Tag Archives: respect

IWD 2013

It’s more important than ever.  Sadly, we’ve had a problem in my community in the last several years, and we need to do better. For some reason, I was still at my desk with a client during this rally, and I regret not being there.

Remember the women in your life today- love them, respect them, support them.  Not just because you are a dude and feel frustrated that we live in a world that regularly denigrates  50% of our species, but because on the most basic level, it is damn important to celebrate basic human equality and decency, for all of us- right here, right now.

Silver Wattle. Traditional IWD gift.  Credit: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Acacia_dealbata-1.jpg  AND Eugene Zelenko.

Silver Wattle. Traditional IWD gift. Credit: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Acacia_dealbata-1.jpg AND Eugene Zelenko.

(yes, there will be a post on this every year- enjoy 2012, here)


It is important to remember that the most important, special, things tend to happen in just their own time- and that time has been the last 9 days.

This past weekend I was again at Prairie Heritage Farm to slaughter turkeys for Thanksgiving.  You’ve seen the pictures from last year, so I’ll spare the gory details, and if last weekend wasn’t one to celebrate my anniversary in Montana, this one certainly was.

The high, northern plains.

There’s a feeling I get being out there, on the high northern plains.  The openness of the land and the warmth of its people remind me why the hard, unglamorous work of farming is what has shaped many of the richest, and most fulfilling parts of our culture.  Jacob and Courtney seem to draw a particularly beautiful crew of people each year to help with the grisly work- I was particularly privileged to enjoy the company of my new friend Katie for the drive from Missoula to Power, and our shared work slitting throats together.  We had glorious weather, and spectacular new facilities for the slaughter- making this year less about “getting through it”, and more about “doing it right and having fun.

Getting what she came for.

Farm-fresh and amazing, dinner is not to be missed.

The introspective observations:

  • As much as I enjoy my time on the farm, I don’t feel compelled to farm- but I do feel compelled to empower other people to farm.
  • The hard and unglamorous work of farming often mirrors the hard, unglamorous work of contracting- and I like that.
  • Being around this group of people made me start to seriously think about my own aspirations in participating in the sustainable food system.  How can I participate more?

A humble day of work and 10 gallons of blood.

The practical observations:

  • People always look funnier with turkey blood splattered on their faces.

“I told you not to look directly at the turkey…”

  • Turkey farts smell really bad, and are hilarious.

    The look on little Declan’s face says it all…

  • There is such a thing as “sipping Tequila.”

It was a special weekend, and no doubt I got what I came for.

A few other highlights from the last 9 days:

  • I had a hilariously good time as a guest soloist with the Dodgy Mountain Men last Thursday night as Missoula said goodnight to our beloved Top Hat (until spring of 2013).  Thank you gentlemen, and I look forward to more songs soon.


  • Despite a year of injuries and training focused entirely elsewhere- I still put 10 more pounds on my best-ever deadlift last Tuesday night.
  • Last Sunday I took the first few steps on the next BIG adventure.  Stay tuned.

Safe to say, I will have plenty to give Thanks for at the table this Thursday.

The Seeley-Swan at sunset.


It’s a topic that I’ve kept off of this blog, but this post has been under my skin all week.  Perhaps I’ve avoided it here by choice, or out of respect for the theme, but if the purpose of the space is to offer the opportunity to examine my life- then it’s only fair to admit that the topic has been on my mind lately.

I won’t pretend to have a good handle on love, in fact, my brother probably puts it best – “romantic relationships seem to have a particularly strong negative effect on your normally sound judgement and careful decision making.”  He’s right, romance tends to bend me out of shape worse than any alpine sufferfest.  Maybe that’s why I’ve found myself rolling solo much more than a duo- but this is not really about romance, it’s about love.

Love is what you share when you are more excited about what you have to give someone than what you might receive from them.  Love is what you accept when being around someone compels you to be the very best version of yourself and no one else.

Thank you to those of you who have recently asked me to be more discerning about what this word really means.

“Love is not sincere until every vestige of feeling that somebody owes us something is surrendered.” (Michael Booth)

Re-Blog: An Open Letter to Those Who Hate

This is one of the best things I’ve read on the internet in a long time. I’m scared of what I see in political discourse in our country, in conversations I hear on the street, and where I hear people cite information from.  I’m all for people having different ideas, different feelings, different priorities, and different motivations.  Fine- but every day I see and hear a deepening chasm of hate and ignorance that frankly scares the shit out of me.

Recently, I was asked what I felt it meant to be “progressive,” a word I am not afraid to use to describe myself. To me, being progressive is being humble, willing, and interested in taking a look in the mirror at yourself and learning from what you see.  It is virtually synonymous with being accountable.  I answered honestly, and realized after the fact that my answer has nothing to do with supporting traditionally liberal values- I’m sure there are folks who espouse traditionally conservative values that would aspire to that same reasoning.

That said, I think it does have something to do with basic human decency, responsibility to our whole communities (including the natural resources that sustain us, the diversity of our citizens, and the many resources that we indirectly benefit from), and a commitment to thinking carefully.  We need this, we need it now- how can you help?  How can I help (feel free to post ideas to comments)?