Monday, December 20, 2010

Survival Priorities

Many people are familiar with the "Survival Rules of 3". They are:
  • You can survive 3 minutes without oxygen
  • You can survive 3 hours without shelter
  • You can survive 3 days without water
  • You can survive 3 weeks without food
Those rules have been discussed, argued, and studies over for some time and have held pretty firm. As many will mention, depending on the environment you are in, one or two of those may shift in their priority. Water is more important in Arizona then shelter is, because it rarely rains during certain times of the year and the arid environment will literally suck the water out of your body with each passing minute. 

So having said that, you'll need to evaluate the climate of the region where you live and plan accordingly. Growing up in the South I have never carried a blanket in the trunk of my car, but I've had several friends who grew up doing just that because they knew if the car broke down then they were "on the clock" when it came to fighting the cold and hypothermia.
I think that most people agree with the first 3 of those (oxygen, shelter, water). I mean, they seem pretty reasonable. The rule about food gets a lot of discussion, though, particularly from "us" Americans. We love our food, don't we. Many people argue that you simply can't go 3 weeks without food. It might as well by 3 months if it's going to be 3 weeks.

Time and time again this rule stands up to the test. In Haiti earlier this year, after a devastating earthquake, we watched day after day tick away with little to no aid reaching those displaced by this catastrophe, and yet, people were surviving. Now, of course, I know that the people of Haiti didn't just "stop eating" the moment after the earthquake, but there certainly wasn't a reliable food supply for a vast portion of the population for a long time. I bring this up because there is an old saying that "Society is only three meals away from Revolution." Now, while that may be true, I want to dispel the myth that you are three meals away from starving to death. Far from it. The "three meals away" quote was referring to the speed at which people panic, not the speed at which you will die from lack of food.

I could fill a whole book (and people have done just that) on survival and food intake. The major point I'm trying to make is that food is a much lower priority than you think. You can quite literally go 2 or 3 weeks  (not taking into account pre-existing health conditions, age, gender, and relative level of fitness, and of course - level of exertion) without food before you die. Which should make you reconsider several things.

I watched this one episode of Dual Survival (Discovery Channel), which will be starting it's 2nd Season here in a few weeks. In this one episode Dave Cantebury discovered a large bees hive and decided he wanted to get some of the honey from that hive because he was hungry. I believe he spent over an hour and a half in preparation to protect himself so that he could safely get to the honey. He ended up getting stung anyway, and the amount of honey he got in exchange didn't appear to be a lot. So, instead of spending that hour and a half getting closer to being spotted and saved, he risked (at the very least) severe illness or allergic reaction and possibly even death (I mean come on, people die from bee attacks all the time - these guys are no joke) for what amounts to about 300 calories of honey...which he split with his survival buddy.

Unfortunately, Dave does this on more than one occasion, in an another episode he literally wrestles and kills an alligator for food. They were rescued later that day. Ha ha ha. He risked life and limb for nothing. Because his stomach told him it was time to eat.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Shelter from the Storm

I always think of my Father when I hear Bob Dylan. They have absolutely nothing in common (that I'm aware of). I guess it's just - I kinda' picture that when my Father was my age or a little younger, he probably listened to Dylan a time or two. So I feel a connection to him when I listen to Dylan. Anyway, it's a great song...

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I was in another lifetime one of toil and blood
When blackness was a virtue and the road was full of mud
I came in from the wilderness a creature void of form
"Come in" she said
"I'll give you shelter from the storm".

And if I pass this way again you can rest assured
I'll always do my best for her on that I give my word
In a world of steel-eyed death and men who are fighting to be warm
"Come in" she said
"I'll give you shelter from the storm".

Not a word was spoke between us there was little risk involved
Everything up to that point had been left unresolved
Try imagining a place where it's always safe and warm
"Come in" she said
"I'll give you shelter from the storm".

I was burned out from exhaustion buried in the hail
Poisoned in the bushes and blown out on the trail
Hunted like a crocodile ravaged in the corn
"Come in" she said
"I'll give you shelter from the storm".

Suddenly I turned around and she was standing there
With silver bracelets on her wrists and flowers in her hair
She walked up to me so gracefully and took my crown of thorns
"Come in" she said
"I'll give you shelter from the storm".

