summer or winter?

42. Hugs or kisses?

43. Chocolate or Vanilla?

44. Coffee or tea?
Tea, if pressed. But, neither, given the choice.

45. Do you want your friends to email you back?
If the original message requires a response.

46. When was the last time you cried?
October 5, 2007. I will feel incomplete for the rest of my life.

47. What is under your bed?

48. What did you do last night?

49. What are you afraid of?
Never being completely happy. I fake it well, but there are things that are missing.

50. Salty or sweet?
That varies.

51. How many keys on your key ring?

52. How many years at your current job?

53. Favorite day of the week?

54. How many towns have you lived in? 3

55. Do you make friends easily?
Most of the time.

56. How many people will you send this to?
As many as will stop by and read it. Or none if you refer to how many I will physically send this to.

57. How many will respond? Check my comments link in a few days. You will have the answer that you desire.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Big Problems, Big Solutions, Big Mystery To Me

I am not extremely knowledgeable about my nation's or the world's economic workings. And, I am a big supporter of personal responsibility. I am also a realist. I am going to try to bring all of the statements I just made together in this post. Bear with me on this, it might get ponderously verbose before I get to my main points.

The U.S. House of Representatives just voted down a huge bill that may or may not have helped out our economy in the long run. But, when it was voted down, it definitely didn't help today. The largest single-day loss of points by the Dow Jones on Wall Street directly followed the vote. I don't know how the government was going to get the money to put into this action. And, that fact makes me a whole lot less uneasy about the fact that they did not get this done so quickly. I also am weary of quick fixes for problems that took so long to come to a head. More often than not, they are band aids. But, something needs to stop the bleeding in this country until we can figure out how to truly correct the problem.

As I understand it, the government was going to drop about $700 Billion US into the banking system by buying out bad mortgages and assets to ease up the banking industry's capital problems. I don't know if this would be a good thing or a bad thing. In my opinion, the fat cats at the top wanted to make a quick buck off of the average joe. They should have been able to foresee that the average joe was going to have to default when those "too good to be true" loans adjusted upward. Knowing this, could they not foresee that by bankrupting their customers, it would cause them to lose chunks of their customer base. In effect losing their money, accounts and loans, by taking a small sum quickly. It seems so very shortsighted and greedy. So, it seems the institutions were taking advantage of uninformed buyers to make a buck knowing that they would bankrupt more than a few. In the bank's defense, we average joes should have also known that if it adjusted upward, we would not be able to afford it.

I know the old adage "Buyer Beware" very well, but, where did the integrity go? Seriously, is it so hard to take a little less of a profit and rightfully earn peoples' trust by making the smart business and correct moral decision at the same time? One of the main issues that I would love to know about this bill is, when we as a country give these private institutions this huge bailout, what happens to the company leaders that put us in this position? Do they get reap the rewards for being profitable again? If so, I say let them burn. It is a dog eat dog world. And, sometimes the consequences of our actions actually do catch up to us. If that means big business suffers and we have to learn the hard way, SO BE IT. I've had to do that in my personal life and I know I am better for it. Maybe the same will be true of doing it on a national scale. After all, look at how we came out of the wars and depressions of the past century and a half. Always a little more knowledgeable about the problems that put us there.

When this bill was voted down, a whole lot of the "no" votes were cast because the representatives were afraid of losing their jobs in the elections five weeks from now. And, some are blaming it on a very partisan speech by Nancy Pelosi. Don't vote against something that you feel will work for our/your nation because it is against your personal goals or because someone from the opposite party just hurt your feelings by placing political blame on a national problem. I understand it has political consequences, but if you all weren't so self important, you might realize that those of us that are less inclined to play God, need you to make the right decision to help us out. Come on people, do your job, and do what is right for this country. If that means voting against this bill because you have factual evidence that a quick fix is only going to hurt us in the long run, that is fine. But, if you are voting it down out of spite for the "opposition", please remember, we are all in the same boat. Don't sink us with your pride. Your job status should come a very far second to actually doing your job. Do the right thing, people, or you may end up without a job anyway.

