Saturday Morning Links

1. Ever heard of Es Vedra? It is an island on the eastern side of Spain and is uninhabited. According to the Wikipedia, the island is supposedy home to sirens and sea-nymphs who attempted to lure Odysseus from his ship.

Photo by Rodrigo Kugnharski on Unsplash

2. Beau Miles is at it again, trying to salvage wood from a house set to be demolished. With only 3 days to pull all of the timber he can before an excavator tears it apart. It’s not a video about a race, but it is a video about salvaging things that are useful. There were also two things that he said which I enjoyed: 1)your home is an ecosystem, with you, and your bugs, and plants, and microbes, all living in some sort of harmony; and 2) once you pick up rubbish, then that rubbish is yours until you dispose of it. I’ve never tended to think of rubbish as something that I want to own, but I will pick up rubbish because I don’t like to see trash, but now it’s my responsibility. That’s the way it should be.

3. I’ve put it out into the universe that I’m going to run the Pumpkin Hollar Hunnerd, except I’m not going to run 100 miles or even 100 kilometers, but rather I will be more than happy to run 50k. The run is the weekend of October 15th and because I went to law school in Tulsa, I decided to ask some of my law school friends if they’d like to meet me in Tahlequah, Oklahoma. I’m looking forward to it and my hope is that this will be a runnable race that won’t absolutely whip my ass. I haven’t gotten together with my law school buddies in a decade plus, so I’m excited to see them. All it took was me running 50k to get that done.

4. They are running a mile faster than I can run half a mile (I could technically run faster, but you get the point). It never ceases to amaze me how gifted some people are.

5. I took a trip to visit my sister in San Diego about a month or so ago. My nephew was graduating from high school. I took that opportunity to go run outside for multiple days. My excuse is always that the weather in Texas is intolerable and right now that is 100% true. Regardless, when I got back home, I kept running on the treadmill like I always do, but one morning around 4:45 a.m. I decided I was going to run outside in my neighborhood. This is not something I do, especially me getting out of my routine. Once I had decided to do the ultramarathon, I knew that I needed to run outside more and let the treadmill be a break every once in a while. Running outside right now is dreadful, but in the morning before the sun rises it is tolerable. I have noticed that running outside before the sun rises accomplishes a few things: 1)you avoid the hottest of the heat, but the heat is still there, like a hair dryer on you the entire time; 2) you get to look up at the stars in the night sky and that’s pretty awesome; 3) around 6:15 or 6:20 there’s been some migratory birds that are flying east, essentially straight into the sun (I want to be those birds sometimes); and 4) the sunrise.

Saturday Morning Links

1. Ever heard of Cape Verde? Me neither, but I talked to someone this week who is from there and it is pretty amazing. It is a small chain of islands off the West coast of Africa. Of course it comes with some not great history, including colonization by Portugal, but it looks great.

2. Do things to help your future self.

3. It’s Impossible, Said Price
It’s Risky, Said Experience
It’s Pointless, Said Reason
Give it a try, Whispered the Heart

4. Xander Budnick is delightful. He’s a Canadian that likes to camp and hike and film it and he’s funny, quirky and definitely not what you would expect from an “outdoorsman”. He goes on a 13-day camping and canoe trip with a friend (the friend forgets his dehydrated food) and they figure it out. This is part 1 and there are to be multiple parts.

5. I don’t even know if you will be able to read this piece from Outside Online’s Alex Perry because it is absolutely insane, “I’m Still Alive but Sh*t Is Getting Wild”: Inside the Siege of the Amarula”. When we talk about the price of oil and gas or really extracting anything, well, this would be part of it. And if you are curious if this is a real thing, yes it is.

When vast gas reserves were discovered off the idyllic coast of northern Mozambique, a crew of roughnecks flew in from around the world to make their fortunes. But in March 2021, Islamist rebels attacked, and the foreigners and thousands of Mozambicans were abandoned. Two hundred holed up at the Amarula Lodge, where the expats faced a choice: save themselves, or risk it all to save everyone. As oil and gas fuel a new war in Europe, Alex Perry pieces together, shot by shot, a stunning morality tale for the global economy.

