Tuesday, September 24, 2013

The Road of Life

I often wonder where the road in my life would have been had I followed my dreams, and not what others thought best for me.
I think living a lie is the absolute worst thing we can do, and unfortunately in todays society that is what most of us have done, and hell, maybe historically has always been the case.
To me I think we can take a lesson from the story of the Essex, where a captain went thru hell and after surviving, went back to society and took the lowest job he could find. He would live his remaining days a happy man in that position. Adversely his first mate would go on to be captain, would live a life of paranoia and gluttony with a predictable end.
We are so programmed in society that success is measured in dollars and wealth that we lose ourselves in the processes.
Now I realize that a Euphoria of relaxation with everyone achieving their dreams is not realistic. But wouldn't it be nice to simply live a life without unnecessary pressures? A life without others dictating or tearing you down?
Maybe that is why we all find solace in books, TVs, and even sports, to escape our own real demons and make our dream life come true, even so faintly for an hour or two we live vicariously thru others.
I say to hell with that, it aught to be a reality, our reality.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Thoughts from the Montana Economic Summit

Max Baucus is a Senator I have never really cared for to be honest. He just seemed like a very dim man, easily bought, who rarely put much thought into anything. Now I realize that is probably not the case, he does after all have a law degree from one of the best schools in the world, Stanford.
Despite that, I differ with him on politics greatly.

But in regards to his business summit, not only did he hit the nail on the head, he did something every state should be doing every single year.
The summit for those who did not know focuses on bringing jobs to Montana, this was its sixth year and it has grown every year.
The part they got wrong was in regards to advertising, it really did not say much on the website, but it listed  an A list of successful people we all dream of being.
I would only attend the speakers on Monday and they were heavy hitters, from Elon Musk, Sheryl Sandburg of Facebook to Eric Scmidt of Google. Hands down the best speaker IMO was Fred Smith Founder and CEO of Fed Ex.
Max had Stated he wanted to keep politics out of this, but come on Max, we are talking about business here, did you really think that would not happen?
The first people to capture my attention would actually be the Ambassadors.
Incredible people and I only wish our congressman followed their fashion. Canada's really stood out and if any Canadians are reading this, you aught to be pushing him to be your next PM.
He really was dumbfounded as to why the keystone pipeline, being years in the making, was not happening. He stated clearly it was easier to import crown royal than to get something we all really needed, oil, into America.
The others all stated something which we seem to ignore, that nobody really knows anything about Montana. I agree, every advertisement I see about Montana is about the wild west aspect of us. It always pictures some rancher and someone riding a horse. Screw horses, Montana is a very diverse area where Mining, Logging, Tourism, and gambling are our major money boons.
The Ambassador or Germany I also enjoyed, and for the life of him he could not understand why we were not doing a better job promoting and exporting our vast mineral riches.
I agree, we are one of the worlds most mineral enriched areas yet we also are one of the highest poverty states in America, BS, that needs to change.

Now we went onto the A list of Speakers, not as if five ambassadors are not enough.

The Chief Executive Officer of Delta did a good job of avoiding politics, but I felt he gave kind of a drab rah rah this is what delta is doing speech, not much more.

Elon Musk did a nice job, being somewhat of a quiet guy he is hardly the greatest speaker in the world. But he is a true genius, very much can be compared to Howard Hughs.
Elon as it turned out came to fame in the last hour on Christmas, having squandered all of his money from his selling of pay pal (I will never forgive you for that Elon) he would invest in his Tesla car.

On the last hour possible I believe on the 26th of December, he would finish, meeting the required time frame of his investors and keeping his dream alive. Good for you Elon thanks for bringing a new spin to that industry.
He tried to keep out of politics, but did insinuate that it is easy to export his cars to china as the cargo containers are empty, hmm paying attention yet people?

