How to Be Happy in 2015

happy in 2015

Pre-AT Good Badger would be lecturing on some sort of New Year’s Resolution path toward mastery right about now.  My feelings toward goals haven’t changed. They’re the single most important factor for creating success.  Instead, my preoccupation with success has taken a backseat to happiness.  Success without happiness is hollow.  It’s a car without an engine.  A basketball hoop without a ball.  A chimi without a changa.

The key to happiness is appreciation.  So I will instead take this opportunity to reflect back and share what most contributed to my happiness in 2014, which can be quite simply be summarized that…

I love what I do.

Back in March I jumped off a career cliff and quit my (very good) job.  I was lost.  Thankfully prior experience has taught me that uncertainty can be as beneficial as it is terrifying.  Instead of focusing on what I didn’t know (namely how I was going to make ends meet), I turned my attention to what I did know.

1) I had zero passion for my career.

2) I again felt a calling toward the AT.

This time not on foot, but online.  Interacting with those who were hellbent on hiking the AT served as a time capsule back to this emotionally dense chapter in my own life.  The incredible opportunities I’ve been given as a result of my hike and this website is something I wanted to give to others.  Without knowing how, I set out to make this happen.

Fast forward nine months, and my life is perfect.  I’m super rich.  I work at most thirty minutes per week.  And I travel more than Ronnie Brewer.

Okay that’s not totally true.  I still struggle to make ends meet.  I work six (or seven) days most weeks.  And I regularly go more than 24 hours without leaving my apartment.

That unsavory picture aside, the past year has been superb. has grown into an award winning outdoor website, and this is supported by quite possibly the world’s greatest community.  I’m also well underway with another project that I’m still keeping locked in my secret² dungeon (a dungeon of secrets whose location is also a secret).

But for the purpose of this post, awards / dungeons are irrelevant.

What matters is that: (a) I sincerely enjoy what I do and (to a way lesser extent, but still necessary) (b) I’m confident I won’t be dangerously poor come this time next year.  The interesting part is that (b) will happen because of (a), not the other way around.  Even with working too much (admittedly, it’s too much), the days don’t drag, I don’t live for the weekend, and most importantly, I’m not dreaming of my next big opportunity.  I’m living it.

Are you willing to live yours?  

Your happiness for the following year may very well be wrapped in that answer.

Q&A: How Do I Get Over Writer’s Block?

how to get over writers block

We’re introducing a new series to the Good Badger called: “Q&A”, which is short for question and answer.  After a thorough investigation (conducted by me), the conclusion has been reached that I am the unquestioned coiner of this phrase.  You know this claim is valid because you’re reading it on the Internet.   If you have a question you’d like answered, send it here.

Today’s question comes from Zach D in Denver, CO who writes the following:

Hi the Good Badger,

I know you’re probably busy saving baby animals from being abducted by evil corporations, teaching Elon Musk how to build electric cars, and super-modeling, but I was hoping you’d be able to help me with something.

You see, I get great satisfaction from writing.  I enjoy the therapeutic effect of transferring my thoughts to paper, sharing my ideas with others, and doing so in my own unique-as-a-snowflake style.  My problem is that I suffer from tremendous writer’s block.  There are many days where I’d like to write, but I’m either at a loss of ideas or motivation.  What advice can you offer to overcome this?

Thanks.  I bet you smell really good.

– Zach

First and foremost, thanks for the note, Zach.  And you’re absolutely right.  I smell great.

Funny you should ask how to get over writer’s block, because I too currently have fallen into a writing-abyss.  Luckily for you, this is not my first journey to dumb-town (I actually own a timeshare there), and through much first-hand experience, I have found the roadmap back out.

But first, let us address a fun fact about writer’s block

There is no such thing.

That’s right, if we’re defining writer’s block as the mysterious disappearance of the ability or inspiration to write, then the term is total bullshit.  More accurately, it’s Loch Ness shit.  And until you can deliver me a heaping steam of Nessie’s naughty sauce, I will continue to call you a liar.

With this said, writing blocks happen, however it’s not some plague, virus, or curse that robs a writer of their creative energy.

