Saturday, July 31, 2010

Sunburn Where I've Never Had It Before

Hey Again-

I hope everyone's weekend is going by swell! I got some good job hunting done this week so I've treated myself to taking yesterday (Friday) off of the search. I went to Grand Haven with friends in the afternoon. Followed by a rousing bonfire in Allendale later that evening. A good time was had by all, and we still have tons (literally) of firewood left for future endeavors.

So, let's move on to the topic at hand; my sunburn. Now I've had sunburn a lot of places, ears, nose, tops of my feet and the back of my knees to name the not-so-normally burned areas. Now you may be asking, "why on earth did you not apply sunblock??". Well, I had applied plenty. However I could not apply it in this certain spot, because well, I have hair there.

Get your minds out of the gutter, I'm talking about the top of my head! Now, I have strawberry blonde hair, and right now it's awfully short. I just had a buzz-up on Tuesday, so there's not a lot between my scalp and the sun's rays. Needless to say last night my scalp started to feel funny. Sure enough, I can now scratch this one off the record books. It doesn't hurt bad, it's just slightly irritating. It should be better in a couple day's time.

Now, normally I would end by asking feedback, for you to post the weirdest spots you ever have gotten sunburned. Well it appears that few care to interact with the topics, so do as you wish. I'm simply trying to make this more entertaining.

Goodnight and God Speed!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

BIIIG Things Coming to the Blog!

Soon I'll have some great new aspects of the blog to keep you all better engaged, as well as make the content more creative and interesting. There are a few things this space has been noticably lacking in the last year. My goal is not to make up for it all in one shot, but to gradually give you more and more. I don't want quality to suffer at the hands of quantity.

I'm quite excited for what's in store! Stick around!!

Monday, July 26, 2010

What is the Measure of a Good Friend?

This is a very gray topic, but I thought I would throw this out there to people tonight.

We all have differentiating ideas on what a good friend constitues. Is it someone willing to bail you out of a rough spot? Buy you a beer now and then? Listen to you vent? I could go on forever here so instead I'll simply give my opinion on the topic and let you all fight over it if you so desire.

To me one thing I look for in a good friend, male or female, is someone who likes to hang out with you one-on-one. Anyone can spend time with a "friend" around others. It forces us to divide out attention and you tend to have a less personal experience. Sometimes one wants to just spend time with one other person. Whether we have stuff on our mind we want to get out and want to confide in that someone, or else we simply want a "low-key" experience. This can go for guy/girl friendships as well. Nothing sexual is meant, you just enjoy spending time with that other person.

Spending time one-on-one tells the other person that this friend of mine actually cares enough that they want a personal experience with you, and wants/cares to hear your thoughts that you normally wouldn't express with others (or mulitple people) around. A deeper friendship with a good one-on-one base allows one to freely express fears and concerns, hopes and dreams in a completely sincere form of non-judgemental confidence. A one-on-one experience is a higher-quality experience, and we usually learn a whole lot about each other and grow as friends each time. Spending time with someone else tells them that you're friendship is valueable to the person in question. Anyone can spend time with friends in a big group, we all do it and it takes little effort. It's the "easy" kind of friendship. The measure of someone willing to devote their time and attention to just one person is far more of a committment. One would think it the other way around, because there are more people present. I would disagree, as the conversational depth in that environment is usually somewhat shallow. Drinks are often present, which further dilutes (sometimes it richens) conversationsal quality and sincerity. It's hard to get into a long debate, as there are so many other people to interact with.

To neatly sum up my piece, I will go with a true wish of mine. I wish I had more chances to spend time one-on-one with my friends, old and new. Long-time friends become distanced and new friends lack the depth those long-time friendships from college have had.

So there you have it. Do with it what you will, I'm tired and it's late.


Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Amazing Travel Blog!

Check out Gery Arndt's travel blog
He's a true travelling warrior and he's got some fun stuff on there to inspire lots of others to get out and explore!

Wonderful Road-Trip Content

This is a pretty random posting for today, I'm delaying a few heavily opinionated columns for the coming days. Have no fear, real content will return.

