Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Worst Hairdon't on the Planet

Sorry about that last post, it wasn't negative. I feel like i've let my fan down (yes, i realize that "fan" is singular). It won't happen again. Well, it probably will, but if it starts happening too much, i'll change the title of my blog so i'm not accused of false advertisement.

So. . . . I woke up this morning. Obviously. . . . . . . Anyway, it was early because i just got back from scotland yesterday. I heard the wind howling outside and, without looking, decided that it would be better if i just stayed in bed, which i did and still am. While i was laying there, i decided to surf the web. Somehow or another, i came to the conclusion that tall hair * is dumb. The only way i can describe tall hair is by using the word (and link) bumpit. That's right, if you suffer from this affliction of the brain, i'm sorry. It's not a personal attack, but i realize you might be personally offended by me, so just realize that it's life and it'll probably happen again.

Back to the hair. What i don't understand, and it might be because i'm a guy, is why ANYONE would ever, EVER, feel the need to put this contraption in their hair. It doesn't look good, it's probably annoying, and it makes you look like an idiot. This is probably stereotypical, but when i see women wearing this hairdon't, i think they're not as smart as women with normal hairdos. Obviously, my opinion doesn't matter for crap, and if you want this hairbarf, you'll probably do it regardless, just know that you look dumb. If that's a look you're cool with, then more power to you.

For some reason, i thought about this because i was thinking about typical utah women, and how they suck. (this probably stems from wallowing in misery from being alone, but that's a different topic on a different blog) What is the typical utah woman, you ask? oh, you didn't? well, i'll tell you anyway. The typical utah woman: any woman in utah that goes after a guy with a big truck and boat and loves to be tan. She also has the "bumpit" hair style. This woman typically loves going on cruises and boating at lake powell, or any other boating destination, and in general doesn't have an opinion about anything. Editor's Note: you must suffer from all said attributes in order to be classified as a typical utah woman. Suffering from a couple isn't a big deal.
There are more than you think.

Anyway, that's it. bad hairdo. i'd apologize for the tangent, but i would be lying.

So. . . . anyway. . . . todays post was. . . . . . typical. It's good to be back.

*not all tall hair is dumb. Some times if it's pulled back from the front, it looks good. Just specifically this one:

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Words of Inspiration and Motivation

Sometimes, i sit and listen to inspiring music. I sit, and i listen, and feel as if the world has fallen away and everything becomes clear. Life becomes clear. goals become clear. The desires in my soul spring forth begging to be transformed into action, into substance.

This is how i like to spend parts of my day.

My desire to change the world is in sight. i can almost feel it. It's 100% attainable, and yet is separated by galaxies. The whole universe stands before me, daring me to cross it. I realize that the biggest step is the first, but i find myself standing. Feet firmly planted to the ground. Hoping. Hope isn't enough. It requires action. Dedication.

If only people could see how i see. The world is a great place, full of beauty, and happiness, but that is not life. Beauty and happiness are wonderful, but to truly see the beauty in the world, you have to also see hardships, sadness, and misery. The struggle to carve out a niche in the world is one of the greatest things i've ever seen. Empathy is the key to beauty.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Excuse me Sir

So, i was at the climbing gym today and i accidently referred to a girl as a he, in front of her friend/boyfriend/husband (not really sure). Let me elaborate.

I was chit chatting with my buddy, layne, and this girl was climbing on a problem in front of us. Layne was working the problem, so i was telling him that if he (she, the climber on the wall) would have used a certain foot hold that he (she, the climber on the wall) didn't see, he (she, the climber on the wall) would have done the problem. Apparently, layne realized that i was an idiot and whispered "she" while i was talking, but i didn't hear. I was too busy talking.

Normally, this wouldn't have been bad, except her friend/boyfriend/husband was sitting next to me.

In my defense, she had short hair, and slightly broad shoulders, so how the heck was i supposed to know when her back was to us? I wasn't, which is why i only felt slightly stupid. Definitely stupid enough to get up and go climb somewhere else.

I'm starting to think that it was her fault, but that's because i'm a jerk.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Mother Nature is a Big Fat Jerk

We had a plan: Climb Mt. Leatherman and ski the north face.

Mother nature had a plan: Ruin matt irving's day. Thanks a lot, Mother Nature. Mission accomplished.

Ok, so i guess, regardless of the weather, our plan probably wouldn't have panned out. First off, i don't ski that well, second, it's a big hike, and i was tired. Well......actually, we probably would have figured it out if we could have seen anything but whatever. . . . let me start at the beginning.

Mark, Hairy and I left Idaho Falls around 3ish and made our way west. Our goal was Mackay,
but we weren't in a huge hurry, so when we were driving through Arco, we noticed something interesting so we stopped. It was the top part of an old de-commissioned submarine that had been on about 15 missions to the north pole. We found all this out just after we climbed down from the top of it. A man came over followed by the sheriff and some other lady who was taking pictures of my car. We ended up talking to the guy (richard) and found out he was in WWII in the Navy and had spent most of his time on surface ships, but had been on a few submarine stints. The sheriff told us it was illegal to be on the sub/monument and he could technically fine us for trespassing (NO SIGNS ANYWHERE), but since we made friends with Richard, i think he decided not to do anything.

We left Arco and made our way up north to Mackay, stopping briefly to throw some shoes up in a tree full of shoes.
After the shoe slinging, we drove up a side canyon and set up camp. It was early, so we decided to watch a movie on Mark's laptop (zombieland. . . . AWESOME). Afterwards, we packed for the next day and went to bed. When i say went to bed, i mean i got in my sleeping bag. Our tent was on a slope, so i just kept sliding to the bottom of my bag all night. ug. i HATE that. More than anything. Seriously.

