Tuesday, December 18, 2012
Saturday, December 8, 2012
Thursday, December 6, 2012
Thursday, August 23, 2012
Lance baby, say it ain't so!
In a late breaking press conference today, 7-time Tour de France winner and cycling icon Lance Armstrong reportedly ceased his fight to clear his name against charges of doping and fraud from the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency. Armstrong had a deadline of midnight tonight to accept or counter the USADA charges against him. In a short press release explaining his decision Armstrong said, “There comes a point in every man’s life when he has to say, ‘Enough is enough.’ For me, that time is now…Today I turn the page. I will no longer address this issue, regardless of the circumstances.” (Full Statement) The USADA has since stated that this cessation of the legal contest is paramount to an admission of guilt from the Armstrong camp. The USADA also said it will ban him for life from competition beginning Friday, August 24. The move brings to a close one of the most celebrated and controversial legacies in modern sports history.
“If I thought for one moment that by participating in USADA’s process, I could confront these allegations in a fair setting and – once and for all – put these charges to rest, I would jump at the chance. But I refuse to participate in a process that is so one-sided and unfair,” wrote Armstrong. Despite his vow not to participate in arbitration, it’s not clear whether Armstrong truly is done with his fight. His letter to USADA seemed pretty clear, but earlier on Thursday his lawyers released a pugnacious notice to the agency suggesting there might be more battles ahead.
Ojai, Calif. April 9, 2005.
Friday, August 17, 2012
In my hunting through the kodachrome static of ancient hard drives I found this little gem. Back in the winter of '06 I was asked to join a pair of photoj's heading up to Vegas to shoot the NFR-- thats the National Finals Rodeo. The Super Bowl of the North American Rodeo circuit. Big time you dig. I couldn't say no. We piled all our gear into a battered two-door sports car. Camera bags, change of clothes, a PB&J sandwich wrapped in tin foil, 12er of Sierra Nevada lukewarm at best. With the setting sun at our backs we blazed our way north. 33 to the 101 to the 126 to the 5 south to the 14 north to the Pear Blossom Highway. Pear Blossom Highway? You gots to be kidding. Straight on across the unforgiving desert. Dark of night. Brutal. Fifty years ago we would be drowning. Under water. Floundering in the Lake of Los Angeles. A man made puddle that once covered these parts. All that is left now is the dust and billboards and a thousand broken dreams lying amidst another thousand broken beer bottles. Finally the 15 north. Cruise control set. Windows rolled down. Tunes blasting. We're on our way.
We arrived more or less in one piece. Did the whole Vegas thing. Hit up the casinos. Flirted with the ladies. Drank way too much. The whole Fear & Loathing thing you know. Okay, not really. Actually not at all. Early to bed, early to rise. Gotta work in the am, early. Real early. We hit the stadium, get our press credentials. Smile for the camera. Wait in line, sign a form, wait some more, sign more paperwork. Reams of it. Piles and piles of releases and all sorts of crap. Finally we are credentialed. Free. Turned loose, cameras at the ready. Fear and Loathing for real this time.
At the entrance to the stadium a stage is set up. A tiny little thing. A sideshow at best. A small crowd mills around. No one is really paying attention. Stop, listen. Move along. The big show is about to start. The NFR in all its glory just inside. Stop, listen. Move along. I snap of a few quick pics backstage. The singer is cute but way too young. Jail bait. Sounds good. Singer's really into it but I'm not. Not a fan of country. Or western. I snap a few more and move over to the audience side. Three frames, bang bang bang, four frames bang bang bang bang. I stop. Listen. Move along. Think nothing of it. The rest of the night was all dust and sawdust, bucking broncos and bullriding. Clowns and well yah clowns.
I never really thought much about the band playing outside the arena. Never crossed my mind in the years since then. I never paid much attention to the pics I made. Until tonight. Going through the archives. I stop. I look closer. Is that...? Naw. Can't be. No way. When the heck? How, but uhhh, for real? Taylor Swift. Before she was TAYLOR SWIFT. Friggin' Vegas. Always surprising you. I wish now I had stuck around.
Sunday, August 12, 2012
Dallas Cowboys Training Camp
August 10th, 2012
Mobbed. Craziness. Blue stars and sharpies everywhere, gleaming in the sunshine. Helmets, footballs, mini-helmets, mini-footballs. "#9, #9, Tooooonyyyyy!" "Hey 82, 82 hey hey over here!" Dez, hey Dez, sign my helmet, Deeez!" "Miles, I love you Miles!" "Felix, dude dude, Felix!" And on and on. Players filter off the field, hit the showers. Fans scream and shout, beckoning, begging, hoping, praying. Just one autograph, just one. And on and on.
Listed at 5' 8", shifty and jerky in the slot, many hope he will be Dallas' version of Wes Welker (though don't tell Beasley that, he doesn't approve of the comparison).
Saturday, August 11, 2012
August 10th, 2012
The Boys are back in town. The gridiron is hot and dusty. The hunt for the 53 continues.
Tuesday, July 31, 2012
In my hunting through the kodachrome static of ancient hard drives I found this little gem. A few years ago I quit my job, bought my first brand new car and my first digital camera (odd I know after quitting my job), packed up my few eager belongings into the trunk, and headed west. Before making even the first of many car payments I set out to California. From Maine. Crazy. One 5 pound sack of GORP, a dozen hard boiled eggs, a case of Red Bull (sugar free, less of a crash crash crash), two cases of CDs pre-iPod you know, and all my meager hopes and dreams all piled in the passenger seat. Maine to California. East coast to left coast. Staunch puritanism to La la land. I gave myself ten days. I had no plans. I had no route picked out. I did no research. Never bothered to call AAA. I just went. Gassed up and gone. I had ten days. What could go wrong...
