Thursday, July 30, 2015

You would think seeing Sasquatch would be the oddest thing in the woods, it is not.

Today was no different than any others, I was outside, enjoying the Flora and Fauna as always when I see a couple horsemen riding up the road. I notice one has a blue Civil War hat. I comment to my co worker that we have horses inbound, and he stops to look as well.
At this point apparently he is thinking the same thing as I, cool hat, however his body begins to scan the one rider as well.
We notice he is wearing a Union Uniform, complete with a Cap and ball pistol as well as a Union Knife. Normally I have something to say to whomever, this time I chose to keep it to myself, god knows if he was goofy enough to ride around as if he is in the 1860s, he probably is not the most stable individual on the plant.

At this point you are asking yourself, ok, that is odd, but is that all?

Well no, maybe half hour later I hear a truck coming up the road. Now mind you this is a road closed off to motorized vehicles, to make sure nobody drives on here we have strategically placed a gate so as people in OHV may not drive around the gate.
So I think it must be a co worker coming up the road, soon I see a truck and I realize it is not one of ours. As it gets closer and I mean within a couple feet of me it stops, and I notice it is a couple of teenagers. So I saunter on up to the window and ask what is up.
"We are driving down this road" they answer.
No shit I think "This road is closed to motorized vehicles" I reply.
"Yea we know, but we were the vandals and we had recently driven down this road to clean things up "
"Yea, uhm, the road is closed to motorized vehicles" I reply again. Wondering what the hell these two clowns were thinking. They were two out of three who had been charged very heavily with vandalizing the rocks on a nearby waterfall. Part of their punishment was to clean up the spray paint and the trash, the later we already had.
"Yea well we wanted to drive down and check on things again, cause we are you know, paranoid"
"Uhm, again, the road is closed to motorized traffic" I again repeat myself, wondering what the hell is wrong with these kids.
"Maybe we should walk in" the driver finally states.

Now, this goes back to the title of this blog. Sasquatch is a entity which exists or at least has the probability to exist in the wild, so while seeing it is extremely unusual it is obviously no unheard of. When dare I ask the reader, have you last seen a Union Soldier riding thru the wilderness? This coupled with the later made today very much more unusual than the previous. Had I seen a Mongol Hut out in the steps aka meadow on our way out I would not at this point have even been remotely surprised.

I'm going to bed

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Merica, get a grip!

Ok, I gotta say it as it is driving me nuts.
Every time there is some sort of a "mass" shooting people go off their rockers.
People keep their kids home from schools, do not go to Theaters, and now suddenly Recruiting centers terrify people. The answer is calls for more Police, and now Military to be armed within the US.
Really? For all the patriot flag waving patriotism ya'll sure do not understand your freedom at all. And hell, lets be real, the majority reading this are gun toting Mericans who think they will fight off oppression, the very oppression ya'll keep calling for.
Pathetic, absolutely fucking pathetic. I wrote recently about my Friend Nejc Playing in land mind fields as a kid, those mine fields still exist in areas all over the world. Further many people live in actual war zones. But you are afraid of some goddamn shooting anomaly which will not endanger 99.99999999 percent of people in the US.
Get a grip, turn off the fucking tv, quit going to your hate pastor, monk or whatever it is, and go live your life.
One thing is for sure, you are 100 percent sure to not make it out of this life, so why squander that time by being afraid?

Sunday, July 19, 2015

So You Want to Travel Abroad, How To Get Started

With over 22 countries down, here are my tips to getting started with International travel.

Before you do anything, you will need a Passport. Even traveling to Canada and Mexico it is now required. Once you get your passport, make a copy. I carry one on my person, one in a bag, and leave a copy with someone at home. Guard your passport! They are a commodity on the black market!

Pick a location; While I encourage people to travel practically anywhere, I strongly advise a place where English is at least spoken on a basic degree.

Visa; Do our homework, many countries require you to get a visa before visiting, countries also have a limited amount of time you can visit for usually. will give you the info in this area you need.

Money; Usually I will simply use an ATM when I disembark from a plane at whatever country I have went, however you can make a request from your bank to get the type of currency you plan on using. Now keep in mind that once you leave a major city, you may not be able to have access to an ATM or a place to exchange money.

Type of travel; Ask yourself, and be honest what type of travel most suits you. While adventure travel gets you the greatest experience, possibly your body is not capable, or your will at this point, so perhaps a cruise, tour or resort is optimal.
I have only taken a two Tours one while in Finland the other Korea, while they offered probably the best explanation of sites in Helsinki & Seoul. The adventure aspect was gone, so the fun part which is getting lost, looking at the wrong places etc was not there. I did enjoy the massive history inputs however. Now with that said there are tours for every type of traveler, my Aunt and Uncle are now traveling the world via cruise ships. I also have a dear friend who offers adventure tours, ranging from Mountain bike tours, to Writing/Photography tours.
My tour in Seoul was actually the most optimal as Seoul offers tours based on your flight lay over. I had a 12 hour lay over so I was able to take a full day tour! So while it was not my preferred way to see the city, it did allow me to experience a place which otherwise I may not have. This is of course up to the individual and their own personal goals and comfort level.

