Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Falling ISS

The ISS fell by this morning as we rode to work.  Right over top of us.  I get emails when it comes over telling when and in which direction to look.  It was a little cloudy, but I could still see the moon.
Right on time at 5:53 am it appeared in the west and proceeded to fall over us.  

As I expressed my enjoyment of watching it go over, my carpool mate noted that we were just now driving by the NASA exit.

Simple Woodcraft - Outsider

When have you last spent time outside?  How long did you stay outside before returning to the comforts of the indoors?  What is the longest amount of time you have remained out-of-doors?

These are some of the questions I have been pondering lately as the frozen sleet ticks off the window and I feel all warm and fuzzy being separated from that little gift of Mother Nature.

I like being outside.  Being in the outdoors just makes me feel more alive.  I can feel the breeze on my face.  Feel the openness that you can't get in a building.  It all just feels "right" for me.

In today's world, we don't spend a lot of time outdoors in the outside unless our job entails it or we specifically choose an activity that keeps us outdoors for a while.

A lot of people spend very little time outside.  They go from their cozy house to their vehicle, then walk quickly from the parking lot to their work building.  Reversing the process at the end of the day where they sit on their couch and watch some TV before hitting the nice warm bed and starting the whole process again the next day.

These type of people are not outsiders.

My job currently keeps me indoors for long periods of time.  I have to get myself out there whenever I can.  I try to get out each and every day, no matter what the weather is, even if it is just for a few minutes.

I try to be an outsider.

Long distance hikers are outsiders.  They spend days on end outside in the elements, experiencing everything nature throws at them.  After a while being outside becomes the norm.  You start to feel funny when you go indoors.  It doesn't take long to convert to being an outsider.
If you have the time, try to spend it outside.  It could be a walk around the block or on a trail in some nearby woods.  Maybe take a weekend camping trip where you leave modern conveniences behind and experience the sights, sounds, smells and senses of nature.  It could be a long backpacking trip, where you carry everything you need on your back as your travel miles and miles for a number of days.  Or it could be a six month long through hike of the Appalachian Trail or one of the other long distance trails that traverse our country. 

The weather of this planet is just a fact that comes from being on a piece of rock that rotates on a tilted axis as it revolves around our life giving star.  The different weather conditions that this situation creates are neither good nor bad, they just are.  I have learned to accept each type of weather as it comes.  It isn't too hot or too cold or too wet or too windy (although windy is my least favorite), it is just cold, or hot or wet or windy.  I accept it as a state of nature's being.  I revel in each of the different types and find the things I like about each.  They all confirm to me that I am alive and I reside on a living planet. 

The conditions that these weather patterns produce in your body are really just a state of being.  When you are in touch with nature, its weather and your body, you accept each of these conditions as just a state of being.  Neither is good nor bad.  Of course being aware of how your body is reacting to the weather is important so you can do what you have to to ensure your body doesn't fall outside safe thresholds that could cause problems.  The human is highly adaptable.  When things are a little uncomfortable, we have many ways to make ourselves feel better.  Knowing the basic skills of maintaining or shedding body heat are key.

So, become an Outsider.  You will find many rewards immersing yourself in nature and reaping all its benefits.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Review: Dual Survival 3

I think I'll just make a few comments on my impressions from the season premier for the latest edition of Dual Survival.

First of all, new guy Joe seems good.  He has skills and his experience will help him face the "challenges" of the show's scenarios.

I used quotes because we all know that most, if not all of the show is contrived and dreamed up by the producers.  I watch it for entertainment value.  I may pick up a nugget or two of something useful, but for the most part, I think I can use it as a drinking game if the mood strikes me.

I think the show will do fine without DC, but it is still bush hippie vs military dude.  I think before too long I will be as sick of seeing Joe's "commando" pictures as I was of the mention of Cody going barefoot for the last 20 years.  FYI, there are whole villages of people throughout the world that spend THERE WHOLE LIVES barefoot.  Not such a big deal really. 

Some of their arguments grate on my nerves, but I just take a drink and move on.

I am also a little sick of the drama they try to inject into the scenario.  Once again any time you hear "game over" or "no brainer" take a drink.

So, I will watch, but as with just about everything on Discover now days, it must be taken with a grain of salt and not as a guide on how to survive every scenario.

Game over...  Drink...

A New Year

This December we found ourselves, as usual, in Pittsburgh for my sister's annual New Year's Eve Party.  The day before we got to go see the Steelers finish out their season with a win. 

When we got the tickets last summer we were concerned that the game may be meaningless if we had already clinched a playoff berth or our division, but we didn't think that we would already be eliminated by them.  No matter.  The starters still played and we had a great time tailgating with family and enjoying the game, not caring on the outcome.  A will still felt good though.

New Year's Eve started a bit early.  We went to the State Store and got some things to drink and I had a couple of shots of ginger brandy (medicinal ya know).  Next we went to visit a guy from our childhood and that led to a couple more beers. 

By the time the ball dropped, I was pretty wasted.  I don't remember the details of half the conversations I had.  The highlights still stand out.  Playing with Jeremy's "band".  I just faked it pretty much, but it was fun.  Watching my crazy family do a polar bear plunge into Mike's truck bed.  Too funny.  

Annual tradition. We take pictures of each other taking a picture

Felt the effects somewhat the next day and we had to head back home.  I did get up early and went out to the snowy cemetery and visited my Mother's grave.

I had fun, but I wish I remembered more.

Happy New Year