Two of my passions in life are poker and dogs. I realized a while back that I could use my love of poker to win money in order to help save the lives of dogs in shelters. Born from that idea, I came up with a plan to take the famous “Dogs Playing Poker” illustration and create a new version. This one, however, would showcase shelter dogs playing poker. I held a design contest to come up with the best one, and ultimately decided on the following 3 winning designs:
Now my plan is to use those designs, of which I have the full copyright ownership, and sell or auction them off to raise money for saving dogs. I’ve already ordered each design on a 30×20 canvas and hope to take them to various local events to showcase them. I’m also looking for other ways to get the word out so that I can raise as much money as possible. The 30×20 canvas is just one option for how to utilize these designs. I can get different sizes, or even put them on a myriad of other products like shirts, coffee mugs, etc.
My goal is to maximize the exposure so that I can raise as much money as possible. If you think you can help in any way, then please let me know by emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I’ve written poetry off and on since I was in elementary school, and I’ve always been intrigued by spoken word poetry. One of these days I’m going to put more mental energy into it and may even attempt to create something of my own. Until then, if you’ve never heard of spoken word poetry, then take some time out of your day and prepare to be blown away. Below are two of my favorite pieces:
This is a collection of my favorite inspirational videos. This is mostly for me so I have them all in one place, but I still encourage you to watch them
“You want more than you have now? Prove it.”
“You want something? Go get it. Period.”
“But it ain’t about how hard you hit… It’s about how hard you can get hit, and keep moving forward…how much you can take, and keep moving forward. That´s how winning is done.”
“If you are not making someone else’s life better, then you’re wasting your time.”
“Don’t give up. Don’t ever give up.”
This man was a true inspiration.
This one is long, but worth it.
“What we do in life, echoes in eternity.”
So I’ve been backburnering part 2 of my Vegas 2011 trip report for so long now that I figured I would just post a bunch of pictures and be done with it for the most part. It is worth noting that my girlfriend, Meagan, came out during my 2nd week and we had an amazing time. We hung out at the pool and saw 3 different shows, including O, Mystere, and Jersey Boys. Surprisingly, the highly touted O was our least favorite and Jersey Boys, a show we only saw based on recommendations and the fact that it was playing in our hotel, absolutely blew us away. It also helped that we had VIP seating due to being guests at The Palazzo. If you enjoy Frankie Valli even in the slightest, then this show will be one of your favorites. However, if you are interested in a Cirque show, I’d recommend Ka or Mystere. O and Love were both good, but I enjoyed them less than the other two. That being said, many people think O is the best so I’d pick 2 if possible.
The other main activity in which we participated was EATING. And we ate A LOT. And it was YUMMY. The following will be an assortment of photos of the various food we consumed.
I’ve never liked running. Whenever we had to run in practice for whatever sport I was playing at the time, I dreaded every moment of it. It reminds me of baseball in that it takes a long time, is exceedingly boring, and the only thing that would make it better is some nachos and a hot dog. Ok, maybe I stretched that analogy a bit, but you get the point.
With that being said, I’m thinking about signing up for a 5k race. Makes sense right? Well, this isn’t a normal 5k. It’s called Run For Your Lives because THERE WILL BE ZOMBIES.
Per their website:
HOW IT WORKS
Run For Your Lives is an apocalyptic 5K obstacle race. But you’re not just running against the clock — you’re running from brain-hungry, virus-spreading, bloody zombies.
Before the race, you will be given a flag belt, just like the overly intimidating game of flag football. These flags represent your health.
The zombies want to take your flags and maybe eat your brains.
If you lose all your health flags, you die. And the zombies win.
Health bonuses will be hidden throughout the course. If you find one and carry it to the finish, it will save your life.
WHAT YOU’RE UP AGAINST
Throughout the 5K obstacle race, there will be 12 man-made and natural obstacles for you to complete. Runners may choose NOT to complete an obstacle, BUT any runner who skips an obstacle will not be eligible for prizes.
There will be zombies. Their job is to chase you and eat you — but mainly go after your health, in the form of your flag belt. Avoid the zombies to keep your health flags.