Saturday Morning Links

1. Ever heard of Eibsee? It’s a lake in Germany and it is 9,680 feet above sea level as well as being privately owned.

Photo by Alana Harris on Unsplash

2. I loved this short video about riding bikes. I’ve got a new bicycle thanks to my brother who built me a beauty. If you were to ask me about specs or brakes or seat I’d be pretty clueless and I sort of like it that way. It’s a bike and I’m sure it’s a great bike. It also just goes forward and I sort of love that about it. I’ve got a 12.5 mile loop that I can get onto from my house that follows some country roads that have no cars on them (or very few). I usually only have time to ride on Sunday morning so it’s worked into an awesome routine that I look forward to every Sunday. Previous Sundays I’d be very casual and not necessarily ride hard. Mainly because I was enjoying myself. It was fun just being out. After watching this video, I decided to drop the hammer a bit, work hard on the uphills and I went from averaging about 12 to 13 mph to 14.5. I definitely worked harder, but it was also a more fun ride. I also love how a bike can take you many places the same way that running can.

3. Need something fun? Danny MacAskill returns riding a wheelie.

4. Mike Snowden writes about the mountain range at the bottom of the ocean and if you’ve never thought about how vast that is, then you probably should. In fact only 5% of the world’s oceans have been mapped so to see the map about halfway down this link is really neat because I’ve never considered the mountain ranges beneath the sea.

5. Yes. I’d also add. “14. Practice radical gratefulness.”

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Saturday Morning Links

1. I can’t say that you don’t know where Moonlight Beach is, but that’s Moonlight Beach in Encinitas, California around 8 in the morning. My absence here has been about practices and running and once I get going on a Saturday morning, I’m typically not back at my computer for the rest of the day. I definitely miss this, but I also understand that in delegating my time between things this gets left off the table.

2. I’ve been saving these quotes, both of these quotes describe my boys and maybe even me to an extent and thought they were good, so I’m here to share.

“They laugh at me because I’m different; I laugh at them because they’re all the same.”

“All of this pretending and performing—these coping mechanisms that you’ve developed to protect yourself from feeling inadequate and getting hurt—has to go. Your armor is preventing you from growing into your gifts. I understand that you needed these protections when you were small. I understand that you believed your armor could help you secure all of the things you needed to feel worthy and lovable, but you’re still searching and you’re more lost than ever. Time is growing short. There are unexplored adventures ahead of you. You can’t live the rest of your life worried about what other people think. You were born worthy of love and belonging. Courage and daring are coursing through your veins. You were made to live and love with your whole heart. It’s time to show up and be seen.”

3. This video of Harmen Hoek hiking the Drakensberg in South Africa is nothing short of beautiful.

4. Via Hyperallergic, Ukrainian soldiers discovered Greek amphorae (I didn’t know what this word meant and it means tall ancient Greek or Roman jar with two handles and a narrow neck) while digging trenches in Odesa, probably at least 2,00 years old. Via Smithsonian Magazine, a 5,000 year old drum was found near Yorkshire, being buried near three children, a clay ball and a bone pin. The drum is only one of four that are known. Even 5,000 years ago, people wanted to be symmetrical which is amazing.

5. I’m on Strava (I’m not exciting on Strava, it’s mostly treadmill runs), but probably don’t use it like most people. It’s just a way for me to track miles on my shoes and I can keep track of what my siblings are doing, which are the only people I follow. I don’t know why you would follow a famous person, but I can attest to not understanding a lot of things. This story from Cycling tips’ Iain Treloar uncovering a fake pro cyclist, a man who claimed to be a professional cyclist, an entire life started to unravel because of unrealistic fastest known segments. This is ridiculously long, so sit down with a good drink.

