5 Screwy Captions for the New Yorker

  1. The scene at most bars when DC Comics publishes it’s quarterly report.
  2. Arch villain Admiral Alchoholo strikes again.
  3. Bartender, these shots were supposed to make ME feel INVINCIBLE.
  4. You must be the new guy.
  5. Excuse me sir, but has anyone told you that it is very impolite to wear a hat indoors?

 

 

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Running with Ghosts

The Ghost of Maria Marten, who was murdered in...
Image via Wikipedia

A few months ago I wrote about one of my many forest ghost encounters.

But I found an equally frightening one when I was clearing the boxes of old books from my closet.  While reaching for a box, an old journal I used to keep when I lived in Santa Cruz, CA tumbled down from the shelf. It popped open onto an entry I tried to forget. The penciling was faint on brittle pages, but the memory of the encounter was vivid and sharp.

“It happened around dusk along the narrow trails at Fall Creek.  My run took a little longer than I anticipated. Started too late. It was getting dark fast.  I remember hearing the wisps of air flowing in and out of my lungs, the drips of water gliding over the stones, the chirps of birds flitting from the limb to limb, and the creepy low groans of the redwoods bending in the wind. I think that’s how they speak to each other.

Up to that point, it was a great autumn run. The temperature was perfect, there weren’t any bugs or hikers on the trail. I felt really good, happy to be alive. But then something wasn’t right.  A bolt of fear shot through my chest.  It drained me; I felt empty, alone, and afraid. An image took over my minds eye: a latino man in overalls was running away. He was bleeding from a board to head or something; he was caked in pale, grey dust. I felt his panic. He was frantic. Trying to escape.  It was strange. I felt like my mind was being controlled, the images were being inserted into it. I had no choice but to look. When I closed my eyes the vision was brighter, when I kept them open, I could see normally, but the images were still there, simultaneous. I could see them and the trail, but they were separate.

Suddenly, I heard someone, someone REAL, running toward me on the trial.  I watched in terror as the bushes onto the trail spread open and the man who was in mind burst from them. He charged toward me, but didn’t seem to recognize of perceive me;  I jumped off of the trail to let him pass. As he ran, he kept turning his head to see behind himself. Soon, I knew why. Two men also in overalls and covered in the same pale dust were chasing him. They were thick, burly, men with strong jaws and crooked noses. One had a heavy bludgeon of some sort, the other a hammer. They too didn’t seem to notice me as ran past me. My heart was blasting, but I decided to run in their direction anyway. As soon as made it around the corner, I saw the two larger men standing over the latino. His head was was a mess of gore and bone. The two men just stood over him satisfied, there bloodies tools swinging gently back and forth. I said, “Hey! Hey!” But they remained where they were. I came closer, “Hey!, Hey!” I yelled. As they turned, piece by piece each one slowly merged into the scenery. The dark stains in their overalls became the weird shadows of leaves, mangled head resolved into the red moss and mud, the filthy hair became pine needles.

I sprinted the rest of the way to my car. Just as I got to my car the light was gone; the forest was black. It was good to be off the trail; those weren’t the only spirits lurking is the darkness. ;0)

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Get Slim & Flat: Dose Yourself with Pig Fat

Michelle : sexy girl on a convertible cadillac
Image by tibchris via Flickr

I don’t believe in strict diets, not only because they don’t work, but also because they are unhealthy.

Hunger, craving, and appetite are muddy areas.  Most people eat to satisfy their psyche rather than their body; there’s also that biological aspect: sweets and fat are rare in nature; so, we’re hard-wired to go after them. It’s tricky business. I’ll spare you the rant about striving for the “ideal weight” and just say that I think watching your weight is stupid. The goal should should be healthy and active, not meet some obsolete BMI rating.

Even so, some of us do have craving for food that aren’t healthy or have an unhealthy urge to eat way too much. I accidentally discovered an easy trick to putting those cravings and overeating to an immediate end.

How did I discover this magic bullet?

A tattooed pig gave it to me. For those of you who don’t know, I am a licensed tattoo artist. Whenever I try out a new needle configurations or re-configure my machines (I’m on a short stroke shader kick), I use Fat Back Pig Skin for practice. It’s less expensive than the tattoo practice skin on the market and much more like human skin. It has tough spots, you have to stretch it, heck you even have to shave it, etc.

