Weekend Projects

I’m not sure if anybody even reads this blog anymore. Life has been far too busy for me to write as often. I think I posted once per year for the past couple of years. I’m proud this version of it has been running since 2004 [1]. I plan to do much more writing this year.

I recently read an article about effective blogging. The entire article talked about how to write better articles faster. In summary, you set a topic, plan a strategy/outline, and fill in the blanks. Sounds like the same strategy I was taught to use in writing class in school – makes sense because it worked back then and it should carry over into blogging as well.

You see, by planning how you will write the story, you greatly shorten the time-consuming process of editing and re-writing to make it all fit together nicely. Turns out having a plan really does work. So did I make a plan before writing this? No.

This blog has no strategy. No sales motive. It’s literally my journal for the world to see. The World of Brian, if you will.

Moving on…

The most exciting things in my life lately (besides my family and working from home) have been wood projects. We refurbished our wooden kitchen table, built shelves in the garage, and are now working on a workbench. After that, I plan to build a standing wall-desk in my office. The best part is – I make a 3-D model of everything I want to build first, then execute it. It’s tons of fun to build projects this way and it’s the highlight of my weekend. Actually – spending free time with my family is the highlight, but read on, we do this together.

A workbench I’m planning to build for our garage. Designed with Google SketchUp.

Speaking of weekends, ours usually goes something like this: we go to the local farmers market and buy overpriced vegetables, then we come back and relax while eating lunch and put the boys down for their nap. Then we work on a project together (lately, the wood projects in the garage). Sometimes we babysit the cousins and that is usually tons of fun – the other day we played a game of catch with a few tennis balls. Very simple, but with kids that age it was an exciting game filled with lots of laughter.

I love the simple things in life.  A tasty meal. A good conversation. A long walk on a sunny day. Noticing big white clouds in the sky. Hiking at night under a full moon. Watching the stars. Even having a clean kitchen countertop is oddly satisfying.

Learn to value relationships more than things. The world is not always “this or that” – it’s ever changing and growing; breathing. Embrace the breath of life.

Moving on…

We’ve been watching BBC’s Sherlock Holmes on Netflix recently. I love the shows so far. Just finished series 2 and looking forward to finishing the final 3rd one. I’m also hoping we can get to the movies soon and watch Logan. It’s hard to plan babysitting for twins. Luckily we have family close by to help. Marvel movies have been pretty awesome and I’m looking forward to the next ones.

Well that’s all for now. I’m up late blogging because I can’t sleep, and it’s working. I feel tired now.

Until next time.

  1. In 2004 I switched from an  HTML/PHP based custom “news about me” website to using blogger.com. It was when I finally hopped on the bandwagon and started calling what I was doing “blogging”. Though later I switched to WordPress, I’ve kept my blogging history since then. The articles I wrote from 1999-2004 are not online anymore. I have a copy of them on my hard drive an haven’t gotten around to re-publishing them.

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)


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:


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…

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;


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.



I just feel like I’m losing the battle here. Not keeping up on my studies. Can’t sleep at night. Can’t wake up in the morning. Big test tomorrow and I wish I could understand the concepts better (I try to study all the time but just can’t break the English-Russian barrier I have with my teacher. His study guides are crap and I’m sick of the bad grammar and broken English with made up words. I can’t believe I PAID TUITION for this crap!)

I’m also feeling emotionally numb. It usually happens this time of year when there’s more darkness, and the air gets a little colder. I just don’t know how I feel internally. Good, Bad, Exited, Sad. I dunno. I just wake up and move.

Other thoughts constantly running through my head are that I need to find a better job. One that I enjoy. In fact, I’m feeling this more as a prompting. I’m thinking of something within the electronic design business, or the good old outdoors. It makes sense for me to pursue my dreams of being an engineer, but not like this (paying out of state tuition at a University with a crappy professor – no matter what kind of reputation ASU has, I’m better off taking chemistry at a community college, or studying it on my own). I’m almost sure EE catches my interest more than Rocket science, because knowing how electronics work means you know how just about everything we use today works, and knowing rocketry means you know how to send something into space – cool, but not everyday practical. On top of all this, going into extra debt makes me feel sick. Even if it’s for as good a cause as going back to school. I’ve lived here over a year, voted here, and paid taxes here. If ASU doesn’t consider me a resident next semester, I’m dropping out, and making plans for a different school.

Ugh. The worst part about the past few days has been my bad sleeping schedule.

But the best part, is last weekend I drove to the Dragoon Mountains in the Coronado Natl Park to meet Jo and Porter. We camped, climbed, and made dutch oven food. Good times! Click Here for the pictures.


Read all about it

Well it’s time for a new update. I’m pretty much going by the name of “Will” now, but I still like it when my friends call me Brian too, so there’s no need to worry about which name I prefer.

Work today was grand and I accomplished a lot. You know that feeling when there was a ton of tiny things to do and they just never got done because the big stuff kept getting in the way? Well today I have overcome… and did all the tiny stuff too. Now Hannah and I get to hang out on our last night together before going to the trail again.

I’ve been gathering all the poetry I’ve written into one folder and pretty soon I’m going to start making them available on my web site. My future “organization” plans are to go through all my stuff and give away everything I don’t use anymore. I remember in the scriptures it says that when we get a new coat we are to give our old one to the poor. I’ve been holding on to a lot of old stuff to SELL one day, but now it makes sense for me to GIVE it away. I think a local Salvation Army store could use my old stuff. With the Bible backing up my new resolution, I feel pretty confident I’ll be a non-packrat in no time!

Otherwise I’m doing pretty well and I want to go rock climbing this weekend since it’s been SO LONG! (I had an injured foot).

My weekend at the Beach was short and sweet. We went to TJ and Coronado Beach on Saturday, beach again on Sunday and drove home that night. Oh yeah, and we were chased by Border Patrol! We hopped a fence to climb the sand dunes off the freeway and needless to say when they got to where we were everything was fine cuz we were US Citizens and not Mexicans. They were actually quite friendly. Dylan wrote a thoughtful poem about a pepper tree down the street from where we stayed (he had a book where he wrote lots of poems). I was inspired because I like writing poetry and hearing his poem made me think about all those times I wanted to write a poem. Well I better be off… but here are some pics…

The gulls here eat right out of your hand!

Hannah and me…

Coronado beach sunset…

Border Patrol chasing us up the dunes…

Dylan at the dunes (he wrote the poem about the tree)…