Saturday Morning Links

1. Ever heard of Mt. Taranaki? Me neither. It’s a dormant volcano in the North Island of New Zealand, western side of the island. I absolutely love mythology, regardless of the origin.

According to Māori mythology,[23] Taranaki once resided in the middle of the North Island, with all the other New Zealand volcanoes. The beautiful Pihanga was coveted by all the mountains, and a great battle broke out between them. Tongariro eventually won the day,[24] inflicted great wounds on the side of Taranaki, and causing him to flee. Taranaki headed westwards, following Te Toka a Rahotu (the Rock of Rahotu) and forming the deep gorges of the Whanganui River,[25] paused for a while, creating the depression that formed the Te Ngaere swamp, then heading north. Further progress was blocked by the Pouakai Ranges, and as the sun came up Taranaki became petrified in his current location. When Taranaki conceals himself with rainclouds, he is said to be crying for his lost love, and during spectacular sunsets, he is said to be displaying himself to her.[26] In turn, Tongariro’s eruptions are said to be a warning to Taranaki not to return.

Photo by Sophie Turner on Unsplash

2. Via the BBC, two of Charles Darwin’s journals were returned to the Cambridge University Library in a pink gift bag.

3. Via Texas Monthly, the story of  Elsik and their high school soccer team made up almost entirely of immigrants. I see so much of Yo in some of those faces (there is a student from the Democratic Republic of Congo on the team).

4. Via D Magazine, Iztok Franko is from Slovenia, the same place as Luka Doncic and he wrote about his visit to Dallas to see Luka. Iztok is an insanely talented writer and explainer of basketball.

5. The Oregon coast.

Saturday Morning Links

1. Ever heard of Chapada dos Veadeiros National Park? It’s a national park in Brazil on top of a plateau that’s 1.8 billion years old. It is a park that is 929 square miles and is known for it’s huge waterfalls.

Photo by J. Balla Photography on Unsplash

2. I didn’t know what “hot girl shit” was and now I know how race car drivers do or should do hot girl shit.

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3. Via NPR, Pradeep Mehra runs 5 miles every day after working his shift at McDonald’s in order to stay in shape to eventually join the India army and to then go home and cook for his brother (who is also working the night shift). For me, this is really about how people all around the world do things to get by and we’re all running in some form or fashion to get things done or do things or maybe we’re normal.

4. Via LondonSE1, the largest Roman mosaic from 175-225 AD was recently discovered and it’s a work of art.

5. Anton somewhere is a Ukrainian YouTuber and he normally does amazing travel videos and now he’s chronicling life in Kyiv under the Russian siege.

Saturday Morning Links

1. Arizona is amazing. Honestly it was way too short of a time and could have spent a week there. We left on Saturday morning and after travel and everything else, we arrived in Flagstaff around 4 in the afternoon. We flew into Phoenix and then drove to Flagstaff from there, which is about 2 and a half hours later.

2. The first day we go to Sedona and I should say that it was my family, my parents, my sister and her 4 kiddos, my brother, his wife and 1-year old, and my sister who was by herself. We take the scenic route from Flagstaff to Sedona and down the valley and it was really beautiful. I drove, so I couldn’t take it in like I wanted, but it is a drive I would take again. We do a small hike, the Birthing Cave, that was maybe a mile or so away from the trailhead. It was really pretty and the red rock and the blue sky are just perfect. A perfect combination of colors. We have lunch at the car and then we go into town to walk around for a bit and then we went to the Chapel of the Holy Cross. My wife loves the vacation t-shirt so there’s just no stopping that. On the way home, things became more adventureous. I started to become very short of breath and was essentially gasping for air. I was of course driving and we were maybe 15 minutes outside of Flagstaff. The highway patrol were called, but my wife ended up driving me to the emergency room in Flagstaff. This has happened to be before, maybe 15 years ago. It was my diaphragm contracting, almost like a muscle spasm and when it happened previously the doctors gave me a muscle relaxer and it stopped. Well, in this instance, it didn’t stop until I got into the emergency room and they put some fluids in me and by the time I had relaxed it was better. All of my vitals came back normal, the only thing that was off was really high blood pressure. After 5 hours in the ER, I was sent home.

