Monday, December 28, 2009

What have I been up to this holiday break?

Well, where do I start? The holidays started for me in mid December, around the 18th. I had just finished writing a good 1/3 of my thesis and would spend the next 3 days or so with Heather doing Christmas parties (one at the workplace & one at the family). The workplace party was a bit awkward, but there were fried bananas.... B-A-N-A-N-A-S! The family party was much better, including good food and good compnay. Afterwards, me & Heather visited the family house in Flagstaff, where we were able to have our own little Christmas. We exchanged presents, hit the town, and lounged around. Presents included DJ Hero, clothes, Arizona book, art book, smell good items (ie soy candle), and a few other things. I have in that time, become quite good at DJ Hero, and Heather believes that I've already beat the game basically.

After Flagstaff, I began my journey home by heading to San Diego to visit Will and see the Utes play Cal in their bowl game. As I have told Will many times, the day of the 23rd was well executed in terms of time and activities. We began with a hike at Torrey Pines, catching some good vistas of the ocean and landscape. Next, we picked up our cheap Field Level tix (row 23 ironically enough) for $30 a piece. This was followed by a game of Frisbee golf, which I had never played. I can't throw a frisbee, and it doesn't help when the holes intersect one another, meaning that frisbees are flying over your head at any time. However, I logged a few pars.
Finally, after a brief stop at Chipotle (love the vegetarian burrito), we began our travels to Qualcomm Stadium, where the Utes would easily handle Cal for their 9th straight bowl win, the longest active streak in NCAAF. Don't get me started on this stat, as I might ramble for a while!

[Need to insert pics Will took of the game here]

Amazingly enough, we decided to leave the game at 9pm and begin our drive home to Lehi, so we didn't arive the evening of Christmas Eve. We got to Mesquite by 2:30am and woke up in time to finish the drive off by 3pm the next day (including the time change into the MW time zone). Again, I was impressed by our brief 36 hours together.

In Lehi, I have stayed busy. I have played some pick-up bball twice now, went snowboarding (soon to be twice), went to Wendover with the Entourage and lost some money, and obviously spent time with the family during the holidays. Christmas was great, even though some say it gets boring with age, I still find the giving and receiving of presents to be quite enjoyable. What awaits me for the rest of the break will be less fun and more work... I am about to continue my work on my thesis and further my jumpstart on getting done by April/May, in time for graduation.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Elves dancing?

Heather made these videos that are pretty cool... they are videos of elves dancing around to funny music... but the elves have photo cutouts of people's faces.

Me and Heather: http://elfyourself.jibjab.com/view/usyORejuSPwbhIQ6?cmpid=ey_fb_friend


Check them out, they are quite funny

Monday, December 7, 2009

(1) Odd things my girlfriend does...

I will be periodically posting things Heather does to enlighten others on who she is, to make fun of her, and to help me remember all the great things about her :) . I do so only because I love her.

1. She wears turtlenecks despite the fact that she does not like things touching her neck. As a result, she spends time holding the 'neck portion' of her shirt away from her body or puts it over her face. This only happens when she thinks about it touching her neck. I really thought I would have to cut it off most recently when she wore one.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

House is on fire!?!?

Sorry for the gap in between posts... classes just ended and papers/presentations are finally done.

Yesterday (Friday) I woke up and decided to do a little work on my thesis. I worked throughout the day from 11am to 2pm. During that time I turned the heater on for the first time this year (that's a nice pro for living in PHX) for a total of 10 minutes. This is an important fact for later in the story.

At around 2pm I went to the kitchen to make me a veggie burger (yep, I know but its microwaveable and pretty easy to eat; plus I had 2 vegetarian roommates for 2 years). I had the microwave and toaster going (love toasted buns) and all of a sudden I smelt smoke in the kitchen (crazy how fast it surrounds you). I believe I was cutting cheese when I realized it was around me. Anyways, I went in panic mode and popped up the toaster to find the buns not even cooked (not the toaster), stopped the microwave (not that), put the vent on to get the smoke out, but it was already getting to the living room.

Now I'm in semi-panic mode. I'm thinking that its my fault. And the only thing that it could be was the heater, considering it was used for the first time in a year. I have now abandoned my lunch, running around the house to clear the smoke out. Meanwhile, the fire alarm in my room goes off. Full panic now consumes me. I go to the fire alarm to try and stop it... don't succeed in this. Now I'm thinking that I've somehow started this smoke/fire, and will be responsible for all the fire trucks/services that come to the house. I open the front door to get the smoke out and run out to already see a cop outside the condos. He yells, "there's a fire, you need to get out" and I yell, "all I did was turn the heater on for 10 minutes.... and it wasn't the toaster". He yells back in quite a confused daze, "there is a fire, you need to get out and help me get other people out of their apartments". I yell, "I promise, its just smoke in my place."

I then see about 3-5 fire trucks pull up and begin to realize that there is a fire in the condo that is directly on our backside (aka we share a wall, which turns out to be a fire wall luckily). I proceed to get others out of their condos. One guy was sleeping the whole time and firemen had to go in and wake him up as smoke filled his room, which is crazy. Turns out that a candle (I think it may have been illegal substances) set the fire in the place behind us, and clear (not black, thankfully) smoke filled our whole house. Now we are in the process of getting everything back to a regular, non-campfire smell. All in all, we (me, roommate, and his cat) are ok, I just stink like smoke all the time.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Entourage Trip to Minneapolis

So this past Halloween weekend me and Heather visited Minneapolis to hang out with the Entourage (and everyone's significant others). This is the first rendition of our semi-annual trip where it was more than the 4 of us. We all wanted to go to Minn because we knew that Jeremy was finishing up law school soon and wanted to make sure to visit while we had a chance. Plus, this was the 1st chance Heather could meet my good friends... So this is what went down:

Minneapolis Skyline at night (kind of looks like Gotham)

Thursday: We got delayed because the airport in Minneapolis decided to shut down all but 1 of its runways... now that's got to be some bad decision-making. We were supposed to get in at midnight (due to the 2 hour timechange) and we got in at 2:30am (and so did Will & Nick). Because we all got in at the same time, we took the light rail together to downtown where Jeremy picked up up. He lives in the "Warehouse District" which is a refurbished area of town that still has a lot of character, yet is still nice. We all chitchatted until about 4am, made our inflatable beds, and called it a night.

