Saturday, June 30, 2007

Pick up my trash for me

Today our youth group prepared and sold food at an auction. It was great, we had loads of customers, and after expenses we made over $800! All in all, it was a great success.

But that's not what I'm writing about. Here's what went down:

Part of the way through the day, a lady walked past our stand and told us to go and pick up a bunch of trash that people had left down in an area where the auctioneer had been auctioning off stuff. I thought she was mistaken, and I said "Oh, we're not affiliated with the people that put on this auction. That's not our job."

And she was like "Well you sold the food didn't you?"

"And we've got trash cans right here!" I shot back.

And then my little sister, the saint that she is (and I'm not being sarcastic), interjected "Well, we can do it."

"Kaitlynn, it isn't our job, don't do it," but off she went to pick up trash.

A minute later, our youth pastor walked up, and I asked, "Hey Al, is it our job to pick up trash?"

And he agreed with me: "Nope."

"I thought so," said I. A little later on in the day I found out that the woman who had told us to pick up the trash was, in fact, one of the organizers of the auction - whose job it was to do, well, just about everything other than sell the food and talk really fast.


First off, I was really taken aback when she told us to pick up the trash. I pick up after people all week, and I get paid for it. Here I was, volunteering my time, preparing and selling food; and now this person, whom I don't know whatsoever, has the audacity to tell me to go pick up trash, when it is not my job and I'm not getting a cent for what I'm doing! There was absolutely no way in hell I was getting off of my butt to pick up trash. You know what made it worse? The reason she gave for us needing to pick it up: "You sold the food." Well sure, we sold the food, but we're not responsible for what the people do with it after it leaves our tent! Is the gun dealer who sold the gun charged with murder, or is the person that fired the gun? Seriously lady! We sold the food, indeed!

For a bit I thought that maybe I wasn't being Christ-like by standing my ground, but I didn't get up. Later on, my decision was proved correct: a. Alan confirmed that it wasn't our job & b. she was one of the organizers. So why did she want us to pick it up? She was too freaking lazy to do her job! All she was was a lazy bum! She wanted to get out of the work herself, so she tried to guilt me into doing it. Well what's up lady, I'm not that gullible! My sister is, but she served selflessly, probably like Christ would have done. But that doesn't mean that I was wrong. Not in the least.

Tops

Friday, June 29, 2007

So I had to hop out...

I racked my leg up pretty good while mountainbiking tonight. I'm not sure how serious it is, I'm just praying that it isn't going to hold me up for long.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

"Throw Away Logic"

I recently read in a blog that we (as Christians) need to "wake up" and that we shouldn't "buy into the lies of postmodern thinking," which I think is a good statement. But in addition to that, according to this blog we are supposed to "throw away logic and physchology sic for Truth." I believe that she meant well with this post, but stop and think about that for a second: "throw away logic..." While we're at it, why don't we throw away Christianity? Or is Christianity illogical that we should continue to believe in Jesus Christ after we have complied and thrown logic away? My youth pastor constantly reminds us that Christianity is the thinking man's religion, and he continuously urges us to think: about what we listen to, about what we watch, and about what we read. In addition to that, he is always pushing us to think about our faith logically, which I think is excellent. But really, being a Born Again Christian is the only logical conclusion to be drawn from what we see in nature around us and what we read in the Bible.

If you are a nonbeliever, or an illogical believer, who needs proof of the fact that Christianity is a religion of logic, you need look no further than Lee Strobel's works. Check them out, use your logic, and think for yourself. My use of logic isn't getting "thrown away." On the contrary, I will continue to strive to think wisely and critically of situations and ideas that I am confronted with.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

The post has already been changed

The Ultimate Spot Guide post has already been updated

Randomer: The Ultimate Randomer Spot Guide

The Ultimate Randomer Spot Guide

Last Updated: 7/18/07

This is the Ultimate Randomer Spot Guide. Included here are only locations which I personally have visited. The standard blue marker with the black dot in the middle denotes a mountainboarding location. All of the road locations also have a line showing the approximate length of the hill . But the best of the best mountainboarding spots are marked with a gold pin . All the ski resorts are marked with a snowflake . The green bicycle denotes mountainbiking locations. The standard green marker without a black dot in the center denotes mountainbike locations that I have not yet ridden.