Said voids of production happen as a result ONLY of bad habits.  By and large, these bad habits fall into one of three categories:

1) A Lack of Regimen

If writing is a priority in your life, it must be handled accordingly.  Having access to quite literally limitless amounts of entertainment, information, and communication (AKA #selfies) by way of our iDevices has lead to the extinction of boredom.  This formerly known phenomenon was the ideal condition to get writers writing.

Today, time must be carved out.  If you operate off a calendar, schedule an appointment.  If to-do lists drive your day, put “writing” at the top, followed by “seriously, fucking do it”, “bitch, I ain’t messing around here”, “it’s okay, you can skip it today if you’re not in the mood”, and “just kidding asshole, write.”

Naysayer: “But what if I don’t know what to write?”

Yaysayer: “Excuses, is that you? It’s cute that you’re trying to disguise yourself as a reason, but I’ve been duped by you before. Fool me once…”

In other words, you probably do know something worth writing, but you’re not confident enough to explore this idea in its entirety.  Of course what ultimately happens once you sit down is that your idea takes several unpredictable turns and magically arrives in the town center of Awesomeville.  As they say, the hardest part of working out is putting on your shoes (also, deadlifting). Once you get moving, the endorphins inspire 45-60 minutes of kinetic bliss. Same philosophy applies to writing.

In the off-chance you’re legitimately completely void of ideas (and even if you’re not), one practice I’ve found incredibly helpful is something called Morning Pages, created by Julia Cameron.  “Morning Pages are three pages of longhand, stream of consciousness writing, done first thing in the morning. *There is no wrong way to do Morning Pages*– they are not high art. They are not even “writing.” They are about anything and everything that crosses your mind– and they are for your eyes only. Morning Pages provoke, clarify, comfort, cajole, prioritize and synchronize the day at hand. Do not over-think Morning Pages: just put three pages of anything on the page…and then do three more pages tomorrow.” When I’ve been consistent with this practice (which admittedly is far less than always), all other writing is far more lucid and creativity abounds.

Credit should also be given to Brian Koppleman, as I was first introduced to this practice when he discussed it on a recent Tim Ferris Show.

2) A Lack of Exposure

Creativity is just connecting things.  When you ask creative people how they did something, they feel a little guilty beacuse they didn’t really do it, they just saw something.  It seemed obvious to them after a while.  That’s because they were able to connect experiences they’ve had and synthesize new things. – Steve Jobs

Steve’s right.

To play off our previous point, there are times whereby you’re suddenly overcome with an idea so potent you can’t not put it to writing.  Obsessively, you scribble away on your notepad or pound on your keyboard until you’ve got a couple thousand words of passionate chaos.  After a bit of chiseling this chaos turns into beautiful, convincing prose.  Not only was it easy to get started, but the real challenge was trying to pull yourself away.

Why can’t it be that easy all the time?

Well, it can.  If you’re having trouble finding this stroke of inspiration, chances are, you’re not exposing yourself to the necessary stimuli to catalyze this reaction.  Specifically, this will come from:

1) Personal experiences and/or
2) Reading (or audiobooks)

I wrote a book. Some of the credit goes to the teachers who challenged me growing up. Some of the credit goes to Appalachian Trials’s wonderful editors. But as long as we’re divvying credit, let’s go ahead and give a large slice of that pie to doing something as stupid / interesting / bizarre / challenging as walking from Georgia to Maine.  Without this incredible life experience, there is no book.

Now am I suggesting that you give up everything and take a half year hike through the mountains?  YES I AM.  But in the off-chance that’s not feasible right now, I encourage you to go do something, anything that exposes you to a new environment.

And if you want to take the inspirational super-shortcut, pick up a new book.  Learning begets growth, which begets inspiration.  Ask a friend for a recommendation and go read your balls off.  In fact, here are a few books I often recommend to get you started:

If reading a thought-provoking book still doesn’t get the inspirational juices flowing, chances are, you’re suffering from…

3) A Lack of Whiskey

“When you work hard all day with your head and know you must work again the next day, what else can change your ideas and make them run in a different plane like whisky?” – Ernest Hemmingway, professional alcoholic

It is said that human beings only use 10% of their brains.  Now let us overlook the fact that people who say this are wrong, because there is real merit to this fake fact, which is- human beings are creatures of habit.

For the purpose of completing tasks (brushing your teeth, deciding what to eat for lunch, driving a car, etc.), habits are wonderful. They conserve energy by simplifying the complex.