I am very unsure of what would happen if this bill passed, and as I said earlier, quick fixes scare me. But, the few articles I have read about the bill, the vote and how everything transpired, lead me to believe that the bill seems like a good thing on the surface and is supported by the leaders of both parties. It also sounds like people are voting against it for personal and professional reasons. On an issue like this, I think they should vote against it based on facts that show it is a bad decision. This is too important an issue to use personal feelings to decide it.

Update: The more I learn about this bill, the more I think voting it down was a good thing. It just seems like a knee jerk reaction to a huge problem. With what I am hearing and reading, the bill is pretty much going to print some extra cash, based on a number ($700 billion) that has been plucked out of the air because "we wanted a large number." according to the Fed. Seems like a very slippery slope and printing money can only make it worse. The dollar is already losing ground we don't need more of them out there. All I know is we need to make an informed decision with this. If we screw it up, we could slip pretty far down the slippery slope that we are perched upon right now.

Another Update: Or more precisely, another random thought on the matter. If we accept this bailout, are the banks falling into the same trap that the people did? I believe that if Congress were to have passed the bill, the banks would eventually have to pay back the line of credit being extended to them according to the plan. Peoples' dependence on credit to help them live beyond their means is what got us all in this mess to begin with. If we let the banks do this too, what happens?

Sunday, September 28, 2008

"I Do That Too"

My first afternoon helping coach the Locomotives was as much fun as I thought it would be. I got to work with the more advanced group, which was great for both me and the players. I really don't have much coaching experience, although I have been involved with hockey in one form or another for about 20 years. These players require a lot less teaching than the intermediate and beginning players. They just require a bit of instruction and once they understand the drill, sometimes they have to be led through it. It was much easier than I expected it to be. The players all just do what they are asked to and enjoy it.

During one of the drills I was skating into a corner to do something and I took a mis-step and fell. As I was getting up one of the players looked at me and said, "Ha, coach, I do that too." and smiled at me. I just had to laugh and tell him, "We all do it." It was so much fun.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Too Far! Too Far!

Here is a definition of TOO FAR.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

I've Got The Hunger

When I walked into class tonight, I received the most disturbing greeting that I have had the pleasure of hearing. The woman behind me said, "So, Larry, cannibalism." Not a question, a comment.

I was lost. I was confused. I was terrified. My first instinct was to throw my book at her and run. Then, my fear turned into curiosity, so I turned to face her.

I turned, and the look on my face must have spoke volumes. She then said, "Sunny." OH, THANK GOD! She was referring to the season premier of It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia. I had completely forgotten that we had discussed the show last week during one of our class breaks. For those of you that have not had the pleasure, it is by far the most consistently funny shows on television. The forth season just premiered last week and you can catch the first three for free on Hulu.com. Just sign up for a free account and watch. If you don't believe that there is a "too far" when it comes to comedy, this show is for you. It is brilliant and disturbingly funny. Plus, they added Danny Devito into the mix starting in the second season. How can you go wrong?

Photo Personality Test

This thing is pretty spot on. And it was quick and painless to take. If you want, hop on over to Youniverse.com and take the Visual DNA Personality Test. It will start you on the first question "Art is..." Pick the picture that suits you and go from there.

Youniverse Personality TestYouniverse Personality Test

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Sometimes Hockey Takes Me Places I Would Never Expect

Sometimes, I go out on Saturday nights. Not to the bar, club, or even dinner and a movie. I go out to play games of pickup hockey. I started doing this when I got divorced. It was a way to get out of the house and unwind (yeah, I use hockey to unwind). Now it is a way to get some exercise and connect with some friends that I have made over the past few years. A few months ago, one of these friends that I have made, told me he took a job in Miami and he would be moving down there soon. Well, he has moved. His brother still lives in St. Louis and shows up. I was talking to him last night and he made mention of needing a coach for one of the programs that he is involved in. I would be taking over for his brother. They are coaches for one of the pioneering special needs hockey programs on continent, the Gateway Locomotives. They practice once a week on Sundays and very rarely go to tournaments or play games. So,even with school and work, I can fit in a few hours a week.

