Help A Fellow Friend of Mine

Please take a look and share to those who are willing to help out a fellow friend of mine. Here’s her story and link to where you can help out. Thank you
http://www.gofundme.com/xsb32ag

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My name is Briana and I have started this GoFundMe to get the money necessary to graduate with my bachelors and apply to med school.

I was born and raised here in Jacksonville, Fl. I graduated high school in 2005, and after 3 years at the local community I transferred to the very prestigious and private Jacksonville University. I went for a bachelors of biology, with chemistry and computer science minors, so that I could become a veterinarian. During my time there I was diagnosed with a learning disability and chronic food allergies. Both of these things caused my time at JU to go from 2-3 years , to 5, which is when I walked, but I still haven’t graduated. Everytime I failed organic chemistry I had to push graduation back by a calendar year. When I walked I had 2 classes left to take to get my degree, one for each of my minors. I tried to take classes the following semester, but I was only able to pass one with working to pay for rent, utilities, etc. Here I am 2 years later and now my degree is being held back over the tuition I owe from that extra semester, and the fact I have to retake one of the two classes.

So here’s the breakdown: the first $4300 received by this GoFundMe will go towards paying off the back tuition. This will allow me to graduate with a bachelors of biology with a computing science minor. If I want to graduate with my chemistry minor and apply to vet med school, that is going to take another $4000 to pay for the biochem class, as well as another $415 to pay for the application fees and GRE test fees. This brings us to a total of $8715. I have asked for $10000 as obviously there is a fee to GoFundMe to provide this awesome service.

I really need the help. I make about $14.30 and hour at my current job, but with the living expenses, the payments on the back tuition, and my $131k in student loans (private school), I’m still living paycheck to paycheck. I am working on trying to find a new job, but it hasn’t worked out too well given the minimal pay I need, plus the fact with my health, health insurance isn’t optional, and I don’t have my degree. I have interviewed for jobs and as soon as they find out I don’t TECHNICALY have my degree, I’m ineligible. It’s been a very hard time.

So I’m asking for $4300 to payoff the back tuition, and possibly graduate, another $4000 to take biochem again, $415 to take the GRE and apply to med school, all rounded up to cover the GFM fee. Anything I receive over what is necessary to pay for these things will go towards the student loans I have in collection, as well as the medical bills in collection, which my parents were gonna pay off but now are unable as my mother is fighting lung cancer, and my dad is missing work to take care of her.

Seriously I have a lot of debt, several health issues, including some depression, due to everything going on, and with everything and my pay I’m not making it, so I’m asking for some financial help, so I can get myself together enough to focus on my other issues a little more. Anything is appreciated!

I also want to take a moment to ask that someone PLEASE get this GoFundMe to Taylor Swift. I know that’s a weird request, but she actually donates to these things like every other month or so, and I know if she saw it she’d help me. And fast. I can give you materiel for songs if you want something in return. Seriously, I just need help, and I am a fan, so I know you do this semi regularly.

Please and thank you all!!!

http://www.gofundme.com/xsb32ag

Living Life Alaskan

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Alaska.

She’s our home. Our roots. Our foundation.

You’ll have to excuse me for my writing skills, for they are quite unsuitable for nothing more than the blog of a C student.

To most, Alaska is unknown and hardly looked at as a place one would want to live. Most people I’ve run into that have never been to Alaska think it’s located in the Gulf of Mexico (I’m kidding). But what makes those who have lived here for some time so unique? What are the first few words that come to mind when you think of yourself as ‘Alaskan’?

The first few words that come to my mind is “tough as nails”. Because in all reality, we truly are. We are a special kind of breed that separates us from the norm. Anyone who has an Alaskan friend would easily say they were “different”. We are different. We are taught to adapt, evolve, and overcome most situations in our every day Alaskan life. You have to, or you wont make it. I’ve traveled to many places and have experienced complete polar opposites of Alaska. 98% of everyone I have met outside of Alaska usually is fascinated with where I am from. This fascination usually comes after a shocked, slightly nauseated, yet curious look on their face. Yes I am from Alaska, the 49th (out of 50…Hey some folks don’t know that!) and largest state in the United States of America. With a population of 736,732, Alaska is 663,300 square miles of complete awesomeness.