For the purpose of stirring creativity (unless the habit is designed specifically for this purpose), they are less wonderful.  Picture those toy car race tracks from when you were a kid.  Habit will allow your car to zip around the track faster, but creativity necessitates us launching that fucker off the rails.

Enter whiskey.

Studies show that alcohol can spur creativity, and I have plenty of empirical evidence to confirm these findings.  Sure there are plenty of reasons not to drink alcohol (or so health-professionals claim), but if you’re stuck in a writing rut, a little bit of whiskey will lift you right up.

Of course there are other creativity-boosting options if booze is not your drug of choice including actual drugs, meditation, exercise, and adrenaline-inducing activities (i.e. extreme sports).

And if regimen, exposure, and whiskey aren’t cutting it, you could take the extra pathetic route and just ask yourself a question and pose it as a Q&A.

How to Vacation to Europe on the Cheap

how to vacation to europe on the cheap

A Western-European vacation is bacon for the soul.

Few places on earth provide such a magical combination of history, beauty (in landscapes, architecture, people, and accents), FOOD, and culture without sacrificing any of the first-world luxuries that Americans tend to get itchy without.  The lone downside also happens to be a devastating one: the tornado-like effect it has on bank accounts.  The cost of airfare and lodging alone is the equivalent of 2,000 pounds of avocado, a shark boat, or this ocean garbage super important key.  Think of the possibilities.

Many, reasonably albeit unfortunately, forego a cultural expedition across the pond for this very reason.

Well I’m here to let you in on a secret.  A secret so game changing- that after reading this post- you will see life in a new light.  A brighter light.  You will see life through the lens of a Lite-Brite.


The secret is…

Traveling to Europe can be done on the cheap.

Poppycock!” you protest.  “If vacay’ing in Europe were in fact affordable, everyone would do it all the time.  I’d be first in line.  Good Badger, until proven otherwise, I have no choice but to assume you are serving up a Gotta Have It portion of horseshit.”

Prove you otherwise, I will.  With a…

Complete Guide to Vacationing to (and in) Europe on the Cheap

Step 1) Pile those Miles

In economics, the time value of money says that a dollar today is worth more than that same dollar in the future (assuming your currency is experiencing inflation.  It is.).  With all of the safe investment options to earn interest on your money (savings accounts, bonds, index funds, etc.), if your money isn’t earning money, you are losing money.

The same can be said for credit card swipes that don’t result in some reward.

In order to play in a highly competitive space, credit cards lure consumers in with high-value rewards simply for using their plastic.  The bank’s hope is that you spend more than you can pay, thus foreclosing on your soul in the form of unconscionable interest rates.  It should go without saying: don’t spend more than you can pay.  Treat your credit card like a debit card.  </Personal Finance 101 lecture.>

But just because banks are greed factories doesn’t mean you can’t win at their game.  In this instance, you’ll “win” a “free” international flight by signing up for the right rewards credit card*.

* = We’re working with the assumption that your credit score isn’t a dumpster zone.  If this is the case, step 1) is to read this book

I use the United MileagePlus® Select Visa Signature Card which awards 3 miles for every $1 purchase through United, 2 miles for every $1 spent on gas, groceries, dining, home improvement and Star Alliance purchases, and 1 mile for every $1 spent everywhere else.  Best of all, the card comes with 30,000 bonus miles plus a $50 discount travel certificate after the first $250 spend.  Unfortunately, Chase doesn’t offer this card anymore, but there are a slew of other credit cards at this caliber or better.

One example is the Barclaycard Arrival Plus (min credit score: 691; named “Best for Travel Rewards” by Money Magazine in October 2013), which awards 2 miles for every dollar and a 40,000 mile bonus after spending $3,000 within the first 90 days.  Another is the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card (min credit score: 689), which offers virtually the same benefits as the Arrival Plus.

WTF does any of that mean?

Well, my recent roundtrip flight to Paris cost 65,000 miles plus ~$150 in tax. These miles were accrued in just about a year (including the bonus and my frequent flier miles) under my normal spending habits. Whether this takes you a year or a decade to achieve, an extremely cheap flight to Europe is well within your means, but not if you’re wasting swipes.  Pile those miles today.

