Wednesday, August 12, 2009

New Blog

So I have started a new blog that will be updated more regularly than this one for the remainder of the year. Please check it out and consider making a donation to the charity. Thanks

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Notes and a slight rant

Note 1: Greascar kit came in and I am going to install it this week, psyched.

Note 2: When you almost run someone over and then proceed to drive away by running a red light a wave does not suffice for sorry. Then again maybe he was trying to cover his ashamed face.

Small Rant:
I was asked recently while in a room with someone eating a large portion of cold steak with their hand if I miss anything being vegan. No I do not, I have gained a lot from my choice mentally, ethically and sometimes spiritually. I am not saying this is the only way to live, merely commenting on the tendency to question what someone may miss by making a decision rather than focusing on the positive side of their choice and considering it a possibility.

Friday, May 8, 2009


So my friend Parker tells me that I may have been slacking on the blog front. Perhaps may is not a strong enough word, but in leiu of extravagant excuses I will give you a synopsis of what's been going on and what is to come. So grab a cup of coffee, or a nice glass of malbec and ride along with me.

Since returning to the often windy Twin Cities area, things have been busy for me. I have learned a bit about the barista trade while working at CRC coffee bar and through pointers from my former champion barista girlfriend Laurel. An unofficial champion, but she can make some mean coffee and the best grits I have ever tasted.

I am also working the morning shift at The Alt bikeshop, doing tunes and other repairs before the store opens. They offer next day service, because there is really no room to keep anything anywhere for very long, it makes for interesting bike placement and the 6am wakeup every day combined with Laurels late night schedule at the resturant make for alot of afternoon naps and read eyes in the morning.

Additionally I have been doing some bicycle frame design work, I started my own company called Dori-Mu Design LLC in the fall and have been doing a bit of work. One of the companies is a new local bike brand called Handsome cycles. I did not work on their first product, the devil, but am currently working on some future products, so stay tuned to and if you live in Minneapolis, stop down to 1on1 bikes tonight at 9pm for the official release party.

Enough about the present though, I hear it is the new past anyway, lets get to the future.

A few weeks ago, I went out to Sunny CA for a few days to visit some friends, sorry that I missed you, but I'll be back soon. I went out to pick up a car with my friend Jon and drive it back to Minnesota. Apparrently we also went out to drive up hills at 40mph with a clogged fuel filter for the first day and then drive for 30hours straight to make it back in time for his return to Chicago. Note to self, the next time and idea like this pops up, take a bit more time to sort things out first.

The point of all of this rambling is to let you know that I have purchased a diesel mercedes and will soon be adding a second tank to run on wase vegetable oil. This will be used for some trips that are being planned for later in the year and possibly some Handsome cycles adventures.

The first trip is going to be to the deep south east to visit with Laurels parents and attend her mothers ordination as a Methodist minister. We will head to South Carolina, Savannah, Georgia and make a stop in Ashville, NC so I can drool over the cycling environment, see places I have never been and hopefully get some vegan soul food in Savannah.

The second summer sojurn will be to scout out the future home base for team Irving. Laurel and I will head west, towards San Francisco, south and east towards Boulder, further south to Austin, and back north to Minneapolis via Oaklahoma and Laurels Granddmas. Get your votes in now and contact your local university about getting us some Grad school grants and you may find us as neighbors, or should the trappings of society become too much, on your floor :).

Finally for this update is the largest news, this fall I am planning on ding a bicycle tour on the entire east coast with my friends Aaron, Matt, Jon and hopefully a few others. We will be riding from Maine to Key West and playing shows along the way to raise money for charities and get to the root of what Aaron and I consider punk rock touring. Currently slated to begin toward the beginning of September, we will stick fairly close to the coast and play anywhere that is down, so if you or someone you know is willing and able to help us book some shows and/or wants to raide along and defintitely isn't a jerk please contact me.

Thats the not so quick and definitely dirty, I will do my best to become a more diligent poster, so thanks for keeping me in line Parker and I will see you in July.


Tuesday, March 10, 2009

It has been a little while since I have returned to the states and the frozen flatlands of my current home, Minneapolis. The transition back has been a difficult one, even after a relatively short trip, the things that I experienced and the self reflection that was a focus of the trip have kept my mind far away as my body returned home.

