Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Back to work

So after a lengthy vacation I'm finally back to work. I just got done with a three day, which was wholly uneventful save for the guy who got mad because I was squishing his super expensive hat in the overhead bin.

Heres a hint: something you don't want squished? how 'bout not putting it up there! Like, put it on your head!

ok so anyways, now I'm back in Chicago trying to get an overnight in Denver for my next three day that starts tomorrow.

Why? well not just to go home, but for 3 reasons.

I would like to go home.

I just bought a new bike. this one is a road bike, a Specialized Allez 2006. got it off of craigslist for a highly discounted price (it was used!). I have yet to ride it. The girl who owned it had the pedals taken off, so i had to buy new ones, which should be at the house by now. I would like to ride my new bike. It really was kind of freaky, as the only issue I was concerned about was whether it would fit me properly, and when I showed up to look at it, sure enough the girl was exactly the same size as me. Crazy. She was a triathlete (you could tell) and had the bike sized to her 3 times.

second, I need my camera. While I was gone from home, I got a trip traded that will allow me to take a grand roadtrip with my girlfriend while she moves from Florida to...DENVER! Yeah i know, crazy, but really exciting. Maybe my life will turn out to be somewhat normal after all.....YEAH RIGHT! (i sounded very high schoolish right there).

So anyways I don't have my good camera on hand and the only way thats going to happen is if I get an overnight there....unfortunately theres only 36 minutes left until trading closes, so chances are looking slim. AFter this three day I'm flying immediately to Tampa, where Tami is picking me up and we are heading straight to her alma mater of the University of Florida and staying with a friend of hers. The big idea for the trip is an overnight stay in Dodge City, KS. Not sure why, just always wanted to go there. The more I talk about it, the more Tami gets excited about it too. I can't wait.

All for now!

-JJ

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

When Making Disciples Doesn't Seem Right


Right now I'm reading a completely AWESOME book called Blood and Thunder. Basically it's about Kit Carson, a mountain man/scout for the US Government and the "conquest of the American West." Its very well written, intriguing, and I would suggest it to anyone. But thats not the point. A large part of the book is about the complete destruction of the American Indian and their way of life. There are many things that bother me about this, including American's "Manifest Destiny" and just the complete lack of respect for the Native American culture as a whole.

But the biggest issue I have is the fact that the Anglo's (thats me!) were out to Christianize the Indians. I know full and well that Jesus told us to go make disciples of all nations, but in many cases, doesn't that mean destroying an entire culture??? I mean a major part of the Native American way of life is their rituals and their gods, so wouldn't becoming a Christian nation completely wipe that out? And in fact it did, as they were forced into shabby patches of land and told to become farmers. (In the American sense). None of it seems right to me, and I kind of feel the same way about missionaries in Africa. Not that they don't have entirely good intentions, but maybe we just try to do too much. Instead of just going and teaching them about Jesus, we also try to make them live like us. We should instead celebrate these different cultures instead of ruining them. Any thoughts? Ideas? Hopefully I explained that well enough.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Art Loeb Trail

Believe it or not, I've never been backpacking. Over the past 2 years, I've slowly gathered the required equipment to do so, but just never actually planned a trip. So after last years (or was it 2 years ago??) yosemite trip, we decided to get the crew back together for another outdoors adventure. Unfortunately Grubbsy, due to an upcoming baby, was unable to join us. (Next year, baby! literally!) So last friday Adam flew from Dallas and I from Denver over to Greensville, SC, then immediately drove down to Zach's home of Asheville, NC. After a short weekend and the gathering of equipment on Monday, we headed out on tuesday. We spent the majority of the day day hiking 8 miles without packs with melissa (actually Mel carried the pack.haha) to see some local waterfalls. She would drop us (and Bonnie, Zach's Border Collie/English Setter Mix) off that evening at the beginning of the Art Loeb Trail where we would squeeze in a few miles to get a head start. We had 3 days to do 30 miles. We got 3 miles in that first day.

I'll leave the rest to the pics and some captions. But i will say the most challenging part of the trail, aside from the mountiains we had to climb (the entire thing was basically peak to gap, over and over. The trail was rated "strenuous") was WATER. I believe there were only 4 spots along the trail where you could get water. And it wasn't a river, it was barely a trickle, only enough to pump into the filter.


Bridal Veil Falls, during the day hike

Setting off


Thats the sign...

We think she was having a good time

First sign of water, 7 miles into the trail


She wasn't the only one exhausted. This is at the base of Mt Pilot, a ridiculous climb up to 5500 ft. We had to make it over to find water for the evening, and since we'd already done 10 miles, we opted to follow the road around the mountain.

I believe this is self explanatory

Day 3...already. Day 2 was so long and hard not many photos were taken.


Ok, so at the end of day 2, adam and zach wanted to call Mel to pick us up at one of the roads. I tried to talk them out of it, but they were set on it. This is adam on one of the phone call attempts. We eventually got ahold of her, but she couldn't find anyone to pick us up until 6pm. Realizing the trail got slightly easier, we opted to continue. YES!

Resting

Climbing Black Balsam Knob

She never left his side

The views got amazing
Group photo

Entering Shining Rock Wilderness. We got lost twice here. And it rained on us that night. Hard.

I can smell them through the photo.

This is just hilarious.

Up to the Narrows

Day 3: Bonnie is noticibly tired

View from the Narrows


The "home stretch." Unfortunately it was 4 miles long.

Finished!!!! 38 total miles in 4 days!


The night before we left town we had a shishkabob dinner at the house, out on the back deck, sunset, and watermelon. It was perfect.


-JJ

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Coors Rocks!


So its not just me! SI.com recently did an online poll of the best baseball stadiums. Before I read it, I predicted that we would rank somewhere in top 10...well actually I thought we DESERVED to be somewhere in the top 10. And I was right! I enjoy the fact that everything i hate about fenway and wrigley is what ended up knocking them down so far. And they only things that we ranked poorly in are things we don't have a lot of control over (tradition) and things I don't care about (promotions). Now if we could only work on that fan IQ...I just think thats a product of our lack of history. We'll get there.

If you would like to see all the reasons why I love this stadium, I wrote a post on the subject about a year ago.


And while we're on the rockies, our second year stud shortstop Troy Tulowitzki (ok so he's in his sophomore slump, hitting somewhere around the mendoza line, and he just went on the DL. He'll be alright) has his own chant out at the stadium. It's nothing overly creative, but definitely overly fun to do. It's based on a chant we all know and love, but instead of ending it with "let's go!" we end it with "Tulo!" It's become quite the fan favorite.

So the local fox sports station did a commercial based on it. Here it is!