Step 2) Your Labor: The Universal Currency

“Yeah but even with a cheap-as-shit flight, the cost of lodging alone is enough to break the bank,” says the hypothetical voice.

While our invisible friend here is accurately describing the scenario for most travelers, this fate need not be ours.

Enter Workaway.

In a nutshell, Workaway is a marketplace of volunteer workers and hosts around the world.  In exchange for 20-25 hours of work per week, hosts offer volunteers accommodations plus meals.  The type of work is all over the map (pun bonus): gardening, painting, building, etc.  Some jobs are mundane.  Some are straight awesomesauce- i.e. working on a lavender farm in Toulouse.  My girlfriend and I recently returned from a two-week workaway which required about 20 hours per week of gardening, painting, and landscaping on a beautiful villa in the south of France.  During our work days (7 altogether), we spent a total of $0.  And even with an unfavorable exchange rate, this equates €0.  I took college-level math.


When not Workaway’ing, hostels are your best bet.  Like most things in life, more expensive doesn’t always mean more better (I did not take English in college). You can find great hostels at a steal with some savvy Internetting.  Be sure to scour ratings and reviews on or and book as far in advance as possible to lock down the best deals.

Step 3)  Transportation: He who waits, wastes (money)

The final step is a cautionary tale.  Learn from my mistake.

It was our last weekend in France.  We had already purchased our train tickets from our hosts location to Biarritz (an amazing Atlantic-side coast town in the Basque region of the country.  Just look at this picture.  Holy shit.).  We hadn’t yet purchased our tickets from Biarritz to Paris (the location of our return flight) thinking we would pick them up at the Biarritz train station upon our arrival. Because of ADHD, we didn’t.  By the time we had realized this blunder, tickets had already sold out.  For the entire day.  

The next cheapest option (after surveying them all), was to rent a car and drive eight hours across the length of France.  Not only did this tack on three hours of travel, 1,000% more stress, but it was double the cost of what the train would have been.  We let vacation brain take over and our lax decision making resulted in our biggest expense of the entire trip.

Even without the train selling out, it would have been shrewd to book our tickets as far in advance as possible, as the cost of train tickets only increase (unlike flights).  Let this be a lesson to you.

Other suggestions for frugal traveling:

  • If you’re doing extensive traveling (i.e. traveling for more than a month and to several countries) get a Eurail Pass.  Short distance trains are cheap (especially when purchased in advance), but long distance trains (emphasis on plural) will add up quickly.  This option makes more sense if you’re abroad for a long time and don’t have a strict itinerary.  If you’re only gone for a few weeks, there are better options (explained below). This article does a nice job of explaining when and when not to buy a Eurail pass.

  • If your stay is shorter- (i.e. two to three weeks), your cheapest option to get around will be either via train or bus.  Don’t overlook Europe’s discount air carriers, especially easyJet and Ryanair.  However, be forewarned- they will absolutely gouge you on baggage fees if you’re carrying anything more than a small bag.  Travel light.

There you have it.  International vacationing on the cheap.  With all of the money you just saved, think of all the copies of Appalachian Trials you could should must reading this was pretty much a legally binding contract could buy.

I quit…

i quit

Blogging rule #1A: never acknowledge how long it’s been since you’ve last posted.

Man has it been a long time since I’ve last posted!  So many things have happened.  Barack Obama was elected as our first black president, dick pics become easier than ever, and the government took a two week siesta.

What’s that?  Literally none of that is new? 

So, what did we miss?

I guess there were some pretty epic boops.  And as it turns out, the NSA is listening to and reading everything we say.  Let’s go with the boops.

But, believe it or not, this PSA is not about boops.

This is a hybrid apology / life update / boop PSA.


As a blog-father (blogdaddy?), I have failed you.  I said I would give you the road map to perfect healthI didn’t.  I said I would give you the second half of a story that involves getting chased by bulls through the narrow streets of quaint Spanish cities.  I didn’t.

Not that the reason is important, but I have taken away some lessons from my previous woods-life, with the primary one being that after 40-60 hours per week spent on my computer, the last thing I want to do is spend one single fucking minute more on my computer.  For those keeping score at home, the first thing was drop kick my computer into the throat-hole of a dragon.  Dracarys.

What I’m trying to say is that I’ve been spending a lot of time on my computer again, and when given the opportunity to not do that, I take it.

