Tuesday, July 29, 2008

What a Waste...


I ask you... what good is a California earthquake if it doesn't kill any Californians? None. All the whining... none of the oh so satisfying body bags.

Pity.
The World I Have to See...

There are certain places I just have to visit. Like my eldest brother... I have an urge to go places... and see things. Thats what makes a Pirate after all. I've been thinking about this lately... its been on my mind. So be patient while I organize a list.

1) Antarctica: Not necessarily my dream vacation... but an antarctic cruise is fascinating to me. The Last Continent is like another world. Definately one of the ultimate Family Adventure Vacations. A 10 to 18 day cruise would do the trick for me.

2) Lake Baikal: This is the world's largest fresh water like by volume. It holds a staggering 20% of all the fresh water on the planet... at least in liquid form. Baikal is said to be a Fairy Land... locals say fairys are drawn from all over the world to see its beauty and to commune with the visitors. The legend says that one such fairy met a man named Baikal... and fell in love with him. They traveled all over the lake together... but the man was insecure. He was afraid his humaness was a flaw that could not be overcome... and one day he left. The fairy searched all over for him... and when she found him... she cut off his feet... so he could never run away again. Yes... I want to go to Siberia to see a lake.

3) Kolyma Highway: You likely have no idea why I'd want to see a highway... but bear with me.. and I'll tell you about the Road of Bones. Uncle Joe Stalin decided he needed a road between Yakutsk and Magadan. It was built by prisoners... in likely the most cruel form of forced labor the world has known. It is said that each meter of road cost one human life. The ground was frozen so hard.. the corpses couldn't be buried... so they were actually used as ballast in the construction of the road itself. So as you travel the road... you are literally moving over the cadavers of those that died building it. The ruins of the old gulags and forced labor camps can be seen along the road... and the memorial to the dead up in Magadan is something I need to visit. Its roughly a 1240 mile trip by motorcycle.

4) Lake Toba: The worlds highest lake... in Sumatra. Its also the world's largest volcanic lake... and a source of some rather outlandish speculation.

5) Isreal: For a Christian... surely this needs little explaination.

6) Egypt: Hot Air Ballooning over the Pyramids. Yes.

7) The Amazon: duh.

8) Saif ul Muluk: Its only accessible by a jeep road... or 6 hour hike during the summer months. Permanant ice blocks... multiple glaciers... Another lake of legendary beauty.

9) Alpamayo: This is arguably the most striking mountain in all the world. When I think "mountain"... Alpamayo is what I see in my head... this has been the case since I was a child... long before I even knew Alpamayo existed.

10) Jenny Lake: Grand Tetons. Again... Duh.

11) Mount Kailash: Arguably this is the most religiously significant mountain in the world to non christians. It is said that if one should walk all the way around it one time... all sins and transgressions are absolved. Pilgrims come from all over the world. Me? I just want to see the 22,000 foot tall black rock. The Himalayas... nuff said.

12) Glacier Lake National Park: Duh.

Its occured to me that I don't have enough time to even describe these places the way they deserve... the obvious ones don't need much description though. If I have the time... I'll write more about each one... and of course... there are countless more to add to the list.

Monday, July 28, 2008

I Wish This Was a Joke

But its not.

Seriously. If you saw that on the Onion... you'd chuckle. But see... its not the Onion... so you just shake your head... and perhaps hope the good Lord comes soon.
Yet Another Reason...

The Titans rock.

So Sunday the Tennessean (local Nashville rag) did a 5-questions thing with Titans players. The last question was "McCain or Obama?"

Of the 7 players quoted... 2 said Obama.


5 said neither.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Submission: Poopoplata

It seems that more and more we hear of folks training MMA as a hobby. I suggest humbly that the more common this becomes... the more we're going to be reading articles that say things like this:

In Saturday's match against Corey Wethey, Mitchell struck his opponent so hard that Wethey lost control of his bowels. The incident required a 10-minute intermission while officials scrubbed down the ring. Mitchell went on to win the fight by Wethey's disqualification.

The fight -- the seventh of the night - began like any other. Mitchell and Wethey left their corners, tapped gloves and traded punches. After landing a knee to Wethey's body, Mitchell said he began to smell something foul.As the fight prolonged, Mitchell said the smell continued to worsen. Eventually, he removed his mouth piece and expressed his concerns to the ring official.

"He shit himself," Mitchell said repeatedly.

It was at that point Wethey gained the advantage and locked Mitchell's head between his thighs.As the round progressed, news about Wethey's intestinal difficulties slowly made its way to the ring officials, who were at a loss of what to do.