Every Alaska can agree that we are bombarded with the same kind of questions every time we meet a new person in the lower 48. Some of the usual questions are; “is it always cold there?”, “have you seen a penguin?”, “is it night time all the time?”, “do you live in an igloo?”, “do you have power?”, “do you have internet?”, “do you use cars?”. The list can go on and some of those aren’t even the bad ones. Most of us have gotten use to the onslaught of bad questions and we normally are happy to answer each one with smiles and laughter.

Now most people would think that due to our smaller towns and cities, we are quite a small world. But from all my travels and cities I’ve been to, it really seems the opposite. Being Alaskan, we have to travel what city folk would call “a long way” to get to places. I live in Wasilla. Which means If I wanted to go to the mall, it would be a good 45 minute to an hour drive. We do it so often and so many things are 1-3 hours away that it becomes normal for us. A simple three or four hour drive is nothing. Hell you can drive for seven to fourteen hours straight and still be in Alaska. A small world I think not.

A city, to me, is a small world. Uncomfortably small. Everything you need is within five to ten minutes away, which to me, makes your bubble even smaller. Granted this has its perks and by no means am I bashing these perks. But I do believe things like that diminish our natural human need to explore and expand. Your whole world is packed for you in twenty blocks of concrete buildings, quarter acre lawns, billboards and traffic. It’s definitely a different kind of world. Exciting, but different.

So how would an Alaskan handle being away from the mother land? How do you transition from fresh air to just….air? Or mild traffic to…fast pace chaos. How do you go from mamma moose and her twin calves or mamma bear and her twin cubs to alley cats and and the occasional suburban dog? If any of my friends who have managed to stay out of Alaska for over a year, please comment with answers. I’m not oppose to moving out of Alaska, for I love exploring and risk taking. But I was born here and I’ll die here.

What would you miss the most?

I’d miss everything. I’d miss those winters of going snowboarding in untouched snow. That soreness you get from a full blue bird day of shredding down the side of an Alaskan mountain. I’d miss spending a good afternoon mowing the grass and weed whacking, then having a beer shortly after and admiring your fresh groomed lawn. I’d miss local mom and pop restaurants and businesses. I’d miss the community that we have which is full of kindness (for the most part) as well as that unique Alaskan, independent mentality that we all have. I’d miss the natural season change indicators. The termination dust on the mountain, which means winter is coming. The rotting leaves dog shit smell in the April, which means spring is here. The fireweed as it begins its journey from green, to purple bloom, to the funky cotton stage, and then finally orange and red. That crisp smell in the air just before and after a fresh snow fall. I’d miss the “do it yourself” attitude because in Alaska, sometimes there isn’t a business you can just call to fix a certain thing. You have to just do it. I love that.

Could I live anywhere else?

Why not? Adapt, evolve, and overcome…right? Seems like everywhere could use a little dash of Alaskan. In a few years who knows what the world will offer me and my soon to be bride. I just hope, where ever we live for a bit, they have good salmon….and real crab. They gotta have real crab…

Adapt. Evolve. Overcome.

I was born in Alaska. I will die in Alaska.

Extra Life Fundraiser!

Dear Friends and Family,

I’m on a mission to save kids and I need your help. My local Children’s Miracle Network Hospital treats thousands of children each year, regardless of their family’s ability to pay. These kids are facing scary stuff like cancer, cystic fibrosis, and injuries from accidents to name just a few.

I’ll be participating in this huge worldwide celebration of the social impact of gamers of all kinds from video games to board games and tabletop RPG’s! Since 2010, Extra Life has raised more than $14 million to help children’s hospitals provide critical treatments and healthcare services, pediatric medical equipment, research and charitable care. It’s my sincere hope that you’ll find it in your heart to support my efforts with a monthly pledge or one-time gift that will go directly to my hospital.

Your donation is tax-deductible and ALL PROCEEDS go to help kids.

I need your help to reach my goal For The Kids. Please make a safe, easy donation online today. Click the “Support This Participant” button on this page to get started. Thank you so much for supporting my efforts!

Check out my page:

http://www.extra-life.org/index.cfm?fuseaction=donorDrive.participant&participantID=149264

Things To Do Before I’m Forty

bucket-list1 Things to do before I’m forty. A good friend approached me with this one the other week and challenged myself and Nicole to think of a few things. I figured I’d make it into a blog and try to get some fun participation from my readers. The list can be endless with me but I’ll try to keep it simple yet fun. If you would like to throw your list in via comments or pm please do so! Here goes nothing. 1. Travel To Italy 

I mean who the hell doesn’t want to visit Italy? This is probably one of my all time must do and must do freaking quick! I’ve always been fascinated with Italy and everything it has to offer, which to my knowledge is food, history, beautiful sites, and food. Yes I know that’s not all but I suppose I’ll just have to find out huh? Selfies with the coliseum, naked statues, white sand beaches, endless Italian food. The list could go on….and on…..and on. Just give me four weeks and a lonely planet book.