But, this is about to change because…

Life Update

…I quit.

My job.  At Tech Cocktail.

It has been a sincere pleasure serving as Tech Cocktail’s director of marketing for the past two years. I’ve met incredible people (that I otherwise wouldn’t have), been granted incredible opportunities (serving on media panels, being the subject of interviews and presentations, emceeing events, and interviewing people I greatly admireall separate links), and been to amazing events (SXSW, CES, and a slew of Tech Cocktail branded events around the country).

On paper, I’m fucking up in a very real way.  Tech Cocktail is a rocket ship racing toward success. I’m walking away from an amazing opportunity to be a central component of said rocket ship (funded by Zappos CEO, Tony Hsieh).

But beyond this self-inflicted career calamity, I’m walking away from a company lead by two incredible people.  Frank Gruber and Jen Consalvo are not only two of the hardest working, smartest, most passionate people I have ever met, but they’re also unreasonably nice (especially in an industry where success and friendliness tend to inversely correlate).  To double up on the Game of Thrones references, I’m walking away the Stark family (if you don’t watch Game of Thrones, stop reading this now- and go watch Game of Thrones).  I will be cheerleading Tech Cocktail’s success for the remainder of time.

But, what exists on paper isn’t what matters.  It’s what’s in your heart.  And my heart is telling me that the tech startup world is a round hole, and I’m an octagon peg (squares are boring; also I’m red and easily confused for a stop sign).

My last day at Tech Cocktail is this Friday.

What’s next

This is where one would expect me to outline my next plan.  That plan isn’t 100% ready to go public as of yet.

I will say that part of it involves the Appalachian Trail.  If you’ve been following the action over at Appalachian Trials, you’ve probably already noticed the increased activity (and flashy new website – thanks to Tim Speciale for the incredible work).  My goal is simply to give more aspiring (and former) thru-hikers a platform to showcase their extraordinary stories.  The community that has been forming is special, and I feel that familiar yet inexplicable magnetic tug to continue fostering this growth.  If you’re into the Appalachian Trail (and/or backpacking and/or adventure) in any capacity, I strongly encourage you to check out the fun at

If you want to support the cause, please consider getting a signed book for a loved one.  Or even a liked one.  I’ll even sign books for “meh” ones.  But no Lannisters!  

I will also be heading to the AT this year for some spontaneous trail magic and other super saucy surprises.  If we’re being real, this should be classified under vacation more so than “life plan”.  I do hope to reconnect with familiar faces and meet new friends along the way.  If you want to stay abreast, the best place to do so is through the Appalachian Trials newsletter.

But the above is merely a slice of the plan pie.  If you want more, track me down and feed me beer.

The point of this post was really to say one thing – and in typical fashion it took me 800 words to say what could have been summed up in five:

the Good Badger is back.

Running with the Bulls: With Concussions, Without Repercussions

I recently returned from a three week backpacking trip of Spain with a pair of good friends.  In a nutshell, it was bananas (bananas come in nut shells, everyone knows that).  Below is part one of a two part story from the trip.  

Wednesday, July 9th, 2013

9:30pm: We arrive to Pamplona, the location of San Fermin (the Running with the Bulls festival). The sky is still fully lit, which adds to our already jet-lagged induced body-clock disarray.  Alex- a close friend and the trip’s organizer- and I had been traveling for the previous 48 hours, because missing our connecting flight put (read: imprisoned) us in Newark, NJ for 24 hours.  Newark is kind of like the Ford Taurus of cities, (hopefully that’s a metaphor that needs no explanation) although I will say it is far superior to its neighboring suburb 30 minutes to the (insert appropriate direction), Edison, NJ, which is where United bunked us up for the evening.  I digress…

Because our brains are no better than cold oatmeal as we walk out of the Pamplona train station we (Me, Alex, and our third party member who met us in Barcelona, Ian) unanimously decide without the use of words to spend the next 45 minutes being vegetables in the lawn across the street. It wasn’t until darkness began to approach that the realization that we were in a foreign country and unsure of where we were going – time to hail a cab.  Alex, the only Spanish speaking member of the group, appropriately says some Spanish words to our Spanish cab driver and we hit the road toward our Spanish hostel.