3. The next day we went to Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument and it was just terrific. The weather was still cool and there was still ice on the ground, but it was just lovely and the blue skies were great with all of the lava rock and pine trees. We then looped around to the Wupatki National Monument and it was also terrific. Just a really neat site and to drive down from Sunset Crater to Wupatki is incredibly extreme even though it only takes like half an hour. The trip back to Flagstaff requires you to basically drive through the saddle of the range where Flagstaff sits.

4. The next day, my wife and kids had wanted to do the Grand Canyon, but the rest of the crew was unsure as to how that would work with smaller kids. So we piled in the minivan and drove the hour and a half to the Grand Canyon and it did not disappoint. In fact, it was one of the most favorite places I’ve ever been. We did the hike down to Cedar Ridge, which still had a bit of ice on it, but once it opened up to the canyon was was work and beautiful. Just loved the whole experience. I wish we would have hiked just a bit more to see the river, but we had a long day driving, we had not eaten lunch, and we had to hike back up, which ended up not being that bad at all. I’m also fairly certain that I saw Jim Walmsley running back up the canyon. We grabbed a burger in the small town that’s just south of the entrance and the hour and a half back to Flagstaff really wasn’t that bad at all. We didn’t spend nearly enough time around the Grand Canyon, but I’m very thankful to have been there.

5. I’d tell you that I absolutely loved my time in Arizona. Would do again and I’m almost certain that we really didn’t do all of the things to do around Flagstaff and the various hikes that are along the way to Sedona. We probably just hit the tip of the iceberg and I’m almost certain we’ll be back in some form or fashion.

Saturday Morning Links

1. Ever heard of El Nido? Me neither. It is a municipality in the province of Palawan, Philippines. This is a well-known place and it is one of those picturesque places that you’ve probably seen a million times. So there’s a distinct possibility that you’ve seen this photo or photos from El Nido, but not known what it was called. Now you can plan your vacation.

Photo by Cris Tagupa on Unsplash

2. Ever heard of Mansa Musa? It is thought that he was the richest person in history, having an estate of $400 billion and lived from 1280 to 1337 but is actually difficult to calculate and that he had more gold than thought possible and he reigned over the Mali Empire. Another aside was that Musa is Arabic for Moses and Mansa means third born.

3. You will be able to view Stephen Hawking’s blackboard, which is wild for me as I’ve only remembered him as being bound by his wheelchair, but he definitely doodled and it’s neat to look at for sure.

4. I don’t know what my top 5 animals would be. I would need to give that some thought, but they would definitely include the buffalo, horses, and the rhinoceros. This is a story of bringing back the White Rhinoceros in Zambia:

But a series of key decisions around the management of the park have made it an exception, the first of which happened long before reintroduction even began. In 1986, the Zambia Wildlife Authority (now, the Zambian Department of National Parks and Wildlife) joined forces with the international conservation organization the Frankfurt Zoological Society to form one of the first partnerships of its kind in Africa. This collaborative management partnership (CMP), which gave birth to the North Luangwa Conservation Program (NLCP) that exists to this day, did a few key things.

First, it provided financial and technical support to get large-scale poaching under control to an extent that had been impossible under meager national government funding in a park without much tourism. Deploying special intelligence-based protection units, skilled rangers, ecological data monitoring, canine units and even monitoring by aircraft, North Luangwa became the safest national park in Zambia. Elephant populations rebounded and breeding herds settled. Lions and wild dogs made a comeback. Evidence of poaching slowly evaporated.

