Friday, December 21, 2012

It's all over.

Here we are... at the end of days... but what better time to be alive.  How few people will get to be alive  when the world comes to an end? Wow, we're lucky!  It's almost five hours into this apocalypse, and so far, so good... but it doesn't really matter, does it?  If it's ending, it's ending, and if it's not, it's not.  What really matters is what you've done.  What matters is if you're happy with what you've accomplished in your time.  It may be the end of the world... or... it may not... but either way, it's a time for reflection.  Are you happy where you are?  Are you happy where you've been?   If so, then good!  Keep it up!   If the world ends, then you'll die happy.  If not, then let's hope the world doesn't end, but let's call it the end of the world anyways.  Let's wake up tomorrow in a new world.  A world where we're totally new people, and where we are what we really want to be.  There's no better time to start a new life than the end of days!  Good Luck!

Have an apocalyptic day... and maybe a new beginning.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Let's do something BIG!

     It usually happens near the end of the bottle.  You're out with some friends and everyone's had a bit more than their limit when someone comes up with a great idea!  Ya! Let's do something big!  We could run that company... or invent that product... or open that store... or....  Who's buying this round?  No I bought the last one!  No I did!  And then all of a sudden you're back in your bed. The sun's up,  your head's pounding, and you're too sick to eat 'til it's dark out again.  You probably won't recall all those great ideas, or at least won't talk about them until the next time you're too drunk to remember.  It's a shame.  There's no reason you couldn't really do any of these things, but they're just too big to start.  That's why you only think them up after a bunch of booze, when you're ten feet tall and bulletproof.  Nobody wants to start small, but that's what you have to do.  And you have to keep doing it!  Think about it another way:  You could try to build a tree, but it wouldn't turn out right, and it would be a lot easier to just plant a seed.  So, hey! Lets do something small!  Eventually it'll be something big.  

Have a small day.   

Thursday, November 22, 2012


     It's a day for giving thanks, and I am very thankful today.  I've got a belly full of turkey and all the fixin's, but only cause I was pretty lucky this week.  I crashed my truck coming home from work on saturday night, and came very close to not walking away from it.  There was a winding road, some gravel, a guard rail, a big hill, and of course, the tree which I barely missed.  After a short head-trauma-induced nap, I managed to get myself home without the car.  Talk about bad stories!  So, now I'm mostly incapacitated with a bruised ribcage and a pounding headache, and without a truck to get around, but you can bet I'm grateful to be with my family today.  

Have a thankful day.  

Friday, November 16, 2012

Photo update

Photos? I got 'em.
tree silhouette with green background

     So, I haven't been writing a lot.  Nor have I had a lot of things to write about bouncing around my head, but I have been photographizing quite a bit.  Here's what I've come up with:

South side, birmingham bridge

pittsburgh backyard wall

pittsburgh house

I guess from now on, if I don't have anything to say, I'll just show...
And if you can't wait for a photo update, you can check out my flickr page which I update periodically.

Have a visual day.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

I hope nobody's been reading this.

     This is important!  The election is coming up in less than a week and tonight the Chiefs play the Chargers.  This country needs a real change, but we're given the choice between the two candidates that pledge to treat all the symptoms of the problems we're having while leaving the causes unchanged (and unmentioned).  What's that?  You think you might consider a third party candidate?  Go ahead!  Throw your vote away! --And here's Lady Gaga with a song to distra-- er... empower you to chose either of the two political parties.  You were born this way baby!  The federal reserve system is killing our country and Snooki is having children, and I could tell you in great detail about why we're going down the tubes in about 15 minutes, but Taylor Swift broke up with Conor Kennedy this week, and Gary Busey got plastic surgery, and Vince Vaughn should get it, and Cate Blanchett will never get it.  What an idiot!-- I admire her commitment to age naturally-- I think she should be kicked out of tinsel town.  And the chargers are up 7-0 at the end of the first quarter.

monkey balls in the water in the woods

     This may sound like a rambling useless post, but I'm trying to make a point here!  It's pretty easy to get distracted from the important things in the world, we've got celebrities, professional sports, new cars, iPods, and every other manner of consumer good that we couldn't dream up a dozen years ago, but can't live without now-- and it can only get worse from here.  Look at the websites on some of the links above.  The one web address is ''.  Think about that for a second; gossip as a subcategory of entertainment on a news website.  More and more, we are blurring the lines between news and entertainment, and becoming less informed in the process.  When celebrity gossip and fashion trends are presented as the most important things, they become the most important things to people.  It's getting to the point that any message that would be received and understood by a large enough segment of society to cause a change would have to be so dumbed down and diluted that it wouldn't be worth telling anyone at all.  I guess what I'm trying to say is that you can't really count on anyone else to make the changes for you.  You've got to inform yourself, dodge the distractions, and be the change you want to see in the world.