People informed us that everyone in town would be wearing the traditional San Fermin uniform: white shirt, white bottoms, and a red sash + handkerchief. Driving through town we quickly learn that people were right. There were only three idiots in town dressed like REI manikins.

Traditional San Fermin uniform, complete with blood and sorrow

Despite not getting to our hostel until close to 11pm, we are determined to find appropriate garb, even at this hour. Not surprisingly, every storefront is closed and has been for hours. Like moths, we continue to head toward the most brightly lit buildings, which would eventually lead us toward town center – the arena where the bulls conclude their stampede. A stand is set up on the corner of the square, and they’re selling our uniform. The quality is somewhere between recycled trash bags and burlap sacs- exactly what we’re looking for. Finally, we feel like members of this bizarre-although-endearing Spanish fraternity. Elated, we grab a few drinks, head to dinner, and drink a couple more. Conversation finally shifts focus to why we’re here: to Run with Giant Angry Horned Beasts.

Although we had gotten a lot of mixed information about how to Run with Bulls, there was one piece of advice that was consistent: The first morning, you watch. The second morning, you run (in case you’re not familiar – Running with The Bulls is a week long event and most people stay for at least a couple days). This is done for obvious reasons, to plan your strategy, properly set expectations, and ensure it’s something you actually want to go along with. That was exactly our plan.

But alcohol has a horrible way of disrupting plans.

“What if we just run tomorrow?”, I propose to the group, anticipating dissent.

Alex promptly responds with a “Yeah, okay,”. Ian slowly-yet-confidently nods his head in agreement while gulping down another Estella.

Dinner wraps up at 1am, we head back to our hostel since we’d have to wake up in five hours.

For anyone who hasn’t been to Spain in the heat of the summer, let me tell you, it’s hot.  Air conditioning is the exception, our hostel was the rule.  We arrive to our room.  Sweet shit it’s hot. We lie down and attempt to clear our heads of what awaits us on the other side of slumber.  That wouldn’t happen.  The next five hours was a rotation of not sleeping and pretending to sleep.  It felt like the room was somehow getting hotter.  As it turns out, because our other hostel-mate closed the window upon returning back from his night of partying, it was.

Thursday, July 10th

Finally, 6:00am comes. Rested we are not, but the adrenaline would fill any and all energy voids.  Without exchanging words, the three of us reluctantly zombie-strut out the door and head toward the course.

As we near the town center, the buzz had gone from palpable to intoxicating (this time in the figurative sense). The city was busy the night before; what was happening now dwarfed that.  People standing on balconies, hanging out of windows, and climbing barricades to get the best view of a bull’s horn penetrating some poor fool’s leg, torso, and/or jaw (click at your own risk).  We followed the biggest stream of people under the assumption they were heading toward the starting line.  They were.


The next 30 minutes would be the most intense experience of my life.  To call the pile of people we were amongst a clusterfuck is a grave injustice.  Only those who’ve stood in the first few rows of a rock concert can empathize with this situation. The ground was coated in an even layer of piss, vomit, and beer from the party that had ended only minutes before. People are chanting, singing, and clapping.  It feels to be a combination of celebration and an explicit attempt to psych the crowd up for battle.

The dude standing in front of us, Mike, told us that “they” torment the bulls before releasing them in an effort to spur additional rage.  Clearly necessary.  I was nervous up until hearing that; now I was planning my exit strategy.  Unfortunately I was trapped by a mass of people, and even more confining, my ego.  It was at this point I decided the only person I was going to talk to was myself.  My insides mirrored the environment: a chaotic, unsettling cacophony.  Ian and Alex’s solemn facial expressions revealed the same.  Looking around, this was very clearly the consensus state of emotions.


The front barrier is opened, allowing people to spread along the course.  We were told to head as close to the final stretch of the race as they would allow, as this would bypass the most dangerous portion (dead mans corner), and allow us to make it into the arena with the bulls. We weren’t drunk enough to ignore this advice.  We speed-walk in that direction.

We arrive at what appears to be a safer part of the course (relatively speaking), along the wall, within sight of the arena.  Our cue would be to wait for the masses of people to come storming in our direction, followed closely by the bouncing of bulls’ horns.

8am comes.  No storm. 

8:01 comes. No storm.

8:02. The storm.

