Blog Archives

Do You Know Sarah Palin?

 

I was twenty three years old, visiting San Fransisco, California for an Angels & Airwaves concert. Before handing my card to the Starbucks cashier, I knew it was coming. I clamped my teeth down hard, tensing up my facial muscles, the eye twitch slowly pulsating.

Then he asked.

A wild card of a question, the nail in the coffin, a real winner.

“Do you know Sarah Palin?” followed by “Can you actually see Russia from your house?”

Damn him. Damn her. I mean most of us don’t even like Sarah Palin but in her defense, for her statement to be taken literally, you must be an idiot. I mean I took at as “her house” meaning from some area of Alaska and she meant it as… like “welcome to MY HOUSE” or “this is my turf!”. Technically you can see Russia from Little Diomede Island, Alaska.

My response to him was yes, I know her, we party with her all the time in our igloos where we ice fish from our living room. I told him this concrete jungle was a major culture shock to me and that this was my first time in a Starbucks. If you didn’t know I was a smart ass troll, now you do.

starbucks-coffee-barista

hqdefault

…”Are there any trees in Alaska?”…

     I woke up to another five inches of snow on top of the two feet we accumulated last week. Don’t get me wrong, I’m ready for summer, but I’m glad this years winter feels very much like an old school Alaskan winter. The last few winters have been terrible, brown, and warm. I mean I’m so excited to actually be able to smell dog shit this spring.
Days like today always make me nostalgic. Seeing the lawn with a fresh blanket of untouched snow while the tree branches hang heavy. The power lines bounding up and down and our vehicles looking like a snow cube with wheels. It was snowing hard this morning and the snowflakes were the size of half dollars. The wind was kicking up too, making visibility mildly poor. I love it.
I’m sure my outsider friends get sick of me always talking Alaska up but I just can’t help myself. Just about everyone has some kind of pride overload with their home town or state. But ours is just a litttttttttttle bit better and as I’ve said, you’re entitled to your wrong opinion but I assure you, ours IS better.
But what makes us truly better? What annoys the shit out of us? Why do some of us hold ourselves to a higher standard? There are probably a million reasons/answers and to be honest I don’t have enough time in my lifetime to explain each one, so I asked all of you, my friends on FB, those who have known me for most of my life and those who I’ve known for only a few years.

durangomaskup

“Are you part of the United States?”

The summers here in Alaska are perfect even though the sky is bright into the night. Fishing, camping, mudding and hunting is GREAT! Traveling in Alaska may take hours but the drive is so beautiful, it doesn’t matter.Winters are fun for some and not so much for the ones who don’t like the cold but you cannot deny that the snow doesn’t make everything look amazing. There is ice fishing, snowshoeing, ice skating, snowboarding, skiing and snow machining! Yes, we here in Alaska call it snow machining! So, if you want to “fit in” and not look like a tourist, remember to call it that.

I went to visit family in Louisiana back in the summer of 2005. I was 15 and a girl who was 18 asked me if we had houses, roads, and cars but the winner of questions was when she asked me if we had cats in Alaska. I was sitting there surrounded by about 7 other teens who were just waiting for an answer

-Danielle Darlyn Rheault

“Is it like….night time all the time there?”

When I moved to FL someone asked me if we had different money in Alaska? I assume she was thinking about Canada, but still…..lol

Also the thing I miss most about Alaska is the down to earth attitude from people and people always willing to help you on the road. It just doesn’t happen here. People aren’t into the latest fashion trends or superficial shit like they are in the lower 48 for some reason, we’re truly our own little world

My tire blew out on a main road when I was (obviously) pregnant, it took 5 minutes for someone to pull over and help me, and the guy told me that I was lucky because “people around here don’t stop to help”. He wasn’t trying to be a dick about it, as he was happy to help me and tried to refuse my 10$ I gave him for stopping. When I got back to work (I was a delivery driver at the time) ALL my co workers were like “Oh wow, you’re lucky someone stopped!”