Now there's a wall between us something there's been lost
I took too much for granted got my signals crossed
Just to think that it all began on a long-forgotten morn
"Come in" she said
"I'll give you shelter from the storm".

Well the deputy walks on hard nails and the preacher rides a mount
But nothing really matters much it's doom alone that counts
And the one-eyed undertaker he blows a futile horn
"Come in" she said
"I'll give you shelter from the storm".
I've heard newborn babies wailing like a mourning dove
And old men with broken teeth stranded without love
Do I understand your question man is it hopeless and forlorn
"Come in" she said
"I'll give you shelter from the storm".

In a little hilltop village they gambled for my clothes
I bargained for salvation and they gave me a lethal dose
I offered up my innocence and got repaid with scorn
"Come in" she said
"I'll give you shelter from the storm".

Well I'm living in a foreign country but I'm bound to cross the line
Beauty walks a razor's edge someday I'll make it mine
If I could only turn back the clock to when God and her were born
"Come in" she said
"I'll give you shelter from the storm".

This is a live performance Dylan gave back in 1976. It's one of the few songs where I can say that a "remake" is actually a little better than the original. Don't get me wrong - the original is GREAT. But when I stumbled upon this version - it blew me away.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

I dread April

The month of April may seem benign enough that I wouldn’t blame you if you found it hard to believe that someone could actually dread the fourth month in the Gregorian calendar…but I do. It’s really been the culmination of many things over my life. My Mother is an accountant so April is always crunch time for her to get her clients’ taxes done. I remember how hard she would work, when I was much younger, and it always stressed the family a little because you never like to see your own Mother work that hard at anything.
Ok, so Tax Time doesn’t help, but that’s not why I dread April. I was on a brief road trip in Littleton Colorado on April 20th, 1999. If you don’t immediately recognize that date – it is the anniversary of the Columbine High School shooting (Eric Harris / Dylan Klebold pictured). I was in Colorado at the time because I was able to purchase tickets to a Smashing Pumpkins concert. To save a little money, I stayed with my Aunt who lives in Littleton. That morning, I got up – got dressed, and was making my way back to Salt Lake City, Utah, which was just over 8 hours away. I was on the road the whole day and was listening to CDs. There are very few radio stations along the way so that was my source for music and entertainment. When I arrived in SLC, I went into my apartment to find my two roommates glued to the television. I gave a very casual “Hey guys, what’s up?” and they just sat there. I asked “what was going on” and they both looked at me and said they were watching the news about what had just happened in Littleton. I said, “I was just in Littleton – what happened.” I sat down in front of the TV and watched in horror as the story and images unfolded. I checked the time the massacre began, and I can just about promise you – that I drove right in front of that High School heading back home while those events were getting started. I mean…right as it was going on!
I know in the grand scheme of things, that’s a very loose “claim to fame”, but still – it’s stuck with me even until today. From that year forward, I took a keen interest in school shootings. It definitely wasn’t the first we’ve ever had in this country, but it did grasp my attention. After a few years, I started to notice a pattern. It’s right around April and May that you see the shootings begin to happen. Maybe it’s because the school year is almost over and the “bullied” students just can’t seem to wait another 4 or 5 weeks for the school year to end, which in turn would spare them from their oppressive situation. So they act out – and of course, make horrible, life altering decisions that only make the situation much, much worse.
Table of School Shootings (April and May only) over the last 10 years

Name Location Date Year Death Toll
May 1
April 24
May 20
April 20
May 20
May 26
April 14
April 24
May 9
April 4
April 2
April 16
April 10
May 1
May 18
May 18
In the last 10 years, we've had 154 deaths (not injuries, just death toll) occur at the hand of a gun on a school campus (both K-12 and college). Out of those 154 deaths, 69 happened in April and May. That's almost half! So, here we are at the precipice of "open season" and I just can't help but dread what the next 30 to 60 days will bring. As the father of 3 boys myself, I take a personal affront to anyone who would seek to take the life of a child...even if that person is a child him/herself.
The worst part of all this is that there's almost nothing you can do about it. I can't keep my kids home from school for the next two months. I can't even "train" them on how to deal with these types of situations - they're too young, and they wouldn't understand. Any attempt to prepare them would do little more than scare the crap out of them. And so the waiting game begins. Now, to be honest - I have very little fear that an event like this will happen to my children. I mean, they're a thousand times more likely to be involved in a serious car accident in transit to or from school. I realize that...but again, it's not just my kids - it's all kids. I don't want to see any parent have to go through that.
One thing is for certain, though. When the next school shooting does take place - you'll see parents, teachers, and local citizens stand in amazement in that they can't believe this happened in their quiet town. There will be news organizations and people mugging the camera saying how we need stricter gun control laws. And the cycle of idiocy will continue. How is it that nobody else has heard of root-cause analysis? Why does every politician or pundit seek to apply the worthless band-aid solution to everything?
The only thing that I can do at this point is pray for peace. I pray that nobody has to lose a son or a daughter attending school this year. Or any other year for that matter.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Arise, Awake! And stop not until the goal is reached!

