Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Mountain lake

At this point we were higher than the peak we were looking at earlier. The one in the picture two posts earlier.
Looking towards one of the 3 14ers in the area.
We found a nice little waterfall that feeds into the lake. Later we filled up our water bottles from mountain springs/waterfalls.

Monday, September 29, 2008

In the mountains

We were there at the right time. It was raspberry season and I ate a lot of them.
An old time log cabin. Even the floor was made of logs. I figure this must be at least 100 years old, probably more.
This log seems to have been cut down with an axe. The rest probably were probably cut with a saw, but almost certainly not a chain saw. It must have been a lot of work to build the few cabins we saw that day.
Just chillin' Taking a little break after quite an incline. We were probably 1/4 of the way there.
Looks like a Jeep commercial. I could just imagine the commercial:
"The all new Jeep Behemoth, CRUSHES all nature beneath it. With a price tag of only thirty five thousand, plus 30 thousand in modifications. The engine, like all Jeeps, is guaranteed to crap out after about 50k miles, but those will be 50k miles of monstrous, gas-guzzling, nature-conquering power!" lol

Thursday, September 25, 2008

walking up a mountain

You wouldn't believe it, but the mountain in this picture later became like a little spec in the distance when we reached the top of Mt. Blanca. This hike was real long.
On the trail.
It was still early in the morning.
Starting to gain in elevation. Not yet realizing we weren't even 1/20th of the way there yet.
My friends that made it out with me. Gurprakash Singh Ji and Hari Darshan Kaur Ji.
Enjoying the view. It's good that I enjoyed it now, because when I saw this view again on the way down, I was totally wasted and only had enough will power to keep walking without really enjoying the view.
This was a really cool site. The shadows of the mountains down upon the valley below, which I believe is the San Luis Valley.
We reached the aspen belt and found a group of people camping Suburban-American style: drive instead of walk and lug all your junk including tv's and video games. At this point we were about 1/10th of the way there, but I believed we were probably 1/3 to 1/2 way. It really surprised me and the rest of us how long of a hike it was.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Toughest hike I've done thus far

A few weeks back I did the toughest hike I've yet done. It was to Mt. Blanca which is another 14,000 foot peak in Colorado. I woke up at 2 AM to do my sadhana, then at around 3:00 AM I picked up a couple friends and left one behind who didn't wake up. We arrived at the destination and started walking around 5:45 AM. It's probably supposed to be a 2 day hike, but we did it one day. We arrived back at the car at 7:30 PM, after walking almost the entire time up and down a mountain. Then we drove back to EspaƱola. We started around 8,00 feet which was below the tree line, walked to the pine forest, the aspen forest, and then above the tree line.
Here is the first view of the mountains at around 5:00 AM. You might want to click on it and view a larger size to see anything.
By the time we parked it was just light enough to start walking.
In the beginning of the day, I kept thinking we were making serious time and distance. This was us just above the valley where we started, maybe 1/50th of the way there.

In the next few days I'll post more pictures from this trek. I'll probably post them in order to sort of re-create the journey online :-)

Friday, September 19, 2008

Been busy :-)

I haven't had time to sort through my photos of different events/activities or post them here. I also want to write a few more political articles just to get people to think about their alliances vs. ideals.
In the mean time check my flickr account for some photos that I've posted :-)

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

God's evening masterpiece

One evening I went to take a picture of the sunset and in each direction of the sky I saw something unique.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

The little things - up at 14,000 feet

If you're curious what might be growing amongst the majority of rocks at 14,000 feet here are a few things.
This is at the top of Mt. Cameron, an unofficial 14er.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Through the fog

I usually have not discussed politics on my blog, and I don't feel that my opinions will change the outcome of the election. I did feel the need to respond to friends and family who are using their "feelings" based on propaganda (t.v./mainstream media/staged and frivolous debates) to argue with me about politics. They would argue with me and mention how Obama is keen and intelligent on the "issues." When I'd press them to discuss the issues in an informed and objective manner, none of them could. Not that they are incapable, just that they'd rather stick with their feelings and root for their team. In my opinion, loyalty to McCain/Obama is loyalty to a white and black version of the same monster.
I'll write a few more articles later, like the ones posted below, but in the mean time here are some pretty pictures:
That's my brother in the distance. It's hard to gain perspective sometimes in the mountains, some things that look small or close are actually large and far away.
Seeing through the fog. How many of us can do that?
Here is a common perspective. Fear of falling off a cliff. This was created with a zoom lens. We have to be careful of the lens we see things through.

