December 23, 2013

White Chicken Chili

Here's an easy white chicken chili recipe, thanks for this one from my friend Nancy:

You can make it as spicy as you want. It's the cayenne red pepper that makes the difference,
I almost always at least double it; triple if people are coming over.

Make this delicious chili in a large slow cooker for an easy to prepare chicken chili. Serve this flavorful chili with hot baked cornbread or cornbread muffins.
Ingredients:
  • 1 pound of boneless chicken breast (cut up into bite-sized pieces) (I buy canned chicken packed in water)
  • 2 med onions (diced)
  • 2 cans of green chilies (drained)
  • 1 16oz can of white beans (drained and rinsed)
  • 2 cups of chicken broth (canned is fine)
  • 2 tsp. ground red pepper
  • 1 tsp. black pepper
  • 3 tsp. cilantro
  • 2 tsp. oregano
  • 2 tsp. cumin
  • 2-3 jalapeno peppers (chopped)
  • 4 cloves of garlic (crushed)
Instructions:

1. Saute onions in some butter or margerine.
2. Add all ingredients into crock-pot.
3. Cook on LOW for 6-8 hours or High 3-4 hours.
4. Serve topped with shredded Monterey Jack cheese and corn bread muffins.
5. ENJOY!!!!!!!!!

December 22, 2013

I admit it. I am a hopeless minion of my cats

Enjoy:

http://lovemeow.com/2013/12/an-engineers-guide-to-cats-2-0-the-sequel/

Excellent Birmingham Historical Blog

Check it out: http://thebirminghambuff.com/.  

Fun Stuff 2013

Boofing down the Upper Mishaulli Part II - 019
Boofing the Recon 83 on the Upper Misahualli.  photo cred Juliet Jacobsen Kastorff


Guide Craig Parks on the Upper Mis Jan 1 2013
Jan 1  Ecuador.  Went to the Tena region and paddled the Upper Mishualli.   What better way to celebrate the new year then paddling a sweet III+/IV creek?  We stayed at the Hosteria Orchids Paradise.
Jan 2  Ecuador.  Paddled the Jactunyacu river, 18 miles of big water pool drop, very scenic.  I joked that it was the Endless River that ERA was named for.
Jan 3 Ecuador.  Paddled the Upper Mishualli creek again, it was that good.  Afterwards we returned to the Rio Quijos Lodge.
Boofing down the Upper Mishaulli Part II - 082
Boofing on the Upper Mis photo cred Juliet Jacobsen Kastorff.  
Jan 4 Ecuador.  Took the day off from paddling, 2 other guests did a short section of the Borjas into Quijos.  The Quijos was flooded.  Visited the hot springs on the way back to Quito.  Arrived back in Quito at the Hotel Embassy.
Jan 5 Ecuador.  Took the Teleferico up the side of Pichincha Volcano, overlooking Quito, then once back down we went to a market near the hotel. Had dinner with Ollie and Dave then to the airport around 9:30 pm.  The plane home left at 12:30 am.
Ecuador photos here and here.
Jan 12 Locust Fork.  Approx. 380 cfs. In the LL Remix 69.  Air temp low 70's, water warmer than usual for January.  With, Joan, Rebecca, Carin, Heyward, Mark, Vander, Bubba, Angie, Larry, and many many others from the HCC. Photos HERE.
Vinemont Falls on East Fork of Flint Creek

Jan 19 East Fork of Flint Creek.  In the LL Remix 69.  With Ryan and Ming, Larry, Andy and Lynn. Level 0 which is min.  Temps low 50's and Sunny. Pics HERE.
Jan 26.  Mulberry.  In the WS ProjectX 56.  With the BCC.  Level 1 foot at the bridge, air temps mid 50's.  Photos HERE.
Jan 27 Locust.  In the WS ProjectX 56.  With Jim T., Andy and Lynn, Larry, Phil F., Tamara, Jennifer T.  Air temps low 50's and cloudy = chilly.  Level minimum (2.7).  I had my car at 160 but took out at Swann with some of the others.  Jim's second trip back in the boat after his accident/leg amputation.  Photos HERE.
Feb 1-4 Ski Sugar Mtn.  With Joan, Patty and her twins, Bubba and his daughter Sam. Saw Tony Purple Hair on the slopes.   Sunday it had snowed so much people couldn't get into Banner Elk so we had powder, no lines and no waiting.  The trade-off was we had to stay another night there, so we got take-out pizza and watched the Superbowl (the kids watched Ace Ventura then Home Alone.)  Photos HERE.