Use speed, strategy and your intact brains to make it to the FINISH LINE with at least ONE FLAG INTACT. If you finish with zero health flags, your time will be recorded, but you will not be eligible for awards.
HOW YOU’LL DO IT
There will be a start line, and a finish line, but what happens in between is up to you. There are multiple routes to reach the finish. Choose wisely, or your 5k might turn into a 10k.
Now in order to train for this event, I’m going to follow the “Couch to 5k” program (h/t Entity), found here. I play basketball regularly so I might skip the first few weeks as they seem pretty easy. It’s a 9 week program and I have 8 weeks until I need to be in zombie shape so that’ll work out nicely if I skip the first 2 weeks.
I imagine the zombies and obstacles will add a fun twist to things so I’m going to need to be ready for anything. That means I can’t just train to jog 3 miles. There will be climbing and sprinting and dodging and 3-man-weaving. Luckily, I’m also currently training hard at the rock climbing gym so I’ll just need to work on some sprinting to ensure I don’t run out of steam.
Speaking of climbing, I’m still improving my rock climbing skills. I attended the Renaissance Festival (more info here) last year and they had a climbing wall. It was $10 to climb and you get 2 tries. If you complete it, then you win $30. Now, I’m not too concerned with the financial aspects of it, but it is not an easy wall to climb and I made it my mission to train hard enough so that I could come back the following year and complete it. If you know anything about climbing, at that time last year I was just starting out and was climbing 5.6s/5.7s and maybe some V1s. I’m now starting to work on 5.10s and have done many V4s. PygmyHero climbed it last year and said it was probably a tough 5.10 so I’m making a final push in these last 2 months to train even harder. There is one big problem in that they don’t allow climbing shoes, but I’m going to give it a shot anyway
If I can manage to do well in the 5k and beat the climbing wall at the RenFest, then I will be very happy! At that point, the new Call of Duty, Battlefield, and Elder Scrolls games will be coming out so I can proceed to lose everything I trained for and just play video games and eat bon bons. Or keep training. Definitely one of those.
With the NFL season approaching, it seems appropriate to remind everyone who Michael Vick really is. The following excerpts are from the book “The Lost Dogs,” by Jim Gorant.
One of the men comes towards the dogs. He grabs the one that had been in the rectangle with the little red dog and fastens the old nylon leash around her neck. He picks her up and carries her over to two trees that stand next to the two-story shed. The other man ties the leash to a two-by-four that has been nailed between the trees. Once the leash is secure, the first man boosts the dog a little further up and lets go.
For a moment, the dog lifts upward, her back arching and her legs paddling the air. Her head spins as she looks for the ground. Then her upward momentum peters out and she begins downward. Forty pounds of muscle and bone accelerate toward the earth. The rope pulls. The dog’s head jolts to the side and with a single yelp she is dead.
The other dogs in the yard spring to their feet; the ones that had been brought up from the clearing that morning, the ones that lived in the kennel, the ones inside the shed. They bark and howl and run back and forth, pulling at their leashes or bouncing off the walls of their enclosures.
Even as they do, the other man approaches a second dog, one that had been injured and that now lies meekly on the ground. He carries him to the bucket and then holds his back legs in the air. One of the other men takes the dog by the scruff of the neck and plunges his head into the water. The dog shakes and flails, splashing water out of the bucket, but he is unable to shake free and within a few minutes his body goes limp. He’s tossed into a wheelbarrow.
In all, four dogs get the bucket and four the leash, although not all of them are as lucky as the first dog. Some of them swing from the rope, gasping and shaking, eyes bulging, blood trickling from the corners of their mouths as they slowly strangle. Even when they are finally cut down, they are not quite dead, so they too have their heads stuck in the bucket.
If those passages made you uncomfortable, just imagine how the dogs felt.
As the little red dog lay on the ground fighting for air, Quanis Phillips grabbed its front legs and Michael Vick grabbed its hind legs. They swung the dog over their head like a jump rope then slammed it to the ground. The first impact didn’t kill it. So Phillips and Vick slammed it again. The two men kept at it, alternating back and forth, pounding the creature against the ground, until at last, the little red dog was dead.
I highly recommend watching the following videos (the first one is older, while the second is more recent):