“My most memorable Alaska ditch moment was hitting a patch of black ice coming off the muldoon exit and the truck behind me immediately stopped, pulled me out, AND followed me to eagle river walmart, one of the girls even rode with me to make sure i got there safely!”

-Amy Benson
        

“Do you ever see penguins?”

People would leave their cars unlocked in the Bush in case the car needed to be moved to make room for the snowplows and graters. People in the Lower 48 looked at me like I had three heads when I told them I wasn’t used to locking my car.”

-Sophia Ramage

“Is there anything to do in Alaska?”

     Nope not at all so you probably should just stay exactly where you’re at. Ok I’m kidding. There’s loads to do here but honestly 80% of it is outdoor stuff, so if that’s your thing, you’d be in heaven. I’m not even too outdoorsy but I can appreciate it enough to just enjoy being out side, even if it is mowing the lawn three times a day, or picking up sticks in the yard, or finding simple little things to do just to keep me outside. My friend Stephen Griffin use to say “sleeping in during the summer is a waste of a day” and I still believe that to this day. I still think that Alaska is one of the last places where imagination actually still comes into play when entertaining yourself. Yeah we have clubs, bars, theaters, malls, blah blah it’s all there with a small town feel that even makes THOSE different.
It’s really annoying when people don’t even have the slightest knowledge on Alaska. I mean the first few you run into are fine but eventually, it gets old. I remember in the first grade, we had to memorize all the states, write them in on a blank map, as well as the province codes (AK,AR,MN,FL, etc.). “Is Alaska part of the US?” yes, yes we are. There are 50 stars on that flag and who exactly do you think number 49 and 50 are? So if you ever hear the term AK49, now you know, Alaska, the 49th state mtherfcker represent whaaat.

When did we become a state? We became a state on Jan. 3rd, 1959. We have a population of 736,732 as of 2014. Our state bird is the Willow Ptarmigan and we are known as “the last frontier” and YES, we are the biggest state. Sorry Texas, you just don’t cut it. You’re cute being in second place and what not, but no….sit down….all the way down…yay good girl you did it! Now stay.

“Do you have electricity in Alaska?”

     “I visited New York for a few weeks. It was terrible and everyone was out for themselves it seemed. I instantly missed the community we have. As soon as someone found out I was from Alaska they seemed to feel sorry for me, as if I had a tough life in such a rough place. But honestly I’m glad Alaska isn’t easy to live in. If i wanted to live in an easy mindless place, then I suppose I’d choose anywhere in the lower 48”

– Anonymous

“Alaska is just a frozen wasteland”

     That was actually said by some kid on the internet while I was playing World Of Warcraft. I made him feel real stupid shortly after, it was refreshing. It’s amazing the image folks have about our state, probably from all the stupid ass shows that have come out over the last ten or fifteen years. I use to want us noticed and on the map but now that I think of it, I prefer to be in the shadows of mystery. Hell I prefer people to still think we are located in the Gulf of Mexico. However google is an amazing tool, I mean we just got it a year ago here in Alaska and we’ve learned so much about flux capacitors and instant messaging and moving pictures, you should try to look up Alaska sometime! I promise we aren’t all like this. I’m just the voice that speaks what everyone probably thinks. It’s a dirty job but someone has to do it.

“I really want to pet a bear”

bear5

No you don’t.

“Do you guys have cars to get around?”

 

car

Totally. Well….most of a car.

“Is it ever green in Alaska?”

    I suppose our “small town feel” is much like any other small town community, only ours feels state wide. I love the fact that you can be anywhere in the world and as soon as you run into another “Alaskan” you instantly form a bond. Kind of like a friendly neighbor vibe type thing.