Feb 9 Locust Fork.  With Team V.  In the Remix 69.  Level around 3.5, air temps in the 60's, sunny.  Saw the Spelunkologists on the river.
Below Powell Falls on the Locust, Feb 9 2013.
 Photo cred Dave McRae.
Feb 17 Mulberry Fork.  In the ProjectX56.  Level 1.5 on the bridge/5.75 on the new USGS gauge.  With Larry D., Mark G., Vander H., Roy T., Andy and Lynn.  Air temps upper 40s/low 50s; water temp damned COLD.
Feb 19 Mulberry 5-0 Rapid.  In the ProjectX56.  Level 2.5 on the bridge/6.7 on the new USGS gauge.  With Larry D.  Air temps upper 50's, water temps surprisingly not that cold. Videos here and here.
Feb 23-24 Guntersville Getaway. With the Birmingham Grotto.   Photos here.
March 2-3 Mulberry Fork Canoe and Kayak Races.  Level 1.5 ft. COLD Saturday with snow flurries, Sunny on Sunday.  I was a gate judge both days, did not paddle.  Photos here.
March 9 ALF 2013. Little River in the GSMNP.  In the Riot Magnum 72.  Weather in the upper 50s/Low 60s and sunny.   Elbow to the Y section then part of the Sinks to Elbow section.
March 10 ALF 2013.  Tellico River.  In the Magnum 72.  Weather in the 60's and sunny.  Level around 1.9 ft.  Watched OUT race on the ledges, paddled the Upper Tellico, and then went to the afterparty at the Tellico Outpost.  Photos HERE.
March 16 Mulberry.  In the Project X 56.  With the BCC, 18 boaters in our group.  Level 5.44 on the USGS gauge, 1.1 on the bridge gauge.  Low 70's, sunny, perfect day.
March 19-26 Solitude Ski trip.  In Utah Powder. Pics here.
March 30 Mulberry.  In the Project X 56.  With Team V, Larry D.  Level 1.7 on the bridge, warm air in the mid-60's but cloudy, water was cold.
April 6-7 Cartecay.  In the Remix 69.  With the BCC (Vander, Mark, Taylor, Ashley, Debbie, Roy, Melanie).   Level 2.2-2.5 ish.   Air temps upper 60's, sunny.  Saturday we went all the way to Cartecay River Experiences, Sunday we went to Stegall Mill/Blackberry.  Pics here.
April 13 - Calvert Prong.  In the Project X 56.  With Larry D.   Air temps upper 60's/low 70's, sunny.  Level on Locust was around 4.7.  The flow page said Calvert would be low but we had plenty of water. Pics HERE.
April 13- Meccafest.  I sat in with my brothers Rick and Sam in the Charlie Soul Band.  So much fun!  
Meccafest with my brother Rick on harmonica.  Photo cred Daniel Day.

April 14 -  Calvert Prong.  In the Project X 56.  With Mark, Vander, and Ken.  Air temps 60's, cloudy/rainy.  Level on Locust was around 4 ft.   Flow page said Calvert would be too low to run but we had pretty much the same level as Saturday, plenty of water.
April 20 - Crooked Fork Creek.  In the Riot Magnum 72.  Level around 4.1. My 1st D. Air temps low 60's, it was down to 30 the night before so we were all in drysuits.   With Christine B., David L, Marty, others.  Photos here: http://dangerjudy.smugmug.com/Other/Crooked-Fork-4-20-13/29028327_Mzbzvr and on FB.  Video here: https://vimeo.com/64503725#
April 27 - Upper Nantahala.   In the LiquidLogic Stomper 80, with Chip Use.  Level with natural flow added maybe 550 cfs?  Air temps 60's, rainy.   My 1st D.  Photos here: http://dangerjudy.smugmug.com/Other/Upper-Nantahala-April-27-2013/29146438_6ZDRnC
April 27 - Wavesport Open.   In the WS Recon 83.  Wore a winning costume thanks to a quick stop at Dollar Tree on the way.  Photo below:


Me in the Stomper 80 below Troll Hole/Fuzzy Bunny on the Upper Nantahala.