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover. - Mark Twain

I came across this quote a few months ago, and I must admit - it hit me like a ton of bricks. I knew the moment after I read it, that there was great meaning sewn in between those words. I had pictures in my mind of a man in his 70s or 80s sitting quietly in an empty house, contemplating the decades behind him and for whatever reason - regretting missed opportunities. Of course, the stinging part of such quiet reflection is the reality that there is little, or no time to make up for these lost opportunities.

It's no surprise really. When we are born, for the most part we are full of vitality and energy. The world is our oyster, ready for the taking. We feel invincible and we are foolish enough (well, maybe naive is a better term) to try anything. Consequence and responsibility are barely an afterthought much less a motivating factor. We make mistakes...sure, but we experience, we learn, we grow. Our mouths, our ears, and our eyes are wide open and we take it all in.

And then along the way, something happens. You won't catch me quoting Karl Marx very often - however, he once said that Religion was the opiate of the masses. Now, I don't believe that at all - I mean, NOT AT ALL. But, I mention it here because I believe that there are many things in life that act as an opiate. Whether it be a home in the suburbs, or a cushy job "at the factory", or whatever. We walk around life like Zombies with our white picket fences, 2 weeks of paid vacation and a half turned smile and we lose all ambition.

Every now and then, something will happen to snap us out of our consumer induced coma. For some people, the recession was a wake up call. Forclosure...lay off...starting over. For others, it may be a more personal catastrophe. It's easy for someone to spout off the idealistic "Live every day as if it were your last" and I think most of us know that it's wholly unrealistic. Perhaps there's a middle ground. Don't go and empty out your savings account and fly to Europe without so much as an hour to think about it...but don't sit there on your couch and watch reruns of Dancing with the Stars, either! I don't care if you're 60 or 70...the same advice still applies: You're not getting any younger! So wake up...get up...get moving. Start small if you have to, but do something you've never done before and do it today. Then do it again tomorrow, and the next day, and the next day! Then in a year...look back and smile, but not for too long - you've got to top that year with the new year!

I'd hate to piggyback one memorable quote with another, but it's a movie quote - so I'll allow myself a little artistic license. The movie Joe vs. The Volcano (Tom Hanks, Meg Ryan) is a great comedy - if you haven't seen it, go rent it. In the movie, Meg Ryan's character says:
My father says that almost the whole world is asleep. Everybody you know. Everybody you see. Everybody you talk to. He says that only a few people are awake and they live in a state of constant total amazement.
Hopefully we can all wake up and live in a state of constant, total amazement. I honestly don't think that's too much to ask for. I think each of us deserves it. I know I do.

Monday, March 29, 2010


ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ (mo-lone lah-veh) were the immortal words uttered by King Leonidas along side 300 of his most ferocious warriors in response to the Persian Emperor Xerxes and his army of 600,000. You may remember a little film called 300 that graced the theatres recently...yea, that King Leonidas. There is some discussion on the intar-webs about the translation of this phrase - I won't get into that, I think the spirit of the quote is in little dispute: Leonidas was basically saying: Come and get it. In essence he was egging Xerxes on saying if you want our swords and our spears, if you want to make our knees bend then you will have to make it happen. The Marines have a similar phrase: Come get some! We're ready for you, we're ready for a fight, and in small part (if necessary) we're ready to die.

I can't help but feel a little burst of testosterone when I hear this phrase. It pretty much encapsulates every fuel-injected, macho man, red-blooded American thought I've ever had. I mean, come on - we're guys - we make an art form out of engaging against impossible odds; it's what we do! The attributes of valor, bravery, courage, integrity, and maybe a pinch of pig-headedness seem to be standing in the shadows of this timeless military quote.