Vaccines; Depending on where you are going, and what you are doing, this is something you will need to be looking into well before your leave date.

Make arrangements at home; Make sure your place is being watched, animals cared for and someone to water your plants. Have a auto light on and make it look like the house is still being lived in. Also do not publish your leave and return dates, thieves look for such things and will take advantage.

What to pack? This of course is tailored to your type of trip. If you are going on a tour all the basics from anyplace you go in the US is all that is necessary. If you are adventure traveling you will want to travel light with emphasis on toiletries.
Medications you will need, while most countries you will not need to see a doctor to purchase medication, they may not have what you need.
Make sure you look into local travel laws as pain killers and other narcotics can get you in serious trouble.

If you are planning on driving while in another country, you will need a International Drivers license, these can be obtained from any AAA office. I highly recommend these regardless for your ID as they are in all reality meaningless and one can simply leave them with a corrupt cop and continue on your way, promising to go to court :P

Arrangements to and from the Airport also have to be made; If you drive, you will need to decide if you will pay the daily parking fee on site, or pay for an off site place to park your vehicle.

Insurance; You will want to have travel insurance for the entire length of your stay, make sure it covers your medical aspect which IMO is the most important as items, such as cameras can be replaced.

A Will and a Living Will are also something which every person should have. While I am sure you dream of having a fun and exciting trip, and I certainly hope you will, people still die or are seriously injured while traveling.

Make sure loved ones know where you are going, and where you will be on your entire trip, this also applies to not being on a tour. Again the reality is something could happen to you, and in order to make some sort of a search and rescue possible, people have to know where you are. I will be clear, any kind of a rescue is probably beyond your families financial realities and the Marines are not coming to save you.
US Embassies are not wonderful accommodating flag waving places the movies make them out to be so do not count on much assistance on that end.

Keep a positive attitude: Make the best out of your trip regardless of what happens. Even after being arrested in Croatia I still enjoyed my trip and wanted to continue, my traveling partner however started the trip sour, and would end it sour, which of course hastened our trips end. If I could do it all over again I would have told him to part ways and I would have continued, something to think about for yourself.

Last, have fun. Regardless of where you go it will be the trip of a lifetime, so make sure you stay light hearted and happy.

The world is a big beautiful place filled with amazing sites, sounds and people to experience.

More to come!

Sunday, July 12, 2015

A View of the Serbian Conflict from the Eyes of a Child.

At the age of four Nejc would wake to the sound of Thunder. He would run to the window to see the storm, only to find the Thunder came not from the sky, but the street. As he stood and listened he could now hear the sound of grinding metal and a clanking which he did not understand.
He would see people running about yelling, and soon he would see the cause of the Thunder, Tanks.
The Tanks were carrying the Serbian emblem. Slovenia, the newly founded country from where Nejc lived, had recently gained its independence and Serbia did not like it.

Nejc would spend much of his childhood hearing the sounds of conflict. He would hear fighting, know people who would perish, see his neighbors house leveled from Artillery, also losing the windows from his house at this time.

His childhood would be marked with a sound which has still do this day as a young adult never left him, the sound of Air Raid Sirens and the sound of machine guns and artillery.

He and his friends would gather as only a child can do and do foolish things. They would wait in Ambush and then throw rocks at passing tanks, yelling defiantly.
They also would be exposed to something no child ever should, the constant threat of Minefields in Neighboring Muslim areas where they would later travel to see friends and family.

Like all in the area he would know the pain of losing friends and family senselessly to a conflict over Ideology, some of which at times has spanned for Centuries.

The Croatians (Catholic) and Serbians (Orthodox) had been the primary waring fractions, arguing over petty differences mostly. In this conflict the Croatians wanted to break free, and of course the Serbians did not like it. This would set friends upon friends as they battled over something very few understood.

The Muslims would be thrown into the mix despite being the predominantly peaceful lot of the group. This month marks the Anniversary of over 8000 Muslims in Bosnia. Where Men, Women, and Children would be lined up and gunned down by those within the Serbian Military. Mind you they were not without theirs, thus is the nature of war. The KLA or Kosovo Liberation Army would be considered a Terrorist Organization by the US State Department. Later as the US invaded to quell the violence, they would be supported and armed by the US, some things never change.
The 11th day of the Seventh month of this year is for the Muslims in Srebrenica, a day where people gather to remember, and mourn the 20th anniversary of this Massacre.

It is a time which should be moved past, but not forgotten, a conflict that only time can heal, but eyes shall always be cast suspiciously.