May 4 - Middle Tellico.   In the Riot Magnum 72.  Level 1.9-2.0, rainy, brisk.  With Christine B., Brad R., Allie B.   Photos here.
May 5 - photos of the Ocoee at 9000cfs.  Link here.
May 5 - Calvert Prong.  In the Riot Magnum 72.  Level on the Locust perhaps 6 feet?  Rainy, brisk.  With Andy and Lynn.  Photos here.
May 12 - Calvert Prong.  In the WS ProjectX 56.  Level on the Locust was 4 something, but Blue Springs had had a spike in the gauge, so again though not listed as running online, the Calvert Prong had enough water to paddle.  Might have been the lowest level I've paddled it at though.  70's, sunny, gorgeous day. With Andy, Lynn, and Larry.  Photos here.
May 12 - Jam at the Gallery.   Played a set with my brother Rick's band "Charlie Soul Band" at the Daniel Day Gallery, with Rick singing and playing harmonica and my brother Sam on drums.
Sam, myself, and Rick 
May 25 Hiwassee.  In the Wave Sport XXX.  With Larry and Steph, many others.   Warm and sunny.
May 26 Ocoee.  In the Hyside Paddle Cat.  2 laps, first with Ben, second with Allie.  Photos for the weekend here.
May 31-June 2 TVCC Paddle School.  In the Liquid Logic Remix 69.  I taught a beginner/intermediate class on the Hiwassee with support boaters John H and Brian S.  One swim from one student the whole day Saturday.   Big auction/party at OAR that night and the rainstorms came in.  Sunday we went back on the H with the 2 students who were game to go in the weather and were treated to just a few short showers and plenty of clouds and some sun, too.  No photos because my camera is somewhere in the mess of gear in my car and I just didn't feel like being the photographer this weekend.
June 8 Tellico.  Level 1.9-2.0.  In the LL Remix.  With Wendy, Kim, and Wade.  Photos here.
June 9 Middle and Olympic sections, Ocoee.  In the Hyside Paddlecat.  With Ben.  Best day evah
Relaxing in the Paddlecat.  It's luxurious river trippin



June 15 Friends of the Locust Fork Kids' Day at the River.   Great day!   Photos here.

Who knew a capsized canoe could be so much fun!
June 22 Coosa.  With many folks for the Friends Together paddle.  Level 6000, air temp perhaps 85-90 with breeze, nice. In the ProjectX 56.
June 29 Start of Week of Rivers 2013... Ocoee Upper and Middle.  In the Hyside Paddle Cat. With Ben R.  Normal release. Sunny.
June 30 Nantahala.  In the ProjectX 56.  With Joan, Patty, and various CCC members.  Couple inches higher level.
July 1 Nantahala.  Free Playboat clinic with Anna L.  At the NOC hole.  In the ProjectX 56.

Then Upper Nantahala for the 4pm-7pm release, with Sylvia and others, in the Liquid Logic Stomper 80.  Level with natural flow guessed at 450-500 cfs.
July 2 Pigeon.  In the Hyside Paddle Cat with Jeff D.  Great level, higher than I've ever ran it but not sure what the cfs was.
At some point at WOR rain started and at times, was monsoon-esque.  It has rained off and on all week throughout the SE and river levels were all blown out.
July 3 Nantahala. Ferebee put-in. In the Project X 56. With Joan S.  Rain off and on, level started rising as we got to Surfer's at 2 pm., an hour early for a 3pm free clinic with NOC instructor John.  I had a double surf of the wave with Jeff D. a few times.  By the time the clinic started neither Joan nor I could even get on Surfer's wave consistently.
July 4 Lower Big Creek/Greenbriar.  In the LL Stomper 80.  One of the best creeking days of my life.  With Dennis H., Margaret W., Kyle, others.  We put on Lower Big Creek at a 2.5 level, Becca was there and said it felt more like 3.  Great, awesome run.  Then we headed to Greenbriar and put on about 5 pm for a level of 2.1 (guessing).   Surprisingly mild weather, some rain but nothing like what we went through all week at the campground.
Putin at gorgeous Lower Big Creek in the Great Smokys National Park
July 5 Little, Elkmont to Metcalf.   In the LL Stomper 80.  Level 3 ft.  I had not paddled below the bridge rapid before so I was unaware just how long a day I was in for... but it's the Smokys, it's summer Little which is a rare rare treat, and I was with Robert and Gretchen, Margaret, and others, 17 paddlers total.  Fun day.
Link to Week Of Rivers 2013 photos

