These past couple of years I have been pushing my boundaries in the area of Trad Climbing. I find this activity much more intimidating than Sport Climbing and it really forces me to challenge myself mentally even more so than it does physically. Don't know what Trad Climbing is? Go here: Trad vs Sport Climbing.
The Adobe Spark site I built to tell the story of my father and I attempting to summit the Grand Teton via the Exum Ridge in July 2016 can be found here: Full Exum Attempt, all photos taken by Adam's iPhone 5S. Once I have finished a few other personal projects I have been working on I will go back and rebuild the site without Adobe to improve its responsiveness.
A sport I gave up for years after a pair of gnarly crashes shook my nerves, upon moving to Colorado the bug bit me again. A great passtime on days when climbing partners are hard to find, the beautiful landscapes of Colorado have really inspired me to get out and ride. A big shout out to the Boulder Mountainbike Alliance for all the hard work they put in to make the area a great place for everyone to enjoy.
Heil Valley Ranch is one of my favorite biking locales near Boulder, the Wapiti trail there is a quad burner on the way up, and a blast on the way down. The Ponderosa Loop is fantastically flowy fun with a great view a couple of miles in. The Picture Rock trail can be a great way to get to the top if you want to aboid the burnination caused by the Wapiti Trail and affords a less technical but still wickedly fun descent.
While I don't consider myself a super-fan, simply by comparison to friends whose knowledge of the game astounds me, I very much enjoy the game. A particular fan of drafting and EDH varieties I appreciate the complexity of how different cards can be combined to acheive unexepected results.
If you have never read the original rule book, a good portion of it is actually a narrative about the creation of the game. It is quite interesting to think about all the particulars which go into the text of each card, and the variables that must be considered when doing so. How will the rules be interpereted? A card reads: "player loses next turn." Does that mean that their next turn is skipped? Or, do they lose the game on their next turn?
If you are not aware of Flash-Fiction as a genre, it can be summarized as short short stories. I enjoy writing these brief glimpses into the life of a character, and the thoughts which they can provoke.
When I was that age where children clutch their security blankets while walking alongside their mothers or riding in the backseat of a car or while parading around their house, I was somewhat different. I did not have a security blanket as others did. In place of this common device I had a piece of security chalk. It was your standard piece of white chalk. I stole it from the blackboard at my Sunday School.
Over the few years for which I held fast to this piece of chalk it diminished in size. I would suck on this piece of chalk, it seemed to calm me and somehow gave me a sense of inner peace. Normally I would find it hard to believe the concept of such a young child comprehending inner peace, or even needing to feel such a sensation given the short attention span which usually accompanies that age but I suppose this was just one more way in which I was different from my peers at the time. Given my propensity for orally fixating myself on this piece of chalk my mouth was frequently coated with a layer of magnesium carbonate, of which the chalk was composed, resulting in three years over the course of which I was constantly thirsty.
When this pure white cylindrical object was not protruding from my mouth it was tucked carefully behind my ear like a cigarette. As I look back on it this may have been my early influences to start smoking. It is similar in nature, you suck on it, it has an unpleasant taste and leaves you with cottonmouth.
Eventually when the chalk had dwindled to little more than a small white ball resulting from years of suckling I came to the terrifying realization that soon my one form of comfort, the one item in the world that made me feel truly safe would be gone. It would be lost forever to the netherworld of spat out saliva. So I decided to keep the chalk with me no matter where I went or what my state of dress was. In order to properly execute this plan I took the only possible course of action. On July 1, 1988 I walked into my mother's sewing room and stole a needle, spool of thread and a seam ripper. I then proceeded to use the seam ripper to tear a small hole in my side near my appendix and I slid that stub of chalk inside that slit of flesh. I used the needle and thread to stitch up the wound; by the time two weeks had passed the wound had healed. I used the seam ripper one more time to remove those improvised stitches.
I did all this, as I said, so that my one form of security would always be with me. The key to my inner peace and security is in me. Unlike my peers however, my key has always been not in my mind but rather in my right side just above my appendix.
I find myself thinking about pockets. I do not know why pockets should suddenly be so important as to have the primary functions of my conscious mind doing nothing but thinking about pockets. And this writing of course. I have decided to document my insanity from my own insane perspective. I scrawl on this paper with blue lines, white paper with blue lines; and I use a blue pen which gives the illusion that I drew these perfectly straight blue lines across the page with this pen which I drew from my pocket.
The Jungle Book, now there is something which I have not thought about for a long time. I do not know why The Jungle Book should suddenly seem so important; Mowgli didn’t have pockets. Why then should I care so much about this pocketless character? I can solve this problem. I dismiss you Mowgli!
I have now rid myself forever of a fictional character whose name I no longer remember. It’s odd. There is some sort of doublethink in play here. When I look back at what I have written I can see the paragraph where I discussed this character but all the places where its name should be and my reason for not wanting to recognize its existence are now nothing but blank spaces on a page surrounded by other words which have thus lost most of their meaning. It copies as follows:
The Jungle Book, now there is something which I have not thought about for a long time. I do not know why The Jungle Book should suddenly seem so important; _________ didn't have __________. Why then should I care so much about this ___________character? I can solve this problem. I dismiss you _______ !
It would seem to be some form of selective dis-remembering in combination with a selective vision and hearing. Though I have no current way of testing this assumed audio phenomenon I am simply inferring from the evidence presented to myself by myself that this audio exclusion would also occur. So I stare at this white paper and the blue pen strokes which I have made across it and I wonder how all this is possible. How is it that my mind has become such an elaborate labyrinth as to lose all semblance of something which so recently occupied the primary functions of my brain so completely. It is obvious that my subconscious self has become incredibly powerful. This frightening thought now fills me with a series of hypothetical situations, many of which would lead to my downfall.
I suddenly find myself thinking about cherries.