God, I hope nobody's reading this, cause I don't want myself to think I dumbed this down for everyone.
Queen anne's lace, blue speckled berries, fake bird nests

Have an informed day.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Better learn quick!

     It's getting cold!  But it's still warmish for now.  I was rained out of a little photo endeavor I had planned, so I spent the week doing things I haven't done much recently; playing poker (I thought I'd be rusty, but actually winning!) and during the dry days riding flatland BMX; both things at which I used to be quite adept, but which I've practiced much less than necessary to stay on top of.  Poker went well, as I said, but I still need a little work on the bike to get back all of my old tricks. I'm hoping to relearn enough before the winter rolls in to make a video for the site.  I was watching videos online to get some inspiration, and came across this:


Great... a new toy I have to buy!   Maybe later, but if anyone would like to purchase me one of these, or purchase yourself one for that matter, you can do so here:  I'll take the black edition, please!

Have a warmish day.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

A story.

An American investment banker was at the pier of a small coastal Mexican village when a small boat with just one fisherman docked. Inside the small boat were several large fin tuna. The American complimented the Mexican on the quality of his fish and asked how long it took to catch them.

The Mexican replied, “only a little while.”

The American then asked why he didn’t stay out longer and catch more fish?

The Mexican said he had enough to support his family’s immediate needs.

The American then asked, “but what do you do with the rest of your time?”

The Mexican fisherman said, “I sleep late, fish a little, play with my children, take siesta with my wife, Maria, stroll into the village each evening where I sip wine and play guitar with my amigos, I have a full and busy life.”

The American scoffed, “I am a Harvard MBA and could help you. You should spend more time fishing and with the proceeds, buy a bigger boat, and with the proceeds from the bigger boat you could buy several boats. Eventually, you would have a fleet of fishing boats. Instead of selling your catch to a middleman you would sell directly to the processor, eventually opening your own cannery. You would control the product, processing and distribution. You would need to leave this small coastal fishing village and move to Mexico City, then LA and eventually NYC where you will run your expanding enterprise.”

The Mexican fisherman asked, “But, how long will this take?”

To which the American replied, “15-20 years.”

“But what then?”

The American laughed and said that’s the best part. “When the time is right you would announce an IPO and sell your company stock to the public and become very rich, you would make millions.”

“Millions?” asked the fisherman, “Then what?”

The American said, “Then you would retire. Move to a small coastal fishing village where you would sleep late, fish a little, play with your kids, take siesta with your wife, stroll to the village in the evening, sip wine and play your guitar with your amigos!”

I came across this story in a jimmy johns sandwich shop of all places. It really makes you think about what your dreams and goals are, cause you might already have them and just not realize it.

Have an enterprising day.

Wait... Maybe don't.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Lucy, loosey.

      More photos from Braddock for today.  Above you'll see a picture of a friend we met in one of the houses.  We'll call her lucy.  We were shooting photos in a garage on a small alley when we heard footsteps coming towards the garage door.  I didn't think much of it until I saw a pair of work boots in the doorway behind Dana.  A moment of panic later we heard a woman's voice kindly asking, "What are y'all doin' in here?"  We explained that we were just taking photos, which satisfied her inquiry, and soon after we went on our way, but we were interrupted again a few steps down the road when lucy yelled to us, "Hey! Do y'all have 75 cents so I could get a loosey down at the gas station?" (A loosey is a single loose cigarette to those unfamiliar with the term).  I, of course, gave her the change and she then offered to show us into the upstairs of the garage we were formerly in.  We went up and got a few more photos, and soon came across a jar of quarters.  We didn't much care to take it from the abandoned house, but it didn't take long for us to figure out what to do with it.

Have a loose day.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

More abandoned places.