5. I’ve mentioned that I don’t watch a lot of TV other than sports, but this is another thing that I enjoy watching, which is time lapse videos of the stars. It is nothing short of amazing for me to watch, which may make me a child that I’m still enthralled by this, but I’m okay with that.

Saturday Morning Links

1. Ever heard of Tsé Bitʼaʼí? That’s actually Shiprock and the Tsé Bitʼaʼí is the Navajo name, which translates to “rocks with wings” or “winged rock”. I am almost positive I’ve seen a picture of this before, never knew the name. Tsé Bitʼaʼí is a monadnock (which is an isolated rock and I did not know this word before right now) and has a significant religious importance with the Navajo people. I am sure I am not the only person that loved reading first nation explanations of things as a kid growing up and still do.

Photo by Jimmy Conover on Unsplash

2. I’ve mentioned before that I don’t watch TV, but I do watch things and one of the things that I watch is this guy, Scotty’s Gone Walkabouts, he basically hikes and eats in the Australian Outback. In this particular episode, Scotty hikes out, just can’t get over how amazing the stars look while having a gin and tonic, chides fellow Aussies for leaving trash at campsites, and generally very much cares about the way he leaves things.

3. This is super-interesting to me, but a guy was hacked by North Korean spies and he decides to get them back, all from the comfort of his home. If you don’t think that a bunch of nerds (and I use that term as a person who considers himself a nerd) run the internet and fix and break things on purpose then you would be incorrect.

4. For the first time from the Hubble telescope, two galaxies interacting with each other? It’s an amazing photo even if you don’t know what’s happening.

5. Did you know that the US stores 1.4 million pounds of surplus cheese in caves in Missouri?

Saturday Morning Links

1. Ever heard of Nagaland? Me neither, but it is a state in northeast India. As an aside, the attribution link didn’t work on Unsplash and want to make sure and point you right here as to where I got the photo.

2. Such a weird week. I had planned gallbladder removal for Thursday and that was really just the start of the week. Almost 10 months ago I went in for a regular physical and was wanting to get some more life insurance. I had some liver numbers that were slightly off and so my doctor asked me to lay off of alcohol for a few weeks and get re-tested. My last sip of alcohol was March 31st. The results improved, but not perfect so the search continued. X-rays, ultrasounds, and MRI’s later, I eventually arrive at the idea that I do have gallstones and the best way to make sure that nothing was wrong was to have the gallbladder removed before the gallstones really become an issue and then do a liver biopsy.

3. Zoey has been my wife’s and my dog for our entire marriage. Right before Miranda and I were to get married Zoey walked up to her parents’ house, where she was living at the time, and she asked if we could keep her and how could I say no to my bride-to-be? She was a very good puppy dog, the kind of dog that was nearly perfect. Never a problem save for a couple of times. She must have been hit as a puppy because she never wagged her tail when you would pet her, she was seemingly always scared. Funny how things that happen to you can shape you as a person or a dog. We eventually had 3 dogs, my wife’s pug Olive and I had a dog that I adopted, Blue. When we brought Fitsum home, Olive died and I’m not exactly sure what happened, but Blue attacked Zoey and broke her hip. I had to give Blue to my brother for fear that she would kill Zoey. This would have been a decade ago. She was an absolute disaster, but we took her to the vet and they somehow fixed her up and 10 years later her body finally gave out. The past few years Zoey has lost her sight and hearing for the most part. She could still see bright lights and loud claps, but that was about it. By the end of her life she was in a lot of pain in the end, she struggled to lay down and we had prepared the boys and they knew how much pain she was in. On Wednesday, we said goodbye to sweet Zoey.

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4. A high school student at the school district where my wife teaches wanted to do her UIL project on our family and I think it turned out wonderfully.

5. It’s been 4 decades since I’ve been fully anesthetized. All I could think about when it happened this week for me was this is what it was like for Zoey to go to sleep in her last moments. It is incredibly peaceful and that gave me some solace. Having those two events so close together couldn’t have been more strange and normally I wouldn’t associate the two.