Yes. You read that correctly. Mitchell kneed Wethey so hard he shat himself. Right there in the ring... in front of God and everybody. Look... its one thing to crap yourself because you refused to tap and got choked out. I mean.. its still horrible.. and you'll still be mocked forever... but taking a knee to the gut and involuntarily dropping a load?

For some reason I imagine a stunned ref running around screaming "CODE BROWN!!! CODE BROWN!!!!!!"

Anyway... After reading this I find myself shocked that Tito Ortiz didn't shit himself after taking that knee from Machida.

Pity.

Monday, July 14, 2008

NateMail

A wise man observed:

So, the dominoes are starting to topple, and you've got nothing to sayabout it? Is it because you're packing your bags?


I'm busier than the proverbial one legged man in an ass kickin' contest. Feel free to draw your own conclusions. While you're at it though... I'll point out that if you haven't already done so... you better consider liquidating your CDs as much as possible... cash under mattress ain't earnin' interest... on the other hand... it ain't disappearing into thin air either.

Silver... Gold... Ammo... Food.

You need these things.

If you can... you need to be figuring out a way to make some electricity... or provide for yourself without it. Save your pennies as much as you can. In time... everything is gonna be cheap as hell.. because no one is gonna have shit.

If you do have saved... and you can protect what you have... you'll have your whole county by the short hairs people.

Remember the golden rule. Him what has the gold... makes the rules.

Me?

I'll be watching from afar.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Happy Birthday Elkan!

He is now officially 1... and yet he's wearing 2T clothes. Ya wonder why we call him Hoss. Seriously though... I know I've said it before... but you've probably never met a baby this happy or this easy goin'. He just rolls with the punches. Need to skip a nap because we're out rippin' and runnin'? No problem. Eating later than normal? Sure ok. Going to be late? Cool... whatever. New food? Awesome!

The kid is so much fun.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Bad Joke Wednesday

Porcus gets us started off:

When I was in Alaska a couple of years back; the joke went like this...Two important rules for hikers in Bear Country:
1. Wear bells and carry pepper spray. Bells will alert bears to your prescence and pepper spray can be useful in deterring aggressive bears.

2. Watch for evidence of bears as you travel. Bears can easily be identified by their scat. Black bears leave small, dark, round droppings that typically include seeds and plant residue. Grizzly bears leave enormous piles of caynene pepper scented feces which often includes bells.

Now how about some ol' classics?


- What's tuba plus tuba?

Fourba.


- How does the ocean say hi to the beach?

He gives a little wave.


- Where was the Declaration of Independance signed?

At the bottom!


- How did Vikings communicate?

By norse code!





Luke contributes this little jewel:

An atom walks into a bar, gets wasted. As he's leaving, he slaps his pockets and says, "Damn, I've lost an electron". The bartender said "Are you sure?"

So the atom says, "I'm positive!"
Wisdom:

"When you find yourself in the company of a hippy and an ill-tempered bear, remember, you do not have to outrun the bear... you just have to outrun the hippy."

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Tortilla Soup!!!

INGREDIENTS
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
1 (10.5 ounce) can condensed chicken broth
1 1/4 cups water
1 cup whole corn kernels, cooked
1 cup white hominy
1 (4 ounce) can chopped green chile peppers
1 (15 ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
2 boneless chicken breast halves, cooked and cut into bite-sized pieces
crushed tortilla chips
sliced avocado
shredded Monterey Jack cheese
chopped green onions

DIRECTIONS
In a medium stock pot, heat oil over medium heat. Saute onion and garlic in oil until soft. Stir in chili powder, oregano, tomatoes, broth, and water. Bring to a boil, and simmer for 5 to 10 minutes.
Stir in corn, hominy, chiles, beans, cilantro, and chicken. Simmer for 10 minutes.
Ladle soup into individual serving bowls, and top with crushed tortilla chips, avocado slices, cheese, and chopped green onion.


We made this tonight... I would point out that people have different ideas of how thick this soup should be. Some think it should be really soupy... others think it should be thick.. almost like chilli. If you'd like it soupy... add more chicken broth. We actually used almost 64 oz of chicken broth. We also added a little cumin... maybe a teaspoon... just because.

Very. Very. Good. Start to ready to eat... it takes about an hour including prep time... But its something you can make while multi-tasking.

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Don't Talk to Cops, Part 1

You have to watch this. You have to.

Yes... he's annoying as hell and he talks to damned fast. Deal with it.

Don't Talk to Cops, Part 2

Again... you simply have to watch these videos. In this episode we have a detective describing the tactics he uses in the interview room.