     I would have posted this sooner (on time), but after my recent trip to Braddock, PA and back to the carey blast furnace with my friend Dana I had about 400 photos to go through and edit before I could post them up here.  For those of you who don't know, Braddock is an all but abandoned ex-steel town about 10 miles outside of Pittsburgh.  At it's peak Braddock had a population of over 20,000 residents, but since the decline of the steel industry in the area the population has dropped to under 2,000 today.  The mayor is currently working hard to revitalize the area, but for now it remains a public exhibition of what becomes of a piece of the world when the people who claimed it step aside.  

Exploring the area, we found more houses abandoned than inhabited.  Some were holding up  reasonably well, some were in major disrepair, and some; although obviously neglected since the owners left; showed signs of not being so abandoned presently. I love places like this!  But I've told you all that before.  For now just take a look at these photos I came up with.  This is definitely somewhere I'm going to be visiting again soon.

Have an explorative day.

P.S.  If you didn't already click the link above, check out Dana's blog here.

Friday, September 21, 2012

A flash in the pan.

I wrote this a while ago as a preface to an essay that was never finished.  It was about living your life backwards by pondering what you would do if you knew you had one second to live.  Who would you be with? Where? Doing what?  Then doing the same for a minute, an hour, a day, a week... all the way up to a century.  By doing this you discover what's really important to you and what you want to accomplish with your life.  So, since I never finished the essay, I thought I'd share this portion of it with all of you.  
       It's been said that your life flashes before your eyes just before you die.  The sum of all of your experiences in this world drifts through your consciousness to be reflected upon one last time before your passing into whatever lies beyond this life. I personally have never had a near death experience, but this idea seems plausible.  Everyone hopes they amount to something in this lifetime and it seems only logical that ones last thoughts would be on what impact they've made on the world and the people around them.  The part of this phrase that really provoked my thoughts however is not the idea of this stream of events pouring through your mind before you die, but the timing involved in the process, because who's to say how long a 'flash' is?  Is it a second? A minute? Five?  Maybe it's about seventy eight and a half years for the average person in the United States.  That's right, the entirety of your life is the flash.  It's interesting to look at life in this way, because then this 'flash' becomes not only your own reflection on your life, but a series of chances to change its course toward better reflections in the future.  This only works, however, if we have the foresight to look forward to looking back
If everyone was given an expiration date, a definite time and date when they knew they were going to die, most people would be more prudent with their time, using it productively to work towards an ultimate objective.  Unfortunately, we are not afforded this blessing (or curse) in our lifetime, and we consequently go on idly through our lives usually forgetting, and sometimes distracting ourselves from our eventual fate.  This is not to say that we should spend our entire lives fretting over the conclusion, but to ignore it is equally illogical and unproductive.  In any endeavor there is a goal towards which all other actions contribute, and life, being the ultimate endeavor, should be no different.  

George Carlin had the same idea a while ago, but he presented it a bit more comically:

I want to live my next life backwards:
You start out dead and get that out of the way.
Then you wake up in a nursing home
feeling better every day.
Then you get kicked out for being too healthy.
Enjoy your retirement and collect your pension.
Then when you start work,
you get a gold watch on your first day.
You work 40 years
until you're too young to work.
You get ready for High School: drink alcohol, party, and you're generally promiscuous.
Then you go to primary school,
you become a kid,
you play,
and you have no responsibilities.
Then you become a baby, and then...
You spend your last 9 months
floating peacefully in luxury, in spa-like conditions
- central heating, room service on tap,
and then...
You finish off as an orgasm.

Have a backwards day.

Friday, September 14, 2012

The sky is falling!

     Run for the hills!  Natural disasters are rampant, terrorists are running loose, the economy's collapsing and the end of the world is just around the corner.  Even if those darn Maya were wrong in their apocalyptic calendar predictions, we'll all be living in a third world police state within a years time.  It seems there's nothing but bad news everywhere you look anymore.  At least that's the world presented to us on television, radio, and the other media outlets we're surrounded by today.  But what about in your world?  Open up the front door... no terrorists here.  Look out the window... I don't see any volcanos in my back yard.  The truth is, some of these things may be happening in the world, but for the most part it's not nearly as bad as the media makes it out to be.  It used to be that there were about 30-60 minutes each evening dedicated to the news of the day and that was sufficient to keep us all relatively informed, but now with multiple 24 hour news networks competing for our advertising dollars there's just too much time to fill up with 'news', and if a story on one station isn't as sensational as the one on the next, then the audience will simply change the channel and take those dollars with them.  In today's world police look like soldiers, their cars like tanks.  They used to be our friends, remember?  "To serve and protect", I believe it was.  Even the weather doesn't tell us how beautiful it's gonna be outside anymore, it tells us how likely a severe storm or natural disaster is.  Fear is a terrible way to live, but only when you let it take over.  So, next time someone calls for doom in the forecast, take a moment and look outside.