     As kids, we are taught that playing in subzero temps is okay and perfectly safe, snow days and school being cancelled rarely ever happens (three in my entire school career from kindergarten to my senior year). One of the best looks on an outsider’s face is after I’ve told them we don’t shut down for snow storms. In fact I don’t think I ever had a “snow day” due to actual snow because usually it’s when we get loads of freezing rain and everything turns into an ice rink. They would only keep us kids inside for recess if it was -30 or worse (now days its probably -20). We would bundle up and go have fun outside. Believe it or not, when you are cold, its best to actually move because movement creates heat and heat creates smiles and happy faces yay!! But when you don’t move, and you lock up, you will die. When you die while locked up, you’re found in the same way, frozen, pitiful and blue. 

     Most of us are educated with fire arms at a young age, hell my Uncle Steve bought me a .22 rifle at the age of five. 

     We use our imagination outside….a lot. Pretty sure as a kid, we taught ourselves a primitive version of shelter building and surviving in the wild. Not even kidding when I say I could construct you a nice little post zombie shanty that could sustain through winter. Try me.

“It’s just cold all the time there..”

102.jpg

Willow, Alaska

“Where else but Alaska do you find this kind of beauty and make such wonderful memories with your children?”

-Anonymous

“You’re bragging about Alaska all the time, chill out”

wayne

Trust me, I’m chill. We even “chill” better than you can.

me-an-dcody

“I’ve never been to Alaska, but it’s not my cup of tea”

     Toooootally fine and we understand and I promise you we will forget you even said that in like…. wait…what did you say? I forgot. I do encourage all to visit Alaska though. Really….I do. But you have to have an honest curiosity. If you don’t, and you expect it to be like where you live, then you’ll be let down. Then, like a disappointed customer, you’ll spread the negative review to an average 15-20 people. We already get a bad rep from stupid inaccurate t.v. shows and loud mouth politicians…. and people who can’t Google. It does get annoying when they have an idea of how life looks like in a third world country and compare this idea to what it might be like in Alaska, only with snow.

Oh look, it’s groundhog day, looks like we have six weeks of winter left. Well…No shit.

Sorry I was distracted.

“How do you stay warm inside?”

We use ancient alien technology from the planet Argus that harnesses the power of the sun and stores it in our own fusion cells which we then use to channel through flux capacitor copper lines known as “baseboard heating”. Some people are fancy and can afford to upgrade to a forced air type heat, which feeds off the same system. Crazy huh?

Yeah this blog is all over the place but that’s how I want it.

“Alaska > everywhere else because I have too much debt to move lol”

-Martyn Anderson

I’ll leave the rest of this rant open ended for those who message me their stories and annoyances, so I can add it as I go and it can be forever logged in the never ending, living, breathing, void of the internet.

And FYI, there are no freaking penguins in Alaska.

 

Advertisements

Head First Into 2017

Almost daily I think about continuing my blog, but then I forget. I’m not sure what the difference these short updates are as compared to my bombardments of Facebook status posts. Maybe I just admire typing on a much bigger white wall of pixels. Or maybe it feels more professional doing it on my WordPress, which I know generates audiences from all over the world, reading my toilet humor rants and reviews.

So for the update, I’m still living off of “unenjoyment” (thanks Adam for that new word). Applying for jobs only to be turned down by the simple ones, even places where I’ve had years of experience in anyway. The usual answer from them is “we just aren’t interested” or “we’ve decided to go with other candidates”.  The little money I do get from my fire department shifts as well as the unemployment has been enough to cover my end of the bills. My kickass hard working wife has taken up the rest of the slack, so I’m forever thankful for that.

I’ve decided to become a “self student” ? Not sure if that’s a thing but it is now because I said so, since I have so much time on my hands, and I’ve become part of another family, the Central Matsu Fire Department, I might as well take advantage of all things available to me. I’ve picked up an EMT 1 study book, dusted off my First Responder 8th edition EMT book, started on my Fire Fighter Essentials book, and most recently, my Hazmat Ops book, which is a prerequisite for my Fire Fighter 1 this fall. It has the highest failure rate, about 50% I was told, so of course this has become priority. I’ve never been study smart or book smart so I do my best with at least an hour or two a day, just reading through and getting familiar, highlighting, tabbing, and a lot of googling.