The areas where fighting was the hardest, are still littered with landmines to this day.
Unfortunately this is a problem in much of the world, and is not just indicative to this area. Nejc, like many young boys, had walked thru those fields of mines.

I think we can do better as the Human Race, I really do.

Memoirs of a Southern Girl and the KKK

My friend Raja posted this up, and I felt it worth sharing.

This picture brought back memories for me, and I would like to share them. I really do not share much on Facebook, I generally consider it a waste of my time, but for some reason this picture really struck a nerve.

When I was a teenager, in Atlanta Georgia, on weekends we would go down to Lake Spivey, which was the popular summer hangout for teens. On the drive down, we would frequently encounter groups of KKK members, all decked out in their regalia, flying huge American Flags, offering soft drinks out of their coolers and trying to get us to come to their meeting. They would tell us that as Americans we owed it to ourselves to "BE GOOD CITIZENS!" and they had signs that said just that. They stationed themselves at turnoffs near the lake because they knew that teens were headed down to the lake in droves. Most of us just laughed in their faces, called them names (usually not very nice ones) told them they were "Has Bens" and made fun of them. We all knew the KKK was a "thing of the past" something that had existed back in our parents day, or so we led ourselves to believe.

This was in the summer of '63 and '64, and we prided ourselves in having more important things to do that to worry about a bunch of crazy old men playing dress-up in white robes. Sure, we knew there was civil unrest, we watched the news, but I suppose that none of us actually considered ourselves a part of it. After all, we didn't have a problem, in our opinion, people needed to get over it and "live and let live" we concluded.

Looking back, I think we thought that we were enlightened, after all by thwarting their attempts at recruitment, that would put an end to them and their prejudice, right? We lived in a fishbowl. We were too young and naive to see that by ignoring them and doing nothing, we were doing exactly that ... nothing. After all, we rationalized, we were teenagers, what could we possibly do that would have any impact on anything?

Unfortunately, not all teens on that road ended up at Spivey, some took the other road (probably more that we ever knew) and in doing so just kept the hared and prejudice alive. Those teens, I fear, made plenty of impact.

Those afternoons were not isolated to the road to Lake Spivey, they occurred all over the nation. (Yes, I said nation, not only in the Southern States) Today, we see the results of those afternoons, and so many of their recruitment activities as well.

I am not saying that everyone who demonstrates racial prejudice is a product of the KKK, (although we are certainly not born with a gene that makes us that way) nor am I advocating for any flag flying anywhere.

What I am saying is that prejudice and hatred are like any other deadly disease, left untreated it spreads, it grows and eventually it kills.

Just my thoughts.

Raja Messner

Friday, July 3, 2015

Meet Doug Miller, A Man Not Being Held Back By Disability.

95 degrees and I had the caffine jitters. Running around like a Methhead looking for a fix I jumped on my motorcycle and headed down to the store to get a nomax suit to spray weeds with. This apparently was important and a major sidetrack from general yard cleanup/scrap metal hauling.

On the way I would see a man riding a Hayabusa, one of my all time favorite motorbikes, however it had a sidecar attached to it, what?

Intrigued I lifted my visor at the light and mentioned how cool his setup was, it was at this time I noticed a disabled sticker on his trailer, now I was truly intrigued.

After about a half mile of looking his bike up and down while riding, I determined that this rider, loaded down for travel would have a story worth writing about. Without a doubt any travel story has to be more exciting than my hardware store adventure!

Doug is one of those guys you just have to meet. With a infectious smile and a spirit of adventure, you just want to take as much time to get to know this guy as possible.

His story begins with tragedy, shot twice while at work by a disgruntled mentally unstable individual. Doug would end up with a bullet lodged in his spine, and would lose his left eye. It would be some time later that he would meet a man at a rally with a sidecar, Doug just knew this was his way back onto two, well four, well shit, on his way back to enjoying the air in his hair on the open road.

Not only did he order the sidecar, it flat out kicks ass, with a sway bar to level out the sidecar it handles as if it were on rails, allowing Doug to corner carve with ease. Ya'll reading this have to know that cornering, well at least for those of us who do not ride cruisers (sorry, could not resist) is an essential part of motorcycling.

When his wife comes along for adventure, she rides in the sidecar and Doug carries his Wheelchair on his trailer. When he goes solo, the Chair gets to enjoy some sidecar view.

Doug is taking a nice long trip, Originating in Tallahassee Florida he intends to head all the way out to Washington, with heavy emphasis on Yellowstone, Cody and of course the legendary bear tooth highway.
From there he will head out to Washington, spend some time on the coast, come back thru Colorado, spend some time with his Bro in Arkansas, and then back to Florida.

When I ran into Doug, he had already covered over 5000 miles in two weeks. He is taking adversity, chewing it up, spitting it out and living a lifetime of adventure.

Motor on!