Friday: Waking up and getting 8 people ready takes a while. We got out in the early afternoon and took a trip to the Minnapolis Institute of Art. It was quite large.... large enough to get my dogs barking! My favorite place was the Modern Art section, as well as the Sub-Saharan section (see my friend Will's blog for pics)...afterwards, we all went to 7 Sushi, a very nice restaurant where I had a delicious crabcake.. .it was so flavorful

All of the crew (starting with Jeremy on left and going clockwise: Jeremy, Justyne, Heather, Riley, Nick, Robbie, Ashley; Will is taking picture)
After dinner, we all decided to go back and get ready to go out on the town. It was Jeremy and Justyne's defacto bachelor/bachelorette party since they decided to elope. We had a good time, and again made it home quite late in the morning.

Saturday: After another late start (and some doughnuts/ cold pizza for lunch) a big group of us went to the Mall of America. I was rather quite vocal about not wanting to go, but was the only one. To me, it is just a regular mall... except imagine your local mall with the exact same layout stacked on each other 4x. Plus, it was Halloween (child trick or treaters) and a Saturday, so the whole Minnesota population was there, making it difficult to move around. Nonetheless, Jeremy and Will liked an inflatable Ice Cream Cone, which was the highlight.


After the MoA, we all got ready to go to the Halloween Party at the Law fraternity (?, not sure that is what it is called) house. Anyways, it is the house Jeremy lived at for a few years (not like a typical fraternity). Nick and Robbie dressed as Mormon missionaries (not sure I agree with that), Jeremy was the Minnesota sleeping pilot, Will was Plaxico Burress, and I was Kanye West (Heather was Taylor Swift). Everyone looked spot on in their costumes, while I looked rather white for a rapper, so Heather at the last minute, painted my face black... this would go down as a bad decision, as I looked terrible. Luckily, Heather would end up giving me her blond wig to wear, so I then looked like what Will called "Zombie Rupaul". Nonetheless, my terrible costume turned into a memorable one. The other odd thing was that the party was completely dead when we showed up, so we were able to just make it our own, which was a good thing.... Later that night, the Entourage had a secret late night dinner, to just hang out by themselves, which the significant others would not know until this was written.

Sunday: Will and Ashley had an early afternoon flight this day, so we missed them on this day. So after another late start, we got up and walked to the Sculpture Garden, an area that I had been pleading to go to. This was a great decision. Lots of art pieces placed very well within a park. The most famous one is the Spoonbridge with a Cherry (see below). I took many pics at all different angles, and think this one with the Basilica in the background is the best. We spent a lot of time here, as there were interactive art pieces (including transluscent mirros, poetic benches, and a swinging platform)... We then trotted over to the Basilica to take pics of the great architecture, and a few decided to go sit in on Mass. I liked it, and we stayed about 10 minutes. ...afterwards, a good dinner at Joe's Garage.... because we missed a play at The Guthrie (dang matinee), we decided to walk the Miss River front and downtown art scene.. this was really cool and again looked like the picture at the start of this blog... but the Guthrie was awesome.

The SpoonBridge (although its hard to see how it spans the water on this pic)

Monday: We woke up at 4:40am, to catch our 7 am flight... not cool, although I thought we all handled it well. More pics are to be seen once we hang out.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

My 'eye-opening' experience with Healthcare

So if you hadn't heard.. I recently had a chalazion (sounds terrible, I know... but an infected one is called a hordoleum)... but all it is a clogged sebaceous gland in the eyelid, and as a result, you get a raised bump that was about half the size of a dime. Google it, you'll find much more disgusting pictures than the one I had.

When I found out I had it, Heather WebMD'd it and found out that I should put a warm compress on it, and if it doesn't go away, go see a doctor.... I did this.... and it didn't go away. I went to the ASU health clinic and waited 4o minutes to hear the doctor tell me exactly what Heather told me... except to see an ophthalmologist instead. That was $10. Ok..

So I warm compress it for 10 more days and it doesn't go away...(by the way, warm compressing your eye really makes you pretty worthless, as you can't really do anything except lay down or watch TV). I went to the ophthalmologist and after a 20 minute wait, I was told that I had a chalazion (I already knew this) and that I would need to come back to have outpatient surgery. Again, nothing new that I already did not know. That was $35.

I wait another week to finally go in to have it lopped off... after some numbing of the eyeball and some anesthetic dropped into the eyes, he 'pinched' it off (there was some pain) and told me to keep some gauze on it for 5 minutes and would be back.... 40 minutes later he shows up to tell me all is good and that I could leave, since the damn office was closing up and locking doors anyway. He totally forgot I was there. That was another $35. Add a $5 prescription onto that, and I can't figure out if the time or $ was the big loss in this endeavor.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Really! Hulu you're awesome!

I was just visiting Hulu (for those that don't know, its a site with a bunch of videos) and on the front page was a video that looked to be a bunch of football players gathered around a coach... their jerseys were red and white and the title of the video (documentary) was 'Second to None'. I started thinking is that the Utes. It was!

Then I figured it was just a college football highlight video. It wasn't. It's a full on documentary of the Utes 2008 season on the front page of Hulu. Here's the link.

Monday, October 12, 2009

I thought the Indians were not in the Postseason

So I have been watching some October baseball and did not know that the Cleveland Indians - my favorite team - was in the postseason... well, not really, but one could get confused. If you can remember, the Indians were 1 win away from the World Series in 2007, with a stacked lineup and 2 Cy Young Award candidates (CC Sabathia and Fausto Carmona.... Sabathia ended up winning and another Indian, Cliff Lee would go on to win it the year after). Well, they lost and over the last two seasons ended up selling players like it was 3pm in the afternoon on a Saturday garage sale... (aka you just try to sell things for a dollar, so you don't have to find somewhere to place the junk)

So what's my point? Well every game that I watch this October, there are some Indians from that team making key plays. They are:

CC Sabathia (Yankee)--- finally had a quality win in the postseason because boy did he lay some eggs in 07.
Cliff Lee (Philly)--- dominated the Rockies twice
Ben Francisco (Philly)--- just made an awesome diving catch tonight
Rafael Betancourt (Rockies)--- came in the game in pressure situations twice and shut the Phillies down.
Casey Blake (Dodgers)--- didn't see many of their games, but seemed to be up in key situtaions
Victor Martinez (BoSox)--- guessing he didn't have much of an impact since they got swept.

Anyways, this is my way of moping, since my team now sucks, and all of our good players are doing well elsewhere.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Happy Meal!

So I have this theory that anytime you are shocked (or full of some emotion) in response to someone else's actions.... you just say, "Jeez, its not a happy meal!"

I know this is confusing, when you read it like this... but listen through a few examples because I haven't found an instance where I truly couldn't use it. Yet at the same time, no one understands my 'theory' so I'm either crazy or extraordinary. Here are some examples, which I'm making up on the spot.