One idea a friend and I had was to create our own road-trip trip repot website. This could be forum-based and it could allow users to discuss their road trips, post trip reports from trips taken and include photos and video with the reports. Users would also be able to share camping, hotel, entertainment and food tips and suggestions with other road trip entusiasts. Road tripping has long been a staple of American life and is part of the fabric that stretches this great country together. There are already countless websites concerning other hobbies and interests, such as,, (hockeyfans) just to name a few.
I don't see how my idea wouldn't have a small shot.

Here's a little taste of the kind of content I am hoping such a site could draw.
Disclaimer** -This is not my video and the language used in the intro does not reflect the views of this blog, not it's author.

Monday, July 19, 2010

First Day of a Long Ordeal

So today marks the first day of a long ordeal I have just had to begin. It's outcome is uncertain. There is as much hope as there is fear, that is certain. We cannot let the fear win, no matter how bleak, or dreary it may seem. Once you let fear win, you lose your ability to think and strategize clearly and logically.

Here is a good piece I take solace in when things happen beyond my wisdom, my undertanding and my logic.:
The Proverbs of Solomon
Proverbs Chapter 3 (5) "Trust in the Lord with all thine heart: and lean not into thine own understanding."

Thursday, July 15, 2010

30 Day Challenge Day - 30: Remembering What We Had, Looking to the Future

On September 9th 2005 a great, amazing adventure began. On July 2nd, 2010 it was officially over. We had officially gone in our separate directions and "let go and let God".

It started rather randomly, we met at my ex-GF's birthday party at the time. Our first time hanging out was Celebration on the Grand, which turned out to be our first date. The September 9 date we always held was that night. We had been spoiled for several years, living just moments away from each other. For two years on college we literally lived around the corner from each other. Then a mere 15 minutes away for over a year. It's then that the complications began.

I was working for the Griffins and it was summer 2008. She was ending her partial Masters work, and moving out of Allendale, back home to the middle of the state. She didn't have a job lined up yet, however was getting a few interviews. In August she had a ton of interviews in North Carolina. She had always said she couldn't do distance. It turned out that of the six interviews she was granted, she was offered five of the positions. What happened over the next couple weeks stunned me. She turned them all down. I feared she did so to stay in Michigan, closer to me. I didn't want to be blamed for her lack of employment, nor un-happiness. As September started, it was back to the drawing board.

A week later she was given a lifeline from heaven it seemed. In the face of all lost hope a district on the East side of the state needed someone immediatly. She took it. Amazingly it seemed it was all working out, however I still had my job with the Griffins at the time and was on the other side of the state. My life became more interesting as work became an issue in October, and by Halloween I had left my position. It was one of the scariest times in my life, but it was sort of freeing. Seeking work, she told me about being a substitute teacher. By the end of November of that year I was all signed up and teaching by December. The only problem was that despite my continued job hunt, we were still on opposite side of the state.

Summer arrived and with no new employment opportunities, I reverted back to my old retail employer for 2.5 months. The issue was persistant, distance was becoming harder and harder. I once again had to start teaching again, and she took a new position with her district. Her schedule became a lot to bear as the demands of her job weigheted her down. Before Christmas break there was a stretch of over month we did not see each other. In retrospect, that was the breaking point. By February 13th, we called a serious scaling back of the relationship. I was very hesitant but I understood her perspective.

Throughout the next months, daily communication faded to several times weekly. Soon, I was the only one iniating communication. On July 2nd all my fears had been confirmed. It was over with the most wonderful girl I had ever met. The way we met was as random as can be, and the way it all ended was a sad, heartbreaking victim of circumstance and frustration. There are few more helpless feelings than the inability to find a decent job somewhere near the one you love. It all ended almost as mysteriously as it began. What looked like happily ever after two years ago is now a long healing process. I hate that it seems I dissapointed people in my current situation. Not everyone's path is the same, and mine has taken an odd detour away from the status quo. I have the overwhelming feeling of being unfairly judged as of the result.

I am happy for her, but there is a lot I don't know about what's going on in her head. In reality, I think it would best if I just not know. I still have a great deal of respect for her, but at the same time feel somewhat insulted. There will always be a big part of me that loves her. The healing process will be a very long one for me. I understand and respect her reasonings, but to come to terms with them and stop the pain will take a long time. I don't know when I will be able to open myself up to love again.