I’ve also just recently landed an interview with Water Rescue on Tuesday. I’m still 50/50 about it only because I’d like to put 100% to my Hazmat studying but we’ll see. Nicole and I have California coming up in March to see her family. We wanted to do Vegas as well with my sisters and mom but just couldn’t swing it like we wanted to. Until then, stay safe, stay warm, & don’t play with fire.

Project Carneum

I have been summoned for a set of band pictures.

Conceived deep within the the flesh halls of hell, followed by a macabre of grotesque murders and sacrifices. I hope to bring you the black metal image of Carneum.

I have begun my study on black metal band photography.

Coming soon, June 2016

 

 

A Dormant Rebellion

Named

Photo by Ian Amidon

Code Name: Stellarwind

-Hunted-

     Let’s step back a few years before Edward Snowden became the United States of Americas most wanted man. Stellarwind was created by the NSA (Nation Security Agency) just after 9/11. The project was approved by President Bush and was exposed and revealed to the New York Times by Thomas Tamm in 2008. It was a foundation that later evolved into new and different legal structures that allowed Bush and Obama to create more programs and expand their reach.
The program allows for data mining massive databases of American citizens which included emails, financial transactions, telephone conversations, and internet activity. Several internal disputes inside the U.S. Justice Department about the program over the fact that it didn’t just collect date on targets of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act but mass quantities of people as well.

“…the Stellarwind cases were referred to by FBI agents as “pizza cases” because many seemingly suspicious cases turned out to be food takeout orders. According to then-FBI Director Robert Mueller, approximately 99% of the cases led nowhere…”

-Wikipedia

     Further reading into justifications as to why the program was important, I realized that is seemed as if the 9/11 attacks was used as the final push for this program to be in place. Now that the people of the United States had an enemy on its own soil that organized the attacks right here in the home land, reasons to have a program that collected data on persons of interest seemed like a good idea to the American people. Little did they know, Stellarwind would be used to collect data on just about everyone. We were all persons of interests and it was without warrants.

-How Strange, Innocence-

      “…In 2004, the head of the Office of Legal Counsel, Jack Landman Goldsmith, wrote at least two legal memos authorizing the program, “We conclude only that when the nation has been thrust into an armed conflict by a foreign attack on the United States and the president determines in his role as commander in chief . . . that it is essential for defense against a further foreign attack to use the [wiretapping] capabilities of the [National Security Agency] within the United States, he has inherent constitutional authority” to order warrantless wiretapping — “an authority that Congress cannot curtail,” Goldsmith wrote in a 108-page memo dated May 6, 2004. In March 2004, the OLC concluded the e-mail program was not legal, and then-Acting Attorney General James Comey refused to reauthorize it…”

-Wikipedia

Thomas Tamm was born in 1952 and received his education from Brown University. He is a former attorney for the U.S. Department of Justice and is a known whistleblower. Tipped off by Tamm,  the New York Times released and article on December 16, 2005, exposing Stellarwind. A little over a year later, the FBI raided Tamms house and in 2011, the Justice Department dropped all charges against Tamm and did not file charges.

     Today, Stellarwind is in full force with several programs grown off of it’s foundation. NSA still collects data on the people of the United States as well as working together with several other European countries.

Sources:
Wikipedia, Google

One Nation, Under Surveillance

     I pledge allegiance, to the flag, of the United States of America. And to the republic for which it stands, one nation, under surveillance, always divided, for liberty and justice for all.

Waking Up

It’s five o’clock in the morning. My alarm fades in slowly with the song “Waking Up” by Explosions In The Sky. I usually wake up this early to take my wife to work so it’s nothing out of the ordinary. She’s a hard worker. I admire that.

The morning is quiet. I like it.