EX 1: Someone is washing the window with the squeegee thing at the gas station and does it all hurriedly, leaving smudges... I roll down the window and say " Jeez, its not a happy meal!", meaning that you can't just rush the window cleaning and expect a good job like you could in the devouring of a happy meal.

EX 2: Someone wins a free coke from one of those under the bottle cap promotions and exudes exhilaration beyond a normal point of excitement. Once they calm down, I say "Jeez, its not a happy meal!" meaning that I have never seen excitement as such since I saw a kid jump fo rjoy over the toy inside the happy meal.

EX 3: A couple is walking down the street when someone cuts right in between them (rudely) and continues on without saying 'sorry' or anything like that. A person either yells out to the 'cutter' or says to the other "Jeez, its not a happy meal!" meaning that its not like you are bullying through a crowded line at McDonalds to get my happy meal. A simple 'pardon me' or walk around would suffice.

(All of these were hypothetical... I'm sorry that I use a McDonald's reference in this theory.)

My Rileyisms have been doubted before, but one's such as 'delicious' and 'old man winter' among many latched on, until they were being used daily... while I don't expect the same for this one, I had to defend it with some case examples :)

Kickball

So I recently played co-ed kickball with Heather (and her work peeps)..... had 4 hits out of like 7 at bats (its harder than you think when there is 10 people fielding) and made some ridiculous running plays. I dodged 2 throws within 4 seconds, impressing many spectators... but I digress. There are 2 points I need to make about this game.

First, the correct play in Kickball is to just bunt, aka kick the ball like 3 feet down the line. Everybody (even slow people) who did this got to first base, because no one is allowed in this space... so the catcher, pitcher, and 3B have to chase it down and make a barehanded across the field throw to the 1B with a ball that you can't grip, nor throw accurately more than 15-20 feet. Thus, if I can successfully bunt it without popping it up (which I was 1 of 2 in my attempts), I can score from 1st on the next play because its hard to field and throw the ball... and if needed, I only have to dodge 1 ball.

Second, the game is really easy for anyone to pick up... making it funny to watch people who think they are athletic, when in reality they probably are not. Why is this funny to me? Because a few people were so into the game that trash talking came about... some trash talking and some tempers in kickball... YES! That's what I'm talking about.

The ease of playing this game (for everyone, not me) is making me think of other universal games/sports that anyone can play.... but the only one I can think of is frisbee... and maybe soccer. But Kickball, I think, is the easiest to pick up and play well right away.

Still, I had a lot of fun and am doing it again this Tuesday!

PS Heather played really well too... she had more catches than me and got on base 3 times.... impressive.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Running Wild

This morning I was doing my daily perusal of ESPN and found a headline titled, 'Utah Golfer nets $1M with hole-in-one'. Naturally, I had to look because its the home state, but what is most awesome about this video is his reaction after the shot. This would most likely be the exact same reaction that I would have, either as the golfer or as his buddy. It made me laugh!

Click link above for video... if that doesn't work, cut and paste http://sports.espn.go.com/golf/news/story?id=4484181

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

My Take on Kanye and Michael

So there has been a lot of episodes lately concerning 'celebrities' and their civility in the eye of the public. Serena yelled profanities at a ballgirl, Congressman Joe Wilson called Obama's comment a 'lie' (what an idiot), Kanye rudely prances on stage and ruins Swift's moment, and Michael Jordan gave probably the most 'unclassy' speech of the 5 inducted. Let me go ahead and take a moment to consider 2 of these episodes.

Jordan is arguably the best basketball player to step on the court and Kanye is arguably the best hip hop artist currently on the scene (although Jay-Z's re-return may negate this). Let's take Jordan's speech first. The other 4 Hall-of-Fame inductees (Robinson, Sloan, Stockton, and Stringer) gave the most classiest, graceful, 'we're undeserving of this honor', 'so many people are responsible for getting me here', speeches I've heard. Hoping for much of the same from Jordan, he got to the podium (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/09/15/michael-jordan-hall-of-fa_n_287875.html) and explained why he became the best player in the world... his internal competitive drive. He then made references to several players/instances which 'fueled his fire' for being better than everyone. There was a certain arrogance present in his speech that may have turned people off, but for those who knew him, that is Jordan.... Pause

As for Kanye, you have seen his rants and raves. He is the self-acclaimed best in the business at what he does. He has wrote "When someone is strong enough to believe in something only they believe in, people are going to call them crazy... sometimes crazy is a label that the average put on the exceptional." He is never embarrased at proclaiming his greatness.... Pause

My point in discussing this, is that it seems like to be the 'best,' one has to be arrogant. For how can you be the best, when you don't think (or possibly conceive) you are the best.... and compete against all others who are in your way. Both Kanye and Jordan's (and most likely Serena's, which is obvious in her dominance over the more endearing, loving Venus) actions are rooted in this thought pattern.... when I was in Jr High and High School, I often thought (but didn't yell it from the mountain) I was the best student in the school, and it seemed to work out for me. But is the arrogance, and the potential 'fall-out' (in terms of people subjugated, loneliness, etc), worth the excellence attained? Instead of competitive, self-interest, can we move to a world where cooperation leads to excellence? The importance of this question resonates in our endeavor towards sustainable cities/communities (that's right, I just tied in sustainability to this discussion).

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Earning 'man' points

About a week and half ago, I got the distinct feeling of 'manliness' that I typically don't get in my daily life (riding my bike to school, attending classes, reading books, and writing papers). As a part of my GK-12 fellowship, we are visting schools from around the valley and presenting our vision of what a 'sustainable school' could/should look like. As of right now, it is in its infancy stage, but we are slowly puttting together a framework in which high schools can begin to implement sustainable change in their curriculum, campus, and community. But that is not the point of this story....

On our way to the school (about 40 min into our drive), the 4 of us in the car start to hear the infamous 'flat tire' noise (although it didn't pop or explode, like I've heard in others). To put it bluntly as possible (and not stereotypically), the girl driving did not know what to do (and she admits it to the day). We tell her to put the hazards on and pull over to the right. She doesn't know where the hazards are on her dashboard and she starts to signal left . . . hmmm

We pull over on the freeway and it looks flat and feels cushy. Not a good sign. We get to the gas station and there is no noticeable gash or 'object' poking out, so our advisors (faculty) suggest putting air in it and just getting to the school. They are adamant about us getting there on time, and even suggest putting everyone in the other car... my mind was racing with some profanities, because they wanted us to risk life to get to this meeting on time. Because they were being idiots, and I know the driver did not know how to do this, I stayed behind.