So here is to the future, to new adventures, and to wishing her all the best. No one knows where this great path leads. God has a plan and all the peices will fall eventually. Who knows, maybe one day crazier things will happen.


Wednesday, July 14, 2010

30 Day Challenge Day - 29: On the Eve

So this is the eve of the finish line. The end of our marathon is around the corner, literally.

I've got something from the heart for tommorow, and it entails a particular event/happening from the previous five years of my life. I wanted to have time to craft something, but that didn't happen. Post number 30 tommorow will be from the heart while on the fly. It won't be as tuned as I had hoped, but that is life, and life is what has happened to me since February.

There's your heads up, as I will be out of town again for Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

Thank you.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

30 Day Challenge Day - 28: Just Under the Deadline Again

Good Evening and once again I'm getting this one in JUST under the deadline!

Tonight is a night where YOU the reader take an active roll in this here blog. I'm asking you a question, that question is what is your favorite place to be in summer? It can be anywhere, and for any reason.

Mine is right here in Pure Michigan, on the lakeshore or a beachtown. I love Southern California and the Pacific coast, but the Great Lakes are my home and nothing makes me feel summer more than heading to the lake or "Up North". The feeling is impossible to describe and it fills you with Hemingway-esqe inspiration and a sense of adventure. Life feels more fulfilling.

So, get interactive and opinionated!!! What and where and why is your favorite summer destination?

Monday, July 12, 2010

30 Day Challenge Day - 27: The Return and Final Stretch

Good (late) evening folks!

I returned home about 12:15 am last night from an amazing journey to "Up North" Michigan. I had a blast, and with the help of a friend learned a lot about myself and what I have been emotionally going through lately. He doesn't know it yet, but since Friday evening he's helped me in un-measurable ways. I owe a debt of gratitude to him.

Well, do I dare go down the list in short-order and cheapen a four-day weekend that was amazing? I'll give you the run down I guess, I can't resist.

Thursday: Out-bound from GR for Traverse City at 6pm!! Lively music and conversation fueled our 2.5 hour journey Northward. Arrival in TC was about 8:30 EST. From there we headed downtown to check out the waterfront, National Cherry Festival and bars. Excellent weather and sunset! We hit Bootleggers and Kilkenney's and then retired for the night.

Friday: Woke up around 8-9 EST in the morning. Quickly got our crap together and got in the A-Team Ford Escape and barrelled West to Sleeping Bear Dunes. Once there we hit the dune climb. Adequately equiped with water and food, we trecked the 2-ish miles across the hot and trecherous but out of this world beautiful dunes to Lake Michigan. Sweating and hot, the caribbean-clear water was amazingly cool and we took full advantage. Trek back to the car challenged our endurance and team-building skills. Drove "home", showered and hit the GVSU Alumni Reception at the Holiday Inn. Great to hang out with GVSU friends! Hit Bootleggers afterward and encountered Travis, Mike, Tina, Justin and the infamous Taliban Jackson! Mayhem among many beers ensued. On the walk home that night, my dear friend (still unknowingly) helped me discover some emotional growth within myself. We finally got to bed about 4am and had to up at 7am EST.

Saturday: Awakened at 7am and got ready for our participation in the National Cherry Festival Parade with our alma mater GVSU!!! A hot atmosphere grew as we joined our group in the parade assembly area. I helped Louie get suited up and at 11:15 we were off!! Our 100+ person parade group was 38th in line of over 150 participating groups!! GO GV!! The parade was a blast and we loved getting people in the crowd into it. Post parade we hit the road for Boyne City, USA about 1pm. We passed the Grand Traverse Resort, Elk Rapids, Torch Lake, East Jordon and onto BC! Once arriving, we quickly changed into swim suits and met Lisa's friends at the "L dock" on Lake Charlevoix several blocks away to spend the afternoon and early evening on the pontoon boat cruising around and swimming in the crystal-blue waters of Pure Michigan! It never get's old. We then disembarked and changed, immediatly headed over to Charlevoix to enjoy a very memorable sunset on the peir. Pure Michigan has no equal. Once the sun dipped below the stunning horizon we hurtled North along the coast to Petosky. We arrived under the cover of darkness, so we couldn't see much but we cruised around and had a late, late dinner. After heading back to BC, us four tired twenty-somethings crawled into the hot-tub for some relaxation while watching the neighbor's bonfire. Now...decompress..and sleep.