I woke up at 5 and had to wake everyone else up. After breakfast, we geared up and headed out. Hiking was easy at first, but when the snow became deep, we put the skins on and started skiing up. The logging road we were on was super mellow going up. It didn't stay that way for too long. Eventually, it ended and we scoped out a spot that looked like it would be the best way up. It was steep, but doable. At least for a bit.

After about half hour, it became too steep, so we switched the skis for crampons. Those worked great for a while, but as we climbed, we encountered soft snow, so instead of being on top of the snow, we decided to wade through it. When i say "we", i mean Hairy and I. Mark had snowshoes (that he borrowed from me) since he brought a snowboard so he was able to stay on top. Idiot.

This wouldn't have been bad except nobody had a definite idea where we were. Mother nature had blessed us with white-out conditions making it impossible to know if we were on the right ridge, or even the right mountain. Despite all this, we plodded on, switching from crampons to skis and back to crampons before we topped out (or at least we thought we topped out) on the most confusing summit. Turns out it wasn't a summit, but a knoll, but we couldn't tell because we couldn't see anything.

The most confusing point came when mark looked at his compass. What i thought was south, was actually north. I stood there for about 3 minutes trying to wrap my head around this change, but i couldn't. All three of us stood on "top", knowing that we weren't on Leatherman, wondering where exactly we were, and how we ended up there. We exchanged glances and promptly headed back down.

After reaching the saddle, Hairy and put our skis on, Mark put his dumboard on, and headed down. When i say "headed down" i mean mark and hairy went down, and i just went deeper into the snow. Just kidding. Even though i've only skied a handful of times, i feel like i did ok, given the conditions. I fell a lot. and by the time i reached the bottom, i was SO TIRED. I wanted to die. All-in-all i had a reasonably good time and might do it again if given the opportunity. Maybe. Actually Probably not.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Joe the Baby Saver

You're probably super confused by the title, and that's ok, because it's confusing. . . . Kind of. Let me explain.

Tim and i went to a climbing cave down in St. George yesterday. We went there to shoot some video of a climber, Joe Kinder, removing a colony of Africanized "KILLER" Bees. Note the emphasis in the word killer. I emphasized it because that's what they are. A useless arthropod that is hell bent on the destruction of humanity. Some might argue that they're not useless and they're an integral part of the ecosystem, but those people would be wrong. Killer bees are a foreign invasive species of bee that are taking over the areas where European honey bees colonize. Bottom line. They suck. They don't produce as much honey as the native bees and they are quick to sting in swarms.

Joe has been bolting routes in this cave for 2 years and each summer, when it gets warm, the bees start swarming. People get stung, and in general, don't have a good time. How is one supposed to enjoy projecting a route when one isn't able to climb it without getting stung?

I say Joe is a baby saver because, while he hasn't saved any babies yet, by removing the bee colony, he has saved future babies that might have wandered up and been attacked. Not only did he do it in a more eco-friendly way than i would have (shotgun, fire, and gasoline), he genuinely felt bad (i would have enjoyed every minute of blasting those worthless insects out of the sky), which goes to show you that joe kinder is a genuinely caring human being that wouldn't have removed the colony unless he had thought it through many times.

Joe. My hat is off to you, as well as my shirt.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Don't Believe a Word of it.

In my many years of life experience, i've learned several things.
1. Lists seem to grab people's attention because it breaks the information into smaller chunks, making it easier to process.
2. Any band that sings its name in any of their songs shouldn't be taken seriously.
3. Everything you read on the internet is true.

Ok. One of these things is a lie. I'm not going to spoil it, but it's the 3rd one. So, i guess i did spoil it. Sorry.

Before i traveled to Nepal back in 2004, i was told to read the travel advisories from the state department's website. I can't remember who told me, probably my dad, but i remember reading that it was not safe for tourists to be there. My mom read this and tried to convince me not to go. I went anyway and found that it was as far from the truth as possible. Yes, a couple bombs went off in Kathmandu when i was there, and Maoists were holding up backpackers at gunpoint, but I wasn't personally affected by it. That doesn't mean people didn't get hurt, nor does it mean that the incidents didn't happen, but in general, it was safer than most big cities in the U.S.

Since then, i've traveled to a few more places, and have been told the exact same things. "it's not safe", "it's sketchy", and other forms of "don't go there, you'll die". Again, i found a people that were very hospitable and caring. They'd go out of there way to help you out (a university student in china walked with me for 15 minutes because he wanted me to get on the right bus). I'm planning a trip down to South America and i'm being told the same things. I watch the news and a drug war is going on in Mexico (i do actually plan on driving as far inside mexico as i can on one tank of gas, without stopping.), people are dying all over the place. beheadings, executions, etc.... Another issue is that through my readings, a specific area of land called the Darien Gap (in between Panama and Columbia) is impassable. People tell me there is no road through it and that it is a dangerous area. None of what i've heard has been first hand (mostly) and i have a hard time believing it.

How much do i believe, and how much is media hype?

I understand that the world is a dangerous place, but i'm not willing to sit in a cubicle all my life, waiting for the sky to fall in on me. This is my plan:

1. Drive down to the border of Panama and Columbia.
2. Find out for myself if what people say is true.
3. Put my car on a boat and ship it to columbia, or make the journey through the gap
4. Continue on the adventure of a lifetime
5. Get sick of people and climb a big mountain in Patagonia by myself.
6. Stand on the southern tip of South America.
7. Drive home.

I'm really excited for this trip, and i hope that those who have also stated their enthusiasm aren't going to bail because this is a life changing experience. I plan on documenting the whole experience with video and photos and maybe put together some webisodes each week. I really want to inspire people to get out and see the world. I think it would do a lot of good if people saw how blessed they were.

The world is a good place, with good people. You just have to see it.