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2. Sky Dive 

Now I had no interest in doing this until I met Adam Chapman. He was the first person I’ve met who didn’t just sky dive once, but made it into a hobby. Hearing his experiences and stories of the adrenaline rush one gets before and after jumping out of a perfectly good airplane was enough to persuade me to do it. I’m a fairly homey kind of guy, but once I get my adventure ball rolling, it’s on.

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3. Cage Dive With A Great White Shark

I’m scared of them. Well maybe not scared of them but I’m sure as hell scared of being eaten alive. How much would that suck huh? At the same time, one must conquer their fears by facing them. So I want to face a great white shark. I want to face them right in their face with a GoPro. Then I’m gonna take a photo of me facing their face and Facebook it via Wifi as I’m in the shark cage being a fear facing facer guy. Yeah. shark

4. Travel To The Philippines 

I’ve always wanted to trace back some roots on that particular side of the family. This one is a long shot but it really doesn’t have to be. I want to spend several weeks traveling around with a small bag, my lady, my camera, and one hell of an appetite. Part of me loves the grime and grit of traveling deep into a city and really absorbing the culture and all it has to offer. I want to go to place not many of the people I know would ever be able to go and maybe bring back a little to share with them.

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5. Have A Kid…Or Two

Babies! More Amidons! You know you all want more Amidons in your life. I hope some day to have a kid on the way (whenever the Mrs. is ready of course). Being the greatest creation my parents have ever….created (this includes my sisters Caiti and Alex. Love you punks) , why not give them a creation created by the greatest creation of creations?

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6. Visit Europe for A Second Time

I LOVE Europe and I certainly didn’t get enough of it. Not even the tip of the iceberg if you ask me. I will always be a history freak, especially World War 1&2. I’d like to take another four solid weeks and just backpack around with the lady and camera. France, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Belgium (waffles bro!). This one is also a not soon but freakin soon pleasekthxbye.

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7. Get Married

Most of the people I know want to get married or already are and as far as some of you may know, I’ve jumped on the band wagon already! Yes that’s right. I found the winner of the ol’ ball n chain contest and shes the best ever. I’m thankful that she puts up with my nonsense and rebellious habits. We will be getting married in the Florida Keys on December 19th, 2015. You can check that box!

JS

8. Meet A Navy Seal

Considered one of the worlds most lethal war fighter. I admire these guys and their skills in combat. I could only dream of being one and I would love to listen to one of their stories, assuming I met one that was okay with telling one of course. Next lifetime I’ll join up :P.

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AT&T 4g Finally Hits Kuparuk…Many Lives Saved

It’s Been A Long Battle……But it’s all about to come to and end.
As I sat with my crew, burying my face in chicken strips, mahi mahi and flank steak, we discussed the recent events that have gone on these past two days. The Dalton highway from Fairbanks to Prudoe Bay was shut down due to flooding and foul weather. Over 700 loads were backed up as well as dozens of semi trucks carrying fuel, supplies, ect. This in return caused our whole camp to shut down and only allow critical work in order to ration what fuel we had left. It was rumored to be about 3-5 days of waiting but it looks like we will be heading out tonight.

>><< Now back to the point of this blog. >><< AT&T. You bastards. We love you and we hate you. But right now we love you. In my 4 years of employment in Kuparuk, I’ve had AT&T. The sad thing is AT&T doesn’t have 4g and barely even has service. Countless hours of “can you hear me now?”, texts never sending, receiving random messages from strangers, skimming by for weeks on end with a half bar. And lets not forget my favorite “Off Network” message displayed about 98% of the time, kindly reminding you that AT&T is absolute shit up here. “Off Network”……..oh Off Network….I’ll give you “Off Network”. OH! and lets certainly not forget….”E”………..fucking “E”! >><< E stands for Edge (It’s where the 4G icon usually is but it’s absolute doodoo) >><<

Edge……….A perfect name for it, except it might as well mean the EDGE of the solar system, because that’s where “Edge” should be found. Not here. Not an hour and ten minute plane ride from civilization. Among other icons and letters, I’ve seen it all. Everything from O to its little buddy o and even “G”. What the hell is all of that anyway? Do they use the whole damn alphabet? Clearly you can sense my anger towards this problem because not more than 45 minutes away is Prudoe Bay and they have been bathing in AT&T 4g for awhile now. It cuts right off as if we were behind some microwave iron curtain, keeping Kuparuk in some late 90s primitive communication block. I am a child of the late 80s and I do know how to live without cellphones and crap but come on! This is the age of social media and being up here is already extremely secluded and cut off from your average civilization.

