Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Mt. Baldy

Too much indoor, sit-on-my-ass living is cramping my style. Too much attention focused on economic and political disasters is disturbing my chi. Too much needless worrying about things outside of my control is fucking with my sense of humor and joie de vivre. And that’s not even getting into the stale air and stale ideas.

I need some excitement, adventure, and fear.

Hiking Mt. Baldy did not completely flush out my system, but it certainly helped. Joined by my brother and other like-minded individuals, we played hooky last Friday to get a little mountain air and hard, physical exertion.

Mt. Baldy is the 3rd highest peak in Southern California, although that really isn’t saying much. It does offer some waterfall and LA valley views, lots of lizards, and a chance to ascend 4,000 vertical feet in the first 4-5 miles.

Hiking is not exciting. At least, not in the way I need it to be these days. That being said, it is still enjoyable and everything involved with it still feels fresh compared to city life. On the last scramble over a rocky outcropping, I pulled myself up and over to catch a view that made my head swim. Baldy’s face is a bit like an inverted bowl, and it swept away thousands of feet below me over boulders and shale. Having nearly face-planted in that direction, I felt one good, solid rush of adrenaline as my blood pumped through my system. That is what I am missing these days. Consider this a reset.


Friday, August 12, 2011


"Beware the skeptic, the world-weary guy who's seen it all, knows all the angles, the cat who's way too cool to be caught being enthused.  This stance is demoralizing in jaded, crusty old men.  But it's tragic in the millions of young men who wear cynicism like a suit of armor, lest they be thought, God help them, naive." 
Somehow over the last several months I have become bitter and jaded, a trap that I tend to fall into when not paying enough attention.  I obsess, and allow things that I have no control over to control my life and attitude.  I also have a tendency to become hermetic, and I can convince myself that I am "taking valuable me-time" when I spend a lot of time reading and thinking.  The 24-hour news cycle plays to this tendency of mine, as I can always find more material to further convince me that the sky is falling.  When I fall into these patterns it is hard for me to see the good in people.  I have a hard time trusting people's motives.  I start thinking that everything must have a catch.  My sense of humor falls to shit, and the only jokes I make are cynical and sarcastic.

"We didn't ride into town yesterday.  A goodly measure of skepticism means a man's been paying attention.  But guess what.  It's a mortal sin to let an appropriate wariness of the world inhibit the hope, the buoyancy at which we are so skilled.  Pity the man who who's so savvy he stops believing that, every now and then, hearts are true, that people do things for high-minded reasons, that the new idea might just work."

At it's best, this blog is a tribute to the things that I value in life; honesty, courage, a steadiness under fire, loyalty, and humor.  I can usually tell my general attitude in life by how often I am posting.  I was talking about this with my friend, Aaron a while back, and I mentioned that writing is important to me because it reminds me what it is that I care about.  What do I want in life, what do I value, what do I want to accomplish?  It is a way to further surround myself with this mission to improve and to live the kind of life that I can be proud of.  If I read about what I value, talk to people that I value and respect, and above all, DO the things that I see value in, then I can't help but be actively engaged, present, productive and happy.

I'll be writing more.

* Quotes are taken directly from a article that I pulled out of Men's Health years ago by Hugh O'neill 

Wednesday, August 3, 2011



By Thomas S. Jones, Jr.

Across the fields of yesterday
He sometimes comes to me,
A little lad just back from play–
The lad I used to be.

And yet he smiles so wistfully
Once he has crept within,
I wonder if he hopes to see
The man I might have been.

via The Art of Manliness