Married, With Children

Man it’s been so long since I’ve written anything here! Well I’m heading off to bed really soon so I’m not going to write a lot, but I do miss blogging.

As I look back, I am amazed (as is probably everyone) at how the internet has changed our world. I’m happy to be a small part of it, and happy to be still (sometimes) writing!

A lot has happened since my last entry. For one, I got married in August. Yup, married my best friend – the girl next door 😉 We now live in our own little house and we are expecting twin boys to be born within the next 4 weeks! I can’t believe I’m going to be a dad! (cue the dad-jokes)

All I can say about it is, I hope to be the best father I can. I keep thinking about my life and how it will effect theirs. I want to help them learn so many things. I think about the challenges our boys will have in this world and how it could all be different by the time they are 5 years old. I have no idea what the specific challenges will be, so I plan on helping them to understand good principles of life, so that they can use those in any situation.

Some principles I hope to teach them are:

  1. Mindfulness: the art of being aware of your emotional state and the possible state of others around  you. Respecting other people’s boundaries as well as your own.
  2. Balance: The art of balance is one which I am still working on myself. I want to help teach this principle through meditation, self-education, and physical activities. I feel that balance is especially important in today’s world where we can be overwhelmed with 1-sided philosophies and even 1-sided activities (i.e. on the computer all day without any exercise)
  3. Love: Yep, simple love. I like what Mr. Rodger’s mother told him “When tragedy happens, look for the helpers. You will always find people trying to help.” I want my children to understand love, even when times are tough.

I’m also grateful for my wife – who has been a real hero through her pregnancy – taking care of both herself and our children as she tries to finish school and graduate (hopefully before) the babies are born. She has helped my be a more mindful person, and I’m lucky to have her by my side as we start a family.

A Life Direction

Hello World! Welcome back to the World of Brian – ongoing blog since 2004 and beyond. In the past I considered moving my blog to WordPress, but alas, here is The World Of Brian, and here it shall stay.

At Bear Lake, Utah
So in reent news, I’ve moved to Utah. Surprise surprise. Well, yeah I am the youngest snowbird alive, but I’ll tell you why this time is a bit more significant than the others:
First of all I stayed in Arizona for the Summer, and now I’m in Utah for the Winter – the complete opposite of what a proper snowbird should do. Hey I didn’t plan it like this – it just happened. I was working the trail at Anasazi when in June I kept having these epiphanies about my life and the direction I was going in. I realized where some of my passions were, and probably most importantly, realized I wanted to be closer to my siblings. So, I made the move. 
What else is different? Well, this requires a small story: 2 years ago I was happily living and working in Salt Lake City. I had a jeep, nice job, and even a hot girlfriend. But sometime April all those things went away. I spent a month fighting depression and confusion. In a spur-of-the-moment decision I packed all my belongings into storage except for some clothes and on June 6th I hitched a ride to Jackson Wyoming. Found a job at Dave Hansen Whitewater (running the kitchen) and lived in a tent by the river (almost like in a van down by the river). The rest is another interesting story, but I remained mostly transient since then. Now, 2 years later I find myself living in my own room in a house, pulling things out of storage, and building my business making websites. In effect, I’m regaining what I lost. But that’s not the big story.
The big story is that I am finally know what I’ll be going to graduate school for (and yes, I’ve “decided” upon things before and then switched. But oh well.)

I want to become a therapist. 

Yeah, really! Maybe even continue on to a PHD in Psychology. You might be thinking 2 things right now: 1″Totally makes sense, cuz you’ve been working in the therapeutic industry for over 6 years now” or 2 “Huh? I thought you said you would never be a therapist because you hated doing paperwork, etc.” — well, what can I say! I’ve been thinking long and hard about these things. It’s been five years since graduating with a B.S. in Communications and Recreation Management. It’s about time I move on to what comes next.

Belle Pepper – my lil’ friend in Utah
I’m very excited about this decision. After hours upon hours of pondering, writing things down and just talking to people and praying. (yes, I pray and I’m not afraid to admit that. Nothing wrong with speaking out to the man upstairs). Now the process is to gather information and decide which school to go to.
So have I left computer programming behind? Nope. I am currently taking a Python class from the University of Toronto online. I really like the class. Even though I already know programming, this class does and excellent job of covering the basics, and I’m catching onto things I haven’t realized before in programming (being self-taught I missed some basics). 
I believe I can do both. Why not? I like both programming, and working to help people.
Looong post eh? Well if you’re still reading, then cool. Here’s something for your refinement:

Until next time!!!

