My rambling thought of the day: The Fire Fighter vs. The Poet

What is more important in life? Some will say the things we do, while others the things we say. On the surface what we do (or don’t do) has an immediate effect on the things around us. However, we all know words have the power to persuade and influence, changing opinions and shaping realities. The more eloquent the speaker and the more persuasive his opinion, the more likely we are to agree with him (no matter how big or small of the topic). So, with all variables being equal, how can we be sure which one is ultimately the most important?

I believe these are merely methods, (tools of intent) and rather the answer lies in the “choices” we make. Our directions will be made by our choices and our outcomes by our resolve to those choices. History has shown us time and again even the largest of adventures, undertakings, and developments have but the simplest of beginnings – “The Idea”. We then use these “tools” or “methods” to shape our world. Both of which can be highly effective if used correctly, but how we choose to use them is the question we should be asking…. the method then becomes irrelevant.

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Two roads diverged in a wood, and I —
I took the one less travelled by,
and that has made all the difference – Robert Frost
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The Avengers: 3 Original Character Posters

When I was a little boy (about 5 years old) I learned how to draw from my mom’s old drawings, she drew when she was a teenager. I would sit for hours and look at the pictures of Donald Duck, Popeye, the Snow White Dwraves, and various other random cartoons as I would lay a piece of paper next to it and attempt to copy the image sketch by sketch as I saw it. Back then, a finished drawing would take me a day or more to complete….now I generally can sketch something out from start to finish in about an hour or so depending on what it is.

Since the new big thing right now is The Avengers (although not new to me by any means) I thought I would do some character posters to celebrate the movie going over a billion dollars world wide recently……and well just because they’re awesome and they inspire me to sketch.

Hope you enjoy. 🙂

Airshow – Andrews Air Force Base (Pictures and Video)

“A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. ” – Lao Tzu.

This past weekend the skies were clear and the air was crisp at 5:00 a.m., perfect weather for waking up exceptionally early (for me) to make a trip to the Airshow. I’ve been living in the Washington D.C. area for over 4 years now and I’ve missed several opportunities at catching a show, including the last time the one at Andrew’s Air Force Base came around (only once every 2 years). So this year I was not going to miss it again.

This has to be one of the coolest events I have gone to in a long time, especially considering the show itself is entirely free, although expect to pay for your food for the day and who can realistically get out without buying some sort of souvenir (I bought a t-shirt).

I think the show easily and clearly demonstrates the ingenuity and perseverance of what we can accomplish as a people. It’s modern innovation at its finest and clear reflections of the human spirit to first dream and then accomplish going beyond even our own limitations, but even without the heavy contemplation, It’s an amazing time and one I won’t soon forget….I hope you enjoy the photos and video. 🙂  It’s only a small capture of the shear coolness that took place.

All photos taken 5.20.2012

video taken on 5.20.2012

West Virginia: 30 Photos of Half Moon Mountain – Impromptu Backpacking Adventure

From the Rockies to the Appalachians…

Imagine a last minute trip to the wilderness, packing everything you need for 2 days in only a single bag you can fit on your back, strapping it to yourself and carrying it 10 miles through the beautifully “wild and wonderful” state of West Virginia. This was my impromptu weekend this past week as I was invited to go backpacking with my friend Adam on the trail at Half Moon Mountain. Here are some of the photos I took during the trip. Hope you enjoy! 🙂

All photos taken (5/5/2012 – 5/6/2012)

Feast of Foliage – Ramps / Wild Leeks

I recently went “Ramp” or “Wild Leek” (depending upon where you live) digging with my parents and good friend Deborah in West Virginia. It’s been a long honored tradition every few years of ours to go, since I was a small boy. Each time we trek 2 to 3 miles into the wilderness looking for the places we know they grow naturally and each time we dig them off the sides of the mountains. Ramps like to grow in rocky, wet, and sometimes obscure places with a preferred 45% or more downhill graded terrain, then we carry them out on our backs in bags.

I remember when I was a boy and upon returning with what my dad affectionately calls a “mess of ramps” we would have a ramp fry mixed with fresh potatoes, kidney beans (or the like), and ham, almost approaching something that sounds like it would be a story out of a Dr. Seuss book. We cleaned and ate them with delight …well ate them with delight, cleaning ramps can be a serious time consuming pain in the rear.

During the spring there are hundreds of Ramp festivals in which families and foodies alike from all over the various states and even Canada come together to enjoy ramp dinners and country food festivals, with one of the largest of these being the “Feast of the Ramson”, held in Richwood WV. Ramps have continued to grow with increasing popularity over the years and will surely continue to do so. Ramps now have even been shown in dishes on the food network and by Martha Stewart.

Anyways, whether you’re a foodie just now discovering ramps or someone that grew up with them like me, it’s always a fun adventure and although a lot of work from start to finish for what some might say is not worth it, depending on your pallet and personal tastes. It is a great time to me and the feeling of eating that first dinner after laboring and digging them out of the earth with your own two hands, means something more than most people will ever get to experience…. It just makes it all worth it. Plus, I also personally think they are quite delicious, comparable to garlic and who doesn’t love garlic?

For a little more information about Ramps / Wild Leeks visit the wiki here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Allium_tricoccum

For a few recipes of what you can do with Ramps click on the links below:

Ramps with Linguine

http://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/2008/05/dinner-tonight-ramps-with-linguine-recipe.html

White Cheese Pizza with Ramps

http://ourkitchensink.wordpress.com/2008/04/29/ramps/#more-1253

Fried Potatoes and Ramps

http://southernfood.about.com/od/ramps/r/blbb612.htm

Colorado (U.S.) : 50 Beautiful Scenic Photos

“A good photograph is knowing where to stand.” – Ansel Adams

I recently got the opportunity to go and see someone really special to me in CO. Having never been before (and for many other reasons), I jumped at the opportunity and was amazed at how utterly gorgeous of a place it really is. While I am not going to share all of my personal photos here. I did go through the many photos that were taken over the course of my 5 days there (over 400 photos in all) 🙂 and decided I wanted to share these 50 scenic photos, that I believe really illustrate the truly untouched beauty that is Colorado.

The photos cover a wide range from the many hiking trips we took and are relatively completely untouched (I’ve only made very minor lighting adjustments to capture the images as closely as I saw them in person). Including places like: The Garden of The Gods and Pikes Peak – which is over 14,000 feet in elevation.

As always I hope you enjoy the photos and thanks for visiting. 🙂

All photos taken (4/18/12 – 4/22/12)