Please note: not all the locations appear at the same time. To view additional locations, scroll to the bottom of the list and click on page 2.

Click here to view the spot guide.

Related topics: Mountainboarding spot guide, mountain boarding spot guide, mountain biking spot guide, downhill skiing spot guide, ski resort guide, singletrack, single track, dirtboarding, dirt boarding, bicycle, snow boarding, snowboarding, all mountain biking locations in Wisconsin, all mountainbiking locations in Wisconsin, Wisconsin mountain biking spot guide, Wisconsin mountainbiking spot guide,

This current post supersedes this old post. This post may be changed as the spot guide is updated, but I will probably create a post (which links back to this one) notifying you, the reader, of the update.

The Dirty Dirty South (of Clark County)

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Wax on, Wax off

Would you look at that wax job:

Correction

It appears that I was incorrect. Apparently Emily, not Katie, recognized me first.

Randomer: Interacting on a different social plain (one crowded with gnomes)

Monday, June 18, 2007

Interacting on a different social plain (one crowded with gnomes)


Family is great, but I find that often times being around the same people day in and day out becomes very, very draining; and with my work schedule and my friends' schedules, it has become difficult to hang out on a day-to-day basis. This past Saturday, though, I was able to go down to La Crosse to attend a friend from camp's graduation party. It was fun to just be able to hang out with people that I haven't seen in a long time. It was fun, well, because they're cool people, and I hadn't seen them in a while, but it was also fun because I got a well-deserved break from my family, and just generally got to interact in a different social plain than the one I have been floating in for the past three weeks. Or maybe that's not it, I don't know. I'm just throwing stuff out their, attempting to sound intellectual.

Anyhow, at one point during the day I decided to go drive up to Grandad Bluff and shoot some pictures. The lighting wasn't as good as I thought it would be, but I decided to take some anyway. As I was getting into my car to leave, a different car (not the one I was getting into... don't get confused here) pulled into the stall right next to me. The doors opened, and two extremely familiar-looking girls climbed out. I was like "Woa, that really looks like Katie and Emily... but it can't be." So I waited until the one that I thought was Katie turned around again, just to make sure. Well, it really looked like her... but it would be too incredible to run into her in La Crosse: about a hundred miles from my home, and about 400ish from theirs. I thought to myself, "Well, it totally looks like her... but I'm probably going to make a fool of myself. Ah, what the heck," and I opened my door and said, "Hey, do I know you?" She turned around, and looked at me funny for a couple of seconds, and then: "Goo, is that you? Oh my gosh! I didn't recognize you without your hair! What are you doing here?!" Yeah it was pretty much the randomest meeting ever. It isn't like we met in either her home town or my home town, we were in a totally different location.

Now, if that isn't crazy enough, as we stood their chatting, another car rolled up, and two people got out of it. I was just like "No way." The people in question were two from my hometown, that I sort of knew, but not well enough to have told that I'd be in La Crosse that weekend. I think this whole situation qualifies as the coincidence of the century.

Anyhow, after that I got to go Starbucks with the friends that I had come to La Crosse to see. Mmm, Cinnamon Dolce Latte goodness. We just chilled for a couple of hours, sipped coffee, and talked. It was good, it was really good. All hail chill-time.

Vista

Look how pretty Vista is:

Kitty Experiments Episode 3 (Bubbs' Blog)

This episode is very bizarre compared to, well, normal episodes. Despite that, I'm sure many people will find it entertaining or amusing, which inspires me to post it.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

I power myself, thank you very much

Written: very early this morning.

