Thursday, August 25, 2016

Ads on the Blog-Selling my Blogging Soul

This blog recently became eligible for Google's advertising program. This means there are enough daily viewers to justify putting ads on my blog. You may have noticed these on the left side of the screen or below the blog. There was the option to also do a pop-up but I thought that'd be overkill.


I'm interested to see if there is actually any financial benefit in bastardizing my blog with advertisements. While I'm prepared to sell my soul for money(to buy the things I want to do, not own), I do have a minimum standard. How low will I go is still up in the air.


Speaking of selling my soul, that's kinda what's happening with me moving to South Carolina. While it is likely to be a fun adventure, after this month home in New Hampshire with seeing friends and family and the hiking/running I've done, it is making me question my sanity in moving.


And yet, I cannot pass up summers off(after all I'll be working in the schools). The hope is that I'll be able to come back in the summers and just goes balls to the wall outdoor adventure.


Side Note: Did you know balls to the wall comes from pilot-speak of putting the throttle all the way forward for maximum speed, hence balls to the wall?


In fairness, there looks to be quite a few fun outdoor adventures available in South Carolina. Kenny and I just bought a state park pass that allows us access to 42! South Carolina state parks. And North Carolina's mountains aren't too far away. Plus all the cities nearby. As long as people visit(notice the subtle hint), and I'm able to get home fairly frequently, I think it will work out.


So back to the advertising. I think I get paid per click on the ads. So, if you're feeling charitable, please feel free to click on them and see what they have to offer. In actuality, Google is pretty amazing at matching what you search for with the ads(also quite scary), so they might be of interest to you anyway.


Thanks in advance:)




Until Next Time,


Danny


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Click to make me money:)
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Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Amber 4th at IM Mont Tremblant-1 Month After Crash!

It has been almost three months since my scooter accident in Tobago that derailed Kenny and my running careers. I am barely back to running and still feel very choppy and uncomfortable-definitely not my normal stride. My training has become nearly non-existent-partly due to discouragement about loss of fitness and only partly due to how busy I've been preparing to move to South Carolina.




I wasn't too busy to notice Amber finished 4th at Ironman Mont Tremblant. Yes, the same Amber that got in a bike accident a month ago that required an ambulance ride, and hospital stay.

Always smiles

 And yes, Ironman Mont Tremblant a race comprising a 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike and a marathon to top it off. And here I am struggling to do a 4 mile easy run.




I am so impressed not with her physical ability to do it but for her mental fortitude to get back on the bike and start training. That must have been so difficult not to just relive that crash. I know I'd be struggling if I had to get on a motor scooter again so I don't know how she did it. And then to push through the pain that I'm sure she was suffering from as she healed. Just amazing.
Amber and her sis prepping for the race


Granted it wasn't all raindrops and kittens. I just spoke with her and apparently she finished the race and passed out. Blood pressure something like 50/30! So she may have dipped a little too deeply into her reserves. But still such an inspiration and I'm glad to see her back racing. I cannot wait to see what she can do when she's fully healed.




Until next time,








Danny

Sunday, August 21, 2016

America's Funniest Video Syndrome

I saw my sister the other day and she handed me a 12 pack of beer and a journal. This is for when you want to express yourself but shouldn't on your blog.

Point taken. 

It's really easy to get caught up with the social media craze of sharing every little bit about the minutiae of our daily lives. And for the most part it's harmless. But I do think there is definitely some negative connotations of seeing the details of our peers' lives.

I call it the America's Funniest Videos' Syndrome. I am pretty sure that I haven't come up with a single unique thought in my entire life so I'm sure that someone else actually coined the term and I'm just poaching it, but if I don't remember stealing it, am I stealing it? I'll leave that up to you to decide.

Anyway, the premise of my theory is that when we are exposed to others' pain and suffering we, by extension, are made to feel better about our own lives. We seek out these instances of pain and suffering just so that our lives can become more tolerable. Definitely a reason, in my honest opinion, why people gossip: to deflect their own suffering and sadness.

However, it's only when we see through this ineffective and inhumane coping strategy of building ourselves up by bringing others down, will we ever find true happiness. 