Pay Attention.

Pay particular attention to his attitude towards those he is interviewing. In his mind... if you are in that room... you are guilty. Period. Therefore any underhanded lie or trick is perfectly justifiable to employ to prove that you are guilty... because if you weren't.... you wouldn't be in that room in the first place.

This will open your eyes.

Never. Never. Never. Never. Never. Never. Never. Never. Never. Never. Never talk to the cops.

It can never help you. It can only hurt you... and it will hurt you every single time.

Telling the truth will not set you free. Telling the truth will help them throw your ass in jail.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Ozark Assault

It was getting pretty late in the day on Sunday as we rolled into Beebe. It was hot... and we were tired and startin' to make mistakes. It was time to find a spot to pack it in. Now for them what don't know... you do not ride in Arkansas at night.

Why? Bugs. That's why. Arkansas at night is like something out of the Old Testament. There is a fog of bugs that decends on the place like some sort of plague. When we blasted through the state on the Intercontinental Ballistic Missile Tour we were stopping every 10 minutes to scrub the dead bugs from our face shields.
Even up on the mountains... we found clouds of mosquitos... were it not for deet... I dare say we'd've been sucked dry and left to rot up there. If you look at the two pictures to the left... you'll see the cloud of doom in the light... and the one below it... that's a pile of dead bugs the folks at the gas stations sweep up every morning. There were three or four of those piles at the gas station we stopped at.. and the girl wasn't done sweeping.

Anyway... from Beebe we decided to shoot up to Heber Springs to pitch a tent. If you ever need an out of the ordinary place to go and relax for a few days... find your way there boys. Its on a gorgeous mountain lake. Its a slow... simple town. Its perfect.

We set up Camp Cherolis... and settled in for wouldn't be an uneventful night. I mean really... what trip is worthwhile that doesn't involve sever thunderstorms?

All in all it wasn't that bad. The chicks at the ranger's station were hot... and we nearly got a contact high from all the folks burnin' herb around us. Coulda been worse.

We rolled out of Beebe early monday... heading into some angry dark clouds. It was the same ol' stuff for the first few hours. Lots of gravel roads... but the hills were getting longer... and the flat stretches were getting shorter. It wasn't long before we found ourselves in the Ozark National Forest riding maintanence roads and haul roads.

I remember we rounded this one bend... and the next thing we know... we're climbing up the hill from hell. Its a trail maybe 7 feet wide... huge rocks scattered all over it... big ruts... mud... sand... washboards... everything you can think of.






I have no idea what JAC did... becasue he was behind me. I just crack the throttle wide open and hung on. The KLX ate it alive. I got to the top... and waited... stunned... in front of a log cabin. Someone lived up there! I mean... we were 45 minutes from a paved road! probably an hour or more from any kind of store.

We road up... up... up... it just kept climbing... seemed like forever. And then... it opened up... and we found we could see for miles. No telling how many counties we could see from up there. These pictures of the view are not even from over looks. That just what we were seeing as we were riding around. We'd stop periodicly and take pictures.. just because... ya know... damn.






I particularly like these two pictures below. If you look at them full sized... you can find a cooling tower from a nuclear power plant in each one. The Picture on the right was taken about 15 minutes before the one on the left.

If ya find the tower in each picture... you should get a pretty good idea of the kind of ground we were covering.



A really bizarre thing happened up there... at one point.. all the trees around us disappeared.. and we found ourselves riding with insane views on each side of us. I couldn't help but get off the bike to look around a little... and that's when I realized I had 500 foot cliffs on either side of me.


Yeah... My feet got all tingly... cause I mean... dude this road was tiny. We were effectively riding the top of a ride that was all of 10 feet wide... with sheer drops on either side. A screw up here.. and they'd never find you... or the bike.


For the rest of the day we blasted through these mountain "roads"... hitting awesome creek crossings... and playing our favorite game... "splash your brother with you back tire". Its exactly what it sounds like... you find a big puddle and try to time it so you throw mud and water all over the other guy. Big fun!


The day ended at the famous Oark Store. The place has been in continuous operation since 1890. Its never been closed... not even when they updated the kitchen.

Big Wheels Rule

I find myself seriously considering sponsoring and organizing a Big Wheel race. I remember competing in one when I was like 6... and yes... I won. As I recall I was supposed to get a new bike... but I never got it.

See the kid I raced in the finals started to early... then the finish was aparently to close to call even after he got the jump on me.

At any rate before the official results came in they announced the other kid won and gave him the bike. We were packing my big wheel into the car when they came over and told us I had actually won.