July 7 - Bonus WOR trip... Talladega Creek.  PFD.  In the LL Stomper 80.  Level 4.5 when we put-on, 3.5 when we took out a couple hours later.  Great run!  Photos here. 
July 13 Paint Rock River.  In the LL Remix 69.  With the Birmingham Grotto.  Not sure of online gauge level but it wasn't touching the painted gauge at the Church put-in.   Great gorgeous day.  Photos here.  Map of Paint Rock River put-ins and take-outs here: http://goo.gl/maps/BIeAe.
July 20-21 Ocoee.  In the Wavesport ProjectX 56.  With Christine B. and friends on Saturday, Amanda S., Norma L. on Sunday.  Level in the 3k range. Fluffy and fun.  Photos here.
July 27-28 Ocoee.  In the LL Remix 69.  With Lynn and Andy, Steve I. and Neal S.  Upper both days, down to Go Forth on Saturday.  Got goofy in Flipper and swam, lost my paddle but Lynn spotted it during our shuttle.
Aug 3-4 Hiwassee.  In the Blackfly Option.  With the Lost Tribe.  Great fun weekend, my first trip in a whitewater canoe.  Dry hair days.



Boof!

Aug 11.  Locust Fork.  6.8 ft. on the put-in gauge, highest I've ever run it.  In the LL Remix 69.  With Mark, Vander, Gordon, and Larry.   Photos here.  Video of Vander running Powell falls here.

Aug 17.  Hiwassee Combat Roll Clinic.  In the LL Remix 69.  With Rebecca, Larry, Rundell, David.  Rebecca won the prize for best rolling and David won the prize for longest time hanging out for a T-Rescue.
Aug 18 Ocoee. In the LL Remix 69.  With the BCC.  1800 cfs. or so, nice level.
Aug 23-25 Swiftwater Rescue Clinic.  With the Huntsville Canoe Club, at Thunder Rock.  High water days esp. Saturday.   Two drownings on the Ocoee, one Saturday and one Sunday.  After this, the TVA has seen it possible to release normal levels on the river, something they have mysteriously not been able to do all summer.
Sept 6 ICF Worlds Freestyle Competition at the Nantahala/ My first descent of the Nantahala in an open canoe.  In the Blackfly Option.  With the International Sisterhood of Open Boaters, i.e. Wendy, Sally, Lisa, Helen G., Sue, also Steve in a Spanish Fly and Amanda S. in her Burn.  Dry hair day from the top to above the falls.  Steve ran the Option through the falls.  Photos here.
Me in Quarry Rapid on the Nantahala in the Blackfly Option open canoe.

Sept 7 Tandem Canoe of the Middle Ocoee.  In the Blackfly Octane 92.  With Steve I.  in Alex's boat.
Matthew, Nathan, Trey accompanying.  We put in at the rails.  Dry hair day!!!

Steve and I run Double Trouble in the Blackfly Octane 92.  It was effing awesome!
Sept 19-23 GAULEYFEST 2013.   In the LL Remix 69.  With Andy, Lynn, Margaret, Cindy, Dan, Mark Q., Bill H., and friends.  New River on Friday at 1 ft., Gauleyfest Saturday, Lower Gauley on Sunday at 6k cfs (big!), Fayette Station park and play on Monday at 3 ft.   Photos HERE.
Bill and I standing below Pure Screaming Hell on the Lower Gauley
Oct 4-8 MOTION2013.  Motion graphics artist conference in Albuquerque NM.   Photos HERE.



Oct 11-13 TAG Fall Cave-In.  Didn't take photos at this one, just wasn't in the mood.  A mellow, relaxing TAG.

_This fall has mostly consisted of  me spending a long, long time at home watching college football _  I have become sick of driving so much and burned out from being away from home so much.

Oct 26 Owl-O-Ween.  At Oak Mtn. State Park.  Photos here.
Oct 26 Grotto Halloween Party.  At Jason and Moe's.  Photos here.

Nov 11. Horton Mill Site Hike. With the Friends of the Locust Fork.  Hike to the Horton Mill site, from which the covered bridge takes its name.  Perhaps an hour there and hour back, maybe less.  Photos here.