     The sky isn't falling at all!  And even if it was, worrying about it isn't gonna help.  If you're really that worried then get off your butt and do something about it.

Have a fearless day.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Nature's gonna win.

       I love the outdoors, and I love nature, so you might think I would be a bit of an environmentalist, but the truth is I don't really care much for environmental causes. Maybe care isn't the right word.  I do care very much about the environment, but I don't worry about it.  Who are we to step in and 'fix' nature when we see something going 'wrong'?  For instance, is it any better to save a species that's meant for extinction than to kill off one that's time hasn't come yet?  I don't know, but I do know that we are one of nature's youngest experiments, and we treat her like a child because we think we know what's good for her.  The truth is, she's been around far longer than us, and I'm pretty sure she's got more knowledge and experience than we could ever know and she doesn't need our help to stay afloat.  That's not to say that we aren't hurting the environment all the time, and nor do I mean to say we shouldn't stop it, but I know that if we don't stop, nature's not going to be the loser, we are.  There's a balance in nature; we might be able to tilt it for a short time, but if we continue for too long, then she'll be sure to stop us.  Even if we put all our efforts toward depleting natural resources, and paving the earth flat, we'd be dead ourselves from the consequences of our actions long before we ever completed the task.  So, I try my best to treat the environment well, and encourage others to do the same, but I don't worry for her when people aren't so conscientious.  I know that in the end they're really not hurting her, just hurting us.  

I undertook a short expedition to photograph an abandoned steel mill just outside of Pittsburgh a while ago, and was amazed and uplifted by how quickly nature had reclaimed what we thought was ours.  The mill was only abandoned in the late 80's, but now paved roads were covered by plants; small animals and birds had moved back into the area; and trees had taken root directly on some of the crumbling structures.  This place wasn't ever really ours, and neither is anything else; it's all just on loan, and nature will take it back soon enough.  She always wins.  

  Have a green day.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

And in record time...

    The Hilton Head Island video is done.  This is a first cut of the footage, so I may be piecing together a few other edits using the same clips.  Who knows!  I sure don't.  I hope you all enjoy it.  Let me know what you think.  I'll be camping this weekend and filming for the next addition to my video collection.  This one should top all the rest if all goes to plan.

Have a pleasant day.

Friday, August 24, 2012

So... I guess you've noticed...

     I missed last week's post.  No... the blog isn't dead... I was on vacation with my family and for that I apologize.  What I don't apologize for, however, is the all the spectacular video footage I got while I was away.  It was a huge success, even though I probably did more work filming and photographing the whole endeavor than I would have done if I had stayed home at my job.  No matter.  If I wanted to rest I could have stayed in bed.  So, anyways, blog posts will now continue as normal, and I'll have the footage (about 300 video clips to be exact) put together to show you all within the next few weeks.  Until then you can look to these great videos which I'll be viewing for inspiration in making mine.

Have a successful day.

Friday, August 10, 2012

So, that's where they've been keeping it. . .

       Remember way back when, before the internet went viral.  When going on the internet actually was something?  I haven't fallen into the constant media trap like some others have, but even I strain to remember those times.  You had to sit down in front of a computer, dial up, wait for a connection, and then take care of the things you wanted to do on the internet in the time you had before you got up to do something else.  