Fortunately the hardest thing has been containing the motivation that I have for doing new things. I want everything to happen, Right, NOW! It has been great for me to have time to volunteer and make plans for future travels and adventures while working out things that I want to accomplish.

There will be one more paost about my trip to India and after that this will transition into a general blog about things that I am up to. Thanks again for reading. Blake

Friday, February 6, 2009

Back in time

Back in time on Sunday before I left Sadhana forest, I spent my final afternoon hanging out in some hammocks by the ocean with my friends Paul and John after having a wonderful lunch at the quiet healing center. The lunch was part of a lecture called Peas vs Pills which is a health seminar on eating vegan and the benefits. One of the benefits to this day, run by Dr Nandita Shaw, is 3 fantastic fully vegan meals. Having already taken the class, we three decided that the food was so good we had to go back for some more to which the fine Dr. acquiesced much to our gastronomic happieness. We relaxed, rode bikes around, stopped for some more food at a small store called fresh farm in Auroville, which had a delicous vegan cake, and took a tour of Bernard and Dipika's farm which is called Pebble Garden.

The next morning it was off to Tiruvannamalai via the bus and Tindivannam. I would call the ride, part fun, part tireing and part terror. The roads are narrow, covered with crowds and other vehicles and you are in a bus. If passes and constant horn honking dont get to you, the bus switching and thinking you might run someone over might. With all that, the drivers are experts at what they do, even managing to drive a manual through all that India's interstate system has to offer.

Upon arrival in Tiruvannamalai I made my way to the Aruna lodge, which has descent rooms and a fantastic view of one of the Anchalwar temples 6 sculpted towers. Not a bad backdrop, especially in addition to Mt Arunachala, my first evening was spent touring the temple and walking the busy streets surrounding it. The roads are small, the people are many, and the beggars are in abundance around the temple. The temple itself is quiet and scerene with a wonderful garden and to my enjoyment, at least a few monkeys. More on that soon. Thanks for reading.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

to the top

Took a hike to the top of Arunachala this morning. Even in the early hours of the day, the sun is relentless and I was laughed at (in a nice way) because I was sweating so much. Hiking here reminds me of hiking in Taiwan, it is generally more of a rock climb/bouldering adventure of steep nature. The views from the Mt were outstanding, it is easy to pick out the places in the city that I have been, the fog/smog clouds made photographs a little blurry though. It was pretty crazy to see the temples 6 major statue pillars which loom over my guest house shrink underneath my feet as I climbed higher.

Upon reaching the top of the mountain there is a small hut, sticks and tarps, for meditation and an open rock layer at the very top. This open rock is covered entirely with a layer of greasy black soot and smells like butter. Why the butter smell you ask? Well, during the full moon festivals there is a 2000l tub of Ghee that has a wick placed in it and burns at the top for all to see. Not exactly a Vegan ritual, but to each his own :). The streets are already busy with action setting up for the next festival which is on Feb 10th. Apparently over 100,000 people make the trek around the mountain each full moon on village roads and highways. I Imagine that the town business look foward to this monthly influx of people, I read that hotel prices can go up by 1000% for the surrounding nights.

As for myself, I am looking forward to returning home to spending lots of time with Laurel and plan for my own mountain excursions with my Dad. Sorry for the lack of pictures, I will post more updates in 2 days while I am in Amsterdam airport. Take care and thanks for reading.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

moving on

I have left Sadhana forest, yesterday morning I took a bus from Auroville to Tiruvannamalai. It was tough to leave, but there are also about 65 volunteers right now, so I am sure that there are plenty of eager hands. I have decided to return to the US earlier than I initially planned and wanted to be sure to come and walk on Arunachala. I accomplished that today, I spent about 4 hours walking around and up the mountain. The views are gorgeous and it is nice to get away from the bustling street traffic for a while. Tomorrow I will visit the caves where Sri Ramana meditated to achieve out of body elightenment, I will let you know how it works out for me :). Sorry for the lack of photos, there is little to no wifi that I have found yet. I have quite a few, some final updates on SF and the Earthbag home as well as Tiruvvannamalai and the bus ride, I will post as soon as I can. Thanks for reading