Fred Smith got on stage, and to be honest, he seems to be a very unassuming man. He started out talking with a slow southern drawl and at first, I thought how the hell did this guy stumble into this wealth.
Then he continued, and I was glued. He very clearly and concicely pointed out that America has one of the highest business tax rates, and the worlds highest business start up rate. Those two factors alone make it very hard to compete on a world level.
He made it very clear that our failing infrastructure needed to be dealt with, and man does it.
Without that being addressed, what will happen? how will we transport goods? get our water? Move our sewage? damn it people this needs to happen.
Outstanding man, I hope I may talk with him in person someday, hell I hope he runs for President, and I sincerely hope the people of this country are able for once to look beyond a smile and to vote for substance.
Eric Scmidt was alright, he was kind of raw raw but I am honestly not a huge fan of google, I feel them selling us out to the government is friggin scary and dangerous.
Sheryl Sandburg is obviously an impressive woman. I don't care what anyone says to truly succeed at her level they have to be the absolute best and the brightest. Women at the top are fighters, truly geniuses pushing men aside and whatever bias to make it. That however makes them somewhat unappealing to the average person who is often intimidated, both men and women.
Im not a huge fan of Facebook, and I honestly do not consider it more than something of a dream world so I cannot compare it to other companies which I really think have done something amazing.
yea I know, like I am someone special. I am not, but what the hell, your reading for a reason right?

Now the next aspect of this all that I really want the country to take notice on were the classes.
they had a multitude of hour  long classes covering a variety of topics.
I cannot list them all but I attended Three classes I took , Biofuels, Alternative Energy and Patents.
I have always been fascinated with Biofuels and Alternative energy so those were a given.
The biofuels tried to push Ethanol, as it is a government standard, many in the class pointed out how horrible that is. And if you research it, nearly every horror store is true about it.
All you really need to know is the history of it and why it lost out to oil. To be frank it lost out because it sucks. Not only are you taking a food source, you are taking the number one crop for water consumption, so areas that previously did not have a drought now do since the federal ethanol standard was developed. Crops are also subject to disease as well as harvests depending on the weather. It was easy for oil to win out in the mid 1800s.
Trees as a power source look somewhat promising, but the eco freaks are making that impossible.
People we simply cannot continue to have more wilderness areas, we need to use that land, its imperative to our survival and future.
Algae looked far more impressive than I knew, not only as a fuel source, but as a fertilizer.

The Alternative Energy was very interesting, and I was happy to see new Drilling mud being made from natural corn syrup and sugar beat syrup. Other than that I still hate fracking.
There is a company who are using escaping CO2 from well and converting it into a powersource! FRIGGING AWESOME!!

The patent information was invaluable for me as I have a couple of inventions I have tooled with for some time. I think I got much out of it and Talking to Susan Anthony and Raquel Cohen was amazing and enlightening. We are in very good hands in that regard.

I hope this continues after Max, and I hope other states pick up on it. Not only is this good for us Entrepreneurs, it is good for students as well.
Just imagine how many more people would be able to make a college decision if they had dozens of hour long overview classes they could attend ?
And people these classes were general but extremely in depth.
Lets do it, let us push for this in not only Montana, but in every state. Education is our future, and without it, we are back to cavemen.
One last point on that. It is said that in the Sunday edition of the Washington post there is more information than was once available to the average person in the middle ages.
Lets make sure everyone has that Sunday edition.


Sunday, September 8, 2013

A small ride in poor weather, dinner and a crazy goldwing towing a snowmobile

Today was a day of house cleaning, as was yesterday.
There is a saying, there are two types of bachelors, those who are gay, and those who are not, I am very much not, making my place barely habitable.
So after a weekend of cleaning I as ready to break out of the house.
I tried to Coerce Chad for an evening ride, but he had been napping, hard life that he lives and having slept to long, was unable to go.
I would have to brave the 40 mile ride on my own.

The one thing about motorcycle riding is it is never quick. Gear for those of us who live by the AGATT code, can be a PITA.
So there I was, in a hurry to get to Herbergers before it closed, trying to get my liner in my jacket as I knew it would be cold and the items to return to Kmapart.