In dress clothes, and 110F heat, I jacked the car, took the very tight lugnuts off, and fastened the doughnut on all by myself (it had been since I was 16 that I changed a tire). During this endeavor, I was sweating like Patrick Ewing (check out pic, .... this picture was probably taken when Ewing just entered the game... its like a watefall down the face) and my hands were black., but I somehow didn't dirty my dress clothes....


In the end, we were late 20 minutes, the tire was severely gashed on the inside, and I got my 'manliness' in, that is so lacking in the academic life.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

School of Sustainability Interview

The School of Sustainability recently contacted all the grad students to do a very introductory video in which we answer 3 questions on sustainability. They are then going to show the video to the undergrad intro class, so that they can start to see what we are all doing and what we think of the program. I am trying to embed it into the blog post, but I am unsuccessful....

Here are 2 links that will get you to my interview... if you are real bored, you can watch all my classmates too :)




Saturday, August 29, 2009

First Game Back at Big League Dreams Park

So a new team asked me to play softball...If you know me, I like to embellish my softball stories... but to write out everything I would say, would take a while. The organizer of the team played Shortstop and batted first in the lineup which I thought was quite a selfish move. He's only an average player. Plus, those are my spots typically :) . Anyways, I started the game in Left-Center (at Ebbets Field) and let a groundball roll through my legs to the wall.... good first impression on my part.
What the outfield looks like at a typical 'Big League Dreams Park'

I made up for it by going yard (2 run HR) and making a diving, face-first, belly flop catch in the outfield. After some more routine catches and 2 more singles, we found ourselves down 15-18 in the last inning of the game. With 2 outs and runners on 2nd and 3rd, one of my teammates hit a double to make the game 17-18. The lead-off hitter (the 'organizer' I mentioned above) was next up and I was extremely worried he was going to ruin it. He didn't. He hit a groundball up the middle to tie the game up 18-18. Next up.... me. Looked at 1 pitch, then hit the 2nd one in between the SS and 3B, for the walk-off game winning hit.

I'm pretty sure they want me to come back next week.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Vertical Farming

I loved this idea for quite some time, but I do not know why a prototype has not been developed yet. The financing is an issue to deal with, but I believe the actual farming methods and resources used check out as 'better' than typical agricuture. I see lots of benefits for environmental and social causes, and I'm sure that long-term finances check out as well. As is the problem with a lot of sustainable solutions, the up front cost is a hindrance.... and the only thing that usually can fix such a problem is government involvement (in terms of incentives).

Also, I received a comment via Gmail asking me to post this video on Vertical Farming and the concerns/hype I raised above...I'm improving readership it seems!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

The Life of Riley... maybe I should change my Blog Title

So in my previous post, I have a picture of me and a tavern called 'The Life of Riley'. My mom told me this was an old phrase meaning 'living the good life.' I got pretty excited about this and did a little google search myself. Here is what I found, providing another reason for me to like my own name.

1-The expression, "Living the life of Riley" suggests an ideal life of prosperity and contentment, possibly living on someone else's money, time or work. Rather than a negative freeloading or golddigging aspect, it instead implies that someone is kept or advantaged. The expression was popular in the 1880s, a time when James Whitcomb Riley's poems depicted the comforts of a prosperous home life

2- Meaning: An easy and pleasant life.


Origin

The phrase originated with the Irish/American soldiers in the US Army during WWI. The first known citation is in a letter from a Private Walter J. Kennedy, stationed at Camp Dix, New Jersey, which was published inThe Syracuse Herald on 29th June 1918. The piece was headed "Great Life, Writes Soldier at Camp":

"This is surely one great life." writes Kennedy. "We call it the life of Riley. We are having fine eats, are in a great detachment and the experience one gets is fine."

Later that year, on 22nd October, The Bridgeport Telegram published a letter from Private Samuel S. Polley, 102 Regiment, stationed in France.

"They [German officers] must have led the life of Reilly as we caught them all asleep in beds..."

Who Riley (or Reilly, or Reiley) was isn’t clear. If he had been a known individual then it surely would have been recorded. The lack of any such records points to the name being chosen as that of a generic Irishman, much as Paddy is used now.


The phrase may have been brought to America by Irish immigrants, although there’s no known use of it in Ireland prior to 1918, or, more likely, it originated in the Irish community in the USA. It reached the wider public via the 1919 song by Howard Pease - My name is Kelly:

Faith and my name is Kelly, Michael Kelly,
but I’m living the life of Reiley just the same.


3- Living the Life of Riley" suggest an ideal life of prosperity and contentment, possibly living on someone else’s money, time or work. Rather than a negative freeloading or gold digging aspect, it instead implies that someone is kept or advantaged. This expression was popular in the 1880s a time when James Whitcomb Riley’s Poems depicted the comforts of a prosperous home life, but it could have an Irish origin: After the Riley clan consolidated its hold on country caravan, they minted their own money accepted as legal tender even in England. These coins called O’Rileys and Reillys became synonymous with a monied person and a gentleman freely spending was "living on his Reillys".


Which got me thinking, what does my name mean....

The name Riley is of Irish and Gaelic origin. It means Valiant and Courageous.

The meaning behind the name Riley begins when the name originally appeared in Gaelic as O’Raghailligh, which means descendant of Raghallach.




Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Road Tripping with Mom

So after I got back from the wedding in NC, I officially began by descent from the upper reaches of Canada (see flower flag below). I picked my madre up from the airport in Seattle and we began our Road Trip. On the agenda... well, we didn't know. I tried to get her to pick some places to go to, but instead we played it by ear. Stop 1: Seattle.


In Seattle, we stopped by the touristy areas (we are tourists anyway) and did the Space Needle, sculpture park, and Pikes Place Market. Rather than relive every minute, I would have to say the best moment was eating chowder (scallop chowda for me and southwestern chowda for my mom) and crab rolls. Also, the guys at Pikes Place dangled an octopus in front of a kid's face. That was classy!
Put that on a Postcard

On the way down I-5, we came across Olympia. I have driven by Olympia and you literally don't even recognize you went through a city. I knew it was the capital city, so we made a stop. Disclaimer: it was sunset at the time, which makes everything in the world 100x more beautiful, but I don't think the city really needed the sunset to be beautiful. It had an awesome capitol grounds and it also had a concert in the park down the street. All in all, it looked like a great place to live.
Capitol Grounds (put that one on a postcard too)