Sunday: Finally we sleep in. We arose about 10:45 am EST to the "Good Morning" calls of Charlie, the parrot. Yes, the parrot. Shout out to Charlie, you rock homie. We got into workout clothes and hit up "Avalanche" hill (I know, that's the tourist term). After running up the hill, we enjoyed the stunning vista of BC and Lake Charlevoix, and then headed down-hill the long way around the hill. After showering and packing up, we had lunch at the famous Red Mesa Grill in downtown BC. Words cannot descibe...happy face. We then hurtled Southward toward home. We stopped along the way at the 45th Parallel for some photo sessions and then at the shoe tree. Then a strange thing happened. Shortly after getting underway again we decided we weren't quite ready to go home. We decided to turn right, and drive to Ludington, MI to see the lake one last time and meet our friend Kelly who will be a happily married woman in less than a week! We walked the beach, had dinner at the brewery and watched the S.S. Badger leave for Wisconsin, then met Kelly for ice cream. After getting back on the road about 10:30, we encountered storms but fought our way through. I finally walked in my front door at, well, you know what time.


What an amazing journey and it really makes you never want to leave the mitten. If more people knew how beautiful this state was, we wouldn't be in our economic situation. Michigan is America's best kept secret, hands down.

Well, that's the abbreviated version. I'll post a link to photo's when I see they have been posted by our professional photographers that accompanied us on our journey. Until tommorow, get out and enjoy summer in Pure Michigan!!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

30 Day Challenge Day - 26: Break

Good afternoon peoples of interweb land. I hope you all have been having a spectacular post-4th of July week.

Today's blog is going to be a notice that I will be taking a several day hiatus from this here online journal. I will be out of town until late Sunday, and I will not have internet access. We will have to suspend the 30-day challenge until this coming Monday. While I know many of you are heartbroken, and may not find a suitable temporary replacement for purpose of your lives without my dribbling on, further more of you are estatic to have my ranting in the cupbord for the time being.

So I will end day 26 by saying have a great weekend and stay classy.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

30 Day Challenge Day - 25: Reality and the Next Generation

Now this is going to make me sound like an old man, but it made me laugh out loud. So as a young person growing up, who were your role models? A sports star perhaps? An actor/actress? Maybe a parent or relative? I know for me it was Steve Yzerman. A hard working, dedicated leader who let his actions speak louder than his words. He selflessly led my Red Wings to three Stanley Cups in his tenure and was probably the last real mega sports star we might ever see to spend his entire career with one team, loyal to the end.

He embodied everything a father or mother would want their son to be. Humble, selfless, a great father and husband. I always admired him because he always did the right thing, even when it meant he got no notariety for it. Later on getting to meet the man and see him work in a professional setting confirmed all my beliefs about him. He has no DUI's, no spousal abuse, no drug/alcohol problems or run-ins with the law. Your average man using common sense to guide his daily decisions and actions.

While I have long known the people that are looked up to by "young people" these days were going down the tubes, teaching opened my eyes to it even more. Say the words "Jersey Shore" in a high school hallway and watch what happens. It's funny, sad and frightening at the same time. Girls want to act like "Snooki" and some hormone ridden high school boy wants to act like "the situation". Both cocky, full of self entitlement and vanity. They were given fame and fortune with no elbow grease required, and put out there seemingly as what the cool social standard is. They were given a bubble in which to behave un-realistically and rewarded for it. Hell, remember the days when MTV actually played music!? If our parents thought it was racey then...

Gee you say, that sounds mighty familiar. We seem to hear a lot about this kind of thing. Paris Hilton anyone? Lidsay "rehab" Lohan? How about Gilbert Arenas or Tiger Woods? Hell, Enron or Haliburton anyone!?! Fame and fortune creates a bubble and parallel reality for super stars. They feel that they are above any law and can simply get away with it. Contempt for authority and society's laws. Sadly the reality is such. If you've got the money, you can get the lawyers. If you've got the lawyers, you can either beat the charge or get away with a lesser sentence.

