Thursday, December 18, 2008

Fun with Photoshop

So, I've been teaching myself this cool little program called Photoshop. Some of you have heard about it. Others may not have. It's a great little program that is power packed with cool features to allow a nerd like me to go NUTS! Anyway, this past month Lou and I went to the creek over Thanksgiving (wich I will post about our fun adventures there later). But, one of the pictures I've tweaked a little and wanted to share it with all of you. Enjoy, more pictures will follow. PS. My photshop skills are only getting better.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Back Country Adventure Tours

John and Liz in front of Castleton

Our Really good friends have decided to take the plunge.... The plunge into business that is. I'm super amped for them and want to write a little post about the opportunities that they can provide. Back-Country Adventure Tours is owned and Operated by John and Liz Johnson! Go my favorite sports team go! John is a very accomplished motorcycle racer, who consistently wins or finishes in the top three of each of his races. They've been great friends and are starting a touring/guiding business into the remote areas of Utah's Backcountry. Utah Back Country Adventure Tours has several tour options, either on motorcycle, on mountain bike, on foot, or on water, that cover terrain from Provo to Orderville, Lake Powell and canyoneering throughout any of Utah's Slot Canyons! Is there a better way to view scenic Utah than this!? Go John and Liz go! Pay their site a visit, and take a tour of the most beautiful terrain in all of Utah!!!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Back to My Roots

This post really is about Karma. It's still a sweet pic, but mainly, Karma. I've built a couple of websites, and now I am currently working on two more. It's like I can't get enough of them right now. So, back to the Karma. Because I understand a little about SEO and how Google ranks their crap, I'm posting a couple of links that have had some really helpful jit on them about Website design, HTML, CSS and the likes. So, here is the first website that I really began to use to help me learn about HTML and building the structure of my sites. It's HTML dog and you can find it by following this link.


It's great because for beginners it takes you through step by step instructions on starting your website, and finishes with cascading style sheets to style your website. I loved it. I've since graduated to several books, and have loved it, but owe my Karma to the HTML Dog. I'll keep you posted with some of the links to my actual websites that I've built.

The next place on my list that I want to share my Karma with is a website called "a list apart". They have built a great website on design, content, planning, processes, and many more topics for building your website. I highly recommend visiting their site and subscribing to their RSS Feed. You can view their website by following the link below.

A list Apart

The last places for Karma that I want to mention is about SEO. They've got a ton of information that is really helpful when optimizing your site. It's SEO Book, and you can find them by following the link below.

SEO Book

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Hello again...

I don't think anybody has looked at this blog in about 30 years, so, I thought I would begin publishing thoughts to myself... Alexis and I are married, nine months now! I can't believe how quickly the time flies. It's cliche but within the blink of an eye a year passes away. I love her to death, and we've had so many adventures these past few months. I can't list them all right now, but it has been wonderful. Keep looking us up, and I'll write another post here shortly. We love you all. Bye.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

What can you do in Oregon?

Hey Ya’ll (I may have shown a little too much redneck with that one)!! How’ do!! (Might as well stick with the theme on this one.) Two weekends ago I flew out and met Alexis’ family. And now that Lou and I are getting married I couldn’t be more excited to be apart of her family.

The family from left to right is Mary (Mer de Norms), Elizabeth (Libby), Wyatt, Momma Kristine (Vogue Cover Model), Alexis (Lou, with awesome new bangs!) Andrew (Voldemorts #2, or Josh), and papa Ray. Their dog Donovan is quite possibly the coolest dog ever. We shared good snuggle time through two of my nights there. I’ll miss your warm cuddle Donovan! Never let the memories fade boy- just hold on to the memories! Rachael and Matt were back in Utah takin' care of lil' Jack-man.

We had an incredible time. The first day we went to North Fork. It’s a wana be Havasupai, but gorgeous non-the-less. We jumped the small cliff, dove and swan under boulders and skipped rocks. About the time that the white trash started showing up we bailed. Way fun day.

Friday I golfed with Ray, Libby, and Uncle Bobby (I kept wanting to call him Ricky-Bobby, and always had to be careful not to slip up). After golf we got fresh fruit smoothies from the farmers market

Saturday we went to the beach at Pacific City, which was bomber-good-fun. Andrew, Wyatt and I had to get some testosterone out and so we decided to race down the face of the sand hill. As the race began Andrew body checked me and then knocked Wyatt down too. It was hilarious because I didn’t even see it coming, and Wyatt looked like he was running for dear life before Andrew got him. I think the picture sequence does it more justice than I could. Wyatt and I retaliated by throwing him into the ocean. It wasn’t cold enough to balance the scales of justice, but oh well. The whole afternoon was a perfect. Latter that night we went to Josh’s Concert. He rocked a cover of the White Stripes and followed it up with a gnarly song that I kept bugging him about. The end of that song was super tight- and my favorite.

It was super fun to spend time with each of the family as we did different activities. The Baums couldn’t have been more gracious, and Lou was right about her family. I loved ‘em.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Choose Peace

A War Best Served Cold
Published: July 31, 2007

SIXTY years ago this month, writing under the byline of X, George Kennan supposedly laid out America’s cold war foreign policy. Kennan’s essay is often said to be the most influential article in the history of this country’s foreign policy, but neither Harry Truman, nor any president after him, actually followed X’s recommendations. “Containment,” the word the essay introduced, was applied in a bellicose way that Kennan didn’t intend.