P.S. Here’s my other blog (mostly non-personal stuff gets posted there)

–WBC–

Summer Dreams

Antler’s Cafe – coming off the trail

Tim, Alicia, Cait, Lina, Steve, and me

Last week I finally started updating my new porfolio site www.BigWilliam.com. Head over and check it out. Of course, it’s not designed yet or anything, but I just wanted to get some content up for the time being.

I’ve also finished working there trial here at Anasazi, for a little while (you and I don’t know when I’ll come back). Let me just say that I’ve LOVED working on the trail. I love being in nature especially, all the TrailWalker friends I get to meet here, and getting to know the YoungWalkers. I started a blog about TrailWalker life here http://trailwalkerjournal.blogspot.com but I haven’t been updating it enough. But I have some stories I may be adding to it one day.

I have been surviving the summer heat here by purchasing large quantities of ice cream. It really helps! Oh yeah, and sometime A&W Rootbeer too. Can’t go wrong with a Rootbeer float every now and then.

Since finishing walking the trail I have put my efforts into re-starting my freelance programming business (currently called “Vendo” but I might be changing that name). I’m working on my personal site www.herbalnoni.com (new design isn’t finished yet, but it’s there), and I’m starting a new one for a new client (which I’ll announce once it’s finished).

I’ve been focusing on my personal schedule as well. I’ve found that when you work for yourself, you have to keep a strict work schedule. There’s no “boss” or “office” to keep me accountable, so I have to write out my own schedule and stick to it. One thing that helps me is this creative work place called GangPlank which allows anybody to come and work and collaborate. Themed in pirate flags and lots of computers, it’s my favorite place to get work done. Frankly, I LOVE it.

I also love the new ward I’m in. Nice people.

Alas, all this love, but I am heading out. Why you ask? Because I’m freaking awesome that’s why! Oh, so you think I just float around and do whatever comes my way and keep no stability in my life… well… okay you win. Expect the unexpected. But really, I do have a direction, and I’m testing out a few ideas before I go for it all the way.

I’ve been doing some soul searching and I’ve found that I have a recurring passion in my life: to create fun situations and learning environments. That’s a fancy way for saying I want to become a teacher. So I tried it out: I set up my own free class for the public and taught an HTML class. I also signed up to be a Substitute Teacher for the Mesa Schools District (although I didn’t get to do it because of a long story about my hands being too calloused for the fingerprint card and it taking too long to process, etc. whatever). So I’m trying things out in other ways. I’ve tutored a few people about how to make websites. And don’t forget what we do as TrailWalkers: teach wilderness skills baby! So yeah, I’ve been trying this out for a while. I’m going to consider a few other options first, but then if those don’t stick and this one does, I’m going back to school for a Master’s Degree in Education. (Horray for more student loans!) Well, hopefully I don’t have to incur more student loans. I’m (fingers crossed) hoping that I can create a successful freelance business to pay my way through college. Pray for me on this one, please.

I’ll be looking for a job in Utah when I head up there.

Okay that’s all I have time for. If you’ve read all the way here then GREAT. Have a splendid freaking fantastic day.

–WBC–

Wherever You Go, There You Are

Sometimes, when you are a man, you have home-made boat races – it’s just for fun.

It’s a Wednesday Tuesday afternoon and I’m in Arizona. It’s a beautiful sunny day and I’m at my computer doing some work on the QuikCamo site (well, taking a break now).

I’ve been used to migrating south for the Winter and I’ve enjoyed the good-weather benefits. But I feel lately that I may want to just stay in one place for a year or more. Just to be a little more established. I think I’ll stay in AZ for a while. I like the warmer climate.

Speaking of this place, I’ve found something really cool: GangPlank (www.GangPlankHQ.com) – a free collaborative work environment in Chandler. Yep, it’s just what it sounds like. The city of Chandler has sponsored some groovy offices space downtown so anybody who wants to can sit at a desk, get work done, meet new people, share and collaborate, and more. They have some free arcades there (props for us from the 90’s!) and sodas are only 25 cents! I pretty much LOVE it there. I get a lot of work done, and I meet great people like me who just need a place to set their laptops on and work.

I’ve also been exercising again. Not much more needs to be said about that, but it feels good to be exercising.

And YES – I’m walking the Anasazi Trail! Always love it here. Always love the Arizona desert.

Here’s some websites I’ve finished recently for clients:

  • www.ShareNPay.com (company out of Utah with an iPhone app for making payments) 
  • www.QuikCamo.com (always changing stuff on this one) 
  • www.InkBink.net (this is just a side-project of mine. Really it’s just a WordPress site with minimal edits.)

I’m working on a concept for my portfolio site: www.Vendo5.com, but it isn’t up yet. I’ll be sure to announce it once that’s finished.