I go to the rink on Sunday afternoons and evenings every week, anyway. I have games, myself. When I showed up this afternoon to get ready for my game, my friend introduced me around. I asked questions of the people that run it about time commitment and necessary coaching experience. The players all just love being out there. And that will be refreshing. Most of the time, the players that I play with and against can get somewhat tense and can tend to take things a bit too seriously. I used to referee kids games, and that was some of the most fun you can have with hockey. They all just love it. These special needs kids and adults are the same way. The powers that be, all seem really cool and laid back, too. My friend and his brother really enjoy it.

I think this will be a very rewarding experience.

Woo hoo! Another post with no spelling errors during spell check!

Friday, September 19, 2008

Me Name is Jenkins. Redbeard Jenkins.

Ahoy me mateys, it be International Talk Like a Pirate Day. Aye, ya be hearin' me correctly. 'Tis th' only day a land lubber like me can speak this way and get away with it. So, put a parrot on yer shoulder and get loaded to the gunwhales with some grog and do yer best cap'n Jack impression. Be off on yer merry way and impress some scurvy dogs and saucy wenches with yer abilities to speak just like they do. If ye be not up to th' task, ye can always be off here to get regular speak translated to pirate speak. Don't be forgettin' to speak louder than ye normally do. Ye be a scurvy pirate, this day.

In honor of International Talk Like a Pirate Day, I used this random pirate name genrator. It's funny that it would call me Redbeard on my first try, since I actually have a red beard.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

The Vikings Need Your Stuff To Impress Their Women

There have been several theories about why those Scandinavian bad asses we know as Vikings tore through Europe and beyond. From improved seafaring technology and unfair trade practices brought about by Christians who would not trade with "Heathens" to climate change opening up water ways to overpopulation of the Scandinavian peninsula. But a recent study by a man named James Barrett suggests that it was brought about by the men's desire to gather a fortune.

These men had to gather a fortune, you see. It was a "marriage imperative". If they wanted a wife, they had to impress the woman with their fortunes. During the "Viking Age" women were relatively scarce in Scandinavia due to selective female infanticide. Or, they killed female babies for ritualistic reasons and this led to a much lower female population. Wives were hard to come by and having a family was a means of increasing their status.

So, the young, single, male Viking horde dispersed to foreign lands and worked as teams and plundered and pillaged until they got what they needed. Then those that survived returned home to ply the small female population with their pilfered goods.

Isn't history fun?

I had never really read anything about Vikings, with the exception of some Norse mythology when I was much, much younger. Then I read this article, yesterday. The theory sounded feasible and I felt like sharing.

Seriously, to think that the Viking age was brought on by a bunch of desperate dudes, trying to impress a few women...I have to laugh. I don't think things will ever change. :P

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Happy Birthday...

...Steph. I hope it's a good one. I'd let you take me out for a beer tonight, but unfortunately I have a midterm to attend to. And here's your birthday song, again. From the first time I heard it, until the last time it's notes will ever grace my thoughts, it will always remind me of you.

Everyone, Steph is one of the most loving, loyal, honest, funny, mean, beautiful people that you will ever meet. She gets me through my bad times, shares most of my good ones, and helps me kill the boring time (even when it almost kills her:P). Somehow, our mutual hatred growing up, has blossomed into one of the greatest friendships that I could ever know. We should all be so lucky, to have someone like her in our lives.

I love you, Steph. Have a great birthday.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

R.I.P. Rick Wright

Another of my favorite musicians passed away yesterday. This time it was one of the members of Pink Floyd. His long time band mate and friend, David Gilmour had this to say about him, "In the welter of arguments about who or what was Pink Floyd, Rick's enormous input was frequently forgotten. He was gentle, unassuming and private but his soulful voice and playing were vital, magical components of our most recognised Pink Floyd sound. Like Rick, I don't find it easy to express my feelings in words, but I loved him and will miss him enormously. I have never played with anyone quite like him."

As I commented on the post that informed me of his passing, Pink Floyd introduced me to music. Before them, all I knew was noise. Because of their music, my world is a beautiful, poetic place, that it may not have been, otherwise. Thank you, Roy, for making me listen to them. Thank you, Rick for adding your touch. You will be missed.

