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.

Image

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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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

12 Inspiring Photos of Space Exploration

In honor of today’s once in a lifetime and historic opportunity to see the retirement of NASA’s space shuttle Discovery at the Udvar Hazy National Air and Space Museum. I thought it appropriate to do a post on 12 photos (with links) all courtesy of NASA.gov that I believe help to illustrate the continued importance of the space program and its effect on both our progress as a people and our own individual lives. The sheer beauty alone is Awe inspiring….I hope you enjoy!!

Screen Captured Image of Shuttle Discovery Landing (live Online)4.17.2012

 The Shuttle Discovery at the Dulles Airport – Virginia 4.17.2012

Messier 70

http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/hubble/science/messier70.html

‘Mount Sharp’ On Mars

http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/msl/news/msl20120328.html

 Saturn’s moons: Enceladus and Tethys 

http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/cassini/whycassini/cassini20120416.html

The Sun – (Eruption larger than the size of Earth)

http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/sunearth/news/News041612-M1.7flare.html

 The Large Magellanic Cloud galaxy in infrared light

http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/spaceimages/

Moscow at Night

http://www.nasa.gov/multimedia/imagegallery/image_feature_2221.html

Apollo/Saturn 501 Vehicle Preparation

http://grin.hq.nasa.gov/UTILS/search.cgi

(To find Image search keyword – Saturn)

Saturn V S-1C Stages in Assembly 

http://grin.hq.nasa.gov/UTILS/search.cgi

(To find Image search keyword – Saturn)

A Spiral Galaxy in Hydra

http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/hubble/science/hydra-spiral.html

NASA Picture of the Day 4.17.2012

http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap120417.html