After waking up, we made an inland journey to Mt. St. Helens. An hour of driving later, we came upon a foggy mess. We could see the ruins of the eruption, but we literally could not see the mountain/volcano. The two of us were pointing at distant ranges and smaller mountains. Finally the fog cleared enough for us to see the ginormous mountain in front of us. It was right in our face! Yet it took us an hour to recognize that with all the fog. Anyway, the visitor's center was really informative and had a nice recount of that day in 1980. It even had a story of a man and his wife floating down on trees away from the blast. Crazy!
This one is not postcard worthy, thus, I bought a postcard from the Visitors Center

Driving down I-5 South, we came across Portland. I had been to Portland once before and absolutely loved it. I told my mom and she seemed less enthused. She would have been happy to go through it, because she did not know of one touristy thing to do. I kept telling her, we got to stop... it is such a wonderful city. So we stopped and in the end, she tells me, "I wish we had more time here." CMON! We stopped at Powell's (the local bookstore that fills a city block) and ate lunch at a local brewery (which had ornate carved archways). A stop at 'Cupcake Jones' afterwards and my mom was hooked. Below is a tavern we ran across.
Turns out the phrase 'Life of Riley' means 'Living the Dream'.... how awesome is that?

After a night in Eugene, OR (home of University of Oregon.... the team that the Utes are going to throttle this coming year in football.... you heard it first right here), we headed southwest towards the coast and Redwood National Forest. There are not enough words to describe how awesome and spiritual those forests were. I took probably 50 pics of trees, but probably should not put them all in this post (believe me, there were plenty of postcard worthy pics too). Yet the pics really don't do them justice, as the trees just don't looks as tall and thick in diameter in the picture. You really need something (like me hugging the tree....here it comes, call me that environmentalist name) next to the tree for perspective. The 'treehugging' (hate the animosity behind that word when people use it... hell, I enjoy hugging trees...it's better than hugging a car or building) picture below is a middle of the pack redwood tree too.

I took lots of upwards pics, to try and capture the enormity of them.


Don't say it.....

After about 3-4 hours of tree viewing we finally came across 'Big Tree'. One of my mom's favorite stories of the trip is me seeing the road sign for 'Big Tree' and slamming on the brakes and pulling onto the shoulder to look at the tree the arrow was pointing to. We both thought it was an average redwood and were confused why we drove out of our way to see something we had already seen. Getting in the car, we drove a quarter mile more and saw the parking lot for the Big Tree. The sign earlier was just letting us know to take a left, and it was not pointing at any tree in particular. I'm college educated....
Creative Name...

We saw a herd of about 25 elk just outside the forest... pretty neat to see them that close.

After driving through the redwoods, we came upon the ocean. My mom had never been to the ocean and she honestly got a little giddy when she saw it.. I pulled a NASCAR-like maneuver and parked the car so we could go walk the beach. We got the feet wet and gathered rocks/seashells for the nieces and for her pond at home. We also got some pretty awesome vistas from the historic 101 Pacific HGWY. Here is one of them:

Ocean Vista Postcard, count it!

At this point of our trip, the ole Suzuki Forenza had to do some serious mountain climbing, winding up and around many ranges. The first was during the night (and come to find out, with only 1 headlight. I credit our survival to my awesome driving). The second was on our way to and through Lake Tahoe (where we stopped because that is where my mom and dad got married). We looked for the romantic wedding chapel, but could not find it (still interesting to see where it all started). Instead, we got some good looking views of the lake (specifically, Emerald Bay).
Finally, after Lake Tahoe, we kept the best for last. Driving I-80E to Salt Lake City. There is nothing better than driving ~500 miles from Reno to SLC than going through such glorious cities such as Winnemuca, Battle Springs, Elko, and Wendover. If you want classy sophistication, look no further. Too bad I took no pictures to show you :)

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Wedding Week

It has been a while... it is my goal to write blog posts frequently enough so there is a point to visiting my blog... it is pretty annoying when you click on a blog and the same stories are up. That has been the case for 'Nomadic Ute' as I have been traveling (hence the name of my blog!) for the last 2 weeks. Here is the recap of the week out in North Carolina:

Wednesday: I arrived at NC at 9am... after catching the redeye from Seattle at 11pm the previous night. I thought this was a good idea, being that I could spend the cross country flight sleeping. Well sometimes good plans aren't executed. I didn't sleep at all, and I lost 3 hours in the time zone switch overs. Additionally, Adam, the groom, was picking me up from the airport so we could drive 5 hours to Charleston, SC for the bachelor's party. Basically, I knew once I got off the plane that a 40 hour sleepless state was in the future.

...of highlight during the time in Charleston was
1- Riley placing a 'wet floor' sign in the middle of the hotel driveway during a torrential rainstorm
2- 3 dozen oysters among 5 people... all of which may or may not have come back out an hour later
3- group picture in middle of a fountain followed by at least 3 failed piggy back rides (leading to grown men being dropped onto the ground)
4- Arguing about college football with random people on street (teams included Ole Miss, LSU, Oklahoma, Utah, Alabama, Florida, Tennessee, and probably more SEC teams). We did this inside and outside a cigar shop (outside only because the owner kicked us out for being loud).

5- I danced on a stool at a bar. Why? They were allowing every girl in the place to dance on the bar but no guys. So I decided to make a fool of myself (only for Adam's enjoyment, not mine...:) and dance on the stool next to the bar. I was told to get down within 5 seconds. Equal opportunity?
6- many more stories that deserve their own blogpost or a phone call. Disappointingly, no photos of this night!

Thursday: Recovery

Friday: Rehearsal and dinner... At the rehearsal, we learned how to stand and how to look. Basically, the goal is not to attract any attention to me (which is hard to do, I mean look at me... Just Kidding!) At the dinner, we had a delish set of appetizers, garden salad, chicken pasta w/ white sauce, and my favorite desert, chocolate mousse cake. I happened to get myself in trouble with the bride (inappropriate ettiquette... my bad), Kristen, but I of course made up for with my charm and humor. The night ended with Adam giving our groomsmen gifts (Abita bucket, alma mater miniature football helmets, beer, and cufflings... mine were Utes cufflings). They were awesome gifts!
Rehearsal Dinner: Adam looked too sexy to not post!