It’s always quiet this early. It’s quiet because our little world hasn’t started up yet. The rest of the world has, but not ours. I like to absorb the quiet after dropping my wife off. The cats usually sleep in and the dogs tend to hop right back on the bed and pass out. I start my morning by making myself a spam omelette and a coffee with three sugars. I don’t add much creamer now days, I guess I’ve out grown it.

After my meal, I take my coffee and sit down at my desk. I call it the command center. It’s the central processor of my stronghold. My “Jarvis”.

“Good morning sir”

I say to myself out loud in a British “Jarvis” voice as my desktop comes to life. By now the faint blue daylight begins to filter over the mountain view that greets me every morning. I open my web browser and log into my usual social medias. Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, & WordPress.

I am plugged in.

A Storm Is Coming

The news feed. A constantly evolving digital wave of opinions, ideas, beliefs, products, pictures, and sometimes pointless nonsense. The list goes on. It’s where our lives are written out and recorded in real time. It’s brilliant and truly wonderful.

It’s also a war zone.

A battlefield with multiple factions shelling the living shit out of each other day and night.

The quiet is over.

#Trump2016, #feelthebern, #blacklivesmatter, #hillary2016, #GOPdebate. Hashtags thrown around like hand grenades. Alliances are formed and relationships destroyed as easy as “unfriend”. You’re in the trenches and you’re as powerful as ever because you’re behind a keyboard. You no longer have to share an opinion face to face. You’re safe and secure because you’re in the matrix. Memes are like propaganda bombs filled with false or exaggerated facts about opposing parties but good job bro, really stuck it to em with that one!

We’re all guilty of it really. It’s all part of it. But I find it hard to take a side in all this. I mean I have my beliefs and I have my reasons for who I will vote for but I can’t seem to label it. You can’t claim to be a Republican anymore without being labeled a racist or bigot. You can’t claim to be a Democrat without being labeled a lazy liberal. You can’t fly a Tea Party flag without being called a tea bagger.

When did we lose ourselves? When did we go from a melting pot to a pot of water with individual groups of oil floating around? There’s so many groups and labels that we’ve started to suffocate in it all. We’ve lost sight of who the true enemy is and we are too busy climbing on top of one another as we grasp for air and try to soak up the lime light even if it’s for a quick second. It’s exhausting and like I said before….we’ve looked away from the true enemy and they are reaping all the benefits from it.

Human Qualities

Edward Snowden.

He was born on June 21st, 1983 in Elizabeth City, North Carolina. He is a former CIA employee as well as a former employee for Booz Allen Hamilton which is a company contracted by the NSA. He’s widely known for the **theft of government property, unauthorized communication of national defense information, and willful communication of classified intelligence to an unauthorized person”.

** source via wikipedia

Recently I read Glenn Greenwalds book “No Place Left To Hide” which covers what happened when Snowden contacted Greenwald about the documents he had obtained.

“…Opposition to government invasion of privacy was a major factor in the establishment of the United States itself, as American colonists protested laws that let British officials ransack at will any home they wished…”

Greenwald said.

The Fourth Amendment:

“The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the person’s or things to be seized.”

As Greenwald said,

“It was intended, above all, to abolish forever in America the power of the government to subject its citizens to generalized, suspicionless surveillance.”

I also read that in the mid-nineteenth century, British government began opening its citizens mail, due to the development of rail ways and rapid delivery, which caused a major scandal in the UK. By the mid 1970s, Frank Church investigated the FBI and found that they had labeled a half a million US citizens as potential “subversives” and had spied on people based on their political affiliations.

Snowden handed documents over to Greenwald providing information about the US government partnering with providers, allowing them to sift through emails, messages, video chats, phone calls, voicemails and other means of communication. The data collected is then stored for access whenever they wanted. These major providers include; Microsoft, Google, Yahoo!, Facebook, Paltalk, Youtube, Skype, AOL, and Apple. This was a project called PRISM, which allows NSA to collect data directly from servers.