It may sound cliche, but Rick, I Wish You Were Here.

Monday, September 15, 2008

People I Thought I'd Never Hear From Again (or, Your Bald Head Looked Like I Rock To Me)

Twice, this weekend, I was contacted by people I never thought I'd hear from again. First, one of my friends used to have a friend that turned out to be a PSYCHO. This person was never my friend, just an acquaintance that I saw on a semi-regular basis. When checking my email, Saturday, it turns out this person found me on Myspace. I got one of those "How have you been...everything is great here...I hope you don't mind me checking in on you...just hoping everything is good with you." There was a lot of extra fluff in the message. None of which I needed or wanted or-and this may sound cold-really even cared about knowing. I feel the need to qualify this a little. I get along with almost everyone. I don't hold grudges very well, unless you are one of a select few that meant a whole lot to me. And, I am not one of those people that has to not like you when one of my friends doesn't like you. I don't see the point of holding someone else's baggage against you. However, in this instance, the person I am referring to, is someone that upon meeting them, I had always thought was a little off. I was wrong, this person truly is psychotic. Not boil your bunny on the stove because you ended a relationship psycho, mind you. But, they definitely don't get that when their friend broke off contact by saying "I never want to hear from you again. Stop trying to contact me," it was not an open invite to contact that person's friends when the ex-friend doesn't return their phone calls/messages/threats/pleas for attention. It's sad that they can't let it go. Maybe, it's sad that I am blogging about it.

The second occurrence was actually someone I didn't mind hearing from. It was my ex-mother-in-law. I know that may sound kinda weird, but I loved my ex-in-laws. They always treated me great. As soon as I started dating their daughter, they started to treat me like part of the family. They did a whole lot for me when I was married to their daughter. And, although my ex is one of those few people I mentioned above, about holding grudges, I told my ex-in-laws that if they ever needed anything that they could call me. Well, imagine my surprise when I received a text message yesterday evening that said, "Hi Larry, this is (x) my number is (y) please call me". Figuring, something may have happened to someone, or that they needed some help with something, I called. I haven't talked to her in almost exactly four years. It turns out, they are both retired and are moving halfway across the country. They found something that my Grandfather had given me and that I had left in the car that eventually ended up as theirs. They were wondering if I wanted it back. We talked for about 20 minutes about a lot of things (we're both long winded, it could have lasted a lot longer, but my phone died). However, at the beginning of the conversation, we both made sure that the other knew that there weren't ever any hard feelings but with the situation being what it was it was easier to not have contact. I found out about my nieces, and heard some other stuff. She found out about my job changes and returning to school. At one point she said something to which my response was, "I don't think I was ever happy, but, getting married so young, I didn't have anything to compare my lack of happiness against. Now I know. I am much happier." To which her reply was, "Oh, honey, believe me, you are much better off. MUCH BETTER OFF." I chuckled to myself. That, my friends, is what you call VALIDATION.

Now, on to more interesting stuff. The Steph and I were having a conversation last night. It was morbid to begin with but it was also interesting. We ended up looking up this list of unusual deaths on Wikipedia, so take these with a grain of salt, but here are a few of my favorites:

-458 BC: Aeschylus, Greek playwright, was killed when an eagle dropped a live tortoise on him, mistaking his bald head for a stone. The tortoise survived. (I think I need to reevaluate the possibility of shaving off all of my hair. We have a whole lot of eagles that nest near a turtle infested river, only a few miles from our house during the fall and winter months.)

-207 BC: Chrysippus, a Greek stoic philosopher, is believed to have died of laughter after watching his drunk donkey attempt to eat figs. (Ladies and Gentlemen, this proves the saying "Everything in moderation". He tried to go too funny, too fast.)

- 336 AD: Arius, the heretical priest who precipitated the Council of Nicea, passed wind and evacuated his internal organs. (There have been a few times when I was afraid this would happen to me.)