Saturday: WEDDING DAY! All the groomsmen got together for a bucket of range balls in the morning at the UNC golf course. Great way to start the day! Afterwards, we got all primped up and suited for the wedding... and arrived an hour before. I ushered guests to their seats... not too hard of a job. After 45 minutes, the Father proclaimed "for the first time,... Mr & Mrs Parker". He was quite a funny man (a staunch conservative) and did an excellent job of administering the wedding.... Following at least 3 hours of wedding photos, which everyone else typically dislikes, but I didn't mind (does this speak to my subconscious interest in being photographed?), we got to the reception.
Groomsmen with Bride

The best part of all of this, is that the wedding party gets treated like VIP's. Everyone is all asking you questions (i.e. what have you been doing all week, what are you wearing, can I get a pic of you?... RED CARPET treatment basically), and you have a backroom to retreat to, where food and drinks await. We spent some downtime there, so we could be ready for the reception dinner.
To enter the reception, each groomsman and brides maid entered as a pair to the song "Go Ninja Go". I was told my ninja roll and strut was the best by far. I have entered a room at least 3 times like this. Dinner was good again. Lots of dancing ensued with all my ole TFA friends. We wished the Parkers a great time in Hawaii and thanked them for such a great wedding.
TFA Friends @ Wedding, we threw it down on the dance floor

Post wedding was basically reminescent of TFA-ENC. Ten of us crowded in a hotel, played semi-loud music, played some 'games', and ate pizza. You just can't do it better than how we do it in ENC.
Sunday: Recovery Part Deux... headlined by a NICE cracker barrel breakfast with people in above picture.

Monday: 9 holes of golf, in which we were hasseled by the course marshall. This was followed by a Bojangles lunch, a necessary stop while in the South, being that such food (aka hearty, fattening, well-seasoned, greasy) is impossible to find in PHX. This was followed by another 9 holes of rain interrupted golf. After an hour and a half of hiding under our carts from the rain, we proceeded to play golf through puddles/lakes/mud. At this point, scores really didn't matter... we were all hacking it up and running around, being that no one else was on the course and that we had some pent-up energy. I proclaimed that I was going to make every putt and from what I remember, I did?!?!

Tues: Morning work out, followed by a southern BBQ lunch (pulled pork, baked beans, potato salad, and hushpuppies). I have a pic of its deliciousness on my phone, but I most likely lack the technology to transfer said picture to this blogpost...probably because my phone is about 4 generations old. ...I flew back to Seattle to await the arrival of my mom, so we could drive down to Utah.... more pics and stories from that trip soon.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Congress may need to get with some technology

Just flipping through the channels.... hit C-SPAN... and figure to fill my political appetite for the day... I then come across a common scene... the Cardboard Poster!

So when Congressmen/women are on the floor debating the merits of a particular bill, they often use props, specifically large cardboard posters. On such posters are really simple facts that are typically not referenced/sourced and that are accompanied with some cartoonish figure. The fact of course in only a smidgeon of the story and is often presented in a way that causes political lines/tensions. In the case of this poster, the word 'somethin' and 'tsk tsk' is used. I often wonder if the Congressmen/women are presenting to each other, or the viewer. Either way, I'm sad that such little debate happens and I hope the real political work is done behind scenes.


Anyway, why the Cardboard poster? Can we not get Microsoft Powerpoint Presentation in the Chambers? (Not a PC person, have a computer with both MAC/PC operating systems)....Just make sure that the presenters get their few slides (that would take the place of the few posters) in early, so there isn't the common 'computer failure' problem :)

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Another Celsias Blog for me!!! Cha-ching

Here is another blog post that Celsias.com posted about a week ago... It's about making decisions under uncertain conditions.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Weekend Trip to PHX

So my weekend trip began with me flying out of Bellingham, WA, which is an hour from Vancouver and involved me crossing the border (which if you haven't done is quite fun, because you get asked invasive questions from someone you don't know... go try that on the street). After a connection in Seattle and a small layover, I got to PHX at 3:30pm. I cleaned my place up and threw out some food that was NASTY (tofu doesn't age well, nor does sour cream) and finally Heather got off work to visit.

Instead of heading straight to the pool, we came home to a dehydrated, panting Hudson
(Heather's cat), which meant that we had to do several things. First, he drank a bowl of water, literally. Second, he looked like he rolled in some mud, so Heather held him in the shower and I washed/shampooed him (Hudson got more affection than she did)... I was shocked I didn't get clawed. After a call with the vet, Heather was convinced we still needed to check his temp. OK....I wait for Heather to go get a thermometer and she comes back and say's "Here, you do it?" Ummm, "how?". I don't see through the mouth working, so she says "it has to be anal."

Oh ok.....yeah not happening. I already washed the cat . . . and I think he's ok, so that is your job Heather. Anyway, after a few attempts, Hudson registed a 103F, which was high, but good enough. I walked away from the experience changed, even if I didn't watch it happen.

Anyways, Friday, we did the pool, a nice Udon soup dinner prepared by Heather, and we went out to a few bars in Scottsdale (so glitzy). We were both tired and knew we had to get up e
arly, so we retired quickly in the night. On Saturday morning, we headed up to Flagstaff (which is at least 20degrees cooler). I talked Heather's ear off, trying to find any story she had never heard of. I don't know how she listens to me. We stopped at a casino on the way to watch
Heather shove $10 through a slot machine faster than I have ever seen. I only had Canadian money on hand, so I stayed away. Anyways, we ended up doing a volcanic ruins hike and a few hikes around some pueblo ruins. Here are the pics:


























Sunday: We woke up and Heather made her AppleSauce Pancakes. . . I LIKE VERY MUCH! After finishing, she just kept going, making a picnic for our lunch in Sedona. I helped by cutting celery & snap peas into ridiculously thin strips... I'm realizing that Heather seems like a professional cook.... when she does decide to do so, it is reallllyyyyy good... but she supposedly doesn't do it often. Anyways, we walked around the streets of Sedona and Tlaquepaque (try saying that).. We found this awesome park, that I have dreamed of finding.... it had a bird
garden, bocce ball court, checker/backgammon tables, mini golf course, waterway, plenty of grass, and my favorite... A HUMAN SIZE CHESS BOARD...YES!!!






























I flew back Monday,... to keep the misery short, I was supposed to leave PHX at 6:45 pm.. I left at 11:15pm. That's what a monsoon and a changed airplane tire will do for you. Either way, I stayed in Seattle that night and got home the next morning.

1 Day left of work for Riley... 4 days left before I'm in NC.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Weekend Trip to Victoria


This past weekend, I spent a good 24 hours in Victoria, the capital of British Columbia, and just off the mainland in the ocean. To get there, me and a friend named joel, had to take the bus starting at 8:30 am to get to the ferry and eventually to get to downtown Victoria at 12:30pm. The ferry was really cool because you just sit out in the breezeway and watch the islands pass by (while everyone else stays inside, for some odd reason.