I had the opportunity to mountain bike at the Human Powered Trails trail system in La Crosse yesterday (it is currently 12:41 a.m. on Sunday, so if the quality of this piece is a little sub-par, that's why), and it really was an experience! To start it off, I had a little bit of trouble finding the place, but I put my excellent navigational skills and my natural charisma (just kidding!) to work, and I was able to find the place without getting excessively lost.

It is now 1:03, and I'm beginning to get tired, and I want to finish this up now, so here's the long and short of it:
Everything was totally soaked, and there were log crossings and man-made stunts everywhere that were super slick from the rain which made them almost impossible. Believe me, I tried, and I biffed more times yesterday than I have the whole last month. The rain also made the trails muddy as all get out, which I don't really have a problem with, except for the fact that it played havoc with my cleats and pedals, since I started getting off my bike every time I came to something that I didn't want to chance due to the wetness. On top of that my camelback was leaking, so I got totally soaked and had to do the whole ride without anything to drink.

All in all, it was a really crummy experience, but the trails looked like they would have been a blast if the conditions had been slightly different. Right before I got in my car to drive away, I turned toward the trailhead, and said simply: "I shall return." A little McArthur for ya, but I really will, sometime before the end of the summer I shall return to Human Powered Trails, and I shall totally shred it!

Writing about writing about writing

Written on 6/14/07

It is quarter after 11 on a Thursday night, and I need to be up for work tomorrow by 6:45 at the latest. I really shouldn't be writing, but I feel like I need to sit down and type for a while. For the past couple of weeks and even months, just sitting down and writing was a pain full procedure. Well, each of the last three or four nights I have dedicated up to an hour of time between 10 and 11 to just write, and I believe its been paying off. Just going through the motions of writing has helped aid in the actual thing, and it has become a great way to relax and unwind. The obvious downfall to writing late at night is that my brain usually isn't working up to its full capacity, so I tend to write at a lesser level than what I am capable of.

On an aside, I've seemed to notice that whenever I sit down and just start typing, most often times I end up writing about writing. Well I guess now here I am writing about writing about writing, and now I'm writing about writing about writing about writing... I think it is because that is what my brain has been dwelling on: the actual process of trying to transform thoughts into written words. What I must do is accustom myself to doing just that, and then shift my thinking from the process over to the actual content of what I am writing (some of the same sort of ideas I wrote about last night.)

Yet, sometimes it is just fun to babble on. And it's fun to be able to chill out on my futon with my laptop cradled between my legs, no cords attached, and to be able to type away in optimum comfort. Ah, it's just bliss!

I've now been writing for only ten minutes, but it is getting way to late. I must retire. (Ha, who says that? Retire. (as in go to sleep) I guess I do. I used the word gander today while I was talking to an old guy, and he was just like "Gander?" and I was like "Yeah, gander." Gander this you old fart. I'm just kidding, he really wasn't that old; but he was older than me.)

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Randomer returns to its roots... hold on for the ride!

Life is a confusing thing, isn't it? I have myself thoroughly confused at the moment, and I am not sure how to accurately express my confusion/frustration/everything else in words. Words, words. Always words. Words everywhere. Yet words are the way we relate our thoughts and feelings. There are other, more subtle, mediums such as art and instrumental music (not regular music, because that uses words too) but we use words to get what we think and feel across. But if I am confused about what I should be thinking, confused about what I should be feeling, confused about how I should be behaving, confused about how I should be spending my time... it makes it extremely easy to become confused about which words to use to express the confusion.

Here is a deep thought that I've been working through:
It isn't so much how you write, but what you write that makes your writing good. To an extent, being a good manufacturer of sentences is essential, but beyond a certain point you as a writer are just a brilliant wordsmith. Sure, you can use huge words, but who will understand them? Sure, maybe you could weave some subtle undertone/message into the piece that you are writing, but how many people will pick up on it? What I am saying is that you could be the greatest writer in the land, and yet if all you write is a load of dry piddle that has no more depth than an evaporating puddle, is it good writing, and will people want to read it? No! I'm beginning to think that in order to write pieces (for Randomer and otherwise) that are good reading (interesting), in my opinion and in the opinions of others, I have to dispense with some of the dry piddle that I has been ejaculating from my keyboard.