Cry no more.

Because as I am typing this, a little man by the name of 4G man, good guy, is standing on a ladder, patching in beautiful blue cables that will connect us to home. The brand new, smooth, sturdy cables that serve as an internet highway for messages, videos, email, everything, is finally being installed. The man installing them…well to him it’s just an average day doing what he does. He has NO IDEA that he is a Kuparuk hero. You sir, will never be forgotten. Rumor has it by end of spring, the whole field should have 4g. It’s still a ways to go……but its happening. It’s really happening.

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We’ll Roll On With Our Heads Held High

Pre-hitch blues. That’s what I like to call my attitude for the last 48 hours of R&R. Don’t get me wrong, I’m thankful for still having a job considering what has happened in the last few weeks. Due to price of oil, or so they say, in order for the company to stay competitive in the market, they had to do a massive lay off and out of 75 or so people, 16 of which were friends, brothers, co workers, from my crew. I’m not sure what I would do If I was one of those who ended up getting cut. There’s so much needed to be done and paid for in my life at the moment. I put myself in their shoes and I imagine it would be a lost at sea feeling. Stuck in a little boat in the middle of the night with only a small flare to signal help but no one can see and a big ass storm is approaching. It’s always tough leaving home and always thinking about the things that still need to be done. That feeling usually lasts about two or three days and then I’m in the game.

>><< Some reason my itunes duplicated some of my music, wtf >><<

One thing I look forward to is fire training. I’ll be heading down to Kenai for blue hat training. Pretty excited because I’d like to take advantage as much as possibly and hopefully volunteer locally when I’m home. Long term I’d like to be full time fire fighter here in Wasilla. Always good to have a back up plan and right now I don’t. I probably should have a back up plan for the back up plan but ef you because some of us can’t think that far ahead.

>><< I’m thinking about switching back to iphone instead of Samsung but I’m not really sure yet >><<

Praying this hitch goes by quick. They usually do but the first week always seems slow. The constant thought of “are we going to be here next week?” “are we next for a cut?” “I cant spend any freaking money because I dont know if Ill have a job in 4 months. BUY SMALL THINGS. ONLY SMALL THINGS” I wonder if the company considers the psychological effects on each individual employee and the possible chemical imbalance it might have over time. Hmm something to look into. Can I hire an undercover psychologist?

>><< Taking Back Sunday just came on, yay for singing old high school memory music while ranting. >><<

There is a routine every slope worker goes through. We like to push getting ready for work until the last minute. I still have clothes to wash from last hitch *screw you it doesnt smell because I dont sweat all gross like and no it’s not because I dont work as hard as someone else I’m just gifted ok?*

>><< P.S. Im done trying to make all my grammar correct. >><<

My routine is quite simple. I pack all my clothes and pick a good book to read. Four pairs of socks, four shirts, plenty of underwear, vitamins, bathroom junk, emergenC, a pillow case that smells like home because home is better than work, a half a billion chargers, cords, and all the crap that keeps us connected to the outside world because if it wasn’t for that I’m sure we’d all go insane *don’t give me that bullshit lecture on how shit was ran back in the day because we aren’t back in the day and yes society has fallen to technology so get over it bro*

>><< What really irritates me is the fact that my kinect on my xbox at shit the other day, now I have to turn it off the old fashion way by holding down a button. Third world country stuff >><<

Laptop is up to date, I cleaned the house as much as possible and I’m ready to get to work so I can get home. It will be nice seeing the boys (whats left of them). Always a good time when things are going smooth and we can crack a few hundred laughs. Until, pray for a phase day. I enjoy blogging to no one on a phase day.

>><< Go listen to Voxtrot – Raised By Wolves and what the hell is Tracy Chapman doing on my itunes >><<

Lightroom 5 (Seeking Some Help!)

Seeking tips from anyone familiar with Lightroom 5 Photo editing software. My usual method of buying things and learning as I go hasn’t failed me but I am always open to a pro. Seeing as I am simultaneously playing World of Warcraft, photo editing, and blogging, my attention span is spread thin.