Every day I would wake up, usually in the back seat high on that new car smell, open up the map and figure out what to do that day. I knew I had to drive about 10 hours or so each day. I knew I had to go west. I knew that once I saw the sea I was good. Everything in between was up for grabs. It was pretty rad. Liberating. Freedom. On the road. Electric Koolaid. Howl. Just do it. So I did. I gave myself ten days. And each new day was one hell of a strange trip lemme tell you.
Day 7, or maybe 8 I'm not sure anymore. Too many sun-stroked miles. Too much gas station coffee. Too many nights crammed in the back seat tossing and turning. Too much sugar-free Red Bull and unfiltered Camels at this point. It was day 7. Or 8. I had a few hours to burn. Heading to the Grand Canyon. Meet-up with the Sis, few hours to burn. I pulled out the map. Looked ofr bright red tourist icons. Boom bing bang baddaladdaling ding dang dong! National Park baby! Color me good. Painted Desert and Petrified Forest National Parks to be exact. Turn right, hard hard right and cruise north a bit.
I payed the customary fees, smiled wide as the ranger gave me the free map and the nickel tour. All without leaving her booth. All without me leaving my new car smell. After a 3.2 second cursory glance over the brochure I cruised on in. Found a welcoming pull out, bright red patch of dirt. Grabbed some water, my brand new digital camera (first of my life), a power bar or two, some more water, and set a GPS waypoint-- CAR. Gone. Start walking. 100 degrees or more. Locals call it a dry heat. Screw that jazz. Hot is hot, and 100 degree hot is hot hot hot dry or not there is no escaping it. Regardless, adventure time. Rad.
Friday night, working late, buried in research, looking for an angle-- usually its a real pain in the butt. I'm not gonna lie. When you have the Mother Hips rock show live streaming in HD, a pint of clear cold magical Canadian Mist, the dog sleeping at your feet, and a pile of topo maps to help plan out the next big adventure, all of a sudden it isn't so bad. And by not so bad I mean its pretty friggin rad...!
Friday, July 13, 2012
Reyes Peak, Calif.
I saved a little bit of work that could easily be done on the laptop and escaped to Pine Mountain for five days. Call it a working holiday per say. Spend a few hours pluggin' away on the laptop, go for a hike. Spend another few hours buried in spreadsheets and budgeting, have a beer. Spend some time going editing notes for a new novel and laying out the framework, go take a nap in the sunshine. Wash, rinse, repeat. Productivity without all the normal stresses of a 12 hour workday. I make it work.
I also have had this idea for a backcountry cookbook, sort of dirtbag-meets-haute-gastronomy. Its very rive gauche. Anyhow decided to make cooking a big part of the trip. The first night I made a Rosemary Garlic Tofu dish with a Balsamic Marmalade Reduction. Not bad for cast iron over an open fire. Hopefully the first of many. I'll keep you posted.
Not too bad for winging.
Saturday, June 30, 2012
Cool thing #6 about being unemployed; continued....
In my hunting through the kodachrome static of ancient hard drives I found this little gem. Years ago, a month or two before I left Maine and ventured west, I shot an assignment for a book project on the Appalachian Trail (AT). The idea of the book was pretty cool. It proposed to show the entire 2200 miles of the AT in a single day worth of photographs. A select handful of landscape photographers, outdoor photographers, and adventure photographers were tasked with shooting a small section of the trail. Everyone would shoot from sun up to sun down on the given day. You had literally 24 hours to cover your assigned section. The book would then show the entire length of the trail from Georgia to Maine in that same 24 hour window. A pretty rad and ambitious undertaking!
Photographers were selected and contacted and low and behold they wanted me. To this day I have no idea how they picked me or how my name came up but came up it did. I was super excited to participate.Then I got my assigned section. I was asked to cover the Maine-New Hampshire border to Highway 26. My heart sunk. Big bloody groan. You gotta be kidding me I thought! This section of trail contains the most difficult mile of the ENTIRE trail and the most uniformly steep mile on the whole dang trail. It is rumored that more people give up hiking the AT during this first section in Maine then anywhere else. Imagine! After four or five months of hiking you hit Maine and decide to toss in the towel. Thats how disgustingly gnarly this one little section of the AT is. Not to mention it would take an entire day to hike in to the assigned starting point and another entire day to hike out. No wonder they picked me. They needed a pansy, someone dumb enough to agree to lug pounds and pounds of camera gear through this ridiculously difficult 15 miles of trail. Is it too late to change my mind?
It was too late to back. It was mine. So out I went. I'm not gonna lie. It was brutal. Epic but brutal. June 1st was the assigned day. June 1st in many places is a pretty good day to be out and about hiking the Appalachian trail. June 1st in Maine however, especially above the tree line, is when the snow turns to mud. Pure hell. Pure hell. So with that in mind, out I went.
Thankfully I survived the ordeal. Barely. In fact survival was really the only thing on my mind during the whole day. Taking pictures was an after thought. I just wanted to get through it. The night before it was well below freezing. I slept with my cameras & a dozen rolls of film (yes film, remember those days haha!) inside the sleeping bag to keep them warm. I woke up well before sunrise to make sure all was in order. I had to chip ice off the nearby brook in order to pump water for coffee and oatmeal. Brutal. But epic. I fought through thigh high snow drifts in every saddle and braved 30mph winds climbing over the Goose Eye. It rained. It snowed. It sleeted. Brutal. But epic.
The trail goes under numerous boulders making you crawl and squeeze through on your
belly, pushing your pack in front of you. Brutal. But epic.