The fat under the pig skin smells after about an hour. It’s a VERY particular odor that has a very specific effect. It completely takes away your appetite. It’s literally a “disgusting” smell. And it sticks to your clothes.

It doesn’t stink like roadkill or rotting flesh. It’s more of a sweaty animal barnyard scent.  I have seen aroma therapy diets that include scents that are supposed to make a person feel satiated, but none that take away the urge to eat. The smell of Pig-Fat on fat-back does just that.

To get the pig-fat to smell just do this. De-thaw it in hot TAP-water. Expose it to the sun or heat for a few minutes.

At .89¢ a lb, it might be good way to stop yourself from eating all the HaagenDaz. Or could just NOT buy Haagen-Daz.

I am NOT a nutritionist, psychologist, or health expert. I’m just a guy who runs on concrete with barefeet, who tattoos old skool wolves on dead pigs, and who writes about hair-brained pig-fat diets on his a blog from time to time.

 

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Don’t Let the Trail Pass You By

Taken from Ecola State Park, a photograph look...
Image via Wikipedia

My wife and I hiked to Indian Beach at Ecola State Park. I, of course, took off my sandals and walked bare. I got the usual stares from people who passed us by.

When there’s nothing between you and the trail, you automatically slow down and savor each step. I was cautiously walking over packed dirt and hard hard sharp pebbles when a group of teenagers blasted past me. They were hiking at a furious rate and seemed to in a hurry to get to the beach. I looked at their Marshmellow shoes and watched as they blindly rushed over the rough terrain that was slowing my pace. The whole trail must have felt the same to them. All one rubber bounce. No texture, no temperature, no sensation of wet or dry. What’s the point? You can walk fast anywhere.

Hiking is more than just a stomping over rocks and dirt. It’s about connecting and experiencing the place. Don’t let the Trail Pass You By: Tread Bare.

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Fast Food One Liners

I was talking to a friend of mine  who eats fast food, she told me about a sticker she saw at KFC drive-through. It was for “KFC Scholars”; some BS program that purports to help their employees pay for college or something like that. I HATE KFC and fast food in general; so, I couldn’t resist writing some stupid barefoot take-offs:

KFC on King street in Kingston, Jamaica
Image via Wikipedia
  1. KFC Scholars:  Fill your Mind with Fowl Thoughts.
  2. KFC Scholars: We teach you How to Pass Chicken.
  3. KFC Scholars: Learn to Hatch It Yourself! (Gotta say that one fast.)
  4. KFC Scholars: Because you don’t need to be an egghead have bird-brains.
  5. KFC Scholars: Surround yourself with chicks and cocks.
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5 Reasons NOT to Drink Bottled Water in the Sweltering Heat

First of all, YOU SHOULD DRINK PLENTY OF WATER & COCONUT WATER FOR ELECTROLYTES IN THE SUMMER. Proper hydration is essential for barefoot health. BOTTLED WATER isn’t. It’s a DEADLY lie sold by mega corporations. Bottled water is harmful to your health, the planet, and your wallet.
Here are FIVE REASONS TO DITCH BOTTLED WATER

  1. Plastic bottled water contains a harmful chemical, BPA. Studies suggest that BPA mimics hormones. Exposure to BPA can cause a wide variety of health issues.  Journal of the American Medical Association.[110][111] The cross-sectional study of almost 1,500 people assessed exposure to bisphenol A by looking at levels of the chemical in urine. The authors found that higher bisphenol A levels were significantly associated with heart disease, and diabetes.
  2. Plastic waste from bottled water is killing the ocean and our planet. Trashed plastic fills the ocean with a toxic soup. The Great Pacific Garbage Patch, also described as the Pacific Trash Vortex  is patch of poisonous ocean. The chemicals are deadly to fish and worst of all, jellyfish ingest the soup and carry to toxins to other parts of the sea.

    Bottle of Sprite given up on a beach of Pas-de...
    Image via Wikipedia
  3. Plastic wastes our nation’s stupid supply of nasty planet murdering oil. Plastic for bottled water takes the equivalent of about 17.6 million barrels of oil. That’s WITHOUT transportation–the oil waste is exclusively from making the bottles themselves.
  4. It’s a waste of money. The price of bottled water is usually  at least triple the cost of tap water. But isn’t it better quality? Read on.
  5. Most bottled water comes from public water sources. It’s really just filtered TAP WATER and there aren’t any regulations on its safety. Contrary to popular belief, bottle water is NOT safer than American tap water. Tap water is highly regulated, bottled water is not.

