Sunday, June 29, 2008

Lizard does the Hole

Lucky for us, Liz Kenny came back from Tahoe last weekend with the Jackson crew and has been hanging hard this week in serious vacation mode. We have been busy showing her around and seeing all Jackson has to offer in the summer months. Golf, Snake River floats, hikes, BBQing, modeling, sunburns, cruiser biking, and an overnight kayak camping trip on Leigh Lake were all in order.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Carpe Diem

So last weekend we made a quickie trip to Tahoe for a surprise party that Liz and I planned for our friend Keelan. We both grew up with him in Tahoe and he was my roommate in college in Bozeman, MT for 2 years. I have never met a guy who is more happy, optimistic and positive than him. He is leaving for Iraq in July and we didn't want him leaving without knowing how much his friends and family love him and will be thinking of him constantly. So surprise party it is!

The party was a huge hit, almost 80 people showed up, many of them flying and driving from all over the country to get there. AND he was surprised! Really surprised. Liz picked him up to bring him to this restaurant to "get a beer" and when he walked upstairs everyone just started clapping and whistling and cheering for a full 3 minutes while Keelan just stood there in shock. And if you know Keelan, he is not usually at a loss for words. Not a lot of dry eyes in the house. Anyway, such a great 2 days in Tahoe and well worth the 12 hour drive to get there! Thank you to everyone who made the party, it really touched a guy who deserves nothing but the best. We love you Keelan. Be safe.

Keelan walks ups the stairs and arrives to this!

First reaction, shirt off!

The scene

The Tahoe, Keelan, Paul Bancroft and Liz

Kari Larsen (flew in from Denver), me, Katharine Lange, Lindsey Gourley and Katie Stevenson

Thursday, June 19, 2008

The Legend of the Smith River....

Can't say a lot more about the recent Smith River trip other than it was as awesome as ever. We got wild weather which was easily combated with beverages, fireworks, mud horseshoes, good food, and most of all, great buds...

8 day float, fishing was weak. Seems the fishing is pretty hit or miss this time of year on the Smith, but regardless of the fish boated, the camaraderie is always rock solid. I will periodically send Smith shots on throughout the summer to keep the posse jonesing for next years float and make believers out of the uninitiated.

Right on......

All Good things Must have an End.......!

Well, perhaps delaying the inevitable, I think I took the last ski turns of the epic 2007/2008 winter today up on Teton Pass. It was a record breaking winter and although there will be skiing this summer for the eager and ambitious well into July, I am going to hang them up and focus on fishing, golfing, kayaking, and some rec league sports!

Had an all star kind of day in Jackson today in epic 80 degree sunny weather. Took a run up on Teton Pass in shorts and t shirt in the morning with my good bud Ted, and then we drove down to Driggs, ID and played golf afterwards.

Take notice of Ted's jorts (jean shorts) and beer belt. Good form Teddy Ball Game, well done Amigo. Who knew a PBR can has such amazing balancing and thirst quenching capabilities?

Life doesn't suck......

Monday, June 16, 2008

In Da House, or, small apartment?

Got back from the annual, really rad Smith River, Montana float trip. Had a hard hitting crew of 15 dudes this year. More tales and pictures to come as I get things back online on the homefront. This shot was taken as we staged the day before leaving on the float at my friend Brian Hager's parents house up Kelly Canyon near Bozeman, MT. Yep, raging blizzard in June!

More to salivate on later


Sunday, June 15, 2008

Tarot Believers?

So I had a really cool experience this weekend, I went to a friend's birthday party and got my tarot cards read! It has always been something I was interested in (I love horoscopes and the like), but never enough to go seek it out and actually get it done. Well, I have to say, I am a fan. It was a really really cool experience.

This is how it worked, my friend Mindy had a table and two chairs set up in her bedroom, so your reading took place privately away from the group. You went in and were supposed to have two questions in your head to ask. The woman told you to think of your first question in your head and then shuffle the deck of tarot cards, pick 11 cards and hand them to her face down in the order that you wanted her to read them. Then she laid them out and asked you what your question was. It was very interesting because although she obviously has a little background on the subject, she was definitely pulling stuff out that I hadn't told her anything about and it really hit home. I feel like deep down, you already know the answer to the question you ask, but the insight she gave me was pretty amazing coming from someone you don't even know. It was a very cool, eye-opening and positive experience for me and for all the others who tried it...highly recommended if you have been pondering the idea.

Have any of you ever had your tarot cards read? Or want to?

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Cover Girls

So a couple days ago I briefly mentioned a little baby by the name of Ireina (pronounced I-rain-a) Serene Richmond, well now you, our loyal fans get exclusive first shots of her with her Auntie Lizard and her beautiful mother Meredith. (And yes, it is okay to be jealous of Meredith for looking so good.)