PRISM

Actual leaked NSA slide provided by Edward Snowden. NOFORN at the bottom right means no foreign governments/companies can see this slide.

Do you feel comfortable with that? If you are, you’ve already lost.

Some other things Snowden discovered was the governments ability to activate your phone’s microphone and camera capabilities even if it was connected to the internet or not. Greenwald met Snowden in Hong Kong along with two other reporters. They composed articles and stories for their publisher to release to the world. The story caught like a wild fire. The government has never denied the accusations.

A Song of Our Fathers

To say this story is mere conspiracy theory is only, to me, words used by those in denial. Civil liberties groups, Wikipedia, and many more have filed lawsuits against the NSA. That list can be found here. Edward Snowden found something terribly wrong with our government and felt that it was time the people finally had proof that they are watched, spied on, recorded and documented. Our government states that it’s for the greater good of the country. To help catch those who plot and plan to destroy our way of life. So once again I ask you, are you comfortable with this? If you have nothing to hide, them you have nothing to fear right? You have already lost.

Greenwald said..

“Governments around the world have made vigorous attempts to train citizens to disdain their own privacy. A litany of now-familiar platitudes has convinced people to tolerate sever encroachments into their private realm; so successful are these justifications that many people applaud as the authorities collect vast amounts of data about what they say, read, buy and do-and with whom”

If you are okay with it, then accept and admit that you are submissive. Submission, to me, is an act of something as low, if not lower than that of something on a microbial level. Yes it is true that there is nothing we can do about it, verbally anyway. This very article will be flagged and possibly looked at given the very contents contained in it, even though it is not even scratching the surface. I did that so you could research yourself and learn a bit.

Trembling Hands

While we squabble about, lobbing verbal abuses towards opposing parties on the constant stream of our news feeds that’s ever flowing. I hope one day the rest of us come to light that we divide ourselves because we let them. We are doing exactly what they want us to do and that is to remain as separate little twigs. A single twig is weak, but a bundle of twigs is strong. We are not a bundle. I fear we are broken and will be for some time. We vote for celebrities, not politicians. We form opinions off of trending topics without actually doing research and when some do research, they read one side of the story. We read media headlines that dice up, alter, and change what’s said to what they want you to read because they know you’ll only read the headline anyway. We watch as candidates dig up dirt on one another and bash each other in their debates. It’s a shame we’ve lost our ability to recognize when something isn’t right. That we now think rebellion on a violent level is an act of terrorism. That we are growing comfortable of the thought of being unarmed. That it’s okay for them to search our lives without reason. We scare too easily. We have weakened. I won’t give up on the country, but to be honest I feel that electing someone,no matter who it is, wont change anything on the grand scale that needs to happen.

flag

Sources I used for this mini article were:

Wikipedia, Google, and the book “No Place Left To Hide” by Glenn Greenwald
Also check out the preview for Oliver Stones ‘Snowden’

Death From Above

carneum

     On Thursday, February 11th, I had the opportunity to snap some photos of a local band practicing in their living room. I wanted to practice shooting photos with the limited equipment I had. I worked with what I was given and over all it was a good time watching these talented musicians play through a handful of originals. The chemistry was on point and I could hear each individuals influences brew together in a concoction of beefy rifts and clever lyrical madness that filled the surrounding atmosphere as I moved about snapping photos while fighting the urge to head bang….

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you Carneum

DSC_0063

Tyler Byrum – Vocals

DSC_0209

Justin Benner – Bass

DSC_0450

Adam Chapman – Guitar

DSC_0137

John Cooper – Guitar

DSC_0122

Kaylan Wade – Drums

More photos from the entire spread can be found here.

Amidon Lampoons Vacation

The Year of Travel

     For the past few weeks, let’s face it, facebook has been owned by our big wedding. Hundreds of photos have been uploaded and more photos here and there have been uploaded almost daily. We still can’t believe how well everything went and it all still feels like it was a dream because it happened so fast. Since the day I proposed to Nicole, it seemed like the wedding day was never going to arrive and now that it has, I wish the vacation wasn’t over.