I like how people argue with me, "Aren't you afraid that McCain will win?" I tell them "NO!" First of all I don't think he has a chance, secondly if he did win, it's the white version of Obama! I'm still going to see my responsibilities as a citizen of this world and as a Sikh to be a good person and create meaningful change within myself and my actions so that my personal global impact is positive.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Translation services - Iraq

Again, if anybody reading this has a hard time identifying the destructive and backward ideas of McCain I will rip him a new one, but until then I will continue to translate Obama's flowery and deceptive language.

From Obama's website (http://www.barackobama.com/issues/iraq/):
"Military experts believe we can safely redeploy combat brigades from Iraq at a pace of 1 to 2 brigades a month that would remove them in 16 months. That would be the summer of 2010 – more than 7 years after the war began.

Under the Obama plan, a residual force will remain in Iraq and in the region to conduct targeted counter-terrorism missions against al Qaeda in Iraq and to protect American diplomatic and civilian personnel."

ACTUALLY... do I need to translate this? Is anybody reading this dumb enough to believe that a "residual force" is necessary beyond corporate interests? Also, with the ridiculous cost of the war, why can't it end sooner? Summer of 2010 is a long way off. With millions being spent by the hour, that is an especially long gravy train.

He doesn't mention the size of the "residual force" or what "diplomatic" and "civilian personnel" will be protected. Honestly shouldn't the American embassies require security provided by the government and any American civilians/business men make their own arrangements? As a civilian, can I expect "forces" to join me while I vacation or do business in other countries? I think tax-payers might disagree.

More from Obama:
"Bush Administration’s blank check approach has failed to press Iraq’s leaders to take responsibility for their future or to substantially spend their oil revenues on their own reconstruction."

translation: Yeah, I'm amazed Bush has not forced the Iraqis to hire Bechtel to rebuild the destruction we caused! Seems like a no-brainer!

"Obama will make sure we engage representatives from all levels of Iraqi society—in and out of government—to forge compromises on oil revenue sharing"

translation: We will continue to impose our will and reap financial benefits from "their" oil, which we will likely control indefinitely with our "residual force."

Translation services - energy

From Obama's website (http://my.barackobama.com/page/content/newenergy):

  • 1. Provide short-term relief to American families facing pain at the pump
  • 2. Help create five million new jobs by strategically investing $150 billion over the next ten years to catalyze private efforts to build a clean energy future.
  • 3. Within 10 years save more oil than we currently import from the Middle East and Venezuela combined.
  • 4. Put 1 million Plug-In Hybrid cars -- cars that can get up to 150 miles per gallon -- on the road by 2015, cars that we will work to make sure are built here in America.
  • 5. Ensure 10 percent of our electricity comes from renewable sources by 2012, and 25 percent by 2025.
  • 6. Implement an economy-wide cap-and-trade program to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 80 percent by 2050.
1. Use tax money to increase profits of oil companies. How will he provide relief? "an immediate $1,000 emergency energy rebate to help families pay rising bills." Isn't that nice, he's giving us some of our own money back, but only if we use it for energy (i.e. profits for oil companies).
2. Any time you see the word "private" you have to be on alert. Here he's saying that he will use $150 billion, which is no small amount, of our (tax payer's) money to invest in "private" business (read Exxon, etc.) to "build a clean energy future." What does that mean? Shouldn't the voters have a say in where this money gets invested and which technologies look the most promising? Bush invested in Hydrogen which may or may not be useful and is a long way off, while helping to destroy the electric car which already existed and already demonstrated enormous beneficial impact to reduce the consumption of resources.
3. Within 10 years, with the resources at your disposal, we could be almost completely off of oil! HELLO!!!! He also writes on his website "Promote the Responsible Domestic Production of Oil and Natural Gas. " What does "responsible" mean? It's environmentally destructive any way you look at it!
4. What is the point of this? Why not electric cars that don't need any gas and get even better mileage? It's not like they don't already exist.
5. Why 10% by 2012? Why not 50% by 2012? Why not education programs that help people reduce energy usage instead of finding ways for people to continue to consume more?
6. Not soon enough.