Aunt Liz showing off her new niece and her new haircut.

Meredith with her 2 day old babe. Damn, hot momma!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Just for the record...

This is not cool.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Write these down

Alright, below are some of my favorite films from the film festival this weekend. I don't know if this is interesting to you at all, but I love a great movie, especially ones that aren't totally mainstream, so hopefully you will enjoy some of these as much as I did!

Very Young Girls - about prostitution of young girls in the states. Definitely brought to light a subject often overlooked in our own country.

Pray the Devil Back to Hell - recounts the experience of a group of Liberian women who came together to bring peace to their country. Amazing inspiring movie.

The Cake Eaters - quirky, small-town drama that explores the lives of two families coming to terms with love in the face of loss. Liked the movie a lot, but not my favorite in light of how powerful most of the true story documentaries were.

Six Seconds of Freedom - the story of the Angola Prison Rodeo told by the prisoners. Basically, they get no practice and are thrown into the arena, quite an entertaining movie.

Volcanic Sprint - the epic story of Africa's most grueling mountain race and the local athletes who risk all for glory. Great story of a marathon length race that starts in the village and scales at 15,000 foot peak and then they have to run back down, some of them in plastic sandals! They have over 500 participants because the prize money equals four years of salary for the average villager. Pretty inspiring.

My two favorites of the festival were:

Made in America - a film that chronicled gang warfare in Los Angeles between the Bloods and the Crips, dating back 40 years. A very sobering, eye-opening and powerful film. (It is on Netflix)

The Choir - AMAZING movie! Another about prison life, but more inspiring than the previous. Take place in the most dangerous prison in South Africa, a group of men formed a choir which offers them a makeshift family and a chance to grow beyond their circumstances.
My favorite of the fest, The Choir.

The flicks below are ones that got great reviews, but I did not see myself.

Please Vote for Me - about an elementary school election in China.

Where the Water Meets the Sky - Set in a remote town in Northern Zambia, this movie tells the story of twenty-three women who are given a unique opportunity: to make a film as a way to speak out about their lives and challenge the local traditions which have until now, kept them silent.

Les Femmes de la Brukman - During the 2001 economic collapse in Argentina, the seamstresses at Brukman’s clothing factory took over the operation the owners had abandoned. This film follows these courageous women over many years, their struggle to get the operation running again, their expulsion from the factory, months of battling to get it back, and tangles with the law.

Man on Wire
- On August 7th 1974, a young Frenchman called Philippe Petit stepped out on a wire suspended between New York's twin towers, then the world’s tallest buildings. After an hour dancing on the wire, with no safety net or harness, he was arrested and thrown into an underground prison. Until that moment no one but Petit and his team of accomplices, who had spent months planning their illegal 'coup' (as they referred to it amongst themselves), knew anything about it.

Kicking It - It began in 2001 as a wild idea by a Scot and an Austrian -- to give homeless people a chance to change their lives through an international street soccer competition. The word went out on the streets. Five years later, 20,000 homeless people from 48 countries were training hard and competing to represent their country in the 4th Annual Homeless World Cup in Cape Town, South Africa.

Fields of Fuel - Unveils a curtain of deception covering America's crippling dependence on foreign oil as it explores one possible solution to the coming energy crisis: 'biodiesel' is an economical and sustainable alternative fuel widely used in Europe.

Happy movie watching!

Monday, June 9, 2008

Film Fest to be continued...

I really want to write about all the awesome films I got to see this weekend, but I just can't find the time! I promise I will post a full update tomorrow because there are definitely some you have to add to your Netflix right away!

Other fun stuff...check out this band I am digging right now, their name is Bon Iver.

Here is a YouTube video of one of their songs.

Their MySpace page.

Kind of interesting huh?

Other great news, Liz Kenny's sister, Meredith just gave birth to a baby girl yesterday and both are happy and healthy after what sounded like a long, long grueling labor!

Welcome to the world baby Ireina Serene Richmond!

Thursday, June 5, 2008

The Jackson Hole Film Festival has begun!

Well Trevor left this morning for a week+ on the Smith River, so here I am holding down the fort with Stevie. Luckily he is here to keep me company. Even though Trev doesn't believe it, Stevie likes a girl week every once in awhile. He told me it smells better.

Not too lonely yet because tonight was the opening night of the Jackson Hole Film Festival with films non-stop until Monday. (Luckily the weather isn't supposed to be great!) Now I have been looking forward to this for awhile, I am even volunteering for 12 hours as a ticket checker/usher so I could get the $400 festival pass for free.