I would venture of with some crazy wind gusts. Now wind does not normally bother me, I can smoke a cig and drink a cup of coffee wile riding in gale force winds normally. But tonight was a different kind of wind, the kind where you are just getting bitch slapped from side to side, only your helmet. So after about 10 minutes of that nonsense I was wondering exactly what I had done to piss off the wind sylphs, and why on earth I didn't just drive a cage.
It would relent as I passed over Fairmont hill and the rest of my ride would be very comfortable all be It a bit drafty, kind of like the 100 year old house I live in.

Herbergers was the usual, no help anywhere to be found, and with only minutes until they closed, why would anyone be anyplace but talking to their coworker about what a rough day they had standing around not waiting on people.

I would not get the assistance I Needed until the store was officially closed "come back another time and we will check on that for ya" yea sure thing, I will go next door then, which I did.

Outside I was complemented by a couple who had just existed their car on how nice it was that I was wearing very bright glow in the dark gear. Being visible is everything when riding a bike, I am happy it did its job.

I would do nothing more worth noting except inquiring about the better Mexican restaurant in a five mile area. I would learn that the two closest were owned by brothers, so hoping they were twins and both their food was equally decent I headed over to the closest restaurant/casino.
Outside would be what made anyone wonder, why, why do you not just drive a cage?
There sitting on the edge of a parking lot was a 1200 pound Honda Goldwing towing a 700lb Snowmobile. I would say I saw it all but I am sure that is no where near the truth.

Dinner was good with fairly authentic Mexican food. I really do not eat as much as a normal American so I chose the Half you are a cheap assed meal, which turned out to be the perfect size.

I had brought along a friends book. IT has only been a year since she has mailed to me and I felt I aught to start reading it.
SO far, it is very good, the first two pages have me Riveted Kerry :D
The ride home would be the same as back, about five miles outside of home I would get a massive bitch slapping from mother nature.
I was happy my new Tourmaster jacket seemed very windproof and that my new tires gripped well in the assault by the sylphs.

Now for a beer to complete my evening, cheers!

Monday, September 2, 2013

Ride to Crystal park, and a little hand diggin

09:00 hrs I stepped out to start my bike and head out to Crystal Park Montana.

09:01 I stepped back inside to look for my eye drops

09:10 still looking for eye drops, gave up, leaving now on bike. Ray is here and tired of waiting.

09:12 go around the block and grab ear plugs out of the house

09:13 back on the road

And it would go well, thankfully I stopped and put in the quilted liner into my riding jacket, thinking it would be cool going over the divide into the Big Hole valley, I would be right, it was a bit frosty.

We traveled along, enjoying the amazing scenery of South Western Montana, heading to Crystal Park for the morning. This was a place I had always wanted to visit, and even though I had spent a summer doing mine reclamation only 10 miles away, I had never gotten the chance to visit the park.

A Cow Moose would jump in front of me, I would brake so as not to excite her and get a taste of her big hooves. Ray pulled up wondering what I was doing, he apparently did not see the moose. I held up my fingers and he correctly Identified four, we moved on.

We stopped a couple times for me to take my usual menagerie of pictures, the photo of Ray says it all.

I would stop about 45 minutes from the park, my vented riding gloves were not helping keep my hands warm, I really wanted to be able to grip the controls so a pair without venting was in order.
I set my helmet on my seat and going to the tail bag I would dig out my other gloves, and at that moment my helmet tried for its escape, it would roll down the bank, looking for freedom. That freedom was not to be, not being a round object it would wobble and turn straight into a tree. Thus saving me from having to repel down the cliff to retrieve the safety device.

We moved on again taking in the scenery, not much moved on the roads except a couple towing their child behind their bikes.
As they heard me coming up they crowded the side of the road, meanwhile I was digging in my jacket pocket for my camera. They would give me a frightened glance as I coasted up, no hands, trying to get a picture, bike wobbling from lack of speed.
Its ok, they lived, and we moved on.