After we got to Victoria, we found ourselves around the 'touristy' area of town, with Parliament, a National Geographic IMAX museum, wax museum, and famous Empress Hotel all around us. We stopped by Parliament to be told tours were in a couple of hours (so check that off the list); we stopped by the museum to find that tix were $28, and the exhibits consisted mostly of natural history (which I find myself pretty well versed in, so check that off the list); wax people scare me, and thus check that one; and the hotel is pretty damn cool (check the pic below), but we looked like vagabonds (big backpacks), so walking in probably would have been an interesting experience.

We also ran into a street performer who was juggling flames and balancing an axe on his chin while some kid kicked him in the legs... yeah, kicked him in the legs (btw, what is the deal with street performers, they do cool stuff, but they try to make people laugh and its just awkward... I just begin to feel sorry for them. If you're going to do something odd, just do 'that' something odd and don't try to make me laugh... I leave it to comedians to do that). Also, I saw Darth Vader playing the violin (!)

ParliamentThe Empress Hotel

After walking the streets for a while and doing some window shopping, we visited Vancouver Island Brewery and Phillips Brewery. We got a tour at the former and learned quite a bit of info (4 ingredients to any beer are : water, barley, hops, and yeast, used in that order... also all beer fit under two types of beer, ales and lager, depending on whether the yeast bottom feeds or top feeds).... anyway, we had some interesting convos with some peeps there and got to see the assembly line.

After that, we did some more window shopping. Joel got some soap on his hands in an organic soap shop, and decided to rub them on some clothes on a street mannequin, only to be yelled at by the owner and a pedestrian. He walked briskly off.... I acted like I didn't know him and began to talk on my cell phone (I happen to think it worked out for me).


We then proceeded to Beacon Hill Park to play some football and check out the park/beach scene. We came across South Park School (seen above) and met some 'very interesting' people that you'll have to ask me about. Anyway, we concluded our night by going to a bar that had a volleyball court on top. We hung out with a bunch of different people, and were having a good time until Joel decided to throw a haymaker at the volleyball and knocked it over the large net onto the street.... in my opinion, Joel didn't have a good day with luck. We then spent the rest of the night at the bar and on the dance floor, all while having our massive backpacks nearby. Walking out at 2am of a pretty nice bar/club with those on must have garnered some remarks from some people, but they don't know me!

Morning After

PS Pictures were taken with no battery life, which was kinda hard to do

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Everybody's doing it!

Hey all (or actually, few.... I need to enhance readership),

I just had another blog officially posted at Celsias.com. It can be found here:

http://www.celsias.com/article/pro-environmental-behavior-everybodys-doing-it/

PS If you want to find more articles written by 'yours truly', click on the link to the right of this story titled, 'See other articles written by Riley'

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Impressive...well, not quite so impressive events of the past week



As the title suggests, I have had some 'not so impressive' moments this week. I wish I had a top 10 list, but I guess I have 2-3 days to finish the list out. In no particular order...

-I went golfing Wednesday. The whole time I was on the course, I had 2 birds flying around me... most likely because I smelled or something, but I like to think that I had some sort of magical aura, and they were warding off ..... something. This also reminds me of the last time I golfed in Tempe. I had a crow doing a suicide bomber dive towards my head on at least 3 occasions (most likely because I was carrying nuts as a snack). Talk about taking my focus off the game.


-That same day, I birdied a par 3.... the hole was 61 yards long. Yep! You decide what is impressive about that (I'm pretty sure Tiger Woods has never birdied a 60 yard par 3, see scorecard, which you can click on). I probably should have took a 2nd ball out and used only my putter on the hole.

-I ran 3 miles today... decided to take my shirt off to see if I can get the white torso a little more 'not-white'. I'm pretty sure I initiated some conversations in the passing cars.

-I've been conducting interviews with city staff all week. After the 1 hour of talking to them, I get to go listen to the 1 hour interview and transcribe onto the computer. You know the saying, "I'll never have that _____(enter time, ie 1hour) back".... well in my case, I'll never have those 2 hours back.

-I laughed for about 2 hours Wednesday at work in my cubicle. The problem was that I was at work, and so I kept it all the laughter inside.... it was worth it, but the abs sure got a work out. (check out the website, http://dontevereply.com/).

- I usually get to work at 9:45am. I knew I had an early meeting on Wednesday, so I set the alarm for 8am, with the goal of getting to work at 9am (for a supposed meeting at 10am). Why? Good question, since my normal time would have gotten me there on time. Instead, I get to work at 9:15am, only to play around on the internet for a while. Turns out, that the meeting was at 9am, making plenty of sense why I decided to wake up so early.

-Tuesday I rode my bike to work (like most days). When I got off work, it was raining. When I got home, the guy I am living with, just started laughing. It was one of those kind of laughs that just spoke, 'You're an idiot... and I'm loving every minute of it." To me, the rain felt pretty good, considering I have lived in PHX for the past year.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

I'm back

A year and a half ago (January 2008), I started to write for an online climate change blog called Celsias, so I could further develop my writing skills (as I was not in grad school yet) and also stay on top of current enviro news. Over the course of the next 6-7 months, I had wrote 10 articles, which you can still find, each one giving me enough chump change to fill up the gas tank.
My Profile Pic @ Celsias, Shenadoah Mts in back

After I started graduate school, I found it harder to continue with Celsias because I was already doing enough reading and writing. . . I took a good 8-9 month hiatus (Heather bet me how to spell 'hiatus' and I won) from Celsias. But now that I am in summer, and often find ample amount of time to do something at work, I have started again. Except this time, I'm basically writing from my head and not having to do loads of research to write an article. This one took me maybe 30-40 minutes, so in the end, I hope that it doesn't sound like I put less time into it. You be the judge...

http://www.celsias.com/article/going-local-era-globalization/

PS if you like it, DIGG it at the Celsias website

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Will my Masters degree pay off?

So I was reading the NYtimes on my day off here in Canada (It's Canada Day, ironically right next to July 4th) and came across this article.


The article discusses the merits of obtaining a Masters degree and whether its worth the investment. Some degrees pay off, others don't. Also, they talk about whether its smart to enroll into graduate school when the economy hits the proverbial outhouse (note: I was in grad school when it hit the outhouse). The overall message that I got from the article is that in most cases, it is not advantageous financially to do so, but at the same time, a HS degree 30 years ago is today's Bachelor's degree. Then again, when the school is picking up the tab, it's probably a different story.

Finally, there is the elephant in the room? Of course no one mentions ifa MA in Sustainability is worth it, but who knows? I happen to think it is going to create huge dividends for me and my peers.... if I didn't why would I be doing what I was doing. Thoughts?

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Riley in Vancouver.... WHAAATTTT?