I also think of the latin quote "Carpe Diem" (seize the day) but it's lost a little oomph with me in recent years. I can easily remember the movie Dead Poet's Society and feeling a rush when a group of young men in boarding school were encouraged to seek more out of life than what their well structured, high priced institutions of higher learning were offering.

I know I'm doing a play on words here, but I think a lot of people my age grew up having heard those words at least once or twice - and it sometimes feel like it's backfired a little. We went out to seize the day, and it feels sometimes as if the world seized us back a little. Instead of seizing upon something magical and wonderful beyond our grasp, somehow we seized a mortgage, student loans, and a couple car payments. I'm not complaining - I feel sincerely grateful that I have a nice home for my family and that I can afford nice cars for them to travel around in - but certainly there is more to life than this!

The spirit of ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ seems to breathe new life into the idealism we all felt from Carpe Diem. It's almost as if we're saying, "We still want those extra experiences life has to offer. We still want to reach for the stars, dig deeper, seek out the people, places, and things that remind us how wonderful life is. And we realize that these things aren't just laying around for the taking. Life is going to try to knock us down, run us into the ground, and make us lose focus on those goals. So we respond with ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ! - come and take it! You think you got a shot at me - I dare you! You may win the battle from time to time, but you won't win the war! No sir!

Some of us have fought cancer, lost a loved one, declared bankruptcy, suffered a divorce, or any manner of affliction. And yet, we stand defiant that life is not over. We refuse to be beat down and swept under a rock because of how life's events have played out. 300 Spartan warriors vs 600,000 Persians sounds like a ridiculous notion, but they did it. No, I know they didn't win, but that's really besides the point. Thousands of years later, nobody is giving the Persians any credit; yet, they're making Hollywood movies that celebrate the Spartans.

I know some people can feel trapped by the lives they've built around them from time to time. I was just in a hiking/outdoors store today, and I saw a young (dating) couple. They couldn't have been more than 23 or so. They were both buying a couple of really nice backpacks (don't worry, mine is better :) and the salesman asked what they were going to be doing. They both replied, "backpacking in Europe". They talked about being gone for 3 months or so and just tooling around the countryside, staying in hostels along the way, and doing things on the cheap. Of course, the granola crunching, tree hugging salesman replied with the expected "that's the life man, on the trail, just taking each day step by step just like God intended." After I stopped rolling my eyes at the proverbial sales pitch, I couldn't help but feel a tinge of jealousy at the young couple with their whole lives ahead of them and of course this once in a lifetime opportunity to go see Europe FOR 3 MONTHS nonetheless! I mean, you know, I can't do that - I've got a wife, 3 kids, a mortgage, 2 car payments, a full time job, on and on and on. But then I remembered that...I've got a wife...3 kids, a beautiful house, 2 nice cars, 3 weeks of PTO, and you know what...maybe I can't go away to Europe for 3 months, but I can go hiking in the South Carolina wilderness for a few days and when I come back - I'll go again. And in a few years, I'll have 4 weeks of PTO. And maybe then I'll go for a little longer trip. And then one day I'll turn around and (hopefully) retire and every day will be Europe to me because I'll be with my wife, and talk to my kids, and who knows - maybe a grandkid or two.

Now, don't get me wrong - I'm not saying to settle or resign yourself to some hopeless fate. If you want to go backpack in Europe for 3 months then do it! Save up the money, and do it! What...did you think I was just going to hand it to you? No, you're going to have to take it - you're going to have to make it happen. It's the Persian Army for crying out loud! Get off your feet, bang your sword against your shield and let out a blood curdling battle cry and dare Xerxes and his hoards from taking away your life and liberty!

If I told you that you could go to Europe (or you know, insert whatever fantasy you wish) and all you had to do was to climb some difficult mountain, or swim across the English Channel, or some other great feat of strength - you'd probably do it. Well, if I told you all you had to do was make some small sacrifices and save your money and in about 3 or 4 years you'd have more than enough money to go to Europe, or Australia, or wherever/whatever your heart desires - then why won't you do that??? It's not as hard as you think - come on, you're smart...think! Make a plan and make it happen. You think it was easy for those 300 Spartans to lay down their lives? They had wives; they had kids. They don't write stories about people with great ambitions - we all have that from time to time.