Enjoying the copious amounts of curves I would drive past Ray in a drive way, looking at me as I tooled by, I assumed he was merely waiting for me to catch up as I had stopped a mile back on the road to take a picture of the curves.
10 miles later after I would stop half way down the other side of the pass, whipping snott from my face of joy Ray would tool up and inform me we missed the turn.
"Oh just back on top of the pass"? I would ask
"No ten miles back, where I was sitting looking at you" nothing new there, he spent quit a bit of time looking thru his helmet wondering what the hell I was up to.
"I just wanted to do these curves a second time, you got a problem with that?"
His eyes lit up and we tore out after enjoying another amazing view

I found the turn no problem, it was right next to the big stack of wood next to the road, just as Ray had described it, in my defense the sign was partially covered by a tree branch.
People of quick thinking will note that I was coming from the opposite direction initially, yea well there was a branch over that sign too.

The park was not at all what I expected, there were holes everywhere, and I wondered if this was what a hillside looked like after a carpet bombing.
People would be digging in chest deep holes, you would think they were looking for gold with this much effort.

I did not bring a shovel, or any tools, I really did not know anything about this place, and I honestly thought it was a private park. It was not, so I would end up finding a child's toy bucket of some sort to do a little scooping.
I thought I was all cool with my little pile of Crystals, I soon found out why they were sitting on top of the ground, they were to small. but alas I would find a couple nice ones to bring home, along with the rest.
My attempt at becoming a radio receiver was at least partially successful.

I have to admit that I did get some of the crystal fever, we spent about an hour kicking dirt up looking for crystals that may be laying on the surface. I did a bit of tunneling myself, but my little plastic bucket did not work for crap so that was that.

By the time we reached wise river my stomach was growling so loud I could hear it over the thumper motor.
The cheeseburger was not just good, but damn good, crystal digging had worked up an appetite so to be fair, cardboard at this point would have tasted good.

We would then merely head back home, taking I 15 back to avoid the potholes on the Big Hole highway.
People think that Montana is all trees and mountains, that is not true, I took this picture to prove otherwise.
My glove however was not cooperating and infuriated it had not been in any pictures so far, it made a point to be in this one. Ok well several others as well, it is a bit of a Ham.
From this point on it was about 45 minutes from home, I was tired, I admit it, a full belly and the drone of my single cylander bike would lull me to a passive state I do not like to be in.
Although I have to say I enjoyed the dream of the busload of cheerleaders broken down alongside the highway.
Meh, or not, but Im home, another wonderful day, so happy to have had this experience again.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

The people we meet shape our lives

I have met some truly inspiring individuals over the years.
I would be here all day if I was to talk about them all, but there are three who have influenced me recently
One is the Author Kirsten Koza, she is an adventure author who rides her beat up old mountain bike in countries most people think of as simply being hell.
She has a wonderful nack for excitement, and a natural wanderlust.
She discovered me on an online forum, and encouraged me to enter her journalist contest.
I did so, twice even, I would do well in her competitions but even with her encouragement I was unable to finish the books I have been writing.
While I sit at another miserable job, she is off on another amazing adventure in South America. Maybe its time I finished those books.

A few months ago doing laundry I began chatting with a fellow cyclist who came up with a bike loaded way to heavy.
His Name was Jacob, he saved up some money, quit his job, saddled up his bike and decided to ride to the east coast.
What an amazing adventure! changing his life while he was still able, and in a big way.
We would talk for quit some time about his journey, and where it would lead, both helping to chase each others demons out of our heads.
Meeting him simply helped to re affirm that I am still able to make my dream ride of South America via Motorcycle come true.
While I sit, plan, and try to come up with the money, he has already completed the first phase of his trip, and sits to contemplate going back to the mundane world, or riding further south on his bike.
I sit here blogging.