-1410 AD: Martin I of Aragon died from a lethal combination of indigestion and uncontrollable laughing. (I got nothin)

-1673: Molière, the French actor and playwright, died after being seized by a violent coughing fit, whilst playing the title role in his play Le Malade imaginaire (The Hypochondriac or The Imaginary Invalid). [Over actor]

-1912: Franz Reichelt, tailor, fell to his death off the first deck of the Eiffel Tower while testing his invention, the coat parachute. It was his first ever attempt with the parachute and he had told the authorities in advance he would test it first with a dummy. (In my estimation, he did use a dummy. I probably shouldn't judge)

-1979: Robert Williams, a worker at a Ford Motor Co. plant, was the first known man to be killed by a robot. (It's just a matter of time folks. I watched IRobot, I know.)

Here is the link to the very extensive list of unusual deaths. I thought the few I picked were pretty fun. At least as fun as death can be.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Think About It

Thinking, or more precisely, thinking for themselves, got three young women killed. While another two were shot and killed for begging for the lives of the three. How can people get away with this? "Tradition". I have known many Muslims. The ones that I know, have told me that the Qur'an actually prohibits violence except in self defense. How then, can it be that this holy book, God's word given to Mohamed, can sanctify this behavior. I guess what they say is true, "Power corrupts." Being an American, with our propensity toward violence, I know I might catch some flack for the statement I am about to make. But, I'll do it anyway. How can anyone hold life in such low regard as to kill someone for wanting to make a decision on their own. Even if tradition dictates that such an act (thinking) is not allowed.

That is their daughter/sister/niece/neighbor/"friend" that they killed. Why not say, "No, you are not allowed." Keep them locked up in the house until a suitor that they deem worthy is available to take her hand. Is subjugation so important that a few women can pay for the men's loss of power with their lives. If there is a God that not only tolerates this behavior, but encourages it, then we will all surely suffer at his hand.

I will not pit religions against one another. Although, I am a Christian, I cannot and will not tell someone they are wrong for what they believe in. Belief in something gets me through the day. However, I refuse to believe this is what Allah or Mohamed had in mind when they were having their lengthy chat. Only 20% of the world's Muslims live in the Middle East. To think that most everyone's impression of them is skewed by the ass backward way of doing things in parts of that region, is sad. I guess they don't remember "As-Salāmu `Alaykum" or "wa `Alaykum As-Salām". "Peace be upon you," "and on you be peace".

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Sgt. MacKenzie

This is the piece of video I promised you. It is a song called Sgt. MacKenzie, originally composed by a Scot named Joseph Kilna MacKenzie in tribute to his great grandfather, who died protecting a fallen friend in the first World War. The video is of my new friend Brendan playing it, standing on a rock by the edge of Beirstadt Lake in Rocky Mountain National Park. I wish you all could have been there to see this in person. It was one of the most moving musical performances I think I will ever have the privilege of witnessing.

"There And Back Again"

Here are some more tales from the trip, which I have unfortunately returned home to real life from.

After I posted on Saturday afternoon, we went out to another Albannach show Saturday night. Both nights, we tailgated in the parking lot while waiting for them to take their turn on stage, as the venue did not allow alcoholic beverages inside and the other bands weren't all that good. On Saturday, we went out to a few bars afterward and continued to honor our Scottish roots...by drinking Irish Car Bombs?...anyway, we continued drinking. I guess technically I'm not really Scottish and one of the guys WAS Irish.

At the first bar we reconnected with a group of women that we had met on the first day of hiking. There were a couple of pretty good looking twins in this group that myself and the Irishman were looking to hook up with. That didn't quite workout as planned and we ended up at a table with a few other women. The Irishman has a pickup line that is fantastic. I will not give it out here though. Needless to say, he had them eating out of the palms of his hands. He also had chipmunks eating out of the palms of his hands, but that comes later. Back on track, we finished drinking ourselves stupid, said our goodbyes and headed to another bar.

The other bar was at The Stanley Hotel, which was the inspiration for The Overlook Hotel in Stephen King's "The Shining". It appears in the movie Dumb and Dumber as Hotel Danbury. We encountered a wedding party there, finishing their night also. The Irishman's pickup line was also used there, on a married woman, while her husband and I became drunken pals. The husband knew about it, and actually told him to use it on her. It was brilliant. Twice in one night. The man is a genius.

