Sunday, March 31, 2013

Latourell Falls Hike

I hiked Latourell Falls trail yesterday. To get there, take 84 East to Bridal Veil exit, hang a right on Historic Highway and drive 2.8 miles to trailhead. If you are looking for a quick, easy hike that isn't too far away (from Portland), this is a good spot. The entire loop is only 2.4 miles with an elevation gain of something like 550 feet. You are rewarded with two waterfalls and a small glimpse of the Columbia River Gorge through a patch of trees, that's about it. Here are a few pictures and video clips:





















Saturday, March 9, 2013

One Nation, Under Fraud

A beautiful thing happened at work the other day: I was given permission to carry on with my weirdness. Our morning meeting was the typical mixed bag of current affairs, but added to it was a speech detailing the importance of being prepared at home in case a catastrophic event occurs. We were even given a handy two-page checklist of things we can do to ensure our families will be safe and taken care of in the event that the shit ever hits the fan. Examples on that list include: 5 days worth of food storage, clean water storage (and ways to purify water), extra clothing, candles, cash on hand, medical supplies, etc. As I sat there in the meeting scanning through the list I realized I had just about everything on it covered. And then some.

I smiled and thought about the DHS agents who might one day burst through my front door demanding to know why I'm a prepper and why I feel the need to be stockpiling food and other supplies, etc. I smiled because now I have my Get Out Of Indefinite Detention Card, thanks to my employer. I will keep this work related print-out safely stored with my other valuables as my means of proof that I'm not a crazy person. I have been encouraged to prepare myself by the hand that feeds me! Now go away and leave me alone Mr. Government Agent Man. Go save you and yours, I got mine covered.

Now, since I'm on the subject of catastrophic events I'd like to share a podcast that I wish everyone would listen to. As you all know I listen to forty hours worth of informative podcasts every single week. Think about that. Most of you go to work and just sit there, trying desperately to be as productive as you can in the silence of absolute boredom. Then you clock out and rush around town in an effort to finally experience life in the remaining chunk that's left in your day. It's a small chunk, and usually even that chunk doesn't fully belong to you. You share it with your husband or wife or children, so once again you find yourself in someone else's employ. It's not really your time, is it? So when you finally do find yourself living for you and only you (maybe it's an hour at the gym or a half hour spent reading 50 Shades Of Grey while sipping a latte at Starbucks) you still aren't tuned in to what's going on Out There. And let me tell you, what's going on Out There is pretty fucking scary, so maybe you're better off living in the picture I just painted above.

But really you're not, because while you are busy doing your thing there are other people in a land far, far away who are busy doing their thing, and their thing is far more insidious than you might be aware of. Their vision of America is radically different than your own, or the one you envision for the future of your children. Speaking of which... I don't have children, and truthfully, I shouldn't even care about this as much as those of you who do. It's important to realize that while you may not feel or sense or see any changes taking place in your life or your country right now, understand that those changes are happening (and have been happening) whether you believe it or not. And in the future, when your kids are trying to make a go at life, the words you are reading now will suddenly appear before you in the glowing green of the ATM screen, as you slide your card in/out and nothing happens. Why no monies? I needs my monies! Suddenly you find yourself cut off from everything but you have no idea why. And so you race home to locate your spouse (because your cell phone stopped working) but you have to walk the last 2 miles (because your vehicle ran out of gas) and by the time you get there you see federal agents swarming your lawn and home, your spouse in handcuffs being shoved into the back of a black SUV. What the hell is happening? You have no answers, only questions and fear.

And guess what? Certain laws that have been passed since 9/11 give the government the right and the power to do the things in the aforementioned scenario and not even tell you why. By law (that We The People allowed our leaders to pass) they can enter our homes, remove us from our families and all of our possessions, detain us indefinitely without trial (due process), and never even tell us why. They monitor everything now: your phone calls, your text messages, your emails, your Facebook page, the websites you search on the Internet, etc. They have databanks that store that information and sophisticated computers that sift through looking for red flag words or phrases. And here's what you didn't realize while you were ignorantly chugging along, just trying to get through each of your days: your entire life has been interrupted now because of your middle child. He became an activist after educating himself via books and podcasts and started speaking out against the government. He met new friends, started running in different circles, began taking a strong stance by participating in protests to defend things like civil liberties, freedom, and corruption in government and the banking elite. But he is young and passionate about a cause worth fighting for, eager to make a difference and witness change in a country he believes is sick and in fever. He goes a little too far. Maybe he wraps a message around a brick and tosses it through the window of the local RNC office to make a point, or even, maybe he's not the actual tosser, but he's simply there with a group of his friends when it does occur. Either way, all of his actions have been monitored up to this moment and the DHS agents have now labeled your son as a terrorist and violent threat to the government. They swoop in and change your life forever.

They show up in armored military vehicles, each agent carrying a fully automatic assault rifle. They don't ask questions, they just hurriedly whisk your family away while you watch from a crouched position behind your neighbor's arborvitae, trembling and crying and wondering why, but too scared to approach. Now you are alone with no food or money or shelter. What the fuck do you do now? This is where I would recommend being prepared! Granted, all of your supplies are inside your home where those nasty Fed's are mulling about, but this is where I've taken my prepping a step further. I have a bug-out-bag for situations just like this! Haha, I joke right now only because this entire blog entry is super serious and needs a comic relief point, but actually in the midst of my joking I'm still being quite serious. I really do have a bug-out-bag that is filled with enough supplies that I could sustain myself for many days. Inside that bag is a everything I need to go for an extended camping trip: shelter, dehydrated food, medical supplies, water purifier, fire making tools, mini cook stove, toiletries, hand crank radio, weaponry, etc. You name it, it's in there. And if it's not, it will be!