      Now, anytime we want, we can do pretty much anything online anywhere we feel like it.  Its a good thing.  
      Now, all the time, we do everything we can online everywhere.  Its a bad thing.  
      I've given in comparatively very little to the social networking and instant information revolution thats been growing for years now.  I don't follow blogs or news from my phone unless I'm traveling and its my only option, my 200 per month texting plan rarely runs out of messages, and my Facebook status right now probably refers to something I did months ago.  You could say I haven't embraced the new technologies, but I haven't shunned them either -- they have their place.  I love that I can be in touch with anyone I know at a moments notice, but I also realize that just because I can do something doesn't mean I should.  It comes down to being where you are and experiencing what's going on right there right now.  I can't count the number of times I've heard a friend, hypnotized by their phone, say something to the effect of "Oh! So and so's camping… or swimming… or doing whatever else. They just posted it on Facebook." and thinking to myself "They're not camping. They're on Facebook!"   Other times it's just about being courteous to the people around you. These people have been kind enough to give some of their time to you.  You should return the gesture, and not distract yourself with others who couldn't, or just wouldn't make time for you.  Time is, after all, the most valuable thing each of us have to give or to keep for ourselves.
  If you spend all your time constantly telling people what you're doing or keeping up with what other people are doing, then you aren't ever really there doing what you are doing, and you're going to miss a lot.  So, when you're camping, be camping; when you're eating a nice meal, be there eating a nice meal; and when you have some time to sit down and catch up online at the end of the day, or at the beginning of the day (or even both!) then be there, catching up online.   

Have a conscious day.

Friday, August 3, 2012


       Busy, busy, busy.  Trips to plan. . . weddings to attend. . . ideas to crystalize. . .  My friend is getting married this weekend.  There's one of the few adventures I don't think I'm ready for at the moment.  On the topic of adventures I am ready for, however, I'll be going to South Carolina next weekend, and if I can keep myself from getting too distracted with the fun I'll be making a video for you all to see.  Apart from that news, I've been talking about Rube Goldberg a bit with another friend of mine. . .  you know, the ridiculous, overly elaborate machines that people engineer to do mundane tasks for no particular reason other than having some fun. . .  well anyways, she and I may have a little something fun to exhibit ourselves in a short while.  Stay tuned for the South Carolina video, and the other little surprise we're planning in the coming weeks.    
       You may have noticed there are some extra buttons at the top of the screen.  They'll help everyone keep up with all of my ventures outside of this blog.  I'm most excited about the trading post.  I've wanted to do something more with my photography for a while, but didn't know what until just recently.  It only has one item for now, but it'll grow in time.  I'll let you check it out for yourself, but heres a little hint of whats inside, or rather a dead giveaway. 

Have a ridiculous day.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Kids know what's up. ~or~ You learn all the B.S.

       Weather canceled my rafting trip again, but I visited my little cousins (and their dog) last weekend at their house out in the Alleghenny National Forest and had a great time with them. Kids are smart.  They know how the world works.  They might not understand it all, but deep down they know it.

      And I don't mean how adults run the world, I mean how we humans are connected to the animals, the plants, and all of nature...  The truths that are obvious to us until we have other ideas shoehorned into our brains.  It's easy to see it in children's motivations and their activities.  When kids have some free time what do they do? Waste their time watching other people compete in sports, or listening to people talk (gossip mostly) about what others are doing in the world?  No.  They go out to a field, or to the woods, or somewhere else in nature and explore their world and experience things for themselves... until they're taught not to.  How many times were you told as a young child to stay out of the woods? or not to play in the dirt? or not to eat the dirt!?  And you didn't see the tiniest thing wrong with it until it was beaten into your brain not to do it!
     Kids know whats up, but as they grow up they learn to be disgusted by the natural world that we're a part of and learn all the other B.S. that becomes the troubles of the world we live in.  That's why I've always tried to remember to stay a kid as much as possible.  At least as far as keeping the mindset of exploration and of our connection to the natural world.  It might not help me fit in with other 'adults' (I prefer being a 'grown up' personally), but at least I'm not selling my soul for a dollar or forgetting where I came from... and where I'm going.    


Have a childish day.

Friday, July 20, 2012

No blog this week. Wait, never mind there is one.

       There was to be no blog to read this Friday as I had planned to be exploring the wilds of Pittsburgh on my bike and my newly purchased $19 inflatable raft and making a film of the journey, but now there will be one... this one.  Due to a torrential downpour and a lightning strike within throwing distance of myself within a mile of my starting point, I've chosen to postpone the trip until next week (weather permitting).  This will be the first of my 'Mystery Adventure's of the Month'. (Sounds dumb, I know, but it'll be fun.)  I will be accepting ideas for short (2-3 day max.) adventure challenges (preferably outdoor ones, but I'm open to your own interpretation of 'adventure') from my friends and the readers of this blog each month, then I'll take the best ideas, throw them in a hat, and pick one at random to attempt.  The outcome will be presented to you as a blog entry, and usually (hopefully) a video accompaniment.  I'll be setting up a way to submit ideas soon, but if you can't wait 'til then, feel free to comment on any of my posts with your challenge.  There'll be a few other new additions to the site coming soon as well, but I'll leave you to wonder about them yourself for now.  (wow there were a lot of parenthesis in this post!)

damsel fly on a leaf

Have a mysterious day.  