I have moved away from expressing deep thoughts and what I truly think on things, to writing dry piddle that may only have a speck of interest in it, but that I am totally sure won't offend anyone. Part of the problem, I believe, is that since the REdWIRE Vs. Major Cities debacle, I have made sure to write and publish mostly pieces that won't offend and won't cause controversy or consternation among anyone that may happen across my blog. Another part of the problem is that I don't spend a great enough portion of my time pondering over topics such as this one that actually make one think.

I'm not entirely sure if I am making the point that I want to make; evidence of the fact that I am not yet a Master Wordsmith, but just an Apprentice Wordsmith without a Master to correct and educate him. Nevertheless, here is what I am trying to say:
-I will hopefully start writing pieces with more meaning.
-Some of these pieces, because they have more meaning to them, may be controversial, and you may not agree with them.

Well, I've gotten that out of my system! Welcome back to some of the basic mindset that founded Randomer in the first place (and keep your fingers crossed).

(Yes, the basic mindset I speak of is the overuse of parenthesis.)

A security light trip

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Randomer Monthly Update, the May 2007 Edition

Well, I suppose: it is the 12th of June; I should probably put together the May Monthly Update. I know, it is a bit behind; but May was actually home to some writing! And while you're updating on May, I've been writing rather consistently through the month of June, so be sure to check that out as well. Enjoy!

Cessation of the Maelstrom
About the lack of available free time to write during the school year.

The Bike or Board Quandry
And when I have available free time, what should I do with it?



The Ultimate Randomer Spotguide
A guide to spots I have ridden... mainly mountainboarding, but also including resorts I have downhill skied at, and places I have mountainbiked. Be sure to click on the placemarks. Most include a description/review, and many include photographs.

the End of all Things Will Be Televised
I quit IGA.

Take one down, pass it around, 99 grad parties left to attend!
I graduate.

Graduation party and the first day of work.
Enough said.

Apathy and semicolons
About apathy and semicolons.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Hangtime and a Gnarly Bridge

Written 6/10/07

The past two days have been incredible; at least, as far as they relate to mountain biking. We were at my grandparents' on Saturday, so I had the opportunity to ride Memorial Park in Red Wing. I had an amazing time! Along with being able to ride trails that I have only ridden once (which is nice for a change), the day was home to several very important firsts. First first: I got real air for the first time on a mountain bike. Not incidental air that you might get while bouncing over roots while screaming down a hill, but actual air off of several different dirt kickers. Of course I didn't run at them at full speed, I worked up to it until I was airing off of them pretty decently. I did not overdo it either, I had a couple nice runs... and then I decided to move on before I got hurt.

The second first was nailing a pretty gnarly bridge (on my first try at that). The bridge begins with at a width of about 1.5 to 2 feet, and climbs to a height of about 4 feet. At the apex it hangs a 90 degree turn and starts to descend, but immediately after you clear the corner the bridge narrows to just the width of a single board. As I rode that day I hadn't really been thinking about the bridge (I had attempted it several times last year), and as I came up on to it I just thought to myself "I'm just going to go for it, and I'm going to nail it!" I unclipped my cleats and flipped my pedals over to the flat side just in case I needed to bail out. I rode up, I turned the corner, and I didn’t fall off the board on my way down. It was perfect! And a load of fun at that, but I still didn't go back for seconds.

