Friday, May 11, 2007

Bud and me.

The preceding picture was drawn by a very dear friend of mine during one of the weirdest times of my life. The picture depicts me sitting in a restaurant called "el mono loco" or in english... "the crazy monkey." This particular restaurant is in Antigua, Guatemala. The significance of this moment was that we were in fact living at the same orphanage at the time, and one of the rules of the orphanage was "no drinking." Well this rule was all fine and dandy except for the fact that I am a man who enjoys a good beer or 3. Aaron and I got a night off together and were able to head down to Antigua for the evening. We sat at the table across from each other and order a round of cold ones. It was at that moment I took a good swill off of my icy cold Bud and declared... "Oh, how I've missed you!"

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

And she's climbing the....

ladder to heaven.

A short paper I quickly wrote for a buddy when he didn't have anything to turn in for his comp class. full of grammatical mistakes but after not having seen it in years, i thought it was somewhat of a humorous read....

I proudly bring you....

How to Climb a Ladder.

Climbing a ladder is no easy feat, although it does require the use of the feet. Using your feet is not all that you need, when your desire is to get to the sky. Ladder climbing is a skill, that when honed can keep you safe from calamity. It is my honor today in instructing you on how to appropriately climb a ladder.

Before you go jumping onto any old ladder with aspirations of ascent there are a few things that you should know. First off, ladder climbing is more complex than most have been led to believe. The sooner that this truth is grasped the sooner you have reached the first rung of climbing. Secondly, climbing is not just for fireman. It is a skill that has been perfected by most, but even a regular Joe like myself can take on a ladder with the greatest of ease and precision, after learning the appropriate guidelines and tactics. Thirdly, a ladder requires the correct attire. I believe the saying goes something like this, “Climbing a ladder without the correct attire is worse than spitting on your mom.” Spitting on moms is a horrible thing, so I suggest that it is in everyone’s best interest to wear the correct clothes. We can even call this the lead in to the first step of the physical process of climbing a ladder.

Before I discuss the physical process, I would like to talk a little more about the mental preparation. When the occasion arises and you feel as though you might ascend the beast that is known as the ladder or “Tallus Steppicus,” first sit down breathe in through the nose and out through the mouth while counting backwards from 60. This practice will reduce nervousness and relax tension and apprehension and any other ension’s that you might feel. Secondly once calmed, slip into blue jeans, a t-shirt, and shoes. What you just read is the correct, I will say it again, CORRECT attire for ladder climbing. While v-necks can be subbed in for a t-shirt, sandels may not be subbed for shoes and stonewashed jeans are just out of the question. Once you have accomplished these two key components, your preparation work is complete. At this time if you can look back and check them off, give yourself a blue ribbon or a gold star, because my friends you are on your way.

The physical process is much more gnarly than the mental preparation. If you are currently taking medications that possibly impair judgment, please seek a doctors’ approval before attempting any ascents. With that said, the journey has just begun. To climb a ladder you must first have a ladder. I personally suggest that if you are a newcomer that you use a stepladder at first and move up from there. Stepladders are great because they are free standing and rely less on a side to side steadiness that is much needed on an extension ladder. When you arrive at the ladder, first check that the feet are firmly and evenly placed on the ground. Balance is very important. Once you determine that the ladder is set, place your hands on the rung in front of you. Make sure that you have your chest side facing the ladder. Contrary to popular belief, turning around and butt scooting up the ladder is dangerous and inadvisable. With your chest forward at all times you are ready to ascend. The rung closest to eye level is usually a great starting point. Grip the rung with both hands firmly with your knuckles pointed outwards and thumbs to the inside. It is a bad idea to use a zig zag or criss cross method of arm climbing. It is important that your left hand stay to the left and your right to the right. This will reduce the confusion and create a better climbing pattern, unhindered by crossed arms. With you hands firmly at eye level. Place your lead foot on the first rung. If you are unsure of which foot is your lead foot there are a sundry of tests that you may perform. My preference is to stand on one foot. Whichever foot my mind tells me to stand on is my lead foot. The great thing is that it is really not important which foot is the leader. I just believe that it is a psychological battle victory in the war of ladder climbing. After you have your lead foot firmly placed on the bottom rung, not to close to the heel or toe, but right on the arch of your foot, it is time to leave the ground. Once you have left the ground, your vulnerability sky rockets faster than… a sky rocket. While on the ladder I suggest climbing in an organized motion of right hand up one rung, right foot up one rung, left hand up one rung, and lastly left foot up one rung. This method is the simplest of all methods proposed and keeps weight balanced, no matter how fat the climber may be. The golden rule while on the ladder is to never look down. Looking down is scary and foolish. Once you look down, you might as well go down because it’s over. Looking down causes nervousness which will ultimately lead to calamity. While climbing the ladder, it is almost certain that you will notice the air getting thinner, the higher you rise. This is nothing to worry about, continue to breathe normally and stay with your set rhythm. As long as you follow these rules you should be fine. There are a few hazards that are uncontrollable. To list a few, there are dogs, balls, strong breezes, airplanes, and birds of a number of different species. Always watch for these.

My friends as long as you follow these easy steps and guidelines you will soon conquer any ladder of your choosing. But remember, I can only get you up the ladder, getting down is all on your own. Good luck.

By Skelly.... I mean Fatt