Friday, December 20, 2013

Rock Cricket Economics: The Dirt Bag Path to Wealth and Glory

Ever since moving out into the big bad world when I was nineteen, I have always found ways to survive on what little I had. Whether it be working 70 hour weeks and stealing sandwiches from my employer, or eating moldy bread and scrounging change off the sidewalk for cans of beans, I’ve always made my momma proud by not dying in the gutter… though I’ve come close to that too. The only thing I have never managed to do with a penny, other then eat it out of desperation, is save it.

Now I’m a bit older, and a bit wiser… well, no definitely not wiser, but I have more responsibilities. Such as paying bills and making sure I have enough for beer money when all is said and done. So I got to thinking about where all the money I’ve made has gone since I got my first job at 12 years old. Because, I sure as shit don’t have anything to show for it.

Instead of dwelling on the past though, I decided to move ahead and create a system for myself. A fail-safe way to save money. Sure enough, it turned out to be just about as fucked as anything else I’d ever done. As I expected though, it worked….

Here’s the idea:

First, deal only in cash. The commie teachers at the bank are out to get you, so don’t let them put their grubby little hands on your hard-earned bread. Second, it’s all about the Washingtons. Think back over your life time and ask yourself, “have I really ever bought anything useful with a one dollar bill?” I mean what are you going to buy with that thing in reality? A cup of coffee? A candy bar? Maybe a Brazzers trial membership?

Well I cut all that shit out and instead started chucking all the ones I accumulate throughout the day in a jar when I get home. Hell, I even throw a fiver in there when I’m feeling lucky. Now this may not seem very lucrative, but be patient grasshopper. Soon enough you can be raking in 25-50 bucks a week! You’ve got to be hard on yourself though. Under no circumstances do you touch your singles stash. They are now a sacred currency meant only for the finer things in life…such as climbing gear, Busch 30 racks and road trips.

I had been following this new regimen for about 4 months before moving to Norfolk with Ryan and had never really thought of telling anyone about it. Until one day Ryan walked into my room and saw hundreds of one dollar bills falling out of my dresser drawer. About 350 to be precise. Ryan was taken a back understandably, and I was startled because I hadn’t realized how wealthy I had become.

After explaining my well thought out and precise economic plan for my future, Ryan began to realize how genius it was. We then began to forge our new path towards wealth and glory, cashing in every coldie can and piece of street change we could find on the way.

Be very careful with this knowledge though. It can quickly turn to obsession, huge piles of cash, constant single counting, and high tensions and mistrust between roommates. If you don’t think this system is for you and you hate one-dollar bills, please shoot us an email and we will give you an address where you can send all your unwanted money. We’ll find it a good home.


Saturday, December 14, 2013

Tree Hating, Saw Wielding, Blood-Thirsty Monsters

It was sick – perfect rock, gently overhanging, just enough holds.  Only one problem.  Beneath the boulder grew a shrub, an obstacle that would skewer anyone who fell off the crux.  We’ve seen plenty of these plants before, they are everywhere.  The line spoke to us.  Weighing our options we came to the conclusion that perfect climbs are far rarer than these trees.  We cut it down.

A sudden wind picked up – dangling beech leaves rustled in the breeze, a raven croaked, someone honked their horn down on Route 7.

“Is someone burning sage?” We asked each other.

Out of a fissure scampered a bearded man with feathers tied in his hair, donning garb made of plain brown linen (or maybe potato sacks).  He was a self-proclaimed mystic, self-proclaimed keeper of the forest, and could apparently commune with our local flora.

He declared:

"That was not just any shrub!  That was a mountain laurel!  My friend!  A precious being!  Sacred! Once I finish this chai I’m going into town, finding some WiFi, and slandering you on the internet!  Oh, and death threats!  You should die for this.  You are monsters."

He took a hit off his rollie and skipped down the mountain angrily.

Astonished at what just happened, but not distracted from the task at hand, we cleaned up the rock and got to climbing.  It was a classic, a great addition to the region.  Something that maybe hundreds of people will get enjoyment and a sense of accomplishment from, let alone a chance to be outside in nature.  Happy with the day, we descended into town.  Later that night I discovered the Rock Cricket website was flooded with comments:

“How could you cut down that laurel?!  You’re a bunch of fucks!” –Native0584
“That’s the state flower of Connecticut!  You’re going to pay!”  -ENVIROCONCIOUS
“I hope you fall and die!” –PEACE_love_ROCKS

We shrugged it off and drank some beer.

A note from the author:
This piece was inspired by the recent uproar related to Joe Kinder cutting down a California juniper in the Tahoe region.  Although I do not condone Joe’s actions, I also will not demonize him.  It’s an ethical issue, and as always, everyone has their own opinions on the matter.  The California juniper (Juniperus californica) is not a listed species, however, this doesn’t excuse cutting down one.  These trees can live for an impressive amount of time and are an important part of their natural communities.  I will not profess to be very knowledgeable about this particular species as I live and work (in the conservation field) in the northeastern United States.  I feel it is important to think about the fact that trees are cut down for a number of reasons related to the outdoor experience.  How do you think trails come to be?  Let alone how many trees are wiped out for infrastructure, residences, shopping malls, etc?  There are far greater issues to quibble over than one climber cutting down a tree.  I also find it very interesting how those “speaking for the trees” and mentioning John Muir are also posting death threats.  We live in a funny and frightening time.