Which brings me to introduce our next adventure!

   “…Make record of your journey…”

     A few months after the proposal, I started brain storming a plan. I didn’t want our honeymoon to be a cliche one trip kinda thing. I always try and do things different so why not this. I thought of a three to four phase honeymoon involving three or four trips spread through out the year of 2016. I’ve done quite a bit of traveling but Nicole hasn’t been to too many places so I figured this would be the perfect opportunity to get the travel bug going for her! So instead of getting on a plane right after our wedding and going somewhere exotic, we have decided to visit Hawaii, California and Japan.

Phase One: Pure Aloha

     Our first trip will be my other motherland. Nicole has yet to meet my family in Maui so we decided it is time for her to get some aloha! I know Maui fairly well my memory so I want to show her the island and all of it’s beauty. We want to spend maybe a week there and then head of to Oahu for three days or so. This trip will be in April.

Phase Two: California Dreaming

     I’m not too fond of California really but we thought it would be a cool idea to hit up Disneyland and all that jazz for Nicoles birthday. My sister Alex may tag along and I’m not sure if Caiti can but that would be cool. I’ve been to San Fransisco and it wasn’t too bad of a city but I’m willing to give elsewhere a shot. We figured four days would be adequate enough. This trip will be in May.

Phase Three: Tora! Tora! Tora!

    Last but not least, Japan. My good buddy Wayne approached me last year with this idea. He wanted the three of us to go to Japan and I was immediately on board. I have never been to Japan but it’s always been a place I’ve wanted to visit. It got Nicoles attention once she realized there was a Disney in Japan as well lol. The night Wayne drummed up the idea, I ordered a lonely planet book on Japan. When it came in, I read nearly the whole thing and researched things I found interesting. I tabbed things of interest in three different categories; “must do” , “would be rad”, and “if we are near with time to kill”. I started north and mapped my way down through out the islands. It seems like a solid route and hits everyone’s places of interests as well as some bonus spots I didn’t even know existed. This trip will be in September.

We are super excited and I especially because I get to shove all this in your faces and hopefully inspire some of you to travel as well, maybe even with us.

To be continued….

My Name is Cody

roarDear reader,

I’ve commandeered my masters keyboard for the time being and I figured I’d do a quick dlog (see what I did there? Dlog! A “Dog blog”). I figured I would give some insight on who I am since I’m the favorite despite the efforts of this new pup that goes by the name of ‘Roman’. Shithead thinks he’s so cool with that name.

I was two years old when I was adopted by my human. He stumbled on my ad on Craigslist one fine morning before work. My old human had put me up for sale for $50 and her story was that she was losing her home (which she ran a daycare out of) and needed to get rid of all of us. My human called the other human (Sandy) and was interested in adopting me. They quickly set up a time to meet outside the Wasilla Home Depot. My sister and I arrived in Sandy’s red subaru. We were kenneled in the back along side mounds of clothes and boxes. She pulled up next to a tall, good looking young man in a green dodge intrepid. He was wearing a silly orange polo with a logo that matched the store. I was let out of my kennel and that was when I met Ian. I was scared and unsure of my surrounding and it was raining. I don’t like the rain. Ian began to pet me head and I licked his hands….yumm….Chinese food. He gave Sandy $60 and placed me in the back seat. *Sniff* Fabreeze! Hawaiian Ocean Breeze, Fred Meyer special. Nice. On the ride home, I moved from the back seat to the front seat. Ian asked me to shake and so I did…yes it’s nice to meet you again.