After all, there is no finite limit to happiness. Just because you are happy, doesn't mean I cannot be as well. So I wish you health, wealth and that white house on the hill. Because you can have that and I can still pursue my own happiness.

Until Next Time,


Danny


Thursday, August 11, 2016

Danny returns home

Well hello. I would like to tell you I am home right now but cannot for two reasons.
One reason is that my dad doesn't know I'm coming home early and I'm surprising him as he boards the deep sea fishing boat he thinks he's doing with the other children.

But the second reason is more authentic.  I'm not yet home. Despite the fact that it is now 2am on Monday and I left 12pm from Guyana on Saturday is not lost on me. Or my rapidly depleting energy as I have not slept in this time either. Nor will I sleep at least until Monday night (still a merciless 19 hours from now).











So when I post this it means I waited til after that day (Monday)  due to surprise and authenticity.
So why am I sitting in the Atlanta airport at 2am? Unlike Quentin Tarantino,  I think the beginning is the best place to start so let's go back a few months when I booked my trip home.
Sorry, I think I may have nodded off for a minute there.

Where was I? Oh yes. So a couple months ago when I had finalized my departure date(but not yet knowing I'd be moving to South Carolina), I had wanted to make sure I saw my brother in Atlanta. Because of. His work schedule, I checked with him to make sure he was free when I'd arrive and then I booked my flight. The thing is to fly from Guyana to Atlanta is very expensive so instead I flew Guyana to Panama. I'd  have a half day in Panama to explore then continue onward from Panama to Miami. From Miami the plan was to rent a car and drive through thd night and arrive at Drew's place mid morning, catch up on lost sleep and then hang out for a day or two.

Well they do say SOMETHING about best laid plans. Andrew had forgotten that he actually did have something that weekend (my nieces birthday and dad's deep sea fishing trip) so he wouldn't be around.  Which was fine since I could change my flight from Atlanta to Boston from Tuesday to Sunday... But no the price of the flights on Sunday were prohibitively expensive so I had to settle from a 5:45am flight out Monday morning.

Which then left me with two nights of no sleep.

So here's how it went down:
It started out good enough with the Peace Corps driver picking me up within an hour of on time and me getting to the airport early enough to spend my last few GYD on a latte which I subsequently spilled all over myself as I embraced my friend Joel who I had not seen since I had moved from New Amsterdam back in late January. He was heading home (Cuba) and was on the same flight to Panama as I was. In fact he was sitting, purely by chance, one row behind me. We were able to catch up and after finishing it on the flight I gave him my copy of Dharma Bums.

Helping another escape samsara must help your own karma right? Well if it does, it must do so in mysterious ways. I arrive in Panama to find it enveloped in cloud and pouring rain. Since my plan was to walk around the city and as I had donated my umbrella prior to leaving Guyana, that was out. So instead I just settled in and ate my leftover cook up (or as my brother in law calls it:glop). Not quite how I was hoping to spend my time in Panama, but oh well I expect I'll be back at some point.
From Panama, I flew to Miami arriving a little before 2am picked up my rental car and started my trip north. It is amazing how reliant we become on our phones. Not having one now (or more correctly not having a data plan) I wasnt able to access GPS so ended up running two tolls (they didn't have options for a physical payment) be for getting on 95. NOT looking forward to that bill.
Being used to Guyana,  I was expecting sunrise around 5am thinking I would then find a little secluded beach and take a couple hours nap. Instead however the sun didn't make her appearance until well past six which meant I was well past the beaches I knew around the Southern Florida area. I finally settled on St Augustine beach (more on the history) around 8am. By 8:15am after having sand fleas bite and beachcombers step on me, I decided sleep was out of the question. I jumped in the ocean which invigorated me enough to go from a run along the beach. Which lasted probably three quarters of a mile behind my tender feet couldn't tolerate the shells slowly gouging out small chunks of flesh like a microscopic Shylock.   

I got gingerly back in the rental (a ford fiesta, by all counts but one a wonderfully efficient car. I only needed to fill out the tank 1 1/2 times for the whole 700 miles!)  I opted to follow the brown signs.
NOTE:always follow the brown signs. They will lead you either to a historic landmark or a some form of natural beauty. Either way you will be pleased.