Dec 15.  Wilder Cave.  A brief visit to Wilder Cave with Dave Howell.   Pelham.  Photos here.

Dec 22.  Cahaba Lovick Section.  Level 1550, high.  Weather cloudy and in the lower 60's.  With Nancy R. and Micah.  In the LL Remix 69.  Longest time I've spent not kayaking in years, finally ends with this trip. First rapids washed out, island became a center strainer with lines river right and left good to go.   Rapid by the water treatment center was a succession of riverwide wave playspots, last rapid was splashy and center was good.  Fun level.  Didn't take pictures.

Dec 27-29 Ski Cataloochee.  In my new ski boots.  With Joan S.  Air temps 30-50.  We drove up Friday, got rentals and lift tickets at the new Cataloochee ski and board in town, then skied Friday night and Saturday morning until 2.  By then it had gotten really crowded and we had been on the slopes since 9 am. Drove home Sunday.  Photos here.




December 21, 2013

Practicing the roll on dry land

Have you ever practiced the roll on dry land?  Here's a webpage with tips on how to do this:   http://www.creativepursuits.net/kayaking.htm

December 15, 2013

This makes me happy

Actually TWO things make me happy today.

First, I went caving today - to a cave not far from B'ham called Wilder.   Small, cool little cave with an honestly big main room.

Second, I found this:  






December 8, 2013

December 3, 2013

Interesting Weightlifting Blog

Thanks to my friend Kevin for sharing this blog with me.  It's a weightlifting blog that has a zen-like quality to it.  Life lessons in terms of discipline in mastering an art/sport inside, too:  http://donnyshankle.blogspot.com/






December 2, 2013

Planet Money makes a t-shirt

This is very interesting and informative. I highly recommend you Clickety-click: http://apps.npr.org/tshirt/#/title


December 1, 2013

Continuing my Giant Steps obsession

Giant Steps is the ultimate earworm to me.  It is a never-ending loop in my head once it gets stuck in it.
I have watched this clip 10-15 times now since I found it.  I can't run Giant Steps on any instrument, far from it, except in my mind.  Enjoy, be enlightened, wheeeee.

Leaves

Spent some time raking and sweeping dead leaves off of my back patio.
*Not actual leaves mentioned in blog.

I moved here in 2009.  My mother died in 2011.  The time has gone very fast since then.
I have a neighbor who continually works on cars/vehicles in his driveway.  I have another neighbor with a yappy dog.  Another mystery neighbor who has a rooster that crows every morning.  And my neighbor I call Budweiser (no not to his face) because I rarely see him without that canned vintage in hand.
So being sort of in the country I do not have neighbors who complain when the leaves and lawn get out of control here.  I do have help, but I don't spend enough time on it myself even with help.   Sometimes I get embarrassed about my lawn.   But I do the best I can.
So, I'm out there raking leaves, and the dog is yapping, and the guy across the street is whirring a drill of some sort under the hood of a vehicle of some sort.  And I thought, as I did this, I really need another adventure.
This time last year, of course, I was all set to go to Ecuador for a week with my friends.  This winter?  No adventure.  I am going skiing in Aspen soon, but that's not an adventure really, just a fun vacation.   The Ecuador trip involved being lost in a country where no-one speaks English, no-one drinks the water, and monkeys walk down the path in front of your cabin as you step out.  And big water, too.  Yes.  I'm rambling now.  I really don't do well when all I have to do is rake leaves.
I often put leaves in the motion graphics I design too, not really sure why except that they are beautiful. Leaves can be seen to represent the passing of seasons.   This can induce a strong sense of melancholia, if I am foolish enough to wait around sinking in that sort of emotional quicksand.   Leaves are also the foundation of mulch, from which fertile soil is born, now that's a positive thought.   I could wax poetically about leaves in all sorts of ways, and sound fancy doing it.  Leaves are organs whereby many plants harvest sunlight to produce food.  Leaves are food for several kinds of caterpillars during their instar stages.  and so on.
But to be honest, leaves right now, in my life, are a pain in the neck and I wish I didn't have so many of them. It's ridiculous how much raking I had to do on the patio, and I didn't even address the rest of the yard.
...and a little voice in the back of my head says, "you fortunate gal, to have nothing to concern yourself with today but raking leaves".
As some of you know, cancer is a big subject in my family, and I am always looking for encouraging news about finding cures for cancer.   Here is a cause I have recently taken part in:  https://www.projectviolet.org/adoptdonate/adopt-drug-candidate
Naturally, the idea of adopting a protein was appealing to me, so I did.  It costs $100 to adopt a protein/drug candidate.  My drug candidate is spider based and I gave it the intellectually stimulating name of "Fancy".  Please consider donating to this worthy organization, and who knows?  Your drug candidate may be a successful cure for a type of cancer.
Yes this post took a serious turn, but that's how I roll, baby.   Rolling in the leaves!