My new home was a small one bed room mother-in-law apartment that was clean and well kept. I smelled two creatures known as cats, who didn’t care for me much at first. The space was adequate and the carpet in the bedroom was decent to lay on. I made my way to the office room which had a smaller couch and a TV! That was when Ian snapped the very first photo of me in my new home:Skinny Cody

I was a sickly 35 lbs. You could see every rib of mine as well as my hips and spine. Dad (I will start referring to him as Dad now) decided he needed to do a Wal-Mart run for my food and some toys! He left me alone in my new home…. which scared me…You see I had this thing where when I’m left alone…I worry…I bark for someone to come. I eat things I’m not suppose to and sometimes I use the potty where I’m not suppose to. Dad was not aware of this. I found myself eating the feline food. All of it. I found their water bowl on top of the fridge. No problem getting it…floor to counter…counter to fridge. Score! I also sometimes move couch cushions and align them in specific formations on the floor. Was that a garbage can? Yes indeed. I tore open the bag and all of it’s contents. I didn’t know how to put it all back… Then Dad came home. I coward when he walked in and was ready for a beating. My old human use to beat me so it’s what I was use to. Sometimes I can’t help the way I behave and I know what I just did was a bad thing. Dad didn’t hit me though…He set his groceries down (oh my goodness he got me my own bed), looked at me, then proceeded to clean up my mess. I think by this time he knew I had a “condition”. We got back into the car for another Wal-Mart run. I pooped on the rug and Dad needed some carpet cleaner. I love car rides! car

We finally made it to Wal-Mart and Dad left me in the car. I was left alone….again… I don’t like being alone. I started to pant and the windows began to fog up. I barked for Dad but he never came. I was scarred and I didn’t know if anyone was going to come and get me. I started to poop on the seats. The back seat, the front seats, the floor…. I poop all over me. I put it on the dashboard, the doors, the windows, even the roof! I will never forget Dads face when he came back to the car :).

giphy

Dad went back into the store and bought six of those carpet cleaning cans with the brushes on the end. It took him over an hour to clean the car in the Wal-Mart parking lot! It was a fresh ride home though! 🙂
The next morning Dad needed to go to work. He got a kennel from Grandma since he figured I couldn’t be left alone without one. This way I wont get into garbage and cat water. I was placed in the kennel and once I heard the front door shut…I was alone… I don’t like being alone… I get scared. I began to bark and I didn’t stop for eight hours. I tried getting out.. I chewed and I scratched. I pushed with my nose until I started to bleed. I even pooped inside :(. I barked but no one came. When dad came home, he cleaned my mess. I didn’t get beat. Dad brain stormed for solutions. Over the next three months, he would come home every day and clean my kennel and fix my cuts. He tried all sorts of funny things to help my condition (I would later learn that it is called “anxiety”). He tried benadryl to make me sleepy, calming treats, calming oils, even a cool bark collar that would shoot a calming lemon spray every time I barked! Nifty little gadget that had enough juice in it to last 30 barks. After 31 barks…no more spray 😦 I smelled great though! Grandma got a cd that played classical music at certain frequencies that help us animals sleep. The cats sure loved it…but I’m more of a metal fan myself. After months of trying, Dad decided to take me to Great Grandmas every morning before work and then pick me up after! Sometimes I would spend my days in doggy daycare with other dogs but most of my days were at Great Grandmas house! Dad invested in what we like to jokingly call a “dog whisperer” for further training. She taught him proper pack leader skills and discipline. Funny…she didn’t whisper shit to me and she smelled like tacos. Over the years, the training seemed to slowly help…I can do certain things I didn’t like to do and I’m proud of myself! I’ve been part of a loving family for over six (or seven?) years now. I weigh a solid sixty eight pounds and I’m spoiled rotten. I am able to be left alone in cars for long periods of time and recently I can be left alone at home (with my little brother Roman) and 5 outta 7 days a week, I do pretty well while Mom is at work. Sometimes I have my moments but I know I am better than I was. My name is Cody. I commandeered my Dads keyboard to write a Dlog! I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did. I love you all. Cody, out.happy

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

5056760_1435516659.1937

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