Let me leave you with one final thought. A great quote by Mark Twain: Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.

That quote helps to segue into my post for tomorrow, so I'll end with that.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Everett Ruess is calling

From my years when I used to live in Utah, I came across the writings of a man by the name of Everett Ruess. Everett was the author of some fascinating letters and poems about his experiences in the Escalante region of Southern Utah.

It seems almost unforgivable to try to summarize his life in just a few words, but for the purposes of this blog I will touch on a few key facts. Everett was a young man who traveled around the 4-corners region of the US on horseback (and I use that term loosely, because sometimes they were mules, and not horses) in the 1930s. He was an artist, and a writer. Ansel Adams was a good friend and was able to take a few photos of him at one point. He set out on one trip from which he never returned at the age of 20.

I'll be honest, for the first few years after having heard of his journeys, I was under the impression that he was a bit of an old hermit, and it wasn't until just a few years ago that I discovered he was only 20 when he was suspected to have passed away and he wasn't really a hermit - but in my opinion, an explorer.

His life has sometimes been compared to that of Christopher McCandless (the central character in the book Into The Wild, which was also made into a successful movie), but I take issue with that comparison because I find there to be major differences in what actually motivated the two men to take their solo sobaticals.

One of my favorite quotes by Everett is "...I have seen almost more beauty than I can bear..." Now, to properly place this quote into context - Everett was speaking of the Escalante region where he spent much of his time. At first glance, this is a barren and desolate region...offering barely enough to sustain life, at least by our standards. There is little vegetation, and most of God's creatures in this area are usually small and seclusive, and many if not most are harmful if not deadly.

So how can someone gaze upon this forbidding land and utter those words? You have to see it for yourself. The beauty is there. He was telling the truth. It is all around. As the sun rises and falls on this part of the world, almost every color of the rainbow can be seen all around. What little life does exist there, does so deliberately...purposefully...defiantly. The hard sun is relentless in bathing everything in sight with it's fierce radiation - and yet, life persists. Perhaps the desert is not for everyone, it is a wilderness of sorts set aside for a special few who dare to make the necessary sacrifices in order to subsist there. And so Everett takes stock of these facts and beholds the beauty before him that hits so many a blind eye if they fail to look deep enough.

I share all of this because I am planning a trip on Memorial Day weekend to do a solo hike in the Northwestern region of South Carolina. A region vastly different than the one Everett used to pine for. Few would argue against the beauty of this part of the country; wildlife is abundant, and flora and fauna abound. Above all, though, South Carolina is my home and so it is particularly beautiful to me.

I get a few odd looks when I talk about making this a solo hike. Some people tell me of the dangers of being alone, and others wonder why I seek isolation. I have to laugh at the first piece of advice - danger is everywhere. I have a concealed weapons permit and I don't carry my 9mm because I like the feel of a pound of steel and high impact plastic digging into my back. I know there's danger - and I plan to be careful. As for the isolation - I don't seek isolation, but I do look forward to a period of quiet meditation. With each day I play out the events of the hike over and over in my mind. I imagine the sights and sounds that I will experience. I contemplate making camp, eating a modest meal and then sitting quietly as night falls on the forest. With each replay in my head, I'm fully aware that the experience will be different - it always is, and so my mind wanders even further to account for every variation and permutation trying to predict what will happen; and yet, the experience will still be different.

My mind can't fully calculate or appreciate the fatigue I will feel at the end of each day, or how that fatigue will play into my ability to make camp, and prepare food. Don't get me wrong - it's going to be great, but I'm preparing myself for some hard work. There will be considerable climbs and uneven ground...not to mention 30 lbs or more of gear strapped to my back. Many years ago when I was much younger, I used to love cycling. I would ride dozens and dozens of miles a week on my bike and it was a great experience. At the time, I couldn't really appreciate hiking or running because it was too slow. I felt that you could see so much more while cycling, and covering so many more miles would offer a richer experience.

I've now learned that I was wrong - there is plenty to see while running and hiking. On the few hikes I have taken, I have enjoyed seeing deer, turkey, rabbits, birds of all kinds, and plants of all kinds. I guess slowing down comes with age, and a smidge of wisdom. I'm looking forward to the hike because I don't have to complete each day's hike within any specific timeframe. I can stop for as long as I want - or continue hiking until I get tired. The pace is for me to set - and nobody else. There's a certain high that comes with that kind of freedom. I think all of us have been slaves to the clock for so long that it's hard to imagine anything else. Well, I've rattled on long enough - I'm sure I will cover this topic more as the days progress.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Stay Sharp!

There is something so exhilarating about sharpening a knife. It's a guy thing I guess. I imagine the "edged tool" was probably one of man's first inventions. They are so useful, I just think that Adam probably said to himself early on - "Hey, I need something that can cut."

And so here we are thousands of years later and I carry a knife with me EVERYWHERE I go. If I ever forget to carry one it drives me crazy. I'd rather be caught without my wallet than without my knife. And don't let my wife know I said this, but I'd rather be caught without my...well, you get the idea.

So, I have a nice sharpening system that I purchased right after Christmas and I love using it. It's a Lansky Diamond Deluxe and it puts a razor sharp edge on just about everything I throw at it. There's just something so cool about the sound you hear as you glide high quality stainless steel over a diamond crusted surface. That sounds just "screams" the idea of strength, integrity, and precision. Especially if you have a nice knife - I mean, one made out of high quality steel. That sound is just unmistakable.

When I was done sharpening one knife last night I pulled out an old leather belt and looped the buckle around one of our dining room chairs. I then proceeded to strop the blade a few times (which I've never done before - picked up that little tip recently) and man...what a difference. The edge is so sharp, and if there are any imperfections - they are microscopic. I grabbed a plain sheet of paper and sliced through it like butter. The paper almost didn't even make a sound as the knife sliced through.

On the flip side of the coin, there's nothing worse than a dull knife. It's so frustrating, you pick up a knife and try to cut something and instead of blazing a razor sharp trail through the middle, it just pushes the thing around. Again, I know this is probably a guy thing, but it's almost insulting - it's like, "you're a have one job...that's all you do...and you can't even do that!"

I purchased a Kukri machete recently. I'm going to be doing some backpacking this year, and so I figured a machete would be a nice tool to have. The Kukri is a very well designed, well balanced form of machete and I'm really glad I have it. I was holding it in my hand the other day and it occurred to me that for thousands of years, the sword was the weapon of choice for anyone needing to protect himself or wage war. I mean, civilizations have risen and fallen at the hand of a sword. With all the guns I currently have, there was a moment of pause, and respect for this simple, yet effective instrument.

So, as a reminder - stay sharp. Keep your whits about you - be alert, and sober. Ready to act and respond. These are the traits of a good knife, and a good husband/father/son.

Friday, March 19, 2010

And so it begins...

I have tried a dozen times or more in the past to start my own blog and it has always fallen flat on its face. My problem has been that I'm a Web Designer, so when I decide that I want to blog, I focus so much on the "web design" side of things that I lose all energy and time and by the time I have ended, I have a decently designed web site, but no time to actually blog because I'm constantly tweaking the site design.

Anyway, I bit the bullet and went with Blogger and hopefully this will make all the difference. I can just focus on sharing my thoughts and experiences and not worry so much about the site maintenance.

Anyway, I hope to be interesting and profound - as I'm sure every blogger hopes to do when they first set out. To be honest, I'm kinda' excited about this attempt to blog because for the first time I'm actually looking to blog as myself. In the past, I tried starting a Gun blog, a Web Design blog, an Urban/Wilderness Survival blog...and it just hasn't worked out. Don't get me wrong, I plan on writing about all of those things - I just don't feel like I have to focus in on just one of them. I'm sure my wife will be the first to confirm that if there's one thing I don't do very well - it's focus.

Not that that's a bad thing. I'm very eclectic in my likes and interests and I think that has made me who I am. And to be fair to myself, there's a lot going on all the time - so it's hard to just sit down and focus on any one thing. There's always something to do for the kids and the house is in constant need of attention. We have friends and family everywhere who need help from time to time and it's always impossible to look at a friend in need and, I can't help you...I'm trying to blog.

So, in conclusion - I hope this is fun for you to read, whomever you are. I hope that I can share something of interest from my life and that your time here is not wasted.