There are two other things of note that happened that day. While I was ducking under a fallen tree that was leaning over the trail, I failed to notice the little limb that was jutting down from it, and it raked me all the way down my back as I rode underneath it. Holy crap did that hurt like a mother! I felt all over my back, but my hand came away with only sweat and no blood. Later when I took a shower at my grandparents', I made sure to check it out in the mirror: there was a long, red welt spanning the entire length of my back! It is still there today (and it looks pretty hardcore).

The only other item that bears mentioning is the swoopy turns section of trail. There is a rather steep-sided, narrow valley that has some singletrack built through it. You drop into it way high on one side, fly down through the bottom and then way up the other side around a tree, and then scream back down through the bottom and up the other side, back down up the other side, back down again, and back down once more to a little climb out of the gully. It is a total gas to ride, and the really neat thing about it is that the end of the valley butts right up against the road, so after you get down with the climb at the end you can hop right out onto the road and ride back to almost exactly the top of the gully without having to ride any of the singletrack before and after it. I spent probably about 15 to 20 minutes just riding that section of trail. It was just that fun!

Well, I have already written more than I intended to, but I might as well finish with today's ride. Today I showed up at Dean's to ride, and I asked him: "Well, what do you want to do?"

And he responded, "Are you up to riding out to Levis today?"

"Well, are we going to be riding at Levis when we get there?" I inquired.

"Ha ha," he laughed at me, "we'll see how you feel when you get there."

In the end we rode gravel roads all the way out to Levis, road four or five miles of singletrack there, and then rode ATV trails and gravel roads all the way home, for a total of about 40 miles. It was easily hands down the longest ride I've ever been on, but we didn't ride too hard, and I hadn't totally blown up at the end, which is good. But it was a really fun ride, I good time, and a great work out!

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Rival Factions

I've been I huge Project 86 fan for years and years, and I am uber stoked for their upcoming album, Rival Factions. They've posted 3 new songs on their myspace, and I've been listening to them over the past several weeks/months. In my opinion, they are absolutely phenomenal! I remember a bit of a blog that Project 86 posted some months in which they claimed that "Some of you may think that you know what a Project 86 album sounds like, but you'll be in for a big change with the next offering!" (or something to that effect.) Well, they were not kidding! From the preview tracks that have been posted, the new album is significantly heavier than everything that they have put out since Drawing Black Lines. Actually, now that I think about it... it is rather Black Lines esque. Enough of my rambling, go check it out for yourself!

Monday, June 4, 2007

Writing. I need to work on that.

Yes, the key to getting good at anything is practice, and practice writing I do not. I want to get good at it (what a bland word, good), yet I can't be bothered to do it at all. I encounter this sort of problem in other aspects of my life; please see Randomer: Apathy and semicolons.

Ha! See, I fooled you! I've already written this, and now I'm forcing you to read it again (if in fact you read the previous example), which I am not guaranteeing you did.

Anyhow, I am very muchly enjoying my new Lenovo laptop! I'm well aware that you probably haven't heard of that brand of computer before, but basically Lenovo is an off-shoot of IBM, and it was the best buy that we could find, even if it wasn't at Best Buy. I already gave you one example of the beauty of Vista, but it is taking me a long time to get all my files moved to and organized on my 500 gig external hard drive. A little bit every now and then, and soon I'll be done. But that thing is amazing: 500 gb of space! I should have no problems with running out of room!

Anyhow, that's all for now. More writing practice at a later date!

Sunday, June 3, 2007

A loss of sleep... due to a brand new laptop

My dad bought me a laptop as a graduation present, and it is shuweet! I have spent most of my free time the last two days tinkering with it, and this is officially the first blog post that I have written on it.

Look at this Vista beauty:

Friday, June 1, 2007

Nacho Libre

I had the opportunity to watch Nacho Libre for the first time tonight, and I could not stop laughing! My dad had already seen it, and he thought it was ridiculous. But take my word for it, there is nothing funnier than a fat priest wearing stretchy pants hitting on a sexy nun. Nothing!

Twins on Skateboards

Check out these kids skateboarding! Absolutely amazing!