Lastly, concerning websites, I just bought a new domain name: www.BigWilliam.com. Haha! Now it’s easy to remember. But for tradition sake, I’m still keeping “The World of Brian.” You can now use both (and CobbMan.com works too).

Audios Amigos.

Good To Be Back

Returning to Anasazi this Winter has been a great decision. I’ve loved being back on the trail and working with kids in the outdoors again. Everything from cooking on a campfire to sleeping under the stars and working with TrailWalkers. I love it.

Lately I’ve been really sick. For 2 straight weeks I’ve had a bad cough and been in bed. But today I feel much better (a friend told me a few days ago to stop eating bread and processed food, and only eat veggies and oranges). Since doing that I’ve been getting well quickly. Here’s a picture of when it all started…

I fell asleep like this because I was so sick

Being sick so long has given me a lot of time to sleep and think about life. The University of Utah has accepted me to start school this Summer in their Mechanical Engineering program 🙂 but I’ve had a lot of second thoughts about returning to school. I’m planning on giving this more thought, as my other option is to stay in Outdoor Education and work on some business ideas I can do with the experience I have.

I plan to visit California next week and go sailing with my buddy who’s living there right now on a sailboat. It should be tons of fun. I’ll take some pictures to show y’all when I return. In the mean time, please enjoy these pictures from the Anasazi Trail…

Swimming Hole

Making Fire

Wild Edibles

Cooking on the fire

Winter ’11

It seems that blogging has not been a priority of mine for quite a while now (around a year). I’ve been blogging since 1999 fairly consistently, and with pleasure. But I don’t know why lately I’ve been neglectful of this blog. Perhaps I lost interest because of other things. Or perhaps I just felt like I shouldn’t be telling the world about my personal life as much. I can’t really say for sure. But those reasons are a slice of it.

It has been interesting how things have evolved over the years in the blogging world as well as the wonderful attention the internet has now as compared to 10 years ago. Obviously Facebook has captured the biggest audience by being the best at re-creating our social lives online, which I believe has a significant impact on how we communicate with each other today. i.e. I was just talking to my roommate who created a Facebook group so he can get addresses of all his friends to send wedding announcements to. It was then that we realized: “How did we ever get all of the addresses of our distant friends and family before Facebook?” As the saying goes “Everybody is on Facebook.” Whatever. I think it’s a great trend, and I think they’re big enough now that they will always be successful – kind of like Microsoft. Both companies can get away with a few dumb mistakes and still recover just because they are so well known.

Moving on…

It’s Winter now. And those of you who know me know that I am more of a desert rat than a snowboarding junkie. I think that’s why I’m loving Arizona so much right now 🙂 Working the trail has never been better, and I’m keeping super busy during my off-weeks doing Calculus and freelance web development. I feel like I’m pushing my limits with all of these things I’m doing. It’s a good push though – because I’m always finding more efficient ways to do things and multitasking. I am definitely more productive and efficient than I have been for years.

So here I sit in my room and finally taking time to write on my blog again. I have a feeling I will be blogging more often. I also feel like there are some more adventures which await, and that keeping a blog through it all would be worthwhile.

If you’ve read this far I am impressed. I’d be bored by now 😉

Here is a fun video for you: The “Techno Viking” in Berlin…

Around Camp

Hello from Jackson! Once again, just a quick update: I’ll be coming back to Salt Lake for General Conference. Hope to see everybody I can there!

Next, Jackson is awesome of course. I’ve been working on websites like a mad man, but I love it. I’m glad I took a long retirement from it, and I’m glad that I’m “back in action” with the world wide web. I’ve been rebuilding my portfolio while I work here. Soon, I plan to migrate this blog back to my own host (no longer using blogger), for those of you who have been following my blog since the beginning, you remember that I used to hard code everything on my own, before migrating all my content to blogger in 2004 (I like to consider myself a seasoned blogger, since I kept an online log of myself since 1999, before I ever heard of a “blog”). Though convenient, I think for the sake of personal pride and practice, I’m going back to doing it my way, without blogger tools. Well, one day at least, when I get the time to do the migration and creation of a new blog site. (actually, if you want to see the wordpress installation I set up , go here: www.wbcobb.net/blog).

I’ve been hosting some couch surfers on the river banks, which has been a lot of fun. 3 people from Germany, and 2 people from New York. I love the Couch Surfing Project, because I get to meet new people all the time.

Here’s a few pictures for your enjoyment:

–WBC–

Ink Bink is Awesome

Jackson had a small earthquake yesterday. I felt it while sitting on a rock by the river. Though I wasn’t sure it was and earthquake until I read about it in today’s paper. I think it was a 4.8 and didn’t do any major damage. Just a little hop.