Sunday morning, we had breakfast with Aya and Donny from the band, and then went out to show our "solidarity", and watched them perform at Noon. Which we could not do after the first night of drinking due to our massive hangovers. When Aya saw us Saturday afternoon at their third performance, he was a bit disappointed that we didn't show our solidarity that day. I just couldn't bring myself to disappoint him again. Either that, or I wanted to hear them one last time before we went hiking for the afternoon. Since they don't come anywhere near St. Louis. I think there is going to have to be a trip to Philly planned for February, when they perform there. It will give me a chance to visit some old and new friends.

Sunday afternoon, three of us went hiking again. We started out by climbing some waterfalls at the bottom of the mountains. Then we started driving up Old Fall River Road, which is a one lane gravel track that winds its way up toward the highest drivable point in the U.S. We stopped and hiked a few places along the way. One such place, while trying to get out into the middle of a stream near a waterfall, I fell in. Oops. I was cold for the rest of the day, but it was only my feet and my butt that got wet. We worked our way up to the top and hiked as high as we could go. The three of us sat up top and talked for a while, then had to head back into town to meet some folks. There was no real drinking on Sunday night.

We got up Monday, packed up and headed back out to the park for one more morning of hiking, before having to head into Denver to catch our flights. We hiked Alberta Falls, where we took turns feeding a cute little chipmunk. I feel a bit guilty, but the little thing was too damn cute. He would reach into our hands and take the sunflower seeds. From there we went to Bear Lake and found a large boulder that sat out in the lake. We climbed out to it, had a picnic in the sun, surrounded by crystal clear water, surrounded by trees, surrounded by towering peaks, surrounded by a deep blue sky. What a way to end a trip.

Hopefully, between exchanged emails and finding a way to retrieve the pics from my broken phone, I will have some pictures from the last few days. I will post some from the first few days, when I get a chance to go through them.

Saturday, September 06, 2008

A Quick Hello

As I sit here in the cabin in the quaint little Rocky Mountain town of Estes Park, I have a moment to scan my favorite blogs and post a little something myself. Halfway through this trip, I can say this is one of the best trips I have taken in a long time. I only knew one of the five other people that I was sharing a cabin with before I got here. All of the others are pretty damn fun. I been to a few concerts, tried a Rocky Mountain oyster while someone else had to eat a whole one (ugh), and been on a five mile hike in the national park. We also partied at our cabin with one of the coolest groups of guys I have ever met. All the guys from the band Albannach.

I witnessed a solo bagpipe performance on a lonely foggy lake high up in mountains. It was almost surreal, and definitely one of those "wow" moments in life. People started hiking in as Brendan was finishing his performance. He had to do an encore for a half dozen hikers. I wonder what it sounded like as they hiked toward us through the trees?

The only bad part so far has been that my phone crapped out on me so I can't transfer any of my pictures to my computer until I get home and can mess around a bit with it. I have some great pics and even some video of the pipe performance on the lake. I will be back to actually commenting on all of your blogs in a few more days. Cheers.

Monday, September 01, 2008

Never Knew, And I Worked In A Bookstore

Seriously. With as many recommendations as I received over the two years I spent in the book retail industry, I was never told to read Philip K. Dick. More specifically, A Scanner Darkly. But, no worries. My sister, The Steph, rented the movie and made me watch it. I had never heard of either incarnation. If what has held true thus far, still holds true, the book must be brilliant. The movie was fantastic. Robert Downey Jr., as always, earned his money. Woody Harrelson, Winona Ryder, Rory Cochran, and Keanu Reeves more than hold their own, too.

How do I avoid hearing about the good stuff for so long? This movie has been out for several years. The book, as long as I have been alive. For those of you who are as out of the loop as I am, watch the movie. I can't recommend the book yet, but I will be reading it when I get some time.

Watch this scene. The man that turns on the radio is Charles Freck (Rory Cochran). This was one of my favorite scenes.