November 9, 2013

Dammed:The Story of Alabama's Rivers

Damming the Coosa River resulted in one of the largest extinction events in U.S. history, with 40 species lost forever. What have we learned? By Katherine Gorringe

SE 2013: Dammed: The Story of Alabama’s Rivers from Southern Environmental Law Cntr. on Vimeo.

November 6, 2013

Excellent rescue from a kayak pin - video

This is an efficient, quick rescue of a kayaker from a vertical pin.  Lots to learn and think about from this one:

Helping Back Pain

I only have back pain if I am standing for awhile.  Unfortunately it's not very long -20 minutes or so and I start hurting.  Until now.
I have begun doing the first two exercises mobility guy does in this video.   I realized after being at Dia de los Muertes festival last weekend that I had been standing for over half an hour and wasn't hurting at all.

November 2, 2013

Vote for motion.tv!

We need your help.  Vote for motion.tv now!

In order to be considered for the Mission Main Street Grant – we must receive 250 online votes by November 15.

Voting is easy – just click the link below and VOTE 

https://www.missionmainstreetgrants.com/business/detail/131074



October 27, 2013

No More Hobbies!

I have the ski bug pretty bad. One thing that is great about gravity sports is that even a beginner like me can have a ridiculous amount of fun.  But this is the last sport hobby I am going to adopt for awhile.  I promise.  I don't have enough time off to do it all!
This video made me smile so I'm sharing it.  Looking forward to Snowmass/Aspen this winter!
Sheer Bliss at Aspen Snowmass!! from Blake Miller on Vimeo.

There is something magical about carving downhill, whether it be on a snow slope or on whitewater or on a mountain bike or... well those are all I have experience with.   Exhilaration!

October 25, 2013

WOW WOW WOW

Some of my friends know of my recent obsession with vocal-less versions of Motown classics.  This one just blew me away.  

October 19, 2013

Elizabeth Cotten

Elizabeth Cotten is of my all-time favorite guitarists. Left handed, playing with the strings 'upside down'. This is one of her classic original songs.   It's been covered by a bunch of folks including Chet Atkins.


A historical marker has been placed in Carrboro, NC honoring Elizabeth Cotten, read about it here:
http://www.newsobserver.com/2013/09/22/3212737/shaffer-cottens-freight-train.html

Get Free

GET FREE from Aaron Mulkey on Vimeo.

October 18, 2013

Nice

Click on this:

October 16, 2013

Truth told at Motion2013

Here's a bit of truth from a presentation at Motion2013, a motion graphics conference I have been privileged to attend two years in a row...   ;-)


Facebook privacy

Just an FYI.  I find this a poorly thought out change, and wanted to warn my friends who I may not know on FB but who read this blog:

http://techcrunch.com/2013/10/10/facebook-search-privacy/


October 8, 2013

The Big Ditch

One of my lifetime dream trips will be to kayak the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon.    Here's a great video of some paddlers who paddled The Big Ditch in 2013:

September 27, 2013

Astral Rassler shoe review

Here's my quick review of  the Astral Rassler boating shoe.