Middle school and high school students are fed this everyday through the media they engage in. Some obviously take it with a grain of salt, but others use it as their gospel of how to behave in life and what is expected of them. "If I act like a tool I'll get money, women and fame." Trust me, more kids than you think see this as what to aspire to. Why do you think the casting sessions for reality tv shows are so huge? Fame can be had by acting irresponsibly.

Don't believe me? MTV has another show out there called "Sixteen and pregnant". If you want to be dumbfounded, tune in. I sacrificed a few IQ points the other say to see what the big deal was. While it's always been true some people get pregnant at way to young of an age, it's never been glamorized...until now. A 15 year old girl who has no self esteem sees that show. A lot of times that individuals mind will work much differently than a normal person's. The simple thought process is one of "if I get pregnant, I can get attention and my 15 minutes." School administrators have been speaking out against the show, as it has shown teen pregnancy to be a glamorous thing. A few years back administrators in a New England high school noticed teen pregnancies at their school were skyrocketing. They discovered what they called a "pregnancy pact" between groups of girls in the school. Essentially, girls promising each other that they would get pregnant by the end of that school year.

Now I need to cut this short, as I have made my ranting point I think. As a society we need to work on this. I don't mean pull the Christian "moral-majority" bullshit, rather go ahead with a bit more common sense. I'll leave you with some reading material:

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

30 Day Challenge Day - 24: Selling a Bridge

This has been one very heated debate and I can surely see both sides.
Detroit's Ambassador bridge has been in disrepair for a while now, and is in desperate need of updating. Canada now wants to lend the cash-strapped state of Michigan a half-billion dollars to kick start the building of a new bridge just up-river from the Ambassador.

This has created a firestorm and rightly so. Lots of people are very concerned about whether jobs will go to Canadians or Michiganders, private influences and government takeovers.

Do yourself a favor and dig into the issue. We are afterall discussing one of the busiest border crossing points along the entire US/Canadian border.

Monday, July 5, 2010

30 Day Challenge Day - 23: The Great Lakes and The Oil Spill

So yesterday I spent the day in Grand Haven, MI for the national holiday. It was a beautiful, hot and sunny day. The beaches and streets were packed with people and there were thousands of boats of all shapes and sizes in the channels and on the lake. The water was a very tolerable 71 degrees, and despite a red-flag warning for high rip-currents everyone still swam. Welcome to summer in a Pure Michigan beach town, it's picture perfect no matter where you are from in the country.

So with all the drama over the oil spill in the Gulf, why hasn't the state tourism agency taken advantage of that situation? Well I'm sure they want to take the high road and just leave it alone. With everyone in the media bashing Michigan for something or another in recent years I think they could spin it as a positive. Fresh water and no drilling; "Pure". The campaign has been the most succesful tourism campaign the state has conducted in modern history if I am correct, and it's a shame they do not have a better budget to work with this year.

If they had a budget, the use of tv ad spots would be perfect for the situation. Stay away from anything SE Michigan and focus on the Lake Michigan beachtowns; South Haven, Saugatuk, Holland, Grand Haven, Muskegon, Ludington/Silver Laker, Sleeping Bear Dunes and Leelenau County, Traverse City, Charlevoix and Petosky, culminating with Mackinaw and some of the Huron beach towns. Try a little reverse advertising to the people of Florida and the Gulf. Come up and try something different.

So you say it wouldn't work? As far as I know, I don't think the state tourism board has tried it before so why not?

Sunday, July 4, 2010

30 Day Challenge Day - 22: Happy Fourth of July!!

Good morning my fellow Americans.

Today is a day for us to give thanks to those who fought 234 years ago for what we have today. We aren't under the control of a king or queen who sit idly by on the other side of the world. We have control over our own destiny and lives. We are not indentured servants to another people who deem us a lower form of life. We make our own rules and laws, and have our own say in world affairs. A person's potential in life is not determined by their last name and who your family is.

The worst thing that can happen is that we fail to fulfill the potential of those rights secured us by our founding fathers.

How do you not fail history you may ask? Make a difference in the world. No matter what you do, make a difference for good and progression in the world.

I'll be spending my day on the Lake Michigan shore. How will you spend yous??

Saturday, July 3, 2010

30 Day Challenge Day - 21: Why Short People Hate Clothes Shopping

So, I'm 5'3", you know that by now I'd think. So today it was time for me to get a new swimsuit. While I am short, my body is very proportionate for my size. That however means that items like feet, arms and legs are shorter/smaller than your average 5'10"-6' male. See where the problem is coming in here??

