Geokarma

While on a business trip to CA, I introduced several people to Geocaching. At one point I headed out to Geocache with some free time we had. I had only prepared for finding microcaches. Microcaches are generally small containers that hide in the landscape and contain only a small slip of paper to sign. In this case, however, I happened across an actual cache box. Cache boxes give geocachers the added bonus of trading an item. The item you put in the box should be of equal or greater value of the trinket you take out. As a bonus, it should represent something about your character and/or augment the theme of the geocache. I pulled out a trinket then looked over the possessions in my arsenal to trade. Other than my ID, credit card and pen I had a Scooby-Doo band-aid. “Cool enough” I thought (trying to convince myself that this was an even trade… which is wasn’t).

Coworkers teased, and I kept saying “but it was a cool bandaid” (again trying to rationalize the bad trade).

A week later, while I was home working, my wife and kids went geocaching in Angelfire, NM and came across what promised to be a big cache. When they opened the box it was filled with business cards and bandages! They were all so disappointed. I then told my kids about what I did in CA to which my eldest said (without any prompting) “at least you left a cool bandaid. These weren’t like that. They were boring.”

Nevertheless, I vowed never to leave something like a bandaid in a Geocache again. And certainly wouldn’t leave a business card. (What type of person does that?! If I find your business card in a cache, I’ll call you to find out!!!)

Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow

I’m a pushover for kids. Especially if the child has some type of disease or disorder that puts him or her at a higher risk for being teased and abused by peers. This sympathy probably stems from personal experience, but admittedly, I choke back tears when watching Hallmark commercials.

Twenty months ago when visiting friends at the corporate office, there were some jokes and remarks about the owner, the VP of production and some other guys growing out their hair long. I took up the challenge for vain purposes at first, to fit in as one of the guys.

A few months later an opportunity to help others through this silly endeavor became evident. Children undergoing chemo treatment or suffering Alopecia could use a wig or hair extensions. Ironically, one of the younger stars on Flickr that I’ve come to admire (for her willingness to humble herself and her professional, yet fanciful style) has Alopecia and uses hair extensions.

So it was decided to grow out my hair the required length for donation. It hasn’t been without it’s sacrifices. And as I’ve come to even like having long hair it will be another sacrifice to cut it back. Still, there’s good with each season in life and the satisfaction of knowing how the past 20 months of minimal effort will bring peace to a child or young-adult’s life brings a great satisfaction.

What I’ve learned over these past 20 months:

  1. Hair doesn’t grow out at the rate of an inch per month. It’s more like 3/8 of an inch permonth.
  2. As a long haired man, I’ve “frightened” many grown-ups… until I started looking more like a smiling Jesus hippy.
  3. The younger the child, the less affected they are to seeing long hair on a man.
  4. Each inch of long hair from the forehead causes another annoyance until it reaches about 7 inches long.
    • First it gets in the eyes
    • Six weeks later it’s into the nose
    • another six weeks and it curls into the mouth
    • Yet another six weeks it tickles the chin

    This is probably why so many long-haired women have short bangs.

  5. Nearly all shampoo has lauryl sulfate in it. This chemical weakens the hair and over-strips the protective oils from it. (Great site about shampoo ingredients.)
  6. When doing any type of physical labor that requires you look down, any hair that isn’t tied back obstructs your view.
  7. It’s difficult to pull back all your long hair and the one strand that isn’t bound with the rest will find its way into your face when you roll down the car window to let in the outside breeze.
  8. Long braided pig-tails and a bandanna doesn’t make me look as cool as it does for Willie Nelson.
  9. Long haired men that walk with confidence are stereotyped as successful photographer/musician/artist.
  10. Women who brandish well-kept natural long hair have garnered my respect.

Time Flies

I’ve noticed that the month of May has flown by quickly. No television was my goal. We watched a few movies – about one every other week. Since I’ve dropped TV, I picked up drawing, photography, photoshopping, flickr networking, more blogging and getting closer to my wife and kids.

Tonight I go to a pizza place that can best be described as something like Dave and Busters, but more family oriented. I hope to have fun with photography there and meet a couple of new people. With more activity in life, it feels more like an adventure. Other than the occasional movie, I’m ready to give up the screen altogether.

By the way, the movies watched were: The last few shorts from the Ray Bradbury Theater, Planet of the Apes (with Charlton Heston) and Les Miserables with Liam Neeson and Uma Thurman. Ray Bradbury Theater was a real disappointment. I remember him being more creative instead of taking ideas from other writers and putting mild twists on them. Planet of the Apes was interesting. Charlton Heston has a way with overstating the obvious. Les Miserables was fantastic. This version in particular shows the devastation of a man’s soul when he demands justice without grace and mercy.