In Park City while scrounging the crappy continental breakfast at the timeshare I was staying at. I would be entertained by a 91 year old harmonica player, I wondered how much of a hint that was, I have made a feeble attempt at learning to play the harmonica as it is the perfect instrument to carry on my journey. So far, I have been unsuccessful.
The man working the front desk would interest me though, and I would not unfortunately catch his name.
He came Africa, he has lived here much of his life but his accent was still thick.
We would talk about his homeland, and the easier way of life, and the healthier way of life.
We talked about helping people, and apparently where he grew up, if a woman who was nursing was no longer giving milk, they would pass the baby onto another woman to nurse. I found this amazing, nothing like the Africa I have been told.
I talked about how I am trying to help a school out in the Philippines, how I wanted use my construction experience in each country to teach basic sanitation we take for granted in the US.
"You were ment to do great things" he would tell me

I dono about that, I am still just sitting on my ass trying to make a dream come true, but his words, simply meeting him, would inspire me to push harder to make a difference.

If you take a step back, you will never stop going backwards.

dollars a day they claimed. Cept a single beer in Northern Europe cost 4 dollars, a hostel room 35 dollars on and on.
nearly three months later I had blown about eight grand, I had a 1200 stash at home to look for work get another apartment ect (this was 95).
However I was tired, exhausted from riding trains, the guy I was traveling with was cantankerous and we were tired of looking at eachother. We stood at the tunnel entrance from France to England and neither of us could justify the 75 dollar ticket to the island.
We then decided for Ireland, but we missed two ferries, tired of all the trials and tribulations we came home.
I will most likely never go back to Europe, yet one of my greatest regrets was not finishing that little bump as we had planned.
I heard something way to late in life, and I wish I had heard it when I was young.
A man motorcycling south America was kidnapped by rebels.
He spent weeks starving and abused, when finally free the FBI was willing to fly him home. He refused, saying "If I go home they win"
I was shocked, how could he say that? they already won? so what? go home, get well you can always go back.
He didn't go home, instead he took off riding South America and that later turned into riding the world.
Recently those words rang true to me.
Unable to get the time off I needed to ride my Motorcycle to visit my Sister and her friends vacationing in Park City Utah, I almnost called it quits.
But waking up Saturday morning I said screw it, I tossed my already packed motorcycle saddlebags in my truck and off I went.
The trip would be somewhat normal, until I would find myself spending 75 dollars ( I see a pattern here) to go on the Olympic bobsled ride at the Olympic Park.
Trouble is that ride is only for one minute, ok but "Once in a lifetime ride" everyone kept saying, loving adventure and chance, I as in.
Until I thought about it, I looked upon the entire track and wondered what in the hell I was doing. How could this possibly be any different than riding a roller coaster?
I would mention this to the guy working the sled "Its like nothing you have ever done"
Im like man, that is a tough one to fill, I have done some pretty crazy shit"
"have you ever experienced 4 gs?" not sure on that one, probably when I was being tossed around in a rolling car, in a safe environment? No

My sister pushed me forward, and hearing the words "Never step back" In my head I sucked it up.
But then I couldn't fit right in the damn bobsled, my broad shoulders jammed me in like a sardine in a can.
" I just don't fit, this sucks" I would say
"You will be fineeeee" they said as they pushed the bobsled off.
It tore down at unbelievable acceleration, I found myself initially staring at the drivers back, being in the second seat my view was not to great.
The uncomfortable feeling and the rough track started to make it suck, but I began looking down the track, as if I was driving/riding to ease my mind, and the enjoyment began.
The world would blurr around, with only the track coming in clear, it shook hard. I could not believe the violent nature of the shaking within the bobsled, it felt like my brain was actually moving around, proof that I indeed do have one.
And then it would end, and wow, the minute seemed like five minutes, what a unbelievable experience.
Nothing like I had ever done, nothing, it was like no roller coaster ride, and certainly not like any race track I had ever been on.

The ride had lasted 69 seconds, so that boiled down to a dollar forty four each second and worth every damn penny.

It came back to that statement, had I never stepped forward on this, or any other adventure, I would have missed out on incredible experiences.
I am sure at some point I missed out on some fabulous things, like everyone I look back and wonder what if?
It does not matter though, what is done and cannot be changed, it is important to only move forward and see what lays beyond the next corner.