But while Truman dodged X’s advice, George W. Bush should follow it. Kennan was wrong about how we would win the cold war, but right about how to fight the war on terrorism.

In the July 1947 issue of Foreign Affairs, Kennan, who was then the State Department’s policy planning chief, gave American strategy a name, but not much else. He argued that we didn’t have to actively defeat the Soviet Union, only outlast it. Communism held inside itself “the seeds of its own decay.” The United States should refrain from provoking Moscow, whether through confrontation or histrionics. Patience would lead to success.

The article’s influence was grounded in a misunderstanding. Kennan didn’t make clear whether he intended containment to be primarily a political or military strategy. Despite the article’s ambiguity, everyone assumed the latter. The most important columnist of the time, Walter Lippmann, wrote a series of consecutive critical essays about the X article — later collected in a book that coined a phrase with its title, “The Cold War” — declaring that containment was a military doctrine and a bad one at that.

But in a letter to Lippmann that Kennan never mailed (most likely because his boss, Secretary of State George Marshall, had chastened him for causing a ruckus), Kennan explained that he didn’t mean containment with guns. He didn’t want American armed forces to intervene in countries where the Soviets were mucking around but hadn’t gained control, like Greece, Iran and Turkey.

The Soviets are making “first and foremost a political attack,” Kennan wrote. “Their spearheads are the local communists. And the counter-weapon that can beat them is the vigor and soundness of political life in the victim countries.”

American policy makers viewed containment in military terms. We soon built up our forces to defend Western Europe, created NATO and engaged in a huge arms race. Eventually containment would mean soldiers in Vietnam and thousands of nuclear weapons pointed at the Soviet Union.

Kennan opposed every one of these actions. Long called the man who defined our cold war policies, Kennan was probably containment’s most consistent, and persistent, critic. He spent decades denying paternity of the doctrine everyone credited him with creating.
Today we face vastly different challenges from those the nation confronted right after World War II. Our enemy is dispersed; there’s a constant threat of suicide attacks; nuclear weapons can be hidden in suitcases instead of dropped from airplanes. Still, when it comes to overarching strategy, Kennan’s desired but never executed policy from 60 years ago offers profound wisdom for today.

Kennan’s insight was that a long-term, complex struggle wasn’t best judged in terms of winning or losing. Communism wasn’t something we could immediately conquer. The same holds true for Al Qaeda, a movement that, like Soviet communism, offers its subjects oppression and poverty. Time is on our side — particularly if we act in a way that doesn’t inflame our enemies’ pride and anger and win them new recruits.

Kennan’s insistence on a political strategy, rather than a military one, makes more sense now than it did when he published his essay. Applied today, that advice would entail spending more time and money building up our Muslim allies. The Center for Strategic and International Studies reports that only about $900 million of the $10 billion we’ve given Pakistan since 2002 has gone to health, education and democracy promotion. Most of the rest has gone to the military. The Bush administration has recently taken steps to change this ratio. But Kennan, one of the authors of the Marshall Plan, would have wanted the numbers to be closer to the reverse.
A 21st-century rendering of X’s vision of containment would involve the closing of the Guantánamo Bay detention camp, an unambiguous renunciation of torture and an abandonment of the notion that our legal and moral norms don’t apply to the current struggle. Kennan believed we gave our opponents a propaganda victory each time we acted in a manner unfitting of our ideals.

“To avoid destruction,” Kennan concluded the X article, “the United States need only measure up to its own best traditions and prove itself worthy of preservation as a great nation.”
We can’t know for sure how his recommended, wholly political version of containment would have fared in the cold war. But we do know that a militant foreign policy didn’t lead to nuclear war and did, eventually, help bring about the collapse of Soviet communism. We also know that a strong offensive policy has yet to succeed against Al Qaeda.

Kennan died two years ago at the age of 101. One of his last public statements was a critique, in 2002, of the looming Iraq invasion. War, he said, was too unpredictable, and this one wasn’t worth it. As he wrote to Lippmann six decades ago, “Let us find health and vigor and hope, and the diseased portion of the earth will fall behind of its own doing. For that we need no aggressive strategic plans, no provocation of military hostilities, no showdowns

Monday, July 16, 2007

I'm always interested in hearing other peoples beliefs, and trying to find truth in the way they view the world. I remember reading a quote from Buddha that I really loved. I didn't remember it exactly, but the other day I was trying to find it on the Internets. So here it is:

“Believe nothing. No matter where you read it,Or who said it, Even if I have said it, Unless it agrees with your own reason, And your own common sense.”


So, I like to think that there is truth and wisdom in this saying. For myself I want to be sure that everything that I believe, I believe because I have studied it out in my mind, and felt that it is true in my heart. I want to own my beliefs. Maybe Buddhist have a similar belief in the spirit guiding your 'common sense' toward truth. Anyway, I thought you might like it, so I'm sharing it with you.
PS. That's the sign for Om.
PSS. There's a little voice in my head from a Tool song: "Think for yourself, question authority..." Maybe I'm a bit more of an anarchist/nihilist than I thought. Then again, maybe not.