I’ve started a creative writing blog with my friend Ray called Ink Bink. It’s totally fun and so far I’m excited about it. We have 4 authors so far (including me) and may choose to recruit more in the near future. Please check it out!

www.inkbink.net

Lastly, it’s been a great time up here. I’m still building websites, and blogging. Sven and Brenna are getting hitched on the 19th, so I’ll be in Utah for that event. Can’t wait to visit Salt Lake again. Later!

–WBC–

Life at Snake River Park

I’ve been living at the KOA in a tent by the snake river. I’m using someone else’s tent, which is nice because it’s large.

Working via the internet proves difficult in the evenings because the wireless internet here is used a lot by the campers and always lags and resets. Sometimes I get so frustrated that I hitchike to town and use the library’s or Heidi’s internet connection.

Speaking of hitchhiking, that’s what I did yesterday to get to town (actually, Bud who owns KOA saw me on my way out and gave me a ride). I worked at Heidi’s until 1am. I woke up early and started hitchiking back to camp. Got a ride from my first female driver to pick me up – a lady from Chicago who just moved here. She was driving a Jeep with the top off – pretty cool – and took me as far as the Enclosure climbing gym. 10 more minutes on the roadside, and a police officer stopped and told me hitchiking was illegal in Wyoming. Let me go but told me to walk. So I did for about a mile, then called Mary and had her pick me up so I could make it back to the KOA in time to start my shift at 10am. Luckily, she wasn’t working. Oh, and I should add that I didn’t know hitchiking was outlawed in WY. It’s legal in UT, NM, and AZ. Whatever the reason, here’s what I found about the laws here…

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This is from digihitch.com

According to Wyoming state law, it is illegal to hitchhike on a highway. State and local police will enforce this. However, many hitchhikers have had successful trips across the state by either hitchhiking from on-ramps or by using a highway loophole which many cops allow…

It is legal to walk on a highway, if a person is walking facing traffic. In some cases (if the other side of the road is not safe to walk on) a pedestrian can walk with the flow of traffic.

As long as a hitchhiker is not actively requesting a ride (sign raised or thumb out), he or she can keep walking. And this is what cops are likely to tell you in Wyoming:
“Keep walking…”

So be sure to look like you are going somewhere with your own two feet while in Wyoming. Read a section of the law below, and click the link for more related pedestrian laws.

Code 31-5-606 Soliciting on streets and highways.

(a) No person shall be on a highway for the purpose of soliciting a ride, employment, business or contributions from the occupant of any vehicle. This subsection does not apply to persons attempting to obtain assistance for disabled vehicles.

31-1-101. Definitions.
(viii) “Highway” means the entire width between the boundary lines of every way publicly maintained or if not publicly maintained, dedicated to public use when any part is open to the use of the public for purposes of vehicular travel;

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Though I plan to be here until October, my priorities are daily reviewed in my mind: build a portfolio so I can work for CouchSurfing.org as a web designer, and eventually earn income online so I can have the freedom to travel while earning enough income to live well. I am also applying for Forest Service jobs in the Fall, and maybe even something with the Coast Guard. It’s still open, but I’m going to apply.

So far, I’ve worked on 3 websites: my portfolio, thanksgivingforall.org, and secretspeakers.com (only edits on the last one). I have a few ideas for more, it just takes a lot of time to get back into the swing of things. I’ve discovered that paying attention to the right “teachers” online has helped me the most. I pay $9 a month for nettuts tutorials online from Jeffrey Way. It’s one of the best investments I’ve made for learning website stuff (I stopped getting Netflix so I could afford this).

So that’s me on top of Mt. Olympus (in Utah. no pics from Wyoming yet). I’m always searching for new friendships, and oh yeah, I’m not going to school this Fall. I have to get out of debt before getting into more. I’m happy to feel in my heart that I have the skills I need right now to be successful in life. That’s not saying I’m not learning, and won’t return to college; It means I’m accepting who I am right now and planning my future wisely.

–WBC–

Crude Oil

There’s a reason BP does not want photojournalists anywhere near the oil spill currently devastating the Gulf of Mexico. If people were to behold the raw effects of this tragedy, they might demand justice against those responsible, namely BP. Being over 5,000 feet below the water’s surface, the leak has proven to be difficult to stop, and has resulted in millions of gallons of oil scourging the Gulf waters. Though disasters such as this are rare, it doesn’t make the effects of them any less cruel.


AP Photographer Charlie Riedel captured the following photographs off the beach of Louisiana’s East Grand Terre Island on Thursday June 3, 2010:



For more information:
New York Times Article
New York Times Multimedia Gallery
Boston.com Article
–WBC–