Friday, July 13, 2012

The days are getting shorter!

     That's because the summer solstice was a few weeks back.  Bar 11, the strangest bar in Pittsburgh, hosted their annual party on that day, which I mentioned before.  Here's the video I came up with...

     It was a little dark in there, and my gopro ran out of batteries about halfway through the night, but I think I still captured the feel of the occasion.  I hope you all think so too.

P.S. The song's copyright owners won't allow the video to be played on mobile devices, so you'll have to watch it on a computer.   Sorry!

Have a strange day.

Friday, July 6, 2012

A pale blue dot.

       I came across this video long ago, but just recently rediscovered it.  Carl Sagan had an always eloquent way of presenting our world to us, and his programs shaped a lot of my philosophy on life.  Watching this video puts everything in perspective for me, and if you're any kind of thinking being it should do something similar for you too.  It's hard to get worried about the little troubles of life when you think of where we actually are, and how lucky each of us is to even be given a chance to experience this place for the short time we have.  Get out and explore it!

       If you liked that short monologue, you should consider watching 'Cosmos', a TV series featuring Carl Sagan that was produced in the late seventies (it's available on netflix, hulu, and at least partially on youtube).  If you can watch the entirety of that series and still can come up with reasons to hate things in this world, then you're doing something wrong.

Have a day (it doesn't matter what kind, but just appreciate it).

Friday, June 29, 2012

Problems that money can't solve.

     There will always be problems that come up while traveling, and there are several ways of dealing with them.  Some people choose to buy their way out with money, while other more adventurous souls might wing it and try to solve the problem without monetary assistance.  The latter is, in my opinion, the correct choice.  Problems that you refuse to, or that can't be solved with money almost always create great new experiences. 
     While hopping around Europe last fall my friend and I had the opportunity to piggyback on a newly acquainted French friend's vacation to Rome.  Upon our arrival in Italy we promptly became lost and made it to the villa well after sundown where we relaxed and winded down with a few beers.  At around 11:00, we were surprised to hear a knock at the front door.  It was the villa's owner.  We hadn't been loud or rowdy at all, so it didn't worry us so much as it struck us as odd.  Why would she come down to speak with us at such a late hour?  She spoke little English and we little Italian, but after a few minutes of broken speech and poor grammar it was clear that two of us would have to leave.  The villa was rented for five... my friend and I were six... and seven... and so began the worst and best time of our European vacation.
     We were faced with the loss of the roof over our heads, and no prospects of another to come.  The housing development that we were in was accessible only by major highway, eliminating the possibility of walking to a hostel or hotel; public transportation stopped running at 10:00, eliminating that option; and we were too far from any major metropolitan areas to get a taxi at such a late hour as well.  We would have to walk... somewhere.
     An empty field about a half mile away on the edge of the housing plan would be our bedroom for the night.  We found a hole in the treeline that made a small plant lined cave, set our sleeping bags out, covered the entrance with a poncho I had in my bag, and drifted off to sleep... BEEP! Only a few hours later we were jarred from our sleep by a car, nearly on top of us, and honking.  This was followed by a several minutes of unintelligible Italian yelling from the car's occupant.  We had apparently chosen someone's parking spot as our bed.  We would spend the next night in the field's tall grass instead.
     In my last post I talked about packing light to allow yourself to be more flexible and more immersed in your adventures and discussed a little about how leaving things behind can lead to better experiences along the way, but as you may have guessed, leaving things behind can also be detrimental in some situations... and I LOVE those situations.  Getting yourself in some trouble makes any adventure more noteworthy, and as we found out before, the 'bad' times make for the best stories to tell about later.  Packing and traveling light is the best way to get these stories.  That's not to say you should be reckless; always have what you need to travel safely in whatever environment you happen to be in; but depriving yourself of a few comforts will not only lighten your luggage, but also lead to problems you'll have to solve along the way which in turn lead to good stories to tell later in life.  The story above wasn't caused by lack of equipment, but rather lack of preparation, but the outcome was the same: a problem that money couldn't solve and a good story to tell.

That's about it for now. 
Here are some photos of nature winning.