1. Short term solution would be a public campaign to encourage people to carpool and use public transport. Also increase public transport options. Long term, there are thousands of solutions.
2. Use the funding to support the National Laboratories and government programs with clear objectives and oversight to produce energy solutions.
3. We reduce our use of gas and use gas-free products when or if they become available.
4. Use electric cars, air cars, whatever it takes to reduce our need for oil.
5. We learn to live with less electricity and build houses that don't require any energy input more than what the sun, wind, rain can provide.
6. We can only reduce emissions by doing it on an individual level. We can start now, we don't need Obama.

Translation services - the issue of healthcare

If you are voting for McCain, you're an idiot, there's really nothing I can say different than that. If you're voting for Obama, you've bought into a lot of hype. Here and maybe in future blog posts I will translate statements from his website and express how dysfunctional, and corrupt they truly are. I want to expose the idea that Obama brings significant change to the way Washington is now a slave to big, corrupt, environmentally destructive, human rights insensitive "business."

Barack Obama on healthcare (source http://www.barackobama.com/issues/healthcare/):
Barack Obama's Plan
Quality, Affordable and Portable Coverage for All

Instead of using the taxes we already pay for healthcare to insure that all Americans have healthcare, Obama believes that we should continue to allow insurance companies and drug companies to make a profit off of American's taxes and their continually declining health.

HR 676, introduced by Dennis Kucinich, who also approached Al Gore and John Kerry to support this bill. Not only does this bill cover all Americans, it costs less than we're already paying in taxes. Instead Obama and the rest want us to have access to affordable insurance - MEANING we're still paying more than what we already pay in taxes.
Please read: http://www.healthcare-now.org/hr676.html
http://www.ontheissues.org/2004/Dennis_Kucinich_Health_Care.htm (This will help you understand the issue in depth)
or simply watch
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hTgPFJnV76c (It's less than a minute)

P.S. I consider this like a seva (selfless service) for those who have bought into "change" and "hope" and are being led down a path that leads to more of the same. Also, I'm willing to tear down McCain as well if the readers of this blog wish. I just think that if you have any intelligence his normal speeches are enough to turn you off to his diseased behavior. I shouldn't have to translate him, he's already espousing in plain language the same things which are destroying this great nation (i.e. war, human rights abuses, heavy dependence on oil (foreign or domestic), mass consumption, environmental destruction, fear-based tactics, socially conservative ideas which limit the freedoms of religion, choice, etc.)
I'm not a pessimist, I just don't put faith in either of these politicians. I have faith in God and that we are all part of God. Our hope and change comes from our behavior and lifestyles, which have a global impact. Let's celebrate our own power of change and hope and become great within ourselves. WaheGuru!

Friday, September 05, 2008

Funny Video - nailing politicians

14ers - at the top

The pictures I've been showing are from 3 14ers we did on one weekend. I've since done one more, which was a crazy hike, but also awesome. I'll put pictures up from that when I upload them.
At the top of Mt. Democrat with my brother.
At the top with my brother and my friend M'hamed.
At the top of Mt. Lincoln.
At the top of Mt. Bross.
Coming down on the second day. We did Mt. Democrat on one afternoon and the other two the next morning. We were down by around 1 PM and went to the hot springs :-) It had been snowing on us a lot that day, so it was nice.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Continuing on the same theme

I think we were there at the perfect time of the year to see thousands of wild flowers every where.
Even on the way there, we saw tons of flowers :-)