Okay, so I've had enough fun flexing my fingers and brain, I'll stop writing scary scenarios now and move on to discussing the podcast that I truly wish everyone would listen to. It's two hours long, divided in halves. Download it and stick it onto your iPod and listen to it when you're at the gym or driving around town, or where/how ever you can. What you are going to hear is an amazing discourse from a 19 year old who is so far ahead of the rest of us it's sickening. His name is Dan Johnson and he is truly remarkable. His knowledge on what America has become (and has yet to become) is vast and his ability to articulate it is nothing short of absolute perfection. He alone can't change the crash course we are on though, which brings me to you (and me). We are all in this together. America's war on global terrorism is going to be the unraveling of this great nation. We have risen to empire status and are hungry for mawr, MAWR, MAWR! And since 9/11, we've figured out a way to take it all: by labeling the world as a battleground. If you paid attention to the recent Rand Paul filibuster against the Brennan nomination then you may have an idea what I mean. He said some harrowing truths in those many, many hours of speaking, and John McCain and Lindsey Graham's responses were equally harrowing and important in understanding how the rest of the establishment thinks.

Alright, if you're still reading this then I guess you're interested in what this 19 year old had to say. It's a favorite podcast of mine called Red Ice Radio that had Dan as a guest. I uploaded the file to my Box account, here are the links:

Hour One: https://www.box.com/s/vqok98zliz0eoaidew43

Hour Two: https://www.box.com/s/n9g93k7hjizxr32fp04q

And here is one more video link I'll include because it's important and relevant to the topic being discussed. This clip was taken from The Young Turks (a liberal talk show that isn't afraid to speak truth to power). Cenk Uygur is the host of the show and in this clip he talks the importance of Rand Paul's filibuster:


Well, I guess that's enough serious shit for a Saturday morning. Next time you read my words it will be for fun and pleasure, I promise! Be strong and diligent, citizens, and always be prepared! ;)

                                     www.pandaunite.org
 

Saturday, March 2, 2013

A Healthy Update

My morning ritual consists of the following. I roll out of bed around 5am (Mon-Fri) and head straight to the kitchen. I turn on my little hand crank survival radio which is preset to 89.9 classical, which always sits atop my counter to the right of my giant cutting board. I then proceed to pull out and prepare any ingredients from the fridge that will be included in my morning smoothie. Once my smoothie is complete, the dirty parts go into the sink and I then begin my brain kicker coffee preparation. Note: from this point on breakfast is being consumed via tall glass and straw, following me wherever I go. While the coffee is brewing I get dressed for work and do my bathroom duties. By the time the coffee has brewed I've usually finished the smoothie and that glass then goes into the sink. Now it's time to blend my brain kicker coffee together: freshly brewed organic fair-trade coffee, organic unsalted grass-fed butter, coconut oil, vanilla extract, honey, and a pinch of ginger powder. That's it, food and body prep complete. I then tend the few dishes that need washed, open my blinds, grab my coffee and head out the door.

Why did I share this with you? Two reasons. Number one: I've learned that while I love classical music, I absolutely loathe opera. I understand why these two genres fit together on 89.9, but nothing ruins my morning more (other than a failed smoothie) than having that booming, operatic voice drown out my kitchen while I'm doing my thing. It's annoying, it's not in English, and it overshadows the classical music I want to hear. So 89.9 if you're reading this, stop it. Cut it out. Nobody wants to hear opera! Do they? Okay, number two: I want others to get in on this whole smoothie/juicing/brain kicker coffee thing. When I think back to how I used to start each day I cringe: maybe a bowl of GM cereal, or a bagel with cream cheese, or a quick stop somewhere for a sausage egg and cheese biscuit, and a regular old cup-o-joe with flavored creamer. When you break all that stuff down you realize it's pretty unhealthy. My body didn't know what the hell to do with most of those ingredients, and I was doing it every single morning, for all of my life. I never even gave it a second thought.

But now I feel pretty good about the changes made. Here's an example list of ingredients that might go into one of my smoothies: coconut or almond milk, avocado, spinach or kale, chia seeds, kiwi, banana, mixed berries, hemp protein powder, macca powder, almond butter, coconut mana, yogurt, cacao, ice cubes, honey, ginger, etc. A blended drink usually produces 16 ounces or more. That's a big meal that fills me up all the way until lunch at 10:30am. And every single ingredient is exactly the type of food my body wants and needs, and if you do it right it's really damn tasty! To help mask the less flavorful ingredients (green vegetables, hemp protein, macca, etc) you simply add in your fruit and honey, goodbye funky flavor. And as for the brain kicker coffee, you can check out Dave Asprey's page for the run down of why it's awesome for your health. I don't use his coffee beans because they are way too expensive, but I got the basic idea when I listened to him on a podcast, he calls it the bulletproof coffee: http://www.bulletproofexec.com/coffee/

So that's a quick glimpse into the healthier side of things, I hope you enjoy. I do want to return back to creative writing soon. I know many of you enjoy that side of me much more and I'm inclined to agree with you. I've been so consumed with the "way of the world" lately that my creativity has slowed to a backwards crawl. It'll happen, just have to get past this learning binge first, but damn it there's so much stuff to learn!

In this picture is a list of ingredients recommended by doctors all over the world to help people avoid getting sick.

 
And in this picture is my recommended list of ingredients. Any questions?
In this smoothie: Avocado, banana, strawberry, mango, chia with honey and ginger kick. Hello breakfast, so nice to eat you.

Brain Kicker coffee preparation.

Flu Slayer: spinach, orange, lemon, garlic, carrot, ginger, cayenne pepper. Juice these and drink regularly. You can't overdose!