Now swimsuit sizes aren't waist sizes, they're simply small, medium, large, XXL as they have a waist drawstring to adjust. Having a 30" waist I have no problem with that. First off, the store has no "small" sizes so I am without choice there. However, to me I would think a medium would be perfect. That's the size t-shirt that fits me perfectly, and my torso is smaller than someone 5'10" or taller.
However a medium swimsuit comes down to the bottom of my kneecaps.


This is eternally frustrating as it always looks like I'm literally swimming in my swimsuit. GGRRRRR. I mean I can find regular shorts that work just fine and fit appropriatly, why not swim shorts?!? The math doesn't work here and I don't know why this is some weird exception to fashion rationality.

This is the one thing about being a shorter individual that is the most difficult and gives me the most headaches. I love who I am, so why can't clothing manufacturers?!?

So I though I would get that off my chest as it's going to be a little search to find something that works acceptably.

Friday, July 2, 2010

30 Day Challenge Day - 20: "Fireworks Guy"

The topic of today's blog post is "fireworks guy". We all know him, and there's one in every neighborhood. He's around in the summer, and sometimes in warmer climates he's a year-round fixture on the landscape. I bring this up now because this is the weekend he is most prominent.

Now, don't get me wrong. I love going down to Ohio and Indiana and loading up on lots of the good stuff this time of the year. I enjoy them as much as the next red-blooded American male. There is however this thing called "life" and "reality" that the majority of us exist in. Thus, fireworks are a fun thing we do once a year. For "fireworks guy", this is life.

So back to the man in question. You know the guy who always has the "stash" at his house? You know the tool who for the week leading up to the Fourth of July is out testing all his fireworks from the stash he has continually amassed all year long for this one weekend. He tests to make sure he has "good" batch, you know, this stuff is for real son. On the actual weekend you can find "fireworks guy" bumping around with roman candles strapped around him like plastic explosives. He's rocking a backpack loaded down with M-80's and 1/2 sticks of dynomite. Ironically, he's also lugging around a first aid pack so he can immediatly rush to the first person who injures themselves to remind them "just how dangerous and serious these things are!"

So now you are seeing the picture, and you're going through your mental roladex of people you know and are finding a few who fit the profile. So let me narrow it down more. "Fireworks guy" usually always rocks a beater or a ratty cut-off. Now to examine the dude's lettuce (hair). You can count on him to have sport a rat-tail with red, white and blue hairties holding it together. "Fireworks guy" has taken the whole week of the Fourth off from his job...driving the ice cream truck around town.

Happy Fourth!!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

30 Day Challenge Day - 19: July and a divorce settlement.

So welcome to July my friends! I hope you all have a HUUUUGE holiday weekend planned coming up. For those of you in places where it will rain, I am sorry for your luck. Western Mitten is looking more than perfect. Clear, sunny and warm/hot weather from now to Monday morning. Epic win for America's High Five on America's special weekend.

Okay, now on to Tiger's baby-momma-drama. We all know Tiger has an unimaginable amount of money. However, he is soon to part with most of it acording to a new phantom report. While listening to Jim Rome earlier, he cited a fuzzy report speculating that Tiger's settlement payment may range from $750-$830 MILLION dollars!!! ZZiiinnggg....walk that off son.

Now, this may be news to a lot of us but I wasn't aware he even had that much stashed away. Why is the amount so high?! I'll tell you why it might be so high.
Elin may know something we all don't. In fact, she DOES know something we all don't. In fact, she knows a lot we don't. You want to know why that number may be as high as it is? because Tiger wants to KEEP the fact that Elin knows a lot and we don't that way.

That right there is a hush payment right there kiddo's. He's paying her to keep her quiet. He needs her to keep quiet because those two are the only two (besides maybe a few lawyers) people that know what reeeaallllyy happened that night TW hurled his suv into that tree. That's a hell of a lot of money, maybe ALL of Tiger's money. However I have a feeling that Tiger and Elin know a bit more than the rest of us.

By the way, Elin will get total custody as well all know.
TMZ has nothing on me.
Go do something productive for society now.