So as some of you know, I'm in Richmond, British Columbia, Canada (just south of Vancouver) for a summer internship to help me finish my degree in sustainability. I am working at Richmond City Hall with the Sustainability Manager on some project including their overall sustainability framework as well as their possilble Olympics Sustainability Programs for the 2010 Winter Olympics. I'm also doing my own research on whether Richmond would be categorized as a sustainable governance structure as according to the academic literature... basically I've read a lot of journal articles and will begin interviewing city employees soon. It's the opposite of titilating (wanted to use that word), but its mentally stimulating at times.

At the same time, I've been trying my best to do lots of things on my own in the city of Vancouver. I've been playing with a bunch of 'average' (and that's nice) softball players and have been quite impressive. I'm known, for the 'first time' in my life, as a deep ball hitter, and everytime I get up to bat, the left and center fielder go stand next to the fence, which doesn't make much logical sense, but it still puts a smile on my face. I also make at least 2-3 webgems a game, which earns a bunch of 'jaw-dropping' faces, in which I laugh. I also have been going to downtown and have been riding my bike around.

My girlfriend (oh my) just came up for the past weekend and we had a great time.

On Friday, I picked her up from the airport and we went to Stanley Park (which is like the Central Park of NYC) and rode our bikes along the seawall. It is amazing! If I ever lived here, it would be for that park and that park only. We then ate at a Japanese restaurant in which our waiter continued to say 'Cheers!' after every word. Example: Here is your water... cheers... and would you like your appetizer now?....(me) Yes... Cheers, cheers. I'll have it out, cheers. Heather then bought me an ice cream cone in which I got Black Walnut... delish choice. I told her that was my favorite moment of the trip because I was slurping it up and spilling it all over myself ... I really felt like a kid. Plus, we were on the beach watching a sunset.

On Saturday, we visited the Museum of Anthropology at the Univ of British Columbia (UBC) which basically had a lot of totem poles and artifacts from the First Nations tribes. Heather liked the ceramics part of the exhibit, only because it was European and she thought she knew a few things :) . After that, we went to Granville Island, which is an old industrial area turned into farmer's market/pedestrian friendly shopping area and ate her b-day lunch/dinner. Fish tacos for me, veggie pizza for Heather, and all the uneaten food.... for me (garbage disposal alert!). Afterwards, we went to the Coldplay concert for her b-day (wow, I am a great guy,... but humble). They were filming it for their DVD concert tour, and although I didn't know many of the songs, we both had a fantasmal time. I have hummed a few of their songs for quite some time now. Here is a photo of us on Row 37 on the FLOOR!



Sunday---> Lazy Sunday (check out the SNL video clip if you've never seen it,http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_V6aXCRTICo). We walked the beach, ate fish and chips, went to a winery, and rented Marley and Me... not a bad show.



On Monday, we drove from Richmond to Whistler Village, stopping for about a 3 mile hike up a steep mountain called Stawmus Chief in Squamish, BC. Isn't that a mouthful? The hike was kinda tough, as it involved ladders and chains bolted to rocks to help us up the mountain. Once we reached we sat down for a 2 minute snack and immediately were bugged by another group of hikers who decided to sit down next to us and laugh loudly. Cool, real cool... not like I hiked 3 miles to get away from people and enjoy a panoramic view, but keep laughing buddy. Anyways, we probably were leaving anyways because a little chipmunk kept running up to me and darting all around. I wanted to reach out and pet him, but was afraid of getting diseases... I already have enough of those (I'm KIDDING). Well, after the hike we went and walked around Whistler Village and ended up eating at Spaghetti Factory (yep, they have one in Canada). I forgot about the spamoni (probably misspelled that) ice cream... I dig it.

On Tuesday, Heather flew out, back to PHX.... tear drop (not really, because I'm a MAN!). This was probably too long of a post... I remember being told to keep it brief and interesting, none of which may have been the case.

PS Heather has all the photo's, so maybe she can post them.... hint, hint

***Update: Heather posted the link to the photos under the comment section***

Friday, June 26, 2009

I wrote this a while back, while I was dramatic, possibly because I was a teacher...

If you could read the next chapter of your life, would you do it? If yes, would you be willing to make a change if necessary?

If you could read the a book documenting your child's life, would you do it? If yes, would you be willing to step back, address how your actions may have positively or negatively affected your child and change them?

If you could read the next chapter in the Earth's lifestory- maybe the next 50-500 years, would you do it? If yes, would you alter your lifestyle so that man was not such a negative biophysical force on this planet?

Disappointingly, most people only have ever considered the 1st question. The 2nd question comes up, proving that we are not completely self-centered. However, the 3rd question does not come up enough, and when it does denial is the result. As a species, we are not thinking in the long-term as we should. We are the self proclaimed "most powerful, intelligent, and dominant species that ever existed" and yet we have not as a species, as a nation, as a community, and for many, as an individual, not addressed the local and global environmental problems that are heavily prominent today ............................ It's disheartening to me....................We all live in bubbles, but we must remember that we find ourselves in a 12 mile film (6miles down, 6 miles up) where all life, as we know it, exists. All of our actions are felt at the global scale........ Go for a walk tomorrow, not down the street, not in a park, but in a secluded place, somewhere on a mountain, in a forest, or by a meandering river. Feel that moment for more than 5 minutes. By feel, I mean leave all your worries-cell phones, engagments, mental stresses- behind and be in that moment at that time. Stay in that secluded natural setting for an hour or so. Tell me what that feels like, .......really write or email me.......because all our environmental problems are not going to be important/urgent until we all realize what a gift we have. At that time, you may begin to ask yourself that 3rd question. Then we can all join together and get to work.
---Riley's thoughts at 11:54 pm EST on 7/2/06

Cracked Canoe Commercial

So this is my first official post... I have been meaning to get this up and running and would like to write some blogposts on things that have happened in the past as well (including recent road trips and the visit from Heather)..... but I'm going to lead this one off with a commercial that has been playing up here in Canada during NBA/NHL playoffs.

It's for a beer called Cracked Canoe. This commecial has pulled me in (especially the music... holy geez the music pulls me in; I want to know the song) to the point that I have been asking people around here what it is. No one knows what I'm talking about. So I begin some google/Youtube searches to find nothing, except a few more people asking about what damn song is playing ing the commercial. They barely have a recognizable website.

I was at the store the other day with Heather and couldn't find it. I asked the attendant and he had no clue. Its brewed in Eastern Canada, so I guess it hasn't reached here. Either way, I applaud their ad because I'm one interested man.

Someone finally found the full commerical!!!! And no body knows the name of the song yet, so anticlimatic! That's the only reason I love this commercial. ENJOY!