The festival opening film, which I had to skip out of work a couple minutes early for (sshhh!), was called Heart of Fire, a great controversial film to kick things off. Based in Eritrea in Africa, it is about a 10-year old girl whose father sells her to become a child soldier. Apparently, this was one of the festival director's favorite films at the Berlin Film Festival so she lobbied to get it to the JHFF for the U.S. debut of the film, beating out L.A. and New York. Pretty impressive!

She opened up the film saying that when one of the Eritrean officials heard that the film was debuting here, he was going to set up a protest, but she was adamant with him that they wanted no violence, so he conceded as long as she agreed to open the film with a statement saying the film is totally fictional and is not even close to an accurate portrayal of the truth or their country. Apparently, all of the original Eritrean actors had so many death threats against them that they all backed out a week before production, so the actual characters in the film are not even actors. One would never know the difference. Great film.

A photo from Heart of Fire

The next film I saw was an emotional roller coaster called Life.Support.Music. A true story documentary about a musician in New York who suddenly gets a brain hemorrhage while his wife is 3 months pregnant and is basically in a coma for a year. It follows his slow recovery and really the power of love and family despite the worst possible predictions of his future from the doctors. Pretty amazing the powers of the human body. Check out some of Jason Crigler's music, I think I just became an instant fan.

A pic of Jason Crigler the "star" of the documentary, Life. Support. Music.

Lots more movies in the next few days, will keep you posted...and if you are in Jackson be sure to check it out!


Monday, June 2, 2008

Myanmar on the Mind.............

Needless to say Myanmar has been on our minds of late!! The recent cyclone, coupled with the massive and widespread death/destruction there during the past month has weighed heavily on our psyches. Chels and I were fortunate enough to travel in Myanmar (Burma) for 3 weeks in April of 2005. Below are just a few of the shots of that trip to help convey what we saw there. Without a doubt, our trip to Burma was easily our favorite, most memorable, rewarding, and adventurous traveling to date. The people, in addition to the varied landscape and culture combined together helped to make this a truly magical trip.

We have been sitting here feeling helpless to their plight in Burma. Currently, over 135,000 people have died. U.S. Navy ships are sitting off shore, ready to deliver much needed aid. Myanmar's Defense Minister was recently quoted "I believe the resettlement and rehabilitation process will be speedy." While the U.S. Secretary of Defense has labeled the ruling Junta of Myanmar as "Deaf and Dumb". Burma, as we found while traveling there, is a country that is extremely remote and cut off from the rest of the world during the best of times. One can only imagine how villagers are suffering currently and becoming more and more infringed and on the edge of survival while world governments do very little to help quell the political wrangling post cyclone.

These shots offer a view from our eyes as we saw Burma, in better times, four years ago, however, still stretched in many ways for basic needs and survival. One travel nugget that we both took from our times in Burma was how the Burmese managed to smile and be generally happy despite living under certainly one of the more oppressive regimes in the entire world.


Trying to get out of the heat whenever possible.
Yangon, Myanmar Airport

Suddenly rich (and sweating in the heat!) with black market Burmese currency. The money is worth hardly anything, so you have to carry bundles of it around with you!

Signs of old British rule and poverty from our guest house in Yangon, formerly Rangoon.

Monks at Shwedegon Temple

Shwedegon Temple in Yangon

Street fruit vendors in Yangon

A child monk and beggar in Bagan, Myanmar

Mom and daughter with Thanaka, a paste made of ground wood and worn by many Myanmar women. It is used for cosmetic beauty as well as for a cooling sensation in the heat and works as a sunscreen of sorts.

Older women puffing big Cheroot cigars!

Unsuccessfully bidded as a World Heritage site, Bagan has over 1000 temples within a 16 mile radius, all constructed in the 1000s to 1200s.

Vendors everywhere.

Bagan....... it was well over 100 degrees out for the trip.

Lots of smiles despite the oppressive regime


Hand rolling Cheroots.

Mt. Popa, a side day trip from Bagan. It is a crazy site, a volcanic peak with a Buddhist monastery located on top.

Chels with the masses who constantly wanted their pictures taken, walking to the top of Mount Popa.

Friendly, smiling kids.

Harvesting palms for a local drink.

Rush hour on Inle Lake in Northern Burma

Typical Burmese early morning scene.

Dugout boats with V8 truck engines mounted on the rear were the standard mode of transport

Inle Lake floating market

Fishing on Inle Lake

One can easily see how a cyclone would tear through these types of living quarters

Fresh corn on the streets.

Vibrant colors seemed to be everywhere you looked

Swimming with the locals...

Taking the Yak bus home after school!

Only a small population in Myanmar has these elongated necklaces.

Not afraid to pile it on. This picture says it all about Burma.

We are sending our wishes to the people of this beautiful country.