Wednesday, January 20, 2010

No Impact Man

I have been recently been made aware of the efforts of Colin Beavan, a.k.a. No Impact Man, (Thanks, Vern) and have been pleasantly intrigued by his journey to change his lifestyle, as it is something I have increasingly longed for in my own life.  We have all heard of people becoming more "environmentally conscious" or more "green", terms which I personally have a slight issue with, and perhaps that is why I enjoyed his approach so much: he is straight-forward, and honest.  He admits that his new title is perhaps just a sensational and extreme as all the other "green" slogans, however he backs up his claims with the experimentation that he and his family underwent: attempting to live for a year with "no impact".  He documents the struggles that exist while living within a cultural system that does not support living naturally or the well-being of the whole, but one that focuses solely on consumption, forgetting the harmful waste that inevitably follows.

I have yet to see his documentary film, or read his book, but eagerly await to see what they have to say. In the mean time, his blog is available with a lot of information, including a trailer to his film, as well as a video of a talk he gave in promotion of his book at a B&N, aired on BookTV (very good conversion with Q&A).  I would encourage you to take a little time to explore his story, and to please share what you find with others.  We all have an impact; is yours set to improve or to degrade?

Sunday, January 17, 2010

My Brother the Artist....2 weeks in.

So it has been a couple weeks now for the bro. I have stopped over a few times so far to say hello, taking the opportunity to drop off firewood, sit in the sun and write a bit, and to wear out a Rowdy dog. Andrew seems to be thoroughly enjoying his tenure in the barn. The first week and a half was quite cold by Florida standards, but that has passed and we are on to more typical winter temps (High:60's, Low:40's). I snapped a couple interior photos the other day so you could see how he is living. Not much on the walls this visit....must have known I was going to snap a few pics.

I will post a few more on flickr. Don't forget to drop him a line if you haven't already. One stamp holds so much potential.  peace.

Friday, January 15, 2010

The Zen of Running

My growing interest of late (the last year or two or three) has been about trying to explore and discover my Self in our busy little world we have created. I have only briefly dabbled in meditation, tai chi, etc., and while I find all of that deeply satisfying, I had never thought of running to be a form of this Self discovery. I had run CC and track in HS, and participated in some college sports, but running hadn't been 'fun' or overly enjoyable in a very long time....probably since childhood.

Today a college professor of mine, who is also an avid barefoot runner, recommended this read, "The Zen of Running" by Fred Rohé. It is a very quick and simple read. It was originally printed in the '70s and I believe it is now out of print, but thankfully Rohé has posted a PDF download on his website for all to share.

I found it greatly helpful in regards to the way I approach running. For so long I enjoyed running, then for whatever reason I grew to despise it. When my interest returned, joining DailyMile last month, it was for the sake of competition, stat tracking, and so forth. "Yea, look at me and what I can do!" I am thankful to have come across this book, as it has helped coax my motivation into a more healthy direction. Nothing wrong with DM, just running my own race now.

Here is the link to the PDF: The Zen of Running

I just wanted to share this find with you, in case you hadn't heard of it. Also, if you have any of your own stories about this topic, I would love get a discussion going about this. Though I am only beginning, I find it incredibly fascinating.


Thursday, January 07, 2010

it's twenty ten....

...not two-thousand ten.  You didn't graduate in nineteen-thousand ninety-seven, did you?  Didn't think so.

So it's a new year.  The time of summation lists of a year gone by and resolutions for the year to come.  I'd make you a list, perhaps of some good music from twenty nine (??..ok, so maybe the pronunciation thing doesn't work.), or movies (might have gone to the theater once last year), or books (if it isn't Arch. related then I haven't read it, and I sure as hell don't want to rank them), but quite honestly I am not in the mood for lists today.  Leaning more toward the year to come.  I can't recall ever completely following through on a resolution, so I better not jinx any new plans by calling them one.  Let's just say that this year will be the year that I step out into the unknown.

Goals have been set for the short-term, but that is it.  Some are the same goals that couldn't be completed in 2009 for whatever reason, but the new year has sparked new motivation to move on.  Goal #1 is my thesis project.  It has been hanging around too long and is no longer welcome here.  It must go.  As stated before, my motivation to complete it has been lacking at times....most of the time.

In the last month or so, I have also been motivated to begin running again.  The urge appeared to happen on a whim, most likely a culprit of distraction from my thesis.  "But running is good, it couldn't hurt to add some....any....motivation to your daily life" was my reasoning.  So I have been running again.  Aside from the running associated with my time as a rower, I really haven't done much of it since my high school cross country days.  12+ years and 35-40 lbs later, running isn't as easy at it once was.  However, it is coming back, and it is feeling, better each time.  I have noticed it helps to be able to track yourself and see your progress.  Very motivating.

So....with my thesis motivation waning and my running motivation on the rise, I have decided in this new year to combine these efforts.  On February 6, 2010 there is a race in Savannah.  The place I need to be at the completion of my thesis in order to finalize everything, getting approval signatures and such.  My goal is to be there so that I can run in the Critz Tybee Run.

If for whatever reason, I cannot be in Savannah, there is also a race in Pensacola, the Double Bridge Run.  I will continue my run training and prepare for either of these races....the catch is that if I am not done with my project by then, I cannot run.  My running is already mapped out for the month of January, so that cannot waiver....and now, my completion date for this project cannot either, or my efforts will have been for not.  Attaching my competitive side to this is bound to work, right?

I am very aware that my past attempts at motivation have been mute.  I have tried nearly everything I can think of, and nothing has worked.  The latest attempt, for instance, I haven't had a hair cut since October, or a shave since around Thanksgiving.  I have horrible facial hair once it exceeds 5pm stubble.  It is very patchy and sad.  Knowing this I have put my appearance on the line until I finish.  It has helped to some extent, because its so freakin' uncomfortable (and ugly), but my thoughts that it would deter me from public venues has not been as successful as intended.  So...I hope this running thing works.  Really ready to move on, and shave.

Well, until next time....

....ok, fine, maybe just a quick little list of "good stuff I really enjoyed" during 2009.

1. How to See Yourself as You Really Are
2. The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success

1. (500) Days of Summer

1. Hey Marseilles - To Travels and Trunks
2. Matt and Kim - Grand
3. Dave Matthews Band - Big Whiskey and the Groogrux King
4. Regina Spektor - Far
Too close to call Runners-up:
Norah Jones - The Fall
(500) Days...Soundtrack
Schuyler Fisk - The Good Stuff

Check 'em out! Happy New Year! Ok, bye.

Saturday, January 02, 2010

My Brother the Artist....

....has some creative plans for his first month of the decade. He has developed and proposed a challenge to himself that will help him become the artist he wants to be. The challenge is posted below. If you have ever been camping, you know how long a day can feel when without modern conveniences. He will have plenty of "free" time to think, create, and produce. (ah, envy!!) You should send him something.

The month of January in Florida is nothing compared to northern states, but for us warm-blooded beach dwellers, it gets pretty cold. This first week, the temperature will get up to 50 for about an hour, and then head back down toward (and below) freezing for the nights. So that should be fun.

I will be stopping by every so often to see what's up. Here is a photo of pre-Day 1, preparing for his first night. It should be an interesting endeavor. I can't wait to see what he produces.

Until next time, peace.