We see the first wave of terrified idiots running for their lives. We want to wait as long as possible- to be bad ass- but not so long that a bull fucks our existence. I’m ready to dead-sprint to freedom (i.e. the arena).  Alex yells, “WAIT FOR IT!”  I look back- the first wave has suddenly become a tsunami of idiots.  I didn’t see any bulls, but what I saw looked exactly like what you think people running from bulls should look like.  Alex yells, “WAIT!”  At this point I am involuntarily walking toward the arena.  Once I get past Alex and Ian, Alex finally gives the sign. “GO!!!”  I go.  I go faster than I’ve ever gone.

We sprint into the arena’s entry gate, and make a 90 degree turn to right, out of the path of the bulls, who are undoubtedly on our heals. We get to the wall of the circular arena, and turn around to see….people.  More people running in.  No bulls.  Another 5 seconds.  More people, no bulls.  Another 5 seconds.  Finally, bulls.  All eight come galloping through one end of the arena, and straight through to the other where the door is shut behind them.  It’s over.  We ran with the bulls.  Sort of.  It didn’t matter that we beat them in there by 10 seconds.  We ran on the same street as fucking bulls.  We high five, hug, jump, poop, etc.

All of a sudden, people start sprinting toward us with that all-too-familiar, “a bull is chasing me” look on their faces.  A bull was chasing them.  What we didn’t know was that they release the bulls back into the arena, one at a time, to continue inducing human feces.

We try to jump the four-foot arena wall, but it’s blocked by all those who had already jumped and the remaining people trying to jump. This is where we were going to die.  Without looking back, Ian, Alex and I America our way through the hoard, slip through a crack, and over the wall.  We turn back, and what we see is exactly what we thought we would see.  A bull chasing an arena full of idiots, one at a time. While a bull tries to hornfuck one idiot, the other idiots run by and slap the bull’s ass.  The bull then redirects his focus toward that idiot, and the process repeats.  Because I didn’t want my three week vacation to end on the second morning, my courage would only get as far as standing along the edge of the arena wall, ready to jump back over if need be.

It was at this point I had my “Sandlot” moment.

In the movie, a bunch of kids share legend about a neighbors freak dog- which is larger and angrier than any other dog on earth. With every story, the dog gets bigger and meaner.  It’s not until Benny the Jet Rodriguez comes face to face with this beast that the truth is revealed: the beast is a slightly larger than normal dog who loves to lick faces, just like every other dog.

Although the bulls were huge, seeing them gallop around the stadium, I couldn’t help but see cows with horns.  They’re not behaving any differently than any human put into the same circumstance.  If a group of people are needlessly caging me, chasing me, slapping me, and teasing me, I would gore you too, asshole.  Sorry.  It’s not because I’m a crazy beast.  It’s because you’re stupid, and evolution gave me “stop doing that right now” head spears.  In my heart of hearts, I felt like, in a calm environment, me and this bull could chill out over a beer while talking soccer.  Maybe that was the sleep deprivation talking.

Anyway, yatta yatta yatta. Eight bulls come in one at a time, a thousand people fuck with them, a few pay the price.  The bulls go away.  We leave the stadium.

We were jet lagged, coming off 48 hours of sleepless-travel, and now coming off an all-time adrenaline high.  There was only one thing to do.

Continue drinking.

And that’s where things would get interesting…

Part 2 coming soon

If you enjoyed this post, please “like” it as to indicate that pt. 2 is worth writing.  

Winning on Mt. Whitney

Winning on Mt. Whitney

Last month, I, along with a trio of friends, hiked the continental United States’ tallest mountain – Mt. Whitney.  Maxing out at an elevation of 14,508 ft, this 22-mile round trip trek is considered one of the most difficult day hikes in the entire country. I am proud to report that our attempt was a success.

So how long did it take us to summit?

Well, we didn’t.

This is where the truck is backed up…

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Free Stuff Fridays: Caption Contest #4

Goodbyes are hard.

I bring this up because today is our last installment of Free Stuff Friday. After this weekend’s contest- we must say goodbye to awesome free Hi-Tec gear.

But fear not- you still have a chance to win this week, and right now is the only time we will ever have.

And this week is a special edition of the caption contest. This week is the make a WHOOP! laugh edition. WHOOP! is like a Rubik’s cube. Only Will Smith can figure him out.

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