I remember being so pissed about them saying the kid beat me when he clearly didn't... that I didn't care when they told me they were letting him keep the bike because they thought it would hurt his feelings to give it to him.. then take it away.

I didn't care. I won. I got the trophy.

Bitch.

They stopped doing the big Big Wheel Race after the contraversy.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Knowing Arkansas

Arkansas is perhaps the only state in the union to rival Tennessee when it comes to varied geography. In a matter of hours in either place... you go from rice patties and swamps to mountains.



Starting out around Helena... we spend the first day riding past swamps... cat fish farms... and rice patties. The gravel roads we rode were a continual suprise... at every turn you could find yourself in deep gravel (slick), or deeper pea gravel (really slick), or gravel on top of sealed gravel (why?) or our favorite... plain ol' dirt.


Each day it seemed we'd deal with an adjustment period in the morning... where we had to get our dirt legs back. For the first half hour or so we'd ride these roads at 30mph... by the afternoon we'd be riding them at 60. See... the whole thing takes a little getting used to. A street bike doesn't move around beneath you. If it does... its bad... perhaps very bad. To contrast... blasting down a gravel or dirt road... the klx dances around considerably while the glorious mx suspension handles the various ruts and such.

At any rate... Sunday morning we came upon our first real challenge... slick silt... soaked in mud. A stretch of road... a nice stretch of road... water had spilled over from a farmer's field and created a dadgummed pond in the middle of a curve!

We stopped and walked around a bit and came to accept there was just no damned way around it. Believe it or not.. the video below is JAC riding through it.


video
We came upon a similar obstacle on the same road... no video this time... it wasn't in a curve.. but it was was deeper... and it lasted longer.
Easy boys... we're talking about motorcycles.

Now I guess it was Sunday afternoon... when we were really in the groove... riding hard... fast... through gravel and dust for miles... when the first of our tall tales jumped out into the road.

I had just made a left turn onto yet another gravel road... uphill... I cracked the throttle wide open and put my left foot down... shift to second... 9000 rpms... shift to third... the KLX is running so good... its loosened up and the power is delivered well... I top the hill... and I'll be damned if this 3 toothed redneck in overalls didn't run out into the road waving his arms like he had some sort of palsy.

Of course I stopped... I mean... we were armed... and come on... that had to be a story right? Turns out... his name was Orin.

Orin: Hey! Hey stop man! Stop!!

JAC: Well hey feller what's the matter?

Orin: Y'all gotta stop man! Y'all gotta stop!

JAC: What's the matter?

Orin: Man... I sit down here ever day man and I see these crazy fuckers on motorcycles man... they all ride down this road... but they never come back man!

Nate: ...

Orin: I dunno what the hell's down this road but whatever it is... it don't like motorcycles man!

JAC: ...

Orin: I'm just fuckin' with ya man! HA! No really y'all are ridin' that trail ain't ya? I knew ya were. See... for a long time I didn't know what the deal was man. These bikes would pass by here... but they'd never come back! Finally last week I saw a group comin'.. so by God I went out there and stopped 'em. I was like, "Hey.. what the fuck are y'all doin' out here... where the fuck are you goin'?" Hehehe.. man... they was from England... so you know I think they was a little taken aback... their eyes got big and stuff... but they told about the trail so I got in there and looked it up on the computer man.

Now I have to take a break from the dialog here... which I must remind you is a completley accurate representation of what we listened to in stunned silence. I mean.. until we burst into laughter at the thought of some terrified euro peons confronted with an honest to God Arkansas redneck. Poor guys must've thought they'd stumbled into the set of Deliverence.

That's Orin there... next to a 275hp tractor! back to the tale...

JAC: man y'all have some beautiful country around here... we've seen catfish farms... rice patties... everything.

Orin: Oh yeah its pretty nice. Have y'all noticed them trucks with the big oxygen tanks on the back? Them things are haulin' live catfish man... all the way up to New York. Don't ask me why they bother haulin' 'em alive...

JAC: who eats catfish in New York?

Orin: Oh them chinamen up there eat the hell out of 'em man... but they don't know no better. Its just like them black berries. Down the road there's a big black berry farm.. classy place man... ol fella and his two boys runs it... well the ol' man was tellin' his boys to pick a bunch of berries but his boys didn't think they was ready... you know they was the right color but the glaze was all wrong... so they was like.. you know... "dad these ain't ripe yet." That ol' man got all pissed off... "Pick them damned berries and ship up to those damned jews in New York! They ain't never had no damned black berries! They don't know!"


Dude... on a trip full of characters... Orin stood out.


Many more tales to follow... some true.

video