So anyway I followed one to historic St Augustine which, lo and behold, was really nice. St Augustine is the oldest European settlement in the US that is still inhabited. Established all the way back in 1565. Meanwhile Native Americans settled Cahokia slightly less than 1000 years earlier.

After looking around and visiting the fort, I continued onward pausing only momentarily in Jacksonville but cutting across I 10. This is where things got interesting. Really only because I opted to drive backroads through Georgia to Atlanta rather than on the highway. I came to some little towns that I was sure would be playing the Deliverance theme song and also a few cool little state parks. It was nice to get off the beaten path a bit. In all definitely was worth the detour. I still arrived in Atlanta with several hours to spare so hung around for a bit before making my way over to the airport. Not exactly the most restful few days but surprisingly not too bad.

Except the next day, I would still not sleep as I was to head out deep sea fishing with my family. But that's enough for now.

Until next time,

Danny


Sunday, August 7, 2016

Stranger Than Friction

Although it has been over two years since Amber and I crossed the finish line of our marriage, took our respective medals and kept on living our lives both together and separately, I have recently had several people asking me whether I thought I was strange that I am still so close with her and still write a blog often involving her. Even to the point, where someone saw me running with her and decided it was a worthy topic of gossip. That truly must be one said and pathetic life to think that our running lives are worthy of in-depth US Weekly discussions. Isn't it strange to still be in each other's lives? 

My answer: yes it is atypical.  But is it strange? Which of the following is the least strange?                 

1) Staying in a marriage where the two slowly inexorably get pulled in divergent paths. A life filled with passions un-pursued, compromises un-reciprocated, slowly finding yourself beside someone you share nothing but a place to lay your head? 

2)Getting divorced due to these differences and, at best, have a tepid distaste for the other and, at worst, an anger and bitterness that slowly erodes your trust in love,  faith in others and ability to love anyone again.

Or

3) Getting divorced due to the recognition that those forces pulling the two apart would keep pulling. So rather than rip like a rope in a forceful game of tug of war why not be more like a zipper? We can split while each retaining the best parts of our lives together and apart.
                                            
Isn't it more strange that people can go from saying they are going to spend their whole lives with another person to hating them with a passion? Or to passionately stay in a unfulfilling and unhappy marriage?

Just my thoughts on the matter.

Until next time,

Danny

Friday, July 29, 2016

Top Five Covers of Bob Dylan Songs

Although the Beatles might be the most covered artists of all time, I think very few people wouldn't recognize them as the original artists. However, it's not the same with Bob Dylan. Several of his songs became far more popular and more well known after someone else covered them.

 Here's my top five:

1. All Along the Watchtower. This is one of Jimi Hendrix's best songs and it was originally Dylan's. Dylan's version is actually only the third best as Dave Matthews Band also performed a far better rendition.

2. Knocking on Heaven's Door. Whether you're thinking of Eric Clapton's or Guns N Roses' version, I'm sure you're not thinking of Dylan's.
It's interesting that arguably three of the best guitarists of all-time(Hendrix, Clapton and GnR's Slash) all were involved with some of Dylan's best covers. 

3. Forever Young. I'm probably dating myself with this one, but I thought that this was Rod Stewart's best song. Come to find out, it's Dylan's. Or was it? This one is actually a bit marred in controversy as Ol' Rod tried passing it off as his own. Eventually(probably when the two songs were compared), he gave in and shared his royalties with Dylan. The Dylan version was also performed by Joan Baez, as well as Patti Labelle at Live Aid.

Compare the two for yourself: 


4. When I Paint My Masterpiece. Bob Dylan's own band did it better. Yes the Band. And another song I didn't know was originally Dylan's but makes sense.

5. Tangled Up in Blue. Again probably dating myself but I thought this was the Indigo Girls' own song. I don't think it was until college that I realized there was another version. They actually stayed pretty close to the original here.


Sorry for the lousy version of this song but it's cool it was recorded in Concord:)


To contrast that cover's similarity with the original, look at Rage Against the Machine's version of Maggie's farm for how disparate some covers can be from the original.


What do you think? Did I miss any other good ones? I am sure I did, but you don't know what you don't know:)


Until Next Time,


Danny