Alternative water containers for barefoot runners

  • Stainless Steel Water Bottle
    (safe sturdy, but weighty, the MOST practical, sensible alternative for the barefoot runner).

    A calabash gourd, used for drinking mate.
    Image via Wikipedia
  • Hippie Style Waterskin/ Bota Bag (Groovy, cool, very barefoot runner. But, it’s leather and they require constant care; also, they add a funky taste to the water and you have to clean then. Still better than plastic (if you use the traditional lining, NOT latex), plus they’re way more stylish.)
  • Water Gourds (About as impractical as the bota bag. Same drawbacks and killer primitive style.)
BTW, drinking too much water during strenuous exercise can lead to hypnoatremia–a deadly condition. Drinking Coconut Water is the BEST way to stay hydrated in the sweltering heat. It will restore lost electrolytes, it also provides key nutrients to prevetn “post run blues” /post run nasties.
Read my
Article about Coconut Water for More Information about this Excellent All Natural, Healthy Nutrient Dense Electrolyte Drink that you Pick up at most grocery stores.
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Ghosts of Santa Cruz

The Haunted Coast.

They say the California Central Coast is full of ghosts, that with the mists, clouds, and fog the sea brings apparitions. You never feel quite alone near the sea, especially when the hazy light fades.

I’ve felt the touch of spirits, good and bad. The good, on one of my trial runs at UCSC. It was mid day but a type of fog the natives call “pogonip” covered the sun. It filled the forest with cool drizzle. The damp charged the scent of eucalyptus and bay leaf. As I emerged from the tree covered path and entered the meadow, a burst of sun beams broke through the fog; they shined through the hole in the clouds above me. It was as if a window to heaven had opened up. I was stunned; I stopped running and just looked up in amazement at the mysterious portal. A rush of warm air blasted down. It smelled of fresh roses, strawberries, and mint. With the scent came an overcoming thrill of joy. I laughed. When I came to my senses, the portal had closed. I inhaled deeply, then continued my run. From that point onward, I had the distinct sense that someone watching over me. It was a little discomforting at first because it was so pronounced and lasted for weeks. I felt self-conscious taking showers, going to restroom, and doing other personal things. Either I got used to feeling or it went away.

A few days later, a daydreaming mother of three side swiped my Corolla. After the impact, I stepped from my car to find out if the woman who hit me was OK. She and her children were fine. I returned to my vehicle to retrieve my insurance information. Just before reaching into my glove compartment, I felt a presence tugging on my shoulder, urging me to step away from the car. I looked at the road, but it was clear. Nevertheless, the pressure to get off of the road overcame me. I left the insurance information in the car and walked to the curb. As soon as I got to the curb a huge SUV zoomed around the corner and slammed into my car, completely wrecking it.

The other supernatural encounter I had at UCSC was not so positive. It was downright frightening. And I hope it never happens again. It was about a week before the angel came to me. I was hiking across the street from family student housing. It’s an “off limits” hidden trail. The hike started out pleasant enough. I crossed a dilapidated bridge, then spied an inviting side trail. It was narrow had clovers and wild strawberries on the sides. Soon the vegetation gave way to looming redwoods, which darkened the path considerably. As I followed the trail, a growing sense of dread emerged. It got to point where I was in a panic, almost overcome with terror. I felt as I would lose my mind if stepped further, as if some malicious presence would take control. My hair raised, my heart raced. An alarm was triggered in me; it told me told me run, to get the hell out of there ASAP! But when I tried to run, I couldn’t. I was frozen in place. I tried to yell, but my voice didn’t work. Then I heard a branch snap near a ring of huge, ominous Redwoods. I know no one else was on that trial. Whatever had snapped the twig wasn’t human or animal. I knew I could not be alone with it. But I couldn’t move and I knew it was approaching. I forced myself to imagine a peregrine falcon (my totem animal) flying overhead. The grip of terror broke. I bolted off the trail and ran home.

A few days later, I decided to run an experiment, I took someone else with me to the same area, determined not to venture as far this time. I did not tell her what had happened to me the last time I went there. Sure enough, the person I was with had the same alarm signals go off. She turned to me and said, “This place is evil. We need to go.”

These are the places of power, some good, some evil. Their energy cannot be denied. Tread barefoot, it’s easier tell which is which.

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