I bought a pair of Rasslers at Gauleyfest and wore them on the Lower G and the New this past weekend.
http://www.astraldesigns.com/products/Rassler.php 
Sizing: Small. I wear a 7.5 women's shoe and the size 8W/9M Rasslers fit correct in length. Width is wide and they have lots of toe room, but the heel narrows back so they stay put. Haven't swum with them but I believe the ankle portion will keep them on in a swim. I'm curious to see if my drysuit socks will fit in them. Usually I have to buy a larger size shoe for my drysuit socks.
Construction: Innovative. The heel has built-in holes to drain water. Water also drains out of holes on the sides of the shoe. Nice feature. Big thick laces, and they come with an extra pair of laces. I'm not a fan of laces on boating shoes, but at least these are easy to cinch and tie; the 5.10 Water Tennie shoe laces suck.
On the other hand, the inside of the Rassler is rough and I have some blisters rubbed by the shoes. I added some duck tape to my heels to prevent them getting worse.  I got a blister on my left little toe as well. Not sure if it's just that they are brand new and I have tender feet from having to exclusively wear NRS play booties, after my 1.5 year old  Water Tennies disintegrated, way too soon.
*After reading a review of the Brewers that mentioned the same rough interior, my solution will probably be to wear short socks with the Rasslers, but duck tape does work.   I used to duck tape my big toes before cramming my feet into my WS EZ playboat.  What would life be like without duck tape?
Sole grip - excellent. They are using Stealth rubber. Not sure if this is still the same stuff that 5.10 uses. I found this website: http://www.stealthrubber.com/ .  I didn't do any portages, but did some rock scrambling to get photos, and during rest breaks.  The soles were nice and sticky on wet rock.
I scrambled up a rock to take this photo of Pure Screaming Hell on the Lower Gauley.

Overall I am very pleased with the Rasslers.

September 16, 2013

Best. Damn .Show. Ever.

OK honestly,  my answer is "The Andy Griffith Show" but this is the Second Best Ever.

September 12, 2013

Save the Jondachi River from being dammed

"The world-reknowned Upper Jondachi River is threatened to be dammed by a poorly-conceived, government-run hydroelectricity project.  This river is part of one of the most pristine watersheds in Ecuador.  On top of this, it is a popular tourist destination, and is the crown jewel of local whitewater tourist offerings. 
To conduct a legal defense against the hydroproject, the Ecuadorian River Institute (ERI), 501c3, is seeking to raise $5,000 to match its current investment of $5,000 in this legal process (total legal fees are $10,000).
Protecting this river is an environmental, tourist and local business imperative, and we are grateful for your support!"

ERI is a great organization and this is a very real concern.  Please help save the Jondachi!

http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/save-the-jondachi-river-from-being-dammed



September 5, 2013

Great album on youtube

Basie and Sinatra... at the Sands....  1966!  Someone put the entire thing as one long track on youtube. Unfortunately the album cover shown isn't the right album, it's this:
http://www.amazon.com/Sinatra-At-Sands-Frank/dp/B000006OBQ
Which I just bought in mp3 format... this is an outstanding album!



September 3, 2013

ICF World Freestyle Championship has started in the Nantahala Gorge

Link to live feed video of the World Freestyle Competition which starts today and lasts through Sunday:
http://canoeicf.com/icf/Aboutoursport/Canoe-Freestyle/Nantahala-2013/LIVE-FEED.html
Schedule of events, parking and shuttle logistics, etc. all here:
https://www.freestylekayaking2013.com/worlds-spectators.html


September 2, 2013

August 22, 2013

Cool series about music online

Here's a link to the first episode:

August 19, 2013

Proceed and Be Bold

"At 40 years of age, Amos Paul Kennedy Jr. abandoned the traditional American Dream to follow his own. Unsatisfied with his comfortable, middle-class life, Amos traded in his computer for a printing press and his white collar for a pair of overalls. Armed with life, liberty, peanuts, and a meager yearly income of $7,000, Amos cranked out a new, mutinous declaration of independence."

Click the link below and watch this excellent independent documentary:
http://www.proceedandbebold.com/


August 13, 2013

Exactly what I needed this morning

This video makes me smile, perhaps you need this kind of thing too this fine day...

August 1, 2013

Cool find

I was wading in the muck that is a search of youtube covers of "The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald"  (don't ask why) when I found this, and it's cool:

http://youtu.be/n0vgu44k-7U



July 23, 2013

July 19, 2013

Amazing blog

This is an amazing blog by a local Birmingham photographer.  He has found some secret places and also ventured into places that I wish I had the courage to visit (like the old Ensley steel mill site).  Check it out:
http://leftbirmingham.blogspot.com/2011/10/ghost-town.html


July 18, 2013

River Dreams

This man paddled the Cahaba, and then continued to the Gulf of Mexico.   Then he made a documentary of his journey.  It's not out yet, as of July 2013, but should be soon: