Thursday, April 28, 2011

Gillian Welch- Red Clay Halo

John Hunter- Richmond native- World Peace Game

John Hunter, Richmond native and graduate of VCU was recently featured on TED talks for his work as a "peace education" consultant. John worked in Richmond City public schools during the 1970's and first taught his model of the Peace Game to students at Richmond Community High in 1978. The game teaches students how to live and work peaceably in an increasing complex social, political, and economic world. Check out this clip of John on TED.

Nelson County Creekin

Got on some Virginia creeks last weekend that barely ever run. The first creek we paddled was the cascades portion of the Piney. It was a good flow with barely any wood. Below are some pictures from the Piney.

After the Piney, we jumped in our cars and headed towards the North Fork of the Tye. Trevor and I were the only ones who wanted to run it so we put on together and had a really fun run. I didn't get too many pictures of this run, but here are a few.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Buffalo Soldier

Just jammin out to some Buffalo Soldier and listened in on the words and felt pretty ignorant for never really paying attention to the story being told. The Buffalo Soldiers were a segregated regiment of black cavalry fighters during the American campaign to rid the West of "Indians" so that "civilized" white people could gain the lands used by Native Americans. Ironically, many of the soldiers were slaves taken from Africa. Bob Marley gives a small history lesson as a protest song about the black man's role in building the country that continues to oppress him.

Women's height shrinking in developing world

Prunella vulgaris- All Heal

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Greg Mortenson

      Within the last week, 60 Minutes released a segment accusing Greg Mortenson, author of Three Cups of Tea, of lying about his work in Pakistan, using doner money for himself, and quibbling about how many schools he has built for Pakistan's children. Nicholax Kristof, a columnist for the NYT, sheds light on this recently uncovered topic and offers some personal insight into Greg's life.
Click the link below to read the article.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Half Day off

Thursday, Peyton and I took off to Lexington for the afternoon. We first stopped by the swollen Maury River which was just under 3,000 cfs when we arrived. I was hoping to bump into some other kayakers, but the scene was empty. We decided to trek a couple of miles west to Mill Creek, a class II,III creek about 5 miles west of Goshen. We arrived to the creek just as the department of inland fisheries was doing their annual trout stocking. They would stop every 50-100 yards down the creek and throw four or five net fulls of trout into the rivers. There were several lcuky fisherman waiting by the banks. It was such an exicing sight to see as these fisherman were now fishing a stream that had probably a 100 times more trout than when they first arrived. I decided to join in the fun, so I put my gear on and paddled a couple laps on the creek while Peyton set shuttle and took pictures.

After a couple laps on Mill Creek, we drove back towards the Maury. Still no paddlers. I decided it was too good a chance to let go, so I hopped on alone and paddled the sections between and below Devil's Kitchen and Corner Rapid. Peyton picked me up at the bottom of the run and we headed to Lexington for a warm cup of coffee.
When we arrived in Lexington, I decided to call my "rat",William, from VMI. For those of you who might not know, every senior at VMI is assigned to a freshman or two. The goal is that the senior shows the freshman, or "rat", the ropes and mentors him through his or her first year. My rat, William, is now a senior and is actually getting married in a couple of months. We grabbed some coffee and walked through W&L over to VMI. Definitely brought back memories. Hard to believe its been three years. We met William just outside barracks and went in to see his room and ended up going around barracks to see a couple of my roomate's rats from senior year. We ended up taking three of them out to dinner in Lexington. It was really great to catch up with these guys and to see the trainsitions they've made since rat year. It wasn't the first time I'd seen them all since my senior year, but being in Lexington, and at VMI definitely added an element to the interaction. Looking forward to going up there again in a month for their graduation. All in all, great afternoon off.

Videos that made me think

These two artists are my typical choice on a rainy Saturday afternoon, but I recently heard these two songs and they made me think. Take a few minutes to listen to each and let me know what you think. The first song is by Lil Wayne, "Misunderstood", and the second by..Justin Timberlake, yeah, JT got me this time, called "Losing my Way". Check them out.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Don't happy, right?

How seldom do I forget how the same God who cares for the animals and the flowers and the trees which I love so much, cares about me. The same guy who created the awesome sunrise I gazed at this morning cares for me. I wonder what it would look like if I just contemplated on this for a couple of days. Actually, a couple of minutes would probably do pretty radical things. Worry consumes our culture. It pervades our existence in every way, to the point that doctors can measure its affect on our physical state. If we believe that we are truly cared for and that we are so valuable in His sight, why would we be distracted with such a thing? How unrealistic life seems without worry. I suppose that worry sometimes seems like a good thing at times. The contrary is often seen as neglect, disinterest, irresponsible, care-free, full of faith. These attitudes often are thought to be either obnoxious or unproductive in our culture. Maybe I am only making sense in my own head. But-what if I told my wife that we were just going to give all of our money to the poor, as we are instructed to , and we were going to put "faith" in God to supply our every day food, shelter, warmth, and relationships. Why would we worry about these things when the same person who provides for the birds wants to provide for us. Maybe this has to do with why we don't see many modern day miracles...Perhaps I'm getting off topic..but maybe this is just how my brain works.  In conclusion, let us contemplate how bizarree this would look like to worry about nothing. Dang, that looks crazy, but so faithful and so right. Imagine the people you would meet that would come out of the woodwork to lend you their sleeping bag, cook you some bread, invite you to their cookout, let you use their shower, patch your shirt's hole..ah the list goes on. Perhaps there would be more community if we did not worry so much. Perhaps we would be more faitful to one another because we would have to rely on one another. Maybe we would be more thankful. Just a thought..

25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life[e]?

Monday, April 4, 2011

Catfish John

"Catfish John was a river hobo who lived and died by the river’s bed,
Looking back I still remember I was proud to be his friend."